Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, June 1

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, June 1

“Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.”  – Donna Tartt, The Secret History Michaelangelo’s “David” is arresting when viewed in person. It is far taller than one would expect, and the tall dome of the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze seems to extend that statue even further. The statue of […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, May 25

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, May 25

“But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.”  Luke 19:27 There are times when I read the words of Jesus and I have a little mental jolt. It is almost as if my mind leans back in a chair a little too […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, May 18

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, May 18

“Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” – The Fault in Our […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, May 11

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, May 11

My grandfather passed away before I was born. Though I never met him, I know through the testimony of those who knew him that he was kind, generous, and devoted to family and friends. I see his influence in my mother, my grandmother, my aunt and uncle, and others in my family that knew him well. […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, May 4

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, May 4

The current cultural climate in the United States has an uneasy fascination with war. In some sense, many Americans are very tired of war. The specter of nine years of military intervention in Iraq and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan haunt even the most ardent warhawk. More than a decade of sending troops to the Middle […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, April 27

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, April 27

The Christian faith is a religion that, on the face of it, seems to be quite paradoxical. We believe that to live we must die and that true leaders are actually servants. We serve the God of all comfort and yet find him most intimately in suffering. We find in scripture that we must be […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, April 20, Easter Sunday

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, April 20, Easter Sunday

“(About the resurrection of Christ…) First, it proved that Jesus was indeed the divine Son of God. Paul wrote that “[He] was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). Actually it was impossible for Jesus’ body to remain in […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, April 13

This Sunday’s liturgy reflects both the sermon text and the occasion of Palm Sunday. Consider the significance of this event in light of John Stott’s commentary found in “Through the Bible, Through the Year.”  This Sunday, let us come to the sermon text thinking upon Christ’s journey to the cross, where he finds us in […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, April 6

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, April 6

I frequently listen to a podcast from NPR that includes a section called “What’s Making You Happy This Week?”  During this section, the panelists all talk about a certain piece of pop culture or recent news that excites them.  If I were on the show, I would probably have mentioned the same thing every week […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 30

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 30

Sometimes a phrase gets stuck in your head and you return to it throughout your life. As a teenager, my mother would often say to me, “Remember who you are…” before I would walk out the door to hop in the car with my friends. As my friends would participate in all manner of debased […]

Sermon Application Questions, March 23

Sermon Application Questions, March 23

QUESTIONS 1.  What are some characteristics of compassion shown in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)? How might these inform the way that you show compassion? How does this parable ultimately point to Jesus and his compassion? 2. In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus reveals Martha’s misplaced priorities. Are there misplaced priorities in your life keeping […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 23

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 23

This is, admittedly, not one of my most well thoughtout arguments, but I believe that the heart of the American Dream is best located in two places: the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the movies of Pixar. (This may sound absurd, but America can be pretty absurd as well, so it fits.) In many […]

Sermon Application Questions, March 16

Sermon Application Questions, March 16

QUESTIONS: 1. How does Scripture speak of the hardships that believers face on account of the Gospel? In light of your evangelistic practices, are these verses encourage or convicting? Moving forward, how might they inform how you share the faith? 2. In light of the previous question, how do victory and hardship intersect at the […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 16

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 16

 I had a very active imagination as a child and because of this spent hours upon hours playing with plastic Army men.  I had a seemingly endless number of figures and, not content with the isolated one-off battle, set up full campaigns spread out across my home in the country. These campaigns would even consist […]

Sermon Application Questions, March 9

QUESTIONS 1. Where in Scripture does it speak of the power and efficacy of God’s Word? How might this be an encouragement to you in your call to share the Word with others? What practical effect might this have as you share your life with believers and non-believers this week? 2. What has hindered you […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 9

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 9

I apologize for getting this blog post out late today. A number of responsibilities took longer than I expected, and here it is past 7:00 PM! I greatly appreciate the opportunity to reflect on the coming Sunday’s sermon and look forward to continuing to do that. In the mean time, please contemplate this word from […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 2

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, March 2

The 2007 movie “There Will Be Blood” follows the life of Daniel Plainview, a ruthless and self-destructive oilman who seeks wealth during California oil boom of the late 19th century. Opposite Plainview is the young pastor of the local Church of the Third Revelation, Eli Sunday. Though initially portrayed as sinner and saint, it becomes […]

Sermon Application Question, February 23

Sermon Application Question, February 23

1. What are some of the most common undue expectations that Christians hold for Christ’s Kingdom? Which of these do you struggle with most prominently? What are specific portions of Scripture that speak to this undue expectation? 2. Christ’s Kingdom is shepherded by resolute prophets of truth. What are examples from scripture of these resolute […]

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, February 23

There is no way to get around it; I was a very awkward middle-schooler. I was, however, quite self-aware of this and was convinced that my unpopularity was the result of my classmates and the fact that they didn’t fully appreciate all that I had to offer. I came to convince myself that high school […]

Sermon Application Questions, February 16

QUESTIONS 1. Remembrance is a powerful tool for the life of the Christian. How have you seen Christ demonstrate His power over death? How might remembering this event encourage you as you or your loved ones face death? 2. How does scripture speak of both our temporal and eternal lives? What are one or two […]