Oct 23, 2016
An Empty Cup
Series: (All)
October 23, 2016. After illustrating with a skit the Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector in Luke 18:10-14, Pastor Penny talks about our need to come to God with an empty cup. The Pharisee in the story came seeking God's favor, his cup already full of what he thought was his virtue. But the tax collector came with his head down and acknowledged his sins. Is there something of the Pharisee in us? In our highly polarized society, how can we find common ground with our brothers and sisters? How can we come to God with an empty cup? *** [Keywords: Dianne Deck Luke 18:10-14 Pharisee Tax Collector Tom Palazzolo Twin Cities accomplishments beg for mercy beverage brothers burden chaplain common ground common sense confession cup already full diluted domestic violence simulation effective government empty cup fear firearms training fly by night offer forgiveness gun head down highly polarized society homeless industrious integrity justification justified mug narrow minded product racist remorse richness seeking God's favor self made self sufficient selfishness sinner sisters skit thin trigger virtues wedge]
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  • Oct 23, 2016An Empty Cup
    Oct 23, 2016
    An Empty Cup
    Series: (All)
    October 23, 2016. After illustrating with a skit the Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector in Luke 18:10-14, Pastor Penny talks about our need to come to God with an empty cup. The Pharisee in the story came seeking God's favor, his cup already full of what he thought was his virtue. But the tax collector came with his head down and acknowledged his sins. Is there something of the Pharisee in us? In our highly polarized society, how can we find common ground with our brothers and sisters? How can we come to God with an empty cup? *** [Keywords: Dianne Deck Luke 18:10-14 Pharisee Tax Collector Tom Palazzolo Twin Cities accomplishments beg for mercy beverage brothers burden chaplain common ground common sense confession cup already full diluted domestic violence simulation effective government empty cup fear firearms training fly by night offer forgiveness gun head down highly polarized society homeless industrious integrity justification justified mug narrow minded product racist remorse richness seeking God's favor self made self sufficient selfishness sinner sisters skit thin trigger virtues wedge]
  • Oct 16, 2016Persistence and Earnestness
    Oct 16, 2016
    Persistence and Earnestness
    Series: (All)
    October 16, 2016. Pastor Keith preaches on the Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge, from Luke 18:3-8. Throughout his ministry, Jesus lifted up those not worthy in the eyes of society: lepers, tax collectors, children, widows. For us, working for advocacy and a more just world is difficult. It can take daily prayer, and persistence like that of the widow in the story. Like Jesus, we know we won't escape all pain, but we also know that our earnestness can get God's attention and make all the difference. *** [Keywords: Argentina Buenos Aires Kingdom of God Luke 18:3-8 Pharisee Plaza de Mayo Roman culture advocacy authorities children dictator disappearance discipline earnestness economic support elected fairness husband impossible for mortals just world justice leper persistence possible for God prayer partner praying protests rallies regular prayer sit-ins tax collector two way street unjust judge where is my child widow women worthy]
  • Oct 9, 2016Being Grateful
    Oct 9, 2016
    Being Grateful
    Series: (All)
    October 9, 2016. How do we have a thankful heart? Pastor Penny preaches on Luke 17:11-19, in which Jesus heals ten people with leprosy, but only one, a Samaritan, returns to thank him. Would we be one of the nine, or the one? Do we feel a sense of entitlement because we're Christians? How can we learn to be more grateful? *** [Keywords: A. J. Jacobs ALS Babylonians Constitution Declaration of Independence Hansen's disease Jerusalem Jews Judaism Luke 17:11-19 Miranda rights Mount Gerizim Samaritan The Year of Living Biblically Torah bear arms behavioral disability cancer chosen people cruel deserved earned endowed by their Creator entitlement gift half breeds hate healing leprosy mental illness mercy right to life rights rules shunned skin thanked thankful heart thankfulness unclean]
  • Oct 2, 2016Legacy of Care
    Oct 2, 2016
    Legacy of Care
    Series: (All)
    October 2, 2016. Today Pastor Penny talks about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. He was eccentric and impractical, but after spending time in prison he had a spiritual conversion, giving away all his possessions and preaching repentance. Is it possible that in our society today, we have too many possessions taking up our time and energy? Taking away from our families, our communities, and our world? How can we face our failures and have the power and courage to live a life of care, for others and for creation? How can we leave a legacy of care? *** [Keywords: Gospel of Matthew Italy Rome Saint Francis of Assisi Siena St. Peter's Cathedral addictive clothes compromise dangerous eccentric food guns impractical isolated joyful legacy of care leprosy lethal life of care lighten the load luggage military money party line polarities poor possessions prison public transportation reverence sharing shelter sister death smaller houses spiritual conversion up movie upgrade cell phone values womanizer]
  • Sep 25, 2016Closing the Gaps
    Sep 25, 2016
    Closing the Gaps
    Series: (All)
    September 25, 2016. What divides us? Pastor Keith preaches on the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Too often we are slow to see the realities of those around us. Too often we do not act to make changes so that everyone has enough. But Jesus offers us another way we might live. It's not easy. It takes time, patience, and persistence. But if we really get to know the people around us, we can work to close the gaps. *** [Keywords: 9/11 Dallas ELCA Ferguson John Wesley Lazarus Luke 16:19-31 Muslim Rich Man Zacchaeus alarm will sound artificial lines churchwide assembly closing the gaps comfort zone conspicuous consumption divisions doctrine of discovery dogs eyes gain all you can give all you can hell kingdom licked paradise patience persistence privilege remember repudiation revolutionary love save all you can scary scraps shootings slaves strength time turban wealth will wounds]
