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


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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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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Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC



Sunday 2018-01-28

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

Make My Day

Micah 6:1-8; Matthew 23:23-24

1Listen to what the Lord says: “Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say. 2“Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel. 3“My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. 4I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam. 5My people, remember what Balak king of Moab plotted and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.” 6With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly 8Or prudently with your God.
23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.


Micah the prophet

Chapter 6:

  • V. 1-3: The Summon, Case, and Charge against Israel
  • V. 4-5: God’s case
  • V. 6-7: Defendant Israel’s response 
  • V. 8: The Decision


Random Acts of Kindness Suggestions:

  • Pay it forward - buy someone’s meal behind you in the drive thru - Give a blessing to someone - a food basket, a gift of service - sweep or clean a sidewalk, several go together and buy someone’s groceries or gas, call a nursing home - ask for someone who’s family is far away or who has no family - send them a card or make a visit 


Check out the podcast on Tuesday - we’ll offer some other suggestions - those will appear on the Daily Connection later in the week as well.

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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-01-21

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

Peace, Be Still!

Mark 4:35-41 and Matthew 14:22-33

35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

22While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” 23Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many,”he said to them. 25“Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 26When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: “ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. 28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 29Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” 30 “Truly I tell you,”Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” 31But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.  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.

Calming the Storm

  1. What are your storms? 
  2. Do you feel like your boat is taking on water? 
  3. Are you more afraid of your problems or of Jesus?

Walking on Water

  1. If Jesus said, “Come” would you get out of your boat. 
  2. Have you started looking at the wind and the waves again? 

Calming our Heart

  1. Are you asking God to calm the waters in your life, or calm your heart?  
  2. Do you want your circumstances to lower to your faith or your faith to rise above your circumstances?

Additional Scripture Dive: Isaiah 11:2, 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 111:10, John 16:33



Michael Pitzer is Director of Senior High Ministries

Sunday 2018-01-14

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

Soothe the Savage

Psalm 40:1-11

1I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. 4Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.40:4 Or to lies 5Many, Lordmy God,are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. 6Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened40:6 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts but a body you have prepared for me— burnt offerings and sin offerings40:6 Or purification offerings you did not require. 7Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll.40:7 Or come / with the scroll written for me 8I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” 9I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know. 10I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. 11Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

The 17th century poet and playwright, William Congreve, originated the saying, "Music hath the charms to soothe a savage breast."

In what ways has God lifted you up out of the slimy pit and set your feet on solid ground?  

How has God soothed the ‘savage’ within you?

Rev. Lori Bultemeier:  “The universe (one song) that God created resonates. Nature vibrates, we vibrate, the world can be in tune or out of tune. We can be in tune or out of tune with God, others and ourselves (dissonance). We seek harmony - each with their own part, that is better - not just in music, but in life. Music can gather strangers into one place and we can feel like friends because we have a common love of the music of the evening.”

Fascinating TED talk by Anita Collins on the science behind our brains and music: (please note: we are not discounting the value of other activities in which we might participate)

Song Playlist

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Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-01-07

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

Flip the Switch

Isaiah 60:1-6

1“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. 2See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4“Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. 5Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. 6Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.

John 8:12 - When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The event is over
Borrowed energy
The sub zero temperatures
Less sunlight
People leave

  1.  Jesus our Light is self-sustaining - He will not burn out or go out
    • He’s our security light
  2. He is light for everyone
  3. He is bright enough to reach into the darkest of places and shine

He’s there - but we have to flip the switch. Let Him in - Let Him help - Let Him fill - Let Him live and breath in you.

Prayer card - candles - some investment on your part

Find the Prayer Card Here.

Let Him Light Your World

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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-12-31

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

At Home with Life

Luke 2:22-40
22And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. 25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 36And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

What is it for which you’ve waited your entire life….or for what seems to be a lifetime? Have you experienced or received that for which you’ve waited?

“If I could just…(fill in the blank)......I could die in peace.”

Simeon said, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel…” Without getting political or judgmental, who/what might Simeon describe today that might be caused by Jesus to rise or to fall?

Now that Christmas is over, has the light of Christmas Eve already faded? How might we keep that flame kindled in our spirits so that it continues to light our way and to reflect the light of Christ to others?

Home and family: we’ve been redefining these terms throughout Advent. How might we live into the definition of home as that place where we are in the presence of God? How might we live into the definition of family to mean all people of God, rather than look at marital status or children in the house?

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Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

2017 Christmas Eve Services

Welcome Home

Luke 2:1-20

1At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. 6And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. The Shepherds and Angels 8That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” 15When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.


