Word Pictures 
Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 07:10 AM - Extra Christy
Seeing is Believing

Akron, Ohio has been fighting over the appearance of giant digital billboards around town. These God Size Powerpoint screens update their projected digital images every few seconds. They outshine the sometimes lighted often outdated paper posted versions like a movie trailer beats out a postcard.

Each of these giant screens costs around a half million dollars. (A picture is worth five hundred thousand dollars?)

God used sky signs. The most famous is the rainbow which Genesis Images are powerful memory devices. Worship services have come back to using images to advertise God's message, updating the pioneering efforts of mass visual communication from the middle ages: stained glass.

I hope you see sign that reminds you of God promise today.

Bringing Worship

God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.' - Genesis 9:12-16 (NRSV)

add comment ( 2401 views )   |  permalink
Friending Jesus 
Sunday, February 22, 2009, 08:00 AM - Sermon
Mark 2:1-12

Pastor Christy talks about holy friends.

The message below is available as a podcast recorded live at our worship service. Click the podcast image to listen now or right click the image and choose "Save As" to save this message in mp3 file format on your computer for playing later.

Time magazine had a article (“Why Facebook is for Old Fogies” 2/12/2009) about how old fogies like me are taking over the previously college only social networking site Facebook, which now has 150 million members around the world. This is equal to about half of the population of the United States. The fastest growing demographic is those over 30. I know I've gotten more friend requests in the last two months than the previous two years. The Time article suggests the number 1 reasons old fogies are taking over Facebook is that “1. Facebook is about finding people you've lost track of. And, son, we've lost track of more people than you've ever met.”

I chose to add Mark 2 reading to the traditional reading of the Transfiguration. Both have social networks in the stories. The transfiguration has Peter famously wanted to stay on the mountain top with his friends, Jesus, Moses and Elijah. The Mark 2 reading had friends bring their friend to Jesus in spite of the crowd around Jesus. Making connections.

Facebook connects people several ways. Most is some variation of friend of a friend. It came be done on purpose, when you friend a new person, Facebook nudges you to ask your friends to be a friend to the new person as well. Bringing others together. Also some people have been know to review their friends' friends and send a message off to them saying, remember me? We have a mutual friend in Tack, or Harry, or Mary. Connections.

Transfiguration has deep and wide meanings. One of them is our reaction to an encounter with the holy. We want to keep it. Holy means set apart, separate. You all know folks, maybe you one of them that get upset if the sanctuary is used for a common purpose, or if communion bread is used for sandwiches. Holy means it is not for normal, everyday use. We want to keep it to ourselves. Just like Peter we want to build structures that will encase the holy for us and our friends.

I think about those friends hauling their friend to see Jesus. I assume they were his friends, who else would carry him to see Jesus, and finding the easy way blocked, open up the roof and lower into the room? As faithful as that was, turn and look at the reason that act of faith was required. There was no room to get him to Jesus through the door, the crowd was too great. I wonder how hard they tried to get in. I wonder how much the people made way for them to bring their friend face to face with Jesus.

The college kids are not to happy about the take over of Facebook. They want it to themselves. I am an old timer on Facebook because a college kid said I couldn't get on because back then only those with college email addresses were accepted. Come let us build booths and keep the good stuff for ourselves. Let us stand in the doorway…and not let others get to Jesus.

Well, in less than a week. I got on to Facebook. All legal, just err…unorthdox. Like coming into the room through the roof. It is what people have been doing since there have been people. We want to come face to face with each other, to connect with the good and the holy other. We take on barriers as challenges. We climb mountains because they are there, we go to the moon because we have never been there.

We can be the ones in the doorway blocking others or the ones on the roof overcoming obstacles. We can be the ones suggesting friends or the ones keeping the old fogies out. You may think this is just a Dear Abby kind of advice. (Have you seen what she has been printing about church weddings lately! ) But look what flowed from the roof removers. Mark 2:5, when Jesus saw their faith he forgive the sins of the paralytic. Let that sink in. The friends' faith caused Jesus to forgive the sins of the paralytic. Their faith brought him to Jesus.

I wonder what the paralytic thought about all this. Was he urging them on…or scared out of his wits. Being hoisted on ropes is not a calming experience, and if you are paralyzed, I imagine it is the fear factor is multiplied. Not to mention the social awkwardness of dropping in uninvited. The gospel doesn't record his attitude, or even that he requested healing of his soul or body. It was important to Mark. He did include that Jesus healing him after seeing the faith of the friends that brought him to Jesus.

Do you have a family member, a friend, a generation, that is paralyzed and will not, no, cannot make a move to Jesus? Your faith can get that person there. You'll have to get creative, raise the roof if people are in your way, come down from the mountain where everything is cozy and holy, but you can friend Jesus. I have a friend Jesus…I think he might be your friend too. And when Jesus sees your faith, looks over his friends, Jesus might pick him to be healed body and soul.

