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All Posts By

Kevin Yoho

2019-04-07 Message for Kids- Making Matza and Life Extravagant In Christ

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You know the difference between something that is plain, and something that is extravagant? Plain is good. Taking something that is plain and turning it into extravagant takes time, energy and attention. Consider matza. Do you know what matza is? Sure, it looks like a cracker. Kinda boring. But tasty! Why do some churches use plain, flat, crackers, matza, like this for communion at the Lord’s Table? Where did matza come from?

The idea for matza, unleavened bread, came from God. When God’s people were imprisoned in Egypt, they wanted more than anything to be free! Well, God heard their cry’s for help and sent Moses to lead them out of their prison! But, Moses told them, we gotta go! Now! You can’t delay. They didn’t have time to bake bread. Waiting for wheat and water to mix, blend, and be kneaded into dough, it must then wait for hours as it rises. Waiting. Waiting. Then it has to bake in the oven. More waiting. Since they couldn’t wait, they took their flour and water, rolled it out thin, then baked it in ovens and on hot stones. It didn’t take long. Matza reminds us of how God quickly freed us!

Here at our church, we improved on plain matza. Take a look. We have the tastiest communion bread anywhere, its like Scottish shortbread. We are so excited that God loves us, that Jesus leads us, we upgraded matza to Scottish communion bread!

But there’s more. Because God loves us in extravagant ways, what would matza look like if it was even more extravagant? How about chocolate-dipped Matza?! Yeah. Amazing. Here. Try some.

Remember that God’s love in Christ is extravagant. God doesn’t hold back. Beyond measure. There’s nothing plain about God’s love. You can enjoy these specially dipped matza that Melissa made. After worship, would you help me offer these extravagant matza to everyone else? Great! God’s love: Extravagant! Let’s pray.

Easter Is The Time To Release Your Gifts!

By | Intersections

Release Your Gifts! Easter Makes it Possible!
What is released when you combine Easter with technology? A strange question, right? But Christopher Lim, a 25-year old ruling elder at the Indonesian Presbyterian Church in Seattle referred me to an insight by the inventor of the printing press. Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher who introduced the world to his press. In 1455, he envisioned the printing press’ power when he wrote:

God suffers in the multitude of souls whom His word cannot reach. Religious truth is imprisoned in a small number of manuscript books which confine instead of spread that public treasure. Let us break the seal which seals up holy things and give wings to Truth so that she may win every soul that comes into the world by her word no longer written at great expense by hands easily palsied, and multiplied like the wind by an untiring machine. (Johann Gutenberg, 1455)

Technology is about tools. While we associate technology with our modern, digital, age, the first stone cutting tools developed tens of thousands of years ago, as well as today’s simple pair of scissors all describe the tools used to accomplish work. Tech has undoubtedly become more powerful and accessible since 1455!

Comparing technology in the 1980s to today is still shocking to me. In 1983, I had the pleasure of teaching ten pastors at Bloomfield College, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related school, while a pastor of a nearby congregation. I titled my course Ministers and Micros. Dragging their latest technology into the classroom underscored the students’ commitment.

The Osborne 1, a popular portable computer at the time, weighed in at 23 lbs.! I still recall the memory of the Rev. Ronald Johnson every week lugging his Compaq portable up flights of stairs and placing it on one of the classroom’s tiny desks. Power cords were everywhere since none of these early “portables” had long-lasting batteries! As a class of ministry trailblazers, we helped each other learn how to use the best available tech and techniques to produce the best ministry outcomes.

That class was important because church leaders have a responsibility to access and effectively use the best available technology to connect God’s love to the world. Gutenberg said, we must not allow “truth to be imprisoned” but released! Tools release God’s gifts!
Leaders in every walk of life, from the small business to the shore boutique, from nonprofits to community groups, have a similar responsibly today. Use the best available tools to release our best gifts. We are the sharers of the Good News! Content creators, network builders, storytellers, producers and directors, elders and deacons, supervisors and staff, artists and designers, musicians and performers, community developers, doers of justice and workers for Christ’s peace, all leaders in the church. We use tools of theology, and master the tools of technology.

In 1983, I referred to the intersection of theology and technology as TheoTech, and I believe the church now more than ever, needs to hang out at that same corner if the Good News of Jesus Christ is to widely seen and heard, and transform the lives of families and our neighborhoods!

