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Paul’s Anxiety Alternative

Posted on Oct 16, 2017 in Sermons

A sermon preached by Rev. Jay Rowland on Sunday October 15, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church, Rochester MN.   Paul’s Anxiety Alternative   Text: Philippians 4:1-9   I admire people who are do it yourself (DIY)-ers–people who do their own home-improvement or car-repair projects.  That’s because I’m one of the only guys I know who ISN’T one … I’m surrounded by them.  Most of the men in my extended family, my brother Greg especially—it’s amazing what he can do; nearly all of the men in my neighborhood–both next-door neighbors but also up and down both sides of the street… my wife Kari. So when I grow up I want to be a DIY guy just like they all are.  Because I clearly lack the expertise, experience and skill-set) required to be one, but I’m just delusional enough to think...

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Form Follows Function

Posted on Oct 9, 2017 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette “Form Follows Function” Philippians 3: 4b-14 10/8/17   Many people know modern architecture’s axiom “form follows function.” Actually, the more accurate version of the original phrase from 1896 is “form ever follows function.” Coined by Chicago architect Louis Sullivan around the turn of the last century, the phrase captures the idea that the purpose of a building should shape its design. Buildings are not to be monuments or things of beauty alone – the aesthetic experience of the structure, its decoration and ornamentation, is not of primary importance. Function is primary. A building is meant to be used.(1) As the architect of ancient Rome, Marcus Pollo once wrote, a building should be beautiful, but it should also be solid and useful.(2) Form follows function. One of Sullivan’s assistant’s, a guy you’ve probably heard of, named Frank...

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By What Authority

Posted on Oct 2, 2017 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette “By What Authority” Matt 21: 23-32 10/1/17   Picture for a moment the Exxon Logo – red, white and blue, with those intersecting “x’s”. Now picture the iconic shape and design of the classic Coca-Cola bottle. And finally, picture the blue nose of the Presidential airplane – Air Force One. Now let me ask – what do those three things have in common? Only one thing – they were all designed by a man named Raymond Loewy. Loewy was an immigrant who arrived in Manhattan in 1919, dreaming that New York would be an elegant and stylish place. But when he got out into the city, he was disappointed. What Loewy found was a grungy product of the industrial age “bulky, noisy and complicated”, he said. So Loewy decided to change things. He started designing products...

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Posted on Sep 25, 2017 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette “The “unfair” nature of grace” Matthew 20: 1-16 9/24/17 There is an old story about a mysterious man who walked through a certain neighborhood on the first Monday morning of the month and stopped at the first house on the street. He knocked on the door and explained to the homeowner, “I’ve come into some money, and I want to share my good fortune. I’d like to give you $100 if that’s OK.” And the man handed over a crisp $100 bill. “Okay?!! Sure it’s OK,” said the flabbergasted homeowner as he thanked the mysterious stranger. The next week, the same man appeared again and the homeowner once again received a $100 bill. Each Monday that month, the mysterious stranger with the money knocked at the door and handed over $100 to the overjoyed homeowner. But...

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Posted on Sep 19, 2017 in Sermons

A sermon preached by Rev. Jay Rowland on Sunday September 17, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church, Rochester MN.  Exegesis and commentary from Scott Hoezee and Matthew Laney appear in this sermon.   Christian Community   Text: Romans 14:1-12   Marshall Goldsmith is a consultant to Fortune 500 CEOs.  He refers to himself as a “leadership coach” for corporate executives.  It can be said that many CEOs have two particularly strong personality traits: ego inflation and an expectation to win.  Presumably this combination is how they reach the top of the corporate executive mountain.  And while this may produce (so-called) “successful” executives, it’s corrosive to personal and professional relationships. Which is what keeps Mr. Goldsmith busy and employed. As an example, Goldsmith shares the following scenario:  It’s dinner time.  Mr. CEO suggests restaurant A.  Mr. CEO’s dinner date (spouse/friend/guest) prefers...

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Writing Your Own Obituary

Posted on Sep 11, 2017 in Sermons

Thomas J Parlette “Writing Your Own Obituary” Romans 13: 8-14 9/10/17 Tom Vartabedian worked as a local newspaper reporter for 50 years. Over the course of his career, he wrote thousands of obituaries. In May of last year, he wrote one about himself. You might think that would be kind of a downer, since “obituary” comes from the Latin word meaning “report of death.” But for Vartabedian this exercise gave him a sense of relief. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said, “I had written probably the most important story of my life.” Obituaries mean a lot. Deeper than a simple death notice, they reveal the core of a person’s life. So what should be included? Anything that is important to who you are as a person. Bowling trophies. Polka club. Mission trips. Volunteering for Meals...

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