Emmanuel Baptist Church Podcast

Sermons presented at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Jefferson City TN by Dr. Sonny Strange

The Podcasts

Direct download: ebc_podcast_12_18_11.mp3
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December 4, 2011                                        First Sunday of Advent


Journey to the Stable

The Announcement: Mary and the Living Water

Luke 1:26-38

Second Sunday of Advent: Candle of Love


Synopsis: Our journey to the stable continues in the hope of discovering the gift of God that filled the world with LOVE that first Christmas morning.  The Gospel of Luke tells us the way through the story of a young maiden named Mary.  She lived in the small village of Nazareth a few days journey north of Jerusalem.  God’s reason for picking her was a demonstration of His LOVE for the world. 

      From this story we learn how God takes the small things of this world to confound the larger things.  She was just a little maiden from a little village in a little country under the domination of the world’s super power.  And yet, as she yielded her little, God shaped the course of history.

      Part of my sermon is presented as a children’s story where I am doing a monologue in character as Luke.  Each Sunday of Advent I lead the children to a stable set up to look like a cave where I light the advent candles.  Today the candle is LOVE.


Scripture Text (NLT): Luke 1:26-38

Direct download: ebc_podcast_12_4_11.mp3
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November 27, 2011                                      First Sunday of Advent


Journey to the Stable

Preparing the Way: Zechariah, Elizabeth & Gabriel

Luke 1:5-25


Synopsis: Today we start on a journey to the stable in hopes of discovering the gift of Christmas.  The Gospel of Luke will map out the way for us.  We begin with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

      From this story we learn three important elements in preparing our hearts to receive the gift of Christmas.  1. Thanksgiving, 2. Prayer, 3. Repentance.

      Part of my sermon throughout this series will be presented through a children’s story.  I will be doing it in character as Luke.  Each Sunday of Advent I will guide the children to a stable set up to look like a cave where I will light an advent candle.  Today the candle is HOPE.


Scripture Text (NLT): Luke 1:5-25

Direct download: ebc_podcast_11_27_11.mp3
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Guest Speaker Darryl Hendricks

Direct download: ebc_podcast_11_20_11.mp3
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November 13, 2011                                         Veterans Recognition


More Than A Wish

Romans 13:6-7


Synopsis: There is a price for citizenship.  In Romans 13:6-7 Paul talks about taxes and honoring those in authority.  Military service is a price of citizenship too.  We are here today to honor those who have responded to the call of the nation to military service.  Some served a short time while others served on to retirement.  We want to take this opportunity to say “Thank you for your service.”

      Politically speaking, freedom for most people throughout the world is just a wish.  It isn’t that way for people in the USA.  Why?  It is a blessing from God, no doubt.  It is the product of a nation that has freedom in its DNA.  Our national freedom is also the result of those who answered the call to military service.  They are the ones who continue to make freedom in the USA More Than A Wish.

      Freedom isn’t free.  We all know that.  Today we want to take time to express our appreciation to the men and women among us have contributed to our freedom to worship.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Romans 13:6-7; Psalm 33:1, 119:45; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18; Galatians 5:1


Direct download: ebc_podcast_11_13_11.mp3
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Direct download: ebc_podcast_10_30_11.mp3
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October 23, 2011                                                                               


Who Is This Man?

Luke 7:36-50


Synopsis: Herod Antipas asked this question of Jesus of Nazareth, Who Is This Man? (Luke 9:7-9)  He was not alone. 

      Jesus calms the troubled seas and the disciples ask, Who Is This Man? (Luke 8:25; Matthew 8:27, Mark 4:41) Is he just a man?

      Jesus has his feet anointed by a woman off the street (Luke 7:36-50) and Jesus told her that her sins were forgiven.  People in Simon the Pharisee’s house asked, Who Is This Man?  Is he a man?

      People today continue to ask this question.  The one thing I know is that the way you answer the question determines your course of life both now and forever.  Who Is This Man?


Scripture Text (NLT):  Luke 9:7-9, 8:25 (Matthew 8:27; Mark 4:41) Luke 7:36-50


Scripture Reading: Luke 9:7-9

Direct download: ebc_podcast_10_23_11.mp3
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Guest speaker Robert Young.

Direct download: ebc_podcast_10_16_11.mp3
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October 9, 2011                                                                                 


Searching for God in the Word

John 1:14-18


Synopsis: I believe that God is revealing God’s self to us through the Word.  By that of course I mean Jesus Christ.  The Bible is our written word, a testament to the living Word through which God continues to reveal God’s self.

      Why can we not see God in the Word made flesh and the testament of those who encountered Him?  One answer is our presuppositions.  When we presume to know what we cannot know in advance we erect a barrier between ourselves and God.  The first step in finding God in the Word is to realize out presuppositions and pray that God will save us from them (Isaiah 55:9, Psalm 86:11). 

