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Archive for February, 2012

Mark 1:9-15 JUMC Jesus: Why Baptism? 20120226:1100

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” 12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” -NRSV

 Baptism: John’s Baptism vs Jesus’baptism

Our repentance of what we think God wants vs God’s claim on our life not matter what we have done.

A cleansing of sin and a washing away of that which is dirty VS. God who made us, making our spirit brand new.

Official Baptism Document..

62. Baptism is a crucial threshold that we cross on our journey in faith. But there are many others, including the final transition from death to life eternal. Through baptism we are incorporated into the ongoing history of Christ’s mission, and we are identified and made participants in God’s new history in Jesus Christ and the new age that Christ is bringing. We await the final moment of grace, when Christ comes in victory at the end of the age to bring all who are in Christ into the glory of that victory. Baptism has significance in time and gives meaning to the end of time. In it we have a vision of a world recreated and humanity transformed and exalted by God’s presence. We are told that in this new heaven and new earth there will be no temple, for even our churches and services of worship will have had their time and ceased to be, in the presence of God, “the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 21-22).

 

63. Until that day, we are charged by Christ to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Baptism is at the heart of the Gospel of grace and at the core of the Church’s mission. When we baptize we say what we understand as Christians about ourselves and our community: that we are loved into being by God, lost because of sin, but redeemed and saved in Jesus Christ to live new lives in anticipation of his coming again in glory. Baptism is an expression of God’s love for the world, and the effects of baptism also express God’s grace. As baptized people of God, we therefore respond with praise and thanksgiving, praying that God’s will be done in our own lives.

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Genesis 9:8-17 JUMC 42 Degrees 20120226:0900

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”  -NRSV

Rainbow: the Perspective of God’s Promise, Creation, and Plans

  1. Sign of Promise: Remember the covenants of salvation: garden, work not death, olive branch, not Water-world… and from our perspective: Jesus!
  2. Sign of Creation: only viewable from our perspective at 42 degress.
  3. Sing of God’s Plans: No matter the floods and disasters, God will be with us.

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Ash Wednesday Notes JUMC 20120222

2 Cor 5-6 and John 5

For many folks it’s just another Wednesday. For many folks it’s just another little.

For some the/Wednesday is a mystery. For others this is a life-changing moment.

In the early days of Methodist movement, John and Charles Wesley met with friends to practice discipline of spiritual growth.

The custom was to me very early in the morning. They would read Scripture. They would pray. They would share their lives and spiritual journeys giving a sounding board and a voice of accountability to each other.

At other points in the day they would feed the hungry and clothe those who did not have proper close to where, counsel only did, speak words of hope to those who were oppressed by their employers. 

For most of us being these things each day to the top, too religious, or just not realistic given all that we have to do.

Richard Foster’s author and theologian writes of her idea books about living discipline life, living a simple life living intentionally. One of the core practices we are trying to establish at our church is this intentional living intentional study, intentional prayer, intentional spiritual growth.

However we might individually celebrate the season of land we collectively come together to call for accountability to support and encourage one another and choosing to be a spiritual Imagepeople who are growing in spirit.

Go back and look up the reference for shoes the state and you shall serve…

There come moments whether by the circumstances of what we find in life or by the encouragement of faithful and even unfaithful that we are called to take a stand. 

Our observance–Wednesday is one of those liturgical moments that we choose to set aside for ourselves and for each other a moment to begin April or beginning again starting the spiritual drain or renewing the spiritual journey. One of the thanks and Meiji to do is to look at the roadmap and see where your heart and choose where you’re going. So often we just live trying to catch up in life rather than having a destination even if it’s not the right destination or to destination the changes along the way. Our task is to stop now and say to ask in prayer God were you want me to be where you want my life to go and to breath and days and years and decades that are remaining in my life where we go? 

More than this the time of deciding what will give up what little take on: this is a time of repentance and confession acknowledging I’m not where I need to be not there yet.

If I’m on the right path I look around and see that they’re still further together. And if I’m not on the right path, I can turn around and head home had to God head back to the heart.

The wearing of sackcloth and the display of ashes are not the common interests of everyday. They were scratchy clothes that made you aware that things were not in the norm. Something has changed

I received a beautiful sweater for Christmas. Delightful blue sick and warm. And very scratchy!

I find myself not wanting to wear this beautiful warm sweater because it’s uncomfortable get on a very cold day the warmth is worth the scratch. Part of what pretenses about is acknowledging what it is that’s worth letting go. What is worth leaving behind. What is worth no longer working for because it is not productive it’s not bringing why not bring enjoyed not bringing peace not bringing forgiveness.

