Theology Archive

Advent 1, 2018 — Waiting Well

February 2, 2019 @ 10:45 am

Scripture:  Luke 21: 25-36

Big Idea:  Our theme for the day is Waiting Well.  The Reformed theologian Jürgen Moltmann speaks of Advent 1 in terms of a title of a book he wrote: "With Theology of Hope… I tried to present the Christian hope no longer as such an 'opium of the beyond' but rather as the divine power that makes us alive in this world." 

My view is that there is an end time coming, be about our work, and task.  We wait well by being about our tasks, be busy.  The reign/kingdom is near and it helps make us alive in our now. 

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Season of Pentecost - Job 23 — The Impact of Bad Theology

October 20, 2018 @ 12:09 pm

Job 23 ... I like Job.  Not easy to preach from but I do think it speaks to us in our humanness.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Freedom, Forgiveness, Why?, Courage, Trust, Nurture, Reconciliation, Philosophy, Bonhoeffer, Theology, Wisdom · Comments

Season of Pentecost — James — Putting a Bow on James

October 1, 2018 @ 10:50 am

James 5:13-20

Sunday Five of Five Straight RCL Sundays on James

An attempt to put a bow on James and our Culture of Growth Idea ... 

13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, 20 you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner's soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

 

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Ministry Moment — A Culture of Growth

October 1, 2018 @ 10:46 am

Ministry Moment to set the stage for our Fall Stewardship Campaign.  

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Season of Pentecost - James — Are you “All In”? Why Not?

September 23, 2018 @ 4:19 pm

Pentecost 17:  18.09.23

James 3:13 - 4:8a

Pastor Dennis “Big Idea”: 

I decided to take to the area of which wolf will you feed?  Which wisdom will you honor? Played with the idea of what it means to be "all in".  Sometimes it means you are exhausted or tired.  But other times, it means, I am totally with this.  I am "all" in. No guilt.  No shame.  But at the same time, where are you?  

Revealed this service my financial contribution to the church.  Not for guilt, or shame, but to show Marilyn and I are all in.   

Sunday Four of Five Straight RCL Sundays on James

3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

4:1 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures….

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8a Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

 

 

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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 — Being and Becoming

September 3, 2018 @ 6:28 pm

 

James 1 and his commentary on faith without works is meaningless.  True.  Context does matter ... 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Forgiveness, Jesus, Yes to the Possible, All things are possible?, Courage, Faith, Philosophy, Communion, remembrance, anticipation, Scripture, Theology · Comments

Season of Pentecost — Ephesians 3 and a third rule for Leadership!

July 8, 2018 @ 6:13 pm

 

The leadership principle is pretty simple:  There is a God and you are not it!  I play with that during the text in different ways, but the real thing is for us to be open the revelation of God in our hearts, but inviting God in. Can we just let God be God and we get out of the way of blocking entrance or even worse perhaps, inviting in, but then not encouraging God to live in all the rooms of the house.   

This is the 9:00 AM Service.  

Ephesians 3: 14-21.  Jan Woodmansee is the liturgist and does the reading.  

Thank you to the various commentaries in Feasting on the Word.  Wonderful resource.  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Yes to the Possible, Courage, Hospitality, Faith, Celebration, remembrance, anticipation, Theology, Revelation · Comments

Season of Pentecost — Ephesians 2 and a Second Rule of Church Leadership

July 1, 2018 @ 3:25 pm

 

Ephesians 2: 13-22.  The second rule is to be grateful and remember those who came before us.  We are going to have seven weeks of Ephesians when done.  

This was preached on July 1, 2018 right before the July 4th midweek break.  I obviously felt we could do both -- secular and sacred.  

Filed under Why?, Gratitude, Celebration, Communion, remembrance, Tradition, Theology · Comments

Season of Pentecost: Ephesians First Rule of Church Leadership

June 29, 2018 @ 2:03 pm

Ephesians 1: 3-14 

Sermon one of seven from Ephesians.  Will introduce a "rule" per week.  

This week:  "Love your congregation where they are."  

 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Forgiveness, Jesus, Unity, Discipleship, Involvement, Why?, All things are possible?, Gratitude, Courage, Fruitfulness, Nurture, Faith, Philosophy, anticipation, Resurrection, Scripture, Tradition, Theology, Baptism, Wisdom · Comments

Various Thoughts from Dennis Shaw
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