Sermons

Rev. Diane R. Ford - Christmas Eve 2017

Rev. Diane R. Ford – Christmas Eve 2017

AUDIO: Sermons at Lincroft Presbyterian Church by Rev. Diane R. Ford (and friends)

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Sunday Worship: 10:00 AM

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September 15, 2019 – “Drawing Our Attention to God” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Numbers 21:4b-9; John 3:13-17

 


September 8, 2019 – “We Will Come and Make Our Home” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: John 14:19-23

 


September 1, 2019 – “Etiquette and Party Invitations” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16; Luke 14:1, 7-14

 


August 25, 2019 – “Be Bold” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Jeremiah 1:4-10; Luke 13:10-17

 


August 18, 2019 – “Lessons” – Rev. Liz Congdon
Scripture: Isaiah 1:16-17; Matthew 11:29

 


August 11, 2019 – “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Hebrews 11:1-3, 8, 11-16; Luke 12:32-40

 


August 4, 2019 – “Spiritual Dynamics of Stuff” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Luke 12:13-21; Colossians 3:1-11

 


July 28, 2019 – “The Cross and the Prodigal” – Rev. Lisa Lancaster
Scripture:  Luke 15:1-32

 


July 21, 2019 – “Paths that Lead to Full Life” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scriptures:  Genesis 18:1-10a; Luke 10:38-42

Imagine someone walking along their life’s journey.  There is no great disaster on the path, though if they misstep a little to the left, death is there.  From our perspective as the viewer, we may wonder why the walker doesn’t move into the lush green grass with blue skies overhead.  Instead, he walks an “ordinary” path, probably saying he is “fine,” if anyone asks.

The biblical story of two sisters, Mary and Martha, hosting Jesus gives a glimpse into why humans tend to stay in ordinary lives, saying “all is fine the way it is,” when in actuality they wish things could be different.

In Martha’s case, worry and distraction leads her to blame her sister and triangulate by asking Jesus to gang up on Mary with her. Instead, Jesus lovingly points out that Martha is distracted from what is truly important and available to her. “You are worried and distracted by many things – there is need of only one thing: Mary has chosen that.”

In actual life, what holds us back from the depths of life and joy that are available to us? Worry and distraction are the tip of the iceberg. We are used to our “ordinary” lives. How can we be a community that continually wakes one another up to the green grass and blue skies? How can LPC inspire our surrounding neighborhoods with such vision?

 


July 14, 2019 – “Good Stewards of Our Creativity” – Rev. Diane R. ford
Scripture: Genesis 1:1; Exodus 35:35; Romans 1:20; Genesis 1:27; 2 Corinthians 5:17;
Romans 12:2; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 12:6; 1 Timothy 4:14; Colossians 3:17

This Sunday we will think about what it means that the Creator God has created us in God’s image. Specifically, what it means to be creative, as God is creative.

Neuroscience has provided exciting explanations of how humans create new possibilities. Being good stewards of new knowledge available to us regarding our own powers of creation requires us to learn a little neuroscience!

Bring your thinking cap and your servant-hearts as we look at scriptures, science, and God’s will for our next creative acts.

 


July 7, 2019 –  “Your Names Are Written in Heaven” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: 2 Kings 5:1-14;  Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

The teachings and demonstrations of Jesus echo the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) regarding the illusions and false assumptions upon which most humans rely.  In the story of Naaman, this commander of the army of King Aram comes with great pomp and power to demand a cure for his leprosy.  He goes to what he assumes is Israel’s source of healing power: its king.  Naaman is insulted when he learns the actual way to be healed, and refuses to participate in an act that is simply beneath him.  If such poor understanding about power seems like a problem only for the “rich and influential,” we then look at the 70 disciples of Jesus who are sent to minister to their surrounding region.  They are impressed with how God’s power came through them and reported to Jesus, “Even the demons submit to us in your name!” Jesus knew where such glee can lead and replied, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” In Jesus Christ God reveals the folly of ego-centered power; we find real power in the unity of humanity with the realm of God.

