Tag Archives: Methodist

Identify how the message challenges you

My Sermon Response Journal – 4

On each two-page spread you can write down the scripture readings, key points the preacher makes, and your immediate reaction to them.

You are also prompted to identify how the message challenges you, actions you will take and the key idea you will take away from the sermon.

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Click for: More Details and to Order Print Books

 

Kindle a Flame

A Thought for Today

Kindle a flame

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your light shine through
let your light shine through.

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your justice shine through
let your justice shine through.

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your hope shine through
let your hope shine through.

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your love shine through
let your love shine through.

Kindle a flame within our hearts
let your peace shine through
let your peace shine through.

About this Song

Kindle a Flame was written as a reflective song for worship and I have used it many times when leading services.

It also works well as part of the devotions for a small group, and as an individual, private meditation (change “our hearts” to “my heart”).

The words are simple and repetitive.

There is a melody line setting and several suggestions for how to use this liturgy/song in our PDF eBook Kindle a Flame.

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Click to sign up and get your free PDF: http://eepurl.com/cSKIF5

Call to Worship

A Thought for Today

Call to Worship

We are called:
Called to gather in this holy place

We are called:
Called as people of God

We are called:
Called to a time of rest from our labours and troubles

We are called:
Called to rejoice in word and song

We are called:
Called to have our hearts uplifted by your Holy Spirit

We are called:
Called to worship you, O God. Amen.

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This prayer is found in my collection of, music, prayers and poems: Kindle a Flame
which you can download as a free 30 page PDF eBook when you sign up for our email newsletters.

Click to sign up and get your free PDF: http://eepurl.com/cSKIF5

Loving God of Aotearoa

A Thought for Today

Loving God of Aotearoa

Loving God of Aotearoa,
hear now our call to you,
We have gathered in your presence,
to celebrate anew!
We have come from many places,
speaking, thinking differently,
But in you we are united,
one whole, strong family.

Refrain:
Let us heed your call to service
and follow lovingly,
May we be compassionate people,
alive in you and free.

Scripture tells of faithful people,
who spread your light and love.
Now inspire, lead, direct us,
so we can be like them.
May the Way that Christ has taught us,
and the power of your Word,
Set a fire burning in us,
for justice and for love.

Rimu tall, with tui singing,
proclaim your majesty,
You who care for all creation,
will always care for me.
Matariki’s spirit guide us,
rise within us all the year.
Help us live and speak forgiveness,
your people want to hear.

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About this hymn

Rev Desmond Cooper, our minister at the time, was president elect of the Methodist Church in 2010 and wanted a song for the Induction service at Conference. He mentioned that he liked Holst’s tune Thaxted (I vow to thee my country) but would prefer alternative words that were less nationalistic.

Loving God of Aotearoa is the result. I consulted Desmond and vice president elect Susanne Spindler as the lyrics were being written and they smoothed off a few rough corners. The hymn is dedicated to Desmond and was sung at the Methodist Conference in Palmerston North in 2010.

This poem is found in my collection of, music, prayers and poems: Kindle a Flame
which you can download as a free 30 page PDF eBook when you sign up for our email newsletters.

Click to sign up and get your free PDF: http://eepurl.com/cSKIF5

Healing of the Nations

A Thought for Today

Healing of the Nations

With laurel leaves
the winners crowned
Olympian effort applauded

With laurel leaves
the emperor crowned
power and force rewarded

How then to crown
the Lord of Life
the Saviour long-expected?

With sharp, hard thorns
was Jesus wreathed
prophecy and love contorted.

Crushed, healing herbs
dressed wounds and hurts
bodies whole again

Lest we forget
the dying sun
green shoots, new life
still comes.
Amen.

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About this poem

Our congregation took part in the Living the Questions study programme some years ago. This poem is a response to the session on the book of Revelation.

It contrasts the way ancient Greek Olympic champions, Roman emperors and Jesus were crowned. This leads to thoughts about commemorating those who died or were injured in war.
Like the book of Revelation, the poem finishes on a hopeful note of renewal and growth.

This poem is found in my collection of, music, prayers and poems: Kindle a Flame
which you can download as a free 30 page PDF eBook when you sign up for our email newsletters.

Click to sign up and get your free PDF: http://eepurl.com/cSKIF5

Engaging and inspiring the listener

A Thought for Today

“The earthquake was oddly localised. The jail was badly shaken, but not the jailer’s home nearby. If the jail, one of the most strongly built structures in town was seriously damaged, we could expect a home built of unreinforced mud brick to collapse completely.

