9 August
Overcoming Insecurity and Fear
1 John 14:18-21
Rev. Ronell Howard

“This town ain’t big enough for the two of us!”
Feeling threatened by others is so common that the Toy Story script puts the above saying on Woody’s pull-string! We often excuse our insecure, jealous feelings as “just human.” In the end, Woody’s security didn’t come from trying to compete with Buzz. It came from Andy’s love for him.

16 August
The Name Written on You
John 15:12-15
Rev. Ronell Howard

“Look under your boot, Buzz. You too, Jessie. Whose name is written there?” Andy’s name on their shoe sole showed who Woody and Buzz belonged to. From insecurity and rivalry, Buzz and Woody moved to genuine friendship as they grew secure in Andy’s love. At the foundation of all Christian faith is a deep trust that God loves us. Who’s name is written on your heart?

23 August
Endings…and New Beginnings
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4
Rev. Ronell Howard

“So long, partner.” – Woody, saying farewell to Andy
Part of the unique texture of the Toy Story films’ fictional world is that the human characters grow up, but the toys do not. Woody will not “outgrow” Andy, but college-age Andy sees his toys differently than when he was little.

30 August
Who Am I? What Am I Doing Here?
Ephesians 2:4-10
Rev. Ronell Howard

Forky: “Why am I alive?” Woody: “You are Bonnie’s toy. You are going to help create happy memories that will last for the rest of her life.”
You don’t have to be a spork glued to a popsicle stick to ask, “Why am I alive?” Asking that, and wrestling with possible answers, is central to human life. The apostle Paul wrote to Christians in Ephesus that God saved us FROM a broken, self-seeking life for a very specific purpose.