Our pastor is taking advantage of the upcoming spring break to get away and visit family in Arkansas, so I have the opportunity to preach this coming Sunday. I'm introducing a new series that he is going to be doing over the next month on the general theme, "Fear Not." I'll be giving a general introduction to the series, hoping to help folks distinguish the concept of fear as reverence from fear as frightened and cringing. Specifically, the first message that I'll be sharing is entitled, "Why You Don't Need to Fear Apparent Dead Ends." I've chosen Exodus 14 as my text, referring to Moses' command to the Israelites to "fear not" as they face the Red Sea in front of them and the pursuing Egyptian army behind them.
I decided to have a little fun with the sermon introduction. I was thinking of examples of apparent dead ends and my mind wandered to the famous box canyons that were so much a part of TV westerns back in the 1960s. That in turn prompted me to devise a little contest as the sermon's introduction. I'm going to be showing a dozen pictures featuring the star or stars of TV westerns from that era and will ask folks to see how many of the shows they can identify by name from the photo. I think it will be fun and engaging, at least for those of us 50+ years of age. I suspect the youth are going to be a bit perplexed by the identity of the shows unless they've watched re-runs. I'm starting with some fairly obvious and popular shows before shifting to some lesser known series. I might post the pictures here after Sunday, but don't want to give an unfair advantage to any church members who might happen to read my blog over the next two days.
On Sunday evening I'll be looking at Gal. 5:13-26 and addressing the question of Law's Demands vs. Grace's Gift. I hope to effectively highlight the freedom that we have in Christ from the frustrating demands of legalism, while also stressing that our freedom isn't license to engage in immoral behavior as Paul notes, contrasting the manifestations of our old sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit as we walk in Him.