Emmanuel Baptist Church Podcast

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

The Podcasts


December 20, 2015                                      4th Sunday of Advent

The Light of Christmas

Sharing the Love of God With Others

Matthew 2:1-2


Synopsis: The Love Light of God got the attention of the Magi even though they live in a far and distant land.  They were not of the linage of Abraham, but they were attracted to the light of God’s love (Matthew 2:1-12).

      Their journey of discovery led the Magi to Herod but there was no “LOVE LIGHT” shining there.  The religious leaders in Jerusalem pointed to Bethlehem but it was the “LOVE LIGHT” of God that guided them to Jesus.  Even as just a child the love of God radiated from His presence.  The same is true today.  God’s “LOVE LIGHT” shines brightly from the resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Plus, the “LOVE LIGHT” of God is reflected through the lives of believers every day.

      Believers need to let the “LOVE LIGHT” of God shine through their lives every day of the year and especially at Christmas.  People all around them will be attracted to the LOVE LIGHT of God.

      Every gift has the potential of blessing in two ways.  There is the joy of the giver and the joy of the one receiving the gift.  All who receive God’s gift of love are filled with joy.  That is the joy that the gift brings to the ones who receive the gift, but that pales in comparison to the joy that the giver receives.  There is great joy in heaven whenever someone else receives God’s gift of love in Christ Jesus.  You will never know a greater joy than the joy of the gift of love God has given you in His Son Jesus Christ. 


Text (NLT): Matthew 2:1-12, NRSV; John 15:9-17


Scripture Reading: John 15:9-17

Direct download: ebc_podcast_12_20_15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:48pm EDT

December 6, 2015                                     2nd Sunday of Advent

The Light of Christmas

Sharing the Peace of God With Others

Luke 1:76-79


Synopsis: The Light of Christmas shines bright because the spark of HOPE has set the kindling of PEACE ablaze.  Soon we will see what the logs of JOY can do when all are fanned into flames by LOVE.  It is the season of Advent and we are celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

      People who live in the shadows need the spark of HOPE that comes from the light of God in Christ Jesus.  That spark would be short lived if not for the kindling of PEACE.  Together they start a fire burning that will light the way for others.  Today we celebrate the PEACE of God born in Christ Jesus.  The PEACE of God is not a place but rather a journey.  It is not defined by the absence of things by but rather the presence of Christ.  Yes, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, but we know He still lives and journeys with us throughout our lives.


Text (NLT): Luke 1:76-79; NIV


Scripture Reading: Psalm 60:1-3

Direct download: enc_podcast_12_6_15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30am EDT

November 29, 2015                                       1st Sunday of Advent

The Light of Christmas

Advent Series

Sharing the Hope of God With Others

Matthew 4:12-17


Synopsis: “Hope” is the spark that starts the fire for the Light of Christmas!  What is it that you are hoping for this Christmas?  I hope that our Christmas Eve Candlelight service will be the best ever.  Yes I hope we will have more people but I am especially hoping for a movement of the Spirit of Christ in the service that will bless all of us throughout the coming year.  Why?  Because The Light of Christmasis the “hope” of the world.  So I am not hoping for a certain present under the tree, but rather your presence to honor, remember, and celebrate the birth of savior Jesus Christ.

      Today marks the first Sunday in our preparations for Christmas.  Thanksgiving has prepared us well for our journey.  Even so people can get a little selfish at times and Christmas season is no exception.  And even though more gifts are given to charities at this time of the year than any other time some people still want to get all they can and sit on the can.  I’m hoping you are some of those people who have hope because of the Light of Christmas and that you want to share that hope with others.

      How do you share the Hope of God with others?  There are many ways.  One way I want to invite you to employ this Advent Season is to invite others to join you for worship, especially on Christmas Eve.  Keep in mind that “HOPE” is the spark that starts the fire for the light of Christmas.


