Istrouma Baptist Church Podcast

I remember a time in school when something that I attempted completely backfired.  A group of us students were at a park goofing off.  There were some large swings there and I jumped in one.  I swung as high as I could.  I decided I would back flip out of the swing to impress the girls. 


Well, I did it but I miscalculated!  Instead of flipping out and gracefully landing on my feet in triumph, I over-rotated and landed right on my rear.  Ouch!  No permanent damage—just a mud-stained bottom and wounded pride.  


I wanted to impress everyone but it backfired.  I just embarrassed myself. 


A lot of times in life things backfire.  It happened in David’s life.  He decides to count his men in a nation-wide census.  I believe it may have been an attempt on his part to show the world his might and power.  But it completely backfired.  In fact, after the census he had fewer men than when he began. 


What can we do when our foolish decisions backfire?  This Sunday’s message will be a caution against foolhardy schemes and an encouragement that, even when life backfires, there is hope in Jesus.


Dark Horse

“A Senseless Census”

2 Samuel 24


  1. The choice to sin


  1. A harmless deed


  1. A harmful desire


  1. The consequence of sin


  1. Personal conviction


  1. Public crisis


  1. The cure for sin


  1. Plea to be pardoned


  1. Price to be paid
Direct download: IBC_20160612.mp3
Category:Dark Horse -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: IBC_Espanol_20160605.mp3
Category:El Elegido -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Dark Horse


2 Samuel 11-12


  1. The committing of sin


  1. The concealing of sin


  1. The conviction of sin


  1. The confession of sin


  1. The cleansing of sin


  1. The consequences of sin
Direct download: IBC_20160605.mp3
Category:Dark Horse -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: IBC_20160529.mp3
Category:Dark Horse -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: IBC_Espanol_20160529.mp3
Category:El Elegido -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT


“Llevarlo a casa”

2 Samuel 6



  1. El deseo del Rey


  1. La presencia de Dios
  2. El poder de Dios


  1. La obra del Rey


  1. Algo bueno de la forma incorrecta
  2. Algo bueno de la forma correcta


  1. El deleite del Rey


  1. Celebremos en alabanza
  2. Continuemos en alabanza
Direct download: IBC_Espanol_20160522.mp3
Category:El Elegido -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

The NBA playoffs are in full swing.  This year’s teams include the likes of the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.


The Cavaliers are led by none other than the King—LeBron James.  He’s in his second stint with them.  Although he has twice won the NBA championship with Miami, he’s never brought home the championship to his home state of Ohio.   Northeast Ohio has been a depressed area.  Cleveland, located on the shores of Lake Erie, is sometimes referred to as the “Mistake by the Lake.”  Having grown up there with a single mom, LeBron knows what it would mean to his people.  He wants to “bring it home.”  I hope he and his teammates can do it.


There was another king who wanted to bring home something of infinitely greater value.  David, the King of Israel, wanted to bring home the ark of the covenant of the Lord.  That represented the very presence and power of God.  These were blessings that they had lived without for many years.  He knew what it would mean to his people to renew their relationship with the living God.


Every one of us ought to desire the same--to bring home the presence and power of God.  The best news is that the “home” of God in our time is not a burning bush, a tabernacle or temple; we can be the living temple of the Lord.  He wants to come and dwell in each and every heart. 


Now that’s a victory we all ought to bring home!  Bring it home!

Dark Horse

“Bring It Home”

2 Samuel 6



  1. The king’s desire


  1. God’s presence


  1. God’s power


  1. The king’s deed


  1. The right thing the wrong way


  1. The right thing the right way


  1. The king’s delight


  1. Celebrate in worship


  1. Continue in worship
Direct download: IBC_20160522.mp3
Category:Dark Horse -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: IBC_Espanol_20160515.mp3
Category:El Elegido -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.  That’s not a biblical verse, but it’s got some truth in it.  Just because you start well doesn’t guarantee that you’ll finish well. 


Let me tell you about an example that happened earlier this month.  The girls’ softball team at Wylie High School in Texas lost the district championship because they did not finish well.


Wylie was playing McKinney North High School, and they were up by two runs in the final inning of the game. There were two outs, but the bases were loaded with McKinney North players, so it was still a precarious situation. A McKinney North player hit the ball to short, and a Wylie player picked it up and fed it to her teammate at second.


Everyone on the Wylie team thought it was a forceout, and so they began throwing gloves and hats and running in to celebrate their championship victory. But what they didn't see was the umpire calling the runner safe at second, meaning they hadn't actually won. 


McKinney North players figured out what was up, and they kept running the bases despite the other team acting like they'd won. One Wylie player finally realized what was happening and ran from the celebration to pick up the ball and throw home, but there was no one at home plate to catch the ball.


Wylie players rushed to pick up the gloves they'd thrown and get back in the game, but by that point it was too late. Three runs scored and McKinney North won the game 7-6. 


Lesson?  Don’t quit.  Finish well.


God wants us to finish well.  Just because you start well doesn’t guarantee that you’ll finish well.   We are going to look at an example of this in the life of King Saul. 


If you were to caption the life of Saul in a single verse, what would it be?  Some have suggested that it be 1 Samuel 26:21b, “behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.” How did he “play the fool”?  He started well.  He finished tragically. 


My prayer is that God will help us to “finish well”!


Dark Horse

“Finish Well”


Key verse: “. . . behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly” (1 Sam. 26:21b, KJV).


  1. Undeserved favor


  1. Unnecessary failures


  1. Unfortunate finish
Direct download: IBC_20160515.mp3
Category:Dark Horse -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Dark Horse


1 Samuel 18:1-5



  1. Spiritual friends


As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul (1 Sam. 18:1).





  1. Supportive friends


And Jonathan, Saul's son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear . . . . You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. . . .” (1 Sam. 23:16-17).





  1. Sacrificial friends


Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt (1 Sam. 18:3-4).

Direct download: IBC_20160508.mp3
Category:Dark Horse -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT