Sermon Starters

                                             ernest-024

                                       Rev. E. Anderson

RESPONSIBILITY FOR SERVICE

Word for Today

 

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others . . .”

 

Each time you make a responsible decision, you become a more responsible person. Successful people don’t blame others, they take responsibility fo their actions and attitudes. They show response-ability-the ability to choose correct response no matter what situation they face. Responsibility is always a choice, and only you can make it. If being responsible hasn’t been one of your strengths, then start small. You can’t start from any place other than where you are right now.

 

Which areas of responsibility are the toughest for you?

 

1/. FOLLOWING THROUGH; TAKING RESPONSIBILITY TO FINISH WHAT YOU START?

 

If you’ve a tendency to quit, give yourself relatively small goals that require you to stretch. Start in areas you care about deeply, then with a few wins under your belt, begin tackling other areas.

 

2/. TAKING CARE OF THE SMALL STUFF?

 

How often do you forget the small things – that are big things to others? Like forgetting anniversaries and birthdays, not picking up the dry cleaning or taking out the rubbish, missing your child’ game or play. ‘Let your light shine . . . . that they may see your good works and glorify your Father . . . “ – Matthew 5: 16

 

3/.  STEPPING FORWARD; NOT EXPECTING SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT FOR YOU?

 

Most of us have a tough decision that’s waiting to be made, and we keep putting it off. What’s yours? Why aren’t you taking action? Write down the reasons, so you understand clearly what they are. Now write down the advantages of making the decision. Once you know in your heart what you should do, ask God for strength, do it, and stand by it. That’s taking personal responsibility.

 

                                              uganda-209

Advertisements

News and Views

                                              

                                                   john-glass

THERE’S A WHOLE LOT OF SHAKING GOING ON

John Glass

General Superintendent

Elim Pentecostal Church

The financial chaos in the money markets around the world that commenced three months ago continues, like the seismic disturbance of an earthquake, to produce one aftershock after another. Subterranean tectonic plates hive moved and foundations being disturbed.

 

Northern Rock was amongst first to go as one institution after another began, like precarious dominoes, to totter and collapse. The attack of 9/11 was directed against the World Trade Centre, and on its anniversary world trade again has taken a direct hit.

 

What is happening will affect us all, whatever corner of the world we inhabit. Some whose income depends directly on the stock market find themselves in the eye of the storm, but the ripple effects have reverberated globally with tremors destabilizing everything from job security to the basic price of food.

 

We could say that ‘Babylon is falling’, or that God is shaking man-made institutions just as a duster is agitated before cleansing can commence. The Scriptures tell of a time when God would shake everything that can be shaken so that the things that cannot be shaken can remain.

 

Peterson puts it like this in his paraphrase of the passage in Hebrews: ‘He’s told us this quite plainly – he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem – to stern.” The phrase ”one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting of all the historical and religious junk so rid so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered’ – Hebrews 12:26-27; The Message.

 

One thing is certain in all of this: houses built on sand will sink, and those that are built on rock will stand. Faith is tested in the wind tunnel of adversity, whether the storm that we are called to weather assails our health, our wealth or our emotional security.

 

When it comes to guidance, Christ remains our irremovable north star. When it comes to security, he is the only foundation we can ultimately trust.

 

Most of us have no memories of the Blitz of the Second World War. As fascist bombs rained down on Britain, those who survived spoke of priorities that shifted from the secondary and the trivial to things that mattered more: relationships and family. For the Christian it also meant a deeper reliance and trust in God.

 

For the Church, locally and nationally, these times will also call for a re-evaluation of purpose – which will prove to be not altogether a bad thing. It will be a challenge for us all and, without doubt, a litmus test of our credibility before a watching world.

 

                                            web-22-005

Childrens Page

                                            earnest-nig     

                                         Rev. E. Anderson

THE WOODPECKER’S NEST

Rev. Ivor Powell

 

I regret to say that during my lifetime I have done many foolish things. Often I escaped without serious hurt, but at other times my shortsightedness caused grave misgivings.

 

I remember an afternoon when I walked with my parents along a mountain lane in Wales. Nearly twenty years earlier I had travelled that way on a bird-nesting expedition, and had found a woodpecker’s nest. The neat round hole had been bored into the trunk of a tree, and inside the bird had made a depression in which to lay her egg.

 

l was only a small boy when I found that nest, but the discovery thrilled me. I heard the rhythmical tap-tap-tap of another drilling bird as a similar nest was made elsewhere in the woods, and I became fascinated by the tunnel in the tree. All this I remembered as I climbed the mountain again. My love for ornithology had grown with me into manhood. and I eagerly hurried along the lane, looking for the twenty years’ old nest. I knew that once the woodpecker had bored its hole, the tunnel remained there during the lifetime of the tree.

 

When I failed to find the tree, I wondered if it had been destroyed. Had the farmer cut it down? However, I had only misjudged the distance, for when I walked another fifty yards, I found what I sought. When I saw the same tiny tunnel, memories crowded into my mind and I relived earlier days. The nest was seven feet from the ground and because I did not wish to ruin a good suit. I refrained from trying to reach it with my hands. Yet I was drawn to that hole, and felt disappointed in being so frustrated.

 

Why could I not climb the tree? Why had my hand grown too large to be inserted in the hole? I frowned, and did a stupid thing. I wondered if another bird were there, and lifting my walking stick, poked it down the tunnels half expecting a woodpecker to fly out. Again I was dis-appointed, and in sheer frustration moved my stick round and round in the hole. My action was not only foolish it was disastrous for in the old nest a colony of wasps had made their home. Hundreds of infuriated wasps surged from the tree, and I ran for my life! That was the last time I stirred a hole for I discovered that it was wiser and safer to mind my own business!

 

Yet, how often have I seen similar things taking place elsewhere. Man’s greatest weakness seems to be that he loves to have his own way. He yearns to get his hand into every nest; and if sometimes Church legislation prevents the fulfillment of his desires, he begins to sulk, like a silly schoolboy. Then instead of allowing the “hole in the tree” to remain peacefully at rest, the frustrated fellow takes a stick to stir everybody and everything. And more often than not, his action disturbs a wasps’ nest. All kinds of tiny demons are suddenly liberated, and the peaceful calm of church becomes filled with angry buzzing. Only noble men can smile in defeat. Alas, some men are not noble; and if such be defeated in a church ballot, if they fail to get their own way in an Assembly or home, volcanic murmurings may be heard in their throats and the violent eruptions which follow are even worse than the stirring of a wasps’ nest.

 

Happy indeed is the man who believes “. . . .  all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose”. Blessed indeed is the woman who can in defeat can say, “Even this disappointment may be in the centre of the will of God for me. If I can smile now, my heavenly Father will overrule this unfortunate affair and make it work for my good”.

 

This restful attitude outlaws irritability; this gracious action preserves a calm which supersedes all else. There is reason to believe that sometimes our theology is clearer than our Christian example. We believe something which we do not practice. If God be for us, who can be against us? It follows, then. That if we are denied certain things, the Lord might be indirectly responsible for the denial. Why should we be upset if things do not work out as we had hoped? 

Woodpeckers’ nests can be a source of great danger, especially when church members carrying walking sticks  

                                               uganda-336