Showing posts from 2015

Restoration and Reaping

So here's the last in this summer's series on Galatians. If you have questions please email them to me and I'll address what I can. My prayer is that as we move through a period of secularization we may remain God's People and faithful to the freedom that we have been called too.  Peace, Alan If you needed help to whom would you go? My Facebook profile lies when it says I have 438 friends. Some are duplicates, some are immediate and more distant family, about 35. Preachers and others like them make up another 65.  But two of them are unabashed Dodger fans so they’re suspect. More than one I’ve friended because it is safer knowing what they are up to than not knowing. Then are those from the previous churches and friends I grew up with. But, if I needed help, restoration, renewal there are probably less than 15 on whom I’d call. We are at the end of Galatians. Paul reaffirms his teaching on the flesh and Spirit, conceit and selfishness into these fin

Bearing Fruit that Lasts Galatians 5:16-26; John 15:1-5

I rann Texas is named after Ira and Ann Yates who settled along the Pecos River in far west Texas. In 1915, he traded his grocery store for the land, which came with a mortgage of $16, 559 to be paid off over the next three years. It was a hard, unwanted piece of property but Ira and Ann continued too struggled raising sheep, goats and cattle. In a deal with Transcontinental Oil four wells were drilled on his property and October 28, 1926, at 992 feet, well 1-A came as a gusher (Kepner, 2015) . There is a historical marker on the western edge of Irann that reads “You won’t find any oil west of the Pecos River”. That was the guiding principle for the 1920’s among oil explorers (Modisett, 2015) . Be glad people don’t always pay attention to those ‘guiding principles’. The guiding principles of Paul’s day is that there were many gods and that you had to placate with offerings and keeping various rules. There were norms in society that each gender and people were exp

Communion: breaking slavery

This sermon follows on the theme of "freedom in Christ" which Paul has been writing about throughout this letter.  Hope it meets your needs. I f you think following Jesus will mean first place in life, think again. In 1993, Mike Deleavo, a cross-country runner was one of only five who did not miss a turn at the NCAA championship in Riverside, California. None of the five who took the longer, correct course, challenged the final out of respect for the in-state opponent Adams State College who won its second consecutive title.  Delcavo told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "If I had stayed on the wrong course, I would have finished respectably. But when you read the official results, I'm 123 out of 128 runners" (Articles. Yet, our goal as a follower of Jesus is to follow him, go the right way, no matter where the world ranks us. The Galatian’s were falling prey to a group who demanded Jewish ritual rules including circumcision


Ok, so this is a full week late in getting it posted. I have good excuses but the fact is, I just didn't get it done before I headed to Oakland for my step-father-in-law's memorial service. D anny Villegas was roofer in Texas for five years following 70-months in a Federal prison for bank robbery. He drove to Florida and went to the Kennedy Space Center Federal Credit Union and told the teller he was robbing her and that she “might as well call the police now.” He then sat on a couch in the lobby to wait for the police. Lt. Ron White said, Villegas wanted to “rob a federal bank because he wanted to go back to a federal penitentiary” (Asso. Press, 2007) . Last week, we ended with Paul’s confusion, “I am perplexed about you” (v. 20). Partially because these people would leave behind the grace and freedom they’d found in Christ and because he had thought they had a bond between themselves which showed him to be truthful and honest. Now the confusion

I really do care Preached 23 of August 2015 at Kenton Church

T here are some passages in God’s Word that lends themselves to preaching. John 3:16, Psalm 23 or Matthew 5-7. The way we, that is westerners think, it has clear limits, can be set into bite-size pieces. Then, there are passages like this one. These verses are pushing a doctrine of justification or sanctification. Paul’s not teaching us about the role of spiritual gifts or plant a church. Instead, this is one of those passages in which we see the heart of Paul toward those with whom he worked and besides whom he labored for Jesus. This is why I paired this passage with Acts 20. There you see Paul speaking with the leaders of Ephesus, the church with whom he had the longest pastorate. It is a change of tone for Paul. He doesn’t lower his standard for Christ, but he now addresses these brothers and sisters as one who loves them and aches to see them restored. It has been described as a “tender, urgent and intensely personal appeal” (Hendriksen), “a fatherly, ap

Who Do You Think You Are?

A s a child my mom told me my heritage from her family was English, Irish, Scotch, Danish and possibly Jewish. My heritage on my mom’s family turns out to be Danish and British. Not only do I enjoy doing genealogy, but I’m a fan of “Finding Your Roots” on OPB hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and “Who Do You Think You Are” on TLC.  I know they’re edited for newsworthy and cool discoveries but it’s hard to get excited when you see Angie Harmon meeting her 5 th cousin, once removed, on the family farm, dating from the 1700’s. When it comes to our spiritual lives the question of whether our identity is linked to the Law or Grace is of eternal importance. 23  Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.  24  So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. Paul tells us that the law was our jailer and taskmaster. The word translated guardian , teach

Grace and Law

So this the sermon preached August 9 at Kenton Church as part of the summer sermon series on Galatians This past week a pastor, Rev. Gretta Vosper, of the United Church of Canada may face questions about her effectiveness to pastor. Her denomination is the most liberal in the world but they have to determine if “she has gone too far” (Perkel) . At issue is that, she is an atheist. “I don’t believe in... the god called God...Using the word gets in the way of sharing what I want to share.” This isn’t new as she went public with her belief in 2001. She’s not alone. Portland has an atheist Presbyterian minister and in Austin Texas a Presbyterian church allowed an atheist to become a member. These sort of issues are not new to Christ’s people. In fact, it was similar issues that Paul faced among the Galatians which is why this letter is so important for 21 st American Christians. At the heart of chapter 3 is the question of how one obtains God’s grace. Are the