The Mysterious Woman

Back in January, I gave my first Sunday sermon at Hope Chapel. Many of you came out to hear my “first real sermon” and I really appreciate your support. Even though that was the Sunday all the church leaders were out on a retreat, the sanctuary was full. Thank you.

The sermon was about the most mysterious woman in the old testament. We don’t even know her name but she wrote one of the most famous passages in the Bible. Curious? You will have to listen to the sermon to find out who she was. Or read Jim Davis’ notes below.

The first service I completely fell on my face technologically. I forgot my VGA adapter and even when someone in the congregation had one the projector completely failed to work. I have never in my life had a technical failure so catastrophic in front of so many people. The sound guy gracefully cut the first few frantic minutes of the sermon from the recording.


Here are the notes put together by Jim Davis. He created the notes for small group discussion.


Satan intends to kill the current generation of God’s people and destroy the mission God has given them, but God heals and protects His children.


  • Proverbs 31:1-9, Matthew 28:19-20, and Psalms 139


  1. Have you experienced an interest/hobby consuming large amounts of your time? Dominating your interests and thinking?
  2. Have you felt an “adventure-shaped” hole in your heart, your thinking? Do you long for a more interesting/exciting life?


Proverbs 31 is famous for its description of a competent woman, but the first 9 verses are the words of a mysterious (unnamed) woman, the mother of King Lemuel. She speaks to her son, who is (or will be) a king. Notice that she has advice, feedback for him, but she speaks from the perspective of her listener. She speaks to his identify, before she speaks about what she thinks he should do. Rather than admonishing him to avoid a failure she anticipates, she speaks to his identify and encourages him to live up to the level of who he is.

Satan is the opposite. He would have his hearers forget who they are: children of God Almighty. Rather than encourage, Satan seeks to steal, kill and destroy.

Point 1 of 3: Steal. Thomas shared that as a child he loved computer games. They consumed his interests and time. Near the time he was finishing high school, an older brother (Lester Haines) spoke a word to him: “It is time for you to be about your Father’s business.” Thomas knew (though perhaps Lester did not) that his life was oriented in large degree around gaming, to near-addictive levels. The addition to activities can be very similar to drug and other addictions. So Thomas understood God to be telling him to  give up gaming.

Thomas further understood that he wanted adventure and that gaming attempted to fill the “adventure-shaped” hole in his heart. Soon after this word was given him, Thomas began to experience the adventure of evangelism. Sharing the gospel with others was scary. But riding a roller coaster is scary. That is why one rides them. The scariness is an adventure, the ride is exhilarating. The enemy would steal true adventure from us. Don’t let him.

Point 2 of 3: Kill. The mysterious woman of Proverbs 31:1-9 told her son to avoid drinking, a metaphor for forgetting one’s role. She told him to live up to the levels required/expected of a king and to protect and speak for those who are helpless. Today, the mute and helpless are the unborn. 1 in 3 Christian woman have an abortion. These women are much more likely to suffer psychological disorders later and experience shame, guilt, and brokenness because they are unable to seek forgiveness and healing.  Babies are killed and mother’s souls are grievously wounded.

Point 3 of 3: Destroy our mission. God intends this generation to make a difference, to carry out His purposes. To take actions and/or speak out. Failure to do so results from apathy. Apathy means “hard heart.” In this generation there is a word “meh.” Meh can be defined as a verbal shrugging of the shoulders and it is growing more widespread. At a time when we should be embracing the mission of going into the entire earth to share good news, the enemy promotes the response of meh — because he wants to destroy this generation’s mission.

Digging Deeper:

  • What has been stolen from you? What are you now missing that you believe you previously possessed and used?
  • What is your current identity? Who are you?
  • What adventure calls to you? What stops you from pursuing it?
  • What can others you trust do for you to help you recover your identify and mission?


  • Pray for each other to encourage recovery of identify in Christ
  • Pray for each other for forgiveness and healing of secret shames and guilt.
  • Prayerfully remind each other that all need saving and as we are able to give Jesus our guilt and shame, He is faithful to give us joy and life, healing and wholeness.