A Holy Lent affirms that the sack clothe, the itchy and uncomfortable should not keep us from doing the good and receiving the benefit of the struggle.

More than all the litanies and traditions–Wednesday is the day of beginning. Beginning a journey that may be difficult or may not be done willfully.

But to just pass it buys another tradition, another day, another ritual. These would be actually a avoidance beginning to unwrap a new gift. Beginning of building a new home. Beginning of building a new relationship, I need faith, or a new love.

So as you come forward to receiving actions that have been placed upon your head by stamps were you as a sign that you are the marketing and making us assign the land a line in the sand ashes on the fore head a declaration that your edit new beginning spot that we repent and change turn outlines around word go.

Accept the mark as your line in the sign to begin the faith journey anew.

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Ash Wednesday Notes JUMC 20120222

2 Cor 5-6 and John 5

For many folks it’s just another Wednesday. For many folks it’s just another little.

For some the/Wednesday is a mystery. For others this is a life-changing moment.

In the early days of Methodist movement, John and Charles Wesley met with friends to practice discipline of spiritual growth.

The custom was to me very early in the morning. They would read Scripture. They would pray. They would share their lives and spiritual journeys giving a sounding board and a voice of accountability to each other.

At other points in the day they would feed the hungry and clothe those who did not have proper close to where, counsel only did, speak words of hope to those who were oppressed by their employers.

For most of us being these things each day to the top, too religious, or just not realistic given all that we have to do.

Richard Foster’s author and theologian writes of her idea books about living discipline life, living a simple life living intentionally. One of the core practices we are trying to establish at our church is this intentional living intentional study, intentional prayer, intentional spiritual growth.

However we might individually celebrate the season of land we collectively come together to call for accountability to support and encourage one another and choosing to be a spiritual Imagepeople who are growing in spirit.

Go back and look up the reference for shoes the state and you shall serve…

There come moments whether by the circumstances of what we find in life or by the encouragement of faithful and even unfaithful that we are called to take a stand.

Our observance–Wednesday is one of those liturgical moments that we choose to set aside for ourselves and for each other a moment to begin April or beginning again starting the spiritual drain or renewing the spiritual journey. One of the thanks and Meiji to do is to look at the roadmap and see where your heart and choose where you’re going. So often we just live trying to catch up in life rather than having a destination even if it’s not the right destination or to destination the changes along the way. Our task is to stop now and say to ask in prayer God were you want me to be where you want my life to go and to breath and days and years and decades that are remaining in my life where we go?

More than this the time of deciding what will give up what little take on: this is a time of repentance and confession acknowledging I’m not where I need to be not there yet.

If I’m on the right path I look around and see that they’re still further together. And if I’m not on the right path, I can turn around and head home had to God head back to the heart.

The wearing of sackcloth and the display of ashes are not the common interests of everyday. They were scratchy clothes that made you aware that things were not in the norm. Something has changed

I received a beautiful sweater for Christmas. Delightful blue sick and warm. And very scratchy!

I find myself not wanting to wear this beautiful warm sweater because it’s uncomfortable get on a very cold day the warmth is worth the scratch. Part of what pretenses about is acknowledging what it is that’s worth letting go. What is worth leaving behind. What is worth no longer working for because it is not productive it’s not bringing why not bring enjoyed not bringing peace not bringing forgiveness.

A Holy Lent affirms that the sack clothe, the itchy and uncomfortable should not keep us from doing the good and receiving the benefit of the struggle.

More than all the litanies and traditions–Wednesday is the day of beginning. Beginning a journey that may be difficult or may not be done willfully.

But to just pass it buys another tradition, another day, another ritual. These would be actually a avoidance beginning to unwrap a new gift. Beginning of building a new home. Beginning of building a new relationship, I need faith, or a new love.

So as you come forward to receiving actions that have been placed upon your head by stamps were you as a sign that you are the marketing and making us assign the land a line in the sand ashes on the fore head a declaration that your edit new beginning spot that we repent and change turn outlines around word go.

Accept the mark as your line in the sign to begin the faith journey anew.

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Mark 9:2-9 “From the Top Down” @JUMC 20120219:1100

2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, 3 and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Eli’jah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli’jah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead. –NRSV

This is a curious passage of the Mountain top experience of Jesus with Moses and Elijah as well as Peter James and John and all together with God.

I cannot live in your spiritual high points nor can I live in your weakest spiritual lows. And neither can you find life in mine.

What we do find in this passage is a series of witnesses experiences.