In Spring’s Eastertide, consider what your life would be like today if Jesus never burst forth alive from the tomb? What if the earliest women and men who witnessed the risen Lord didn’t make a way to share the story? What if the Gospels were never written, copied, and published around the world? What impact would the Great Reformation have achieved without Gutenberg’s printing press?
Imagine what would happen if a chick never broke through its shell? That’s what Easter is all about, breaking through shells of isolation, barriers, and disinterest. What would Cape May be like if Cold Spring Presbyterian Church remained inside its red brick church for 300 years? Well, our doors are open! Everyone is welcome inside in order that everyone is equipped to be sent outside to release their gifts!
In person and online, from conversations across the street to advertisements in the Shoppe, we are releasing our gifts! And you, all of us, have gifts to offer! We all have TEA. Tea? Yes, an acronym that represents our Time, Energy, and Attention.

Sunday, April 7, during worship after the Offering for Local Missions, I added Honoring Time, Energy, and Attention in the Neighborhood. I want us to briefly share what we have seen or heard, or what you have said or done, that has helped, blessed, or encouraged others.

We don’t need names or circumstances, just brief portions of TEA? Did someone go out of their way to help? Have you witnessed anyone doing a special act of kindness? Maybe you visited someone feeling lonely, or on your Prayer Walk you prayed God’s blessings on who and what you encountered. Did you enjoy inviting someone to worship, or to dinner? It only takes a few minutes to inspire others to offer their own acts of kindness.

In what ways do you release the “imprisoned” truth and “spread” the “public treasure” Gutenberg wrote about so passionately more than 600 years ago? What seals need to be “broken” so that we become transformative neighbors? Let’s focus our efforts together to release our gifts to boldly transform our community using tools of every kind to share the Greatest Story ever told!

He is risen! Release your gifts!
Pastor Kevin

2019-03-31 Message- The Day God Ran

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While we all know exercise is important to our health, and most agree that we should exercise more, it can be a struggle. Run? Why run when you can stay put! Why run when you can drive, or ride? But, Research shows that running, more than other aerobic activity, keeps you healthy from the inside out. Did you know?:

  • Running makes you happier. … 
  • Running helps you lose or maintain weight. … 
  • Running strengthens your knees (and your other joints and bones, too). … 
  • Running will keep you sharper, even as you age. … 
  • Running reduces your risk of cancer.

So, running is good. Walking is good. Any kind of aerobic exercise is beneficial. But the direction and object of our running is more important than the running itself. Have you ever had a day leaving you feeling like you were on a treadmill? Have you ever exerted lots of energy to do something great, only to be left dismayed with the underwhelming outcomes? Have you ever run with a right spirit of dedication only to realize you were ruining in the wrong direction? Well, that kind of running can be draining and unproductive. Lots of motion, but no progress! This week’s Gospel of Grace from Luke 15 reminds us that we’re not the only ones running as we consider Jesus’ parable depicting God as running for us! That’s right, imagine God running to meet us where we are, no matter where we are. God is running to catch up to us regardless of what we are caught up in. God runs to us, with us, and for us to bring words we long to hear: “You are loved.” “You are forgiven.” “I want to bless your whole life!” I will give you a future of hope.”

If you need to hear these powerful words, invest 30 minutes of your time and listen to this message from God’s word titled, “The Day God Ran.” If anyone knows something about running, its God. On our Lenten Journey, God is running for you with the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

There is a place for you, here! (If you’re new to our church, discover more about what we believe and why we do what we do by visiting a special Welcome First-Time Guests page on our website.)

2019-03-24 Message- Gimme That Fish, Fig, Discipleship

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Have you seen the new McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish commercial? This humorous ad features a toy mechanical fish mounted on a wall who sings, “Gimme that fish, O Gimme that fish…” announcing the return of the Filet-O-Fish sandwich. Have you ever wondered why the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich is so heavily promoted the same time every year? Hint: The special fish promotion always occurs during the 40 days of Lent. That’s right. It all started in a predominately Catholic neighborhood in Ohio when, in 1959, a McDonald’s franchise owner named Lou Groen noticed plummeting hamburger sales every Lenten season. Instead of just suffering through the 80% drop in sales, he decided to meet the needs of his customers by developing a non-meat alternative. The incredible success in delivering what his community needed is, as they say, history.

What does the Filet-O-Fish have to do with Jesus’ words about the fig tree from our text this week from Luke 13? As we will discover during this Sunday’s message titled, “Fish, Fig, Discipleship” the origin story of this popular sandwich can teach us a lot about our mission. You see, the fig tree Jesus spoke about was not producing the fruit the other crops needed, nothing for three years. But, instead of destroying the barren fig tree, the owner agreed to let the fig tree have one more year to deliver what was needed.

We know figs are remain a very popular fruit in the United States, but did you know that it was the abundant vitamins found in figs that motivated a Philadelphia baker in 1851 to produce a machine that could stuff the nutrient rich fig jam into pastry dough. Delivering what the community needed led a baking company to buy the machine and the cookies were a huge success. The town they were first produced was, you guessed it, Newton, Massachusetts!

Fish and figs can teach us a lot about discipleship as we follow Jesus during lent as we deliver spiritual nutrients our neighbors need.

2019-03-24 Message for Kids- Fig Newtons Are A Health Food

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We know figs are remain a very popular fruit in the United States, but did you know that it was the abundant vitamins found in figs that motivated a Philadelphia baker in 1851 to produce a machine that could stuff the nutrient rich fig jam into pastry dough.

Do you like Fig Newtons? Well, as a kid, they were my very favorite cookie, er, nutritional snack! Delivering what the community needed led a baking company to buy the machine and the cookies were a huge success. The town they were first produced was, you guessed it, Newton, Massachusetts! God wants us to nourish our mind, body, and spirit. This week, let’s read more, exercise more, and eat nutritious foods. And to feed our spirit, read God’s word where we can know that Jesus loves you and wants to fill your life with joy!

2019-03-17 Message- Tears of Love

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In the photo (right) you can see Jerusalem through a window from inside the Dominus Flevit Church. The church gets its name because its designed in the shape of a teardrop to symbolize the tears of Christ (Luke 19) when Jesus becomes overwhelmed by tears of love for the city and its people.

The church’s name, Dominus Flevit, is Latin for “Jesus has wept.” This week’s Gospel also describes the intense love Jesus has for us. For you! Can you recall a time when you were moved to tears of love and compassion for another or others? Of course, some of us express deep emotion with tears, while for others, the tears appear less so, but we all can intensely feel empathy and loving concern that moves us to action on behalf of another.

St. Patrick was first and foremost a missionary who was moved to tears of compassion for others. This Sunday we will discover some interesting facts about St. Patrick. (For example, he wasn’t even Irish, and he was never canonized as a Saint, either. The story about the snakes? Didn’t likely happen.) But St, Patrick did amazing things and his story of love for the Irish people was rooted in his love for Jesus and his life’s mission was tell others about God’s love.

This Sunday, we will turn images of shamrocks and Leprechauns into green teardrop crystals as we experience Tears of Love, to remind us of Jesus’ love for you, his amazing love for you. You will be renewed your Lenten journey and be moved to caring actions that blesses others!

2019-03-17 Message for Kids- The Colors of St. Patrick’s Day

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What is the color for St. Patrick’s Day? Sure, white! No? How about orange? Well, for some it is! But you’re right, green is the color usually associated with St. Patrick’s Day. . But did you know that St. Patrick’s Day also includes the colors orange and white. Do you know why? Because the Irish flag has these three colors! The white in the middle represents the peace between the Irish (Green) and the Northern Ireland (Orange). St. Patrick loved the people of Ireland and is know to have cried tears of love and went to Ireland to tell them the story of Jesus. Jesus sheds tears for us, too. Jesus loves all of us, of every color and nation. Let’s remember this St. Patrick’s Day Jesus’ tears of joy. Each of you can have a green, crystal glass teardrop to represent God’s love for you! Let’s share the teardrops with others in the congregation this morning!

2019-03-10 Message- The Call of the Wild

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Why do so many Biblical hero’s end up in the wilderness? While Adam started in a garden, he and Eve ended up in the wild. Jacob, Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and the Apostle Paul, to name a few, had wilderness experiences, too. Oh, and of course, Jesus! This week we will meet Jesus where the wild things are. And we will discover that God is present with us when resources run out and unexpected challenges make the way unbearable. God provides a way where there is no way. Do you ever feel you’re in the wilderness? Sure, we all do, at least from time to time. This Sunday, find wilderness tools for the Lenten journey. There is a place for you, here! (If you’re new to our church, discover more about what we believe and why we do what we do by visiting a special Welcome First-Time Guests page on our website.)