Monday School: November 30, 2015, Coping with Christmas 1 of 3, Matthew 20:20-28

This is an overview of our discussion and not a text for success.  This is not just a Holiday thing either.  We are sharing stories and principles for coping with life and not just Christmas.  This is not a discussion of right and wrong behaviors but of healthier and unhealthier.  This is not a discussion of living stress free wither-only dead people are stress free. The trick is living in heathy stress and not constant distress. There are no quick fixes but this story gives us a framework for discussion.

Read our story from the Gospel of Matthew and follow along as we ask the text some questions:  Click here for Matthew 20:20-28

Our discussion of the text:  James and John show up to see Jesus with their mom.  She asks them to make these two the number two and three people in His messianic kingdom.  She misunderstood the kingdom to be an earthly-political one while Jesus was teaching that it would be one in heaven.  While she only had her community model to understand a kingdom, she knew Jesus, recognized  and she had faith that He could make her request happen.

Jesus gave them all a question as an answer and used Holy Communion language to teach them.  He is asking, “do you really know what you are getting in to.  They said sure and then Jesus said, “You’ve got it!”  BUT the three seats of leadership are not His to give nor theirs to receive-they are for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Later, Jesus would gather them together, with all of the grumbling, and explain that their mission was not to set up another human led, lord and master government system.  The Kingdom of God would be spiritual and focused on serving others rather than being the big dog in charge and being served.  Jesus did not die the make them power people but to be their ransom-payment-redemption, freeing them for a rich life that changes the world.

After this rather lively discussion of the text, we turned the worksheet over and asked these question.

  1. Who brought whom to Jesus? Did mom bring the boys? Or did the boys bring mom to fade the heat?  Who brings their mom to something like this!  Perhaps mom was that strong willed and didn’t trust her kids to stand up for themselves.  Maybe the sons brought mom to take the heat and passively do their talking to Jesus for them.  It makes a difference in our family dynamics.  Who is the strong willed in your family and who waits to be brought along.  Neither is more right or more wrong but you need to understand how that works to understand how a group of people come together and operate in a healthy way.
  2. Why did anyone have to bring anyone? The short answer is anxiety.  one or another was worried more than the other and pushed this action to relieve the anxiety.  Mom worried about sons, or sons worried about what Jesus would think or all of them just wanted to make sure they got to the front of the line.  Some things to consider
*The anxiety of each person in any group or family effects the anxiety of others.
*Some handle stress and anxiety better than others but everyone is two people; how they are normally and how they are when anxious.
*Self identity effects how we see God and hence how we see everything.  “Know thyself!”
*When unhealthy living is all you know, that’s how you go about living and will strive to make that happen.  Likewise when your family is healthy you will strive to maintain healthy living.
  1. First from verse 22: He calmly refocused the question in a spiritual way  in a calm place in a focused way.  When our family is in crisis we can begin by getting focused around facts and not emotion.
  2. Second from verse 23:
  3. And third from verse 25     How did this effect the group dynamic?  I made the other 10 “indignant”!  It caused stress and acting out.  He and gathered this family of disciples.  Being together in a familiar place is powerful but has to be mutually respectful  to be healthy
  4. What happens in football when you have 12 players on the field.. “Too many players on the field” gets a flag and the loss of control.  When an outsider or one unhealthy voice gets control the play has to change directions!  This is hard and usually goes against long standing patterns.  Jesus didn’t let the two define the mission that was to be their lives.
  5. What happens when one (or more) try define a group members identity.  anger with yelling?  anger with silence, isolating?  or….calmly sharing the cause and asking God to lead rather than the emotion of the moment.  Prayer is amazing when we do it at first instead of as a last resort.  Following Jesus’ calm yet firm persona.  He did not yell back and taught then retaught the role they would have and the one they would follow.  Consistency and discernment is a key.  Seeing God clearly through the fog of anxiety is key to getting started.  Knowing whose you are is key to knowing who you are and living in the healthy light of faith.
  6. What correction did Jesus offer?  Seek to serve and not be served.  Seek to follow God in spirit and truth rather than lead from your own limited vision and strength.  His witness and example would lead and guide all of those who follow.  It was suggested that this confrontation by James and John’s mom was embarrassing!  They probably knew the answer but pushed the point any way.
  7. Fusion versus differentiation:  Sometimes we are “Fused” as a group to the point that we lose all individuality-this is called fusion.  Sometimes we are so focused on ourselves that we don’t need anyone else-this is called differentiation.  The truth is that we float around somewhere in the middle.  We must know ourselves well enough to go to Jesus without mom making our case for us.  We also have to take on our life’s role with or without Mom’s approval and be ok.  We must be connected to our group but not to the point we have no identity-that describes a cult.  To lack any need for our family makes us empty shells and narcissists.
  8. Ideally, who should we “fuse” with?  The only perfect person that ever walked was Jesus.  He is the one who gives us an identity that gives us a life of significance here and life eternal hereafter.

