Archive for September, 2009

“Missiology vs. Messi-ology Phillippians 3

This one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Philippians 3 -1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh– 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

When I told my maternal grandmother, Tommye, I felt called into the ministry, I recall that she told that serving in ministry was a lot like changing diapers: no matter how messy it gets you can always wash your hands and be ready to try again in just a little while.

Living a Spiritual life in a world of the Flesh: things are going to get messy.

The study of how to carry out the ministry of witness is called: MISSIOLOGY, I suggest it be known as MESSIOLOGY

Paul writes a letter of encouragement to the church at Phillippi and it calls us to see that following Jesus Christ is not neat, pretty and clean living…

He offers his own legalistic devotion to the law, the flesh, and passion in being a literal keeper of the rules…

Q: What did Paul find for all that clean living?

A: Rubbish, to have kept myself at the sake of loosing Christ.

INSTEAD… he found (vs 10)

ü  I want to know Chirst,

ü  and the power of his resurrection

ü  and the fellowship of his suffering,

How do I get the prize?

   Forgetting what binds me to the past

  • Here is where it may be the MESSIEST
  • What are you not forgetting…
    • Not keys, wallet/purse, tickets, mail
    • RATHER: holding on to millstones
    • What are you remembering that limits?
    • What are holding over someone else?
    • What is being held over your head?
    • LET IT GO.

   Straining toward what awaits

  • It is messy to strain.
    • We might break a sweat if you strain
    • No Strain, no gain the prize
    • WHAT AWAITS is WORTH IT

   Pressing on toward the goal

  • Press on: Keep straining, keep trying,
  • PLAY IN THE DIRT AGAIN: Pike’s

Live knowing what country holds your spiritual citizenship.

When in heaven, live like you are in heaven..

When you are in the flesh, live like you are in heaven…

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What have we learned? Eph 4:21-25 092009 BRUMC 3of5Practices (a)rui

Eph 4.21-25 NRSV

21 For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.

What have we learned?

   Learned Truth is in Jesus…

   Learned to put away your old self and former ways…

   Learned to be renewed in the Spirit

   Learned to clothe ourselves we the new self

   Learned we are 2speak the truth, for we are members of one another.

Learned Truth is in Jesus…

  • Looking for the truth, what is right and wrong, good /bad
  • Truth is foundation, bedrock
  • Truth is Power and Freedom
  • Truth is integrity and Peace
  • Truth is ours in Jesus Christ..
  • LOOK NO FURTHER

Learned to put away your old self and former ways…

  • Put away ignorance, NOT knowing, playing dumb
  • Put away prior habits and behaviors
  • Put away old witness, others are looking
  • We are new persons in Jesus Christ
  • LOOK WHO WE ARE BECOMING

Learned to be renewed in the Spirit

  • Acknowledge that we need to feed/eat for spiritual growth
  • Affirm that our spirit is not intended to stay a baby
  • Keep being renewed in the Spirit 4whole life
  • God is not finished maturing us
  • GROWING OR DYING

Learned to clothe ourselves we the new self

  • Wear what is appropriate for the day.. rain, a coat, sun, shorts
  • Choose to be dressed for service and witness
  • Consider the witness of what you wear
  • Clothe the NEW self
  • GOD CLOTHES THE LILLIES

Learned we are all to speak the truth, for we are members of one another.

  • We are truth in Christ, it is not just us, it is all of us in Christ
  • Trust is we are not our old self, we are NEW
  • What of a tomato plant that bears ONE
  • CHOOSE 2B DRESSED 2 LEARN

SO WHAT: What have we learned?

  • We stand for Christ, who makes us new, daily in the spirit
  • Choose to let the presence of Christ be our clothes and grow together
  • Dressed for Successful God living….

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Sept 13 Worship: Coming Closer to God (Isaiah 6:1-8) Worship. Do what when close to God

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
What is worship like in Heaven?

THE PRESENCE OF GOD
Awesome… Majestic… Depth/Weight
SINGING AND PROCLAIMING
Trembling, Shaking, Smoke, DRAMA
CONFESSION
I am not worthy, I am not clean, I am a sinner
A PLACE/MEANS
of being made clean, whole, restored-new
SENDING and RESPONDING TO GO
Now Go as one sent by God.

