Hands: Forgiving Hands

During this Lenten season, we’ve been sharing a worship series entitled, Hands. In this series, we’ve been looking at some of the things Jesus did with his hands as a way to learn what God wants us to do with our hands not only during the season of Lent, but in every season of our lives. What have we’ve learned so far?

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Hands: Angry Hands

When Kate and I first started dating, I quickly realized something. She had not seen any of the movies from my childhood. I’d make a movie reference and it went right over her head. Now, her parents are good people who didn’t let their daughters watch movies of a crude or immature nature. So, consequently, Kate had been deprived of most of my favorite movies. Now, my parents were pretty discerning too, but I grew up on a healthy diet of Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Chris Farley, and Adam Sandler--in large part because I had friends whose parents weren’t quite so discerning.

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Hands: Healing Hands

Have you ever noticed how many phrases in the English language refer to our “hands”? We say things like: Raise your hand. Can you lend me a hand? Look at your hands. You better watch your hands! May I see a show of hands? Hold my hand. I had the winning hand! Did you wash your hands? Give her a hand! You’ve got to hand it to him. Let’s all join hands. Hands are part of our everyday language and lives. And so, this Lenten season, we’re talking about hands. Through a worship series entitled Hands, we’re talking about some of the things Jesus did with his hands, as a way to learn some things God wants us to do with our hands.

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Hands: Praying Hands

I’d like to begin this morning’s message by inviting you to look at your hands.  Hands they are an interesting part of the human anatomy, aren’t they?  In fact, scientists say our hands are one of the things that separate us from other creatures in the animal kingdom.  Our hands are one of the things that makes human beings human.

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iResolve Part 6: To Make a Difference

I’ve been thinking lately about risk. Not just because of the recent volatility of the stock market. Life is inherently full of risk and we spend our days trying to determine which are good risks and which are foolish. A well managed portfolio with risk tailored to your age and stage in life? Good risk. Skydiving without a backup parachute? Foolish risk.

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iResolve Part 4: To See the Cup Half Full

So, earlier this week I watched an interview with Marc Randolph. Randolph is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of a fairly successful company you may have heard of. The company is called Netflix. Over the last twenty years, Netflix has grown from a small video rental startup into a multi-billion- dollar corporation.

Anyway, during the interview Randolph, who successfully started five other companies, was asked if he could name some traits that make for an effective entrepreneur? Randolph thought for a minute, and then he said, “I think one of the most important traits an effective entrepreneur must have is an incredibly positive attitude! That’s because starting a company is tough! And sometimes, having a positive attitude is the only thing that keeps you going!”

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iResolve Part 3: To Address the Problem of Prejudice

In 1945, as WW2 was coming to an end, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote a speech reflecting on the tragedy of the war. “If civilization is to survive” he wrote, “people of all kinds must learn to live together in the same world, at peace.” Unfortunately, Roosevelt died before his speech could be delivered. And yet, the words he wrote still ring true, don’t they? I mean over and over again in the last few years we’ve witnessed terrible tragedies caused by the fact that people who differ from each other can’t seem to find a way live together in peace. And over and over again in the last few weeks we’ve we heard a lot of rhetoric.

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iResolve Part 1: To follow The Light

Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? I don’t know if you are aware of it, but there is a great deal of debate about whether we ought to make resolutions or not. For example, some people say making New Year’s resolutions is pointless because studies show that most people break them within the first few months.

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Carols of Christmas Part 5: Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

Well friends, here we are – the Sunday after Christmas. The packages have all been opened. Leftovers have been eaten. Our guests have gone home. In fact, some of you may have already put away the decorations feeling that Christmas is over for the year. It is the week after Christmas, and it feels anti-climactic. We are in the valley between the holiday high last week and the dawning of a new year ripe with possibility. Today, we are just stuck in the middle. We are in a “gap.”

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Carols of Christmas Part 2: Prepare Him Room

Have you heard the story about the little boy who wanted to get ready for Christmas the right way? Instead of writing the traditional letter to Santa Claus, he decided to write a letter to Jesus – the real reason for the season.  So, one day he got out pen and a piece of paper and sat down at the kitchen table.  

“Dear Jesus,” he wrote, “I’ve been a really good boy this year.” Then he thought about some of the things he’d done, and decided to tear up the piece of paper.  

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Boundless Part 6: Boundless Thanks

A pastor went to visit a church member who was having some problems with her vision.  “It’s been tough,” she said, “I can’t read the newspaper anymore without a magnifying glass. When I watch TV the screen is really blurry. I even have trouble recognizing my grandchildren when they come to visit me.”

“Wow,” the pastor replied, “That must be tough!”  

“Yeah,” the woman said, “But to tell you the truth. In the midst of all this trouble with my eyes there’s still one thing I’m thankful for.”  

“What’s that?” the pastor asked.  

The woman smiled, and said, “I can still drive!”  

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Boundless Part 4: A Terrific Investment

I recently ran across a financial planning website that listed some “Signs You May Be Receiving Bad Investment Advice.” The website said, “You may be receiving bad investment advice if your financial planner calls and says, ‘I have some bad news, and some worse news!’ When you ask him what the bad news is, he says, ‘All your money will be gone in 24 hours.’ When you ask him what the worse news is, he says, ‘I was supposed to call you yesterday!’”

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Boundless Part 3: America's Got Talent, And So Do You!

Now, I want to get one thing out of the way from the start. The title of this sermon is, “America’s Got Talent and So Do You.” And, I have to be honest that I’ve never seen an episode of America’s Got Talent. Seriously. I’m a millennial and we don’t watch TV in the same way. For me, TV is a mixture of Netflix and YouTube. The only television I watch in realtime is sports and even that is through an app half of the time. So, I’ve seen clips of America’s Got Talent, like the girl with the ukulele. Grace VanderWaal? She was amazing. Like a young Taylor Swift back when Taylor Swift was good. I mean seriously, the new stuff is just not good.

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Boundless Part 2: It Takes Technique

If you were here last Sunday you know we launched our new generosity initiative - Boundless!  Through this initiative we are raising 6 million dollars which we’re going to use do four important things.  

  1. We’re going to resource our budget for the next two years.   
  2. We’re going to quadruple our giving to missions.
  3. We’re going to retire our $250,000 debt on our worship center. 
  4. We’re going to complete some much-needed enhancements to our facility! 

To help us reach the goal of our generosity initiative, and grow in our ability to live more generous lives, we began a 4-week worship series last Sunday entitled, “Boundless.”

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