625 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

650.323.6167
fax 650.323.3923

info@firstpaloalto.com

Sermons by the Rev. Michael Love

June 15, 2014 -A Way Forward - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's June 15, 2014 sermon. The was Rev. Love''s last sermon as co-pastor of First Church

The readings were Psalm 8 and Matthew 28:16-20.







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June 1, 2014 - Stinkin’ Thinkin’ - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's June 1, 2014 sermon.







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May 18, 2014 - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's May 18, 2014 sermon.







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May 4, 2014 - Who Was That Guy? - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's May 4, 2014 sermon.

The readings were Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 and Luke 24:13-35.







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April 20, 2014 - Easter Sunday 2014 - Is There Hope? - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's Easter Sunday , April 20, 2014 sermon.

The readings were Jeremiah 31:1-6 and Matthew 28:1-7.







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April 6, 2014 - What Brings Fulfillment? - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's April 6, 2014 sermon.

The readings was John 13: 1-5, 13-17.







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March 30, 2014 - Where is God? - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's March 30, 2014 sermon.

The reading was John 1-5, 14.







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March 16, 2014 - What Matters Most - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's March 16, 2014 sermon.

The readings were Genesis 12:1-4a and Mark 12:28-34.







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March 2, 2014 - Holy Mountain - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's March 2, 2014 sermon.

The readings were Exodus 24:12-18 and Matthew 17:1-9.







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January 19, 2014 - Who Ya Gonna Call? - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's January 19, 2014 sermon.







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January 5, 2014 - Strangers Bearing Gifts - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's January 5, 2014 sermon.







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October 20, 2013 - Readiness for God’s Mission - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's October 20, 2013 sermon.

The readings were 2 Timothy 4:1-5 and Jeremiah 31:31-34 .







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September 29, 2013 - Faith in a Bad Market - - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's September 29, 2013 sermon.

The readings were 1 Timothy 6:6-19 and Jermiah 32:1-3a, 6-15.







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Claiming Hope - Easter Sunday 2013 Sermon - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to "Claiming Hope", Pastor Michael's Easter Sunday 2013 sermon.

The readings were Acts 10:34-43 and John 20:1-18.







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February 17, 2013 - Navigating Life's Roadblocks - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's February 17, 2013 sermon.

The readings were Deuteronomy 26:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13.







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November 18, 2012 - It's All About the Mission - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's November 18, 2012 Thanksgiving sermon.

The reading was Matthew 6:25-33.







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October 28, 2012 - Luke, I Am Your Father - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's October 28, 2012 sermon.

The reading was Mark 10:46-52.







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October 14, 2012 - Give Till It Feels Good - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's October 14, 2012 sermon.

The reading was Luke 21:1-4.







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September 16, 2012 - Committed to Christ: Prayer - Pastor Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's September 16, 2012 sermon.

The reading was John 6:59-69.

The reading was Luke 6:12-19.





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August 26, 2012 - What's Love Got to Do with It? - Rev. Michael Love (audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's August 26, 2012 sermon.

The reading was John 6:59-69.

Here is the video that was shown during the sermon.







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August 19, 2012 - Children' Message - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Pastor Michael gave the children's message on Sunday, August 5, 2012.

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August 12, 2012 - Naked Spirituality 7: Again...Someday - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastor Michael's August 12, 2012 sermon.

This was the sixth sermon in the monthly "Naked Spirituality: A Life With God In 12 Simple Words" series. This month's word focus was "When".

The reading was Psalm 42.




Need to catch up on the past Naked Spirtuality sermons? Listen to:

Month 1 - "Here"
Month 2 - "Thanks"
Month 3 - "O"
Month 4 - "Sorry"
Month 5 - "Help"
Month 6 - "Please"


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July 29, 2012 Sermon - The Brag Book - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

A Sermon by Pastor Michael LoveListen to Pastors Michael's July 29, 2012 sermon.

The reading was John 6:1-21.




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July 22, 2012 - Children's Message - Rev Michael Love (Audio)

Rev. Michael Love gave the children's message on Sunday, July 22, 2012.

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July 15, 2012 - Can't Stop Dancing - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's July 15, 2012 sermon.

The reading was Mark 6:14-29.




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July 8, 2012 - Naked Spirituality 6: "Please" - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

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Listen to Pastor Michael's July 8, 2012 sermon.

This was the sixth sermon in the monthly "Naked Spirituality: A Life With God In 12 Simple Words" series. This month's word focus was "Please".

The reading was Mark 2:1-12.




Need to catch up on the past Naked Spirtuality sermons? Listen to:

Month 1 - "Here"
Month 2 - "Thanks"
Month 3 - "O"
Month 4 - "Sorry"
Month 5 - "Help"


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July 1, 2012 - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's July 1, 2012 sermon.

The reading was Mark 5:21-43.




