The Midweek Message

from Senior Pastor Magrey deVega

 

 

 

Midweek Message: What Makes a Sermon Stick?

Sept. 22, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, For the past three days, I have been in lovely North Carolina, attending the latest session of the Institute of Preaching. Last June, I was honored to be selected to participate in this year-long experience, designed to strengthen...

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Midweek Message: Listening for God’s Word

Sept. 15, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, So faith comes from listening, but it’s listening by means of Christ’s message. – Romans 10:17 (Common English Bible) Over the years I have heard a lot of metaphors for how to relate to the Bible. Most of them...

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Midweek Message: “What Religion Would Jesus Choose?”

Sept. 8, 2016 Dear Hyde Park family, Last week, New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristoff wrote an op-ed piece titled, “What Religion Would Jesus Belong To?” Several of you shared it with me, and it circulated in my social media news feed for a few days....

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MidWeek Message: God’s Love in a Bucket

Sept. 1, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, Back in 2013, historic flooding of the Little Sioux River in northwest Iowa devastated a small town of 5,000 people called Cherokee, where I lived and served for eight years prior to returning last summer. 200 homes were affected,...

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MidWeek Message: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Aug. 25, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, Feel free to hum along: Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where...

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MidWeek Message: Hope to Boot

Aug. 18, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, I’m not sure which is proven more true by today’s Midweek Message: that I will do just about anything to come up with a good sermon illustration, or that I’ll use just about anything for a good sermon...

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Midweek Message: A Prayer for the Now Generation

Aug. 10, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, One day they’re in diapers, and then before you know it, they are off to high school. That’s what came to mind this morning as I drove Grace to Plant High School and Madelyn to Wilson Middle for their first day of...

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MidWeek Message: Building Bridges

Aug. 14, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, Imagine having to drive to St. Petersburg without using the Gandy Bridge, the Howard Frankland Bridge, or the Courtney Campbell Causeway. Imagine the travel time, the traffic, the headache. Those bridges drastically cut the...

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MidWeek Message: The Peanuts Movie

July 28, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family: When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with the Peanuts comic strip. Like millions of adults and children across the country, reading the latest entry in the newspaper was part of my morning ritual. I checked out and read...

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MidWeek Message: Creed

July 21, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, Over the last several years, Hollywood has had a remake craze. Mad Max. Annie. The Karate Kid. Fantastic Four. Godzilla. Star Trek. And how many Spider-Man and Batman reboots do we really need? Couple this trend with the number of...

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Midweek Message: The Martian

July 14, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, Back in the summer of 1991, I read Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park and couldn’t put it down. He was one of the foremost authors of “hard science fiction,” which is a kind of science fiction based on...

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MidWeek Message: Inside Out

July 7, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, I remember watching Toy Story for the first time, at the Salem Mall movie theater in Dayton, Ohio. I must have missed half the movie, mostly because my jaw kept hitting the ground and I kept turning to my friend Kelly in disbelief....

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MidWeek Message: Hyde Park at the Movies

Dear Hyde Park family, For as long as I can remember, I have always loved movies. I bawled like a baby when I saw E.T. (The first film I saw twice in the theater.) I laughed out loud at Innerspace (The first film my parents let me see on my own, along with my buddy...

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Midweek Message: A Defiant Alleluia

Dear Hyde Park Family, Last Sunday was among the most alarming mornings of my career. With each passing worship service, reports from Orlando were getting progressively more horrifying. And the meaning of the sermon that I had written several days prior became more...

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MidWeek Message: My Summer Reading List, 2016

June 9, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, With tomorrow’s final day of the Hillsborough County Public school year, and with the June solstice just a few weeks away, we can begin to herald the long daylight and blazing sunshine of summertime in Florida. I’m looking forward...

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Midweek Message: What’s in a Name?

Dear Hyde Park Family, In preparing for our current worship series “God’s Special Agents,” I did some quick research on the meaning of the names Elijah and Elisha. As is the case with most names in the Bible, both are packed with meaning. Elijah is...

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Midweek Message: The Toughest Job in the Bible

Brad Pitt used to dress in a chicken suit at a Mexican restaurant. Johnny Depp cold-called people to sell them ballpoint pens. Madonna once worked at Dunkin’ Donuts and squirted jelly on a customer. Rod Stewart started out as a grave digger.   And me? I...

