Sermon for August 19, 2018
“Sometimes life will make us feel like a train on railroad tracks. Other times life will make us feel like an eagle with the whole sky to itself. Concern yourself with the “who” that feels, not with what is felt.”
If we knew the time of our death, and the way it would happen, how would that affect the course of our lives? How would this knowledge affect not only our choices, but our enjoyment of our lives? Now expand this idea and assume that we had knowledge of many of the biggest ‘forks in the road’ that would come, and what we would do. Again, how would this change the ways we enjoy life as we currently know it? As much as one might have feared many things that have come, or fear things yet to come, does the mystery of it all contribute to the enjoyment of life?
Now think about times in our lives when we are suffering versus times when we feel happy and free. When we are suffering, we just want to know how to make it stop. We want answers, ways to remedy whatever the situation we find ourselves caught up in. When we are happy, we enjoy the mystery and spontaneity of life. The unknown is actually part of the fun.
Sermon for August 12, 2018
Acts 20:22-24 (NIV)
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns methat prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
How many times in our lives do we feel compelled to do something, but fear of the unknown pushes its way into our intention? Fear of what might happen, fear our identity, which has been shaped by the memory of our past, might not live up to our calling- these all pull us out of the present. The ‘future’ has a unique nature in that it is largely made up of possibilities, probabilities for those with a quantum physics affinity. The past can be viewed as somewhat stagnant by comparison, however, it is very alive in the way it influences our current identity. The present is where the Spirit lives, and, in reality, the only one of the three that truly exists.
Sermon for August 5, 2018
Matthew 4:1-11 New International Version (NIV)Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
God knows it can be so hard to be open to the Spirit when you’re under attack, feeling stressed, when even the most simple things in life feel impossible. Especially if you’re feeling as though life just won’t let up, I urge you, call you, even beg you, to just read on.
Sermon for July 29, 2018
“Losing it” probably brings up immediate negative connotations. In a world where we are in a seemingly never ending rush to accumulate, create, become, achieve, loss seems like something we should avoid at all costs. You don’t want to lose your job, your house, your car...or do you? What if you lost your mind? Sounds bad right? Well what if your mind, as you know it, was holding you back from something even more wonderful- but you couldn’t see it because of that very mind? “Losing it” can be a great thing.
From a very practical and simple perspective, I can show you why we all strive, in one way or another, to “lose it”. Take something as simple as a vacation. What are you getting away from? What do you need a break from? When you think of a vacation, you don’t see yourself adding things to your daily schedule. People don’t generally keep their normal routine, work and everything that goes with it, and add to it to give themselves a break. If they did, you’d see people taking on another job when they wanted something different. Maybe I’ll work 80 hours a week next month, instead of 40, because I just need a break from the normal routine. Let me babysit the neighbor’s 8 kids, in addition to my own, because I just need a break from what’s normal.