Text (NLT): Matthew 4:12-17


Scripture Reading: Isaiah 9:1-3

Direct download: ebc_podcast_11_29_15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:22pm EDT

November 15, 2015                                  Base Budget Ballot Vote


A Helping Hand

Jude 1:20-23


Synopsis: Believers are on the march to heaven following in the path Jesus has marked out for them, therefore believers are to help others they encounter find the way and help other believers on the way.  This is what Jesus did and commands us to do as we follow Him.

      Jude gives us a brief outline for action in regards to how believers are to assist other believers.  His first word is that we are to “build each other up”, and then he says we are to “show mercy”.  Paul picks up on this theme in Galatians.  He says we are to “restore that person gently”.  In Colossians Paul writes “Once you were alienated from God”.  That is a strong reason to help others find the way.  An even stronger reason is found in Jesus.  It is what Jesus did and what we must do if we are committed to following Him home.


Text (NLT): Hebrews 12:1-2, NRSV; Jude 1:17-25; Galatians 6:1-10, NIV; Colossians 1:21-23, NLT;


Scripture Reading: Psalm 46:1-3

Direct download: ebc_podcast__11_15_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

November 1, 2015

On the March

Hebrews 11:13-16


Synopsis: Today, November 1st in many traditions of the Christian Church is All Saints Day.  This year it fell on a Sunday (Orthodox churches always celebrate the Sunday of All Saints).  It is a day set aside to remember heroes of the faith.  “Halloween” actually means “All Hallows’ Eve.”  Thus, it is the evening before “All Saints Day.” 

The Christian life is often described by the use of metaphors.  Christians are identified as “pilgrims” on a “journey.”  Where does that journey lead?  Hebrews 11 has a list of “saints” found in the Old Testament.  All of them failed to achieve all they hoped for in life.  It also assures us that the end of their faith journey was not in this world.  God has prepared something far better that what this world can contain.  That is why the “saints” of Christianity are “on the march.


Text (NLT): Hebrews 11:1-2, NLT, NRSV, CEV; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, NRSV; 2 Corinthians 11:13-16, Hebrews 11:13-16, NRSV

Direct download: ebc_podcast_11_1_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:14pm EDT

November 11, 2015

Can You See Jesus?

John 14:6


Synopsis: Last week the focus of my sermon was “On the March.”  This week I want to call our attention to the one leading the march (John 14:6).  Early believers were identified as “people of the Way” (Acts 9:1-2).  Of course that was a reference to the way of Jesus.

      I have a few questions for you daily walk.  1. Can you see Jesus?  2. Are you looking for Jesus?  3. Are you looking in the right direction?

      A line can be constructed between any two points of reference.  Three points nail down the line.  That is important to remember because if, for example, you are on a hike and have only one point of reference other that your current location then there is no telling where you will wind up.  Believers can always count on Jesus moving to line you up from where every you are to bring you safely to His Heavenly Father.  In other words, Jesus is the reference point that establishes the way home no matter what caused you to stray off course.


Text (NLT): John 14:1-7;


Scripture Reading: Psalm 16:7-11

Direct download: ebcpodcast_11_8_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40pm EDT

October 18, 2015                                                                                     


You Are …

1 Peter 2:4-10


Synopsis: Sometimes believers get so beat up in life that they forget who they are because of whose they are.  This world and all that is in it has no power to take away what it does not give; no power to give what is not of this world.


      In a recent conference (Center for Congregational Health) I was introduced to the African Bible Study.  Today I want to give a brief introduction of that study method and an invitation for people in the congregation to listen to the reading of Scripture with an open heart and a simple prayer.

Direct download: ebc_podcast_10_18_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm EDT

September 27, 2015                                                                                       


In A Pinch

Matthew 7:13-14


Synopsis: We all know a pinch when we feel one.  Pinches, for whatever reason, hurt and therefore, get our attention.  What we do next reveals what lessons we learned from the experience.

      There are a lot of situations in life that pinch us.  Sometimes we use those situations as an adjective to describe the pinch.  Have you ever been in a “financial” pinch?  Did you learn anything from the experience?

      “Life” pinches cause us to make decisions if for no other reason than we just simply cannot go on.  Health issues, financial issues, spiritual issues are just a few is the situations in life that put the pinch on our lifestyle and call for a course correction. 


Scripture Text (NLT): Matthew 7:12-14; John 14:6; Numbers 22, NIV; Hebrew 12:1-11

Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_27_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56pm EDT


Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_20_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34pm EDT

Hospitality a Biblical Mandate

Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_13_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15pm EDT

September 6, 2015                                                                                         


Hospitality in the Biblical Tradition

1 Peter 4:7-9


Synopsis: Today I start a short series on hospitality.  I start with Hospitality in the Biblical Tradition with references pulled from Genesis to Revelation.  Hospitality is a true characteristic of God’s people found in both Testaments.  It requires believers to “make room” for the stranger as well as fellow believers.  Indeed, hospitality is a matter of the heart before it is a matter of a place at the table.


Scripture Text (NLT): Hebrews 13:1-33 (References to Abraham in Genesis 18 & Lot in Genesis 19); Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Peter 4:7-9; Romans 12:13; 1 Kings 17:8-24; Acts 6:1 & 7; Matthew 7:12; Deuteronomy 10:14-22; Revelation 3:7-13.


Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13:1-3

Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_6_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:39pm EDT

Kingdom Work


Direct download: ebc_podcast_8_30_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:46pm EDT

August 23, 2015                                                       Kingdom Series


Kingdom Leadership

Mark 10:41-45

Synopsis: We struggle with the “kingdom language” of the Bible for many reasons.  Our first challenge comes because we happen to live in a democratic republic and thus have a vote.  Another big stumbling block for us is the business/leadership model that permeates our society.  We talk freely of “presidents,” “CEOs,” “Board of Directors,” and the list goes on and on.  “Kingdom Leadership,” as described in the New Testament, operates on “Kingdom” principles (Mark 10:41-45). 

      We pray to God, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Today I want to talk about a few of the issues Kingdom Leadership entails.  God the Father rules the Kingdom, Jesus is the paradigm for Kingdom Leadership, and The Holy Spirit gifts and energies believers in their task.  Therefore: 1. We are all in this together.  2. The Holy Spirit gifts individuals for service to the body and mission of the church.  3. Challenge stretches all of us to bring the Kingdom of God into our experience of life and church.  Believers are not given the option of sitting on a bench. 


Scripture Text (NLT): Matthew 6:10; Mark 10:41-45; John 13:3-5, 12-17; Matthew 26:39; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 3:8; Galatians 3:26-29; Romans 12:1-13


Scripture Reading: Mark 10:41-45

Direct download: ebc_podcast_8_23_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40pm EDT

August 16, 2015                                                       Kingdom Series


Kingdom Living Matters

Mark 4:11-12


Synopsis: Let’s admit it, in this country we have more than just a little bit of trouble thinking and talking “kingdom” language.  The Bible on the other hand is filled with “kingdom” language.  In the New Testament believers make a shift from “kingdoms” of this world to the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.  I hope my sermon series will help bring the distinctive of that language into the foreground and help us understand how to use it.

      The title for my first sermon of the series was taken from the Lord’s Prayer (Mt.6:10) in which we pray “Thy Kingdom Come.”  I closed with a simple question, “Are you in?”  That is the starting point for today’s sermon.  If you are not in then matters of the Kingdom of God don’t really matter to you (Mark 4:1-20). 

      Today I want you to think about what the world would that look like if the Kingdom of Heaven came to earth and what you are required to do to make that a reality in your life.  Jesus, speaking in Kingdom language (Mt. 5:3-11), makes it clear that there is a smorgasbord of blessings spread out before all those in the Kingdom.  There is absolutely no reason in this world for any believer to go hungry.  If you are in the Kingdom and not being filled with Kingdom blessings it’s because you want come to the table. 


