Our Rest and Resolve: What Gets Us Through Deadlines, Demands, and Disorder

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Hello dear beloved friends! This is a message called, Rest and Resolve: What Gets Us Through Deadlines, Demands, and Disorder.

It’s about what gets us through when we want to give up. You can stream above or download directly here. I’m also on iTunes here.



I talk about Jesus versus Peter at the Transfiguration. Some other things I talk about are: That moment of exhaustion when you sigh for a long time before you walk through the door, the burn-out check-out from school and marriage and career, the strange beauty of enjoying something you can’t pay for with nothing to offer, the greatest miracle Jesus ever pulled, faith as a long-distance relationship, a word for both perfectionists and slackers, and the one crucial question they ask you at a car accident.

All messages can be streamed here. Be blessed and love y’all!
J.S.

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Writing Them In Instead of Writing Them Off: A Grand Vision of Saul to Paul

Photo by VSP, CC BY 2.0


Hello dear friends! This is a message I preached called, Writing Them In Instead of Writing Them Off: A Grand Vision of Saul to Paul, on the story of killer Saul becoming Apostle Paul, from the perspective of his first roommate, Ananias.

I talk about how the disciple Ananias helped to turn a Christian-killing terrorist Saul into the Bible-writing healer Paul — and how God does that kind of work in us. Stream below or download directly here. I’m also on iTunes here.



Some things I talk about are: Adopting my abused dog Rosco and rehabilitating him, how an African-American musician befriended and changed a KKK leader, why I agree with the Elder Brother against the Prodigal Son, the impossibility of outgrowing your nickname and time-stamped hometown past, the one frustrating difficult person that never changes, how the back-row of punk kids at church completely humbled me, and the freedom of finally becoming the kind of person that loves no matter what.

All messages are here. Be immensely blessed and love y’all!
J.S.

From Mountain High to Valley Low: Finding an Oasis in the Darkest Desert

Photo by Lenny K, CC BY 2.0


Hello dear friends! This is a message I preached called, From Mountain High to Valley Low: Finding an Oasis in the Darkest Desert, on the story of Elijah from 1 Kings 18-19.

It’s about finding our way through discouragement, distress, and depression, and how God speaks to us in those seasons and how we speak to one another. As a lifelong sufferer of depression, this is hugely personal for me. Stream below or download directly here. I’m also on iTunes here.

Some things I talk about are: The sudden mental replay in the shower and the late-night regret twitch, the one common denial from every patient in the hospital, when you just need a hamburger and a really long nap, the hidden fear of men getting honest, the panic moment when someone sees your text messages and photos, how Yoda finally got through to Luke Skywalker, and Elijah versus depression versus the world.

All messages are here. Be immensely blessed and love y’all!
J.S.

Holiness, Humility, and How to Give Your Life Away


Hello wonderful friends! This is a message I preached called Holiness, Humility, and How to Give Your Life Away.

It’s about how the holiness of God irrevocably changes us in two ground-shaking ways. Stream below or download here.


Some of the things I talk about are: The two things I hear at every deathbed in the hospital, my body’s crazy involuntary response when I flew over the Grand Canyon, every instance of the Bible characters seeing God and falling over crying, the unseen thankless art of raising children, how to live generously with zero guarantees, and a letter from Belize.

My podcasts are on iTunes here (leave a review if you wish!).

Be immensely blessed, dear friends!
J.S.

The Two Words We Want Least But Need Most


Hello wonderful friends! This is a message I gave called, The Two Words We Want Least But Need the Most.

It’s about two words that we quickly avoid but desperately need for growth, healing, and wholeness, for our relationships, churches, politics, and faith. Stream below or download directly here.

Some things I talk about are: When you see someone else’s kid misbehaving in public, the most unappealing things about Christianity for Christians, thinking the sermon is for the guy in the next row, tracing the theme of water and chaos through ancient history and Scripture, and how Jesus’s war cry obliterated our worldly warfare.

I’m also on iTunes here. Be immensely blessed!
J.S.

“The Gospel in Real Life” – Messages for Students from Yale


Hello wonderful friends! This is a series of three messages that I gave to students of Yale University, about the relevance and reason of Christianity.


The first is called: How Christianity Breaks Us Open and Painfully Puts Us Back Together.

It’s about how the Gospel uniquely differs from every other kind of motivation and completely restructures us.

Some things I talk about are: A meta-deconstruction of the Sunday church service, how to bomb a TEDTalk, the last two things I hear from dying patients in the hospital, the haunting of l’esprit de l’escalier, de-romanticizing adoption, the list of my flaws I gave to my wife before we started dating, and how a nine-year-old showed me the heart of Christianity.
You can also download it here.


The second is called: The Eternal Itchy Longing Within Us: Jesus Is Complete Fulfillment.

It’s about how the Gospel solves for two universal human problems and the greatest human need.

Some things I talk about are: How to tell an alien about the human race, conclusions about humanity after a survey with 700 replies, the instant anxiety when you walk into a crowded room, the itchy self-conscious moment when someone is slightly more talented at “my thing,” that loopy moment at night with your best friend when you start confessing everything, two universal human problems and our greatest human need, and the absolutely most important linchpin verse in the Bible.
You can also download it here.


The third is called: Where We Come From and Where We’re Going: Red Sea to Redeemed & Free.

It’s about how the Gospel compels us into action, neither by guilt nor religion, but deliverance.

Some things I talk about are: How long it actually should’ve taken the Israelites to get to Canaan from Egypt (not forty years), the moment right after the wedding, how the grace of my first pastor completely tenderized and galvanized me, the Christian life beyond “overcoming-sin,” and seeing God in the Philippines and a homeless shelter.
You can also download it here.



More messages on iTunes here or my podcast page here.

