Like you and me

"I will bless you and you shall be a blessing" (according to Genesis 12:2). Abraham, the father of many nations, received this promise from God. God demanded an incredible departure from him: He was to leave his homeland, where he had already been rooted for 75 years. As a man blessed by God, he is to become a blessing for many other people and nations.

This year we will look into the life of Abraham and many other biblical characters. We will discover a common thread: God speaks to people, blesses them and makes them a blessing to others. Motivated and equipped with God's blessing, you can make a difference in this world!

A Christmas message about lights, candlesticks and the illuminated. Today's motto: "Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord! ( Psalm 144:15). "Behold, I proclaim great joy to you, which shall be to all the people: for unto you is born this day a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord, in the city of David" ( Luke 2:10-11). We are living in a brightly lit Christmas world at the moment. We live in a paradise of lights to rejoice in from the heart. Here and there, thousands of lights shine on us....
Simeon is a man who lived in Jerusalem at the time of the birth of Christ. He lived an Adventist life because he was eagerly waiting for the Messiah. But then it came to an encounter with Christ: he saw Jesus with his eyes and even took him in his arms. The quintessence of this Christmas encounter is that Simeon experienced supreme joy and was able to die in peace. Those who encounter Jesus Christ will still experience this today. After the birth of her son Jesus, according to Jewish law, Mary was considered forty days...
How does it work: waiting for Jesus to come again? We ask Jesus and the two apostles Paul and Peter. Waiting sucks! What happens when you stand on the platform and the train doesn't come? Already three minutes late, no announcement, no notice on the platform screen! "No, this can't be happening! It's always the same". Our dining table lamp, which we bought at the beginning of the year, has given up the ghost. We were told that it would take about 4-6 weeks to repair. At the beginning of the week I...
Gideon lays out the fleece twice and receives confirmation that God wants to give him victory against Midian. His army consists of 32,000 men, but they are reduced to 300. God does not want the Israelites to boast that they had saved themselves by their own strength. Trumpets, clay jars and torches play a role in the battle. This represents that God was in the midst of His people. The victory was won only through Him. The sermon gives strong...
God has offered us a new covenant through Jesus. Using Hebrews 3 and 5, I want to talk about what the Father's thoughts are about us and what it means for us as Christians, as followers and imitators of Jesus. I want to talk about how much we are co-incarnated in Jesus and belong to his family and what it means to grow up as his followers. A few months ago I went through a process where I questioned what...
The people of Israel experienced a very difficult time a few years after their entry into the Promised Land. Over a period of seven years they were plundered and pillaged by the Midianites. To lead the people out of their misery, God calls the fearful Gideon out of hiding and addresses him as a "hero" of all things. When God wants to intervene in a situation, he often calls ordinary people who feel weak. A coward coupled with God's strength makes a hero. Sometimes you hear...
King Hezekiah had an extremely difficult inheritance to bear. His father did everything the Lord had forbidden. Hezekiah broke away from his family history and took a stand of his own. He burned all the idols and utensils of idolatry in the Kidron Valley and reintroduced worship. Characteristic of Hezekiah is his trust in God. Because of this, he succeeded in everything he did. When he was deathly ill, God gave him an additional 15 years of life. They were not good for him. He overestimated himself...
Jonathan is a man - unlike his father King Saul - who lives God's dreams through his faith. In the face of formidable superiority, he makes the decision to pursue God's goals. Jonathan makes it clear that initiative and risk-taking are spiritually valuable and necessary qualities. His conviction is: "It is not hard for the LORD to help by much or little" (1 Samuel 14:6). Jonathan experienced this impressively together with his loyal armour-bearer. Around 1000 B.C., Israelite tribes had Saul...
Is the Gospel more than eternal life? To be with God once? Of course! Eternal life begins already here on earth. Through Jesus Christ we have access to God's grace. What does grace mean? We want to look at this together and let ourselves be inspired anew by the Gospel. Using the story of David and Mefibosheth, we will see how God wants to bless your life today and how you can become a blessing to others. In Moldova this year we have many...
Agur is a wise man with high self-knowledge and self-awareness. He knows his weaknesses and temptations: Falsehood and lying, and having too much or too little. He prays to God to keep this away from him. Basically, he prays for authenticity, for truth and for a lifestyle of contentment and frugality. These are the conditions he needs so that he can live out of a healthy relationship with God. Like you and me. Our whole economic system is based on...
How do we manage to stand together despite all our idiosyncrasies and differences? In the Bible we meet two men in the temple who avoid each other. Both have something to say to us! Have you also experienced that Jesus preached to you personally? Through an experience, a person or an image - in a dream or in front of your eyes? Rosmarie and I wanted children soon after we got married, but we had to wait 8 years...
