Welcoming with Palms and Praises

Published: Monday, 21 March 2016

This is the sixth sermon in the ‘Welcome’ series during Lent and was given by Geoff Pound at the Ashburton Baptist Church on 20 March 2016. More about this study series can be found at this link. Specific questions for personal and group study for this second study can be found at this link. You can listen to the podcast for this sermon at this link.

palm and donkey GP 0316a

Reading: Luke 19:28-40

We used to live and work in a valley in the New Zealand city of Dunedin.[1] The streets draining down into the valley are the steepest streets in the world.[2] People normally descend their street to walk or catch the bus along the valley floor to go into the city.

Every year on Palm Sunday at twilight the churches would combine for a Palm Sunday extravaganza. Crowds of people would come down onto the valley floor to enjoy the spectacle. Some waved palm branches, a dedicated few threw coats on the road and children would take it in turns to ride the donkey.

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Generous Welcome

Published: Monday, 14 March 2016

woman with perfumeThis sermon was preached by Geoff Pound at the Ashburton Baptist Church on 13 March 2016. It is the fifth in the Lenten Series on the theme of ‘Welcome’. More about this study series can be found at this link. Specific questions for personal and group study for this second study can be found at this link. You can listen to the podcast for this sermon at this link.

Reading: John 12:1-8
Gregory Jones is a Professor of Theology at the Duke Divinity School in Durham. He was invited to preach at an Episcopal church in another city. He decided to preach on today’s passage about the anointing of Jesus by Mary. The church wrote and asked him to send his title, which he did. On the Sunday morning he was sitting ready to preach and reading through the church bulletin he came across the following note:
“This morning we welcome to our pulpit our guest speaker, His Extravagant Holiness, the Rev Dr. Gregory Jones.”[1]

Read more: Generous Welcome

The Welcoming God

Published: Tuesday, 08 March 2016

Return of the Prodigal SonThis sermon was preached by Geoff Pound at the Ashburton Baptist Church on 6 March 2016. It is the fourth in the Lenten Series on the theme of ‘Welcome’. More about this study series can be found at this link. Specific questions for personal and group study for this second study can be found at this link. You can listen to the podcast for this sermon at this link.

Reading: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

When I discovered that today’s Scripture reading was the well known parable of the Prodigal Son I said to my wife: “How ever do you preach on a passage that’s so familiar without people feeling that they’ve heard it all before?”

Constructive as she is, Lyn said, “Why don’t you take it from a different angle?”
I said, “What do you mean?”
She said, “Why don’t you take it from the perspective of the fatted calf?”

Now that would be different! That might beef it up a bit! Yet the only thing I could think of was the question asked by a Sunday School teacher:
“Who was sorry when the prodigal son returned?”
A little girl answered—“The fatted calf!”

Read more: The Welcoming God

Welcoming Those Who Don’t Want To Be Welcomed

Published: Tuesday, 23 February 2016

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This sermon was given by Geoff Pound at the Ashburton Baptist Church on 21 February 2016. It is the second in the Lenten Series on the theme of ‘Welcome’. More about this study series can be found at this link. Specific questions for personal and group study for this second study can be found at this link. You can listen to the podcast for this sermon at this link.

Reading: Luke 13:31-35

I was a young boy and it was a Saturday morning. The doorbell rang and I opened the door to two visitors. Two strangers. A man and a woman.

They said, “Are your parents home?” I said “No but my grandparents are.”

When they asked to see one of them I went to the dining room and told my grandfather that there was a couple at the door. I followed him back down the hallway.

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By This All Will Know

Published: Tuesday, 23 February 2016

StrangerChris Turner, chaplain at Baptcare’s Sanctuary, preached the sermon on 14 February 2016 which celebrated the launch of Ashburton’s House of Hope for people seeking asylum.

Scriptures: Leviticus 19: 33-37; 1 John 4: 13-21

The sermon did not come with a script but the podcast can be heard at this link.

The sermon signaled the start of a Lenten series entitled ‘Welcome’. Information about it and questions for personal and group study can be found at this link.

The Essential Rhythm of Highly Effective Followers of Jesus

Published: Monday, 08 February 2016

This address was given by Geoff Pound at Ashburton Baptist Church on Transfiguration Sunday, 7 February 2016.

 Reading: Luke 9:28-43a mount dandenong A

When my daughter was at high school, she and three girlfriends had a holiday in Noosa. It was my job to pick them up from the airport. On the way that Saturday evening I decided to listen to an address on CD by Stephen Covey. It had the same title as his book: "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."[1]

Starting from Blackburn, Covey spoke about the first habit: ‘Be Proactive’. Getting on to the Eastern Freeway he introduced the second habit: ‘Begin with the End in Mind’ and on we went.

Half way along the Tullamarine Freeway, Covey was extolling the virtues of the final habit: ‘Sharpen the Saw’. Don’t go on forever sawing the wood. Take time out to sharpen the blade.

Read more: The Essential Rhythm of Highly Effective Followers of Jesus

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Published: Monday, 01 February 2016

This sermon was given by Geoff Pound to the Ashburton Baptist Church on 31 January 2016.

Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 31-13: 1-13 ButtheGreatest GP 0216

Before Jimmy Carter was President of the United States he was a naval officer.  When he’d finishing his training he applied for his first job and was interviewed by the Admiral. The Admiral had a reputation for being quite demanding and in the interview he asked the applicant: “Where did you come in your class in the Naval Academy?” With a measure of pride Carter said: “Sir, I came 59th in a class of 840!”

Carter said he expected to be showered with praise but instead he was confronted with the penetrating question: “Did you do your best?” Carter was about to reply with an automatic “Yes Sir” but he thought about it for a moment and said, “No, Sir, I didn’t always do my best.”

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The Extraordinary Body

Published: Monday, 25 January 2016

This sermon was given by Keren McClelland at Ashburton Baptist Church on 24 January, 2016.

foodBible Reading: Corinthians 12: 12 – 31

Today we are going to zoom in on the human body, put it under the microscope…

(Video on biomes…0-1.40 minute)

“the human body is an entire eco-system unto itself so this is a new frontier - inner space

inner space is as complex a phenomenon as outer space”

ABC catalyst august 2014

(there are two important episodes to watch)

Read more: The Extraordinary Body