Sunday 2017-07-23

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

A Heart for God

Psalm 86:1-13

1Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
  • Hardened Heart - Exodus 7:13, 22; 8:15,19
  • Their hearts fearful - Leviticus 26:36
  • Lusts of the heart - Numbers 15:39
  • Stubborn, obstinate hearts - Deuteronomy 2:30
  • Heart will become proud - Deuteronomy 8:14
  • Love Him with all your heart - Deuteronomy 13:3
  • Heart can be led astray - Deuteronomy 17:17
  • Terror will fill your heart - Deuteronomy 10:16
  • Searching of the heart - Judges 5:15,16
  • Praying in one’s heart - 1 Samuel 1:13
  • Whose hearts God had touched - 1 Samuel 10:26
  • Heart desires - 2 Samuel 3:21
  • Righteous and upright in heart - 2 Samuel 14:1
  • Discerning heart - 1 Kings 3:12
  • Afflictions of the heart - 1 Kings 8:38
  • Joyful and glad in heart - 1 Kings 8:66
  • His heart had turned away from God - 1 Kings 11:4
  • Searches every heart - 1 Chronicles 28:9
  • Pride in his heart - 2 Chronicles 32:26
  • Pure in heart - Matthew 5:8
  • Treasure and heart- Matthew 6:21/Pondered them in her heart - Luke 2:19
  • Heart calloused - Matthew 13:15
  • Hearts burning - Luke 24:32

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-07-16

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

Smoke on the Water

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11; 12:11-14

These are the words of the Teacher, David’s son and king in Jerusalem
Smoke, nothing but smoke. [That’s what the Teacher says.]
There’s nothing to anything—it’s all smoke.
What’s there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone?
One generation goes its way, the next one arrives, but nothing changes—it’s business as usual for old planet earth.
The sun comes up and the sun goes down, then does it again, and again—the same old round.
The wind blows south, the wind blows north. Around and around and around it blows, blowing this way, then that—the whirling, erratic wind.
All the rivers flow into the sea, but the sea never fills up. The rivers keep flowing to the same old place, and then start all over and do it again.
Everything’s boring, utterly boring— no one can find any meaning in it. Boring to the eye, boring to the ear.
What was will be again, what happened will happen again. There’s nothing new on this earth.
Year after year it’s the same old thing. Does someone call out, “Hey, this is new”? Don’t get excited—it’s the same old story.
Nobody remembers what happened yesterday. And the things that will happen tomorrow?
Nobody’ll remember them either. Don’t count on being remembered. 

The words of the wise prod us to live well. They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are given by God, the one Shepherd. But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.

“Ecclesiastes is a John-the-Baptist kind of book. It functions not as a meal but as a bath. It is not nourishment; it is cleansing. It is repentance. It is purging. We read Ecclesiastes to get scrubbed clean from illusion and sentiment, from ideas that are idolatrous and feelings that cloy. It is an exposé and rejection of every arrogant and ignorant expectation that we can live our lives by ourselves on our own terms.” - Eugene Peterson

The Teacher
     Koheleth  קֹהֶ֫לֶת 

The Tone
     Hevel  הֶ֫בֶל 

The Teachings
     The Prods and Nails
     The Big Questions

The Telos
For further reading: Encountering Ecclesiastes: A Book for Our Time by James Limburg


Isaac Gaff is Managing Director of Worship & Creative Arts at Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-07-09

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

Squeeze Me

Psalm 22:24; Romans 8:14-19

24For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.#15 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture; also in verse 23. And by him we cry, “Abba,#15 Aramaic for fatherFather.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 
  • So, what comes out of you when you are under pressure?



  • How have you experienced the blending of sinfulness and woundedness?



  • How can you pray for the one(s) in your life that seem to hurt you the most?



  • Are you asking for something (i.e. respect, love, approval, forgiveness) from someone who does not have it to give? How will you let that go?



  • Carrying pain, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment etc. is exhausting. What is holding you back from taking it all to the cross?



  • What makes your heart ache? Who do you suffer with? What will you do about that?


Lori Bultemeier

Sunday 2017-07-02

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

Are You Angry at God?