  • Sep 18, 2016Children of Light
    Sep 18, 2016
    Children of Light
    Series: (All)
    September 18, 2016. Today's sermon begins with a skit dramatizing the Parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16:1-13. Pastor Penny then asks us why Jesus told this story, and what we are meant to learn. She compares us to the title character in the movie The Truman Show, who thought he lived in a natural world, but found out by accident that he was really trapped in a reality TV show. Are we in some ways trapped too, in a life we see as being all about ourselves and our success? Truman found a way out of his predicament. Can we find a way out too? Can we become what Jesus called Children of Light? To answer this question, Jesus offers us two pieces of advice and a promise. His answer is all that we have, but it's also all we need. *** [Keywords: God Karen Wood Katrina Lynn Luke 16:1-13 Parable of the Shrewd Manager Roger Rose Steve McCarty Truman Show accident actors adjusting loans advice all we have all we need broadcasting buying friends Children of Light community dishonest wealth dramatization eternity expense of others fired focused forgive get involved managers money new identity observant ocean own our lives persistent promise reality TV share shrewd simulated weather ski skit snorkel support take risks this generation trapped two worlds wealth welcome welcoming winner]
  • Sep 11, 2016Stuck in the Weeds
    Sep 11, 2016
    Stuck in the Weeds
    Series: (All)
    September 11, 2016. Today Pastor Penny talks about outcasts of society. We tend to think of ourselves as respectful, hardworking, and good people. We have confidence in ourselves. But that confidence can be shaken, by terrorists attacking our cities, by downturns affecting our economy. Now Jesus is asking us to consider how secure our sense of confidence is when, like the Pharisees in the gospels, we often don't treat those on the fringes of society the same as we treat others. We tend to get stuck in the spiritual weeds of selfishness, bigotry, and anger. But just as God loved even the Pharisees, he loves us. This gives us a sense of humility and of gratitude, and the question becomes not how can we love the outcasts of society, but how can we find them and show them that God loves them too. *** [Keywords: Jesus Pharisees angry bigoted children of God class clown class reunion confidence criminals degenerate people dregs of society drink responsibly drug addicts economic downturn field fringes good people gratitude grudges hardworking high school humility ingrates investments jealous jeopardy judgemental losers nurse practitioner outcasts prostitutes radical terrorists receive respectful robe security selfishness shattered stuck ulterior motives weeds]
  • Sep 4, 2016The Choice of Discipleship
    Sep 4, 2016
    The Choice of Discipleship
    Series: (All)
    September 4, 2016. Following Jesus is not a joyride, but rather a new kind of lifestyle. It's a commitment that comes with a cost: potentially being at odds with your family, your community, and the world. But Pastor Keith says that maybe we should stop thinking of it as a "cost" and instead think of it as a "choice." When Jesus suffered and died, he paid the cost. We choose to be in relationship with him and accept the opportunity to receive this gift and follow him. We want to reflect his love and goodness, and the abundant care of God in all our relationships with others. *** [Keywords: Carolyn Lewis Jacob Labor Day Leah Martin Luther New Orleans Onesimus Paul Philemon Rachel abundant care choice commitment cost crowds discipleship fair wages goodness hate identity Jesus joyride king love marriage new kind of lifestyle perpetual polygamy sacrifices second place slave tower unconditional war wedding ring of faith workers]
  • Aug 28, 2016How Can We Not Invite?
    Aug 28, 2016
    How Can We Not Invite?
    Series: (All)
    August 28, 2016. In Jesus' day, it was honorable to give to the poor. But to invite them to your table was shameful. Today, Pastor Penny issues us a challenge: let's help God grow our congregation by inviting people in. Sometimes we are afraid to be seen as "Bible thumping Christians." But if we don't invite people to join us, to share with them the rich food of faith that God has heaped on our plates, are we like the Pharisees in the gospels who hoarded the banquet for themselves? *** [Keywords: Aaron Elliot Bible thumping Emmy Jason Multiple Sclerosis Pharisees Potluck and Praise anchor banquet feast grandfather growing guest list hoarding honeymoon invitation invite a friend inviting non-denominational reception rich food of faith shared youth coordinator skilled nursing center unchurched wedding planning wheelchair]
  • Aug 21, 2016Breaking the Rules
    Aug 21, 2016
    Breaking the Rules
    Series: (All)
    August 21, 2016. Today Pastor Penny preaches on the story of Jesus healing the disabled woman in the synagogue on the Sabbath, in Luke 13:10-17. If laws are allowed to be broken, the whole system can fall apart. But what if blindly following laws results in some people in society becoming invisible to us? What if we end up seeing only one side of an issue, the side that benefits us and does not challenge our beliefs? How can we free ourselves of this? Jesus' answer to the synagogue leader's indignance was to point out his hypocrisy. Might Jesus be an answer for us as well? *** [Keywords: African American Angela Martin Broken Windows theory Luke 13:10-17 Native Americans Philando Castile Sabbath St. Paul, Minnesota Whitney Plantation, Louisiana beliefs benefit bent over bridge challenge criminology daughter of Abraham deceiver disability disabled ex-con freed gay healed healing hypocrisy hypocrite insulated invisible issue judgement killing law lesbian liar one side one thing leads to another police pretender selfish selfishness share slave status suicide synagogue leader woman]