Scripture Text (NLT): Matthew 6:10; Mark 4:1-20; John 18:36; Matthew 5:3-12 (NRSV, Message); Matthew 6:20


Scripture Reading: Mark 4:26-29

Direct download: ebc_podcast_8_16_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Title: Stick Nouns and Stone Verbs. Synopsis: The old saying says "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." And the same grandparents who told us that also told us not to cuss...because those words hurt. So which is it? And is it ever OK to call people names? I mean since JESUS did? (At least according to Matthew.)

Direct download: ebc_podcast_8_9_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:21pm EDT

August 2 , 2015                                                                                               Kingdom


Thy Kingdom Come

Matthew 6:10


Synopsis: The Lord’s Prayer is a dangerous prayer.  It would change our world starting with the one praying.  Were you paying attention to the words, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt. 6:10)?  Do you have any idea what the world would that look like if the Kingdom of Heaven came to earth?  The issue becomes personal when we answer the question, “Are you in?”


Scripture Text (NLT): Matthew 6:10 (NLT, NIV, CEV), 3:1-2, 4:17, John 3:1-9, Matthew 19:23-24.


Scripture Reading: Matthew 19:23-24

Direct download: ebc_podcast_5_2_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:12pm EDT

July 26, 2015                                                                                                 


Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Luke 22:31-32


Synopsis: This is the third in my summer series on “Games Children Play.”  The sermons are not really about the games.  I simply use them as illustrations for my messages. 

      In today’s message I use “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”  I make it personal by remembering settings from my own experience where the donkey was drawn on the side of a barn. 

      Make no mistake about it, I take the Christian life very seriously (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) and so should all believers.  We should, as Paul wrote, “Run to win.”  In Philippians 3:14 Paul wrote, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” 

      But what happens when believers face some very real challenges?  Life has a way of blindsiding us with situations that spin us around on our heels and leave us so disoriented that we miss the mark.  That is what happened to Peter (Luke 22:31-32).  Jesus knew that our adversary likes to use that tactic to defeat us and destroy our ability to serve the Lord.  Jesus told Peter believers were to use their experiences to help other believers find the mark (Hebrews 12:1-4, 12-13).  Don’t miss the mark!


Scripture Text (NLT): 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 3:14; Luke 22:31-32; Hebrews 12:1-4, 12-13;


Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-4

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_26_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

Ordination Service for Michael Burleson

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_19_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:48pm EDT

Sermon by Dr. Sonny Strange

July 5 2015. 

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_5_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:47pm EDT

une 7, 2015                                       Appalachian Outreach Week           


Gospel Ministry

Romans 11:29


Synopsis: Today’s message deals with “The Gospel Ministry.”  I will be talking about five words we use in ministry: Gifts, Calling, Response, Ordination, and Commissioning.  Each word emphasizes a different aspect of The Gospel Ministry.  The first two words are works of the Spirit.  The third is not a technical word but rather reflects a believer’s commitment in response to what the work of the Spirit in his or her life.  This point is very personal.  The last two points represent the work of the congregation in recognition of the work of the Spirit, the commitment of the believer and the ministry needs of the church, missions and ministry.

      Let us begin where we must with faith (Romans 11:28-32).  My preface is that “The Gospel Ministry” is about the work of baptized believers (2 Timothy 1:3-11).  It is not limited to any one aspect of that work.  For example: The Gospel Ministry is limited to preachers or pastors.  It starts with faith and moves into faithfulness (Romans 12:1-13).

      So let us begin.  So let us continue.  So let us be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in everything we do.  In the spirit of the faithful monk Brother Lawrence, Let us wash our pots to the glory of God for our faithfulness will not be forgotten nor go unnoticed.


Scripture Text (NLT): Romans 11:28-32; 2 Timothy 1:3-11, NLT & CEV; Romans 12:1-13, CEV


Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 1:5-7

Direct download: ebc_podcast_6_7_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm EDT

May 24, 2015                                     Emmanuel Family Emphasis

                                                                    Memorial Day Weekend                       


Body of Honor

1 Chronicles 11:10


Synopsis: Our RAs will be performing a Flag Ceremony in the worship service as part of our Memorial Day Weekend Celebration.  They will also be handing out small American flags to all in attendance.