What does it mean to come home for Christmas?
I John 3:1  
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”


Why is this baby's birth so monumental? Why do we still celebrate it today?
John 1:12 -13
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”


How is God still appearing?
Romans 8:16-17
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now 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.”

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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

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Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-12-17

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

God Makes the World Our Home

Luke 1:46-55

46And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. 50His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

At the micro-level:

At the macro-level:

Emmanuel - “God with us”

The Context: Luke 1: 5-25 - reread v. 25; 1:26-38 - reread v. 28

Hannah’s song - I Samuel 1:1-10

“The Magnificat”  Stanley Jones says, “the Magnificat is the most revolutionary document in the world”

V. 51:

V. 52:

V. 53:

3 questions to take home with you today:

  • How about you? Does your soul magnify the Lord?
  • Do people see Christ’s love and goodness in you? 
  • Are you letting God work within you to accomplish His will?

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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-12-10

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

At Home with Joy

I Thessalonians 5:16-24; Psalm 30:4-5

16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
4 Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his…: or, to the memorial 5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

If home is where we meet God, isn’t home also where God is walking with us to what’s next?


“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” 

                                                                  John Lennon in Beautiful Boy


How would our world be different if we recognized and celebrated those moments along the way?


Joy comes when we are aware of God’s grace. 


Nehemiah 8:10 - “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”


Attitudes are contagious: What attitude are we spreading around?  What comes out of our homes?  Our home of Calvary?  Our Community?


Psalm 30:4-5

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name…..weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

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Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-12-03

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

Home is Where We Meet

Psalm 85:1-2, 7-13

1 You, Lord, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. 2 You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins.
7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation. 8 I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly. 9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. 10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. 11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. 12 The Lordwill indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. 13 Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.

Do you tuck or untuck? Why?

Why do we value home and/or family?

  1. Gives us a sense of grounding - where we’ve come from
  2. Gives us a sense of belonging
  3. Gives us a sense of being wanted
  4. We can make mistakes and still be loved, welcomed, wanted

Home for the disciple of Jesus Christ:

  1. Being in His presence
  2. Being in His house
  3. Being with His people - your brothers and sisters

Psalms 85: How do we come home to God?

  1. Start your journey to God with an offering of thanksgiving
  2. A word of declaration of their faith - Lord
  3. A word of testimony to God’s mercy - kind
  4. Ask God, the work of the Holy Spirit, to “Let me hear” / “Give me ears to hear”
  5. My prayer - “God, let me honor You so through me Your glory can live in our land. I don’t need anything - I don’t want anything - Help me Holy Spirit to honor God during this advent season of 2017.

Psalm 19:14


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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-11-26

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

An Invitation to Come Home

First Sunday in Advent: Hope

Isaiah 64:1-9

1 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! 2 As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! 3 For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. 4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. 5 You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 7No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins:  8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9 Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people.
  • Are you home this morning?


  • What is ‘home’?
    • What is ‘family’?


  • Scripture
    • Who we haven’t been
    • How we’ve fallen short
    • Our true relationship with God


  • Coming home this Advent: resetting our lives…putting it back on track; re-railing


  • Hope
    • God provides a re-railer: his name is Jesus Christ.
    • How has your life gotten off track?


  • An invitation to come home this Advent…what does this mean? What will be your answer to the invitation from God?

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Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-11-19

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

Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving

Psalm 100:1-5; Philippians 4:4-7 

1Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.praise: or, thanksgivingall…: Heb. all the earth 2Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.and not…: or, and his we are. 4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations
4Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
  • Romans 1:21-23 - unthankfulness is a trait of the ungodly


  • John 6:11 - Jesus, our Lord, Savior, the Incarnate Son of God gave us an example of thanking God for food.


  • Matthew 26:27 - Jesus, our Lord, our Savior in the face of His impending suffering and death gave thanks to God for the bread and the cup.  Thanksgiving is not a beauty that fades when sickness smites the body or which is lost in the withering touch of years, but it is the beauty which grows lovelier in pain and suffering. A thankful heart shows our likeness to Christ.


  • Acts 16:25-30 - Paul and Silas’ praise while in prison brought the guard to Christ.


  • Habakkuk 3:17-19 - regardless of circumstances - “yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior”


  • Isaiah 61:3 - God provides us with a garment of praise.

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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-11-12

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

Releasing God's Best: Self-Control

Galatians 5:22-25; Proverbs 25:16, 26-28

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
16Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
26A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring. 27It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
28He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

More from the Word:

  • I Corinthians 9:24-27 
  • Titus 2:11-12

The Greek word used here, “egkrateia” means temperance: the virtue of one who masters their desires and passions, especially their sensual appetites. I tie a self-controlled life in the same vein as a disciplined life - and then stretch a bit to talk about a disciple’s life. A part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is being one who uses the Holy Spirit to empower self-control or discipline in their thoughts and desires, in their language and speech, and in their actions and commitments.

synonyms         self-discipline, restraint, self-possession, self-command, willpower,                                    composure, coolness; 


The “honey bear” - too much of a good thing can be bad.


