PODCAST: Finding Closeness with God

Presented 9/8/2013 at Curwensville Alliance

When my son was in Pittsburgh, he lived in a pretty rough neighborhood. For example, one weekendthere were three murders at his bus stop: One Friday, one Saturday, and one Sunday — all in broad daylight. Because he was a student, he found himself getting off that bus late in the evening, and walking several blocks to the house where he rented a room. How do you stay safe in that world?

One of the tricks he used is familiar to anyone who lives in such a place: Vary your routine. Don’t walk the same place the same time every day. That way, those who might target you will be defeated before they even start,

It’s not surprising that we have to consciously decide to vary our routines. We are creatures of habit.

What part of your habitual routine is healthy? What part is unhealthy? As we come near the end of our series on Emotional and Spiritual Health, it’s a good idea to ask these questions. This podcast helps us do so, and develop a Rule of Life.

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PODCAST: Loving Others as a Key to Emotional & Spiritual Health

Presented on 9/1/2013 at Curwensville Alliance Church

It might be in my blood. It might not be. My dad was a likable guy. People in church, in the neighborhood, and in our family loved him. When my dad’s genes are showing up, I am pretty likable, if I do say so myself. And then there’s dad’s cousin, Wayne. Since you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, I won’t talk about Wayne. But if I did talk about him, I’d say he was a crusty old grouch who didn’t like anyone except people who were not present. Whoops — well, when I do things like that (speaking ill of the dead), I guess it’s Wayne’s genes that are showing up.

What about you? Are you a lover of humankind or a misanthrope? Although Wayne lived into his late 80’s, he’s the exception to the rule. Generally people who don’t love others lead shorter, lonelier lives. Their lack of spiritual and emotional health leads to a lack of physical health. Who knows what damage it does for eternity.

In this podcast, we examine how the Christians in Corinth were behaving toward one another — without love or respect — and we work to learn how we can do the opposite.

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PODCAST: A Biblical View of Sabbath

Presented at Curwensville Alliance Church on 8/25/2013

Why do people go to church? There are many answers to this question: to worship, to see friends, to hear from God’s word, to encounter Jesus, to pray…. Oh, and one more reason: Some feel guilty if they don’t. Guilt is a motivator, but it’s not the best of motivators. You don’t want your husband to rub your back simply because he feels guilty if he doesn’t. You don’t want your children to say they love you to avoid feeling guilty. And you don’t want your wife to kiss you goodnight so she won’t feel guilty.

Going to church is part of something bigger — it’s part of Sabbathing — or observing the Sabbath. And the reason we do this is not simply to avoid guilt, but because God gave us the Sabbath as a gift.

Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27 (NLT)

This sermon podcast looks at how God celebrated the Sabbath when he instituted it and explores what he might have in mind for you and me, today.

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