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Blessed: The Meek Matthew 5:1-2, 5

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Are y’all ready to stand on your heads this morning? We are in the midst of hearing how Jesus takes the world and, if we truly heed His Words, have our world turned upside down, just as those who first heard His words, hence the bulletin covers for the last three weeks… Remember as Jesus offers these words, we are not to think “Blessed” means “happy,” but that “Blessed” equates to “well-off,” “fortunate,” or “privileged.” We heard him say, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.Blessed are those who realize they are not self-sufficient.Blessed are those who realize that they are dependent not on themselves, but on God.Blessed are those who have let go trying to control their own lives and given complete control over to God.Blessed are those who realize just how impoverished they are without God’s grace in their lives.For those who are poor in spirit are already experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven…they are already in the midst of eternal life with God.” We heard Jesus say, “Blessed are those who m…

Taming Wild Horses: Watching What Comes Out - James 3:1-12 (Wednesday Night Reflection)

I have always loved to fish.I will have to say, though, that I did not grow up with as many opportunities to fish as there are around here.I grew up in rural Granville county—this was before there was any such place as Falls Lake.There were opportunities for lake fishing, in the reservoirs for Butner, Creedmoor, or Oxford, or even trips up to Kerr Lake.However, one of the most common opportunities to go fishing was pond fishing.There is one thing, well probably more than one, but one in particular, that you have to remember about pond fishing in Granville County.Most of those ponds were located in the middle of horse or cow pastures.Outside of the possibility of a roaming bull or the owner with a shotgun (if you didn’t get permission to use the pond), the biggest thing that you had to be wary of were the gifts that the cows or horses left behind.Walking from the fence to the pond was often like being in the marching band during the Christmas parade when they unthinkingly lined the ban…

Blessed: Those That Mourn - Matthew 5:1-2, 4

Have you ever looked out into the world and just wanted to cry?I’m not talking about being unhappy with the weather because you were counting on going to the Cape and it is blowing up a storm, or being on the way to church and realizing that it is just the opposite, a beautiful everybody-else-is-going-to-be-at-the-shore kind of day.What I am talking about is looking out at those who are truly hurting in the world—the hungry, the homeless, the sick, the abused, the addicted, the enslaved, the forgotten—and really just had your heart break for them? That's where we find ourselves this week in Jesus’ blessings that we consider the Beatitudes. We started this series last week. We considered that while as a kid we might have liked having our world turn upside down, as adults we usually don't like it when things are flipped upside down. Yet Jesus is always about turning the world upside down.We discussed that Jesus comes in and calls those blessed that we and the world would not norma…

Taming Wild Horses - Listen James 1:19-27 (Wednesday Night Reflection)

A few years back Anita and I had run out of CSI type shows to watch during summer reruns when we stumbled across a show unlike any of what we usually watched.It was a Canadian television show called Heartland which centered around the fictional story of Amy Fleming and her family and life on the ranch.The show’s focus, with various sub-story lines, on Amy’s gift of working with horses…especially her ability to work with problem horses, even wild horses, and bring them under control…the first episode begins with Amy and her mother rescuing an abused horse named Spartan. After loading the horse and leaving, Amy, her mother, and the horse are involved in a horrific truck accident in which Amy’s mother is killed.Amy is left to carry on the tradition of her mother’s horse whispering legacy, beginning with the horse they rescued. [Show video] Throughout the show Amy displays the amazing and uncanny ability to bring out of control and even wild horses under control.While fictional, the show re…