Worship Service - July 4, 2021.
Time to go swimming, isn't it?
Their second text today is from Corinthians 12 to 2:10. This text is called strength from weakness.
You have forced me to talk this way, and I do it against my better judgment, but now that we're at it, I might as well get to the matter of visions and Revelations that God gave me for instance. I know man, who for 14 years was 14 years ago with Seas by Christ and swept, the Ecstasy of the heights of Heaven. I don't know if this took place in his body or if only it was in his Spirit God only knows but that's not the point, the point is God knows. He heard the Unspeakable spoken there but was forbidden to tell what he heard. This is the man I want to talk about. This man is myself and I'm not saying another word about it. A part for my humiliations to brag a little I could probably do without looking ridiculous and I still be speaking plain truth all the way but I'm going to spare you I don't want anyone imagined Me of anything other than the fool you'd encounter. If you saw me on the street or heard me talk because of the extravagance of those Revelations and because I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's Angel did his best to get me down. When is that what he did was push me to my knees? No danger of them walking around high-and-mighty. At first, I didn't think it was a gift and I begged God to remove it three times. I begged God and then God told me. My grace is enough. My grace is all you need. My strength comes into its own in our weakness. Once I heard that I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on my handicap and began appreciating a gift. It was a case of Christ strength, move, in my weakness. Now, I take my limitations in stride and was good cheer. These limitations that cut me down to size. Abuse accidents opposition, bad, bro. I just let Christ take over. And so, the weaker I get the stronger. I become Say that with me the weaker, I get the stronger. I become, Amen to that.
So it's the fourth of July and people are talking about freedom and what acts of Freedom. What celebrations? I don't know about you, but sometimes I'm not too happy to have the Fourth of July come into my neighborhood because I am certain our neighborhood spends, a million dollars in fireworks and this is no exaggeration. We have Tribal land in our neighborhood, and they take whatever they sell and they blow it off in my street. There was one charge of 250,000 that they blew off a few years ago that went for 20 minutes and shook the Pains of my hundred-year-old house. I was ready to kill someone at the end of
I do not like those loud noises. My dog has loud noises but I can't leave because there's a fire, every single Easter. So I have to water and wait. And I don't have a very good attitude about it. But I'm happy to preach on 4th of July here. Because how often do you get a sermon with boom?
Will the white Canary text for today? Say a lot about freedom. In the first story, Jesus goes to his hometown and attempts to do what he was born to do to teach the truth. But what happens? He gets rejected, almost immediately. He tries to reach the people, he loves the most and it first, they Marvel at his abilities. Is it? The boy? We knew? How did he get those smart-ass? I say, well, who does he think he is?
After this browbeating, Jesus sends his followers out and shows them the freedom of the road they priest with joyful urgency that life can be radically different and right and left, I sent the demons packing. They brought Wellness to the sick, they known as a body, they sealed their Spirit of freedom. They brought a new way of life. Evil was, not welcome Health anointing Wellness. That was quite a vision. Evan, I'm not freaking you out. I turn this out off, so we wouldn't get double feedback, just so there's Freedom right there. Putting that aside. They just don't fit my ears right? So we have the same as your freedom of health and wellness and anointing. And in the second text, we hear about Paul's Vision in heaven, shockingly. It turns out that a trip to heaven, doesn't eliminate all the Pains of life here on Earth. And the man, most gifted to tell the story of how Jesus's life changes, the world has to suffer with a malady that almost drives him crazy. What what doesn't Jesus make everything and everything healed. Will a lot of preachers today or for claiming that. I don't know if they're reading their Bible, but they're proclaiming it. I know it's not true. Jesus doesn't automatically make us healthy and Ritz
The passage is so us a lot about what freedom is clearly and what freedom is not freedom is about healing community service and Wellness. It's not about skepticism, rebuke and rejection. Of all the people who have ever lived, you would think Jesus was the most free yet his hometown. He was not seeing his who he really is. How many of you have had that experience?
How many you came from a family who really didn't get who you were?
Maybe head teachers or mentors or pastors? Who didn't get you? Maybe you never felt like you fit in.
You Are Not Alone.
Jesus, the very savior of the whole universe was not recognized among the people who should have known him best. And isn't that the rub? How many of us are not recognized by the people? We spend the most time with they don't see who we really are.