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May 20, 2012 - Messengers - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's May 20, 2012 sermon.

The reading was Luke 24:44-53.




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May 6, 2012 - The True Vine - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's May 6, 2012 sermon.

The reading was John 15:1-8.




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April 22, 2012 Sermon - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's April 22, 2012 sermon.

The reading was Luke 24:36b-48.




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Easter 2012 Sermons - Revs. Michael Love and Sione Halafau

Listen to the Easter Sunday 2012 sermons, which were preached by Pastor Michael Love and Pastor Sione Halafau.

The readings were Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 and John 20:1-18.

Listen to Pastor Michael's Sermon

Listen to Pastor Sione's Sermon



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Palm Sunday 2012 - The Sign of the Golden Gate - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's Palm Sunday 2012 sermon, which was preached on April 1, 2012.

The readings were Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 Mark 11:1-11 and Mark 14:1-2, 10-16.




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March 25, 2012 - True Grit: God's Persistence - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's March 25, 2012 sermon.

The readings were Jeremiah 31:31-34 and John 12:20-33.




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March 18, 2012 - Strange Medicine - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's March 18, 2012 sermon.

The readings were Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-21.




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March 4, 2012 - New Kids on the Block - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's March 4, 2012 sermon.

The readings were Genesis 17:1-7, 15-26 and Mark 8:31-38.



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February 26, 2012 - God's Best Offer - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's February 26, 2012 sermon.

The readings were Genesis 9:8-17 and Mark 1:9-15.




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February 19, 2012 - Accepting the Invitation - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's February 19, 2012 sermon.

The readings was Mark 9:2-9.




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February 12, 2012 - Grace Out of Bounds - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's February 12, 2012 sermon.

The reading was Mark 1:40-45.

Pastor Michael talks about the only three true job interview questions.




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January 29, 2012 - The Gift of Boldness - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's January 29, 2012 sermon.

The reading was Luke 10:1-9.

This was the fourth and last sermon in the "Twas the Day After Christmas" series.




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January 15, 2012 - The Gift of Prayer - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's January 15, 2012 sermon.

The reading was Matthew 6:5-15.



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January 8, 2012 - The Gift of Belonging - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's January 8, 2012 sermon.

The reading was John 21:1-8.



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January 1, 2012 - Sorting Things Out - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's January 1, 2012 sermon.

The reading was John 21:1-8.



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Christmas Eve 2011 Sermon - The Right Place, the Right Time - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's 11:00pm Chirstmas Eve 2011 sermon.

The reading was Luke 2:9-20.



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December 18, 2011 - Are We There Yet? - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's December 18, 2011 sermon.

The reading was Luke 2:1-7.



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December 11, 2011 - Blessed is She Who Believes - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's December 11, 2011 sermon.

The reading was Luke 1:39-45.



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November 20, 2011 - The Power of a Grateful Heart - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's November 20, 2011 sermon.

The reading was 2 Corinthians 9:1-12.



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November 6, 2011 - Managing Your (God's) Money - The Rev. Michael Love (audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's November 6, 2011 sermon.

The reading was Matthew 19:16-22.



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October 9, 2011 - Each Day a New Beginning - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's October 9, 2011 sermon.

This was the last sermon in the "Exploring Questions of Faith" series.

The reading was Matthew 6:25-34.

September 18 to October 9, 2011 Sermon Series
Exploring Questions of Faith : If you've ever wondered why the innocent suffer or why prayers go unanswered, you don't want to miss this series. We'll take a careful look from a posture of faith and caring at some tough questions.



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October 2, 2011 - When the Lead Breaks - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's October 2, 2011 sermon.

This was the third sermon in the "Exploring Questions of Faith" series.

The reading was Mark 4:35-41.

September 18 to October 9, 2011 Sermon Series
Exploring Questions of Faith : If you've ever wondered why the innocent suffer or why prayers go unanswered, you don't want to miss this series. We'll take a careful look from a posture of faith and caring at some tough questions.



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September 25, 2011 - Fitting In or Becoming Fit - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's September 25, 2011 sermon.

This was the second sermon in the "Exploring Questions of Faith" series.

The reading was John 5:1-17.

September 18 to October 9, 2011 Sermon Series
Exploring Questions of Faith : If you've ever wondered why the innocent suffer or why prayers go unanswered, you don't want to miss this series. We'll take a careful look from a posture of faith and caring at some tough questions.



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August 21, 2011 - Cleaning House - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's August 21, 2011 sermon.

This was the first sermon in the "Getting Ready for Company" series.

The reading was Revelation 21:1-7.

August 21 to September 11, 2011 Sermon Series
August 21 to September 11: Getting Ready for Company : We'll explore the ways that God calls us to make ready to meet our neighbors. Ever need help taking your place in a community? Whether that's a town, a job, a school, a church, or anywhere people try to get together and get along, this series has something for you.



