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The Immediate Word
Dean Feldmeyer

Living in a Selfie Culture

Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23

Back in 1968, when Andy Warhol said that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” we thought he was just another wacky celebrity spouting nonsense and trying to make it seem profound. Now we know that his was a prophetic voice.
     Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, cellphone cameras, selfies, “reality” TV, and a host of other post-modern phenomena and thingamajigs have made 15 minutes of fame common, and have turned vanity from a vice to a virtue.
     With 77.9 million Instagram followers and 46.9 million Twitter followers, Kim Kardashian -- who claims to have started the “selfie” trend -- is certainly the poster child for our current vanity culture. Last May she released a book containing 352 pages of pictures that she has taken of herself. The title is Selfish.
     Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.
      How do we, as people of faith, relate to and live in such a culture? Do we throw up our hands in despair as the Teacher seems to do in Ecclesiastes, or are there other, more constructive alternatives?...
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The Rich Fool

Greed (greedy)

Greed is an insatiable craving that forgets about all else except acquiring more than one needs or deserves. Of the nine references to greed, Job 20:20-22 images the gluttony and the misery of greed: "They knew no quiet in their bellies; in their greed they let nothing escape. There was nothing left after they had eaten; therefore their prosperity will not endure. In full sufficiency they will be in distress; all the force of misery will come upon them." "[T]hey have grown fat and sleek. They know no limits in deeds of wickedness; they do not judge with justice the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy" (Jeremiah 5:28).
     Matthew 23:25 and Luke 11:39 refer to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who "clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside [they][you] are full of greed and [self-indulgence][wickedness]."...
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Frank Ramirez

Reasonable Expectations

Reasonable expectations -- they’re implicit in these scripture texts. Most reasonable of all is the overarching reconciliation that God seeks and achieves. In the Hosea passage, and indeed throughout this prophetic work, a case is made that humanity has failed in keeping up its end of the bargain. We have strayed to the point where God has renamed us “Not My People!” But the reasonable expectation that God will give up on us gives way to God’s declaration that despite the alienation we have caused we are still God’s children, and God’s love will avert disaster. God cannot deny us....
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John Fitzgerald

The Rich Fool

Luke 12:13-21

There are several problems revolving around money that Americans currently are experiencing. Some of these issues include huge debt loads which families are carrying, and stagnant wages of middle class households. These and other challenges are significant. However, to give a little perspective consider these statistics:

• If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change-you are among the top 8% wealthiest people in the world....
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The Village Shepherd

Janice Scott

Zog and Ergerol

We all have different interests and sometimes those interests can be so absorbing that we cut out anything else, including God. Sometimes that intense focus is on money or the things money can buy, like fame and a luxurious life-style. Sometimes the focus is on something quite different, like computer games or gambling. If the focus becomes too intense and inward looking, we lose our way in life....
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CSSPlus (Children's Sermon Service...Plus

Mary Eichelman

Get Rich in God

Object: 2 wallets (one wallet with bills of $5, $10, and $20 and the other with slips of paper in it saying things like, giving food to hungry families, visiting your older neighbors, raking leaves, helping internationals/foreigners)

What is inside your wallet? Would you like to see inside mine? (Let the children pull out $5, $10, and $20 bills.) Wow! That is pretty special and exciting! Do you feel happy? But what happens if a robber or pick pocket comes along. It can disappear in a moment and it is GONE....
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Gospel Grams 1 (Ages 5-7)

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Gospel Grams 2 (Ages 8-10)

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