Showing posts from 2006
Sin and the Christian! - Romans 7:14-25
by Pastor Lee Hemen
December 31, 2006

When I was younger there were times when I was caught doing things I really did not want to do, but I went a head and did them anyway. Oh I could have blamed others, the dog, or circumstances for my proclivity to do these things, but I knew better. A good example was when I knew without a doubt my brother loved peanut butter. In fact, he loved it so much that if he saw me with a peanut butter sandwich, he would often just take it from me. Well, one afternoon I purposefully made a couple of slices of peanut butter on bread. I spread it real thick, slowly waiting for Ed to come into the kitchen. And sure enough, there he was. “Whatcha doin’, Scrawny?” (This was his endearing term he often used for me.) “What’s-it-look-like?” I replied. “Hey!” he declared, “Give me those slices of peanut butter and bread!” “You want em,?” I retorted. “Let me have them!” (Notice the intellectual conversation?) That was all I needed…
A Father’s Tale
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 17, 2006

The Bible does not tell us anything about Mary’s family. Her mother and father, or any of her siblings, if she had any at all. However, I believe that Mary’s life exemplified a godly one. After all, she was chosen to be the mother of the Savior of the world! And we learn from the angel Gabriel that she was highly favored of God. We also know that her life was a reflection of her upbringing and so it is with this assurance, we find a father worried about his young Hebrew daughter “Miriam...”
I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise! I will say this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice for He has made me glad! This is both the happiest day and the saddest day of my life! But as you can see, I think I will focus on the happier part! Oh Lord, my God thank You for being the God You are. Thank You for my daughter Miriam!

A father knows this day will come but he never realizes just h…
The Law and Sin! – Romans 7:7-13
by Pastor Lee Hemen
December 10, 2006

There are always those who think they can disprove the Christian faith by regurgitating tired old arguments. You know what I mean. Things like, “Well if God is so powerful, can He make a rock bigger than He can lift?” or what some think is a new one: “If God is so good, why do bad things happen to good people?” Richard Dawkins, a leading atheist, who does not believe in evolution but angrily snipes at Christianity, touts much the same lame argument. He relates in his latest book, “The God Delusion,” that the God of the Old Testament “is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” In other words, how could a good God allow bad things to happen? He goes on to ide…
We Live by Sanctification - Romans 7:1-6
by Pastor Lee Hemen
December 3, 2006

Humans love to bind themselves up with legalism. It is almost as if we are so insecure in ourselves that we just need someone to tell us what to do and when to do it just so we can feel safe about ourselves! There is a commercial on TV that sells what is called a BlackBerry ® for the communication company Sprint. Three people are walking in a downtown area and one of them is holding his BlackBerry ® and using it as a GPS (global positioning device). When one of his companions takes it out of his hands to take a closer look at it, he is immediately lost and looks confused, not knowing where to turn or which direction to go until it is placed firmly back in his grasp. Spiritually, we can be the exact same way when we begin to depend on legalism to guide our faith. Christians are to live by sanctification instead of legalism.

The place of legalism for Paul was a continual theological battleground because of his Jew…
A Sanctified Life! – Romans 6:8-23
by Pastor Lee Hemen
November 26, 2006

Whether it’s preschoolers or puppies, a person often finds themselves repeating phrases over and over. You know like, “Come here. Come here! Come HERE!” or “Stop that. Stop that! STOP that!” I thought that this was the case when I overheard a woman an aisle over at WinCo, a local grocery store, repeating, “You really do not need that. You really do not need that. You REALLY do not NEED that!” I came around the corner expecting to see her with a unruly preschooler in her shopping cart and them having a concerted “discussion” about something that the child wanted to have. I was surprised to discover she was alone. She looked up at me sheepishly and confessed, “I am on a diet and I have to remind myself that I do not really need certain things to eat.”

Someone once said that “repetition is good for the soul.” Paul must have adhered to this concept because he is fond of repeating himself concerning certain spiritual trut…
Sanctification for Life! – Romans 6:1-7
by Pastor Lee Hemen
November 19, 2006

At no time did I think that when my best friend and I got caught for taking pop bottles from the back of John’s Grandway, a local grocery store, that we would be told not to do it again and let go. And make no mistake we never dreamed that because we were forgiven the first time that we should press our luck and try doing it again. Yet there are those who actually think this is true! They think that God is their best buddy and that He just kind of winks at sin, because didn’t Jesus die for our sins, and God is love after all, right? This is convoluted thinking.

