“Not By, But In”

Romans 8:1-11 (MSG) South Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship of Faith – April 2, 2017 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift We have already heard parts of this in our Call to Worship and our Prayer of Confession, but let’s hear as one continuous reading these thoughts from Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 8, Verses 1-11. 8 :1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, … Continue reading “Not By, But In”

“Keeping Score”

John 4:5-30 (MSG) South Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship of Faith – March 19, 2017 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift 4-6 To get there, he had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon. 7-8 A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)  9 The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How … Continue reading “Keeping Score”

“Grace to the Traveler”

I was away from the pulpit for two weeks. On Sunday, March 12, 2017, the following was preached by Ruling Elder Mary Lee Miller.   Waya got up before sunrise.  The evenings had become very chilly these early weeks of November. He got a good fire going so his wife and children would be comfortable when they arose.  After breakfast, he grabbed his coat to go out and chop wood to stack for the winter ahead. Suddenly there was a hard knock on the door. He opened it and stood face to face with three soldiers, bayonets drawn.  They summarily … Continue reading “Grace to the Traveler”

“Reconnect the People with Me”

Isaiah 49:8-11,13, 16 (MSG) Fellowship of Faith – February 26, 2017 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift  Isaiah 49:8-11,13, 16 (MSG) God also says: “When the time’s ripe, I answer you.     When victory’s due, I help you. I form you and use you     to reconnect the people with me, To put the land in order,     to resettle families on the ruined properties. I tell prisoners, ‘Come on out. You’re free!’     and those huddled in fear, ‘It’s all right. It’s safe now.’ There’ll be foodstands along all the roads,     picnics on all the hills— Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty,     shade from the sun, shelter … Continue reading “Reconnect the People with Me”

“Choose This Day”

Deut. 30:15-20 (NIV) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – February 19, 2017 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift  Deuteronomy 30:15-20  New International Version (NIV) 15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare … Continue reading “Choose This Day”

“Even the Darkness is not Dark to You”

Ps. 139:1-18 (MSG); Ex. 14:10-13 (NIV) New Life Presbyterian Church – February 5, 2017 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift [South Church’s Annual Meeting and Celebration of Ministry is on February 5, 2017. This is the sermon for our sister church, New Life, who is preparing to sell their building and adopt South’s Acts of Faith Model of Ministry (http://southpc.org/what-we-do/) in order to continue as a vibrant and alive congregation.] Psalm 139:1-18 1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 3 You search out … Continue reading “Even the Darkness is not Dark to You”

Today’s Beatitudes

Ps. 15 (NIV); Mt 5:1-12 (NIV) South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – January 29, 2017 The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift Matthew 5:1-12New International Version (NIV) Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,     for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn,     for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek,     for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,     for they will be filled. … Continue reading Today’s Beatitudes