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Prayer for the Disciples! - John 17:14-26

Prayer for the Disciples! - John 17:14-26
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 27, 2015

If you knew your life was going to be cut short, how would you pray for those you care about? Perhaps you do not know what you would pray, but it is a good question to consider. I believe it is because so many of us say we will pray for others but few of us truly know what to pray or how to pray for others. Often we fall back into the trite and simplistic prayers we have often voiced. I have learned over the years that prayer is so much more than we realize. We should stand in awe of the fact that our prayer is our conversation with God himself. It is not some psychological or mystical crutch we use to sooth our guilty conscience.

Here in John's gospel we find Jesus intimately praying for his disciples and for us! Why would Jesus pray if he was God? We have learned that although Jesus is God he willingly placed himself in human form, developed and taught by his example what it meant to walk closely wit…

4th Sunday of Advent - Love! - Psalm 118:1-4, 22-29

4th Sunday of Advent - Love! - Psalm 118:1-4, 22-29
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 20, 2015

There is a lot of confusion concerning love in our day and age where far too many think it is sexual act or an emotion instead of what it truly is meant to be. Love is more than a feeling or a Hallmark® card moment. Love is the most revealing and intimate attitude and action a person can choose to do. It comes from the inner core of who someone is and lays bare who we are and lets down any personal guard we might possess. The Apostle Paul defined love by relating, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV) Of course he meant this as defined by Jesus who is the very definition of l…

3rd Sunday of Advent - Joy! - Jeremiah 31:11-13

3rd Sunday of Advent - Joy! - Jeremiah 31:11-13
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 13, 2015

Joy for a lot of people depends upon their physical state instead of their state of mind; they want to be happy all of the time through material things and this is impossible. We can never achieve the convoluted ideal of a perpetual happy nirvana in life. Trying to say to one's self over and over that every day in every way I am getting better and better does not make one joyful, especially when others remind you just how incompetent you might be. Joy comes from inner peace and contentment which can only truly be found in Jesus Christ. The reason is obvious; his joy is not just internal it is eternal and cannot be taken away by outside circumstances.

When the Messiah was promised by the prophets of God people began to realize that his coming would mark a new era not just in the way things were done here on earth, but his coming would affect all of creation. There would be the joy of the Lord in the m…

Sunday of Advent - Hope! - Isaiah 9:1-7

Sunday of Advent - Hope! - Isaiah 9:1-7
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 29, 2015

Sometimes we can be like the old song from the TV show Hee Haw that lamented, "Gloom, despair, and agony on me; deep, dark depression, excessive misery! If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all; gloom, despair, and agony on me!" Some us understand the lament of this song while others sing it simply because things are not going the way they expected. Life hardly ever does. Yet on the Sunday of Advent we light the candle of hope.

Hope is more than wishful thinking; it is the outcry of the human heart and the certainty of God's promise. We as his children hope in him because we know who he is and what he has done. The Israelites of Isaiah's day had no such experience. They should have been able to trust God and the promises he made from knowing their own history, but in the midst of war, famine, and the threat of enslavement it can be tough to see God or his promises. Perhaps th…

Thanksgiving! - John 17:1-13

Thanksgiving! - John 17:1-13
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 22, 2015

The early Pilgrims understood thanksgiving. In fact, after surviving the first years in the American wilderness, they deliberately set out to print a song book of praise taken from the Psalms. The Bay Psalm Book is an important piece of our nation’s history. It was the first book entirely written and printed in the Colonies. When one considers the difficulties of mere survival during this time, accounting for the short time of 20 years after the first arrivals in Plymouth in 1620, the magnitude of the effort and accomplishment is even more impressive. The first printing press in New England was purchased and imported specifically to print this book in order to give God praise and thanksgiving! Why would our forefathers make such a big deal out of praising and thanking God?

We can forget what we are truly thankful for when we are faced with the difficulties of life. Jesus knew this to be true as well and when his disciples …

Overcome the world! - John 16:16-33

Overcome the world! - John 16:16-33
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 15, 2013

I have learned that the only certainties we have life are more than death and taxes; I also believe there is the certainty of our faith and that things in life will change. The radio host Paul Harvey stated, "In times like these it is good to remember that there have always been times like these." Life happens whether we like it or not and no amount of worrying will change the outcome; however, we can overcome the world and what it throws at us.

There are those who struggle everyday in order to just get through the day, however, there are also those times when each of us wonder how we will get through another day. Jesus' disciples would face such a predicament soon and so Jesus begins to share with them not only how tough it will be but also how they can overcome the world they live in because of their faith in him. Let's see how we are to overcome the world…

READ: John 16:16-33

Life is short whether…

The Spirit of truth! - John 16:1-15

The Spirit of truth! - John 16:1-15
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 8, 2015

Contrary to popular opinion, truth is not relative. Truth is truth and sometimes it can be hard to swallow, especially if one is caught in a lie. Yet there are those who hate the truth because it exposes them for what they are, phonies. Christians are to live by the truth no matter what the consequences. In fact, we are to be guided by the truth. Not like the mother who invited the neighbors to dinner and asked her son to pray over the meal. Being a bit shy, because he was put on the spot by his mom, the son lamented, "I don’t know what to say!" His mother encouraged, "Just say what you heard your father say at breakfast." Obediently the little boy bowed his head and repeated, "Oh Lord, we've got those awful people coming over for dinner!"

Jesus continued here in John's gospel to relate exactly what the Holy Spirit's job would be in the life of a believer. He relates that mor…

Hatred and Servanthood! - John 15:18-27

Hatred and Servanthood! - John 15:18-27
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 1, 2015

No one likes to be disliked, unless they have some severe mental problems or are into self-abasement. But what if everyone around you did not like you because of your belief in God? We are seeing a noticeable uptick in the amount of aggression directed towards Christians. From public school teachers in classrooms failing those who confess a belief in God to assistant coaches who pray and military chaplains who do not agree with the politically correct and ungodly version of what marriage is. Christians are disliked because of their way of life and in whom they believe, but it is the duty of the believer to serve their Lord.

Here in John's gospel we find Jesus getting into heavier theological subjects in order to prepare his disciples for the future without his physical presence. He knew that not only would they need to understand the consequences of their discipleship, but why there would be so much fallout f…

The love of God! - John 15:9-17

The love of God! - John 15:9-17
By Pastor Lee Hemen
October 25, 2015

Selena Gomez sings about how she is sick of the same old love, but the words in her hit song have to deal with how people mistreat one another in relationships. The artist Weeknd sings about being so deep in love his face goes numb. There must be literally hundreds if not thousands of songs that deal with love in some way or another. Love is such a frustrating and baffling thing for some of us that we sometimes misunderstand what real love is like.

Here in John's gospel we discover the love of God displayed in the life of Jesus and now we learn what that loves is all about and just how truly wonderful it is. The love of God is complete, true, and open. When we see Jesus we see the love of God. Let's discover what this means for us…

READ: John 15:9-17

If we say we love someone they expect certain things from us. Our words and actions should display what we say concerning our love for them, and our relationship with …