Grounded in heritage: Reaching out with the love of Jesus
Pastor Rosemary and Joe
Partners in Ministry
We Harvest What We Plant – June 17, 2018
June 22nd, 2018
We Harvest What We Plant
Ephesians 6:1-4 and Mark 4:26-34
(Quoted scripture is New International Version)
Proverbs 15:14, “A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash”
Pastor Rick Warren starts off his devotional for June 13, 2018 with this proverb. Then he writes, ‘our minds control everything about us. Our thoughts influence our feelings. Our feelings impact our actions. What you think matters because everything starts in the mind. To be a responsible person, you have to control your thoughts.’
‘But let me relieve you of a little false guilt. You’re not responsible for every stray thought that passes through your mind. Stray thoughts enter our minds for a variety of reasons – conversations you hear by accident, things you see, stuff the devil puts in your mind, etc.
‘You are responsible for how you deal with those stray thoughts. Martin Luther said it like this: “You can’t keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.’
‘God will hold you accountable for what you allow to enter your mind. I’m amazed by what some people watch – not to mention what they let their children watch. Many true followers of Jesus spend their time watching trashy TV, and movies and listening to trashy radio. They pay good money to see deviant behavior as entertainment. People watching such shows have told me. “When I go see those kinds of things, it just doesn’t phase me. It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t affect me.”’
‘But that’s just not true! Scientists have done study after study that says you never really forget any scene you see. Even if you don’t consciously recall the scene, that idea will come right back to your mind – in living color – when something else stimulates the thought.’
‘In other words, “Garbage in, garbage out.” What you put into your mind will inevitably bear fruit in your behavior and beliefs. In fact, when trashy entertainment doesn’t bother you anymore, it’s a warning light that you’ve already passed the threshold.’ – Warren, Pastor Rick, June 13, 2018 devotion
There is a video game titled Active Shooter, in which a student is shooting students in their school. It was developed by Anton Makarevskiy, a 21-year-old from Moskow, Russia, and is marketed by Acid Software. I did a paper for a college class that was a study whether violent video games influence violence in children and youth. In the Paducah, Kentucky school shooting on December 1, 1997, a student opened fire on a group of praying students, killing three and injuring five more. They found a video game in that fourteen-year-old’s home, that proved that fourteen-year-old shot those students in the same body location that he had practiced in that video game. I believe that violent behavior in people, no matter what age, is the result of violent video games, movies, TV shows and even songs with words that glorify violent behavior. We harvest what we plant, in our minds and the minds of our children. ‘Garbage in, garbage out!’
Jesus tells us in this passage from Mark, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” (4:26-27).
Joe and I just attended the college graduation of our oldest grandson. It seems just yesterday that he was a little boy playing outside on the swing set in our back yard. Where did that time go! Tyler has become a wonderful Christian young man and he became that because of the seeds his mother and father planted in him. Seeds of faith, they attended church as a family. Seeds of responsibility for his words and actions, he was lovingly punished when he made poor choices. Seeds for completing a job and doing it well. Seeds of good morals and integrity in everything he says and does. We harvest what we plant and Tyler’s parents planted good seeds and they harvested a fine young man.
What we say and what we do are like seeds planted in the hearts, minds and spirits of our children. Jesus makes it very clear that often times it’s the smallest things which make the biggest difference in our faith. The same can be said about parenting.
We read in Ephesians 6:1-4, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise—that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
Proverbs 22:6 says: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” As parents and grandparents, we need to remember that we harvest what we plant. We must plant good seeds!
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Our children will not only imitate us, but in many ways, they will grow up to be like us simply because we’re their parents or grandparents. Surveys show that parents still have more influence than peer pressure, even though the kids might rebel.
In Colossians 3:21, Paul writes: “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”
If you constantly barrage your kids with negative phrases, if they’re constantly told how dumb they are and they’ll never amount to anything or they can’t do anything right, it won’t be long until they live down to your expectations.
