Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/20/2018

Sunday’s message in the Hot Button Topics series was called Living Together: Dishonoring those you love the most, taken from Hebrews 13:4. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. You dishonor God
   – Genesis 2:24-25; Hebrews 13:4

II. You dishonor each other
   – Proverbs 14:12; Ecclesiastes 3:1,5; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 6:7-8; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:2-5

III. You dishonor your family
   – Genesis 39:9; Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 17:25

Living together without sex:
   1) The problem of temptation
   2) The problem of testimony
   3) The problem of trivialization

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Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/13/2018

Sunday’s message was a Mother’s Day sermon from the Famous Mothers in the Bible series. The message was called Rebekah – The Conniving Mother, taken from Genesis 25 and 27. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Favoritism leads to rivalries (Genesis 25:21-34)
   A. Be careful to preserve marital unity
      – Genesis 25:21-28
   B. Be careful not to provoke sibling rivalry
      – Genesis 25:29-34, 37:3-4; Ephesians 6:4

II. Manipulation disrespects relationships (Genesis 27:1-17)
      – Ephesians 5:33
   A. Don’t try to manipulate people or situations around you
      – 2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:3-5
   B. Trust God to fulfill his plans in his way and in his time
      – Proverbs 3:5-6

III. Dishonesty prevents people from working out best solutions together (Genesis 27:41-46; Proverbs 15:22)
   A. Deception is just as bad as lying
      – Proverbs 12:22; Acts 5:1-4
   B. Commit to speaking the truth at all times
      – Ephesians 4:25; Galatians 6:7

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

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“Had I Been Joseph’s Mother”

Here is a poem by Ruth Bell Graham for Mother’s Day. Read out loud to catch the rhyming scheme which keeps shifting from stanza to stanza. Enjoy!

“Had I Been Joseph’s Mother” by Ruth Bell Graham

Had I been Joseph’s mother
I’d have prayed
protection from his brothers:
“God keep him safe;
he is so young,
so different from
the others.”
Mercifully she never knew
there would be slavery
and prison, too.

Had I been Moses’ mother
I’d have wept
to keep my little son;
praying she might forget
the babe drawn from the water
of the Nile,
had I not kept
him for her
nursing him the while?
Was he not mine
and she
but Pharaoh’s daughter?

Had I been Daniel’s mother
I should have pled
“Give victory!
This Babylonian horde –
godless and cruel –
don’t let them take him captive
– better dead,
Almighty Lord!”

Had I been Mary –
Oh, had I been she,
I would have cried
as never a mother cried,
“…Anything, O God,
anything …
but crucified!”

With such prayers
importunate
my finite wisdom
would assail
Infinite Wisdom;
God, how fortunate
Infinite Wisdom
should prevail!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/6/2018

Sunday’s message in the Hot Button Topics series was called Racism: A sin against God, humanity and the gospel, taken from Revelation 5:9. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Racism is a sin against God
   A. We are created in God’s image
      – Genesis 1:26-27; James 3:9-10
   B. God commands you to love your neighbor as yourself
      – Matthew 22:37-40; Luke 10:25-37

II. Racism is a sin against humanity
   A. God created us as one human race
      – Genesis 3:20; Acts 17:26
   B. God created us with diversity
      – Acts 17:24-26

III. Racism is a sin against the gospel
   A. Jesus died for all
      – Romans 3:22-23; 5:12,18-19; 1 John 2:2
   B. Jesus died to make us one
      – Gal 3:28; Eph 2:14-16; Phil 2:1-2; Col 3:11
   C. Heaven: “from every tribe and language and people and nation”
      – Genesis 12:3; Psalm 22:27; Revelation 5:9

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Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/29/2018

Sunday’s message in the Hot Button Topics series was called Alcohol: God’s Dangerous Gift, taken from Psalm 104:14-15 and Proverbs 20:1. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Alcohol is one of God’s good gifts that he gives us to enjoy
   A. Alcohol is presented as a blessing from God
      – Psalm 104:14-15; Ecclesiastes 9:7
   B. Alcohol is used positively in celebrations
      – Gen 14:18-20; Dt 14:26; Is 25:6; Mk 14:23-25; Jn 2:1-11
   C. Alcohol is also used for medicinal purposes
      – Proverbs 31:6-7; Luke 10:34; 1 Timothy 5:23