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August 7, 2011 - True Friendship - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's August 7, 2011 sermon.

This was the third sermon in the "Life of David" series.

The reading was 1 Samuel 20:4-9, 16-17.




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July 24, 2011 - God's Unlikely Heroes - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's July 24, 2011 sermon.

This was the first sermon in the "Life Lessons" series.

The reading was 1 Samuel 16:1, 4-12.

July 24 to August 14, 2011 Sermon Series
Life Lessons : We'll take a look at topics close to our life experiences through the lens of the life of King David. Join us for these 4 sermons: "God's Unlikely Heroes", "Stabbed in the Back", "True Friendship" and "Faithfulness."



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July 3, 2011 - Scars and Stripes : Liberty and the Trial of Rev. Amy DeLong - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

Michael711aSmall.jpgRead and listen to Pastors Michael's July 3, 2011 sermon.

The reading was Galatians 6:1-10.

Download Michael's sermon here.

Sign the online petiton for Equality for All in Christian Marriage here.

Download the Equality for All in Christian Marriage petition here.

Background: The trial of the Rev. Amy DeLong, a lesbian clergywoman in Wisconsin, took place June 21-23, 2011. DeLong, a clergy member of the Wisconsin Annual (regional) Conference for 14 years who currently serves as director of an advocacy group, initiated the case in 2009 when she agreed to officiate at the union of a lesbian couple. That same year, she registered with her partner of nearly 16 years under Wisconsin's Domestic Partnership Law. She reported both actions to the annual conference. The Book of Discipline, the denomination's law book, states that "the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching."

In this sermon Pastor Michael shared the outcome of that trial and it's bearing upon our understanding of liberty, in the life of the church and in the nation.


Scars and Stripes : Liberty and the Trial of Rev. Amy DeLong
The Rev. Michael Love

July 3, 2011
The First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto
Galatians 6:1-10

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June 5, 2011 - Start More Fires - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's June 5, 2011 sermon.

This was the sixth sermon in the Catch Fire in 50 Days series.

The reading was John 17:1-11.

May/June 2011 Sermon Series

“Catch Fire in 50 Days.” Download the study guide here.



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May 29, 2011 - Spread Wildly - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's May 29, 2011 sermon.

This was the fifth sermon in the Catch Fire in 50 Days series.

The reading was John 14:15-21.

May 2011 Sermon Series

“Catch Fire in 50 Days.” Download the study guide here.



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May 22, 2011 - Fan the Flame - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio/Video)

The May 22, 2011 sermon was a combination audio/video parable.

This was the fourth sermon in the Catch Fire in 50 Days series.

The reading was John 14:1-14.

to the audio and watch the video below.

May 2011 Sermon Series

“Catch Fire in 50 Days.” Download the study guide here.



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May 15, 2011 - Shine Brightly - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's May 15, 2011 sermon.

This was the third sermon in the Catch Fire in 50 Days series.

The reading was John 10:1-10.

In the sermon Pastor Michael mentioned the Gifts and Talents survey. We invite you to fill out the survey here.

May 2011 Sermon Series

“Catch Fire in 50 Days.” Download the study guide here.



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May 1, 2011 - Catch Fire - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

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Listen to Pastors Michael's May 1, 2011 sermon.

This was the first sermon in the Catch Fire in 50 Days series.

The reading was John 20:19-31.

May 2011 Sermon Series

“Catch Fire in 50 Days.” Download the study guide here.



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Easter Sunday 2011 Sermon - Revs. Michael Love & Laurie McHugh (Audio)

Listen to the Easter Sunday sermon preached by Revs. Michael Love and Laurie McHugh.

This was the sixth sermon in their "Thrive! New Life in the Risen Lord" series. It was preached on April 24, 2011.

At the end of the sermon, we held our traditional community sing of the Hallelujah Chorus on the chancel steps.

The reading was Matthew 28:1-10.

Pastor Michael showed the following video during the sermon.



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Palm Sunday 2011 Sermon - The Rev. Michael Love (Video & Audio)

MichaelSm.jpgListen to Pastors Michael's Palm Sunday sermon.

This was the fifth sermon in the Thrive! series and was preached on April 17, 2011.

The reading was Matthew 2:1-11.







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April 3, 2011 Sermon - The Rev Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's April 3, 2011 sermon.

This was the third sermon in the Thrive! series.

The reading was Ephesians 5:8-14.



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March 6, 2011 - The Devil Didn't Make Me Do It - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's March 6, 2011 sermon.

The reading was 1st Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-2.



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February 20, 2011 - In Our Own Best Interest? - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's February 20, 2011 sermon.

The reading was 1st Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-2.



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February 13, 2011 - Everybody's Gonna Be Okay - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's February 13, 2011 sermon.

The reading was 1st Corinthians 3:1-9.



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February 6, 2011 - It Gets Better - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's February 6, 2011 sermon.

