Prayer


Audio of sermon given on June 2, 2019 at First Baptist Church of Sigourney, Iowa.

PRAYER

I.  Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

  1. Think about Calvary, and by the blood you can call Him “FATHER”
  2. Realize the beneficial help we have in the blood.
  3. Enter His court with PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING.

II.  Your kingdom come. Your will be done.

  1. Pray for yourself (eyes, heart, mind, etc.)
  2. Pray for your family (spouse, children, and other members.)
  3. Pray for your church (your pastor, your congregation, other members.)
  4. Pray for the nation.

III.   Give us day by day our daily bread.

  1. Reading of the Word.
  2. Pray about financial anxiety.

IV.   And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

  1. Ask God to forgive you.
  2. Forgive others as you want to be forgiven.
  3. Set your will to forgive, every day.

V.   And do not lead us into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one..

Pray on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)

VI.   Return to worship

  1. Praise His Kingdom
  2. Praise His Power
  3. Praise His Glory

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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All are not welcome.


It bothers me to see churches advertising “All are welcome.” It simply isn’t true!

What about the person looking to disrupt church service?

Those seeking to push an ungodly agenda?

Someone seeking to harm those gathered to worship?

The pedophile looking for a next victim?

Not all are welcome! However those who choose to follow Christ. Those who are curious about the Church. The person struggling with addiction, loneliness, fear, depression, or rejection. Now you are all welcome! But not perfect people. Perfect people do not exist in Church.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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True Freedom in Christ


True Freedom in Christ (John 8:31-36)

Audio of sermon given on May 26, 2019 at First Baptist Church of Sigourney, Iowa

BIG IDEA:  True freedom is being released to be all that God created us to be.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Discouraged (1 Kings 19)


Message given at First Baptist Church of Sigourney, Iowa on May19, 2015.

I.   Unmet expectations lead to discouragement.

II.  A discouraged person may try to hide from God.

III.  God still has a plan for your life.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

 

 

 

 

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Mother’s Day 2019


Here is the audio of a sermon preached on May 12, 2019 (Mother’s Day)

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Technology challenges


Okay I admit to not being very tech savvy. However I can function some basics. Today I have been trying to create a WordPress site for my book. So far it’s a total disaster. Will try again another time. book cover

Right now sales are just shy of 70 books sold. A good start for an unknown author. Still believing for 101 sales. (Available on Amazon)

As you may already know I just started as the new Pastor of First Baptist Church in Sigourney, Iowa. Earlier this week I was working on updating the Facebook page for the church. (Check it out please) But I can’t figure out how to edit the ‘Meet the Pastor’ page. It’s not allowing any editing. Google has not been any help either. At least I can update the sign anytime.

church signNot sure if the sign will attract any new visitors but maybe the Sunday messages and great congregation will.

Anyway, enjoy the weekend.

Re. Burt Schwab

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Turning 50


50 years. Half a century. Five decades. That is how old I turn today. The world has changed so much since 1969! The world did not have things known as cellular phones. In fact most households didn’t even own a phone in the early 1970’s. The telephone company owned them and people leased them as a part of their phone bill.

70bc6a756b085c1ab7dd6eacf369336b--pretty-much-telephone[1]Here is a picture of a phone similar to the first one I talked on. For you younger folks let me explain how these things worked. First you picked up the hand set, the thingy with the curly wire attached to it, and listened for a dial tone. A dial tone is a buzzing type noise that let you know the phone was connected. Then you put a finger into the rotary dial on the first digit to be dialed. Turn the rotary dial, the clear plastic circle with all the holes in it, clockwise until your finger hit the metal stop. Remove your finger and let it go back to original placement. Repeat this process for every digit in the number you want to call. Then one of two things would happen. Either you would hear a noise indicating when the phone that had been called was ringing or you would get an annoying noise indicating the other line was busy. If you wanted to send someone a written message you did something called “write a letter” and mailed it to them. They would get the message between three days and sometime just shy of eternity.

button telephoneAt some point, I’m too lazy to look up when, phone companies quit renting phones and people bought their own. The cool ones were push button! Also known as touch tone.

Most cars were way heavier in the 1970’s. Family size cars got roughly 12 mpg if you didn’t lead foot it. By the 80’s most cars were getting stupid small and underpowered. At least that’s how I remembered them. But we started seeing gas mileage above 20 miles per gallon. I can clearly remember 8-tracks being replaced by cassette tapes and then CD players in most every car. Now Bluetooth is becoming the standard. Not sure when but somewhere along the way ashtrays and cigar lighters quit being standard in cars. Now it’s power ports, USB outlets, and cup holders.

A highlight for me of the past fifty years is the space program. Of course I was too young to know or care about the first man on the moon. But I do remember the Space Shuttle program. I thought for sure we would have colonized another planet by now. After all the first reusable space craft had been invented! The program did have a couple of tragedies and I won’t make light of that. However, it seems plausible that I might live long enough to see space tourism as a reality.

