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I Can Do All Things

I Can do All Things through Christ who strengthens me!

Pastor, you are going to live an incredible life!

You are going to make history. You are true to yourself and you follow your curiosity. You are open-minded, talented and will create something that will last forever. You will be able to influence people with your words, your way of life and good vibes.

Thank You God for the call You have placed upon my life.May I bring You Honor as I seek Your Face and Your will for my life!

A Season of Healing

April 23, 2017

Stetson Memorial UMC

Sermon Series:

“Mending Fences-Healing the Heart…”

“A Season of Healing”

Adapted from Marcia McPhee’

“On the Mend” Sermon Series

Psalm 16 HCSB

James 5:16-17 MSG

Matthew 17:1-5 GNT

Psalm 107:19-21 NLT

 

“A Season of Healing…”

 

The Lord be with you

And also with you

Let us pray (Prayer that God’s Word is heard through me or in-spite of me)

 

Please stand for the Gospel of Luke, chapter 5, verses 17-20. Listen to the word of God from His love letter to His beloved, you and I…

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

17 One day when Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of the Law were sitting there who had come from every town in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was present for Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a bed, and they tried to carry him into the house and put him in front of Jesus. 19 Because of the crowd, however, they could find no way to take him in. So they carried him up on the roof, made an opening in the tiles, and let him down on his bed into the middle of the group in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the man, “Your sins are forgiven, my friend.”

 

She walked into the room not sure what she was looking for or needed. People greeted her with smiles and they tried to make her feel as comfortable as they could. But she had been her before. She had been in this same setting and didn’t like the outcome. But she decided to give it one more try…there had to be a place where she could go.

 

But then it all started all over again. Their intentions were “good”, so they thought. But in her eyes their intensions were something that was dark and frightening. She was afraid to talk with them because she wasn’t sure just how to explain her feelings. So she silently sat in the corner.

 

The others just thought she was just “the quiet type”. They were proud of the way they had let this new comer in and they thought that they were open and loving…so proud of that fact. They were the “best” group in the area and no one could even come close to what and who they were.

 

Months past and the girl started to attend the group less and less. Some of the members noticed she was not there. They started blaming each other. “You weren’t very nice to her anyway. You didn’t offer her a hand when she said she needed help moving. I have seen this happen before in this group…I know it is his/her fault.”

 

The more they argued the more they couldn’t see the look in the eyes of the new comer every time she came to the group. She felt that she couldn’t trust the people of the group because every time she spoke to one person…they shared with another…then another until what she originally said was nothing like the end words.

 

The girl finally gave up and never went back again. She still looks today for a place where she can call “home”. She just wants to be in a place where she feels loved, safe, secure and valued. She is wanting a place and a people she can call family.

 

Good morning. This morning I want us to be interactive with each other. I need audience participation. So please play along as the Spirit leads…In the story I just shared with you, what stands out for you? Give time for answers. What stands out for me is the fact that she is still looking for a place to go.

 

We as Christians know the place to go…just as the men did when they lowered their friend in front of Jesus. In fact, they even carried him to the roof, made a hole in the roof and lowered their friend down…from the ceiling…for him to be where he needed to be to heal what ailed him.

 

We, as the Psalmist in Psalm 107 verses 19-21, know what happens when we call out to God. Let’s read this together…please turn to Psalm 107 in your bibles and read these verses together…

Psalm 107:19-21New Living Translation (NLT)

19 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,

    and he saved them from their distress.

20 He sent out his word and healed them,

    snatching them from the door of death.

21 Let them praise the Lord for his great love

    and for the wonderful things he has done for them

We cry out to God and He helps, He saves, He heals and He loves.

So, if we have this Truth, why do people turn away from our churches? Why do people think they are better off without the healing of Jesus? Interactive time. I really want to know what you think…

 

In the story from this morning, I see sort of a pattern here. This might help us to understand what happened in this group.

