Sunday 2018-06-17

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Mustard Seed Gardening and the Kingdom of God

Mark 4:26-34

26He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.27Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.28All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.29As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?31It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth.32Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
33With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
 

Three things:

  • Understand a bit about mustard seeds and mustard plants
  • Mustard seeds and the Kingdom of God
  • What does this mean?

 

Mustard seeds and mustard seed gardening:

  • Size - seeds and plants
  • Uses
  • Resilient and persistent - can be planted almost anywhere

 

The Kingdom of God:

  • Understanding that God and His Kingdom will set a course for our lives - “Your reign come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
  • Includes Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • Encompasses both heaven and earth
  • Doesn’t belong to us but we are present and active in it
  • It’s multifaceted

 

Application:

  • Needs a sower - us or the Holy Spirit
  • Bring what you have to offer to God, not what you don’t have
  • Sowing a seed for God’s Kingdom doesn’t have to be complicated - a kind word, a kind deed, even a kind thought - truth be told, we plant seeds almost every minute of everyday. Seeds of kindness, seeds of discord, seeds of caring, seeds of hatred, seeds of faith ……

 

What kind of seeds do you want to plant today? What are you willing to do for the work of the Kingdom of God?


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

 

Sunday 2018-06-10

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Lord I Have Sinned

Genesis 3:8-15

8Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LordGod as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LordGod among the trees of the garden. 9But the LordGod called to the man, “Where are you?” 10He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13Then the LordGod said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

 

Guilt                                 “....and they hid from the Lord God…..”

Recognition                     “.....I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was                                                       naked….”                                   

Vulnerability                    “Who told you that you were naked?”  

Confession                       “Have you eaten from the tree……?”  

Taking Responsibility        Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent….. 

Forgiveness                      “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us                                                 our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  (I John 1:9)  

 

  • What guilt are you holding in your heart?
  • Have you identified the source of that guilt….not just the sin but the effect of that sin?
  • Where is your vulnerability as it pertains to that sin?
  • Are you ready to confess your sin to God?
  • Are you ready to take full responsibility for your sin?
  • Have you accepted the forgiveness that Christ offers to you?

 

Prayer of Confession:

God, we are naked and afraid…..vulnerable in the light of your presence….personally and as a church, a country, a world. We confess that not only have we sinned, but that we continue to sin. We pray for your strength as we face our sin, and your grace in freeing us from the chains with which we’ve bound ourselves. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to die for our sin and to be raised so that we may live.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.


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TODAY'S PREACHER
Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC
 
 

Sunday 2018-06-03

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


God Knowing is a Good Thing

Psalm 139:1-6; 23-24

1You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
23Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Omniscience

  • Psalms 139:6-14
  • Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”
  • Matthew 9:4 - “Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?”
    1. You know my activities/plans v1,3, 8-11
    2. You know my thoughts  v2, v13 (created my innermost being)
    3. You know all my ways - “that’s just the way he is”  v3
      1. Quirks
      2. Desires
      3. Work ethic
      4. Personality traits
    4.  You know my mouth/words/speaking  v4

God Knowing is a good thing:

  • He can guide me
  • He can temper my thoughts - help control them or direct them
  • He can guard my mouth - or fill it
  • He knows what I’m anxious about and can help me - “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Jesus            (Matthew 11:28)

Anxious thoughts given to Him


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-05-27

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


What if...

John 1:9-14

9The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

  • Engaging the imagination

 

  • Imagine how different America and the world would be if Jesus had never been born
    • The American landscape
    • The Influence of Christianity on Science
    • Christianity and Health Care
      • Matthew 25:36, 40
    • Christianity and Institutions of Higher Education
      • Colossians 2:3
    • Christianity and Women’s Rights
      • John 4, the Woman at the Well
      • John 4:26
      • Galatians 3:28
    • The Unseen Powers of Jesus Christ
      • Faith
        • Romans 1:17
        • Mark 9:23
    • Love
      • Ephesians 3:17-18
    • Hope
      • Colossians 1:26-27

 

  • A final lesson about all of this from Virginia and the newspaper editor

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TODAY'S PREACHER

Lloyd Hulit

Sunday 2018-05-20

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Deja Vu

Matthew 28:5-10, Acts 2:1-4, 14

5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” 8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,”he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues.
14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.

 

Thoughts to ponder this week:

 

  • Have you ever wished that you were on the earth during the time Jesus walked with the disciples? Do you think you would have understood any better than they did?

