Notes for August 2022 – The Second 3 Reasons: Love, Co-Agency, and Free Will

This month the title of my sermon this month is

The Second 3 Reasons: Love, Co-Agency, and Free Will

I’ve compiled a list of 20 Reasons to Have Faith in God. These are reasons for everyone, but I’m thinking about the non-believer. They are foundational. My long-term goal is to preach on all 20 reason, each discussing 2 or 3 of the reasons.

This sermon is on reasons #4-#6.

  1. God seeks our love. God wants a two-way loving relationship with each of us. We engage with God in various ways, including prayer. The first commandment is to love God.
    Bible verses: Deuteronomy 7:9; John 1:10-13; Revelation 3:20.
    Song: How To Be Yours by Chris Renzema – lyrics
  2. We are co-agents with God. God makes us co-agents in the world. God wants the best for his people. God gives us responsibility for both taking care of the earth’s resources and the people of the earth. When we care for other people we do it on God’s behalf.
    Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 13:16; 1 Peter 2:9-10
    Songs: He Who Began a Good Work in You by Steve Green – lyrics
    Do Something by Matthew West – lyrics
  3. Free will. God created us with the free will and the power to choose between good, apathy, and evil. There are choices that are beneficial for us and the world and there are choices that are detrimental to ourselves and others. We should choose the former, but often we do not.
    Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 16:9; Galatians 5:13.
    Songs: (there’s Gotta Be) More to Life by Stacie Orrico – lyrics



Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House

On our mission trip to Granite City, IL we toured and worked for the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House in East St. Louis, IL.

Information about the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House can be found at  This is part of the Golden Cross ministries of our UMC Conference.

Possible books for 2023

I I’m looking for a devotional book for daily reading for 2023. In 2022 I worked through the book life under God the kingdom agenda by Tony Evans. It has been excellent.

One possibility is Devoted to God by Sinclair Ferguson.

Cory Booker is being inspirational and we need that.

Cory Booker gives an inspirational speech to supreme court justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson (see here*) and here.

Cory Booker is being:

  • hopeful
  • respectful
  • historical
  • poetic
  • realistic (for all have sinned and fall short)
  • forward thinking
  • inspirational
  • encouraging.

We need this sometimes (actually, we need this more often than not). I applaud him.

He is not providing practical steps to build a business, solve a problem, or raise our children. He is being inspirational and we need that.

* The full Langston Hughes poem is here. (It is a poem.  In a similar manner to Cory Booker’s words, I believe it is designed to be inspirational. It too is not providing statistics or practical steps.)

Notes for March 2022

March 6 is the first Sunday of Lent.

Easter is April 17. It’s a good time to invite people to church, for Easter, or any Sunday. Invite cards for Point Pleasant. Invite cards for New Philadelphia.

Today I’m preaching on the letter of Paul to the Colossians.  This is the first of numerous sermons on Paul: the Man, the Missions, and the Message. More information on the Apostle Paul here.

This post is from Jim Olsen’s website:

Notes for January 2022

Happy New Year!  Here are a few links related to our worship services and sermons in January.

The Valley of Vision

The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, is a book published in 1975. Includes the prayer for the New Year.

Blessed to be a Blessing

We are all blessed in many ways.  It is our call to turn our blessings around to bless other people.  We can do this in many small and large ways.  The Bible says:

  • As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10
  • A generous person will be enriched, and the one who gives a drink of water will receive water. Proverbs 11:25
  • Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Here is an ambigram.







Midwest Distribution Center

Located just south of Springfield, IL

Since opening for ministry in 2000, Midwest Mission has been showing God’s Love in practical ways through the distribution of education, health, micro-business, and disaster relief supplies meeting basic human needs around the world and around the corner.

Individuals and groups can sign up to volunteer. See

Hours: M-F 8 AM to 4 PM (weekends by appointment) 1001 Mission Drive, Pawnee, IL 62558  (217)483-7911

Human Relations Day

January 16 is Human Relations Day.  It is one of the 6 Special Sundays for the UMC.



I Understand, Let’s Go

In the Joseph, King of Dreams movie there is a great scene. Joseph is in prison.  Potiphar comes to get him out of prison to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.  Potiphar starts to try to appologize for his wife’s behavior that landed Joseph unjustly in prison. Joseph interrupts and says, “I Understand, Let’s Go,” and they walk out of the prison together.  The rest is the history of the Hebrews.  Here is the clip:

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

This wonderful hymn was written by John Greenleaf Whittier (1872). I like to use the first verse as a Call to Worship. Lyrics and information here. Video below.


2021 Daily Devotionals


In 2021, I started, and was able to complete, two daily Christian devotionals. I think this is the first time I’ve ever been able to actually do all 365 days.

These were excellent.

  • The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge is written by Tony Dungy. This was a gift to me Christmas 2020 from my daughter and husband, Diane and Luke Delgehausen.
  • Grace for the Moment is by Max Lucado. I picked this one myself. Marilyn and I read this nightly after dinner.

Here are what I see as the strengths and the reasons why I was actually able to complete these books.

  • Only one page for each day. This makes it pretty easy to catch up if you miss a day or two.
  • Lucado gets right to the point and is an excellent author.
  • Tony Dungy uses lots of good examples. He was a successful player and coach so I enjoyed his sports examples.

Without the grace of God, I would not have been able to complete these.  With God’s continues grace, I hope to continue the tradition/habit.

I’ve learned much.  Thanks you Jesus.


In 2022, I hope to keep it up reading:

  • Life Under God by Tony Evans. Daily devotional.
  • Made for this Moment by Max Lucado. A book, not a true daily devotional.

Notes for Advent 2021

The Other Wise Man

The Other Wise Man, by Henry van Dyke, is an all-time favorite. The story was burned in my memory, as an elementary-age child, when our church put it on as a play at Christmastime.  Our family has read the story for many years.

Here is a webpage I put together with links to the online book, audio reading, history, and information about Henry van Dyke, a very interesting and inspiring man.

Good King Wenceslas

Lyrics and tune

Video 1 ~ Video 2

Good King Wenceslas


Notes for the 4 G’s of God

In October 2021, I have the pleasure of preaching a sermon on, what I am calling, The 4 G’s of God.

Here are a few notes and links.

Glory of God

5 Solae – the 5 Alone statements

The 5 Solae (Greek for alone) of Protestantism are five foundational Biblical principles upon which our (Protestant) beliefs and salvation are based. (While Luther and Calvin taught, wrote, and preached on these, I believe that, as a listing of five, the Five Solae were not articulated until the 20th Century.)

We are saved by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, according to scripture alone, for the Glory of God alone.

Other orderings of the 5 statements can be found here.

Grace of God

John Wesley’s understanding of grace found here*.

Growth in God

*John Wesley’s third level of grace is Sanctifying grace, Grace perfecting us.

God says Go.

Isaiah’s vision has God in His Glory (Isaiah 6:1-8), but quickly turns to the commissioning of the prophet.  Whom shall I send? – Here, I am Lord, send me.


Notes for August 14, 2021


A few notes related to today’s sermon, The Joy of POP (privilege, opportunity, priority).

Tony Dungy

Books by Tony Dungy here.  They include Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life and The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge.

Super Bowl Breakfast Speech

Children’s Sermon

The Origami Church here.

Listen to understand