The reading was 1st Corinthians 2:1-16.

During the sermon Pastor Michael mentioned videos from the It Gets Better Project.



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January 30, 2011 - Get a Job - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael's January 30, 2011 sermon.

The reading was Matthew 5:1-12.

During the sermon Pastor Michael showed the following video:



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January 9, 2011 - Get a Clue - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's January 9, 2011 sermon.

The reading was Matthew 3:13-17.



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January 2, 2011 - Get a Friend - Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's January 2, 2011 sermon.

The reading was Matthew 2:1-12.



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December 26, 2010 - The Voice of Fulfillment - Revs. Michael Love and Laurie McHugh (Audio)

Listen to Pastors Michael and Laurie's December 26, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Matthew 2:13-23.

During the sermon Pastor Michael showed the following video.



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11:00pm Christmas Eve 2010 Sermon - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's Christmas Eve 2010 sermon from the 11:00pm Candlelight Service.

The title of the sermon was We Welcome the Holy Guest.

The reading was Luke 2:1-20.



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The Voice of Joy - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to and read Pastor Michael's December 12, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Luke 1:46b-55.

The sermon begins with a dramatic monologue by one of our members.

At the end of the sermon Pastor Michael showed a video of a "flash mob" in a mall food court who unexpectedly start singing the Hallelujah Chorus. As the video is playing members of our choir, who are scattered among the pews, one by one get up and start singing along. Soon their voices drown out the video and they gather together on the chancel to finish the Hallelujah Chorus.

Watch the original Food Court Flash Mob Hallelujah Chorus video below.



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Giving and Receiving Thanks - The Rev. Michael Love (Text)

Listen to and read Pastor Michael's November 21, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Luke 23:33-43.

Download a copy of this sermon.

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What's In A Name? - The Rev. Michael Love (Text)

Read Pastor Michael's October 31, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Luke 19:1-10.

Download a copy of this sermon.

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You Might Be A Methodist - Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

Listen to and read Pastor Michael's October 24, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Matthew 25:31-40.

Download a copy of this sermon.


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Preaching Our Way to Jerusalem - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

Read Pastor Michael's October 17, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Luke 18:1-8.

The books Pastor Michael mentions in the sermon are Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations and Five Practices of Fruitful Living, by Bishop Robert Schnase.

Download a copy of this sermon.


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Even "Them"? Even Me? Even Now? - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's September 19, 2010 sermon.

The reading was 1 Timothy 2:1-7.

This was the first sermon in the Intentional Faith Development sermon series.



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Life-Long Learning - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's September 5, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18.

This was the first sermon in the Intentional Faith Development sermon series.

The book Pastor Michael mentions in the sermon is Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Bishop Robert Schnase.




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Life-Long Learning - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's September 5, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18.

This was the first sermon in the Intentional Faith Development sermon series.

The book Pastor Michael mentions in the sermon is Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Bishop Robert Schnase.




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Amen Means "Yes" - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's August 29, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Psalm 84.

This was the last sermon in the Passionate Worship sermon series.

The book Pastor Michael mentions in the sermon is Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Bishop Robert Schnase.




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Finding a Feast in the Wilderness - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's August 22, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Psalm 84.

This was the third sermon in the Passionate Worship sermon series.

The book Pastor Michael mentions in the sermon is Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Bishop Robert Schnase.




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Finding a Well in the Desert - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's August 15, 2010 sermon.

The reading was John 4:1-15.

This was the third sermon in the Passionate Worship sermon series.

The book Pastor Michael mentions in the sermon is Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Bishop Robert Schnase.




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Radical Hospitality - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's July 11, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Romans 15:1-7.

This was the first sermon in the Radical Hospitality sermon series.

The books Pastor Michael mentions in the sermon are Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations and Five Practices of Fruitful Living, by Bishop Robert Schnase.




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Freedom from What? - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's July 4, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Romans 8:18-30.




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Does God Have a Facebook Page? - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

Listen to and read Pastor Michael's May 2, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Romans 10:11-17.

Download a copy of this sermon.



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Living Easter in the Real World - Week 3 - Do You Know the Way to Sim City? - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Listen to Pastor Michael's April 25, 2010 sermon.

The reading was John 10:22-30.

This is the third sermon in the Living Easter in the Real World post-Easter sermon series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.



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Sermon Series - Living Easter in the Real World

Revs. Michael Love, Laurie McHugh preached the post-Easter sermon series, Living Easter in the Real World, over three Sundays beginning on April 11, 2010.

Read and listen to the three sermons in the series:

April 11, 2010 - Friended by God - The Rev. Laurie McHugh
April 18, 2010 - There's An App for That - The Rev. Laurie McHugh
April 25, 2010 - Do You Know the Way to Sim City? - The Rev. Michael Love



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Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus: Rebirth - Week 5 - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

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Read Pastor Michael's March 21, 2010 sermon.

