Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Articles written by Pastor Joe Greiner


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  • Sermonette: Esther

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 20, 2024

    At church and among fellow church people, there are a lot of discussion circles around what our favorite books of the Bible are. What books of the Bible do we find easy and fulfilling to read or have spoken to us? We like to compare and contrast our favorite list with other Christians, and see what other people think. Along with this, however, many of us avid Bible readers have a list of our least favorite books of the Bible. These are the books that we don’t like to read, and we don’t get excited about when the pastor chooses to preach fro...

  • Sermonette: Gideon

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 13, 2024

    You might find this strange, but I don’t have a favorite passage of scripture. I know this is kind of odd, especially coming from a pastor, but my favorite parts of the Bible aren’t specific verses; rather I enjoy a certain type of passage. Instead of having favorite memory verses, I particularly enjoy any passage of scripture where a human has a discussion with God. Adam and Eve, Moses, Job, the entire book of Habakkuk, and even when Jesus debates with the Jews. I find so much depth and truth reading examples where man has shaken his fist at...

  • Sermonette: An appearance of Godliness

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 6, 2024

    Check out this gem of a verse I noticed the other day. In his 2nd letter to Timothy, Paul warns Timothy of how people will be in the last days. There’s a lot to this verse, but focus on the penultimate phrase in the list. "For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance o...

  • Sermonette: Run the race

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Feb 19, 2024

    Currently in Sunday school at my church, we are working through the Book of Acts. This week, we arrived at Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders in chapter 20. In verse 24, Paul states that his entire difficult life will be worth it if only he can finish the race. This struck me because I am a runner. I did a quick word search and found that Paul talks about his run and/or race nine separate times across eight different letters! This was surprising to me that Paul uses the reference so many different places. Obviously, the ‘running the rac...

  • Sermonette: God even uses the love pentagon

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 29, 2024

    “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” That is how God is often referred to. He is the God that Jewish forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob called upon. The God who promised Abraham he’d be a great nation – despite Abraham only having one son of the promise. The God who promised Isaac he’d be a great nation – despite again, only one son of the promise. It’s Jacob where God finally begins to make a nation with Abraham’s family through the 12 sons of Jacob. But have you ever read the chapter when the first 11 sons are born? It’s chapter 30 of Gen...

  • Sermonette: 1 Timothy 4

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 22, 2024

    When I was younger, I used to be blown away by the complexity of the Bible. This is a book that covers thousands of years of history, contains hundreds if not thousands of prominent characters, and explains the roots of two of the world’s largest religions. It is also written in three different languages and many different writing styles. Everything from the stories of Genesis, the commands of Leviticus, the prophecies of Ezekiel, the poetry of Psalms, the short sayings of Proverbs and the letters of Paul. Then, three years ago, I became a p...

  • Sermonette: God doesn't owe us an explanation

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 15, 2024

    Read the Book of Job. Seriously, if you haven’t read that book of the Bible yet, go read it. Leave my sermonette, read the book and come back. I won’t promise it’s easy or short, but I will promise that it’s got some great truths in it. You won’t regret it. The main character of the book of Job is, unsurprisingly, Job! Job is a good man, and not “humangood” – Job is regarded as righteous in God’s eyes. However, one day he loses everything. All his animals, all his servants, all his children and even his health. One day he has everything, the n...

  • Sermonette: Corn

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 8, 2024

    So, here’s a hypothetical situation for you. Imagine the researchers at NDSU came up with a new type of corn seed. We’ll call it corn seed X. Now, what makes corn seed X so incredible is that it can survive the frigid North Dakota winters. Not only survive, but be able to produce. Instead of planting in the spring, and getting a harvest in the fall; one can plant corn seed X in the spring, get an average harvest in the fall, and then it will also produce all the way through the next year. And all the years that follow. Plant once, and then harv...

  • Sermonette: Jesus prays

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jan 1, 2024

    Recently, I was studying Jesus’ use of prayer and I came across a very intriguing verse that I’ve probably read a million times, but never noticed before: Luke 6:12. “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” (NIV) Now what makes this verse significant to me is the context. Luke is perfectly clear that the very morning after Jesus’ marathon prayer he selected his 12 disciples. Prior to this, there was probably a small crowd following Jesus around, but afterward there was “the 12” and eve...

