Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Who Is My Brother?

From Grace for the Moment Volume I by Max Lucado

"Lord, how many times shall I forgive my bother when he sins against me?" Jesus answered, "... seventy-seven times." Matthew 18:21-22 NIV

   Seems to me God gives a lot more grace than we'd ever imagine.
   We could do the same..
   I'm not for watering down the truth or compromising the gospel. But if a fellow with a pure heart calls God Father, can't I call that same man Brother? If God dones't make doctrinal perfection a requirement for family membership, should I?
   And if we never agree, can't we agree to disagree? If God can tolerate my mistakes, can't I tolerate the mistakes of others? ... If God allows me with my foibles and failure to call him Father, shouldn't I extend the same grace to others?

Sermon: Proverbs 6

Here is the Sermon from Sunday, June 16, 2013

Text is from Proverbs 6: 12-19

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Young Families

One of the best things about Salem UCC is the diversity of our ages. We aren't missing an age group. We have people in their 0s, 10s, 20s, 30s... 80s, 90s, and one or two over 100. I love it!

However, this is not the case with many churches. They are often missing those in their early 20s, and then there are many parents who don't come to church with young kids.

I ran across this blog from a few Facebook friends. It helps me to express gratitude to those who bring their young kids to church. It is a vital part of our identity as a body of Christ.

Parents with Young Children in Church

Sermon: They Will Know We are Christians By Our Love

Sermon from June 9, 2013
The Way of Love
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sermon: The Body of Christ

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
The Body of Christ

Praise God for New Life

I found this little beauty on my way to work this morning.
It is half a Robin Eggshell. Praise God for New Life. Praise God for the Little Things. Praise God that we are part of his creation!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Do We Play Nice?

A few of you may have heard me say "x denomination doesn't play nice with others." There is nothing that gets my feathers up more that when churches can't work together. At what point do we isolate and fight between each other about specific (little) things? May I even suggest that a few of them have little eternal relevance?

We at Salem UCC say that we want our small groups to be ecumenical or multi-denominational. This was something that was suggested, encouraged, and started before I came here. But do we want them to be ecumenical because we want to prove that we are right? Or, do we want them to be ecumenical because of the unity in the fellowship of believers?

Ephesians 4:1-6 I therefore, a prisoner for the LORD, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is overall and through all and in all.

If we as are not willing to work to maintain the unity, peace, humility, gentleness, patience and love then why even bother inviting others (from other Christian churches) to our study? We must look together in the same direction. Sprint toward our heavenly goal.

Amos 3:3 asks "Do two walk together unless they have agreed on a direction (NLT)?" If we cannot agree on a direction and put our differences aside, then we cannot call our groups ecumenical.

My question for Salem UCC: "Are we a church that 'plays nice'?"

One of my devotionals I shared last week says "Does that mean we compromise our convictions? No. Does it mean we abandon the truths we cherish? No. But it does mean we look long and hard at the attitudes we carry."

Can we agree to disagree on a few things? Can we look forward to the things that are eternally important? "If unity matters to God, then shouldn't unity matter to us? If unity is a priority in heaven, then shouldn't it be a priority on earth?"

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sermon: What Are You Here For?

Here is an audio file of the sermon from Sunday, May 26th.
The Scripture is from Luke 18: 9-14.
I have heard a lot this week about how "I hope so and so  heard this message." If you are hoping this message about THOSE people and THAT person, then you missed the whole point. It is about YOU. What is your YOUR attitude when you come to worship? Are YOU a cause of division? Are YOU a Pharisee or are YOU a tax collector? How do YOU become a part of the solution for unity in our church?