Being spoiled by his father, rejection and betrayal by his vengeful brothers, all the injustices in Egypt - Joseph seems predestined for a victim role. How can someone cope with such a past? The key was the renunciation of taking on God's role, the trust in God's goodness and the desire to live his life for God's glory. Our prisons are full of people who, on closer inspection, experienced a bad childhood with sad experiences. A father who again and again...
We cannot influence what happens WITH us, but we can influence what happens IN us. Joseph was able to draw an extremely positive (interim) balance of his life at the age of 40. And this despite the fact that he had bad starting conditions for his life. In a long 22 years he learned perseverance, to embrace suffering and to look forward with hope. This shaped him into a man who saved the lives of many people. Some people find realisation despite many odds and crises....
On his journey so far, Joseph has already learned a lot in terms of character and fear of God. Now his first successes are beginning to show. He is hired as a personal servant by one of Pharaoh's ministers. Everything is going well. Nevertheless, things go downhill again. Completely unjustly, he is thrown into prison and forgotten there. But in the end, he grows even more into his destiny. He learns two essential things: to put his trust in God alone and to look away from himself. Joseph was the favourite son...
We look at the 12 disciples and ask ourselves what lessons we can learn from them for our togetherness in the congregation. The term "disciple" originally refers to the pupils of a teacher. In the Old Testament world, disciples belonged to a rabbi or a prophet; in the Greek world, they gathered around philosophers. The forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist, already had his disciples, as did Jesus. We encounter the term disciple only...
His brothers threw Joseph into a well. There he sat, full of fear and with no prospects for the future. But God was already pulling the strings in the background. Joseph later says: "God turned all the evil you planned into good. In this way he wanted to save the lives of many people" (Genesis 50:20 NL). We are simply no longer used to dealing with pain, suffering and death. Yet it is the way God shapes us and makes us salt and light on this...
Daniel served three godless kings in his lifetime. In a culture that can be described as demonic, he takes influence and meets the people of this culture full of wisdom and insight. He becomes a high and respected man. Through an active relationship with the living God and a strong foundation in the scriptures, he manages to resist the propaganda of the Babylonian Empire and becomes a blessing to many people. A man full of wisdom and insight If you have been...
Those who want to discover new lands need courage. It challenges us to take steps in faith, even though we do not know where the journey is going. We do not yet know the path we should take. But Joshua gives us advice in the Bible on what we should pay attention to when we are on the way to discover new things. Firstly, our eyes should always be on God (Ark of the Covenant), and secondly, it is important that we start new adventures with a pure heart. Oh how...
Joseph had dreams at the age of 17 that would actually come true thirteen years later. From his dreams to his destiny, there were many tests and challenges to pass. One of them was the pride test. God helped him to become a humble person. From the first meeting between Jacob and Rachel he knew: for this woman I am ready to give everything! Laban, Rachel's father, knew how to use this and let him spend seven years for...
We humans are so different, and so are we Christians. We have our days. We have our imprints. We have our preferences. We have our expectations. We have our inclinations... Is a close brotherly and sisterly togetherness in the church possible at all? Comment of Jesus: All things are possible to him who believes! A girl once said: "I am glad that I have my brother, even if some days it gives me the greatest pleasure to wring his neck....
God is good. His goodness is a gift and does not have to be earned. But there are moments when God's goodness remains hidden from us, times when God seems to turn against us. The prophet Jeremiah describes harrowing negative experiences he has with God. But he maintains that there is still a "remnant" of God's goodness and shows the way in which he "taps into" this remnant... It is a word from the book of Lamentations that we...
Fascinating flashes from the lives and faith of others! In two sermons we will look into the lives of three brothers and sisters, first from the OT (today 19 July) and then (2 August) from the NT. I am pursuing two goals: I want to know how their fraternal coexistence worked. I want to know if certain observations can be transferred to our fraternal coexistence in the congregation - which would be a blessing for all of us! Here in the congregation we have the good habit of...
After Jesus had chosen his twelve disciples, he took them to his side to instruct them. Hardly knowing what to expect, they listened intently to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. "You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world". With this statement, Jesus gave them and all others who were listening - and who believed in him - the task of making the Father in heaven and his kingdom known to the whole world. Powerful words, which to this day have neither...