Be immensely blessed, dear friends! — J.S.

Photo by Alex, CC BY 2.0

The Adventure of Dating and The Reality of Relationships

Christianese Dating Logo


Hello beloved wonderful friends!

This is a seminar I gave on dating and relationships to a wonderful ministry of college students and young adults in Gainesville FL, aka Gator Town.

It’s called The Adventure of Dating and The Reality of Relationships. It’s about the exciting prospect of dating and the gritty, difficult, raw reality of relationships. Stream here or download directly here!

Some of the content is from my new book on relationships called The Christianese Dating Culture.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J.S.


My Podcast on iTunes!

JS Podcast instagram


If you didn’t know, I have a podcast with every sermon I’ve preached and more. It’s free & you can download directly to your phone. Please also leave a review or rating!

iTunes page: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/j.s.-park-way-everlasting/id395594485

Main page: http://thewayeverlasting.libsyn.com/

— J.S.


Bible Throwdown: Jesus Versus The Many-Headed Demon Called Legion.



 

Hello beloved friends!

This is the third part of a sermon series called “The Book of Mark: The Cosmic Journey of the World in the Story of Jesus.”

The message is titled: Bible Throwdown: Jesus Versus The Many-Headed Demon Called Legion.

It’s about how Jesus set us free from evil, and how we can climb back into the wreckage we made as a renewed force for good.

Stream here or download directly here!

 

The Scripture is Mark 5:1-20. Some things I talk about are: When the Bible becomes a horror movie soap opera, the truth behind demon possession and spinning heads, Jesus versus Breaking Bad, and that moment after an insane argument in your home when you have to start apologizing to closed doors.

To stream other podcasts, click here.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J





You Do Have What It Takes


In the days of Jesus, young Israelite students began memorizing the Old Testament by ten years old … and by fifteen, they could ask their rabbi, “Can I become your disciple?” The rabbi could either say, “You’re not good enough, you don’t have what it takes,” or he could say, “Follow me.”

[In Mark 2:13-17,] Matthew also had the family name Levi, which means he most likely descended from the Levitical priests like Moses, Aaron, Ezekiel, Ezra, and Malachi. So Matthew’s family was banking on him becoming a disciple … but when we meet him, he’s a hated tax collector, a sell-out of his own people. Which means Matthew’s rabbi had told him, “You’re not good enough.”

I can just imagine that long walk home, Matthew’s father seeing his son from the doorstep and realizing he didn’t make it, backing into the house, the silent click of the door. I can imagine Matthew’s heartache, his rejection … and like the Prodigal Son, grabbing his inheritance to buy a tax collector’s booth.

Then Jesus walks by Matthew’s table, and in a moment predestined before the foundation of time itself, Jesus says the words that Matthew Levi has been waiting to hear his whole life: “Follow me.”

Matthew was probably thinking, “Why? Why would you want me? I’m a screw-up. You don’t know what I’ve done. I’m not good enough, I don’t have what it takes. Not even my father wants me.”

But Jesus, without a single question, without qualifying him, without telling him to clean up first, was telling him: “Levi, it’s your mess-ups that qualify you for this kingdom of mine. It’s because of your mess-ups that I want you. In my eyes, you are good enough. You do have what it takes. Come on. Follow me.”


— J.S. from this message

The God Who Calls The Desperate Beatdown Busted Up Sinner

 

Hello beloved friends!

This is the second part of a sermon series called “The Book of Mark: The Cosmic Journey of the World in the Story of Jesus.”

The message is titled: The God Who Calls The Desperate Beatdown Busted Up Sinner.

It’s about how God calls the not-good-enough, and how He frees us from both self-indulgence and self-righteousness. 

Stream here or download directly here!

 

The Scripture is Mark 2. Some things I talk about are: The day I saw a pastor at the strip club, the life and times of Matthew Levi the hardcore playboy, Jesus versus the Pharisees in a Freestyle Battle Throwdown, and the first step in leaving behind the slavery of sin.

To stream other podcasts, click here.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J





Faith Struggle: The Messy Uphill Climb of Faith



Here are all six parts of the sermon series, Faith Struggle: The Messy Uphill Climb of Faith.

Each part looks at all the hard parts of our faith, and how to move forward.

To stream the podcast, here!

Be blessed and love y’all!
— J


1) Loving The Unlovable Is Not Very Lovable

– Everyone loves the idea of love until they’re unlovable.
Direct download here


2) The Impossible Love of God Meets Our Impossible Climb of Faith

– Church can be full of guilt-trips and manipulation, but our faith is born from grace alone.
Direct download here


3) The Awkward Uncomfortable Gap Between Who You Are and Who You Want To Be

– The whole world tells you to catch up, but Only One went backwards to meet you where you are.
Direct download here


4) The God Who Fits Everything

– We squeeze approval and validation from others, but it won’t be enough.
Direct download here


5) Truly Living For Something Worth Truly Living For

– What are you really all about? What makes you you?
Direct download here


6) Wrecked By Breathtaking Glory

– How to glorify God, which is the most important thing you could do with your life.
Direct download here




Quote: Pages of the Sky


“God is holy, He is glorious, He’s powerful, He’s awesome, He holds the universe in the palm of His hand. But even though God is way above us and sits on a throne in control of everything — He punched a hole in the pages of the sky and He wrote Himself into the story of humanity. The feet of the Son of God touched the dirt of the earth and He became one of us. And he didn’t just get crucified, he didn’t just go to a cross: his whole life was a crucifixion. He was tempted, persecuted, hungry, tired, he was weak, just like one of us. Then when he went to the cross, he made this exchange called grace, where he said, ‘Your sin for my life. One of us has to pay the cost.’ And Jesus, our friend, said, ‘I will.’”


— J.S. from this message