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Showing posts from 2012

Christmas with the Grinch

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The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, Please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small. But, Whatever the reason, His heart or his shoes, he stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos,
            Christmas seems to always include a Grinch. There is always someone who just doesn't get caught up in the season. The decorations are offensive to their eyes. The music annoys them. They feel busier than they want to be. There are more people in the stores. There is no parking. The streets are slippery.  And, they are resentful at the social pressure to conform to the season.  In response to "Merry Christmas" inwardly they "Bah Humbug".             Of course some of us have good reasons to not be in the Christmas spirit. For some of you Ch…

escaping the messy world- Malachi 3

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Second Sunday in Advent- Malachi 3:1-43:1 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight--indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.3:2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap;3:3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness.3:4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
Luke 3:1-6
3:1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene,
3:2 during the high priesthood of Ann…

Remembrance Day

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Before I begin, I just want to say that not everyone is going to agree with what I'm about to say.I hope that if anything I say bothers you that we can have a conversation. This goes for all my sermons actually. You can disagree with me.
I find Remembrance Day to be a difficult day, which is probably how it should be. This morning I would like to share a bit of that struggle.I think it is important to remember those who have suffered in war. It is important to remember the high cost of war- then and now. It is important to remember how fragile peace can be. It is important to remember the monsters that live inside of us. It is important to remember those who risked their lives trying to do something about suffering because to sit back and do nothing was a worse evil. Remembrance Day is also a day to remember Jesus' words to us about violence and about how we are to treat our enemies.
Personal Connections to WW2
My Oma and Opa (grandma and grandma) were in Holland during the war.…

Envy

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Seven Deadly Sins- Envy 
The sins and virtues have a funny relationship in our world. Even take this series itself. We are advertising it as the 7 deadly sins. We are not advertising it as the seven virtues. But, honestly ask yourself, which one sounds more enticing? The seven deadly sins? or the seven holy virtues? Which one are you really more interested in hearing about? In our culture sin is sexy. Virtue is boring and geeky.Even as Christians we tend to think that Sin would be a whole lot of fun if God just didn't have a "thing" about it.
'Wrath' sounds like a superhero name- "Captain Wrath". Ladylust is a Yahoo email address. There is a sense of power and individualism that comes with sin. When we think of virtue, however, we think of a Victorian woman with lace gloves and a parasol fighting off a man's advances and "protecting her virtue".
This has led to many of us knowing the sins better than the virtues. The 7 Sins get movies stari…

JOB- Suffering and how to speak to God

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Job is a book of wisdom. Job is like a long parable, almost a fairy tale. Once upon a time there was a man named Job, and he was the greatest man who lived in the land. Job is blameless. He lived in a big house, on lots of land, with a big family, and many possessions.Job loves God and turns away from evil. And God, like a proud parent, richly blesses Job with family and property. Job is a good, good, good man.
God even brags about Job to the Satan, which means “the accuser” or the “adversary”. He's a bit like a legal prosecutor against humanity. Satan looks at Job and tells God, “Ya, he’s good, but what happens if you take away his toys? He’s only good because you bless him at every opportunity- Of course he’s going to be good. But, what happens when the blessing stops? What happens when you take away his reward for being so good and faithful? Do you think he would still be good? I doubt it. In fact I think he would curse you right to your face.”
There are few things I like more t…