Messages by Dan Vellinga

Messages by Dan Vellinga

The Easy Yoke

The Easy YokeMatthew 11:25-30Sunday, May 16, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa Introduction:A former Marine started a new career as a teacher. Just before the school year started, he injured his back. He was required to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. Fortunately, the cast fit under his shirt and wasn’t noticeable. On the first day of class, he found himself assigned to the most challenging students in the school. The students,…

The Spirit is Willing

The Spirit is WillingMark 14:38 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa IntroductionI stopped making New Year’s Resolutions many years ago, mainly because the resolution to stop making resolutions is the only resolution I have kept. I remember, years ago, resolving to become more organized so I bought a datebook that came with a “how to organize your life”…

God Our Savior

God Our SaviorSunday, February 28, 2021Titus 3:5 “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,…” Introduction: You don’t have to…you get to…Look at all the good works mentioned in this letterI remember some friends in Spokane, Washington who always encouraged their friends to do good by considering the opportunity to do something good something to cherish. “You don’t ‘have to”,…

From Life to Life

From Life to LifeFebruary 14, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa2 Kings 2:1-12 Introduction: upon meeting someone importantThis time, ten years ago, I was working as a chaplaincy resident at a large hospital in Toledo, Ohio. One of the most embarrassing moments that whole year was when I was asked to attend a meeting with top level doctors, administrators and nurses with a family who lost someone recently at the hospital. During the course of the meeting,…

Why Jesus Came

Why Jesus CameHebrews 2:17 “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”Sunday, February 7, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa Introduction: Mark Twain toward the end of his life wrote a story, The Mysterious Stranger in which the ending has people awaiting word from an angel about forgiveness for…

Saul At En Dor

Saul at En Dor1 Samuel 28:13-15Sunday, January 31, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa IntroductionPeople try to somehow contact the dead, and interest in spiritualism has been longstanding. It was widely practiced in ancient times, yet worship of ancestors continues to this day in some parts of the world. I remember the wealthy couple who donated the estate that became the University of St. Mary on the Lake. It includes the tomb of their only son, who…

DAvid and the Showbread

David and the Showbread1 Samuel 21:6“So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the LORD, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away.”Sunday, January 24, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa Introduction There’s a lot of literature about presence, and that just being present and paying attention to someone who is struggling can help…

David and Goliath

  Sunday, January 17, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa 1 Samuel 17:51 “Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.” Intro.When a professional sports team wins a championship, many in that team’s home city celebrate. Some teams have enjoyed ticker-tape parades. Because our daughter…

The Established Life

Romans 16:25-27 4th Sunday of Advent Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began  but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith– to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.…

Life as a Mission

John 20:21  3rd Sunday of Advent Introduction:  purpose in life I remember, just a few days ago, watching part of a documentary about Hasidic Jews, who are fluent in Yiddish as well as English and live in certain parts of Brooklyn.  A resident of the neighborhood was guiding the filmmaker down the street when all of a sudden, a young man steps out of a storefront, looks straight into the camera and says, “We all have a purpose in life. …

1,000 Years Like a Day

2 Peter 3:8 Second Sunday of Advent Introduction:  Waiting is not always wasting time.           On this second Sunday of Advent we consider that waiting is not wasting time.  This runs counter to our fast-moving culture.  We usually are in a hurry to get things done, and that is not always bad.  Such people are often productive, but I was in a meeting recently and someone reminded me that we need to slow down the pace, be quiet and reflect…

Beyond Our Understanding

Isaiah 64:4 1st Sunday of Advent Introduction:  The once and future king Today marks the first day of the Season of Advent, recalling the events preceding the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  It has an ancient history and marks a wondrous theological truth; that in His birth Jesus, the eternal Son of God who is Creator of all things is Himself now part of Creation.  He has joined the human race, and when He resurrected and ascended to heaven, He…