Posts

Showing posts from 2009

The Traveling Carpenter

The Traveling Carpenter
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 27, 2009 AM

A weary traveler comes into view, sets his one piece of odd-looking luggage and a carpenter's long metal tool box down, and sits heavily down on a long row of chairs of a nondescript airport waiting area. He sighs big, checks his pockets, finds something to eat in them, and opens up a granola bar and begins to eat it. Looking around he discovers that he isn’t alone and addresses the audience.

(He is busily checking all of his pockets for his airplane tickets.) I know I put those airline tickets somewhere in my pockets, but which one? Gosh, Mama is gonna be mad at me if I lost them and then there will be the hassle of going to the ticket counter and getting them reissued… (Finds the tickets folded up in his hat band.) Oh… silly me… there they are! I am getting more absent minded everyday! Now, where did I put that airport map… Oh well… I will look on the wall or ask someone for directions.

Airports! They are all the same. …

Yacob, the Simple Carpenter

Yacob, the Simple Carpenter
12-13-09 AM
By Pastor Lee Hemen

(We find an older man, dressed in carpentry clothes, busily working in his shop, and singing to himself.) Yehovah is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He guides me in His righteousness…

Good morning! Shalom! May the Lord bless you! Welcome to my carpentry shop! My name is Yacob. I do all kinds of carpentry work! What do you need today? Just looking for some good sturdy furniture? I can do that! I am but a simple carpenter. My father was a simple carpenter, his father was a simple carpenter, and… well… you get the idea. (Expansively.) We are all simple carpenters! We have a long history of being carpenters. But I can make almost anything you would need!

Do you need a table? A chair? Perhaps you need a cradle?

Do you have children? I do. A son. Yoseph. Do they follow in your footsteps? Do they want to do what you do for a livin…

Of Pigs, People, and Demons - Mark 5:1-20

Of Pigs, People, and Demons - Mark 5:1-20
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 6, 2009 AM

When we are presented with facts and figures we retain only about 5% of what we are taught. However, when we are given illustrations or parables, like Jesus used, we retain about half of them. If we become emotionally connected to the illustration used, we retain even more of the information given to us. This is why we remember stories like the one we are going to read today. The healing of a man that is totally out of control because of the demons in his life, frightens us, intrigues us, and helps us to indentify with him because we all fight some demonic influences in our lives. Seeing him completely healed gives us hope and a certainty in life.

Last week we learned about how Jesus calms the storms of life. In this section we will look at today we will discover that after Jesus calms the storm-blown waves that frightened his disciples, he is faced with the personal storm of an individual whose daily routi…

Jesus Calms Life’s Storms - Mark 4:35-41

Jesus Calms Life’s Storms - Mark 4:35-41
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 29, 2009 AM

If you have never been out in the open ocean during a raging storm you have no idea what true fear can be like. The closest thing to experiencing this kind of fear would be to watch the movie “The Perfect Strom” which was taken from the book about the 1991 perfect storm that hit the North American coast in October 1991, and features the crew of the fishing boat Andrea Gail, based out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The crew was lost 575 miles at sea during the severe conditions while fishing for Marlin. Also in the book and movie is the story about the rescue of the three-person crew of the sailboat Satori in the Atlantic waters during the storm, by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tamaroa. The weather created huge towering waves described as being 7 to 10 stories tall! How would you calm a storm like that?

Our lives can have perfect storms as well. Storms created by conditions of our own making, illnesses, or the …

The Kingdom Parables – Mark 4:26-34

The Kingdom Parables – Mark 4:26-34
by Pastor Lee Hemen
November 22, 2009 AM

In the hymn "In the Sweet Bye and Bye," it tells us that "There's a land that is fairer than day, And by faith we can see it afar; For the Father waits over the way, to prepare us a dwelling place there. In the sweet Bye and bye, we shall meet on that beautiful shore. In the sweet, Bye and bye, we shall meet on that beautiful shore. We shall sing on that beautiful shore, the melodious songs of the blest, and our spirits shall sorrow no more; not a sigh for the blessing of rest." It is a wonderful hymn that tries to describe for us the wonders of heaven. Sadly, there are those who confuse the wonders of heaven with God’s kingdom here and now. We would do well in understanding the differences and why it is important for us to do so.

