“Defined by Christ”

[Beginning August 1st, I will be on vacation until Sunday, September 7th (Labor Day Weekend). We invite you to return to our semon blog at that time. Thanks! dfs] Ecclesiastes 1:2-11  Luke 10:25-37  (MSG) Fellowship of Faith – July 31, 2016 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift Selections from Ecclesiastes 1:2-11  (MSG The Message) 1 These are the words of the Quester, David’s son [that would be the wise King Solomon], the king in Jerusalem 2-11 Smoke, nothing but smoke. [That’s what the Quester says.]     There’s nothing to anything—it’s all smoke. …  One generation goes its way, the next one arrives,     but nothing … Continue reading “Defined by Christ”

“Oh for the love of God”

Hosea 1:2-10, Luke 11:5-13 (NRSV) Fellowship of Faith – July 24, 2016 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift Hosea 1:2-11The Message (MSG) 2 The first time God spoke to Hosea he said: “Find a whore and marry her.     Make this whore the mother of your children. And here’s why: This whole country     has become a whorehouse, unfaithful to me, God.” 3 Hosea did it. He picked Gomer daughter of Diblaim. She got pregnant and gave him a son. 4-5 Then God told him: “Name him Jezreel (which means God sows). It won’t be long now before     I’ll make the people of Israel pay for the massacre at Jezreel.     I’m calling it … Continue reading “Oh for the love of God”

“To Redeem the Soul of America”

Col 1:15-18, 24-29 (MSG); Jer 29:4-9 (NRSV) South Presbyterian Church / Fellowship of Faith – July 17, 2016 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift Colossians 1: selections from 24-29 The Message (MSG) Christ Holds It All Together 15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds … Continue reading “To Redeem the Soul of America”

“Mixed Messages: Walk Humbly & Carry a Big Stick”

Gal. 6:1-5 (MSG); Luke 10:8-10 (MSG); Micah 6:8 (NRSV) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – July 3, 2016 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift  3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. 4-5 Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. … Continue reading “Mixed Messages: Walk Humbly & Carry a Big Stick”

“But first …”

Luke 9:57-62 and Galatians 5:13-19, 23-25 (NIV) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – June 26, 2016 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift Galatians 5:13-19, 23-25  New International Version (NIV)  Life by the Spirit 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the … Continue reading “But first …”

“Belonging”

Luke 7:36-8:3 (NIV) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – June 19, 2016 – Father’s Day The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman 36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with … Continue reading “Belonging”

“Place Yourself Before the Lord”

Romans 12:1-2, 9-21 (MSG) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – June 5, 2016 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift Place Your Life Before God 12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he … Continue reading “Place Yourself Before the Lord”