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God's Patience is Our Salvation 
Sunday, December 4, 2011, 06:00 AM - Sermon, Podcast
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2 Peter 3:8-15a

Every had an unanswered prayer? Pastor Christy explores the answer to the uberprayer: "God, When are you going to set everything right?"

The perfect answer to prayer is here this week.




by Tomasz1950 © Some Rights Reserved




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Paterno's Choice 
Sunday, November 13, 2011, 06:00 AM - Sermon, Podcast
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Joshua 24:1-3, 14-25

Scandal in the Penn State football program provided a illustration about choosing the way of the good old boys or the way of the Lord in this week's message.

Listen for the preacher telling the congregation that he has and will call the police on them. Surely a rare moment in preaching.




by Chris Pesotski © Some Rights Reserved




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You're Holding It Wrong 
Sunday, October 23, 2011, 06:00 AM - Sermon, Podcast
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Matthew 22:34-40

A quote attributed to the late Steve Jobs about the iPhone is the title of a message using Diana Butler Bass's illustration about payphones and cellphones and boxes that love comes it.




by yan-yin © Some Rights Reserved




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Binary or Not? 
Thursday, October 13, 2011, 06:00 PM - Extra Christy
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The Space Between Always and Never

I fix computers to relax. They are like puzzles for me. Folks know this and bring me their computers to put back together.

The latest wounded beast was a laptop that had visited before. I had set it to ask, "Do You Want to Allow...?" before a user (or a virus!) made a change. The owner knew if the little Robot icon popped up, she needed to consider if she wanted to make this change, or if it was a rogue website or malicious software trying to worm its way into her system.

She brought me the beast because the robot urging reflection had been replaced by a flat out refusal! No options, no consideration allowed, just a no. She couldn't even change the time on her computer much less install a new program.

Click to double size
Like most computer conundrums, a little change fixed the problem. However making the small change was involved. You see, it was easy to set the computer to NEVER allow changes and a simple matter to set it to ALWAYS allow changes...but to ask if changes were acceptable...that took some research.

Religion has the same dynamic. It is easier to set up a binary system, ALWAYS or NEVER with nothing in-between. In fact you can find folks who measure their righteousness by how many NEVERS and ALWAYS they can quote and strive to obey. I think some compare and trade DOS and DON'TS like they were spiritual power-up cards. (Even though such card games are often on NEVER lists.)

Setting our computer or ourselves to be mindful of what we are doing, is more difficult. Neither blindly going along with whatever a rogue person or program wants to do with us nor closing ourselves off to all possibilities of change (upgrade?) is a way of faith that involves a person's whole being: heart, soul, mind and strength.

Perhaps that is why Jesus popped up in history, not to restrict or permit, but to call us to consider...is this a change you will allow?


Considering Or Not

Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. And they came and said to him, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?' But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, ‘Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.' And they brought one. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?' They answered, ‘The emperor's.' Jesus said to them, ‘Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's.' And they were utterly amazed at him. - Mark 12:13-17

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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Akron Roundtable EXTRA Prayer 
Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 08:50 AM - Prayers
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Our Akron Roundtable speaker was John R. Kasich Governor, State of Ohio, I use some thoughts from his recent book, Every Other Monday: Twenty Years of Live, Lunch, Faith, and Friendship in my prayer.

Here's a quote from the book (105-106) where John Kasich writes why he attends church:
I don't go looking for stimulation or uplift, even if they sometimes find me anyway....I go to honor HIm, and to worship Him. I go because it's a place of peace and quiet and solemnity, offering a glorious point of pause to the rest of the week.


Also in the book John Kasich talks about the time he led a reluctant congregation to sing the wrong song in worship, going so far as to stop the service and instruct them to "sing it like you mean it". Only later did he find out that reason they were singing half-heartedly was because it was not right song.

Here's my prayer:

Giver of Harmony, at times we suspect
you called the wrong hymn for us to sing
so we stumble and mumble through your song
hoping you'll take the hint and change your tune.

Help us to sing Your sweet song together,
leaving no one to sing solo, but in unison,
each helping the other create beauty for all your children
so that faith, hope and love will not only survive but thrive
now and forever, Amen.


I thank Katie Rennard, president of the Akron Roundtable board for asking me to pray before this Roundtable Extra.

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. $20


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