Sunday, June 25, 2006

June 25, 2006--Fall Seven, Get up Eight

Note: Post here taken from loose outline notes of the pastor. Actual delivered sermons may have varied in presentation. No recording available, sorry!

: 1 Samuel 17:32-37, 42-9; 1 Peter 2:7-9

We just had an amazing event yesterday. We came together as a group and put ourselves out there on the line for Christ. Many people thought it could not be done, including me, and the odds were stacked against us in terms of time constraints and meeting times, but guess what? We did it. And the fact that we stuck to it and did it makes it a success. We faced impossible odds.

David did the same thing. Here is this little shepard boy, talking about how Israel needs to rise up and fight the Philistines, and that he can take out Goliath, that big giant. Mean ol goliath, killer of many. DAvid's own brothers and family thought it was impossible. Yet, David had faith, he believed in the Lord and he believed in God's grace, and that God would see him through.

Likewise, there were doubters amongst us. Me among them. I never thought we could get this done. Others around us questioned our sanity. You are a little church, what can you hope to do? HOwever, despite the odds, we came through it. Was it enough to raise all the funds we need? Nope. However, we stopped being like the sad sacks the Israelites were and we started having faith like David. What a huge victory.

Friends, we have been through a lot here. We have had ups and downs, fires, tornados, etc. However, we keep getting back up. Treasuries fall and rise again, and we keep coming back. Why? IS it for glory? For riches? No, we love the Lord. David went after Goliath because it is what the Lord wanted done, it was to help His people. Likewise, we need to focus on being out there for God's people.

David, who would have expected it? This little pretty boy goes and takes out Goliath, with his little chicken legs. You know, there was another who was rejected and ridiculed who became the hero. His name is Jesus, you might ahve heard of Him.

Jesus was rejected. He was ridiculed, he was told He was an outsider. However, he stayed the course. He kept on fighting, he never gave in to the temptations. When he went down, he rose again, not even death could stop him. We are not worthy to be the capstone, but we, like Jesus, have been rejected by this world, and it will be us, not those in the world, who will be the capstone, it will be us who sit at the table of the Father.

In our own lives, we have seen the value of faith and perseverence, not just here at Chruch. You know, we need to be brave in Christ. WE don't know what is around the corner, but we have to have faith. When we get knocked down seven times, if we are fighting for the Lord, then we need to get back up eight times. WE will overcome. It may take us gettin knocked around, but it will happen.

June 18, 2006--Father's Day

Note: Sermon taken from loose outline notes of pastor. Actual delivered sermon may have varied. No video available...sorry.

: Mark 5:22-24; 35-42

Today is the day we set aside to celebrate an honor fathers everywhere. Just a few weeks ago, we honored the mothers and the ladies. Today it is Dad's turn. A father's love is an amazing thing. Look at what Earl Woods's love did for Tiger. Look at the love shown by many parents, and how it got us through those tough times. The Scripture we have highlighted today shows us the depth of a father's love. Let's look at the story:
22Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." 24So Jesus went with him.

Now, think about this. One of the rulers of the people Jesus is going against, one of the rulers of the people, is lowering himself to consort with this carpenter, this rabblerouser. Think about that. Think about the risk. Jairus risked ridicule, he risked his job, he may have risked his life. However, he thought more for his child, and Jesus was touched by that love for the child.
35While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?"

36Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

37He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep." 40But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!" ). 42Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

Jesus healed the little girl. Even when ridicule was the ruile, and even whne Jairus was told not to bother the teacher, he had that father's love and concern that Jesus still help his daughter. Dads are like that. They don't listen to those who tell them to quit bothering. They don't give up on their children. They will do anything to provide for and nurture their children. So will our Heavenly Father as well. Look at how He has provided Creation, how He has provided Salvation. That is a lot of work.

Fathers also teach us. They teach us alot about sacrifice. They can also teach us about having Faith. Let's look way back in Genesis 22, to the story of Abraham and Isaac. Remember that story? Abraham waited so long for his son Isaac. He was a miracle baby. He was the apple of Abe's eye. Yet, one day God told Abraham to go and sacrifice his son. This had to tear Abe's heart out. However, he taught his son a valuable lesson, of having faith in God and following His commands. He took the little boy up there, and tied him down, a reward for Abe's faith, God made a ram appear in the thicket, and Abe sacrificed it. Through sacrificing Father's teach us alot.

Fathers sacrifice a lot for us. They work, they toil, all to provide us with good things. Our earthly dads work hard so we can wear nice clothes, so we can have things better than they did. Our Heavenly Father works so hard that He created the universe FOR US in six days. All the miracles of nature, for US. Amazing. Truly a loving Dad.