  1. Their intentions were “good”, so they thought. They wanted to be a group that was known for their lovingness…so to speak…they may have even tried too hard because they were proud of their status.
  2. So she silently sat in the corner. No one seemed to wonder why the girl sat in the corner. They didn’t go over and try to interact with her.
  3. They were proud of the way they had let this new comer in and they thought that they were open and loving…so proud of that fact. Maybe…just maybe…they were a little too proud of themselves. To the point that they couldn’t see the hurting right in front of their face.
  4. They started blaming each other. “You weren’t very nice to her anyway. You didn’t offer her a hand when she said she needed help moving. I have seen this happen before in this group…I know it is his/her fault.”  And now comes the blame game. Instead of finding the underlying cause of the issue, they just blamed each other.
  5. The more they argued the more they couldn’t see the look in the eyes of the new comer every time she came to the group. They were so enveloped in themselves that they forgot about what they were so proud of themselves for. They didn’t notice the damage they caused to the outside.

Now the girl did bring stuff to the group of her own:

  1. But she had been her before. She had been in this same setting and didn’t like the outcome. She already came with a very suspicious mind. She probably thought that all the groups were the same no matter where she went. Quite the defeatist attitude…
  2. But in her eyes their intensions were something that was dark and frightening. Still emotional baggage from before that probably was never addressed.
  3. . She was afraid to talk with them because she wasn’t sure just how to explain her feelings. It is hard to explain feelings of fear, mistrust, hopelessness, despair… But there needs to be a place where we can come together and talk about our feelings. That is why she still is searching…even today.

 

So why have I told you this story today? The reason I have shared this with you because we as Christ church need to have conversation of what ails us. What is hurting inside of us. What hold us back from living the life, individually and collective, that we are offered through Jesus. How will we do this you may ask yourself.

 

Over the next few weeks we will be talking about some of the things that ail us…that stop us from living that life in Christ. We will be mending fences and healing the heart with one another. And there may be no fences that need mending but we are all broken. What in us needs mending?

 

In the bulletin, you will find the breakdown of what we will talk about each week…what mending we will talk about. My hope is that we will have that conversation that will lead to healing. Not only that but after the service each Sunday, I invite us to have further conversation…living room conversation with each other in the green room with a little coffee…a little snack and I hope a whole lot of conversation and mending. We will put ourselves in front of Jesus where we can be healed. There will be a week that my friend Margaret will come for you to have conversation with her of what ails your heart.

 

Conversation is hard but it is vital if we want to be that vital congregation for Christ. We need to do a heart check to be the heartbeat of God in our community. James 5, verses 16-17 tells us:

16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.

 

So, I ask that we prayerfully come together…as family…to heal what ails us. Let us become that group that the girl would feel comfortable. Remember, she is still out there looking. Maybe…just maybe…she will come through our doors.

 

Amen

Waiting

Ecclesiastes 11:6New Living Translation (NLT)

Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.

2 Timothy 3:14New Living Translation (NLT)

14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.

How do you react when waiting on God? Some of the things that may go through our minds is:

  • Thinking He has forgotten
  • Whine I want it now
  • Question if He heard us
  • Get frustrated

Sometimes, God wants to see how we will wait on Him. He already knows what His answer is. How are we going to act or hat are we going to do while we wait? Are we going to trust in His goodness and sovereignty or are we going to think that we have to do this ourselves instead of with God?

 

We need to keep preying while we wait. He will strengthen us as we wait. Our trust grows as we pray aas we are waiting. If we don’t pray we leave the door oopen for the enemy…

  • Doubt
  • Discouragement
  • Disappointment
  • Despair

or even worse

  • Loss of Faith

 

God wants to and does answer prayer. He has proved it in the past,present and future. How will you wait for God to answer today?

 

The Giver of Joy

Do you find more pleasure in the giving or receiving of gifts? Most people are more inclined to the getting versus the giving. Why do we have such a “me, me, me” or “mine, mine, mine” attitude? It is even worse when we Christians want more. We tend to look at God as a “magic Genie” or “Santa Claus”. We ask and don’t even think about giving to anyone else.