Why do we Worship?
Worship vs Spiritual Development
Worship is about God
Spiritual Development is about us.

If we come to worship to
GET SOMETHING OUT OF IT… not worship
ENJOY THE MUSIC… not worship
PLEASE MAMA… not worship
MAINTAIN STABILITY… not worship
BECAUSE IT IS A TRADITION… not worship

Worship is what we do when in GOD’s presence
God who has both the means and the heart to
Love, forgive, renew, and restore you
You stand in God’s presences and say what?
I WANT… I NEED.. I LIKE… I EXPECT

VIDEO: It’s All About Me

Worship: time to confess: Lord have mercy on me a sinner
Worship: time to see, hear, feel, sense, taste God’s glory
Worship: time for us to be vulnerable, honest, weak
Worship: time to be listening, learning, healing & responding

What is our response to Worship?
Hear, Confess, Be Cleansed, and GO tell the world…
Go as one SENT by GOD to tell the nations/neighbors

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Welcome, It is Who We Are Called to Be

Opening the Circle Romans 15:7 Sept 6

Hospitality: Welcome, Come In! Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God (Romans 15:7).

1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs 9 so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: "Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name." 10 Again, it says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people." 11 And again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples." 12 And again, Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him."

7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

A teenage boy entered the sanctuary of a church. It was the church to which his parents and kid brother belonged. In fact, they were there every time the doors opened! They were there too much. As he slumped down in the chair that was as far away from the altar as possible and pulled his ball cap low on his forehead, he dropped his head into his hands and settled in for a nap. He didn’t know why he was there. He could sleep more comfortably in his bed. He didn’t want to be there. Church was a drag—a religious institution focused on its own survival and uninterested in people like him.

Just as he was moving into pre-sleep, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up into the face of a woman he did not know. Great, he thought, I must be in her personal chair. She can have it! I’m going home.

But she didn’t ask him to move. She simply placed a bag of butterscotch in his hand and said, “I’m so glad you’re here this morning. I bought this for you because I heard that you really like butterscotch. I do, too! There aren’t many of us around.”

He didn’t open that bag of butterscotch for a long time. In fact, he hung it on the wall of his bedroom right beside his heavy metal posters, his guitar, and his poems of emptiness and longing. A reminder of grace. A sign of WELCOME.

Years later, just out of his teens, that same young man entered a different church. He was feeling pretty good about being there. He wasn’t there for the sermon or music. In fact, if he had timed it just right, he would miss most of that. He was there because someone he loved asked him to come for a special day. He had awakened early that morning, showered, put on his jeans and a T-shirt, and pulled back his long hair, anchoring it with a ball cap.

As he stood in the narthex, waiting for the service to end so that he could greet his loved one, he heard someone speak to him.

“Young man.” He turned and extended his hand in greeting. He was surprised when his hand was ignored.

He was speechless when the person continued. “Young man, you either need to take off your hat or leave the building.”

The truth of our own humanity is that each of us has the capacity to be the butterscotch lady or the hat man.

We are the people who WELCOME.

I am called to welcome,

YOU WERE A STRANGER AND YOU WELCOMED ME. (Matt) Good and Faithful Servant: Our eternal souls are shaped by our ability to welcome or ignore. To be open to the close the heart. Open doors..

We have within us the ability to be the open arms of Welcome that Christ extends for whom church—Christianity—is a foreign and strange land, even when their values or thoughts about church are different from our own.

We also have within us the ability to withhold hospitality in order to protect what we falsely imagine to be “our own”—our own church, our own class, our own space, our own truth.

During the First Century, the apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Christian Church in Rome. Scholars believe that the book of Romans, the longest of Paul’s letters, offers the core of his teachings about what it means to live faithfully and obediently.

Some suggest that the letter is his response to the question, How does a sinful person find salvation before a righteous God? Paul takes sixteen chapters to explain his answer: Through a faithful response to God’s prior act of grace.

