Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Give Up Envy for Lent

King George wanted his duck, and David wanted Bathsheba. We want so many things we can not have. Lent is a time for us to see all the good things we do have. We were given something so many years ago that makes everything else pale in comparison  We were given freedom from sin. We were given the chance to be the people God always wanted us to be, through Christ's death and Resurrection  Many times we do not show the proper appreciation for that gift. We need to change that.

Inspiring Lives- A.P. Giannini

A.P. Giannini was seven years old when he saw his father killed in a fight over a dollar. His mother soon married a grocer, and A.P. went to work for him. A.P. was so impressive with his ideas and math skills, he was soon made part owner of the store. He then got into the banking business. He did not like the fact that many banks only loaned to big businesses. His bank would lend to people who had ordinary jobs and big dreams. To do this he set up something unheard of in the banking community at the time- a payment plan. He had a heart for the common person and made sound business decisions. Most of the money he made went to fund foundations for people to get a leg up in the world. Luke 16:28 states to use your wealth to make friends on earth, and A.P. did just that.

Prayer of the Day

On Easter
Christ has risen:
      The world below lies desolate.
Christ has risen:
       The spirits of evil have fallen.
Christ has risen:
         The angels of God are rejoicing.
Christ has risen:
        The tombs of the dead are empty.
Christ has indeed risen from the dead:
        The first of the sleepers.
Glory and power are His forever and ever.
Hippolytus of Rome

Wow Them- Plan the Understated

We in church are big picture people. We like to consider issues of mission and outreach over little, seemingly in-signification things. However, those little things are what people notice the most. Friendly greeters, stocked tissue paper, hand sanitatizer, and competent nursery workers all work together in the big picture of people knowing Christ loves them and wants the best for them. Here is the story of Chch-Fil-A, a company who set out to make the little things a priority. These little things help their guests know they are welcomed and appreciated, and that is why many of them come back.

Sermon Update 3-24-13

Here is a clip from the Veggie Tale movie Jonah, that illustrates the temper tantrum Jonah had when he lost his shade. We should be willing to move on when God calls us to move on. We need to not to try to hold on to past securities, knowing there will be blessings ahead for us if we trust God.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Inspiring Lives- Liberace

 A young man named Walter grew up outside Milwaukee, WI. He had many dreams growing up. One of his dreams was to play the Piano in front of many people. He could play the piano by ear at an early age, and he was soon playing in front of large crowds all over the Midwest. He read the book entitled The Magic of Believing as a teenager. This book showed him how to believe in himself and to not be afraid to reach for his dreams. One of his first steps to achieve his dreams was to stop using his first name and go only by Liberace,  which was his last name. Say what you want about his lifestyle, The Guru of Glitter did achieve his dreams.
There is a book out there that tells us we can have a full life. It is not the new self help book at Barnes and Noble, it is of course the Bible  The Bible lets us know why we were created and who created us. It also shows us we are on this earth for more than just fame and fortune. We have purpose and mission here on earth. The Bible  relates to us the message of Jesus' love and tells us we can have abundant life (John 10:10).

Sermon Update 3-17-12

Here is the cartoon of St. Patrick from Veggie Tales I talked about on Sunday.

Prayer of the Day

On The Pilgrimage of Life
My God I pray that I may know you and love you
That I may rejoice in you
And if I may not do so fully in this life,
let me go steadily on
to the day when I come to that fullness.
Let the knowledge of you increase in me here,
and there let it come to its fullness.
Let your love grow in me here,
and there let it be fulfilled
so that here my joy may be in great hope,
and there in full reality.

Chose Better for Lent

Chose to cope rather than to run away this Lent. The Garden of Gethsemane would have been the perfect place for Jesus to make get away from. The position of this garden was outside Jerusalem and would have allowed Jesus easy access to get away from those who were persecuting him. Instead of running he stayed and faced his problems. Too often we run from our problems, instead of facing them. Freedom does not come from running (as the film Brave Heart shows us), freedom comes from facing our problems and showing them they do not scare us.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wow Them- Hook them and Reel them in

A enjoyable experience for a visitor is great, but churches need not to stop there. There needs to be clear visible opportunities for visitors and occasional members to get more involved. There should be plenty of posters and pictures of what the Sunday School and Youth Group, as well sign ups to get involved. There should be plenty of information written and verbal about ministries, small, groups, and other activities of the church available for people, so they know exactly what is happening and who to contact for more information. Many churches do great things, yet they do a poor job letting people in the building know it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Inspiring Lives _Tim Horton

What do Professional Hockey Players do when their careers are over? Some go into broadcasting. Some go into bankruptcy. One man decided to go into donuts, and it paid off for him. Tim Horton was a star of the Toronto Maple Leafs. One year he broke his jaw and leg due to a hard body check. That year he invested in a chain of donut shops. He kept playing hockey for a while, but his business sense paid off for his family long after his death in 1974. You can still find a Tim Horton's Coffee shop all over the country and Canada today. Some times things do not work out as we planned, but that does not mean God does not have great things in store for us.