Jonah 4:1-11

1But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4But the Lordreplied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant#6 The precise identification of this plant is uncertain; also in verses 7, 9 and 10. and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” 9But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” 10But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”


  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Psalm 46:1
  • Isaiah 43:18-19
  • Psalm 3:1-6

1.  Talk to God about it - now - He can handle your anger.


2.  Remember God’s faithfulness in the past - not just your life but the lives of others.


3.  Don’t give up.


4.  Get with someone and pray, ask for help, wait upon the Lord.


5.  Get perspective - Count the goodness.


6.  Remember, this is hard stuff.


Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-06-25

Order of Worship 745, 9:00, & 10:30

God's Heart

Jonah 3:1-10

1Then the word of the Lordcame to Jonah a second time: 2“Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” 3Jonah obeyed the word of the Lordand went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” 10When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
  1. The people of Nineveh, just like the sailors, took the words of imminent divine judgement seriously.

  2. “They believed in God”

  3. Called a fast and put on sackcloths and ashes

  • a sign of repentance

  • a sign of surrender

  • a sign of acknowledgement

      4.  Is the need information or motivation?

What will move us or our time to call out to God?


“Sometimes It Takes A Mountain”


I faced a mountain,

That I never faced before

That's why I'm calling on the Lord

I know it's been awhile,

But Lord please hear my prayer

I need you like I never have before.


Sometimes it takes a mountain

Sometimes a troubled sea

Sometimes it takes a desert

To get a hold of me

Your Love is so much stronger

Then whatever troubles me

Sometimes it takes a mountain

To trust you and believe


Forgive me, Jesus

I thought I could control

Whatever life would throw my way

But this I will admit

Has brought me to my knees

I need you Lord and I'm not ashamed to say

(Repeat chorus)


*Used by permission CCLI#640050


Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-06-18

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

What's Your Belly Story?

Jonah 2:1-10

1From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2He said:
“In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
3You hurled me into the depths,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.
4I said, ‘I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.’
5The engulfing waters threatened me,#5 Or waters were at my throat
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
brought my life up from the pit.
7“When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.
8“Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.
9But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’ ”
10And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.


Jonah was in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights….

  • This symbolizes the tomb….the darkness, the hopelessness, death.
  • Jesus’ reference to Jonah (Matthew 12:39-41)


“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep into the very heart of the seas and the currents swirled about me; al your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet will I look again.’  (Jonah 2:1-4)


When has God’s hand come upon you and you didn’t notice because you were looking for a more dramatic rescue?


Have you had ‘belly times’…..when you’ve been at rock bottom?


If you happen to be in a ‘belly time’ today, how will you reach out for help in getting back on shore?


How assured are you of God’s love for you….even in those darkest moments?
“…as high as heaven is above the earth, that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.”  (Psalm 103:11, Common English Bible)


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-06-11

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

Owning the Storm

Jonah 1:4-16

4Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”
7Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”
9He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
10This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)
11The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
12“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
13Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.


Sin - always takes you further than you planned to go
Sin - always keeps you longer than you planned to stay
Sin - always affects people around you

How we know:

  1. Conscience
  2. Circumstances
  3. Observation/Discernment of others

What do we do?

  1. Take ownership
  2. Admit we’re wrong and try to make it right as best we can
  3. Repent - I John 1:9

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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-06-04

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

How Far Are You Willing To Run?

Jonah 1:1-3

1The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

    Joppa to Ninevah: 630 miles
    Joppa to Tarshish: 2,200 miles

    Normal to Asheville, NC: 644 miles
    Normal to Seattle, WA: 2,045 miles

  • Jonah is very different from other Old Testament books of Prophecy because it is almost entirely narrative and doesn’t contain any long prophetic oracles.


  • Jonah prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel in the 8th century BC.  


  • Although we often think of Jonah as being swallowed by a large fish, the theme of this book is rebellion and religious exclusivism.  


  • In what ways have you tried to convince God that your plan is better than God’s?


  • What has it taken or what would it take for you to let go of your agenda and let God lead?  


  • How far are you willing to go in order to be sure you don’t have to obey God?


  • What group(s) of people do you want to stay separated from the loving arm of God?


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-05-28

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

The Church is Light

Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 4:11-16; I Peter 2:9

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
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.
9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 


Ephesians 5:8-13:
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

Genesis 1:2-5:  
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.


