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A Crosswords Moment

Posted on Feb 20, 2018 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette “A Crossroads Moment” Mark 1: 9-15 2/18/18   A number of years ago, the Associated Press carried a story out of Los Angeles about a car-jacker who made some pretty bad choices. A young man named Tyron Jermaine Hogan had already stolen one car early on an August morning and gotten away with no problem, and was probably feeling a little cocky about his abilities as a car thief, so when he reached inside an occupied van and tried to pull the keys out of the ignition, he didn’t think twice. He should have. Bad decision. The van belonged to a Florida Judo Club in town for a tournament. The club members promptly demonstrated some of their moves on Mr. Hogan and turned him into the police. That little incident would certainly qualify Mr. Hogan as...

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Are You Listening?

Posted on Jan 17, 2018 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette “Are You Listening?” 1st Samuel 3: 1-10 (11-20) 1/14/18   Over 80 years ago, Jed Harris was a successful producer on Broadway. One of his successful works was a production of Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town.” In the middle of a lengthy season mixed with the intense pressure of many details, Harris began to lose his sense of hearing. He could not even hear what other people close to him were saying and so he was missing crucial details during conversations. As a result, Harris decided to pay a visit to a renowned audiologist who listened attentively as the big time producer recounted his sad tale seeming to lose his hearing. After a thorough examination of Harris’ ears, the hearing specialist pulled out his expensive gold-coated pocket watch and held it up to the producer’s ear....

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A Barefoot Angel

Posted on Dec 27, 2017 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette Christmas Eve, 2017 “A Barefoot Angel” A story adapted from Jim Simons “St. Michael”, printed in “A Dog in the Manger” Roman & Littlefield, 2015   This is a story that is completely explainable, but when it’s told it may also be unbelievable. As I look back on the events of that Christmas Eve, it all makes sense. I mean, I don’t think there really was anything supernatural but… Let me start at the beginning and the beginning is at church. My wife, Sarah, is part of the Christian Education Committee at our Church, and that group is charged with, among other things, the annual Christmas pageant. I’m sure you’ve seen one before. A lot of little children dressed in bedsheets, which, depending on how they are wrapped, means they are either angels or shepherds. The...

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Merely Christian

Posted on Dec 12, 2017 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette “Merely Christian” 1st Thessalonians 5: 16-24 12/10/17   Religious books are big business. In the United States, sales revenue has recently been around 500 million per year. About 50 million religious books are sold each year, both fiction and non-fiction, classic and contemporary. Maybe you’ll be getting one for Christmas in a couple of weeks. But with so many books to choose from, how do you know which ones have value? Which ones are good and which ones are great? Aside from the Bible, what would you say is the best Christian book of all time? Intervarsity Christian Fellowship tried to answer that question a few years ago. Their Emerging Scholars Network held a “Best Christian Book of All Time Tournament”, a single elimination tournament with brackets, sort of like the NCAA basketball tournament. The Final...

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The Holiness of Waiting

Posted on Dec 6, 2017 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette “The Holiness of Waiting” 2nd Peter 3: 8-15a 12/03/17   So you need to call customer service. You clear your schedule for an hour. You get comfortable in your favorite chair, put the TV on mute and gather all your account numbers and passwords. And you tap in the number. A voice answers, “All our operators are currently helping other customers. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order that it was received.” And you wait… Then the voice comes back on, “Thank you for waiting. Your call is very important to us…” and on and on. And then you wait some more. As Tom Petty once said, “The waiting is the hardest part.” I don’t know anyone who likes to wait. Whether it’s on the phone, or in line...

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The Standard

Posted on Nov 27, 2017 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette “The Standard” Matthew 25: 31-46 11/26/17   What comes to your mind when you think about standards? Perhaps you think about ethical standards, or maybe your dating standards. Maybe its educational standards. Or it could standards of measurement. Some standards of measurement we take for granted – an inch is an inch; a foot is a foot. But it actually took quite a long time to arrive at an agreed upon standard for even these common measurements. For instance, an inch was described as the width of a man’s thumb – but of course, everyone’s thumb is a little bit different. So in the 14th century, King Edward the II of England ruled that an inch equals three grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise. And that’s how we got an inch. A foot was...

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