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  • Abram & Lot (Part 2) -Lot is Separated

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 19 Mar, 2017

    Today is part two of a two part series on Abram and Lot. In Genesis chapter twelve, Jehovah tells Abram to get out of his country and to leave his father's house. As Abram begins his journey to a new land Lot (his nephew) comes with him. Last week we learned that Lot represents the more sensual/external part of us - The part of us that learns various facts and experiences various affections based on the input we receive through our physical senses. Lot lived with Abram and began this journey with him, showing us that this sensual/external part of us is useful and important! The Lord wants us to use our physical senses to gather in much information and good experiences. These external ideas and affections we receive early in life act as vessels for the more spiritual truths and affections the Lord is leading us towards. In today's story both Abram and Lot have enlarged their possessions. The land can no longer support them both, and strife is arising between their herdsmen. Abram asks Lot to separate from him. This separation between Abram and Lot wonderfully represents a time in our own regeneration when we must separate ourselves from two kinds of external things: 1. Empty memory knowledges we learned in childhood. 2. Pleasures from the selfish and worldly loves we favor. While it is important to separate ourselves form certain unhelpful things in our sensual/external self, we will also see that our sensual/external self (Lot) can grow into something beautiful! This happens only if we allow our sensual/external self to serve and come into harmony with our more spiritual/internal self; ridding ourselves of this things that prevent this from happening. This week reflect on things in your more external self that the Lord may be asking you to separate from. Separating from Lot can be difficult, but it allows us to experience the true blessings the Lord created us for! | By Matthew Genzlinger, West Concord, MA

  • 3 Tips for Fighting Against The Influences of Hell

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 5 Mar, 2017

    Throughout the year we offer services of worship that are designed to give people the opportunity to engage more fully with the week's message. People can ask questions, hear other people's thoughts and share their own ideas. These worship services are called Seekers Sundays. The format is as follows: 1. We start as we always do with a song, the opening of the Word and talk for the children. 2. Next the children go downstairs for Sunday School and the adults enjoy a set of readings and brief introduction to the week's lesson/topic. 3. Following this the formal service of worship is brought to a close. People are invited to gather downstairs to continue with a conversation: What questions do you have? What are you insights? How does this apply to our own lives in more practical ways? 3 Tips For Fighting Against The Influences of Hell The hells are always working to destroy us spiritually. They attack us in many subtle and conniving ways. This morning we will discuss three keys to successfully fighting against their influences. 1. Be aware of their existence and tricks. 2. Acknowledge your need for the Lord's help. 3. Fight with the truth from the Lord's Word. | By Matthew Genzlinger, West Concord, MA

  • Betrothal - Being Made Ready For Marriage

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 26 Feb, 2017

    During the month of February, we are having a series of worship services on the topic of marriage. We began this series by talking about the perfect marriage between Divine Love and Wisdom that exists within the Lord Himself. An image of this marriage can be seen in everything the Lord creates, including in each one of us as individuals. Next we talked about how an image of this perfect union between the Lord's Divine Love and Wisdom is seen on a more general level between a husband and wife. In a marriage, the husband in an image of truth, and the wife is an image of good: "Thus the two together form a single image, which imitates the conjugial model of good and truth" (Conjugial Love 100) Today we will look at the state of betrothal (engagement). The Heavenly Doctrines have a lot to say about a couple's state leading up to marriage. We will focus on three teachings. 1. Consent is the essential of marriage. When a person is looking for someone to marry, what does the Lord suggest they keep in mind for their search to be successful? 2. Consent should be followed by the giving of gifts and a formal betrothal. Why are these external confirmations of consent so important? Note that a "formal betrothal" is different from the wedding ceremony. 3. By betrothal a couple is make ready for conjugial love. How is a couple made ready for marriage by betrothal? Why are sexual relations unlawful during this time? This week reflect on the beautiful (and very important) state that leads up to marriage. Even if you are already married, reflecting on betrothal can remind you what makes a marriage strong and successful. Betrothal is all about recognizing and fostering the internal or spiritual union between a bride and bridegroom. Readings: Genesis 24:1-28, Conjugial Love 100, & Conjugial Love 305 | By Matthew Genzlinger, West Concord, MA