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Midweek Message: The Wisdom of Our Youth

May 19, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, A few years ago, while visiting my parents in St. Petersburg, my dad asked me to sort through a box full of keepsakes from my youth that they had been keeping in a closet for twenty-five years.  It was a veritable treasure trove of...

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Midweek Message: Be Part of the 120

Dear Hyde Park Family, Bible pop quiz! How many cubits high was the Temple?  (Don’t know? I didn’t either.) How old was Moses when he died? (Hint: He was pretty old.) How many talents of gold did the Queen of Sheba give to Solomon? (Not an easy quiz, eh?)...

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Midweek Message: A Mother’s Day Reflection

May 5, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, My mother’s name is Teresita deVega, but most everyone calls her “Tessie.” She and my dad have been married for over forty-four years, and have three charming, handsome, and distinguished sons. (Quit laughing.) Mom...

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Midweek Message: The Superhero We Really Need

April 28, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, ‘Tis the season for blockbuster movies, and I will admit to being a bit of a fanboy. My daughters and I have seen Batman v. Superman, and we already have tickets for next week’s opening of Captain America: Civil War. Throw in last...

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Midweek Message: A Prayer for General Conference

April 14, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, [youtube width=”500″ height=”350″]https://youtu.be/CSOZ46ari6M[/youtube] The General Conference of the United Methodist Church will be gathering from May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon. This is the chief...

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Midweek Message: Twenty Years Ago Today

April 7, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, Last Tuesday was Clean Sweep in the church office, one of my favorite days of the year. It was a time for all the staffers to go through our work spaces and declutter, reorganize, breathe and, in many cases, relive memories of the...

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Midweek Message: Madelyn’s Journey of Grace

March 31, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, This morning before school, I spent some time with younger daughter Madelyn watching a video she had never seen before. It was Hyde Park United Methodist worship footage from January, 2004, from the 9:30 contemporary service. Near...

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Midweek Message: For Holy Week

March 24, 2016 Dear Lenten Pilgrims, For Holy Week For Brussels. for Ankara and Istanbul,for Paris,for cycles of violence that offer no redemption.For San Bernardino, Roseburg, Chattanooga, and Charleston,for public places filled with private fears,for justice to roll...

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Midweek Message: Theodulf’s Little (Donkey)

March 17, 2016 Dear Lenten Pilgrims, One of the oldest hymns in our hymnal was written in the year 818, by a man named Theodulf, Bishop of Orleans. In addition to his ministry in the church, he was a noted poet who wrote a refrain that would become standard part of...

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Midweek Message: Establishment or Outsider?

March 10, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, We are five days away from Florida taking its turn in the presidential primary spotlight, in what you may agree has been the most unpredictable and unconventional campaign season in recent memory. By now, you have likely...

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Midweek Message: An Open Letter to Commander Scott Kelly

March 3, 2016   An Open Letter to Commander Scott Kelly Dear Commander Kelly, Welcome back to Earth! It is so good to have you back, safe and sound, after spending 340 days on the International Space Station. I understand that is a record number of consecutive...

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Midweek Message: Drive as if Your Life Depended on It

February 25, 2016 Dear Lenten Pilgrims, Can feeling safe be bad for you? In 1975, Dr. Sam Peltzman, a University of Chicago economics professor, argued that federal regulations designed to make automobile driving safer actually encouraged riskier driving. In an...

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Midweek Message: And the (Biblical) Grammy goes to…

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, After watching the Grammys with Grace and Madelyn last Monday night, I wondered what it would be like to give awards to songs that really matter. Remembering that the Bible is, among many things, a collection of songs that guide our Christian...

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Midweek Message: At the Tipping Point

Dear Hyde Park Family,   When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51) As we journey through the Christian year and through the life of Jesus, we now pass the tipping point in the gospel. Until now, momentum had been...

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Midweek Message: The Transfiguration and Homeless Jesus

Feb. 4, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family,   For as much as Jesus came to earth in order to fully reveal God to us, he sure had a knack for staying hidden from plain view. As a boy, he disappeared from his parents who lost him in the Temple for three days. He slumbered...

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Midweek Message: Where Was God?

