GIVING UP FOR LENT MARK 1: 9–15

FEBRUARY 21, 2021

I. AFFIRMATION AND WARNING

A. Do you ever pay attention to warning labels? Some of them can be pretty strange assertions that we have no intelligence. You might remember the infamous case of a woman suing McDonalds because the coffee they served her was hot. Now every cup says, “Caution, contents are hot.” There are others. A baby stroller had a warning label that read,” Take the child out of the stroller before folding for storage.” I would never have thought of that. A can of Planter’s Peanuts warns, “Caution…


A FEW THINGS I BELIEVE AOUT INTEGRITY

Nobody is perfect.

This should be self-evident. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody finds that at some points in life, me included, that mistakes were made, bad decisions were made, hurtful things were said or done.

Nobody knows everything.

It is difficult for some to grasp this concept. There are those who think that they know everything and have the answers to all questions. These people are wrong. Many times, we don’t even know the real questions let alone the answers. Learning should be a life-long endeavor.

Integrity matters.

Whether it is in a politician…


this is the first sermon that I preached about my change in attitude about homosexual persons in ministry.

THE CONVERSION OF PHILIP

ACTS 8: 26–30 JANUARY 26, 2014

I. INVITED TO PREACH

A. I was invited to preach at worship at Synod School for a youth gathering. Nobody told me that the sermon should be no longer than 10 minutes. I said, “I was thinking about this sermon while I was shaving and I cut my chin.” After my 18 minute sermon the director said, “Next time, think about your chin and cut the sermon.”

B. I sometimes marvel at…


THIS IS A SERMON PREACHED AT A CHURCH THAT WAS SEARCHING FOR A NEW PASTOR.

A SECRET YOU CAN KEEP

MARK 5: 21–43 JULY 1, 2018

I. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TOUCHER

A. After nine long months of waiting a man calls the OBGYN. “You have to help. I think the baby is coming. The labor pains are two minutes apart.” The doctor asks, “Is this her first child?” “No, this is the father, dummy.” We know what it’s like to wait for something and then we get anxious when we feel like time is running out.

B. That’s what Jairus was…


THE LEFTY: A PARABLE

There were times when his parents worried that Jeff might have some mental developmental issues. As he tried to learn how to write, his hand was unsteady and weak. When he tried to play baseball with the other kids in the neighborhood, he was terrible at the game. He could not hit the ball. When he did make contact, he couldn’t get the ball as far as the pitcher’s mound. He could not throw the ball at all.

Jeff was miserable. He was always picked last. He was almost at the point that he did not…


THE TIMING OF CALL AND RESPONSE 1–24–21

MARK 1: 14–20 JONAH 1: 1–3 AND 3: 1–3

I. CALL

A. The phone rings. It’s hard to ignore a ringing phone is it not? I was in another room and I heard my cell phone ring. Assuming it was something urgent, I hurried into the room and located my phone. Thank goodness I did. It seems the extended warranty on my car that I sold a year ago is running out. …


TRUTH

The earth is flat. Everybody knows that. The nerve of these scientists to try to convince us that it is round. They are all socialist who hate our country. They have concocted phony evidence about spaceships orbiting the earth. They even have communists from Venezuela faking pictures from outer space.

That is absurd.

There are still people who believe that Trump won the election. Really? Still? This too is absurd. Claims about voter fraud and a rigged election have been dismissed as baseless by 60 courts. Some of the judges that threw this idea out were appointed by Trump…


This was my first sermon at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in New Florence PA.

RISE AND SHINE

ISAIAH 60: 1–6 1–10–21

I. DARKNESS

A. For years I woke up early with no problem. It’s a little more difficult since retirement. And technology is not always my friend. Apparently, last night I set my calculator for six dollars and thirty cents. It is especially difficult to get up when it is still dark out. When I was a teenager, my dad took pleasure in waking me up early and saying, “Rise and Shine!” in a cheerful voice. …


WELCOME BACK REPUBLICANS

It should be clear that the mob who attacked the Capitol intent on overthrowing the government by force and assassinating members of Congress and the Vice President were NOT REBUBLICANS.

Please do not call them Republicans. Call them what they are: criminals, traitors, racists, anti-Semites, and insurrectionists who hate America as much as ISIS. But do not call them Republicans.

The Republican party has a proud history. They have made up one half of a two- party system that used to know how to debate respectfully and compromise when it served the interest of the nation.

I…


There are better days ahead. That may seem like a ridiculous thing to say in these dark days. Covid is out of control. Hundreds of thousands have died. Millions have been infected. The vaccine is on the way, but the roll out is slow and inefficient.

Our nation is deeply divided. That division boiled over into violence and insurrection. The side that lost felt the need to storm the Capitol building urged on by a president who can’t accept the truth of his loss in the election. Many of his followers believed his lies and followed his command to take…

Rick Sweeney

The Reverend Dr. Richard Sweeney, Rick, is a retired Presbyterian pastor and author. Rick lives with his wife, Prudy, in Greensburg, PA.

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