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  • Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series | Anne Robertson
    What s It All About Ephesians Holy Catholic Church Philippians Christ the King 1 John Courage Forgiveness of Sins The Catholic Spirit Hebrews Other Alden Bradford Oration On Pests Blog Posts Lost in Ashes Yard Work As Viewed From Heaven In the Pit Re membering Faith Shoveling Piles of White Stuff The Responsibility of Freedom Good Times Decision Time Be the Boss of You Because He Died more Home Exploring the Bible The Dickinson Series Mon 06 17 2013 20 15 annerobertson2 Confused by the Bible Want to learn about the Bible without being pushed by an agenda Curious about the book that is sacred to three major world religions Exploring the Bible The Dickinson Series might be just what you re looking for FAQ What is it What are the three courses Who wrote it What is the theological perspective Do I need a group Where can I get it Certificate of Biblical Literacy What are the costs Testimonials What is it A series of three courses on the Bible designed for small groups Each course is presented in six 90 minute sessions with a Student Text and a separate easy to use Leader s Guide Courses are designed to be offered in local communities and facilitated by local leaders What are the three courses What Is the Bible Introducing the Old Testament Introducing the New Testament Who wrote it Both the student texts and leader s guides are written by Rev Anne Robertson and published by the Massachusetts Bible Society The series is named for its benefactor Dr Charles C Dickinson III What is the theological perspective In the creation of this series there are several obvious biases The Bible is a book that can and should be read by individuals both inside and outside the church Understanding of the Bible is enhanced and deepened in conversation with others The tools of scholarship are not incompatible with a faithful reading of Scripture Diversity of opinion is both a welcome and a necessary part of any education Beyond those points we have tried to give an unbiased theological perspective describing differences of opinion and scholarship in neutral terms Although named for and written by Christians Exploring the Bible The Dickinson Series is designed to be an educational tool not an evangelistic tool The Massachusetts Bible Society affirms that the making of Christian disciples is the job of the local church These materials are designed either to fit into the overall disciple making effort of a local church or into a secular environment where people of other faiths or of no faith can gain a deeper understanding of the nature and content of the Bible Do I need a group The material is designed for use in a small group and participating in such a group will give you the most benefit In a group you will be able to exchange ideas and perspectives and examine biblical stories in more depth through the exercises in the Leader s Guide However

    Original URL path: http://annerobertson.org/dickinson-series (2016-02-16)
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  • Sermons | Anne Robertson
    to David The King Repents Kings Job Why Be Good Psalms Become Thanksgiving Lamentations Where is the Hope Ezekiel Can These Bones Live The Repentance of Believers Where Are The Shepherds Jonah A Big Fish Story Apostles Creed Sermons Matthew Booking Passage By Their Fruit Don t Go Back the Way You Came Epiphany Get Out of the Boat Guard Your Heart Is God Fair Jesus The Son Mount of Olives Sealed in the Tomb Temptations The Canaanite Woman Mark Blind Bartimaeus Clearing the Temple Eating With Sinners I Believe The Living Christ Whatever It Takes Luke Conceived By the Spirit Counting the Cost Going Out of Your Mind Mother of God Mt of Transfiguration Revealed Rock Concert The Duty of Constant Communion The Shepherd Channel The Shepherd Channel Transformation in Whoville Ups and Downs Who s In Charge John Immigration This Must Be the Place Wade in the Water Water Into Wine Lazarus Come Out Stay in the Machine Where are the Shepherds While It Was Still Dark Acts God s Cleansing Love Holy Spirit Sharing the Load Singing In Prison Romans Apart From the Law Maker of Heaven and Earth Tower of Love Who s the Judge 1

    Original URL path: http://annerobertson.org/book (2016-02-16)
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  • Genesis | Anne Robertson
    Lamentations Where is the Hope Ezekiel Can These Bones Live The Repentance of Believers Where Are The Shepherds Jonah A Big Fish Story Apostles Creed Sermons Matthew Booking Passage By Their Fruit Don t Go Back the Way You Came Epiphany Get Out of the Boat Guard Your Heart Is God Fair Jesus The Son Mount of Olives Sealed in the Tomb Temptations The Canaanite Woman Mark Blind Bartimaeus Clearing the Temple Eating With Sinners I Believe The Living Christ Whatever It Takes Luke Conceived By the Spirit Counting the Cost Going Out of Your Mind Mother of God Mt of Transfiguration Revealed Rock Concert The Duty of Constant Communion The Shepherd Channel The Shepherd Channel Transformation in Whoville Ups and Downs Who s In Charge John Immigration This Must Be the Place Wade in the Water Water Into Wine Lazarus Come Out Stay in the Machine Where are the Shepherds While It Was Still Dark Acts God s Cleansing Love Holy Spirit Sharing the Load Singing In Prison Romans Apart From the Law Maker of Heaven and Earth Tower of Love Who s the Judge 1 Corinthians Here I Stand Resurrection of the Body The More Excellent Way What

