God's Hidden Hand in Things

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Ruth 1:8-18

The story of Ruth begins with a famine in Israel that prompts a man name Elimelech to move his family from Bethlehem of Judea in Israel to the plains of Moab in hopes of making a better life there. But while they are there Elimelech dies, leaving his wife Naomi to manage with her two sons. Her sons then marry Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. Then Naomi’s sons both die, leaving her with her two daughters-in-law. Being a widow without a husband or sons to provide for her puts Naomi in a precarious financial situation…See full sermon here

Generations of Generosity Yesterday

Sermon Text:  Hebrews 13:1-8

The theme for our stewardship month is: Generations of Generosity.  We’ll be delving into the theme a lot, but from the perspective of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  Where have we been?  Where are we now?  And where will be on into the future?  Those are the questions we’ll be addressing in relation to Stewardship.

            John Ruskin was hired by the Lakewood Chapel Council in 1952 to come up with a design that would be our first home.  Along with the artist’s rendering, John Ruskin penned these words:

            Only once in a lifetime comes the privilege of helping to build a church that will stand for generations in the community for which it is built...When we build, let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think as we lay stone upon stone, that the time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon the labor and the wrought substance of them, “See this our fathers did for us.”

            “See this our fathers (and mothers) did for us.”  Today we look back at our legacy … a legacy of commitment and love.  Commitment and love of God for sure, and commitment and love for a church family.

            How aware are you of our church history?  Some of you, I’m sure, know how it all started, but others may not be quite up to speed.  Let me give you a little history lesson for a few moments, as we think about Generations of Generosity: Yesterday....Read full sermon here. 

What's the Purpose of it All?

Sermon Text:  Ephesians 2:19-3:11

In my sermons for the month of January, I’m focusing on the basics of our faith.  January provides a fresh start in a new year, and so, why not a fresh start in our faith?  The birth is fresh in our minds and hearts, so let’s see if we can experience our faith in the One born in a manger fresh and new as we move into 2016.

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                Folks, we’ve got one of the best-kept secrets in Jacksonville right here!  How do I know that?  One of our visitors, a couple of months ago, said to me, “You’ve got something special here, but you’re hiding it under a bushel.”  I was kind of taken aback and really didn’t know how to respond.

                Well, is it true?  Do we really believe that we have something special right here on University Bvld West?  If we do, shouldn’t others know about it?  Or will we be like the church mentioned in the small mid-western newspaper, which ran a story saying:

                “We are pleased to announce that the cyclone which blew away the Methodist Church last Friday did no real damage to the town.”

                Kind of scary, huh?  Somebody, somewhere said, “The failure of the Church today, is not that we kill the King’s Son or practice violence and bloodshed so much.  No, our failure today lies in the fact that we’ve become irrelevant and without impact!

                “Now, wait just a minute,” you say, “them’s fightin’ words!”  That doesn’t describe OUR church … or at least we sure hope it doesn’t!  Maybe one of the reasons why it might fit a lot of “other churches out there” is to be found in the low commitment level demanded of the members and practiced in the church today. ...Read full sermon here (PDF)