God is the true joy giver. When we keep asking and asking we seldom find joy that lasts. It is only a short time before we want more.

We need to come as children…in awe and wonder…thankful to our heavenly Father and leave as adults…so thankful that we give to others out of the abundance we have been given. There are many ways to give. Our time, our heart, our finances are just a few ways to give.As we are generous with what we have, we find real joy.

Real joy is really found in the giving and not the receiving. What have you given back to others…to God…out of your abundance?

What is Worship?

What is worship…

OK…so we go to church on Sunday mornings. We get all “prettied up”…put on our “Sunday best.” We got to a building and maybe greet some people. We find our favorite seat (and don’t let someone be sitting in it) sit down and wait? What are we waiting for? Why are we even here in the first place? What are we expecting to hear…to see… to feel? What is this worship thing all about?

Well we need to ask ourselves a few questions:

  1. What is our attitude about going to church? Are you going there because it is an exclusive club for you or is it a place for both “sinners” and “saints” alike? Is it a joy or a drudgery?
  2. What is our motivation for going to church? Is church a duty…a item on your checklist or is it something much more? Is it a place where you come to be entertained or a place you expect God to show up and is present amongst us?
  3. What keeps us from going to church if that is what is happening…? Is it a place where you feel safe or is it a place where you feel you have to always watch your back? Has it become that social club and not a place where you experience the life changing message of hope?
 

OK…Romans 12:3-5 tells us:
(Romans 12:3-5New Living Translation (NLT)
Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

 
We gather together as the body of Christ…becoming one body with many parts. We come together to worship God…to thank God for all He has done and is doing in our lives and in the lives of the body of Christ…in the body of believers.
 
So why do we need corporate worship…why do we need to gather together in one place? Can’t we worship God in our own homes…on our own? Well yes we can and should worship God in our homes and our work place…we should live a life of constant worship. But…but…when we come together in worship it renews our faith and renews our joy…we hold each other up in prayer and come along side each other in times of crisis. 

There is value in a Godly community. It is a place where we find our role in God’s great design and our purpose for His Kingdom. Have you discovered your role or purpose? It can only be done in community. In community is where we should be able to find meaning and purpose in life. Otherwise we just go through life and not live the abundant life God has in store for everyone who believes.

I think our biggest deterrent to the issue of finding our purpose in life… We use those two favorite words “I can’t”… You are right…we can’t, I can’t…you can’t…but God CAN… In Mathew 19:26, Jesus tells us:

(Matthew 19:26New Living Translation (NLT))
26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

 
We just can’t do it on our own but God…in and through community with Him and other believers…can do far more than we can ask or hope for. As we come together in community, Ephesians 4:16 tells us”
 
Ephesians 4:16New Living Translation (NLT)

16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

We grow and become whom God would have us to be…even if we have a hard time, at times, believing in ourselves…God will always help us to succeed in what He has planned for us…God keeps His promises. This truth we can “Take to the bank…we can bank on it.”

So what is worship? To me it is a way of life. You don’t really “do” worship but you “be” worship in what you say and do. It is saying “Thank You” to God not with just lip service but with action. It is gathering with a rag tag group of people…as Jesus did…and hear the Good News. It is during worship I can expect God to show up and I will be changed forever. It is in and through worship I am free to love all…to see the sacred worth in all…to invite others into my “worship space” and feel the movement of the Spirit with in them.

So…what is worship to you and what will you do with your worship of God. I would like to leave you with a piece of scripture found in the Gospel of Matthew… it kind of says it all…

The Workers Are Few

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Are you ready to be counted amongst the workers?

Fitness…

DAILY HEALTH

DAILY HEALTH

How do we attend to our daily spiritual health?

Photo by Deborah Grundman

Interested in submitting an image to Sight Psalms? Click here for more information

 

 

We, as people, are so concerned about our outer body. We take vitamins and supplements to help us be healthier…Are we fit and lean or are we fat and lazy? Well…it doesn’t matter about the outer body…it is the inner body that makes a difference. The inner body makes even the plain shine…