If you are gathered with your family and flip through the 1000 channels and stop at a boxing match:

  •             Someone will be scared at two grown men fighting
  •             Someone will be nauseated at the violence
  •             Someone will become engaged in the aggression and in tune with the fight.
  •             Someone will look at the technical details of the sport
  •             Someone else will just leave the room and avoid it all.
  •             And other responses as well.

The point: We all can experience the same event and respond in different ways.

We have just such an occasion here recorded on the mountain…

We can learn from each others experience, but we cannot base our faith on the experience of others.

We are called to live, share and experience our own relationship with God…

  •  Moses (The Law) and Elijah (The Prophets)
  • Moses (The Politian) and Elijah (The Academy)
  • Moses (Died for breaking the law/trust) and Elijah (Carried up to heaven for keeping faithful)
  • Peter, James and John… some of the first disciples,
  • Peter, James and John… quite possible the wealthiest of the disciples, community leads/businessmen.
  • Peter, James and John… travel with Jesus to Mt Tabor, when all the other 9 are not taken up the mountain.
  • Jesus talks with the disciples on the way up.
  • Jesus talks with Moses and Elijah on the Mountain
  • Jesus talks with disciples on the way down and tells them to keep quiet.
  • God speaks through Moses and Elijah, for Jesus’ benefit. They don’t talk to the disciples.
  • God speaks to Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Peter, James and John… the clearest revelation: Jesus is it!
  • God interrupts Peter, when he need to be listening and experiencing instead of talking and fixing.

These are the conversations,

These are the network of simultaneous conversations and events.

What is our conversation(s) to do with these?

  1. We can learn from the invitation

  2. We might assume Jesus wants these three disciples to know most fully and clearly Jesus is the Messiah.

  3. We can assume Jesus wanted to talk with Moses and Elijah, for his own reasons

Disciples are witnesses…

We are witnesses of Jesus, the OT, the NT, and all other disciples…

What are we learning from each other.

My Conclusions:

  •             Don’t be quick to figure things out.
  •             Don’t assume you have what God wants figured out.
  •             Don’t talk when you need to be listening
  •             Don’t take action when God wants you to be still.

Listen to the Law

Listen to the Prophets and Teachings

Watch for the Light to be revealed

Listen for God’s voice that speaks to your heart and life

Don’t reveal your own ignorance… Trust God’s knowing.

Peter speaks up:

James & John let him speak out. (why didn’t they hush him up?)

Peter in effect says: Here is my idea, Here is what we need, I know what to do.

James and John: Let Peter ramble on, James and John let their actions be a witness

The greatest threat to the church is the quiet witness…

People will know Christ by my actions…

How do we witness Christ in our worry, gossip, controlling, and greed?

I don’t know about you, but my witness of actions may be no better than my words

BOTTOM LINE: God wants us to know for sure. That God is God and Jesus is our Savior.

God is willing to let that shine through other people,

But we have to be willing to hear through the scriptures, live through the Spirit/Glory

And be ready to share OUR experience when the time comes…

back down the mountain..

after to crucifixion and forsaken times

Where’s the strength when you are weak? Look to Jesus, Be Intentional.

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John 1:1-9 The First Word, and the Last Word @JUMC 20120219:0900

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. 9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. –NRSV

Who has the last word in your house? This is such a loaded question:
• If it’s Dad, does Mom feel like her word is validated and heard?
• If it’s Mom, does Dad feel walked over and
• If it’s the children, then how healthy can that be for the kids or the adults?
• If it’s no one or every one, then there is clearly chaos.
I have an easy and simple answer: God has the last word, and the first.

If the John that wrote the fourth Gospel book in the New Testament, wrote 50-100 words about what it means to have “God first in our lives” it would be in these first nine verses.

Reminder: We are asking everyone, to write this statement of faith, “What does it mean to you to put God first in your life.”

God has the first word, that creates and brings order and is the very core expression of God’s love.
Speaking first, God loves into existence all things, and in Jesus Christ, God has the last word,
• Light dissolves darkness,
• Light that can be over powered by darkness and evil.
• Light that points the way to what is true and good for everyone.

The big So What: God’s love speaks and ‘life’ comes into being. And “the Life was the light of all people.”
We have nations at war, political parties divided, religions at war, economies tipping the balances each and all together moving our world, “all people” back into chaos.

We can’t stop the wars, We can’t heal the politics, we can’t fix the economy… no one of us can.
But there is one who can show us the light.
But there is one who we can believe in when all else caves in.
But there is one who is more powerful than all the evils of the world.
Jesus: Yep, that the answers, but do we know what that actually means?