Throughout the letter, Paul looks at various aspects of church life through the lens of this fundamental truth: Our salvation—the possibility of our living liberated lives—is anchored in our faithful response to God’s gracious activity in our lives and in the world.

In the fifteenth chapter of his letter to the Roman Church, Paul addresses the issue of hospitality, particularly as it relates to the inclusion of those who come with different backgrounds, stories, beliefs, and practices. What is his encouragement?

Welcome one another, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God (Romans 15:7).

What would it mean for our congregation to welcome the stranger in the same way that Christ welcomes us? What would it mean for us to anchor our acts of hospitality in our response to God’s gracious activity in our lives and in the world?

It means, I believe, that we need to be radically invitational in every part of church life. There are so many amazing and life-giving things going on in our church. How will those who are strangers experience those things unless someone invites them—to Sunday school, a men’s potluck, a women’s Bible study, youth group, worship, a prayer group, or some other activity or event?

You are here this morning because someone at some time invited you to experience some aspect of church life. Praise God! Give thanks for the courage and hospitality of that person, and pray for God to guide you into extending an authentic invitation to someone else.

Welcome is seen in much of what we do in our church. We celebrate the many ways that our Sunday morning hospitality teams go the extra mile: to answer the phone, to keep the coffee flowing, to introduce guests to others, to help guests find a class or information, to lead in worship. They lead us in these ministries of welcome and would, no doubt, encourage us to follow their lead even if we aren’t an official part of a team or committee.

The ministry of welcome belongs to all of us, and it belongs in every nook and cranny of this building—as well as in every gathering and activity and service project that moves us beyond these walls.

I would assume that most of us have been in social situations when we felt totally excluded. I’m sad to say that I’ve visited some worship services and Sunday school classes where I felt like an outsider. I’ve participated in parents meetings, team practices, work parties, and community network groups where I was ignored—tolerated at best. These experiences do nothing to inspire our return.

Worse than that, they undermine the work of the Spirit. How can we explore faith in God when the community representing God is so close or so well-organized that there is no room for another? The very things we celebrate—friendship, intimacy, and love for one another—sometimes can get in the way.

“We have our four-some.” “Our dinner group is full right now. You will have to bring your own chair.” Turn by the old post office, go in back door and turn right in the room that use to be wall papered.”

People need safe and open spaces for spiritual exploration. Some newcomers will need to create what is comfortable to others, even it is less than comfortable for us. (We are already in, do we open the door or close it)

Invitation, welcome, inclusion, support. Becoming a fruitful, vibrant, growing congregation will require nothing less than adaptive WELCOME

Welcome in our attitudes,

practices,

and values.

Growing in our collective demonstration of welcoming Hospitality will call for a change in our behaviors in order to accommodate the needs and receive the talents of others.

We must be willing to welcome others as radically as Christ welcomes us.

There is no more profound way to focus our hearts and minds on the Welcome of Christ than to share in Holy Communion, for it is to this table that all are invited.

One of the important things about being United Methodist is that Communion, that holy spiritual meal for our spirit.. is not limited to those who have taken a class, or been immersed, nor do they even have to understand what they are doing…it is a meal of welcome.

Come as you are, and become who God has created and called you to become.

All are welcome. It is in the grace we receive in this meal that all are included in the universal love of God. All are fed and nourished in the way of faith.

Ya’ll come in , take your shoes off, stay a while, you hear…

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Stewardship 101 Genesis 2.4-9, 15-17

Long, long ago: before there were microwave ovens and laptop computers, before there were 401K’s, Junk Bonds, or money market accounts, before there were cars and houses, there was nothing. Now when I say nothing I mean nothing. When most people hear “nothing” they think if a desert or wilderness. But that would be something. I mean there was nothing but dirt and a mist rising from the ground. And God reached down and grabbed up a handful of red clay. Then God threw the clay on a potter’s wheel and began shaping something. Finally when God finished shaping it he looked at it and sighed a deep sigh and breathed on it and it came to life. And God clapped his hands and said, “Ha Adam” which roughly translated is “Rusty, my man!”

