Text Sermon (Blog Format)

February 2018

Ransom: It Cost Him His Serenity

“The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.” That’s the definition of serenity. Serenity is one of those things that is probably much easier to feel than to define in words. You might have a calm, peaceful feeling when Friday afternoon rolls around and your work week is done. You students might feel serenity when you have your homework done at 7:00 at night and you can watch your favorite TV show. Parents might feel serenity when a sports season is over or the...

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How Awesome!

If you could trade places with one person, could be absolutely anyone, who would it be? Who would you want to trade places with? Perhaps, our minds instantly think of a celebrity – a movie star or professional athlete. We would love to have their wealth, their homes or their cars, their skills, their looks, their fame. When it’s a little warmer outside, I’ll pick up a basketball and shoot buckets in the driveway like I did when I was 14. And just like when I was 14, I’ll...

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It Cost Jesus His Friends

“Our sins demand a price.  Our sins demand a ransom.”  That was a line from last week’s Ash Wednesday sermon.  So what did it cost to ransom us?  His blood.  His life.  I wonder if sometimes we minimize that.  Crosses, where Jesus gave his blood, are more decorations than they are price tags.  Or we hear of other people giving their lives for the sake of others.  Soldiers, bodyguards, law enforcement, firemen.  People like...

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Jehovah Jireh

“Mom, can we stop for ice cream?”  “We’ll see.”  “Dad, can I have the car on Friday night?”  “We’ll see.”  “Teacher, can we get an extra recess?”  “We’ll see.”  It doesn’t take long for kids to find out that, “We’ll see” is usually a nice way of saying, “No.”  What about when God says it, or at least seems to say it?  “Will...

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Ranson Demanded

This Ash Wednesday, we take a moment to consider the words of Isaiah 59. The first few verses of our lesson read this way: For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities: rebellion and treachery against the Lord, turning our backs on our God, inciting revolt and oppression, uttering lies our hearts have conceived. So justice is driven back, and...

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Are You Listening?

They heard him. But they didn’t listen to him. – Do you recognize the difference?  You heard your parents ask you to clean your room, do the dishes, and fold the laundry, while they ran a few errands, but you didn’t listen to them. You heard the teacher yell out the assignment at the bell, but you weren’t listening. You heard your supervisor ask you to stay late on Friday, but you didn’t listen to him. Hearing and listening: there’s a...

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X Marks the Spot: Where Forgiveness is Given

It’s been 23 years, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  You could hear a pin drop.  The preacher at the front of the chapel choked up as he told Becky’s story.  A day earlier, Becky’s husband had called, “Pastor, I don’t know what to do with her anymore.  She just sits around crying.  She’s afraid to come to church.  Can you come and “fix” her?”  The pastor arranged to visit.  Sitting down with...

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