This weekend I preached at Broad Street United Methodist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. Originally I had titled the sermon “Hope Building,” but once I started writing this 1st Sunday after Pentecost sermon, it changed to “Catch on Fire.” My texts were Matthew 28:16-20 and Acts 2:14-21, 42-47.
Simon Tofield Simon’s Cat for Magazine interview. 24 October 2009
Changing the bed sheets is one of those necessary chores. You watch the sheets, take the old sheets off the bed, and then put the warm, clean sheets on the bed. Putting clean sheets on the bed just right can be a change all its own. Add a curious cat, and it becomes even more challenging.
Simon’s Cat has a collection of short films on YouTube. The most recent film is called Bed Sheets.
Pete’s Dragon is the newest family film from Disney. It is a brilliant film filled with adventure, laughs, and plenty of tear-jerkers. It is a great film to take a youth group, or other group, to. You can read my ponderings on the film here.
Below are some discussion questions you can use with your group. I’m sharing them here for those who are looking for such a resource. As a Christian educator, I should tell you, if you use these questions, don’t feel like you have to use them all. If anything, let the questions be a guide to having a conversation around the themes presented in the film.
Our favorite spot in the new house is quickly becoming the sunroom. This enclosed porch with sliding doors all around, gives us a postcard perfect glimpse of our backyard. It is more perfect when birds, squirrels, rabbits, and other friendly critters occupy the space.
It is a peace-filled space.
The other day while eating lunch on the sunroom, Toddler J and I watched as a squirrel hopped through the yard. As the squirrel started climbing the tree, Toddler J’s eyes lit up and a broad smile spread across her little face. She pointed up as the squirrel climbed the tree. When the squirrel was long out of sight, she was still pointing with excitement and mumbling what I believe was her attempt at saying,”squirrel.”
Baby J has hit a milestone. She now sits up with very little help, or without her arms extended out for balance. And she is quite proud of herself.
Every once and awhile though, she’ll get super excited about this newfound ability and falls face first.
Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children. (Matthew 5:9, Common English Bible)
There have been a lot of troubling images out of the city of Baltimore. These images of violence fill our TV and computer screens. And let’s be honest, at times, they are a little bit more than we can handle. The tension in our society over justice for all people seems to have collied in the streets of Baltimore this week.
Questions are being raised by many, especially those in the church, as to how we should respond. What does justice look like? What role does the church play in such discussions? Where is God calling us to be a part of this?
by Brock Weigel
Read Psalm 31: 9-16
“For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my body has wasted away.” (Psalm 31: 10)
While playing basketball, the goal is to get the ball through the hoop as many times as possible. When I play, however, that goal is not on my mind. Instead of maneuvering the ball, my goal is one-upping the other team, or showing off for spectators. I care as little for the ball going through the hoop as plugging a lamp into an electrical socket. The task itself seems mundane when you remove the context. My joy in basketball is not in the ball, but in the victory.
by Latrice Mallard
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need don’t do as the hypocrites do-blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-6 NLT)
The gospel of Matthew provides clear evidence that Jesus is the Messiah and our Eternal King. As our Eternal King, Messiah, and Lord; He is also our best example of the way to live as a faithful servant. We are not left to guess how this should be done, especially as we learn from the Sermon on the Mount. We are provided with the very directions for living as His followers.
“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people'” (Matthew 4:19).
Remember playing the game “Follow the Leader” when you were a kid? I used to work in an after school children’s ministry setting. At the end of the day, before the parents had arrive and when there just was not enough time to do another activity, we would play Follow the Leader.
I would be the leader to start off, and we would go up and down halls; circle tables and chairs; tumble over couches. It was fun! And it usually always lasted the right amount of time. Continue reading
The sermon I preached at Peakland United Methodist on Sunday, January 4, 2015.