S2E38: Leaving our Nets (Epiphany 2015)

What does it mean for us today to leave our nets?  The disciples were called by Christ, and the Bible tells us that immediately they left their nets and followed him.  Are we that willing to change everything about our lives to become disciples of Christ, the way these fishermen did so long ago?  Today we will look at what it means to leave our nets, and why we, too, should be fishing for people.  So grab your Bible, turn it to Mark chapter one, and prepare your heart and mind as we look at leaving our nets.

Mark 1:14-20

Recorded at Hudson UMC on January 25, 2015 (Originally published February 14, 2015)



S8E39: God’s Mission (God with Us pt. 2)

As we continue to look at the ways that God interacted with us through Jesus Christ, we come to the missional calling of four disciples who previously were not learned Biblical scholars but fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.  This calling is different from the calling we saw last week in that last week's calling was to discipleship, and this is a calling that is giving these men a mission and a task to complete - that of fishing for people.  And what we see in this narrative is that, as fishers of people ourselves, we are called to cast our nets often for a catch, and to mend our nets often so that they can be effective at bringing people to Christ.  

Mark 1:14-20

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on January 24, 2021



S7E69: GC Talk On the WCA (With Beth Caulfield)

Out of the tumultuous United Methodist General Conference of 2016 was birthed a renewal movement within the UMC called the Wesleyan Covenant Association.  The WCA was founded on the principle of scriptural authority and traditional Wesleyan theology in response to the push of Liberalism within the church.  Today, the WCA is spearheading the foundation of a new traditional Methodist denomination in anticipation of the General Conference scheduled for August/September 2021 in Minneapolis.  Beth Caulfield is a founding member of the WCA, the President of the Greater New Jersey Chapter, and member of the Global Council, as well as an ordained Elder in the UMC appointed to Franklinville UMC and Newfield UMC in Southern New Jersey.  Her insight as one who has been part of the WCA since its inception is invaluable, and her viewpoint as a traditional and conservative Wesleyan is unshakable and inspirational.  I thoroughly enjoyed our talk today and hope to have her on again.

Recorded via Zoom Meetings on May 29, 2020

Read my blog post "<a href="https://maxthedork.livejournal.com/189208.html" target=_blank>An Open Letter to Greater New Jersey Annual Conference</a> (May 30, 2015)" 
<a href="https://www.wesleyancovenant.org" target=_blank>Wesleyan Covenant Association webpage</a> 
<a href="https://www.facebook.com/wesleyancovenant" target=_blank>Wesleyan Covenant Association Facebook page</a>  



S5E29: Are You Listening? (When God Speaks pt. 1)

We are starting a new series for the season after Epiphany and looking at the Old Testament texts for insight into When God Speaks.  We begin with the story of a young Samuel who was called upon by God to deliver a message to the High Priest, Eli, in a time when Israel was on the cusp of falling into apostasy.  But sometimes we can hear without listening, and so we ask the question, When God Speaks, Are You Listening?

1 Samuel 3:1-10

Recorded at Hudson UMC on January 14, 2018



S8E38: God’s Calling (God With Us pt. 1)

We are starting a new series for the season of Epiphany called "God With Us."  Jesus is God with us.  Isaiah foretold his birth of a virgin and said that he would be called Emmanuel, which means "God With Us."  So for the next five weeks we will be looking at how God interacts with his creation, and specifically with his people who are made in his image.  

This week we ask the question, where were you when God called you?  God calls each of us uniquely and individually, because we are all individually unique.  God meets us right where we are and reveals to us what we need to believe in him.  We see this today in the telling of the calling of Nathanael, who initially does not believe that any good thing can come from Nazareth, but ultimately proclaims that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.  

John 1:43-51

Recorded at Hudson UMC on January 17, 2021



S2E37: Come and See (Pitman Manor Vespers)

Very often we as Christians meet with resistance when we tell others about Jesus Christ.  In today's reading from John, we meet a man named Nathanael who doubted that Jesus from Nazareth could possibly be the messiah.  But his evangelist, Philip, rather than arguing or debating with him said something simple: "Come and see."  In this message delivered to the residents of Pitman Manor, we find that we can learn something from Philip in our dealings with non-believers today.  So grab your bible, turn it to John chapter one, and prepare your heart and mind to encounter the risen Christ as we come and see.

John 1:43-51

Recorded at Pitman Manor on January 18, 2015 (Originally published February 9, 2015)



S2E36: Planting Seeds (Special speaker: Carl McGaha of Gideons International)

When we plant a seed, do we sit and watch and wait for it to grow?  And do we expect the seed we planted to yield fruit that day?  We'd go hungry if we expected apples from an apple seed the day we planted it.  Yet so many of us expect immediate results from planting the word in the hearts of men and women.  Today's guest speaker from Gideons International explains how a five dollar Bible can sow a crop with a tremendous yield, and a personal testimony from our pastor illustrates his point perfectly.  So grab your Bible, turn it to first Corinthians, chapter three, and join us as we look at planting seeds.

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on January 18, 2015 (Originally published February 8, 2015)



S2E35: God’s Son, the Beloved (Baptism of the Lord 2015)

This Sunday is Baptism of the Lord Sunday on the Church calendar, a day when we usher in the ordinary time after Epiphany with the story of Jesus' baptism.  It's an interesting bookend to the Advent season, which we brought in with Isaiah's plea for God to tear open the heavens.  Now, at Jesus' baptism in the Jordan river, we see that prayer fulfilled, and we take the opportunity to renew our own baptismal covenant.  So grab your Bible, turn it to Mark chapter one, and prepare your heart and mind as we look at God's Son, the Beloved.

Mark 1:4-11

Recorded at Hudson UMC on January 11, 2015 (Originally published February 5, 2015)



S8E36: Overwhelmed with Joy (Epiphany 2017)

In Matthew's gospel we read about the coming of the wise men, or magi, from the east, who are following a star that they read as proclaiming the birth of a king.  This familiar story is easy to gloss over; yet on Epiphany (January 6), we celebrate and commemmorate this occasion at the end of the Christmas season because it marks the time that Jesus' birth was announced, not only to the Jews, but to the Gentiles as well.  And because the story is so familiar, it's hard to see that these outsiders were overwhelmed with joy at beholding our Lord Jesus.  How many of us feel the same when we consider that God did this great thing for us?

This recording has some audio issues, particularly with pops and drop-outs, which is probably why I opted not to publish it in 2017.  

Matthew 2:1-12

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on January 7, 2017 (Previously unpublished)



S8E37: Baptized in the Name (Baptism of the Lord 2021)

On Baptism of the Lord Sunday we reaffirm our baptismal covenant and remember our baptism.  But what does that mean for Christians, such as myself, who were baptized as infants?  How can we remember our baptism when we don't have any memory of it?  Today we will consider what baptism is, why we in the Methodist tradition baptize infants, and what is the importance of baptism in the life of the Christian.  

Acts 19:1-7

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on January 10, 2021


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