For All Saints Day & Proper 26 | OT 31 | Pentecost 22
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The Immediate Word
Dean Feldmeyer

All Along the Watchtower

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
“All along the watchtower... I can’t get no relief.”
     Nobel laureate Bob Dylan wrote those words in 1967 at the height of the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement, and Jimi Hendrix immortalized them the following year with a version of Dylan’s song on his Electric Ladyland album, released in the chaotic year of 1968 that saw among other events the Tet offensive that opened America’s eyes to the brutality in Vietnam.
     Habakkuk would have understood perfectly the pain and confusion in Dylan’s obscure and murky lyrics.
     The prophet has stood at his watch post on the rampart that was supposed to guard and protect the city, and has cried aloud to God for help: “Violence!” But God has remained silent.
     Destruction, violence, strife, and contention are all around. Lord, do you not see? God, do you not hear? What are you waiting for? Is the city not worth saving?
     How does YHWH answer Habakkuk, and how does God answer us when we cry out the same questions about our country?...
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All Saints Sunday

Do you ever feel like giving up on your Christian faith? It is never easy to lead a Christian life -- never let anyone tell you differently. But perhaps in our time, it seems even more difficult than ever. We are surrounded by a society in which all truth seems to have been lost, and everything is relative, depending on individual opinion. Selfishness and commercialism rule the day. Right and wrong are no longer remarked. Power and pleasure have become the goals. And God can be anything someone imagines. Indeed, even some of our churches seem to have lost their bearing, with no agreement on their theology and ethics and their worship infected with pagan rituals.
     To withstand all of that, to cling to the worship of the one true God, to shape our lives according to his commandments, and to defy the scorn of a secular society is no easy task. After all, even the media has characterized evangelical Christians as ignorant, misguided, and easily led. Faithful Christians are a minority in our world, and like all minorities, sometimes they have to suffer for what they are....
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David Coffin

Faith in the meantime

Paul Tillich suggests that human anxiety results when the imagined world we desire and the real world which is fallen (or estranged) collide before our very eyes. When the society or structures of power which we rely on reject us and diminish our human dignity, such objects of trust become an intolerable burden upon us. We then experience loneliness and despair, and we question the power if not existence of God (Tillich, pp. 64-66)....
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Keith Wagner

Growing Pains

Luke 19:1-10
When I was a teenager I remember be awakened in the middle of the night with a Charlie Horse. The muscles in your leg suddenly tie up in a knot and the pain is unbearable. I would grab headboard on my bed until it passed. I was always told that Charlie Horses were growing pains. Most all of my male friends experienced the same phenomenon, but it wasn’t fun. It was however part of the transition into “manhood.”...
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The Village Shepherd

Janice Scott

Harsh Words

I watched my very first horror film at the age of sixteen. I went to the pictures on a date and watched Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". I was so utterly terrified, that the image of the woman being knifed in the shower stayed with me for years, and I wasn't particularly keen ever to see another horror film. But since then, of course, I've seen no end of films containing varying degrees of horror and I suppose I've become immune to some extent, for when I watched "Psycho" again more recently, it seemed incredibly tame....
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CSSPlus (Children's Sermon Service...Plus

Mary Kay Eichelman

The Climb

Object: a picture of a tree house
How many of you have ever climbed a tree? If you had a tree house (show picture) would you try to climb a tree? It would make all the hard climbing worth it! Getting a scratched leg or a bloody arm wouldn't be a big deal because you would enjoy exploring that tree house so much!...
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Gospel Grams 1 (Ages 5-7)

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Gospel Grams 2 (Ages 8-10)

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