      The second step to discovering God in the Word is to come and handle the Word that the Bible seeks to reveal to all who come (John 20:30-31).

      The third step in finding God in the Word is to realize that the God of the Word is not a product of our imagination nor a reasonable philosophical deduction.  God is Spirit searching for believers searching for the Truth (John 4:21-24).


Scripture Text (NLT): Isaiah 55:9, Psalm 86:11; John 20:30-31; John 1:14-18; John 4:21-24


Scripture Reading: John 1:14-18

Direct download: ebc_podcast_10_9_11.mp3
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October 2, 2011                                          World Communion Day


We Are Not Alone

1 Corinthians 10:14-18


Synopsis: Today is World Communion Sunday a day that is celebrated by Christians throughout the world as a celebration of the remembrance of the One who connects us all.

Elijah thought he was all alone in his faith and faithfulness to the Lord God of Israel.  He wasn’t and he never would be (1 Kings 19:18).  There are surely a great number of believers who are suffering for their faith in many parts of the world today.  We join in this remembrance as a sign of our solidarity with them.  Yes, we are free to worship in this country, but we pause at the Lord’s Table in remembrance of those who are not

We are called to be one at the Table of Remembrance (1 Corinthians 10:14-18).  Our false divisions have no place at the Lord’s Table.  We gather at the Table to celebrate the provisions of God’s grace who makes us one in the sight of our Heavenly Father.  We are one because of the broken body of Christ Jesus who is Lord.  We are one because of the blood of Christ Jesus who died in the establishment of the New Covenant.  We are one in remembrance with believers all over the world.  We are truly one in Christ Jesus.

Paul encouraged the Corinthians believers to remember one another at the table (1 Corinthians 11:20-22).  Let us pause to do the same as we gather at the Lord’s Table then let us remember Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).


Scripture Text (NLT):  1 Kings 19:18; 1 Corinthians 10:14-18, 11: 20-22, 23-26


Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:14-18

Direct download: ebc_podcast_10_2_11.mp3
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Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_25_11.mp3
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September 18, 2011                     National Back to Church Sunday


Welcome Home

Psalm 122


Synopsis: Today is National Back to Church Sunday.  This is an interdenominational church movement to encourage people who may have not been to church in a while to give church another chance.  It is also a great occasion to review why we are here and what we expect to happen when we gather together in Jesus’ name.

      Psalm 122 is one of pilgrim Psalms of ascent.  It is not for the journey as much as it is for the arrival, “here we are”.  Psalms 120-134 are all Psalms for pilgrims making their way to the House of the Lord.  Believers can learn a lot from them.  How does one prepare and what does one do when they actually get to the House of the Lord.  Where is that house?

      There is something about The House of the Lord that believers recognize as home.  Come join us on a believers journey home.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Psalm 122; 10-134


Scripture Reading: Psalm 122:1-2a

Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_18_11.mp3
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September 11, 2011

The Tenth Anniversary of the 911 Terrorist Attack in the United States: Terrorists commandeered four passenger planes and flew them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, The Pentagon in Washington, D. C., and one that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.  Over three thousand were killed.  Tragedy struck that morning and revealed the country’s vulnerability, its compassion, and its strength.

      Volunteers poured in from around the country and the world to help in the search and rescue operations. 

      Churches opened their doors for times of prayer for the families and friends of the victims, the volunteers who searched through the rubble, and the local and national leaders who scrambled to restore national security and strived to protect us from further attacks.

      There were many throughout the world who rejoiced in our tragedy still greater numbers of people mourned with us.


When Tragedy Strikes

Psalm 18:4-6


Synopsis: It is not a question of “if” tragedy will strike but “when.”  When Tragedy Strikes our vulnerabilities are exposed.  Some of our strengths and resources are destroyed.  What remains are the strengths that make us who we are.

      Maybe we go away a little wiser and more prepared for what might happen next.  Hopefully we are more appreciative of what we have that survives the tragedy and more committed to strengthening what sustains us. 

      Death is the final tragedy that will eventually strike all of us (1 Corinthians 15:26).  Christ has proven that God the Father is the only resource for life and source of life that can and will sustain us in that ultimate tragedy.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Psalm 18:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:26


Scripture Reading: Psalm 18:4-6

Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_11_11.mp3
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September 4, 2011


Convergence & Conversion

God in Our Midst

Matthew 18:20


Synopsis: What happens when believers come together?  Maybe nothing, then again, maybe there is a “Convergence” of things that happen so that God so apparent in the mix that even unbelievers can experience Emmanuel (Mt 18:19-20).

      I like it when things come together. September 28 is the date for this year’s See You At the Pole: Global Day of Student Prayer.  Maybe I would not have known that except that this year’s emphasis is “Converge.”  This sermon and that flyer I pulled from the mail box this morning converge to reveal something larger than what I was planning.  God does that sort of thing all the time.  We just don’t always pay attention.

      There were a lot of things converging in Saul of Tarsus’s life that day on the road to Damascus.  Saul saw Jesus in the experience and was transformed into Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles.

            The sins of humanity converged with the grace of God the Father on the cross of Jesus the Son and conversion was made possible. 


Scripture Text (NLT): Matthew 18:19-20;

Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_4_11.mp3
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August 28, 2011


Language of Grace

A Lesson in Vocabulary

1 Peter 3:13-17


Synopsis: Sometimes believers speak in an “unknown tongue.”  They don’t mean to.  They may be using English or Spanish or … whatever, but people who speak that language do not necessary understand what the believer is trying to communicate.  The language of grace may be better felt than told, but believers still have to try to “give a defense” of their faith to those who have never experienced it (1 Peter 3:13-17; Acts 24:10)

      Today, I want us to work on our vocabulary.  I don’t want us to change it unnecessarily, just take a moment and try to explain some of the vocabulary used in the language of grace.


Scripture Text (NLT): 1 Peter 3:13-17: Acts 24:10


Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-17

Direct download: ebc_podcast_8_28_11.mp3
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August 21, 2011


Language of Grace

1 Corinthians 5:9-11


Synopsis: Language sometimes forms a barrier to communication even when people seem to be using the same words.  That is certainly the case when believers try to communicate the Gospel to those who have never experienced it. 

        Paul called believers to a high standard of relationship that was not to be confused with standard of relationship with unbelievers (1 Corinthians 5:9-11).  In making that distinction he admonished believers to reach out to unbelievers even though they did not live by those higher standards as a means of winning them to faith.

        This brings up a good question.  How does a believer communicate the Gospel to an unbeliever when he or she does not know the language of grace.  Believers use the language of grace all the time.  Other believers understand them perfectly, because they have a common experience.  We fill our worship with songs of praise that have words which communicate on multiple levels. 

        Sometimes believers are mocked because of the choice of words that they use to communicate the meaning of grace.  Those outside of faith often don’t appreciate their sincere attempt to communicate with words their experience of grace.


Scripture Text (NLT):  1 Corinthians 5:9-11

Direct download: ebc_podcast_8_21_11.mp3
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Homecoming at Emmanuel!  Special Guest Speaker Rick Rogers.

Direct download: ebc_podcast_8_14_11.mp3
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GUest Speaker Norman Eskridge.

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_31_11.mp3
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July 24, 2011


Closet Time

Stewardship of Personal Devotion

Matthew 6:5-6


Sermon Series: This is the third in a series of sermons dealing with stewardship.  All believers are “Gifted for a Purpose.”  The first sermon dealt with financial stewardship under the title of “Managing Gnats.”  Sometimes we think financial stewardship is the most important.  It isn’t.  Believers are “Gifted for a Purpose” financially and every other way.

      The title of the second sermon in this series (July 17) is “Talent Search.”  It deals with the stewardship of personal talents and spiritual gifts as they relate to the work of the local church.  Each year local churches conduct a “Talent Search” of sorts as they seek to find people in the congregation who are willing and able to minister in various areas of church work.

      “Closet Time” is the third sermon in the series (July 24).  The sermon examines personal stewardship of time in the development of prayer life and personal devotion.

      The title of the final sermon in the series is “Environmental Impact” (August 7).  It deals with our stewardship of God’s creation.  Environmental issues are often absent in our discussion of stewardship issues, but believers certainly do not get a pass when it comes to the stewardship of natural resources.


Sermon Synopsis: “Closet Time” picks up on a phrase Jesus used to describe personal devotion.  Enter your closet, close the door and spend time with the Father comes from the KJV translation in Matthew 6:5-6.  Two words are examined closely: closet and devotion.  Personal Devotion is not about changing God.  It is about changing the person praying.

      One of Jesus’ parables examines this challenge even more openly.   In Luke 18:9-14 a Pharisee and Tax Collector go up on the roof to pray.  Only one closed the door to outside influence and went home justified before God.

      There are a lot of noises in our world that can distract us from devoting time to God.  When a believer devotes time to God it doesn’t meant the problems cease.  It just means the believer refuses to be devoted to the problems.  People choose who or what they are devoted to or the “who and what” of life will control them.

      How much time each day do you devote to the eternal?



Scripture Text (NLT):  Matthew 6:5-6; Luke 18:9-14

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_24_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:49pm EDT

July 17, 2011


Talent Search

Stewardship of Talents

1 Corinthians 12:12-13


Sermon Series: This is the second in a series of sermons dealing with stewardship.  I began with financial stewardship under the title of “Managing Gnats.”  Sometimes we think financial stewardship is the most important.  It isn’t.  Believers are “Gifted for a Purpose” financially and every other way.

      Today’s sermon “Talent Search” deals with the stewardship of personal talents and spiritual gifts as they relate to the work of the local church.  Each year local churches conduct a “Talent Search” of sorts as they seek to find people in the congregation who are willing and able to minister in various areas of church work.