 

  • How do we connect with this Holy Ghost? First, know that if you have a saving knowledge of Jesus, then you have within you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They cannot be separated. In order to activate the Spirit within us, we must allow the Holy Spirit to touch our souls (mind, will, emotions). It must be intentional. Practices such as worship, prayer, and Bible Study automatically summon the Spirit within us. 

 

  • Jesus told His disciples that it was good that He was going away (John 14) because He was going to send the Holy Spirit to live in them so that they could fully believe and put their faith into action so that the Gospel would spread throughout the world. Where is the Holy Spirit leading you to boldly share your faith?

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TODAY'S PREACHER

Lori Bultemeier

 

Sunday 2018-05-13

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Saved by Grace

Acts 9: 1-6; 18-22; 26-31

1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,”he replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
26When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews. 30When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 31Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

 

Our journeys take us different routes to different places and we experience God in different ways, unique to us.

 

  • Philip
  • The Ethiopian
  • Saul

 

  • What’s Saul’s story?  He was a Pharisee.

         - The journey north of Jerusalem to Damascus

         - The bright light

         - Jesus speaks to Saul

 

  • A Transformation Journey:

         - Saul

         - Ananias

         - Barnabas

 

  • Have you felt any leading from God to go see someone outside of the faith recently?

 

  • Is there a nudging of the Holy Spirit to go and stand beside someone - to encourage them - to befriend them - to even protect them?

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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

 

 

Sunday 2018-05-06

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


I am a Friend of God

John 15:9-16

9-10“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
11-15“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
16“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.
 

There were lots of rules listed in the Old Testament and Jesus also spent time teaching how to obey God. Why would Jesus condense all of this down to one commandment:  ‘Love one another’?

 

“I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” John 15:15

 

What is a ‘friend’?   

 

What does it mean to be a friend of Jesus?

Philoi

It’s not a master-slave relationship (as was the case in many ancient religions of 

the day….humans were considered slaves to their ‘god’).

It’s not a relationship of equals…..God is still God…..but desiring a relationship 

with us that is much deeper than a distant, hierarchical, unbalanced loved.

It is a love that wants to serve God as well as others.

 

“Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world and repent of your sin?

 

“Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?

 

“Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?

 

“According to the grace given to you, will you remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world?”  

(The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989)


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-04-29

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Transformation Happens

Acts 8:4-5, 26-40; Romans 12:1-2

4Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.
26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian8:27 That is, from the southern Nile regioneunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”8:33 Isaiah 53:7,8 (see Septuagint) 34The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” 378:37 Some manuscripts include here Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
 
  1. Transformation happens all the time for all peoples of all religions, nations, and races.

    • Natural
    • Physical
    • Emotional
    • Spiritual
  2. Transformation for the one who believes in Christ Jesus has a distinctive flavor to it.
    • Changes the heart or soul
    • One goes from a broken relationship with God to a restored Relationship with Him
    • Through the Holy Spirit, transformation by the renewing of our minds, hearts, and soul moves us (journey) to a healthy and Everlasting relationship with God 
  3. God’s story of transformation in: 
    • Philip
    • An Ethiopian 
    • The church

Do you want enough of Jesus in you to allow Him to lead you into a new way of thinking, a new way of dealing with each other, and a new way of dealing with others?


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-04-22

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


For What Would You Take The Blame?

Acts 4:5-13

5The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others 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 man who was lame and are being 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. 11Jesus is  ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
 
  • For what would you be willing to take the blame?

 

  • How comfortable are you talking about your spiritual walk with people outside of the church or outside of your friends who you know are people of faith?

 

  • The question the Sanhedrin was concerned about was, “By what power or what name did you do this?”

 

  • What brought the Sanhedrin to astonishment? It was the courage of Peter and John!

 

  • In what ways are we ‘blamed’ for being a Christian?

 

  • The transformation that the Resurrection brings happens through us.

 

  • In what ways might we step up so that we can be vessels of transformation?

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TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-04-15

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Does This Surprise You?

Act3:12-20

12When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
17“Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.
 
  • How has the Resurrection of Jesus made a difference in the world?

 

 

  • The lame man at the gate wanted money, but God gave him healing.  

 

 

  • How has the church historically made a difference in the world?

 

 

  • How have Christians historically made a difference in the world?

 

 

  • How is Calvary making a difference right now?

 

 

  • How are we as Christians today making a difference right now?

 

 

  • Are you surprised when Jesus works through you or through someone else? Why or why not?

 


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

Sunday 2018-04-08

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


When God Says No

Luke 22:39-46

39Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”41He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46“Why are you sleeping?”he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

 

Reflections on “No”

 

God’s responses to our prayers:

  1. Yes
  2. Wait
  3. No

 

What does that say about God when He says “no”?