Technology in general has just been amazing!

pong gameThis is what the first home based game console looked like. The game was called pong. You connected it to a television set and the screen looked like this. pong The game had two hand held devices wired to it with a round control thingy. To move the “paddle” up and down the screen you rotated the round thingy clockwise and counter clockwise. The object was to hit the little square dot that was a digital ping pong ball. Super exciting! I played for hours as a kid! Then they came out with Atari games and that was unbelievable how much folks would shell out to have one. We’re talking like a $100 dollars for the set and then sometimes as much as $20 for a game cartridge. Unbelievable!!! That was the beginning of the downfall of video arcades. It was also a major leap for the love affair of video games. Now we have $1000 smart phones with more video games than you can shake a stick at.

By the way televisions were not the lightweight thin things we have now. The were bulky, heavy, and expensive. It seemed they weighed about 10 lbs. per screen inch. Okay, not really that much but you didn’t hang them on the wall for sure. Around 1990 I bought a 27″ color television. That was really something to have! When I got rid of it many years later it took two people to get the thing safely outside. Now a 47″ television weighs roughly 40 lbs. and hangs nicely from a wall mount bracket.

Cable television came along and revolutionized the movie watching industry. We had HBO that stood for Home Box Office. You could watch a whole movie without a commercial interruption. It was awesome. Then came MTV (Music Television). VCR became a household item and with that video rental stores. Not many VCR’s or video rental stores around now. We still have DVD players but those are fading into history as well. Hard to beat typing in a movie name and watching it on demand. The downside is we no longer have family date nights to watch a favorite show or movie coming on at a certain time. In our house growing up movie night was a special event. Popcorn, Kool-aid, and everyone gathered in the living room around the only television in the house.

Along the way came home computers and internet. Computers were a bulky box with lots of wires to attach a monitor screen, keyboard, mouse, and maybe speakers. You needed a special piece of furniture known as a computer desk to use the thing. To use internet you had to plug a phone line into the computer. Now we take a computer everywhere we go. They look like phones, tablets, and watches.

We had a few things in school that aren’t there anymore. One of them was corporal punishment. Not a whole lot will change your attitude like a wooden paddle to the backside. Only a small percentage of the population my age and older ever actually got swats. Admittedly I got enough for most of my classmates. Just wasn’t that fast of a learner… We also had shop class as an option. That was where most kids learned how to use basic tools and how to build simple wood projects. Another option was home economics, or bachelors living if you were a boy. That was where many of us learned how to follow recipes, use kitchen tools and appliances. We also learned basics of budgeting money and making shopping lists. Can you remember the Pledge of Allegiance? How about wrapping text books with paper covers on the first day of school? We did that to preserve the books as long as possible for future classes to use. Maybe we should consider bringing back a few things from the past.

There were fads and fashions that came and went. Break dancing. Bulky giant radios with tape decks we called “ghetto blasters” powered by a boat load of D-cell batteries. Walkman radios and portable cd players that clipped to your belt and all headphones had cords. Parachute pants. Big hair. Mullets. Mini skirts. Scoopin’ the loop, also known as dragging Main. Homemade wooden ramps to jump bikes. And many other things that could be written about.

As a kid I dreamed of being an author. I would write short stories to pass the time when going outside wasn’t possible. Being inside was not where kids wanted to play in the not so distant past. Now I can sit here with my laptop computer and write to my heart’s content. I even published a book all on my own just recently. Technology sure has changed how things are done. I think in some ways it is a curse on this society. Just don’t see kids using their imagination to get things done like we used to. It would sure do my heart a lot of good to see some neighborhood boys dragging old pallets and scrap wood to build a secret fort somewhere.

America was far from perfect. The streets were never really safe growing up. We played in them anyway. Something we did have that seems to be getting lost is dialogue. Now it seems most people are polarized. If you don’t agree with an opinion the other person must be bad. Most people are attached to a phone or other electronic device and not so much personal interaction. You are probably reading this article on a phone at this moment. Even with all these distractions we can relearn to connect with other people. It will require individuals making a commitment to listen to others without judgment. To value others opinion as just an opinion and not an act of war.

What about you? Tell me some things you remember or that has changed in your lifetime. The things you miss and the stuff your glad is history. Or better yet have a coffee with an old friend and talk about those memories.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

 

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Good news, maybe…


I had suggested in an earlier post that there may be some more good news to share in April. The good news is we are not moving any time soon! Interestingly enough that could have gone either way and still have been good news. If you have been following this blog long enough you know that we moved to Iowa with the purpose of serving in ministry. Due to a serious breach of trust and promise by a Pastor that seemed to be off the table. However, last year ministry work continued in the form of pulpit supply. My wife and I met many amazing people along the way and have more Christian connections in Iowa than I thought possible in such a short time. One of the churches we ministered at has been looking at us as candidates for an open Pastor position. That would require about a three-hour move away. We now know that is not where God wanted us.

