Sermon for January 28, 2018 - Anxiety- When You Begin To Awaken PART 2
Continuing with the analogy of the house we built for ourselves, from the sermon on January 21st, we'll take a different perspective this time. If you remember from the last analogy, we built a house of perfection for ourselves. Then we watched, we lived through, it’s slow dismantling. We began with everything we could ever wish for and then we experienced each thing disappear until, at last, we had nothing left.
Now, let’s take this same house, and we’ll start building again. Take your time, imagine yourself standing wherever, in the world, you most want to be, in an open space. Now we’ll walk through some of the sequence of building our own dream world. Feel free to build your house in more detail, almost like a meditation, after we walk through some of the basic thought process here. First, there are no limitations. You can have anything, anyone, any situation. You can create it all to your own perfection. So, let’s start with the perfect home. An estate even. It’s beachfront perfection. Wait, we also want a mountain retreat. Done. Each is the epitome of luxury, peacefulness, beauty.
Blog #1 "Returning to Christ"
Some Christians, and even Christianity itself, pushed me away from Christ for a long time. Things I saw, and experienced, in the church, and even in other faiths, soured my own relationship with God. But it's important to understand that not only did I allow this to happen, I actively participated in allowing my feelings to be "hijacked" by focusing on all the wrong things. It's so easy to let a person, or a religion, or sect, hijack our own relationship with God. Maybe we see a very vocal person, claiming to be Christian, espousing hate for a certain group and we then allow ourselves to question Christianity, as if we should just allow someone, anyone, to be a sole representative for a large and diverse group. Or was it an experience at a church that left you feeling totally judged and separate from the Grace Christ offers us? Whatever it may have been, we mustn't surrender our own faith because anything in the world might have temporarily affected it.
Sermon for Sunday, January 21, 2018
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16
Imagine yourself in the house of your dreams. Close your eyes for a moment and put yourself in the house you've always wanted. Now, imagine it is magically populated with everything you've always wanted- anything and everything. Now, as you've completed your ideal space, there is one more thing- you can't leave.
You've built this existence, this beautiful space, and you must stay there. It's everything you've always wanted, but
you can't leave. Keep in mind that you've included everything you could imagine you'd want. Whatever it might be, you've been granted the ability to include it in your creation.
Sermon For Sunday, January 14, 2018
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
God forgive me, but I have blamed God, in the past, over this verse. In the depths of my own pain, I used this verse to turn away from God. I hid in my burning anger at His seeming silence in the midst of so much suffering- not just my own or those close to me, but for people in general. I've heard others recite this to me, in times of extreme pain, as if it's supposed to comfort me. As if, right in the heart of the most pain and deep sorrow I've ever felt, some smiling bible quoter is going to help me by testifying AT me. In truth, it just made me angry. It drove me further from God and deeper into my own sense of loneliness and helplessness. I thought to myself, 'Good for you, God has your back, you understand things I don't- but I am overwhelmed, confused, and simply at my limit!'. I know that I am not alone in this feeling and that these types of situations can drive people away from God.
Sermon For Sunday, January 7, 2018
Have you ever been troubled by an apparent contradiction between different verses in the Bible? I suspect that if you have never had to seek both human, and divine, counsel to understand the incredible truths that the Bible expounds upon, you're probably just not trying hard enough. Doubt and confusion and pain, among many other things, struck seemingly every great person, prophet, and apostle, so why should we be any different? Think about that. If people who were blessed with the physical and spiritual presence of Christ, every day, could doubt, then we should not be afraid of doubt but use it as a tool of deeper understanding and faith.
I was struck this week with the tension(I use this word because I literally and physically felt this while preparing this blog and praying about these issues) between the ideas of strength and weakness. When I read the teachings of Jesus, I am taken by the great responsibility He places on his followers within the spirit of his words. The bar is set so high, the stakes are so great, and our role model is so incredibly present in His Truth. Look at Luke 9:23-