“Who Are We?” Matthew 16:13-20 Aug 27, 2017

photo credit: Talia Felix  http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

 CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

 

Psalm 138:7-8 (RSV)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    thou dost preserve my life;
thou dost stretch out thy hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and thy right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfil his purpose for me;
    thy steadfast love, O Lord, endures for ever.
    Do not forsake the work of thy hands.

Matthew 16:13-20 (RSV)

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare′a Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli′jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Great Faith” Matthew 15:21-28 August 20, 2107

Photo Credit: Karen Arnold @ www.publicdomainpictures.net  License: CC0 Public Domain

 

Psalm 133 (RSV)

The Blessedness of Unity

A Song of Ascents.

133 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
    running down upon the beard,
upon the beard of Aaron,
    running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
    life for evermore.

 

Matthew 15:21-28 (RSV)

The Canaanite Woman’s Faith

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

“If You Swim Like a Rock” Matthew 14:22-33

 Photo credit Circe Denyer–  CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)   Public Domain Dedication

Psalm 18:16-19 (RSV)

16 He reached from on high, he took me,
    he drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
    and from those who hated me;
    for they were too mighty for me.
18 They came upon me in the day of my calamity;
    but the Lord was my stay.
19 He brought me forth into a broad place;
    he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

Matthew 14:22-33 (RSV)

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately he spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; 30 but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God”

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Backpack School Supply Ministry

 

Matthew 25:39-40

39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 

 

This cute little guy really, really wanted his picture taken and after asking his mom, She said I could put it on Facebook and here. I hope they get to see it. He, and others like him, are the reason why we do the back school supply Ministry.  

Many people came and Many people received.

Psalm 86:11-13

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in thy truth;
    unite my heart to fear thy name.
12 I give thanks to thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify thy name for ever.
13 For great is thy steadfast love toward me;
    thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre – opening the door preparations by

Pastor Richard Dye and Coach Griffin Fauntleroy.

 

 

The youngest even got in on the action and helped pass out backpacks. Each backpack contained pens, pencils, erasers, spiral notebook, colored pencils, glue sticks, crayons, and markers.

 

 

Prayers were offered and received.

Jane, Dorothy, and Emma Carey working the registry table. They did a great Job.

 Randy and Sam doing their part.

 Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Revised Standard Version (RSV) All scripture

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Give Them Something To Eat” Matthew 14:13-21 / Aug. 6, 2017

photo credit: Gustavo Di Nucci —  CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)  Public Domain Dedication

Psalm 17:6-9 (RSV)

I call upon thee, for thou wilt answer me, O God;
    incline thy ear to me, hear my words.
Wondrously show thy steadfast love,
    O savior of those who seek refuge
    from their adversaries at thy right hand.

Keep me as the apple of the eye;
    hide me in the shadow of thy wings,
from the wicked who despoil me,
    my deadly enemies who surround me.

 

Matthew 14:13-21 (RSV)

Feeding the Five Thousand

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Do We Get It? Matthew 13:44-52 July 30, 2017

 

Psalm 119: 129-132 (RSV)

The Glories of God’s Law

129 Thy testimonies are wonderful;
    therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The unfolding of thy words gives light;
    it imparts understanding to the simple.
131 With open mouth I pant,
    because I long for thy commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    as is thy wont toward those who love thy name.

 

Matthew 13:44-52 (RSV)

Three Parables

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.

Treasures New and Old

51 “Have you understood all this?” They said to him, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Nate talking about Operation Serve on 7/29/17

The whole Crew..

Photo’s credit to Michelle Swim.

Newsletter from Pastor Aug1, 2017

Newsletter, August, 2017

As I sit at my desk in my office at the church, or even in my recliner in the evening, all kinds of things to read come across my phone—yes, my phone. At times, I do not know if I am a willing participant in the information movement, or a victim. Nonetheless, I cannot help but read some of the material that piques my interest. I ran across an article the other day by Bob D’Ambrosio of Loveland, Colorado, that listed three things that all folks need to hear or feel or perceive when they walk through the doors of your church. I hope that we are perceived as making folks feel these things when they come through our church doors. I hope you experience these three things every time you enter First Christian Church:

Thank you for being here…appreciation for those who attend, regardless of when they last showed up. No guilt. No shame. Just thankfulness for the people who have gathered to worship Jesus.

