The Cost of Discipleship: Part 3 – Being Willing to Paying the Price

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build…

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The Cost of Discipleship: Part 2 – Counting the Cost

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build…

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The Cost of Discipleship: Part 1 – Establishing Priorities

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build…

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The Measure of Success

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love God, who have been called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28 This Sunday we are honoring our graduating seniors who will help lead the service and deliver the Sunday message. Graduation is usually one of those special milestones in life that we pause to recognize and reflect upon. However, this year, graduation has been an especially difficult time for our 2020 graduating seniors. There have been no graduation commencements and no opportunities to really formalize this important landmark. Yet despite the disappointment of what has been lost there is still the hope…

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Word(s)

1 In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. All that came into being came into being through him. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:1-5 I am a person who spends a lot of time with words. I do this both as a matter of vocation and passion.…

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A Season of Hope

Hope is the anchor of the soul. Hope is a basic necessity of life. It enables us to see through our present difficulties to a new and brighter future. It strengthens us to patiently endure the trials of the present in anticipation of the rewards of the future. Hope is pro-spective and future oriented.

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Flawed but Worthy

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:1-3 Our scripture reading this morning begins with an interesting command, one that I believe gives even the most confident among us pause. It begins with a plea from Paul that believers should lead a life worthy of the calling to which they have been called. How many of you feel worthy?  It feels like a trick…

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Being a Living Blessing to Others

The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man. Micah 5:7 The prophet Micah foresaw a time when the remnant of Israel would be a blessing to the whole world just as dew brings blessings to the grass of the fields.  Of course, this was always God’s intention for Israel when God told Abraham, “and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you (Gen. 12:3b).” As Christians, we believe that this promise was fulfilled when Jesus came into the world and made it possible for “Everyone who calls…

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Not Alone

J.K. Rowling had just gotten a divorce, was on government aid, and could barely afford to feed her baby in 1994, just three years before the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, was published. When she was shopping it out, she was so poor she couldn’t afford a computer or even the cost of photocopying the 90,000-word novel, so she manually typed out each version to send to publishers. It was rejected dozens of times until finally Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, gave it a second chance after the CEO’s eight year-old daughter fell in love with it.   No matter who we are…

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A Mother’s Influence

“Jesus’ mother was there, …” – John 2:1b This Sunday is Mother’s Day. Some people ridicule Mother’s Day as a lot of sentimental drivel. They say it’s nothing more than the creation of the greeting card companies and the florists. And, to be perfectly candid, there are a lot of ministers who shun this day because, they say, it’s not a religious holiday. Furthermore, they preach from the lectionary, which has an assigned scripture reading each week, and so Mother’s Day is left out. While there is a great deal of sentiment associated with this day, what’s wrong with that? Seems to me that a little bit of sentiment…

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