Much More Than We Deserve

Jesus tells a story in Matthew 20 that is known as the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.  It begins with a landowner going out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.  He agrees to pay the workers a denarius for their day’s work.  He goes out again at 9 a.m. and sees others standing and he hires them, saying he will “pay whatever is right.”  So, they begin their work at that time.  This happens again at noon and again at 3 p.m.  At about 5 p.m., he goes out and still finds others standing around.  He asks them why them have been standing there all day.  They answer that no one has hired them, so the landowner tells them to go work in his vineyard also…

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From Whom All Blessings Flow

Each week, during our worship services, our family of faith stands and sings the Doxology.  The words of this wonderful hymn of praise are from the hymn “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow,” written by Bishop Thomas Ken in the late 1600s.  The words of this hymn are…

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Luke 10:29-33

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion,”

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Galatians 3:27-28

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

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When We Listen To God

Millard and Linda Fuller were, by all accounts, a successful couple. By the age of 29, Millard was lawyer who was already worth over 1 million dollars.   Their hard work took a toll on their lives and their marriage. By age 30, the Fullers were spent. They were exhausted, and their marriage was on the rocks.

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Knowing Our Neighbors

Growing up in a rural community in western New York, I learned the importance of neighbors from my dad.  We lived at a Methodist campground which was surrounded by seasonal cottages and lakefront homes.  It was an idyllic setting in the finger lake region, with four complete seasons and many opportunities for outdoor recreation.

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Known By Your Fruit

I remember walking on our family farm in Missouri, with my little brother, when we were very young. There is an old abandoned road which runs down the east side of our property line. Our father would take us on walks and point out the interesting spots along “the old road.” He’d point out the wagon wheel ruts, show us left-behind horseshoes, and we’d walk by the old cemetery…

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Responding To The Need

When a natural disaster happens in Oklahoma, good people, neighbors and strangers alike, volunteer to help those who have been affected by these terrible circumstances. When our family lived in Tecumseh, OK, we experienced this firsthand. One beautiful spring night, the weather suddenly changed…

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God’s Not Finished With You

My father recently had his first driving accident.  This might not seem unusual until you understand that he’s 90 years old and has been driving for 74+ years.  He was a coast-to-coast truck driver for several years, so he’s logged thousands of miles during his lifetime.  A nearly pristine record! 

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Luke 10:25-29

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

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