We discover that there were those in Paul’s day who had the same misguided notion about Jesus. They may have not actually believed that what they were saying was true, but they wanted others to think that this is what Paul was teaching about God and His view of our sin. Now before you think I was a Juvenile delinquent and that I made a habit of pilfering …
Adam and Jesus– Romans 5:12-21
by Pastor Lee Hemen
November 12, 2006

Certain people are very important in our lives. Parents, grandparents, friends, and our church family. All of these become extremely important to our lives because each affects us in someway or another for either good or bad. However, there are others who have effected our lives, yet we may have never met them personally or interacted with them in anyway whatsoever. Politicians, doctors, lawyers, famous persons present or from the past may have affected our lives without us ever having met them. Two such prominent men are Adam and Jesus. they have affected each of our lives, even though we have never personally nor physically met either of them. Paul explains to us exactly how that is possible and the importance what it means for each of us.

We discovered within the past several weeks that possessing the Law was no salvation for the Jews. The Law did not remedy the problem of sin but only caused sin to increase so that …
What Faith Does -- Romans 5:1-11
by Pastor Lee Hemen
November 5, 2006

As parents we send our children off to school in hopes that they get some sort of education out of it. We send them off to college in sometimes a vain hope that they will learn the specifics of whatever they decide to do with the rest of their lives, whether it is medical, professional, legal, or otherwise. That is a desired outcome. In life we invest in certain things in order to gain a specific outcome for our investment. Did you know that the same is true for our faith? In fact, in these next passages of Scripture, we discover that they are especially noteworthy of our day and age where everything is measured by the axiom, “What’s in it for me?” Herein Paul describes for us exactly what our faith in Jesus Christ does for us!

We have discovered in the last few weeks that Abraham’s faith was not by works, the law, or by rituals. His faith was in what God promised. We now enjoy the same relationship when we decide to …
Faith In A Promise -- Romans 4:9-25
by Pastor Lee Hemen
October 29, 2006

Fred Bowlby, owner of a west London pub, The Pig and the Whistle, had become famous for his Doomsday Chair. It was an old cane chair with gold cushions, chained to a fixture in the pub. Any who dared to sit in this chair were offered free liquor. A city slicker had accepted the challenge and allegedly died on the spot. A town drunk unknowingly sat in the “killer chair” and his body was later found in the river. Father Duddleswell maintained that the absence of faith leads to superstition, and so he was challenged by the pub’s owner to sit in the chair. Bowing to public pressure and the offer of 100 pounds, the priest agreed to sit in the chair every day for a week at a designated time. When the week was over the father proudly took the chair home and displayed it in his study. Later, the father confessed that he had found an identical chair in a local antique shop, and with the help of the pub owner’s wife, had swit…
Faith, Not by Works– Romans 4:1-8
October 22, 2006
by Pastor Lee Hemen

I can remember my father standing over me as I slowly came out of my self-induced semi-conscious state. What happened was I had this really great idea to jump off the roof while holding several big pieces of cardboard. Now do not think I was stupid, I did duct tape them onto my arms first! The sky was blue, the birds were soaring in the white fluffy clouds, and I was soon going to join them. I knew something immediately went wrong when the ground came hurling up at me in a green and brown blur. Well, you know the rest. My father stood over me asking me, “What in the world do you think you were doing?” My thought was, “Why do you ask such silly questions of your son who is lying there, in pain, slowing dying? I was trying to FLY!” Just because I thought I could fly with cardboard taped to my arms did not mean that I could master the intricacies of aerodynamics. Faith did not equal works, so-to-speak.

Interestingly, Paul…
Faith Baby, It’s Faith!– Romans 3:19-31
October 15, 2006
by Pastor Lee Hemen

It is interesting to note that if we decided to make up a religion that people would adhere to, we could sit down and devise such a scheme quite easily. In fact, it has been done before. Several colleges have experimented with the concept. The Satirist Online has a whimsical web page that looks at the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Cult Leaders” and gives suggestions on such things as personal grooming, time management, and conceptualizing your cult. Then there are other sad attempts from those who have a rather odd sense of humor. However, the basis for any such attempt usually follows the pattern whereby devotees are told that unless they follow a certain set of guidelines, then they are doomed. Cults play on people’s personal insecurities. When God gave the Hebrew people His commandments, He intended that they would guide people into faith, trust, and devotion to Him and show them a better way of living. T…