Sermon: Lighten Up

woman-poor-laughter“Lighten Up!”

(January 22, 2017) Sometimes we take ourselves far too seriously! Although we never want to use humor to hurt or demean anyone, laughter can often heal and uplift. Even the Biblical matriarch, Sarah, demonstrates several kinds of laughter: from disbelief and laughter at the impossible or painful, to the laughter of joy and hope. (Isaiah 9:1-4; Genesis 18: 1-4, 9-15, 21: 1-6)

As if to illustrate the point, I had numerous technical problems with this recording. The source recording and volume changes a couple of times throughout. It is especially poor at the beginning and so the first minute or so is taken off a different mic and sounds really far away. Sorry about that!

Sermon: Charms to Soothe

violinist-1414501“Charms to Soothe”

(January 15, 2017) Music can lift our mood, center us or grab our attention, and convey the deep range of emotion of the human experience. Is it possible that Jesus, who embodied that full range of human experience, can be found in just about any kind of music? What music has charms to soothe your inner self? (Psalm 40, Matthew 3:13-17)


Here is the playlist of music, suggested by Lebanon UMC:

Artists/Genres: Classical music * Cello * George Winston * Leary (Irish music) * Mark Miller * Taylor Swift * DMX * Beatles * Green Day * Heart * Linda Ronstadt * David Bowie * Foo Fighters * Celtic Women * Natalie Grant * Casting Crowns * Rascal Flatts * Indigo Girls * Libana * lots of hymns! * my own songs

Specific Songs: Miserere Mei (Albioni) * Happy (Williams) * Jesus, Take the Wheel (Underwood) * All You Need is Love (Beatles) * Don’t Worry, Be Happy (McFarrin) * Faith, (Michael) * Imagine (Lennon) * You There (Aquilo) * I Will Wait (Mumford & Sons) * Summertime (Fresh Prince) * In a Gadda da Vita (Iron Butterfly) * One of Us; Crazy Baby (Osborne) * Heal the World; Man in the Mirror (Jackson) * 500 Miles (Peter, Paul & Mary) * Alleluia (Cohen, lang) * Big Bad John (Dean) * Tomorrow (Annie) * Bridge over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel) * Count My Blessings (Crosby) * Put on a Happy Face (Van Dyke) * Gathered Safely In (Taraz) * Have you Talked to the Man Upstairs (Ford) * Grand Canyon Suite * Lord I Just Had to Pray * Mary Did You Know? * Be Not Afraid * From a Distance * Somebody Bigger than You and I * Brighten Your Corner where You Are * There’s a Quiet Understanding* Give Yourself to Love * Teach Your Children Well * Baptism of Fire * Pachelbel’s Canon

Sermon: Flip the Switch

lantern-3-small“Flip the Switch”

(January 8, 2017) Just as the dark and cold of the winter season can cause our bodies to feel sluggish, isolated, and even depressed, being disconnected from God causes a kind of “spiritual affective disorder.” We are encouraged to stretch and develop our spiritual practices, to reconnect with God, and reflect and bear God’s light in the world. (Isaiah 60:1-6; Matthew 2:1-12)

Sermon: The Only Constant

tradition-main“The Only Constant”

(December 4, 2016) During the time of the Prophet Isaiah and the time of John the Baptist, the people heard a voice crying out to prepare God’s way. Maybe it’s not that this voice, this call is constant, but that the deeper longing is constant: the longing for a God who dwells with humanity. The longing for God-With-Us. (Matthew 3:1-12; Isaiah 40:1-11)

Sermon: Reclaiming Tradition

tradition-main

“Reclaiming Tradition”

(November 27, 2016) When King Josiah and his people discovered the Word of God, buried in the Temple, they knew it was time to recommit to the faith of the past. Sometime, the Word of God is hidden in the rubble of old traditions and crumbled lives, and it’s up to us to dust it off, reclaim it, and let it reclaim us. (2 Kings 22: 1-10; 23:1-3)

Sermon: I Wanna Be Reaching Out

outside-my-world-perspective“I Wanna Be Reaching Out”

(November 13, 2016) Poet, singer, and songwriter Leonard Cohen reminds us: “there is a crack in everything; that’s how the light comes in.” We see in our community, our nation, and our world many places of brokenness, many cracks and many places in need of love and light. May we as the people of God be those who bear the light, who carry God’s love, to all the broken places of the world. (Luke 21:5-19Isaiah 58:5-12)

Sermon: A Song in Every Silence

9-25-w-text“A Song in Every Silence”

(September 25, 2016) The energy of Hang is an unusual one in our contemporary society– that energy of seeking peace and rest, being calm in one’s self. Although perhaps hard to find, when we sink into our quiet center, sometimes we find a depth and a peace that is holy. (Mark 6:30-32Psalm 139:7-10, 13-18)