The Law of Liberty (James 2:10-13)

The Law of Liberty (James 2:10-13)

One night in 1923, President Calvin Coolidge was sleeping in a hotel room when he woke up to find that someone had broken into his room through the window and was going through his stuff. President Coolidge quietly spoke up, asking the burglar not to take his watch chain because it contained an engraved charm he wanted to keep. He then engaged the thief in quiet conversation and discovered he was a college student who had no money to pay his hotel bill or buy a train ticket back to school. So after…continue reading →
Playing Favorites and Playing Games with God (James 2:1-9)

Playing Favorites and Playing Games with God (James 2:1-9)

I really enjoy playing games with my kids. From time to time, we’ll get out the chess board, or some other board game, and we’ll just play for an hour or two. It’s tons of fun! We play one game called Pandemic in which all the players work together to find cures for the world’s diseases, and then rescue the world from a global pandemic. If only it were that easy, amen? And, of course, an important part of learning how to play the game is to read and understand the rules. The…continue reading →
Do the Word (James 1:22-27)

Do the Word (James 1:22-27)

There’s a legend about a cruel research study in which newborn babies died because of a lack of human interaction. In the thirteenth century, Emperor Frederick II of Sicily allegedly wanted to see what language babies would grow up to speak if they were never spoken to. In the experiment, Frederick found and gave a group of orphaned babies into the care of nurses, who could feed and bathe them, but not speak to them or show them the kind of love and play that babies should receive. According to the legend, all…continue reading →
The Implanted Word (James 1:19-21)

The Implanted Word (James 1:19-21)

I have another golf illustration for you this morning, even though I really know very little about golf. Professional golfer Tommy Bolt was playing in Los Angeles and had a caddy with a reputation of talking too much. Before he teed off, Bolt told his caddy, "Don't say a word to me. And if I ask you something, just answer yes or no." During the round, Bolt found his ball next to a tree, where he had to hit it under a branch, over a lake and onto the green. He got down…continue reading →
The Goodness of God (James 1:16-18)

The Goodness of God (James 1:16-18)

I read a story about a guy named James who bumped into his old high school friend named Harry. Harry was always the optimistic one, and James was always the pessimistic one, like Eor from Winnie the Pooh. James says to Harry, "Harry, how’ve you been?” "Not so good. First, I went bankrupt and didn’t know how I would feed my family." "Could have been worse," James replies calmly. "Could have been worse." "Next," says Harry. "our house burned down, and we had nowhere to live." "Could have been worse," says James, “Could…continue reading →
Why We Die, and What You Can Do About It (James 1:13-15)

Why We Die, and What You Can Do About It (James 1:13-15)

I read a true story about a wealthy couple who lived over a century ago named William and Sarah Winchester. They got married in 1861, and they only had one child, a daughter, who died in infancy in 1866. So when Sarah’s husband William died in 1881, Sarah Winchester was left with a huge fortune all to herself. Shaken up by the reality of death, she wanted to do all that she could to avoid it herself. So she went to a medium to find out how she might live forever. The medium…continue reading →
The Crown of Life (James 1:12)

The Crown of Life (James 1:12)

Do we have any golfers here this morning? Let me know if you’ve heard of this rule. In professional golf, if a golfer unintentionally touches the ball with the putter and the ball moves even the tiniest bit, the golfer is required to take a one stroke penalty, which can make a huge difference, like a field goal at the end of a football game, or in basketball, a three-pointer at the buzzer that wins the game. So taking even a one stroke penalty can lose a tournament in golf. Professional Golfer Ray…continue reading →
Humiliation and Exaltation (James 1:9-11)

Humiliation and Exaltation (James 1:9-11)

So it’s been about three weeks since Christmas! All the presents have been unwrapped, and some of the toys that children got just a few weeks ago have already been broken, or lost, or put on a shelf rarely to be played with again. I hope that’s not a sore subject for any of you. Maybe you’ve already started thinking about your Christmas list for next year. Maybe there’s already something that you’ve got your eye on, something you just now realized that you’ve needed all your life, and once you get it,…continue reading →
Doubting Your Doubts and Believing the Believer (James 1:5-8)

Doubting Your Doubts and Believing the Believer (James 1:5-8)

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen? Have you ever seen anything and thought, “I can’t believe my eyes! I can’t believe what I’m seeing!” I’m not talking about something you were incredulous about. Certainly we’ve all been offended by things we’ve seen in the news in the past year, or even the past week. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about seeing something that you thought was impossible, like something insanely weird. Have you ever had that kind of experience? And, when you think back on it, could you believe your…continue reading →
Joy in the Junk (James 1:2-4)

Joy in the Junk (James 1:2-4)

So lately, and especially this last week, I’ve been a bit grumpy. And when I get this way, I tend to take it out on others, which makes me even more grumpy that I am the way I am, and then I start complaining to myself about myself that I complain about anything and everything. Do you ever do that? Be honest in the chat. We’re all human, having the same struggles. What’s the last thing you remember complaining about? Maybe you complained this week that your family members haven’t been doing their…continue reading →