Author: Neil Smith

The Beauty of Contentment

2017-11-12 Bob

In this week’s lesson, Bob continues his theme of living free from worry and helps us find that most precious and illusive state of mind: contentment.

Working from Genesis, Philippians and Timothy, Bob draws on some wonderful scripture that helps us find the secret of being content.

Philippians 4:10

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me.Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Click here to hear the podcast of Bob’s sermon ‘The Beauty of Contentment”.

Congratulations class of Fall 2017 FPU Graduates

FPU_Graduation_Fall_2017_SmallAnother successful Financial Peace University class completed it’s ninth and final lesson this week.

And we are so excited for everyone who joined us and learned the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps – a framework for financial success that over the last 25 years has proven effective for countless millions of families across the United States and around the world.

We are proud to offer this course to everyone in our church family and in our community.  The information this course teaches changes lives, as it has already for our dedicated Fall 2017 class members seen here above.  Our thanks to each of you for making this class so much fun to lead.  Your enthusiasm, questions, and support for each other was inspiring to see.  We wish you every success and a speedy path to Baby Step 7.

Our thanks also goes out to our church Elders, Bill Powell and Eddie Perez for their support and participation in this endeavor: Eddie for being our Co-coordinator and making this class possible in the first place, and to Bill and his wife Fran for being with us throughout the course, offering their support, wisdom, candor, and insight during those critical small group breakout sessions.

We are already planning a January 2018 class and hope to be able to offer this course many more times in the future – God willing.  Until then…

Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,

      like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Proverbs 6:5 – NIV

Why So Worried?

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In this week’s lesson, Bob talks about the things that we worry about: what makes us anxious.  He then shows us how Jesus helps us to worry less through scripture.  Reading from Matthew and Philippians, Bob gives us some wonderful scriptural tools to think about when we feel anxious about the future.

Matthew 6:25 – 27

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Philippians 4:4 – 7 (some scripture to live by)

Rejoice in the Lord, I will say it again, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Click on the read more button to listen to this wonderful message.

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Practice Makes…

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In this week’s sermon, Bob teaches how to be good disciples:

“Love how your Father loves.”   Bob Kolodner, 2017-09-10

Matthew 5:43

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor
and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be
sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on
the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and
the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what
reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing
that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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Sermon: Exodus and the Tabernacle

IMG_4131In this week’s lesson, Bob talks about Labor day, collaboration,  and the Tabernacle (a model of which you can see to the left).

Reading from Exodus and John, Bob brings the story of the building of the Tabernacle to life: describing how the people worked together under Moses’ direction of God’s commands.

Exodus 25: Offerings for the Tabernacle

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give.These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze;blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.

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Refocussing on the Mission

YourMission

In this week’s message, Bob talks about the importance of staying focussed on the mission.  Using an excellent and distdurbing example story about a lifeboat station and how people are not saved when the mission focus is lost: we learn how it is possible to drift from the original mission and at what cost.

“People need to be saved.” Bob Kolodner – 2017-08-27

Mathew 10:24 – 25

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

Deuteronomy 6

Love the Lord Your God

These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

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Jon Mullican visits WCOC from Hope Network

Jon_MullicanBrothers and Sisters, please welcome Jon Mullican from Hope Network, a Texas based organization whose mission is to help guide churches and mentor ministers based upon assessments of a church’s mission and goals.

And it has been a most uplifting and rewarding weekend working with Jon and taking a close look at our Church.  Over the last couple of days Jon has been meeting with Bob K, the Elders and members of the congregation to help us understand what are the core strength of our Church.

After today’s service [Sunday 20th August], we [the congregation] met with Jon and through a series of breakout small groups, we thought about questions Jon asked us to discuss: questions design to reveal how God works through the congregation and what are our greatest strengths.  This was a well attended event and it really was a wonderful and rewarding afternoon.

The results were very up-lifting.  Jon presented at the end of the meeting by asking us about the answers we discussed in the small groups.  As it turns out, Warrenton Church of Christ’s greatest strengths are as follows:

  • Fellowship – a strong sense of community and connectivity within the church membership
  • Family / Genuine / Authenticity – an overall sense that this church really cares about its members like true family: according to Jon this is a rare and special quality.
  • Pastor Bob – a huge asset to the Church, Church Family, and surrounding community as a mentor, spiritual guide, teacher, and counselor: willing to help whoever he can in whatever way he can.  Amen.
  • Love : Acceptance – a sincere love and acceptance of folks from all walks of life in this church – no one feels they do not belong to this family.
  • Connected – a true sense of community within the membership – like real family.
  • Spiritual Depth –  a sense of true spiritual depth within the family, nothing superficial or fake.

Our thanks to Jon for his perspective, guidance and encouragement this weekend.  Sometimes it’s important to stop, step back and ask ourselves “what’s right?”, rather than “what’s wrong?”.  Jon’s visit has definitely helped us to refocus on what is good, unique and special about this church and the wonderful fellowship we share with each other through Christ Jesus.  He has helped remind us that the Warrenton Church of Christ truly is fellowship, family, and love.  Safe travels dear brother: your new friends here at Warrenton wish you continued success in your mission.

Needing a Jesus Sighting

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In this week’s sermon, Bob teaches us how to see Jesus in our everyday lives.  Using scriptural examples, we learn what we need to be able and ready for a sighting of our Lord Jesus.

Speaking of the disciples when the risen Jesus first appeared to them:

“The impossible just became possible.  And defeat was replaced with victory, and dispare – with hope.”  Bob Kolodner 2017-08-20

“If you are not prepared, Jesus will appear right in front of you, and you will miss him.  It’s as if nothing has happened – if you are not ready for a Jesus sighting.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

Click on the Read More button for this week’s sermon Podcast.  You can also subscribe to the WCOC podcast on iTunes with your iPhone or Android device.

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Rebuilding the Walls

2017-05-14_Bob_2In this week’s sermon Bob takes a fascinating detour into the old testament and the book of Nehemiah.  

And from here Bob shares the story of Nehemiah’s journey to Jerusalem by order of the king to see the city and start the process of rebuilding the city walls.  

Bob encourages each of use to read this wonderful book over the coming days and really learn the full story of Nehemiah.  In the meantime here’s a segment of the first chapter.

Nehemiah 1:1-7

The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:

In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said:

Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

I was cupbearer to the king.  

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