 

 

 

 

 

Sermon Brief: James 3:1-12 “But We All Must Learn”

October Theme

This is the final offering 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.  This week we are invited to match up what God puts in our heart and what we say with our tongues.

FIRST!    Click here to Read the Sermon Text: James 3:1-12

James 3 1-12On a Sunday afternoon in Freestone County Texas drought had plagued the land, humidity was about 15% and the wind was blowing about 30 miles per hour and there was not a chance of rain.    In the mid afternoon in an area called “Cotton Gin” a pasture caught fire and started a wild fire that burned for almost two weeks, destroying homes, outbuildings, woods and pasture.  the question would be asked many times, How did it start.  The story was that it began when  a squirrel got tangled up in a transformer and our corner of the world changed forever.   It is a good story whether true or not.  The conditions were perfect and only by the efforts of scores of firefighters from a dozen fire departments was the fire contained and eventually put out.

Looking around at our church we are experiencing the perfect conditions for a fire of another sort, that of God’s revival fire.  People are looking for answers in a culture that has none.  The church of Jesus Christ is still alive and relevant though not in fashion for the moment.  The fire of the Gospel is poised to catch and brings the fruit of joy and peace and takes away anxiety and death.  Only by the efforts of God’s faithful will THIS FIRE, one so desperately needed be contained and extinguished.   God is going to win.  Will God do so because of us or in spite of us.

The key to stoking this positive fire of revival, one that takes away devastation, is what my mom told me too many times, “Watch your mouth!”  This is central to James’ message to us in our scripture text today.

Remember!  There first person the preacher has to preach to is the Preacher.  I am not on any pedestal here.  We all stumble, we all shouldn’t teach but we must all LEARN! Disciples are students and can learn to control our tongues.  The call of God is spiritual maturity.  Maturity is best understood as growing in the Christ centered single mindedness of “Loving nothing but God and hating nothing but sin”.  Maturity is best seen when what we speak reflects how we are in Christ, maturity in this sense is being and saying exactly what God has called us to be.  This involves  focusing the tongue more than “taming”.

James tells us that no one can tame the tongue but we can grow and focus our words on the things of God. We keep our words from burning a life down and use them to  inspire spiritual greatness. These words are the seed of Revival fire, one that we don’t want to quenche. Only God can start it, and only We can prevent it.

We can tame the tongue but we must.  HOW??  Hit The Pause Button.  This is not merely biting your tongue or biding your time, or just cooling off.  But, Inviting the Grace of Jesus Christ to be more important than your words.  Your saying should be a reflection of your saving.

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Prayer is your pause button “pray always using spiritual Efforts”

Prayer prevents foot in mouth disease!  Our witness is more fragile, more today than ever before.  We simply must find our relationship with Christ and be a blessing and not a cursing. Our words show others what Christ looks like. Thus, you and I need to know our mission and know what that mission looks like in both our personal lives and in the lives of our congregations.

ISlide2f I know my mission, I can speak clearly of what I do.  This is the mission of the United Methodist Church.  While written to congregations, it is a solid and scriptural description of who I personally am in Christ too. Even in my congregation, my walk with Christ is person and I cannot be a transforming presence if I have not experienced it myself.  All of this is to God’s glory and not mine!

Slide3 This is our vision of what that looks like in our congregation. Welcoming, Loving with Action shown through following Jesus, Serving our community and unifying the body of Christ is what being a disciple looks like.  Saying what we mean and doing what we say is controlling our tongues.

We cannot tame the tongue but we can focus it.  We cannot remove all of our deadly poison but we can grow in grace.   Remember when we try our hardest- One squirrel can get tangled in our lives and turn our best efforts into a deadly wildfire!  Talk is cheap as “faith without works is dead”.  Be alive in Christ.

How will you and I we inspire the fires of revival.  It starts with our personal discipleship-accepting Christ as our savior.  We are formed as true disciples by Following Christ, Serving our mission field and unifying as the body of Christ.  These are the seeds of spiritual grown, thes are the seeds of revival.

This post is a follow-up to our sermon from Sunday and I pray it touches your heart and that you have a church that makes you feel “Welcome Home”.  If you don’t, please click on the link below and check out our Family.  We would love to welcome you whenever you find yourself in our corner of East Texas.  Come and see us!

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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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“Monday School” A precept study of James; Chapter 2 week 2

Tonight we had some new folks and an excellent discussion! Our church family has set aside Monday Evenings at 6:00 for Adult Bible Study.  This is a 5-week Inductive study where we look at the whole to see where God’s direction comes from.  This group is bathed in prayer too.

In Monday School, It is as important to know HOW to study as it is to know the information. We are not seeking simple intellectual knowledge but God’s wisdom.  To do this we will hone three skills:  Observation-spiritual reading, Interpretation-spiritual seeking, and Application-putting truth into practice.  No one is an expert.  We are all finding our way.