The reading was John 12:1-8.

This is the fifth sermon in the Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus Lenten sermon series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.

Download a copy of this sermon.


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Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus: Reconciliation - Week 4 - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

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Listen to and read Pastor Michael's March 14, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

This is the fourth sermon in the Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus Lenten sermon series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.

Download a copy of this sermon.


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Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus: Repentence - Week 2 - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)



Listen to Pastor Michael's February 28, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Luke 13:31-35.

This is the second sermon in the Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus Lenten sermon series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.



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Sermon Series - Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus

Revs. Michael Love, Laurie McHugh and Robert Hamerton-Kelly preached the Lenten sermon series, Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus, over six Sundays beginning on February 21, 2010.

Read and listen to the six sermons in the series:

February 21, 2010 - Turning the Corner - The Rev. Michael Love
February 28, 2010 - Repentence - The Rev. Michael Love
March 7, 2010 - Forgiveness - The Rev. Dr. Robert Hamerton-Kelly
March 14, 2010 - Reconciliation - The Rev. Michael Love
March 21, 2010 - Rebirth - The Rev. Michael Love
March 28, 2010 - Triumph - The Rev. Laurie McHugh



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Christmas: The Sequel - Week 3 - The Rev. Michael Love (Text)

MichaelSml110c.jpgRead Pastor Michael's January 17, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Matthew 1:18-25.

This is the third sermon in the Christmas: The Sequel series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.

Download a copy of this sermon.



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Christmas: The Sequel - Week 2 - How Is the Christmas Story "True"? - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

Michael110bTH.jpgListen to and read Pastor Michael's January 10, 2010 sermon.

The reading was Matthew 1:18-25.

This is the second sermon in the Christmas: The Sequel series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.

Download a copy of this sermon.



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Christmas: The Sequel - Week 1 - The Rev. Michael Love (Text)

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Read Pastor Michael's December 27, 2009 sermon.

The reading was Luke 2:41-52.

This is the first sermon in his Christmas: The Sequel series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.

Download a copy of this sermon.



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Sermon Series - Christmas: The Sequel - Revs. Michael Love and Laurie McHugh

The Rev. Michael Love and the Rev. Laurie McHugh preached the sermon series, Christmas: The Sequel, over the seven Sundays beginning on December 27, 2009.

Read and listen to the six sermons in the series:

December 27, 2009 - Christmas : The Sequel - The Rev. Michael Love
January 10, 2010 - How Is the Christmas Story "True - The Rev. Michael Love
January 17, 2010 - Why is the Christmas Story "True"?? - The Rev. Michael Love
January 24, 2010 - Who is the Christmas Story About? - The Rev. Laurie McHugh
January 31, 2010 - What Ever Happened to the Christmas Story? - The Rev. Michael Love
February 7, 2010 - The Christmas Story Now - The Rev. Michael Love



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Jesus is the Gift: Christmas Eve, 2009 - The Rev. Michael Love (Text)


Read Pastor Michael's Christmas Eve 2009 sermon.

Download a copy of this sermon.



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God's Christmas Gift to You: Love - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

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Listen to Pastor Michael's December 13, 2009 sermon.

This is the third sermon in their Jesus is the Gift series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.



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God's Christmas Gift to You: Peace - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

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Listen to Pastor Michael's December 6, 2009 sermon.

This is the second sermon in their Jesus is the Gift series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.



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Sermon Series - Jesus is the Gift - Revs. Michael Love and Laurie McHugh

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The Rev. Michael Love and the Rev. Laurie McHugh preached the sermon series, Jesus Is The Gift, over the four Sundays of Advent beginning on November 29, 2009.

Read and listen to the four sermons in the series:

November 29, 2009 - God's Christmas Gift to You: Hope - The Rev. Laurie McHugh
December 6, 2009 - God's Christmas Gift to You: Peace - The Rev. Michael Love
December 13, 2009 - God's Christmas Gift to You: Love - The Rev. Michael Love
December 20, 2009 - God's Christmas Gift to You: Joy - The Rev. Laurie McHugh



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We Are Called to Thanksgiving - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)


Listen to and read Pastor Michael's November 22, 2009 sermon.

The reading was John 18:33-37.

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Other Campfires - Part 2 - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

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Listen to and read Pastor Michael's November 15, 2009 sermon.

Read and listen to part 1 of Other Campfires. Pastor Michael preached this on his first Sunday at First Church, July 5, 2009.

Download a copy of this sermon.



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The Ways We Care - Part 3 - Service - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)


Read and listen to Pastor Michael's October 25, 2009 sermon.

This is the third sermon in their The Ways We Care series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.

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The Ways We Care - Part 2 - Presence - The Rev. Michael Love (Text and Audio)

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Listen to and read Pastor Michael's October 18, 2009 sermon.

