Making the Sabbath Work” August 25, 2019

“Making the Sabbath Work” Jeremiah 1:4-10 Hebrews 12:18-29 Luke 13:10-17   Does anyone remember the movie called “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”? It was based on the 1962 Broadway hit by the same name. I never had the chance to see it, but I do remember that Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics and it had an all-star cast. It was a situation comedy involving slaves and kings and senators in ancient Rome. But even though I never saw “A Funny...

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“When We Take This Stuff Seriously” August 18, 2019

“When We Take This Stuff Seriously” Isaiah 5:1-7/ Jeremiah 23:23-29 Hebrews 11:29 – 12:2 Luke 12:49-56 I’d have to say that one of the tough parts of writing a sermon is coming up with the proper title. It can be catchy, but not too cute; it can be corny, but not ridiculous; but most of all a good sermon title should give you an idea what is coming without giving it all away. As you can imagine, there have been some doozies over the years. I’m thinking of a pastor whose...

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“The Case for Bubble Gum & Umbrellas” August 4, 2019

“The Case for Bubble Gum & Umbrellas” Hosea 11:1-11 Colossians 3:1-11/ Luke 12:13-21   When I read through today’s gospel text earlier in the week, I groaned. I really, really didn’t want to preach on the “Parable of the Rich Fool;” I just didn’t. Every time this particular scripture comes up, you can just about bet there is a stewardship sermon coming and we’re going to be made to feel bad about our level of giving to the church, to the community, to whatever. I...

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“If You Only Pray When You’re In Trouble, You’re In Trouble” July 28, 2019

“If You Only Pray When You’re In Trouble, You’re In Trouble” Genesis 18:20-32 Colossians 2:6-15 Luke 11:1-13   The N. Carolina preacher Delmer Chilton tells about his son and a particular struggle with the Lord’s Prayer. Young Joe wanted to play basketball in the summer league and the only one around was at Father Ryan High School. Now as you can tell by the name, Father Ryan High was a Catholic school, but they let Joe play with them anyways. There weren’t many folks...

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“Ain’t No Profit In Being a Prophet” July 21, 2019

“Ain’t No Profit In Being a Prophet” Amos 8:1-12/ Psalm 52 Colossians 1:15-28/ Luke 10:38-42   Moishe was a medieval Jewish astrologer. One day, he happened to prophesy that the king’s favorite horse would soon die. Sure enough, the horse died a short time later. The king was outraged at the astrologer, certain that his prophecy had brought about the horse’s death. He summoned Moishe and commanded him, “Prophet, tell me when you will die!” Moishe realized...

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“You Can’t Judge Someone and Love Someone At the Same Time” July 14, 2019

“You Can’t Judge Someone and Love Someone At the Same Time” Amos 7:7-17/ Psalm 82 Colossians 1:1-14 Luke 10:25-37   Many years ago, I found myself and a few friends at the county fair in Missoula, MT. Like most young folks in their 20’s, we were looking stir things up a bit; we were looking for something new, something exciting. And so it was that when we came across a stand that read “The Great Madame So & So, fortune teller” there was a mad scramble to see who...

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“There’s A Little Naaman In All of Us” July 7, 2019

“There’s A Little Naaman In All of Us” 2 Kings 5:1-14/ Galatians 6:1-16 Luke 10:1-11, 16-20   So, let’s talk about this Naaman fellow: a general – a great general of the Syrian army. (2 Kings 5:1) tells us Naaman was a great man and highly regarded by his master, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. (Syria) He had a lot going for him: fame, success, and the respect and admiration of his people. There was only one problem – Naaman had leprosy. We...

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“Don’t Look Back” June 30, 2019

“Don’t Look Back” 2 Kings 2:1-14/ Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 Galatians 5:1, 13-25/ Luke 9:51-62   During Annual Conference this year, Ralph and I got to talking about baseball, particularly that unique relationship between catchers and pitchers. It got me to thinking about Bobby Weaver. Now Bobby was just an average pitcher. What made him good was his ability to distract the batters. Bobby had lots of tricks, one of them being he would do his homework. He would gather up any...

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