29Sep

S3E14: God‘s Eternal Grace (Deep Questions pt. 12)

Sermon #132

When we become Christians, one of the first things we learn is that Christ is the only way to God.  So it's natural that one of the first questions we ask is, what happened to people who died before Jesus was crucified?  After all, if Jesus is the only way to God, then in our minds that leaves out those who were, as Paul puts it, untimely born.  Today we will hear a story of two men, told by Jesus, and find clues that lead us to better understanding of the afterlife, and how Christ truly is the only way, and has always been.  So grab your Bible, turn it to Luke chapter 16, and prepare your heart and mind as we discover God's eternal grace.

Luke 16:19-31

Recorded at Hudson UMC on September 20, 2015 (Originally published November 5, 2015)

S.D.G.

28Sep

S6E22: Pure Fellowship (Purity of the Body pt. 5)

Sermon #302

We conclude our series in James by looking at what it means to be present in the church.  Our presence together is powerful.  One Christian on his or her own praying alone is a powerful thing but when we gather together by two or three or a few or many, that power in the Spirit of God grows exponentially.  The question we have been looking at throughout this series has been this: As members of this congregation, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?  Today our focus is on our presence and how it brings healing to us, to our church, and to our community.

Text: James 5:13-20

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 30, 2018 (Originally published November 28, 2018)

S.D.G.

27Sep

S9E07: A Kingdom Established (Prophets & Kings pt. 5)

Sermon #452

On the day in which we celebrate our independence here in America (this message was recorded July 4, 2021), we reflect on the foundation of Israel as a united kingdom under David after the death of Saul and the conquest of Jerusalem.  There are some parallels to our formation as a nation and Israel's.  For one thing, the entire nation assented to David's kingship.  In the same way, General George Washington was unanimously (69-0) elected our nation's first president.  Both nations were established with the understanding that all things come from God.  We see the three reasons that David was chosen as king - that he is one of the Israelites' brethren, a descendent of Abraham; that he is a warrior strong in battle; and that God chose him to be king.  But it is this last reason that ought to be the first - and only - reason given.

2 Samuel 5:1-5,9-10

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on July 4, 2021

View on YouTube

S.D.G.

26Sep

Lectionary Readings for Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 21), Year B

September 26, 2021

Old Testament: Esther 7:1-6,9-10; 9:20-22

Psalter: Psalm 124

Epistle Lesson: James 5:13-20

Gospel Lesson: Mark 9:38-50

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

20Sep

S6E21: Pure Prayer (Purity of the Body pt. 4)

Sermon #301

So often Christians lose their connection to God in prayer, and why do we think this is?  Many Christians lose hope in prayer because they feel as though their prayers are not being answered, that they pray and pray and God ignores their pleas.  In today's reading from the book of James, we look at purity in prayer, and why it is that some prayers are answered to our liking, and some are not.  What can we do to continue our prayer life with God?  How can we keep the lines of communication open?  James says that it begins with us and the way that we pray.

Text: James 3:12-4:8

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 23, 2018 (Originally published November 27, 2018)

S.D.G.

19Sep

Lectionary Readings for Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 20), Year B

September 19, 2021

Old Testament: Proverbs 31:10-31

Psalter: Psalm 1

Epistle Lesson: James 3:13-4:4,7-8a

Gospel Lesson: Mark 9:30-37

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

16Sep

S2E44: Our Misdirected Hearts (Lent 2015)

Sermon #103

Jesus told us that we are to deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow him.  In this day and age, however, we are so far removed from crucifixion as a means of execution that we don't fully understand the weight of his words.  Today we take an in-depth look at what it means to deny ourselves, and why we need to take up our cross - our instrument of execution - daily.  So grab your Bible, turn it to Mark chapter 8, and prepare your heart and mind as we examine our misdirected hearts.

Mark 8:31-38

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on March 1, 2015 (Originally published March 9, 2015)

S.D.G.

14Sep

S3E13: Thus Far the Lord Has Helped Us (Ebenezer‘s 225th Anniversary)

Sermon #131

We take a brief break from our Summer series, Deep Questions, to celebrate a milestone at Ebenezer United Methodist Church.  Back in 1790, the first Methodist Bishop, Francis Asbury, stirred the hearts of local people in Salem County, and his words became the springboard for a new church established by Oldmans Creek.  225 years later, Ebenezer is still changing hearts and making disciples.  It is my privilege to serve this historic congregation as its shepherd, and we know that we are still living up to our name, as the stone of help in Auburn community.  So grab your Bible, turn it to 1 Samuel chapter 7, and prepare your heart and mind as we proclaim, thus far the Lord has helped us.

1 Samuel 7:1-14

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 13, 2015 (Originally published October 28, 2015)

S.D.G.

13Sep

S6E20: Pure Speech (Purity of the Body pt. 3)

Sermon #300

Everything we as Christians say and do is part of our witness to the world.  So what does our speech say about our faith in Christ?  Do the things we talk about give glory to God or do we profane our faith by acting one way in church and another in the world?  These are convicting questions and they are set before us by James in his epistle.  In the United Methodist Church, we promise to faithfully participate in its ministries by our witness.  Today we take a look at what that means for us in a practical sense.  

Text: James 3:1-12

Recorded at Hudson UMC on Septebmer 16, 2018 (Originally published October 30, 2021)

S.D.G.

12Sep

Lectionary Readings for Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 19), Year B

September 12, 2021

Old Testament: Proverbs 1:20-33

Psalter: Psalm 19

Epistle Lesson: James 3:1-12

Gospel Lesson: Mark 8:27-38

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

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