      “Closet Time” is the third sermon in the series (July 24).  The sermon examines personal stewardship of time in the development of prayer life and personal devotion.

      The title of the final sermon in the series is “Environmental Impact” (August 7).  It deals with our stewardship of God’s creation.  Environmental issues are often absent in our discussion of stewardship issues, but believers certainly do not get a pass when it comes to the stewardship of natural resources.


Sermon Synopsis: Today’s sermon “Talent Search” deals with the stewardship of personal talents and spiritual gifts as they relate to the work of the local church.  Each year local churches conduct a “Talent Search” of sorts as they seek to find people in the congregation who are willing and able to minister in various areas of church work.

      Believers are “Gifted for a Purpose,” and God has a purpose for every believer in the work of the church.  No excuses or exclusions are permitted among Kingdom workers.  Find a place to apply your talents and spiritual gifts and get started.  You are “Gifted for a Purpose in the Local Church.”




Scripture Text (NLT):  1 Corinthians 12:12-13


Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_17_11.mp3
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July 10, 2011


Managing Gnats

Financial Stewardship

Matthew 23:23-34


Gifted for a Purpose Sermon Series: This is the first of a series of sermons dealing with stewardship issues (July 10).  I begin with financial stewardship.  The title, “Managing Gnats” comes from the text in Matthew 23:23-24, NLT where Jesus says, “You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” 

        The title of the second sermon in this series (July 17) is “Talent Search.”  It deals with the stewardship of personal talents and spiritual gifts as they relate to the work of the local church.  Each year local churches conduct a “Talent Search” of sorts as they seek to find people in the congregation who are willing and able to minister in various areas of church work.

        “Closet Time” is the third sermon in the series (July 24).  The sermon examines personal stewardship of time in the development of prayer life and personal devotion.

        The title of the final sermon in the series is “Environmental Impact” (August 7).  It deals with our stewardship of God’s creation.  Environmental issues are often absent in our discussion of stewardship issues, but believers certainly do not get a pass when it comes to the stewardship of natural resources.


Sermon Synopsis: Stewardship is a big word that calls our attention to a lot of issues of life.  It should also call our attention to our purpose in life.  What is your life all about?  If someone else were to take a good look at your life would they give the same answer you give? 

        We are gifted with life for a purpose, but we often gobble up life as if there were no tomorrow and in the end miss that purpose (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).  We often divert our attention to the details of life as a distraction or disguise for the things that we really regard as important.

        Believers are called to recognize the important things in life and give them their due attention.  Today I want to call your attention to the business of managing gnats (Matthew 23:23-24).  If the issue is stewardship of life, then we cannot hide behind one little effort to do right and excuse the rest.  Neither can we wait until later.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Matthew 23:23-24; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_10_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT

July 3, 2011


Free to Be

Romans 6:15-18


Synopsis: We in the United States have a national holiday we celebrate on the 4th of July.  It is in honor of the Declaration of Independence signed by a bunch of very brave men back in 1776.  It was only 235 years ago. 


      We in the church have a believer’s holiday we celebrate every Sunday.  It is in honor of the declaration of independence signed in the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and sealed in His resurrection from the grave.  It was almost 2,000 years ago.  He made us “Free to Be” children of the Living God our Heavenly Father (Romans 6:15-18).


      We are not “Free to Be” anything we want to be, but free to be what God desires us to be.  Our Heavenly Father wants us to know the abundance of life possible. 


      We are citizens of the United States of America by birth or nationalization.  We are not citizens of the United States of America in order to be Christian nor are we Christians because we are citizens.  We Christians because of our faith in the resurrected Lord.  It is our obedience to our resurrected Lord that marks us as Christians.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Romans 6:15-18

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_3_11.mp3
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June 26, 2011


All Caught Up

Revelation 1:1-11


Synopsis: Have you ever been “All Caught Up” in something?  I hope so.  In fact I hope you’re all caught up in Christ Jesus, because it is the hope of the church that all believers will be caught up together with Him into glory.

        At Emmanuel we got all caught up in pandas last week.  Pandamania echoed up and down the halls and filled the sanctuary.  It was VBS and we had the largest number of kids in a long time.  We got caught up in thinking what it would be like to have this many kids every Sunday.  WOW!

        The Apostle John was on the isle of Patmos because he was all caught up in Jesus.  Then he got all caught up in the Spirit and was set free from earth’s prison to be captivated by God’s glory.  Now you are invited to get caught up in Jesus today so that you will be caught up together with Him in the end.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Revelation 1:1-11; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53


Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

Direct download: ebc_podcast_6_26_11.mp3
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June 19, 2011                                                               Father’s Day


Daddy Did

Mark 14:35-36


Synopsis: Kids like to brag about their dads.  That is not always a bad thing.  Sometimes their imagination is not a part of their reality.  “My Dad is bigger…smarter…richer…etc. than your Dad.” 

      A little over a year ago my earthly Father went home to be with his Heavenly Father.  Today, I am not only the earthly kid remembering my Dad, but I am also a kingdom kid honoring my Dad of glory.

      Jesus taught us about our relationship with the God of creation and eternal glory.  He said that God wants to be our Abba.  That is Aramaic for “Daddy.”  So let me tell you about what my “Daddy Did” for me and you and all of creation.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Mark 14:35-36; Galatians 4:4-7; Romans 8:14-17; Psalms 50:10-11


Scripture Reading: Galatians 4:4-7

Direct download: ebc_podcast_6_19_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:22am EDT

June 12, 2011                                        Baptism, Pentecost Sunday


All Charged Up

Acts 1:7-8


Synopsis: Jesus said “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (Acts 1:7-8)  The day believers first realized that power was on the day the Jews celebrate the festival of booths.  It was fifty days after Passover (Acts 2:1-4).  That was the day believers first realized the power Jesus said was coming.  We call it Pentecost. 

      There was about ten days between the time Jesus made the promise until the disciples realized the presence.  I sometimes wonder what Peter and the other Disciples thought might happen.  Maybe, they thought it would be the end of the world.  Maybe, they thought they would be the first transformers who would be able to take up the roman sword and run them out of the land of Israel.

      What the believers received was the powerful presence of Christ Jesus who would make them able to light up the world.  Believers are not sent into the world with their own power nor the power of this world, not even with the resources of this world, but rather with the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit.

      You have received the power to transform the world so go be a blessing.


Scripture Text (NLT): Acts 1:7-8,


Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-4

Direct download: ebc_podcast_6_12_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT

June 5, 2011                                       Appalachian Outreach Week



There Is a Place for You to Serve

Philippians 3:12-14


Synopsis: Missy Cain is a local celebrity known for a commercial challenging people with a “Yes you can!” slogan.  I am using it in the context of Christian Ministry.  Yes there is a place for you to serve.

      Paul encourages believers to get at it with the power of Christ enabling them to the task (Philippians 3:12-14, 4:10-14). 

      What are your gifts?  What are your abilities? 

What are your Resources?  What times do you have available?  Don’t tell me you can’t.  Tell me you will.  “I can do this!”  Yes you can.


Scripture Text (NLT): Philippians 3:12-14, 4:10-14


Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:12-14

Direct download: ebc_podcast_6_5_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm EDT

A Celebration of the Mission and Minsistry work going on at Emmanuel.  

Direct download: ebc_podcast_5_29_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:31am EDT

May 22, 2011                                                    Children in Worship


Bring Them In

Genesis 7:6-10


Synopsis: Today is a very special day for worship at Emmanuel.  This is the day we try to create a worship experience for the children in the congregation.  They are involved in every aspect of what we are doing and become the target audience for the message.

      The story of Noah is one that captures the imagination of everyone of every age.  My simple message for today points out that Noah’s primary qualification to build the ark was obedience.  He was of the habit of doing what God wanted.  So he built an ark according to God’s design that was large enough to carry animals and Noah’s family through the flood.  I use the kids to “build” an ark capable of having room enough for everyone in the worship center to fit inside.  Then I invited everyone to get on board, which they did.  WOW!  What a wonderful sight.  The adults got into the service and emptied the pews.  What a story.



Scripture Text (NLT): Genesis 6 & 7

Direct download: ebc_podcast_5_22_11.mp3
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May 15, 2011

Worshipping With the Psalms

Selected Psalms

Synopsis: The Psalms for today’s worship were selected and will be read by members of the Emmanuel High School Youth Group. My message about the relationship of the Psalms to prayer and worship will be imbedded throughout worship.  The Psalms has been and should continue to be the hymn book of the church teaching believers of every age how to pray and worship.

Scripture Text (NLT):  Selected Psalms 150:1-6; 51:1-17; 118:1-4; 28:1-2, 6-8; 25:1-5, 17-21

Direct download: ebc_podcast_5_15_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:46pm EDT

May 8, 2011                                                                 Mother’s Day


Related To …

Genesis 3:20


Synopsis: It’s Mother’s Day and we want to honor those special women in our congregation who give birth to the next generation.  Sometimes on Mother’s Day we make it sound like Mothers are perfect.  Well of course they are not, but we want to honor them for all of the ways they are.  The Ten Commandments says (Exodus 20:12), “Honor your father and your mother.”  It doesn’t say “if they are a perfect ten.”  Instead it says, “Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”  This is a command with a promise.  Today we want to honor all of those who give us life.

      “Related To” is a sermon about what Mother’s do.  They set the stage for who we are related to.  Two families come together in the birth of a child and mothers are often the ones who nurture those connections.

