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2019-02-10 Message- Going Overboard With God’s Love

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Though dealing with shortfalls and underperforming, a lack of energy or assets, or shortcomings consumes a lot of our attention on scarcity. Our true challenge is dealing with abundance! We cannot embrace God’s unexpected, outrageous abundance. (Think about that.) Our 305-year “young” mission is to represent God’s abundance. But too often, we are overwhelmed with scarcity, just like Peter and James and John do in this week’s message from Luke 5:1-11. Its the problem of too much. God does so much. So much love, so much forgiveness, goes overboard on mercy, unending compassion, amazing and abundant grace and goodness. Our “problem” is being afraid to let go of the scarcity life and instead embrace the abundant life of God’s love offered to us.

Experience the amazement as the disciples’ fish nets were filled to overflowing in this energizing message of God’s overboard love.It’s time for the church to “Go Overboard.” To go overboard in love. To go overboard in trust. To go overboard in compassion. To go overboard in mercy. To go overboard in neighborliness.

How will you go overboard with God’s abundance this week?

2010-02-10 Message for Kids- God’s Overboard Love- Like Skittles

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How big is God’s love? Some people have used pretty big words to describe God’s big love, like supererogation. Can you repeat that?! Supererogation is so much love, it is extravagant. Amazing. Overwhelming and super abundant. Because God’s love is beyond measure. In the Bible, God’s love letter to us, Jesus-follower, the Apostle Paul, tried to describe God’s love when he wrote, “And I ask God that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-10). That’s a whole lotta love!

God’s overboard love is like Skittles. Pouring a bag of Skittles, it overflows, more and more. God’s love won’t stop! Goes everywhere. Can’t be stopped. It goes on, and on, and on!

Remember that God’s love is available to you. It will never run out. You can count on God being with you always. God’s love is for ever, and its for you!

“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

2019-02-03 Message: Our Chart and Charter— Our Mission from God

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God has given each of us a charter. Do you know what your charter is? This week, we will discover how to say “yes” not just to life—that’s the chart—but to our life mission, our life’s charter.

The chart, the path must adapt to changing opportunities and challenges.

How many stars are on this flag? No, not 50! That’s right, 48, before Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states. Many of you were alive to witness the change. And it was not unanimous! Imagine hearing, ”48 is a perfect number.” “Why change something that’s not broken.” Yet, we opened our arms and extended our boarders. We courageously embraced 50. (And our friends in Puerto Rico think 51 is a nice improvement!

Our church’s chart has changed over time, but its chart, its core mission to be a blessing in this community empowers us to transform. The God-given charter brings us great adventures and excitements and joys that are beyond our imagining. And our charter will leave behind a legacy which will impact future generations in ways that we will never fully see or appreciate. Its our mission from God!

 

I was in Las Vegas last week. Wow. I traveled with Melissa whose health care company is making a difference in the health of individuals. She and her team are accomplishing amazing work.

 

 

What did I observe? In Las Vegas, they address their community “problems” by sweeping them off the street. Literally. Very little collaboration! The politicians, well, they may do what they can, but the casino’s pretty much control the life, and while there are many enjoyable fun entertaining and positive outcomes (you know, like Atlantic City?!) the too many families and individuals feel trapped and powerless to make a difference. Tens of thousands homeless, underemployed, forgotten older people; and kids who are trafficked and exploited. While it’s easy to attribute blame to behaviors like greed, immoral choices, and upside down life  priorities, where is the church and the promise of the abundant life in Christ? In Las Vegas there appears to be no collaboration of hope with thoughtful leaders from education, law enforcement, courts, politicians, and the faith community. Who are working together to change their chart, their course, to benefit all the citizens and visitors to that city?

Here in Cape May, we struggle too. There are cycles of abuse, fear, the opioid epidemic is called an epidemic because it’s is out of control! Individuals do what they can. Politicians do what they can, law enforcement, educators, business and commerce do what they can. So do many churches. We participate, as well.

But who is leading a collaboration of good thoughtful leadership that wants to do more than bandaging symptoms, and get at the underlying causes of these undesired and unpleasant life outcomes of hopelessness, despair, fear, and anxiety. Our health and wellness of mind body and spirit are outcomes of choices that are made. This is true for churches. This is true for communities.

Remember, it just takes one spark to get a fire going.

We said Yes to life! (As we observed on Sanctity of Life Sunday a few weeks ago.)

