Woodlawn CC

Woodlawn CC

Thursday, May 31, 2018

June Newsletter Article

Below please find my June Newsletter Article.

Remember to...

Be a blessing to someone today!
Pastor Roy

Pastor's Pondering

Well, June is set to start off with a bang! We have our 'Second Annual Celebrate You' event scheduled for June 9th, this was such a great time last year and I know you all are looking forward to this year's celebration!  We will have our first 'Outdoor Worship' service for the summer on June 10th and after worship, the Men's group will be serving up a great Lunch, the meal deal is only $7.00, make sure to tell all your friends and family to come and join us for worship and a great meal!  Other events and going on's are: The 4-H will be using Fellowship Hall for a couple of Tuesdays (June 12 & 19), the Patterson family will be using Fellowship Hall on June 16th for a memorial lunch for Eva Alice Patterson, we have Western Days of course and with that worship in the square on June 24th, (remember worship will not be held here at Woodlawn), and our VBS starts on June 24th and goes through the 28th. In the middle of all of this, Gail and I will be traveling to South Dakota for a Family Reunion and then I will be performing a wedding for Miranda Menke and Andrew Steinkamp over at the Union Church on June 30th.  Also, we'll be starting to have the 'Hot Dog Cart' at the Farmers Market this year which kicks off on June 12th.  The Farmers Market is every Tuesday from 4 to 6 pm, if you would like to work one of the shifts please contact Kim Anderson. Also starting in June (June 14th) we're adding a 'Light Dinner' before one of the Thursday Night Worship Services each month (Starting in July it will be the 4th Thursday of each month) this meal will be at 6 pm and called “Supper then Service”.  This meal will be financed by a wonderful and generous anonymous donor.  A big anonymous thank you to them!

The Thursday night Worship services have been going along very well, and I am quite pleased with the progress thus far. If you haven't had a chance to catch one of our services... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR... 7 pm every Thursday night, invite a friend who can't make worship on Sundays to come along with you! I've been pleased that these services have thus far had several folks attend that don't normally come on Sunday mornings... Praise God!  I should also thank Jordan & Kelsey Beidler for all the help they render during these services.  Jordan has served as our Worship Leader for all but one service (thank you, Bill Hungate, for pitching in) and Kelsey has run the Powerpoint for most of the services (thank you Scott Crandall and Gail Karlen for filling in).  A big thank you to all who've helped with these services and thank you to all who've been attending!

Even with all this going on and the before mentioned quick trip that we're planning to Reliance, SD in the middle of it all... I don't plan to miss any worship services in June.  I will be taking some vacation time this year just to warn everyone but those dates won't be until July and then again in September.  I'll announce those times in my 'July' Newsletter Article.  If anyone is interested in 'dog-sitting', let Gail or I know as the “girls” won't be able to travel with us and will have to be boarded.

This past month the Men's group met and elected officers for the first time in years (if ever).  The new President is Clyde Westcott, the Vice President is Jeff Frank, Secretary is yours truly, and Treasurer is Lonnie Daisy.  Thank you all for taking the reins and working to revitalize the Men's group.  The Men have a number of projects and ideas in the works, the first one is the Cookout coming up on the 10th that I mentioned above, also they will be working on repairs to the porch on the Parsonage and putting spacers under the pews in the Chapel.  Watch for more projects and events to come!  If you know of anyone that has a need that the men's group could help out with (minor repairs, etc) let either Clyde or Jeff know what is going on and they'll pass it along to get the men involved.  Thank you for helping us find new ministries and projects.

Last Friday, Gary Dooley and I traveled to Fort Dodge to take in a seminar about Human Trafficking.  It was a very informative and eye-opening session and I thank Gary for going with me and driving. Thank you for everything Gary!

With Jeff Frank's leadership, we're hard at work promoting the 3rd Annual Free Christian Concert, our “Son Celebration” which will be held on July 21st this year and starts at 6 pm.  We really have a great line-up scheduled and the entire Concert Committee is looking forward to this event! Make sure to pass the word around and if you'd like to post any Concert Posters in and around the local area (we have Lake City covered) talk to me as I have the Posters in my office.  They are very SHARP and certain to get attention, please help us in any and all ways to promote this wonderful event!  It will be held here on the back lawn and we'll be looking for manpower to handle the concessions, parking, and other tasks.  Talk to Jeff Frank or myself if you're able to pitch in!

