Guerrilla Christianity

S2E20: By Our Presence (Five Promises pt. 2)

We continue our look at the five ways we participate in ministry. This week we look at how we participate by our presence. Presence means being there, and it's more than just showing up. Paul in his letter to the church at Colosae exhorts the Colossians to be a part of the body of Christ. We are not called into isolation, but community. So grab your Bible, turn it to Colossians chapter 3, and join us as we look at how we participate in ministry by our presence.

Colossians 3:12-17

Recorded at Hudson UMC on October 12, 2014 (First published on October 28, 2014)

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S2E19: By Our Prayers (Five Promises pt. 1)

We Christians know how important it is to pray. Jesus Himself taught his disciples to pray, and modelled prayer for us by his very life. So why do so few of us pray on a regular basis, outside of Sunday worship or mealtimes? Today we begin a new series based on the five promises we make as United Methodists - to participate in the ministries of the local church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. So grab your Bible, turn it to Philippians chapter 4, and join us as we look at what it means to support the church by our prayers.

Philippians 4:4-9

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on October 5, 2014 (Originally published October 17, 2014)

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S.D.G.
Pastor Bret

S2E21: Render Unto Caesar (Wednesday Worship)

Separation of Church and State. We often hear this phrase thrown around, and frequently today's passage is cited in that context. But what was Jesus really calling the Pharisees to? At the heart of the answer to the unanswerable question lies another question: are we truly giving unto God what is God's? This convicting thought touches the heart of any who truly love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. So grab your Bible, turn it to Matthew chapter 22, and join us as we hear Jesus say to us, "Render unto Caesar."

Matthew 22:15-22

Recorded at Hudson UMC on October 15, 2014 (Originally published October 30, 2014)

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S8E17: God of Glory (The Attributes of God pt. 5)

One attribute of God that is difficult to define is His glory. When we think of God's glory we often think of ineffable light. In today's reading from Exodus, we see that God's glory comes from His presence, and that no one can see it and live. Instead, we see the glory of God reflected in things around us, in nature, in creation. We also see God's glory revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Whereas Moses was only shown the back of God's glory as he passed by, we are able to behold God's glory in full in the incarnation.

Exodus 33:12-23

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on October 18, 2020

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S8E16: God of Justice (The Attributes of God pt. 4)

Justice is something that we have been clamoring for in recent times, but oftentimes we find that what we really want is justice for others, and not for ourselves. In Exodus 20 we find the giving of the Decalogue, what we know of as the Ten Commandments. These simple rules ought to be easy to follow, and yet we will see that no one in the history of humanity has ever held to this law of God. In the giving of the law we see the justice of God, for He holds none blameless who do not keep this law. Yet His justice is satisfied in the sacrifice of Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, and so in grace we find both justice and mercy served.

Exodus 20:1-20

Recorded at Hudson UMC on October 4, 2020

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S2E17: Of One Heart and Mind

This week we begin a new series based in Paul's letter to the church in Philippi, known as the book of Philippians. Paul opens his letter - written from a Roman prison - with joy and thanksgiving, and then exhorts the believers in Philippi to stand firm and strive together in the faith. It's a model of the church that we in the 21st century can learn from and live by. So grab your Bible, turn it to Philippians chapter 1, and join us as we look at a church that is of one heart and mind.

Philippians 1:21-30

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 21, 2014 (Originally published October 12, 2014)

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S8E15: God of Mercy (The Attributes of God pt. 3)

How many of us when we are in crisis complain to the people around us? That's what the people of Israel did when God led them to a place where there was no water. Yet Moses, the man of God, went to God in prayer over the crisis. In these two actions we see what to do and what not to do - either complain to human authorities or take our crisis to God directly. And we will see in this lesson today how God's mercy is extended in ways we wouldn't expect - even to the point of God Himself being struck on our behalf, in the person of Jesus Christ.

Exodus 17:1-7

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 27, 2020

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

S8E14: God of Abundance (The Attributes of God pt. 2)

Today as we continue to examine the attributes of God, we see that God is an abundant provider to those whom he calls his own. The people of Israel had just been delivered from slavery, saved from death, walked through the Red Sea and witnessed the destruction of Pharaoh's army at the hand of God. Yet they could only see the place where they were, not where God had brought them, and so they complained that God was not providing for them. Indeed, God would provide for all their needs for over 40 years in the wilderness, and that is what we need to see from this reading - that we need to remember the blessings of God even when we are going through difficult times.

Exodus 16:2-15

Recorded at Hudson UMC on September 20, 2020

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S.D.G.
Guerrilla Christianity

I don't usually comment on politics, but...

When I do, it is to call out extreme hypocrisy.

In 2016, Senator Mitch McConnell (the Senate Majority leader) blocked the confirmation of President Barrack Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. Despite the fact that Scalia died in February of 2016, a full 342 days before the next president would take office, McConnell said that it would be irresponsible to confirm a new justice in an election year. By blocking the nomination and refusing to put the matter on the floor, McConnell handed President Trump his first SCOTUS nomination on essentially his first day of office in 2017, a nomination which he used to give us Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Why am I bringing this up? Because last night after the announcement of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Mitch McConnell said that President Trump's nomination to replace the notorious RBG would be given highest priority in the Senate.

In an election year.

Less than 60 days from election day.

Here's an article from Mother Jones on the matter.

For those who prefer a more fair and balanced news source, here's a nearly identical article from the Wall Street Journal.

The Supreme Court is not supposed to be political. Its role is to interpret federal law and, in particular, the United States Constitution, in order to rule on cases brought before it from lower courts. Yet each party (Republicans and Democrats) seeks to place justices on the court that will advance either a right- or left-wing agenda. Historically the dividing line between the two has been slight enough that the Court has served as a fair interpretation of the Constitution, either from the viewpoint of a living document (the Textualist) or from the viewpoint of the original framers of the Constitution (the Originalist view). In recent years the divide between the two has widened to the point that the makeup of the Court determines whether the Court will be predominantly Liberal or Conservative, and so the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice is crucial for a party to advance their own agenda through the courts. This has been seen in the current administration whereby many states have been pushing harder and harder anti-abortion laws in order to have the matter brought to the Supreme Court, where a challenge to Roe v. Wade may be made directly.

Justice Ginsberg was appointed under President Bill Clinton and was a strong advocate for women's rights.

In President Obama's 8 years as President, he made two Supreme Court Justice appointments - Justice Sonia Sotomayor, replacing Justice David Souter; and Justice Elena Kagen, replacing Justice John Paul Stevens. Judge Merrick Garland would have been his third appointment.

If President Trump gets his appointment to the Senate floor before election day, as Senator Mitch McConnell has already stated, it will be his third appointment in just four years.

And this is why all this matters, and why I am calling out McConnell's hypocrisy.
Guerrilla Christianity

S5E19: Forgiveness

In the prayer that we often call "The Lord's Prayer," we say "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." But think about it. If God forgives us the way we forgive others, does that make us feel good? Or are we lacking in our forgiveness, according to God's standard of forgiveness?

Matthew 18:21-35

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 17, 2017

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S.D.G.