Pastor's Blog - Grace Notes
October 23, 2017, 9:51 PM

Only Light can overcome Darkness. Only Love can overcome Hate

Grace Note - The Great Commandment, including the fine print

Don’t you love it when Jesus turns the tables on the Pharisees as they try to paint Him in a corner with a trick questions? So they ask, “what is the greatest commandment in the law?” The answer just flows off Jesus’ lips, “You shall Love God with all your heart, and all your soul and all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second like is it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the laws and prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40*

You say you do, that you love God and love your neighbor, and yourself, but do you? Really? Jesus is listening, so be truthful. You see, this is where the fine print comes in. Please read 1 John 3:11–4:21, but pay real close attention to 1 John 4:20*. I’ll make it easy and get it for you:

“Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.”

Ooh! John provides a perfect, sharp point to ponder. If you show hate and disrespect to a sister or brother, can you say you love God? Hate must end before Love can begin; you can't have both.

Join us this Sunday as our United Methodist Women lead the worship as they show us what love is all about!

Grace,

Pastor Mike

*NRSV




October 16, 2017, 10:25 AM

Who is watching you and what do they see?

Grace Notes – A product of our environment

Although we like to think that we are unique and freely make our decisions, the fact is, others make most of them for us. The car we drive, the clothes we wear, our hairstyle, the grocery brands we prefer, where we dine, the list could go on forever, but all of our choices come by the way other people that we value and emulate. Everything you do is a direct reflection of the one you choose to follow, to imitate. We can put ourselves in a precarious situation if we decide to pursue a particular person, product or principle. As Sir Richard, the last of the Grail Knights in Indiana Jones cautiously explained to Dr. Jones, “Choose wisely.” Good advice!

If someone were to imitate you, could they also say they were imitating Christ? What would it look like for someone to emulate you? A wise man told me the most excellent sermon you could ever preach would be the life that you lead, the example you set for others. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 is worth reading.

Join us Sunday at Zion and bring a guest as an example for others to follow. May the Holy Spirit guide your every step!

Peace, Pastor Mike




August 15, 2017, 12:13 PM

Follow one who can see!


Grace Note - Blind leading the blind

This world is hurting. I’m hurting watching it hurt, and I imagine you are too. Each week I try to offer a grace-filled note that is uplifting, but this week it is a struggle. Rather than loving each other and preparing for the Kingdom, we have too many people that seem obsessed with regurgitating old wounds and hatred and spewing their venom on others in an attempt to rewrite history. Our history is most valuable when it is used to keep us from reliving the mistakes made in the past. We have some people that can’t seem to accept history and want to delete it, like the “delete” key on this computer – and to deny others the knowledge of the past. In turn, they have inflamed some people that oppose them. The fight has become ugly. Both of those “some people” have a mass of people blindly following them, which have no idea what history taught us. So they blindly follow blind leaders into an abyss that grows deeper each day. We must not follow them.

We can’t seem to learn from our mistakes, can we? The Bible is filled with stupid, hatefully, power-driven people that made mistakes and repeated them over and over through the centuries, yet it is God’s Love and Grace that has restored peace time and time again. So join me in a prayer that we learn from the past but focus forward on the path to the Kingdom, one of today and tomorrow, one lined with love, grace, forgiveness, for we are all God’s children. Please read Matthew 15: 1-28 for Sunday.

Pray for Peace,

Pastor Mike

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