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Showing posts from October, 2006
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…
When Being Good Is Not Good Enough – Romans 3:1-18
by Pastor Lee Hemen
October 8, 2006

I have shared with you before about some of the vain attempts my folks made to us boys for us to be good. And like I have shared before we tried, we really did try. However there were times when being good was not good enough. You know, like the time I tried to wash the dog in the galvanized washtub in the front yard and he got away, rolled in the garden, and ran into the house. It started out as a good attempt at doing something quite good without being asked to, only to end in… well… tragedy. Our lives can be the same way when we try on our own to please God. Spiritually, we must learn when being good is not good enough.

The Apostle Paul was writing to his Jewish brothers in Rome that had become believers. He asks and then answers obvious questions that his argumentative style had no doubt raised in the minds of his readers. Remember, the Jews bragged about their relationship to God, yet their lifesty…