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Cast Thy Bread Upon the Waters

00:00 / 01:04

July 14, 2024

Pastor Pat Montgomery

Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

"Cast your bread upon the waters" means do the faithful thing…even if it is costly to you…trusting that in time God will work within those efforts for God’s purposes. When the Deacons give financial assistance to someone down on their luck, we are never expecting to get that money back. We are casting our bread upon the water. Throwing goodness out there and trusting God to work within the circumstances, trusting that what we do will lead to a blessing whether we ever see that blessing or not. When the Church, the Session or PW offers a scholarship, it is the same thing; casting our bread upon the water. We do so not just trying to make the world a better place but we are acting and knowing that we are cooperating with a God who is much greater than we are. Tithing is also casting your bread upon the waters. Because it isn’t about money and it certainly isn’t about control. It is about faith. It is about letting go and trusting God. Cast your bread upon the waters applies to all of our faith disciplines and practices. Sometimes it takes a lot of faith to cast your bread upon the water. But that is the point. Such faith is built on the notion that God is always at work in the world around us, in ways that are often not evident to us, but in ways that we trust God enough that we follow. So you see "casting your bread upon the water" is much more than simply paying things forward.

Feed My Lambs

00:00 / 01:04

July 7, 2024

Pastor Pat Montgomery

John 21:15-19, Matthew 18:1-9

When Jesus asks, do you love me, what is your answer? When push comes to shove, how will you respond? Do your actions everywhere in your life reflect that answer?
-Is there integrity between what we say and what we do?
-Do we make homes…where the values of Christ are practiced each day?
-Do we practice the faith through consistent worship?
-Through consistent knowledge of the scriptures?
-Through regular participation in communion?
-Are we thoughtful and faithful about how we live out our relationships at home and at work?
-Do we make and honor our marriage vows?
-Do we practice the values of the faith not just by saying the right words on Sunday morning…but by how we think about and treat others throughout the week?
-As a congregation…do we accept our responsibility for children…and for the lost and wandering… in our midst?
-Do we demonstrate integrity between our words here and our actions…at work? At play? And in our most basic relationships?
-Are we willing to examine ourselves and confront our own lapses?
-Are we willing to modify our own behavior…because we know that children…and those new to the faith are watching…and forming their own impressions of the faith…by what they see in us?

Relating to Our Neighbor... the Plumb-line for Life

00:00 / 01:04

June 30, 2024

Pastor Pat Montgomery

Amos 7, Luke 10:25-37

Amos 7 begins with God planning a number of judgements against, as we read in the passage, Jacob. But if you'll remember right Jacob is the name of the young man who was then later given the name Israel. SO when it says Jacob it's referring to the nation of Israel and the people that make up that nation. Each time that God is preparing judgement on Israel, the unwilling prophet Amos intervenes. And he asks God to spare people, and for several instances God relents. But after several rounds of this God shows Amos a plumb line in a vision. God says he's holding this plumb line up against Israel and against the people of Israel. And, Israel and it's people are failing the test. Israel is failing to measure up. God is preparing wrath and judgement for this intransigence. So God gives a message to Amos as a final warning to Israel and it's king, Jeroboam, to straighten up. There's another prophet in this story, his name is Amaziah. Amaziah, you might say, has sold out. Amaziah, instead of carrying this message of God has begun telling Jeroboam (the king) whatever it is he [the king] wants to hear. But Amos replies that God is holding a plumb line against Israel, and it's people, and they are found wanting. There will be a judgement for their unrepentant ways, and it will be a harsh judgement. This is kind of a hard passage...

We Played the Pipe…and You Did Not Dance

00:00 / 01:04

June 23, 2024

Pastor Pat Montgomery

Matthew 11:16-30

These verses are part of larger series where...you know we like to think of Jesus as a person who is on a pretty even keel, but the fact of the matter is fully human, just like us. And, events have an impact on His emotions. And, he goes through stages just like us. There are times of anxiety, there are times of joy, there are times of uncertainty; and it's important for us to recognize that within Him. We also see an ongoing series in this stretch of Matthew where Jesus is addressing a lot of different topics. You kind of have to bear with me on that. I'm going to read from Matthew 11:16-30. That last bit of that passage, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” we often hear read a funerals. It's certainly relevant, but oftentimes we don't have the time to talk about what He exactly means by that. From the beginning of life, life is filled with stressors. Anxiety producing moments. Be it a child being away from his or her parents for the first time, be it the fear of trying something new like riding a horse on a wicked trail, be it a life-threatening illness, or the fear for a child. Every stage of life seems to have it's own unique stressors. And those stressors can create a number of different responses within us. You might become excited to face a new challenge, or you might become anxious or depressed. You might try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. You might lose interest in what are normally your favorite things. You might want to lock yourself in your room and not come out. The smallest thing might set you off. You might have big mood swings. One moment you are quiet the next moment you are highly agitated. Or you might respond by trying to over-perform. Having four jobs and living on nothing but...

Grow

00:00 / 01:04

June 16, 2024

Pastor Jeromey Howard

2 Corinthians 5:6-17, Mark 4:26-34

How many of you here like to garden? I love to garden actually, and I was talking to my daughter not too long ago because we live in an apartment right now. It's the first time in a while that I have not had a place to have a garden. So we're scheming. We do have balconies - we're going to try to do something. But, it's just different. I grew up in Oklahoma and I've lived a lot of my life in the mid-west in a lot of small towns, and I still follow that trap - I don't lock my car. About the only time I remember having locked my car was during harvest season. If you didn't lock your care you might come out and find a bunch of zuchini's someone stuck in there because they have too much in their garden too. My question is how does your garden grow? How does it grow? The gospel today brought us two short parables. They were stories about seeds. The parables themselves are about the kingdom of God. They are about that amazing reality that is all around us. They start with these words, "The kingdom of God is like..."

So, to understand them we have to understand what we're thinking about. This first one was about a farmer who scattered seeds into a field. He lives his daily life, he goes about his chores whatever they may be in the moment. While he tends his garden and works in that garden there is nothing more he can do - if you think about it. Suppose the neighbor came and asked, "How does that garden grow?"

How does your garden grow?

Worship in the Form of Music

00:00 / 01:04

June 9, 2024

God's musicians

John 8:12, 1 Chronicles 17:16 and 17, John 15:12-15, John 20:1, John 20:15

Many of our Christian hymns and Christian contemporary music was and is inspired by scripture, life's trials, and God's presence throughout...

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