Commit to It
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture Passages: Portions of Daniel 6
The first six chapters of the Book of Daniel tell the story of four young Jewish men who are hauled away into captivity in Babylon. One of them, named Daniel, has the gift of divination. He is able to interpret dreams, omens and even mysterious writings. In chapter 5 of Daniel, the Babylonian king has hosted a feast. During the feast, in a state of drunkenness, he sends his servants to retrieve the gold and silver vessels his army had confiscated from the Temple in Jerusalem and the king and his guests drink from the vessels demonstrating contempt for the sacred furnishings of the Temple. Immediately a disembodied hand appears and writes on the wall. The king is seized with fear. He sends for wise men and diviners to interpret the mysterious writing, but none can interpret it. Then his queen reminds him of Daniel, the Jew, who has the gift of divination. Daniel is sent for and interprets the dream which is a judgment and condemnation of the king… who dies later that very night. But, before his death, the king promotes Daniel, who now ranks third in the kingdom. Following his death, the king’s throne is subsequently taken over by Darius, the Mede. So, there is a shift in power.
This morning’s message will be based on chapter six of the Book of Daniel; a chapter which makes abundantly clear the deep commitment Daniel has to God. The name Daniel means “God is my judge” and we shall see through this story that – put to the test – Daniel remains consistently committed and loyal to God. Even under threat of death, Daniel’s commitment to God remains steadfast. Daniel is not concerned with how others may judge him. Daniel wants to be sure that he is blameless before God and that God will determine him to be faithful.
Because this is a lengthy chapter, I’m going to alternate between summarizing and reading from the biblical text. But I hope that you will take time to read through Daniel, chapter 6, this week at home.
Outside The Box
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
The scripture passages that inspired this sermon were pulled from Esther, chapters 5 through 8.
We are currently in the midst of a sermon series on the 6 C’s of leadership. As I mentioned in a previous sermon, we sometimes think of leadership as being confined to politics or big corporations. But any of us can – and should – be looking for opportunities to lead because the world, the Church and the kingdom of God are in desperate need of good leaders. In my prior sermon, I defined leadership as a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Now, let me remind us that influence is not the same as manipulation or coercion. Leadership isn’t about getting others to do what we want. An effective leader has identified a task so important that they recognize its achievement requires more than what they can accomplish on their own. Trinity has a common task, our vision of “growing in love and service through relationships with God and community.” That vision is carried out through a multitude of ministries: our garden, Fusion, our coffee cart, Trinity Connect, our Caring Ministry, our Governing Board and on and on. So I hope, through this sermon series, to inspire more of us to become leaders not only in our families and our community, but also at Trinity since being a leader means we enlist the aid and support of others to carry out our common task of “growing in love and service through relationships with God and community.”
In this sermon series, we’ve been focusing on characters from our Hebrew scriptures and the qualities their leadership styles reveal. Today we’re looking at Esther who reveals the leadership trait of creativity. Now, Esther needed to be creative if she was to lead because she was a woman in a man’s world. Women weren’t viewed as leaders in the ancient world. They were viewed as objects, as property and so, women needed, by necessity, to be creative in order to exercise leadership.
Make the Connection
By Pastor Monica McDougal
Scripture Text: 1 Samuel 16: 1-13
Good morning, church! It is an honor to be preaching here at Trinity for the first time. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Monica McDougal. I am Pastor of Young Adult Outreach and the office administrator here at Trinity United Methodist Church. It’s such a joy to be here and see all of you and your faces this morning. As you may know, we have been working through a sermon series about leadership inspired by some Superheroes of the Bible, familiar characters you may have learned about in Sunday School who exemplify important leadership qualities. We learned about collaboration through the story of Moses, courage through the story of Joshua, and compassion through the story of Ruth. Today, we will learn about making connections in the midst of transitions through the story of Samuel.
On April 27, 2019, The Kansas City Chiefs drafted quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a then-21-year-old out of Texas Tech University. The world knows Patrick Mahomes as the young, talented quarterback who helped lead the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl appearance and win since 1969. However, if you follow NFL football closely, you know that Patrick Mahomes didn’t go from college football star to Super Bowl MVP overnight. In fact, for most of his rookie season, Mahomes sat on the bench. Why? Well, because the Chiefs already had a quarterback, a pretty good one too, in the form of a then-33-year-old veteran quarterback, Alex Smith.
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On a lifelong journey of seeking to live out God's call on my life and to reflect His grace.
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