  • Sermonette: October 2, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner, E-Free Church|Oct 2, 2023

    This week as I was reading 2 Timothy, I came across a strange passage. For those who don’t know, this book and its companion 1 Timothy are letters from Paul to young Timothy and a must-read for all young pastors. As I read 2 Timothy 1, I arrived at verse 5: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” This verse struck a chord in me because it hits a very dangerous and emotional issue in rural America today: our youth are leavi...

  • Sermonette: Sept. 25, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner, E-Free Church|Sep 25, 2023

    I wrote this sermonette years ago; but in memory of Gary Mackrill who passed away last week, I’m sharing it again. This week I was reading 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. For those who don’t have this passage memorized, this is where Paul talks about Christians having the "ministry of reconciliation." Now I won’t lie, I was a bit intimidated by this phrase. It sounds extremely burdensome and religious. "Ministry of reconciliation." Then, I look at the passage, and that didn’t help my fear. The passage is a mess. Paul’s words spin around, and back and...

  • Sermonette: "Worthless religion"

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jul 17, 2023

    Have you ever had someone drop a verbal bombshell in the middle of a conversation? You know, you’re talking to someone and they’ll off-handedly mention “oh, that was when I almost died.” Or “that was right around when the car exploded.” Or “oh, yeah, I had a tumor once. It was the size of a watermelon.” Those sorts of comments that bring a conversation to a screeching halt as you respond with “wait, what?!?!?” As frequently as people do this by accident, the Bible seems to do it even more often on purpose. I found one this morning in James. ...

  • Sermonette: Home

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jul 10, 2023

    I recently returned from a long and emotional trip. I enjoyed myself, that is for sure, but as many of you will agree, weddings are exhausting. Family is fun, but can be exhausting. Sleeping in different places is fun, but again, exhausting. I’ve never been what people might call a “homebody,” but certainly there’s a point on every vacation when I can hear the bed at home calling me. This is nothing compared to the soldier I ran into the other day who spent a month training thousands of miles away. Or the soldiers deployed overseas for months a...

  • Sermonette: July 3, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jul 3, 2023

    “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” This is my favorite quote by one of the most forgotten characters of the Christmas story: John the Baptist. Sure, he was at most only a couple of months old when Jesus was born, but John’s entire mission was to prepare for Jesus’ ministry. John’s entire story, from his mother Elizabeth’s song, to his father Zechariah’s muteness is a precursor to Jesus. Because of this, I feel as though he warrants more mention in the Christmas story. John the Baptist, as many may know, was a 1-trick pony...

  • Sermonette: May 1, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 1, 2023

    Why was John the Bap-tist arrested? Do you remember why John the Baptist was arrested? Much of John the Baptist’s life and ministry is remembered by most people. His miraculous birth, his wild “Florida-man” style of preaching, his baptism of his cousin Jesus and his final beheading are known by most people who attend church. However, people often forget the crime that ended his career and put him behind bars, where he died. “For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, b...

  • Sermonette: April 17, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Apr 17, 2023

    “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” 1st Corinthians 10:23-24 I know this is a bold statement but I believe this to be one of most important verses for Christians. I’m not trying to puff it up to get you to read this, I truly believe this is a verse Christians ought to have memorized and actually apply it to their lives almost daily. Paul writes this famous verse to the Corinthian church. See, as far as we can...

  • Sermonette: April 10, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Apr 10, 2023

    “Come and See!” Those are the words that greet the women who first discovered the empty tomb. They come Sunday morning with spices, but without a plan to move the stone. As they wonder about what they’re going to do about the stone, they are greeted by not only the stone moved, but an angelic visitor. “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:5b-6 “Come and see!” The angel challenges the women to test his words. If the massiv...

