All posts by Pastor Kim

Running a Marathon

Ted and I have a niece who just finished the Boston marathon and did well in spite of the conditions.  Well, life is a marathon.  Sometimes we nail it, sometimes we don’t.  Most of the time there is another day to try again. Life is better with people in a faith community who cheer us on, hand us water and nourishment, and wrap us in cheers and blankets.

We have our ups and downs. We all carry a certain amount of baggage from the families who raised us, the culture we both observe and are captured by, our own decisions, and the decisions of others whom we care about, but do not control.

Through it all, I choose to believe in a God of unconditional love based on the evidence that my life is better when I trust this God.  And I see many, many others in this church and beyond our church for whom this is also true.  Some of the time I actually live my trust.

Always we are blessed when others are honest with their struggles and their insights.

Grace and Peace, Kim

“How Can I Figure Out God’s Will for My Life?” Sermon on April 22nd

Scriptures

Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.

Romans 12:2 Common English Bible (CEB) version

Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God;                    

Colossians 1:9-10  CEB

 Sermon Notes

  1.   Problems with God scripting our every move include:
  • Is God responsible for all the bad things that happen. Then God is not loving, merciful and just as the Bible says.
  • What is the purpose of life?  Robots doing exactly what God asks them to do for millions of years is not much of a purpose
  • If God has planned everything we do why is evil frowned upon?

2.   The Plan: What if the “Plan” is more that you and I will be in collaboration with God in creating the script that is our life?  God’s will is always that we make the faithful choice.

3.   When people collaborate with God amazing God-incidences do happen.

“Why Do My Prayers Go Unanswered?” Sermon on April 15th

Faithful prayers take this form:

  • Thanks Tell God how much Easter love means to you and thank God for the blessings in your life.
  • Help Tell God where you need more strength, courage, faith and pray for others and our world. Ask God how you can be part of helping the ones you are praying for.
  • Sorry Tell God where you know you are messing up and ask where you need to be changed.
  • Wow End with THY will be done for YOURS is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

“Why Do the Innocent Suffer?” Sermon on April 8th

Trust in Jesus and belief in the resurrection does not mean we will never face challenges or suffering. What does our Easter faith say to the big questions? This morning, Pastor Kim’s message explores “Why do the Innocent Suffer?”

Sermon Notes

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.
          Psalm 22: 1-2  NRSV

#1 Christians are called to be and know about “good news”

To counteract constant bad news visit these sites regularly:

#2 So our faith does mean our behavior should improve, and mature faith means we operate on the highest level we are capable of no matter how other people are behaving.  But it does not mean that because we are faithful we will never suffer.

#3 There are lots of reasons the innocent suffer this side of heaven. But never is it God’s will.

“Look Up” Easter sermon on April 1, 2018

Based on Mark 16:1-4

Sermon Notes:  Easter Sunday   April 1 2018

“When they looked up, they saw the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back!”   Mark 16: 4

#1 Easter is God’s gift that says don’t focus on your worries, don’t focus on the storm,  look up to me.

#2 Easter says even in your worst nightmare: Look up.  Keep the focus on a Savior Even and especially when you can’t see it. Even and especially when you can’t feel.

#3 Looking up with Easter faith means we are meant for community.

“Stand Up” Palm Sunday Sermon

Sermon Notes

“Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: 

‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.
Look, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey’s colt!’”              John 12: 14-15 NRSV

#1 Jesus sits up but ­­­­­­­­­in our midst not ‘Lording it over us’.

#2 Jesus sits up to live out God’s faithfulness and love.  This is another way of saying God is faithful to the Covenant God voluntarily makes with us.

#3 Jesus sits up to take on our suffering and death and to defeat these enemies with love and life.

Changing Lives

You are changing lives by being Christ’s warm transforming love:

During the past several months, Jane and I have been the recipient of an outpouring of support, prayers, phone calls, cards and emails from many of you, which has been overwhelming.  The time you took to contact us made a big difference and will not be soon forgotten.  Thankfully, I am much improved as I write this.  We are now anticipating returning to North Ferrisburgh this summer and seeing everyone again. You – our Vermont church family – are the best and you provided much comfort and gave us hope!  Feeling blessed, and with gratitude, Bruce Werner

I cannot even begin to tell you how much your cards, emails and prayers have meant to me. You have been God’s arms around me during this crazy time. When we moved to Charlotte 13 years ago, we were blessed to find you.  Much love, Jill Wilkens

“I am sorry to be so late thanking you for the Christmas gifts. I was alone Christmas with my husband Sam in the Arbors and my children away. I was feeling sorry for myself when Chick came with all the wonderful gifts!  It made my day that someone cared. Thank you for caring and making my holiday so nice.  God bless, Joan Cutting.” (Joan is one of our shut-ins who received the Craft gifts in December)

Grace and Peace, Kim

“Lift Up” sermon on March 18th

Pastor Kim’s message is based on John 12: 20-33 . Jesus came so that all people could be lifted up into God’s love. What uplifting message do we pass on to others?

Sermon Notes 

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23       John 12: 20-22

  1.  Are we open to people we least expect being open to Jesus?

Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.          John 12: 23-26

2.  So Jesus attracts us by love for love.  Jesus reaches most people through friendships with other people.

3.  Put a name down after each category below of someone you would invite to try something at our church: worship, Mid-week study, Alpha, Men’s group Wildberries etc.  But first pray about this and let the Spirit guide you and that person.

a. friend

b. family member

c. neighbor

d. co-worker

 

“Light Up” sermon on March 11th

Pastor Kim’s sermon text is John 3:14-21 NRSV

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.      John 3:14 NRSV

  1. When we are facing a tough challenge is our first thought to the ways God has been faithful to us in the past or is our first thought about how we can’t possibly deserve this current challenge and why isn’t God erasing it without any effort on our part?
  2. Do we believe that there are no problems for Christians only opportunities to live our faith?
  3. Love yourself enough to be honest about your own darkness, and love Jesus enough to get to welcome his love into your life so that you are on the path to healing, the path of love.  That is the Christian path to living joyfully, courageously, and hopefully in the present.

Why Bodhidharma Went to Howard Johnson’s
“Where is your home,” the interviewer asked him.
Here.
“No, no,” the interviewer said, thinking it a problem of translation,
“when you are where you actually live.”
Now it was his turn to think, perhaps the translation?
~ Jane Hirshfield ~
(The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry)

“Take Up Your Cross” sermon on March 4th

What does it mean to take up our cross?  Christians are NOT to take up unnecessary suffering.  We are to be faithful witnesses to Jesus’ love, no matter the cost.

Sermon Notes:

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?    

Mark 8:34-37 New Revised Standard Version

We have choices if we are to take up the cross:

  1. The first choice is to run from or run towards our transformation in Christ.
  2. The second choice is: Have we come to die to selfishness?
  3. The third choice: Are we following a transformed cross?