Tag Archives: sermon

How Can There Be Light? – Sermon

Let There Be Light – Sermon

given by guest, Noreen Ueberer

All Sorts of People

Noreen showed us people – all sorts of people from all parts of the world; all sorts of people – poor, rich, able-bodied, physically challenged; everyone and everybody.

Then she discussed God’s two commandments – to love God, and to love others.

She said is was simple – just do it.

But then she asked – how can we love everyone?

Noreen gave a few ways:

      • as we open up our churches to new technology we can transmit our services to shut-ins
      • we can transmit our funeral services for those who cannot attend
      • instead of condemning people we can talk instead
      • ministry to those in prison [I know of a wonderful ministry by Nikki Rosen – who is raising funds to give her book “In the Eye of Deception” to women inmates”]
      • help other countries [our church makes mats for Haiti; we collect milk bags for the project]
      • stop demanding things for ourselves and instead thank God and be blessed

She said it is not difficult to love if we choose to do so. But in order to love others we also have to love ourselves. Jesus said, “love your neighbour as yourself”.

She gave us a challenge:

Ask God to help you love a person who is unlovable. God loves us just the way we are. This certainly is the same theme as my new children’s book, Tadeo Turtle.

Here is the opening song at the Paralympics in London –  “I Am What I Am”.

 

HAVE YOU MADE A PLACE FOR GOD IN YOUR LIFE? – sermon

Have you Made a Place for God in Your Life?

Elisha Raises the Shunammite's Son

The boy lives.

Sermon by Doug Ross

Our ministerial for Haliburton held its 5th Sizzling Summer Service in the park – but this year we held it inside a church. Yes we had rain. And we were very grateful for the rain. No one complained when we met together – crowded, happy and joyful. Our churches joined together to praise and worship God.

With a wonderful band, our good singing and lots of worshippers we made a “joyful noise onto the Lord”.

Doug Ross from the Gospel Lighthouse gave the sermon. He is a new pastor to Haliburton and started by praising the ministerial for being “of one accord” and acting like the Acts 2 church. He said it was nice to see leaders putting aside “doctrinal statements and being hungry for God!”.

He based his sermon on a story from 2 Kings 4:8-37 – The story of Elisha meeting the Shunammite woman.

This woman was hungry for God. She even built a special room for Elisha so he would always stay with her when he visited the area. Elisha blessed her thoughtfulness with a son. But the son later died. The woman went to Elisha and told him he had to make the trip back to her house to save her son. “You must come with me,” she said. Elisha lay on the boy and he revived.

She had built a “place for God” in her home. Doug challenged us – Do we have a place for God? Do we look after it? Are you able to say: “It is well with my soul”?

As I spoke about in How Else Can Satan Distract Us?, we are an easily distracted people. I challenge you to make sure you make a place for God in your heart; that you look after that spot; care for it; nurture it; – so you can say those words with great meaning  – IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.

 

HOW AND WHY DO WE CONSTRUCT COMMUNITY?

How and Why do we Construct Community?

Sermon for Sunday July 1, 2012 by Harry Morgan

Canada - Kanata - community

Canada means “community”.

 

Using Canada Day as a lead in, Harry asked us if we knew why Canada was named CANADA? Do you know?

Canada in the Iroquois tongue, “Kanata”, meant village, settlement or community.

We took at look at the reasons for needing a community.

      • The desire to live together for safety, security, and trade.
      • We needed laws or agreements to make sure we worked well together.

But besides needs we also want community. There is a deep desire in us to join with others.

God has built into our hearts a desire to be with people who have common causes. He named political associations, general associations, service clubs, band and teams as some examples.

Then there is the CHURCH.

Church as a Community

Church as a Community

Jesus came to rebuild the disconnect between God and His people. God is all about relationship – between Him and us. Jesus came as a human to identify with us, but also to pay the penalty for our sin so that we can be in a loving relationship with God.

When we get into this LOVE relationship with God we can’t help but want to love others.

Apostle John says:

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20, NIV).

The Church Community:

There is no community like a church community. Our common goal is Jesus – but we come with many differences. Nothing is as deep as a church community. It is a prototype of the Kingdom to come – but we still struggle here on earth. But in church we can learn to work through our differences for a common goal – Jesus.

