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ASPIRE Classes

September 25, 2016

 "Tour de Faith"

Text: John 14:8-14

2 Timothy 4:6-8

            When I was a youngster, I used to do a lot of bicycling; not so much as a form of fun or exercise, but as a practical means of transportation. In those days, many families had only one automobile. That was the case in my family. So if I wanted to get somewhere within a reasonable I was usually on my own.

Read more: September 25, 2016

September 18, 2016

 "Of Sacred Song, Memory, and Wisdom"

Text: Ephesians 5:15-20

Psalm 100

            We all have a favorite song. I have a bunch. What I find interesting is that while I may not be able to remember specific details from events in my life that took place twenty or thirty years ago, even the biggest ones, I can remember every line from a hit song from my high school or college days. For instance, a few weeks ago, I heard a song on my car radio that I hadn’t heard in I don’t know how long. Yet upon hearing the first few bars of the music, the lyrics came back to me like I’d just heard them yesterday, and I sang along:

Read more: September 18, 2016

September 11, 2016

"Jesus, What Gives?!"

Text: Luke 16:1-9

Matthew 10:16-20

            Since it’s now well into high school football season, I thought it might be time for an outrageous, but true, high school football story. 1997. The underdog Mustangs of Flinthills High in Rosalie, Kansas were facing rival Elk Village Patriots. After the opening kickoff, as the teams lined up for the first play from scrimmage, Mustang quarterback Dan Scribner and his center Tylen Hall pretended that the ball on the field was underinflated.

Read more: September 11, 2016

September 4, 2016

"Lazybones"

Text: Proverbs 24:30-34

1 Corinthians 15:58

            Have you ever had the experience of working with someone who was just downright lazy? It can be frustrating, even maddening, to labor side-by-side with someone who doesn’t carry his or her load. We who work hard often seem to get stuck doing the work of two and more per- sons. And that can be a great source of both discouragement and anger.

Read more: September 4, 2016

August 28, 2016

"Telling Time"

Text: Psalm 90:1-17

2 Peter 3:8-9

 Here’s a little audience participation piece. The question: What do you consider the most life- changing invention of all time? An historian and social critic from the University of Chicago by the name of Daniel Boorstin – now deceased – once stated that the most life-changing invention of all time is the mechanical clock.

Read more: August 28, 2016

August 21, 2016

"One Thing Never Changes"

Text: Romans 11;1-2a; 29-32

Genesis 12:1-3

It saddens me to say this, but it’s getting harder by the year to return to my hometown of Coraopolis in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The house on Ridge Avenue where I grew up – a house which my mom and dad worked so hard to remodel and refurbish over the forty years they lived there -- looks like it’s ready to fall down for recent lack of care.

Read more: August 21, 2016

August 14, 2016

"A Global Vision for a Local Church"

Rev. John Sittema

Text: Revelation 5

August 7, 2016

"One Miraculous Meal!"


Text: Matthew 14:13-21

Psalm 34:1-10

            This feeding of the masses miracle of Jesus is one of the few recorded in all four gospels: Mark 6, Luke 9, John 6, and here in Matthew 14. So there must be an important message in this miracle story about human need, and about our capacity as disciples of Christ to help meet human need.

Read more: August 7, 2016

July 31, 2016

"Destined to Serve"

Text: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Isaiah 6:5-8

1 Timothy 3:1-13

This morning, I’m going to begin by sharing a bit of my personal journey. Some of you may not know that long before I became a pastor, I was a normal person like most everyone else. I was once, in fact, a leader in the specialty steel industry in the Pittsburgh area.

Read more: July 31, 2016

July 24, 2016

"Division of the House"

Text: Luke 11:14-23

Psalm 133

            I am proud to be an American; thankful to be a citizen of a nation which, for almost two and a half centuries, has stood upon the highest ideals of the human spirit: liberty; equality; justice; opportunity; compassion; pursuit of righteousness, wisdom, and truth. These are ideals and qualities which have been defended by some of the finest men and women on earth; those who have given and continue to give so much of themselves, even to the point of sacrificing their very lives, in order that these ideals would continue to guide and shape us as a people. So much for a Veteran’s Day mini-sermon in late July. I’ll just say again, I am proud and thankful to be an American.

Read more: July 24, 2016