All Posts By

Kevin Yoho

2019-05-19 Message- Jesus’ New Whole-World Diet

By Sermons

We do like thinking that life is simple. Binary. Good/Bad. Right/Wrong. Sacred/Secular. Rich/Poor, Republican/Democrat. American/Foreigner. Male/Female. Believer/Atheist. Light/Dark.

Even as small children, we looked at life through safe/danger absolutes. Consider the things that go bump in the night. That is what scares us when we are children. And the same panic can continue as a fear factor throughout our adult lives. It is the same fear that makes possible all those awful “teenage slasher” movies, zombie stalker sagas, and all the ghost stories you ever heard around a campfire. Our childhood insecurities, and the need for us to somehow divide the world into a “safe” (day) and a “scary” (night), is a way to manage the chaos and unexpected outcomes that are part of daily living. We can tell out kids, there is nothing “bad” out there at night that is not present in the day. God created the world and said it was all good. The world of day and the world of night are the same world. The world created by the divine does not know the difference between night and day. God’s presence is always and everywhere, even when the world looks dark and scary, not just when the world looks sunny and bright.

The amazingly diverse world and God’s abiding presence is behind the text in this week’s reading from Acts. Peter, who had already been preaching to the Gentiles about Jesus, is criticized by those who believe in Jesus as the Christ, but still cling to their unique Jewish identity (Kosher/Unholy). One of the hardest things for some of the earliest disciples of Jesus to learn was that our identity does not come from family or ancestry, gender or race, or the foods we eat, but from Christ. It is still one of the hardest things disciples of Jesus are still trying to get right: Having the capacity to see the spectrum, the continuum of life experience that reflects the range of God’s beautiful creation.

In the first century world to dine with someone else with a different background was to suggest that there was also a spiritual union as well. For a Jew, to dine with a Gentile suggested that you approved and participated in their pagan practices. Eating with outsiders was not just a breach of protocol, it was a break with hundreds of years of tradition. That is, until Jesus shows us the depth of God’s Table of abundance. Are you hungry for some new spiritual food? You will want to join us on Sunday as we consider Jesus’ New Whole World Diet.

2019-05-19 Message for Kids- Cheeseburgers and Simple Life Choices

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How do you make decisions? Make choices? Do you like hamburgers? Well, if you liked hamburgers, it would be pretty simple to choose a hamburger is the choices were, 1. You want a hot dog?, or 2. You want a hamburger? Which would you choose? Sure, if you liked hamburgers, you’d just pick that! But Melissa and I went to Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar on our trip to Florida. You don’t just say, Give me a Hamburger. Oh no! You have choices. (See the list!) It was exhausting going through all those choices. Just the cheese list alone was huge. Which would you have chosen?: Classic American, Cream cheese, house-made American, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Pimento Cheese, Swiss, White Cheddar, Blue Cheese, Brie, Feta, Fresh mozzarella, or Fried mozzarella? 

Each day can look pretty complicated. We get up and have lots of choices to make. So let’s make it simple. When you get up in the morning say, “Good morning God! Let’s enjoy the day together with Jesus!” Can you say that with me? While too many choices can be overwhelming, let’s begin our day with a simple… “Good morning God. Let’s enjoy the day together, in Jesus name.” Amen. And see what happens next!

Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart. (Psalm 32:11)

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. (Psalm 33:1)

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; For You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth. (Psalm 67:4)

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. (Psalm 100:1–2)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

2019-05-12 Message- Rock For All, Get Up And Represent Jesus

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Our Easter celebration continues this week as we consider Jesus as the Rock for All… people, ages, situations, neighborhoods, and anyone, or anything else, that needs a solid foundation on which to build something of meaning, something that lasts. We live in an age that tends to slap a universal and derogatory label on an entire group with information generalized from random or isolated experiences. We call this stereotyping or profiling. You can probably think of many examples. Maybe you’ve been stereotyped. Go on Yahoo and do a search asking the open-ended question, “Why are Christians so . . ..” The search engine produced some startling responses: Why are Christians…

“so judgmental”

“so hateful”

“so fake”

“so afraid of Muslims”

“so mean”

“so intolerant”

“so annoying”

“so self-righteous”

“so unhappy”

Do see yourself and those around you embodying those attributes? Probably not! Is this how the world truly sees those who call themselves “Christian?” How do these opinions become generalized, that the some see us this way? Is the world becoming biased towards Christians? Maybe. But, in what ways have we done this to ourselves? It is true that Christians have done some very bad things. Its also true that  millions of Christians face persecutions for their faith every day, with many losing their lives every year for following Jesus. This week, we Get Up and represent Jesus, each in our own unique ways. We will explore our own foundation on the Rock and how we can let Jesus shine through our lives every day. Let’s ensure that greater Cape May knows we stand on the Rock because where Jesus is present, life is at its best, for all. (Thanks to my colleague, Dr. Len Sweet, for the search term idea!)

