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 https://www.midwestmission.org/

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

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

2021

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.

2022

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

Ah-ha, when I walk up to a situation

Phil 2: 3-5Phillipians 2:3-5 says:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Forgive me Lord. When I approach a situation (e.g., buying a donut at the donut shop) I often approach it with the focus on completing the task (correctly, Type-A tendency). According to the Bible, this is the incorrect way to approach the situation. I should be first valuing others and looking to fulfill the interests of them. Lord, help me to remember this and put it into practice.  Help me to become a person that does this.

The insight of the passage: (1) Notice how it begins. It begins squarely with our selfish ambition (which is our animal tendency). (2) Notice that it refers to everything. If it would have said, look after the interests of others and value others, it would imply these are good things to do from time to time (like mowing the yard, eating, taking a shower, taking a hike), but not something to consider all the time.

Quotes from Harry Potter

View at Medium.com

 

Let’s build up, work together, grow, and improve

Our founding fathers and mothers didn’t have it perfect and our country still has problems (quick reminder: Romans 2:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God). I believe our founding fathers and mothers were on the right track. I also believe there is room for improvement; focusing on improving the well-being of people (quick reminder, in John 15:12 Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”). We need to put focus on serving the under-served (quick reminder, Romans 12:13, When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them).

I feel that we need to focus on building up, working together, growing, and improving, rather than tearing down, creating divisions, destroying, and focusing on fault-finding.

We need to:

  • Build people up – provide opportunities, access, and encourage agency for all
  • Work together – work to form relationships, build bridges, and work for teamwork
  • Grow – find our flaws and short-comings and grow as a humans and as a nation and
  • Improve – improve our society and the well-being of everyone.

Story (video)

Here’s a good story: Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom YouTube

Lady Freedom, a 19-foot-tall bronze woman who sits on top of the U.S. Capitol dome. President Lincoln erected Lady Freedom during the Civil War. She’s a beautiful and fierce warrior. She wears a toga-style dress and a Native American-style cape over it. On her head is a helmet adorned with stars and feathers to symbolize her victory over tyranny. In one hand she has a sheathed sword and in the other, she carries a shield and a laurel wreath, another symbol of victory.

Finally, we need a balanced approach to patriotism. Patriotism is good, but our country has room for improvement.

 

Grace is a Kingdom with Doors Open Wide

Broken Things is a wonderful song by Matthew West.

The concluding last line,

“Grace is a kingdom; With gates open wide; There’s a seat at the table just waiting for you; So, come on inside.”

is a great statement on the grace of God, His Kingdom, and the welcome He provides.

Lyrics:

If grace was a kingdom
I stopped at the gate
Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I’ve made

Oh but I heard a whisper
As Heaven bent down
Said, “Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown”

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours

The pages of history they tell me it’s true
That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use

It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours

Grace is a kingdom
With gates open wide
There’s a seat at the table just waiting for you
So, come on inside.