  • Dispel darkness
  • Reveals
  • Awakens
  • Warns

How to make an impact:

  • Recognize that your distinctiveness makes a difference
  • Stay close to Christ
  • Make your works visible

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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-05-21

Order of Worship 7:459:00, & 10:30

The Church Sends

Acts 1:1-11

1In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with5 Or in water, but in a few days you will be baptized with5 Or in the Holy Spirit.”
6Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But 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.”
9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”


John 15:16  "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.  Matthew 9:37-38  “Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."  Luke 10:1-3  Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. "Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.  John 4:36-38 "Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. "For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.' "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor."  John 20:21  So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."  John 17:18  "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  Acts 1:8  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."  Matthew 28:19-20  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-05-14

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

The Church as Partner

Proverbs 22:6; Matthew 19:13-14

6Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

13Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

My goal for this morning: to encourage all parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, leaders, caring persons; and to pray over all of you.


Families - from then to now

Our “Chamily” - our church family (from our Jr. Highers)

What is the role of the church?

  • For moms and dads
  • Single parent moms or dads
  • For kids of all ages
  • For grandparents, guardians


  • They need a good foundation
  • They need a good root system
  • They need an honest person of integrity
  • They need some parameters - some discipline 
  • They need to hear I’m sorry


We need to model for them:

  • Forgiveness
  • Grace
  • Unconditional love
  • A life and lifestyle of godliness
  • Sacrifice and Service

Prayer of Blessing



Spiritual Parenting by Dr. Michelle Anthony

Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner, Carey Nieuwhof 

Takes a Village/Mentoring Concept:

Relentless Parenting by Brian and Angela Haynes

Extreme Grandparenting by Dr. Tim and Darcy Kimmel

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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-05-07

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

Why the Church?

Hebrews 10:23-25

23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

1.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess. 

  • What does it mean for you to hold on unswervingly?
  • What is the hope?

2.  For he who promised is faithful.

  • How have you seen God’s faithfulness?
  • How have others seen and/or recorded God’s faithfulness?

3.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 

  • Others need us and we need others… remind us of the direction God has for us.

4.  Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing 

  • Corporate worship isn’t an activity we attend, it’s the place where the family gathers and is sent back out, where we celebrate around the table of forgiveness and the waters of baptism, where we share in living out God’s Word.

5.  But encouraging one another—

  • We aren’t asked to be disciples alone….we need each other.

6.  And all the more as you see the Day approaching.

  • There is more to come…..let’s prepare together.


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-04-30

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

The Limits of Forgiveness

Matthew 18:21-35

21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.22 Or seventy times seven
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold24 Greek ten thousand talents; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wages. was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. 28 Greek a hundred denarii ; a denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see 20:2).  He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

I.    What is forgiveness?
      A. Definitions
      B. Synonyms

II.    Levels of offenses
       A. Easy to forgive
       B. Moderately difficult to forgive
       C. Very difficult to forgive

III.   Christian faith requirements for forgiveness
       A. Optional or necessary? (Matthew 6:9-15)
       B. What are the limits? (Matthew 18:21-22) 
       C. Jesus sets the standard  (Luke 23:33-34)

IV.   Forgive and forget. . . What does this mean?
       A. Not forgetting as a forgiveness out
       B. Forgetting the offense but not the circumstances

V.    The offender-victim paradigm
       A. The victim forgives
       B. The offender shows contrition

VI.   Forgiveness does not preclude God’s judgment (Romans 12:19-20)

VII.  Forgiving those we love
       A. Why is it so difficult? The roles of love, trust, and betrayal
       B. The conditions that make forgiveness in these cases possible

VIII. The blessings of forgiveness

iX.   Conclusion
       A. Why all people SHOULD forgive
       B. Why Christians MUST forgive



Dr. Lloyd Hulit

Sunday 2017-04-23

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

Dealing With Our Doubts

John 20:19-30

19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24Now Thomas (also known as Didymus24 Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin.), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.


1.  I have to see it to believe it…

  • What doubts do you have about following Jesus? 
  • What do you do with your doubts? 
  • Has Jesus given you enough evidence to believe? 

2.  If I believe I will see…

  • What do you already put your faith in every day? 
  • Are you living your life in gray scale or in the color of God’s grace? 
  • Where in your life do you need to take a leap of faith towards Jesus?

Going deeper:

  • How does the promise Jesus gives us in Matthew 7:7-12 relate to our doubts? 
  • What does it mean to “live by faith not by sight”? (2 Cor. 5:7)
  • What does it mean to be spiritually blind? (John 9:35-41)



Michael Pitzer is Director of Student Ministries at Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-04-16

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

It's Easter - He Arose!