The shooter at the Texas church last Sunday - anger un-checked - too much of an emotion, any emotion can be a bad thing. 


What can Spirit led, Spirit filled, Spirit empowered self-control do for you?


What’s the blessing of God here?

  • Maybe keep you from indulging in something too much?
  • Maybe keep your foot out of your mouth - how many times?

Have you responded to someone out of human anger and realized that you’ve hurt someone deeply - when that was not your real intention?

  • Maybe keep you from attacking someone - with thoughts or words or actions?

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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC


Sunday 2017-11-05

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

Releasing God's Best: Gentleness

Galatians 5:22-25; Colossians 3:15-17 

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The ‘gentleness’ (epieikeia) of Christ

The ‘meekness’ (praÿtēs) of Christ 

Examples of Jesus’ gentleness:

  • Mark 1:40-42; 5:25-34; 10:13-16 
  • John 8:3-11

Gentleness as strength: 

  • Proverbs 15:1
  • James 3:17
  • Matthew 5:5
  • 1 Peter 3:1-4

Gentleness or meekness does not mean being a doormat on which people walk. It is a descriptor of strength, not weakness.

Hebrews 12:1-3:  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-10-29

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

Releasing God's Best: Faithfulness

Galatians 5:22-26; Hosea 4:1-3;Psalm 86:10-13; I Corinthians 1:4-9

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

1Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lordhas a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. 2There is only cursing, 2 That is, to pronounce a curse on lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away.

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. 12 I 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.

4I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

God desires our lives to be defined and shaped by our relationship with Him.




Randy’s premise:

  1. What we are known for is typically what we are faithful to:
    • Abe Lincoln
    • Michael Jordan
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr
  2. Faithfulness for a Christian is being defined by our relationship with God - both in being and in action.
  3. What are you known for?  What do you want to be known for?

Faithfulness is a God desired, God given grace for our lives. 

Closing prayer:  Lord, I pray for your help to release the fruit of faithfulness in me - as it relates to You and me, to my family, to my neighbor, to my enemy, to my world.  I bind in Jesus name anything that would or could hinder my witness and expression of being faithful to you.  I pray for help, for remembrance, for strength, and for grace to live in faithfulness so that others who do not yet believe will know of Your faithfulness.  Amen.


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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-10-22

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

Releasing God's Best: Kindness & Goodness

Galatians 5:22-25; Colossians 3:12-13

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 
12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 


  1. Uprightness in one’s relations with others 
  2. Uprightness
  3. The quality of being helpful or beneficial, goodness, kindness, generosity ‘readily generous in disposition’; 


  1. “Goodness” is a rare word found only four times in the New Testament (and only in Paul)
  2. It conveys the idea of benevolence and generosity toward someone else 
  3. Going the second mile when such generosity isn’t required

How are they connected?

  1. One is an attitude:  kindness
  2. One is an action:  goodness
  3. They’re both risky

How are the fruits of the spirit released?

  1. Prayer
  2. Building our relationship with Christ
  3. Recognizing and remembering that these fruits are within us….always…..even when we don’t want to release them

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Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-10-15

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

Releasing God's Best: Patience

Galatians 5:22-25; I Timothy 1:15-17; James 5:7-11

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

7Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 10Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.


Forbearance, longsuffering, patience


Why is it so hard to wait?  


Patience relative to our relationship with God

  • God’s practice with us
  • God’s presence in us
  • God’s promise to us

Patience relative to our relationships with other

  • God’s display of patience
  • Be patient until the Lord’s coming
  • Be patient, stand firm, don’t grumble
  • As an example


Ask God this morning to renew the gift and the fruit of patience in your thinking, in your speaking, and in your actions.  In Jesus name.


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Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2017-10-08

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

Releasing God's Best: Peace

Galatians 5:22-25

22God's Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, 23gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. 24And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. 25God's Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit. 


Hebrew: Shalom: Multiple levels of meaning including:  wholeness of life or body; right relationship between two or more parties, often bound by a covenant; victory over an enemy or absence of war

Greek used in this text:  Eirene: from eirō, "to join, tie together into a whole" 

English: a passive picture depicting the absence of conflict

Passing of the peace in worship: what does this mean?

Peace in the midst of chaos

Mark 4:35-41:  Jesus calming the storm

John 16:13: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Inner peace and external peace: can there be one without the other?

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Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC