Summer Worship: Don’t miss the possibility!

Christ meets us in the summertime too. Don’t miss an opportunity for growth in faith. Cheatham Memorial has a summer focus on teaching the equipping-skills that make our discipleship and disciple-making fun, fruitful and frankly, possible! Over the summer we will talk about concrete tools like public and private prayer, and study, small group leading. Watch for posts with “Take Aways” from this sermons

June 3,2018. 1 Samuel 3:1-20 “Equip for youth” The Skill of listening The life of faith is the key to a young soul. Our bodies age but we can keep a youthful and excited spirit by being equipped for and equipping others for healthy eternal living in the here and now! What does equipping mean anyway ?

June 10, 2018. Mark. 3:20–35 “Forgiveness is standard equipment”. The Skill of ForgivenessWe are born to forgive and lose this skill along the way somehow. When we forgive we are freed, even if others think we are crazy for doing so. How do you forgive that one who doesn’t deserve it?

June 17, 2018. 2 Corinthians 5:6-17. “I See…”.The Skill of DiscernmentDad’s only know where to go when they walk by faith. Many don’t and bear the bitter fruit of walking alone. This applies to all disciples. Discernment is a skill learned through prayer and applied in every day ways. The voice of the Spirit is often dismissed. How do you listen for God’s direction. Prayer is an essential skill.

June 24, 2018 Mark 4:35-41. “Life-Speak” The Skill of Planning for AdversityAdversity is real and essential to our witness. How do we speak of our “storms” as victory and not failure. Holding a spiritual conversation in our own words is an essential skill. How do we speak life?

July 1, 2018 Acts 20:8-17 “Pay Attention” The skill of Sacramental LivingThe sacraments are a gift to the church and a pattern for living for each disciple. How can your life be a means of grace EVERYDAY?

July 8, 2018 Mark 6:1-13 “ A Mutual Education” The skill of TeachingNo one out learns a true teacher. The gift of teaching is not upon everyone BUT the ability to teach is a skill that can be learned. We all teach others the things we know. How will we share the gospel honestly and personally.

July 15, 2018 Guest Pastor: Rev. Mike Toland!

July 22, 2018 Music and Worship with ”Tin Top Road”July 29, 2018

2 Samuel 6:1-13 “Real Might” Worship. The skill of communicationWorship is directed to the one true God but interpreted differently by different people. True might in worship is that connection between hand and heart that comes when we let down our guard and celebrate the Holy Spirit.

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Cheatham Memorial September 2016 Worship!

The theme for September is is “A Work in Progress” and the image is the cross.  Yes, we have a cross in every sermon but these four message will give it more weight.  Do our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness flow from the cross of Christ or just adorn our t-shirts?  I am asking this of myself  during quiet time.  What amazing  power the cross has in our everyday living….when we choose to access it.  How do you do that?  Come to worship and see.  We will also explore prayers of blessing and host a two-week short course on prayer, September 15 and 22 at 6:30 PM.  See cheathamumc.net for details

September 4, 2016: 16th Sunday of Pentecost  Jeremiah 18:1-11   “The Potter’s House

We are all a work in progress.  Even when life is under pressure, faith can build us even if circumstances are trying to get us down.  The greater the pressure, the stronger the earthen vessel.

September 11, 2016: 17th Sunday of Pentecost, remembrance of 9-11,  1 Timothy 1:12-17  “Strength for the Falls”

The promise of redemption if from Jesus himself.  People of faith are strengthened for the everyday “falls” that inevitably come.  Like physical fitness or a baby learning to walk, it is through our trials that we are strengthened in faith.  This gift from the Christ is for all who believe and for all who don’t.  We are all walking redemption’s path.

 September 18, 2016: 18th Sunday of Pentecost, Gideon’s Sunday with special offering.  1 Timothy 2:1-7  “Levelling Prayers” 

In the prayer closet, kings and paupers are judged the same.  This epistle is inviting us to seek God rather than asking God to seek us. How are we praying for our own spiritual formation?  How are we praying for our political and church leaders in their life’s seeking of God?

September 25, 2016: 19th Sunday of Pentecost.  Luke 17:5-10  “A starting place”

This service will be an old school revival Sunday and include our favorite “Methodist Roots” hymns in an upbeat and tradition filled worship experience! The vision of a victorious end is the start of all good journeys.  Where is our starting place in the Christian life?  The truth is that we have many starting placed in Christ.  It is a journey of many steps.  We don’t begin our life of salvation all mature and filled many answers.  We start at the foot of the cross with the harsh reality that we are not finished yet, we continue with the present reality that we don’t journey along, and we live for the completion of our journey with eternity in Christ.  That being said, how do we begin?

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Coming Events:  Charge Conference! Fall Festival on October 15 and a celebration of our fund raiser on October 16!

What on Earth does Maundy Mean?

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Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries) is a Holy Week tradition.  Most Christians celebrate “Maundy” and we in the western church have ours on the Thursday before Easter.  This a church term is from the latin word “Mandate” or commandment and speaks to Christ’s command to take care of the poor.

For the last 1000 years or so, the Church would have Maundy to wash the feet of the poor as an act of servanthood.  This evolved into a service around the scripture’s story of Christ washing the feet of his disciples. Later was added the gift of Holy Communion, (or Eucharist) described at the last supper discourse.  After that last supper, they sang a hymn and went into the garden to unknowingly wait for the crucifixion.  We remember this in the silence of Saturday before the feast and joy of Resurrection morning.

What is truly represents is what the photograph shows-IT IS ABOUT WORK OF THE CHURCH.  The sacraments, caring for people and worship are the work and craft of the Christian disciple.  Holy Thursday is a work day in the highest sense of the Kingdom of God.  Faith in Christ is not a possession, it is a calling a compulsion to be like Jesus.  Maundy shows the privilege and responsibility to serve as the plain scriptural command of Jesus.

On this Holy week you are invited to attend this special service at 6:30 at our church, Cheatham Memorial UMC in Edgewood Texas.  If you are not in our area, find your place in a faithful congregation to share a service with.  Our website with the particulars is cheathamumc.net.  Our table is open to all who claim the name of Christ and this service is open to all who simply want to worship as a sign of devotion to Him.  Join us and experience the story beyond a mere reading. It may sound corny but Jesus is waiting for you here.

Blessings to you and may every week be Holy Week as you rejoice in the Risen Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

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The April 2016 Sermon Schedule

April brings the spring  and a newness to our faith journeys.  Easter has given us the faith of an empty tomb!  These scriptures have been chosen to reflect the four gifts of the cross-the final point of our Lenten sermons.  Forgiveness, Righteousness, Faith-Sight, and Ministry are given to us at the cross and lived in the resurrection in everyday life.  These gifts are for the here and now as well as the hereafter.  Come and join us in worship!  For more details check us out at Cheathamumc.net

April 3:  The second Sunday of the Easter Season  “Every Eye” Revelation 1:4-8

The first gift of the cross is that of a Jesus focused sight.  In Christ we simply see things differently.  The tomb is empty and is the bedrock of the Christian’s faith.  It is a place of victory and eternity rather than a place of death and finality.   Seeing our everyday with the focus of Jesus makes for healthier and eternal living.

 

April 10:  The third Sunday of the Easter Season  “Right Away”  Acts 9:1-20

The second gift of the cross is the forgiven life.  With our ransom paid at the cross we live with the righteousness of Jesus as our guide and goal.  By faith through Jesus’ gift to us we have this righteousness!  It is a responsibility as well as a privilege!  Living out of Jesus’ righteous freedom makes for healthier and eternal living.

April 17:  The fourth Sunday of the Easter Season  “Healing Right Away”   Acts 9:36-43

Jesus is still in the healing business but not always in the way that we imagine it should be.  The final gifts of the cross are being forgiven and made worthy for ministry.  Peter had denied Jesus and squandered many opportunities for faith.  Yet, this story show him to be used of God for a dramatic healing event.  Being healed of our sin puts us in a position to minister in a way that makes for healthier and eternal living

April 24:  The fifth Sunday of the Easter Season “Laity in Ministry Sunday”

Our lay leadership, with Judi Yarbrough bringing the message, will share our ministry from the last year  in pictures, word and song. This will be an exciting service of praise for the shared ministry of Cheatham Memorial UMC!

See you Sundays at 10:00!

 

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Sermon Brief: Mark 10:17-31 “O Come on….You Know this”

October Theme

This is the first of two in a series of sermons with the goal of clearing the clutter that we tend to pile around the Bible.  Join with us as we explore these stories together.

Did Jesus ever tell a joCamel-and-needleke?  Some people act like He was only the man of sorrows and that sour, and harsh actions are Christian service.  Jesus was constantly at dinner with people and speaking to diverse groups.  He was fully human and fully God, yet capable of weeping.  It is reasonable to think that he would also laugh.  Some believe that this  comment about rich people  was a joke!  Granted, the punch line is lost to the centuries BUT that does fit.

Scripture is dealing with life and death seriousness in our story today but Jesus is not afraid to laugh the truth into this crowd. Still this is not a comedy but a love story.

Click Here for Mark 10:17-31  The text will tell you where I am coming from .

Slide1This is a picture of 19th century graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, who were not allowed to be buried together. On the Protestant part of this cemetery Colonel  van Gorcum, of the Dutch Cavalry. His wife, lady van Aefferden is buried in the Catholic part. They were married in 1842,the lady was 22 and the colonel 33, he was a protestant and didn’t belong to the nobility.  This caused quite a commotion in the day.

After being married for 38 years the colonel died in 1880 and was buried on the protestant part of the cemetery against the wall. His wife died in 1888 and had decided not to be buried in the family tomb but on the other side of the wall. Two clasped hands connect the graves across the wall telling a love story that is bigger than the grave.  The barriers weren’t brick-class, denomination/style, family relationships, background, or gender-they were spiritual.  Even in death they found a way.

Their love story reflects the love story that the Gospel has for us.  Jesus is in the region of Judea and across the Jordan. He is teaching at a furious pace to prepare his followers for the crucifixion.  His inner circle of disciples is trying to “get it” and temple staff members are there to make sure they don’t.

A man rushes up and asks the central question of all life, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus starts listing the 10 commandments,  but the man hastily interrupts-saying Come on, I know this. Jesus “Looked at him and loved him”.  He saw his spiritual brick-wall and told him to give away all of his riches and follow. The man clung to his money and went away sad, unrepentant and unredeemed.

Jesus rounded up his disciples, laughed and quipped about running a camel through the eye of a needle being easier than that rich guy entering into God’s kingdom. Jesus laughed the truth into them that God gives us the gift of possibility where we have none without on our own strength.

Good old clumsy Peter piped in that they indeed left everything to follow him. He was trying to live out of the rich man’s spiritual problems instead of his own. Thus pointing out that they were way ahead of that rich guy. Of course Christ’s closest ones there wasn’t whole lot of riches to leave behind.. I am sure that Jesus just shook His head.

The point is not what they lost by following but what they gained, which was everything, Nothing we can lose by faith can compare to What Jesus Gives us. Indeed the more we leave behind by faith the higher the capacity to reap spiritual riches. “But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Come on… we know this!  but it is hard to walk away from our walls.  Our real separation is not brick, class or background but a Spiritual relationship with God that show us and then removes the false separations built in our own minds.  Even in death Jesus found a way to overcome the wall that is sin/separation, and he did that through the Cross and our inheritance of an empty tomb.

So what do we learn from this?  The love story of Jesus is bigger than the grave

We have walls between us and God of our own making.  God is assertively reaching over them to grasp our hands.  Of course we have to live inside our own walls, not those of someone else.  God reveals our separation, our sin, and the Grace of Jesus removes them one brick at a time. Keep reaching!  Grace reaches back when we risk losing something personal to gain everything.  The empty tomb is a better place to live than the grave yard.

Salvation is a personal gift but is lived out in our church families.  Congregations build walls too.  When we hide behind the walls of style, denomination and tradition we slap God’s nail scarred hands away and retreat into our four lonely walls.

Unity is as tough now as it was in Jesus’ earthly ministry.  Like then, we are living in a world of change and are left to witness to an unchanging God  in our ever changing cultural reality.  How, by looking at to Jesus as our ground and goal rather than trying to cling to people.  By gladly preparing our church for the next generation instead of trying to make them look like us.  Focusing our vision is  listening to God rather than just making better plan.

At Cheatham Memorial we are unveiling our new vision statement at Charge Conference next week.  This is more than a glib slogan but a way of discerning.  Slide3

We settled on “Welcome Home!”  This is what I want to hear when my time on earth is done and what we want others to hear when they step through our doors.  Rather than just doing good things, we will test our ministry and ask if we are following Christ, serving the community and unifying the body as we do them.  If the answer is no then we are probably only serving ourselves and need to re-think.  Live in Christ, you cant lose.