Give verse 7 your attention:
• He came for a testimony,
• to witness to the light,
• that all might believe through him.

• Believing God has the first and last word in our ordinary decisions and choices
• Believing God has the first and last word in our celebrations and scary darkest struggles
• Believing God is the reason for our being and Our claiming that our being is for God and not self or others.

It is then we are understand and get-it, and are ‘enlightened’ by Christ…. Until then we wonder in the darkness, shouting the right answers looking for the light switch… that’s no way to live is it? Let God’s light and word, give life and direction… that is what it means to live for God.

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1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Don’t Become Disqualified JUMC 20122012:1100

24 Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. 25 Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. 26 So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; 27 but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified. NRSV

A coaches’ dream: To have a bible verse to challenge his or her team to victory.  That carries more weight than the word of the ‘Bear.’

Run for the prize that is eternal, the one that cannot be taken away.

There will be no Hall of Fame for Pete Rose, betting on the game as baseball coach, he did a great job as a players , but he knowingly broke the rules.

Hank Arron quote: ““You guys have got a tough job. I don’t envy you,” Aaron said. “But if a player is elected who’s known to have used steroids, then I think there ought to be an asterisk or something mentioned on the plaque that he used steroids. “To be safe, that’s the only way I see you can do it. I played the game long enough to know it is impossible for players, I don’t care who it is, to hit 70-plus home runs. It just does not happen.”

Olympic Gold Taken Away:

  • 10. Ben Johnson – Canada Steroids
  • 9. Olga Medvedtseva – Russia Stimulant
  • 8. Andreea Raducan – Romania  pseudoephedrine
  • 7. Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall – Sweden   alcohol
  • 6. Rashid Ramzi – Bahrain  blood-boosting drug.
  • 5. Marion Jones – United States   steroids
  • 4. Ara Abrahamian – Sweden   claimed the judges were being corrupt and unjust.
  • 3. Lyudmyla Blonska – Ukraine    steroids
  • 2. Alain Baxter – United Kingdom     methamphetamine
  • 1. Jim Thorpe – United States   1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm played professional baseball, making his wins disqualifiable. Thorpe did in fact play professional ball for the Eastern Carolina League in 1909-1910 and made very little money, probably about $47 a game in today’s dollar terms.

Disqualification: No longer allowed to participate because of breaking the rules.

Jesus died for us who have sinned! Hear the Good News.

Paul’s teaching for the church, then and now, is don’t fool yourself just because you have been given grace.

So What for us: Can you take away someone’s church membership? Yes under circumstances that destroy the community.

Paul’s encouragement is far greater than baseball, Olympics or even church.. don’t be disqualified from being a disciple.

  1. Most often it is not breaking the rules that make the news
  2. Most often it IS when even I/Me comes before God, the old biblical word is blasphemy, known as the unforgivable sin, because we don’t see it as sin in the first place.  It is the things we do or say that reflect, “It doesn’t apply to me,” or “it only affects me,” or “I won’t get caught.”

Paul’s encouragement for us as Christian Disciples:

This life of faith we live is:

  • Like that of an athlete: continuous, persistent training is required. (pray, study, piety, worship)
  • Knowing the only thing we can control in life is our own self, and are to do so daily. (I can encourage you, but it’s your work)
  • Proclaiming to those around us a message in word or deed that we can stand behind. (Living with a constant call to know that other know Christ.)

This life of faith can never be taken away, unless we give it away..

Then all the work and pain and struggle is like a boxer hitting the air or a marathon runner going in circles.

ACTION: Ask your neighbor: Is there anything that threatens to disqualify your witness? There is where we start. And now is when we can train. Now Go to Practice..

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Matthew 6:1-9 Love is In the Air JUMC 20122012:0900

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 “Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. NRSV

Why does a guy give a girl a valentine gift? If you listen to the commercials for strawberries, flowers, and teddy bears the exchange is more the guy than the girl. The tradition of valentine comes out of the Martyrdom of St Valentine who would not give up his Christian faith when challenged by the Roman Emperor Claudius II.

Someone laying down his or her life for the faith and life of others… Not only is it a Christ-like example it begs what do chocolates and cards have to do with real love.

  • A parent does not feed his or her children because they want them to love and appreciate them as a parent. The parent feeds their children because they love them.
  • A firefighter does not go into a burning building because they are a show off, the go because they trust their team, equipment and training to save lives.
  • A solid waste collection engineer does not ride on the back of big smelly truck because they love the outdoors nor carrying our trash, it is his or her job, the livelihood for their family, homes, and living.

Nugget: Showing love for the sake of loving rather: for show, approval, or your self.

