Christian Behavior

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March 2018

“Joy and Laughter Comes from the Divine” 2/18/18 Scripture: Gen 18:1-4, 9-15; Proverbs selected passages on love, joy, laughter/by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |March 8th, 2018|Sermons|

          Last week I preached my first sermon of a two-part series about the Theology of Humor.  Its title is “Humor that Is Divine.”  I talked about Ali Kay Wood’s experience of her mother driving them to a wedding with the two-tiered wedding cake on her lap that ended up smashing into the dashboard with icing flying everywhere, when her mother made a turn that was too sharp.  After the initial horror and shock at the situation, they both began to laugh uncontrollably.  Ms. Wood found that laughter cathartic as it freed them from the anxiety over the situation.  She explained that the laughter came from God, deep within her soul.           I mentioned a 2011 University of Oxford study that discovered laughter releases mood-boosting endorphins, increase pain tolerance by as much as 10%, increases blood flow by 22% and protects you against the ill effects of stress.  We heard “a laugh or two a day keeps the doctor away!”  […]

Icing, Deck Chairs, Whitewashed Tombs Rev. Rodger Allen 2-4-18 I Samuel 8:1-6a, 19-22, II Samuel 7:1-13, II Chronicles 36: 11-21

By |March 5th, 2018|Sermons|

Have you ever set out to bake a cake and, despite all your best efforts to spread the batter in the pan evenly, and not tip the pan, and set the pan in the oven so that it’s level . . . the cake comes out of the oven not level? Slanted? One end of the cake two inches high and the other end only 1 ½ inches high? What do you do? You try to disguise the unevenness with the icing, right? You spread the icing on thicker at the thin end of the cake, and thinner at the thick end of the cake, to try to even out the height, so no one will ever know. And it usually works, especially when you give the thick-icing pieces to people whose favorite part of the cake is the icing. Icing can cover up all sorts of “cake errors.” […]

February 2018

“About Stumblers/For Stumblers”/ I Corinthians 8: 1-13/Hebrews 5:11-6:1b/Rev. Rodger Allen/1-21-18

By |February 21st, 2018|Sermons|

The book of I Corinthians is a letter, written by the Apostle Paul back to the new Christian church he had started in the city of Corinth. In much of it, Paul is responding to questions the new Christians of Corinth had written to him: “OK, Paul, you’ve moved on, and now certain situations have come up here that we’re not sure how to handle; how do we deal with these things?” So Paul writes back and advises them. One of the questions they have asked has to do with the large number of temples to other gods in the city of Corinth. The new Christians knew, of course, that there’s only one true God, and that they’re not to participate in the worship of any other, false gods. Their question was: If you to the market and buy and eat meat that came from an animal that had been offered as a sacrifice to one of those false gods at one of those other temples, does that count as “participating in the worship” of that false god? Because that animal meat had been associated with false worship, should it be avoided by a faithful Christian? […]

December 2017

Pictures of Mary 12-17-17 Luke 1: 26-38 Luke 1:46-55 Rev. Rodger Allen

By |December 18th, 2017|Sermons|

Young Mary        Brave Mary          Obedient Mary           Praying Mary           Justice-minded Mary              A central figure in our stories leading up to Christmas is Jesus’ mother Mary. We read the announcement, by the angel, to her, of his coming birth, just about every Advent season, since this is the season of anticipating that birth. Today we are going to look at some pictures of Mary, some snapshots, some characteristics, to understand a little better who she is, and to see what qualities she has that we might like to aspire to, as we prepare for the birthday this year. In what ways might she be our model? […]

November 2017

“Are We Amazed?” 11/5/17 Scripture: Mt 22:15-22; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Ps 24 (selected verses) by Rev. Laurie Williams

By |November 15th, 2017|Sermons|

          The Rev. Jill Duffield, editor of the Christian Magazine The Outlook, tells the story of a man, many years older than she was in her mid-twenties at the time, who came into the affluent church where she pastored in the early years of her ministry, and asked for assistance.  Certainly, in her experience, as well as mine and Rodger’s, asking for assistance is almost always indistinguishable from asking for money.  She took him through the richly appointed hallways into her beautiful office laden with theological tomes and expensive furniture.  She went to sit in her comfy chair behind the desk while he sat on the stiff, formal couch across the room from her desk. […]