What we say, what we tell our kids makes a huge difference in who they are and who they will become. Some of us were raised in a negative home, where we were told we were no good and we could do nothing right. We can overcome that negative environment we were raised in, with the help of God our Father. Our Father God is a God who will love us and encourage us, and be with us to help us overcome our past. God will let us suffer the consequences of our choices, yet He is always ready to forgive us when we sin and welcome us back with open arms when we repent. As parents and grandparents, we need to follow God’s example.
As parents and grandparents we have to tell our kids how much we love them, and we also have to show them. Words aren’t always enough. Sometimes we have to show our children through our own actions because, as a we all know, actions speak louder than words.
Today we celebrate Father’s Day. Fathers have great influence over their sons and daughters. The majority of men and women in prison, never a had a father who planted good seeds in them as a child, if they had a father around at all. Most men and women in prison were raised in broken homes or raised by their grandmother, because their mother was an addict and their father was absent.
Sons need a strong Christian father who will model for them what a good man should live like. Daughters need a strong Christian Father so they know what kind of a man they should marry.
Our American culture fosters violence and the only way to counter that influence is with the Word of God and planting good seeds in our children. You and I must stand up and make a difference; with the words we speak and the behavior we model.
If your children or grandchildren have poor behavior, take responsibility, speak up and tell them how they should behave. Too often we say, ‘I let my child or my grandchild choose whether to go to church or not.’ Really! We make sure they get a secular education in our schools to help them learn how to make a living, yet we do not make sure they get a Christian education to help them learn how to live and how to cope with life.
We have to stop making excuses for the young people in our country and how they behave. We have to stand up and be counted as adults who want to make things right. Remember, We Harvest What We Plant! Plant good seeds and you will harvest good people!
Pastor Rosemary DeHut June 17, 2018
June 22nd, 2018
But, Everybody Is Doing It! June 10, 2018
June 11th, 2018
But, Everybody Else Is Doing it!
Psalm 138:1-8 and 1 Samuel 8:4-20
(Quoted scripture is New Revised Standard Version)
It was summer and there was a bon fire on the beach. All her friends were going. She was fourteen and she wanted to go! Her mother was hesitant. Were there going to be boys? Were there adult chaperones? After all, she was only fourteen, too young to be at an unchaperoned party. The daughter protested, “But everybody else is going! Everybody else is doing it! I want to be like everybody else!”
Her mother objected to the mini-skirt craze. These were the days when girls were required to wear skirts to school and she had to wear a skirt, but it couldn’t be shorter than just touching her knee. Of course, after she arrived at school, she’d just turn that waist band over a couple of times, and her skirt became a mini-skirt! Why, because everybody else was doing it! She was a rebellious teenager. I’m sure nobody here was a rebellious teenager.
I’ve been listening to the Billy Graham channel 145 on Sirius XM radio. The other day Rev. Graham said; There was a father with a rebellious teenager, and the teenager said to his father, “I didn’t ask to be born, ya know.” The Father replied, “If you had asked, I’d have said No!” As a rebellious teenager and as a mother who raised four teenagers, I can relate to that!
I remember as a teenager, I wanted to be like everybody else. Anyone here relate to that? You wanted to make sure you blended in with the crowd. You didn’t want to be different, or appear odd or strange. The kids who were odd or strange, were made fun of and bullied. Yes, in my day we were both bullied and at times I was a bully. Yet, we didn’t use being bullied as a reason to commit suicide, or shoot up the school. Times have changed.
Let’s take a moment to look at the nation of Israel and how they said, “But everybody else is doing it!” to God.
We read, “Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us like other nations.” (vv. 4-5)
Up until this time, Israel had never had a human king. God was the focus of their worship and their loyalty was to the One True God. This set them apart from the other nations, who worshiped more than one god. This is what God wanted all along. A people set apart from other nations, who would teach other nations about the One True God.
God tells Moses to tell the Hebrew people, in Deuteronomy 14:2, “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. It is you the Lord has chosen out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”
Yet, the people of Israel insisted they needed a king, so they could be like all the other nations. Verses 6-8 of 1 Samuel 8, tell us, ‘But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods,–”’
The vision I see is God breathing a big sigh and saying, ‘All right have your way. You’ll be sorry, but I’m tired of your nagging.’ Kind of like my mother when I kept it up and kept it up until she got tired of my nagging; and gave in to me going to the beach party!
