Monday, September 11, 2023

September 10 Sermon and Announcements


September 10, 2023


Daniel 3:1-18

As we get started this morning, I would like to have a song

played by the Christian group, Rend Collective. The song title is,

“Hallelujah Anyway”. There is a lot being said in this song. I was

drawn to this song because of the honesty that is stated in it. At

times I feel some Christian leaders want to claim that

everything is going to work out the way we want it to if we only

have enough faith and God just doesn’t promise that.

God has promised to be with us. In Isaiah 41:10 we read, “So do

not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your

God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with

my righteous right hand.” I would like for us to look at the

honest situations the song we listened to throws out.


By Rend Collective

“I will find a way to praise you from the bottom of my broken


“I’ll find a way to than you through bitterness is read and hard

cause I’d rather take a chance on hope than fall apart.

I don’t think ‘m ready to surrender to the dark.

Even if my daylight never dawns.

Even if my breakthrough never comes.

Even if I’ll fight to be you praise.

Even my dreams fall to the ground.

Even if I’m lost, I know I’m found.

Even if my heart will somehow say Hallelujah anyway.

I’ll hear a hymn of triumph in the wilderness of my lament in

the lowlands or the mountaintops I won’t forget.

All the goodness that you have shown me, the promises you

have kept. There’s better days on the horizon up ahead.

Let’s look at what was going on with Shadrach, Meshach and

Abednego. They had a choice to make – Bow down to the

manmade gods of King Nebuchadnezzar or face certain death.

They could have said to themselves, “God would know that we

don’t mean it. God will forgive us.” But instead, they chose to

take a stand for their God. They without hesitation said, “We

know our God can save us but even if he doesn’t, we will not

bow down and worship your god.” These 3 young men were

faced with a choice – bow down and seemingly save their lives

or stay true to God. They knew even if God did not save their

lives from the furnace, better things were waiting for them. As

strong in the faith as these 3 young men were in this situation, I

was thinking, “Is there anyone in scripture that went through

anywhere near all the things mentioned in the song and yet

remained faithful to God?” I thought of one man who in many

ways stands alone. Do you know who I am referring to? Job. We

have talked about Job before. He loved the Lord with all his

heart. Job loved his family and did all he could to protect them.

God blessed Job with all kinds of success. Without Job having

any idea why, things suddenly began to change. His livestock

was stolen or killed, his land was taken from him, all of his sons

and daughters died. Job had sickness that caused him to be

unable to do virtually anything. Job’s wife and friends offered

no support. There seemed to be no end in sight for what he

was going through yet he remained faithful to God.

When I first really listed to this song, I was challenged to ask

myself, “How would I, how do I respond if and when I never see

the answers I am praying for if my breakthrough never comes?”

One could say this is a kind of depressing song, because it

doesn’t promise everything will work out okay as many

Christian songs do, but the more I listened to this song, it has

become a song of victory to me.

Will we only praise God when we at least see some victories?

Satan said to God about Job, the only reason he praises you is

because you have blessed him with so much. Take it away and

see what happens. So, God allowed Satan to do just that to Job

and yet he still remained true to God.

What about you and me? I know each one here has had trials in

your lives. I also am pretty sure you have seen God’s blessings

at times as well. What if you never have another full-blown

victory the rest of your life? Will you, will I say, even if I don’t

see another victory in this life, my heart will somehow say,

“Hallelujah anyway!” What a testimony of our faith that would

be to a world that is searching for something honest and true to

believe in.

Pastor Larry


Sunday School 9:00

Tuesdays 9:30 Bible Study

September 13 Board Meeting—Executive Committee 6:15;

Commissions 7:00; Board 7:30

September 30 Camp Emmanuel Fish Fry; 75 th anniversary


October 1 6:00 Love Feast here

October 8 12:00 Potluck HERE with conversation and sharing

time to follow—Walt Wiltschek, District Executive, will be

present; area churches are invited.

Needed: Children’s message volunteers. Sign up in back.

Donation Box: utilities

First Sundays: food donations for food banks

Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362

Keep in Your Prayers

Sharon Lee Traughber (Bill’s wife); Pam and Tom; Iva

Traughber Brunner; Nora Hanaver; Jonah Martina; Jan Bower;

Larry Traxler; Randy West; Michelle West; Michelle’s mom;

Carolyn Hirsch; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler; Doug Larrick; Ron

& Kathleen Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Tina

Wilhelm; Mindy Sawyer; Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol

Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler;

Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Patty

Cripe; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests;

healthcare workers and first responders; victims of disasters;

victims of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian church; Haitian

Brethren; Ukraine; Maui fire victims

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Girard congregation and

Girard Area Homes.