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Showing posts from January, 2011

Be On Guard! - Mark 13:31-37

Be On Guard! - Mark 13:31-37
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 30, 2011 AM

Before becoming a Christian I studied various other religions, from the esoteric to mainline faith practices. Each one left something to be desired. Hinduism was too foreign and based mainly on mythology and magic. Islam and Mormonism sounded the same, were hard-lined, strict, and full of inconsistencies. Buddhism and the new age were just revamped versions of self-help methodologies. And Scientology, like est (Erhard Seminars Training), or Eckankar were just plain weird. Then I was challenged to read the Bible and I could not believe what I had missed. I learned Jesus shared with his disciples, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15 NIV) I came to realize that I had almost lowered my guard and allowed myself to be influenced by false teaching. We would do well to be on guard.

In this section of Mark’s gospel we find Jesu…

The Sign of the Times! - Mark 13:21-30

The Sign of the Times! - Mark 13:21-30
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 23, 2011 AM

We have a tendency to think that what happens to us personally should affect everyone else. And while some of the decisions we make can affect a whole lot of folks, compared to the rest of the city you live in, the State you occupy, or where you reside nationally – what you do affects relatively few folks. That is, until you do something so stupid that you garner the media’s attention and gain 15 minutes of fame. However, the Christian is supposed to impact those around them in a good way. Believers are commanded to make a difference in the lives of those they come in contact with. Sadly, too few do. Far too many of us have come to think that it is simply the sign of the times.

The sign of the times can be good or bad depending upon what it depicts or exposes. It can be good if it shows discoveries that benefit society. They can be bad if they are the result of society going haywire. Too many people…

The Coming Crisis! - Mark 13:14-20

The Coming Crisis! - Mark 13:14-20
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 16, 2011AM

We can be taught things over and over so many times that we begin to think what we are being taught is absolutely true, whether it is or not. Here are several examples: In Rome a thumbs up signal meant let a defeated gladiator live, but a thumb down signal meant kill him. In reality a thumbs up meant kill the loser, however, if the thumb was concealed in a fist, it meant let the loser live. We also think, because of Hollywood movies like Spartacus, that slaves manned the oars of Roman galleys, yet most were free men who were sailors trained to row and then fight. Rowing was considered a skilled task. Can things we come to think of as true yet are false infect our Christian thinking as well? The answer is “Yes.”

Here in Mark’s gospel we find Jesus continuing to answer his disciple’s question about when the temple would be destroyed. His response and what it meant has been so analyzed that what we may thin…

The Trials of a Disciple - Mark 13:11-13

The Trials of a Disciple - Mark 13:11-13
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 09, 2011 AM

Americans are often accused of living sheltered lives. From the cradle to the grave we are encouraged not to personally think about the long-term effect of our actions, to immediately blame our lives on society, or to be completely dependent upon others to bail us out. We live in fractured relationships thinking that by getting rid of old-fashioned social stigmas we will experience true love. We do not plan for the future believing that the government should take care of us and death is something to be avoided at all cost and not talked about.

This is true to a certain extent where Christians are concerned as well. We have swallowed the lie that there should not be any consequences for our ungodly actions. That our faith practice is dependent upon how we feel, that as long as we think good thoughts about Jesus, God will love and honor our superficial compliance and one-day, by-and-by, welcome us h…

The World Will Continue! - Mark 13:7-10

The World Will Continue! - Mark 13:7-10
by Pastor Lee Hemen
January 2, 2011 AM

I will never forget when my father died. It was right after New Year's Eve in 1968. He had gotten up to get a drink of water and smoke a cigarette. He was dragging his oxygen tank behind him when his heart gave way. My brother Ed and I were the first ones to find him. We heard him sigh and fall in the hallway of our little house. As Ed tried vainly to revive him I phoned for an ambulance. We now know there was nothing we could have done. His heart muscles were so weak, he died instantly. It has impacted my entire life. I can still smell the mixture of cigarette smoke and the Aqua Velva aftershave he always wore. Even at my age of 57 I still miss him and think of him often, but life goes on.

What would you do if the one person you depended upon the most in life was suddenly taken from you? As I have shared, some of us have already had to face such a prospect and it is not an easy thing to go throu…