God realized that Rusty needed a place to live. So God planted a garden on the earth. The garden included every kind of plant that God could create: mosses and herb, fruits and vegetables, and flowers of every sort and color. There was even a tree of forbidden fruit but that is the subject of another story.

Then God said, “Rusty needs something to do. A way to make a living for himself.” So God handed Rusty a rake and said, “You are my chief gardener. You will tend my garden and care for all the plants I have created. And you may eat of the fruits and the vegetables except for that one I told you not to.” And the world was perfect and life was wonderful – at least for a while.

All of Christian doctrine has its roots in the book of Genesis. That is why when I wanted to talk about stewardship, I started with the second chapter of Genesis. We talk about “Stewardship” in the church but most Christians don’t know what we mean. When people hear the word “Stewardship” they think about giving money or more specifically tithing. And that is part of stewardship, but stewardship is much more. In a sense tithing is a symptom of good stewardship not stewardship itself.

Put simply stewardship is the belief that all we have belongs to God and we are merely caretakers or stewards of things. Rusty, better known to us as Adam, didn’t own the Garden of Eden. It was created by God for him, but it was still God’s. Adam was merely its caretaker. He was supposed to tend the garden, but he was also free to take whatever he needed from it.

Stewardship is more than just a concept. It is more like a state of mind. Good stewardship is a discipline. It is not achieved over night but one grows to it by steps.

The first step toward good stewardship is to acknowledge that everything belongs to God. In other words we have to surrender all claims of ownership. For instance most of you came from homes this morning and drove to church in cars. That house and that car don’t belong to you. You might say, “Yup preacher they belong to the bank, I just make the payments.” But even when you have that loan paid, it’s still not yours. You might have some cash in you wallet or pocketbook. It’s not yours either. You might have a checkbook. The money in that account isn’t yours.

This is a hard step to take. The concept of “MINE” is one of the first concepts we learn. In a young child’s mind everything I want is mine. If I see another child playing with a toy I want I holler “Mine” and grab it. As we grow concepts of “Who had it first” or “Who has the deed” limit our concept of “mine” but it still remains. I mean we throw people in jail for violating our concepts of “mine.”

This step means throwing the concept of “mine” away. There is no “mine.” There is only God’s. Once you have surmounted that obstacle good stewardship is only one step away.

The second step is to recognize that we have been given the privilege of using and caring for God’s things. If we stop before this step, then we would all have to take a vow of poverty. But God has all this stuff. We look around and there are neighborhoods full of houses. Look out the window. A lot full of cars! Feel in your pockets. Change! God can’t just leave us all homeless and penniless. So God let us use His stuff. We drive His cars and use His money to feed our families and live in His houses.

They are ours to use but they really belong to God. We are merely caretakers of these things. So we are not free to do whatever we like with them. If your friend leaves town as says you can drive his car while he is gone, you are supposed to take care of it. If you don’t and wreak the car because of carelessness, then you are a bad caretaker.

So good or bad stewardship is a function of how we use and care for all the thing God lets us use. How do we use our cars and houses and money and time? If we use it in ways that honors God: meaning if we support God’s work and do God’s will, then we are Good Stewards.

FARM TOWN:  facebook. Some of you have invited me to join you in playing this game.
Premise: You have a plot of land, and you rely on one another to care for the farm..
i don’t have time every day…   i don’t rely on my friends and neighbors..
I have not learned the balance of spending, sharing, helping, and waiting…
so my farm is dead more often than not.
God’s Garden is not a game, it is the real farm, entrusted to us for its care… God’s accounting….

But let’s not forget Rusty, uh Adam. He is a model for God’s plan for our place in this world. God placed us on this earth to enjoy his gifts and give him glory. The problem is that we begin seeing it as our earth not his. As long as we view ourselves as caretakers placed in this garden, then we can get off the concept of MINE and move on to “God’s.”

We are the creation of God. He made each of us from the dust of the earth and breathed into us the breath of life. Then God placed us in a garden so we could live and grow. Sure our garden is different:, we have some of the same things: flowers and fruits and vegetables. Even some forbidden fruit. But we also have microwaves and laptops and cars and houses.

