Archive for June, 2018

Mark 4:35-41 “Why Are You Afraid”

Fear_eyes

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” [NRSV]

 

Top Ten Diagnosed Phobias [fearof.net]

1. Arachnophobia – The fear of spiders
2. Ophidiophobia – The fear of snakes.
3. Acrophobia – The fear of heights.
4. Agoraphobia – The fear of open or crowded spaces.
5. Cynophobia – The fear of dogs.
6. Astraphobia – The fear of thunder/lightning
7. Claustrophobia – The fear of small spaces
8. Mysophobia – The fear of germs.
9. Aerophobia – The fear of flying.
10. Trypophobia – The fear of holes
11. Carcinophobia – The fear of cancer.

12. Thanatophobia – The fear of death.
13. Glossophobia – The fear of public speaking.
14. Monophobia – The fear of being alone

15. Atychiphobia – The fear of failure.
16. Ornithophobia – The fear of birds.
17. Alektorophobia – The fear of chickens.
18. Enochlophobia – The fear of crowds
19. Aphenphosmphobia – The fear of intimacy.
20. Trypanophobia – The fear of needles.

[inc.com Eric Mack, OCT 27, 2017]

74.5 % Corrupt Government
55.3 % Healthcare
53.1 % Pollution of Water
50.2 % Not enough money for the future
48.4 % High Medical Bills
48.4 % Involvement in another War
48.0 % Weather and Climate Change
47.5 % North Korea using weapons
44.5 % Air Pollution
44.4 % Economic Collapse/ Stock Crash
43.5 % Extinction of species
43.3 % Terror Attack
41.9 % Identity Theft
41.8 % Biological Attack
40.3 % Credit Fraud
39.7 % Death of Loved Ones/Friend
39.1 % Serious Illness of Loved Ones/Friend
39.1 % Cyber-Terrorism
39.0 % Nuclear Attack
38.8 % General Terrorism
38.6 % Restrictions on Firearms
37.4 % Government Tracking personal data
36.7 % Corporate Tracking of personal data
36.2 % Toxic Spills
35.7 % Electrical Grid Attack/Collapse
35.5 % Hit by a drunk driver
32.8 % Pandemic
30.7 % Being unemployed
30.2 % Nuclear accident
29.0 % Losing saved data/photos
28.2 % Heights
28.1 % Involved in a mass shooting
27.2 % Government’s use of drones within US
26.6 % Drought
26.6 % Break-ins
25.7 % Becoming seriously ill
25.4 % Victim of Theft
25.4 % Shark attack
25.3 % AI/Computers replacing people
24.3 % Tornados
23.6 % Reptiles
22.6 % Earthquakes
21.4 % Hurricane
20.9 % Hate Crimes
20.3 % Dying

2001 US Fears [Gallup.com]

1. Snakes
2. Public Speaking
3. Heights
4. closed in small spaces
5. Spiders
6. needles
7. mice
8. flying
9. dogs
10. thunder/lightening
11. crowds
12. going to the doctor
13. the dark

Jesus looks to us, knows our fear and asks us: Why are you afraid?

Fear can be a helpful and motivating force. But when we allow fear to debilitate our growth and progression we must acknowledge we need to turn to Jesus for strength.

  • I’m I afraid of dying? Yes and No! No, I know Jesus has good for me in staying and  Good for me in leaving to be with him.
  • I’m I afraid of Wendy or the kids dying? Yes and No! Yes, Jesus has great for them, but I’m not ready to miss out on time sharing our lives.
  • I’m I afraid of people’s missed-place trust in government? I have been, but I’m committed to turning that over to Jesus. Q/A: that looks like this, when I hear people afraid about politics, I’m called to ask them to pray with me about what Jesus’s boat is going to do?
  • I’ve been afraid of what the church is going to do/not do come February, but I”m not afraid any more. Jesus is going to open a way to teach us to be the church.
  • With a daughter in California I’ve been afraid of earthquakes.
  • With a son in the military I’ve been afraid of threats of war.
  • With neighbors in Hawaii I’ve been afraid they will get to close to the volcano. With a daughter in high school, I’ve been afraid that pier pressure will challenge her values and work ethic.
  • I’ve been afraid Wendy will not find her way after investing so much time caring for her parents.
  • I’ve been afraid my brother won’t be part of my family in the future.
  • I’ve been afraid, but fear is not going to arrest my faith!!

The perspective of the disciples is that Jesus does not care, because they are faced with fear.

  1. The perspective from fear is death, loss, storm and
  2. The perspective from faith is that fear is real, but Jesus is with me.
  3. What is your perspective?

How do we shift from fear to faith

  1. prayer – keep the conversation open and flowing with Jesus
  2. practice – practice turning over, talking over, trusting Jesus
  3. progress – encourage one another to help see the progress

Praying

  • a) in all things
  • b) with out ceasing
  • c) have a little talk with Jesus
  • d) listen

Practice

  • a) remember we have our responsibilities on the boat but we are not in charge of the storm.
  • B) faith grown buy trusting Jesus, trusting People of God, living God’s word.