This is the second sermon in Pastor Michael and Pastor Laurie's The Ways We Care series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.

Download a copy of this sermon.


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Sermon Series - The Ways We Care - Revs. Michael Love and Laurie McHugh

The Rev. Michael Love and the Rev. Laurie McHugh preached the sermon series, The One Anothers, over five Sundays beginning on October 17, 2009.

Read and listen to the four sermons in the series:

October 11, 2009 - Witness - The Rev. Laurie McHugh
October 18, 2009 - Presence - The Rev. Michael Love
October 25, 2009 - Service - The Rev. Michael Love
November 8, 2009 - Gifts - The Rev. Laurie McHugh



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Jesus and Good Health - Part 2 - Resolving Conflict - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

Michael909d150176.jpgListen to and read Michael's September 27, 2009 sermon.

This is the second sermon in his Jesus and Good Health series.

The reading was Matthew 18:15-20.




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Jesus and Good Health - Part 1 - Personal Responsibility - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

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Listen to Michael's September 20, 2009 sermon.

The reading was Luke 9:18-27.

Before the sermon we heard a video of First Church members answering the question "Who do you say Jesus is?". During the sermon Pastor Michael showed us a clip from the movie Wall-E.

Download a .pdf of Pastor Michael's preaching notes for this sermon.

This is the first sermon in his Jesus and Good Health series.



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Sermon Series - Jesus and Good Health - The Rev. Michael Love

The Revs. Michael Love and Laurie McHugh preached the sermon series, Jesus and Good Health, over two Sundays beginning on September 20, 2009.

Read and listen to the two sermons in the series:

September 20, 2009 - Personal Responsibility - The Rev. Michael Love

September 27, 2009 - Resolving Conflict - The Rev. Michael Love



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The One Anothers - Part 4 - Live in Harmony - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

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Listen to and read the Rev. Michael Love's September 6, 2009 sermon.

The reading was Romans 12:9-18.

The book mentioned in the sermon is The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs.

This is the fourth and last sermon in Pastor Michael's The One Anothers series.

Download a copy of this sermon.


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The One Anothers - Part 3 - Peace vs. Truce - The Rev. Michael Love (Audio)

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Listen to Michael's August 30, 2009 sermon.

The reading was Mark 9:42-50.

This is the third sermon in his The One Anothers series.

Download an outline/study guide to this sermon.

In the sermon Pastor Michael mentions The One Anothers list. Download a .pdf of this list.



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The One Anothers - Part 2 - Forgive One Another - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

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Listen to and read Michael's August 23, 2009 sermon.

This is the second sermon in his The One Anothers series.

Download a .pdf of this sermon.

The book mentioned in the sermon is Getting Rid of the Gorilla: Confessions on the Struggle to Forgive by Brian Jones.


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The One Anothers - Part 1 - Sing to One Another - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)


Listen to and read Michael's August 16, 2009 sermon.

This is the first sermon in his The One Anothers series.

Download a pdf of this sermon.

In the sermon Pastor Michael mentions The One Anothers list. Download a .pdf of this list.


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The Purposes of Jesus - Purpose 5 -That All Shall Make It - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)



Listen to and read Michael's August 9, 2009 sermon.

Todays reading: Mark 10:17-31.

This is the last sermon in his The Purposes of Jesus series.

Download a .pdf of this sermon.


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The Purposes of Jesus - Purpose 3 - That All Shall Be Fed - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

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Listen to and read Michael's July 26, 2009 sermon.

The sermon audio begins with Pastor Laurie reading today's Gospel lesson, John 6:1-21.

This is the third sermon in his The Purposes of Jesus series.

Download a .pdf of this sermon.


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The Purposes of Jesus - Purpose 2 - That All Shall Be Changed - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

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Listen to and read That All Shall Be Accepted, the Rev. Michael Love's July 19, 2009 sermon.

This is the second sermon in The Purposes of Jesus series. Read and listen to the other sermons in this series.

The reading was Mark 6:30-34, 53-56.

Download a .pdf of this sermon.


The Purposes of Jesus - That All Shall Be Changed

The Rev. Michael Love

July 19, 2009

          We're in week 2 of a series on the Purposes of Jesus, asking not What Would Jesus Do, but What DID Jesus Do. Last week I suggested that Jesus accepts us all and then turns that gift into the foundational basis of our calling; that we are then to take up the challenge to, ourselves, be accepting of all. Today I'm going to spend some time on the second Purpose of Jesus: That All Shall Be Changed. It's a purpose that I see flowing out of radical acceptance. I more than hinted that Purpose #1 would likely initiate changed hearts and minds in us.

