Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes for the Sunday’s Message; 5 July 2015; Weekend closest to the United States of America Independence Day

Scriptures for this Sunday: Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Isaiah 61:1-7

You can read these Scriptures here:  NIV2010 and ESV

Hymns for this Sunday:

UMH 133 – Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

UMH 171 – Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

UMH 696 – America, the Beautiful

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On July 4th, we remember and celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Independence, however, was not achieved on July 4, 1776. Independence was won seven years later when the emissaries of the Colonies and representatives of King George III signed the treaty ending American Revolutionary War on September 3, 1783.

King George III did not grant freedom to the colonies in July 1776 by any stretch of the imagination. Freedom was won as a result of seven years of gory battles and skirmishes, sacrifice, hunger and frostbite, and atrocities committed on both sides of the battle lines.

What we celebrate on July 4th is the drive, grit, determination, innovative spirit and sheer will to survive that our forefathers and foremothers put forth to win independence and our freedom.

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Some of us are physical descendants of men and women who won this independence. All of us are physical descendants of men and women who came to this country for a chance at a better life, for a chance to reinvent themselves, and for a chance to start a new leaf in their life’s story.

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The Statue of Liberty became a symbol of the gut-wrenching monumental triumph that previous generations of citizens of this country have accomplished. It also became a symbol of recognition of USAmerican ingenuity, grit, drive and determination by the rest of the world.

{The Statue of Liberty was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, and built by Gustave Eiffel (the same engineer that built the Eiffel Tower). It was dedicated on October 28, 1886. It was a gift to the United States from the people of France.}

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I remember the day when I first saw the Statue of Liberty.

{{ Illustration — Tourist Attraction – – > Precious Symbol }}

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When God created us, we were not created to grovel in the grime of our sins. We were created to be tools of love and grace in God’s hands, to serve God by serving the world in which we live. That is what all of us have inherited from God.

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From our ancestors we also inherited the drive, determination, grit and spirit of innovation that not only won independence, but also made this country great.

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All of us have a double portion of the spirit that Isaiah was talking about in verse 7. One part came from God when we were created to be the best version of what we can be. The second part came from our DNA, from our ancestors who demonstrated the drive, determination, grit, and sheer will to survive. That is the “double portion” of the spirit that will rebuild the space program and will figure out how to train engineers, and scientists, and doctors, how to mend spiritual wounds, and to rebuild what is broken.

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As citizens of the USAmerica, the Statue of Liberty came to symbolize to us everything that is right, true and beautiful with our nation. Although there are issues that our country has to deal with, I am convinced “that there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America” (William J. Clinton, the 42nd President of the USA).

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As Christians, we have a symbol of spiritual freedom. The Cross of Jesus is the symbol of our hope and redemption. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1).

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{{ Cherokee Legend – – Two Wolves }}

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Jesus lived and taught among us, and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts and souls so that we have the liberty and freedom to choose which wolf we are going to feed.

As I stand before you today we all know that as a denomination we have to deal with some tough issues. As I stand before you today we all know that most United Methodist churches, including ours, have problems. I am also convinced that there is nothing wrong with the C/church that cannot be fixed with what is right with the C/church {paraphrase of quote by William J. Clinton – Applies to both Church Universal and individual churches}.

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In order to help us to keep on, Jesus gave us the Sacrament of the Holy Communion.

We partake of the Sacrament not because it is a tradition or because it is a habit or because everybody else does it. The Sacrament reminds us that we are connected to God, that we are created in God’s image. We partake because the Sacrament infuses our lives with meaning and helps us to be the best versions of what God created us to be.

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