S7E34: Out of the Depths (Selah - Life in a Minor Key pt. 6)

Psalm 130 is a song of ascents, which means the Jewish pilgrims would sing it to themselves and to each other as they went up the mountain to the temple in Jerusalem. It is a song that is meant to keep our eyes fixed upon God, and what is it that this song tells us about God and His relationship with us? We are sinners, and our state is hopeless without the forgiveness of God. But we have hope in God's word, the promise that he has redeemed and he will redeem again. And we have this assurance in God's steadfast nature. It is a psalm of hope and assurance, and a reminder of the greatness of God's grace.

Psalm 130

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on March 29, 2020



S7E33: Live Q&A (March 28, 2020)

Our first ever Live Podcast where we answered questions from you, our listeners. The three questions were:
*How do we approach "internet" communion during quarantine?
*What is the significance of the 12 baskets in Jesus' feeding of the multitude?
*Where do we find Antichrist in the Bible?

Recorded LIVE on March 28, 2020

View on YouTube



S7E32: From Darkness to Light (Lent 2014)

Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do bad things happen to good people? These are some of the questions that confound people, believers and non-believers alike. What we see in the account of Jesus' healing of a man born blind is that God can use both good situations and bad for the benefit of those who love him, and for his own glory. Every healing Jesus performed resulted in the glorification of God the Father, and this blindness, we are told, is so that God would be glorified. Trouble is, the religious people of the day were themselves so blind that they couldn't see the glory of God in this miracle. Could we fall into that same trap today?

This message was preached originally during Lent of 2014, but its message is pertinent to us today, when there are so many people asking if we are being punished for our sin by COVID-19. What does God's word tell us about the nature of suffering, and what is God's response to it?

John 9:1-41

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on March 30, 2014 (Previously unpublished)



S7E31: Prayer for the World (A Journey Through Lent Pt. 5)

We as a society are infatuated with celebrity, to the point that when we see someone famous we tend to get... well, giddy. But when is the last time we were giddy over being in the presence of God? Psalm 98 is a song of praise - one of the "royal" psalms that exalts God in his kingship, and the words of the psalm are positively giddy. How can we get back to that place where our giddiness over God causes us to gush in worship? By remembering God for the deliverance he gave us in the past, by acknowledging his present reign, and by looking to the future judgment he will bring.

Psalm 98

Recorded at Hudson UMC on March 26, 2017 (Previously unpublished)

Buy the companion DVD and other resources for A Journey Through Lent



S7E30: In Right Paths (Selah - Live in a Minor Key pt. 5)

The Shepherd's Psalm is one of the best-known and most-memorized passages of scripture apart from the Lord's Prayer, and like the Lord's Prayer, we mostly know it from the King James Version. We also primarily know it as a prayer from funerals, and for when we are in imminent ang grave danger. The risk in expositing such a well-known passage of scripture is the potential to miss something. Today as we examine the 23rd Psalm, we find that the nature of God and His relationship with us is revealed inthe picture of a shepherd watching over his flock. David, the shepherd King of Israel, knew more about being a shepherd than most of us, and the picture he paints of God as our shepherd is one where God provides for us, guides us, and protects us from eternal dangers. In this crisis of the coronavirus outbreak, it is well worsh our time to give this Psalm a second look.

Psalm 23

Recorded at Hudson UMC on March 22, 2020



S7E29: Go Make Disciples (Missionary Scott Rambo)

The Great Commission in Matthew's gospel records the final marching orders of Jesus to his followers. He calls us all to go make disciples. Today, our guest speaker, missionary Scott Rambo, looks at not only Jesus' final words, but his first words to his disciples. Scott reminds us that the same disciples who heard "Follow me" were with Jesus at the end when Jesus said "Now therefore go." And Scott talks about how God makes a way even when we think there is no way, so that we can see God's Kingdom even in places where we think God's Kingdom is absent. As a missionary to the Congo, Scott speaks from the heart on how God is moving and building his kingdom.

This message was first preached in 2014 but never published on the podcast. Since 2014, Scott and Meg Rambo and their family have finished their mission to the Congo and relocated to South Jersey, where Scott is now an associate pastor at Trinity UMC in Mullica Hill.

Maybe after hearing Scott's story you will feel led to pray for and financially assist missionaries around the world for the furtherance of the Gospel. If this is so, you can help by going to World Gospel Missions and clicking on the link that says "Give."

Matthew 28:16-20

Recorded at Hudson UMC on March 23, 2014



S7E28: Prayer of Rest (A Journey Through Lent pt. 4)

In Psalm 91 we see a beautiful picture of God's protection over us, in the image of a mother bird who spreads her wings over her chicks to keep them from harm. We see strength coupled with tenderness - the strength of the mother bird against danger, and the tenderness under her wings. We think of God's protection for us in the same way. But thinking that God will never let anything bad happen to those who trust him completely comes with inherent danger. First, when trouble does come, we think either that God does not keep his promises, or we think that somehow we did not have enough faith. But what Psalm 91 promises is not temporal safety in this life, but eternal protection for our very souls in God's abundant love.

This sermon was prepared and never preached in 2017. Because its message is so pertinent to what is going on today amid the news of coronavirus spreading, I thought it would be good to record the message and release it as part of the sermon series "A Journey Through Lent" from 2017.

Psalm 91 (Listen to Psalm 91 performed by Mark Swayze Band)

Recorded at Hudson UMC on March 17, 2020

Buy the companion DVD and other resources for A Journey Through Lent



S7E27: Worship and Bow Down (Selah - Life in a Minor Key pt. 4)

It's easy to praise God in the good times. But how many of us truly do? Do we praise God and worship Him when we are enjoing the bounty of His provision? And what about in times of leanness, when it seems like God has departed from us. In Psalm 95, the psalmist gives us an example to avoid - the example of the people of Israel who grumbled and complained that God was not taking care of them, even after he had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. During the present coronavirus outbreak, it is easy to forget to worship God, but now more than ever we need to worship and bow down before God our maker.

Psalm 95

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on March 15, 2020



S1E17: Be Born Again (Lent 2014)

Over the years there has been a great deal of confusion over what it means to be "Born Again," and it started with the first person to hear it. This Pharisee named Nicodemus didn't get it at first, but as we look at his life we see how God has worked in him to bring about a radical transformation. So grab your Bible, turn it to John chapter 3, and join us as we look at what it means to "Be Born Again."

John 3:1-17

Recorded at Hudson UMC on March 16, 2014 (First published March 13, 2020)



S7E26: Prayer for Thirst (A Journey Through Lent pt. 3)

Lent is a time when we reflect upon our own sin which separated us from God. But why did Jesus have to go to the cross? Why was it necessary for the Son of God to be our perfect sacrifice in order to reconcile us to God? We look at Psalms 42 and 43 today for our answer. Our soul thirsts for the living God as a deer pants for streams of fresh water. There is a yearning within us for God that cannot be satisfied until we find our satisfaction in a relationship with God, and for that to happen we need to have our debt paid. It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross, but God's love. These Psalms collectively describe our condition, they diagnose the causes, and then they prescribe a cure - and the cure is the cross.

Another note about the audio - during the recording of this sermon at Ebenezer UMC, my then-3 year-old son (Isaac) was running around the sanctuary doing what 3 year-old children do. So when you hear odd noises in the recording, it was probably Isaac playing with something. I have always believed in kids expressing themselves in the worship space. "Suffer the little children to come to me," Christ said, "For to such is the kingdom of God." If you have children in your worship that you think are "disruptive," try looking at them as God does.

Psalms 42-43

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on March 12, 2017 (First published March 11, 2020)


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