PODCAST: Living Above Your Nature at School

Back to School Sermon Presented August 19, 2012 at Curwensville Alliance

Just last year, Austin Smith, a 15-year-old from Michigan, was bleeding the brakes on a 1991 Buick Century with his grandfather.

muscleWhile Austin was inside the car pumping the pedal, the vehicle shifted and after he got out, it fell off the blocks, pinning Grandpa Ernie under 2,000 pounds of steel.

As he tells the story, Austin says, “I was just so scared. I didn’t know what to do.” So Austin grabbed the car by its front bumper and lifted. He lifted it high enough that his grandpa could crawl out.

How did he do that? Huey Lewis might say, “That’s the power of love.” We all know it’s adrenaline. When you are in that kind of situation, sometimes, your body can do things that aren’t humanly possible. Or at least not ordinarily humanly possible.

Austin was living above his natural abilities — empowered to do something he could not naturally hope to do. God does that for Christians — empowers us to live above our nature.

This podcast suggests that you can do that as you head to school this fall.

Back to School Sermon: Five Lies I Learned in School…

It’s that time again…. Back to school shopping. Back to school parties, and the highly anticipated back to school sermon.

school02You may feel this is a bit early, but usually, when I wait until later, many of the students are already gone. In the past some of them have listened online or on their iPods. That’s great. But I want to speak to the students before their brains shut down for the first day of school. 😉

This sermon is about Five Lies I Heard in School. Lies that can be extremely damaging. Lies like these are not limited to the school setting. Even young Timothy was warned by the Apostle Paul, to guard against such things. The last two verses of the first letter Paul writes to him say this…

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you. — 1 Timothy 6:20-21 (NIV)

So as Paul warned Timothy against wandering from the faith, I am warning my students: Guard what has been entrusted to you.

The manuscript for this sermon is available by request. Email me at:

2009 Back to School Message…

I’ll never forget how ill-equipped some of the kids I went to college with were.

University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning

Oh — not academically. They knew their stuff in that area. And not socially. They did fine making friends. And financially… it was like money grew on trees, for some of them.

Still, many of them were completely unprepared for what they were going to face as they went from their high schools to the university setting.

This message is designed to give students some tools to use when they are confronted by some of the less-academic (and often less-than-honorable) challenges provided by the college environment.