And God lets us use these things. But the bottom line is that it’s all God’s. We are only the caretakers of God’s possessions. And the earlier we acknowledge that then the easier tithing and stewardship and all of life will be.

As a way of helping to plan, especially in these times of lean and the unexpected, we are asking each other to make/renew commitments to tend the Garden together.

…..to do so, we are drawing on the tradition of the pony express. that once delivered the mail, to be an inter-dependent way of gathering our commitment cards:

Bag: Start Wed. PM at fellowship Dinner, bags due back Sun 5/10/09
Cards: Indicating your commitment.. (even if it is to check, I don’t do cards)
Envelops: Sign on the outside, seal it
Bag: Deliver it to the next person on the bag…

Team that gets the bag back first, completed, get’s lunch for the whole
team, (disclaimer, not on Mothers Day)

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Now Children, Play Nice 1 John 3.16-24

First John Chapter 3 verses 16-24

I John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.
23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Children don’t like to share toys.    Mine, Mine, Mine.
The concern of the child is self-absorbed.

There is a healthy development process that all human beings have a stage to learn to feed, defend, protect the self or we are someone else’s lunch.

Sacrificial Living: is not simply self denial
Sacrificing for the good of the other person.

Give up sugar and butter because the exchange is better health.

Children’s words vs Children’s actions
The tone of voice, the shape of an eye lid or brow
Tell a child the truth…

It’s not in the words that we say, it is in the love that we share.

Children’s have eager hearts, willing to run, trust, taste, dance, and more, but no matter how open, Christ has SACRIFICED MORE FOR US than we can EVERY HOLD.
He has given away more than we can ever grab…

Children have confidence in the heavenly parent who knows best for them..  You can do anything, you’re my dad.

Children obey the Father’s commandments, because they are what is best for us, like the rules or not.

Our commandment is to BELIEVE in the Jesus
AND
love each other in the way God commands us to love.

A life, evident of God’s spirit.  Is not proud, Is not bossy
a witness of God within is not judgement, doesnt pit sides

A life, that reveals God’s spirit, is giving without cost counting
a witness of God with what we have,  doesnt hold grudges

A life, like ours is commanded to sacrifice, not for the sake of      sacrifice, but because we genuinely know God’s love     is worth all.

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Locked for Fear John 20.19-31

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”  26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.”  28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”  30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.  31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

How strong is the power of fear? Fear says: you shouldn’t, you couldn’t, you will be in trouble if you. Others will laugh AT you. Others will reject you. You will be alone, forgotten, unloved. You will be a failure, ..again.
Fear of letting someone down?
Fear of letting our weaknesses show?
Fear of not succeeding    Fear of attention?
Fear of silence    Fear of death        Fear of pain
Fear of no-feeling    Fear of rejection    Fear of loss
Fear of having too much    Fear of Fear itself.
Let not your heart be afraid…come to me all who labor and are heaven laden.
Fear Not, I bring you tiding of good news, a great joy.
Peace, be still
When we are not afraid, when our guard is down.
When our stealth coating of protect is penetrated.

Are we capable of more or less?
If I were not afraid, what would I do?
I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength.

If I were afraid, what would I do for God? write them down, read them aloud.
With Each congregation responds…
Peace be with you, God is sending you.

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After the Resurection Mark 9.1-10

452: My Faith Looks Up2the  203:Hail to the Lord’s Anointed 436: Lord, Speak to Me 700: Abide with Me 251: Go Tell it on the Mountain

Elijah and Moses: Signs of the Times.  How did the disciples recognize them?
Was it there clothes?   the Mantle of Elijah?
The stone Tablets with Moses?
Hello My Name is… badges?
In the clouds, God work is revealed. All the law and the prophets are summed up in Jesus.

Peter is correct in saying: ” it is good to be here where Jesus is revealed.”
His response to the GOOD opportunity, goes sour when he wants to make it history rather than reality or future.
opportunity know God, but don’t take it.
good news shared, but not heard with ears of faith
The identity of Jesus is not final part of the story, but it bring information to empower the actions that follow.