  • We are not all called to be involved in every area of outreach. Some may seek to help the homeless, some others seek to help the unborn. What jazzes you? Think of a person whom you really hope will recover what has been stolen from them. What could you say to, or do for, that person this week?
  • Do you want more information, or training, in the area of sharing good news? Who can you ask to teach you, or partner with you? Plan to speak with that person.

How Everything Has Changed But Nothing Is New – Patriot Academy 2009

How Everything Has Changed But Nothing is New PA09.001

At Patriot Academy this year I gave a talk about how technology has changed the world. While everything has changed, nothing is new under the sun. Everything that is has been before. By studying the past we can predict the future even when it comes to social media. Here are the slides for the talk. I’m sorry if they don’t make much sense if you missed the talk.


Patriot Academy Tweeps

Twitter Tips

5 Tips to Avoid Boring PowerPoint Presentations

Bored Student

When I gave a talk at a Rotary Club I could just see everyone cringe as I pulled out my projector. As soon as a presenter shows their first slide riddled with text we know we are in for a long boring talk.

But PowerPoint does not need to be boring.

A guy named author of the book Beyond Bullet Points opened my eyes to a radical new way to present using Power Point. I used his approach and the Rotarians thanked me for not boring them. I’m not a great presenter but I have sat through hundreds of hours of bad presentations, so I know some things to avoid. Here are some tips I hope you find helpful.

Tip #1 – Use Graphics Instead of Text

A clever graphic not only catches and keeps your audience’s attention but it can add to your credibility and their understanding. Which of the following two slides do you think is more effective?



When people see the photo in the first slide they can think of that drugged feeling they get from a long time on the computer. The photo to sells the concept.

Remember the goal for Keynote slides is not to present the information. It is to help you present the information.

Some great sites that have free photos are:

If you are wiling to spend a little dough I recommend:

When searching for clip art it is important to register for the site and in order to avoid any adult only images. The best sites wont give you that trash but it’s safe to make sure.

Tip #2 – Don’t Let Your Underwear Show

Your notes are important and private. You are not Madonna. You’re underwear is not for public display. Don’t show the audience your notes.

If you blast your audience with bullets they will read them ahead of you, zone out and get bored. It keeps you from having any surprises any secrets. It ruins your comic timing. When people get bored they whip out their iPhone or Blackbarry and totally stop listening until you say "in conclusion."

People will respect you more if you stay modest.

Tip #3 Kiss Your Audience

Steve Jobs , one of the best modern communicators, knows how to make things simple. He has made a fortune making complex things like mp3 players iPod easy. He presents in the same way. He often will use only a simple photo or a singe word on a black background.

Steve Jobs Keynote

(photos from presentation zen)

There is a reason that millions of people download and watch his keynotes while Bill Gates who also talks about cool gadgets gets ignored. The book Presentation Zen has a great comparison of these two styles as embodied by these two men.

Tip #4 – 1 Minute Max

Alarm Clock Don’t use one slide for 3 minutes when you can break it up into three one minute slides.

An easy way to do this is keep your slides to one concept. Try not to ever spend more than a minute on any given slide. Keep the audience’s attention by keeping the slide fresh.

Are you telling a story that takes longer than a minute? Switch to a blank screen or tell the story with photos.

You are talking to a crowd that used to watching commercials that show a new shot every 4 seconds. Once you pass the ten second mark the clock starts ticking and once you hit sixty seconds the iPhones start popping out of pockets.

Another way to get invited back is to finish early. Leave time for questions. People love asking questions and you might find the most interesting part of your presentation is the dialog at the end. If no one has any questions bait the audience by asking one of your own. Answer it and the questions will come.

Tip #5 – Keep your Bullets in Your Concealed Firearm

Hand Gun PowerPoint and Keynote both have excellent "presenter notes" sections that you can print or display on your laptop as you present.

Like real bullets, digital bullets are ineffective and dangerous when they are out of place. Hitting a rifle round with a hammer might make a lot of noise but you wont hit your target unless you "hide" your bullets in your gun. Keep your bullets out of site and you will find your presentations will become more interesting.

To learn how to go bullet free I would recommend that you watch the following video. This video is what caused me to join the bullet free revolution.