December 26, 2021

A New Day

So what’s next for each of us? It’s really pretty clear in today’s scripture. We are directed to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Let’s look at this call upon our lives and see what each one means today. Compassion sounds easy, but I think that is a pretty tall order some days. All these things that represent the fruit of the Holy Spirit are feelings, attitudes and actions that we need to cultivate in our lives. What does compassion mean to you? How do you deal with little ones and big ones who can’t find their shoes, or get their boots on without your help? I know I cannot get by a day without the compassion of my wife when I can’t find my shoes, my truck keys, my cell phone and a host of other things. But some times I struggle when a coworker needs me to do something I’ve done for them before. In the business world it is called re-work, and it’s to be avoided at all costs. When I think of compassion, one of the first things I think about is Compassion International. This is a group that works all over the world bringing the message of Jesus Christ to families and children in emerging world countries. I am sure some of you are probably Compassion International supporters. But if you’re not, perhaps we, as a church, could adopt a Compassion Child. The cost is about $40 a month. But it is a long term commitment. Compassion tells the story of Jesus to youngsters who’ve never been ministered to before. They reach entire families and gradually bring them to understand the love of Christ. We’re called to kindness, too. That seems like an easy one. For some of you kindness does come naturally - some of us need to exercise and grow our kindness muscle. Kindness can mean giving of your time and energy to help others. Giving someone a ride to church is kindness. Making a phone call to one of our members who just cannot get out that often is kindness. Bringing our food bank donations is kindness. Anything putting the needs of someone else before our own is a kindness. Humility is difficult. The world speaks against humility. Workers are told to toot their own horn. Sports stars can be pretty darned arrogant about their skills and abilities. I have this joke that I am really proud of my humility. But you know, that isn’t how it works. When we tell someone how humbly we serve, are we really being humble? Humble means doing God’s work and expecting nothing in return. It means the satisfaction of serving others without recognition, maybe even without a thank you - just the ability to be doing God’s will - is enough. Reminds me of an old country song. (I know doesn’t everything.) Lord its hard to be humble, when you’r perfect in every way. I can’t help but look in the mirror cause I get better lookin each day…. Yeah, I know. Silly song, and not exactly Biblical. Is meek the same as weak? Meek is powerful without flaunting your power.
Scripture: Colossians 3:12-17
December 19, 2021

The Blessing of Home

There is a special yard near our house that has Santa kneeling before the baby Jesus at the manger. Though that is not even close to reality, I salute the idea behind it. How has home blessed you? Those of you who have been blessed with long happy marriages certainly know the blessing of home. Those of you who are widowed now, still have that blessing in your heart. And even though your beloved spouse may be waiting for you in heaven, he never really is too far away from your heart. It is a blessing to miss someone that much. I know, that’s a little bit tougher to take on. But, it’s true. A love that lasts forever, is a blessing from God. That we don’t exit this life together is also not a curse. It is a blessing that you’ve been given more time to serve God in this life, as we prepare for the next. Those of you who are not married still know the blessing born of the pain of missing someone. Maybe its your mother or dad. Maybe a friend who unexpectedly died. The past year we’ve all been forced to examine what is important in life. We’ve all heard the saying blessed to be stressed, and questioned it. We have rediscovered too, what blessings we have in home, church and each other. We went for weeks or in some situations months with no church but internet church or TV church. But the church is still here, and renewed and blessed, and welcoming. We now produce a special internet service every Sunday for those who cannot get to church, and for those outside the area that may find us on the Internet.
Scripture: Micah 5:2-5
November 28, 2021

Heaven for Beginners

So wherever you are traveling this weekend, or throughout the Advent and Christmastime - let God lead the way. And for those who are traveling to see you, welcome them home, understand the importance of your home and respect their new home. Understand too, we all have competing demands upon our time especially at this time of year, and if someone doesn’t come home this year love them anyway. If someone doesn’t stay as long as you would like, love them just as deeply, if someone gets sad to see you leaving love them too, and realize just how much they love you. The secret of this home and heaven story is we’re all beginners. So, embrace home whatever that means in your life now, because it’s a foretaste of heaven, and that is our true home.
Scripture: Psalm 25
November 21, 2021

Reign of Christ Sunday

We need to share the truth of Jesus Christ. We need to be the calm in the storm, and we need to open our hearts to love those who are unlovable, unlikeable, frightened or even frightening. Christ reigns when we embrace the reign of our heavenly Father, and let that love reign down upon our family, friends, neighbors, strangers, local politicians, news media, and every person we meet.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:8-13
July 25, 2021

Soul Food For Thought

We’re going to talk about your soul today. Though I guess you could say we are talking about souls every week. But on this fourth week of our summer Psalms, soul is the key word that jumped out at me all week, as I spent a lot of time in thought and prayer about this message. What feeds your soul? For most of you I believe I know the answer to that. I really do. I believe most of you are blessed, and “fed”, by caring for others. Whether they be a member of St. Paul, a soul you pass on the street, or someone thousands of miles away who benefits from a cause you have supported. It puts the concept of “Soul Food” into a different light. I think most Texans would describe BBQ as soul food, or maybe Blue Bell ice cream. Or pazookies, or breakfast tacos. Ok, I’ll stop with the food analogies and just ask you simply- what really feeds your soul?
Scripture: Psalm 62:5-8, Psalm57:1-5
May 02, 2021

Lean On Him

Abide in Him.  Live in Him.  And I am going to add one more.  Lean on Him. Have you heard this be...
Scripture: John 15:1-8