True Greatness

Published: Monday, 22 October 2018

true greatness
This sermon was presented by Geoff Pound at the Ashburton Baptist Church on 21 October 2018. The sermon manuscript concludes with some ‘Questions for Personal Reflection and Group Study’.

Scripture Reading: Mark 10:35-45

In the last few years there’s been some striking changes in the rebranding of international companies.

For example, Kentucky Fried Chicken is now known as KFC, probably so we don’t think their product is an unhealthy bucket of greasy, ‘finger lickin’ good’ cholesterol.[1]

Dunkin’ Donuts is dropping the word ‘Donuts’ and now they’re just known as ‘Dunkin’.[2] When I first saw this new brand, I thought it was the new name of a Baptist Church. The company made the change because 58% of their sales come from beverages.

Starbucks Coffee became Starbucks because they sell more than coffee.[3]

Weight Watchers is becoming WW because they’re focusing less on dieting and more on health and wellness.[4]

These changes made me wonder the extent to which the church rebrands itself.

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A Community in which All are Blessed

Published: Sunday, 07 October 2018

language of diversityThis sermon was presented at the Ashburton Baptist Church by Geoff Pound on 7 October 2018. The sermon manuscript concludes with some questions for personal reflection and group study.

Scripture Reading: Mark 10:1-16 

Quite frequently, after a service, I get given so many ideas and insights from people. For instance, last week when we were thinking of Jesus welcoming children, someone said afterwards, “You could have talked about the winning West Coast footy players who after their grand final victory yesterday, took their babies and children right into the middle of the MCG to share in the celebrations.” She’s a visitor from WA. I wonder how the ‘Pies’ in our congregation would have warmed to that illustration!

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Stumbling or Supporting

Published: Monday, 01 October 2018

StumblingThis sermon was presented by Geoff Pound on 30 September 2018 at the Ashburton Baptist Church. It concludes with some questions for personal reflection and group discussion.

Scripture Reading: Mark 9:38-50 

Have you heard the story of the man who died and went to heaven?[1] Remembering the line about ‘in my Father’s house are many mansions’, he asked to be shown the whole range of accommodation options in which he could spend eternity.

First, he was shown a room with candles, chants and an endless Catholic mass. Then he viewed an Anglican apartment with colourful robes and creative banners. He inspected a Salvo-styled room with brass band music and flags and finally a Pentecostal penthouse that blared with loud music and shouts of ‘Amen’.

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First Must Be Last

Published: Monday, 24 September 2018

welcoming childrenThis sermon, ‘First Must Be Last’, was presented to the Ashburton Baptist Church on 23 September 2018 by Geoff Pound. It concludes with some questions for personal reflection and group study.

Scripture Reading: Mark 9: 30-37

If you’re ever going to write a sensational movie script, it’ll help if you can conjure a classic line. Like that memorable line in Jerry Maguire: “Show Me the Money.” Or that line in Braveheart: “They may take our lives but they’ll never take our freedom.”

Remember this line in Sudden Impact? “Go ahead, make my day.”

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All are Welcome at God’s Table

Published: Sunday, 09 September 2018

All Are WelcomeThis sermon was presented by Geoff Pound on 9 September 2018 at the Ashburton Baptist Church. The manuscript concludes with Questions for Personal Reflection and Group Study. The sermon ends with a prayer by Jan Richardson and her picture of the open, welcoming table has been paid for and is used with permission.

Scripture Reading: Mark 7:24-31

When Lord Chesterfield was asked about the best way to acquire a fine education he said there are three main ways:

The first way to get a good education is to travel.
The second way to further your education is to travel.
The third way to complete your education is to travel.[1]

Read more: All are Welcome at God’s Table

Bread of Heaven

Published: Sunday, 26 August 2018

Bread of HeavenThis sermon was presented by Geoff Pound on 26 August 2018 at the Ashburton Baptist Church. Questions for Personal Reflection and Group Discussion follow the conclusion of this manuscript.

Reading: John 6: 56-69

‘Oh No’ you said, when the Scriptures were read this morning: “Not another sermon on bread!” Yes, this is the fifth Sunday in a row with a bread theme, mainly from John’s Gospel.

Maybe those who ordered the lectionary readings are wanting us to feel the boredom of the children of Israel in the desert, when every day they went to their supermarkets, all they could find on the shelves was bread. Only bread. Manna bread. They were sick of it.

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Daily Bread

Published: Monday, 13 August 2018

BreadThis sermon was presented at the Ashburton Baptist Church by Geoff Pound and is part of a series on the theme of bread based on John’s Gospel. The sermon manuscript concludes with some questions for personal reflection and group study.

Scripture Reading: John 6: 35, 41-51

Sometimes when you arrive here at the church early in the morning, if the breeze is blowing in the right direction, you can smell the freshly baked bread, wafting from the High Street bakeries. Aaaaah! The pervasive aroma, the pleasant aroma, the enticing aroma of freshly-baked bread.

According to surveys,[1] freshly baked bread, is one of our favourite smells. It rates even higher than the smell of sizzling bacon, freshly brewed coffee, newly mown grass, clothes that have been washed and dried in the sunshine, fish and chips and a Sunday roast.

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Lord Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

Published: Tuesday, 24 July 2018

StFrancisStClareInspiration from Francis and Clare of Assisi

This sermon was presented by Geoff Pound on 22 July 2018 at the Ashburton Baptist Church. It concludes with questions for personal reflection and group study.

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2: 1-11

In preparing to walk ‘The Way of St Francis’ from Florence to Rome, we read books on Francis like ‘Saint Francis of Assisi: Passion, Poverty and the Man Who Transformed the Church’ by Bret Thoman and his more recent book entitled ‘St Clare of Assisi: Light from the Cloister’. These books equipped us to plot our journey and know the significant places in their stories.

Read more: Lord Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace