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Next Generation Worship and Preaching Resources


More Nextgen Worship Resources:

By Month: Jan 2020    Feb 2020    March 2020 

Special:    Corona Virus    Lent   Climate Change

 

 

 

 

March 01, 2020: Lent - Turning Weaknesses into Strength
by Frank Schaefer


Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

What was St. Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?
Paul doesn't come clean about it. He keeps it a secret. However, one thing is sure, that he was really concerned about this issue. It continually distracted him. He begged God at least twice that we know of to take it away from him.

Some scholars say, it was a disease, sickness, which kept him from serving God, some say, it was a recurring sin or temptation he found himself giving into again and again. And some scholars have argued that Paul may have been gay, bisexual or transgender. Whatever it was this weakness was holding Paul back from complete devotion/commitment. There were so many things with which distracted him, as he mentioned in verse 10. But this weakness concerned Paul the most...

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March 08, 2020: Lent - The Less You Want, The Richer You Are:
  Overcoming Consumerism

 Scripture:
Hebrews 13:5-6, Matthew 6:19-21
 PowerPoint: Consumerism PPT

 Video: Consumerism VIDEO
  

If I were to ask people about what Lent means, what answers would I get?
Sinfulness - Do a Fast or Give up something - Pray/Meditate - Wilderness - 7 deadly sins

Today’s message is about some of these themes. 1. It’s about sin, specifically the sin of gluttony or consumerism and 2. it’s a bout giving up something for Lent, something we don’t need to begin with, to help save the environment and for our own spiritual growth.

1. Sin - Most of us living in the first world, we are gluttons. We are committing the sin of consumerism every day. The Greeks fully grasped the high costs of passionate excess. The idea of avoiding excess was a prime ingredient in a life worth living...

Why is excessive living or "consumerism" so bad? Well, it means that relatively few people in this world are taking more than they need and waste the excess. Have you ever seen someone in line at the buffet in the cafeteria and put so much food on their plate that they couldn’t eat it and then threw the excess in the trash? What a waste of perfectly good food in the face of world hunger. Did you know that consumerism is a major contributor to climate change? And yet we continue to buy and horde and waste. In the words of William Wallace: Our obsession with consumption means that we have become the future-eaters, swallowing up the future of generations yet unborn (2)....
[Show Video]

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March 15, 2020 Ashes to Beauty
by Frank Schaefer
Scripture Reading: John 9:1-9
Download the PowerPoint Presentation
Song Link: Beautiful Things
 

Close your eyes with me if you will and let’s imagine what his life must have been like for a moment. You sit in the all so familiar dirt once again, you listen to the hustling and bustling of people around you. As you hear people shuffling by you may stretch out your hand and say something like: “Sir, ma’am, can you spare a penny for a blind beggar?”

Suddenly you hear a group of people having a theological discussion about you. Has this man been born blind as punishment for his own sins or his parents sins. You’ve heard this discussion before. You want to scream:  “What did my family or I ever do to deserve this?” But you don’t dare do that because instinctively...and from experience...you know that this is not a safe thing to do. There could be terrible repercussions. And then you hear someone spitting....

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March 22, 2020:
Will I Be Alright?
 
Scripture:
Romans 5:1-5
  PowerPoint:  Alright

  Song Link: I'm Alright FFH
("Trouble may find me, but it's not going to keep me down")

Excerpt: At the beginning of a new year, we look ahead to the new possibilities, but we often also start to worry about the dark clouds we perceive in the future. We worry and we ask ourselves, will I be alright?

Just recently I read a Psychology Today article that taught me something new. I didn’t realize that a negative outlook on life can be the result of a victim mentality. It was written by a minister/psychologist by the name of Nancy Colier. It was one of those “aha-moments” in my life which helped me to grow spiritually. As a definition, those with a victim mentality are always being victimized, at least in their own mind. They maintain a consistent victim identity and see life through perpetually victim-tinted glasses.

We all know people who seem to be constantly commenting on some injustice done to them — how others are denying them what they need, want, and deserve, controlling them against their will...

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March 29, 2020 Guardians of the Earth
by Frank Schaefer

Download the PowerPoint Presentation
Download the Handout

 

Read Genesis 1:26 (The Message):

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature, so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth."

In our own lives, we reconnect with nature when we take a trip to the Rocky Mountains or the Caribbean or perhaps ski down a magnificent slope. The pristine wonder of nature still inspires us. Yet we need not go far. A trip to the zoo with a small child or a walk through a botanic garden can link us to the heaven and earth that Genesis says God created.

We are guardians of the earth. "Shomrei Adamah" in Hebrew. It isn't a new job. It was first given to Adam in the Garden of Eden by God. Just as God created the first human beings, God placed them in the Garden "to till and to tend it."

It's a divine job...

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April 05, 2020 Paying it Forward
PowerPoint: Paying-it-Forward
Video: Film Trailer
Songs (See PPT for lyrics):
Give Me Your Eyes (Brandon Heath)
Brother (Need To Breathe)
 

While this parable definitely teaches us something about forgiveness, it also teaches about another principle that has been called: “Paying it forward!” This principle was popularized by author Catherine Ryan Hyde in her novel Pay It Forward (1999). In the year 2000, she founded the Pay it Forward Foundation, a non-profit that has been actively sought to put into practice this principle (the stories on their website are amazing). Her book inspired the Holywood film by the same name.

At this point I would like to present a short trailer of the film which explains Hyde’s understanding of the “pay it forward” principle.  [Play Video]

According to a Wikipedia article (1) Jesus’ parable from Matthew 18 is at the root of the pay-it-forward concept: The King had shown the man mercy. It was an act of paying a good deed forward. The man shown mercy was now expected to show same mercy to other people, which he failed to do. According to this interpretation paying it forward is a requirement for those who have received God's forgiveness.

The Pay it Forward Principle is clear: You don't pay love back; you pay it forward. So, what can we do to pay it forward to people?...

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April
12, 2020 Karma  - Sowing Good Seeds
Scripture Readings: Proverbs 11:27, Job 4:8, Galatians 6:7, James 3:18
Download the PowerPoint Presentation
Video: A Story about Karma


 

This is what our conservative friends at biblereasons.com have to say about karma:

Many people ask is karma biblical and the answer is no. Karma is a Hinduism and Buddhism belief that says your actions determine the good and the bad that happens to you in this life and the afterlife. Karma is associated with reincarnation, which basically says what you do today will determine your next life."

With Karma you get what you deserve. In Christianity Jesus got what you deserve." "Grace is the opposite of Karma."....

...However, the biblical metaphors for reaping what you have sown are virtually a description of Karma! The verses they list following this description are the ones we just heard read. It's amazing to me to see how these conservative evangelicals are so narrowly focused on their particular theology that they don't even make sense anymore....

   

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