      Today churches across the nation stretch Monday’s Memorial Day observance into the weekend as we pause to honor the service and sacrifice of those who have died in military service.  Some of those honored died in action, others in service and many more that have died after their time of service.  The freedom we have to gather and worship has been guaranteed in part by their willingness to serve.

      Our Old Testament is full of stories of those who serve God and the People of Israel.  They were not bystanders in God’s plans, but active participants (1 Chronicles 11:10, NLT).  Both 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11 & 12 list the military heroes of David.  Surely we are no less indebted to the heroes who have served the nation in actions that preserve our freedom.  We thank god for their service.

      We also pause to remember the “Christian Soldiers” of this congregation who have blessed us with lives lived in faithful service to our Lord Jesus Christ.  Surely their service and sacrifice to the kingdom of God has earned them a crown of righteousness that will never fade away (2 Timothy 4:8, NRSV)


Scripture Text: 1 Chronicles 11:10, NLT; 2 Samuel 23:8-39, NRSV; 2 Timothy 4:8, NRSV


Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 23:13-17

Direct download: ebc_podcast_5_24_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56pm EDT

Direct download: ebc_podcast_5_10_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:04pm EDT

April 5, 2015                                                               Easter Sunday


JOY Resurrected

John 20:11-18


Synopsis: Today we gather to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I think it is fitting that we celebrate the resurrection when there are so many things coming to life and a new growing season is in full bloom.  But Spring is not why we are called to celebrate.  We are called to celebrate because it marks the time that Jesus rose from the grave.  The Christian calendar may start with the birth of Christ but it comes into full bloom with the celebration of the resurrection.  The dark night is past and our JOY is Resurrected in Christ Jesus.   

      I love to turn to the stories of that first Easter morning.  Today I will read again the story of Mary coming to the tomb to anoint the body of Christ (John 20:11-18).  She came weeping, grieving searching for a way to express her love and devotion for Him only to find the body was gone.  Now what could she do?  The angels of the Lord speak, but she cannot hear them.  Overwhelmed with grief she doesn’t even realize who Jesus was when she encountered Him until He calls her name.  He’s alive!  Mary experienced JOY Resurrected.

      For some reason while Mary’s story this year reading I was drawn to the story of Miriam’s song (Exodus 15:1-21).  I visualize Miriam and the women singing and dancing with the JOY of their deliverance from bondage in Egypt and I think surely Mary’s Joy is not less full.  All of a sudden I visualize Mary leaving the encounter of the resurrected Lord singing and dancing in the streets on her way to tell the others that she has experience JOY Resurrected.  The perfumes she brought to anoint the dead would have been giving a sweet aroma to those she passed along the way.

      At the end of the sermon this Easter Sunday I want to invite believers to come forward and be anointed with the Oil of Gladness (olive oil with frankincense and Myrrh). 


Scripture Text (NLT): John 20:11-18; Exodus 15:1-21


Scripture Reading: Exodus 15:19-21

Direct download: ebc_podcast_4_5_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT

DR. Mark Borchert GUest Speaker

Testimony by Emily Hickman


Direct download: ebc_podcast_3_22_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01pm EDT

March 15, 2015                                            Fourth Sunday of Lent

Living In Christ



Witnessing For Christ


Synopsis: Today in worship Emily Hickman and Marie Morgan share their witness of Christ in their lives.  This is our fourth Sunday to draw our worship theme from the lessons in the Living In Christ booklet published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  This final lesson is titled “Witnessing For Christ.”

      Witnessing for Christ is God’s plan for believers and serves as an invitation to those who would be born again.  On the believers side their witness for Christ is not so much a matter of words as it is a way of life.  A believer’s words will never be able to carry the weight of conversion the way the witness of their lives do.  Christianity was never intended by Christ to be a way of thinking or a way of talking.  People of the Way of Jesus Christ are called to live in such a way that their lives serve as a witness to the presence of Christ in them.  It is God’s way.

      Unbelievers are born into the kingdom of God when they come God’s way.  They do not get to choose the way nor the time.  They must respond to the Spirit of God drawing them to God’s self.  The first step of faith is to believe in Jesus Christ.  That is the first step onto the path that Jesus Christ has blazed for them.  The path ends in heaven.      Salvation is a work of God’s grace through the power of the Holy Spirit extended to whoever will trust in Christ Jesus. 


Scripture Text (NIV): Memory Verses Acts 1:8; Matthew 4:19;

Direct download: ebc_podcast_3_15_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT

Dr. Sonny Strange

Greg Parman

Direct download: ebc_podcast_3_8_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:31pm EDT

Living In Christ testimonies of Darryl Hendricks (Lesson One: Knowing Christ) and Dale Gentry (Lesson Two: Growing In Christ).
Direct download: ebc_podcast_3_1_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23pm EDT

Repeat from February 2014

Direct download: ebc_podcast_2_2_14_-_repeat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:31pm EDT

February 15, 2015                                               Challenge Sunday


Tearing Down the Wall

Ephesians 2:14-16


Synopsis: I begin my message today with a confession of our business and a challenge to release at least some of those concerns to give space and time for the Spirit to work the peace of God in us.  “For Christ himself has brought peace to us.” (Ephesians 2:14-16)   Paul illustrates how this was accomplished with images from the Temple.  The setting is worship but the Temple had a wall erected to separate the people.  Only Jewish males had access to the inner court.  Christ brought peace and unity to all people by tearing down the “wall of hostility that separated us.”

      There are three things I want you to take away from this text.  1. Jesus has already torn down the “wall of hostility” that others erected to keep you from God, 2. Not everybody knows that, 3. Now be sure you do not build it back with the cares of this world.

      God has a plan and a purpose for the church.  It is as we are united as one in Christ that God’s plan is revealed to us and to the those around us.  Join us in the Challenge to affirm our faith and to grown in it!  Be a part of the Distribution to get the word out to those who need to hear it!  Grow in the Spirit and help others do the same.

Living In Christ

Congregational Challenge and Response

  I challenge those of you who have faith in Jesus Christ to examine your experience as a means of enriching your spiritual life.  Therefore you are to pray for the movement of the Spirit in your life and in the lives of others around you.


It is right for us to examine our faith and pray for the movement of the Spirit of Christ in our lives, therefore:




I challenge you to set aside a time each day to read a portion of the Gospel of John and to hold yourself accountable by checking off your progress as a means of spiritual growth and accountability.


It is right that we should spend time daily reading the Scriptures and to hold ourselves accountable for spiritual growth, therefore:




I challenge you to study each week the assigned lesson from Living In Christ as preparation for worship.


It is right for us to prepare for worship, therefore:




I challenge you to take a copy of Living In Christ to someone who needs it; invite him or her to join you in the daily readings from John and in studying the lessons each week; and invite her or him to join you in worship.


It is right for us to reach out to others as a witness of Christ’s love and our concern for them, therefore:



Scripture Text (NLT): Ephesians 2:14-16, 3:10-11, 14-19


Direct download: ebc_podcast__2_15_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am EDT

February 8, 2015

Count Me In

Ephesians 4:1-6


Synopsis: Every part of the body has its own function and therefore every part is important to the whole.  Paul knew that (Ephesians 4:4-6).  It’s not rocket science.  The older I get the more I realize the whole body suffers when any part is absent or ceases to function.  In other words, the whole body gets sick when any part is sick. 

      All who come to faith in Christ Jesus are appointed a place in the body of Christ whether you are referring to the local congregation or the universal Church.  Every believer is gifted with particular functions, gifts, abilities for the benefit of the whole.  Sometimes believers just don’t know how to get plugged into the body.  Sometimes believers are not aware of their individual gifts.  Sometimes believers are not aware of how God will use them in making the body more complete.  I want to address some of these issues today and over the next few Sundays.  First, let’s talk about worship and learn some of the lessons of Ephesians.