  • They Shall Be One Flesh

    Worship Service: Sermon only - 19 Feb, 2017

    During the month of February, we are having a series of worship services on the topic of marriage. We began this series by talking about the perfect marriage between Divine Love and Divine Wisdom that exist within the Lord Himself. Because these two things are perfectly united within the Lord, we can see an image of their marriage in everything He creates. Last week we looked at how this heavenly marriage between the Lord's Divine Love and Wisdom exist within each of us as individuals. Allowing this marriage to take place in your won heart and mind is what regeneration is all about. When you achieve this internal marriage you are in heaven! You have been recreated in the image and likeness of God. (see Genesis 1:27) This morning we will look at how this perfect union between the Lord's Divine Love and Wisdom is seen on a more general level between a husband and wife. In a marriage, the husband is an image truth, while the wife is an image of love: "Thus the two together form a single image, which imitate the conjugial model of good and truth." (Conjugial Love 100) We will focus on three important ideas: 1. In order for a husband and wife to achieve a successful marriage, they must respect each other's unique gifts. 2. Love and wisdom come together in use. This means that a husband and wife will become more closely united as they focus together on serving the Lord and the neighbor. 3. If we want to experience the eternal happiness that angels enjoy, we must CHOOSE to embody these roles. This week reflect on the profound teaching that the relationship between a husband and wife imitates the relationship between wisdom/truth and love/good. Knowing this , what can you do to be (or prepare to be) a better husband or wife? Today's readings: Genesis 2:15-25 & Conjugial Love 37, 100, 115, & 137. | By Matthew Genzlinger, West Concord, MA

  • The Heavenly Marriage

    Worship Service: Sermon only - 5 Feb, 2017

    During the month of February, we will be having a series of worship services on the topic of marriage. We begin this morning with a very general look at where marriage comes from. In a nut shell, the marriage between a husband and a wife comes from the perfect marriage (or union) that exists between the Lord's Divine Love and Wisdom. Because these two things are perfectly united within the Lord, we can see an image of their marriage throughout His creation. This morning we will look at how this heavenly marriage between the Lord's Divine Love and Wisdom exists within each of us as individuals. There are two things we will focus on: 1. What happens when we have some truth within us, but not enough goodness? 2. What happens when we have some goodness within us, but not enough truth? This week reflect on the perfect marriage between goodness and truth that the Lord is working to form within you. Why is this important? Because if something is going badly in your life, chances are this marriage is out of balance! Next week we will look at how this heavenly marriage exists on a more general level between a husband and wife. | By Matthew Genzlinger, West Concord, MA

  • Hearing The Lord Speak Through His Word

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 29 Jan, 2017

    | By Matthew Genzlinger, West Concord, MA

  • The Heavenly Marriage

    Worship Service: Sermon only - 14 Feb, 2016

    This morning we will be talking about a concept that is so simple, and yet so profound: The Heavenly Marriage. God is Love and Wisdom Itself. Within God these two realities are perfectly united. They are one! This perfect union between love and wisdom that within God Himself is referred to as "The Heavenly Marriage". Today we will explore various aspect of this Heavenly Marriage, including the following: - This Heavenly Marriage between love and wisdom can be found in all things created by God... - As individuals, we should all be working to establish this Heavenly Marriage within our own hearts and minds... This week reflect on the simple and yet profoundly beautiful reality of the Heavenly Marriage between love and wisdom... | By Matthew Genzlinger, West Concord, MA

  • Being Content With Our Daily Bread

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 31 Jan, 2016

    This morning we have a guest preacher: The Reverend Grant Odhner. Grant was once the Pastor of this congregation. He is currently teaching at the Theological School in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. Grant will be preaching on the subject of being content with our daily bread. He will be reading the story of Jehovah proving the Children of Israel with manna from heaven. | By Grant Odhner, West Concord, MA

  • The Philistines Return the Ark

    Worship Service: Sermon only - 24 Jan, 2016

    Last week we explored the story of the Philistines capturing the ark of the Covenant and the terrible things that happened to them because of it. The Philistines represent a faith that is devoid of love and charity. The terrible things that happened to them represent the spiritual damage that we do to ourselves when we separate faith from charity. This morning we will continue this story and read about how the Philistines eventually chose to return the Ark of the Covenant to its rightful owner - the Children of Israel. The story of how they did this is filled with wonderful representations of how the Lord leads us away from the destructive life of faith alone, and towards a life where faith and charity are conjoined. Three images stand out: 1. The Philistines built a new cart to carry the Ark back to Israel... 2. They made five golden tumors and five golden mice... 3. They yoked two milk cows to the cart... This week reflect on the rich image of how the Philistines returned the Ark of the Covenant to Israel. How is this an image of the Lord inviting us to escape a faith alone existence? How does the Lord lead us to conjoin our faith with a life of love and charity? | By Matthew Genzlinger, West Concord, MA

  • Sitting on a Donkey

    Worship Service: Childrens Talk & Adult Sermon - 29 Mar, 2015

    The image of the Lord riding into Jerusalem on a donkey is one that most people recognize as a symbol of royalty. Palm Sunday is in part about recognizing the Lord as our eternal King. However, the Heavenly Doctrines help us to understand this image and how the Lord is our King on much more profound level... | By Matthew Genzlinger, West Concord, MA