Mark 5: 24b-34
Psalm 34: 4-10
I knew her only as “Bunny.” Every Saturday morning during my seminary years, I was a deli
clerk at the Coraopolis Cash Market. And every Saturday morning, Bunny would come in for her
Virginia baked ham and hot pepper cheese. She was, I supposed, in her ‘30’s, but looked much
older. She once told me the story of her love affair with alcohol. She had been drinking since
she started sneaking her dad’s brandy out of the liquor cabinet when she was just fifteen. “I’ve
tried everything,” she stammered. “I’ve been in jail. I’ve been to a dry-out farm. I’ve been in
and out of at least a half dozen different AA groups. I’ve seen two shrinks. I know I have a
drinking problem. But no matter how hard I try, that damned bottle keeps calling me back.”
"A Spiritual; Repeal and Replace"
This morning, we’ll be sharing a story from the Book of Acts, sometimes called “the 5th gospel,”
as it is actually part two of Luke’s “good news” account. Most agree, Acts chapter 9 offers the
best-known “conversion story” in the New Testament. Months had passed since Jesus’ crucifixion,
resurrection, and ascension; maybe years. The followers of Jesus Christ, who called themselves “the Way,” were multiplying at an exponential rate. The movement was spreading from its epicenter in
Jerusalem to other cities and regions throughout Judea, Samaria, and Galilee.
"Stop! Stop! Stop!"
Luke 10: 38-42
How many of you know the name Jesse Duplantis? At the age of 68, Jesse Duplantis remains one of
the most popular evangelical preachers in America. This Louisiana-based revivalist is blessed with a
rubber face, much along the lines of comedian Jim Carrey. Duplantis’ smile is radiant. His style is all
the way down home. With just a facial expression, he can double an audience of thousands over in laughter. I guess a good word to describe Jesse Duplantis is charming.
"Let's Catch Our Breath"
"A Reflection on Golf and Grace"
Romans 15: 1-7
1 Corinthians 9: 19-23
Twas a hot, muggy August noon tee-off, the start of the 1986 Col-Fin Specialty Steel 10th annual customer appreciation golf outing. The venue: the prestigious Beaver Valley Country Club, over-looking the scenic confluence of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers. Over eighty golfers were gathered from across the eastern U.S.; from Chicago to Boston; from Bangor, Maine to Jonesboro, Arkansas; mostly low handicappers, a few scratch players; maybe a handful of medium to high handicappers just brought in to make the others look good.
"Of Wild Goose Chases and Imaginary Elephants"
1 Thessalonians 2:1-13
John 1: 1-5, 10-14
Most of us have been on what’s called “a wild goose chase?” In other words, we’ve wasted our
time and energy searching for something that couldn’t be found. Have you ever been on a wild elephant chase?
1 Timothy 3:1-13, 4:6-16
"Set Apart, Not Set Above"
Some years ago, there was a short tongue-in-cheek article in a publication called Pastor’s
Manual. The story featured a Labrador retriever named “Sadie” belonging to the Charles Thurber family in Terra Linda, California. As we know, California folk sometimes have a tendency to be on the cutting edge of things, leading the way in introducing the rest of us to unusual and even strange practices. Well, this one just about takes the cake.
"What Has Become of the Joy?"
Text: Galatians 4:8-20
I’d like to share with you one of my earliest experiences at theological seminary. During our orientation, one of the professors preached a sermon as part of the opening convocation. He began his message by making the curious statement that seminary for a Christian is one of the most perilous places to be.