God’s Word

/Tag:God's Word
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September 2019

“God, Why Do You Let Bad Things Happen?”/Habakkuk. 1:1-3, 13; 2:1-4; 3:17-19 II Timothy 3:13-4:2/Rev. Rodger Allen/9-8-19

By |September 11th, 2019|Sermons|

Assyria was the Darth Vader of the Middle East.           In the 7th century BC, which is the 600’s, Assyria stomped all over the Middle East, including Israel, breathing heavily, dressed in black, committing acts of cruelty and violence. Its theory of government was that one rules by fear, by terrorizing the people, by threatening cruel punishment if you are caught doing wrong; and maybe even if you aren’t, just to keep you humble and frightened. Assyria was one of the cruelest empires the world had seen to that point – a strong efficient war machine, and a crushing tyrant of a ruler. […]

August 2019

“Oh, NO! Another ‘Difficult Teaching'”/Luke 12:49-56; Jeremiah 20:7-13/Rev. Rodger Allen/8-25-19

By |August 27th, 2019|Sermons|

Some of you may remember a Sunday morning when we considered the subject of hard-to understand things that Jesus sometimes said. The setting then was this: Jesus had just said to a crowd: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” The disciples, in a masterful piece of understatement, responded, “this teaching . . . is difficult.” But they also went on to say, as Jesus asked if it was so difficult that it would make them turn away, “But where else would we go? YOU are the Holy One of God.” The disciples, we went on to see, had a choice between staying with Jesus and trying to understand the teachings which seemed so difficult, or giving up on Jesus, preferring simplicity, someone else’s easy answers, to the Messiah. They had to decide which they were most dedicated to: simplicity, or Jesus Christ. And they chose Christ; they voted to stay and wrestle with the difficult teachings rather than insist that everything be easy. After all, no one ever promised, to them or us, that all the teachings of the Bible were going to be easy to understand. Sometimes we have to struggle a bit. […]

“Ezekiel: The Case of the Disappearing Grapes”/Ezekiel 1:1-3; 2:1-4, 7; 18: 1-9, 20, 25-29/Rev. Rodger Allen/8-11-19

By |August 13th, 2019|Sermons|

Seminaries, the graduate schools which train people for ministry, have a different look to them these days than they used to. The majority of the students today are not 22- or 23-year-olds who have come straight from college, but instead fall into the category called “second-career” – they have left some other occupation in their mid-20’s, mid-30’s, or mid-40’s, and enrolled  in a 3 or 4 year program to train for a new career in ministry. They are people like me, and Laurie. Phil was one of those second-career seminarians. Phil had been a banker; he had gone to business school and then worked his way up through the ranks to a middle-management position in a respected bank. But Phil had gradually recognized that he was being called by God out of the banking industry and into the ministry, and he quit his job, sold his house, and moved to a small efficiency apartment on the seminary campus to begin three years of classes – three years of hard work with little or no income; three years which, at best, would result in his starting his career over again at the ground floor; three years, though, which would leave him doing what God had called him to do. […]

June 2019

“For Fathers and More: The Bible on Raising Children”/Exodus 13: 3-6, 8-10, 14; Mark 10:13-16; Ephesians 6:1-4/Rev. Rodger Allen/6-16-19

By |June 18th, 2019|Sermons|

The statistics—the numbers—that you are about to hear are a little dated, but newer sources that I read this week say that little has changed in the past ten years, so I’m going to go ahead and run them by you: A father in Japan . . . spends an average time each day with his children. . . of 17 minutes. 17 minutes per day. “That statistic,” said the original article, “which is printed on government-sponsored posters aimed at getting men to do more at home, touched off a round of finger-pointing between the sexes in Japan. (Another poster has the caption) ‘A man who does not help in child-rearing cannot be called a father.’ ‘That is not true,’ responds Noboru Yamada, a banker and father of two children. ‘We just don’t have time.’ When his children were young, he continues, he changed a diaper . . . about every six months, and spent more than a few minutes a day with his kids ‘once every ten days or two weeks.’” And that’s OK, in his mind. I wonder what kind of Father’s Day gifts he’ll be getting today. […]

“Living Generously Begins with Trust”/Matt. 6: 19-21, 24; I Tim. 6: 17b; I Cor. 8:1-7/Rev. Rodger Allen/6-2-19

By |June 10th, 2019|Sermons|

             As our Stewardship Committee has  presented to you in the past, we have become convinced of the wisdom of a “year-round stewardship program,” as opposed to one or two Sundays in the Fall, talking about only pledge cards. Stewardship, of course, is about much more than pledge cards; it incorporates use of our talents, our time, our church building and other resources, care of creation . . . And we want to use all those responsibly throughout the year – so we don’t think about “stewardship,” here, only on each second Sunday of November. Our stewardship theme for this year, as readers of our church newsletter know, thanks to Steve Blair, is “Living Generously Begins with Trust”- yes, same as today’s sermon title. And the foundational Bible verse for this year is Second Corinthians 8:7: “But just as you excel in everything . . . in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us . . . see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” […]