      They also often set the stage for what we do by telling us what to do.  Maybe you’ve heard your Mother say, “If I’ve told you once I told you a dozen times.”  In my case it is more like a hundred times.  Unfortunately, my mother says, to little avail, “How many times do I have to tell you?” 

      Sometimes, if you listen closely, you can hear the voice of God speaking in your Mother’s words. 


Scripture Text (NLT):  Exodus 20:12; Luke 2:6; Genesis 3:20; John3:1-10


Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:20

Direct download: ebc_podcast_5_8_11.mp3
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May 1, 2011                                                                                                  Senior Day                                              


Now What?

What Does Becoming a Senior Mean?

Ephesians 6:10-18


Synopsis: Today is Senior Day at Emmanuel.  This is the day we celebrate the transition in life that comes with being a senior.  The race of life does not end with graduation or retirement the runners simply move into the next phase of the course of life.  My sermon celebrates that transition and calls attention to the course of life that lies ahead (Ephesians 6:10-18).

        We celebrate the life transition of High School and College seniors as they graduate (Hebrews 12:1-4). 

        We also celebrate the life transition of those who move into the senior adult category (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

        The raced of life does not end with a transition in status.  But hopefully the runners are more prepared for the course of life that lies before them.  The finish line of believers is set in glory where we will join the heavenly host cheering on those who continue the race. May God the Father bless those who today celebrate a transition in life with a renewed hope for tomorrow and courage to face the challenges of the course of life that lies ahead.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 12:1-4; 2 Timothy 4:6-8


Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Direct download: ebc_podcast_5_1_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:52am EDT

April 24, 2011                                                             Easter Sunday                        Sunday of Lent


He Lives

1 Corinthians 15:12-20


Synopsis: Easter sermon usually have a central theme and that is the way it should be.  Jesus lives and what does that mean to believers?  What is the relationship of Jesus’ resurrection and that of believers?  The Apostle Paul basically says they are the same thing.  In fact, the Gospel message itself is predicated on what the life, death and resurrection of Christ.  Without Jesus there is no Gospel.

      The death of Jesus on a cruel cross was a horrendous tragedy that God the Father turned into an overwhelming surprise by the power of the resurrection.  God the Father is still turning tragedies into surprises through the power of the resurrected Christ. 

      Jesus lives by the power of the Spirit of God in the hearts and lives of believers every day.  Let Him turn your tragedy into a resurrection surprise.


Scripture Text (NLT):  1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 12-20, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Direct download: ebc_podcast_4_24_11.mp3
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Palm Sunday Service.

Direct download: ebc_podcast_4_17_11.mp3
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April 10, 2011                                                                                                             Sunday of Lent



Matthew 6:14-15


Synopsis: Imagine with me that we lived in The Kingdom of Forgive-en-ness.  According to the prayer Jesus gave his disciples that is what we are to pray for (Mt.6:10). 

      Jesus also taught that in the Kingdom of Forgive-en-ness one must learn to forgive as a part of the process of being forgiven (Mt. 6:14-15).  If the way you forgive others is an indicator of the way you have been forgiven then how much forgiveness do you possess? 

      One more thing to remember, forgiveness is not an option for the forgiven.  It is the way of life.  Jesus illustrated this point with a parable.


Scripture Text (NLT): Matthew 6:10, 14-15 (NIV); 18:21-35 (NLT).


Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:14-15

Direct download: ebc_podcast_4_10_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54pm EDT

Annual Gideon Report with speaker Barry Bunch.


Direct download: ebc_podcast_4_3_11.mp3
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Guest speaker Rick Loy talks about the abundant life that Jesus has in store for us and how the enemy wants to take it away.


John 10:10


Direct download: ebc_podcast_3_27_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm EDT

March 20, 2011                                                                   Second Sunday of Lent

First Day of Spring


Season of New Life

Matthew 28:1


Synopsis: Are you one of those people who get excited at the beginning of spring?  I am!  The darkness of winter is giving way to the brighter longer days of dawning.  As a result things all around us are springing to life. 

        Oh yes we still have a few “winters” yet to come.  Around here we name them.  There is the dogwood winter, blackberry winter, Indian winter and a few others yet to be named, but we know the days of winter are numbered.  The few remaining blasts of cold weather cannot stop the onward march of spring.  They may nip the blossoms and even kill the fruit of some early trees but winter’s grip on the earth has been lost to spring.

        This is the metaphor I want to incorporate into my sermon today.  A Season of New Life draws on this relationship of nature to illustrate the new life of believers in Christ Jesus.  To be sure, there will be blasts from the old life that will nip at the blossoms of new life in Christ, but they cannot stop the advance of the newness of life guaranteed by the presence of the Spirit of Christ that shines in and through the believer producing fruit of eternal life.  Thanks be unto God the Father for the dawning of this new day.


