Archive for the ‘Epiphany’ Category

Seventh Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 19

15 Feb

 Building Community– When My wife and I first moved into a trailer park, trailers were still small and very mobile. Few people got to know their neighbors because they were basically bedroom communities where people slept, but they worked and shopped elsewhere. Similar conditions existed in many of the cheaper apartment complexes. In addition, people were very mobile. It was easy to hook up a trailer and move it somewhere else, or move out of an apartment, so your neighbors didn’t stay very long. Many of the families had problems with alcoholism and drug abuse, spouse and child abuse, and crime. Very few had any church connection. I began visiting the families there and in nearby apartments to minister to any needs and start Bible studies for those who were interested. Most of those who lived in houses in stable neighborhoods owned their homes and knew many of their neighbors. Stable neighborhoods were much safer. People did not move frequently and home ownership was preferred over renting. Trailers and apartments were for the people who were mobile or those not able to afford to purchase. Since then, people have become very mobile and that includes many who own their own homes. It is not unusual for someone to sell a house and purchase a new one in their new location when they move to another area. In addition, there has been a big shift from owning to renting. In many places, more people live in trailers, apartments, and rental homes than in homes that they own. People are far less likely to live long-term in the same place. As a result, the people are far less likely to get to know each other so the same problems that prevailed in trailer parks and apartment buildings, have moved into more settled communities. In addition, businesses have moved away from residential areas so even stable neighborhoods have become bedroom communities. Christian families can become a catalyst for restoring a sense of community in their neighborhoods as they get to know their neighbors and help them get to know each other.



Sixth Sunday of Epiphany-Feb. 12

08 Feb

Sixth Sunday of Epiphany– Building Bridges– Today, many neighbors are isolated and do not know each other. In the past, neighborhoods were close knit communities where people worked and shopped nearby and helped each other in times of need.  Increasing mobility has separated housing from office and shopping areas and has made even stable neighborhoods into bedroom communities. People work and shop elsewhere and only come home to have supper and sleep. Family used to provide support but many live a long way from any family members. They have no one to reach out to in an emergency or in time of need. By getting to know your neighbors you can build bridges that help you be there when they need help and opens opportunities to share the Gospel with them.



Fifth Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 5

01 Feb

Reaching the Children-Neighborhood children often congregate at the homes of Christians who have children because they feel the love that the parents have for their children and they enjoy the peace that reigns in a Christian home. Often their own parents ignore them or may even verbally or physically abuse them. It provides an excellent opportunity to show them through personal example that someone cares about them. It provides an opportunity to show them that God loves them and cares about them through Bible stories and video lessons. Children may be interested in a Children’s Bible Club. The church family may teach it or provide space for someone from the church to teach it. There is no problem with needing transportation like in traditional Vacation Bible Schools since the children live in the neighborhood. As the neighborhood children hear the Gospel and see it demonstrated, they may eventually want to attend church and urge their parents to take them.



Fourth Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 29

27 Jan

Sharing Christ Most Christians do not talk about church or the Gospel outside of church for fear of offending someone, so most people don’t know whether their neighbors attend church or not. While many Christians assume their neighbors attend a church somewhere, the fact is that most probably do not. If your neighbors attend church, their church may not provide fellowship and support and they may welcome friendship with other Christians, or their church may be too far away for them to participate in many church activities. If they do not attend church, they may be seeking a church but not know anyone who belongs to one providing an opportunity to invite them. Many of their neighbors have not had any contact with a church and do not have any reason to seek one. Those without Christ often live day to day, their only hope is to survive until tomorrow. They will not know that Christ can made a difference in their life until they see that it has made a difference in your life. As you visit your neighbors, you can witness to them about the benefits of attending church and may even get a chance to tell them about Christ.                                                                      


Third Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 22

19 Jan

Luke 10:29-37 Get To Know Our Neighbors-One of the greatest problems to spreading the Gospel in America is the lack of contact between Christians and non-Christians. Even in settled neighborhoods where people own their homes, there is often little contact beyond polite waves over the fence and unfortunately, Christians are caught up in it as well. The best way to start is have members visit their neighbors to get to know them. Visiting one a week is not taxing but in five weeks will enable them to get to know the five families around them. We need to make deliberate efforts to spend time with our neighbors and get to know them. Visit them and take them cookies or a cake or invite them over for a backyard Bar B Q to allow time to get to know them. Do they go to church, if so where? Do they have family nearby to help in times of need? Are there needs the church family can help with? We will not know unless we get to know them. Others may have needs and not know who to turn to. Establishing contact enables you to help them find solutions to their needs. Many may not have needs when you visit, but as you maintain contact with the neighbors through periodic visits, the neighbors may experience situations they cannot handle and may turn to you for help. Since many families are isolated today and have no family nearby, a sickness, loss of job, or even death may require more resources than they can muster and provide an opportunity for the church to show Christ’s love. As Christ points out, our neighbors include more than just those who live around us.  They are people we interact with every day at school, at work, and as we shop. We often see them but rarely take the time to get to know them.



Second Sunday of Epiphany-Jan 15

11 Jan


When we read the Gospels, we often see the teachings and miss what Jesus does. If we read them closely, we will notice that He met needs as He went along. He healed the blind man, the crippled man, and the leper. He also fed the people. He did it primarily because He cared about them, but He also did it because He knew those needs distracted those people from hearing what He had to say. Until He broke down the barrier, they could not concentrate on what He was saying. By meeting the need, He not only broke down the barrier, He also built a bridge to that person. Those people passed many people as they traveled but those people were only nameless faces, soon forgotten. Jesus was someone they would not soon forget. He wasn’t a nameless face, He was the one that healed them or fed them. He was the one who cared when no one else did. We have become accustomed to the government providing all those services, but we forget that Christians met those needs first and only later did the government become involved. Now we have all but given up our ministry to the government and people worship the government instead of God. The prevailing feeling among many Christians today, as well as non-Christians is “The government is my shepherd, I shall not want, It maketh me lie down in a nice house, and It provideth me with good food.”  Christ modeled the way we should live, unfortunately, all we like sheep have gone astray.



First Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 8

04 Jan

Reveal the Reason- When my wife and I were young, we would go out before Christmas to see the light displays. They depicted all kinds of things from Manger scenes to Santa Claus scenes and many others. Today, there are far fewer displays, and most are just lights. They are nice to look at but not nearly as interesting. Christmas is an excellent time to put up a display of the manger scene. Liberals have gotten them banned from a lot of public places, so it is up to churches and individual Christians to remind people why we celebrate Christmas. Children are curious. They may ask you, why do you have a display of people in the front yard? It gives you the opportunity to tell the Christmas story of how God sent Jesus to help us. Start planning now to be a witness for Christ next Christmas. Buy a commercial one or build your own. Christmas cards also give an opportunity to remind people why we celebrate. Now is a good time to get them because stores are getting rid of their Christmas stock at sale prices



Video-study course-Christian Celebrations-promo

22 Jun

I have a course on Basic Christian Beliefs for new Christians and as a refresher for long-time Christians, which is posted on Udemy.

It is available by posting the following link in your browser.


Seventh Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 20

17 Feb

Single mothers are more likely than married couples to be cut off from their family. While moving in search of jobs often takes couples away from their families, the families often keep in touch and help each other in time of need but single mothers often come from dysfunctional families that are separated by more than distance. Many grew up in families torn apart by strife and even when they live near their family, there is often little contact and less support. Many were unable to develop trust growing up and are isolated from those around them because of their inability to trust others. Many desperately need to feel wanted and that someone cares about them. Many men use that need to prey upon them, but the Church can show them that God cares about them through ministering to them.


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Sixth Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 13

11 Feb

Lack of Social Interaction Many single mothers are under tremendous pressure with no one to help them. They are often working and trying to keep house as well. Many are constantly tied down with the kids and have no one to watch the kids while they shop or attend other activities. Providing child care during church programs can free such women to relax and enjoy the activities and may enable them to attend where they might not otherwise be able to. With many families having no more than one or two children, children are often isolated. Child care will also provide opportunity for children to interact with other children in informal activity. Older Christian women can watch the kids for short periods or two mothers can take turns watching both sets of kids while the other one shops or just has some quiet time. Women’s activities at church with child care also helps.