Sermons

What a Difference a Worm Makes!

Speaker: Pastor David P. Kolander
Text: Jonah 4:5-11
Service: Pentecost 18

 

  

I personally have never had much time for worms. One of the reasons I never really wanted to learn more about fishing as a kid is because I knew that in order to fish you had to touch worms, and touching those squishy, creepy worms before having to touch those slippery, slimy fish was not something that sounded like fun to me… But what a difference a worm makes to those who really enjoy fishing, because those worms are the way many people put food on the table and the way some people make a living.



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Know Your Place

Speaker: Pastor Philip Casmer
Text: Genesis 50:15-21
Service: Pentecost 17

 

  

Introduction

“Know your place…” That’s one of those sentences that we’d prefer never to hear from someone else, right? Somebody says, “Know your place…” when they think you’ve overstepped your authority, or when you - the junior partner - make the senior VP’s idea sound silly in a meeting, “Know your place, Smith.” Sometimes it’s just a disrespectful way to shut someone down or to discriminate against someone. We’d prefer never to hear those words from someone else, but they are useful to know for ourselves, aren’t they? It’s good to know our authority, what it is and isn’t. It’s good to know the workplace and social norms we’re a part of - what’s expected of us and not. And it’s good to know where we’re at, what our situation is, and what we can expect.



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I Got Your Back

Speaker: Pastor Jason Free
Text: Ezekiel 33:7-11
Service: Pentecost 16

 

  

Let’s get this conversation out of the way. The theme laid out in your worship folder for today it’s not the best grammar, is it? I can see some of you English majors cringing in your seats. “I got your back?” Would it not be better to say, “I have your back?” But what does that even mean “I got or have your back?” It really is a weird phrase, “I got your back” – what? – but it’s an idiom that, at least to my knowledge, is fairly common. “Hey Pastor Kolander, I got your back” means I will support you or help you if you need it. I’m right behind you. I’m there for you.



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Don't Stare At Samson!

Speaker: Pastor David P. Kolander
Text: Judges 16:22-31
Service: Pentecost 15

 

  

Does anyone here remember – or remember hearing about – that huge gorilla at the Milwaukee County Zoo named Samson? The work of a taxidermist allows you to see Samson at the Milwaukee County Museum, but if you were able to see Samson in person, you were able to see the largest gorilla in captivity – a 652 pound show-off who loved banging on the large windows in front of his exhibit to scare half to death any big or small person who was just standing there, staring at him. People just loved being entertained by him, especially, I’m sure, because they felt safe and secure on the other side of those windows.



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Tell Them

Speaker: Pastor Jason Free
Text: Joshua 4:1-9
Service: Pentecost 14

 

  

I remember it. I was being held in the arms of one of my parents; I don’t remember which, but they carried me across. And I remember seeing this wall of water being held at bay as I glimpsed our leader, Moses, holding up his staff leading us to safety. I remember the screams and the shouts as that wall of water collapsed and our captors, the Egyptians, were washed away never to threaten or enslave us again.



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This Is a Great Faith

Speaker: Pastor Philip Casmer
Text: Matthew 15:21-28
Service: Pentecost 13

 

  

School is, generally, back in session. Fall is now officially only 19 days away (or this weekend already). Here at the end of Summer, it’s a good time to look back. We’ve been building this Summer on the Rock, Jesus Christ. You could short it and say that we’ve been working on our faith; we’ve been sharpening the way we think about God and ourselves in Christ. Now, if we were assessing where we’re at in this building process, we’d like to say that things are good, wouldn’t we? We’d like to say that we’ve built something worthwhile, that we’ve grown, advanced - even gotten to great. But have you? In your faith life? Would you call it great? If you’re not sure, the gospel writer Matthew brings a picture this morning of what we seek. He shows us Jesus and a Canaanite woman as if to say to you and me, “This is a great faith.



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Be Still

Speaker: Pastor Jason Free
Text: Exodus 14:10-31
Service: 12th Sunday after Pentecost

 

  

I wonder sometimes, and maybe you do too, what it would have been like to witness some of these historical moments of the Bible. To have stood in awe as God opened the ground and the heavens pouring forth the waters that would cover the earth in a flood. To have seen the sun stop in the air so Joshua and the Israelites could defeat their enemies. To have watched Elijah be taken up in a whirlwind into heaven. Wouldn’t that be incredible? To see those things with your own eyes? I think it would. And don’t you think it would be a great faith booster to see these miracles of God? To witness God’s awesome power in action. Wouldn’t it put to rest any doubts you might have about God and his plan for you? And wouldn’t it drive out any fear you might have of current problems or future uncertainties since you’d be able to relive again and again the miracle God performed before your very eyes? Proof that he is real. Proof that he is…God, your God.



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A Church Picnic You Don't Want to Miss!

Speaker: Pastor David P. Kolander
Text: Isaiah 55:1-5
Service: 11th Sunday after Pentecost

 

  

How many of you kids out there are looking forward to sliding down that huge slide this afternoon at the church picnic? Over the years it has become very clear that that giant slide which we have set up for our church picnics for quite a few years has made our church picnics something that a lot of our kids don’t want to miss – and that may be the case even for some of you who wouldn’t normally be categorized as kids… But there are other things, too, aren’t there, that make church picnics a “can’t miss” opportunity – often summarized with those words food, fellowship and fun: the food that comes from a variety of people and gives a great variety of choices; and the fellowship of just spending some time with people you know or would like to get to know, especially if you are new to us; and the just plain fun of not having to worry about anything really super important for a couple of hours, because all that can wait for a little bit.



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Pray Like a King

Speaker: Pastor Philip Casmer
Text: 1 Kings 3:3-12
Service: 10th Sunday after Pentecost

 

  

A few days ago I was chatting with a friend and something brought us to talking about the lottery. And after a couple “can’t win if you don’t play” jokes, we deliberated for a minute or two about what it would be like to win one of those huge jackpots ($350-600mil). We joked about how much a private Caribbean island might run and commented about how permanent retirement at 36 might get a little boring even with hundreds of millions of dollars, and so on. Finally one of us said something like, “You know, if that ever happened I wouldn’t even know what to do with that kind of money...I’d have to find someone capable to help me think it through and use it well.” If it happened that you won the lottery, you’d want somebody savvy to help you take care of it all.



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Words of Purpose

Speaker: Pastor Jason Free
Text:  
Service: 8th Sunday after Pentecost

 

  

Recently, my wife and I purchased a home and we were pretty pumped about it, and I think still are, at least for now. But here is the thing, and I’m sure most of you could’ve told me this, once you buy a home, you’re a homeowner. Which means what? If something breaks, you fix it or pay someone else to fix it.



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