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Showing posts from May, 2009

What is Truly Important in Life? - Philippians 3:10-12

What is Truly Important in Life? - Philippians 3:10-12
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 31, 2009 AM

Mike Hayes an award-winning NYC radio producer wrote about how his life priorities were changed suddenly in his Senior year of college. He wrote that “During my junior year in college, I ran myself ragged…. I had two roommates that year, Scott and Dave. Scott was a giant, about 6’ 4” and 200 pounds of solid muscle…. Dave was the polar opposite. About 5’ 7” and maybe 100 pounds. Dave was plagued by diabetes and a heart condition. He had to closely monitor his diet, and he added about six or seven pills to his daily regimen of food as well.” Mike’s relationship with God suffered as much as his relationship with his friends. His “wake-up call came the next year.” “I had moved into a new residence hall with other friends… I got the call from Dave's new roommate... Dave was headed to the hospital. ‘Something with his heart.’ It didn't look good.” Dave was dying yet he was only 20 years old. Dave…

Lose it all for the Lord! – Philippians 3:7-9

Lose it all for the Lord! – Philippians 3:7-9
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 24, 2009 AM

What would you be willing to die for? The love of your life? Your family? A pet? Job? Perhaps you would dare sacrifice yourself in order to save someone else’s life like for a kidney or heart transplant or a blood transfusion? The Reverend Thomas Baker went as a missionary to the Fiji Islands and died there in July of 1867 and was eaten by the local populace. They did not eat him because of his missionary work but rather he lost his life for messing with the local chief’s hair – actually the head man’s comb that kept his hair in place. One villager who took part in the cannibals’ feast was quoted in contemporary accounts as saying “we ate everything but his boots,” and one of Baker’s boots is reportedly on display along with his Bible, the fork and the bowl used to dine on him, at the Fiji Museum in Suva. Don’t worry about going there now, the cannibalistic decedents apologized in 2003 for their ancestor’s …

Beware of False Piety! - Philippians 3:1-6

Beware of False Piety! - Philippians 3:1-6
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 17, 2009 AM

How often have you seen children at play and some little killjoy just has to retort, “That’s not how you are supposed to do that!” or “You’re not following the rules!” Could this be the first glimmers of legalism in the life of this juvenile Pharisee? How would you describe legalism? Where does it come from and why does it occur? I suspect that we begin to allow legalism to creep into our lives, and especially our theology, because we have an unfounded sense of self-doubt or guilt. We then find security in following a set of guidelines or rules. What one person says is living a holy life can be a way to try to get you to adhere to their preconceived piety and their own brand of legalism. Scripture teaches us to be aware of false piety.

Paul would shout, “Beware of false piety!” because it often finds comfort in legalism. We discover that the Philippians had their legalistic detractors as well. They were a group…

Servants of God - Philippians 2:19-30

Servants of God - Philippians 2:19-30
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 10, 2009 AM

Every mother knows that their children show different characteristics and qualities. It does not necessarily make one child any less in the eyes of a loving mother, but rather unique and individual. Mothers do this with their children because they see special things in each child that make them special only to her. Why else would Mary, the mother of Jesus, ponder in her heart the things she saw and experienced in the life of her son? I know my mother often “pondered” the things she saw displayed in the lives of her children! For instance, when we brought huge night crawlers into the house and then chased her around with them because she thought they were baby garter snakes. Then, there was the time we were all lined up in a row to “confess” our crime of breaking her favorite cookie jar and none of us would crack. Years later her devoted daughter would admit it was her fault but that she honestly thought one of us b…

Fear and Trembling - Philippians 2:12-18

Fear and Trembling - Philippians 2:12-18
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 3, 2009 AM

My brother Ed and I had been getting on our mother’s nerves for most of the day and so we knew that when our father got home, we would hear about it. That is, unless we did something about it right away. You know, like a few well placed acts of “kindness” towards our dear old mother who was, after all, the “apple” of our eyes. Why, yes, that would work because after all how could anyone want to punish someone after they had done so much good? Right? Sadly, I am here to relate that it did not go as well as we expected. Ed and I still faced the consequences of our actions.

Christians can also get caught up into thinking they have to “do something” in order to get God to love them. However, Paul’s words remind us that “it is by grace we have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) What then does Paul mean when he writes …