 


June 30, 2019 – “Mama Bear” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  John 14:12-14; John 3:3-10

When have you been an ally or advocate for someone?  It may have been for your child or your own health care.  Perhaps it was for a new idea at work or a change in your neighborhood.  Depending on how strongly you feel about it, you may have been a fierce “mama-bear” advocate.  In today’s world where fewer and fewer people attend church, who will be a mama-bear advocate for the Gospel?  Where the message of Jesus has been co-opted to serve the desires of bigots and politicians, who will keep the record straight about what Jesus actually did and called for? Does this sort of advocacy belong to the professional ministers? Absolutely not. What are the fears and distractions in our way to be “mama-bear” advocates? And what does it look like for LPC to be a fierce advocate for the Gospel in our community?

 


June 16, 2019 – “Unbridled Joy” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

In the beginning, before God created the heavens and the earth, Unbridled Joy was there.  She was like a master-worker, whom God delighted in every day.  She rejoiced always – unbridled joy! She rejoiced in God’s creation, in the inhabited world and in the human race. Unbridled Joy cries out to people and all living things, boasting with pride about the wonders God has done that she has witnessed  (paraphrase of Proverbs 8, 1-4, 22-23)

How often we think Joy has to come find us and force her way into our awareness or day.  Poppycock!  Before the world, heavens, seas and trees were brought forth, God provided an exuberant, thankful, boasting and unbridled joy. Proverbs refers to this as a female entity named “Wisdom.” We need not look far for it – we simply need to speak, and the joy of wisdom, the wisdom of joy arises.  As one writer put it, “It’s only by the filling of the Spirit that we have access to the deep reservoirs of joy found in the heart of our heavenly Father.”

 


June 9, 2019 – “Unity With The Holy Spirit” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Acts 1:4-5, Acts 2:1-8, Acts 2:11-13
Pentecost Sunday

 


June 2, 2019 – “Singing From Within Prison Walls” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  John 17:20-26; Acts 16:16-34

 


May 26, 2019 – “Gift of Healing” – Rev. Dale Selover
Scripture: John 5:1-9

 


May 19, 2019 – “The Heart of the Matter” – Rev. Terry Chapman
Scripture:  Psalm 148; Revelation 21:1-6;  John 13:31-35

 


May 12, 2019 – “How Do You Believe” – Rev. Terry Chapman
Scripture: Psalm 23; Acts 9:36-43; John 10:22-30

 


May 5, 2019 – “Creation, A Source of Contemplation and Hope” – Rev. Dale Selover
Scripture: Luke 12:22-32

 


April 28, 2019 – “From Doubt to Faith” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  John 20:19-31

 


Easter
April 21, 2019 – “Looking for the Living Among the Dead” – Rev. Diane R. Ford

Scripture:  Luke 24:1-12

 


Palm Sunday
April 14, 2019 – “Palm Sunday” – Rev. Diane R. Ford and Congregation

Scripture: Luke 23

 


April 7, 2019 – “The Vessel of Jesus” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Matthew 9:16-17; John 12:1-8

 


March 31, 2019 – “Anybody have a Bottle of ‘Reconciliation’?” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Matthew 9:14-17; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

 


March 24, 2019 – “The Invitation” – Rev. Terry Chapman
Scripture:  Isaiah 55:1-9

Rev. Chapman has served as a pastor of Presbyterian Churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Edinburgh, Scotland for 30 years. He is a spiritual director, retreat leader and poet.  As an adjunct professor at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Terry teaches courses in Christian Spirituality. Terry’s book Sabbath Pause was published in 2012. He leads regular pilgrimages to Uganda where he works with an NGO serving children. He is a father of two young adults near the beginning of their own journeys and married to Jan who is a practicing psychotherapist specializing in trauma.