    Original URL path: http://annerobertson.org/sermons-genesis (2016-02-16)
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  • A New Name | Anne Robertson
    taken from Laban And that is where the Scripture lesson for today opens The others have all gone on ahead across the river and we find Jacob alone on the other side wondering if he has just sent his family to their doom but apparently willing to take that risk in the hopes of saving his own skin And then when he is all alone with his thoughts God shows up to wrestle with him Jacob is bluntly a rogue and a scoundrel He is deceitful greedy and cowardly But he is still the one that God chose to bear the promise given to Abraham Jacob is still the one God picks to father a nation that will be known as God s people Jacob is a punk but that is who God has chosen so it is up to God to make something of him That I think is what the wrestling match is about Before Jacob crosses the river and goes home he has got to be changed and so God steps in It is a fascinating picture of God We see here in the very first book of the Bible that God is willing to show up in the flesh to do what needs to be done If you re paying attention in the Old Testament Jesus coming as God in the flesh should not be a surprise God comes to Jacob in the flesh in a tangible body that can be wrestled with God engages Jacob Jacob has to work for the change that is coming and God is right there in it with him The most interesting thing to me in this passage is the report from the divine wrestler that Jacob has wrestled with God and won Won How do you beat God I think the answer is that God is not interested in giving Jacob a humiliating defeat The purpose of the wrestling match is to change Jacob s attitude and direction not to squash him God does leave Jacob with a limp that will be a reminder for the rest of his days But God grants Jacob a victory and with a new name calls Jacob to a new life Jacob is no longer heel grabber but Israel which means God rules Jacob won the wrestling match not in the way you win a game or a war but in the way that you win the summit of a mountain The mountain has not lost but by your struggle with a worthy opponent you have gained The match proved to Jacob that God was not going to be a pushover like his brother Esau and that Jacob would not be able to run from God like he had run from his Uncle Laban Jacob gains a new understanding of God and a new understanding of his own place in God s plan Soon Jacob s 12 sons will go on to become the 12 tribes of Israel Heel grabber has birthed a

    Original URL path: http://annerobertson.org/new-name (2016-02-16)
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  • Blessed to Be a Blessing | Anne Robertson
    of our world today heaven forbid that we should rejoice that it seems like the end is near We should pray that God holds off until more people can learn the ways of peace so that we can learn to tend to God s creation as we should so that God s will is more often done on earth as it is in heaven Let s go back and look at the passage from Genesis It s a famous passage God s call to Abraham whose name is still Abram at this point Abraham is the beginning of the three monotheistic religions Judaism Islam and Christianity We all go back here to this one man and his faithful response to God s call God s call to Abraham is asking him to take a great leap of faith to leave the only home he has ever known and to venture to someplace he has never heard of In return God offers him a blessing a blessing for Abram and his descendants Now that much we would expect Okay God if you re going to ask me to do something brazen and wild like that there had better be something in it for me You had better make the path easy and bless me for doing it We want reward so that after we have done the hard work we can sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labors But listen to what God actually says to Abraham I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great SO THAT YOU WILL BE A BLESSING I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse and in you ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED The reason God blesses Abraham is so that he can turn around and pass that blessing on to others Not just members of his family or his tribe or his city or his nation All the families of the earth We are blessed by God in order that we might be a blessing to others Counting our blessings without then asking how God would like us to use those blessings is simply greed and selfishness It s not that we cannot partake in the blessing as individuals They are given to us but they are not given ONLY to us In one sense they are a reward they are a reward for faithfulness But the REASON that God rewards faithfulness is because faithful people share their blessing with others Once we start keeping all the blessings to ourselves we are no longer faithful and the reward will stop This concept was put very nicely into a movie a few years back called Pay it Forward We need to stop looking at everything as consumers I want what you will give and I pay you for it End of transaction End of blessing Two people are helped Instead of paying

    Original URL path: http://annerobertson.org/sermon-blessing (2016-02-16)
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  • Claim the Name | Anne Robertson
    him He sent them in groups spaced several miles apart each group bearing lots of gifts Jacob has had 11 children by then and they are all out there in front hoping to earn the favor and soften the heart of Esau before he gets to Jacob Jacob has done all he can possibly do to avert disaster He is alone with his thoughts And then God shows up to wrestle with him Jacob is not the character you want to be your kids role model He is deceitful and greedy and cowardly But he is still the one God chose to carry the line of Abraham Jacob is a scoundrel and God knows it well But that is who God has chosen so it is up to God to make something of him That I think is what the wrestling match is about Before Jacob crosses the river and goes home he has got to be changed and God steps in It is a fascinating picture of God We see here in the very first book of the Bible that God is willing to show up in the flesh to do what needs to be done If you re paying attention in the Old Testament Jesus should not come as any surprise God comes in the flesh a tangible body that can be wrestled with And God engages Jacob Jacob has to work for the change that is coming and God is right there in it with him Perhaps the most interesting thing is in who wins the wrestling match The man says that Jacob has wrestled with God and won but Jacob says I have seen God face to face and yet my life is preserved Jacob knows that God let him win and could have done much worse than put his hip out of joint if God had wanted God is not interested in giving Jacob a humiliating defeat God gives him enough to make him humble God gives him a limp that will be a reminder for the rest of his days But God grants Jacob a victory and with a new name calls Jacob to a new life Jacob is no longer Heel grabber but Israel God rules To say that Jacob won is not necessarily to say that God lost In God s kingdom there are no losers God came to wrestle I think because Jacob needed to know that the God he served was a match for him God was not going to be a pushover like his brother Esau and Jacob would not be able to run from God like he had run from his Uncle Laban Jacob won the wrestling match in the way that someone would win the summit of a mountain The mountain has not lost but by your struggle you have gained In that way Jacob wins from God a new name to bring him honor and a limp to keep him humble Soon Jacob will have another