We are raising the roof here. We replaced it last year, now we are in the roof we call the balcony trying to open it up the sanctuary with images to get more folks to drop in and meet Jesus. They can't get in to meet Jesus. Someone is in the doorway, or lingering in private reverie on the holy mountain, building booths instead of making friends for Jesus. We coming out of our comfort zone and getting into valley where the hurting and lost are found. It isn't as nice as building booths for the holy ones on the mountains, we have to make room in our schedule, our comfort zone, our ideas of proper worship, but when the roof comes off, when we come down from the holy mountain we where we can friend Jesus and healing will come when Jesus looks and see the faith of those who brings their friend to Jesus.

Come down from the holy mountain. Get out of the doorway, too late, look the roof is opening up! Folks will come in ways we do not expect and be healed as they find friends of Jesus to bring them to him so he can friend them, forgive them and heal them.


[blockquoteAdvanced permission is given for non-profit, for-prophet use of the above at no charge as long as it is reproduced unedited with notices and copyright intact. Written copies are provided after they are preached as a courtesy for the personal, private, appreciative use of the congregation of Goodyear Heights Presbyterian Church, their families and friends to support the ministry of Goodyear Heights Presbyterian Church and its pastor the Rev. J. Christy Ramsey. Join us Sundays! 8:15 Traditional Worship and 10:15 Blended. Mingle in our Gathering Room between services and take advantage of Christian Education opportunities.

add comment ( 2879 views )   |  permalink
Akron Roundtable Prayer 
Thursday, February 19, 2009, 09:00 AM - Prayers
Posted by Administrator
Our Kiwanis President, Kurt Winebrenner. is a banker, but puts his heart in his prayers at the monthly Akron Roundtable meeting:

Creator of us all: During this time of economic and social difficulty, it is very easy to become absorbed in our own troubles and busy lives and to forget those around us. Let us not forget what makes us human and encourage us to make the extra effort necessary to brighten another's day whether it be by offering a smile to a stranger, holding a door or elevator for another, stopping to say hello to a neighbor, or any number of other acts of kindness.

Rather than dwell on the negative events in life, encourage us to appreciate all that we have to be thankful for every day and to share those good things with others.Amen.

Akron Roundtable is held at noon on the third Thursday of every month, Akron Roundtable is a non-partisan forum. Each event, held at the Quaker Station located at the Quaker Square Inn on the campus of The University of Akron, begins at 12:00 noon with the speaker's address immediately followed by a question and answer session. Doors open for the event at 11:45 a.m. The event concludes at approximately 1:15 p.m. $15
add comment ( 2323 views )   |  permalink   |  related link
Pot Luck Praise 
Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 06:00 AM - Extra Christy
Many2Many Replaces One4All

Who will prepare your food tonight? Two general options are home cooking by you or a loved one or restaurant fare which you pay others to prepare.

A combination of food by others and food by family is a Pot Luck where each family brings a dish to share with the group in a common meal.

The spreading of the web with social networks like Facebook, encyclopedia's like Wikipedia, video sites like YouTube and photo gallery's like flickr takes a pot luck approach to serving up news, information, video and photos. Folks bring their own content and comments while consuming offerings cooked up by others.

Free Press used to be free if you owned a printing press; now all people can publish. News and information that used to be served by few chefs to many diners, resturant style, has moved to the crowed choices of a many to many pot luck.

Worship is not immune to these changes. I have seen worship move from a performer and audience to conductor and orchrestra to a coach and special teams. Have more people participate in more ways is surprising, fun, and unpredictable just like a pot luck...just like God.

Bringing Worship

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. - 1 Corinthians 14:26 (TNIV)

add comment ( 3086 views )   |  permalink
Sunday Valentine Prayer 
Sunday, February 15, 2009, 08:00 AM - Prayers
God, we run aimlessly. Looking for a quick prayer and an instant blessing. We are shocked over the excesses of others but surprised when others have the courage to mention our intemperance. Forgive our lack of training for your race. May we focus on the goal set before us and do our part to wash and be clean.

God you are constantly renewing your miracle of life among us. As we prayed for the blessing, now we give you thanks for xxxx and xxxx of Color our Rainbow Academy celebrating the promise of pregnancy and birth. May they be blessed and know your of your love all their lives.

God we have more bequests than baptisms, more wakes than weddings. Help us grow young again, passing the torch of your community and love to the next generation as it has been entrusted to us. May we go forward without leaving anyone behind. Help Song and Service grow from the inside out with the blessing and support of your faithful servants gathered in the combined service starting in March.

Be with our elected leaders, and all those who we have entrusted finance, health, and social order to on this world. May the be guide to do good for all people, and work for the next generation not just the next election or next annual report.

As we remember our loved ones over Valentine's day let us remember loved ones separated: by walls and wars, by distance and divorce, by tribe and terror. Maybe we show others to the place where your love can heal and help all of whatever nation, clan, color, or status be healed and restored to love.

add comment ( 2642 views )   |  permalink

<<First <Back | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | Next> Last>>