 


March 17, 2019 – “What’s in Your Vessel?” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Matthew 9:16-17; 2 Timothy 2:20-21; 2 Corinthians 4:7

 


March 10, 2019 – “New Wine into New Wine Skins” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Matthew 9:16-17

 


March 3, 2019 – “Temporal Dust to Eternal Glory” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Genesis 45:3-11,15; Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40; 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-44, 50; Luke 6:32-35 

 


February 17, 2019 – “Manifesto of Non-Violence” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Jeremiah 17:5-10; Luke 6:17-26

 


February 10, 2019 – “Love and Power” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Jeremiah 1:4-10; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

 


February 3, 2019 – “How Narrow is Narrow?” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 7:7-14

 


January 27, 2019 – “Letter of the Law, and Spirit of the Law” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Matthew 17:1-8; Exodus 34:29-35; 2 Corinthians 3:12,16-18

 


January 20, 2019 – “Celebration and Illumination” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Isaiah 62:1-5; John 2:1-11

 


January 13, 2019 – “Revealed at the Jordan & Beyond” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Matthew 3:13-17; Acts 10:34-43

 


January 6, 2019 – “By Another Route” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Matthew 2:7-18

 


December 30, 2018 – “Caroling Service”
Scripture and Caroling Service

Audio not available

 


December 24, 2018 – “Merry Little Christmas” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-5
Christmas Eve

 


December 23, 2018 – “This Life” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  I John 1:1-4

 


December 16, 2018 – “Yearning for Christ’s Return” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:25-35

 


December 9, 2018 – “Waiting in Christ’s Safety” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Luke 1:67-79

 


December 2, 2018 – “The Mighty Are Brought Down” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38, 46-55
First Sunday of Advent

 


November 25, 2018 – “Going Deep: All Are Invited” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Luke 14:7-24, 16:19-31

 


November 18, 2018 – “The Captives Are Set Free” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Luke 13:10-17, 14:1-6

 


November 11, 2018 – “Going Deep: Enemies Become Neighbors” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Luke 10:25-37

audio not available

 


November 4, 2018 – “Share Earthly & Spiritual Resources” – Rev. Diane R.; Ford
Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:17-18;  2 Corinthians 8:1-15

 


October 28, 2018 – “Role of Scripture” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Acts 8:26-40

 


October 21, 2018 – “Cultivative Witnessing” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Acts 8:1-25

Strength of Christ

Phillippians 4:13


October 14, 2018 – “Fishers of Men: The Role of the Holy Spirit” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Acts 3:1-10

 


October 7, 2018 – “Fishers of Men” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Acts 1:1-8

 


September 30, 2018 – “Captives are Released” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Luke 8:22-39

 


September 23, 2018 – “Debts are Forgiven” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Luke 7:36 – 8:3

                   

 


September 16, 2018 – “The Poor Hear Good News” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Luke 7:1-23

 


September 9, 2018 – “God’s Reversals” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Luke 4:16-30

 

Sermon – Text

 


September 2, 2018 – “Hunger for Spiritual Connection” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  1 Kings 8:1,6,10-11, 22-30, 41-43;  Ephesians 6:10-18

 

Sermon – Text

 


August 26, 2018 –  “Engagement as a Matthew 25 Church” – Sue Smith
Scripture: Isaiah 11:6-9; Romans 8:19-22; John 18:37-38

Sue Smith is an elder and a member of First Presbyterian Church Rumson. She works for God’s creation in both religious and secular organizations: from working to certify Rumson as an Earth Care Congregation, to representing GreenFaith on the Coalition for Healthy Ports, to board membership with Clean Water Action’s NJ chapter, to serving as Vice Moderator of Presbyterians for Earth Care. Sue holds a BA from Cornell University, an MBA from NYU and is an M.Div. graduate of New Brunswick Theological Seminary and a candidate in the PCUSA call process. She currently serves as Stated Clerk of Monmouth Presbytery.