          Now this purpose #2 (That All Shall Be Changed) is one that I wrestle with myself. I'm not particularly interested in being changed, when I am honest about it. I suspect that many of us would agree with my District Superintendent of some ten years ago who said, “I don't mind change, I just don't want to be there when it happens.” Aversion to change is a human characteristic. It is especially true when we speak of matters of faith. Matters of faith, deeply held and thoughtfully gathered and nurtured, have a big influence in all parts of our lives. So, a change there is potentially a sweeping life-style change. In the illustration in Mark, being changed by Jesus leads to the lifestyle that we read about constantly in the New Testament, a lifestyle that includes much “running around from place to place.” If changed by the power of God's grace in Jesus Christ, I might be reduced to one who “runs this way and that,” attending to the teachings and the ministries of Jesus. It's not like I don't have enough to do already without getting caught up in the work that Jesus has for us....let's face it first, Jesus keeps you busy. “constant coming and going.” “running.” “people ran this way and that.” That's how the lesson in Mark describes the scene. And it is not much different elsewhere in the New Testament.

          So, If I'm to have any credibility with you this morning, I've got to start with some myth-busting. The myth is that there is no room in your life for God. (The Rice and the Walnut?)

          The foundational assumption must be then, there is room in your life for God. That it's not only okay to risk being changed by God, but that it is in fact a realistic expectation of anyone. There is no “Out Clause.” A relationship with God in Jesus Christ works for others, it can work for you. Your life is not so extraordinarily constructed as to make you uniquely immune to God's reconciliation or the practices of a deepened and thriving faith life.

          I reflect on my own calling to ministry, which began when I was about 17, as an illustration. When God called me to a life of ministry, I did not heed that call at first. In fact, shortly after hearing that call, I left off from church attendance altogether. Like many high-school graduates, thinking about college or university trumped thinking about church. I thought of myself as faithful, but church didn't seem to have much to offer way back then. I entered a period of life, with zeal and intensity, that formed me by God's invisible and constant Grace, for although I had left off from God, God was not through with me. I had convinced myself that there just wasn't room in my life for God—that I could do all the right things without God. Hey, that's economical and efficient, what could go wrong???

          When I utterly failed to purge God by way of my lifestyle choices, I came to myself, and understood that God meant to work in and through me. That God's un-fatiguing Love could heal and use my weaknesses and would increase my strengths. I came to understand that I had been changed before I even knew of it. That I was reconciled by a presence that had not abandoned me in a single moment.

          You see, I thought I was an original, that I had presented a New Argument in practical application for how one might merely be “good” and “moral” and “just” without the messiness of church community or acknowledged faith identity. But is was with shocking clarity that God pointed out how every one of “my” nobler values, came from the heart of God. I am happy to report my failure in the endeavor to take all the credit and originality for what God has so plainly crafted. And I stand before you today as the nearly finished product of a process over which I have had very little real control. Mostly I have cooperated with God in these things. And it this backdrop that informs what I now want to share with you about Being Changed By Jesus Christ.

          An important “first thing” those people who were running around the country-side had, was a certainty that they needed change. They were able, perhaps because of the rigor and directness of their lives, to be perfectly honest about themselves. When Jesus asked one of them what they wanted, they spoke up. No one said, “Oh nothing, I just came to listen and meditate upon your teaching.” Oh, no. They said, “I'm blind,” or “My son is sick” or “My life is confused” or “I'm afraid of death.” We might bring these same answers were that question asked of us. What do you want from Jesus? There is an old saying that every one here this morning is either just finished with a major life challenge, in the middle of a major life challenge, or about to begin a major life challenge. Where can God be in that work with you? What do you want from Jesus as you journey in life? These who followed him all over the country-side acknowledged that they were needful of change. And that's the first lesson for us. Although God is working in you right now to initiate significant empowering change in your life, we can halt the change that God wants for us. We can, “None for me please, I'm just here to listen and meditate upon your words.” We are the primary blockage. Paul calls it our innate sinful nature, that we think we can do it all on our own. And boy oh boy doesn't the culture ever want you to believe it. The culture, not some external machinery, the culture is us, the culture whispers in our ears that we can be powerful and successful and lead lives of abundance and bliss, if we cooperate with the culture. There's always the cost however. Bono, lead singer of U2 reminds us in Vertigo, of the words of the tempter who has promised cultural power to Jesus. Bono almost murmurs in the husky, luring voice of fame, “All of this can be yours. All of this can be yours. Hypnotically. And then he adds those devilish words....Just give me what I want, and no one gets hurt.”1 The culture always extracts a price.

          God's work to change you comes from a fundamentally different place. It comes from a loving and nurturing core of Good AND, AND you can resist it. My prayer for you is that you don't, but I know that we do. We bring in excuses and reasons to explain why a much lower touch relationship with God is just okay for our unique situations. And that's understandable, too. It's out of uncertainty, fear and a lack of information that we do this.

