chewablebytes_title2

First Quarter, January to March

   A sense of ‘lightness’ is the inspiration that the Lord has impressed upon me for this new sermon series. Perhaps because of the heaviness of the matters that beset people in general, both locally and globally, I perceive the need for people to take things lightly as a matter of respite. Nonetheless, our need for wisdom even for day to day affairs cannot be overlooked.

   I have chosen the title “Chewable Bytes”, as with the daily devotionals that I publish on Facebook and our website. The intention is to share “bite size” insights, uncomplicated and easily graspable. “Byte”, a unit of digital information in computing and telecommunications, is being used in place of “bite” to highlight the desired relevance for today’s “computer mindset”. I pray that the Lord will use this new sermon series to lift our faith to new heights.

                                                                                                                     Pastor Al

jan4

Jan 4 (New Year’s, Jan 1)

#1 – Get Off on the Right Foot

Philippians 4:1-9

Life in itself is difficult and complex. There are challenges and trials that we need to overcome. We all need a breather. We must not add anymore to the hardship that constantly beset life. For this New Year, let us all make sure that we start off right.
 
jan11

Jan 11

#2 – Delightful People

Acts 2:42-47

It is a delight to be among friends who are accepting, joyful, and decent; those who have no need to show off or to dominate but to mutually look out for each other, doing every little thing to bring gladness in each other’s heart. Find them, stick with them, and love them.  
 
jan18

#3 – Politically Incorrect

Luke 19:1-10

If Jesus were alive in this age of political correctness, it is doubtful if He would fit in and be accepted. Yet it would not matter since He did not come to please to be accepted but to change people’s hearts. That’s why He matters. We do well to follow the Shepherd.
 
jan25CB

Jan 25  

#4 – Pursuing Righteousness

1 Timothy 6:6-10

One would pursue accumulation of wealth believing it would serve his purposes. Wealth is not evil, the love of it is. So as the endeavor to gain wealth is valid, the pursuit of righteousness shields the heart from its harmful effects. Remember that while wealth is yours to possess, you are God’s possession.
 
feb1

#5 – Log In One’s Eye

Matthew 7:1-6

He who has a penchant for criticizing others is driven by a spirit which is clearly not holy. Likely, bitterness, pain, and a gnawing sense of ugliness that fill the heart is being hurled outward. At best take his words with a grain of salt. The truly wise and gracious see you in a much better light.
 
feb8

#6 – So We Want to Grow

1 Corinthians 13:9-12

Growth is more than adding years to life and physical development. Mastery of age-appropriate tasks, intellectual and emotional maturation, and the letting go of behaviors that represent earlier life stages must happen. Growth and remaining the same are incongruous.
 
feb22

Feb 22

#7 – You are Fine

Matthew 5:13-16

You don’t always have to fret when people behave in ways that convey the message they don’t like you. At times it’s not about you as it is about them. It may simply mean that in their minds you are a little too good and beautiful for them to handle.
 
March 1 sermon title pic

#8 – A Royal Priesthood

1 Peter 2:9-12

It is painful when people talk mean and unfair about you. On the other hand, you can take pleasure because your life matters. They may not admit but they spend precious time thinking of you. Blessings do not always come smiling.
 
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Mar 8

#9 – Treasures that Remain

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Of those we meet in this life most simply come and go. Some have touched our lives, brought us happiness, sometimes pain, and important lessons. Then we move on. Yet there are friendships that, even if the signals are infrequent and far between, through the years remain.
 
mar15

#10 – Like a Boxing Match

2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Life is like a boxing match that has several rounds. One has to prepare for it – mind, body, and spirit conditioning, skills training, regimented discipline, and having the right attitudes. Yet, as you expect to win rounds and matches, you must be ready to cope with knockdowns and losses.
 
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Mar 22

#11 – Differentiate Yourself

Psalm 1:1-3

Relationships among imperfect people which we all are can malfunction. At times you’ll find yourself in the midst of people whose anxiety level is so high that behaviors and interactions can turn chaotic. Don’t let them triangle you in, don’t jump into the fray. Differentiate yourself and draw the line.
 
March 29 sermon title pic
Mar 29

#12 – Black, Grey, and White

Matthew 27:46-56

There is nothing darker than the blackness of Christ’s sin-bearing death. Grey, the color of ashes, is a fitting symbol of our pride-emptying grief as He emptied our sin. And then light bursts forth on that glorious Easter morning when our spirits became white as snow.
 
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Even if it happens every year that it tends to slide down among the many ritualistic religious days that people consider holidays, Easter should be among the few that signifies and evokes true devotion and action. Those who connived and plotted against Jesus in their minds succeeded in killing Him, not knowing that the Father allowed it to happen for the purpose of saving the souls of those who would believe. And to those who believe, they will find what many desperately look for but miss – finding Jesus.
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Apr 13
#14- What Speaks Loud and Clear
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
 
Eloquence, articulateness, pedantry, and verbosity are not yet communication but more of a wordsmith’s superfluous display of wares, unless they result in understanding of the hearts and bearing fruits of relationships – which this very expression is unlikely.
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#40 – Mother Amazing

Proverbs 31:15, 17-18, 25-28, 30-31 ESV

 

She can calm the storm in the heart of the beast or sing the baby to sleep. She satisfies a resentful tummy and puts a smile on their lips. Migraines and all other pains are better overcome; and most days are brighter, not just some. She will conquer and glide with the right man by her side. In celebration of Mothers’ Day and in honor of all women, today’s message highlights the role of mothers in human life, based on the select verses in Proverbs 31.

Slide1
Matthew 12:18-21 (cf. Mark 14:58-61, ESV)
 

To be silent with one who is adamantly incognizant of reason, unready to learn, or simply deceptive is better than to tussle. Where there is unwillingness for “give and take”, dialogue cannot take place. Either way there can be pain, yet at times it is better to have it in silence.

Slide06
May 31
Colossians 4:1-6
 

Basic manners do not come naturally. They ought to be learned, especially in this time and age when Christian conduct and civility are under severe challenge. Let us teach children courtesies — acknowledge greetings, respond well, speak respectfully, to pay attention and not to interrupt when someone is speaking; to give way to others, say “Excuse me” and “I’m sorry” as appropriate. This is good teaching. But before adults can teach basic manners to children, they must first learn this.

Slide06
June 7
 

With most you simply exchange greetings, others you talk about the weather or the latest news. With some you hang out over favorite drinks. But with a few you are comfortable to listen and feel safe to share who you are. This happens as both work to make the friendship beautiful. Personality attraction causes persons to gravitate towards one another, but that alone cannot guarantee lasting friendship. The Book of Proverbs has important sayings regarding friendship.

Slide6
June 14
Matthew 20:1-16
 

How we wish everything and everyone are equal, yet not all are equal. While the value of everyone’s life and soul is equal, character, skills, intelligence, beauty inside or out, courage, self-respect, commitment, and more vary in depth and breadth. Yet if we can’t be equal we can be fair. In God’s weighing scale, everything is made equal and fair by the value of Jesus’ sacrifice.