Help My Doubt

Faith seeking reason- Mark 9:24

Weekly Worship

Boy it felt good to have a week off from preaching. I sat as one of the regular worshipers while one of our men preached. It’s good for me to remember what it feels like to be on the receiving side of the pulpit from time to time.

It’s also great to see how God organizes our worship to teach us that He is still leading His church. Craig preached on forgiveness even though he had been working on a different topic for several weeks. Another divine surprise was one of our men’s confession of sin during prayer and praise time. God made us our own object lesson this week and spoke about His command to and blessing in forgiveness through the preaching of His word.

Jesus said he walks among the churches and speaks to those who have ears to hear. I love worshiping with God’s children who have their ears open.

May 31, 2010 Posted by | Sermons | Leave a comment

Lost Books of the Bible (7)- Habakkuk

Any book that has 3 “K’s” in it’s name is destined to be ignored in my mind! True, many books of the Bible are just plain strange. That is, until one does their homework and discovers the meaning there. After my study this week, I just love Habakkuk. I love the way he yelled honestly (and humbly) at God! I love the way God answered him.

Today I encouraged our people to pray aggressively to God. Especially when frustrated or angry. I also encouraged them to do something I’m sure we all do very little- listen for God’s answer. I suggested that they write out their prayer (like Habakkuk did) and then write out God’s answer to their prayer (like Habakkuk did). I have done that a few times and it is a really interesting experience. We are not entitled to the same type of revelation that Habakkuk was but God does promise to communicate with us when we approach Him with humble faith.

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Sermons, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lost Books of the Bible (6): Nahum

I’m sure no one who attended worship this week had any idea who Nahum was or what his book in the Bible says. I know I didn’t, until I sat down to study it, and I’m the pastor! That’s the whole point of this sermon series. These small books we call the “minor prophets” are unpopular and unfamiliar to us.

Lately I have been preaching with a narrative style. That means I teach the history of God’s word by telling stories. I like that. I also try to include some new information and review of details such as people, places and dates, but in a novel form. I want everyone to know that these “stories” are historically accurate and true.

Nahum’s vision from God can be traced all the way back to Noah so I retold the history of the Ark, his 3 sons, one bad son and his great-grandson who build Nineveh. Nahum’s vision from God is about Nineveh about 3000 years later. It was a good reminder of the often repeated truths of Scripture- God’s incredible foreknowledge, mercy, power and justice. We need to be careful to be on the right side of his justice but, even then, it is no picnic waiting for him to deal with evil powers around us.The war is over through faith in Jesus but smaller battles rage as we show and tell the good news to those who have not heard or been yet convinced.

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Sermons, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lost Books of the Bible (5): Philemon

Paul’s letter to Philemon is not a very popular book of the Bible. I have never preached on it or quoted any verses from it. Yet it is a book of the Bible so it is God’s word and I don’t want to miss out on any of God’s words.

Personally, I had a great time studying for this message. I love discovering what was going on in normal life by studying the historical context. I also love discovering who the people were and how their short lives fit into God’s history of salvation. As far as Philemon goes, I learned, for the very first time, who he was, where he lived, who his wife and son were and what the whole drama over his run-away slave was about. When I preached this message I did my best to tell it like a historical novel involving all of these people.

I also paused to make some specific points about slavery. I thought it was important to emphasize the huge differences between Roman slavery and American slavery. There is just no comparison and those who used Paul’s teaching as an excuse for the evil practice of racist abuse were idiots.

Since this was also Mother’s Day I made a point that Paul’s letter was not just written to Philemon but also his wife, Apphia, whom God used in powerfully influential ways to save many. When we slow down and do our homework we can see so much more divine beauty and truth in God’s word.  I can’t wait to study next week’s “Lost Book of the Bible”.

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Sermons, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lost Books of the Bible (4)- Lamentations

In my studies I have discovered that there are several books of the Bible that I have never mentioned while preaching in the 6 years since becoming a pastor. Last year I covered 3 of them and this month we will review 3 more. Today we began with Lamentations. What a gloomy book!

I call Lamentations, “Jeremiah’s poem of tears”. He tells, in gory detail, of God’s judgment in Jerusalem because of their persistent and wicked sins. Actually, it was a fairly easy invitation for communion because we all sin and that’s why Jesus volunteered to die on the cross.

Like with all of God’s word, there is always hope for a happy ending if we are willing to turn to Jesus and ask for help. We don’t need to continue in sin and experience the pain of God’s judgment if we are willing to accept the forgiveness and power of His Holy Spirit.

Several young people celebrated the Lord’s Supper with us for the first time this week. Many adults confessed their need for Jesus again and received renewed power to live in love. God is good.

May 3, 2010 Posted by | Sermons, Uncategorized | Leave a comment