"I Thank God for You All the Time!" What I Believe Are the Most Important Words a Pastor Can Say (Part 2)

Speaker: Pastor Thomas

Bible Passage: Philippians 1:3-11

Theme for the Week beginning Nov. 22, 2020:  “What I Believe Are the Most Important Words a Pastor Can Say (Part 2)”

  • An EXCITING video service just for children (and kids at heart) is found at the end of this service. Just scroll down!  (Thanks, LifeChurch!)
The Prelude:  We Prepare Ourselves to Worship God

 

 We Gather Together
  • If you have family worshipping with you, give everyone a hug.
  • If you are alone, take a moment and imagine the arms of the Loving Lord wrapped around you.  Send thoughts of love to those most important to you.
  • Then, find a spot at your chosen place of worship.  Light your candle(s).
  • Be silent for a moment, asking God to open your hearts to every good gift that God has for you today.

 

We Open with Prayer (Ps. 95:1-3)

(If possible, please pray out loud):

“O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;

Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;

let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”

We Sing a Song of Praise: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”

(UMH #139; FUMC, Houston, September 23, 2019)

(Please sing along or just listen to this inspirational song)

 

We Call Each Other to Worship

(If possible, read out loud.  If you are not alone, take turns reading the light and the bold lines.  Based on Psalm 139)

Leader:  The whole of creation declares your glory, Lord.
A symphony of sound and color surround us

People:  The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad!
Let all the earth rejoice!

Leader:  The whole of humankind declares your glory, Lord.
Each son or daughter is precious in your sight.

People: The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad!
Let all the earth rejoice!

Leader:  Now in our worship we declare your glory, Lord.
Proclaim your Kingdom to the ends of the earth,

People:  The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad!
Let all the earth rejoice!

We Pass the Peace of God to Others

If you are with others in your home, give each other a hug, and pray for those who will not have any human touch today.

If you are alone, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind at least one person who needs a call or email or card.  Commit to following through on this as soon as this worship service ends.  (If you have others in your household, they can do this, too).

 We Read the Bible
Philippians 1:3-11 (GW)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

I thank my God for all the memories I have of you. Every time I pray for all of you, I do it with joy. I can do this because of the partnership we’ve had with you in the Good News from the first day you believed until now. I’m convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. You have a special place in my heart. So it’s right for me to think this way about all of you. All of you are my partners. Together we share God’s favor, whether I’m in prison or defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God is my witness that, with all the compassion of Christ Jesus, I long to see every one of you.

I pray that your love will keep on growing because of your knowledge and insight. 10 That way you will be able to determine what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. 11 Jesus Christ will fill your lives with everything that God’s approval produces. Your lives will then bring glory and praise to God.

Leader:  The word of God for the Children of God:

People:  Thanks be to God!

We Testify to God’s Grace:    “The Thanksgiving Choir”

Lori Hatcher (So. Carolina); The Upper Room, Sept. 9, 2018

Our family has been riding the emotional roller coaster of unemployment and job hunting. The morning I read the Nehemiah passage above, we had been particularly discouraged. My husband, David, and I typically began our day by praying as we walked around our neighborhood. But that morning we did something different.

Instead of praying for our needs, we decided to join our voices in a “thanksgiving choir” — much like the choirs that Nehemiah set up. We made no requests, no intercessions, just overflowed with thankfulness. Like a ping-pong match, we batted blessings back and forth. “Thank you, Lord, for fresh starts and new mercies.” “Thank you for family.” “Thank you for a safe neighborhood.” “Thank you for meeting our needs.” “Thank you for hope.”

And on and on it went. We walked for almost an hour and never ran out of blessings for which we were thankful. What began as a discouraging day became a joyful day simply because we obeyed God’s command to give thanks in every situation.

(Do you have a testimonial you’d like to share here during future services?  Send your story to thomas@hopefortulsa.com)

 

We  Hear a Song of Devotion: “How Can I Keep From Singing?”

