What’s It Like? (7/30/2017)

A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Text: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-45 (NRSV)

There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by…

This world is not my home,
I’m just a-passin’ through.
My treasures are laid up
Somewhere beyond the blue…

I’ve got a mansion just over the hill top
In that fair land where we never grow old.

I have heard of a land
On a far-away strand,
In the Bible the story is told,
Where no cares ever come,
Neither darkness nor gloom,
And nothing shall ever grow old.

There are evergreen trees
That bend low in the breeze,
And their fruitage is brighter than gold;
There are harps for our hands,
In that fairest of lands,
And nothing shall ever grow old.

There’s a home in that land,
At the Father’s right hand;
There are mansions whose joys are untold;
There the ransomed will sing
Round the throne of their King,
And nothing shall ever grow old.

In that beautiful land,
On the faraway strand,
There awaits us a robe and a crown;
In that city, we’re told,
The streets are pure gold,
And the sunlight shall never go down.

Continue reading What’s It Like? (7/30/2017)

Praying With the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Birthday joys for Clara Ramirez (August 12) and Alex Spiridon (August 13)
  • Carolyn Shepard with gratitude for a good visit with her brother, sister and families.
  • Lynn Hunwick who was pleased to see Charlie Aker in church and noted the work he does to help feed the world
  • Charlie Clark, thankful to God and others that he was able to contact an old friend in Portland with whom he’d lost touch
  • Lois Ville for the family and friends of her long time neighbor, Tony, who died last week.
  • Melanie Ramirez for her mother and two of her grandchildren on a trip to Santa Fe
  • Pastor Gregory for all the trans people who have recently been in the political limelight for their queerness
  • For all of us living under with nuclear threat, especially in this week in which we remember the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • For our church in this time of turmoil with City permitting
  • For the family and friends of David Bartlett as he continues to live with the effects of a severe stroke
  • For Chris Wade (the attorney who has been helping the church) who was injured in a riding accident and is now recovering at home
  • For Susan Gillies, former ABC-USA Interim General Secretary, with health concerns
  • For Tripp Fuller, who was recently terminated from his position in Los Angeles and for his family as they return to North Carolina

Praying With the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Birthday joys for Don Ha (August 3) and Clara Ramirez (August 12)
  • Lois Ville with thanksgiving for the life and testimony of Thelma Parodi
  • Melanie Ramirez glad to be back in worship after lots of “summer stuff” and a wonderful family trip to Yellowstone
  • Caroline Shepard happy for the presence of her brother Charlie and niece in worship
  • For the family and friends of American Baptist Rev. James Chuck who recently passed away
  • For our church in this time of turmoil with City permitting
  • For the family and friends of David Bartlett as he continues to live with the effects of a severe stroke
  • For Chris Wade (the attorney who has been helping the church) who was injured in a riding accident last weekend
  • For Susan Gillies, former ABC-USA Interim General Secretary, with health concerns
  • For Tripp Fuller, who was recently terminated from his position in Los Angeles and for their baby son, Haven, who has been hospitalized with health concerns  (Update: Haven is home and doing better)

Continue reading Praying With the People

Praying with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week are:

  • For the Cudworth’s renewal of vows and safe travels with Pastor Rick to Hawaii
  • For the family and friends of American Baptist Rev. James Chuck who recently passed away
  • For our church in this time of turmoil with city permitting.
  • Thankful joys for our guest preacher Rev. Sue Ann Yarbrough
  • For Nat Koog a new pastor in Redwood City
  • Birthday joys: John Poffenroth (July 28). Richard Barry (July 31), Don Ha (August 3)

Continue reading Praying with the People

Praying With the People

Our Joys and Concerns from Sunday July 16th were:

Lois Ville with gratitude that her brother-i-law, Lee;’s heart surgery went well and thanks for our prayers as well as the good work of doctors, caregivers and family who supported and cared for him

Katharina Borchert for her friend, Pam, who is a missionary in Burma and has started a school that is in need of government permission to build on the land they purchased for the school.

Continue reading Praying With the People

Listening And Living (7/16/2017)

A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Text: Psalm 119:105-12, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 (NRSV)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances. I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word. Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your ordinances. I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

As we read these ancient words from Psalm 119 on Tuesday, I was struck once more by their power and beauty. I admit that I sometimes wrestle with the language of the Psalms. That’s why I most often turn to Nan Merrill’s lovely paraphrase when including a Psalm in our liturgy. Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, is a paean to the Torah, the ancient Jewish law. What hit me Tuesday is that this Psalm is in no way a tribute to the letter of the law but rather to its enlivening spirit. “Your word, O God, is a lamp to my feet and light to my path.” Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” This is no dry legal brief; this is a love song to the law, to a living word.

Continue reading Listening And Living (7/16/2017)

Prayers with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

Birthday Joy: Daniel Ramirez (July 16)

Lois Ville for her brother-in-law who had successful surgery Monday to replace an aortic valve.

Charlotte Jackson for the people in Haiti who our special offering (OGHS) has supported after many natural disasters destroyed the island.

Pastor Rick for Marcia Patton, whose mother died last week; for the family and friends of my mentor, David Bartlett, who had a fall and severe stroke in Chicago last week and is in the University of Chicago Hospital.

Pastor Gregory for the brave families (and others) crossing borders, now having their retinas scanned and are being robbed of their dignity, loved ones, and their low-wage work-life by racist politicians in the highest of offices.

For the wonderful work of Church World Service and for all those who benefit from One Great Hour of Sharing!