      Worship is central to the body of Christ.  Worship of God the Father flows naturally by faith in Jesus the Christ the Son and  through the power and presence of the Spirit.  We do not worship alone. 

      Would you like to become a part of the body of Christ in this place?  The first step is to trust in the redemptive work of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The second step begins our journey of obedience to His commands.  Another step in our journey involves becoming a part of the body of Christ.  Are you ready to step forward and be counted as part of the body?

      Know this, when you say “Count Me In” others in the body will be counting on you.


Scripture Text (NLT):  Ephesians 4:1-6; 1:3, 6, 23; 2:12-19


Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:4-6

Direct download: ebc_podcast_2_8_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT

February 1, 2015                                            Super Bowl of Caring

                                                             Luncheon following worship


Upper Level Management

Matthew 23:23-24


Synopsis: You have no doubt heard the expression of “making a mountain out of a mole hill.”  There are times that I think of that expression in discussions about the tithe.  My question is “What about the other 90%?”  Believers will be held accountable by God for how they manage the whole and not just a part of the resources under their control.

      Jesus condemned certain Pharisees for caring more about the tithe than “justice, mercy, and faith.”  He is quoted as telling some of them, “You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!” (Mt. 23:23-24, NLT)  Do you think Jesus was using hyperbole?  Sure He was, but he made His point.  Speaking of camels do you remember what Jesus told a certain wealthy young man who came to Him wanting to justify himself (Luke 18:18-25)?

      Tithing in the Old Testament is demonstrated in the lives of those who practiced: Abraham in returning from a great victory (Genesis 14:20), Jacob fleeing in fear of his brother who was planning to kill him, Moses in the provisions for the tribe of Levi, the voice of the prophets in the words of Nehemiah (10:37-38) and Malachi (3:8-10).

      The only other New Testament (apart from the Gospels) reference to tithing is found in Hebrews 7:7 and there the preacher was using Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek as proof of the superiority of Christ’s priesthood over that of the Levitical priesthood.

      Simply put, the New Testament treats believers as stewards or managers who will be judged by God on the basis of the whole rather than on just ten percent.  But don’t be confused, every little bit counts (Mt 10:42, James 1:22-27).


Scripture Text (NLT): Matthew 23:23-24; Luke 18:18-25; Genesis 14:20, 28:22; Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:21; Nehemiah10:37-38; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 10:40-42 (NIV); Luke 18:12 & 42; James 1:22-27  


Scripture Reading: James 1:22-27

Direct download: ebc_podcast_2_1_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

January 25, 2015


The Spark

Acts 9:3-6


Synopsis: All through high school I took Agriculture classes.  Why, because I wanted to be a farmer, not really.  They were fun but I did learn some important things like shop safety.  When we were being taught to weld we were required to wear a safety hood with a really dark lens or we were told to look away when the arc was struck.  Why, because the light from the spark could damage our eyes.  Well of course I had to try it and the result was that I saw that spot on my eye for most of the rest of the day. 

       I imagine that welding spark was dim compared to the spark of light Saul of Tarsus saw on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-2).  Others looked away, but not Saul and as a result, when the light was gone, Saul could not see anything in this world.  Now that was surely the Spark of the Lord. 

      Fortunately, Saul was not the only one to see the Spark of the presence of the Lord.  Others did in those days and still others do today.  The revelation of the presence of the Lord is particular to the individual.  Thomas, one of the Twelve, said he had to put his finger in the wounds in Jesus’ hands and feet and thrust his hand into Jesus’ side.  All of that changed when Thomas saw Jesus.  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me (John 20:24-29).


Scripture Text (NLT):  Acts 9:1-2, 7:57-60, 9:3-9; John 20:24-29

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_25_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

January 11, 2014                                                                              

Power Surge: A Witnesses Speak

1 John 1:5-10


Synopsis: Ok, so the New Year is officially here and in full swing.  Are you one of those who mark the beginning of the New Year with a resolution?  How is that going?  Were you serious about changing your life or just energized by the start of a New Year?