Progress –

  • a)the encouragement that we find by looking back after the storms have pasted to prepare us for the storm of the present and the future.

 

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Mark 4:26-34 “Kingdom Seeds”

cornears

He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples. [NRSV]

{Happy Father’s Day: You are here because some planted a seed of faith. Thank you for the gift of life.}

The Kingdom of God: 

Jesus uses parables to paint the picture of what the church is to look like to the world. Some parables are about the Kingdom of Heaven, Some are the kingdom of earth. But this sample directs our attention to the Kingdom of God.

Recall when we pray the Lord’s prayer that we have learn from repetition: I draw your attention to the phrase “..Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Jesus describes what it looks like when we receive glimpses of heaven on earth. 

  • The image is the of someone scattering seeds that would grow night and day. 
  • How they grow is a mystery. 
  • How they continue to grow, night and day, is a mystery.

Growth is seen in stages:

There is a plan. There is a process. There are points to measure and signs for us to watch and anticipate.

  • The Shoot
  • The Stalk
  • The Head
  • The Full Head
  • Sickle Time
  • The Harvest is the fruit of the seed.

Parable TWO: The Kingdom of Heaven is like..

The tiny mustard seed with might potential

  • The fruit is not only in the seeds for its expected yield
  • Also it provides home and shelter for others

Holding these two parables of God’s Kingdom on revealed to us is:

  • a mystery
  • a process
  • a harvest
  • some expected
  • some unexpected.

How our world longs to see what God has to reveal

I want to invite you to see the kingdom here in Rock Spring.

Over the next two years, you and I will be planing seeds.

No, I’m not helping you plant your garden, we will be scattering seeds of the kingdom. 

How difficult is to scatter seeds?

  • What equipment do you need?
  • Seeds,
  • Hands or a spreader,
  • Some movement, locomotion, transportation, usually we picture simple walking

I know how many places we can expect seeds to sprout.

3,600

What 3,600? That is part of the mystery.

Where they take root first will be a mystery, but once our seeds start being scattered, we will begin seeing sign of the Kingdom of God, both night and day.

I know that over seeding will be needed.

Today I want to show  you the first part: The Mustard Seed.

  1. Hello, My name if John Brantley
  2. I am here today on behalf of Rock Spring UMC
  3. I would like ask you two questions today.
  4. May I?
  5. Is there some need our concern that I can pray for in your life?
  6. Is there anything our church can do for you? I can’t promise that we can do every thing you ask for, but I can promise you that we will try.
  7. Here is my phone number/ email I hope you will contact me if you think of a prayer or something we can help with you and your household.

The Seed:

May we pray for you?

Can we help you in any way?

Both are filled with potential to see the Kingdom of God. 

If they say no or no thank you, or ignore you. Promise them we will check later.

Practice for now:

First I hope that you will try this wherever you go. Work, School, shopping, sporting events, vacation, start to practice. 

We will begin planting rows of a garden in Rock Spring and you need to practice scatting seeds.

When we open our hearts in prayer to listen and serve others we will begin to see the Kingdom of God growing around us.

Will you practice? I need a volunteer.

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Mark 2:23-3:6 Sabbath Rest

One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath, so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. [NRSV]

When someone speaks truth and it does not agree with our understanding of the truth:

  • Do we learn from them or attack them
  • Do we change our minds or put out minds to work how to get rid of them
  • Do we admit our sin, repent and follow them or become consumed with defending our own truth.

The question is put to them

  • Which is more loving?
  • Which is more harmful?

To break the rule and help a person

Or to keep the rule and harm the person?

There is a third option:

maybe there ARE exceptions to the rule AND maybe telling to truth hurts when we don’t want to hear something that sounds unacceptable or inconvenient to us?

God made the Sabbath for us

The concept of sabbath rest is time to rest from labor and enjoy walking in the garden of eden with God

We are no longer in the garden of eden and thus our resting with God, retreating with God.

yet, Sabbath is a basic and integral part of our relationship with God.

Creation is ordered, formed, filled and blessed as God’s good work for our benefit. Part of the order of creation is the reservation of space and time for walking with God in the Garden, Sabbath.

Q: What can you do today that would most reconnect you with the God of creation having a desired to be in a good relationship with you?

Is it for our benefit or God’s

In have a question: if there are two thousand years between Adam and Eve and Moses, where is are the instructions about the sabbath.

The opportunity is built into creation but not teach for thousands of year’s.

The direction to keep the sabbath holy begins in creation, is assumed in the wilderneness gathering manna during six says, but formally observe it as a practice and tradition comes for the Ten Commandments with Moses.

our benefit to in Gods presence

Jesus gives the life-long faithful a test. What honors God the most: keeping the law, rules and traditions or healing and making someone whole.

The dilemma in this case is not about is it good to heal, rather which is better: to sin or heal someone from sin.

sabbath is

Not just an absence of work

It is day to trust God

So we come to the table

The Lord has prepared for us

For our benefit

Come and eat, be nourished

And be present in God and gods Spirit in you through Jesus Christ

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