Aug 19, 2012
God Has A Plan

This Sunday we begin a four-part sermon series centered on God's vision for our church. I hope you'll join us in prayer throughout August and September as we identify and answer God's call for VUMC.

                               Grace and peace, Pastor Bob

Nehemiah 1:1-11

1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:

In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. " 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:"Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. 8 "Remember "Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.' 10 "They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man." I was cupbearer to the king.
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  • Aug 19, 2012God Has A Plan
    Aug 19, 2012
    God Has A Plan

    This Sunday we begin a four-part sermon series centered on God's vision for our church. I hope you'll join us in prayer throughout August and September as we identify and answer God's call for VUMC.

                                   Grace and peace, Pastor Bob

    Nehemiah 1:1-11

    1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:

    In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. " 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:"Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. 8 "Remember "Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.' 10 "They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man." I was cupbearer to the king.
  • Aug 12, 2012The Way to Heaven
    Aug 12, 2012
    The Way to Heaven
  • Aug 5, 2012By What Measure?
    Aug 5, 2012
    By What Measure?
    Series: Life 101
    This is one of Jesus' most important AND most misunderstood teachings. The hypocritical judgments of the Pharisees and teachers of the law were a constant target of Jesus' criticisms. To judge another not on the basis of their heart but on superficial assumptions was absolutely sinful in Jesus' eyes. At the same time, Jesus constantly warned his followers about false teachers. Without some means of judgment, how were they to know who these teachers were? As with all things in the Sermon on the Mount, the key is our relationship to our Heavenly Father. God's Spirit of Truth will guide us in making discerning and fair judgments about others. This same Spirit will lead us to judge not with a vitriolic attitude of condemnation but with a merciful and loving desire for the good of all.
  • Jul 22, 2012He Will Provide
    Jul 22, 2012
    He Will Provide
    Series: Life 101
    A sermon based on Luke 6:19-34

    Matthew 6:19-34

    19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
    25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
    28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdomand his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
  • Jul 15, 2012When Worship is Upside-Down
    Jul 15, 2012
    When Worship is Upside-Down
    Series: Life 101
  • Jul 8, 2012Living in the Second Mile
    Jul 8, 2012
    Living in the Second Mile
    Series: Life 101
    When it comes to worship, is it really all about me? Over the last twenty-fives years or so, there has been a lot of discussion of "me-ism" in the church. Using marketing techniques crafted to appeal to the masses who have bought into consumerism and a "I deserve the best" mentality, a wide swath of the Christian Church has wrung its hands about how to make worship more appealing to the participants. But isn't that upside down? Worship isn't about me. It's about Him. It's about the sacrifice of self and the lifting up of praise to the One who created and loved and redeemed me from sin. In this Sunday's Scripture selection from The Sermon on the Mount, we'll examine the phenomena of "upside-down" worship, when the worshiper demands what is rightfully God's.
  • Jul 1, 2012Straight Talk
    Jul 1, 2012
    Straight Talk
    Series: Life 101
    I've returned from our Virginia UMC's Annual Conference in Roanoke with renewed commitment to our church and its mission - "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." While there is always a good deal of hand-wringing about dying churches at such conferences, I am convinced that our mighty God can revive even the most hopeless of situations!         What encouraged me the most was the straight talk we heard from both preachers and laity. One key leader in our conference challenged us to turn away from the "soft idol" of self-salvation, i.e. thinking that we, and not God, are the answer to our problems. A young man from northern Virginia reminded us that we live in an "upside-down kingdom" that doesn't mesh with the cultural values of greed and power - so why, he asked, do we so often apply those cultural values in our churches?       With all this straight talk, I was reminded of Matthew 5:37, where Jesus challenges us to speak with integrity and resolution... "let your yes be yes, and your no be no." It's time for Christians everywhere to make a commitment to straight talk - words of life and healing and faith in the God who is truth. I'll be preaching on this very passage of Scripture this Sunday, July 1st. I hope to see you in worship!                                Grace and peace, Pastor Bob
  • Jun 17, 2012A Father’s Heart
    Jun 17, 2012
    A Father’s Heart
    Series: Life 101
    How do we know God's will for a father's heart? A search of the Scriptures reveals many examples of fathers who possessed hearts of courage and faith and dedication to their God. Noah, Abraham, Joshua and Job are four examples of fathers who exhibited these qualities. For fathers today, following these biblical examples can restore the joy and purpose we all seek. In age of fractured families, wayward children, and fathers lost in the fog of purposelessness, the Bible provides us with models that can save our souls and our families.
  • Jun 10, 2012Life Happens
    Jun 10, 2012
    Life Happens
    Series: UMW Sunday
    Guest speaker Dolly Huffman shares a message of life, love, and service on UMW (United Methodist Women) Sunday at VUMC. Dolly is President of the Harrisonburg District United Methodist Women.
  • Jun 3, 2012Most Likely to Succeed
    Jun 3, 2012
    Most Likely to Succeed
    Series: Life 101
    PDF of Sermon PowerPoint Slides for 6/3/12: "Most Likely to Succeed" It's Graduation Sunday and we'll look at "Senior Superlatives" through the lens of the Bible. Senior superlatives are those titles awarded in high school to "The Most Likely to Succeed," or "The Cutest Couple," or "The Class Clown".... If superlatives were handed out to Bible characters, who would win what? And, most importantly, who would be awarded that most sought-after superlative:  "The Most Likely to Succeed." While the message may have light moments, there will certainly be some serious questions addressed:  What is success? When do I know I've reached that pinnacle of success? Does success really matter?