But God said to Samuel, warn them what a king will do. A king will draft their sons into the army, he’ll take their daughters and make them be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. A king will take their best fields and vineyards and olive orchards and one-tenth of their grain; and their male and female slaves and the best of their cattle and donkeys. A king will take one-tenth of their flocks and make the people slaves.
In verse 18 we read, “And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
Yet the people insist, “—we are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations,–”(vv. 19-20) In other words, everybody else has a king, so we want to!
God tells Samuel to do as they say, and in chapter 10, a man named Saul is chosen to be Israel’s first king. Saul was tall, handsome and courageous. He led many battles which defeated the enemies of Israel. He greatest successes were when he obeyed God, and his greatest failures resulted from acting on his own. Saul had the raw materials to be a good leader—appearance, courage, and a man of action. Even his weaknesses could have been used by God if Saul had recognized them. He eventually made choices that cut him off from God and alienated him from his own people. He chose his own will over God’s. Never a good thing.
The point we do not want to miss from this incident is that from the beginning of the Hebrew people, God’s intention was for them to be a unique nation, one that was under his direct governance. That’s why when human organizers were needed, God called people be leaders needed for that particular time, but not kings to reign over the nation in an ongoing line of kings. In telling Samuel that they wanted to have a king “like other nations,” these elders were saying they wanted Israel to be something that God had not intended Israel to be.
Israel would have 5 good kings and 33 bad kings over the years. The good kings would turn to God for wisdom and the bad kings did what they wanted to do. The downfall of many a good man and woman.
Joshua was the leader of Israel after Moses. Joshua led the 12 tribes across the Jordan River into the land of milk and honey. He led armies who conquered the people there and he always chose to hear God’s voice and to obey.
He chose to make the One True God the god of his heart and his life. Joshua 24:14-15, Joshua tells the people, “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” This must be our choice. To serve the Lord!
We Christians should not choose the ways of the world, thinking we need to blend in and be like everyone else. We Christians should not speak, act or look like everybody else. Our greatest sin is to be conformed to this world and not to be set apart as the Body of Christ. To be conformed to this world is to do things because everybody else is doing it!
The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Rome in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
As followers of Christ Jesus, our lives should exemplify the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. We should be more loving, more joy filled. People should be able to see the joy of Jesus in our eyes and in our attitude. We should display inner peace and work for peace in our world, beginning with our friends and family. We must be more patient, and kinder, more generous with the blessings God has blessed us with.
Our faith should sustain us in times of trouble, illness or the death of a loved one. As Christians we must be gentle with the people God puts into our life, and gentle to the world we live in, caring for it carefully. And as Christians we must have self-control over our sinful desires.
When you look at the word sIn, what stands out is that the middle letter is I. Sin happens when we choose our self to be king of our life, instead of God. We make sinful choices, ‘because everybody else is doing it!”
In today’s American culture we are told over and over again that we will not be satisfied until we do this or have that. Yet God tells us that we will not be satisfied, be at peace and truly joyful, until we declare God the king of our heart and our life.
We do this by surrendering to the will of God instead of our own sinful nature. We do this by saying to Jesus, “I know I am a sinner. Forgive me. I surrender my heart and my life to you. I want you, Lord Jesus, to be the king of my heart. I give myself to you.”
You are probably thinking, I’m not a sinner, the person sitting next to me is. Yet, think about it. I’m a sinner. Sometimes I have thoughts I shouldn’t have, speak words I shouldn’t speak and do things I shouldn’t do. Why? Because I’ve put myself and I above God. I have to come again to Jesus and say, ‘Forgive me for the sin I have committed. I want you to be the king of my heart and my life.’ I surrender all.
Please, do not take this teaching lightly. We are all easily influenced by those around us. We often do things because others are doing it, or we want to blend in. We are rebellious human beings and we want things our way.
God tells us in Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live,--”
Please choose life in God through Jesus Christ, God’s son. Don’t say to God, “But Everybody Else Is Doing It.” That will be your downfall, just as it was the downfall of the nation of Israel. Choose God! Choose life!
Pastor Rosemary June 10, 2018
June 11th, 2018
Sacrificial Love May 27,2018
May 30th, 2018
Isaiah 6:1-8 and John 3:1-17
(Quoted scripture is New International Version)
Private Desmond Doss, unarmed and under constant fire, single-handedly rescued 75 wounded soldiers, lowering each one 400ft to safety on a makeshift rope sling he devised, in the Pacific theatre’s bloodiest battle of the Second World War.
The battle took place on a boulder-strewn clifftop named Hacksaw Ridge on the Japanese island of Okinawa in late April 1945. Desmond Doss was the first conscientious objector to win America’s highest military award-the Medal of Honor. Private Doss did it without ever firing a shot.
Have you seen the movie Hacksaw Ridge? The movie is extremely violent and bloody, yet unless you’ve been in battle you really do not understand what our soldiers are dealing with. I saw it, and I’m glad I did. The movie gives meaning to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
After US troops, facing a deadly network of machine gun nests and booby traps, retreated in the face of a merciless onslaught, Doss remained atop the escarpment.
“Dear God,” he prayed, as he perilously made his way to each wounded man, “let me get just one more.”
Gunfire and bombs exploded around him as he hunted survivors. Doss said: “I just caught them by the collar and dragged them. You made yourself as small a target as you could and just hoped and prayed they didn’t hit you.”
He was scared but relentless. “What I did was a service of love,” he explained. “I should have been killed. I didn’t get wounded. The Blessed Lord was with me to where I was able to take care of one more until I finally got my last man off.”
The US Army calculated that he rescued 100 wounded soldiers from certain death atop Hacksaw Ridge. Ever modest Doss believed he saved closer to 50. They split the difference and settled on 75.
Doss dismissed acclaim of his heroism, placing credit elsewhere instead. “All the glory should go to God,” he said. “No telling how many times the Lord has spared my life.”
Raised as a Seventh-day Adventist he swore off firearms for life after witnessing a fight between his father and uncle over a gun.
The son of an alcoholic carpenter, Doss grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia, in a home dominated by a framed poster of the 10 Commandments, atop an image of Cain killing Abel.
“When I looked at that picture I came to the sixth commandment, thou shalt not kill.” I wondered, how in the world could a brother do such a thing? It put a horror in my heart of just killing and as a result I took it personally. God said to me, ‘Desmond, if you love me, you won’t kill’
Desmond did not come out of war unscathed. He spent five years in the hospital recovering from his injuries and ultimately lost a lung and five ribs to tuberculosis contracted while on duty in the Pacific.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day, when we honor the American men and women who have died for someone else’s freedom. WWII deaths 291,557. On our own American soil during the Civil War, when brother fought against brother, the casualties were 214,938.
When I watch the Memorial Day parades, honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom, I can’t help asking, why? Why can’t we find a solution for war? The only answer I come up with is that we are sinful human beings, in need of a Savior.
Poppy seeds lie dormant until the soil is disturbed. Throughout Western Europe fields disturbed by the battles of war turn bare land into fields of blood red poppies.
In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
What those who serve in our military have given, I consider a Loving Sacrifice.
There are Memorial Day Services in our community, please attend those services and honor the Loving Sacrifice our military men and women have made for you.
While I was pondering what a Loving Sacrifice looks like in my own life; parenting came to mind. When I became a parent, I began to appreciate what Loving Sacrifices my parents made for my three brothers and me.
As I began to sacrifice my time, most of it spent caring for my children; my emotions, having a child means laughter, tears, a heart broken by what the world does to my child and what the child may do to me; money, we spend most of our money providing shelter, food and care for our children; relationships, when baby comes often the relationship between husband and wife is affected in detrimental ways; and freedom, when the children come along the parents basically lose the freedom they had before they became parents.
As I began to make loving sacrifices for my children, I began to recognize the loving sacrifices my parents made for me. I’m blessed to be able to care for my mother when she is not longer able to live on her own, to show her how much I appreciate what she sacrificed for me.