 


August 19, 2018 – “Solomon’s Prayer at Gibeon” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: 1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14;  Ephesians 5:15-20

 

Sermon – Text

 


August 12, 2018 – “Family Rivalry, Guilt and Grief” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Psalm 34:1-8; 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33

 


August 5, 2018 – “Satisfaction” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: John 6:24-35

 


July 29, 2018 – “When We Are Godless” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: 2 Samuel 11:1-15; Psalm 14:1-6; John 6:5-12

 


July 22, 2018 – “Gratitude Leads to Love” – Rev. Rosemarie Newberry
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

 


July 15, 2018 – “Inspiration Doubled” – Rev. Simon Rhee
Scripture: 2 Kings 2:1-11

In Korean with English translator

 


July 8, 2018 – “Human Expectations – Divine Power” – Rev. Alice Batcher
Scripture:  2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10; Mark 6:1-13

 


July 1, 2018 – “The KINdom of God” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Luke 17:20-21

 


June 24, 2018 – “Interrupting Ministry” – Rev. Barbara Kalehoff Hicks
Scripture:   Psalm 130:1-6;  Mark 5:21-43

 


June 17, 2018 – “Finding Calm in the Storm” – Rev. Barbara Kalehoff Hicks
Scripture: Mark 4:35-41

 


June 10, 2018 – Dobby and DACA – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: 1 Samuel 8:4-11 … 16-20; Mark 3:20-35

 


June 3, 2018 – Mental Health Awareness Sunday at LPC
with Jay Yudof from the National Alliance on Mental Illness
Scripture: Mark 9:14-29, Matthew 4:24

audio not available

 


May 27, 2018 – “A Gentle Pentecost” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: I Kings 10:11-18; Isaiah 6:1-8; John 3:1-21; Genesis 16:6-14; Genesis 32:22-32

 


May 20, 2018 – “Pentecost” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: 
Genesis 1:1-2; Exodus 13:21; Acts 1 and 2

 


May 13, 2018 – “Final Words” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  John 20:11-22, John 21:1-19

 


May 6, 2018 – “Jesus Prays for Us” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  John 17:6-20

audio not available

 


April 29, 2018 – “Living Waters” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Acts 8:26-40; John 15:1-8

 


April 22, 2018 – “Sacred Water” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Psalm 8

audio not available

 


April 15, 2018 – “Easter Hope Today” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Acts 4:32-35; John 20:19-23; 1 John 1:1-5

 


April 8, 2018 – “Love, Broken, Love, At-One-Ment” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: John 4:7-21

Atonement

 


Easter
April 1, 2018 – “Foolishness is Exposed, Alleluia” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Mark 28:1-10; John 20:1, 11-16

 


Palm Sunday
March 25, 2018 – “The Foolishness of the Cross, ‘What Did You Expect?’ ” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scriptures:  Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, John 12

 


March 18, 2018 – “The Wit of Jesus” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Matthew 22:15-22, 22:30-33,  22:34-40

 


March 11, 2018 – “Foolishness of the Cross: Dive into Scripture with Wild Abandon” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  John 5:39-40, 14:15-24, 15:1, 4-11

audio not available

 


March 4, 2018 – “To Dream the Impossible Dream” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Proverbs 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:13-21

One humble man of conviction looked like a fool in his quest. He is called Don Quixote.  We continue to look at the quest Christ leads us on, acknowledging that it may seem foolish to many. But be encouraged! There is a great crowd of Fools from whom we descend.

 


February 25, 2018 – “The Foolishness of the Cross: ‘Fool for Christ’s Sake’” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: John 21:4-9,13

This Sunday we gather in a “jazz café” environment in our sanctuary.  Seems a bit odd – is it unreverent, or silly? Jesus seemed to eat and drink all through the Gospels.  And what better setting to consider Jesus and the other foolishness he taught.

