April 2013

The Rest of the Story

That means that God isn’t done with you yet, that God is still working to bring something good out of the ruined places, that God is still active and has not forgotten about you and your trials. Hang in there, it gets better. The great statement of faith is that when you put yourself wholly in God’s hands, even if things don’t turn out the way you had envisioned, you have nothing to fear. So rise up--no one was really looking forward to going to your pity party anyway.



The Lord is My Shepherd

Dave Clark Ankeny Christian Sermon on Psalm 23



Be About My Business, Be About My Kingdom

Guest preacher, Rev. Larry Squire’s sermon from April.



March 2013

An Idle Tale–an Easter Sermon

Someday, that place in the sun. Can you dare to believe in that day, a better day, a sunny day, whether it is in this life or the next? Faith is meant to move us and remind us that life is good, that endings are transitions to something new, that God has the power to do what is needed, that there is more good than bad in the world and in you.



Extravagance

Yet, somehow we endure; by God’s grace we get through. There is an element to our worship that should echo of Mary’s act of returning to Jesus to offer exuberant praise in whatever form that strikes us. Sometimes it can be just to pray with all your might saying, Thank you thank you thank you. Sometimes it can be to allow yourself to be less self-conscious during a song and to let your heart feel the words and let it flow out of you. I don’t care if it’s the contemporary songs or the good old fashioned hymns you are singing--they both aim for that mystical moment that we sing about in the hymn Love Divine, all Loves Excelling, “Lost in wonder, love and praise.” To get lost in it means letting yourself go. Mary went all out. She didn’t save the jar, didn’t hold a little back for use later. This is challenging for most of us good Midwesterners. We are more reserved.



Prodigal

Meanwhile, there is a banquet going on. You can hear the music and the dancing even out in the yard, and there is plenty left to eat. Your father won’t make you go in the house. He’ll just stand in the yard with you to protect you, the same way he protected the brother. What’s left of his honor is in your hands. You can go to the party as you are. The father’s banquet is for the reconcilable, thrown for anyone who will come and not take for granted what he has to share.



How to Apologize

What do you say when "sorry" isn't good enough?



February 2013

Star Power

We can get so focused in on the daily grind, the nitty gritty, the ugly matter of fact things in the world that we can forget that there is something wonderful above. That right there, depending on where you looked was the difference between cynicism and faith. Where are your eyes fixed? Have you been thinking small or large? Focused only on the harsh realities, or do you permit yourself to think about what may come from above. For me, I believe in star power--and not the kind that comes from celebrities walking down the red carpet. I believe in the power to look above and be comforted, calmed, inspired, pulled to believe against the odds that we can connect to something that is good and pure and holy in our lives.



If You are a Child of God

For Jesus the temptation was to turn stones into bread. For us the temptation is to forget the lessons of sharing about of the folly of greed, of pretending that we are not connected to our hurting neighbors, not to hold ourselves or leaders accountable for addressing problems of hunger and suffering. It’s easier to talk about being tempted by cookies than the temptation to be indifferent to human misery and need.



I Want to Know What Love Is

Sermon by Dave Clark on 1 Corinthians 13 What if love really is the greatest gift? What would that mean for how we set our priorities and goals in life. If I asked you to before the service began today to write down your life goals, you may have talked about becoming financially secure, staying […]



Passing Through

I’m thinking about how difficult it must have been for Jesus personally to disappoint the folks in his home town. Someone once asked me if I’d ever had to disappoint someone I cared about in order to be true to myself. It’s a crucial question of character. Sometimes, like Jesus that’s what we are called to do.



January 2013

Whatever He Tells You to Do

Do you believe God can do a new thing in your life? The church is the community through which God wants to do new things, but he needs us to respond and sometimes do things we don’t really want to do. The story reminds us that no matter how bad it is, Jesus turns the water into wine.



Beloved Stone-Catchers

Fred Craddock says that the invitation to the kingdom of God is quite simple it comes as a voice that says “Next!”



Heaven’s Leaven

Dave Clark’s sermon on Matthew 13:31-35.  From a story about Dave and Dayna Kinkade sandbagging a flooding river with Bishop Desmond Tutu.