Sermon = Return and restore (Joel 2)

Note = A little on the short side because we had a guest speaker from Gideon’s International. Not entirely happy with this but received good feedback.

Sermon = Return and restore
Text = Joel 2
Sunday = 23rd Sunday of Pentecost (C)

You will have enough to eat and be satisfied and will praise the Lord your God who has done wonderful things for you. My people will never again experience shame. Then you will know that I am among you and that I Yahweh the Lord am your God and there is no other. My people never again will be ashamed.

In our Bible reading for this morning the prophet Joel proclaims good news to a people who have experienced suffering and destruction. Probably after the end of the Babylonian exile around five hundred BC. We can tell from the Bible reading and from chapter one that they experienced natural disaster. Insects came and ate everything. The fields are bare the ground mourns because the crops are destroyed… the seeds die there is no grain the storage buildings are empty the animals cry out because their is no food the rivers have become dry.

For Baton Rouge and south Louisiana not insects but water. Not a dry time but a wet time. In many ways an empty time because we clean out homes and apartments and businesses and church buildings. Stressful time. Time of suffering. Different kinds of suffering in other parts of the nation and other parts of the world. Agricultural. Political. Economic. Personal. Religious. We have our own stories and own experiences. Our own dry time / wet time / empty time / time of struggle. Too much work in the library or laboratory or office or classroom or home. Perhaps we have an apartment and plenty to eat and drink and our soul is tired / our hearts are dry.

Into this experience / into our experiences of hurt or exhaustion or disappointment or loss arrives this radical word of God through the prophet Joel.

Be glad… rejoice at what the Lord your God has done for you. God has given you poured out rain. Your empty places will be full again and overflow. I will give you back what you have lost in the years of difficulty and struggle. Now you will have plenty… you will praise the Lord your God who has done wonderful things for you. You will never again experience shame. Then you will know that I am with you. That I the Lord am God and there is no other.

Know that I am with you. I the Lord am God there is no other.

Even during the difficult time there can be joy. Change and hope are possible. Perhaps happening even now. Already available to us from God the Father through Jesus Christ his Son. The kingdom of God intrudes and there is joy / peace / love / forgiveness / healing / purpose / blessing. Death and defeat / shame and loss do not have the last word. The mercy of God is available to us here and now.

Continue reading ‘Sermon = Return and restore (Joel 2)’

Hebrew notes = Psalm 55

Rather challenging psalm with plenty of rare or unique vocabulary and a ton of text critical notes. One gets the impression the Septuagint translators were not sure what to do with several verses. Unless you want to think they had a more original text.

psalm-55 (PDF)
psalm-55 (DOCX)

Hebrew notes = Joel 2

Joel 2:23-32 MT = Joel 2:23-3:5 English. Difficult because of the unusual vocabulary. Surprisingly few text critical issues although 2:32 (= English 3:5) is a doozy.

joel-2 (PDF)
joel-2 (DOCX)

Lections = 23rd Sunday Pentecost (C) (= 30th Ordinary)

texts_23pentecostc_30ordinaryc_20161023 (PDF)
texts_23pentecostc_30ordinaryc_20161023 (DOCX)

Rough literal translation of Psalm 27 with notes

psalm-27-hebrew-notes-and-translation (DOCX)

Rough literal translation of Psalm 88 with notes

psalm-88-hebrews-notes-and-translation (DOCX)

Rough literal translation of Psalm 10 with notes

psalm-10-hebrews-notes-and-translation (DOCX)

Oh no! Halloween! at English Conversation – Friday October 21

Important note = Do not bring young children to English Conversation. We have good reasons for this rule. Also if you have a name tag remember to bring it!

“Trick or Treat” and pumpkins and monsters! What is going on? Learn about the holiday called Halloween. Come practice your English and learn about American culture at English Conversation this Friday October 21 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the home of =

Russell Futrell
4824 Mimosa, 70808


I have not visited this home. This *might* be the home. The location is correct.

Important note = Please contact us (email works best) by Friday 12:00 noon if you want to come to English Conversation and need a ride. We will pick you up at one of our bus stops (see list below) only if someone says “I need a ride, please pick me up”. We will not go to every stop on this list. Remember that everyone is welcome and we are happy to pick people up… but people must tell us they plan to come and need a ride. 

You can drive yourself or ride on the bus. The bus will stop to pick up people at the following places and times. See above! Let us know if you need a ride! 

  • Boone (next to Place du Plantier apartments) at 6:45 p.m.
  • Highland Plantation bus stop at 6:50 p.m.
  • Milford + Gourrier (between El Cid + Embassy apartments) at 6:53 p.m.
  • Edward Gay apartments at 7:00 p.m.
  • Nicholson family apartments bus stop at 7:05 p.m.
  • Tigerland (on Alvin Dark across from Circle K store) at 7:10 p.m.
  • Brightside bus stop (across from Circle K gas station) at 7:13 p.m.

Please allow 5-10 minutes for the bus to arrive because of bad weather or traffic.

Directions from Louisiana State University (not very far this week):

  1. Drive southeast along Highland Road
  2. Turn left onto Lee / College Drive
  3. Turn right onto Mimosa – the third road after Hyacinth
  4. Look for house 4824… on the left? at the corner of Glasgow and Mimosa
  5. Parking might be a little difficult – be careful not to park in other driveways or on the grass of other yards

Map of 4824 Mimosa, 70808 at Google Maps


Sermon = Them and What it does (2 Timothy 3-4)

2-timothy-3-4 (PPTX)

Sermon = Them and What it does
Text = 2 Timothy 3-4
22nd Sunday of Pentecost (C)
Theme = Continue in what you have learned and firmly believed knowing from whom you learned it…

Link to sound recording


(none? keep it short because communion)

14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.

– we come to the second to last part of the second letter Paul writes to his friend Timothy

– Paul usually writes to a Christian community

– this time to a person

– Timothy is a young pastor of a Christian community

– Paul writes in order to encourage and challenge his young friend

– and through this letter Paul emphasizes what is the basic gospel

– what is the basic message of the good news of Jesus Christ?

– and how to demonstrate the truth of the gospel in our way of life together in Christ

– in this church family Timothy is being challenged

– because there are false teachers… or people who teach what is false

– who say what Paul teaches… Timothy the pastor teaches is not true

– they have a radically different way of understanding the Christian faith

– scholars debate exactly what these false teachers say and why

– what is important is they challenge Timothy

– and challenge Paul

– and challenge what most Christian people believe and teach

Continue reading ‘Sermon = Them and What it does (2 Timothy 3-4)’

Activities for children and teenagers this week

There are many activities for children and youth* during the school year. You can see the complete calendars for children (5th grade and younger) and for youth (6th-12th grade) at To learn more contact (1) Deb McElgin at for children or (2) Anna Wright at for youth.

Children (= elementary and younger)

Youth (= middle + high school)

Every Sunday evening = Click here for youth activities calendar! 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the youth area (upstairs in education building).

Note = Anna Wright now serves as the interim minister with youth (teenagers).