Glad vs. Grateful

Luke 17:11-19
January 28, 2024


“Get up and go on your way;
your faith has made you well.”

from Luke 17:17


There is a difference between being glad and being grateful. It may not seem like a big difference, but it is.

Dictionaries define glad as experiencing pleasure, joy, or delight, and grateful as being appreciative of benefits received. Glad is our experience but gratefulness looks beyond ourselves in appreciation for the source of the joy.

One day Jesus healed 10 lepers. You can bet that all 10 were very glad that they were healed. They had been excluded from family, friends, and public places due to their disfiguring disease. Jesus told them to go to the priests who could certify them as healed, and on the way they were made clean.

Interestingly, while all were assuredly very glad to be healed, only one appeared to be grateful. Upon noticing that they were healed, only one praised God with a loud voice, returned to Jesus, and thanked him. Jesus asked out loud where the other nine were and wondered why only this one, a Samaritan at that, returned to give glory to God.

They were all glad, but only one appreciated the source of his healing.

I've discovered that whenever I take the time to reflect on my circumstances, even amid difficulties, when I consider even the little blessings among troubles, it awakens gratefulness for those blessings, which in turn sheds a little light in dark times, helping me to find my way when I was otherwise lost. When I am grateful for what I have I am more generous with others. When I am grateful that God has forgiven me I find the ability to forgive others.

Being glad feeds us, but when we are grateful we feed others, only to discover that we, ourselves, are additionally blessed.


Luke 16:1-15
January 21, 2024


You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your heart.

from Luke 16:14


Short-sightedness is when we see things that are near better than we do things in the distance - both literally as well as figuratively. The problem is, if we don't see things at a distance, or consider their importance, what we do see will often mislead us.

Jesus tells a parable about a manager who fraudulently deals with people who owe his boss, hoping that they will return the favor when he needs it. While the boss recognizes the short-sighted shrewdness in the manager's plan, Jesus points far beyond earthly wealth. True lasting value is not found in shrewd crooked choices but in God's eternal values and purposes.

As Bob Dillon sang, we gotta serve somebody. We need to choose. Will we serve earthly wealth or eternal treasure?

Unconditional Love

January 14, 2024
Paul Fudge of Heart & Mind Partnership Preaching


I pray that you may have the power to comprehend,
the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

from Ephesians 3:18-19


Paul Fudge of Heart & Mind Partnership shares the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the form he would use when speaking in Zimbabwe.

Heart & Mind Partnership

How the Bible Can Change Your Life

January 7, 2024
Caleb Ives of Emmaus Ministries Preaching


Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.

from Psalm 119:105


God offers us far more than we can ever ask or imagine in the Bible. We miss out on so much if it sits on a shelf or in a drawer collecting dust. And yet so many Christians miss out on this blessing because they do not know where to start, have been bored by preachers and teachers, don't know what to do with parts that confuse us, and never learn how to apply this ancient but living blessing to 21st-century life.

Caleb Ives preached this Sunday bringing this opportunity to life. He is the executive director for Emmaus Ministries which specializes in teaching and preparing people to understand and apply God's Word in their lives.

Emmaus Ministries

Ordinarily Extraordinary

Luke 2:21-40
December 31, 2023


“My eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."

from Luke 2:14


The birth of Jesus is an extraordinary event taking place in a seemingly ordinary manner. While Mary's pregnancy was extraordinary, Jesus' birth was not. Rather than immediately beginning to preach and heal people moments after being born, the infant Jesus, like any other newborn, was fully dependent upon his human mother. The one who would walk on water had to learn to crawl before he took his first steps. The one who would feed multitudes fed at his mother's breast. The one people would travel miles to hear teach babbled gibberish before his first words.

The fullness of Jesus' divinity co-existed with Jesus' humanity, neither overcoming the other.

Familiar Bible verses ought to boggle our minds rather than just glossing over them. For God so loving the world that he gave his only son, the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, and the angel's news of a Savior's birth ought to cause our brain to glitch.

Jesus is a divine dichotomy - fully human and fully God.

It is beyond human expectation and understanding, but there it is. Amazingly, God so loves the world that he gave his only son as an atoning sacrifice to do something every bit as amazing. Rather than condemning us, he saves us through the gift of his son.

Unexpected Path to Joy

Luke 1:39-56
December 17, 2023


“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowly state of his servant.
Surely from now on all generations will call me blessed."

from Luke 1:46-48


It would be an understatement to say that Mary's pregnancy disrupted her plans and expectations.