II. Alcohol poses special dangers (Proverbs 20:1)
   A. The danger of intoxication
      – Lev 10:9; Eph 5:18; vice lists (Rom 13:13; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Pet 4:3-4)
   B. The danger of potential addiction
      – Proverbs 23:29-33; Isaiah 5:11; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Titus 2:3
   C. The danger of negatively impacting others
      – Proverbs 31:4-5; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Timothy 3:2-3,8

III. Alcohol use is a matter of Christian freedom
   A. We should not judge those with different convictions
      – Romans 14:1-3
   B. We need to be sensitive to those who struggle with alcohol
      – Romans 14:13-16
   C. We need to maintain a clear conscience before God
      – Romans 14:22-23; 1 Corinthians 10:31

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Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/22/2018

Sunday’s message in the new Hot Button Topics series was called Assisted suicide: Caring for the elderly and infirm, taken from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. What is my value?
   A. Created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)
   B. Bought with the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19)
   C. Called to care for each other
      1) Honor the elderly (Leviticus 19:32)
      2) Comfort the suffering (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

II. Who has authority over my life?
   A. God is the giver and taker of life (Ex 20:13; Job 1:21; Acts 17:25,28)
   B. My body belongs to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
   C. We belong to God in life and in death (Romans 14:7-8)

III. Who directs my path?
   A. God directs my path (Proverbs 3:5-6)
   B. God has good purposes for me (Romans 8:28)
   C. Only God knows the future (Psalm 139:16)
   D. Eternal life awaits the believer in Christ (1 Cor 4:16-18)

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Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/15/2018

Sunday was the first message in our new Hot Button Topics series. The message was called Abortion: Caring for mothers and children in crisis pregnancy situations, taken from Psalm 139:13-16. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Protecting the lives of unborn children
   A. The unborn child is a living, human being (science)
      – S.L.E.D. (size; level of development; environment; degree of dependency)
   B. The unborn child is created in God’s image (Scripture)
      – Genesis 1:26, 9:6, 25:22; Psalm 51:5, 139:13-16
   C. The unborn child is worthy of protection (law)
      – Exodus 23:7; Proverbs 6:17, 24:11-12

II. Supporting mothers in crisis pregnancy situations
   A. Need various levels of support (emotional; material; spiritual)
   B. Need loving counsel and care
   C. Need the support of church and family

III. Sharing the good news of forgiveness in Christ
   A. We have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23)
   B. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins (1 Pet 2:24)
   C. No sin is too big to be forgiven (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

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Hot Button Topics (Sermon Series)

Starting Sunday, April 15 we will be starting a new series of messages at church called “Hot Button Topics.”

hot-button-topics

Over the next eight weeks we will be looking at various hot button issues that often stir up controversy in our culture. The culture around us is constantly presenting its ideas on these topics, and it’s important that we know what God’s word has to say on each of these important issues.

The purpose of the series is to present each topic in its cultural setting, to study the appropriate Scriptures, and to equip people to better respond with God’s love and truth to each situation.

If you’re interested in following along, you can access each message as it is preached at the following link: http://www.rayfowler.org/sermons/hot-button-topics/

Here is a schedule of the topics we will be looking at together over the next eight weeks:

————————————-
4/15 Abortion:
Caring for mothers and children in crisis pregnancy situations (Psalm 139:13-16)

4/22 Assisted Suicide:
Caring for the elderly and infirm (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

4/29 Alcohol:
God’s dangerous gift (Psalm 104:14-15; Proverbs 20:1)

5/6 Racism:
A sin against God, humanity and the gospel (Revelation 5:9)

5/20 Living Together:
Dishonoring those you love the most (Hebrews 13:4)

5/27 Divorce and Remarriage:
Covenant, commitment, grace and forgiveness (Matthew 19:3-9)

6/3 Homosexuality:
Caring for those who experience same sex attraction (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

6/10 Transgender:
Caring for those who experience issues with gender identity (Genesis 1:26-27)
 