We’ve all messed up. Jesus told the righteous crowds when they confronted the women caught in adultery, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” It was his way of letting them know that they, too, had sinned. It’s a comforting thought to know that sin is the great equalizer.

God’s grace is for everyone. When you realize that you’ve messed up, you need to hear the message of grace. God sent Jesus for everyone. The Pharisees had a difficult time understanding this message, and so do some church people today. Creating a culture that says “you belong” means that God’s grace is for everyone.

These three concepts show us, visitors, folks in the community, everybody, that church is about the relationships built with God, with Jesus, and with each other. Wouldn’t it be great if people felt as comfortable walking into church as they do walking into Wal-Mart? What would happen if the church was known as the one place people felt respected and accepted? A safe place where people are welcome just as they are?

You don’t need anything in the lobby of your church other that good, affirming folks to make people feel welcome. A culture of belonging begins when we create a place that communicates we’re all in this together.

In the coming days, our church has two great opportunities to “be the church,” to “live the Gospel.” This Saturday, July 29, “Operation: Serve” takes place once again in our community—the city-wide clean-up/fix-up campaign sponsored by First Methodist Church. Our youth will take part in Operation: Serve again this year. It will be a great chance to give of yourself to help folks you don’t even know, to help those in need. I would love to see you there.

And then on Thursday evening, August 10, at 6:30 PM, First Christian Church will participate in the Annual Backpack Giveaway, sponsored by our evangelism and outreach folks, and coordinated by our kids. We will need all kinds of help. There is more information about both of these opportunities throughout the CAHL.

Finally, Sarah and I are glad to be home. We are appreciative in all that you have done to finalize being in our parsonage home. Folks have already got Sarah busy volunteering in town. Don’t hesitate to let either of us know of opportunities for ministry in our community. Again, thanks for all you have done for us.

Blessings and peace,

Richard+

It’s Hard to Tell- July 23, 2017- Matthew 13:24-30

“It’s Hard to Tell”  July 23, 2017

CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)  Public Domain Dedication  “Wheat Ears” by Silviu Firulete

Psalm 86:8-12 (RSV)

There is none like thee among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like thine.
All the nations thou hast made shall come
    and bow down before thee, O Lord,
    and shall glorify thy name.
10 For thou art great and doest wondrous things,
    thou alone art God.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in thy truth;
    unite my heart to fear thy name.
12 I give thanks to thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify thy name for ever.

Matthew 13:24-30 (RSV)

The Parable of Weeds among the Wheat

24 Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Listen — July 16, 2017

“Listen”   Matthew 13:1-9;18-23

CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)   Public Domain Dedication / “Listening Ear” by  Vera Kratochvil

Psalm 65:1-8 (RSV)

Thanksgiving for Earth’s Bounty

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

65 Praise is due to thee,
    O God, in Zion;
and to thee shall vows be performed,
    O thou who hearest prayer!
To thee shall all flesh come
    on account of sins.
When our transgressions prevail over us,[a]
    thou dost forgive them.
Blessed is he whom thou dost choose and bring near,
    to dwell in thy courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house,
    thy holy temple!

By dread deeds thou dost answer us with deliverance,
    O God of our salvation,
who art the hope of all the ends of the earth,
    and of the farthest seas;
who by thy strength hast established the mountains,
    being girded with might;
who dost still the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples;
so that those who dwell at earth’s farthest bounds
    are afraid at thy signs;
thou makest the outgoings of the morning and the evening
    to shout for joy.

Matthew 13:1-9 ; 18-23(RSV)

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears,[a] let him hear.”

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.[a] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“That Cup of Cold Water” July 9, 2017

“That Cup of Cold Water”  Matthew 10:40-42

09

CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)  Public Domain Dedication/ “Silent water Drops” by Nico Van der Merwe

Psalm 86:1-5 (RSV)

A Prayer of David.

86 Incline thy ear, O Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am godly;
    save thy servant who trusts in thee.
Thou art my God; be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to thee do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of thy servant,
    for to thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For thou, O Lord, art good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call on thee.

 

Matthew 10:40-42 (RSV)

Rewards

40 “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. 41 He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.