Sometimes we don’t appreciate what our spouses do for us, because we may not know all the do. One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house. His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.
The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she may be ill, or that something serious had happened.
He found her lounging in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.
He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened here today?” She again smiled and answered; “You know every day when you come home from work and ask me what in the world did I do today?” “YES” was his incredulous reply. She said, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”
It may be a good idea to appreciate what other people do for us, especially our spouses!
Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. We prayed the Apostle’s Creed for our unison prayer. We declared that we believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I’d like to take a moment to explore the Loving Sacrifice of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let’s begin with the ancient prophet Isaiah. We read in the 8th verse of Isaiah 6, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, “Here am I. Send Me!”
Isaiah is considered the greatest prophet, and when he said, “Here am I. Send me!” he began a ministry that would last for 60 years, and it was a ministry of misery. He prophesied Judah’s doom, if they didn’t turn from their sinful ways and turn back to God. As a result, he was despised and executed during King Manasseh’s reign.
As was the case of Desmond Doss, when Isaiah decided to put love of God above the will of man, he made a Loving Sacrifice to God and to his fellow human beings.
The last Loving Sacrifice I want to address today happens in verses 16-17 of the 3rd chapter of the gospel of John. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son to the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
What do you think God went through when he came to the world through his Son Jesus to die on the cross?
Think of the parents who have lost children to war. Imagine them dreading the phone call or the visit from the military telling them their son or daughter had been killed in battle. Imagine their heart being torn apart by the news of the death of their child.
Imagine God as He knew His Son would suffer and die an excruciating death on a Roman cross. Think of how God’s heart was torn apart when He watched His Son die. God had tried over and over again to show us how much he loves us, and now he makes the ultimate Loving Sacrifice. He sends His Son to die for us.
Imagine Jesus, who knew the death he would face. We read Jesus’ prayer in Luke 22:42-44, ‘“Father, if you are willing take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”’
Now imagine the Holy Spirit of God, as he prompts us again and again to make the right choices, to love God above all and our neighbors as our self. Yet we fail again and again.
The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 4:30-32, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
If only we humans could get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, and every form of malic; and be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other as Christ forgives us: There would be no more war in which hundreds of thousands of men and women die.
Yet, we cannot, can we? What Jesus told Nicodemus in the 3rd chapter of the gospel of John, is the only way to end the onslaught of war. We must come to Jesus, confess our sins, receive the forgiveness that is readily available through the grace of God, and be born again though the Holy Spirit’s presence in our heart. This is the only hope for the end of war.
I’ll leave you with an illustration of how Jesus is the only hope for the world we live in.
One rainy Sunday afternoon, a little boy was bored and his father was sleepy. The father decided to create an activity to keep the kid busy. He found a large map of the world in the morning newspaper. He took scissors and cut it into a good many irregular shapes like a jigsaw puzzle. Then he said to his son, “See if you can put this puzzle together. And don’t disturb me until you’re finished.”
He turned over on the couch, thinking this would occupy the boy for at least an hour. To his amazement, the boy was tapping his shoulder ten minutes later telling him that the job was done. The father saw that every piece of the map had been fitted together perfectly. “How did you do that?” he asked. “It was easy, Dad. There was a picture of a man on the other side. When I got him together right, the world was right.” The picture on the other side of the world map was Jesus!
A person’s world can never be right until the person is right, and that requires the miracle of new birth. Don’t stop asking God for the experience of new birth until you can shout from the housetops, “Through Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit has changed my life!”
May God bless you today, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
Pastor Rosemary DeHut May 27, 2018
May 30th, 2018
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Sunday Service 11:00 A.M. Central Time (nursery available)
Phone Number: 906-932-3900
Pastor: Rev. Rosemary DeHut
Pastor Rosemary is in the office on Wednesdays and Thursdays
~~ For the renewal of the church Spirit of promise, Spirit of unity, We thank you that you are also a Spirit of renewal. Renew in the whole Church That passionate desire for the coming of your kingdom Which will unite all Christians in one mission to the world. May we all grow up together into him who is our head, The Savior of the world. Amen. ~~