This is typical of the writer of Luke and Acts. He is telling a good story to make a point. The facts, whatever they really were in this case, have been moulded into a coherent narrative, designed to engage and inspire the listener.

When I was doing some introductory New Testament study as part of my lay preacher training, I did an exercise of trying to match up the accounts of Paul’s voyages in Acts – written sometime after Paul’s death – with the various letters that Paul wrote. I was frustrated that I couldn’t make the sequence and dates for the journeys line up. The writer of Acts had taken the basic facts and harmonised them into a logical order… which is fine.

The purpose of many gospel accounts is to convey meaning, rather than a set of historical facts.

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From the sermon – What must I do? – 12 May 2013
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL

Celebration – Struggle – Transformation

A Thought for Today

“Somewhere in this week Jesus went through a process from celebration to struggle to transformation, from prophet and social revolutionary to victim, then to victor. From a human plane to a divine plane. From giving his supporters hope, to despair, to hope again.

I hope that you didn’t find the exercise of making flax crosses too difficult.

I’m sure you can guess why I worked through this with you. We have gone from waving flax leaves to celebrate, to struggling with crafting them, to transformation of the flax into our most important symbol as Christians.

I enjoyed practising making the crosses at home. They are a real kiwi icon. I like the way the flax comes from the land, the whenua that we sang about in our Māori introit. A flax plant is grounded in the way that our faith can be grounded. Change takes effort. We sometimes need the help of our friends to move forward to get the job done, just like we need friends on our journey of faith. And while the completed flax crosses might seem like an end point, the cross as a symbol has no end, just as God’s love for us has no end.

And just as the flax is strong, so God’s love for us, symbolised by the life, death and rising of Jesus is strong. I can’t break this flax leaf [demonstrate]. Nothing you or I can do, can defeat God’s love.”

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From the sermon – Celebration – Struggle – Transformation – 24 March 2013
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL

 

PowerPoint images from Breath of the Spirit

PowerPoint images from Breath of the Spirit

Breath of the Spirit is not just a print book and eBook.

We have used the images in the book to create a collection of 57 PowerPoint slides to display in your worship services.

The images are royalty free so long as you display the credit at the foot of the slides.

You can download the set immediately after making payment.

Click here to Order your set of 57 PowerPoint images

 

Understanding what it means to be saved

A Thought for Today

“The reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans urges us to share publicly our belief that Jesus is Lord, that God raised him from the dead and that if we do so we will be saved.

If we don’t make this profession of faith with our lips, will we still be saved?
What does it mean to be saved?

We have no way of knowing for sure in this life, what will happen when we die. Perhaps if we lead good, faithful lives we will have eternal life? Perhaps Jesus dying on the cross made this possible? Maybe.

What I do know is that we all have a choice. Either we can turn towards God, to strive to understand the messages of scripture, and to respond to God’s love for us by reflecting that in our treatment of and relationships with others.

Or we can turn away from God and go our own way and follow the way of the world.

In saying all this, I don’t stand before you as someone who is perfect. A few months ago, a young man attended worship here. He didn’t have a permanent place to live. He asked me if he could stay at my house and I said no. I’m not proud of that. But my answer would probably be the same today…

The example of Jesus’ life, and the mystery of his resurrection, are a compass, pointing our way to a safe passage through this life, saving us from the temptations of the world. This feels to me like one useful way of understanding what it means to be saved.

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From the sermon – Lent, Season of Love – 17 February 2013
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL

 

Accepting the Challenge

A Thought for Today

“…What extra meaning might we take from this story today?

Christmas Day is nearly upon us. Just two more sleeps as we tell the young children. As children we loved Christmas because we knew we were going to get special presents and eat special food.

And, because we loved the nativity stories about baby Jesus in the manger and the shepherds and the kings and the angels. And maybe we got to be in the Christmas play and learned beautiful carols for the first time.

With this childish wonder and delight we began our faith journey, a life-long journey. We have had good companions along the way to share with and challenge us and support us, as we grow to new and deeper understandings of the good news of God’s love for us.

It is easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle Christmas shopping, and end of year parties, and worrying about whether family members who don’t meet during the rest of the year are going to get along this time round… or what have you.

We know another story, of a brave young woman who accepted the challenge of being the bearer of a child who would become the symbol of God’s love for the world.”

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From the sermon – Journey in faith – 23 December 2012
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL