Posts

Showing posts from March, 2011

Are We Like Peter? - Mark 14:66-72

Are We Like Peter? - Mark 14:66-72
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 27, 2011 AM

There is a certainty and assurance that true Christians know and reflect in their lives. Others have noted the peace that believers display no matter what occurs in life. During the cold war a KGB agent for the Soviet Union had nearly beaten to death a young Christian woman. He warned her to never be caught again. Her crime was having a Bible study in her home and owning a Bible. Later, she was again caught by the same KGB agent. In disbelief he could not shake the peace that he saw in her face even after she was finally murdered by his squad. It haunted him from that day on. Later, he gave his life to Christ and had to escape Russia himself. How could that lovely young woman continue in her faith even after she was severely beaten and then later die for her belief?

Faced with a similar situation we find Peter not only backtracking away from his friendship with Jesus, he flatly denies he ever knew him! . A…

The Trial of Jesus - Mark 14:53-65

The Trial of Jesus - Mark 14:53-65
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 20, 2011 AM

If we are lucky in life we will have the opportunity to meet someone who exemplifies what true heroism means. In a day and age where heroism is often defined by what one suffers through rather than the sacrifice of one’s life for another, we need to take a fresh look. The English word for hero was first used in 1387 and comes from the Greek meaning “protector” or “defender.” Originally, Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite at Sestos a town on Hellespont. She loved a young man named Leander, who lived at Abydos, a town on the Asian side of the channel. They could not marry because Hero was bound by a vow of chastity, and so every night Leander swam from Asia to Europe, guided by a lamp in Hero's tower. One stormy night a wind extinguished the light, and Leander drown. His body was washed ashore beneath Hero's tower; in her grief, she threw herself into the sea. Not exactly what we think of as a heroi…

When We Abandon Jesus - Mark 14:42-52

When We Abandon Jesus - Mark 14:42-52
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 13, 2011 AM

It was a warm spring day and my parents had met some friends as we walked downtown. My father had picked me up and sat me on the hood of a car parked nearby. As they stood around talking, I fell fast asleep. I remember waking up and realizing that I was all alone. My parents and siblings were nowhere to be seen. I did the natural thing any four-year-old would do, I began to cry. A policeman was nearby and came over just as my father came running around the corner. They had thought I was still with them, forgetting that they had placed me on the hood of the car to keep me safe. Being abandoned as a preschooler is a frightening thing.

Can you imagine being abandoned by your closest friends during a time of your greatest trial? Here, in Mark’s gospel Jesus finds himself in just such a situation. He is abandoned by his disciples. Let’s take a look at what occurs so that we can learn what happens when we ab…

When We Fail at Prayer - Mark 14:32-41

When We Fail at Prayer - Mark 14:32-41
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 6, 2011 AM

Why is the Christian church a mere shadow of what it once was? Some think it is because we do not allow the Spirit of God to work. Others say we are not reaching out enough, witnessing about our faith here at home. While others believe that it is because the church has lost the aspect of being set apart from the rest of the world and has lost its holiness. I believe all of these have some validity, but at its core I believe that all of these things can be reduced to the fact that the church no longer prays as it should. A weak Christian faith or a weak Christian church is the result of when we fail at prayer.

Here in Mark’s gospel we find Jesus during the last few hours of his life. As each moment draws him closer to his final act of sacrifice, we discover some wonderful truths for our lives. And there is no greater truth than the power of prayer. From when his own disciples asked him to teach them how…