Tag Archives: Jesus

Reclaiming Genuine Piety

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                                               Luke 18:9 – 14

Some of the most spiritual-sounding people in the world may sometimes be far from genuine. When faith becomes self-centered, all about “Jesus and me”, and there is no interest in reaching out to other to minister to their needs or to share the gospel, then the individual’s faith is flawed at best and totally false at worst.  These people may not realize it, but their inward-turned faith actually has become a form of self-worship rather than worship of God. Continue reading

There’s Still Work to Do

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                       Luke 3:7 – 18

Humans are masters of self-deception. We can convince ourselves of all sorts of things that aren’t really true, especially if these things are about ourselves. Continue reading

What Kind of King?

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                        John 18:33 – 37

As we wind up each year on the church calendar – and today is the final Sunday on that particular calendar – we generally turn to a consideration of Jesus as king. To some extent, this is quite ironic, because Jesus never referred to himself as a king. Continue reading

Join us for Holy Week!

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Holy Week Schedule of Services:

            Sunday, March 29 – Palm/Passion Sunday: Services at 9:30 AM for First UMC Endicott and at 11:00 AM for Park Terrace; reciting the Passion Narrative

            Maundy Thursday, April 2Service of Holy Communion at Park Terrace Community UMC, 7:00 PM

            Good Friday, April 3­ – Service of Tenebrae (Darkness) at First UMC, Endicott, 7:30 PM; please note time of service, because of Daylight Savings Time

            Sunday, April 5 – Easter Sunday: Sunrise Service at Waterman Nature Conservancy, Hilton Rd., Apalachin, 6:30 AM.  Our churches will be joining with the Little Meadows, Apalachin, and Whittimore Hills UMCs for this service.  Breakfast will follow at Little Meadows UMC.

            Celebration of Resurrection and Life at 9:30 AM for First UMC Endicott and at 11:00 AM for Park Terrace

The Right Focus

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                                    Mark 1:1-8

Personality cults have existed as long as human beings have roamed the earth.  We easily become fixated on some charismatic individual, and soon lose sight of their message. Continue reading

Semper Paratus

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                               Mark 13:24-37

The Coast Guard motto, Semper Paratus, is often interpreted as “Always Prepared,” probably because we associate it with the well-known motto of both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.  Semper Paratus really means “Always Ready”. . . . .   Continue reading

Riddle Me This

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                      Matthew 22:34-46

Riddles come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are relatively simple; others case be incredibly complex.  Some can be solved quickly utilizing a small amount of common sense.  Others may require a great deal of time, some detailed notes and a lot of frustration before we can solve them.  Some riddles occur naturally and we are constantly challenged to find the answers.  Others flow from our imaginations, usually in an attempt to stump our neighbor.

Jesus was often confronted with this latter type of riddle.  Continue reading

Who does “one another” mean?

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                                   John 14:15-21

In my somewhat limited travels throughout the state, as I move from appointment to appointment, I’ve come across some common characters who seem to be everywhere. I find some of them in the congregations I’ve served; others in the larger community. Continue reading

Show Me The Way

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                                     John 14:1-14

There are very few verses in the Bible whose meaning is more hotly debated and even argued than when Jesus responds to Thomas’ question in the sixth verse of today’s reading. When the disciple asks to know the way to God, Jesus responds by telling him that he is “the way, the truth and the life.” Then he adds that most controversial of all comments, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Now just what did he mean by that? Continue reading

With Open Eyes

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                                Luke 24:13-35

As we study the scriptures, sometimes our familiarity with the text can actually keep us from seeing what’s really there or from gaining a new perspective. We start to listen or to read, but then we realize that we already know this story. . . so our minds fill in the details and we don’t realize that we aren’t really paying attention anymore. We’re just hearing the same story that we thought we’ve heard for years and years. Same old, same old. Continue reading