We've been 'live-streaming' all of our worship services (both Sunday & Thursday) on Facebook, and we've had a great response.  Unfortunately, every so often there are technical difficulties and the stream gets broken or lost. But, all and all it's been a great tool for us to reach out and minister to those who are unable to make it to Church or even to reach out and allow folks completely outside of our area to spend some time in worship and celebration of our Lord and Savior... what a blessing this is... Praise God!

With all the things we've got planned for June and beyond we can absolutely use everyone's help. Even if that help is just the ability to pass the word around about all the things we're doing and all the events scheduled. Your excitement is what is needed to keep our projects and outreach going. Also, if you have an idea for a new project or program (or thoughts on re-starting something that was done before) please come and talk to me or tell one of the Church or Christian Council members to bring it to the Councils.  With all your help we can find new ways and re-evaluate old ways to reach and teach God's children here in Lake City and beyond.  Thank you all for all that you've done, are doing, and will do in the future.  I truly count myself among those most richly blessed to be here with you all.  God bless you each and everyone and remember to...

Be a blessing to someone today!  Pastor Roy

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jacy McAlexander 9/5/2000 to 5/16/2018

Yesterday I attended the funeral for Jacy McAlexander.  It was a difficult funeral for the obvious reason that a young life had passed... far, far, too soon... and after far, far too much suffering with a terrible illness.  We at Woodlawn Christian along with many other churches in this area have had Jacy on our Prayer List for a very long time.  In fact, I don't remember not having him on the Prayer List since I've been here at Woodlawn.

During the message yesterday Reverend Anita Bane touched upon the difficulty that we all face when we've lost a loved one and someone comes to us (genuinely trying to comfort us) and says something along the lines of "it was God's will", or some other as equally insensitive commentary.  This idea that God might 'will' the death of a young person or even that somehow God's Creation is furthered by the death of an innocent life is one that I've addressed before in my blog.  Several years ago I blogged about the death of Devon Hunzeker, a 16-year-old who was killed in an automobile accident. And even though here Jacy passed due to an illness, there are obvious correlations... neither's passing was willed by God.

I have posted the link to that blog post in hopes that something mentioned might help some of the individuals struggling with the question... the awful question of "why"...

I've also included below the link to the funeral service that I performed for Jeff Gorden here in Lake City.  In that service, I discussed this topic of untimely death in the message, and I also referenced Devon's death as well.

I do commend Anita on all that she's had to deal with and all the counseling and comfort that she has provided.  May God bless her and may God bless and comfort the McAlexander family.  Nothing that I or anyone can say can adequately console the McAlexander family, they will grieve the loss of Jacy for the remainder of their own lives, all that we can do is be there praying for them and offering reassurance and a shoulder to lean upon. Again I lift up my condolences and ask for God's strength and comfort for the family and for all of Jacy's friends and classmates...

Be a blessing to someone today!

In His Grace & Care,


Link to Blog Post - Funeral for 16-year old Devon Hunzeker

Link to Blog Post - Funeral for Jeff Gorden

Monday, May 21, 2018

Pentecost Sunday 2018, Romans 8:22-27

This past Sunday was of course Pentecost, I chose this year to preach over the verses found in Romans 8:5-27.  I used the 'traditional' Pentecost verses found in Acts 2:1-21 for my sermon during Thusday's service.

I've included in this blog post the videos from both the Thursday and the Sunday sermons.  The video of Sunday's sermon is up first. I had to 'edit' my sermon on the fly as we ended up having a number of announcements at the opening of worship that I hadn't anticipated, and several folks needed to get out of worship on time in order to prepare for the High School graduation.  

The focus at the conclusion of the sermon was upon the verses about 'prayer'.  One of the things that few of us (myself included) do a sufficent amount of is 'listening' when we pray. I have often commented on how we are so focused on 'filling' up our prayer time and our worship time, and how we do not spend nearly enough time 'listening' and meditating.  As you pray this week try to remember to slow down... and listen.

Below the Sunday sermon video is the video of Thursday's sermon.  That sermon focused on the miracle of hearing in the Pentecost.  I've long held that the miracle of Pentecost wasn't the speaking but the hearing.  To make a long point short, we all need to make sure that when we're attempting to communicate the beauty of scripture and the message of Christ, that we are speaking a 'language' that the person we're communicating with can understand.  I have often stated (and continue to maintain) that the clearest why to testify is in how we live our lives.  The old saying that "your life may be the only Bible someone will ever read", is an all too accurate statement.  Make sure that you try to live up to the calling that you've received and accepted.  Live a life of serving others and letting them know that it is your Lord that has driven you to serve and care for others... in doing so you'll reassure many of their all-loving and gracefilled God.

