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Jesus Is...We Are To Be...The Bread of Life - John 6:26-35 (Wednesday Night Worship)

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If you don’t already know it, I love bread.I love most all breads, with the exception of any that have onion or oats (because of allergies), and I am not a real big fan of banana-nut bread.For years my favorite bread was the yeast roll at Golden Corral.In fact, there were many times were I would eat an extra yeast roll or two instead of visiting the dessert bar (and that was on top of any that I ate during rest of the meal).A few years back, I found a new favorite when my parents took us on a cruise.It is Norlander bread.It is good warm or room temperature with butter spread on it.Unfortunately, while loaves of Norlander are plentiful on a cruise ship, I have yet to find it in any store or bakery in North Carolina.That’s okay, though, because I have come to Harkers Island and light rolls, no other bread is really needed. When it comes to folks watching their waist-line, bread tends to be a “no-no.”When I was in seminary I went through a period of trying to lose weight.I used a modified…

Life Together: Accountability - John 8:2-11

Let’s play a game…Same or Different?  I’ll ask you first if you think the two words are the same and if you think so, raise your hand.  Then I’ll ask if you think they are different, and if you think so, you can lift your hand.  Ready?
Let’s start with a simple one…
Cat and Dog…Same?  Different?
How about…
Lunch and Dinner… Same?  Different?
Let me try this way…
Supper and Dinner… Same?  Different?
Okay…
Interstate and Highway… Same?  Different?
Sea and Ocean… Same?  Different?
Pink and Fuchsia… Same?  Different?
Finally…
Being Judgmental and Holding Accountable… Same?  Different?

We are well into our journey through our Life Together series.  In fact, if you were wondering, we passed the half-way mark in the sermon series last week.  We began by simply affirming that we are called to a “Life Together” and asserted with the words of Dietrich Bonheoffer that living in a Christian Community is a gift from God...being able to be here with our brothers and sisters is pure evidence of gra…

What The Bible Doesn’t Say: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves - Ephesians 2:1-10 (Wednesday Night Reflection)

I’ve heard it two different ways:  either “pick yourself up by your bootstraps,” or “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”  It pretty much means the same.  It means that you should improve your situation by fixing it yourself.  That’s all well and good if you are like me and wear boots with bootstraps.  However, what is a person supposed to do that wears clogs or tennis shoes, high-heels or flip-flops, or operates in my preferred mode, barefoot? See how those statements could be problematic?  Maybe we should seek out some advice that is a little more comprehensive, since we are a church maybe something Biblical might cover things better…
How about this?  “God helps those who helps themselves.”  Can anyone tell me where this particular statement about God appears in God’s Word?  If you said, “Nowhere,” you are right.  Good thinking since we are in the midst of our “What The Bible Doesn’t Say” series.  This often-quoted statement, attributed to God, and mistaken as Biblical, is of unce…

Life Together: Love - 1st Corinthians 13

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Jim asked his friend Tony whether he had bought his wife anything for Valentine’s Day.
“Yes,” came the answer from Tony, who was always a bit of a chauvinist.” “I’ve bought her a belt and a bag.”
“That was very kind of you,” Jim noted.  “I hope she appreciates the thought.”
“So do I,” Tony replied.  “And hopefully the vacuum cleaner will work better now.”

After she woke up, a woman told her husband, “I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for my birthday.  What do you think it means?”
“You’ll know tonight,” he said.
That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife, “Happy Birthday,” he said.
Excited, she quickly tore through the paper to find a book entitled, “The Meaning of Dreams.”

Men, I hope when we give gifts to our wives, we do better than these two guys.  Gifts and cards are supposed to be acts of love…however, after hearing about these gifts from Tony and the thoughtful book-giving husband, we can understand why Tina Turner’s 1984 hit wen…

What The Bible Does’t Say: God Won’t Put On You More Than You Can Handle (Wednesday Night Reflection)