Cool Prayer of the Week

On being a Neighbor
When I was hungry, you gave me food to eat.
When I was thirsty, you gave me water to drink. 
When I was homeless, you opened your doors.
When i was naked, you gave me your coat.
When I was weary, you helped me find rest.
When I was anxious, you calmed all my fears.
When I was little, you taught me to read.
 When I was lonely, you gave me your love.
 When I was in prison, you came to my cell.
When I was on a sickbed, you cared for my needs.
In a strange country, you made me at home.
Seeking employment, you found me a job.
Hurt in a battle, you bound up my wounds.
Searching for kindness, you held our your hand.
-Mother Teresa

Giving bad things for Lent- Hasty Judgements

We rush to judgement. Sometimes we get caught up in a lynch mob mentality, other times we just think we know it all. There is something called the "Four Way Test" put out by Rotary International. It helps people know if information is something that should be passed on or if it is just a hurtful rumor that should go no farther than your ear. First Test- Is it the truth? Second Test- Is it fair to all concerned? Third test- Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships? Fourth Test- Will it be beneficial to all concerned if it is shared? Putting information through these 4 tests will help us be people who are trustworthy and honest. Larry Boy had to learn this lesson to.

WOW Them!- Use Spell Check

A school once misspelled something on their outside bulletin board. They left the l in public. Many people noticed this error and it was an humiliation for this school for quite some time. People notice errors.Jay Leno is great at pointing these out. Whether it is on bulletin board, web site, or bulletin. It says "God is in the details . To often that is forgotten by churches who think just getting things done is enough.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Inspiring Story Walter Hunt

Walter Hunt was a man who loved inventing  He did not do it to be rich or famous. He just wanted to make things. He invented the safety pin, the fountain pen, and a repeating rifle. He even invented the first sewing machine, but did not pursue the patent on it. He did not want to put seamstresses out of work. This man just loved using the gifts God had given him. We should always enjoy the good things God has brought into our lives, and not worry about tomorrow so much.

Cool Prayer of the Week

On New Beginnings (Bonnie Yarnell)
I will start anew this morning
With a higher fairer creed;
I will cease to stand complaining
Of my ruthless neighbor's greed;
I will cease to sit repining
While my duty's call is clear;
I will waste no moment whining
And my heart shall know no fear.

I will not be swayed by envy
when my rival's strength is shown.
I will not deny their merit,
but I will strive to show my own:
I will try to see the beauty
spread before me rain or shine.
I will cease to preach Your duty;
but be more concerned with mine.

Give up something bad for Lent

Many times when we give up something for lent it is good thing. We give up going out, sweets, or other indulgences. These may be worthy sacrifices, but do we give up bad things. Let us try giving up things like apathy, discouragement, and bitterness. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Mark that if there is something bad in your life we need to pluck it out. Lent is time for us to start doing that, and to not stop doing that until all the bad is plucked out of our lives.
In this season of Lent take personal inventory of your strengths, weaknesses, and habits. Look deep inside to see what is holding you back from a better relationship with God and with others.Take the first steps in giving up something bad for Lent.

WOW Them- Answer the Phone

Any organization or person can miss little things. One thing churches miss and one thing we as individuals can forget to do is answer the phone. For church people, we need to answer the phone when it is most inconveinent to us which is Sunday morning. We are busy doing church things, and the phone ringing usually goes ignored. However, on Sunday morning that may be the time we need to answer the phone the most. People may need service times, directions, or general questions answered. In our lives, we need to remember people are calling us, whether it be a close friend or a tele-marketer, they do not have to call us but they do. We can at least extend to them friendship and kindness no matter what they ask of us on the other line

Sermon Update 2-24-13

This week we talked about legacies. One thing this blog will now be doing is offering some helpful advice on our Christian walks. We have been doing commentary on Lectionary passages, while I find this type of study to be worth while, I believe I am called by God to offer something different here. You will find excerpts from things I am readings, as well as some fun illustrations and videos  The Legacy of this blog will be more than just Bible Study, it will be about guidance and hope. Keeping with that theme, here is a clip from Jerry Maguire. Jerry decides he wants to change what his legacy as a Sports Agent will be.