          Ever ask someone out on a date? Think about that decision to ask for a phone number, or to drop by where they were working, or whatever it took to initiate that first wonderful, terrible question: Will you go out with me? There is that moment before it's possible to imagine living through the question/answer experience? (Will he/she say yes? Will they say Yes oh Yes, I've been waiting for you to ask...or will they laugh?) There's that moment before and the moment of relief after, having asked and heard an answer. Why is that so hard? It's hard because it is much more than just a question isn't it? It's an admission of tenderness and affection. It's a moment of extreme and wonderful vulnerability. It's a request for change in a relationship.

          Well, acknowledgement that I need God to be changing me, perfecting me, daily, is at the start an admission of that magnitude. Wondering what God will say in response. And I want you to know that I understand that. But, once that nervousness can be admitted, the daily practice of calling on God to strengthen and change me, becomes a familiar part of living. It does take practice. That's key.

          I want to encourage you, whether you have been a disciple of Jesus Christ since you were 7 years old or you're just getting to know about this Teacher today, that you hold the key to the first step. God has loved you always and waits to hear from you. Today can be that day for you.

          This is all about moving from spiritual novices and beginners to spiritually mature and fit disciples. As spiritual beginners we get to know the lingo and the history, some verses in the bibles and often just enough church structure to get ourselves in some trouble. But, more importantly, as spiritual beginners we don't always ask the big question : “What is really driving the engine of our lives?” (Holeman, Martyn, 2008)2. In other words, are we knowledgeable of the Good News or are we knowledgeable AND transformed by that Good News?

          Why is any of this important? 2 reasons : you and the world. Anyone here feeling like the world is in such great shape that we can all take a vacation from our cares and woes and that everything will just be okay? Any fans of the church of Akoona Matata, don't worry be happy? Each of us faces the concern of how in the world can I make a difference in the world. My answer, may surprise you, but I suspect it wouldn't surprise John Wesley. The answer begins with you. As Mahatma Gandhi said, the project really is for you to be the change that you wish to see in the world. He got that from John Wesley, I believe. And I would add that for the world to change, you need to be spiritually fit. And the tradition that I am equipped to tell you about is the Jesus Christ, Son of God, Fitness Program. I tell you that if you are not changed by God's spirit, you will die. Not out of condemnation, but out of sheer battle fatigue. I believe that is the eternal life that Jesus was telling us about. It was a here and now strategy for getting in tight with God so we can do the work and live through the work that God is calling us to do to reform the world. Think of this any way that suits you. Think of God in Jesus Christ as your life vest, your oxygen mask, your haz-mat suit, your EMT Kit, your armor (Paul used that one). Think of it any way that you can, but think on it. And pray on it. And call out to a God who wants to change you today. Know that a loving God is anxious to prepare so that you may do more than survive life, you may thrive in it. And that you may be a disciple, and a maker of disciples for the transformation and reconciliation of the world.

          Next week we will talk about how this strength is essential that the world might be healed.

___________________

1 U2, Vertigo, on the album How to Dismantle An Atom Bomb, Universal-Island Records Ltd., 2004

2 Holeman, Virginia Todd and Martyn, Stephen L., Inside the Leader's Head : Unraveling Personal Obstacles to Ministry, Abingdon, Nashville, 2008

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The Purposes of Jesus - Purpose 1 - That All Shall Be Accepted - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

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Listen to and read That All Shall Be Accepted, the Rev. Michael Love's July 12, 2009 sermon.

This is the first sermon in his The Purposes of Jesus series.

The reading was Mark 6: 14-29.

Download a .pdf of this sermon.


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Other Campfires - The Rev. Michael Love (Text & Audio)

Listen to and read Michael's July 5, 2009 sermon. This was his first sermon as Senior Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto.

The reading was Mark 6:1-13.

Download a .pdf of this sermon.


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Welcome
Next Sunday: Join us for worship at 8:45 and 10:45 am. Pastor Linda Holbrook will preach at both services.

Can't make it to Church?
Watch online
at 10:45 am

Young Adult Worship:

July 6, 2014 - Remember Your Call - Pastor Linda Holbrook (Audio)
Listen to Pastor Linda's first sermon as co-pastor of First Church.



BBQ Picnics in the Park!
Starting July 10th, join us Thursdays in July at 6pm in Mitchell Park for lots of fellowship, food and fun at our BBQ Picnics.

Join Us for Summer Choir
Come to the Sanctuary at 9:45am Sunday morning for Summer Choir rehearsal

Help Everyone Get to know Pastor Linda
Would you be willing to host a small gathering to help us all get to know Pastor Linda? Learn more here.

June 22, 2014 -Finding A Way Towards Justice - The Rev. Sadie Stone (Audio)
Listen to Pastor Sadie's sermon.



July/August Issue of Insights is Online!
Read the latest issue today!

A Way Forward
In his June 15th sermon, Pastor Michael mentioned the website for A Way Forward for a United Methodist Church. You can read and sign the document here.