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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland


              Pastor Ray Scott


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          Autumn has arrived. It blew in Friday with a hot wind and we woke up yesterday with the first chilly morning of Fall. Traditionally, we start a seasonal in-between week with air conditioners and fans and end up with space heaters against  the chill. When we first arrived here in the late summer of 1976, forty-two years ago, we were thrilled with the seasonal change of Summer into Fall. We were accustomed to the bland, drab climate of Southern California.
            Our here in the NorthEast when we think of Autumn Season we think of. . .Warm days, Cool nights, Blue skies, Birds in flight, Brilliant hues on the trees, Autumn moon, Falling leaves, Orange pumpkins, Crisp Fall apples, Apple Cider, Ripe corn ears, Frosty fields, Fall Festivals, End of Waterfire. . .
          Autumn is also a time of sadness as we think of the end of warm summer days and nights. . .Dying foliage. . .Fields stripped bare of their crops. . .Trees stark mere skeletons of their former green glory. . .Continuous grey, over-cast skies. . .Approaching cold weather and lighting up our furnaces to buffer against the approaching cold weather.
          Autumn is also somewhat of a sad time of the year.  The warm days of summer are waning.  Flowers and much of the foliage is dying.  Fields where once vibrant crops grew are stripped bare.  Trees will become stark, gray skeletons against a sometimes gray and mist-laden sky.  Cold weather soon will be approaching. 
          Autumn reminds me of the developmental sad Fall Season of human life. 1 Peter 1:24,25 reminds us,
1 Peter 1:24-25 (NKJV)
24 because "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the LORD endures forever. . ."

There is a Fall Season in all our lives. Autumn is the reminder of our own mortality and the brevity of our own lives as well. That's why I wrote this sermon.

Pastor Phil  <><<
September 23, 2018 - Sheepfold Ministries
Pastor Phil Roland   <><<

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

"Our children are growing older. My son's 50th birthday is next week and he's our youngest. Now we're measuring our days by the ages and developmental periods of our grandkids! We take God's gift of life for granted, but as the seasons roll by we realize that Fall is the season both of Harvest and of Dying. There is a deadly silence in the air the morning after the first Killing Frost."                                                                  Pastor Phil  <><<

1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

"Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."     Acts 1:6-8

Autumn is the Jewish season of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Booths

How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.    ~~John Burroughs

Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.
~~Jim Bishop

I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze.
The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.   ~~Ann Drake

Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees. ~~Faith Baldwin, American Family

Autumn is life's mellow time.  ~~Phil Roland

There are several thoughts about Autumn. . .
1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

          A. The Flesh and Time for Man to Occupy is short - Psalm 103:15,16
                    15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he
              flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place
              remembers it no more.
                                     1. We need to become season-sensitive in how we live our lives
                    2. Self-Indulgence is a luxury Kingdom people cannot afford
                    3. There is an economy in the Kingdom of God

          B. Chronological Time is Short
                    1. It's Limited to the human heart-beat
                    2. Four Things can never return:
                              a. The spoken word
                              b. The sped arrow
                              c. The past life
                              d. The neglected opportunity
                    3. Do good things for others in God's Kingdom
                        Eg. One young man wrote to his older, but wiser father, telling
                            him his troubles, and in general feeling sorry for himself. His
                            dad’s reply is valuable:  “Son, by the time you take childhood off
                            one end of your life, and old age off the other end, you don’t have
                      much time for doing good.  Life is short.  Make the best of your time.”

The Season of Autumn Reminds us. . .
1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

          A. Moses Got Ahead of God - Ex. 2:11-15; Acts 7:23-30; Heb. 11:24,25
                    1. He was 40-year-old Prince of Egypt, but killed a Task Master
                    2. God sentenced him to 40-years in the deserts of Median
                    3. God's season for Moses to begin the Promised Land Trip
                              a. He was a white-haired old man of 80 years
                              b. He arrived there when he was 120 years old
                    B. God Convicts us of our own Selfishness, we don't listen
                    1. God persists but we are slow to respond
                    2. We squander who we are on worthless things
                    3. We don't listen because of ridiculous anticipation
                              a. Hitting the Lottery
                              b. When our ship comes in
                              c. When our kids grow up
                    4. Opportunities are right in front of us
                              a. Lost and dying people are all around us
                              b. They need the Lord in their lives
          C. Pray for God to open your eyes to see them
                    1. Pray for God to help you to live where your shoes are
                    2. Pray to God that you will live in the here and now
                    3. We can only live one day at a time, one moment at a time
                                        34 “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your                                  tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.   TLB

The Season of Autumn Reminds us. . .
2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;

A. Looking back over life's days all have Regrets

1. Guilt is a cruel taskmaster with a long, sharp lash
                    2. We cannot go back and change anything about the past
                    3. We can only learn from past mistakes and live better today
          B. The Apostle Paul reminds us to forget the past - Phil. 3:13,14
                    13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,                      forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those                        things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the                            upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
1. Before conversion Paul directed the murder of Godly men
                    2. Even Paul couldn't change that past
                    3. All he could do was live well in the present
                    4. Paul made a choice to leave his shameful past behind
                    5. He pressed on to a bright future with Jesus
          C. I love Alan Langstaff's favorite phrases,
                    "The best is yet to be!" and, "The best season of life is NOW!"                     Bro. Alan his mid eighties is still active in pastoral care

As you enter this Autumn:
          1. Keep your eyes on Jesus
          2. Invest in others
          3. Motivate others coming behind you
          4. Encourage others coming behind you
          5. Disciple others coming behind you



Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NKJV)
1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.






James 4:13-15 (NKJV)
13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit";
14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Psalm 1:3 (NKJV)
3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

The Seasons of Life are like climbing Life's Ladder. The higher you climb the more clearly you see where you've been and what's ahead.

Autumn is like the Season of Rest for the Earth. . .After all the work of producing new life, blossoms, growth and fruit, then it's time to rest from it's labors.

We hate change, but change is inevitable.

Remember Jesus admonition in Matt. 6:11
11 Give us this day our daily bread.



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