(Performed April 30, 2020, by the National Lutheran Choir; Director:  Dr. David Cherwien)

Please play the music video and reflect or sing along.

 

We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas

“I Thank God for You All the Time!”

What I Believe Are the Most Important Words a Pastor Can Say (Part 2)

Series:  Confessions of a Church Pastor

(Note:  my PDF sermon manuscript can be downloaded from the link at the top of this page.  It is located right below the recorded sermon above and labeled “Notes.”)

We Pray to the Lord

To receive the prayer email, please reach out to healing@hopefortulsa.com

(If possible, please pray out loud)

 God, today I (we) pray . . .

    • for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially …
      • We pray for Corvan Robison during his hospitalization and recovery.
      • We pray for Jan Colvin during her recovery.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Ron Maggard and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Elinor Bartleson and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Gail Arnold and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Brenda Stage and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Barbara Roderick and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Richard Bachelder and we pray for his family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Jerry Robison and we pray for his family and friends.
      • We pray for the continued recovery of Skip Hurt following surgery.
      • We pray for our members and friends who are in nursing homes and rehab centers.
    • for those who suffer and those in trouble, and especially…
    • for the concerns of this local community, and especially…
    • for the world, its peoples, and its civic leaders, and for the earth that you have given to our care.
      • We especially pray for President Donald Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, President-elect Joe Biden, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and their families.  We pray for a smooth and peaceful transition of government.  We pray for all those newly elected into public offices, locally and nationally.
    • for the battle we are facing with COVID-19, and especially those who are suffering and those who are responding, and for … 
      • . . . God to stem the uprise in the number of COVID cases and hospitalizations.              
    • for the Church universal—its leaders, its members, and its mission. We especially pray for Bishop Nunn and for our Superintendent, Connie Gibson.  We also pray for those churches that are now opening up and ask that those who gather would be wise and caring for each other.  We ask that you would protect all your congregations from harm and disease, and give us a mighty dose of your Spirit.  We pray for these and for other Christian leaders, including…
      • . . . the new pastor soon to be appointed to Hope UMC.
    • in communion with the saints, remembering all those who have gone on before us, and now form part of the Great Hall of Faith which encourages those of us who remain on earth.  Today we especially remember . . .
    • For my (our) needs today, which include…

Help us remember, Lord, that you are merciful and good, and quick to act in times of need.  We thank you for all of your many blessings that you graciously give to us and to the world you love.

Therefore, as your children on earth, we pray the prayer that our Brother Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name, 
thy kingdom come, 
thy will be done, 
on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our trespasses, 
as we forgive those
who trespass against us. 

And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, 
and the power, and the glory, 
for ever and ever. Amen.

We Give Gifts to the Lord

Even during COVID-19, the work of Hope United Methodist Church continues!  Please take a moment to remember all the many blessings God has given you, and then go to

www.hopefortulsa.com/give

to make an online donation.  It’s simple to sign up–just have your checkbook, debit card, or credit card ready to provide the requested information.  You just have to do this one time.  You can continue to use this online portal in the weeks ahead to bless your church and your Lord.

If you’d like to mail a check instead, please make it out to “Hope UMC” and send it to:  Hope UMC, 12424 E. 31st St., Tulsa, OK  74146.  All donations are tax-deductible.  And thank you in advance!

Closing Hymn: “(I Just Want To) Thank You, Lord!”

(Sung by Lynda Randle, Gayle Mayes, Angela Primm; Gaither TV, August 23, 2012)

Benediction ( from Philippians 1:9-11)

(Please read together aloud):

I pray that your love will keep on growing because of your knowledge and insight. 10 That way you will be able to determine what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. 11 Jesus Christ will fill your lives with everything that God’s approval produces. Your lives will then bring glory and praise to God.

 

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Enjoy this LOOP Show Worship-at-Home-for-Kids Video from LifeChurch!