2019-05-12 Message For Kids- God Has Faith In You, Believing In Tough Times

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Melissa and traveled to another part of the world and discovered a really cool place people lived long ago. Can you guess what part of the world it was in? Go ahead, guess! OK. Mexico. Not even close! Again? Somalia. Well, on this globe, the place I want to tell you about is within an “inch or two” of Somalia! Here is is. I’m talking about Turkey, the country, not the bird. In Turkey, Melissa and I learned that early followers of Jesus loved him very much, but not everybody else agreed with them. In fact, some of the countries leaders hated Jesus and chased the Christians into the mountains. They lived in carved out rooms like this… This is a carving from Turkey in Cappadocia representing the places Christians fled for safety. Sometimes, you may feel that others around you may treat you differently because of your faith in Jesus. Remember that no everyone had to agree and believe like you do! People have choice and God loves everyone, never giving up showing love to everyone. God has faith in you! Always. I’m glad you believe in Jesus, trust in him, and will remember that those early Christians believed in tough times, and didn’t stay in the mountains. Soon, they returned to their homes and lived as faithful followers of Jesus sharing the good news of God’s love.

2019-04-28 Message- Where Do You Put the Doubt (Innovation and Faith)

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Coffee had a nickname. The Devil’s drink! How did that happen?

About 900 AD, Ethiopian Cadi the goat herder, discovered his goats eating berries that made them go crazy from what we know to be caffein! He tried it and made a drink. Eventually, word of mouth taste tests promoted the drink to Yemen. 600 years passed and in 1511 it comes to Mecca 🕋. First is banned by the Muslim clerics because this unwanted innovation with unknown consequences and side effects kept drinkers congregating in coffee bars instead of the mosque! But eventually, the Chief Muslim cleric enjoyed it so much, he lifted the ban! A hundred years after that, coffee reaches the trade routes to Europe. By 1600, Europeans are loving coffee, but this drink innovation was hurting the pocketbooks of proprietors selling beer 🍺and wine 🍷. Foreign innovation from the competing Muslim Ottoman Empire brought on another ban.

Church leaders called it the Devil’s drink! Coffee houses threatened the beer houses.

One day, anti-coffee Bishops petitioned Pope Clement 8 to excommunicate anyone who drank the Devil’s Drink! But, when the Pope asked to taste it, he found it to be delicious!

Instead of banning coffee, the Pontiff blessed coffee and said it should be baptized as the new Christian drink!

We fear new things and we doubt that something we believe to be “new” can be true. There is an anxiety over loss. When we doubt, we are protecting ourselves from loss.

With everything new, we risk the future we had been planning.

While we celebrate Easter every year, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead means we can enjoy a resurrection-way of life every day. At Sunset Beach’s sunrise service, the message offered resources on what we do with fear. Fear is understandable. Even expected to be experienced from time to time. But what about Doubt? This week, bring your doubts, your struggles of faith as we look in on many women and men disciples who expressed their doubt. Jesus appeared in their midst! Where did Thomas put his doubt? Find out where to put your doubt this Sunday as we gather for the Second Sunday of Easter and hear a message from John 20:19-31. (Hint: Doubt is not lessoned by more facts, but with personal experience with the truth. Jesus is alive! Meet him and see!)

2019-04-28 Message for Kids-

By Sermons

Do you have a nickname? Sure. Many of us do. Some are very complimentary. Others, not so much. But if a nickname may fit us initially, we can always change our nickname to describe the best of us. For example, do you remember the disciple’s name who doubted Jesus was alive after dying on the cross for us? Yes. Doubting Thomas. Actually, Doubting was not his first name! It was his nickname given by others describing his lack of faith. We doubt when we don’t fully believe, when we don’t yet understand something entirely. Like when our parents tell us not to eat too much sugar, Or to go to bed early. We say to ourselves, “That can’t be true! Its just too crazy!” So we can give nicknames to our parents. They are “out of it”, or “Mean” or “Don’t understand me.” But we figure out most of the time these nicknames, labels, don’t need to stick because people can grow and change. We grow. Our parents grow.

Doubting Thomas grew, too. He came to understand that Jesus was truly alive! Its unfortunate that through the centuries we have kept Thomas in the Doubting box. Instead, let’s start a new tradition. Thomas’s nickname is Believing Thomas. And that’s a great nickname for us, too.