The Greeks schooled in the philosophy and rhetoric of Aristotle did not warm up to the message of the Apostle Paul.  Paul seemed like a fool with his narrative of a crucified lord. With some sarcasm Paul called his preaching “foolishness.”  Some of the Jews found Paul’s message more than foolish – the idea that the expected Messiah would be crucified was offensive.  A third indictment against the Gospel is the seemingly foolish teachings of Jesus: love your enemies; if someone wants your coat, give them your shirt too; take up your cross and follow me.  This Sunday we look at what a “Fool for Christ” is.  A bit like a court jester, the fool gets away with strange actions because he actually reveals truth through his foolishness.

 


February 18, 2018 –  “The Foolishness of the Cross: ‘Living Questionable Lives’ ” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: I Corinthians 1:17-25; Colossians 4:2-6

Check out this challenge: Christians are called to be extraordinary people.  We are called, gifted and equipped by God for this.   What does it take to be notable, to raise curiosity, so that people question us, “why are you doing this?”  It is then, that they will see the difference Christ makes in and through us.  What else would draw them to Christ?  It’s not our buildings, it’s not our programs, it’s not “nice” people.  It is Christ.

 


February 11, 2018 – “Jonah in Nineveh” – Rev. Robin Bacon Hoffman
Scripture: Mark 9:2-9; Jonah 3:1-5,10

 


February 4, 2018 – “The Gift of Evangelizing” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Psalm 147:1-11,20; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23; Mark 1:29-39

One of the reasons Jesus’ leadership was extraordinary is that he didn’t “lord it over” people.  Jesus taught and demonstrated, and ultimately died due to his understanding of what real power in a man is: his ability to serve.  We know this applies to women also, but in his time, this was mostly a critique of men in power.  In the gospels Jesus has strong words about the hypocrisy of religious leaders, the vanity of rich leaders and a sideways comment of the governor, “that snake, Pilate” These are fierce moments of truth-telling, and it took courage in the Roman Empire speak like that.  Today’s Scripture is about Jesus at the sick-bed of Simon’s mother-in-law.  There is an inherent tenderness as we imagine this scene.  The boldness of Jesus comes from his tenderness and love for us.  Real power comes from love, not from fear or greed.

 


January 28, 2018 – “Mindful, Intentional Disciples of Jesus” – Rev, Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Psalm 111; Mark 1:21-28, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Can you recall a painful experience of looking like the odd one out, and making choices to somehow get into the good graces of the crowd again? It was 7th grade for me: new school, new kids, and the new routine of walking all over campus to get from class to class.  The first horrible moment was when I walked into the wrong math class on the first day of school; the teacher asked each person to state their name and something about themselves. The kids seemed like they already knew each other, and there were boys with facial hair!  When it was my turn to introduce myself, I said I thought I was in the wrong class – and it felt like the whole class laughed at me.  Oh, the humiliation of it all.  There was nothing I could do to fit in – I was simply not an 8th grade algebra student.  Apostle Paul addresses an early Christian community as they respond to socially awkward situations – he speaks of peer pressure, role modeling, and the importance of building up new or struggling believers.

 


January 21, 2018 –  “Decisive, Intentional Disciples of Jesus” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture:  Psalm 62:5-12;  Mark 1:14-20

When Jesus asked disciples to follow him, some of them dropped everything, including the work they did to make a living. We know that people literally walked with Jesus, village to village, coming to know not only him and his way of being in this world — they came to know one another. A new way of relating to others grew amidst the brutal culture of the Roman Empire. It is these earliest of Christian communities that changed the course of human history. Today more than ever we need Christian communities to proclaim and demonstrate the realm of God.

 


January 14, 2018 – “Obstacles to Meeting Jesus” – Rev. Diane R. Ford
Scripture: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-14;  John 1:43-51

When Nathaniel heard Jesus’ hometown was Nazareth, he scoffed. See, most people had a negative feeling about this back-water town of Nazareth.  Where are the back-water places in your life — those people and situations from which you expect nothing good?  Turns out, if you are open to the possibility, you can find goodness and even transformation there.

 


January 7, 2018 – “New Year, Old Resolutions” – Rev. Robin Bacon Hoffman
Scripture:  Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 and Matthew 25:31-46

 


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