Build Your House on the Rock

Build Your House on the Rock

June 28 Last year when we were tasked with finding a new children’s minister, our personnel committee did some interviews but could not find the right person for the job. Meanwhile, Alison Lambrechts and Brinna Gamblin were doing a great job and convinced us that they felt called to continue the work as a team. With their educational backgrounds and experience with children, they had ample qualifications, and they had life experience as parents. It’s been almost a year since they took over the job and what they are doing is remarkable.  They have just conducted the first-ever virtual Vacation Bible School at our church!  That wasn’t something anyone saw coming but they adapted and made it happen.  Because of their hard work over 100 children were able to learn about Jesus in their homes this week! I also want to thank Hugo Lambrechts and Stewart Gamblin for helping their spouses with some of the work. I also want to thank every parent that has taken the time to help your child with their crafts, Bible lessons, videos, and songs. Children, we thank you for taking the time this week to learn about Jesus. This year’s Vacation Bible School theme is Concrete and Cranes.  Obviously, t’s a builder’s theme. I think most people know that Jesus was a carpenter. We are told that in Mark’s gospel, chapter 6. The Greek word that is translated “carpenter” is the word “tekton.” A tekton is more like a construction worker, a builder, or a craftsman. (https://www.quora.com/What-kind-of-carpentry-tools-and-techniques-would-Jesus-have-access-to-would-they-be-similar-to-Japanese-tools-for-manual-woodworking) However, Jesus was not a carpenter in the way you might think. If you were to...
Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For

As we journey through the Bible, I want to give you a brief overview of where we have traveled so far. We began with the Torah or the Law. Another name for the first five books of the Hebrew Bible is the Pentateuch. Torah (Law) Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy The next section of the Hebrew Bible is called the Nevi’im, or Prophets. So far, I have preached on the books of Joshua and Judges. Today, I will preach on Samuel. Nevi’im (Prophets) (Former) Joshua Judges Samuel Kings (Later) Isaiah Jeremiah Ezekiel Notice a few things about the books listed above.  These are the books as listed in the Hebrew Bible.  In our Bible, Ruth comes after the Book of Judges, but not in the Hebrew Bible. Ruth is in a different section. Ruth is in the K’tuvim or writings section, along with books like Job, Psalms, and Proverbs. I’m going to preach the books the way they are ordered in the Hebrew Bible. The Old Testament will make better sense this way. For example, when we get to the end of the Hebrew Bible, you will discover that it makes more sense for Chronicles to be at the end of the Bible instead of where it is in our Bible, but you will have to wait several months to discover why that is true. Lastly, I want you to notice that Samuel is only one book or scroll in the Hebrew Bible.  It’s the same way with Kings. Samuel is divided into two books in our Protestant Bible, so I will preach two separate sermons on Samuel. To...
Are We Living in the Time of the Judges?

Are We Living in the Time of the Judges?

June 7, 2020 The Bible is the story of how God made us, lost us to sin, and worked to reclaim us throughout history, through priests, kings, and prophets, and ultimately through his son Jesus, who was a prophet, priest, and king. The first five books of the Bible tell the story of how a nation of Hebrew people came into being, existing first as slaves under Pharaoh until God heard their pleas for help. God then raised a leader named Moses to bring them out of slavery. These Hebrews or Jews became God’s chosen people. God chose them to be a kingdom of priests to the nations. God wanted these people to represent Him to other nations so that all people would know of His love. However, these people did not keep God’s commandments.   They spent 40 years in the wilderness for failing to obey God. Moses died there and never set foot in the promised land. He left Joshua in charge of finishing the job he was unable to complete. Joshua led them across the Jordan River into the promised land. It took twenty-seven years for them to conquer the land. Joshua was at the end of his life. He was concerned about the future of the Israelites. The best he could do was challenge them with a parting speech. “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this...
Note to Self

Note to Self

The Christian church celebrated the breath of God on Pentecost Sunday (May 31), while our nationbegan to grieve and pour out its anger over George Floyd’s death, a man who was refused his breath until he died. We must not lose sight, because of the violence and looting that has taken place in some protests, of the injustice done to this man and countless other African Americans in similar situations. If we allow the minority of violent protesters to write the narrative of the protests that are sweeping the country, we have failed to acknowledge the underlying problems of injustice we can trace to the Jim Crow Laws and the Slave Trade. We must also speak out against the violence of police against peaceful protestors who are exercising their constitutional rights to speak out against injustice. I grew up in a Southern Alabama town with less than 700 people. Our education system was divided by a public and a private school, which happened during the early years of integration. That was the way it was throughout most of the South. Sadly, many Southern towns still look like that. In my community, many people knew Governor George Wallace on a first name basis. He was born nearby, had practiced law in the area, and was a local hero. Growing up, I heard the “N” word in reference to African Americans from many people, as if that was what they were supposed to be called. I was in college before I learned who Martin Luther King, Jr. really was, and what changes he brought to this country. However, I am thankful...
As For Me and My House (Joshua)

As For Me and My House (Joshua)

May 31, 2020 Today in our walk through the Bible, we have come to the book of Joshua.   This is the first book in the Bible named after a person. Who was this man Joshua? Joshua was born a slave under Pharaoh in Egypt. His parents gave him the name Hoshea, which means “salvation.” After four hundred years of enslavement, this child’s parents had not given up hope that one day they would be free people. With the naming of their child, perhaps his parents were saying that they had not given up hope that God would save them or that their son might be used to save them. But in the beginning, Hoshea was just a slave like everyone else. He was almost 40-years-old when God’s power showed up in full display in a man named Moses, who came from the desert to win their freedom.   Moses was twice his age. Moses spent the first 40 years of his life as a Hebrew in the Egyptian courts of Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s daughter rescued him as a baby from the Nile. Then he spent the next 40 years as a shepherd in the desert. He went there after he killed an Egyptian who was abusing another Hebrew slave.   At age 80, God came to Moses in the wilderness in a burning bush and gave him instructions to go back to Egypt to win the Hebrew people’s release. The Hebrew slaves witnessed God do his work through natural disasters called plagues, which Moses predicted. The final plague was the death of every firstborn who did not trust God by applying blood...