Sunday, February 28, 2016

WHERE HAVE THOSE CALLING ALL TO COME GONE?: SCS 73


Sunday, February 28, 2016, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 73


PRAYER for Today:
Father, We know we are broken, but You are able to heal our hearts and souls of all of our brokenness and bring light to the darkness in our lives. Help us Father to accept your freely given grace that we might be reconciled to You. We ask that Your will be done and that we may act saintly towards our fellow sojourners who around the world are hurting so that they might see a little of You in our daily lives.  It is in Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.


SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today:  Matthew 11: 25-30 (NIV)
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


SERMON for Today:


I am now a couple or so years over 65. My parents took me to church every Sunday when I was growing up.  I have heard a lot of sermons preached on Jesus saying, “Come to me.”  Jesus meant it, but the institutional church has never meant it and the people claiming His name today may not be so open.  Their arms may not be open to all of us even though Jesus said “all.”


When I was the young teenage preacher on the mission field in what was then Southern Rhodesia/Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), I was praised and told I would be the next Billy Graham.  When my mental illness became more of an embarrassment to my father than he wanted to tolerate he sent his problem home to one of his daughters to deal with.  Not to his oldest daughter who was married to a minister, but to his other daughter who was in her last semester of college.


I have never found a church home in my adult life that lasted past them finding out about my mental illness or me having a major episode and letting people down because I could not function and do what they needed.  My reception is usually great, but it does not last long.  I let people down or they let me down because of my labels.


I am not alone.  People are thrown away because of their economic status, sexual orientation, political views, weight, skin color, or any number of other reasons.  You have heard I am sure that Sunday is the most segregated day in America, but it is also the most separated. We let some in and push others out for all sorts of reasons and to paraphrase the Pope it is not Christian to act that way.


Just to watch major religious leaders falling over themselves to be seen next to clownish acting politicians is enough to make one wonder where the real body of Christ is at?  If you know where the people who truly are calling all to come have gone or are at, please let this and other hurting souls know.


May God Richly Bless Your Life This Week and For Evermore. Amen.


  
© Ed Cooper, February 28, 2016, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
  All rights reserved


(Ed Cooper is an ordained Elder and minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ which are a part of the Restoration Movement started in Appalachia in the early 1800’s.  Ed started preaching as a teenager in the village churches around Mashoko Mission, Zimbabwe, Africa when he was a teenager there with his parents in the early 1960’s. Ed recognizes he is a flawed sinner needing God’s grace and your prayers.)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

LIVE PROUDLY IN AN INSANE WORLD: a poem by ed


Someday your mind
may turn on you,
and be like a landmine
hidden in a field of beautiful flowers.

You should not be so quick
to judge my mind
or others like me
when yours may explode someday.

The suddenness of a sunken soul
comes without warning
or a manual for survival.
Your hope will come from others.

Others who have been broken,
but we have survived.
Survived by saying we may be labeled,
but we do not live a lie.

We are honest about ourselves
to ourselves
to our friends,
and live proudly in a insane world.
© Ed Cooper, 2/27/2016, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
   All rights reserved

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear: SCS 72


VALENTINE'S DAY 2016


Sunday, February 14, 2016, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 72


PRAYER for Today:
Father, We admit we are broken, but we know You are able to heal our hearts and souls of all of our brokenness and darkness. Help us Father to accept your freely given grace that we might be reconciled to You. We ask that Your will be done and that we may act saintly towards our fellow sojourners who around the world are hurting so that they might see a little of You in our daily lives.  It is in Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.


SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 John 4 King James Version (KJV)

4 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.


SERMON for Today:


Sometimes the 13th Chapter of I Corinthians is called the love chapter, but I personally think the 4th Chapter of I John should have that honor.  For the sermonette today I am simply going to repeat the chapter in a different translation.  


Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

4 My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.
2-3 Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought!
4-6 My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up. But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens. The person who has nothing to do with God will, of course, not listen to us. This is another test for telling the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception.

God Is Love

7-10 My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
11-12 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
13-16 This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.

To Love, to Be Loved

17-18 God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
19 We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
20-21 If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


May God Richly Bless Your Life This Week and For Evermore. Amen.


