Big thanks go out to Dona, who made me cookies since I was preaching. I think this is a practice we can all learn from.
If you missed the sermon from this weekend, it’s now online. Looking forward to next week’s conclusion. Don’t forget to bring your rocks!
Tonawanda News has a great article up about our 30 Hour Famine. It somehow made it back to the New York regional famine coordinator who is based in Manhattan. She called me to let me know she saw it and congratulate us on a great event.
We’ve also posted Pastor’s sermon from this weekend. He graciously agreed to interrupt the series on the Lord’s Prayer and theme the message around our event. It was a great end to the event. Be sure to check it out and leave your thoughts in the comment section for the sermon. We’re now posting the sermon each week so you can enjoy it if you missed it or share it with a friend. (Or listen to Pastor’s jokes again and again…)
Here’s the sermon audio from this past weekend. If you are using an RSS reader, you might need to click through to see the audio file. Alternatively you can download the file to your computer (right-click the link and choose save as)
Some questions to sound off on (or just share your thoughts on the sermon):
- What goals are you currently working towards?
- What have you found helpful in keeping goals?
- When has God used change to help you grow?
The sermon this weekend looks at making a lasting change in our lives. Part of that is setting good goals. Mark Batterson gives 10 tips for goal setting that serve as a good preface to the topic this weekend.
With Pastor Whited out of town in Haiti, I’m covering services this weekend again. He started a new series last week titled “Questions for the New Year.” He covered some general questions, but I get the first specific question in the series, “How Can I Make a Lasting Change?” I just finished the first draft of the outline, which is much earlier than I was expecting to have it done. I used the extra time to make a graphic for the series. I’m a bit of a hack, having very little design knowledge/creativity, but knowing my way around graphics software. I think real designers might not like people like me.
So, because I can’t actually draw anything, I’ve just gone with a basic font treatment for the graphic:
It’s nothing fancy, but I like it better than just a plain old boring text at the top of the outline. Look for more about the sermon in the coming days, plus we’ll have a special follow-up to the sermon that we plan to make a regular feature, at least on a trial basis. Fun stuff!
The weather people were predicting it and it turns out they were right. The heavens did indeed open up Saturday night, dropping snow on the city throughout the evening and most of Sunday. Because of the snow, we had to make a decision about church. Thankfully, just like we tell our youth, we decided well before the storm even started gathering to have services. We don’t cancel church services at First Trinity. We’ve decided that those who can get to church will come and we will celebrate worship together, no matter how many people there are. It’s been an interesting thing in the 2 short years I’ve been here.
During the October storm of 2006, we saw ~125 people at worship on Sunday morning. I remember being crowded into Grace, the only room with a heating source (a natural gas fireplace), and celebrating Communion together. Families were sitting on the couches in the back all squished together so everyone could fit. We even had people out in the halls looking in for the service.
This past weekend, we had a decent crowd again, and again celebrated Communion together. We had a modified form of Sunday School for all ages. We even had visitors at church looking for worship because their churches had canceled. There were also five people who had been to church Saturday night with us and came back Sunday morning. It was a great morning, and I’m thankful we made that decision to have services no matter what happens outside.
In case you weren’t able to get out for church (and we say that’s OK!), you can still hear the sermon on Expectant Hope. Use the audio player below, or download the audio yourself.
…not going to live up to expectations. A few days ago, I asked for advice in coming up with a title for the sermon. The discussion has been entertaining to say the least. I enjoyed all the suggestions and help. Unfortunately, there’s been too much buildup to a great title, so no matter what I choose, it can’t possibly live up to the hype. The problem is, there has to be a title to the sermon. We are Lutheran, after all, and we’ve always done it that way. Which, by the way, is sometimes a bad thing and sometimes a good thing.
So, in absence of a dynamite title, there was only one option left to me. Turn a decent title into a cool graphic to compensate!
In the interest of contributing to the greater good, I’ve uploaded the graphics for others to use. If the snow doesn’t bury you in your house, I HOPE you can make it Sunday to hear God’s Word of Hope to you in the Scriptures!
For those that know me pretty well, you can probably guess my feelings about cutesy acronym phrases like this one. There’s, PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens), FROG (Fully Relying On God), DOG (Depend On God) and this one, HOPE, among others. I understand that they are useful for some people, but to me it’s just a tad ridiculous.
I’m preaching this weekend as Pastor Whited travels to Kansas City to see his new grandchild (hopefully born in the next few days). The theme is about Hope, or hope. One of those… The basic–and I do mean basic–summary is: What is hope, What are we hoping for, and Living a life of hope. It should be really interesting and helpful. You should come this weekend and hear all about it! The problem is, I can’t settle on a good title, so I’m asking for suggestions. I convened an impromptu brain trust with Tim Hartnett, Debbie Ferrante, Jacob, Bob and Deloris Klingibiel, Dan Chamberland, Ron Opferbeck and other passersby. The brainstorming so far:
- Hope to the World
- Hope Springs Eternal
- (Star Wars IV:) A New Hope
- An Old Hope
- An Old Hope Renewed
- Hey Mon, What’s Hopening?
- Hoping Against Hope
- Something to do with despair (as the opposite of hope)
- Something to do with building (especially foundations)
- A pun of some sort
- The word hope contained in another word.
So help me out and submit your ideas by Thursday so I can make Alicia‘s print deadline. I’m Holding On, Praying Expectantly that you’ll come through!