Tag Archives: God’s Metanarrative

God or a Human King? (Acts 3 Scene 5a)

We are on a journey – we are looking at the overall frame work of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation – the grand story of God.

•    What is He doing?
•    Why are we here?
•    Do the stories of the Bible really matter?

Big questions – questions without simple answers. Life is complicated – things happen that don’t make sense. Bad things happen – horrible things – good things – ok things – things of all shapes and sizes…

Are we living just for ourselves? Living for the fun things in life…fishing, cars, money, football….. what happens when we can’t do that anymore?

Perhaps we are living for our family? Yet what happens when you lose your family? When they grow up and move away?

Maybe, just maybe, there is something out there – something larger than ourselves…. What if we could join into this story? A grand story that gives our lives purpose and direction…

Following Jesus is not about knowing facts and figures – doctrines and theology – it is not even about believing in the One True God for as James 2:19 says:

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” –James 2:19

Following Jesus means joining Him – it means changing our story to match His – we are no longer driven by the American Dream, driven by the dream of retirement, motivate by the dream of novelty (he who dies with the most toys wins)….

“The Christian life is life in the kingdom, living as ambassadors of the kingdom. It is being the cooperate friends of Jesus, living in creative goodness for the sake of others through the power of the Holy Spirit.” –Todd Hunter, “Christianity Beyond Belief”

Continue reading God or a Human King? (Acts 3 Scene 5a)

The Land of Peace (Act 3 Scene 4)


The Israelites wanted rest. They had been traveling through the desert for 40 years – and before that they were slaves in Egypt – even before then they were wondering nomads in search of a place to call their own.

They wanted rest. A place to call ‘home’. A place of peace – of security – of hope and prosperity.  They were like us – looking for a place without fear.

Many years before God had told their forefather Abraham that He would give them rest in the land of Canaan. Then famine had driven their family out of the land and into Egypt – now it was time for them to come into the heritance that God had promised them.

The book of Joshua is their story – it is a story about how they finished their journey and they entered into the land and into the peace of God.

The book of Joshua is also admittedly a strange book.  It is full of battles, wars and death… it seems so foreign and different than our daily lives.  So much so that sometimes it is easy to wonder why it is in the Bible in the first place…

This is where the concept of story comes into play. Joshua is book that advances the plot of God’s story. It is not to be read by itself but in the context of what God was and is doing in the world today.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

[Audio version of this sermon can be found here]

When Was It Written

The book of Joshua was most likely written during the time of Samuel – about 200 years after the events took place. It was written during a time of success and prosperity. The people of Israel were forgetting their past – they were forgetting why they were in the land in the first place.

The author if Joshua (we do not know who that was) is seeking to remind the people of their history – to remind them that they are there because of God Almighty and that they must not forget that.

Continue reading The Land of Peace (Act 3 Scene 4)

Traveling Through the Desert (Act 3 Scene 3d)

40 years.

That’s how long it took the Israelites to cross a section of land that should have taken days. They didn’t more real fast! 😛

So why did the trip take so long?

(Audio file of this sermon can be found on the PRV webiste)

Initially it was not supposed to be that long. God had them stop at Mt. Sinai for a few years so that He could talk to them and mold them into a nation that followed Him. After those few years, they traveled across the wilderness towards the land of Canaan- the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

When they got there, they send out 12 spies to check things out – what was the land like, how many people lived there, were there any armies, ect.

After 40 days the spies came back carrying with them a “single cluster of grapes” so big it too two men to carry it!! That is some big grapes!

The spies told the people that the land was amazing – fertile land filled with milk and honey (sounds sticky!). However, they also told them that there were giants in the land that there would be no way they could defeat them.

Continue reading Traveling Through the Desert (Act 3 Scene 3d)

Chosen In Grace To Be A Nation of Priests (Act 3 Scene 3a)

Does anyone remember what happened on July 9th this year? Something global and vastly important for 8.26 million people…

On July 9, 2011 the nation of South Sudan was born.

Only that simple date doesn’t really tell the full story of these people…you see, Sudan has been in the middle of a blood, cruel civil war since 1983. There are a lot of factors for the war…ethnic tribes, water rights, religion, politics, injustice….

Finally after close to 30 years of fighting, the people of South Sudan have their own country – a country that they can govern the way they want to instead of having to live under the rule of the North.

Yet…yet… even though they have a new country things are still…umm….bad.