Scripture Text (NLT): Matthew 28:1-7; John 3:1-8; Ephesians 4:17-32

Direct download: ebc_podcast_3_20_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34am EDT

March 13, 2011                                                                         First Sunday of Lent


The Fast

A Time of Self Denial

Matthew 6:16-18


Synopsis:     We know that from a medical perspective a time of fasting has a role in determining what is going on in the body.  That is why doctors order a time of fasting prior to certain medical tests and procedures.  We may not like it, but we do it any way just to find out (hopefully) that everything is fine.

        A time of fasting is often prescribed or at least practiced by believers as a preparation for a mission that is to follow.  It is often defined as a forty day fast.  Moses and Jesus are two fine examples.

        So is fasting for a medical test the same as fasting in the Bible?  The answer is yes and no.  Is fasting required for believers in the contemporary world?  Jesus seems to assume that believers of any age will fast.  In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus that there are times when a fast is appropriate.  He also points out that there right and wrong reasons to fast as sure as there are right and wrong ways to practice it.  Fasting as a part of prayer is a time of self denial.  It is usually for a certain period of time for the purpose of getting to know God better.  It is for the benefit of a believer’s relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  A time of fasting for believers may be just what their Heavenly Doctor ordered.      


Scripture Text (NLT): Matthew 6:16-18; Psalm 35:11-16; Isaiah 58:1-9a,


Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:16-18

Direct download: ebc_podcast_3_13_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

March 6, 2011   World Day of Prayer

A Prayer Concert
Psalm 119:14

Synopsis: Today's sermon is spread throughout the service as I call
attention to five different dimension of prayer.  I will make several
references to E. Glenn Hinson's book The Reaffirmation of Prayer.  Members
of our High School Youth group will be leading the congregation in prayers
of praise, thanksgiving, transformation, intercession and surrender.  The
actual prayers used were written by Carson Newman College students enrolled
in Introduction to Ministry Class.
       The World Day of Prayer is an international ecumenical Christian
laywomen's initiative.  It is run under the motto "Informed Prayer and
Prayerful Action," and is celebrated annually in over 170 countries on the
first Friday in March.
       It started in1887 when Mary Ellen James called for prayer to address
the problems of women around her especially immigrants struggling to live in
slums of New York.
       Let us pay attention to the words of our prayers and make sure we
are using all dimensions of prayer and not just one or two.

Scripture Text (NLT):  Psalm 19:14

Direct download: ebc_podcast_3_6_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

On this episode of On The Path Scott Wasiner interviews Jason Eldridge, a photagraher from Homestead Florida who recently took a trip to Cuba.  Jason has graciously shared his story with us. Below are links to both of Jason's photography sites and his Facebook page.



Direct download: on_the_path_ep_7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37pm EDT

February 27, 2011                                                                             


What is the Relationship of

Giving & Receiving?

Luke 6:37-38


Synopsis: Where does one start when examining the relationship of “Giving and Receiving”?  In this message I started with God instead of with believers.  What I quickly discovered was that God has been giving for a long, long time.  In fact Scriptures paint a portrait of God as one who was giving before time began.  One might say that giving is part of the very nature of God.  It is more than just something God that does.  This may be the biggest clue of all about what God desires of and for believers.

      Then I began to search for times when God was on the receiving end.  I couldn’t find very much.  Indeed, what can others give to the one who has everything? 

      I had to reverse my approach when I began to examine “Giving and Receiving” from the human perspective.  Receiving seems to be a part of our human nature.  We are born dependent and some seem to never grow out of it.  When we are born again we receive a new nature that turns us from receivers into givers.  Jesus is the greatest gift.

      Have you received the gift of God’s giving?  If you have then you know it comes with a new nature.  Believers have the nature of God that transforms them from receivers to givers.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Luke 6:37-38; Genesis 28:20-22; Malachi 3:10-12; Genesis 1:27-30; Psalm 50:7-14; Acts 20:33-35; Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 16:24-28; John 3:16


Scripture Reading: Luke 6:37-38

Direct download: ebc_podcast_2_27_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:47pm EDT

February 20, 2011                                                                             


Is That Music That I Hear?

Prayer as a Melody in the Ear of the Lord

Romans 8:18-30


Synopsis: Have you ever wondered how our prayers must sound to God?  Individually we make up only one part of what must be one of many notes when arranged together in the ear of God they must make a very pleasing sound.  I imagine it might sound like music.  Think about it.  Prayer heard in the ear of God as music from the soul a melody of the heart not the mouth.

      I you take any of our hymns apart and listen to only one note at a time it is difficult imagine what it would sound like when all the notes are played together.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the notes we are playing that we forget that prayer is never a solo performance.  We never pray alone.  Other believers join in the chorus and the Holy Spirit joins us as well (Romans 8:18-30).

      Come join the chorus of prayer.  Play your notes faithfully because it is part of the grand melody heard in the ear of God the Father as the Son stands to join us and the Spirit hums in harmony with our prayer and the will of God the Father.


