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Weekly Sermon

Sermons are summarized by Erica Woollums.

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Pastor's message is about the Apostle Paul and the Damascus Road.


Paul was an outgoing person. You didn't have to ask his opinion on much. He will have already told you what he thought. Of the four personality types, dominant, influential, compliant and steady, it's pretty obvious which one Paul fit Into.


But to be a highly dominant person can be dangerous. Paul was an extremist. He was going to destroy this new religion any way he could. He didn't care who he hurt.


If Paul is right in his thinking, then these new Christians HAVE to be wrong. He would not have been the kind of person to delegate responsibility. He would go himself.


So there he was on the road to Damascus, on his way to persecute Christians. This self-sufficient person was suddenly struck down, blinded by his encounter with the man whose followers he was persecuting. He meets the risen Christ. He is now dependent on the kindness of others, something a self-sufficient person would likely fear.


God usually warns us with some sort of sign when something is wrong. But like a warning light on our car, we often ignore these signs. Sometimes when we get a warning sign, we become more determined to go our own way.


What is God trying to tell us? He will speak to those who are willing to listen. He speaks to each of us in different ways. But how do we discern what that is?


God is like a great hound who will not give up the chase. He will pursue us to save us, whatever it takes.


Prayerfully listen to what God is trying to tell you. Listen to the Good Shepheard as he calls his sheep.




Pastor's message is about John 10:22-42. These words were written to Christians who were on "guard duty," suffering hardships and persecution.


Not only did they have to deal with the normal trials and tribulations of life in general. They also faced the possibility of being arrested and dying horribly. Burned at the stake. Forced to fight gladiators. Whipped.


So John was reaching out to minister to the temptations and insecurities of the people of his day by telling a story about Jesus. He tells the story of the Good Shepherd.


Trust Jesus and he will shepherd you safely through life. And how will you know if you are on the right path. We are told by Jesus in the Gospel that we will know his voice. We are his sheep, and he is our shepherd.


But there are times when we might become confused. We may be battered by life, and distracted by voices telling us to go one way or the other. When someone is not well mentally of physically, they may follow anyone who promises a moment of happiness.


Or we might even decide that we can pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. But the Way, the Truth and the Life cannot be discovered within one's self. You can read all the self-help books in the world and still be lost, confused and frightened.


The trouble is that so many have abandoned the church. Without the church, they lose out on the power of forgiveness, grace and the warmth of fellowship.


Hold on to the Good Shepherd. Listen for his call. He has declared his love for you and promised to be with you forever.



Pastor's message is about how the world will know we are Christians. We are told in the Gospel that they will know us by our love.


We can do many things for our church, but if we don't have love, then we are not fulfilling the Gospel.

It can be difficult. That doesn't mean we have to force ourselves to feel a certain way. But we need to behave a certain way. Daily we encounter those who may be difficult to love. We need to love them anyway.


The 10 Commandments tell us what we shouldn't do, but they don't tell us what we should do. Jesus in the Gospel gives us an eleventh commandment. To love one another.


Love is a choice, and so is hate. How do you react to people in your daily life?


We have been given love by Jesus, and so the natural extention of that love is to share it with others. We are loved unconditionally, and so we need to love unconditionally.


Sometimes there are things going on in our lives that make it hard to show that loving face to the world. Times when we are in doubt or dispair. We need to remember to live our lives so that others may see and also live





Pastor's message on Sunday was about healing. Most of us get flattened out in life from time to time. Something comes along, like disease or challenging circumstances, that knocks us off our feet.

We can talk about healing in a lot of different ways, from instant healings, to healing that comes through medical science, or the healing that comes naturally.


We can also talk about the many ways that Jesus healed. Remember that the ministry of Jesus was primarily a healing one. The Gospels are full of stories about these healings. There was the story of the man who called himself Legion. The hemorrhaging woman who touched the hem of the garment of Jesus. The girl who was raised from the dead. There is a parade of witnesses like these moving through the Scriptures.


Jesus is always where people need healing, isn't he.


But we will focus on the Gospel story. We are told of the paralyzed man on the mat, waiting for someone to help him to the healing pool of water. When Jesus encounters the man, he asks "Do you want to be healed?" The man acts like he doesn't even hear Jesus and his question. The man talks about how he has come to the pool day after day, and can never reach the water when it is bubbling, which is when the healing powers were present.


Why does Jesus even ask this question? Because that is how Jesus operates. He doesn't command us. He doesn't force. He invites. And Jesus is also teaching us a lesson here. Some healing is up to us. Sadly, sometimes a person's illness has become so much a part of their identity that they don't know what they will do without it. So we must indeed be willing to be healed.


Think also about how the man says he can't reach the water. Why is no one helping him? Remember the story of the man who needed healing, so his friends lowered him down to Jesus to get around the crowd surrounding him? But this poor man had no one.


