Oct 31, 2013

Looking Back



October 27, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "Looking Back" from October 27, 2013.

Sermon transcript available for download here.


iTunes

Oct 25, 2013

How Will You Know if You Don’t Ask


“If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you” (James 1:5).

I remember a wise, sensible older man in my old neighborhood that used to say: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I think he said this because he knew all too well the foibles of ordinary human beings—of which my fellow neighborhood kids certainly were. He would pull out this well-worn aphorism whenever we told him our big plans and why they wouldn’t work. He thought some of our ideas worth a try.

For many people, it is easier to sit around and say why something cannot be done rather than actually do something constructive. As they say, “talk is cheap.” The above quotation, from James 1:5, shares something of this wisdom. It seems to say that if we lack anything, then we should ask God about it. Clearly it is easy to sit around and lament our lot in life. However, God is our partner and we need to allow God into the parts of our life where and when challenges meet us. We must knock before someone can open the door. We must search before finding the objects of our search.

This fall is upon us. We, as a congregation, will find new challenges and new opportunities for ministry. Soon some of our big projects in our campaign “We Are Here for Good” will be complete and we will move to some new ones. Challenges, however, are frightening to those who want to play it safe. But with challenge comes occasions for growth. As we prepare for the tasks ahead in 2014 and beyond, I pray that you and I will continue to turn to God for wisdom. Maybe then we can, with the Apostle Paul, begin . . . “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13).

Come—Worship
Stay—Learn
Go—Serve!

Oct 24, 2013

Scripture...useful for Teaching



October 20, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "Scripture...useful for Teaching" from October 20, 2013.

Sermon transcript available for download here.


iTunes

Oct 18, 2013

On Keeping What We Lose and Losing What We Keep


In just a week or two we as a church will enter a time of contemplating what and praying for the treasure God has given us. We will decide how and to what degree we will share of our resources for the ministries of Christ's Church here at FUMC of Arlington.

Hardly anyone I know does not struggle with what we have and how to preserve it. The Christian faith and the Bible speak a lot about possessions. Therefore our theological tradition is a good place to turn to understand our responsibilities as Christians. As Saint Augustine once wrote, “Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness.” Larry Pennings shared the following piece of wisdom on the subject of keeping and losing:

In Other Words, a publication of the Wycliffe Bible Translators, recently told a story about Sadie Sieker, who served for many years as a house-parent for missionaries’ children in the Philippines. Sadie loved books. Though she gladly loaned out some, others she treasured in a footlocker under her bed. Once, in the quiet of the night, Sadie heard a faint gnawing sound. After searching all around her room, she discovered that the noise was coming from her footlocker. When she opened it, she found nothing but an enormous pile of dust. All the books she had kept to herself had been lost to termites. What we give away, we keep. What we hoard, we lose.

We each have our loves, but what we share with others goes into the great repository of common human life and decency. God loves a cheerful giver because God may know that giving is the essence of authentic human relationship. People who are happy with others are generally pretty happy people.

Come—Worship
Stay—Learn
Go—Serve!

Oct 11, 2013

On Knowing the Will of God

 

An alert reader once offered me a copy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. One of the newspaper articles was a review by Jim Jones entitled To Know God’s Will is No Easy Thing. Jones discussed Chuck Swindoll’s book, The Mystery of God’s Will. After writing more that twenty-five books (many of them best sellers) Swindoll is a respected and trusted preacher. He also has a wide following through his nationally syndicated radio program Insights for Living. Clearly, Swindoll is a person listened to and highly regarded by many people in the United States and beyond.

I appreciated what Jones wrote about Swindoll’s book. In it Swindoll cautioned against what he termed “voodoo theology.” Jones wrote of Swindoll, “While he [Swindoll] doesn’t know all the answers, Swindoll says that God’s will is mainly revealed in searching the Bible and following God’s wisdom.” Swindoll goes on to say that, “Finding God’s will is a complex, mysterious endeavor. It requires wisdom, clear thinking, and old-fashioned common sense.”

It occurs to me that if faith is a lifelong proposition, then shouldn’t we have a God that takes AT LEAST a lifetime to explore and discover. Those who have a “blinding light” experience of God and then know all of God’s mysteries leave me cold. I am happy that they believe they have all knowledge of God cornered. But, as for me, I feel fortunate that I learn a little about God and other people each day. I suppose it gives me something to look forward to next week as God and I continue to get to know each other better and better—so to speak. I hope this trend continues for many years to come. After all, “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). Perhaps there is a great deal about love and God we can still understand—and then practice.

Come—Worship
Stay—Learn
Go—Serve!

Oct 9, 2013

A Faith that Lived First...




October 6, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "A Faith that Lived First..." from October 6, 2013.

Sermon transcript available for download here.


iTunes

Oct 4, 2013

What Do You See?



As the senior minister of First United Methodist Church of Arlington, Texas, I want to brag about how our church connects people. Our congregation is a progressive community of faith that is quite mission minded. In addition, we are Christians guided by a rich faith tradition. We are also a practical people who try to live out our Christian faith in the “nickels and dimes” of life.

Rick S. Johnson aptly describes our philosophy when he once wrote not about us, but certainly he captures the spirit of our place:
As people look at barren land, what is it they see? A person starting a new business sees a new store with a beautiful parking lot—jammed with paying customers. Another person could see a home-site with trees, landscaping, and children playing, with a horse or two completing the vision. Church folks looking at a raw piece of land, however, envision a dynamic new congregation, where worship and Christian education help a community live the gospel. In each of the three cases, there is one common thread: all see something that is not there—yet! Each looks through the eyes of hope. They look not at what is, but rather what can be.
Are you a person who is capable of seeing things that are not there? If so, then you are a person of hope. We invite you to come, visit, and help us shape Arlington’s future—and the rest of the Metroplex. We at FUMC of  Arlington, open our hearts, our minds, and our doors to you and your household. Come and lend a hand to help us be the people that God created us to be.

Come—Worship
Stay—Learn
Go—Serve!

Oct 2, 2013

The Other Lazarus



September 29, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "The Other Lazarus" from September 29, 2013.

Sermon transcript available for download here.


iTunes

 
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