As with Moms, Dads are the embodiment of John 15:13. They show that they have great love by giving their lives for us. They would much rather, I am sure, be doing something else sometimes instead of fixing our cars, helping us move, but there they are, and no thanks are necessary. Well, today we thank them, and we thank God for them. We thank God for all His heavy lifting for us, much of it we probably don't see or often appreciate, just like with our earthly dads.

Good fathers put it on the line for us. They are scared, but they don't let us show it. They don't run away. It takes more than biology to be a good dad. You are'nt a dad just because you helped plant the seed. You are a dad when you cultivate it and care for it. A good father provides, a good father cares and instructs. God bless those who follow in God's example--of providing for us, teaching us, and caring for us. God bless the fathers, today and everyday.


Dear Friends,

We will be having our first annual June Jamboree on Saturday, June 24th, from 11am to 6pm, rain or shine, at the church. This will be a fun-filled day of games, fellowship, food and fun. Our church is putting on this get together to raise funds for our building and improvement fund. We will be selling hotdogs and burgers, potato salad, pop, bbq, and home made ice cream. Crafts will be sold as well. There will be a cornhole tournament, as well as a raffle, and kids games. We will also be doing face painting for the kids.

Two person teams that register by June 21 pay 25 dollars, after which, it is 35 dollars a team. Cash prizes will be awarded.

Our church is located just off of Rt. 68, in between Georgetown and Mt. Orab, on the corner of New Hope-McKinley Road and New Hope White Oak Station Road.

Come one, come all!!!!

God bless!

Friday, June 16, 2006

June 11, 2006--Stand Firm and Be Bold in Christ

Note: Post taken from loose outline notes of pastor. Actual sermon may have varied. No video available.

Text: Main Verse: Acts 4:29-31; context scripture Acts 4:8-13; 18-22

In our society today, too many times we go along to get along. Especially in this world of political correctness, we often go along with not offending people and putting up with lots of garbage in our world. We often will put our faith in a box and hide it rather than offend people. We put offending people above telling the truth. We put not making waves over standing on principle. And what have we gotten with that? With the best of intentions, we have seen our own rights of expression and religious freedom being limited and infringed upon, and when we finally say something, we are the "oppressors."

We live in an era where the best of intentions, not wanting to hurt someone, has overridden everything, even truth and honesty. What has all this politically correct nonsense gotten us? It has led to a time when brutality is favored as musical expression--where in the name of not wanting to be labelled closeminded or a racist we allow the smut to come out of the hip hop community. Not wanting to be labelled conservative or narrowheaded, we continue to stay silent as Hollywood assaults our values and traditions. This leads to a watering down of those values and traditions, to a dumbing down on the value side, if you will. Our leadership in the body of Christ has allowed this to happen as well. We have stayed silent too long, we have not followed the example of the Disciples. Let's look at the Acts verses we read:
1The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
5The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"

8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is
" 'the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone.[a]'[b] 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

Note, Peter and John were doing good. They were proclaiming the gospel, and they were arrested by the learned people. The people that should have known ridiculed and arrested them, and harrassed them as well. These men, Peter and John were not afraid of being seized by the censors, by those who would label them rabblerousers or troublemakers. They spoke the truth and let God's will take over. They had faith. Thus are we called to do.
18Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. 20For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

21After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."

31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Rather than play political games of get along to get ahead, these leaders of our early church held firm and asked for boldness. Rather than bow to the will of the politically expedient and correct, these leaders asked for courage and to speak more about the Word. I wish our leaders today and in the recent past would be so bold. However, it is not up to them, they are merely emperors with no real clothes. In some ways it is our responsibility to hold them accountable. We need to have that boldness of Peter and John, to speak out, to be risk takers, to be those willing to go out and dream dreams, to perform miracles, to proclaim the word of God. We must, even as we are ridiculed and persecuted, and we will be, we must stand firm and ask for that same boldness, for we follow in their path, and the path of Christ.

June 4, 2006--Pentecost

Note: This sermon and the post related to it are taken from a sermon given by Jack Morehart, Mt. Nebo Church, June 7, 1992. Actual delivered sermon may have varied, in 1992 and today. No video available.

Text: Acts 2:14-40 (emphasis 2:17)
Have you ever felt electricity in the air--like in the winter when you touchs omeone and a spark snaps? There's a playful tension. You wonde who's going to get zapped next.