Harry then unpacked our Scripture from Romans 12:9-13.

Love must be sincereHate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:9-13 NIV). [my bolding]

Here are some highlights:

Be sincere:

Jesus hated pretension – remember the “woe you Pharisees”. He wants us to be sincere and authentic.

Hate evil:

Sometimes as Canadians we are too tolerant of wrongs. We are to seek justice and make changes to our community promote that justice. And stop being negative unless you are willing to do something about it.

Be devoted:

Love does NOT insist on its own way.

Serve:

A community heals as well as builds up. We learn to serve one another.

Be joyful:

Have spiritual fervour. Be filled with the Holy Spirit

Share:

Practice hospitality.

These are radical principles for loving each other in community. This is what church could look like.

What are you doing to strengthen your church community? How is God leading you to serve others?

Another Scripture that I love, from Micah has the same idea – similar words.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NIV).

You might like other posts. Community. A little Oil.

WHO IS THIS JESUS? – sermon

Who is this Jesus?

“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27 NIV)

Based on a sermon by Harry Morgan

Small fishing Boat

Fishing on the Sea of Galilee?

After Harry set us up in the Sea of Galilee by showing us pictures of the sea, the men in a small fishing boat and showing us how that sea is about the size of Lake Simcoe, I could feel the tension of the disciples in the small boat while they were in that storm.

The storm on the Sea of Galilee

“Lord, save us. We are going to drown.”

One day my husband and I went out on Lake Simcoe in our motorboat, after coming down the quiet, serene Trent canal. We entered the lake only to find that the winds and the waves were vicious. Not being a great sea person I wanted to turn back to the calm of the canal.

Not my hubby – he set out full speed when he saw a large yacht heading across. We caught up to that boat and spent the next couple of hours following in their wake while they headed across Lake Simcoe. Believe me … I prayed. But I did stay calm.  Not calm enough to take a picture, though.

The calm of the canal

The calm before the storm.

We had life jackets available and we had Jesus. The disciples had no life jackets and were not sure of the power of Jesus.

The disciples said, “Lord, save us. We are going to drown.” They called out to him but were unsure what He could do.

Jesus calmed the winds and the waves.

That day the disciples grew in their faith. They concluded, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

We can use this story as a parallel to our lives. The Lord allows storms to happen so we can grow in our faith. We face a variety of storms and they do happen without warning.

Personal storms of sickness, heartache, family problems, financial stresses, depression and jobs – all of these can bring stormy emotions.

Our society itself is in turmoil – the markets unsettled; the European countries challenged; the United States still suffering from the housing and debt crisis.

And even Christ’s church is facing a storm – there is a societal shift away from “church”. Back in the 60s people asked why we were not in church? Now they ask why we go to church?

Does that mean we give up? No – we press on. We do all that we can do and leave the rest to God.

Let’s marvel at how Christ can calm the winds and the waves – how we can find peace when we trust in Him.

You might also like Trust and Calm in the Midst of a Storm.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

HOW CAN I PLANT SEEDS ALONG LIFE’S PATH?

How can I Plant Seeds along Life’s Path?

Life's Path

by Kimberley Payne

This is a combination of my Five-Minute Friday post and my sermon Monday post.

The last few days I have spent at a fantastic conference called Write! Canada, a conference for writers who are Christian.

I heard the words, seed and path repeated time and again. Today in our sermon a guest minister used the same words, seed and path.

Then to top it off – the Gypsy Mama’s word for this week is path.

So what is up with that? What is God saying to me?

Here are some of the words that have come to me this week:

give “…gratitude for the seemingly small and insignificant – this is the seed that plants the giant miracle in the midst of it all” – Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seed that you plant” – Robert Louis Stevenson.

And from Hosea 10:12:

 Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”

In Sunday’s sermon our guest minister, Jan Thornington, spoke about the seeds we plant in our children as they follow a path through life. Without direction and discipline this path is harder to follow; weeds come up and can take over so that the path is no longer clear.

She read from an old hymnary the song, “For the Young” by Mrs. Clara Writer. Here are some of the words:

 “A little seed lay fast asleep” …

“So children are the seeds God plants within His garden fair, He loves and guards them everyday, they’re in His constant care.”