Mark 16:1-8

1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Stories, stories, and more stories….

  • The story of the crucifixion
  • The story of a stone
  • The story of an empty tomb
  • The story of resurrection

The Story:  He Lives!!!!

The Story:  He Is Lord!!!!

What’s His story for you?    

What’s your story for Him?


Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC




Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-04-09

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

The Crucifixion of Jesus

Mark 15:25-39

25It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.
27They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. 2828 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Luke 22:37. 29Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
33At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).34 Psalm 22:1
35When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
36Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,39 Some manuscripts saw that he died with such a cry he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

It’s Friday.    

The Purpose of the crucifixion:

  • At the time of Jesus:
    • Animal sacrifices were used to receive forgiveness of sins….over and over again.
    • Forgiveness of sin.
    • A ransom:  Jesus said that he gave his life a ransom, lutron (λύτρον), used to describe liberating captives or slaves.
  • Today:
    • Forgiveness of sin.
    • A ransom:  freedom from bondage.

Jesus as liberator?  ‘Rebel?’

  • Those on the cross on either side of Jesus:  Lestes (λῃστάς), rebels, robbers
  • Liberator from what?

If Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins and to liberate us, what is holding us hostage:

  • What sin is gripping us, paralyzing our abilities to be the people God has created us to be?
  • What social sin?
  • What personal sin?
  • What is preventing you from letting Jesus release you from that sin?


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC





Sunday 2017-04-02

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

Battle of the Soul

Mark 14:32-42

32They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”33He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,”he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36“Abba, 36 Aramaic for father Father,”he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  37Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,”he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?38Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  39Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.  41Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.42Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

The Garden

“The cup”

  1. The incarnation - fully God and fully man
  2. The weight of sin
  3. The consequence of sin

"Not my will"

  1. Not a get out of jail free card
  2. Total complete surrende

"Pray you will not fall into temptation"

  1. To fall asleep - to let the flesh take control of us
  2. To deny - making him your 3rd or 4th love
  3. To quit - do not grow wear


Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-03-26

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

The Need for a Traitor

Mark 14:1-11

1Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 2“But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”
3While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
4Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages5 Greek than three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7The poor you will always have with you,7 See Deut. 15:11. and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
10Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

It’s Wednesday of Holy Week

What happened on that day?

  1. Jesus was anointed by an unnamed woman in the house of Simon the leper.
  2. This woman was scolded for ‘wasting’ expensive oils.
  3. Judas went to the chief priests to betray Jesus.

How much is ‘too much’ when expressing our love for Jesus?

Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.” How is this Scripture misused in today’s society? 

The disciples dearly loved Jesus and had spent three years with him at this point.  However, they often still missed the point.  Even in our love and worship of Jesus, how might we still be missing the point?  What is it that we may be trying to do ‘right’ that is so wrong?


Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-03-19

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

Life Lessons: Keep it Simple

Mark 12:28-34; 41-44; 13:26-27

28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 32“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Lessons taught:

  • His authority questioned
  • Parable of the tenants
  • Paying taxes
  • Marriage at the resurrection
  • Greatest commandment
  • Whose Son is the Messiah
  • Warning against teachers of the law
  • The widow’s offering
  • Destruction of the temple and signs of the end times
  • Day and hour unknown

What’s most helpful to us/for us in reflecting on God during the Lenten season of 2017?

Two things strike me:

  1. Remembering/reclaiming the greatest commandment and the 2nd as well.
  2. Giving what we have.

We bring ourselves to the Lord’s table this morning, just as we are, all in need of His mercy and grace and favor, and giving to others that same mercy, grace, and favor that we receive.


Randy Reese is Co-Directing pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-03-12

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

Trouble in the Temple

Mark 11:12-21

12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. 15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 18The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 19When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. 20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”


It’s Monday of Holy Week

What happened in Jerusalem on this day:

  • Jesus curses the fig tree.
  • Jesus drives out those buying and selling in the temple. 
  • The religious leaders begin looking for way to kill Jesus.
  • The crowds are amazed at Jesus' teaching.

Amos 5:21-24:  “I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon.  Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.  But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

What does Jesus see when we worship:

  • Are we seeking people who are being excluded?
  • Are we waiting for opportunities to celebrate those who others degrade?
  • Is our worship for our own edification or to prepare us to go out and serve others?

Today's Preacher

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC