Pastor Bret

S8E59: Living in the Vine (Eastertide 2018)

Sermon #279

The word "Abide" is not one that we use in conversation very often, if at all. It means to dwell, or to remain. It also means to live and be connected to, which is surely what Jesus had in mind when he told his followers to abide in him. He gives us the image of a vine with branches bearing fruit, and he calls us to be those branches and to remain or abide in the vine. In truth, we can do nothing apart from Christ, the true vine. And so we need to practice our faith in such a way that we remain connected to Christ so that we can bear much fruit.

John 15:1-8

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 29, 2018 (Previously unpublished)

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S.D.G.
Pastor Bret

S8E58: The True Vine (Eastertide 2015)

Sermon #112

As we continue to look at Jesus' "I Am" statements as recorded in the gospel of John, we come to this statement that Jesus said to his disciples in the upper room before his betrayal and crucifixion: "I am the true vine." So we are looking at what it means to be a part of the vine, to be connected to the vine, and to bear fruit in keeping with the nature of the vine. As Jesus said, the branches cannot bear fruit if they are not connected to the vine, and the same is true for us. But Jesus also tells us that when we bear fruit we are pruned. Sometimes when the church seems to be going through adversity, it is really in a period of pruning so that the branches may bear more fruit, all to the glory of God.

John 15:1-8

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on May 3, 2015 (Previously unpublished)

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S8E57: Resurrection Boldness (Living the Resurrection pt. 5)

Sermon #442

Those who experienced the resurrection first-hand (the apostles, and the many eyewitnesses to Jesus' resurrection as reported by Paul) had a certain boldness to their evangelism. After all, they had seen the resurrected Jesus in the flesh. We who have received their eyewitness accounts can also experience this boldness when it comes to conviction of sin. While the Spirit within us convicts us of sin when we give into temptation, God's Spirit never condemns us - that condemnation was poured out on Jesus at the cross in our place. So we have boldness before God because our hearts do not condemn us. This is what John teaches us in his letter today.

1 John 3:16-24

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 25, 2021

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

I've fallen behind )-:

As it is very easy to do with a one-person operation, I've fallen behind in my production of podcasts and sermon videos. Here's the plan for this week:

Tuesday, May 4 (My birthday!) - S8E57 Resurrection Boldness (1 John 3:16-24 from Hudson 4/25/21) with video (already done and loaded for 7 AM)
Wednesday, May 5 - S8E58 The True Vine (John 15:1-8 from Easter 2015 - previously unpublished)
Thursday, May 6 - S8E59 Living in the Vine (John 15:1-8 from Easter 2018 - previously unpublished)
Friday, May 7 - S8E60 Resurrection Love (1 John 16 from Ebenezer 5/2/21) with video

Where I went off the rails last week was I tried to make a youtube video of the 2018 sermon for Easter 4, and the videos are time consuming. When I was almost done I realized it was completely unnecessary because I don't have a video series for that year... and besides, the video quality was pretty poor (we had just started live-streaming a few weeks prior). So I tanked it but that set me back and then I found myself in the weeds.

So here we go, by the end of the week we should be back on track. No more making YouTube videos from old sermons, just the most recent ones. By the way, have you been watching the videos? Or listening to the podcasts? Am I even talking to anyone? Or is it just me?

S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S8E56: One Flock, One Shepherd (Eastertide 2018)

Sermon #278

What is it that connects us as Christians? Though we may be separated by doctrinal differences into different denominations, we are ultimately one flock, one church, because we have one shepherd, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church invisible. As we look at what it means to be a part of the flock of Christ, we discover some things about ourselves. First, as Jesus is the Good Shepherd, we are his sheep, and so he cares for us enough to lay down his life for us. Second, as our shepherd, he is intimately connected to us, just as he is connected to the Father. Jesus, our Good Shepherd, protects us, cares for us, and joins us who follow him as one flock with one shepherd.

John 10:11-18

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 22, 2018 (Previously unpublished)

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S.D.G.
Pastor Bret

S8E55: The Good Shepherd (Eastertide 2015)

Sermon #111

We are looking at the "I Am" statements of Christ in the gospel of John, and we begin with Jesus' statement "I am the good shepherd." In Jesus, we see an example of church leadership, and especially in the example of being a shepherd. Whereas many of us tend to lead people from behind, a shepherd goes before the sheep to lead them. More than that, a shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, and this is a very comforting thought for those of us who are in the flock of Christ. We also look at the 23rd Psalm, a song written by King David who spent much of his life as a shepherd and knew intimately what it means that the Lord is our shepherd.

John 10:11-18

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 26, 2015 (Previously unpublished)

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S8E54: Resurrection Hope (Living the Resurrection pt. 4)

Sermon #441

What is hope? The worldly definition is that hope is a desire for something as yet unfulfilled. The Christian definition of hope is inextricably tied to the promises of God, that he has fulfilled those promises in the past and will fulfill them again in the future. That is our hope, and it was the hope of the early disciples who continued to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus because they had seen it with their own eyes. Their hope was in the past fulfillment of Jesus' words, that he must be betrayed, killed, and raised to life again on the third day. When that promise was fulfilled, their faith was solidified in the hope that his promise to prepare a place for us would likewise be realized.

1 John 3:1-7

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 18, 2021

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S.D.G.
Pastor Bret

S5E36: Being a Witness (Easter 2018)

Sermon #277

What does it mean to be a witness? Jesus called upon His disciples to be witnesses, and He calls upon us to be witnesses as well. But what does that look like in the life of a Christian? Is it enough to simply model a particular life, or do we actually have to articulate, with words, just what we have experienced in a loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ?

Luke 24:36-48

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 15, 2018 (Originally published May 2, 2018)

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S8E53: Resurrection Power (Living the Resurrection pt. 3)

Sermon #440

The disciples of Jesus had a major advantage when it came to witnessing to the power of the risen Christ. They had seen him with their own eyes, touched him with their own hands, and heard his voice as he told them to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel. They were not telling what others had told them, they were proclaiming what they were eyewitnesses to. And so we see the first century church responding with the agape (selfless and sacrificial) love that they have been shown. The response to the resurrection is powerful, and we can still find its power in proclamation today.

Acts 4:32-37/1 John 1:1-2:2

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 11, 2021

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S.D.G.
Pastor Bret

S5E35: Doubt and Belief (Eastertide 2015)

Sermon #276

The Apostle Thomas gets such a bad rap. His name has become a byword among us to mean one who is skeptical or cynical (who among us doesn't know a Doubting Thomas?). Yet what we find in the story of Thomas is the generous grace of God, who, as James says, "gives to all liberally and not grudgingly." When we have doubts, God answers them with just what we need, and puts aside our fears with his gentle proof.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 8, 2018 (Originally published April 11, 2018)

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S.D.G.