But what does this have to do with freedom? Many people think freedom is about doing exactly what you want to do. But we know that's our natural proclivity to follow our Pursuits and hungers so that we need more and more and more to fill us. Pretty soon. What we started out with thinking was Freedom becomes bonded and that can happen very, very quickly. I for one cannot eat one cookie. I don't have that freedom. I don't have the freedom to go out and run a marathon today. I have to train for it. I don't have the freedom sometimes to keep my mouth shut. But I tell you, I have more of that freedom that I did 20 years ago.
Freedom is not doing whatever the heck you want to do freedom is about being able to live as you were made to live. That's freedom. I believe it is Lord's own spirit that sets us free. The scriptures, give example, after example of the reality that freedom requires God's involvement Community Support, time and scripture and Grace, so much grace. Those involved in 12 step programs know that freedom only happens, one day at a time.
And so, we have to stay in the present to be free. We can't be thinking about yesterday and all the mistakes that we've made of the things that were left undone. We can't be thinking about tomorrow and how much better life's going to be when we get that car or that relationship? Or that number on the scale, whatever it is that you think it's going to make you really free. Freedom only happens in this moment. Freedom is a present for the present. And freedom requires Trust. Freedom requires, belief, Freedom requires Community or it just doesn't happen. Jesus came home and you can barely do anything because skepticism is a very powerful Shield against the good. It puts a wall around possibilities, even the Lord of Light, could break through it. So Church to be free, you have to be willing to believe in some possibilities for your community. You have to believe that the Lord is coming to be with you in this time just to the Lord has been with you in the past and we'll be with you in the future just to know that kind of circular presence of your window, all the things coming together in the Lord's, presence life is a spiral. It's not a straight line and we have to keep returning again and again to our struggles, but with the Lord were able to go deeper each time. Life isn't just a beginning and an end. It's the spiral Journey. The Irish were so good at describing where we keep having to go back to the things we loved and the things we struggled with and yet we're in Rich, each time and we grow more full with maturity. And so you're spiraling back to the time. That's in the life of this church, you haven't had for 19 years a time where you have to figure out who the Lord is calling you to be. Now you've had an extremely capable leader. You are extremely organized. I have never been greeted by a church like you all greet me.
You're incredible people. You're so organized. But I give you permission right now to relax a little bit.
The OCD among you are hating me for this.
But it's okay. It's okay, if things get messed up a little bit, you know why? Because when things get messed up, we laugh when my friend fell in the river, we had the most therapeutic laugh.
Atlanta releases endorphins. And he is our central nervous system and gives us new possibilities. So if you mess up it's okay, just laugh.
Cuz God's going to do something wonderful here. You just don't know what it is yet.
But if you get skeptical, if you say I what can happen here, things will never be the same. It's just not going to work. We tried that before. I want you to take that word that phrase out of Euro Cab you. Larry we tried that before does not apply to right now and right here. Be open to possibilities. Be open to God healing what wasn't healed before. That's freedom. And if it doesn't happen, if those same old problems, keep coming back, then you just say, well that's God asking us to get on our knees. That's God, reminding us it's not by our strength, but it's by God's strength. And so we're not relieved of our maladies, but it's okay.
cuz when you get your face cut, Hit by a rock in the river. Your nice scratched. If you can laugh about it, it's the same injury, but it doesn't hurt as much. Right. If you have someone to laugh at it with you, then it really doesn't hurt at all.
Forgot his pregnant with you and God is not going to leave you.
There are many reasons to be on edge these days. Oh my gosh. I have never seen people drive. Like, I've seen them drive over the last six months, you get out on Highway 16. And I'm at Daytona, 500. And I've got my side Heroes ready, and I've got my sport mode on my car. I'm like, all right, let's do this. Cuz people hit your ball. There was an article last week that said store, clerks have never seen the violence they seen that's going on right now. People getting in fist fights at the grocery store over brushing each other's shoulders. Because we are stressed out. The pandemic has weighed on us. How people have handled? The pandemic is wait on us. The heat has wait on us. A hundred and eleven. For three days last week, and I'm trying to hose my horse down for 6 hours. I was so crappy. I don't know about you all, but I don't do so well in 111, especially if I have to be outside and it for 6 hours. No wonder people are stressed and it's not just 111. You think to yourself, okay? If the temperature can go 50 degrees over normal in some places, what the heck is going to happen next year? It's terrifying.
And so, what do we do?
We do what we can do. We don't give up. We don't let skepticism put a shield up.
But we also realize that God is present as hot as it gets. I felt like Daniel and Shadrach Meshach.
The Lord is at the top.
So, how can we be free when our external circumstances are not in our control?
You have to lean into hope. We have to remember that God who saw us through will be present for us. One of the best ways to mitigate your stress is to help someone else. It's the great reset. It's the thing that gets us out of our Reptilian Brain have to survive and just us to that higher part of our synapses, we realize, okay. I can do this. We can do this. You're going to be called to do things, you have not had to do for 19 years straight up.
But you don't have to do the same that you've always done. This is a time of reimagining Who You Are.
But it's going to take all of you. You know the 80-20 rule, 20% of the people do 80% of the work and in the pastor's case that sometimes as 5% or the Bastyr, you had a very capable pastor, but it's going to take you all coming together to keep your body healthy connected and well You're going to have to check on each other. You're going to have to say. How's it going? Do you need a meal? Do you want to go for a walk? Could go get a cup of tea. You're going to have to check in with each other. And that can make you healthier and more receptive for your next iteration.
You're going to have to look outside of your own grief and stress. I pay attention to someone else cuz that's what you were made to do. That's freedom. And guess what? When you do that you start to heal yourself. Because service is what heals us know. I'm not talking about those of you here, who do most of the work. Those three or four of you this sermons, not for you, not this part. You're free to let other people do the job and they may do it differently than you do and they may not do it as well as you do, but that's okay. Because maybe they could be good at it someday. So I want you to think about sharing and leading into hope and putting aside skepticism and being a church family. I know one thing about you even though I don't know you and that's that if a pastor was able to survive you for 90 years, You do some pretty good thing, cuz churches can eat up pastors and spit them out.
So you've been nurturing, you know, how to do some of this, maybe you know, how to do all of it, so you can keep building on that. but I tell you what, you need to move forward, It's not a bunch of stuff. It's not a bunch of funds. It's a spirit of hospitality. cuz when those disciples went out, The way Shilling happened was when those people were willing to open their doors to them. Do you know who lives? In the four blocks around you. Have you as a church gone out to greet them and tell them you're here for them and that you'll pray for them. Because your job is church is not in this building as your primary mission. It's in these four to six blocks or in this community. Some of you come from further away but it's in reaching out to your neighborhood and letting them know that you're a people who love and serve.
And I want you to start thinking, not just about what goes on in here. But what goes on out there? Cuz when Jesus wanted the disciples to really understand Freedom, he didn't teach it to them in the temple, he taught it to them on the streets. because, when they started reaching out, Just started happening. Getting healed. Wellness started springing up in places all around like a little Springs coming off. The mountain Living Water happened, and living water is not still Living water has to move. And so people time to move, we go in your seat a little bit right now. It's time to move and I don't know where the Lord is going to take you. I don't know what you're going to be asked to do or to not do. Because remember, if you're asked to do something that usually means something you're doing, has to stop.
But I do know that living water is here and the Lord is going to get up behind you and pick you up, when you can't do it on your own strength.
We went down to the beach the other day as a sunset walk. Our family usually does and my son and his new wife about to have a baby. They had it. Now I'm a grandma or BB. There were four people in the water. Well actually three. At a young man who tried to enter three times and he was just too cold to get in the sound. He didn't have an ounce of body fat on him and obviously the woman was going to baptize him but he couldn't do it three times. He went into about here and then he ran out shivering as if I can't do it. I can't and I said to my son, I'm like Ahmad. And so, We Were Strangers, but my son went up and put his arm around him and said you don't have to do this alone. and so by his own strength, the man walked in and he was baptized in those frigid Waters, those Living Waters, those life-giving Waters.
And as we've laughed, he called out. And said, what's your name? I'm going to remember you all my life.
cuz when you need to go into the water,
God is with you. So be the Living Water for this community and for each other. The name of Christ, who calls you, who baptizes? You and who sets you out on a mission? Amen.