A group of folks a number of years ago felt something like electricity in the air. This serious tension had actually started fifty days earlier. On that Sunday morning, some of the women reported that their beloved murdered leader had arisen from the dead. So, the tension began. "When will he appear to us? Is today the day?"

He did appear, many times in many ways, until one day, forty days aftger he arose when he told them: "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a clodu hid him from their sight.

"Is today the day?" They had been waiting together now ten days for this Holy Spirit to come upon them. And so, the tension mounted and on that day called Pentecost (which means fiftieth day) the electricity in the air seemed unbearable. Today we celebrate Pentecost. "Is today the day?"

"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 languages as the Spirit enabled them.
"And those outside the building said, "we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues! Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, what does this mean? Some, however, made fun of them and said, they have drunk too much wine."

"Then Peter stood up and saddressed the crowd: 'fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:"in the last days, God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit on all People. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women i will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billwos fo smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord wil be saved."

Peter goes on. "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by Miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to YOU by God's set purpose and foreknoweldge, and YOU, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, becasue it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."

"God has raised this Jesus to life, and we area ll witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

"When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

"Peter replied, 'repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."

"With many other words he warned them, and he pleaded with them, 'Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.' Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."

Not one of us was there physically on Pentecost, but spiritually we ARE THERE. We are the YOU. Each of us, WE crucified Christ with the help of wicked men. Likewise, we should be "cut to the heart." Each of us at some tim needs to cry out, "What shall I do?" And the answer remains the same, "Repent, turn from selfish ways with a Godly sorrow, be baptized and recive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Is today the day? Is today the day you shall see a vision?

Is today the day? Is today the day you shall dream a dream?

Is today the day? Is today the day you shall proclaim, that is, prophesy, the good news about jesus Christ and the joy, freedom, and peace He brings?

Is today the day? Is today the day you will see old sinful habits begin to melt away?

Is today the day? Is today the day you will beign to see the fruit of the Spirit in your lives (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control)?

Is today the day? Is today the day you shall be freed from your slavery to fear of death?

Is today the day? Is today the day you will be able to say "Abba Father! Daddy, I love you!"

Is today the day? is today the day the Holy Spirit will testify with your spirit that you are a child of God and you will know that truth for sure?

Do you feel the elecricity in the air? Is today the day? When will Jesus appear to you? Is today the day you will feel God pour out His Spirit upon you? "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Is today the day?

May 28, 2006--Memorial Day

Note: Posts here are taken from the loose outline notes of the pastor. Actual sermon delivered may have varied. No recording available. Sorry!

Text: Matthew 16:24; John 13:15; 2 Timothy 1:7

This is the weekend where we honor and commemorate the sacrifices of our brave soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifices, where we remember the valiant and the honorable. This is the weekend where we honor those who were brave and stood for us, and stood for freedom's march, both here and abroad. However, this weekend to me is not, as some would say, about death as it is about life.

Not all are called to die for Christ. Most are called to live for Christ. Most are called to gather more disciples by how they live, not how they die. They are to be soldiers advancing the cause through their example.

Likewise, our soldiers, we should never forget those who died, but we need to remember how they lived, and what they died and lived for. Therefore, I don't think the barbeques and such are a bad idea, though I do think we need to set aside time to talk about exactly what we are doing having the barbeque and what the day is about. By looking at what these men were living and dying for, you can see the value of their sacrifice. To see what they were willing to give up tells us something about the cause they were fighting for, and should serve to inspire.

Likewise, we need to look at not just Christ's death, but at His life. We need to remember how He lived, not just how He died. We need to model those same beliefs and and attitudes of Christ, as we ought to model the sacrificing spirit of the Soldiers who passed, as well.

By seeing what was given up, in addition to deaths, it helps us to cherish the gift of freedom they have given us, it helps us to understand more what is great about this land and about our people. Likewise, by looking at how Christ lived, it give us more appreciation for His sacrifice, for His wisdom, and for His example.

And We can do it. We can rise up and live as Christ did, we can be called upon to sacrifice. Because, we as Christians were given a Spirit, a Spirit of power, not timidity. Just as I believe that our soldiers and those who defend us have a special spirit, a special something, that makes them heroes.

Those soldiers were fighting for our way of life. They loved and treasured it. Likewise, we are fighting to bring something special to the world. They fought to bring freedom to our land, to Europe, to Asia, and today to bring freedom to the MidEast. They are bringing God's gift of freedom to places, and so are we.

By remembering not just their deaths, but their lives, we can value and appreciate our story more. By remembering how Christ lived, we can better serve the kingdom.

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