Sleep Is a Gift From God

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Worship Service: 10:00 am

Bulletin: August 20, 2017

Newsletter: Summer 2017

ScripturesAmos 8:4-6Psalm 127Colossians 3:22-4:1Matthew 4:1-11

Songs:

Joel Russell-MacLean

fbcsermon_Psalm127-2There can be many reasons we lose sleep due to work. Maybe we hope to make more money. Maybe we feel we have no choice if we are to keep up with the demands of life or our employer. Maybe we hope to ensure we accomplish something meaningful to be remembered by. Maybe we feel it is all up to us: our culture is even (wrongly!) convinced that “God helps those who help themselves” is a bible verse.

One of Solomon’s songs goes, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest – God gives sleep to his beloved.”

Now, maybe we want to reply, “Easy for a king to say!” But I find it amazing that even 3000 years ago, agrarian people were working overtime trying to beat the economy.

Any economic system that pushes people not to rest is out to steal and destroy God’s good gifts. The band Metric sings this great line, “Buy this car to drive to work, drive to work to pay for this car!” “Meaningless!” wrote Solomon.

Jesus came to model a new economy. In that economy, we work for God and our work is a prayer. The goal is our union with Jesus. In that economy, God is the one who ensures that our work endures. God is the one who ensures that our work provides enough.

Rest and sleep after completing the work God sets before us are spiritual practices that draw us closer to God and to God’s purposes.

All creatures and all creation are designed to rest – so get some sleep!

Growing Old With Grace

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Worship Service: 10:00 am

Bulletin: August 13, 2017

Newsletter: Summer 2017

ScripturesIsaiah 40:27-31Luke 8:22-25Psalm 90

Songs:

Rev. John Hillmer

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A Shepherd’s Voice

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Worship Service: 10:00 am

Bulletin: August 6, 2017

Newsletter: Summer 2017

ScripturesEzekiel 34:11-16Psalm 23:1-6John 10:11-15

Songs:

Rev. John Nelson

Our guest motivational speaker this week is Yoseph ben Beyamin, a shepherd from the land of Palestine! What would your response be to such an announcement?

Would you invite a mere shepherd to be your motivational speaker for your congregation or business colleagues?

After all, as the character in the monologue suggests, “shepherding is not looked upon with favor”. This is an occupation that comes with few, if any real benefits and is really a vocation to be avoided. As for the pay, let’s just say that you should not rely upon Freedom 55, 65 or 75.  Would you be eager to hear what this shepherd as to say?

fbcsermon_shepherds-voice3Yoseph ben Beyamin, is an imaginary character in Michael Deutsch’s monologue,  who teaches us in a very humble way about his life as a shepherd. In his words he says, “I will tell you everything that I know about being a shepherd”.  Through the creative description of a sheep, and being a shepherd, “A Shepherd’s Voice” brings alive Psalm 23. Did you know that God refers to His people, yes you and I, as sheep many times over. How does that make you feel? Would you feel complimented to be called a sheep, especially after how Yoseph describes sheep? What would you prefer to be compared to? Yoseph answers these questions for us. Might God be trying to tell us something when he refers to us as “His sheep”?
“A Shepherd’s Voice” provides us with an amazing insight into Psalm 23 and the Good Shepherd. Yoseph’s life offers answers to how to seek life nourishment, who you can rely upon that knows you like the back of your own hand, where to look for someone who will be at your side morning till night offering food, water, protection, rest, and will discipline you when you stray? Through a shepherd’s eyes we also gain a rich understanding as to what is required of each of Yoseph’s sheep? Yoseph says, “my sheep will be fine and have everything that they need as long as they  f—-w  M-“. Do you know what those two important words might be? If you do, then Psalm 23 will come alive and provide you with a KEY to living a life well lived!
Come and learn about a day in the undignified and unglamorous life of a shepherd. You will be amazed with what you might learn.  Through the life and vocation of Yoseph, you will hear about The Shepehrd who will meet your every need by providing the necessities of life, by guiding you each day and by protecting you when you follow Him. Yes, and being referred to as one of “His sheep” will be perceived as a compliment! Come!

 

In These Everyday Things …

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Worship Service: 10:00 am

Bulletin: July 30, 2017

Newsletter: Summer 2017

ScripturesDeuteronomy 6:4-9Psalm 1471 Timothy 2:1-6

Songs:

Jennifer Holtslander

fbcsermon_Psalm147“In these everyday things….” Practices that we weave into our everyday life lead to a harvest! Reading the Psalms daily has had a profound impact on so many people’s lives. Susanna Wesley encouraged the daily reading of Psalms in her household and her sons produced a great harvest of revival and many hymns that we still sing today. One of today’s Psalms, 147, is a hymn of praise to God for healing broken hearts, lifting up the downtrodden, and blessing us whatever the weather.

What are your daily and weekly spiritual practices? How do they impact your faith?

As you prepare for gathered community worship this week, would you consider writing down something that you are grateful to God for? Would you also write down something that you would like God’s help with? Together we will thank God for being with us in everyday things. Together we will thank God for growing our faith through our everyday experiences.

Now That I am Old, God, Don’t Forget Me

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Worship Service: 10:00 am

Bulletin: July 23, 2017

Newsletter: Summer 2017

Scriptures: Isaiah 46:3,4,8-101 John 2:12-14Psalm 71

Songs:

Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

fbcsermon_psalm71We have a prayer from thousands of years ago in Psalm 71 of a person looking at their long life of knowing and trusting God.

“I will hope continually,
and will praise you yet more and more.”

Have you ever felt like there was nothing more to hope for in life? Or there was nothing more for you to offer?

“My strength is spent” says Psalm 71, “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me.”

God has never abandoned anyone. There is always reason to hope for more. But the bible confirms that feeling weary and abandoned is a common concern, especially as we grow older.

For at least this reason it is so important that one generation continue to tell the next that you can count always on God. That doesn’t require avoiding the unpleasant reality that few of God’s people avoid suffering:

“You have made me see many troubles and calamities…”

As long we are drawing breath, we have the chance of being an example in our words and in our actions of God’s daily help. No matter our age, we still have a purpose in life with that calling.