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/8/2018

Sunday’s message was a Communion sermon called This Man Welcomes Sinners and Eats with Them, taken from Luke 15:1-2. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Who is “this man”, Jesus?
   A. He is a teacher and a prophet
   B. He is a miracle worker (John 3:2, 10:24-25, 14:11)
   C. He is the eternal Son of God (John 1:1-2)
   D. He is the perfect God-man
   E. He is our coming judge and the king of all creation

II. This man welcomes sinners
   A. Jesus welcomed tax collectors and all other “sinners”
      – Luke 5:8-10; John 6:37, 8:11
   B. Jesus welcomed Zacchaeus
      – Luke 5:31-32, 19:1-10; Romans 2:4
   C. “Sinners” loved Jesus
      – Luke 15:1; James 4:8

III. This man eats with sinners
   A. Jesus shared food and fellowship with sinners
      – Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34
   B. God has always desired fellowship with men and women
      – John 1:10-12, 3:19; Revelation 3:20

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Easter Fools Day

Sunday’s message was an Easter sermon called Easter Fools Day, taken from Psalm 53:1. Here is a brief outline of the message:

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
(Psalm 53:1)

I. We know God exists because of creation
   A. God’s power and glory are clearly seen from what has been made (Rom 1:19-20)
   B. We are foolish to exchange God’s glory for anything else (Rom 1:21-23)

II. We know God loves us because he sent his Son
   A. God sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9-10)
   B. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18)

III. We know God saves us because Jesus rose from the dead
   A. God promised he would send us a Savior (Rom 1:1-2)
   B. Jesus was shown to be God’s Son by his resurrection (Rom 1:3-4)

IV. Who’s the real fool?
   A. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, Christians are the real fools (1 Cor 15:14)
   B. How foolish and slow of heart not to believe (Luke 24:25-27)

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Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 3/25/2018

Sunday’s message was a Palm Sunday sermon called The Rocks Will Cry Out!, taken from Luke 19:37-40. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. God is worthy of loud and joyful praise (37)
   A. God created all things for his glory
      – Revelation 4:11
   B. Our greatest joy is found in praising him
      – Psalm 100:1-3

II. Our praise should focus on the person and work of Jesus (38)
   A. Jesus is the king who comes in the name of the Lord
      – Psalm 118:24-26
   B. Jesus’ death brings peace in heaven and earth
      – Luke 2:14; Revelation 5:9,12

III. God must and will be praised through Jesus Christ (39-40)
      – see also Habakkuk 2:11-12
   A. God will not give his glory to another
      – Isaiah 42:8
   B. Jesus shares God’s glory; therefore, he is God
      – John 17:1-5
   C. Every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord
      – Philippians 2:9-11

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How to Beat Daylight Savings Time

This year I finally found a way to beat Daylight Savings time.

I get up at 5am each morning, so moving the clock ahead an hour in the spring makes my body feel like it’s getting up at 4am instead. Last year the time change completely wiped me out, and it took several weeks (months?) before I finally adjusted.

I’ve tried going to bed an hour earlier in the past, but that doesn’t work because I don’t fall asleep right away. My body hasn’t adjusted to going to sleep a whole hour earlier, so I lay in bed for an hour, fall asleep at the regular time and still have to get up an hour earlier the next morning.

So I decided to do something different this year.

I took a multi-day approach starting on the Monday before the time change. Monday night I set my clock ahead ten minutes. I went to bed ten minutes earlier than usual and set my alarm for ten minutes earlier in the morning. The ten-minute adjustment was easy to make, and I got up ten minutes earlier Tuesday no problem. Each night all week I set my clock ahead an additional ten minutes and got out of bed another ten minutes earlier in the morning.

In order to stay in sync with the rest of the world, I only changed the time on the bedroom clock. That way all the other clocks including my smartphone and watch all showed the correct time throughout the week. But when it was time to get ready for bed and go to sleep, I only went by the time on the bedroom clock.

So by the time I got to Saturday, my body was already fifty minutes ahead. Saturday night I set the bedroom clock ahead the final ten minutes, set all the other clocks in the house ahead an hour, and I was now fully ready for Daylight Savings Time.

And it worked! I got up Sunday morning at 5am, and it felt like 5am instead of 4am. No extra adjustment time needed.

I realize this tip is too late to help for this year, but if you have trouble adjusting to Daylight Savings Time, I recommend you try this incremental approach next year. I know I will definitely be doing it again.