Posts

Showing posts from 2010

The Deceivers Will Come! - Mark 13:1-6

The Deceivers Will Come! - Mark 13:1-6
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 26, 2010 AM

Mark 13 is sometimes called the eschatological discourse, the prophetic discourse, the Olivet discourse, or the Little Apocalypse. It depends on whether you see within these verses Jesus teaching about the culmination of events, future events, if you are concerned about where it occurred, or if you believe that Mark wanted us to read about the end of the world. However, we do not find the usual visionary and cryptic language that most apocalyptic literature contains. Rather, we read more of a practical and ethical discourse and warning by Jesus to his followers. He wanted them to be aware that deceivers will come and what they needed to do about it when it occurred.

Whether one believes in the biblical narrative of the end times or not we live in a day and age where folks love to speculate about the end of the world as we know it. From movies that cater to pagan Aztec calendars predicting it or a F…

Your Giving Reflects Your Heart - Mark 12:41-44

Your Giving Reflects Your Heart - Mark 12:41-44
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 12, 2010 AM

The human heart is an amazing organ that pumps literally hundreds of thousands of gallons of blood through miles of blood vessels night and day for decades. Yet it can be stopped by the smallest of obstructions. The spiritual heart can be an amazing thing as well. When it is truly given to the Lord it can produce a wealth of goodness, greatness, and joy. However, it too can be hampered by the smallest of obstructions. Obstructions of greed, selfishness, an unforgiving spirit, or narrow-mindedness can stop the beating of the spiritual heart. There is a cure though and it is found in a life of sacrifice. A heart that reflects Jesus is strong in him.

Here in Mark’s gospel we find Jesus and his disciples back in the temple, specifically in the Court of the Women. As they sit there they notice those who come and go as they give to the care of the temple. In these few verses we discover a wonder…

What do you value in life? - Mark 12:35-40

What do you value in life? - Mark 12:35-40
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 5, 2010 AM

In the gangland movie, “The Untouchables,” Elliot Ness, played by Kevin Costner, moans, “I want to get Capone! I don’t know how to do it.” Malone a tough hardnosed Irish-American cop, played by Sean Connery, tells him, “You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital; you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way! And that’s how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I’m offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?” The movie is about how Elliot Ness takes on the notorious gangster Al Capone during Prohibition. Ness faced a huge challenge in trying to bring down Capone because of a corrupt Chicago police department. It was a time of greed and ungodliness fueled by people’s addiction to booze. Interestingly, before they agree to work together, Malone tells Ness, “The Lord hates cowards.”

Here in M…

Whom Do You Love? - Mark 12:28-34

Whom Do You Love? - Mark 12:28-34
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 28, 2010

This past Thanksgiving I heard people exclaim that they loved pie, sweet potatoes, dressing, turkey, and just about any other food that was placed in front of them. We use the word love for defining a lot of things in our lives. Sadly, the word love is often used in the wrong way concerning relationships in our lives. Perhaps no better definition for our day concerning love is better expressed than in the song Barney the Dinosaur sings: “I love you, you love me; we’re a happy family! With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you; won’t you say you love me too?” Love has been reduced to an emotion we feel, rather than an expression.

Here in Mark’s gospel we find Jesus answering his questioners concerning what the greatest commandment of God is. Contrary to what some may think, the love of God is conveyed throughout the commands of God. Jesus remarked to his disciples, “If you love me, you will obey what I…

A New Relationship - Mark 12:18-27

A New Relationship - Mark 12:18-27
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 21, 2010 AM

A few years ago I was in a grocery store when a young mother with her little preschooler came walking down the aisle. The little girl kept asking for different things and the mother would patiently respond, “No, you cannot have that, stop asking.” When the little girl had evidently had enough of the answer she did not like, she lay down in the middle of the aisle and begin to throw one spectacular fit. The mother did not flinch; she just kept shopping, and related to her daughter, “When you are done, I will be in the next aisle over.” She then calmly put the item she had been looking at in her cart and walked around the corner.

When some folks do not get the answer they want, they can act just like a little immature preschooler. Evidently the religious ruling class did not get the answer they wanted out of Jesus, so they send in another group to try and entrap him with a bizarre question concerning wive…

Render Rightly - Mark 12:13-17

Render Rightly - Mark 12:13-17
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 14, 2010 AM

When I was younger we used to set small snares that would safely trap small animals like mice, chipmunks, rabbits and squirrels. In fact, my brother Ed and I spent one whole summer trapping chipmunks, letting them go, and trying to tame them. While the taming never worked, they bit and clawed in a terror-stricken frenzy, the trapping went well. There are folks who spend their whole time trying to catch innocent people saying or doing things. They are called the press. Then there are the vultures known as the “Paparazzi.” It is an Italian term used to refer to photojournalists who specialize in candid photography of celebrities, politicians, and other prominent people. Then there are those who try to trap people with the words they use. These are called lawyers.

In our lives we learn to render our words correctly from the time we are little and into adulthood. Like little politicians, children learn very qu…

Are You Just A “Tenant”? - Mark 12:1-12

Are You Just A “Tenant”? - Mark 12:1-12
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 07, 2010 AM

We like being in control. However, the Psalmist tells us to “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalms 2:12) Many have deliberately forgotten this Scriptural truth because the convoluted reasoning goes: “If I can ignore God in my life, then I can do whatever I want whenever I want, even if it concerns ungodliness.” This was true for Israel. Yet time after time God had tried to bring them back to himself. Rather than being the people of God they should have been, they became mere tenants, renters of God’s truth, despising God and desperately trying to control their lives without acknowledging Him.

Harvest time, before the advent of modern computerized corporate farms, was a time of great community celebration. A good harvest could mean survival through the winter and being able to plant n…

Authority! – Mark 11:27-33

Authority! – Mark 11:27-33
By Pastor Lee Hemen
October 31, 2010 AM

From the time we are born, until the time we leave this earth, some of us will go kicking and screaming. The reason is we have a problem with authority. We think either we are in control or that we should be in control, when in fact neither is true. Perhaps this is why some of us need to be smacked right away on our bottoms when we are born! There are those who will spend their entire lives trying to be in authority. I have met college professors who thought that simply because they had earned a PhD they were to be respected and thought of as an authority. Sadly, these professors were usually the most detrimental in their teaching and garnered the least amount of respect.

The question concerning authority, who has it and who does not have it, has been around since the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve decided they were in control. And here is the truth of the matter: We decide who or what is going to be the spir…

Have Faith in God - Mark 11:22-26

Have Faith in God - Mark 11:22-26
By Pastor Lee Hemen
October 24, 2010 AM

We find that what many people believe about their spirituality is often influenced in unorthodox ways. Sadly, in the movie “Hereafter”, we find one such view concerning life, death, and the afterlife. It centers on three people touched by death: a reluctant physic who supposedly communicates with dead people, a woman who has a near death experience with a tsunami, and a London schoolboy who loses his twin brother in a freak accident. People often wonder what happens to them after they die it is one of life’s ultimate questions. People also long to communicate in some way with deceased loved ones. While mourning is different for each person, and thinking we can communicate with the dead can help some folks cope with loss, these misconceptions often allow folks to consider anything as valid. It has also created a lot of false teaching concerning faith. Christians have allowed the world to define faith for…