It happens way too often. We think something is in Scripture and we build our worldview around it. It become part of what we believe. It becomes part of what we share with others. At times it might actually bring us a moments peace…but then everything seems to collapse and collapse hard.  The irony of it all is that when it collapses, we find that what we thought was good biblical truth, never was…that what we believed was in the Bible, either was a misinterpretation of what the Bible actually says, or that it was never in the Bible to start with (it just sounded like it should have been, but someone else said it.)  Over the next few Wednesday nights, I’d like us to look at some of the things that the Bible doesn’t say, and then let Scripture offer us a much better view.
I’d like us to start tonight with what I think is the most common misinterpretation of Scripture that I have heard since I have been in the ministry.  The words are usually spoken to offer support and encouragement t…

Who’s The Fool? - Matthew 28:1-15 (Easter Worship Sermon)

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Good Morning.  What a blessedly busy morning it has been today.  I don’t know how many of you had an opportunity between the sunrise service and breakfast this morning and the start of our service just a short while ago to sit back and catch up on the latest news.  It was reported this morning that after further environmental studies and cost analyses that rather than put in a new high-rise bridge for Harkers Island, they will immediately begin deconstruction of the drawbridge connecting Harkers Island to Straits and bring one of the Cherry Point-Minnesott Beach ferries to the Island and run a permanent service from the Westard to the Waterfront in Beaufort, in an effort to boost Beaufort’s economy after the impact of the new bypass high rise. If you didn’t catch that news story, maybe you caught this one: The BBC reported that due to unusually warm temperatures in Switzerland, and the eradication of the spaghetti weevil there has been an abundant crop of spaghetti being produced by …

Can’t Find Jesus - John 20:1-18 (Sunrise Service Sermon)

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It was a year and a half ago that we bought our college-aged son a Tile.  No, not tile, a Tile.  Tile are used to tag things that you might lose so that you can use your smartphone to locate the lost item.  The thing about the Tile is, though, that individually they cost $20, or you can purchase four for $60, and they only last a year.  So, what would make us spend that kind of money for a 2”x2” square piece of plastic.  We had made our way to the other end of the state to watch Davey run in the Cradle to the Grave 30k run in the Pisgah National Forest.  We ended up in the mountains well before he did.  We kept trying to get in touch with him, and finally did.  We found out he was running behind because he had lost his wallet…with all his cash, debit cards, and ID…and had never found it.  He had $20 and was driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway with his gas warning light on, coasting down every mountain in an effort to stretch the gas to Brevard.  We met him when he finally got of t…

Life Together: Forgiveness - Colossians 3:12-17

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I don’t know how many of you have seen the movie, “Facing the Giants,” but about halfway through the movie, there is a scene in which Coach Grant Taylor challenges one of his players to a major test of strength.  Coach Taylor has felt like his players, especially one of his seniors and team leaders, Brock Kelly, is not putting 100% of his effort into playing.  The coach feels like his poor attitude is bringing the rest of the team down with a defeatist attitude causing them to lose the games before they even play them.  After just doing a 10-yard “Death Crawl” in which a player, on his hands and feet (without his knees touching the ground) carries another player on his back, Coach Taylor challenges Brock to carry Jeremy (another player) in a death crawl from the end-zone to the 50 yard line…however, Brock must be blindfolded to do the drill.  The drill begins and Coach Taylor is beside Brock all the way, encouraging him, asking him to give his absolute best. Brock keeps asking how fa…

Giving Up Apathy For Good - James 1:22, 27; 2:8, 13-19; 4:17 - Wednesday Night Reflection

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It’s a wonder we ever end up anywhere to eat.  The conversation usually starts out this way, “What’s for supper?”
“I don’t know.  You want me to fix something, or do you want something from somewhere?”
“I don't care.  What do you want to do!”
“It doesn't matter.  Well, since I have a meeting, let’s get some thing out.  Do you want to eat there or bring it back home?”
“I don’t care.  What do you want to do?”
“It doesn’t matter.  What do you want to get?”
“I don’t care.  What do you want?”
You see what I mean.  Like I said, it’s a wonder that we ever eat anything.  (Of course, these are the times that Joshua is not part of the conversation, because depending on what he wants, he’ll be quick to tell you exactly where he wants something from and that we’re bringing it home to eat.)
It’s one thing to not care what you eat and where you eat…however, I would even suggest that if someone were to pick somewhere you didn’t like or wanted something you didn’t really have a taste for…sud…