July 17, 2017 @ 3:55 pm

BOLD

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Read along with Acts 4:21-31

 

From "Roots: Who God Created Us to Be" (exploring the early church in the book of Acts) 

 

Sermon excerpt:

Surely in their human frailty and sinfulness, Peter and John were at least a little bit scared to face the imposing group of religious authorities. David and Daniel’s friends and Esther and the widow probably were all a little scared too.

They all risked something in order to be bold—their reputation or their livelihood or their very lives. And in every case, it was worth it. Their courage and their boldness was fueled by the Spirit and the Word of God, a foundation which will never fail.

It makes me wonder: what does this kind of boldness look like today? Where are followers of Christ today being emboldened by the Spirit to stand up for something which pleases God even if it displeases the world around them? 

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July 14, 2017 @ 12:33 pm

Inter-dependence Day

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Read Matthew 10:40-42

 

Sermon excerpt: 

“We woke up this morning in a bed someone else made. We showered in water that some else delivered to our homes – [homes] which someone else built. We put on clothes that are the work of others’ hands; ate a meal someone else grew, harvested, shipped, [and] inspected ….  We got into cars … that others engineered, built and tested for safety” [and drove] along roads that others designed and maintain.[1]

As much as we cling to our fierce independence, the truth is … our lives are very much interdependent on the people around us and even on people we’ll never meet.

[1] http://sojo.net/print/127521

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July 14, 2017 @ 12:24 pm

Special Music: “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

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Special music from July 2 Independence Day Worship Serivce with our friends from First Presbyterian Church (and others) who helped supplement the choir!

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July 14, 2017 @ 12:21 pm

Special Music: “I Pledge Allegiance”

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Special music from July 2 Independence Day Worship Serivce with our friends from First Presbyterian Church (and others) who helped supplement the choir!
 

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July 13, 2017 @ 7:31 pm

God Rested. (And so should you.)

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Read Genesis 2:1-3

 

Due to my clumsy audio editing, I cut off the end of the sermon! (Sorry!) Included below is the "sock-o finish" (which is what my grandather used to call his conclusion!). 

... 

Talking about Sabbath, author Dallas Willard notes, that command is “Do no work. Just make space. Attend to what is around you. Learn that you don’t have to DO to BE. (Isn’t that lovely?) You don't have to DO to BE. Accept the grace of doing nothing. Stay with it until you stop jerking and squirming.”[i]

Work is good but rest is holy. Unplugging, stepping back, and making time to be with God. If something in this box helps you do that, then go for it. If it’s something else, do that instead.

Abide in Christ, stay connected to the vine so that you will bear much fruit in your life and in the life of this community of faith. And remember the last lines of the passage from John: 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.  

[i] https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/94278-the-great-omission-reclaiming-jesus-s-essential-teachings-on-disciplesh

 

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June 14, 2017 @ 5:17 pm

It Was Good. (A sermon about work)

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Read Genesis 1:1-31

 

Sermon excerpt: 

Faithfully representing God at our jobs is hard work, but it is good work; it’s what we were created to do. And I suspect the writer of Genesis deliberately chose the word “dominion” rather than “domination” for our job description because it teaches us to serve rather than to dominate.

We are designed to act as if we ourselves have the same relationship of love with his creatures that God does.[1] And that means acting in the best interests of creation and all its inhabitants, in particular those whose lives touch ours: our customers, our colleagues or fellow workers, our patients, those for whom we work and those who work for us, and even those we meet casually in the course of our work.[2]

[1] https://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/genesis-1-11-and-work

[2] Ibid 

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June 5, 2017 @ 4:20 pm

Unmistakable Ways (A Pentecost sermon)

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Read along with the dramatic reading here.

(Actually ... this isn't included in the reading [oops] but its contents are referenced in the sermon so I thought you might like to read it anyway.) 

 

Sermon excerpt: 

The transformation that happens to the disciples is the very SAME kind of transformation that happens every time the Spirit gets ahold of someone. I’ve seen it happen myself in this church and in your life; I’ve seen the unmistakable ways the Spirit has been poured out in you. You have been transformed, just like those first disciples.

And today, on Pentecost, the day that started it all, is our chance to celebrate those “unmistakable ways” together. 

PS My brain must have been a jumble because I missed the first two paragraphs of my sermon in the recording too! I'll do better next week, I promise! 

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June 5, 2017 @ 4:09 pm

What’s Next? (An Ascension sermon)

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Read along with Acts 1:1-14

**Note of caution: I was under the weather preaching this sermon. As you listen, you'll probably want to get me a glass of water in the middle; the cough drop I was sucking on wasn't cutting it. Rest assured, someone finally took pity on my and got me some water, for which I am grateful! (See Matthew 10:42.)

 

Sermon excerpt: 

And then, wouldn’t you know, coincidentally, or rather providentially, the same day I read this article, I started to study this passage from the book of Acts.[1] And then it hit me! THIS is the disciples’ biggest problem: their thinking is constantly too small!

Jesus always thinks abundantly: feeding five thousand with a few loaves and fish; casting out a legion of demons with a few words; creating barrels of wine out of simple water. When he speaks and acts, it’s never out of fear or scarcity; it’s always out of a mindset of abundance and trust.

 

[1] https://careynieuwhof.com/12-often-overlooked-practices-great-leaders-develop-that-poor-leaders-dont/

 

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May 22, 2017 @ 5:44 pm

A Long, Loving Goodbye

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Read along with John 14:1-14

 

Sermon excerpt 

And Rolling Stone, the entertainment magazine, says The Sopranos series finale is one of the best of all time. With the main character dramatically hovering between life and death, Steve Perry from Journey singing, “Don’t Stop Believing” in the background … the TV show suddenly cuts to black. And the viewers are left hanging, wondering how the story ended.[1]

I’m telling you—television series writers have got it DOWN when it comes to saying a memorable goodbye.

[1] http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/lists/end-game-tvs-best-and-worst-series-finales-20150512/worst-lost-20150512

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May 9, 2017 @ 4:38 pm

Jesus Shows Up

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Read along with Luke 24:13-35

 

Sermon excerpt: 

On April 20th, 2017 a man was executed after living on death row for 22 years. In the long and detailed article I read about him, one thing stood out: for his last meal, he asked for communion.[1]

I have no idea why he chose that or what it meant to him in his last hours of life on earth. He made no final statement, and the article offered no clues.

I can only surmise that somehow he knew, even when it seems most impossible or completely unexpected, Jesus shows up when the bread is broken – at a simple table in Jerusalem as well as in an Arkansas prison.


[1]
http://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/04/21/man-executed-last-night-arkansas-chose-communion-his-last-meal

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