PLEASE COME AND VISIT

(Isaiah 64:1-9) In early May 2020, Lillian Yu-Feng Hsu, 87, died in an assisted-living facility in White Plains, New York.  Of Han Chinese decent, she lived through WWII in China when she was a kid, but later studied medicine in Taiwan.  Her next step was a major move to the United States to complete a…

THE LAST WORD

Ephesians 1:15-23) I am fascinated by people’s last words, the thing they choose to leave us with.  In some ways, our first words as a child and our last words at death are some of our most important.  Only parents record or remember our first words, but history often records our last.  Of course, my…

HOW MANY SHOPPING DAYS LEFT?

(Psalm 90:1-12) As we approach the holidays, it is inevitable that the shopping calendar takes over.  There is something ominous about the countdown to Christmas, where we are constantly reminded of how little time we have left to complete our necessary purchases.  Knowing that we only have a certain amount of time brings a sense…

GRIEVING WITH HOPE

(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) One of the cruelties of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that a significant number of patients hospitalized with the disease died without loved ones present.  It wasn’t that family and friends didn’t want to be there, but that many hospitals kept visitors away — including family members and spouses — to fight…

THE OTHER SIDE

(Revelation 7:9-17) How many of you follow the daily totals for COVID-19 cases and deaths right now as closely as you did back in March or April?  Now, maybe some of you haven’t really followed those numbers from the start so, for you, nothing has changed.  But I know that my “analysis,” if you will,…

ENEMIES OF GRATITUDE: DISAPPOINTMENT

(Deuteronomy 34) This is one of the most interesting plot twists in all of Scripture.  More than any other Israelite in the desert, Moses has earned the right to cross that river and enter the Promised Land.  From the fiery shrubbery that first called him out of shepherding, through the Red Sea and the tempests…

ENEMIES OF GRATITUDE: GREED

(Matthew 22:15-22) Last week, in discussing entitlement, I posed the following question: If you either believe that you are inherently deserving of all that you have or have been told that these things are yours by right – as a solid, irrefutable fact – are you going to be intrinsically grateful for them?  The question…

ENEMIES OF GRATITUDE: ENTITLEMENT

(Matthew 22:1-14) As I start this morning’s message, can I just say that if you or someone you know thinks that Heaven is going to be a complete snooze-fest where you float around on a cloud plucking a harp and are bored to tears (except for the occasional harp lesson from Eddie Van Halen), then…

ENEMIES OF GRATITUDE: WORRY

(Philippians 4:1-9) “Don’t be anxious about anything.”  It sounds simple enough, but this may be the most difficult of all Biblical instructions to keep. Anxiety has been called the official emotion of our age.  Today more than ever we are seeing the effects of anxiety in our society, in our lives, and in the lives…

ENEMIES OF GRATITUDE: NOSTALGIA

(Exodus 16:2-15) One day during Abraham Lincoln’s time as President of the United States, an elderly lady was ushered into his private office.  Lincoln noticed that she carried a covered basket beneath her arm, and he inquired, “What can I do for you Madam?” Placing the covered basket on the table the lady replied, “Mr…