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  • 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...

  • The Resurrection: a beacon of hope in spring

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Apr 29, 2024

    As we move through spring and turn our gaze toward summer, we are reminded of the profound connection between these seasons of renewal and the central event of our faith – the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In the midst of blooming flowers, lengthening days and the promise of new beginnings, we find echoes of the eternal hope that springs forth from Christ's triumph over sin and death. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 15:20, "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fall...

  • Sermonette: Parable themes in Mark's gospel

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Apr 22, 2024

    What is the definition of a parable? Well, if you google this question you get several thousand answers. For the purpose of this article, let’s define a parable this way: A parable is a story told by Jesus that draws us into it and communicates something important that connects to our own lives. Telling parables was Jesus’ favorite way to teach his disciples. Was it the most direct form of communication? Not really, but maybe that was the point. Parables invite us to wrestle and wonder and seek God’s wisdom as we enter the story. Jesus tells...

  • Sermonette: Fear and faith

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Apr 15, 2024

    There is much for Americans to be fearful about these days; economic concerns, gun violence, the threat of terrorism, global pandemics, loss of faith in our government, the growing negative impact of AI and worldwide armed conflict to name a few. Some blame the media for overstating the danger we are in. Some blame the government and politicians. And some don’t feel the need to blame anyone because they believe all the fear is unwarranted. Wherever one falls on the spectrum of belief and blame, it is safe to say that we indeed are living in a...

  • Sermonette: Peace be with you

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Apr 8, 2024

    When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven...

  • Sermonette: The world has been moved

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Apr 1, 2024

    I have a good pastor friend named Scott who recently taught me about someone named Archimedes. Now some of you might know of Archimedes, but I had not. Well, maybe I had heard his name in seventh grade, but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of him since then! Scott taught me that he is the most famous of the Ancient Greek mathematicians, and that he famously said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” More info I just learned: A lever is one of the 6 types of simple machines – those machines...

  • Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust: Block 3 – St. John's Cemetery: Part IV of IV

    Kathy O'Connor|Apr 1, 2024

    This is a continuation of Block 3 of St. John's Cemetery. This part includes the final five of the 12 unmarked graves in Block 3 – Joe Burke, Thomas Georges, Mrs. John Pottner, Martin C. Connelly and Martin J. Connelly. Joe Burke: Joe Burke was born Aug. 24, 1863 in Hastings, Minn. to parents Thomas and Bridget Burke. In the 1910 census, Joe was a single man living in Eddy Township, Eddy County, N.D., being a hired man for Andreas Odegard and his wife Mabel. In the 1930 census, Joe was in the village of Minnewaukan, N.D. at the Benson County j...

  • Sermonette: It is finished and new life has begun

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Mar 25, 2024

    Jesus said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. – John 19:30 Now, if this is where our story stopped, we would not be living as people of the resurrection. We would be stunted at the crossroads, having no clue where to go and what to do. We would not know who we are or where we were going. But thanks be to God, that is not where our story ends, that is just the beginning. God does something miraculous through Jesus Christ, so we are able to shout with joy-filled hearts on Easter Sunday, "CHRIST IS RISEN!" He is no...

  • Sermonette: Hosanna in the highest

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Mar 18, 2024

    As we approach the beginning of Holy Week, our hearts are filled with anticipation and reverence for the profound journey that lies ahead. Palm Sunday marks the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a moment of celebration and jubilation for the people gathered there. Yet, woven within the palm branches and shouts of "Hosanna!" lies a deeper significance – a reminder of the paradoxical nature of Jesus' mission and our own call to remain humble in the midst of our complicated world. As we wave our palm branches and join in the chorus of p...

  • Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

    Kathy O'Connor|Mar 18, 2024

    This is a continuation of Block 3 of St. John's Cemetery. This part includes three more of the 12 unmarked graves in Block 3 – John Monahan, Alice DeGree and Crescentia Weimals. John Monahan: John Monahan was born in September of 1853 in Ireland. The 1900 census states that he immigrated in 1883 and was living in Superior Township, Eddy County, N.D. and owned their own farmhouse. Living with him was his wife Catherine and six children; Rose, Susie and Lizzie, all born in Ireland, Kathryn, born in Ohio, and Edward and Mary born in North D...

