Soul

1 Corinthians 15:12-18.

The soul is probably one of the most neglected aspects of our faith in contemporary religious thinking. We are correct to be concerned with helping others; but we make a tremendous mistake by neglecting the spiritual elements of our faith, including our eternal destination.

My family is back from NYC, and my granddaughters want to attend both churches! We look forward to seeing you Sunday morning.

Blessings,

Pastor Michael †

Faith(ing)

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

Is faith a noun or a verb? This text asks us to examine and imagine the legacy and life of faith. This Sunday our guest preacher Rev. John Weaver will lead us through Worship. Maybe we can once again connect with God’s promise as we go “faithing” together.

Come join us this Sunday in Worship.

Blessings

Pastor Michael †

Stumblin’ in the Dark

Colossians 1:13-16

Living in a time of unprecedented knowledge and enlightenment, we are deceiving ourselves by thinking that everything can be known and understood.

Contemporary culture has attempted to remove what one theologian has named the “mysterium tremendum,” the great mystery of faith. Job says, “But, where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value, nor is it found in the land of the living…. Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, nor can silver be weighted as its price…. It is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the sky. [But] God understands its way, and He knows its place.” (Job 28:12ff.)

There are some things we cannot know and must receive on faith. We outwit ourselves when we think we can know everything. Some things, God’s things, are simply beyond human comprehension. Were it not so, we would be equal to God. Maybe that’s one of the things wrong with contemporary culture. We think we don’t need God!

Blessings

Pastor Michael †

Kings, Castles, and Crosses

Luke 1:26-33

This week’s sermon will be about the Kingdom of God. It will talk about magical kingdoms in the past for which people still have fascination, versus the real and present Kingdom of God.

Thank you for your partnership in proclaiming the Gospel.

Pastor Michael †

Being Rocked in the Devil’s Cradle

Matthew 4:1-3

This week’s sermon concerns temptation. It focuses on the temptation of Jesus while in the wilderness. None of us are exempt from temptation, but there are ways of meeting it straight on—and resisting. Jesus taught us how best to handle temptation, and I want to emphasize those ways this coming Sunday.

I will be in prayer for all of the surgeries, those recovering from Covid, those facing life’s challenges, and those who are in need of traveling mercies.

I hope you will consider what lies in our future. I believe in Sunday School, Bible Study, and pastoral visits. I realize Covid has slowed things down, especially Sunday School and pastoral visiting. If you would like a pastoral visit and are in a place where you might not be challenged by Covid, let’s start to think about me dropping by at some time.

May God richly bless you.

Pastor Michael †

The Difference Between Canned and Fresh Peaches

Galatians 1:6-8

On July 10th the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, we welcome our new pastor Rev. Michael O”Bannon. His sermon title is The Difference Between Canned and Fresh Peaches. The scriptures are Galatians 1:6-8.

“This coming Sunday, I will be preaching a sermon entitled, The Difference Between Canned and Fresh Peaches. It is based on an experience early in my ministry when I was a student pastor; but, it has relevance for all people who have or want a relationship with Jesus.

I look forward to being with all of you on Sunday.”

Pastor Michael †

Repetition. Embodiment. Nurture.

Micah 6:8 and Matthew 22:34-40

So, from early on we recite pledges, oaths, creeds, statements of faith, beliefs. Scout Oath, Pledge of Allegiance, Apostles Creed. John 3:16. Some will change over a lifetime but most will get “embedded” in our mind, soul, and body. And God “waters” and gives the “increase.” We become, through the Spirit, a people of God for the sake of others over time!

This Sunday, as we celebrate as a nation the beliefs and practices of a representative democracy, we gather in congregations to also celebrate beliefs and practices of the Christian faith. And how they are handed along to others and the next generation by repetition and example, word and deed.

Church and nation are distinct but in both there is a place for Micah’s call to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God!

Practice may not make “perfect” but it sure might help people over the long haul! And into Eternity!

Keep on keeping on!

Pastor Barry †

Sin, Spirit Fruit, Plowing

Psalm 77:11-20, Galatians 5:13-25 and Luke 9:51-62

People attend, participate in, and serve through the church for numerous reasons. Some we are fully aware of and others are buried deep. Both have long histories.

Certainly in praying, singing, hearing scripture and sermon, we are investing in a way of life. It will often seem to be very different in emphasis and detail from those who never appear in the ongoing life of the church. Our service to others and our fellowship may look quite different

We hesitate to judge. We simply note the “fruit of the Spirit” as in Galatians 5. Where and when does it appear? If in church life, we rejoice. If outside church life, we rejoice! God is not bound by time, place, or people.

Yet, where are we to be reminded most often of “the abundant life” as well as those things which work against the fullness of life? I think you know well. Of course, God moves throughout the world and we can learn about Sin and the Spirit in all of human endeavors, e.g., secular life, workplaces, communities, recreation, education, and government.

Our scriptures provide us this Sunday with familiar lists of Spirit led life and Flesh driven life. We listen in, remember, and learn accordingly. Jesus finally says “keep going” and really…..don’t spend a lot of time looking backward. Memories are important but present and future is where your Eternal dwelling is to be. Having “put your hand to the plow…..don’t look back.” Onward~~~~

Prayers and thanksgiving for God’s blessings!

Pastor Barry †

Fathers, Families, and Forces Faith Has to Fight!

I Kings 8:12-21, Galatians 3:23-29 and Luke 8:26-39

Fathers Day arrives in our churches and we remember and celebrate! What often goes unsaid is the struggle of being a Father, a parent, a family member with all the forces that work against being faithful to those roles and identities.

The Luke text doesn’t quite seem to fit for the emphasis on Father’s Day does it? It’s the assigned Lectionary text and I first thought too hard to work with! As I read it over and over, tho, I was moved to consider that the demon possessed man here had a father or WAS a father! Often, the scriptures offer to us an opportunity to consider what else lies behind the story presented to us.

Does the healed man return to his family, to his father, or to his own children? What might we expect to occur when one has been made whole by the power of God? What changes in relationships when we are made better by the hand of God?!

We will hear what God would lay on our hearts through these scriptures, our songs of praise, our service, and our fellowship! There is no Sunday worship that goes without these elements!

Consider your place in your extended family and include your church family in that consideration. You belong and wholeness is ever a renewing gift from God in those relationships.

Pray for the people of God gathered and then in mission and ministry!

Grace, peace, and healing~~~

Pastor Barry †

June Memories and Missions

Psalm 8:1-9, Romans 5:1-5 and John 16:12-15

So much to say, not enough time! Our second Sunday in June has a number of themes to focus upon. Peace With Justice, the Trinity, First Sunday After the Birth of the Church (Pentecost), The TNWK Annual Conference beginning June 15! These will be mentioned, noted, and hopefully received as both mission and encouragement.

And two more: D-Day June 6, 1944 and June 6, 1742, the latter when John Wesley was not allowed to preach from his late father’s church and he went and preached from his father’s tomb!

Somehow these can all be tied together! Our departure point will be tying the two June 6th dates together as powerful moments of both sadness, struggle, and yet hope in the victory of God. We are to be people of Hope not despair as much around us today would pull us into no Hope.

Paul is clear. We have hope because “Gods love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” Jesus says we have the “Spirit of Truth” to lead us. Psalm 8 says God has crowned us a with a certain “glory and honor.”

We should be encouraged! So, as much as needs to be said this Sunday just keep your hearts open to what God wants YOU to hear and respond to. We will grow as disciples of Jesus as well as go and make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world!

Pray in preparation!

Pastor Barry †