Sunday, September 1, 2013


“Good morning!” Pastor Brad shouted as he invited us to take our seats and prepare for worship. Brad began by saying Happy Birthday to Rick, and then a few words about today's message. "I’m going to preach on the first message Jesus gave after He ascended."

Announcements included the following:
1. Next week is our Fall Kickoff. We will worship at 10:15 at the Town Hall in Twig. Leonard will be cooking…. I hope you will make time in your schedule to join us….
2. Our Sunday School teachers are in place for the new year. We hope you will join us for the Sunday school hour that precedes worship beginning the 15th.
3. Mae announced that the books are in for our women’s Bible study….
4. The Church Bazaar is October 5. A beautiful quilt was displayed which will be raffled during the event.
Next week there will be a meeting after church next week to begin planning for the Bazaar.
5. Brooke announced a baby shower for Megan on Oct. 6. She is expecting to deliver Oct 18.
6. There will be a Women’s Retreat Sept 13-15.
7. Nursery needs volunteers …. Please sign up

Ed opened the service by singing O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go. The congregation sang together I Surrender All, then greeted one another before getting seated. Brad reminded us again that the church is a community, not an institution.

A time of prayer followed as we lifted up the many needs in our church family.

Drake led us in a few more songs beginning with Blessed Assurance.

Pastor Shannon began by reading Acts 2:36-41. Peter is preaching on the Day of Pentecost with the surprising outcome that 3000 were added to their number that day. This were many of the most devoted Jews, having made the trek from far away places (some). It could have gone differently. They could have stoned Peter just as they mob called out for his Lord to be crucified. But instead, the Holy Spirit moved with power and the people were convicted of their sins.

Brad talked briefly about how we are often self-deceived regarding our self-assessments. We have a hard time grasping where we are really at in many regards. He shared how he thought he was a pretty good skier, until he faced the slopes of Jackson Hole in Colorado. He thought he was a pretty talented volley ball player, till he came up against a real pro who showed what a novice he was. Until we have something to measure ourselves against we are clueless about our real skill level.

This tendency toward self-deception carries into all of life. We deceive ourselves by failing to compare against the true standard of a holy God. How would your life grade out against that standard.

In Peter's sermon that day, the day the church was born, he stated, "Your actions led to the crucifixion of the best man who ever lived." The crowd was cut to the heart when he finished, because "when the Holy Spirit comes He will convict people of sin.

Brad explained how conviction is different from some other typical responses of being found out. Conviction by the Holy Spirit is not the same as fear of punishment. Nor is it the same as embarrassment for having been found out or caught. Conviction is what happens "when I finally become aware of the kind of person I really am." It is painful, very painful, but good.

Our capacity to recognize moral truth is what makes us human. Without the Holy Spirit, we do not have an accurate assessment of who we are. In the ultimate scheme of things it doesn't matter what people think of me but what God thinks.

Who are you going to trust?

At this point we entered into communion.  

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