This is my sermon for this coming Sunday. Tell me what you think!

Date preached: 5/25/08, Sebewaing

RCL After Epiphany 8A

Text: Matthew 6:24-34

Subject: Why is God telling us not worry?

Complement: Because we have Him to trust in the lean times.

Exegetical Idea: If they serve God, He will provide for the Israelites – They need not worry.

Homiletic Idea: If we serve God, He will provide for us so we needn’t worry either.

Purpose: Hearers will ask God to be their Lord and provide their needs.

Type: Deductive, Expository

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

That poem, by Robert Frost, has always been a favorite of mine. The yellow wood reminds me of northern Michigan where I lived when I was young. And the constant decision of which way to go both on a walk and in my life has been beautifully detailed in this poem by Robert Frost. I always imagine myself gazing at the two roads deciding if I will take the less traveled, maybe even more difficult way or the easier way that most take. I have always likened them to the narrow and wide paths that we choose between in our life. I have chosen the narrow path to God rather than the wide path to wealth, power and destruction.

That is what our passage of scripture speaks of this week, too.

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God AND wealth.” Matthew 6:24 NIV

Here, Jesus breaks down our choices into two paths. There is the path serving God and the path serving wealth. (more…)

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Well, writing my sermon as if I were writing a blog post seems to have worked well. I was able to more easily change things up and add stuff that I hadn’t typed. Usually I am to scared to stray off my notes or manuscript at all. So, thanks again to Jerrell Jobe for the great suggestion. I wish I had it on video so that I could compare the new way with the old way, but I don’t. I hope everyone’s Sunday was great!

Well, this morning went pretty well. Princess did the announcements for me, so I wasn’t completely a one-woman show. I need more practice running the service. Maybe I should tell Hubby that. Oh, wait, I think I just did! The worst part was worship. I just don’t know what to do up there. I feel awkward. I know it would make most sense to just worship, but then I get some words wrong and get embarrassed. I need to work on that, too, I guess. Someone told me I have a beautiful voice. Many people have said that, actually, but I never believe them. I suppose that they can tell better than I can, but my voice isn’t consistent. I could use some voice lessons, then I would probably feel comfortable singing. I always tell people I don’t sing, but it’s just because of all that. Overall, a very good service. And I was pleased with the sermon. I anointed two people with oil. It may seem strange, but that may have been my first time. I even felt comfortable praying in front of everyone today. God definitely gave me extra courage and strength today. I think it may have helped to know that Chris wasn’t there to help, so I had no choice but to do it. And if I was going to do it, I was going to do it my very best. God was definitely using me, I couldn’t have done it without Him. Thanks, God! And thanks to all who wrote encouraging words and sent a hilarious song to me last night. You all cheered my lonesome heart, greatly.

Well, tonight I still have a Bible study to do, but then the rest of the week will be just doing my best to keep a happy household while Hubby is gone. We’ve been playing Scrabulous on Facebook more often since he’s been gone. It’s been fun. I look forward to the rest of the week. Now, I’m off to feed some friends’ cats. They are visiting family and we (me and the kids) have charge of their cats.

Yesterday, we had a snowstorm and had to cancel church. We had an unexpected day off! I wouldn’t want it to happen very often, but it was a nice surprise to have a whole day suddenly cleared. We ended up having lunch with our treasurer to help celebrate Princess’s 5th birthday. She was excited to go to church and be doted on by everyone, but with the snow, that wasn’t happening. So, we had pizza and cake at their house, only a couple of blocks away. I can’t believe my princess is 5! She’s growing up so fast!

Then the schools canceled school. They canceled last night which is always nice. We got to sleep in! Two snow days in a row: Sunday and Monday! What fun. We will probably all go outside and shovel and play later.

I have been missing all my blog friends and my own blog, but I am getting a lot more done without so much internet time. And I needed to get things done. I’v been clearing all the clutter from my house. I guess rearranging the rooms inspired me! We still don’t have Christmas decorations up yet. Someone offered us thier old Christmas tree (only like two years old), but her new one was missing a part, so we will probably have to pull out the old one (also given to us by her). It’s getting late and I have presents I would like to put under it.

Well, I’m off to do more cleaning. We have lots of family coming the day after Christmas and our house is going to be sparkling! 😀

I am so tired! This past week has been crazy! (Which is why I haven’t been posting anything.) I was cleaning my house like crazy because my in-laws came on Thursday. I had to preach this Sunday and we had Little Man’s 3rd birthday party today after church. My hubby is napping right now, but I decided not to because when I took a nap on Thursday, I slept for 5 hours! I would like to sleep tonight. But I am exhausted. I will be glad when everything settles into the normal fall routine. Well, it won’t actually be normal. Little Man starts Head Start this year. He and Princess will be in the same class. Princess is 16 days too young to go to Kindergarten this year. It will be good for Little Man to have his sister the first year. They will have 4 half days of school per week.

I’ll miss them both, but I plan on making good use of that time! I plan on dropping them off at the bus and then doing devotions. I’ve been doing them at night, but I think the morning would be better. Usually, I would get on the computer, but Chris has started his Masters and he’ll be up and doing that online in the mornings. Which will be good because it will make me do other, more productive things with my free time.

Oh! In other news, both Chris and I passed our ordination exams. In November, we will have interviews. That is the last step. Hopefully, all will go well. I look forward to that being over, too. The test was probably the worst part, so it was a great relief to find out last week that we passed.

So, all in all, I’m glad the summer is over. It’s been so hectic!

Today I preached on the Sabbath. Following is my sermon outline. I may do another post that more clearly says what I found to be a true Sabbath. We’ll see. 🙂

How do we fulfill the Sabbath?

Date preached: 08/26/07, Sebewaing
RCL Proper 16C
Text: Luke 13:10-17 and Isaiah 58
Subject: How do we fulfill the Sabbath?
Complement: In moderation between legalism and neglect.
Exegetical Idea: The Sabbath was far from what it should have been.
Homiletic Idea: The Sabbath is misunderstood and misused and should be correctly used.
Purpose: Hearers will lose legalistic tendencies and honor the Sabbath.
Type: Deductive, Expository

Songs:

  • Come now is the time to worship
  • Praise ye the Lord
  • O for a thousand tongues
  • Better is one day
  • O worship the king

Prayer
Offering
Announcements
Greeting

  • The family of God

Read Luke 13:10-17

I. What a Sabbath is:

A. A Gift

1 From God to his children

a.) God blessed children with a day of rest

b.) A day that no one could make anyone else work

c.) Mark Buchanan says in The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring the Sabbath,

d.) “God gave us the gift of the Sabbath – not just as a day, but as an orientation, a way of seeing and knowing.”

e.) I learned to join them, the cats in their cradles of sunlight. I curled up or sprawled out beside them and catnapped too. It had a unique power to replenish. Fifteen, twenty minutes later, a shadow like a cool, dry hand edged up my flesh and nudged me awake. I stirred, set up, and went about the rest of my day freshly aware. That image comes to mind when I think of Sabbath; a patch of sunlight falling through a window on a winter’s day. It’s a small yet ample chunk of space, a narrow yet full segment of time. In it, you can lie down and rest. From it, you can rise up and go—stronger, lighter, ready to work again with vigor and a clear mind. It is room enough, time enough, in which to relinquish all encumbrances, to act as though their existence has nothing whatsoever to do with your won. It is an invitation, at one and the same time, to empty yourself and fill yourself.” (Quote found on Biblical Parenting Blog)

2 An outpouring of His love (more…)