Jesus and the others go to a place, apart, to be alone
Jesus is fully revealed to them, and again
They were alone, they saw no one, except Jesus.
Wait until THE ultimate work of healing, power, grace, & love is shown through the resurrection…

We live now, knowing the news, knowing the truth…

The disciples discussion was focused on RESURRECTION.  What does it mean, this “rising from the dead?”

Jesus Christ is revealed to me, and you.
in the light bulb, in the healing, in the answered prayer
in the music, in the peace, in the furry, in this moment-here
The life I live is more than my own.
It is rather arrogant for us to think of ourselves as self-made
And to think that our lives are independent of God knowing
Elijah/Moses/Jesus show up for the REVEALING PARTY
The actions of this life, effect my spiritual life, eternally
The prophets prepared us for this moment
The laws lead us up as far as they could
WHAT JESUS IS ABOUT TO DO, is for us all, even NOW

DISCIPLES, know Jesus is truth, know the witness is great, but the RESURRECTION is the power, greater than his self or our self
That reveals, proves, and gives God’s love to us ALL

And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.” 2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them.3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) 7 Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” 8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.

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Are You My Friend? John 15:9-17

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

The Relationship God desires with you is a Friend.
God does not want rule followers
God does not want puppets
God does not want slaves
God does not want individual strangers in a foreign land.
God does not want you to mind your own business, on the contrary (mind God’s business, together)

The completed circle of Joy is that we obey out of love, not legal requirement.
Couples come to be married, many want pretty wedding pictures or to please Momma, but marriage
is a model,

We are a fellowship of Friends.
It is an interdependent and mutual relationship of FRIENDSHIP

Friends, know and are entrusted with the Master’s business

Not only know the business, but it becomes our business

Friends, the fruit of God’s vine

The product of God entrusting people with his work, the produce is FRIENDSHIP
Not the friendship that is a one-up
Not business networking
Not for MY advantage, but for God’s

SO WHAT IS FRIENDSHIP

Friendship involves the choice of sharing, trusting, loving.

SO evangelism is bringing your friends to know Christ.
SO worship is blossoming into the people and relationship God has hoped for us

Are you my friend?
Who is not your friend? How is the Kingdom bless by you deciding not to allow forgiveness..

Our heritage is friendship…
it is what has brought us where we are and it is where God’s course is set to take us

Friends don’t let friends, off the hook
Friends don’t let friends, have their own way, rather God’s way
Friends turn the other cheek, not a blind eye
Friends ask in Jesus name
Friends forgive
Friends remember the love and forget the past
Friends are friends for ever, if the lord’s the lord of them… let it be, with you and me, friend.

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Planted to Out Grow Our Pots Psalm 1 & John 17.6-19

Psalm 1:1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; 1:2 but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. 1:3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. 1:4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 1:5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 1:6 for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

John 17:6 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 17:7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 17:8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 17:9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 17:10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 17:11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 17:12 While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 17:13 But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 17:14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17:15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 17:16 They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 17:18 As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Water the garden.— toopsy turvy
fruit in due season — fruit is love, mercy grace
leaves do not wither — signs to measure too wet..

As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

It would be nice to stay near the buffet.
It would be nice to stay near the oak tree base.
Is that where Christ calls us?

It would be comfortable to stay in the bed.
It would be comfortable to be served instead of serving.
Is that where Christ needs us?

It would be safe to mind your own business
It would be safe to keep to your self.
Is that what Christ tells us?

It would be polite to leave people alone
It would be polite to never bother anyone
Is that what Christ showed us?

It would be understandable to hide our fears
It would be understandable to wait for safer conditions
Is that how Christ leads us?

It would be politically correct to tolerate all things
It would be politically correct to look the other way
Is that how Christ stands for us?

It would be acceptable to the world to only look after our own.
It would be acceptable to the world to justify our own will is divine right.
Is that why Christ died for us?

It would be easy to live Jesus back in history or up in heaven.
It would be easy to say it does matter what I do or do not do.
Is that why Christ rose from the dead, for us

Jesus came, as God Almighty & Al-gracious, to show us how to live and love both God and all people…
We live in a SERVE-me environment
We live in the midst of War, Famine, Fear & Greed

WHAT ARE WE TO DO?

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