#Blessed – Charmaine Smith-Miles

2021-3-21 Main Sermon
Jeremiah 17:5-10; Luke 6:17-26
#Blessed – The Kingdom of God
Social media – happy moments, selfies, thankful, grateful as if we have these things because we’re “living right”
Success is not necessarily rewards for our faithfulness. Blessed are the poor, the hungry, those who weep. Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals.
Job – endured suffering and agony, lost everything and then some – hard to say he was blessed.
Time of Jeremiah – Israel has military strength and riches but doesn’t have peace.
To trust in God is to be blessed but what does it look like? Blessed doesn’t mean happy.
Gospel of Luke written for those outside looking in. God may consider them blessed if they trust God. They belong to God at the end of the day. None of the world’s struggles or sins could wipe away his knowledge of who God is.
Everything of this world fades but our God never changes.
We are blessed because of our God and who we are in God.

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The Lost Parables – Charmaine Smith-Miles

2021-3-14 Main Sermon
Luke 15:1-32
Parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost (prodigal) son. Searching for what is missing and celebrating being whole again. In God’s Kingdom, everyone counts.Our Heavenly Father celebrates over us.
We are all lost at some time in our lives. The one missing shepherd among the 100 makes a difference. Without her, something is missing, and with her, the flock is complete.
You matter to God. We have a good and gracious inheritance in the Kingdom.
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Watch & Listen – Charmaine Smith-Miles

2021-3-7 Main Sermon
Exodus 34:29-35, Luke 9:28-36
In dense fog, you watch and listen. Peter, James and John are unable to sleep and stay awake to witness Jesus’ transfiguration. Witnessing God’s glory and don’t know what to do. Talk of building three dwellings – attempt to keep it there and hold it “forever.”
What would you do in the presence of the Almighty? Peter, James and John stayed alert in the mystery of it all. We are made in God’s image but He is different from us. His presence changes the lives of those touched by it.
He says to listen – “This is Son whom I have chosen.”
We are not alone in the journey to understanding of God. Death and resurrection happen every day in a Christian’s life. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for perfect people.
Who is God calling you to share in the mystery with? We are forgiven because of what happened on the mountain top, the cross and the tomb. We are not called to be the judge, jury or executioner.
We are scared of fully understanding because it means we will be changed forever in ways we do not understand or can grasp. Fear of the unknown.
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What Anchors You? – Charmaine Smith-Miles

2021-2-28 Main Sermon
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 First fruits and tithes
Luke 4:1-13 Temptation of Jesus Christ
During Lent as we reflect on who we are and who our God is, what anchors us (you)?
The devil is real. He tries to convince us that he and us have the power, but Jesus saves us in the desert.
Man lives not on bread alone but from every word that comes from the Lord (Deut. 8:3)
also Deut.: 6:13, 16
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Love For Enemies – Charmaine Smith-Miles

2021-2-21 Main Sermon
Genesis 45:1-15 Joseph reveals himself to his brothers
Luke 6:27-36 Love For enemies. Do good and expect nothing in return.
Sibling rivalry – toxic in Old Testament reading.
Joseph the youngest son – favored by his father and God. Brothers hate him and sell him into slavery but some wanted him dead.
Joseph shows no anger in the reunion. God sent me before you to preserve life. He talks of what God has done for him and through him. Strength to extend mercy to those who wanted him dead
Luke – love our enemies. Don’t point out the sins of others while forgetting our own sins. The struggle within ourselves to do God’s will or our own.
God has granted us mercy and is asking us to do the same. Love is not always a feeling; sometimes it’s an action. To utter the words of grace with the strength of the Holy Spirit.
Joseph – God is the one who has done this.
During this season of Lent, know you have been forgiven and let that release you into the freedom and joy of God’s mercy and grace.
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Here I Am. Send Me! – Charmaine Smith-Miles

2021-2-7 Main Sermon
Isaiah 6:1-13, Luke 5:1-11
Tasks that we don’t like to do but must. Simon Peter thought he was finished fishing but Jesus says to go back out. Simon Peter “but we’ve caught nothing.”
Isaiah – “How long, oh Lord?” We’re tired and we face challenges.
When Jesus said to have faith and trust Him, Simon Peter agreed (Whatever you say, Master).
They take a chance and trust God and Jesus.
Isaiah will have a difficult road as a prophet but he is obedient. Discipleship is not just about God blessing us. Mountaintop experiences are fine but some days you don’t feel on fire.
Let thy will be done. When God asks you to “keep fishing,” trust and obey because there’s no other way.
Tough work of loving each other and trusting in Jesus as our and their savior.
Do your tasks knowing God is with you.

