Aug 4, 2019
Picnic
Series: Rest Stop

Rest Stop - Picnic

Exodus 16:1-4, 11:15

 

Manna and Quail from Heaven

Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt. There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron.  “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.

11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the Israelites’ complaints. Now tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”  13 That evening vast numbers of quail flew in and covered the camp. And the next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew. 14 When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground. 15 The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was.

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  • Aug 4, 2019Picnic
    Aug 4, 2019
    Picnic
    Series: Rest Stop

    Rest Stop - Picnic

    Exodus 16:1-4, 11:15

     

    Manna and Quail from Heaven

    Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt. There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron.  “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.

    11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the Israelites’ complaints. Now tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”  13 That evening vast numbers of quail flew in and covered the camp. And the next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew. 14 When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground. 15 The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was.

    For more "Rest Stop" sermons, click here.
  • Jul 28, 2019With Hope
    Jul 28, 2019
    With Hope
    Series: Go Beyond

    Go Beyond                                                     With Hope

    Matthew 14:22-32

    Jesus Walks on the Water

    22   Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.

    23   After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.

    24   But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.

    25   And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.

    26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.

    27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

    28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

    29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

    30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

    31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and * said to him, You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

    32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.

     
    Focus:
    Peter accomplishes a great feat - actually walking on the water.  To my knowledge, Peter achieves something no other human being has accomplished.
     
    To achieve the great feat, he must first get out of the boat.
     
    I can't even imagine what was going through his head as he puts his foot over the side of the boat.  And then actually walks on the water toward Jesus. 
     
    But then fear overtakes him.
     
    It is fear that causes Peter to sink.
     
    Fear stopped him from getting all the way to Jesus, to getting to where Jesus called him.
     
    How often does fear stop us from getting to where Jesus calls us?
     
    We need to hear the words of Jesus, Take courage, I am here."
     
    Life Point:
    "May the Force be with you." - Star Wars
     
    Reflect On:
    1.  What "boat" in your life is Jesus calling you to go beyond?

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  • Jul 21, 2019With Thankfulness
    Jul 21, 2019
    With Thankfulness
    Series: Go Beyond

    Go Beyond                                               Thankfulness

    1 Samuel 1:9-11, 20-24

    Hannah is barren, she prays fervently to God for a child and if God gives her a child, she will give the child back to God.  It is an act of extravagant thankfulness.
     
    When the Lunar Module landed on the moon, Buzz Aldrin celebrated Communion-in his tradition it is called the "Eucharist"-a word for thanksgiving.  Even before Neil Armstrong descends the ladder and takes the first step, there is a powerful act of thankfulness.
    So, what is the difference between thankfulness and gratitude? Gratitude is a FEELING. Thankfulness is an ACTION. There is a BENEFIT in thankfulness. Thankfulness builds a stronger RELATIONSHIP with God. Until we let go of the past, we arent going to be WHOLE. True THANKFULNESS is giving our lives in thanks.
    Memory Verse:
    No one is holy like the Lord-
    no, no one except you!
    There is no rock like our God! 1 Samuel 2:2
     
    Life Point:
    Our faith calls us to powerful acts of thankfulness.  One small act of thankfulness can become a giant leap of faith.
     
    Reflect On:
    What has God given you that you will give to God with thankfulness?
     
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  • Jul 14, 2019With Risky Loyalty
    Jul 14, 2019
    With Risky Loyalty
    Series: Go Beyond

    Go Beyond                       With Risky Loyalty

    Joshua 2:1-14

    Rahab take a great risk in hiding the spies.  Her inspiration comes from what she had heard of God's power.  She may even be fearful.  She had to choose to be loyal to her own country and the King, or be loyal to God and God's people.  She goes beyond her own safety for risky-loyalty.
     
    We most likely have not nor will we face having to be loyal to country or be loyal to God.  Yet we may have faced the challenge of being loyal to family, being loyal to friends, or being loyal to God.
     
    Rahab risked loyalty to God above all other loyalties.  And she becomes part of God's bigger plan - she is in the ancestry of Jesus.
     
    We may never know the impact of our risky loyalty.  Faith calls us to go beyond with risky loyalty.
     
    Life Point:
    "Life has a melody...a rhythm of notes which become your existence once played in harmony with God's plan"-Battleship Galatica
     
    Memory Verse:
    We heard this and our hearts to water.  Because of you, people can no longer work up their courage.  This is because the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.  Joshua 2:11b
     
    Reflect On:
    1.  Which loyalties have you or do you tend to put before your loyalty to God?
    2.  Pray seeking God's help to keep God above all other loyalties.
     
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  • Jul 10, 2019Go Beyond… With Boldness
    Jul 10, 2019
    Go Beyond… With Boldness
    Series: Go Beyond
    Go Beyond... With Boldness
    To Boldly Go...
    Esther 4:1-16
     
    The story of Mordechai and Esther demonstrates how our faith is to be an active faith, rather than a passive faith.
     