Let us work according to Christ’s mission and we have already succeeded. and when we quit telling God, as the rich young man did, how smart we are and move toward disciplined listening we will grow in Grace and live a life of significance.

 

This is a follow up to our sermon from Sunday and I pray it touches your heart.  Please find a church that gives you a hearty “Welcome Home”.  If you find yourself in our corner of East Texas, Come and see us!

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Sermon Brief: October 4, 2015 “Tell Them the I AM sent You”

 

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Before health education and restrictions on the tobacco industry nearly everyone smoked . People who did not smoke often carried light to share for others as a courtesy.  As a kid, I was fixated on the Zippo Lighter.  They clicked, flicked and snapped into a flame that did not consume the fibers in the center of the little chrome grid. This was cool and weird at the same time, just like the “burning bush” that confronted Moses.  God had a mission and a direction for Moses.  He had a cool-weird Zippo lighter moment and had the presence of mind to listen and follow.

Our smoking habits have changed.  Lighters are not as commonplace BUT  Jesus is still the way, the truth and the life.  He is the God of all creation and that does not change with the whims of culture.  God is the source of direction for our lives.  Even when we lose our way, God is still speaking to his people.  The greater question is, are we listening?

Click here for our Sermon Text: Exodus 3:1-15

Here are some of the high points:

  • Moses has lost his way.  Born into hiding, prayed into being a prince of the most powerful nation in history. He had everything all figured out until he killed a man.
  • He fled Egypt at about age 40, he could be 70- or 80 years old, trapped in the sheep business. His direction is to water and pasture for the sheep. The Big picture direction of his life was lost
  • God called through an angle in the guise of a fire. Like a zippo, the flame is alive with sound sight and the very voice of God but it is not consumed This is a holy moment on a holy patch of ground.
  • The message: GO to Egypt, bring the message of victory and release, deliver them. Your marching orders, your credentials and your provision is simply from “I AM. Tell them I AM sent you.  This is a derivation of the Yahweh, the name of God.  They would understand.
  • There is no question that this burning bush moment is God’s direction, authority, and provision.  He may question his sanity or his faith but this is to far out there to be anything less than God.  He shows more than a little doubt of self or his ability but the mission is all there.

Wouldn’t you and I have a less anxious life if we followed God’s clear direction with such surefootedness.

A young man that is now a certified lay minister and holding down a church asked me a question.  We were have a parking lot conversation with another pastor who was accustomed to saying “God told me” this and that, whether choosing a song, sermon, or a car.  He often spoke this way and  I knew him as a man of God committed to the Gospel and prayer.  The young lay pastor  was quiet in this conversation as our neighbor was telling us what God had told him to do.  After this pastor left, my friend quietly asked.  “Brother Joe hears from God?  How does he know its God and not someone else?”  This is a great question .

Moses has some hints for listening for God’s voice in this story.  I have never heard Charlton Heston’s voice booming a message out of the rafters or had writing magically appear on the wall but I hear God’s voice in my spirit. Many of my friends and colleagues have been re- assured of their life’s direction in many different ways.  How do we hear?  How do we know it isn’t a misleading voice?

Good questions!  People are dying from a lack of direction. Suicide, depression, missed opportunities, lost wages to unproductivity burden us when we lose our direction and flounder in our faith.  It can all be crushed by simply knowing and following God’s direction by faith.  Before you get too excited though, God makes us work for it and we will battle with doubt most of the way!

We are seldom blessed with an angelic and fiery message.  We live by faith and not sight.   God’s message is subtle, silent and sure we have to listen for it.  Consider these when you are discerning your life-direction.

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Walking in faith and seeking God’s direction begins when we pay attention to God in your everyday life, create time and place for prayer, know your own story.  The light of Christ is your, portable, powerful and shareable.  Jesus isn’t I was or the I will be he is the ever present and eternal “I AM”.  Jesus is your portable, powerful, eternal and living flame.  Carry it well and share!

You have the authority, God has the direction for you!  I AM knows you by name

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October 2015 Sermon Schedule

October Theme

We will continue to discuss the many tools that God gives us to discern our life’s direction  Concentrating God’s word as our compass and the Holy Spirit as Guide.  We will cut the clutter and discuss as much about what the Bible doesn’t say as what it does say.   We will hone our discernment skills to refine our “Vision Statement” as a congregation and to develop our personal life statement as well.  Come and see us at 10:oo worship!

