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Sunday
Nov082009

At Our Core

Today is Stewardship Sunday – the day we dedicate our pledges to the mission of RBCC UCC. We all know that Stewardship is SO MUCH more than simply money. Stewardship is a tapestry of diverse colors and textures. At its core, Stewardship is first and foremost a deep awareness of gratitude to God. In Psalm 127 we are reminded of how important it is that God builds the house that otherwise it will fall. Stewardship begins with gratitude to God for ‘building the house” – whether that house is our church building, our mission, our very lives. We are not here on our own accord, our lives – our church – our community, is a gift and a vessel of God’s love.

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Sunday
Nov012009

Steadfast Love

Today is All Saints Day, the day we remember loved ones who have gone before us. Saints are not perfect people, by any means, but they are those who have impacted our personal lives in ways that have been transformative. Saints may also be men and women we have not known personally, but have impacted our world for the better.

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Sunday
Oct252009

Open Our Eyes

On Thursday morning over breakfast I read this in the Seattle Times: “When Becky Bell shapes her pottery she expresses how she felt as a girl walking through a Kansas cornfield with her father, or standing in a swirling snow storm, or feeling warm candle wax collapse in her hands. Although as a blind woman, she can’t see the art she creates; Bell draws from a rich interior world built on life experiences.” Becky and other blind artists are showcasing their work at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library in Seattle this past week. It was interesting to run into this story just before writing a sermon about the story of Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, told in the Gospel of Mark.

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Sunday
Oct182009

Not Why but Wow

How many times have you caught yourself or heard others say things like: “Betty has just been diagnosed with …It is so hard to believe, she is the nicest person”? It is the Job dilemma. Why do bad things happen to good people and what does that say about a just and benevolent God? We can just hardly stand it. Maybe it harkens back to our earliest childhood when we were raised to think you were punished for the bad and praised for the good.

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Sunday
Oct112009

It's Not About You

Like you, I am very familiar with this story from the Gospel of Mark – I have heard it many, many times. Each time I hear that line, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” I cringe, at least a bit. And then as a preacher in a middle to upper-middle class, suburban church, I think to myself – “do I have to preach from this one again?” At the same time – it is a great piece of scripture that is rich and ripe for our daily living. It is one of those scriptures that never gets old and can easily span the distance of time – issues of wealth and what it means to be a follower of Jesus are as pertinent and challenging as they were 2000 years ago.

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