Go forth... and be a blessing to someone today!

In Christ,

Romans 8:5-27 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit[a] set their minds on the things of the Spirit.[b] 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit[c] is life and peace. 7 For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit,[d] since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit[e] is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ[f] from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through[g] his Spirit that dwells in you.

12 So then, brothers and sisters,[h] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba![i] Father!” 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness[j] with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in[k] hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes[l] for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes[m] with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God,[n] who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit[o] intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.[p]

a) Romans 8:5 Or spirit
b) Romans 8:5 Or spirit
c) Romans 8:6 Or spirit
d) Romans 8:9 Or spirit
e) Romans 8:10 Or spirit
f) Romans 8:11 Other ancient authorities read the Christ or Christ Jesus or Jesus Christ
g) Romans 8:11 Other ancient authorities read on account of
h) Romans 8:12 Gk brothers
i) Romans 8:15 Aramaic for Father
j) Romans 8:16 Or 15 a spirit of adoption, by which we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit itself bears witness
k) Romans 8:24 Or by
l) Romans 8:24 Other ancient authorities read awaits
m) Romans 8:26 Other ancient authorities add for us
n) Romans 8:27 Gk the one
o) Romans 8:27 Gk he or it

p) Romans 8:27 Gk according to God

Acts 2:1-21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
    and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
        and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
    and signs on the earth below,
        blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
        before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

John 17:6-26 = Jesus Prays for us all.

Included below please find first the video of last Thursday night's sermon.  That sermon focused upon the verses found in the Book of Acts 1:15-26. This was a seminal time for the early Jesus Movement, Jesus had just ascended back to the Father, and they were left facing the fact that one of their own number had betrayed Jesus to the authorities.  And to make matters worse, this action had destroyed the symbolism of the Twelve Disciples to the Twelve Tribes.  Both 'theologically' and 'psychologically' it was important to that early band to restore this symbolic number.

During this short sermon (all Thursday night messages are brief in duration) I turned the story back upon ourselves today.  All along this journey, we'll see members of our faith fall away for one reason or another, the truly amazing thing is that as they fall the Lord will provide another to step forward and to carry His word on to the next generation.  As we labor to do our Lord's bidding, we all must realize that just like Matthias the 'lot has fallen' to us.  Let us step forth and do our Lord's work with determination and devotion.

Sunday's sermon covered the verses found in the Gospel of John 17:6-26.  These verses are the majority of the prayer that Jesus prays over His disciples shortly before being arrested.  The wonderful realization should not escape us that, Jesus isn't just praying for those gathered there that day... but rather, that He was praying for all of us.  He prayed for everyone that would ever pick up His cross and carry His love into the future.  At the end of the sermon, I hit upon unity (that they may all be one)... the unity that is so sorely lacking in our world of Christ followers today.  I mention that the truest irony is that often those Christians that cry the loudest about unity do the most to divide.  Let us somehow learn to live together without continuing to paint words that divide... let us cease to focus upon the division and instead focus upon the grace, love, joy, and forgiveness of Christ.

Be a blessing to someone today!

In His Grace,


2Acts 1:15-26 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers[a] (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, 16 “Friends,[b] the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17 for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong,[c] he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the book of Psalms,

‘Let his homestead become desolate,
    and let there be no one to live in it’;


‘Let another take his position of overseer.’

21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” 23 So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place[d] in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

a) Acts 1:15 Gk brothers
b) Acts 1:16 Gk Men, brothers
c) Acts 1:18 Or swelling up
d) Acts 1:25 Other ancient authorities read the share

John 17:6-26 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
6 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them in your name that[a] you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost,[b] so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.[c] 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.[d] 16 They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,[e] so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

a) John 17:12 Other ancient authorities read protected in your name those whom
b) John 17:12 Gk except the son of destruction
c) John 17:13 Or among themselves
d) John 17:15 Or from evil

e) John 17:21 Other ancient authorities read be one in us

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Abide In Me, John 15:9-17 Sermon given on May 6th, 2018

This past Sunday's text follows immediately after the verses from the week's prior sermon. (The sermon about 'I am the true vine') The verses are John 15:9-17 and are (as always) included below.  These verses, continue along the theme of remaining or 'abiding' in Christ.  They include also the common theme of 'love' and that this, is in fact, a commandment if not 'the' commandment given to us all by Christ.  This sermon played right along with last week's sermon of course, as well as blending with the sermon given on Thursday night during our evening worship service, that sermon covered the verses found in 1st John 5:1-9.