One thing I ask!  Don’t consult any commentaries until we are done.  One goal is to build confidence in our abilities to apply scripture

Our text is James Chapter 2 (Click Here)

This week, after prayer,  we focused on the key word, “Faith”.  We discussed the definition of the word and underlined each use of the word as the text was read aloud.

Faith is ultimately relying on God and puts life in perspective-it is not about us!

The poor were used as a positive witness of faith.  Why?  They appreciate what they have, have a perspective on what “things” matter, and they relied on God because that is all they had to rely on.

The rich were a negative witness on faith.  There must have been a problem within those first readers on the issue of favoritism and injustice to the poor or these would not be so prominent in James.  The rich were in a position to judge and were harsh to the poor, They trusted in their own wisdom, relied on their own resources

We shared stories about the struggle with everyday issues surrounding helping others-cat food, pan handlers and motel rooms to name a few.

We discussed when we feel alive and how that relates to our faith more than our circumstances.  We discussed at length the death that we feel when we don’t use our faith and just talk about it.  Prayer and study are doing something about faith formation to be sure BUT nothing compares with works done in the name of Jesus for someone else.

Everyone is encourages to leave a comment, especially group members.  All are welcome next Monday at CMUMC at 6:00.

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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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Thoughts from the Back Porch: A work in progress…

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The view from the porch

This is a book outline and a work in  progress.    The hope is to describe a way to grow closer to God and, as a result, have a less anxious and more fulfilling life through establishing a sacred space and time to train your body and mind to be aware of God’s presence.  My example of this is my back porch.

Everyone needs a back porch.  This is any place of solitude where you can shake photo_4off the world’s garbage and think God sized thoughts. Mine is actually my back porch, complete with a desk and prayer benches. It is my “Friday office”.  It is where I write and study on my off days. Yours might be anywhere but if you don’t have a sacred space of your own, I hope this blog can be your back porch and provide you a safe starting place to seek God.  The ultimate goal of this exercise is to recognize God wherever we are.

Follow along and comment where you wish and see where this goes.  Better yet, apply the principles and watch your awareness of God grow.

Read it and use it thoughtfully but remember, “Thou shalt not steal”.

Copyright Alan Van Hooser 2015, so there.

Thoughts From the Back Porch: October 1, 2015

  This is the view from my back porch, my sacred spot. This is where I feel closest to God and can separate for a few quiet minutes each day. I Hope you have a sacred spot and find your time with God today. It makes a life of difference. Here’s whats on my heart today………

Just past the full of the “Blue Corn Moon”

Establish your sacred space out of doors whenever possible.  I am blessed to have a large yard that backs up to a wooded property to charge me up with calm. This is the view from the space that is engineered to center me on God  Dawn and dusk provide the best time for me to be immersed in  the presence of God.   Amazing things happen as God creates a new day right before your eyes.
This morning is dark, 60 degrees and silent. No air conditioners or wind interrupt the stillness. The only traffic is from farm workers and night shift-ers. I hear my first flock of geese for the year fly overhead. The only light is the full moon hanging high but still they cannot be seen. In that moment the unseen Creator is as real as those unseen geese

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The early risers go about their day

My scripture meditation is Exodus 3-Moses and his angelic messenger found in the burning bush. There is a difference between being still and simply being outside.  Moses, the prince of Egypt and convicted murderer, was now a humble hired son-in-law working at the family sheep business. His wandering was God ordained and went on for many years. However, when the voice of God spoke through this angel, he recognized both the speaker and the holiness of this place.

Moses was on Mr. Horeb, the mountain of God!  A sacred space set aside for the spiritual searcher. How many other hired men might have grumbled about their work all self absorbed and missed this moment with God almighty?   Did it take more than one try to get Moses to notice?   After so long Moses was blinded by self pity and poor self esteem, as suggested in  Verse 11 suggests.   It would be easy to lose sight of God in the midst of it all.
How many of my neighbor’s this morning  rushed out and missed this sacred time and the connection of  the invisible honking geese with the majesty of God?  How many bad days could be avoided by a mere 15 minutes of intentional stillness.   God brought Moses to that moment and changed his world.  Where will God meet you today and change yours?

IMG_5589My sacred spot  is a covered porch but yours could be a hammock, car or a spot near a window. I keep plants to nurture in my sacred spot, you might choose to surround yourself with icons, artwork or a place to write or study instead.  A bench in a public park can be as holy as a pew in a sanctuary.

Actively Seek your space and surround yourself with things that point you to God.  Rise a little early and intentionally give God some time-as little as 15 minutes make a difference.

Search your Bible and other books for those images and activities that lead you to true prayer.  The ultimate life skill in these matters if to craft your sacred spot wherever you are standing.

The point of this is not what you do in your sacred space but what being in that sacred space does to you.

c. Alan Van Hooser 2015

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!