My Dallas Church Preached a Sermon on Singleness, and I Lost My Mind

It’s not very often that I hear a sermon and mentally scream, “IS THIS REAL LIFE?” but my good friend Mike Stroh preached on singleness at my Dallas church, and it IS real life.  I remember very specifically one Father’s Day sermon years ago that exalted marriage and parenthood, and I sat there biting back tears thinking, “this is not for me, this is not for me, this is not for me.”  I felt so incredibly alone in my church pew.  THIS SERMON, however, made me want to dance around screaming, “this is for me! this is for me!”

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Mike opens the sermon assuring listeners that this is not a token sermon to make singles feel better, it is instead a theology of singleness for everyone, from which everyone should learn.  Thus begins Mike’s habit of using incredibly specific terms that my single friends and I have complained about the church not using.  I’ve had many lunches where my single friends lamented the lack of a theology of singleness – we talk about the biblical basis of marriage ALL THE TIME and so it is valued.  Why don’t we talk about the biblical basis for singleness?  (For the record, Mike is married to the amazing Libby Stroh, which makes me love his sermon even more.  Being married is, in our Christian culture, the privileged position, and it is mostly from the mouths of the privileged that change can occur.)   Continue reading

My Cousin’s Sermon Reminded Me That Stories are Powerful

This is some Norman Rockwell-esque adorable: walking home from church in the sunshine with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousins, and second cousins.

Yesterday I went to Downs, IL (a tiny little town outside of Bloomington) to hear my cousin preach.  I was going out of low-expectation familial support, but WOW, it turns out my family is very talented.  Steve is three months younger than me, but he is already a phenomenal preacher.  He’s laid back, good at working the room, and really great at getting his point across.  So great, in fact, that over 24 hours later, I can still remember what he said.

With Acts 6 and 7 as the backdrop, Steve talked about Stephen, the first Christian martyr.  But the point wasn’t about death, or intensity of faith, or anything like that.  Instead, the point was about story.   Continue reading