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More Ministry Lessons – Herb Codington

2021-1-24 Main Sermon
• Encouragement/Hospitality
The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. The lack of encouragement is almost an epidemic. Encourage generously.
Hebrews – meet together.
Holy Spirit – Divine Encourager
Who are those in need of encouragement?
Are you willing to give the time to do it? Make it a priority.
Will you make yourself available? Ministry of presence.
Are you willing to have a heart-to-heart connection? The world is crying for encouragement.
Greek word is a combination of love and stranger.
Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 25:34 & on, Romans 12:13, I Peter 4:8-9
Who is the stranger in our community? Who is being overlooked?
Practice attentiveness. Adapt to stranger. Practice compassion (Latin – suffering with another)
Develop sense of informed urgency in spiritual and church life.
Contentment when it comes to spiritual things is a vice – a lack of spiritual desire.
John 9:4, Ephesians 5:15-16, Revelation 2 & 3, 3:15 & following
Avoid being too internally oriented. Complacency grows when you don’t see opportunity.
John 20:21 – As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.

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Servants While We Lead – Charmaine Smith-Miles

2021-1-17 Main Sermon Luke 16:19-31
Le Chambon, France in Alps near border with Switzerland, initiated by pastor Andre Trocme, and his wife Magda – saved 5000 Jewish refugees during World War II.
Magda – I never refused to help someone who came to my door – accepts responsibility.
In Luke passage – rich man “can’t see” Lazarus – no greeting, no assistance.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer – death is the common fate that awaits both of them when rich man is no longer rich and poor man is no longer poor. In death, God’s Kingdom is in full view for both men. Rich man sees error of his ways. Had seen himself as different from the poor man but we are all God’s children. Poor man – no influence or status in this world but still a child of God.
Martin Luther King Jr. – God’s dream for all children.
If a person’s mind is closed and scripture is rejected, no evidence – not even a resurrection _ will change him.
Pay attention – ask questions – listen – see. We are in this together.
Discipleship requires sacrifice. Don’t pick up gift of grace and walk away; share it.
Galatians 1 – In Christ
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3 Lessons of Ministry – Herb Codington

2021-1-10 Main Sermon
1. Grace – love of God John 1:16 & 17
Jesus is the source, initiator, enabler of experiencing His grace. Christians should be seen giving back to the living spring. Living under the law vs. living under grace. Don’t raise barriers between God’s grace and those who need it.
2. A sense of gratitude and thanksgiving. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always. Give thanks in all circumstances. Roman 1:21 – center of Pauline theology – gratitude; from OT – a thank offering. Gratitude to the Almighty and those around us. Embrace the sins of previous generations because we have been blessed by their faith to God.
3. Need to cultivate a lifestyle of service – Jesus as servant, Matthew 20:25
diaconia – waiting on tables; seeking to control vs. seeking to serve. Seek the least, last, lost and lonely.
Matthew 9:10 – not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.
Service is not an easy thing. The church is only the church when it exists for others. Service is a calling.
Be careful about judging others. None of us are deserving of God’s grace. Responsibility is to give; then they are accountable before the Lord.
The greatest service – faithful daily intercession for those we care about. Learning to listen.
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Faith Conquers The World – Charmaine Smith-Miles

2021-1-3 Main Sermon
I John 5:1-5, I John 2:7-14
Letter written to the whole church because divisions had risen over matters of theology – how to do church
Foundations of Faith
We are all bound by the One who created us. We are valuable and great things are expected of us.
The love that changes things.
Don’t listen to the hate. The world would have us pit ourselves against each other because of our differences. Don’t return hate for hate. No one wins when it’s all about who wins at the end of the day.
I John 2:7-14
True love is not fleeting. Love is about truth that is unshakeable. God loves us because God is love. He makes room for us and asks us to make room for each other.
Hate returned for hate – everybody loses.
A love not content with things as they are or with the easy way out.
You matter to God and so does your neighbor and your enemy.

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