Today, let’s say “yes” not just to life—that’s the chart—but to our life mission, what we are called to do, that’s our charter?

Our church has a charter, too. The God-given charter bring us great adventures and excitements and joys that are beyond our imagining.

We have a chart of decisions and ministries to engage with in 2019! Let’s not be satisfied with what was or overwhelmed with what is, but consider what we will do to lead Cape May towards a better future and Good News.. Our legacy will impact future generations in amazing ways. Its our mission from God!

 

2019-02-03 Message for Kids- On A Mission From God

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Do you have your birth certificate with you? Well, ask you caregiver if you can have a copy. Take a look. It tells you who you are! (In case you forgot!) The birth certificate is a document that verifies your place in the world as a human being created in God’s image. What you do each day is up to you (and your parents, too, for a while!). You are amazing. In the image of God, to do amazing things. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:28). You have a special place in God’s plan. That’s why we pray, worship, hang out with people who love, respect, and inspire us to do great things for others. Let’s look forward to enjoy God’s presence as we follow Jesus, read God’s word, pray, and listen to the Spirit each day. Thank you for making our day special by being here! Your birth certificate is just the beginning, because you are on a mission from God!

2019-01-27 Message- Breaking Free

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Life doesn’t just happen, it is the result of the choices we make every day

  • Emily Dickinson
  • If I can stop one heart from breaking,
  • I shall not live in vain;
  • If I can ease one life the aching,
  • Or cool one pain,
  • Or help one fainting robin.
  • Unto his nest again,
  • I shall not live in vain.

What’s your life’s purpose, your mission?

This week we will learn from the salmon who start and end their mission at home. More instinct and nature helps them fulfill their purpose. But we’ll also ask Carrion Crows in the Japanese city of Sendai how they have creatively learned to use new information far from their home turf to eat, using passing traffic to crack nuts for them.

Kids need a purpose in their life. Adults do, too. And so do churches.

We want to glorify God and enjoy God forever. This requires that we practice “Forgetting what lies behind… (and) press on to what lies ahead in Christ Jesus.”

Our community activities, our ministries, must fulfill our mission, the the purpose of our ministry.

What’s your mission? We must listen to Jesus.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.”

How will we help jesus fulfill His mission in Cape May?

Let’s listen. Let’s learn. Let’s Lead.

2019-01-27 Message for Kids- Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

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Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side. Why? Why cross the road? What was there?

What we have learned in watching lots of chickens over the years is the chicken follows other chickens. Most chickens follow the leader. So that means there are other chickens who are leading. Who take a new step. And when that new step, or direction, is a positive one, something helpful and inspiring, others will follow! You follow. But you also lead.

Why did the chicken cross the road? Because other chickens did.

The question is, who are we following? And where are we leading others? We want to lead in the right direction, getting others to the best side; a great future God has prepared for us!

2019-01-20 Message- Spirit Fall- A Theory of Everything

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You will be glad to know you will hear God’s voice saying this week: “You are mine. You are loved.” Its great news about Jesus that can change your life in amazing ways. (Read on.)

In this week’s message from Acts 8, we will meet a group of people who didn’t know about the Spirit. At all. They knew about Jesus, all right, but no one introduced them to the power of the Spirit of God or how they could connect to that power. What’s more, they discovered how once the Spirit falls on your whole life, everything is changed for the better. Yes, its a theory of everything touched by God’s Spirit. You want to find out more? Great! Because the Spirit is falling!

2019-01-20 Message for Kids- The Spirit Lifts Our Message

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We don’t how to best demonstrate God’s loves to others. Whether we’re saying the right thing in the best way. We don’t know whether they will be grateful or annoyed, or whether they will say something mean in return.

Here’s a piece of paper which includes messages about God’s love from the Bible. Both sides are filled with inspiring words of hope. Let’s pretend you have these messages to share with me, so try to get the “message” to me. Go ahead, maybe throw the paper towards me! Wow, that didn’t get to me. Nope, it just fell to the floor. Crumpling up the paper may get it to me, but when I receive it I can’t read it! How else can those inspiring words get to me? It needs a lift!

Create a paper airplane! Now, the wigs give the message lift, and it can fly right to me! Go ahead, send me airmail! Got it!

All these folds are like the Holy Spirit, and the wings catch the power off the Spirit which will give our messages strength to get to the people we care about. If we’re going to show the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, and show God’s love to others, we need the “direction” of the Holy Spirit and the “lift” only the Holy Spirit can give! Now that’s inspiring!