Some folks have decided to keep fighting…others are upset on who was elected to political office…others are worried about food and water….They still have a long ways to go before they are unified as one nation.

[Audio version of this sermon can be found at the PRV website]

The Making of a Nation

Israel was like that…

They were rescused from slavery by the Hand of the Lord – delivered from hundreds of years of oppression and injustice… They walked through the Red Sea on dry land and saw the power of God like no other nation….

Yet they did not know how to act. They did not know how to be a ‘nation’ – a people dedicated to God and each other. As such, God had to train them…He had to guide their steps and mold them into His people…

Today we are going to look at the making of the nation of Israel – specifically we are going to look at why the Lord made them into a nation.

Continue reading Chosen In Grace To Be A Nation of Priests (Act 3 Scene 3a)

Fighting the Deities of Egypt (Act 3 Scene 2b)

Geb, god of the earth

I had the pleasure Sunday of presenting the findings of a year and an half long research project on the gods of Egypt (granted, in the end it all came down to one book…but still, it took me over a year to FIND that book!!).

At first I wasn’t going to inflect the congregation with my strange endeavors…but several members of the congregation found the information fascinating and, as such, encouraged me to share it with the entire church.

So I did. 🙂

As usually, my written notes are below with the full audio file on the PRV homesite.



Last week you guys learned about the Passover – the meal of remembrance – remembering how God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  During this time I heard that you all briefly talked about the 10 plagues that led up to their deliverance.

1.    Plague of blood (דָם): Ex. 7:14–25
2.    Plague of frogs (צְּפַרְדֵּעַ): Ex. 7:25–8:11
3.    Plague of dust and gnats (כִּנִּים): Ex. 8:12–15
4.    Plague of flies (עָרוֹב): Ex. 8:20–32
5.    Plague of pestilence (death of livestock) (דֶּבֶר): Ex. 9:1–7
6.    Plague of boils (שְׁחִין): Ex. 9:8–12
7.    Plague of hail (בָּרָד): Ex. 9:13–35
8.    Plague of locusts (אַרְבֶּה): Ex. 10:1–20
9.    Plague of darkness (חוֹשֶך): Ex. 10:21–29
10.    Death of the firstborn (מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת): Ex. 11:1–12:36

Today we are going to dig deeper into each of these plagues as they were not random or senseless events – instead each of the plagues was a ‘battle’ between God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the gods of Egypt.

Continue reading Fighting the Deities of Egypt (Act 3 Scene 2b)

Trusting the King (Act 3 Scene 1d)

This is the text version of Sunday’s sermon – the audio version can be found on the PRV website if you are interested.

Note that the audio version is a lot cooler and more interesting then the text version as I tends to ad-lib a bit. 😛


We are an interesting place in God’s Grand Story – a place that will set the scene for one of the biggest climaxes in human history.

Leading up to this place, we have seen the King of Kings on His mission to dwell among humanity as their God and for them to be His people. We have seen Him call out Abraham in order to establish a people group who will draw the rest of the world to God – a people group who would be sold out for Him and His mission.

We have seen how while the second generation of this group obeyed and followed God, the third generation struggled with knowing God – choosing instead to do things their way… until finally near the end of his life, Jacob – now called Israel – gives up and lets God lead him.

Today we are going to be talking about the fourth generation.

What will happen to the mission of God? Will the people choose by God continue to follow Him? Or will they rebel and like Adam and Eve before them, choose to be their own ‘kings’ and ‘queens’? Continue reading Trusting the King (Act 3 Scene 1d)

The Sons of the Promise (Act 3: Scene 1c)

Can you believe it? We are entering into our third month through the Bible! Seeing how a lot has happened over these last few months – shoot, I know I have slept once or twice during that time! – I think it is worth going back and reviewing the journey so far.


We started this journey by looking at the value of “stories” – how they are the glue that holds a community together.  They are the substance that takes individuals and knit them together – it gives us a common unity on which we can build our lives.

God has a story. The Bible is not a rule book or an encyclopedia to be ‘mined.’ It is a collection of stories about God and His dealing with humanity. It is a love story of a wonderful God seeking a relationship with us.

Remember our analogy?

