Grace Archive

November 11, 2018 — Serving Means Letting Go

February 2, 2019 @ 10:24 am

Scripture Readings: Luke 15: 11-12 (yes, short). 

 Big idea:  God calls on people to serve.  I am mindful that the son had a different agenda than serving but what I want to focus on is letting go.  The father let go.  In today’s world, we are served by many and parents, grandparents, friends, have to let go. 

 “In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.”  Deepak Chopra

 Part of our task is know when to let go, and when to hang on. 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Freedom, Forgiveness, Yes to the Possible, All things are possible?, Gratitude, Courage, Grace, Reconciliation, Celebration, Scripture, Tradition, Awe-full · Comments

United Methodist Women — Scripture and Sermon

October 20, 2018 @ 11:58 am

This is the Reverend Tiffany Eddy in her debut sermon at Hilltop.  Tiffany is an Elder in the Oklahoma Conference, and spent five years on active duty in the United States Navy.  She now lives in Bluffdale, Utah and is participating in Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City.

This was United Methodist Women Sunday.  Tiffany spoke to the subject of empowerment!  i clipped a smidgen at the end whenTiffany was concluding.  Forgive me please.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Discipleship, Yes to the Possible, Grace, Nurture, Celebration, New Creation, Tradition · Comments

Season of Pentecost — James — Our Words

September 19, 2018 @ 5:14 pm

Pentecost 16:  18.09.16

Sunday Three of Five Straight RCL Sundays on James

As I indicate in the reflection, the passage was selected in April or May and then the week consumed me with how words had been misused.  It just seemed appropriate to take the events of the week and move them into the reflection.  My purpose was not to be mean, but to educate and learn.  Please try and listen w/o attaching names to the people.  An adventure in missing the point.  

James 3:1-12

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. 4 Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8 but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Freedom, Forgiveness, Courage, Grace, Fruitfulness, Reconciliation, Tradition, Theology · Comments

Season of Pentecost — James — Avoiding the Stain of the World

September 19, 2018 @ 5:08 pm

Pentecost 15:  18.09.09

Sunday Two of Five Straight RCL Sundays on James

The verse immediately before this passage got my attention -- it had to do with avoiding the stain of the world.  That was the lens by which I explored this passage.  

James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17

1 My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? 2 For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Have a seat here, please," while to the one who is poor you say, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet," 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7 Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

8 You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11 For the one who said, "You shall not commit adultery," also said, "You shall not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Jesus, Involvement, All things are possible?, Courage, Grace, Love, Lost and Found, Philosophy · Comments

Season of Pentecost — You Are the Light of the World!

June 19, 2018 @ 6:45 am

 

Elder Mary Kavila preached on my behalf this June 10th last.  Her scripture was Matthew 5: 14-16.  As is usual when Mary preaches she brings both gentle understanding and a challenge to the application of the scripture.  

Filed under Discipleship, Yes to the Possible, Why?, Gratitude, Grace, Fruitfulness, Faith, Reconciliation, Celebration, Resurrection, Theology · Comments

Season of Pentecost — Trinity Sunday - an unpacking of the Holy Spirit

June 18, 2018 @ 6:47 pm

This is my Trinity Sunday attempt to explain the Trinity.  The passage is from John 3.  I focused on the Holy Spirit, since we focus on that so infrequently.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Jesus, Discipleship, Grace, Pentecost, Theology · Comments

This Side of Easter: The Name of the Good Shepherd — April 22, 2018

April 24, 2018 @ 11:04 am

The text is from Acts 4: 5-12 but we backed up a little to include Acts 4: 1, and annoyance of the Religious Authorities.  

The focus is on Peter and his transformation.  He is done denying Jesus.  

Who are we in this scene?  The status quo?  The change?  The listeners who go with the SQ or change?  The questions are directed individually and corporately.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Jesus, Discipleship, Yes to the Possible, All things are possible?, Courage, Grace, Faith, Pentecost, Celebration, Music, Easter, Resurrection · Comments

Unafraid — Fear of the Other

January 25, 2018 @ 7:24 pm

 

This was a look at Fear of the Other.  Connect with each other.  Quite a bit of reference back to the music we sang this day.  The reprise I used was a little play off an acronym of FEAR -- Face Everything and Rise with some words from Dr. King on moving from fear to knowing and meeting.

Question is "how often do we let our fear of the stranger drive us to not connect."

Some continuation of the previous week's theme of connectedness, but here the connectedness is getting past the dikes that hold us in our own flood of fear of the other.  Dikes of courage (among other things) are needed (a quote i thought about using, but didn't.)

I am currently listening to Isaac Asimov Robots of Dawn and wonder how much of this might be helpful ... if you are not familiar with the book, do not worry.  If you are, the conversation Daneel and Elijah in Chapter 2 is what I am thinking.  Elijah has to see Robots differently on Aurora than on Earth.  On Earth, they are an object of scorn and subservience.  On Aurora (a fictitious planet) they are near equals, if not precisely equals.  Elijah has to be taught this, as it does not come naturaly to him.  Yes? 

Quotes from Dr. King: 

  • "People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other."
  • "We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear."

― Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Involvement, All things are possible?, Courage, Pain, Grace, Trust, Faith, Love, Reconciliation, Fear Factor, Philosophy, anticipation, Music, Unafraid · Comments

Unafraid — Setting the Stage

January 25, 2018 @ 5:44 pm

This series springs from the well dug by the Reverend Adam Hamilton, Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas. 

This is getting started with the idea of Unafraid.  We actually live in a time of borderline irrational fear.  The numbers are good.  We are healthy, wealthy, and longest lived people and for some reason, we are more and more afraid.  

Sermon draws from Isaiah 41: 1-10, Psalm 56: 3-4 and Philippians 4: 6-7.  

This starts a six week series on Fear.  The first sermon is on how much of fear is more imaginary than real.  Question is "what are you afraid of".  I know FDR is not Jesus but "the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself" is part of the idea if not the message. 

FEAR can at times be False Events Appearing Real.  At times we live in a world where smoke detectors are going off but it is because their batteries are low, not because there is anything to really fear.  Topical sermon so form will roughly be:  The element of the human condition we are going to look at (Unnecessary Fear), exegete that element of the HC, what does scripture say about it (the Isaiah, Psalm, Philippians and of course Jesus (sermon on the mount)), and then application. 

We do live in times where Auden's "Age of Anxiety" is incomplete and for whatever reason we live in an "Age of High Anxiety."  Real? 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Unity, Yes to the Possible, All things are possible?, Courage, Hospitality, Grace, Nurture, Faith, Love, Philosophy, Unafraid · Comments

Christmas Eve, 2017

December 26, 2017 @ 4:42 pm

 

This is my Christmas Eve reflection.  Bonhoeffer meets Ebenezer Scrooge with a little help from other sources.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Jesus, Discipleship, Involvement, giving, Grace, Trust, Celebration, Bonhoeffer · Comments

Various Thoughts from Dennis Shaw
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