Archive for April, 2012

Be Strong and Courageous!

April 26, 2012

I am a little behind.  These are the sermon notes from 4/15/12.

Introduction:  Read Joshua 1:1-9

I.  Our Journey

A.  The children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt, led through the wilderness, and were headed into the promised land.

B.  We also have a journey.  We have left the past behind, are heading towards the future that God has for us, and we experience the leading, and presence of God, in the present moment.

II.  Our Directions

A.  We are to observe the law.

B.  We are to meditate on the law.

I wonder how much time we are spending in the Word of God?  I suspect that many people are not getting the spiritual food that the Word of God provides.  You could say that many are anorexic

C.  As we are obedient to God, and meditating on His word, we will prosper.  This is not limited to monetary blessings, but is spread throughout a wide variety of areas in our life.

III.  Our Strength

A.  Be courageous.  Do what God calls you to do.

B.  Be strong.  Do not quit.  Remember “…in due season, we will reap, if we faint not.”  (Galatians 6:9)

C.  Know that God is with you on your journey.  He is our strength and our shield.

 

Advertisements

Clearing My Mind

April 12, 2012

I am back in school as a student after a fifteen year break.  I am taking a graduate course in philosophy and the majority of the grade is based on one assignment.  I have been thinking about this paper since the beginning of the semester and have done some preparation for its’ writing.  This past Monday, I planned to spend the day at the library, meet with the instructor, and thought that I would be well underway when the day was finished.

After the day was spent as planned, I had a million, jumbled thoughts rattling around in my head.

This was not good.

Tuesday morning came, and I was still wrestling with the information that I had gleaned from the previous day.  I had thought that I knew where I was going with the paper, but now I was no longer clear about a specific direction.

Still not good.

I went for a run Tuesday morning.  I try to run three times a week, six miles each time.  I run primarily for health reasons.  There is a history of heart disease in my family, and I would like to stay healthy.  On this run, as I was bouncing along the gravel shoulder, my thoughts bounced into place.  I had an idea, then an outline, and now I feel better about what I am going to write.

That is much better.

I thank God for bringing the ideas together in my head and for the peace that came with a chosen path.   I thank God foremost, but I do believe that He used the process of running to clear my mind, and to bring some order out of chaos.  Of course, I still have to put the thoughts down on paper, but at least I have a clear idea of  what I am going to do.

New Life

April 10, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from Easter Sunday 4/8/12.

I.  Matthew 28:1-8  He has risen.

Easter morning we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  We should remember that there can be no resurrection without the crucifixion.

II.  Romans 6:1-4  Walk in Newness of Life

Christ has offered us a new life through His death and resurrection.  We are to die to sin, be buried with Christ in baptism, and walk in newness of life.  If the Spirit of God is dwelling in our hearts, we will be changed.

III.  II Corinthians 5:14-17  A New Creation

We are not to live for ourselves, but for Christ.  The old is gone, we are new in Christ.

Maundy Thursday

April 5, 2012

Foot washing.

Initiation of the Lord’s Supper.

The Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

And more.

Maundy Thursday is a big event in Christianity.  The three items that I have mentioned above are indicative of the importance of this day in church history.

When Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, he demonstrated for us the attitude that we should have in our lives.  We are called to serve, not to be served.

In the Lord’s Supper, we are reminded again and again, that it is not by works that we have done, but by the sacrifice of the one and only Son of God, that our sins are forgiven.

In the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, we are shown that we too, are to submit to the will of the Father.  It is not, our will, but His, that should be done.

Each of these lessons are powerful by themselves, they are combined in the message of Maundy Thursday.

 

Bike Lanes

April 3, 2012

When I was a young adult in college I rode a bicycle year-round for transportation…in Minnesota.  It was quite an experience.  I’m glad that I survived.  Riding at night in snowstorms was probably not the smartest thing I have ever done.

While visiting my son, who was attending my old college, I noticed that they now have specified bike lanes in downtown Minneapolis.  What a wonderful thing that is for the bicycle rider!  I used to zip along between the moving traffic and the parked cars with not much room to spare.

Currently,  I am taking a course at a university that is over an hour away .   I am considering going back to school  to work on a doctorate, and am enrolled in a class to see if I can handle being a student again after many years, along with my normal schedule.

At this university town, I again see bike lanes.  They are a little inconvenient, because they did not make the road any wider, they just made the car lanes a little more narrow, and marked off the bike lane.  I am OK with that, I want to encourage people riding bikes safely.

What I am not OK with, is that on two occasions already this spring, I have noticed bicycle riders riding on the other side of the one way street, not using the bike lane.  This irritates me because there is a lane marked for bikes, the road is already more narrow, and now cars must slow down, or go around a biker who is not using the designated space.

I am happy to share the road with bicyclists, but they should use the space provided for them.  I sure wish that I had a bike lane thirty years ago.  I would have used it.

A Time to Serve

April 2, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from April 1, 2012.

I.  Luke 19:28-40  A  Time to Celebrate

There are times in our life that we celebrate.  The times of celebration are fun.  What would life be like without times of celebration?  Yet not all of life is celebrating.

II.  Luke 19:41-44 A Time of Weeping

Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem.  He knew that the city would be destroyed within the century.  This saddened him.  There are times in our life when we want to cry.  Sometimes it is due to events in our own lives, and sometimes it is in response to what is happening in the lives of others.

III.  Luke 19:45-46  A Time for Action

Sometimes the circumstances of life motivate us to act.  This motivation may be caused by injustice, or sin, or compassion for the lost.  There are times that we might be angry, we should use that anger in the right way,  as motivation to right a wrong, not to do wrong.

IV.  John 13:1-17  A Time to Serve

As Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, it was a lesson for us in humility and service.  We are called to live a life of service.  We live to serve, and in serving, we live.

Conclusion:  We recognize that life is not all about the celebrations.  There are times to weep, there are times to act, and there are times to serve.