Imagine with me that someone discovered a lost Shakespeare play – it is wonderful, full of drama, passion and amazing insight into the human soul – this play is destined to be a classic on par with Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. There is only one problem… the last act is missing…

So what do you do?  You pull together the best Shakespearean actors and actress on the planet – the ones that know all of Shakespeare’s other plays – you give them all the acts that you have – the first four acts – you have them study them, to enter into the story – to learn and know the characters in the play – then you put on the play with the actors living out the last act within the theme and direction of the first four acts.

This is us – we are in the fifth act of God’s story.

We have the first four acts recorded in the Bible – shoot, we even have the first and last pages of Act 5! We just don’t have the pages in the middle… so what are we going to do?

I way that we learn the first four acts with all our hearts, mind, soul, and spirit – let us enter into the God’s story with all that we are so that we can live out our part in the story in line with those who have gone before us – the cloud of witnesses as the author of the book of Hebrews says. Continue reading The Sons of the Promise (Act 3: Scene 1c)

Act 3: A Kingdom of Priests – Scene 1: Father Abraham

Below is a copy of Sunday’s sermon – the audio version can be found here.

Blessings. 🙂

Fathers’ Day

Today is Fathers’ Day – a day when we celebrate Fatherhood and the role that Fathers play in shaping their children. It is a day that, sadly, has been become commercialized – like so many of our other holidays… yet in the midst of this the heart of the day carries forward – for in a time when fathers are considered optional –when so many fathers are abandoning their families – their little ones – I pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will rise up and proclaim the value of Fathers.

Let us live life differently – let us show our neighbors, families, co-workers and everyone else what a Father really is – i.e. someone who follows Jesus, someone who loves – cares for, protects, nurtures, builds up – their children.

A Father ‘gets to’ be with his sons and daughters – It is not a ‘have to’ – it is a gets to!!!


•    The World Famous father of 54.49% of the world

o    Jews and Judaism – 0.23%
o    Arabs and Islam -21.01%
o    Christianity – 33.32%

•    One of the most misunderstood fathers…

o    All three religions claim him for their own…
o    With their agenda

•    But before we look at Abraham… let us set the stage

Continue reading Act 3: A Kingdom of Priests – Scene 1: Father Abraham

The Struggle With Kingship (Act 2 Scene 2)

The PRV Fellowship has been chasing the Kingship of God through the entire Bible –  learning the BIG picture of what God is doing in the world  so that we can join with Him in this work.

We have looked at how God created everything and is, therefore, King over everything. Humanity was created in His image – not an accident nor created to be the slaves of the gods. We have also looked at the overarching metanarrative of the Bible: the mission of God to spread His glory throughout the world:

I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.  -Leviticus 26:11-12

You can listen to the full sermon here – or you can continue to read the sermon outline below.

Blessings and peace be upon you and yours.

Struggle with Kingship

•    Today we will be taking about humanity’s struggle with God’s kingship

o    We want to control everything ourselves
o    We want to be the ones who decided what is ‘good’ and what is ‘evil’

•    We will be covering a lot of territory  today

o    Around 2000 years
o    maybe less – maybe more
o    Genesis 4-11

•    Same struggle – different stories showing how this struggled affected all areas of life

o    Families
o    Nations
o    Creation

Continue reading The Struggle With Kingship (Act 2 Scene 2)

Leaving the Garden With God (Act 2 Scene 1)

Eden as depicted in the first or left panel of Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights Triptych. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

In an effort to spend more time with my family and less time working, I have shifted my sermon writing technique from a prose style to an outline style. This means that the audio version of the sermons are going to contain a lot more details on the various points.

However, that doesn’t mean that there is no value in these notes as they do include the Bible references as well as the overall jest of the sermon.

I pray that it blesses all you out there in the blogosphere. 🙂

Leaving the Garden
1.    Introduction / Recap

a.    The Importance of Stories – Stories provide a frame work for how we view the world – they help direct our lives and impact the choices we make.

b.    False Stories

i.    American Dream

a.  “Dream of Abundance,”

b.  “Dream of a Democracy of Goods,”

c.  “Dream of Freedom of Choice,”

d.  “Dream of Freedom of Choice,”

ii.    “White Picket Fence”

iii.    “John Wayne Story”

iv.    “The Retirement Story”

c.    God’s Story – we have been called – invited – to join with God in His story. But in order for us to join with God, we need to know His Story.

i.    What is He doing?

ii.    What is the overall focus or the metanarrative of the Bible?

d.    The Kingship of God

I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. -Leviticus 26:11-12

Continue reading Leaving the Garden With God (Act 2 Scene 1)