  • October 4: Exodus 3:1-15 “Tell Them I-Am Sent You”
    The word of the day: God’s Direction for our lives and our congregation. This direction is Knowable and Do-able.  What God requires, God Directs and provides. Moses was endorsed by God, and In Christ, so are we.
  • October 11:  “Laity Sunday!”The message will be brought by Lay Person Jackie Fitzgerald from 1 Peter 4:10-11.  Judi Yarbrough will also present a mission report in word and photos.
  • “October 18: 21st: Mark 10:17-31 ”Oh, Come on….You know this!”We know the basics of Christ, some of us even from childhood,  but we still have to be reminded of them from time to time.
  • October 25: James 3:1-12 “But we must all learn”Not all can or should teach.  It is a gift and a craft.  BUT we must all learn from our many teachers.  Christ is teaching all things everywhere.  Listen, and learn…..

Sermon Briefs: September 6, 2015 “How to Pray for A High School Football Game” 1Thessalonians 5:1-19

buldog football solidarity

So, how do you pray for a Friday Night Football Worship Experience?  In general, here are three basic ways to pray for a football game.  The coaches have their way, the players on the field have their way and the alumni in the stands have their way.  All three want to God to know it is His will for us to win.   The educators pray for good sportsmanship and their players to be better people for the win, the players pray  to be stronger athletes more popular for the win, and the alumni pray to live bygone days  and are more open to the visitors leaving blood on the field

How do we pray for God’s will in our lives?  Where do we start.  Deep down we want that win. OUR win.  Deep down we want to  become closer to His Son Jesus for the experience and keep us on the high moral road as we do it.  However, if some force were to viciously smite the opposition that’s ok, as long as we can claim it as God’s will and not any doing of our own hands.   That is not discernment.  What is the real deal? How can we discern what God wants without feeling like a loser.

Discernment is seeing what God Wants, Mission is doing what God wants

The reading today, from First Thessalonians chapter 5, Gives some clear direction for us in how to find God’s will to perform our mission!

At the cross we have a clue,Jesus asked for deliverance but cried out, “Not my will but thine be done”  It is a personal skill, lived out in the Church and can be learned

 1. God’s will  is found by those who live urgently.
The game is uncertain certain until the clock runs out. Faith is being uncertain and trusting God anyway.  We must choose darkness or light, ignorance or wisdom, fear or certainty.  Take action now.
2. God’s WIll is found by the awakened and the intentional.  Jesus died for you and me and we his church, he is the light to our cloudy path.  Grab hold of His hand
  • Study is Armor for the head, faith is armor for the heart.  Our eternity is protected by the covenant of Salvation
3. God’s will is found in community
  • We are not a loose collection of individuals, we are a team, we all win or none of us win.  Respect the co laborer, wake up the lazy, encourage the bashful and help the weak.  This letter was written to the Church.
4.God’s will is found in a life of integrity
  • We do not always agree what is truth.
  • Live the truth on the outside from  the truth we know on the inside
  • Rejoice always, Pray ceaselessly, be thankful in good and bad times, this is the fruit of faith and not the compromise of weak resignation.  God’s will is not just getting what you want, and is seldom discernible by how we feel. 
  • EVERYTHING BEGINS AND ENDS WITH PRAYER.
5. HOW!
  •   Do all of the good that you can, Abstaining from evil and staying in Love with God,  This scripture reflects our Methodist “general rules “Slide2
6.  SO WHAT
  • Discernment is way Bigger than just words and church attendance, it is hard work and many won’t do it, It is scary and many more will ignore it. Do it!
  • Many of us walk in uncertainty.  YOU DON”T HAVE TO!  in these bullet points, taken from this letter are the starting points for aligning our vision and mission with God. 
  • This is our Proposed vision Statement a statement of who we are, whose we are and a standard of testing for God’s will in our ministries for our Congregation.  This is how we will test our ministries as a group, a family at Cheatham Memorial UMC!

Slide3SO……..  How do you pray for a Bulldog Football Game?  You ask boldly, by faith and in the name of Jesus Christ for God to win regardless of the score instead of telling God what to do!  I am a competitor!  But when God wins, we all win.

sermon slides 9-4-15This is the first of Five Sermons on discernment. See you next week.

Thanks for reading this post.  I pray it encourages your life and leads you to  worship in the church of your choice.

We would love to have you visit us at Cheatham Memorial UMC!