“But when he saw the strong wind he…began to sink.”

Pastor Mark preaches on the story of Jesus coming to the disciples walking on the water; Peter asks if he can walk on the water also. He starts out OK, but when his attention shifts from Jesus to the wind, he begins to sink. Mark declares that an important lesson for the church lies herein - the essence of discipleship is training our eyes on Jesus. Mark applies this lesson to church management and calls on churches to keep their eyes on Jesus - to be more like Jesus - and to not be distracted by those who call for churches to be more like a business with its emphasis on efficiency. The sermon text is Matthew 14:22-33. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“Ho, everyone who thirsts come to the waters.”

Are you thirsty? Do you find that modern secular life does not satisfy your thirst? The prophet Isaiah calls us to drink of the waters of God; our thirst is satisfied only when we participate in what God is doing for all people. The sermon text is Isaiah 55:1-5. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“…that very Spirit intercedes with groans too deep for words.”

Life is hard! Yes, indeed life is hard. The apostle Paul knew that well. He had been beaten repeatedly, shipwrecked, lost at sea, and imprisoned on several occasions. Sometimes we don't know what to pray, or even how to pray. But Paul, writing from a prison cell, reminds us that God shares in our suffering and is already interceding for us.  What hardship can separate us from God? Paul answers that nothing can separate us from the love of God. The sermon text is Romans 8:26-39. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well.”

Do you pull weeds in your yard? Isn't weeding a good thing to do? After all, shouldn't we eradicate invasive species? Jesus told the story of the master who noticed weeds growing among his crop of wheat. The workers ask if they should pull up and root out the weeds. But the master says, "No. Leave them alone." Why? Shouldn't they have yanked out the weeds? What was Jesus thinking? The sermon text is Matthew 13:24-30. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there until they have watered the earth, … so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty.”

Pastor Mark preaches on creation spirituality and what it says about us as creatures created by God. We are part of God's purpose and are sustained by God's purpose.  Even with all our faults and weaknesses, God's grace sustains us because it is part of his purpose in creating the universe.  Like fish in an ocean, we, as creatures created by God, swim in an ocean of grace. The sermon text is Isaiah 55:8-13. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”

Pastor Mark preaches on the deeper biblical meaning of what it means to welcome one another: "To welcome another is to receive them as we would a gift, making them our own, and then reordering our lives to value the gift given. To receive another is to take another in so that they become part of our lives, bring to us a freshness, a perspective, a vitality, a richness that we would otherwise have not known."  Mark comments that our love for each other in our Christian community is one of our great riches, and it is not without its peril. The sermon text is Matthew 10:40-42. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“For Whenever I speak, I must cry out, I must shout, “Violence and Ruin!”"

Like the prophet Jeremiah, Pastor Mark shouts out "Violence and Ruin". Why? Because America is at war with America. Ours is a war on the poor. It is a war aimed at those 45 million people living below the poverty line.  And we are all participants in this war. Will our conscience awaken to our responsibility to human life? The sermon text is Jeremiah 20:7-13. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast.  The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“…knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us …”

Pastor Mark preaches on suffering as portrayed by the apostle Paul. Paul teaches us that suffering produces endurance and that endurance produces character. Because of our suffering, will we become bitter, or better?  And character produces hope. Our faith holds that in the mystery of God's love we find hope. The sermon text is Romans 5:1-8. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them …”

Pastor Mark preaches on the majesty of God's creation and what it means for humans to have dominion over it; two different definitions of dominion lead to very different environmental consequences. The sermon text is Psalm 8. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.”

What makes a church a church? The story of Pentecost provides an answer: When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place, but Pastor Mark declares that they were not a church; two matters were missing.  Then God's spirit intervened and set their souls ablaze, transforming them, empowering them, and giving them a sense of mission. And they were a church. The sermon text is Acts 2:1-21. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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