Sunday, January 21, 2018

Epiphany 4 B (January 28): Power and Authority

Bible Readings: Deuteronomy 18:15-20, Psalm 111, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Mark 1:21-28

About the Images:
Upper Left: Lake Tyers beach early in the morning, East Gippsland, Australia ( Nothing like a stormy sunrise to remind you of God's power and authority. This is my  photo - so feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: A compilation of microsoft free clipart.
Middle  Left: This is the first line of a lovely Aussie Hymn by Elizabeth J. Smith (Together in Song 188)  which I think goes really well with ideas of God's creative power. The image of the Simpson desert French line is mine so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities. For more info on the Simpson Desert please visit
Middle Right and Lower Left:  These images both come from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left. 

Listening Song: Healing Rain
By Michael W Smi
th on his album, Healing Rain, or on WOW 2006 (pictured at left). This song goes nicely with the gospel reading.

Kids Story: Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak, Randon House, 1963 (pictured at right).This story fits in very well with the gospel reading,

Image: The Scream by Edvard Munch.
Great picture portraying the demon of loneliness,
social isolation etc etc.

Film Clip: Arthur and the Invisibles
There is a great clip when Art
hur has his 10th birthday which portrays the demon of parental neglect.

Discussion: Arthur and the Invisibles
1. What makes Arthur really sad?
2. What happens when we are hurt badly by something someone does or says to us?
3. As Christians, how can we cope?

Drama: Not Everyone Knows This
Found in Mega Drama 3, Verena Johnson (ed), Openbook 2002,ISBN 0859109178 (v.3) page 34 (pictured at right). This drama is based on the Corinthians reading.

Quote: Etty Hillesum
My battles are fought out inside with my own demons (from An Interrupted Life)

Quote: Frederick Buechner
God does not give us neat answers, he gives us himself.

Quote; Frederick Buechner

It suddenly dawned on them that their wildest dreams hadn't been half wild enough.

Story: Sarah Windchester's Story
Found in In
the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado, Word, 1991, pp. 193-195 (pictured at left). A good example of the demon of guilt.

Story: Aristotle's Claims
Find this story at under the heading Wisdom. This story makes a good contrast with Jesus' authority in the gospel reading.

Story: Jesus Walks His Talk
This story is found at under the heading Need for Godly Leaders but I like my title better :-)

Story: No One Stops Them Ringing Their Bells
This story is found at when you type "Alexander Solzhenitsyn" in Find. It is about the meaning of authority. This story is actually embedded in this site in a sermon on the Corinthians reading.

Adult response:
Give everyone a piece of paper and a pencil. Ask: What is bothering you most? Is their something specific in your life or is there someone you love who needs the healing touch of Jesus? What ever it is, write it down on the piece of paper and lay it at the foot of the cross to signify that you want Jesus to have the authority from now on in that situation from now on.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Epiphany 3 B (January 21): Following God/God Gives Second Chances

Bible readings: Jonah 3:1-5, 10, Psalm 62:5-12, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20

About the images:
Upper Left: I took this photo up at Hervey Bay ( a few years ago - two whales were so interested in us and the boat we were on that they hung around for ages popping out of the water beside us to get a closer look. Feel free to use this image for worship and related activities. 
Upper Right: A free Microsoft clipart image with my text.
Middle Left: My image of Uluru with Biblical text.  Please feel free to use for worship and related activities.
Middle Right: A free Heartlight image - see my links column at left
Lower Left: This is my photo of middle eastern fisherman. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities. 

g Song: More
By Matthew West on his album, Happy, universal South/Sparrow Records,or on WOW Hits 2005
(pictured at left). This goes well with the Jonah reading.

Listening Song: I Am
By Jill Phillips on her self titled album and on WOW 2000. (pictured at right). This goes well with the Jonah reading.

Image: "Jonah and the Whale" by He Qi (2001).
Look at the painting. Notice the face looking over the whole scene in the top left hand corner.

Film Clip: The Colour Purple 
ugs father refuses to speak to her but when she returns to the church with all her friends singing "Listen, God's trying to Tell You something" he realises he has been given a second chance her back as his daughter.

Discussion: The Colour Purple
1. Who was given a second chance in this film clip?
2. Do you think God has anything to do with it?
3. How does it feel when someone gives you a second chance?

Film Clip: Veggie Tails: Jonah
I can never work out who usually enjoys Veggie Tales the most - the kids or the adults.

Film Clip: Wild Stories about Jesus by the Australian Bible Society

For Children: Jonah and the Whale
By Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2006, ISBN 1921229020 (pictured at left).  I cannot recommend these books highly enough.  They are excellent and engage all ages.  The website also has numerous extra activities - some free and some at a small cost including each book in powerpoint and apple format.  

Drama: Has God Been Talking To You Lately?
Found in in Mega Drama 2 edited by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 2001, page 27 (pictured at right). This drama is based on the Jonah reading.

What is it in the story of Jonah that tells us that God is the God of second chances.

When The Tag Was Changed
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997,
ISBN 0830718834, page 201 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the Jonah reading.

Adult Response: Prayer Stations:
Station 1: A Mirror and Card:
The card reads: Ask yourself: Do you need a second chance from God?

Are you also hard on yourself - do you need to give yourself a second chance as well? Look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that it is you that God loves. Read these words from Isaiah 43:4. God says: “You are precious and honoured in my sight and …I love you” What do these words say to you about God’s love for you?
Station 2: Christ candle, tapers and card
The card reads: Think of somebody who you need to give a second chance to. Think about that person now. Light a taper as a symbol, that just as God is willing to give you a second chance, you will give them a second chance.
Station 3: Map, tea lights and card
The card reads: Think of a part of the world that needs a second chance – a place where there is need or a war or natural or man made disaster. Think about that place now and place a lighted tea light on the location of that place on the map.