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Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.Acts 20:28 I’ve asked repeatedly how our church became such a mess. I've asked it so often you are probably getting tired of me posing this question. So I guess I should really give an answer already. It all boils down to human nature displayed in place of God's character. We're very aware of how I haven't been a saint as the world defines it. While at…
For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones. The righteous shall be kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off. Psalm 37:18. As I began writing this sermon, it occurred to me that All Saints Day was the Friday before I would preach this message. The Sunday I preached this to my congregation at Brimfield United Methodist Church was All Saints Sunday. It wasn't much of a stretch to start the This Holy Fight series on saints. And honestly, it makes sense because fights, holy or otherwise, always have a target…
To the one who conquers, I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. - Revelation 3:21,NRSV Did you ever play king of the hill as a kid? I wasn't a large guy when I was little, but I think this is how I discovered my knack for wrestling, as well as some rather sneaky strategy skills. The basic premise of the game is simple. You get one person or a team atop a hill, and you have to knock them off. For the people…
“When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.””‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:18-19‬ ‭NRSV‬‬ Some of you who are a bit older know the song, “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am.” It’s the most utterly annoying earworm you could imagine, and it just keeps going on and on. I won’t repeat it here because I don’t want to get it…
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 Up to this point, the information I have shared during my sermons has been relatively heavy, so I’d like to start this sermon off by telling you a little joke. A man buys a pet parrot and brings him home. But the parrot starts insulting him and gets nasty and fowl (pun intended), so the man picks up the parrot and tosses him into the freezer to teach him a lesson. He hears the bird squawking for a few moments,…
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. - 1 Corinthians 15:58 One of my favorite movies ever is the film Secondhand Lions. To me, this movie isn’t a classic because of Robert Duvall or Michael Caine, although they did play their respective roles of Hub and Garth McCann brilliantly. It’s a classic because of a pivotal, straightforward monologue. In a scene that took place in a roadside diner, Hub, Garth, and their…
For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. - John 12:49 Let me play out a scenario for you. I was in my 30s and in a moderately popular band playing a festival in another state. The place we were playing had a stage that was about 5’ off the ground, and the area for the crowd was the size of a whole city block. More than 1,400 people were waiting to hear the band play, and we were about to go on. At that…
We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. This is why I write these things when I am absent, then when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority -- the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down. Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. - 2 Corinthians 13:9-11 Weaknesses. Wow.…
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth, you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. - Psalm 71:20-21 In a book I have, I recently read that “They say that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church, and that’s partly because it’s so diversified you can’t get a handle on it.” It sounds funny, and it is. But it’s also really accurate. The diversification of worship is a challenge because what might look one…
And I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.- Amos 9:14 When I was in my early 30s, I had a 1983 Ford Mustang GT. Now, while that sounds like an impressive car, the early ’80s GT Mustangs were very much pooches. The ads were fresh and enticing for these cars, but the performance was not. Still, my 1983 GT was fire engine red, with the blacked-out hood, fully loaded, and not in…
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