Sunday 2018-08-19

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


Growing in Wisdom

Ephesians 5:15-20

15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Being filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and songs from the spirit, and giving thanks to God for everything."

God’s words of wisdom to us:

    1. Make the most of everyday
    2. Beware of evil
    3. Do not get drunk on wine
    4. Be filled with the Spirit - Galatians 5:22-23
      • Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit
      •  Giving thanks to God for everything (neither life nor death

 

Galatians 5:22-23:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

Choose this morning for today what shall fill you - that He shall fill you.   

 

Pray with me if you will - 

“Lord, this morning of August 19, 2018, I choose You to be the Lord of my thoughts, my mouth, my feelings, my desires - everything in me and about me.  Fill me with Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Help me to live and breathe Jesus.  Amen”


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-08-12

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

Living Bread

John 6:35-51

35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.37All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” 41At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”42They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” 43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,”Jesus answered. 44“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.45It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’6:45Isaiah 54:13Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.47Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.48I am the bread of life.49Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died.50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

When carbs are good: the bread of life

 

Bread: a very ordinary food that was a staple at every meal 

 

Head knowledge

Heart knowledge

Which directs our actions?

 

Who does Jesus think he is, telling us that He is all we need?

 

“Stop grumbling among yourselves.” John 6:43

 

When have you been so swallowed up in ‘grumbling’ that you missed the blessing of Jesus right in front of you? Why do we get caught up in the ‘grumbling’ cycle?

 

“Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert yet they died.”  John 6:49

 

How are you sustained, nourished, & strengthened by the Bread of Life that is Jesus?

 

“Granddad used to say we go to church on communion Sunday to feast on the bread and juice — on those and other Sundays we feast on the Word of God as well. He would say that “anyone who goes away hungry — it’s their own dang fault.” The feast is laid out, the invitation is given and the table is before us. So if we go away hungry, why did that happen? What is stopping us from joining in the feast?”  (Dr. Karyn Wiseman)


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-08-05

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


Murmurings Against the Lord

Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15

2In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” 4Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 
9Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ” 10While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud. 11The Lord said to Moses, 12“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’ ” 13That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 

We are:

  • Afflicted by the enemy
  • Engulfed by a spirit of discontent
  • Mad about our circumstances
  • Consumed with worry
  • Afraid of the unknown or change
  • We forget God’s faithfulness in the past - spiritual amnesia

 

List some times when God was faithful to you or yours:

 

Thank God for those times of His faithfulness.

 

Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with a spirit of Thanksgiving and Praise.

 

Our attitude is a reflection of the spirit that dwells in us. Have you “put on” a spirit of gratitude this morning or do you just have an “attitude” that does not speak of the presence of Christ Jesus?


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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

 

Sunday 2018-07-29

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


Synergy for the Win

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.
 

Synergy: when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

 

Doing ministry as individuals: excellent! However, this is a linear model of 1 person plus 1 person plus 1 person = 3 persons accomplishing 3 things.

 

Which is more efficient?

Doing it as individuals whenever we have time.

Doing it together at a specified time.

 

Which brings a greater result?

Doing it as individuals whenever we have time.

Doing it together at a specified time.

 

A Few Biblical Examples of synergy:

Joshua 6:2-21

Acts 2:1-12

Acts 2:42-47

Acts 4:29-35

I Corinthians 12:4-11

Ephesians 4:1-32


TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

 

Sunday 2018-07-22

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


How Much More Can You Carry?

Psalm 23; Luke 15:3-7

1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

 

Remember Shrek - the lost sheep

  1. Our role is to recognize the relationship - God is my shepherd.
  2. Our greatest need is to recognize we have a need.
  3. We are smarter than sheep.
  4. Jesus is my shepherd.
  5. Let Him lead you beside His choice of still waters.
  6. Let Him lead you through the tough times.
  7. He is with you even when there are enemies at the table.
  8. The pinnacle - I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-07-15

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


How Are We Entering Life?

Psalm 24

1The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. 3Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. 5They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. 6Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. 7Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10Who is he, this King of glory? The LordAlmighty— he is the King of glory.
 

How do we enter into life each day?

  • When we get out of bed…...what is our attitude? What are our expectations?
  • When we walk into work or school or to volunteer….what is our attitude? What are our expectations?
  • When we go outside and ….
    • ...it’s beautiful
    • ...it’s raining
    • ...it’s miserably hot
    • ...it’s freezing rain and sleet

….what is our attitude?  What are our expectations?

  • When we enter into worship each Sunday…..what is our attitude?  What are our expectations
  • When we go to bed at night…..what is our attitude? What are our expectations?

 

A few Psalms which help us celebrate what God has put all around us:

  • Psalm 8, 19, 33, 50, 74, 89, 90, 100, 102, 104, 115, 119, 121

TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

Sunday 2018-07-08

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


My Grace is Sufficient...

2 Corinthians 12:5-10

5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

  • Key thought: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness”  NRSV

 

  • “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  KJV

 

Paul’s story:

  • He was being challenged by false teachers in the church at Corinth
  • The Corinthians Church struggled with purity and spiritual consistency
  • The church, and the people there, had found Christ but wanted to still live a carnal lifestyle - a lifestyle that bypassed the cross

Take note of a couple of things here:

  1. A thorn was given to me - doesn’t matter what it is - it’s something that is troubling to Paul
  2. It came from Satan but God allowed it to come
  3. God said “no but…”
  4. I understand the purpose is to keep me from boasting, that no one will think better of me, to keep me from being elated. In other words, to keep pride from taking over my soul - of thinking of myself more highly than I should.
  5. I asked for the easy way but God gave me another way - the way of grace sufficient.
  6. I acknowledge God’s plan, accept it, celebrate it, and testify to it. Whenever I am weak, then through Christ Jesus I am strong.

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TODAY'S PREACHER

Randy Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

Sunday 2018-07-01

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


Why Bother the Teacher Anymore?

Mark 5:21-33

21When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 

 

  • What are the connections between these two stories?

 

  • What does this story say about God answering our prayers?

 

  • What is a situation that has passed in your life that you have stopped praying to God about?

 

  • Have you given up on praying to God to intervene in your life?

 

Going Deeper:

  • Luke 8:40-56 Parallel Story in Luke
  • Luke 18:1-8 The Parable of the Persistent Widow
  • John 11:1-44 The resurrection of Lazarus

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TODAY'S PREACHER

Michael Pitzer is Director of Senior High Ministries

Sunday 2018-06-24

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


A Shipwrecked Faith

2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:13

20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 3We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. 11We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.
 
  • Do we view God as an emergency contact or as a part of our very hearts?

 

  • How might our walk with Christ express taking full advantage of God’s grace?  

 

  • How might our ministry be discredited by the action of any one of us who claim to be Christ followers?

 

  • What do others see in us?

 

  • Are we modeling what a journey looks like when our tanks stay filled up by the Holy Spirit? Or are we ‘running on empty’ and often running out of spiritual fuel?

 

  • The 3 Simple Rules: Do no harm, do good, stay in love with God.  (Rueben Job’s interpretation of John Wesley’s General Rules)

TODAY'S PREACHER

Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC

 

 

 

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