Sep 27, 2013

Do Not Let Yourself be Fooled . . . Even by Yourself

I am around a number of different kinds of people—varied backgrounds, races, socio-economic levels, languages, ages . . . well you get the idea. No one, I don’t suppose, likes other people to set limits on what we can or cannot do. We like to decide for ourselves and we surely believe we exercise free will on a regular basis. And yet . . . ?

Have you ever noticed that some people are frequently trapped in the snares of their own making? Someone, for example, tells a student that he or she is not too bright and regularly even the smartest people go through life under such misapprehension. For a person to be trapped by the misconceptions of others is tragic—and believing the mistaken conviction as if it were true.

An African impala can jump to a height of over ten feet and cover a distance greater than thirty feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a three-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will land. They are imprisoned with a self-imposed limitation—one that is false.

Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and faith frees us from the flimsy enclosures of life that fear alone continues to entrap us. Certainly human beings are finite creatures, but at the same time may we only be restricted by truth and not something erroneous.


Sep 25, 2013

Do You Want to Be Faithful in Much?

September 22, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "Do You Want to Be Faithful in Much?" from September 22, 2013.

Sermon transcript available from download here.


Sep 20, 2013

Don’t Let Center313 be a Secret . . .

Sometimes we keep secrets for our own advantage, but other times the sharing of information is too important to keep to ourselves. I remember years ago seeing an advertisement for the Mercedes Benz car company. On this TV commercial we see one of the company’s cars colliding with a concrete wall during a safety test. Someone then asks the company spokesperson why the company does not enforce its patent on the Mercedes Benz’s energy-absorbing car body, a design evidently copied by other corporations because of its success.

The company spokesperson replies matter-of-factly, “Because some things in life are too important not to share.” How true. In that category of “news that is too good not to share” also falls the gospel of salvation. This saving word does more that keep people safe from auto collisions. It is also the word of life!

If you want to hear more of the good news that is too good to keep secret, why don’t you visit the Arlington Music Hall to hear Center313. This excellent praise band, from our own church, not only performs each Sunday in the Celebration service, but is performing this Saturday night at 7:30 pm 28 September 2013.

Good music—good times—good message.


Sep 18, 2013

Losing It

September 15, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Rezolia Johnson's sermon "Losing It" from September 15, 2013.


Sep 13, 2013

Redemption: The Forgiveness of Sins

In an old issue of the newsletter Context, Martin Marty retells a parable from The Eye of the Needle newsletter:
A holy man was engaged in his morning meditation under a tree whose roots stretched out over the riverbank. During his meditation he noticed the river rising, and a scorpion caught in the roots was about to drown. He crawled out on the roots and reached down to free the scorpion, but every time he did so, the scorpion struck him.

An observer said to the holy man, “don’t you know that’s a scorpion, and it’s in the nature of a scorpion to want to sting?”

To which the holy man replied, “that may well be, but it is my nature to save, and must I change my nature because the scorpion does not change its nature?”

Sometimes in international tensions, in our own households, and everywhere in between it is easy to lose sight of who we are. In these moments there is a great and grave temptation to sink to the lowest common denominator of human behavior. As followers of the risen Christ we remember the words of Colossians 3:13, which reminds us: “Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

Only in true forgiveness can there ever be authentic peace.


Sep 11, 2013

Crackpots I Have Known and Loved

September 8, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Rev. Dr. John Holbert's sermon "Crackpots I Have Known and Loved" from September 8, 2013.

Sep 6, 2013

Do You Have the Pioneering Spirit

This week, as a giant earth mover was at work on North Street, it was reported to me that a transient person in our neighborhood was quite annoyed at not being able to use the street because of construction. If he had said it to me I would have asked him where his pioneering spirit was. As my father has always been fond of saying: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!” This pioneering spirit reminds me of a story.

About 350 years ago, a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.

In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?

Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision.

With a clear vision of what we can become, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries.

As we move as a church to establish a true front door and make our street and church safer for people to enter and exit our building, I deeply appreciate what good humor our church members have displayed—and continue to display—as we move forward.


Sep 4, 2013

Eating: Humility and Hospitality

September 1, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "Eating: Humility and Hospitality" from September 1, 2013.

Sermon transcript available for download here.

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