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Hell Hath No Fury

Sermon Text – 10.28.2018
[Genesis 39:6-15 and Proverbs 31:22-31]

          I read a story this past week[1]. About ten years ago there was one of those inspiring empowerment self-help type conferences. The leader got up front and asked if anyone in the room of 200 or so people had been sexually or physically abused. Six or seven tentative hands went up. Then the leader instructed us to close our eyes, and asked the question again. Then he told them to open their eyes – almost every hand in the room was raised. To quote the author, “For a long time, most women defined their own sexual harassment and assault in this way: as something unspoken, something private, something to be ashamed of acknowledging. Silence, although understandable, has its cost.” On October 5th, the New York Times published a story on the Harvey Weinstein scandal – and many of us thought about how stories like that are so sad – when one man uses his power to so many women. Thank God those stories are few and far between, those men are rare and uncommon. But then, on October 15, 2017, one week later, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a simple tweet that actually came from someone else that simply said, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write “me too” as a reply to this tweet.” The goal was to give people a sense for the magnitude of the problem. Thousands, and then tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands and then millions of women responded. Story after story after story came forward. Statistics are meaningless in this sort of thing because so many people don’t report, don’t talk about what happened – but the me too movement pushed the problem into the spotlight and most of our culture was shocked by how common the struggle was. It wasn’t something that only happened in dark movies or CSI shows – it was happening right under our noses. And then, because people were finally talking about the issue – a thunderstorm of allegations against prominent men in our culture began. From Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey to democrat politicians and republican senators, artists, composers, producers, CEOs – everywhere we turned the hidden shame of America was breaking through like a volcano – setting the world on fire.


Do I Mean It?

Sermon Text – 02.18.2018
[Acts 5:1-11]        
   Today is part three of our sermon series called the “Gentler” sex, and of course I put the quotation marks around gentler because for the month of October we are exploring the stories of some of the deadliest women in the bible. Some are heroes, some are villains – but there’s something to learn from all of them. Couple weeks ago we started with Jezebel and we talked about influence and the things in our lives that affect us. Then last week we looked at the basically unknown story of Jael and we saw that just because the world says someone is weak – does not mean that she is weak. We realized that where the world sees less, God sees more – and that can push us to accomplish great things together with God. But today’s story… well, honestly it’s just a very strange story – but there’s some really good stuff in there. Today we are going to talk about integrity.


Never Go Camping With Jael

Sermon Text – 10.14.2018 [Judges 4:17-23 and Proverbs 31:17-19, 30]

          In the 1950’s C.S. Lewis wrote a series of fantasy novels called the Chronicles of Narnia, a few years back they made a few of them into movies. In the land of Narnia there are all sorts of fictional creatures like fawns and dwarves and centaurs, the trees move and the world is just full of magic – where anything seems possible. But one of the more delightful features was that the regular animals – like you might find in our world can talk. All the animals of Narnia speak. Well, at least, in most of the books. The most famous book is The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – where four young children travel to Narnia to help defeat the evil queen, and along the way they make lots of friends with some of the woodland animals, all of whom can speak. In the next book, called Prince Caspian, the four children travel back to Narnia – only to find that over a thousand years have gone past and Narnia is a very different place. Humans have come in and taken over the world. And there’s a scene in the movie, which is also in the book – where they happen upon a bear. And because they are used to talking, intelligent animals, they introduce themselves – but suddenly the bear charges at them, roaring fiercely. And to protect themselves, a dwarf named Trumpkin shoots the bear. One of the children, Susan asks, “Why wouldn’t he stop?” Trumpkin responds, I suspect he was hungry. The children ask all sorts of questions, “He was wild, I don’t think he could talk at all.” But then Trumpkin explains, “You get treated like a dumb animal long enough, that’s what you become. You may find Narnia a more savage place than you remember.” The idea being that all animals used to be able to talk, but humanity treated them poorly for so long – they became lesser. You get treated like a dumb animal long enough – and that’s what you become.



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