What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sermon Notes: Mail Call

(I don't think I ever received any mail quite like this
while away at camp...)

"You've Got Mail!"... In this age of social media and modern technology, "Mail Call" seems to have taken on a whole different meaning.  I can remember how, when I was a teenager away at summer camp, mail call was something we looked forward to every day.  We'd line up at the window, waiting for the camp volunteer to open up and call out, "Mail Call"...and then we would anxiously get closer in to hear if our name would be called to pick up any letters that day...it was always exciting to get mail...no matter who it was from.

Nowadays we get mail mostly via our computers or our smart phones, and once in a while we might actually receive a real piece of mail in our mailbox.  Happy the day when it is a real letter or card as opposed to the overwhelming amount of "junk mail" we receive that just ends up in the trash.

Back in Bible times, mail...better known as messages, were usually sent by a courier of some kind...a servant most likely would be sent out to seek the desired recipient of the message, and then that messenger would be sent back to convey the response to the one who sent the original message. This could take days or weeks, depending upon location and how easy it was to find the person.  No phones, no telegraph, no GPS...just human beings seeking one another by whatever means possible.

And so we come to our Scripture text for today's sermon.  Acts 10:23-43.  A Gentile in Caesarea, a Centurion named Cornelius, who was a devout man who feared and prayed to God, had a vision (see Acts 10:1-22 for the background) from an angel of God...who told Cornelius to send for Simon Peter.  And so he did as he was told.

In the meantime, Peter had also had a vision from God, telling him (see verse 15) "What God has cleansed you must not call common."  (referring to Gentiles...)

Therefore, when Peter was asked to go to Caesarea to meet Cornelius, he went without fear, knowing that God must certainly have a plan.

The Prophet Isaiah had a message from God for the The Messiah way before He, Christ came to earth...see Isaiah 49:6

"Indeed He says, "It is too small a thing that  
You should be My Servant 
to raise up the tribes of Jacob, 
and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth."

God has spoken to man throughout the ages via His creation, nature, angels, the Prophets of Old, His Word the Bible...His Son...
God wants to send us a message every day...to every one...What is it?
God wants us to know about His Son, Jesus Christ.

Acts 10:36  "The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ...He is Lord of all..."

Acts 10:38  "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him..."

We can do NOTHING significant without the help of God and His Holy Spirit.
We must be anointed by and praying for God's Holy Spirit to help us...

Why was Jesus sent to our world in the first place?

John 3:16  
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, 
that whoever believes in Him should not perish
 but have everlasting life."

Because God loves us and cares about us...
God sent Jesus because we needed help...and Jesus wants to help us.  Jesus spoke encouraging words to those who had no hope.

The Church...what is our mission? Serving others...
People may ask, "Why are you doing this?" when we pass out food or clothing or other things to help them...

Why? It's because of a five letter word:  GRACE.  Grace refers to a kindness given but not deserved.
God's Grace...given to us who don't deserve it.
Because of God's Grace...He wants to break the bondage of sin that binds us.
He wants to help us be all that He has created us to be...because He loves us...

Read Acts 10:39-42
Why did Jesus allow Himself to be executed on the cross?
  • Because He knew His death was our only hope...nothing else could satisfy the cost for our redemption.
  • Trusting in what Jesus did for us is enough to take away our sins...and to know God and enjoy Him forever...
  • If Christ did not rise from the dead our sins are not fully forgiven...
  • If He was an impostor everything we are trusting in would be a fake.  
  • But He was seen by many witnesses after His resurrection...He was seen by Peter, who is sharing all of this with Cornelius...

Go to your mail box...open it up (God's Word, the Bible)..sit down and read about God's Grace...
  • Jesus died for our sins
  • He was raised from the dead
  • God wants YOU to know where you stand in relation to Jesus Christ...
  • God appointed Jesus to be Judge of the living and the dead (Verse 42)
  • God wants you to know, from all the prophets who witness that, Verse 43:

"Through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins."

You've got mail...don't delete this mail from God...read it...ask questions...open your heart to God...hear His words of Grace and Mercy...
Where do YOU stand in relationship with the Lord?

  • Are you putting your messages from God in the junk mail pile?  
  • Or are you willing to serve Him...to be changed by His Word...
  • Humble yourselves and see what God is calling you to do...
  • Search your spirit...
  • Is there anything blocking you from receiving God's message of love and forgiveness?
  • Open your heart...receive His message for your life. 

  • You've Got Mail!
Please Note : I want to repeat this disclaimer here...the notes, outline, and content included here are based upon my own personal understanding of the message that was being given.  I am not attempting to completely quote or reproduce this message or any other message I've shared previously.  Just as each person reading these notes may glean insights and thoughts that seem to directly apply to one's own situation and interpretation, my own delivery of these messages is skewed by my hearing and translation of what is being said.  Some may read my notes here and wonder if they were hearing the same message as I...and I say, God speaks to each of us as He wills...there are things He is trying to get across to each individual that may be entirely different than what the person sitting next to you in the pew is needing to hear...  That is how the Holy Spirit works! He knows what we need to hear and how to apply it to our hearts.  So it is with that understanding that I present these sermon notes to you.

