"The LORD, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from [the giant]" - David

When we face difficulties, we need to double down on our commitment to do our duty. The giants we face may be insurmountable. David tells Saul that when he goes out to keep the sheep by night, he prepares himself to do his duty, for he doesn’t know if he will face a lion or a bear. He has decided beforehand to be courageous.

For: 
June 27, 2021
I Samuel 16 - 17
Pentecost 8
The Philistines had a champion named Goliath, who was nine feet tall. - The problem

Faith isn’t a magical power that some people have, and others don’t. We all can have faith. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, simply do your duty.

For: 
June 20, 2021
1 Samuel 17:1-49
Pentecost 7
"...the birds of the air can make nests in [the church's] shade" - Jesus

Jesus’ point is that a seed can start out small, but like a weed, grow to takes over the garden. Why should our faith become so obvious? Because the kingdom of God is a matter of goodness, ministering to the needs of others, and social action.

For: 
June 13, 2021
Mark 4:30-34
Pentecost 6
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.

Psalm 130 is a very personal litany of prayers; each line the breath of the human soul. This is a good time to remind people that when illness interrupts our daily lives, there may be positive spiritual benefits. The story of the woman with the unstoppable hemorrhage also moves us to compassion. It moved the woman to seek Jesus.

For: 
June 6, 2021
Psalm 130
Mark 5:24
Pentecost 5
"All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” - Romans 8:14

This year, with the pandemic, has been particularly hard for those who struggle for their sobriety day by day.

For: 
May 30, 2021
Romans 8:12-14
Pentecost 2
"The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray..." - the Apostle Paul

Some say we should simply talk to God as if he is a friend. But, God is God. How do you talk to a being who lives outside of time and has never sinned? What do you know about God? Having glimpsed God down a long corridor, dimmed by your own inadequacies, how do you pray?

For: 
May 23, 2021
Romans 8:26-39
I Kings 3:5-12
Pentecost
"...And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you..." Jesus saying how his church remains "in the world"
In his extended prayer (John 17) Jesus reveals a key concept: just as God was present in the world through Jesus, so also, Jesus will continue to be present in the world through his Church. In John 17:13-17, Jesus says that his Church will be in the world, but not of it.
For: 
May 16, 2021
John 17:1-13
Eastertide 7
Ascension Sunday
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another."

In too many governments around the world, and perhaps even here, the competitive spirit of partisanship and winning overtakes the basic task of government, that is to be in a healthy and positive relationship with the people. In too many churches, perhaps your own, the routine of being churchy has buried the joy of being in fellowship with each other and in love with Christ.

For: 
May 9, 2021
John 15: 9-17
Easter 6

The story of Phillip really begins in Acts chapter six when he is given the job of administering the soup kitchen in Jerusalem. Then in the next chapter, his partner in this effort, Stephen, is arrested and executed. Those who believe in Jesus in Jerusalem are being persecuted. Phillip flees the city.

For: 
May 2, 2021
Acts 8
Easter 5

Use this link to get the handout of slides from Bill's "Managing Congregational Anxiety" Workshop -> Handout

" I am the good shepherd... I lay down my life..." - Jesus

This year, with the killing of George Floyd, the difference between a good police officer and a bad one has come to the forefront. 

For: 
April 20, 2021
John 10:11-18
Easter 4
"Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I..." - the Risen Lord
The Easter story is startling and news worthy. It changes everything.
For: 
April 19, 2015
Luke 24:36-48
Easter 3
Jesus said, "Peace [or shalom] be with you."

What was Jesus’ first word to his friends when he came to them the evening of Easter? It was Shalom. This is a word that means more than just peace. Wholeness, healing, living a life that has integrity and consistency. Shalom speaks of God’s providence. 

For: 
April 11, 2021
John 20:19-23
Easter 2
[Peter and John came to the tomb,] saw and believed. - John 20:8

Faith is a gift of the grace of God. We sometimes find the greatest faith at those moments when we have the least reason to trust in Jesus.

For: 
April 4, 2021
John 20:1-10
Easter
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!" - the crowd setting Jesus up to get arrested.

Palm Sunday begins the Passion story. Like all well-told stories, the plotline is complicated. I’ve written and directed several Easter Dramas/Passion Plays. There are a lot of moving parts. Some years Pontius Pilate steals the show and people go home feeling that if this man had been different – had better motives or been more principled – then the play would have ended differently.

For: 
March 28, 2021
Mark 11:1-11
Lent 6
Palm Sunday

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