Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bit of an explanation is in order

Hi everyone.

I took a couple week hiatus from posting on here, as I discovered that instead of this being a place where I posted my thoughts about life, the world around us, and how our faith intersects with it all, it became a place where I put the recordings of my sermons. When the Dansville Free Methodist Church's website was launched a couple months back, I posted the sermons in both spots, but found that it was redundant, and completely unnecessary.

It's easy to lose track when something starts out one way, but then goes another way. When I first began posting the sermon audio here it was because a young lady who was part of the East Otto congregation was going off to college yet still wanted to feel connected to the church. This blog was the only place I could post.

The intention was good, but after a couple years those sermons were taking over this space and I was focusing less and less on what I intended this blog to be. In a way I think that happens with all of us.

Things come up and get us sidetracked. It happens often enough that we often need to just take a time out and refocus. That isn't meant to say that the things we got sidetracked with are bad. Sometimes they're good. But if we're here for a reason, created for a purpose, it should serve us best to keep that at the forefront.

This blog started out as a place where I could share my thoughts and hopefully you would interact with me, and together we could go deeper in our faith. This blog is now going back to that.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Why Does Sin Still Exist? (audio)

It's a moment you can't ever really prepare for. You have worship service plans and then suddenly they're changed. You don't have any control over their circumstances. All you're left with is two options: panic or pray.

After last Sunday's sermon I discovered that it partially answered the question the youth group wanted to know, but it missed on their other question as to why sin still exists if Jesus died and broke the power of sin.

Have I mentioned just how blown away I am by our youth group?

Long story short I was planning on addressing that during the next Youth Group Sunday. It was just in my initial stages of planning, I hadn't even jotted down any notes for it yet. We still have Easter to get through! But that all changed on one call and some prayer.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Teen Sunday: God's Love and Forgiveness (audio)

Our youth group constantly amazes me. I'm always a bit nervous whenever I ask them what they want me to preach on whenever "Teen Sunday" comes around. Every time though they come up with a topic that reveals they're wanting to draw closer to our Lord.

This Sunday they came up with the topic of God's love and how He can forgive us. Even for the "experts" this is a difficult topic because how many of us can truly comprehend the deep love Jesus has for us? Or even how He can forgive when we have wronged Him as terribly and deeply as we have?

I commend our youth group for thinking along these lines. i know it is the Holy Spirit working in them.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Kingdom Parables: Wheat, Tares, and the Dragnet (audio)

The reality of the kingdom of heaven is that it exists here on earth. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish it from the rest of the world.

That is the point of Jesus' parables of the wheat, the tares, and the dragnet.

There are times when it will be difficult to distinguish the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven, the Church and the lives of Christians, from the rest of the world. But the differences will be made known, and it is God who will do the final separation.

This is the last sermon of the series "Kingdom Parables". Take a listen, and go back and listen to the previous sermons as well. I hope you have been challenged, but I also hope you have grown in your understanding throughout this series as to what the kingdom of heaven is all about.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kingdom Parables: Mustard Seeds and Leaven in the Bread (audio)

Sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impact. But how often do we believe that is true? We think we need something big in order to bring about a desired change, but what Jesus tells us in these parables is that what starts off small leads to a big result.

The mustard seed is a tiny plant. You don't need much leaven in order to make bread dough rise.

These are different ways of looking at the kingdom of heaven, and the scope of that kingdom, as well as how it was established, ought to make us consider that every little action we do just might lead to a big result.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Teen Sunday: Freedom in Jesus (audio)

The last Sunday of each month is an opportunity for our youth group to help plan the worship service. They get to pick out some of the songs, and they help in greeting and in the collection. I also encourage them to give me a topic to preach on. This Sunday they wanted to know more about what it means to have freedom in Jesus.

So, working out of Galatians 5, we went through that topic. Here's the sermon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kingdom Parables: The Value of the Kingdom (audio)

What if you found a treasure you're willing to give up everything for? And if we do give up everything, do we continue to value it as much?

In today's sermon, which is the third in the series on The Kingdom Parables, Jesus compares the value of a treasure discovered in a field, as well as a pearl that cost a merchant all he had. But what of the man who owned the field that contained the treasure? Did he not know the treasure was there? Did he care if he did know?

Take a listen to this sermon, and I hope you're challenged by what you hear.