ACTION: When there are so many opportunities to show our love, in all the different ways we express love… Let our words and actions be genuine and not for show, nor for us.

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“The Giving Continues” Matthew 25:31-46 JUMC 20120101

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.. –NRSV

As we end the year 2011 the highest rated TV shows have been football games; number two over all and the number one series is the X-Factor. Knowing the letter “X” is Greek for CHI and a historic abbreviation for “CHRIST”. Our life and faith are founded on the X-factor. Is that the conversation you hear folks following and sharing? Or is it football teams and entertainers that we will talk about come the Day of Judgment and accountability?

As we begin 2012 I am struck with how on-target other businesses are with their marketing for the new year: For example: Weight Watchers focusing on our cultures intention to adopt fresh resolutions offer a new message for this year:  2012 The Year for Believers:

“By declaring 2012 ‘The Year to Believe’ we are sounding a rallying cry to help persons across the country turn their dreams in truth,” said Cheryl Callan, Principal Promotion Officer for Dieters. “Dieters will encircle persons with inspirational messages starting in the holiday season and then ongoing all the way through the coming year. At a time when lots of us are not feeling specifically confident, we wish to express our ardent faith in persons and the power in all of us to change for the much better. We see it take place each day. That Is what we are about, and what ‘The Year to Believe’ will be about.”

Chrysler employed a mass choir to introduce their new line of cars calling would be buyers to “Lose Themselves” MT 16, MK 8, LK 9, That sounds just like Jesus’ word for those who will follow.

Blackberry threatened by iphone and android devices calls for us to “Be Bold”  Believe: That sounds like the Gospel of John’s message and invitation! Be Bold, That sounds like the apostle Paul, 2Cor 3 and 10. How is it that?

Jesus’ messages is clear:

  • Are you aware of people other than yourself?
  • Are you aware of people who suffer?
  • What are you doing about it?

Football games have pre-games to gets us ready, excited, informed and primed.

The pre-show is not the game..

  • Get into the real game…. Feed the hungry, clothe the cold, befriend the excluded and lonely
  • Let’s look at 2011: How many hungry people did you help feed? What were their names?
  • Until the time of accountability comes:
  • Our Task, Our Mission, Our Response is Feed, Clothe, Share.

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Mark 1:14-20 “Get Out of the Boat” JUMC 20120122

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea–for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.  -NRSV

ImageOn the Sea of Galilee, Lake of Genesserat, is a contrast to the

  • The invitation starts with asking for trust.. not qualification.
  • The invitation is not based on our skills, but includes our gifts.
  • The invitation does not effect just one person, it affects the household.

Jesus calls us to follow and to catch people.

Casting a net. Story: Wanting to net-fish, but not allowed because the water is neither plentiful nor clean and the supply of fish no longer abundant.

ImageIt is nostalgic to wish for easier times or more familiar days, but it is essential that we as a congregation return to our first call to be the people of are Inviters.

Fishing with a net is throwing wide the reach of our individual message to bring people in. How many empty seats are in your car on Sunday morning?

Image

Jesus calls ‘fishermen’ to catch people…

  1. Start with what you already know and build upon our skills.
    1. If you cook, then feed,
    2. If you make money, invest
    3. If you teach, give instruction
    4. If you are young, then as fresh questions and infuse energy
    5. If you are retired, what are you waiting to start doing God’s work.
    6. If you read and write, then share your story
    7. Get the idea?
  1. Follow instead of Leading.
    1. Do you know someone who complains, blames, and kills the joy?
    2. We have too much good to accomplish to be shooting others down.

i.     Especially church folks eating Church folks for lunch..

  1. Jesus later calls Disciples who follow to step our as Leaders, but

i.     Only AFTER first mastering the art of servanthood.

  1. Let Go and Get out of the Boat, Use the nets we know for new work.
    1. The role of the boat was a big one for the sons of Zebedee.

i.     This is like the Rich Young Ruler actually selling everything.

  1. For US, it is identifying what keeps us from letting go to FOLLOW
  2. DISCIPLESHIP: Learning to follow..
    1. Going where we are needed to help real people who Need God.
    2. The Great commission of feeding, clothing, caring for those in need
    3. Is the response to FIRST, following..
    4. THIS IS THE FIRST FAITH LESSON for us to encourage one another.
      1. Here is an faith request:
      2. Write one this week:

i.     What does it mean to you personally to “Put God First”

ii.     How has life in the church transformed/blessed your life.

iii.     What is the most recent way Christ has been working in you.

We may not talk during worship, but we are going to start by writing it out…

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