It is no wonder that we have all wondered what heaven might be like. The Apostle John tried to relate what he saw when he was given a small glimpse of the heaven…

Measuring Your Light Speed – Mark 4:21-25

Measuring Your Light Speed – Mark 4:21-25
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 15, 2009 AM

I loved physics in school, especially the labs. It was fascinating to set up experiments. One of the labs we had to do was measure how fast is the speed of light. The speed of light is approximately 186,000 miles per second or exactly 299,792,458 meters per second. The web site instructables.com teaches you how to measure it in your kitchen using a large bar of chocolate, a microwave, and a metric ruler. You take the turntable out of the microwave, place the chocolate bar, usually only three squares of a large bar, inside on a paper plate, and turn the microwave on high and wait for pools of melted chocolate to form. Zap the chocolate for about 40 to 50 seconds. Then carefully take the chocolate out and measure between hotspots with the metric ruler. When you measure between hotspots it represents the half wavelengths of light. You multiply this number by two, and then multiply that answer by the frequenc…

Gospel Gardening - Mark 4:10-20

Gospel Gardening - Mark 4:10-20
by Pastor Lee Hemen
November 8, 2009 AM

Have you ever tried to explain something to someone who could not understand a word of what you were saying? No matter how hard you tried, they simply could not grasp the concepts you were trying to get across to them? I have. Especially when it concerns computer instructions or problems. I can relate to software or computer technicians that help folks over the phone on just how difficult it is to get concepts across. The person you are talking to needs to have a rudimentary understanding of computers, Microsoft Windows, and how they work together. And, contrary to what the Mac commercials you see on TV want you to believe, they have a multitude of problems just as PCs and Microsoft does.

Jesus used parables but they were not deliberately “mystic” nor was he trying to initiate people into some deeper religious practice. Rather, he spoke in parables so that those who had already been sensitized by the Holy Spirit would…

Parables for A Purpose - Mark 4:1-9

Parables for A Purpose - Mark 4:1-9
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 1, 2009 AM

Seeds are such small superbly created things and yet mankind depends upon these tiny treasures from God in order to feed, cloth, or shelter himself. From a small seed can grow huge trees or the lowly squash. In fact, the maple that is growing outside of my front door is a tree that was started from a small seed. It now produces its own seedlings from helicopter-like seeds scattered by the wind around my yard and flower beds. It is amazing to me the message of God can be found in such a tiny thing, and that is why we find Jesus using the illustration of seeds to depict the kingdom of heaven and those who hear its message or not.Jesus often used parables in his teaching. Stories, that over and over again, his listeners had heard many times before, but he always put a new twist on them. And, Jesus used things that were familiar to his listeners. Many either ate for the day or went hungry depending upon how seeds wer…

When Family or Man Does Not Understand - Mark 3:20-35

When Family or Man Does Not Understand - Mark 3:20-35
By Pastor Lee Hemen
October 25, 2009 AM

During a Youth Camp I was directing one young teenage girl was deliberately creating personal drama all around her. Because of her self-centeredness and total self-absorption in boys, she was keeping the whole camp in turmoil. Of course, being the Camp Director, I had to be the one to confront her. At first she got really angry and tried yelling at me that I “just did not understand her and what she was going through.” So, I patiently asked her to explain it to me. As she got into her lengthy dissertation on why she was being a pill, she realized how totally selfish she was and how the whole camp had begun to not want to be around her. All of a sudden she went kind of pale, began to cry, and apologized.

We have all seen in situation comedies, or have experienced for ourselves, a pouting child that storms off into the next room while shouting to their bewildered parents, “You just do not understan…

The Gathering Crowds -- Mark 3:7-19

The Gathering Crowds -- Mark 3:7-19
By Pastor Lee Hemen
October 18, 2009 AM

Crowds and their dynamics are very interesting and have been studied by sociologists and pubic bystanders for centuries. Crowds can be mobs, crowds can be audiences, crowds can be steered and directed, or they can become mindless and panicked. And they can form for a myriad of reasons, everything from the looky-loos of a horrible accident to the gathered listeners of a vibrant speaker or musician. In fact, gathering crowds can become like storm clouds that gather on the horizon. They can become threatening and uncontrollable. I was a witness to such crowd dynamics in Vancouver BC during a Christian conference put on by the late speaker John Wimber. A convert to Quakerism, who was the Founding Director of the Department of Church Growth at the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth, that has spawned much of the emergent church theology of today. He also was a founding member of the music group…