Healing is not only up to us as individuals, but also the community as well. It is a cooperative task, a pooling of a lot of resources in order for the powerful work of Jesus to go on. So we have a part to play as well.




Pastor Cheri Johnson's message at the Flock of Three Annual Joint Worship/Gathering was about the last prayer of Jesus.


The last prayer of Jesus uses the word "love" 31 times. God doesn't see our differences. He sees us with no boundaries. He doesn't see our different congregations. He sees us. He sees us and the whole world, as one. And he loves us all.


So how can we spread this perspective of God. In the world, there is much fear at the events that have been happening. We must remember we are one with those who are afraid. There are those who flee to this country out of fear of being killed in their home country. God sees us all as one. There are no countries in God's eyes, no boundaries.


Everyone born has a place at the table. So how do we live in this one church that God sees? Who and where is God sending us to? We need to be open to go where he leads us.





Pastor's message is about the legacy of Jesus. He left us the Holy Spirit, and peace.


Jesus knew that the disciples would need these things in the times after his departure. They would be frightened and unsure.


The peace that Jesus offers is not like what the world would give us. It's not just a lack of strife. It's not the peace some seek in life's distractions. The peace Jesus speaks of implies completeness and unity. It surpasses all understanding.


And the Holy Spirit that Jesus left us was sent as a counselor, to remind the disciples and us of the things that Jesus taught us. It helps us see what we need to see, what God wants us to be aware of. It is a Spirit of love and self sacrifice.


Help us to follow the legacy of the Lord.





Pastor's message is about Trinity Sunday. We may ask us on this day, what do we know about God? If we are honest with ourselves, we probably have more questions than answers. Specifically, what does it mean, God in three persons? And when Jesus ascended to heaven, where did he go?


In today's Gospel, Jesus said that "I still have may things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." In other words, while we don't know everything about God, we know everything that we need to know for now.


We know enough to save us. We know that God created everything that exists. We know that God loves us and sent his only Son to die for us. We know that God is with us through the power of the Holy Spirit. That's all we really need to know. We aren't saved by our knowledge, after all, but by our faith.


Faith, unlike intellect, is available to everyone. Faith is available to the youngest, and most limited, among us. Maybe that's why Jesus used a child to illustrate what it takes to enter God's Kingdom.

The truth is that our greatest need is not to know more, but to be able to trust more. When you don't understand His plan, trust His heart.




Pastor's message is about demons, something our scientific world doesn't want to believe in. Pastor described them as powers that take away our control and leave us at the mercy of powers outside ourselves.


Look at today's Gospel to see how Jesus deals with something that makes us uneasy. How can we learn from this story? Jesus travels to the non-Jewish side of the Sea of Galilee, to the territory of Gerasa. The Jews there were in the minority. The first person Jesus encounters is a man who is possessed, living in the cemetery because there is no other place for him. Jesus doesn't so much have a discussion with the man, as a discussion with the demons within him, which we may find a little amazing. The demons say their name is Legion, as there are many. When Jesus sends Legion into a herd of pigs, the local people are frightened. They are not appreciative of the healing. They ask Jesus to hit the road. The man himself wanted to go with Jesus, but is told to go home and tell others what God has done for him, which he does.


As modern people, we may conjure up all sorts of possibilities to explain the demons. Does the man have a medical condition? A mental one? Does he need medication?


But we miss the point. Jesus has the power to overcome the demons that infest our age. What are they? Drug addiction. The abuse of power. Illness. Greed. They are indeed legion. They enslave the individual, destroy the valuable, and release the very worst in us.


We may believe in Jesus as the Son of God, but do we believe he has power over these demons? Are we willing to trust our lives to him? With his presence and strength, we will keep the demons from controlling our lives now and forever.




Pastor's message is about liberty, and also civility.


The United States of America is 243 years old. That's a long time for a nation to be free. But if you look at our history when compared to the rest of the world, we are a child among nations. Just 4 generations, really. And yet we stand tall among nations because of the principles on which we were established. That people are created equal. That they have certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


You could say that our freedom is from God, whether He blessed us with it, or we built our liberty based on biblical principles. the point is that our freedom is from God. But with that freedom comes great responsibility. We should not use that liberty to live selfish lives, as we are told by the Apostle Paul. Paul went to great lengths to make sure that the early Christians were freed from having to justify themselves by the law to be saved. But his critics feared that this freedom would be used to live sinful lives of excess.


Paul makes it clear that liberty and civility are two parts of a whole. If we have the spirit of Christ, the fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Our nation may have lost, in the last 20 years, much of its gentleness, kindness and civility. But let's break that cycle. Don't let the abundance we have acquired make us selfish. Or as Jesus said, "Love one another as I have loved you."

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