Sermon Notes: FUMC, Interlachen, FL, Pastor A.C. Myers, 7/8/2018

Side Note: You may be asking yourself what this funny looking purple-haired troll doll has to do with this message.  Well...not really anything in particular.  But this funny looking purple-haired troll doll was a special gift to me today from a friend at church. Why? you may ask.  Maybe it does have to do with the message after all: GRACE.  A special gift that I didn't earn...I didn't deserve any gift, but a friend wanted to extend this gift of LOVE to me today. I had casually mentioned to her on Facebook, when she posted a picture of a troll doll that she collected, that I used to have troll dolls when I was a kid, but they got lost along the way.  Today she presented this doll to me, all wrapped up as a gift. I was overwhelmed. She said, "I figured since you had 3 sons you probably had someone who did Karate or something like that. " Little did she know, my adult son who passed away from cancer had been learning Tae Kwon Do, (along with his young son) and because of his cancer he was unable to complete his course for the Black Belt.  When our son died his teacher  *Correction: Before our son died his teacher presented him with a Black Belt, saying that our son earned it by showing such courage in fighting the battle for his life.  I shared this with my friend, and then we hugged each other as we share in common the sad fact that we both have had a son pass from this earth way too soon.  What a touching, beautiful moment. My friend did not know how much her gift would mean to me, but God did. And that's grace, my friend.  *After I posted this I realized that I had remembered this incorrectly.  Here are some pictures from that presentation.  I am sorry for the confusion. It's been four years, and I guess my mind just wasn't remembering like it should. 

Perhaps this message today is also a reminder to extend God's grace to others we meet along the way. Yes...I think I needed that message...Thank You, Lord.


  1. Gasp...she gave you a troll doll with a black belt. Wow. Wow. Total God thing. Wow!

    "...he went without fear, knowing that God must certainly have a plan."

    This is what I was originally going to comment on, saying something about God's plans for us, but your black belt troll took my breath away and all I can say is wow. Wow.

    1. Thank you, Sandi, for your sweet and kind thoughts. I just updated what I wrote above, because it seems as though my brain had mis-remembered this special moment, and I needed to correct it.

  2. That is definitely a "God Thing". No doubt. What a wonderful blessing!! Your posts are always a blessing too, Pam!!

    1. Thank you, Terri. Yes, it was a "God Thing." I love it when He surprises us with special little messages of love. "you've got mail!" You are a blessing to me as well. Have a blessed and beautiful day my friend. I am behind in my reading, but hope to get caught up this week.

  3. I love your blog,my sweet friend in Christ! It is uplifting to know that this was such a personal moment for you.

    1. Thank you, "Unknown". I do hope you will identify yourself, as I so love making new friends in Christ here. Maybe I do know who this is...and thank you... God bless you.

  4. Pam: This is such a special message. Thank you for sharing about the special gift and its significance to you. I know you will have that troll doll in a special place in your home. Peace and Blessings.

    1. Yes, I do have it right above my desk on a shelf, so I can look at it while sitting here typing to you. It is next to my son's picture, along with some other memorabilia from his childhood. Yes, looking back over this message, I see where God was extending grace in several places. It was definitely a "God thing".

  5. Love this. I like the idea of the black belt because when you are fighting for life or health or friendship..whatever.. it takes dedication and serious work. I can see the pride in your sons face while he is holding that belt.
    Love it, love it, love it!

    1. Thank you, Annie. Yes, the black belt was a significant gift to our son. He truly did earn it. I was pleased to meet his TKD teacher when we were in Maine for our grandson's graduation, and I was able to thank him for his kindness toward our son. He is a very gracious and humble man, and I am thankful for his insight and thoughtfulness. And this gift I received yesterday was just another of God's special ways of sending His love to us. He uses so many different and amazing ways to reach out to us if we just pay attention.

  6. You have illustrated perfectly here, Pamela, what grace is all about. When we extend God's grace to others, often it comes right back to us. Love the troll doll and all it symbolizes for you. What a thoughtful friend you have!

  7. Love this message Pamela. I feel like I'm at Bible Study reading your post and the Troll gift and black belt touched me deeply. You are truly a blessing my friend.

  8. Oh Pam, thank you for this beautiful message on God's grace, as well as the grace we humans can give each other. Grace what an amazing gift!

    Love and blessings!

  9. "Why? It's because of a five letter word: GRACE. Grace refers to a kindness given but not deserved.
    God's Grace...given to us who don't deserve it.
    Because of God's Grace...He wants to break the bondage of sin that binds us.
    He wants to help us be all that He has created us to be...because He loves us..."

    Those words, Pam, are so precious a reminder of just how undeserving we really are and yet, God in His mercy, has chosen to extend it to us...so that we can give grace to others.

    What precious memories you will have of that moment your friend gave you the Troll doll and how it all reminded you of Matthew and the courageous battle he fought with cancer.

    GRACE...it's written all over this post! x0


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