Scripture Text (NLT):  1 Kings 19; Romans 8:18-30

Direct download: ebc_podcast_2_20_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33pm EDT

Guest Speaker Dr. Brad Bull discusses the six most important words in a relationship.  He also asks a question: What is something we have to do that Jesus never did?



Psalm 119: 33 - 34

Proverbs 9:1 -12

Matthew 18: 15 - 17

Titus 3: 10 - 11

Direct download: ebc_podcast_2_13_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:43am EDT

February 6, 2011        Souper Bowl of Caring

It's Not a Secret
Discerning the Heart of God
James 1:22-27

Synopsis: It's not a secret; in fact, it's not really that difficult to
discern the Heart of God.  The words of the prophets continue to proclaim to
those who will hear.  God desires justice.  Jesus came to earth as a living
demonstration of what is at the heart of God.  Love is what God desires.
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 declares what it that God the
Father blesses.  The disciples taught the same thing to the church following
Christ's ascension.  Paul declared that when he was weak God was strong.
James simply said that if you want to worship God then you need to be sure
your religion reflects the heart of God.  Elements of "true religion"
involve our lives in activities initiated in the heart of God.

 Scripture Text (NLT):  Matthew 5:3-12; James 1:22-27

Scripture Reading: James 1:26-27

Direct download: ebc_podcast_2_6_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:37pm EDT

January 30, 2011                                                                              


Only You

God Knows Worship Defines You

Exodus 20:1-11


Synopsis: God knows that worship defines you and that is why it is so very important for believers to worship only the “Lord your God.”  God invites believers into an exclusive relationship.  If we really all desire to get closer to the one God then the closer we all get to God must at the same time bring us closer to one another.

      The Ten Commandments commence with God’s word on the subject of the relationship between the Lord and the people whom God has saved.  The first four commands in Exodus 20:1-11 make it clear that believers are to have an exclusive relationship with the Lord your God. 

      Israel often stood alone in their insistence that there was only on Lord.  The early church continued that same commitment understanding that they worshipped the only God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

      If you are going to worship, then be sure you worship the “Lord your God, who rescued you from … your slavery.”  The redeemed are not to worship any other god, nor bow to any image.  Believers are to revere the name and maintain the relationship. 


Scripture Text (NLT):  Exodus 20:1-11

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_30_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50pm EDT

January 23, 2011	

Energize Us
Defining Relationships Should Energize You
John 11:1-44

Synopsis:  If you are in a relationship that does not energize you, then I
suggest you ask yourself a question, "Why?"  Why do you want to be in a
relationship that is killing you?
	God invites us into a relationship with the goal of energizing us in
ways that will bring us to life.  It involves God as Father, Son and Spirit
calling individuals out of earth's death traps and into the "Son" light of
life without end.
	Just as Jesus called Lazarus form the grave so to Jesus continues to
call us out of relationships that threaten to destroy us.  Earth's death
traps have a strong hold on us, but Jesus can break that hold with a simple
invitation.  Listen for the voice of the Savior as He calls you out of the
grave and into a new life to walk with Him in newness of life everlasting.

Scripture Text (NLT):  John 11:1-44

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_23_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:16am EDT

January 16, 2011                                                                              


It’s Personal

John 1:14


Synopsis: Defining relationships are personal.  That is the way it was with God in the beginning.  Creation was and is personal with God (Gen. 1:1-2).  That is the way it was with Christ coming into the world He had created and among the people He had chosen.  God got personal with creation in Christ Jesus (John 1:1-5).  Redemption is personal with God and it must be personal (John 1:14) with everyone who comes to God in faith. 


Scripture Text (NLT):  Genesis 1:1-2; John 1:1-5, 14


Scripture Reading: John 1:14

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_16_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:08pm EDT

January 9, 2011                                                                                


Isn’t a Thing

John 10:25-30


Synopsis: Today I begin a yearlong sermon series on relationships.  During the year I will explore various aspects of relationships.  I begin with the God relationship and start by pointing out that the “main thing” in relationships “Isn’t a Thing.” 

Jesus said, “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30, NLT)  This is the ultimate relationship.  Neither God the Father nor Jesus the Son were going to allow any “thing” to come between them.  Interjecting “things” into a relationship can destroy the very fabric of the relationship.  For example: when people relate to God on the basis of “things” they elevate the thing above God and have erected an idol in place of the relationship.  Jesus never did that.

      Relationships should give meaning to things.  In the relationships of a family a house become a home.  In the relationships of a congregation a church building becomes a sanctuary a center of worship.

      The main thing in life isn’t a thing.  It is a relationship.  The main things of life are not things!  Listen carefully, We go awry in relationships every time we fall into the “thing” trap. 


Scripture Text (NLT):  John 10:25-30


Scripture Reading: John 10:25-30

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_9_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12am EDT

Guest Speaker Rick Loy

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_2_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:39pm EDT