Fresh Read will be on vacation long enough to re-tile a bathroom, go to a wood carving event and spend time with books and art supplies in a cabin in central Wisconsin.  There is also Jury Duty!  As a result, August will be slow.

David & Goliath for kids and grownups

We have been enjoying telling the Bible story to the congregation with the kids present and then preaching on the text when the kids go off to Junior Church.  This week it is David and Goliath.  So there are lots of silly things said about this.  The text is not really about how to take on your big problems (the Goliaths in your life).  Nor is it about David being a super hero.  The sermon is a work in progress, but at this point we need to note:

  • David came as the future anointed King (I Samuel 16).  So he comes at Goliath not as a personal problem, or because he is a busy-body, but as one who is given leadership.
  • The anointing symbolized the presence of the Spirit of God in a unique way with David – and so he comes as a chosen one, but not for his super powers.  The human estimate, by his own father, was not even to invite him to the meeting with Samuel.  David was the least likely to be chosen, or so it seemed.
  • Goliath was not only big but he was a blasphemer, this goes to motive.  This was not about David and his personal problems, but leadership for the larger work of God.
  • It is a story about faith – David expressed trust in God, who had helped him before as a shepherd.  He did not rely on Saul’s armor, but on what he had used before – a sling.
  • I don’t think the number 5 is important – maybe David did not think he would take out the Giant in one shot, so he gave himself time to get off more than one shot.  some people have allegorized this story to death.

Stay tuned – or if you are in Madison, join us on Sunday to see if this David and hit the PowerPoint Giant with a sling and bean bag.


Summer is for Sermon Planning

It does not always work, but the summer is a necessary time to clear my head and to work on the following year.  Ministry years are lots like school years – September to June with the summer at a different pace.

Some ideas:

Science and Faith, using some ideas from a L’ Abri conference that we attended last winter.

Two Books and/or Art as Communication – the idea that art helps us read the book of creation, part of “general revelation” and it also gives us a bit of common ground with people of other worldviews.

Two Cites – on how to be a good citizen in the US while also being a good citizen of the Kingdom – some thoughts on how to speak, how to listen and how to balance justice with the gospel.

“Fill the Blank” – using John 1, find the different ways to complete the phrase, “Jesus is the _____ of God.”

The Old Story – an overview of the Pentateuch, taking clues from Sailhamer on the narrative flow, and the importance of Faith and how that relates to the law.

So, this calls for time in the library.  If any of you Fresh Readers have ideas on these topics, particularly on art, artists, theologians who talk about art, artist who talk about theology, or stories of making connections, give me a shout.

When it rains on your Bible

So it was several summers ago when I spoke at my brother’s wedding.  It was a fantastic event, but as it was an outdoor wedding in the Pacific Northwest, it rained.  So my bible got wet from the open passage of I Corinthians 13 – the Love Chapter.  The pages about 10 deep on either side got wet and rumpled up when they dried.  Now, the binding is going.

So Fresh Read has to pick a new every day preaching bible.  I have a dozen or more around here. I was using a thin line, large print edition (necessary as I passed the 40 year marker.)  It was an NIV (that is the older NIV 84 edition).

Shall I change to the current NIV, and shock the traditionalists with the inclusionary language?  “Greetings dear Brothers and Sisters…”  The only OLD NIV I can find with larger print has red letters for the words of Jesus – I am not a fan.  I could move to the ESV, which I find useful for study of the English Text, but no one else at church is using it, and it is less easy on the ear.  Other candidates are the NRSV – which is less choppy, but just as inclusionary- or the New Living – too ooey gooey for my tastes – or one of several newer translations that I have as yet to explore.

We will keep you posted.


Ephesians 6:10-24 – circles and lines

Here is a worksheet I made up for a bible study on the passage about Spiritual Warfare.  I have provided the “answers” by using various text markers on the word processor.  It is interesting that the comments Paul makes following the “Armor of God” discussion illustrate some of the points he just made.

For fun I put in the part about David and Goliath – which is an upcoming sermon topic.  When David did not use Saul’s armor, how did he use the armor of God?

Notes by Pastor Dave