When Abraham has to sacrifice his long-awaited and beloved son Isaac, his trust in God is severely tested. Abraham passes this test because he trusts that God is good and has ways in store that he does not yet know about. Today, God is no longer looking for material sacrifices, but for our undivided hearts. Abraham was in awe of God. That is the condition to be obedient even when it seems to one's disadvantage. The consequence of this is blessing....
Prayers are deeply rooted in an active relationship with God. They are based on asking God again and again what he wants to do, and then praying and acting on it. If we don't deepen our relationship with Jesus, our prayers are ineffective and don't hit the mark. Wow, you saw it in the theatre, this sermon today is about prayer! And very classically it was shown in the prayer for healing. But I want to say right up front that....
It seems as if Lot had no ethical compass, just drifted along and took the path of least resistance. Accordingly, his life resembles a series of misfortunes. How can we make wise and sustainable choices in our lives? Despite everything, Lot goes down in history as a "righteous man". This has much to do with the prayer of his uncle Abraham. With Lot, Abraham's nephew, many things were not right. But there is no example that...
The parents Adam and Eve gave their second son the name Abel, which means breath or nothingness. This was repeatedly attributed to him through his name. Words have power. Abel, despite his short life, became the first example of faith (Hebrews 11:4). Unlike Cain, he sacrificed the first and best to God. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus takes Abel to task. If he noticed that Cain had something against him, he should have approached him and solved the problem....
Why is there so much injustice in this world? Or is God even unjust? Cain felt that he was being neglected and unappreciated by his brother Abel. Deeply offended and consumed by envy, he gave free rein to violence and killed his brother. God had shown him a better way to deal with his negative feelings. Nevertheless, God gave Cain a second chance. He should live, a marked man, but live. Have mercy on us, Lord. Why is it that a person is diagnosed with...
Saul was anointed as the first king over Israel. As equipment for this, the Spirit of God came upon him. He was SPIRITED. The Spirit caused him to speak prophetically, to be transformed into another person and to be led by God. Through disobedience to God, he was deSPIRITED, the Lord turned away from him, which ultimately ended in suicide. We can learn much from this story for our life with the Holy Spirit. An advocate (literally the summoned one) is a lawyer or...
Noah lived in a corrupt world - people turned away from God. But Noah found grace with God. He walked his path with him, listened to him and thus became a light in the society of that time. Through Jesus, we too are called and empowered to live as lights in a corrupt world. Today, too, we take time to get to know a person from the Bible. I wanted to take a person from the book of Genesis with a...
Hagar had to stand in as a slave for Sarah, Abraham's wife, because she could not have children. When she was pregnant, the two women had a catfight, so Hagar fled into the desert. There she met an angel who told her to humble herself and go back. Hagar called the Lord who had spoken to her El Roi - God who sees me. Because she received kudos from God, she was able to go back to the emotional wreckage. Have you already...
Jesus says, "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'" (Matthew 12:48-50). Along with an appreciation for mothers, the sermon looks at how we ourselves can become mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters to one another. The sermon is peppered with experiences and much motivation to live spiritual family togetherness as a congregation! Mother's Day! I especially welcome you mothers and I sincerely hope that you have the most comfortable seats today! It...
Judah is instrumental in the sale of his brother Joseph to Egypt. He then goes down to Canaan. Canaan stands for love of the temptations of the world. After acting out his sexual needs on his disguised daughter-in-law Tamar, he realises his guilt and turns back. Now he is even willing to lay down his life for his brother. Judah was a brother of Joseph who caused Joseph to be sold into slavery in Egypt (Genesis...
Eve was tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden on three levels: Greed, avarice and ostentation. These are the same temptations we still encounter today and seem to be the apt response to our longing for happiness. The result is ultimately shame and deficit. People do not become happy through external things, but in love for God and in being there for other people. Hans had served his boss faithfully for seven years and received a lump of gold as a reward, which was so...
When the serpent tempted humans in the Garden of Eden, Adam stood silently and passively beside his wife. This pattern has been repeated millions of times over the course of time. Many men shut themselves off when things become confusing or threatening. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, changes the sign completely. We find ourselves in the most beautiful idyll in the Garden of Eden. Recently I photographed a picture on which the following text was printed next to a magnificent landscape: "Eden in Thurgau - the Thurgau landscape as...
The risen Jesus meets Mary at the empty tomb as a gardener. God is like a gardener for us. He knows how to transform barren land into a flourishing garden. Easter turns a Good Friday of mourning into a Good Friday, a story of mourning into a story of hope. When the houses are built on a development and the first people move into their flats, the surroundings are still brown, dirty and dreary. The gardener is the last professional to come and take care of this dreariness, creating a garden,...