  • Sermonette: Should we get what we deserve?

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Mar 11, 2024

    Grumbling seems to be a part of our human nature. We see it way back in the Old Testament, when the Israelites grumbled, telling Moses they would have been better off if they had stayed slaves in Egypt. In chapter 20 of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the vineyard workers and there is lots of grumbling there too! They grumble because they are convinced that they are not getting what they deserve. Their gripe is made clear in verse 10, where we read, “They thought they would receive more.” Clint Eastwood was in a movie back in th...

  • Sermonette: We believe. So what?

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Mar 4, 2024

    Several years back. I was leading a youth summer trip to Montana. After riding all day on our charter bus, we finally reached our destination. As we were unloading all our stuff from the bus into the church building, I passed by the front doors several times. On each there was a decal with a cross that said, “We Believe.” That’s nice, I thought. But as I passed it again and again, something happened. I have no idea why on this particular day, when I had certainly seen and said the words “we believe” thousands of times in my life, my mind form...

  • Living on Purpose: It's time to do some spring cleaning

    Billy Holland|Feb 26, 2024

    Do you believe there is such a thing as good and evil, God and Satan? When something good happens do you thank God because you believe He blessed you? What about when something bad happens? In Jeremiah 29:11 the God of the Bible says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Looking at this carefully, we notice that our life was mapped out before we were born, and our creator had every intention to...

  • Living on Purpose: When emotions attempt to control us

    Billy Holland|Feb 19, 2024

    How often do you hear it's not what happens to us, but how we respond? We know we will face trials in this life, so it only makes sense to prepare how we are going to react when they arrive. The way we perceive develops our thoughts and views, but what if our thoughts are wrong? The most important factor to prevent our emotions from controlling us is to realize we decide what we think about. When we bow down to our feelings they become our master. The Bible demands for our mind to be renewed...

  • 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...

  • Living on Purpose: Grace that is greater than all our sin

    Billy Holland|Feb 12, 2024

    Since you were conceived God has wanted your attention. He has never neglected or ignored you. If you were to write down all the blessings and victories He has given over the years, they would prove He has been guiding and helping you all along. How could any of us even consider we were created by chance? The truth is that God specifically called you and has many wonderful things planned for your future. You are His masterpiece. I’ve noticed in my life, that even though I know these things a...

  • 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...

  • Living on Purpose: Loving God is far beyond religious knowledge

    Billy Holland|Jan 22, 2024

    Our regular readers know this column is about the Christian life, but you certainly do not need to be a Christian or even a religious person to at least consider the content as thought-provoking. Everyone has their own philosophies and interpretations about spiritual topics, and this is understandable since we all have a choice to believe whatever we want. Only God knows everything and He is perfect in all His ways. I will add that no theologian or Bible scholar is correct about every doctrine...

  • 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...

  • Living on Purpose: Calculating the cost of being close to God

    Billy Holland|Jan 15, 2024

    We talked about taking a stand for Christ last week, but being a Christian is also a walk which in the light of scripture refers to conduct. Ephesians the second chapter mentions how we once walked with the world fulfilling the lust of our flesh, and Romans the sixth chapter talks about how once we are transformed by His saving power we now walk in a new spiritually transformed identity. While these passages help explain our salvation experience, what about how we are to walk after we are saved?...

  • 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...

  • Living on Purpose: Every day is a new opportunity to begin again

    Billy Holland|Jan 1, 2024

    I hope everyone is having blessed holidays with family and friends. Spending time with those you love is much more meaningful than all the customs and traditions. The same is true with our spiritual lives, as it comes down to our personal relationship with God and the peace and joy we have living in His presence. I’ve spoken with several people over the last few weeks who have no family and spend holidays alone. However, they rejoice in the hope that comes from knowing God and trusting Him in e...

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