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Showing posts from November, 2008

Sermon for Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our Core Values: Children and Youth
Romans 12:3-16; Proverbs 22:6

Train children to live the right way, and when they are old, they will not stray from it.

Let’s talk about the ostrich. Did you know that the ostrich doesn’t sit on her eggs to incubate them? She will lay them in desert, kick some sand over them, and then run away to insure her own safety. Not what we would call a nurturer. The mother ostrich, in fact, has become the symbol of the careless mother. The book of Job says this about the ostrich: “She forgets that a foot may crush them, or that a wild beast may break them. She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers; her labor is in vain, without concern, because God deprived her of wisdom, and did not endow her with understanding.” [Job 39:13-18]. Yet, despite all this bad mothering, the ostrich lays the largest, most beautiful, and perfect egg of all. I got thinking about ostriches and I began to wonder if some times we see ostrich syndrome in our culture. We l…

Sermon for Sunday, November 9, 2008

Our Core Values: Outreach
Luke 4:16-21
Nov. 9, 2008

Predators seem beautifully designed to catch prey animals, while the prey animals seem equally beautifully designed to escape them. So, whose side is God on? I was thinking about this when I read a story: In the middle of a forest, a hunter was suddenly confronted by a huge, mean bear. In his fear, all attempts to shoot the bear were unsuccessful. Finally, he turned and ran as fast as he could. The hunter ran and ran and ran, until he ended up at the edge of a very steep cliff. His hopes were dim. Seeing no way out of his predicament, and with the bear closing in rather quickly, the hunter got down on his knees, opened his arms, and exclaimed, “Dear God! Please give this bear some religion!” The skies darkened and there was lightning in the air. Just a few feet short of the hunter, the bear came to an abrupt stop, fell to its knees, folded its mighty paws together, and owed its head. Then the bear began to speak: “Thank you, God, for th…

Sermon for Sunday November 2, 2008 -- All Saints Day

Core Values: Honoring Our Workers
Matthew 9:35-38; 2 Timothy 2:14-19

Another Halloween has come and gone, and how well did we do in making it All Saints’ Eve? What did we notice as the little ones with smiley faces gave cheery “Trick or Treat” greetings as their hands greedily dove into bowls of candy? Beyond the joy of giving out candy, did any of you keep track of the kinds of costumes the children wore?

It depends on the fads of the year, of course, but you can always count on scary, dark characters: murderers from horror movies, Grim Reapers, vampires, skeletons, ghosts, and monsters. There are bound to be warriors of one sort or another: Power Rangers, ninjas, and superheroes, as well as football players, soldiers, and pirates. And don’t forget the animals: This year I saw dog, a rabbit, a lion, a giraffe, and a few black cats. There are always happy characters, too: fairies, princesses, cheerleaders, clowns, ladybugs, pumpkins, ballerinas, and brides. Sometimes there are costumes …

Sermon for Sunday October 26, 2008

Our Core Values: Dealing With Differences
James 4:1-12

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he …