 

Why would He say “no”?

  1. Conflict
  2. Free will
  3. He has a bigger perspective
  4. He has a bigger plan

 

What do I do when God says “no”? How can I deal with that?


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

Sunday 2018-04-01

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Where's Jesus?

Luke 24:1-8

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” 8Then they remembered his words.
  • If Jesus was and is all powerful, wouldn't he have escaped the cross? No. Instead, Jesus escaped the grave.

 

  • If Jesus was and is all powerful, wouldn't he end suffering and heartache in our world?  No. Instead, Jesus wraps his arms around us and sits with us in the midst of pain....promising to bring us out on the other side.

 

  • Are we missing Jesus because we're looking for the miraculous, the mass healings, the fiery destruction of evil? Are we looking for all of this rather than in the forgiveness of our own attitudes, the softening of our own hearts, and the promise of new beginnings?

 

  • Are we looking in all the wrong places for Easter? 

 

  • The resurrection means that the unknown is only unknown to us….Jesus will still be in it.

 

  • The resurrection means that when there seems to be no good options, Jesus reveals possibilities we couldn't even imagine.

 

  • What's the mess that you think you've made in your life that seems unrecoverable? Do you trust the resurrected Jesus to transform it into a masterpiece?

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TODAY'S PREACHERS

Randy Reese & Debbie Reese are Co-Directing Pastors of Calvary UMC

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Sunday 2018-03-25

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Praying for Healing and Restoration In Our Lives and In Our Nation

II Chronicles 7:1-3, 11-16

1Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house. 3And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
11Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord, and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the Lord, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. 12And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 16For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
  1. Admit I'm not in control
  • Humility
  • Be quiet and patient and don't retaliate
  • When you look for ways to serve others instead of expecting to be serve (I Chronicles 29:10-13)

     4 things God will do if you work on this: Humility

        2.  Ask God for help

  • John 16:23-24
  • Jesus wants me to ask

         3.  Seek God, not a miracle

  • Psalm 14:2:

    The Lord looks down from heaven
        on all mankind
    to see if there are any who understand,
        any who seek God.
         ... seek my face

         4.  Turn my attention from the world to the word  

  • Wickedness - (screen) forgetting God
  • Turn - Greek  "meta-noia" to change your mind - not just turn away from sin but turn to God

James 5:16:
    16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

 

I will hear from heaven.

I will forgive your sins.

I will heal your land.


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

 

Sunday 2018-03-18

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Praying Through Our Days

Philippians 4:4-7, Ephesians 6:18

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 
 

A daily schedule built on the Lord’s Prayer (adapted from 40 Days of Prayer by Rick Warren)

 

Wake up:           Our Father, who art in heaven, 

Get up with Gratitude: make a gratitude list and keep it by your bed; make a playlist of songs of thanks and wake up to them in the morning.

 

Breakfast:          Hallowed be thy name, 

Praise God and anticipate what God will do throughout your day.

 

Mid-Morning:    Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Remember what matters most: have you forgotten your priorities already?  Have you lost your focus and missed the bigger perspective?

 

Lunch:               Give us this day our daily bread.  

Share with God your needs (and other peoples’ needs, too).

 

On the way home or late afternoon:

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Confess your sins and forgive others who’ve hurt you.

 

Early Evening:   And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. 

Remember the temptations that attack especially hard when you’re tired.

 

Going to bed:    For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

Remember that God is in control and that today is not the end of the story…...God is still on the throne and will remain there for eternity.  


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-03-11

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Praying in Five Dimensions - Prayer Perspectives

Ephesians 3:14-21

14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family, in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

5 Dimensions/Perspectives of Prayer

  1. Look backward to the cross
  • I Peter 1:18-19

       2.  Look upward to the Lord’s face

 

       3.  Look inward Jesus living inside of you

  • 2 Corinthians 13:5

       4.  Look around and ask the Holy Spirit to use you

  • Ephesians 4:29

       5.  Look forward to your future in faith

  • Philippians 1:6

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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

 

 

Sunday 2018-03-04

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


How Do We Recognize God's Voice?

I Samuel 3:1-10, John 10:2-5

1The boy Samuel ministered before the Lordunder Eli. In those days the word of the Lordwas rare; there were not many visions. 2One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4Then the Lordcalled Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 6Again the Lordcalled, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lordhad not yet been revealed to him. 8A third time the Lordcalled, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lordwas calling the boy. 9So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10The Lordcame and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

 

Recognizing the Voice of God

We very rarely hear God in an audible voice, yet God’s voice is very recognizable in the following ways…..