      I have cleared out of my desk the stack of sermon notes collected from sermons preached during 2014.  Today I start a new stack.  It is a natural next step for me.  Yes, it is an annual thing for me not really a new year’s resolution.  I am not sure why I even keep my notes at all.  I seldom ever dig them out to study again; however, I am making an exception today.  Throughout 2014 my sermons have come from the inspiration of a simple phrase, “Hear Him!”  On the last Sunday in 2014 I read from Acts 1:4-11.  This passage records Jesus’ parting words to His Disciples right before He ascended.  Jesus told them to wait for a “power surge” and then they were to speak.  The message for us is the same. First we have to be plugged into Jesus, then the power of the Spirit will flow from the God the Father.  Now that’s a “power surge” that will make you speak.

      Our message is simple (1 John 1:5-11, NRSV).  We are to shine with the light of God.  Like John the Baptist, we are not the light.  We shine with the spark of the Spirit of God in us.  Our goal for this year is to illuminate the way for others.  So get plugged into Jesus and the spark of life will shine through you.


Scripture Text (NLT): 1 John 1:5-11, NRSV


Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:5-7

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_11_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28pm EDT

January 11, 2014                                                                              

Power Surge: A Witnesses Speak

1 John 1:5-10


Synopsis: Ok, so the New Year is officially here and in full swing.  Are you one of those who mark the beginning of the New Year with a resolution?  How is that going?  Were you serious about changing your life or just energized by the start of a New Year?

      I have cleared out of my desk the stack of sermon notes collected from sermons preached during 2014.  Today I start a new stack.  It is a natural next step for me.  Yes, it is an annual thing for me not really a new year’s resolution.  I am not sure why I even keep my notes at all.  I seldom ever dig them out to study again; however, I am making an exception today.  Throughout 2014 my sermons have come from the inspiration of a simple phrase, “Hear Him!”  On the last Sunday in 2014 I read from Acts 1:4-11.  This passage records Jesus’ parting words to His Disciples right before He ascended.  Jesus told them to wait for a “power surge” and then they were to speak.  The message for us is the same. First we have to be plugged into Jesus, then the power of the Spirit will flow from the God the Father.  Now that’s a “power surge” that will make you speak.

      Our message is simple (1 John 1:5-11, NRSV).  We are to shine with the light of God.  Like John the Baptist, we are not the light.  We shine with the spark of the Spirit of God in us.  Our goal for this year is to illuminate the way for others.  So get plugged into Jesus and the spark of life will shine through you.


Scripture Text (NLT): 1 John 1:5-11, NRSV


Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:5-7

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_11_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28pm EDT

Due to technical difficulties, this weeks episode is a repeat from the first Sunday of 2013.



January 6, 2013                                               First Sunday of 2013


Sermon Series: What On Earth Are We Doing?




Introduction to the “Great Mother Questions”


What On Earth Have You Done?  The Great Yesterday Question




Synopsis: What’s different about today?  It is not yesterday.  Life is different today.  Just a few hours ago today was known as tomorrow and in just a few more hours it will be yesterday.  This is where life is lived but before we go too quickly into today let’s take a moment to recognize some of the things that happened to get us where we are.  How are you feeling about yesterday, or last year?


      Robert Fulghum wrote a book titled What On Earth Have I Done:        Stories, Observations, and Affirmations.  It’s first chapter is the inspiration for this four part series on the great mother questions.  The first one being “What On Earth Have You Done?” 


      The question did not originate with mothers, in fact, according to Genesis 3:13 Eve (the mother of all living) was the first to hear it asked.  God did the asking.  God asked it again in Genesis 4:10.  This time it was Cain, the first born.  These two references certainly lend a lot of relevance to the question.


      Looking back, what you did and what was done to you become parts of your unique story.  There isn’t another you and there isn’t another story just like your story.  How do you feel about your story so far?  Maybe, a more important question is how do you think God feels about your story?




Scripture Text (NLT):  Genesis 3:8-13; Genesis 4:8-12

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_6_13_-_Repeat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:13pm EDT