It seems for the last few sermons I've been hitting upon 'love' a great deal, not that it's a bad thing for us to focus upon... being Christ followers and all.  But, again this week we're squarely looking at 'LOVE' in the sermon.  Now last week (and in numerous other sermons) I discussed the need for all of us to remain in community, I am very much of the mind that we are called to gather together to strengthen and support each other... and to be able to work together to accomplish all the tasks that God has set before us.  Alone, there is only so much that we can do, and only so long that we can carry on without becoming exhausted and having our faith spent.  Together we can pull on that vine (just as the children did last week) and accomplish some amazing things, and we can support and nourish each other when our brothers and sisters are in a time of spiritual testing or faith crisis.  BUT, we are also as it says in these verses to go forth and bear fruit.  We are not only to be Christ followers when we gather as one on Sunday mornings, but we are to witness each and every day of our lives.  We are called to renew and to nourish each other, but just as importantly we are called to take Christ's message to all the world.  Let us bring forth the fruit of the vine by planting, watering, and harvesting per the Lord's directive.

I've included the videos for both Sunday's sermon and last Thursday night's sermon.  Below I have also included verses 5 and 6 of the little book 2nd John, I mentioned a section of these verses in the sermon given on Thursday night. 

Neither of these videos is particularly long, I pray that if you take the time to listen that they will give you some form of encouragement or edification.  Thank you for wandering through this little corner of the internet.  God bless!

Be a blessing to someone today!

In His Grace & Love,

Video of Sunday's sermon

(FYI, Sunday was "Hat Day" at Church, we were all encouraged to wear a hat to Church.  Of course, I chose to wear a Superman hat. LOL)

Video of the Thursday Night Sermon

John 15:9-17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants[a] any longer, because the servant[b] does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

a) John 15:15 Gk slaves

b) John 15:15 Gk slave

1 John 5:1-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ[a] has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5 Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

6 This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth. 7 There are three that testify:[b] 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree. 9 If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son.

a) 1 John 5:1 Or the Messiah
b) 1 John 5:7 A few other authorities read (with variations) 7 There are three that testify in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth:

2nd John, verses 5 & 6 (New Century Version)
5 And now, dear lady, this is not a new command but is the same command we have had from the beginning. I ask you that we all love each other. 6 And love means living the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: Live a life of love.

Definition of abide (Webster Dictionary)
abode play \-ˈbōd\ or abided; abiding
transitive verb
1a: to bear patiently: tolerate 
cannot abide such bigots
b: to endure without yielding: withstand 
abide the onrush of the enemy

2: to wait for: await
I will abide the coming of my lord.
 —Alfred Tennyson

3: to accept without objection 
will abide your decision
intransitive verb
1: to remain stable or fixed in a state 
a love that abode with him all his days
2: to continue in a place: sojourn 
will abide in the house of the Lord
— abide by
1: to conform to 
abide by the rules
2: to accept without objection: to acquiesce in 
will abide by your decision

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

John 15:1-8, "I Am The True Vine" - sermon given April 29th

This past Sunday's sermon had to do with the "I am the true vine" passage found in John 15.  I combined my children's sermon with the regular sermon and used the children as part of my sermon illustration.

The takeaway from the sermon would be that apart from the 'vine' (Jesus) we are cut off from the body of Christ and left hopeless in a number of ways not the least of which is that we are not being nourished by the rest of the body.  But, as I am often want to do I stressed most strongly that we aren't just in this being 'Christian' thing for ourselves... in fact if we're just in this for ourselves I pointed out that we are living a selfish faith which in my humble opinion is not a genuine nor particularly 'Christ-like' faith.  (read the book of James if you want more explanation)  Once we've taken the 'plunge' and enrolled on this journey of serving Christ we are in this together, and our first calling is to each other.  Each of us is called upon to strengthen the vine and to help feed and support the rest of our fellow Christians.

It's a fun little sermon and it involves some cute kids, so give it a listen and see what you think...

Be a blessing to someone today!

Just a part of the vine...

John 15:1-8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Jesus the True Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes[a] to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed[b] by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become[c] my disciples.

a) John 15:2 The same Greek root refers to pruning and cleansing
b) John 15:3 The same Greek root refers to pruning and cleansing
c) John 15:8 Or be