We were blessed with a vision of children growing under the care of God.

I thought about the seeds we plant as writers and how we hope that they will land on ears that will hear and that God can grow those seeds into a closer relationship with Him.

And I thought about the seeds that were planted this weekend – how to grow and follow the path that God has set before me.

I know that seeking His face is the surest way to begin. I know that I need to be in constant communication with Him to hear the Holy Spirit encourage but also discipline; to listen carefully; to proceed when the light is green; but keep a sharp look both left and right before I go ahead.

This is my week to listen – to process all that I have learned. I want to follow the path that God has set before me. As God plants seeds of inspiration, I will pray for God to nourish and grow them so they can be strong, straight and true shoots.

And to add to God teaching me, I read Violet Nesdoly’s post called: Technology Word Snatch, in which she tells us how the seeds can be snatched away.

“God’s word snatched away, shallowly rooted, and choked is something of which we need to be vigilant more than ever!”

Linking to the Gypsy Mama for Five-Minute Fridays. 

 

SO FAR, SO GOOD, SO WHAT? – Sermon

SO FAR, SO GOOD, SO WHAT? – Sermon

Sermon by Rev. Dr. John James – St. Andrews United Church, Niagara Falls

Rev. Dr. John James officiated in our service this morning’s service, celebrating 100 years of the sanctuary of Haliburton United Church, Haliburton, Ontario. A former minister of this congregation he talked about the past, the present and the future of Christ’s church.

Blending old and new we celebrated with many friends of Haliburton United. Our church building was full.

As we entered the parking lot, the bagpipes filled the air. Our church had a welcoming awning with festive balloons.

Welcome to Haliburton United’s 100th Celebration

With dignitaries, former members and friends, we relived our past. The choir, expanded with members from Zion United, treated us to two beautiful songs – “Let the Church Arise: and “How Great Thou Art”.

We sat close to the front – in order to get seats!

A full Church

Then John James spoke to us about how we are to deal with what is to come.

The scripture read came from Philippians 3:7-16 but focused on these words:

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. … I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14 NIV).

Here are a few points I took away:

Yes we have a past – Methodist, and Presbyterian. Haliburton United was also joined by some members of Tory Hill United Church when it closed in 1988 and our bell tower was donated from that church at that time.

We have changed in our way of getting to church – from horse and buggy to the car. We communicate by email and have the Internet. We have guitars, electronic sound and projection screen.

We have weathered many storms and accomplishments from a manse fire in 1972, to a major renovation in 2006.

But God’s people are tough – we “press on” as Paul says to continue Christ’s Church here on earth as He told us to do.

Why do people need a church? Some people say, “I hate organized religion” – but the alternative, un-organized religion, lacks challenges, accountability, mutual encouragement and uniting others in His Name.

Remember Church was Jesus’ idea. He told us to “build My Church” and that the Church is the Body of Christ.

We need each other – Church is life-giving. Carol Dixon, with Rev. Harry Morgan and Susan MacDonald sang, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother.”

Challenge: Are you content where you are with God? Do you think God has done all He can do here? Are you going to reach out or not? Let’s work together to build Christ’s Church.

And of course, a celebration wouldn’t have been complete without food and fellowship. To make it more special Marjorie Peel, who will celebrate her 101st birthday this year was in attendance.

THE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH – Sermon

The Pentecostal Church

Preached by Rev. Harold Morgan Video Podcast Part 1 and Part 2

I have to admit that during the sermon today I was a little distracted. My grandson (2 1/2 months old) and my daughter were attending with Wayne and me. So my little one kept me from completely listening to Harry’s sermon.

However, I think I came away with a sense of what he said. I am sure some of this is my own words that flowed as Harry spoke.

Here goes:

May 27, 2012 is Pentecostal Sunday – 50 days from when Jesus rose to Heaven. In the Jewish calendar Pentecost was a feast that came 7 weeks after Passover. It was a dramatic day. We read in Acts 2.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them” (Act 2:1-4 NIV).

Harry told us that in Heaven we will all be “United” but while on earth we are “Pentecostal”.

In 1906 there was a movement at the Azusa St. Mission, L.A. where quite a few years there was a spontaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit – tongues, prophecy, healings, testimonies, singing. This movement made a great contribution to our Christian faith. It has become stodgy and needed a burst of energy. From this came Spirit empowered preaching, awesome music, and Scripture put to music. This was definitely for the betterment of the Church. God injected LIFE into the church through this movement.

Life with Christ can be dramatic and life changing. Look at how the disciples were affected. And we can be affected the same way if we let Jesus instill LIFE into us.

Harry talked about TRUTH and how this TRUTH that the Holy Spirit can impart to us will change our lives and will allow us to use the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to us.

We ended the service with Communion – our way of celebrating the life, death and resurrection of Jesus so we can live in joy and grace.

Harry challenged us to walk even closer to Christ; for more spiritual strength, healing and restoration of our souls.

There is MORE to do as well – let us use the Holy Spirit gifts in our churches – each and every one of us as we are able. Let us spread the Good News of Jesus to everyone we meet.

LABOUR AND DELIVERANCE – Sunday’s sermon

Labour and Deliverance

All Moms received a beautiful carnation this morning.

It is Mother’s Day – and I am writing this because it is important for me to rethink what our minister said today.

There were so many things that Harry spoke about today I am having trouble putting them together in my mind. So I will tell you the high points of what I learned.

There are many mothers in the Bible. Mothers were very important back in the days of the Israelites. They were their future and their reason for existing – to have children was important. Barrenness was considered a failure. Much prayer went into asking God for children.

Harry reminded us of three of the great matriarchs who were barren but bore children after prayer – Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel.

And having children back then – not very safe – a great risk for the mother.

Then Harry started talking about raising kids – then and now. Not an easy task at either time. Mothers have always been very involved with their children and their futures. Even Mary tried to prevent bad things happening to Jesus and had to watch Him die.

Then Harry dove into the theology of child bearing. He showed us how in the garden of Eden when the serpent tempted Eve – the war between women and the devil began – and with her offspring as well.

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Pain and suffering would increase in child bearing” (Genesis 3:16 NIV).

But mankind has continued – women bear children  – not once but again and again. The suffering lasts for a moment – but the joy continues after the birth. That new life brings much joy.

The story of salvation comes about through labour pains.

A few analogies:

  • The Israelites – God brought them out of Egypt through trials and through water
  • The Old Testament shows us how the Messiah will come into the world – Kingdoms will rise and fall before this happens
  • And the Messiah comes – check out Revelation 12 – how a woman (Israel) and 12 stars (the 12 tribes) gave birth to our Saviour.

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth” (Revelation 12: 1-2 NIV).

Jesus speaks in “labour language” in John 16.

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:21-22).

Through grief will come joy.

There is a group called Roots of Empathy who work in elementary schools. Studies have shown that troubled kids who get involved with a baby on an ongoing basis will start to change their bad behaviours. This tiny being can make changes inside these troubled souls.

And of course Harry told us to look at our world – the growing pains of the earth – earthquakes, diseases, floods etc. – are but labour pains that will bring forth a new earth. God made the plan and it is in the works.

And lastly our experience (what we go through in life) helps us get closer to God and is preparing us for a new world, and a new life.

And that is labour and deliverance. Thanks Harry.

I will post the pod cast soon. Part 1 Labour and Deliverance.  Part 2 Labour and Deliverance.

Hope all Moms had a happy Mother’s Day.

Here are a few more Mother’s Day Posts.

Does God Care About Mother’s Day? – High Calling

Always Alleluia – great picture with a quote from Proverbs 31:18 – “her lamp does not go out at night”.

BLESSED BE – Sunday’s Sermon

Blessed Be

I have called 2012 the Year of Trust. In this year I am focusing on trusting God – really.

I have found it interesting that since I made that statement – how many times I see this word, TRUST, in my reading of Scripture, in sermons, in Bible studies and in conversation.

Last week Brian Plouffe spoke on Trust.

This week my home minister, Harry Morgan, spoke about the Sermon on the Mount – the “Blessed Be”. His theme was Build your house (life) on rock (Jesus). He called it Buildings.

And then I read from Isaiah this morning.

“Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 26:4 NIV).

So

TRUST and ROCK go together – don’t you think?

    1. I did not take notes in yesterday’s sermon for three reasons:
    2. I didn’t have any paper (there was no bulletin yesterday)
    3. Wayne and I took 3 of our grandchildren to be with us in church
    4. There was no Sunday School

My hands were full. The children were wonderful. During the sermon they snacked and one drew with a little pencil I found in the pew (I forgot the crayons, left them at home in the hallway).

But I did listen to the sermon and I will attempt a short recall.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells us who will be blessed and He goes on to tell us even more of how to live our lives. Sermon on the Mount.

But Jesus also tells us we need to hear (that is hard enough for us to do) but also we need to put what we hear into action. That is even harder to do.

As Harry went through the list, I know which one stood out for me. JUDGE. Am I critical? YES.

Am I becoming more aware that I am critical? … mmm maybe.

Once again as I trust in Jesus He is showing me the way – the BETTER WAY.

When I open my mouth to say something critical I hope I see it and stop myself.

HEAR

BE AWARE

PUT WORDS INTO ACTION

TRUST IN GOD

To top off my morning I read from Oswald Chambers.

He says to take each day as a breathless expectation. And he says to remember:

“when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy” (Oswald Chambers, April 29).

I want my life to be built on sold rock – the Rock of Jesus.

Blessings to all,

Jan

Here is Robin Mark singing Blessed Be Your Name.

TRUST – Sunday’s Sermon

Trust

Trust in the Lord

What a pleasure this morning to have a guest pastor, Pastor Brian Plouffe, visit us at my home church in Haliburton. This was our first Sunday back in our church since last October because we spent six months away this winter.

Our homecoming – wonderful. Read my post on Together.

Today here are a few thoughts from Brian’s sermon called “Learning to Trust in the Lord”.

TRUST

What is trust? What do you trust? Brian made us think about what we trust in – will the chair hold me? – do we actually feel it and check it out or just sit down? We know the sun will come up each day even though we may not see it – we know it is there. We can trust in Jesus, His saving grace and our salvation, too.

The passage he chose for his sermon is one of the first ones that I had memorized:

 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).

As he went through the passage he took each section so I will do the same.

IN THE LORD

God is worthy of our trust. He sent Jesus – who died for us and made the way for us to be with God – here and in Heaven.

WITH ALL YOUR HEART

That means your whole being – not just a little bit. Everything that is in you. Jesus told us to:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NIV).

I like the analogy he used to help me see trust. He said “plant seeds of trust”. Trust needs to be planted; needs to be watered and nurtured and cared for. How do we do this? Because trust takes time and effort we have to work at it. That means to draw close to God in prayer and in reading the Bible. Not just “go to church”.

He told us a bit of his testimony, which involved his first introduction to reading the Bible. When he first started to read (as a brand new Christian who had no background at all in Christianity) he read the Bible from the beginning but even though the stories were good – Leviticus and Deuteronomy bogged him down and he gave up. That is until one year later when God led him to a Messianic Jew while he visited Europe. She asked if he knew Jesus. He said that someone had led him to know who Jesus was – but He couldn’t find out about Him in the Bible. She explained that there are two testaments in the Bible. Jesus comes in the New Testament. And he followed her advice and found out all about Jesus.

It is important for us to draw closer to God.

AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING

We need to use our minds to discover, to read, to watch and to listen. But God will not reveal everything to us. We don’t need explanations of why does such and such happen. We do need to pray for wisdom and understanding. But He doesn’t have to tell us everything.

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD” (Isaiah 15:8 NIV).

God is all-knowing – not us. But we do need to read, read and read some more. Encourage our young people to read as well.

IN ALL THY WAYS SUBMIT TO HIM

I liked this part so much. How do we acknowledge God? With a nod? A high five? See ‘ya later God? Or do we bow down just as Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane and said, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39 NIV)

AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT

Yes, He will and sometimes we may fall. But when we do we fall into a puddle we need to cry out to God – not stay down in the puddle and whine. We have to ask for help and not moan or mope where we are. We need to ask for that help and stop blaming God or the puddle. This reminded me so much of Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. To know Eucharisteo – thanks in all situations.

And the ending:

Even in the midst of uncertainty – we can trust a God who has saved us. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus – the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) God blesses our hearts if we let Him in.