Jan. 28, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, Most people over thirty years old know exactly what they were doing thirty years ago today. I was in middle school, hanging out with friends during lunch recess, when I heard the news. The space shuttle had just exploded. Later in...

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Midweek Message: A Living Record

Jan. 21, 2016   Dear Hyde Park Family, One of my favorite childhood mementos is my very first Bible. I received it when I was five years old, when I was just learning to read. It is a brown, imitation leather, King James Version Bible given to me as a Christmas...

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Midweek Message: Open Space for a Third Way

January 14, 2016   Dear Hyde Park Family, Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a wealthy farmer. He had a very good harvest, which made him the envy of his neighbors. One day, out of anger, his neighbors snuck into his land and filled up all of the...

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Midweek Message: Water from Home

Jan. 7, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, With my 43rd birthday just around the corner, I’ve been spending time over the last week reminiscing over all the significant people, places, and moments that have marked my path. As I turned my attention to this Sunday’s...

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Midweek Message: The Stable is Our Heart

Dec. 24, 2015 “Into The Darkest Hour” by Madeleine L’Engle It was a time like this, War and tumult of war, a horror in the air. Hungry yawned the abyss- and yet there came the star and the child most wonderfully there. It was time like this of fear...

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Midweek Message: An Advent Prayer for Our Relationships

Dec. 27, 2015 Dear Advent Pilgrims, Most popular depictions of the holiday season would have us believe that this is supposed to be a time of good cheer for everyone. Yet, despite musical pleas to make this “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and the...

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Midweek Message: Make ’em Laugh, Mary!

December 10, 2015   Dear Advent Pilgrims,   “Hail Mary, full of grace…now stop me if you’ve heard this one…”   My older daughter Grace has an interesting few days ahead of her. She is memorizing two rather long–and very different–pieces of literature....

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Midweek Message: Personal, Not Digital

Dec. 3, 2015 Dear Advent Pilgrims,   Then the angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; I am bringing you good news by email and text message. You can visit his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. Mary and Joseph will post pictures on Instagram,...

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Midweek Message: On Being Grateful for Everything

November 26, 2015 Dear Hyde Park family, On Being Grateful for Everything By Henri Nouwen (from Bread for the Journey)   To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy,   But to be grateful for all of our lives— the good as well as the bad,...

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Midweek Message: Stewardship…Advent…Refugees

Nov. 19, 2015 Dear Hyde Park Family, Today’s Mid-Week Message finds me at an odd crossroads of contending topics. I had been fairly certain today’s message would focus on this week’s Commitment Sunday, which concludes our annual stewardship series, and the start of...

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Midweek Message: An Inside-Out View from the Pew

Nov. 12, 2015 Dear Hyde Park Family, While thinking about our “Elephant in the Room” Stewardship Series, and after re-watching Disney/Pixar’s recent wonderful filmInside/Out, here’s a glimpse into the mind of an ordinary worshipper from last...

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Midweek Message: The Power of Generosity

Nov. 5, 2015   Dear Hyde Park Family, Imagine if… …Brett Favre won the Super Bowl and then gave his Super Bowl ring away to a stranger. …Meryl Streep took one of her Oscars and tossed it to a passerby in the park. …Taylor Swift won a...

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Midweek Message: The Circuit Rider and the DeLorean

Oct. 22, 2015 Dear Hyde Park Family, In observance of yesterday’s “Back to the Future Day,” I offer you this glimpse of our past, and our future… October 21, 2015 – Patches of twilight cut through the misty fog of a barren, dilapidated...

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Midweek Message: Our New Frontier

Oct. 15, 2015 Dear Hyde Park Family, The little money the [Circuit Rider] carried with him had generally been spent, and now the question was, “After suffering so much, shall I abandon all and go back to my friends, or shall I try to weather it through?”...

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Midweek Message: Two Men Named John

Oct. 8, 2015 Dear Hyde Park Family, When Lynn Osborne, our Ministry Team Leader on staff, asked me the other day if I knew John Henry Newman, I immediately tried to picture someone from Hyde Park. I flipped through my mental Rolodex of people I remember here from...

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Midweek Message: An Acorn, By and By

Oct. 1, 2015 Dear Hyde Park Family, One of the most important things I do after arriving at a new church, even one as familiar to me as Hyde Park United Methodist, is to peruse through its historical archives. That practice helps me get a sense of a church’s...

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