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

 

Can we identify who is calling simply by hearing their voice? How?

 

As we are listening to someone else talking on their phone, can we determine who they’re talking to based on their tone? What cues are we given by that other person?  

 

Do we know God well enough to recognize when God is talking to us?


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-02-25

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


A Beginner's Guide to Prayer

Luke 11:1, Hebrews 10:22-23, Matthew 7:7-8

1One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2He said to them, “When you pray, say:
“ ‘Father hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. 5Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread;6a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’7And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity. 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.10For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for11:11 Some manuscripts for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Jesus and Beelzebul
14Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15But some of them said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” 16Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven. 17Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.18If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul.19Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.20But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.22But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder. 23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’25When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.26Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” 27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” 28He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
The Sign of Jonah
29As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here.32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.
The Lamp of the Body
33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy,11:34 The Greek for healthy here implies generous. your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy,11:34 The Greek for unhealthy here implies stingy. your body also is full of darkness.35See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.36Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law
37When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal. 39Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?41But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. 42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. 43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces. 44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.” 45One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” 46Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. 47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them.48So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs.49Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’50Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world,51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. 52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” 53When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, 54waiting to catch him in something he might say.
22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

 

4 Foundational Truths about Prayer:

  1. God loves for you to talk to Him about anything.

    • John 5:14-15

  2. God listens to prayer that are sincere and simple.

    • Matthew 6:5-8

  3. God likes to show His grace by answering prayer.

    • Jeremiah 33:3

    • James 4:2-3

  4. God longs to be close to you.

    • Isaiah 30:18

    • Hosea 6:6

 

Reflective Questions:

  • How often do I pray?
  • How does prayer really change me?

  • Do I want prayer to change me? Do I want God to change me?

  • Has prayer changed me to the point that others have noticed a change?


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

Sunday 2018-02-18

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Do You Want To Grow Up?

Ephesians 4:11-16

11So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

I am going to participate in the 40 days of prayer in the following ways:

_____ In Worship

_____ In a small group (days and times)

_____ By using the prayer journal that goes with this study

 

Other Scriptures to read:

  • Matthew 4:4
  • Acts 20:32
  • Hebrews 5:11-14
  • I Corinthians 9:24-27
  • Acts 2:46-47

 

The way that I need to grow up in my prayer life the most is:

 

This is what I’m going to do to grow my prayer life:

 

Methods that may or may not be new to me:

  1. Christian Labyrinths: the Finger Labyrinth
  2. Prayer beads
  3. Prayer walks
  4. Ancient prayers of the church
  5. Writing prayers to God

TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-02-11

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Get Up and Don't Be Afraid

Matthew 17:1-9

1After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,”he said. “Don’t be afraid.”8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Additional Readings that are helpful:

 Matthew 16:13-20; 21-28; I John 3:1-3

“The Transfiguration” - the journey to understanding the Messiah, the cross, the resurrection, and the Kingdom

Those involved:

  • Jesus - fully God and fully man - Here, His deity is revealed in a new way
  • Moses - the lawgiver - Elijah - the most jealous of all the prophets
  • Peter - James - John - a core of the disciples - the raising of Jarius’ Daughter, the transfiguration, in the Garden of Gethsemane
  • The Lord God Almighty

Metamorphoo - (metamorphosis) - transformed/ changed

What this meant:

  • Jesus was fully man
  • Jesus was fully God

God’s words:

          “Listen to Him”  (referring to Jesus - not to Moses or Elijah)

          “This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased”

Through a season of prayer, fasting, reflection - Begin this Lenten season asking God to reveal Himself, His light, His glory, His presence to you.


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC       

Sunday 2018-02-04

Order of Worship 7:45, 9:00, & 10:30


Altars, Altars, Everywhere

Psalm 84

1How lovely is your dwelling place, LordAlmighty! 2My soul yearns, even faints,for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. 4Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. 5Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 6As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. 8Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. 9Look on our shield, look with favor on your anointed one. 10Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. 11For the LordGod is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12 Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

 

God is revealed in the mountaintops of life as well as in the valleys. How is it that you expect to see God? Are you looking for mountaintops or spiritual ‘highs’?  

 

God is often revealed in the mundane times of life. What might that look like for you?

 

When have you experienced God on the mountaintop?

 

When have you experienced God in the ordinary living of life?

 

Is a time of worship only powerful if we feel something? How might worship be more about what we offer to God than how we feel about our time with God?

 

This link shows a great altar idea for families of one or many.                       

 

Check out Pinterest or Google for more ideas for creating worship spaces at home.


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC