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Sermon, "Back to (Bible) School: Poetry," Psalm 136

Sermon 9/24/17 Psalm 136
Back to (Bible) School: Poetry

            Do you like poetry? Have you ever read or written poetry? I think we can feel both daunted and bored by poetry. Daunted if we have to try to figure out what it means. One of my favorite movies is In Her Shoes, based on the book by the same name from Jennifer Weiner. In the movie, one of the characters, Maggie, is dyslexic. She ends up working at a nursing home, where one of the residents is a retired English professor. He encourages her to read to him, and not just read, but he helps her understand what she is reading. The first time she reads to him, she reads a poem. When she’s done, having struggled through word by word, he asks what she thinks. She says, “Good.” He says, “Unacceptable,” and then proceeds to ask her question after question until she realizes that she can figure out what the poem might mean to her, how it applies to her life right now. It’s a beautiful scene that captures how disinterested we can be in…

Sermon, "Back to (Bible) School: History," 2 Samuel 7:1-12

Sermon 9/17/17 2 Samuel 7:1-12
Back to (Bible) School: History
            Today we’re looking at the books of the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, that we consider History books. These include the books immediately following the Law books, the first five books in the Bible, up to the section of Bible that we call Poetry, which starts with the book of Job. So the history books of the Bible are Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. Are you “good” at history? Was it a subject you enjoyed in school? I’ve always enjoyed history, but I often struggle with dates, chronology. I can tell you what happened, just don’t ask me when it happened. When it comes to the books of the Bible, I often have to remind myself of what is happening when. If you read our summer newsletter, you’ll know that I have been reading some of our biblical history books as part of my personal devotional time, particularly trying to get a clearer sense of chrono…

Sermon, "Back to (Bible) School: The Law," Deuteronomy 5:1-21, 6:1-9

Sermon 9/10/17 Deuteronomy 5:1-21, 6:1-9
Back to (Bible) School: The Law

This week we’re starting a new sermon series called Back to (Bible) School. Each week, we’ll be looking at different parts of the Bible, particularly the texts of the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament. I’ve been encouraging folks all summer long to sign up for our Disciple Fast Track Bible Study, a twelve week study that takes us deep into the writings of the New Testament. And it isn’t too late to sign up – we start this Wednesday evening, and I would love for you to be a part of it! It is never too late to learn more about the Bible. You never have “advanced” far enough that you couldn’t enjoy a Bible study, and you are never too new to the Bible and too inexperienced in reading the Bible that you should fear studying the scriptures is not for you. It is one of the best ways I can think of to explore and deepen your faith, studying the scriptures, and studying them together is a special blessing of a community of fa…

Sermon, "Singing the Story: Victory in Jesus," 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

Sermon 9/3/17 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Singing the Story: Victory in Jesus
The last hymn in our hymn story series is a southern gospel classic, “Victory in Jesus.” According to the Origin of Songs website, Eugene Monroe Bartlett, Sr.  “was born on Christmas Eve in 1885 near Waynesville, Missouri …  [He] dedicated his life to Jesus at an early age … Bartlett lived in the south and enjoyed a reputation as a fine music teacher. Based in Arkansas, he traveled the entire southern portion of the country holding singing schools for anyone interested. These … schools trained aspiring musicians in vocal technique, sight reading,” using a unique method called shape note singing, “and conducting and [they] were influential in the development of church music as a whole for much of the remainder of the century. “Bartlett … was a very successful business man, and decided to invest his money [and eventually with it he] founded the Hartford Music Company in Hartford, Arkansas sometime in 1918.  Within th…