How to Hug a Vampire (audio)

There’s a joke made by comedian Dane Cook that in every group of friends there’s one person that nobody likes. That joke hit home for a lot of people because it appears even though we may have friends and family we love, sometimes they just annoy us.

In many Christian circles there’s this mentality to just serve and love and love and love some more, but we end up feeling drained and with little joy. How can we learn to enforce loving, yet firm boundaries with the people that drive us nuts?

Scripture Used:
Proverbs 27:5-6, Mark 10:17-22

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UnShockable Love – The Disciples or the Crowd? (Audio)

Loving people is hard. Loving messy people is even harder.

But God’s greatest demand is that we “Love God and Love people” and his claim is that EVERYTHING (the law and prophets) hinge on this. The Barna Group recently did a study on the attitudes and actions of Christians and whether they look like Christ or the Pharisees. Sadly, we’re not keeping in step with the man we claim to follow. 86% of Christians have the attitudes and actions of Pharisees. Whereas a whopping 14% have the attitudes and actions of Christ.

Why is this?

We’re forgetting how Jesus sees people. And often times I want the fame. I want the prestige that comes with being a follower of Jesus. Or I just ignore the messy people around me. But the call of Blind Bartimaeus still echoes throughout our society: “Have mercy on me! Just notice me!

Will we turn a blind eye? Or will we choose to serve and love our neighbors?

Scripture Used:
Mark 10:33-52

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LEGACY – Desperately Salty (Audio Sermon)

7 Years ago I was battling through a divorce, depression and anger coming home from Iraq, and slew of other addictions.

I was a really hard, hard guy to get along with and was not necessarily the best person to be around. I was out to use and abuse people.  But during this time I met a guy named Josh Riebock. And what Josh found out real quick was that I wasn’t necessarily interested in changing, but I was cool bringing the party to him.

Eventually by him walking beside me, sharing his hurt, his life, and Christ with me even when I didn’t know it…..I began to change for the better.

The problem, however, is that most of us never think about leaving a legacy, let alone investing in someone so dark and hurting. We make the message of Jesus about US, as opposed to living it out to those around us. How can we become light to the dark world around us? How can we become “Desperately Salty“?

Scripture Used:
Matthew 5:13-16 ESV

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The Phoenix – Rising From the Ashes (Audio)

Growing up I felt I got lied to a lot by the American Church. Everyone was pretty. No one walked into church having marriage issues. No one had porn or alcohol issues. Nope. We were all pretty because what would people think if we actually came clean about where we struggled? Wouldn’t that “blow our witness” to a lost world.

Due to these wounds and struggles I found myself a pastor in a 12 Step program with other addicts. And what I found by coming clean was amazing…..Healing.

 

Scripture Used:
Ecclesiastes 7:4-6 ESV

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Ephesians (Part 9) – Dating and Marriage – Audio

There is a travesty happening in the American Church. 90% of Americans will get married at some point in their life, but churches everywhere continue to only train people how to date well in their singleness that leads to young adults obsessed with the newest study looking for the silver bullet to put down the singleness werewolf. And the question I would ask is: “Why aren’t we preparing people for marriage especially with the divorce rate being as high as it is?”

Because here’s a little sobering fact. Did you know there is no middle ground in dating? You will either break up or get married. That’s your 2 options. There’s not a magical 3rd although some people like to stay in indifference land forever.

So what does it look like to be a godly wife and deal with the ever unpopular verse about the “evil” submission? What does it look like to be a godly husband and “Love your wife like the church” which among most men is completely lost on them?

****This will be the last sermon for sometime as Central is changing and evolving.

Scripture Used
Ephesians 5:20-33 ESV

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Ephesians (Part 8) – Sleepwalkers – Audio

In 1999 the movie the Matrix came out and many of us easily related to the feelings of the main character, Neo. Were we awake or really dreaming? Were we just drifting through life? Are we sleepwalking?

Our memories only consist of truly important things and if we watched a movie of our lives play out would we really want to watch it? Or is there something more to the way we should be living?

****This will be the second to last sermon for sometime as Central is changing and evolving.

Scripture Used:
Ephesians 5:13-21, Revelation 3:1-4 ESV

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Ephesians (Part 7) – Like a Child – Audio

Often times when we look through scripture we can easily become discouraged as we look to lists of how “Christians are supposed to live”, yet at the same time we believe that it’s simple faith and not actions that saves us. Christians look at the list and know where they’re falling short repeatedly. Non-Christians see it as a list of rules meant to bind us. But what was Paul’s intention in writing the beginning of Ephesians 5 where we tells us to imitate Christ as beloved children and then goes on to list things that aren’t supposed to be happening in our lives. And then why Does Jesus tell us that in order to inherit the kingdom, we better look like children? Perhaps there’s more to this confusing verse than just a checklist…….

Scripture Used:
Ephesians 5:1-14 ESV

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Ephesians (Part 6) – The Authority of Self – Audio

In today’s modern age we believe there’s no such thing as true authority. Each of us have individual, inalienable rights and no one can tells us differently. From scandals within the White House to our very churches we can see that we ultimately are the ones who claim to be in control. Where does this leave God? And what happens when a world looks at Christians and sees them looking nothing like the Jesus they claim to follow when he’s supposed to have ultimate Authority in their lives?

 

Scripture Used:
Ephesians 4:17-32 ESV

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Explore God – Is there a God?

Most people think you have to be ignorant and old fashioned to believe in creationism. But extraordinary advancements in science are turning many in the scientific community into theists. Ben Sledge explores the evidence for God.

 

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