2014-10-3 Sermon Simpson UMC “Death Has No Victory”

Death Has No Victory

Paul challenges us to look inwardly at all of the great achievements we have created in our lives and count them as nothing in comparison to the greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ.  If we live our lives in a way that is honoring to God, by the time we are to die, death will have no victory.

Ann Henderson, Pastoral Assistant, Simpson UMC

From the Bible passage Philippians 3:4b-14

“I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh.

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ,[a] the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ[b] and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal;[c] but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved,[d] I do not consider that I have made it my own;[e] but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly[f] call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

Make My Day and Puppy Rescue, Rommy and Roscoe’s Story

Rommy had been the only dog in the house for over a year and he said he was lonely.

I always had 2 or 3 dogs at one time and they were a real pack!  I lost Troilus and Jack, Rommy’s pack mates, close together and did not have the emotional energy to look for a friend for Rommy.

I had been following this web-site, Colorado Puppy Rescue.  My favorite dog is a German Shepherd and they always had German Shepherd-mix puppies available for adoption.  One weekend I decided to check them out, Rommy and I went to the adoption site and arrived one-half hour early.  When we walked in and the line was already dozens of people long.

Rommy is a big dark red and black German Shepherd and people are mostly afraid of him on sight and avoid him (cross to the other side of the street, etc., when they see us coming).  The people standing in line were dog lovers, no one was afraid of him and he was enjoying himself getting all the attention he wanted.  We got to the front of the line and the volunteers said no German Shepherd mixes were left but to please come back again.

We returned the very next weekend, this time one hour early, and there were already 8 people ahead of us!  They had 4 or 5 German Shepherd-mix puppies for adoption and I figured that not all of those people would want a German Shepherd puppy so we stayed and waited.  Just like the week before Rommy was making the rounds, getting hugs and leaning on people and just being so dang cute and friendly.  I was getting comments on how nice he was and questions like, were all German Shepherds like him?

Well, we get to the front of the line and I asked to see the German Shepherd puppies, and am advised they were all adopted!  Rommy had shot himself in the paw being so dang adorable that those people in front of us scooped up all the German Shepherds.  They did have other herding dog puppies so Rommy met them but was not impressed.  One of the volunteers came out from the back somewhere, took one look at Rommy and said oh you wanted a German Shepherd puppy, we have one in the back I forgot about.  Another puppy bit his ear and it was bleeding, we put him in the back to let that ear stop bleeding and forgot to bring him out.  Do you want to see him?

Rommy took one look at this puppy (now known as Roscoe) and said that is the one.  I thought it was my imagination so I held Roscoe under one arm and another puppy under the other arm.  I asked Rommy which one he wanted to take home and he sat in front of Roscoe and put his nose on him!

They have been best friends ever since.  Here is a picture of them when Roscoe was brand new to our house.

image

 

 

Thank you to Yogis

There are thousands of people I wish to thank for their support during my recent life changing events.

There is no one good place to start so I am going to have to pick a place in my mind and right now (since I just finished my yoga group a couple of hours ago) at the present time that is my fellow yogis.

There are so many people to thank that I just  have to start doing it and since I am starting tonight it is with my fellow yogis since we just finished tuesday night yoga together.  This is no reflection on the support all of you have given me just a timing thing since I’m starting tonight.  I just find myself strong enough tonight!

Thank you yogis for waiting for me to be strong enough to continue our group you don’t know how much this means and how much I love you for it.

Thank you Terry and John new Yogis to our group you don’t know my personal situation but your presence has been exactly what I need to move forward.  I hope to get to know you better but if your path takes you on a different journey don’t worry about it I enjoyed our time together.

Thank you yogis for waiting for me to be strong enough to get the group going again, you are so nurturing and supportive and loving you’ll never know how much you’ve helped me!  You waited for me to be strong enough to move forward and your confidence in me is amazing.

We are a group brought together by common goal and although our members change our group goal continues to be strong.  Our support of each other!

Namaste.

 

 

 

Taiko Japan’s Number One Energy Export by Marc Steuben

This article appears here with the permission of Marc Steuben and explains how Taiko was born as we know it today and how Taiko came to the United States.

I have taken several lessons from Marc now and the more I get to know him the more fascinating and complex I find him.  Look forward to reading about his other talents and endeavors here soon.

He remains a patient and encouraging teacher even though I have two left hands when it comes to drumming!

Marc_Steuben_Taiko_article1

Marc_Steuben_Taiko_article2

Marc_Steuben_Taiko_article3

Messages received from sermon “God at Work in You”by Tezenlo Thong

Here are some of the comments received from the congregation describing the message received from the sermon “God at Work in You” :

  • Service of God without judgment.
  • Leaders are ministers too.
  • God gives us energy so we may extend kindness, forgiveness, grace, love and humility.
  • We the congregation are the church.
  • God is our bond to each other.
  • Christian love sometimes requires sacrifice.
  • Serve each other with a humble spirit.
  • We all have the desire to do what is good and God gives us the will, power, courage and energy to do what is good!

Special note to Tezenlo, our thoughts and prayers are with you and Eun Jung and your family during this time of loss.

 

2014-09-28 Sermon at Simpson UMC “God At Work In You”

“God At Work In You”  (Philippians 2:1-13)

What are signs of God at work in you?

How do we know that God is at work, enabling us both to will and to work for good?

The past few Sundays, we have been talking about reconciliation, forgiveness and acting graciously toward one another. These are signs of God at work in you. Whenever we experience an act of reconciliation or forgiveness among God’s people, we know that God is at work among us.

How often do we feel a desire to reconcile with a family member, a friend or coworker? How frequently do we feel the urge to forgive and ask for forgiveness? In all these circumstances, how often do we feel a lack of power or energy to act?

It is not always enough to will something. Good intentions are not always carried out.

Paul sees believers as their will energized by God and then also having the power to work supplied by God. God furnishes the enablement to carry out both the desire to will what is good and the energy to do it.

God is the one working in you, both the willing and the working.

Tezenlo Thong, Pastor

sumc

Taiko Lessons 1 and 2

I have had my first two lessons on Taiko drumming!  I really am having fun!!

I had hoped to share with you detailed information on Taiko drums but it is turning out to be much more complicated than I anticipated.

There seems to be a billion types of drums and since I don’t speak Japanese trying to keep the names and descriptions straight is beyond this new student.

During practice and performance there are many different sized drums in use with the many drums providing different pitches to astound the senses.  Probably the most well-known drum in any Taiko ensemble would be the ōdaiko, the largest drum on the stage.

Bachi is the term for the drum sticks used.  Right now I am using a very light weight set of bachi.  Taiko drumming is quite a work out.  The stance is a wide legged stance with a slight bend to the knees requiring good balance so you can move in and out from the drum.  (I made the mistake of wearing sandals for lesson 2 and my feet were not happy.)  The wrists, forearms, upper arms and shoulders are all used and depending on the strokes and rhythms you are undertaking the workout can be intense.  A strong core is essential.  I am grateful for the light weight bachi!

Thank you Marc Steuben for your continued patience!