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Fear Driven or Faith Driven?

Do Not Fear   Genesis 21:5-21   Luke 8:26-39    Russell Eidmann-Hicks Before they even reached the rocky shore, the man rushed down the rock face, leaping from boulder to boulder, chains on his arms and legs ringing and rattling.  Eyes glaring in rage; mud and scars coated his body, muscles bulging.  The disciples struggled to turn the boat, to shift the sail, to escape this monster.   Stepping from the boat, Jesus strode straight toward the man. The disciples crouched down in the boat, terrified, waiting to flee.  Several grabbed oars, ready to use them to protect themselves.  Their hands shook, their mouths dried, time stood still.  Suddenly, the demon-possessed man ran full tilt – stopping sharply at Jesus’ feet. “What have you to do with us, Jesus, Son of the Most High?” screamed the creature, voices of thousands streaming in concert, a sickening symphony. “What is your name?” Jesus asked, calmly.   “Legion,” the [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 June 19th, 2016|June 2016|Comments Off on Fear Driven or Faith Driven?

Life-Bringer

Life-Bringer  I Kings 17:8-24  Luke 7:11-17   June 5, 2016   Russell Eidmann-Hicks The jar was close to empty; a few handfuls of barley meal left, the last taste of harvest before her husband had fallen over in the field and died.  Now the drought had descended, drying up any hope of another harvest this season. No more grain; no more life.  Her heart felt like that jar; all joy drained away leaving a few last memories of her husband’s smile, his embrace, his protection. The worst was seeing her little son’s face, skin stretched tight, bones showing through his clothing, his eyes dull.  Their hut perched on the edge of a ravine in the desert, isolated from the village. Few talked to her now that her husband was dead. She saw no hope of work or income.   Her future appeared as desolate as the parched earth after weeks without rain. [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 June 6th, 2016|June 2016|Comments Off on Life-Bringer

Re-Member

Re-Member   Psalm 96  Luke 7:1-10    May 29, 2016   Russell Eidmann-Hicks In parts of Latin America, it is a common practice at commemorations of battles or struggles to read the names of those who died.  As a name is said everyone shouts, “Presente!”  (Present!)  Though dead, they are present in hearts and souls. Memorial Day reflects this spirit, vowing that we will not forget those in the armed forces of our nation who sacrificed their lives for the future of our nation.  As we remember our loved ones, in some ways they live on through us. On this day we remember those we love, admire, and for whom we are grateful.  We remember those who are examples to us, who have gone before us into death, but who still live on in our memories and hearts.   We remember those throughout the world who have worked and died to protect and [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 June 6th, 2016|May 2016|Comments Off on Re-Member

Trinity = Wise Relationships

Trinity = Wise Relationship    Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-36       John 16:12-15         A few years ago on St. Patrick’s Day, we gave out coins to carry in our pockets with the words: “Christ Above Me, Christ Before Me, Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me, Christ Around Me, Christ Below Me.”  These words, part of St. Patrick’s ‘Breastplate’ prayer, are within three overlapping circles – signs of the Trinity.  I carry this with me as a reminder of the spirit of Christ with me always. We live in a web of relationships – in family, communities, schools, neighborhoods, church, friends, colleagues, teachers, facebook friends, twitter feeds…  We affiliate ourselves with groups and identities: ethnic, religious, political, sports, favorite shows, fans of famous actors or pop stars… Most importantly we feel ourselves held and loved by those to whom we belong: parent, child, grandma or grandpa, aunt or uncle, [...]

By | 2016-05-23T15:38:50+00:00 May 23rd, 2016|May 2016, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Trinity = Wise Relationships

Equal in Love

Equal in Love  Galatians 3:23-29     Luke 7:11-17  Video:  The Lullaby Project at Carnegie Hall...     What we need most from our parents; is simply devoted, faithful, self-giving, whole-hearted love.  It is nutritious food and drink for our souls. We need primary ‘holding’ and ‘acceptance’ and a ‘soul connection’ that our parents offer us.  The foundation of this is simply love, above all else. If parents, grandparents, teachers, care-givers can offer us this basic acceptance, then maybe we will be able to accept ourselves and others.   If we can feel, in our core, that we are loved, then we feel safe, secure, and at home in the world.  If not…we struggle with feeling alone in a cold and heartless world.  Of course parents are not perfect, and too often betray that essential love, leaving children wounded and broken.  But with lullabies and gazing into a parent’s eyes and reading [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 May 11th, 2016|May 2016|Comments Off on Equal in Love