The cross

10 April 2020
For some, nonsensical, unnecessary, simply a scandal; for others, the basis for their new life with God. In addition, we experience Andreas on his interesting path to faith. Andreas sits on the floor and rolls a cigarette. For almost 3 weeks, the 18-year-old has been on a journey of self-discovery. All by himself, he rode his moped all the way to England and back, 3000 km. Now he is on his way back and is taking a break on a bench; his overalls are dirty, his...
"Giants are also only dwarfs", from Caleb, the courageous spy of God. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I want to make it clear to my listeners that we can be courageous on the road with God, because huge challenges become small from his perspective. The sermon is preceded by a short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq_r9SvtsDU&feature=youtu.be Put your hand on your heart and be honest. - Who among you would have dared to go to the cinema with this company? That takes a lot of courage, doesn't it? I myself would have gone to the cinema with...
Elisha and his servant experience a story of seeing or not seeing in the face of an enemy army. Through a prayer of Elisha, Gehazi's vision was unlocked into the invisible spiritual reality. As a result, he lost all fear because he saw the armies of God far superior to worldly dangers. Even in our car driving lessons we were taught that we drive where we look. If we look at the tree on the bend, there is great danger of a collision. That is why in...
Whoever listens to Jesus and acts accordingly is like a man who builds his house on rock. On the other hand, the one who only listens and does not act sinks his life. A disciple responds to Jesus' invitation to follow him and now does everything he can to share his whole life with him and become like him. "Disciple" is another name for the person who has a rocky foundation. Small groups are the training centre on the way to becoming a disciple. The French Christian...

Dream Team

15 March 2020
What we can learn from Daniel and his dream team for our everyday life - in good and difficult times! We meet the people of God today at a moment when they could ask themselves: Is this the end of the people of God: we have lost our land, we are defeated by a foreign power; the temple, our sanctuary, is robbed and destroyed; i.e. end of worship! Their last kings led the people to spiritual and historical ruin. And the mighty Babylonian king....
What is a disciple? To get to the bottom of this question, we look at the origin of all discipleship, rabbinism in Jewish Galilee. This is discipleship: I respond to Jesus' invitation to follow him and now put all my efforts into sharing all of life with him and becoming like him. The disciple is an apprentice or apprentice of Jesus. "Therefore go to all the nations and make disciples of them" (Matthew 28:19 NL). Before this...

Listen up

23 February 2020
Samuel was a priest, prophet and centurion in Israel about 3000 years ago. In his younger years he learned to listen to and obey God. He expressed his experience in the following words to King Saul: "To obey him is very much better than to offer sacrifice, to listen to him is better than the fat of rams" (1Samuel 15:22). What is a life of listening and obeying as opposed to a life of offering sacrifices? The outstanding importance...
Samuel was born into a time when the word of God was "dear". Completely clumsy and unaware, he began to listen to God's speaking. He humbly obeyed his God and thus became a priest, prophet and centurion in one person, the likes of which had not been seen since Moses. From his experience we can learn a lot for our own communication with God. When we listen to Him and obey Him, we become blessed and a blessing to others! As...
God trusts us to grow beyond ourselves and thus become a blessing for others. Little Zacchaeus experienced much contempt in his life, but the loving care of Jesus changed everything. Jesus gave him the strength to grow far beyond himself. In the same way, Jesus turns to each of us and blesses us with his attention so that we in turn can bless others with care and encouragement. Think about it: Can you think of a situation in which you have been in contact with...
How does a man of God live under God's blessing in everyday life? And what if he suddenly gets into a clinch and fear spreads? What we can learn from an Old Testament blessing bearer in the year 2020. Abram is about 70 years old when he leaves Ur in Chaldea with his father Terah and his wife Sarai, who is barren. His nephew Lot is also with him, his father having died young. The destination of the journey is Haran; either the Euphrates or the Tigris...
"And Enoch walked with God" (Genesis 5:22). It is vital that we walk with God. This means that we walk through life believing and in union with God. The very best thing we can do in life is to accept Jesus into our lives and ask and seek His will. So let us walk with God. Enoch is one of the better known people in the Old Testament. This is because, together with Elijah, he was the only one who...
In our basic documents, the mission of seetal chile is described with the words gathering, strengthening and sending. The vision picture of a village corresponds to this. Now we have noticed that the dimension of mission is completely missing from the picture and is also little emphasised in our community culture. We believe that we have reached a point where we should focus more on the mission and renew the vision picture accordingly. "When the salt comes on the meat, on the fish....
"I will bless you and you shall be a blessing" (according to Genesis 12:2). Abraham, the father of many nations, received this promise from God. God demanded an incredible departure from him: He was to leave his homeland, where he had already been rooted for 75 years. As a man blessed by God, he was to become a blessing for many other people and nations. In the life of Abraham and many other people we discover a common thread: God addresses people, blesses them and...