However, in an attempt to find local churches in need of pulpit supply I came across an ad seeking a Pastor in a nearby Baptist church. This was in early March. It seemed unlikely that they would consider using me for pulpit supply but I answered the ad anyway. In the initial message I asked to speak with someone from the church. The intent was trying to avoid an automatic rejection because of denominational differences. Within a very short time a church elder called me. While I was on the phone with that gentleman I got a message from a lady we know that was excited to hear we were possibly interested in this church. I know news travels fast in small towns but wow!

That phone conversation ultimately led to an interview with several of the church members. I gave them an audio copy of a previous message for their review and felt encouraged to have met this great group of people. It was roughly a week later that I got a call to preach a live message in April. After the service we had a potluck fellowship. At this point they had narrowed their search down to two applicants. The following Sunday I got a call that the church had voted in favor of hiring me as the next Pastor. The position starts in May.

There are several noteworthy events that made this possible. The first one was I had never heard of the website the church advertised on. In fact it was 3 or 4 pages deep on an internet search for open churches. I am not normally that patient in internet searches. Another noteworthy event is the place where I am employed has a solid reputation in the community and the church encouraged me to stay with the job. Along with that the timing of transferring to a day shift position eliminated a concern about being available for pastoral responsibilities. Even the circumstances around the shift change were outside the normal protocol at the company I work for.

Right now I do not feel qualified to lead a church. Maybe God was waiting for me to get out of the way so He can lead me.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

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Just one day at a time.


My theme for 2019 is to live one day at a time. There is still some underlying anxiety that I don’t understand. Maybe I’ve just become comfortable about being anxious.

There are plenty of things to look forward to but instead of focusing on the future I am choosing to be in the moment. Later this year we have a scheduled vacation to the Denver, Co. area. There are plans to plan a later vacation as well this year. Currently a church is considering my application for an open Pastor position but I am at complete peace about whatever they decide. As for home improvement projects, well that list is always growing and whatever gets done gets done.

This past week I got some fishing in for the first time this year.

IMG_1969

Caught this personal record size fish on rod and reel. I hope to see it again in another 6lbs. or so.

IMG_1967

This is what I was really after. It is a matter of opinion that Bluegill may be the tastiest fresh water fish in the world. This one had a lucky day but maybe I’ll catch him again to join in a fish fry.

 

Part of living includes working. The Bible teaches us that God wants us to enjoy work. We are even encouraged to work as unto the Lord. Enjoying work is a mindset. As an example, recently approximately 20 of us employees were sent out to pick up trash around the manufacturing plant for two hours. Admittedly those of us who are abdominous find it uncomfortable to bend over repeatedly to pick up anything off the ground. However, the weather was nice and we were getting paid quite well. When we came back inside my supervisor asked how it went. I replied that it was a nice day and a refreshing break from the normal routine. When a coworker was asked the same question he replied it was the worst two hours of his employment.

 

This past week also included some yard work. One small project was preparing a flower bed by the garage. I seem to recall being quietly opposed a year ago but that was then and this is now.

IMG_1970

Immediately after finishing the border and dirt work the inspectors arrived. How could I possibly expect my wife to approve the work before the dogs have thoroughly investigated!

Well there is plenty of daylight left so I’m getting out of this office. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Week one.


Well this is week one. The first week of being on first shift along with the first week of book sales. Still not quite sure how either one happened but I’ll take it!

The dogs are in the habit of getting up around 2:00 A. M. to be let outside. It’s what they have been used to for the last year. Unfortunately I am not used to sleeping in the middle of the night so we are all in for some sleep adjustment.

At work I am now surrounded by mostly 19 and 20 year olds in their first real job. My boots have more work experience than these kids. But, despite their youth, they work hard and seem to be open to learning. Nothing wrong with that. Speaking of learning it is going to take some time to figure out my new surroundings. At least the parts I now weld are simple enough to figure out. If I could just find the break room and the restrooms my work life would be more comfortable…

As for the book, the sales report looks like a snail on a mission. Not at the 101 sales mark but I am very optimistic about reaching that goal… some day. This will be the last post about this book until the sales goal is reached.

Here are five reasons to not buy this book;

  1. It has no literary value.
  2. It was written and published by an amateur.
  3. It has the word “farts” in the title.
  4. It will make you laugh and that would be undignified.
  5. It is full of one-liners and such that I posted on Facebook over the years and you never had to pay for that.

It’s also the same five reasons to buy this book.

By the way a huge thank you to those of you that have purchased a copy!

I also thank God for the end of a difficult life season. There are several lessons learned along the way and I look forward to sharing them with you in future posts. Enjoy the weekend everybody!

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

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