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Renew Your Faith

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Renew Your Faith

RENEW International

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THE MISSION OF RENEW INTERNATIONAL To renew personal faith and parish life— unlocking the power of small groups by equipping laity and clergy to share their Catholic faith and live it every day. RENEW International is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. http://www.renewintl.org/
 
FAITH is the 'substance' we are told but how do we make use of this substance in a real tangible way? Your Faith Matters is a weekly radio broadcast aired Sunday 7 am from London then converted into this podcast to reach those who would like to know how faith is turned into works! I interview people like you and me who share their life's journey and how they make their faith matter wherever they are. Apostle James said, 'what good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not ...
 
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The Messiah’s Genealogy As tedious as these may be they are very necessary. In this case it is to be able to prove you are the Messiah. The Jews kept excellent records even during their captivity in Babylon. Genealogies were also used for other purposes such as taxes and land ownership. In this episode we will be looking at the details in both Matt…
 
Paul Preaches on Mars Hill The chapter begins with Paul, Silas & Company entering into Thessalonica and as their custom preached in the synagogue. Some were persuaded while others rose up in opposition. After Jason’s house was attacked they escorted Paul and Silas to Berea. The pattern of evangelism and discipleship continued. Once again persecutio…
 
Notes for Sermon on the Second Sunday of Advent at Faith, Okemos, December 5, 2021 based on Luke 3:1-6 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius…the word of God came to John. And in this first year of Joseph Biden’s presidency….when Gretchen Whitmer is governor, Elissa Slotkin, our district 8 congressional representative, Debbie Staben…
 
Old Testament Prophecies A general rundown on the major prophecies concerning the birth of Christ. This will set as a foundation for each future section and will give more detail then. One of the reasons for these is to tell us how to recognize the Messiah and validate the true one, namely Jesus Christ of Nazareth. For example the Messiah had to ha…
 
Introduction The Christmas Series starts off with an introduction (Episode #1 or #74 in radio broadcasts) of 13 separate topics related to the birth of Christ. These topics focus on the different aspects to the birth taken from Matthew and Luke although we start of with OT prophecies. The series continues with the following episodes: #2 Old Testame…
 
Miraculous Release From Imprisonment After Paul & Silas are beaten they are thrown into the local jail. While in stocks in the inner part of the prison they start to sing songs about midnight. An earthquake caused the prison to be shaken and all the doors opened. Because no one escaped the jailer came to faith in Jesus Christ. Afterward his whole f…
 
Over the past week and a half, while struggling to get well after being quite ill, I became increasingly aware of the way we are living in a time of tension between the quarantine lockdown of 2020 and a hopeful future time when we might, just might move beyond Covid-19. This present time is fraught with disease, danger, and chaos. And, what is blat…
 
Thanksgiving Special 2021 – Give thanks to the Lord out of Psalm 107:10-21 and in contrast Rom 1:21. Most of this episode is taken from episode 35 “Delivered out of Darkness from 2018. Personal testimony about salvation and deliverance from heroin addiction. Ideas for sharing your faith during Thanksgiving & “Black Friday”. A Gospel presentation. E…
 
This has been an interesting week in our household My two boys are enrolled in One Wild Life Learning Community for school They began this school group last year and continue this year This week their two teachers have been home recovering from covid All of the kids have remained healthy, and I’ve had an up-close opportunity to observe their learni…
 
The Macedonian Call We are introduced to Timothy. Luke also now joins Paul as he takes his party to Macedonia after having a vision from God. Entering the foremost colony of Philippi they find some women at the riverside meeting for prayer. Paul’s custom of going to the synagogue to preach first was apparently diverted. It takes a certain amount of…
 
Episode 72 Recorded Oct 31, 2021 & Posted Nov 15, 2021. This is a sermon I did as a guest speaker at Alameda Chapel on the morning of Halloween. (Later that evening we did some street preaching in downtown Alameda.) My main text is taken from 2 Timothy 2 :6-9 where Paul is exhorting Timothy not to be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor him. A…
 
Today’s gospel reading from Mark is guaranteed to raise one’s heart rate a bit as Jesus begins to tell the disciples about signs of the end of the age. This entire chapter in Mark's gospel is called the little apocalypse because it falls into the genre of apocalyptic writing. Apocalyptic literature was a special kind of writing that was very popula…
 
Throughout this pandemic, I feel as though we have been living what one theologian calls “the Saturdays of our lives.” The Saturdays of our lives represent those despairing places in life between the crucifixion of Good Friday and the resurrection of Sunday morning. They represent the stench of death we have experienced and felt throughout this pan…
 
It often seems as though we are presently living in a post-truth culture. Michiko Kakutani is a writer and former chief book critic for The New York Times. In 2018, she wrote an excellent article titled “The death of truth: how we gave up on facts.” In that article, Kakutani eloquently describes the disease of “truth decay” and the way it is permea…
 
Conflict & The Jerusalem Council False brethren came in adding circumcision to the work of Christ and causing division. Paul and company were sent by the church in Antioch to Jerusalem to confer with the leaders over this matter. After debate, testimony, and Scripture they send a decree by letter back to the church in Antioch. Several brethren, one…
 
The trajectory of Mark’s gospel is so very interesting. The central section of Mark’s gospel focuses on Jesus’ teaching about discipleship, and it is book-ended by two stories of Jesus healing persons who are blind. Today’s story of blind Bartimaeus, is the second of the bookend stories and it marks the end of the discipleship section. It also pres…
 
Preaching – Miracles & Stoning Paul & Barnabas on the move preaching and making disciples. They get strong opposition from the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles. A man is healed in Lystra as the crowds initially think the team are gods decide to stone them a short time later. Paul returns to the city alive before leaving for Derbe. Once there they prea…
 
I have had the opportunity of traveling to Washington DC numerous times in my life. And, each time, as I get closer to the city, I feel a certain excitement rise within me as I approach the seat of power in this country. I feel a sense of reverence as I remember our country’s history. And, as I see all the monuments, the Capital building, and the W…
 
Paul’s Preaching in DetailAfter an invitation by the synagogue leader Paul gives a Gospel presentation beginning with the history of the Jewish nation transitioning into the death and resurrection of Christ. He leaves them with an appeal and warning. Most of the Jews reject but the Gentiles are soaking it up and hear with joy. Many are saved before…
 
As Rich just reminded us this morning, we have come to that time of year when we intentionally place a focus on Stewardship. So, it is fitting that we are given a gospel reading that speaks about wealth, money and all the “stuff” we think we must possess. I realize money, and the multiple issues, challenges, and questions concerning money, are not …
 
How to Handle Halloween - RevisitedEpisode 71 Oct 7, 2021 Originally broadcasted back in 2018 when the show was an hour long. I took the best parts, did some editing and came up with this half-hour version. Witnessing on the devil’s night. Included: a parody Halloween invitation in poetry form, some ideas on how to turn Halloween into an evangelist…
 
One of the things I just love about scripture is that the stories we read and hear are truly our stories. They are about us and tell us so much about our identity as human beings. And, today’s reading is so very enlightening. In our first reading from Numbers, we find that Moses is truly overwhelmed and weary as he tries to lead this throng of Isra…
 
St. Thomas Aquinas once said, “Fear is such a powerful emotion for humans that when we allow it to take over within us, it drives compassion right out of our hearts.” Change, transition, uncertainty, chaos and earth-shattering news all create within us a sense of fear. Fear has plagued our culture and the world throughout this pandemic, and we have…
 
This pandemic has presented anyone in a leadership position with multiple challenges that were unforeseen. There’s no “playbook” for leadership when the stakes are high, and there’s certainly no playbook for what to do in the face of a 21st Century pandemic. Many of you are leaders in your profession and you have no doubt discovered these challenge…
 
It is good to be back with you. I am deeply grateful for the time I spent away. It was wonderful to let go of all the clutter in life and the clutter in my head. It was refreshing to let go of work and deadlines, and just play with my grandson. It was life-giving to spend priceless time with him, my son and daughter-in-law, and simply enjoy being w…
 
Grace to you and Peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor Ellen sent me a sermon that she used a few years ago when we had the Gospel lesson we are using today. She told me to “make it my own”, so here goes. I suspect that most of you are familiar with Pig-Pen, a major character in the Peanuts comic strip created by Charles Schu…
 
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost August 22, 2021 Faith, Okemos Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18, Psalm 34:15-22, Ephesians 6:10-20, John 6:56-69 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18 Who of us who has seen this week the pictures of those on the tarmac, some even clinging to a departing plane at the airpo…
 
When my kids were young and I was home with them there was a period of time when I baked all of our bread Yeast bread is not difficult to make It requires just a few staple ingredients But it does take time It is a process that requires revisiting the dough many times It is a process that cannot be rushed It is a process that is dependent upon the …
 
Sometimes Jesus is so annoying We are in the midst of the Gospel of John’s discourse on the Bread of Life It began a couple of weeks ago when Pastor Ellen read about the miracle of the loaves and fish feeding 5,000 people Everyone is in awe of witnessing this incredible miracle Jesus has them in a really good place He captured their attention in a …
 
I find it interesting the way words change meaning and morph over time. For example, at one time when we used the word text to tell of our Sunday morning gospel, we could count on the fact that people would interpret it as a passage from one of the gospels. However, the meaning of the word text has changed remarkably with the invention of iPhones a…
 
I am sure many of you are familiar with the movie Forrest Gump. If you know the story, you will remember the part where Forrest begins running. As he runs and runs and runs, a crowd begins to follow him, and the people cannot seem to get enough of what they see as they watch him continue to run. Then, at one point, Forrest simply decides he is done…
 
In June of 1990, I had the privilege of traveling throughout Europe while performing in several countries. I accompanied the Mona Shores Choir, directed the Handbell Choir, and gave organ recitals in St. Petersburg, in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and The Netherlands. It was a remarkable experience for which I am deeply grateful. At one point…
 
I was ordained on the evening of Thursday, August 30, 2012, at St. Ansgar Lutheran Church in Portland, ME. In that same service, I was installed to serve as Associate Pastor to the people of St. Ansgar. I vividly remember my ordination, and I vividly remember the weight of the questions Bishop Margaret Paine asked me during that service. When pasto…
 
I mentioned in last week’s sermon that, while I feel joy as we regather, I am also feeling a certain kind of grief and sadness. I grieve because I know the church is not going to be what it was pre-Covid. This is proving true across the board for churches of all denominations, not just us. As we begin the process of regathering, I am fully aware th…
 
As we adapt to a new normal, while hopefully coming to the end of Covid-19, we are facing yet another challenge, a new form of social anxiety. Over the past year and a half, we were forced to physically distance from family and friends, and many of us spent most of that time in our homes, with video calls and Zoom events becoming the primary means …
 
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