Her pregnancy disrupted her betrothal to Joseph. Her pregnancy made her undesirable to other potential husbands. We can only imagine the gossip surrounding her circumstances. The other women likely treated her differently than before. She was once highly respected, but now people spoke ill of her.

Mary found herself amid very unexpected circumstances, in a situation she did not choose or create.

Even though she knew and believed from her angelic visitation, that the child she carried would be called the Son of God, others did not. But she knew something that the others didn't.

Her cousin Elizabeth, upon seeing Mary, cries out, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."

Upon hearing this support from her cousin, Mary proclaims the difficulties that she faces as nothing in comparison to what God is doing.

What Mary never expected resulted in her greatest joy, but also joy to the world.

Peace on Earth

Luke 2:8-15
December 10, 2023


“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

from Luke 2:14


Where can we find peace in a world filled not only with wars, pandemics, division, and injustice, but also with great difficulties in our personal daily lives?

As children, we sometimes threw what we thought were well-deserved tantrums when we didn't get our way. We were sometimes very afraid of imagined problems, like monsters hiding in the closet. As we grew older we began to discover that we could live without that toy we wanted and that there were no monsters in the closet. Instead, we face health issues, relationship problems, loss of loved ones, financial struggles, people let us down, and many more problems.

Some of the storms in our lives are all in our imagination, some are very real, and some we make worse ourselves. Just this week, I found a storm raging inside me as I dealt with two different customer service issues for the church. My frustration grew as customer service people agreed with what needed to be done but were unable to do it or were obviously not reading the problem ticket I filed. By the time I gave up on these two issues Friday evening, I was exhausted.

Hope in Hard Times

Colossians 1:24-29
December 3, 2023


God chose to make known the riches
of the glory of this mystery,
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

from Colossians 1:27


Life can be hard. Pain, loss, need, sickness, and death are real. We have relational and spiritual needs. There are wars and rumors of wars.

The Apostle Paul knew suffering. He left everything behind to follow Jesus. Because he served Jesus, he was frequently imprisoned and often beaten near to death. Five times he received forty lashes minus one. Three times he was beaten with rods. He received a stoning but survived. Three times he was shipwrecked and adrift at sea. He faced dangers traveling and often went without food and water.

Despite all he faced, the Apostle Paul dared to write, "I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake." He had discovered a great hope that cast a whole new light on his life and purpose. He proclaimed something people had not seen, Christ in us! A great hope of glory. Because of this great hope, Paul lived with the energy that this hope powerfully inspired in him, so that we too might experience this same hope and share it with others.

The Lens of Thanksgiving

Psalm 100
Philippians 4:4-7
November 19, 2023


Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him; bless his name.

from Psalm 100


Unfortunately, our streaming software malfunctioned today. We especially regret that we are unable to share an amazing testimony by Peg. Below is a written version of the sermon.

Please note that I preach from an outline as a starting point but do not stick with it. Today's sermon included some wonderful interactions and responses from the congregation that are not reflected in the written text.

If you wish a pdf of this sermon, please reply either on this post or by messaging and we will send you a link.

The Lens of Thankfulness
Psalm 100, Philippians 4:4-7
Preached by Paul Ogne on November 19, 2023
Oviedo Presbyterian Church

I am convinced that one of the things on God’s wish list for us is, 'Be thankful.' To be grateful and to live our lives out of that reality.

To be thankful is appreciating the water that half-fills a glass, as well as the air we breathe. To be thankful is a lens, in some cases a corrective lens, for viewing the world and ourselves. It acknowledges pain, loss, need, and difficulty, but also sees what is possible and good. Thankfulness brings a spark of light to dark times and places, revealing opportunities that might otherwise be lost in the shadows.

The Joy of the Lord

Luke 15:1-10
November 12, 2023


‘There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.'

from Luke 15:7


It is tempting to think that Jesus would hang out at our nice churches and with nice people, but are we ready for a Jesus who welcomes and hangs out with drunks, addicts, prostitutes, and felons?

The Pharisees were agast that Jesus would hang out with sinners.

Are we ready to welcome those kinds of people? Do we know or hang out with any of them ourselves? Can we even conceive of it?

God invites us to rejoice with him when the lost is found and even one sinner repents.

This is an amazing truth and great news. God’s great passion is to save the lost and we are invited to be part of his plan and his party, because we too once were lost, and the best we can say ourselves is, “now we are found.”