    Original URL path: http://annerobertson.org/claim-the-name (2016-02-16)
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  • Jacob's Ladder | Anne Robertson
    get no dream no vision no promise no blessing Your loser of a brother however after cheating and lying his way into getting all that belongs to you the minute he lies down for a nap the heavens open and God shows up with even more blessings and promises What I want to say this morning is that this exactly is the Gospel This exactly was the criticism of Jesus by the religious leaders that he was always hanging out with the wrong crowd Instead of blessing the righteous he was cavorting with sinners making them promises and bringing them gifts of healing and forgiveness blessing them with the honor of his presence What gives said the Pharisees Here you are a rabbi a religious leader and you re ignoring the faithful and giving all your attention to these outsiders I didn t come for the righteous ones says Jesus The good folks don t need a savior I came to find the lost ones and bring them home This is a pattern with God which starts very early God does not appear to Jacob because of Jacob s righteousness but precisely the opposite God comes to Jacob in order to open up new possibilities for a no good brother who is on the wrong road I ve told this story before I think but it bears repeating here It was a story I heard on a talk show back when I was in seminary The person being interviewed was an African woman who was queen of her small tribe She was on a goodwill mission to the US and was touring inner city schools in New York City As she spoke she told about going into one classroom where a boy was in time out over in the corner of the room She asked the teacher about him and was told by the teacher that this boy was just no good He was always in trouble and always meant to be in trouble He was mean didn t care whether he learned anything or not and hoped to take as many other classmates down with him as he could He was always in time out it seemed Nothing would ever come of him The queen went over to see him When she sat down beside him she took out a small scroll she had brought and gave it to the boy Congratulations she said with a smile This scroll makes you an honorary prince of my people She then went on to tell the boy about her tribe and what it meant to be a prince there She told how their princes were men of honor how they watched out for others in the tribe and always did what was good in the eyes of the people The boy took the scroll and she left The important part of the story is that the boy s teacher said that she never had another behavioral problem with the boy He

    Original URL path: http://annerobertson.org/jacobs-ladder (2016-02-16)
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  • On the Threshold | Anne Robertson
    neither of us really knows where that will lead or what will happen along the way So this morning I thought I would talk a little bit about Abraham Because you see leaving home is not a new experience In fact it seems to be a painfully frequent experience for those who would call themselves God s people Adam and Eve get booted out of their comfortable garden into a strange and dangerous world Noah gets stuffed on a boat with two of every creature on the earth and if they behaved anything like Grace it s a wonder Noah wasn t a raving lunatic when he finally got off on Mt Ararat And then there s Abraham who God plucked out of his comfortable city home and sent to a land he had never been to and never heard of No sin forced him out no cataclysmic disaster made him leave God simply said Will you go and Abraham said Yes I will And he picked up his entire family and all his earthly possessions and set out without so much as a GPS system And it wasn t just the road to another established house When Abraham left home he left the settled city life to become a nomad He set up his tents in the hill country and moved from place to place with his flocks and herds Abraham had to learn that with God home means something different than just a particular place Home for God s people is found inside the will of God not in the walls of a house or a church People always ask me why God chose Abraham instead of somebody else Well I don t know that Abraham was the only person that God asked For all we know God could have asked 120 people before Abraham to do the same thing But Abraham was the one who said Yes and that act of faith was enough for God to act What I want to say to you this morning is that saying yes to God s call is always enough Through the Bishop and Cabinet God called to me and said Anne will you go to Westford I said Yes I ll go Grace is hiding under the bed and I have no idea what awaits me here but that doesn t matter When God says go you go and home goes with you And that s not just a call for ministers God is calling to every one of you asking each of you to go to leave home in some way and promising to take care of you along the way Maybe your call is to a certain profession or to a volunteer position in the church or community Maybe it is a call to be more intentional about prayer Bible study or some other aspect of your spiritual life Maybe it is a call to make your peace with someone who has wronged you or to

    Original URL path: http://annerobertson.org/on-the-threshold (2016-02-16)
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