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Christmas Is About Three Fathers...

Christmas Is About Three Fathers...
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 25, 2016

The other day as I was changing the diaper of my baby granddaughter it all of sudden hit me that Christmas is about so much more than a baby boy. It is about fathers as well. In fact it is about three of them that I know of. First, I cannot but wonder about the father of Mary who watched as his little pregnant daughter walked slowly down the dusty road leaving Nazareth. The trip would not be long by today’s standards but a huge undertaking for a new couple. Food, clothes, and necessities for a new baby and of course her care had to be carried. We forget people usually did not live past their 40s during this time and at a distance of about 89 miles would be a hard journey. I wonder if he looked at the night sky full of stars noticing that the one which shown brightest was in the sky near the place where his daughter journeyed to and thought about her. Was she safe? Had she given birth? Was Joseph taking care of her?…
4th Sunday of Advent - The love of God fulfilled – Luke 2:1-20
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 18, 2016

There are certain dates in life that stand out more than others do. I remember my parents and grandparents talking about when the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred and where they were and what they were doing. I remember the day the first American went into space and when we landed on the moon. I also remember when terrorists flew passenger jets into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. However, on a brighter note, I also vividly remember the day I was married and the day we brought our daughter home and when my grandchildren were born. Is it any wonder then that as believers we should remember the day the love of God was fulfilled?

On this the fourth Sunday of Advent we pause as Christians remembering together the day Jesus was born. Before we pass out the presents, drink the hot cider, or eat the first candy canes of Christmas perhaps we would do well to stop and re…

3rd Sunday of Advent - The Joy of our worship - Matthew 2:1-12

3rd Sunday of Advent - The Joy of our worship - Matthew 2:1-12
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 11, 2016

Though not everyone agrees on the timing of the arrival of the Magi from the East, they apparently came sometime after the birth of Jesus. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, though still in Bethlehem, were now in a house (oikia) which can also mean place or residence, and could have been used generically by Matthew to describe where Mary and Joseph were simply staying. Jesus was also called a little child (paidion) rather than a newborn infant. This however is not the focus of our verses, but rather the Magi’s joyous worship.

When my wife and I first began to date, I would drive hundreds of miles, often times during very bad weather just to see her. I wrote her letters where I had painstakingly taken hours to draw cartoon characters just to make her smile. I was and am willing to sacrifice anything for her happiness and contentment. Why would I do such things? Because I love her. She is the joy of …

Second Sunday of Advent - The peace of God! - Isaiah 52:6-10

Second Sunday of Advent - The peace of God! - Isaiah 52:6-10
By Pastor Lee Hemen
December 4, 2016

Last week we spoke of how the Messiah would be called by the names of Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. There were those who incorrectly thought that the Messiah would bring about the end of war or that everyone would find bliss. Interestingly, there are those in our day who still have misconceptions of who the Messiah is and the peace he brings.

Isaiah introduces us to a Messiah who would bring peace to all mankind. He begins these verses by calling the nation of Israel to “Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised (ungodly) and defiled will not enter you again.” Jerusalem’s pagan conquerors — the uncircumcised and defiled — would never again invade and pollute the holy city after the Messiah came. This is part of the peace he would bring when he came. Let’s disc…

1st Sunday of Advent - Our expectation and hope! - Isaiah 9:2-7

1st Sunday of Advent - Our expectation and hope! - Isaiah 9:2-7
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 27, 2016

Some families keep an advent calendar and countdown the days until Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of the first Advent, the coming of the Savior of the world! As believers, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. But we also wait eagerly for the Second Advent when Jesus returns!

A large part of our lives center around anticipation. How much we would lose if we were to wake up one day to the unexpected announcement: “Christmas in 10 minutes!” The enjoyment in many of life’s events is built on the fact that we have time to anticipate them. Whether it is Christmas, vacations, trips, or sporting events, all grow in value because of the hours we spend looking forward to them. Now imagine the anticipation of the salvation of mankind coming to earth. That is what the first Sunday of Advent is all about, our expectation and hope! Let’s discover why…

READ: Isaiah 9:2-7

Salvation …

Micah 7 - Where to put your hope!

Micah 7 - Where to put your hope!
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 20, 2016

The famous line in George Lucas’ movie, A New Hope, is now a classic. Princess Leia pleas for General Kenobi’s help in their struggle against the evil Empire in a holographic message and she utters the line, “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope!” In the face of unspeakable evil people often cry out for a savior, someone who will come and rescue them. In Micah’s prophecy we discover that while the nation of Israel was going to be judged, there was hope.

Micah’s pronouncement of Israel’s fate was not well received by the people it was addressed to; bad news usually isn’t well received by anyone. Yet in the midst of his prophetic discourse there is hope. There was hope for Israel and for future followers of the Lord. God will rescue his people but it will not be in the way they imagined it. Let’s discover where we are to place our hope this morning.

READ: Micah 7

It is truly sad that so many people are unhappy…

Micah 6 – What God requires!

Micah 6 – What God requires!
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 13, 2016

There hasn’t been a single person when faced with a difficult situation, choice, or hardship who hasn’t at some point asked what either God or life requires from them. This is a normal reaction when faced with life’s difficulties. And when faced with difficult choices how one responds speaks volumes as to what they believe and in what they place their trust.

Micah asks this question and answers it for Israel and for us today and in fact gives to his listeners exactly why they are experiencing the difficulties they were. God was going to judge them as a nation and the people began to understand the outcome of their life choices. So here in Micah he asks and answers for us what God requires. Let’s discover what that means for us in our day and age…

READ: Micah 6

When you think that your life is going nowhere and it seems as if your prayers are not getting through it is good to take a moment and ask, “What does God require…

Micah 5 – The Ruler of Nations will come!

Micah 5 – The Ruler of Nations will come!
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 6, 2016

In the early 1930’s financially strapped Germany was ripe for a charismatic and forceful ruler who seemed to know all the answers and understand the nation’s problems. This is how Hitler and his Brown Shirt movement rose to power; that and he used force, corruption and racism. Some think that America could be ready for such an ungodly ruler if we keep heading in the wrong direction socially, morally, and financially.

Most people want leaders who will lead with integrity, devotion, and wisdom. Israel had not had very many leaders with these qualities. There is truth to the saying, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It is part of a quotation by the historian and moralist Lord Acton (1834–1902). His actual quote was: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Of course this is not always the case and Micah’s words tell us of someone who would be a …

Micah 4 – God will rescue his people!

Micah 4 – God will rescue his people!
By Pastor Lee Hemen
October 30, 2016

Remember last week I related that when politicians or preachers try and tell you that mankind can bring about peace that they are either misguided or lying? The real peace we will ever know is that God can provide and is found in Jesus alone. Armies, machines of war, speeches, treaties or promises by nations will never bring about the peace mankind longs for, only faith will. Only God will rescue his people!

Micah’s words resonate in our ears and resound in the longing of our hearts and souls. We find in them hope for our future and the real reason for our existence. Israel was going to be brought down because of their arrogance and sin. They would be overthrown by their enemies and hauled away into slavery; but in the midst of this horrible dark news was a beam of light; a hope for their future and for the entire world. In it we discover God will rescue his people! Let’s see what hope Micah's words have fo…