  
© Ed Cooper, February 14, 2016, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
  All rights reserved


(Ed Cooper is an ordained Elder and minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ which are a part of the Restoration Movement started in Appalachia in the early 1800’s.  Ed started preaching as a teenager in the village churches around Mashoko Mission, Zimbabwe, Africa when he was a teenager there with his parents in the early 1960’s. Ed recognizes he is a flawed sinner needing God’s grace and your prayers.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

S. 2002 IS NOT A VALENTINE IT IS A VIOLATION OF MY HUMAN RIGHTS

S.2002 - Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015 is a bill supported by the National Alliance on Mental Illness which has used Valentine's Day to promote the bill saying “Valentine’s Day brings to mind being with the people you love.”   The statement is true about Valentine’s Day, but it is not true about Senate Bill S.2002.  The title of the bill is offensive.  What the hell does mental health and safe communities have to do with each other?  Very damn little is the answer.  However, Just read the one section below and tell me that this bill if passed does not deny me of all my human and civil rights?  Why would anybody believe a person already suffering should be turned over to the government to decide how they should be treated?  Remember this person/I have not committed a crime.  My only crime is they do not like my mind.


SEC. 102. ASSISTED OUTPATIENT TREATMENT PROGRAMS.
Section 2201 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968
(42   U.S.C. 3796ii) is amended—
(1) by inserting “(a) In General.—” before “The Attorney General”;
(2) in paragraph (2)(B), by inserting before the semicolon the following: “, or court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment when the court has determined such treatment to be necessary”; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:“(b) Definitions.—In this section:
“(1) COURT-ORDERED ASSISTED OUTPATIENT TREATMENT.—The term ‘court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment’ means a program through which a court may order a treatment plan for an eligible patient that—
“(A) requires such patient to obtain outpatient mental health treatment while the patient is living in a community; and
“(B) is designed to improve access and adherence by such patient to intensive behavioral health services in order to—
“(i) avert relapse, repeated hospitalizations, arrest, incarceration, suicide, property destruction, and violent behavior; and
“(ii) provide such patient with the opportunity to live in a less restrictive alternative to incarceration or involuntary hospitalization.
“(2) ELIGIBLE PATIENT.—The term ‘eligible patient’ means an adult, mentally ill person who, as determined by a court—
“(A) has a history of violence, incarceration, or medically unnecessary hospitalizations;
“(B) without supervision and treatment, may be a danger to self or others in the community;
“(C) is substantially unlikely to voluntarily participate in treatment;
“(D) may be unable, for reasons other than indigence, to provide for any of his or her basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, health, or safety;
“(E) has a history of mental illness or condition that is likely to substantially deteriorate if the patient is not provided with timely treatment; or
“(F) due to mental illness, lacks capacity to fully understand or lacks judgment to make informed decisions regarding his or her need for treatment, care, or supervision.”.

NAMI you and anyone else who supports this bill is no better than folks who believe domestic violence and child abuse should be winked at and a few people killed each year in Africa each year is no big deal.  Yes I said that.   If I am not willing to voluntarily become part of their system they can get a judge to order me to let someone to come into my home and force medicate me.  What do you call that?  You should read bills before supporting them.

TEXT of S-2002

© Ed Cooper, February 10, 2016, Stoney Creek, TN
All rights reserved


Sunday, February 07, 2016

HE SHALL STAND at the RIGHT HAND of the POOR: SCS 71



Sunday, February 7, 2016, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 71


PRAYER for Today:
Father, We admit we are broken, but we know You are able to heal our hearts and souls of all of our brokenness and darkness. Help us Father to accept your freely given grace that we might be reconciled to You. We ask that Your will be done and that we may act saintly towards our fellow sojourners who around the world are hurting so that they might see a little of You in our daily lives.  It is in Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.


SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today: Psalm 109 King James Version (KJV)
Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;
2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.
4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.
7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.
8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.
12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.
13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the Lord; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
15 Let them be before the Lord continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.
16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.
17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.
18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.
19 Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.
20 Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul.
21 But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.
22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.
24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.
25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.
26 Help me, O Lord my God: O save me according to thy mercy:
27 That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, Lord, hast done it.
28 Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.
29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.
30 I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.
31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.


SERMON for Today:


“For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.”  A promise we should never forget.


May God Richly Bless Your Life This Week and For Evermore. Amen.


  
© Ed Cooper, February, 2016, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
  All rights reserved


(Ed Cooper is an ordained Elder and minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ which are a part of the Restoration Movement started in Appalachia in the early 1800’s.  Ed started preaching as a teenager in the village churches around Mashoko Mission, Zimbabwe, Africa when he was a teenager there with his parents in the early 1960’s. Ed recognizes he is a flawed sinner needing God’s grace and your prayers.)