Earth Day Sermon 2016

 From a story about scientists free-diving with whales: “The cracking was coming from the whales; it’s a form of sonar called echolocation used to “see” underwater. With these vocalizations, called clicks, the whales were snapping three-dimensional images of my body, and those of my diving companions, from the inside out — scanning us to see if we were a threat, or if we were food.  I held my breath and swam deeper, 10, 20, 30 feet. I heard a thunderous crack, then another, so loud they vibrated my chest. Below my kicking feet, two sperm whales emerged from the shadows, each as long as a school bus.  As we kicked down deeper, within just a few feet of the mother whale’s gaping mouth, the click patterns changed, becoming slower, softer. They sounded to me like “coda clicks,” the sounds sperm whales use to identify themselves to others in the pod. [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 April 25th, 2016|April 2016|Comments Off on Earth Day Sermon 2016

Knocked Off a Horse

Knocked Off a Horse  Acts 9:1-20  John 21:1-19   Russell Eidmann-Hicks I hit the log straight on.  John, on the bike in front of me, pulled up on his front tire and jumped right over it.  But not me.  As he sped away, I found myself flipping up and over the handlebars, flying high momen-tarily through the warm spring morning – before smashing head-first onto the cold, wet ground.   My first though was of Superman, Christopher Reeve, and how he was paralyzed for life after a fall from a jumping a horse.  I stumbled to my feet, rolled my neck, and found I was fully functional.  But I learned a valuable lesson: don’t be an idiot while riding full speed in the woods! Have you been knocked off your horse recently?  Good!   Sometimes it does us good to be thrown down off your high horse – as long as you get [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 April 14th, 2016|April 2016|Comments Off on Knocked Off a Horse

Spirit Guide

Spirit Guide   Acts 5:27-32  John 20:19-31 From ancient times and in many cultures, a spirit guide is an animal spirit – encountered by a native shaman – to bring healing or guidance into the spirit world.   In New Age circles, a spirit guide is often seen as a heavenly being – like a glittering, smiling, (often blond) angel – who offers spiritual guidance and cheerful healing energy.  This radiant angelic guide is there for your biding – to bring you what you want – like Aladdin’s Genie – no strings attached.  You get this because you’re special, ‘spiritual’ and enlightened. It sounds appealing – but a bit too easy and sweet…. Jesus comes as Spirit Guide, but as one who is earthly, grounded.  He does not come as one who forces control or who possesses our souls – but as one wounded and vulnerable.   He comes to serve – not to [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 April 5th, 2016|April 2016|Comments Off on Spirit Guide

Easter Sunrise Meditation 3.27.16 7am

Easter Sunrise Meditation   March 27, 2016   7am      Russell Eidmann-Hicks Resurrection is a live experience, and it often takes time – it is a slow dawning – a gradual revelation.  It is the revelation of God’s love – like the sun rising from the dark, through the trees, bathing the world with joy. An example of this comes from the deep South as the Civil Rights movement was dawning. Clarence Jordan was born July 29, 1912, to prominent white citizens of Talbotton, Georgia. The American South of his youth was one of racial segregation and prejudice. Even as a boy, Clarence was sensitive to the rampant hypocrisy evidenced by such injustices, particularly when they intersected religion in Bible-belt Georgia. At age twelve, Clarence joined a local church after a summer revival. But during Sunday school he wondered why, if their song – “Red and yellow, black and white, they [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 March 28th, 2016|March 2016|Comments Off on Easter Sunrise Meditation 3.27.16 7am

Good Friday Meditation 3.25.16

Good Friday meditation 2016      Russell Eidmann-Hicks Writing in 1947, when the full horrors of the Holocaust had only just come to light, C. S. Lewis wrote, “There is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing.” Forgiveness is not about excusing or exonerating people, nor is it about weighing the morality – or immorality – of their actions.   Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the person who has done it. That, and only that, is forgiveness. Tonight we look without flinching at one example of a brutal arrest, torture and execution of an innocent man.   This is not unique in this world, in fact it happens quite often – and still goes [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 March 28th, 2016|March 2016, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Good Friday Meditation 3.25.16