  • Sermonette: God's Playbook Series #4

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Sep 26, 2022

     This September, we are examining God’s Playbook. We’re looking at the various choices and decisions that God has made preserved in the Bible. Plays God has run, that we would be wise to expect he might run again.  When we talk about monumental moments in God’s plan, one of the moments that ought to make the list every time is God freeing his people from Egypt. Israel had grown from 12 brothers into an entire nation; but in the process, they had become slaves of Egypt. Then God sends Moses to perform 10 of the most dramatic miracles in the Bi...

  • Sermonette: God's Playbook Series #3

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Sep 19, 2022

    This September, we are examining God’s Playbook. We’re looking at the various choices and decisions that God has made preserved in the Bible. Plays God has run, that we would be wise to expect he might run again. Mark 5:19 might be one of the most disregarded verses in the Bible. Verses 1-18 tells the story of a man who Jesus freed from a particularly destructive demon. I’m sure many of us know the story of the demon who called himself “Legion.” He tortured the poor man until he lived alone in tombs, screaming and cutting himself. That is,...

  • Sermonette: God's Playbook Series #2

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Sep 12, 2022

    This September, we are examining God’s Playbook. We’re looking at the various choices and decisions that God has made preserved in the Bible. Plays God has run, that we would be wise to expect he might run again. If you open your Bibles to the very first page of the New Testament, what you’ll find is a list of names. Matthew chapter 1 begins with the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah. In that list you’ll find some absolute studs. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Hezekiah, and Josiah, to name a few of the absolute rock stars of God-followers you’ll...

  • Sermonette: God's playbook series #1

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Sep 5, 2022

    This September, we are going to be examining a few of God’s plays in his playbook. When a football coach goes into a game, he enters with a playbook. As I understand it, a playbook is a collection of the plays that he can call during the game. These plays are in his book either because he likes them, or because his team is particularly good at them, or he likes to keep some surprises up his sleeve. Whatever the reason, whether he coaches 10 years or 40 years, those are the plays fans will likely see over and over. Similarly, God has p...

  • Sermonette: Where you can seek God

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jun 27, 2022

    Where is God? Surveys consistently show that while not everyone believes in God as portrayed in religion, the vast majority of people believe there is a divine being. So, since most of us agree that there is a supreme power, where is it? On a mountain? In the ocean? Within ourselves? Where can the supreme being be sought for requests, worship, knowledge or justice? I’m never sure who reads these things, but if you’re not a church goer, but you believe in a supreme power, where do you seek it? I’ll wait… Having been raised in the church,...

  • Sermonette: June 20, 2022

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jun 20, 2022

    A heavy metal band I commonly listen to, Skillet, recently released a song called “Hero.” In the song they describe, with no shortage of energy, how we need a hero. From the Skillet’s perspective, there is so much wrong with the world, life, and inside all of us that there is no way to make it through without an intervention by a hero. They feel a necessity for someone to fight for the weak, someone to fight for what’s right, and for someone to fight for humanity after death. Skillet isn’t crazy. I see this desire for a hero everywher...

  • Sermonette: David's Mighty Men

    Pastor Joe Greiner|Jun 13, 2022

    Adino killed 800 men in one battle. Eleazar slayed Philistine warriors alone until his arm was exhausted from destroying his enemies. Shammah, despite being fully surrounded, held the high ground alone and won the victory. These three also tore through Philistine battle lines, and then slashed their way back through… merely to fetch David a drink of Bethlehem water (David did not command or order them to do this.) Then there was Abishai who struck down 300 Philistine warriors alone, as well as Benaiah-who killed two prominent Moabites, an i...

  • Sermonette: The Devil doesn't mind your church growing

    Pastor Joe Greiner|May 2, 2022

    The devil doesn’t mind your church growing. I know, it’s an eye grabbing first line (the youth might call it “click bait,”) but bear with me, I stand by it. Throughout the gospels, one of the consistent themes is Jesus driving out demons. Most people know and celebrate this. However, many people forget the odd thing Jesus always does along with exorcism. Predictably, the demons always try to shout out that they recognize Jesus as “the Holy One of God,” but Jesus always commands them to be quiet, then exorcises them. Think about that. What...

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