It's always a joy to see former students, and a particular pleasure when they invite you to preach. So thanks go to Grant Castleberry, the pastor of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, for the invitation. In this case, the relationship goes deeper. He's married to the former GraceAnna Broggi, and my daughter Chesed is married to GraceAnna's brother, Jeremy Broggi, so that makes Grant and me second-in-laws-in-law or something.
Grant's an extraordinary man. Besides being a theologian on his way to a doctorate, he's been a Marine (or, as they say, "He is a Marine"), the chief "yell leader" (a campus-wide, elected position) for the Texas A&M Aggies, and a mainstay for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
In this message, I used the Beatitudes in the introduction, and then went on to preach that there were ten other beatitudes in chapter 5, the text he asked me to address, e.g., "Blessed are the Salty . . . Luminescent . . .etc." I much enjoyed preparing this message.
BTW, I have no idea what I'm doing with my hands, but I'm sure it was effective.