    The Jewish people's faith inspires them to be bold in their actions.  It is because of their faith and taking action that they are spared destruction.
     
    We face an interesting / challenging time in the universal church and in the United Methodist Church.  In our desire for calmness and no conflict the words from the story of Ester jump off the page to us -"maybe it was for a time like this that you came to be part of the [church]"  Esther 4:14
  • Jun 30, 2019Go Beyond… With Faith
    Jun 30, 2019
    Go Beyond… With Faith
    Series: Go Beyond
    Go Beyond... With Faith
    Never Give Up, Never Surrender
    Daniel 6:1-11, 13-23
     
    Jealousy drives the officers and chief administrators of King Darius to conspire against Daniel.  Daniel was above reproach.  They had to use his own religious practice against him.  They persuade the King to issue an edict that no one is allowed to pray to any god or human except the King.  Daniel keeps his faithful practice of praying three times a day to God.  The King is forced to put Daniel into the lion's pit.  The King wishes Daniel well.  Daniel has faith in God.  Daniel is saved.  This amazing action of God inspires the King to faith in God.
     
    Perseverance in the face of whatever circumstances we face profoundly impact others.  So, "Never give up, never surrender."
     
    No matter what circumstances we face, we can always have faith in God to help us in amazing ways.
  • Jun 11, 2019Just Throw
    Jun 11, 2019
    Just Throw

    Sermon On the Mound

    Just Throw

    Matthew 5:43-48

     
    We wave the slogan, "I am not perfect, just forgiven" like a championship pennant.  It is a good slogan that focuses on the forgiving grace of God.
     
    The challenge is that the slogan diminishes one of Jesus' commands in the Sermon on the Mount - "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." I am one who believes this command is not to be ignored or watered down.  This command is spoken in the context of love and being called to something higher than the way the world loves, such as loving our friends, family members and others who love us.  Jesus calls us to something higher - loving perfectly - loving as God loves.
     
    The Perfect Game in Baseball is an illuminating illustration for being perfect as God is perfect.
  • Jun 2, 2019Take It With A “Grin” of Salt
    Jun 2, 2019
    Take It With A “Grin” of Salt

    Sermon on the Mound

    Take It With A "Grin" Of Salt

    Matthew 5:13-16

     
    What are Christians to be for the world?  Are we simply to be nice and humble people whose main virtue is self-abasement?  Jesus calls to be more than that and it starts in the church.  In these few verses Jesus challenges that thinking and the culture of niceness that permeates the church.  Jesus addresses what we are to be for the world, using the analogy of salt, light and fruit.  What do we do in the church when the salt has lost its flavor?  Would we ever pull someone out of the game?  What does Jesus say should be done?
  • May 26, 2019The Loudest Boos Come From Those in the Cheap Seats
    May 26, 2019
    The Loudest Boos Come From Those in the Cheap Seats

    The Loudest Boos Come From Those in the Cheap Seats

    Matthew 7:1-5

     
    There is a great lesson to be learned from baseball. There is no Monday Morning Quarterback like in football. The Monday Morning Quarterback (a.k.a. Armchair Quarterback). It refers to someone who doesn't participate in the action, but still makes judgement about it and believes he or she can make better decisions than anyone in the game.
     
    This is a great analogy for Jesus' teaching on "Don't judge, so that you will not be judged." At the same time this does not mean we are free from accountability. When we participate in the game, we have the responsibility to hold each other accountable. As followers of Jesus, accountability starts with the person in the mirror.
     
    Reflect on...
    1) Ask yourself, “What logs do I have in my own eye?”
    2) What will you do to be more engaged, empathetic and authentic in your judging?
     

    Would you like to hear more of the "Sermons on the Mound series"? Click here.

     
  • May 19, 2019Trouble with the Curve
    May 19, 2019
    Trouble with the Curve

    Sermon on the Mound                         Matthew 5:17-44

    Trouble with the Curve

    Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

    17 'Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Anger
    21 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
    Lust
    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
    Divorce
    31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
    Retaliation

    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    Love Your Enemies
    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
     
    Pastor Jeff's Message
    Jesus changes the rules, "You've heard it said...but I say..."  These are very challenging words and difficult teaching.  Jesus is holding his disciples (us) to a higher standard than what the law requires.  Are we willing to let ourselves be held to this higher standard or are these merely some archaic words that are out of date and out of touch with contemporary culture?
     
    There is a cost of discipleship.  Part of our calling to discipleship is that we will have to live more truthfully and less comfortably within contemporary culture.
    Jesus is described by John, as one full of grace and truth.  This is the tension we live in.  We extend grace and yet we must live by the truth of the gospel.

     

    Life Point: Jesus calls us beyond outward obedience to heart obedience.
    Reflect on: 1)  Are you more of a “you’ve heard it said” or a “but I say to you” type of disciple? 2)  How will you transform your discipleship from obedience to God, to being in-love with God?
     

    Would you like to hear more of the "Sermons on the Mound series"?  Click here.

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