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Showing posts from August, 2009

The Authority of God -- Mark 1:21-34

The Authority of God -- Mark 1:21-34
By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 30, 2009 AM

There are people who claim authority, want authority, think they have authority, those who need authority, and those who neglect or disrespect authority but what exactly is authority? As someone, a long time ago, quipped, “Authority is earned, not demanded.” Those who have it know how to exercise it in a way that results in respect, devotion, and an immediate response. Then there are those who are born with authority who have done well with the mantle laid on them while others have used their authority to subjugate those around them. While human beings can and often do misuse the authority given them, God never does.

Recently, the passing of a prominent Senator reminds us that no matter where you come from nor what you try to do, who you are and what you did in life matters. You can misuse the authority you are born into to cover up immoral and illegal conduct. Sadly, money or family contacts can often buy immunit…

The Choice Everyone Has -- Mark 1:15-20

The Choice Everyone Has -- Mark 1:15-20
By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 23, 2009 AM

We all make good and bad choices in life. The choices we make can have a huge impact on our future. Such things as where we live, what school we go to, what we decide to do for a living, whom we marry, and such have important consequences, but there are far more important choices we make as well. One of these, that can have eternal significance, is what we deiced to believe or whom we decide to follow in life. This is why when Joshua stood before the people of Israel and bluntly demanded of them, “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) they knew that their choice had eternal consequences.

When Jesus came he immediately began to declare that “The time has com…

The Important Message -- Mark 1:12-14

The Important Message -- Mark 1:12-14
By Pastor Lee Hemen
Aug 16, 2009 AM

History is filled with the inhumane harshness that many societies have inflicted specifically on their children. Ancient Roman society would leave poorer children to fend for themselves, literally to die on their own if both parents were gone. Even in wealthier homes children that were not well liked could be left outside to die or cast aside for others that were deemed more privileged. Meanwhile, in Greek Sparta, boys were educated to create a strong warrior. Taken away from their parents at age 7 they lived a harsh and often brutal life in the soldiers barracks. Younger males were beaten by older boys to help toughen them up and they were not allowed to cry out in pain. These rituals were thought to make their perspective societies stronger and more vigorous. However the message it gave was one of harshness and cruel bleakness.

Suppose you were deliberately left all on your own by those you thought cared about you…

The Witnesses - Mark 1:1-11

The Witnesses - Mark 1:1-11
By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 9, 2009 AM

Mark’s gospel is as beautiful in its simplicity as it is in its depth of the theology. It is a mystery, in some ways, do to some of the apparent insertions by scribes much later. In fact, its name comes from one such addition. Technically, Mark’s Gospel is anonymous since it does not name its author at all. The title “according to Mark” (Kata Markon) was added later by a scribe some time before a.d. 125. Then there is the ending to Mark that does not belong, but more about that when we finally get there. However, the “unanimous testimony of the early church fathers is that Mark, an associate of the Apostle Peter, was the author. The earliest known statement of this comes from Papias (a.d. 110), who quoted the testimony of John the elder… .” (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Mark, as the author, does not mean that he made the story up but rather he was the human instrument that God used to testify about what he learned from Peter…

When Politicians Fail to Follow God - Jeremiah 34:15-17

When Politicians Fail to Follow God - Jeremiah 34:15-17
By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 2, 2009 AM

During election time it often seems that politicians will say almost anything in order to garner votes. Selling one’s soul for political gain is nothing new. David did it when he was running away from Saul. He made a pact with those who had been enemies of Israel (Moab) and later he would have to honor his decision. While we expect this kind of underhanded behavior from kings or politicians, we should be shocked when we discover it in the lives of God’s people.

We find that "The word came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom for the slaves. Everyone was to free his Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Jew in bondage. So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, …