God’s 2 words (do not try to alleviate the threat!)  Ash Wednesday Sermon 2018, Joel 2;1-17

The prophet Joel exemplifies how God always uses 2 words preached together to break us out of ourselves and to bring us to God’s mercy: A word of dreadful threat and a word of beautiful promise. They go together, so do not try to alleviate the threat! Let the threat stand just as God intends it!

To read the full sermon follow this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Eml_Of_vw-tfvrjM47Aa_WoSTmekBbv3/view?usp=sharing

If the Gospel is truly such good, compelling news, why do some NOT find the Gospel compelling? Sermon for Transfiguration 2018, 2 Corinthians 4;3-6

If the Gospel is truly such good, compelling news, — why do some-, in fact, most — NOT find the Gospel compelling?

To read the full sermon follow this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zZsjZmejlz3W9RtaSYQR8QqEzedWt2wI

To listen to the sermon follow this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VOfypMlo62jF-wSHVkrnAERr4-Ay5lV5

Is God incompetent or uncaring? Sermon for Epiphany 5, Isaiah 40:21-31

Isaiah speaks with biting incredulity to God’s people when they question God’s competence or God’s concern for them and for justice.  Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning?” Isaiah 40:21 Isaiah directs their attention to the only thing the Bible is concerned about: their theology, which is to say, God’s Word. God’s Word is the only comfort for God’s people. We should not seek our comfort in sociology, politics, economics, philosophy or morality. These things are more or less in human control, but there is no help there. Only in God’s Word, which we have in Jesus Christ. 

Read the sermon at this link

https://drive.google.com/open?id=18vU1IbNJk-5dnXNTBHRD-V5TQUoXkDyI

Listen to the sermon here

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1p2HxUy830qUyRMW8qIm2TSH04QgRwR2m

Cool Farm News

 

 

 

I put all the hens to work. Yesterday I put the big red hens in the tractor and in 2 hours they had laid 2 eggs! I guess they were happy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The seeds are bursting!

 

 

 

What’s up? collard greens, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, bok choy, & kale.

What’s NOT up? Onions, peppers, mustard, & kohlrabi.

 

 

 

Here’s a wonderful surprise: mustard is growing voluntarily just outside the church door.

In this picture it is the larger clubs of green, (which I marked in red). While the leaves are babies they are mild, but as they get larger they become spicier. Pick some baby leaves for your GraceFeast salad or to take home. If you do pick some, pick the largest leaves from each plant. It will help it generate more leaves. You can even pick most of the leaves from each plant, but don’t pick them all or it might die.

Action on the farm!

There has been some action on the farm. The seeds planted indoors have sprouted: lettuce, kale and bok choy, so far.

Today I planted three rows of garlic outside in the front of the church. The cloves I planted are from garlic Micah grew last year.

 

 

 

 

 

I also put our newest hens to work in the chicken tractor. These two new hens are not very hard workers, but they are beautiful. Mmm. Privilege! Maybe the new setting will encourage them to mend their ways.

 

God has no other grace for you than following Jesus. Sermon for Epiphany 3, Mark 1:14-20

Since the good news Jesus proclaimed is God’s good news it’s not like any other good news. It is not for consideration. It is to be acted on immediately. Not that we do! But that’s the kind of news it is intended to be. It demands an immediate response, like when Peter and Andrew immediately leave their nets in midair and follow Jesus. The call of Jesus to take up your cross and follow him is God’s grace for you. God has no other plan to include you in grace than this.

To read this sermon follow this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ERPdoPk1jVUHfE2ERhTQMHiNf6fMnCuF

To listen to this sermon follow this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Fxym-c2kr9qJNKUusuOgX_ZD53neZCsf

God Loves Your Body, Sermon for Epiphany 2, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

God loves your body, the same body that poops, farts, gets sick, has headaches, orgasms, gets old, wears out and dies. Your body is not merely the biological fact of you. It is the concrete means by which you relate to God & others. In Christ your body is free from anything that could bind you. Your freedom in Christ is so complete that there is no norm or criterion, [no] ethic or rule of law, [that] is applicable to your behavior; you are free, and everything is allowed.” [Harrisville, R. A. (1987). I Corinthians] As Paul says in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm therefore and do not submit again to the yoke of bondage…” Paul forbids fornication not because it is sexual gratification, but because it is a form of slavery. I am an obedient slave to my desires, obeying them without regard to whether it is beneficial or if it dominates me.

To read the sermon follow this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WpAJBIaJNVEpqKenV_2mbM_Ib4hfHg2c

To listen to the sermon follow this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1SNLGa3ovrAlqmgXDy1q9H9RdTLsMUUIR

I planted seedlings for the farm today

eggs cartons in the watering tray. The bottom is my old truck bed liner.

I planted seedlings for the farm today. I used egg cartons for seed pots, planting 2 seeds in each egg cup.  I planted 360 seeds or so: cauliflower, onions, kale, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, kohlrabi, and collard and mustard greens. I built a frame from scrap lumber and attached a piece from my old rubber truck bed liner to it to make a water tight tray for the plants to sit in, so they can be watered from the bottom.

 

planted and labeled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are sitting under grow lights and will for the next month or so. Most of the seeds were old, so it is possible they will not come up, but I am hopeful. Once the baby plants get bigger I will either transplant them into cups or directly into the ground.

God-Sized hope. Sermon for Epiphany Sunday, Ephesians 3:5-6

The cynicism of our culture allows us only to hope facile, circumstantial  hopes. The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings us in on the God-sized hope that requires our whole selves to hope. This hope plays out in the concrete, daily circumstances of our lives, in history, but it carries us beyond our circumstances, beyond our selves, allowing us to participate in the very life of God.

Follow this link to read the whole sermon

https://drive.google.com/open?id=15sMcg0JN4s2NNcnYmhxdm39WfHogMMK9

To listen follow this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KzUQj0rW_VvnpRZ29m1xFIp8StaP_1iD

Sharing our space with a mission start: Refuge Church

Beginning now, Refuge Church, a Seventh Day Adventist mission congregation, will be using our building for worship on Saturdays. For the first 4 months (January – April) they will be worshipping only once per month as they ramp up to every Saturday worship.
This congregation is being started by Kenneth Geraldo Martinez and his wife Addi. Here is how Kenneth describes their mission:
“…to plant a contemporary church that preaches the gospel of Jesus in a way that is relevant to people that has Hispanic roots but also is immersed in American culture. This group is rarely reached by the indigenous communities in the area (e. g. Adventist churches that speak Spanish and are a bit old-fashioned and liturgical)…”
“Our church has a heart for immigrants. Although less defined, we want to look for options in which we can help immigrants and refugees: fundraisings, food banks, meals, etc. We are doing research on the best opportunities but having a building in which we can store things and host events will be really helpful.”
 
To learn more about Seventh Day Adventists as a denomination follow this link: https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/
Gift of Grace is blessed by God and by the faithful stewards who came before us, because they have provided us a wonderful property to help us lift up Christ to the neighborhood and world. We are delighted to welcome Refuge church into this space and excited about how we can encourage and promote their service in Christ’s name.
When we consider sharing Gift of Grace space finances are a consideration, but second to our obligation and desire to be of service. We are not in the landlord business. Nevertheless, we are grateful when “rent” from others helps defray the costs of the mission to which we are already dedicated. We had this joyful experience with Grace Gospel Chapel and now we anticipate it again with Refuge Church. They are making a good offering that will help.
So rejoice and pray:
Gracious God, scripture tells us to “…welcome one another… just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Ro 15:7). Grant us grace to welcome Refuge Church in the fullest sense, in order to glorify you through Christ of Lord. Amen.
Follow this link to see General Principles for Stewarding the Building and Property

http://www.giftofgrace.org/?page_id=1301