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Archive for June, 2011

Matthew 10:40-42 “Water Welcomed” JUMC 20110626

40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple — truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” -NRSV

Hospitality is Welcoming Jesus

Souther Hospitality once was our hallmark and heritage. This means bringing out the lemonade, tea, coffee, or other beverages to have those who come into our homes, that strangers and family feel welcomed and “at home”.. But now days, most people don’t entertain in their homes like southern folks once did. We open a bag of chips, though a frozen pizza bites and hope folks will leave as quickly as they dropped by, that is if we open the door in the first place.

Welcoming the Honest word of the Prophet, Welcoming the Truth

The Prophet has the unique opportunity to speak the bold truth. Disciples are to speak that like a thirsty person enjoys cool fresh water.

Welcoming the least is the greatest reward

Water for the children, in this context, they were likely to last to drink. In our age, children often come before parents. The focus is not so much a family issue in the text, but the call for disciples to take refreshment to the least likely.

What if we spoke the truth, Helped the least likely and did it in Jesus name

We would be disciples. Drink up!

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Acts 2:1-21 What Did you Hear, What Do you Say? JUMC Pentecost Sunday 06/12/2011

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.

4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. 5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs–in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?13 But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’  -NRSV

WORKING THROUGH DISICPLES:

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit,

And began to speak each in their own native languages,

As the Spirit gave them ability.

HOW TO: Speaking through the Holy Spirit, in their own native way.

TARGET AUDIENCE:

Parthians,                   Medes,               Elamites,

Mesopotamians         Judeans             Cappadocian

Pontusians                   Asians                Phrygians

Pamphylians              Egyptians          Libyans

Cyreneans                    Romans,            Jews, Born and accepted

Cretans                         Arabs

(The Taget is GLOBAL:  Europeans, Africans, Arabs, Asians, Jews and Gentiles.)

John Wesley: The World is my Parish

WHAT IN THE SPIRIT IS GOING ON?

What are we hearing?       The Ravings of those drunk on New Wine?

We are hearing the fulfillment of Scripture: The Prophet Joel..

The promise of the last days.. It will be obvious when God speaks..

What would God say to us, if languages were removed.. what does the world need to hear?

<ask literally from the congregation, and after a time>

You have heard it.. Who as not heard?

<who is supposed, called to tell the world, after a time, we are>

WHAT IS THE MESSAGE: The Lord is for Everyone, listen and trust God.

We live in a culture and time of political correctness where we are to honor and appreciate everyone’s culture and faith. There is a difference between honoring such, and watering down or ignoring our own.

Pentecost, the Church is born & anointed to tell the world, God is coming, live like God is already here. Trust God now and you will be ready when..

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Acts 1:6-14 “Stop Looking Up?” JUMC 20110605

1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”1:9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.   (~NRSV)

Why are you staring into space when there is much to be done.
Witnesses of the rocket and shuttle launches report the awesome power and surreal experiences of feeling the earth shake and the blasts of millions of pounds of fuel and force to over come the grip of gravity and within two minutes the massive piece of technology disappears.

Why are you asking Questions that are not the most important ones.
The Disciples were hoping that Jesus return would be for the revealing of the mighty kingdom that the Jews and the disciples had hoped to see. In the middle of their questions about Jesus’ ministry starting up by their expectations, Jesus is lifted up, out of their sight and control.

The Rules have changed, and so has the community..
The band of Disciples had grown into a much larger following than Jesus and the twelve. There were several hundred by now. We witness the transfer of power from one person, to the faith community of Apostles.

What is an Apostle?
One who leads disciples.  Some say, “I’m in on shape to lead, I have enough trouble following Christ my self.”

We start as followers, then we become disciples, and the moment we affirm Christ as our Saviour, we too become Apostles.

How do we do it?
We gather with other disciples for regular worship, fellowship and prayer. Men and women together, blood kin and faith kin, together we are the body of Christ for the world.

We don’t become Apostles, We already are, by having accepted Christ for ourselves.
Christ through the Power and Witness and Work of the Holy Spirit empowers us.

Community: Regular Gathering
Purpose: Prayer and Teaching

Too often we go to the extreme of distancing ourselves from the title of Apostle, not even Disciple..
We act as if not talking about it makes it not true.

What is our Response?
Build the Faith community through Regular Fellowship with Prayer and Teaching.

While we debate paint and plaster, traditions or doctrines, more and more people walk or drive past without joining our fellowship.

Our Number ONE calling is to build Christian Fellowship
Our Number ONE activity is to pray and study, TOGETHER.

We are responsible for community in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the Earth.
That means we are responsible for building community in our members, in our county, in the USA, and Uganda and Honduras and where ever else we can go.

How important is our reputation? Does it really matter to us? Because no matter what we do or leave undone, we will have one in this congregation, this community, this country and the world.. What if we were undoubtedly known as the people who pray.

Not just a few of us, but all of us.  Some silently, some loudly, some with repetition, some extemporaneously. Some at home and some on the radio, some at restaurants, banks, schools, ball fields and gas stations.  Some at meal time, others at early hours and others late into the night.Here is the challenge for our congregation: We will intentionally become a people of prayer, together.
Here is our mission for year two together: We are going to practice prayers, share prayers, teach prayers, test prayers, experiment with prayers, we are going to be Christ’s people of prayer, together. When ever and where ever we meet.. We are going to be a people speaking to God and listen for God’s direction.

Q: Will you join me in gathering more regularly for prayer and study?

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