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Showing posts from April, 2007

Sermon for April 29, 2007

Where is God When Evil Abounds?
Matthew 5:1-11 / Mark 15:33-37

I hear the same question all the time. “Where was God?” Sometimes people ask the question because they felt abandoned by God when they needed God the most. People come to me and want to know WHY God didn’t protect them from the abusive father, the molesting uncle, the bullying mother, the merciless teacher. They want to know WHY God would allow such things to go on -- The woman who was beaten as a child for something as senseless as spilling her milk; the little boy who was scared to death of his alcohol-crazed father, the family who lost a loved one to suicide, or cancer, or a fatal accident.

“How could any God let this happen?” The more we think about it, the more we question God’s influence in the world. I look into eyes that are overflowing with pain and confusion and grief and rage - and they demand an answer. Why a holocaust, God? Why do few get to eat while many more go hungry? Why do you allow people to suffer, God?…

Sermon for Jazz Sunday

I don’t know how many of you men have succumbed to Gillette’s latest shaving innovation, the outlandish six-bladed Fusion razor. Where will it all end? How many blades are enough? 8? 15? 20? To counter the Fusion frenzy, Cory Greenberg, new technology editor on the Today Show, ironically did a segment on what’s called wet-shaving. Wet-shaving uses an old school single blade safety razor, a badger hair brush and high-end English cream and lots of hot water. He says that wetshaving delivers not only the greatest shave you can possibly imagine, but it brings back the pleasant, gentlemanly Cary Grant ritual that you can only get at old-time barber shops. Millions of people all over the world watched the Today Show segment, and as ridiculous as it sounds, the ensuing rush on razors, brushes, and creams created a worldwide shortage of shaving goods—vendors who’d been beseeching the masses to throw down their Fusions, their Quattros, their Mach-3s, and pressurized cans of goo reported doing …

Sermon for April 8, 2007 -- Easter Sunday

A good part of this sermon was taken from Rev. C. Wayne Hilliker from Kingston Ontario:
What Brought You Here?
Luke 24:1-12
So, what has brought you here? Crowds sure are larger on Easter than any other Sunday of the year. The truth is, many people don’t bother with Sunday morning worship. Willow Creek Community Church, a mega-church near Chicago did a door-to-door survey asking: If you don’t go to church, why? The five biggest reasons: 1) Church is boring, 2) Church is irrelevant, 3) They’re asking for money all the time, 4) I’m too busy already, 5) I feel awkward at church. Let me add another reason: It’s just easier to stay home on Sunday. You only get two days off. Sometimes it’s hard to get the kids fed and dressed and your spouse to cooperate. Isn’t it better, on your day off, to sleep in and read the paper, or get up and hit the tennis courts or the golf course and enjoy a leisurely day?Middle-class Protestant denominations …

Sermon for April 1, 2007 -- Palm Sunday

Is This a Joke?
Luke 19:28-44

Since Easter is right around the corner, many of you will be entertaining guests for dinner. I've found there are two ways to prepare dinner: The Martha Stewart Way, and My Way.

Martha’s way: Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.
My way: Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Pete’s sake, you are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway.

Martha’s way: To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard boiling.
My way: Who cares if they crack, aren’t you going to take the shells off anyway?

Martha’s way: To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.
My way: Sleep with the lemons in between the mattress and box springs.

Martha’s way: To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water t…

Sermon for the Ordination of Jenn Gingras

Patrons, Peasants and Pastors
For the Ordination of Jennifer Gingras
March 24, 2007
Matthew 20:1-16

Let’s begin with a quiz. Are you ready? We’ll begin with a practice question:
Q. How many animals of each type did Moses take on the ark?
A. Zero. Moses didn’t have a boat, Noah did!

OK, how did you do? Are you ready for the real test?
Q. Is there a Fourth of July in England?
A. Yes, it comes after the third of July!
Q. Some months have 31 days; how many have 28?
A. 12, all of them!
Q. Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow’s sister?
A. No - because he is dead!

Are you ready for the math portion?
Q. Divide 30 by 1/2 and add 10. What is the answer?
A. 70, (30 divided by 1/2 equals 60! Takes some thinking . . .)
Q. If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, how many do you have?
A. 2. You took them, remember?
Q. How many two-cent stamps are there in a dozen?
A. Twelve, there are 12 two cent stamps in a dozen!
Q. A rooster sits on the VERY TOP of a barn roof. If he lays an egg, which side will…

Sermon for March 25, 2007

An Outpouring of Love
John 12:1-11

Lately, we have heard stories of controversial antiquities being discovered in the Holy Land. I’m sure many of you have heard the story or seen the TV special about the Lost Tomb of Jesus on the Discovery Channel. Today I share with you a religious artifact. Be warned, what I’m about to share is of dubious origin. It is a letter, apparently written by a man named Lazarus who lived in the suburbs of Jerusalem. According to legend, Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary Magdalene. He was a Pharisee, but because of his association with Jesus, he fled for his life to Cypress where he lived another thirty years. The Sunday before Palm Sunday is known as Lazarus Sunday in some churches. The gospel of John records an episode in which Jesus hears that his friend Lazarus is dead. In the presence of a crowd of Jewish mourners, Jesus has the stone rolled away from the tomb and calls to Lazarus to come out. Lazarus rises from the dead and hobbles out of the to…

Sermon for March 18, 2007

Faith-filled Prayer
James 5:13-20

There once was a minister who grew tired of tending to the needs and demands of his congregation. Once Sunday he decided to play hooky. Instead of showing up to church, he headed out on the hiking trail. Towards late afternoon, as the preacher was walking along an old logging road, he finally began to feel relaxed and refreshed. As he turned a corner, however, he came face to face with a bear. The bear was huge, and it as eying the pastor as if he was a tasty afternoon snack. Not knowing what to do, the preacher dropped to his knees, bowed his head and began to pray. “O Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. I have done wrong. But if I could ask just one thing of you, Lord, please make this bear a Christian. I know that I was wrong to abandon my flock today. I thought ill of those who have put in my charge. But please, Lord, make this bear a Christian.” The preacher suddenly heard a strange thump. He lifted his eyes to see the mighty bear on its knees in the…