A Door of Unbelievable Developments Has Opened

We were privileged to have Stephen and Susan Beck, our missionaries in Germany, in our worship service. Stephen opened God's Word to us from 1 Corinthians 16:5-9, and they both shared powerfully about the amazing things God is doing in their midst this year. SERIES OVERVIEW: From day one we’ve said that missions are at the heart of our church. And you can see all sorts of ways this idea has shaped our church (the budget, missionary updates, missions conferences, short-term mission trips, international ministries, etc.). But how does it shape us? How should we be different? I would argue that it should change us leaps and bounds (but more on “leaps” later).  After all, it changed me. I used to HATE missions. I used to think missions were boring (and missionaries were even worse than that). And then a funny thing happened. I went on a mission trip, and it changed my life (okay, I was forced to go on this trip on pain of

By | 2017-10-18T10:24:02+00:00 September 24th, 2017|Categories: Everyday Missions, Sermon|Tags: , , |

The LEAPS

This second sermon in the series introduces the acrostic "LEAPS" as a way to understand our "everyday mission" and is based on Psalm 108:1-5. L - Live as light E - Engage in what God is doing A - Align with God's Kingdom purposes P - Pray for God's glory S - Share with others about God's Kingdom reign SERIES OVERVIEW: From day one we’ve said that missions are at the heart of our church. And you can see all sorts of ways this idea has shaped our church (the budget, missionary updates, missions conferences, short-term mission trips, international ministries, etc.). But how does it shape us? How should we be different? I would argue that it should change us leaps and bounds (but more on “leaps” later).  After all, it changed me. I used to HATE missions. I used to think missions were boring (and missionaries were even worse than that). And then a funny thing happened. I went on a mission

By | 2017-10-18T10:15:33+00:00 September 17th, 2017|Categories: Everyday Missions, Sermon|Tags: , |

Everyday Missions

From day one we’ve said that missions are at the heart of our church. And you can see all sorts of ways this idea has shaped our church (the budget, missionary updates, missions conferences, short-term mission trips, international ministries, etc.). But how does it shape us? How should we be different? I would argue that it should change us leaps and bounds (but more on “leaps” later).  After all, it changed me. I used to HATE missions. I used to think missions were boring (and missionaries were even worse than that). And then a funny thing happened. I went on a mission trip, and it changed my life (okay, I was forced to go on this trip on pain of being fired, but I still went!). Bottom line: If I can have a change of heart about missions, anyone can! And maybe the first step to change is understanding the five commitments found in “leaps.” Join us in what should be an exciting study of God’s

By | 2017-10-18T10:08:45+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Categories: Everyday Missions, Sermon|Tags: , |

Going Off on Nineveh, Part 2

This sermon continues to explore Jonah's hatred for Nineveh and how it was steeped in nationalism and racism, much in the same way we are guilty of these same sins in our own lives and churches today, based on Jonah 3:10, 4:1. I can remember the first time I heard the story of Jonah.  After I heard the story, I didn’t go swimming for weeks. Oh, wait that was Jaws.  Now, I remember the story.  The whale ate Jonah, and he became a real boy.  Oh wait, that was Pinocchio.  Maybe I don’t remember the real story of Jonah as well as I thought!  All I have is images of the Veggietales version with Archibald Asparagus as Jonah (I would have gone with Bob the Cucumber myself).  And I bet I am not alone.  Ask anyone—they would tell you that Jonah is a fish story and one that is very hard to swallow, at

By | 2017-09-30T22:17:33+00:00 July 9th, 2017|Categories: A Whale of a Prophet, Sermon|Tags: , , , , , |

Going Off on Nineveh

This sermon discusses Jonah's hatred of Nineveh, based on Jonah 1:1-3. I can remember the first time I heard the story of Jonah.  After I heard the story, I didn’t go swimming for weeks. Oh, wait that was Jaws.  Now, I remember the story.  The whale ate Jonah, and he became a real boy.  Oh wait, that was Pinocchio.  Maybe I don’t remember the real story of Jonah as well as I thought!  All I have is images of the Veggietales version with Archibald Asparagus as Jonah (I would have gone with Bob the Cucumber myself).  And I bet I am not alone.  Ask anyone—they would tell you that Jonah is a fish story and one that is very hard to swallow, at that!  And as a result, we just don’t take these forty-eight verses very seriously (when was the last time you saw the Veggietales version of Hosea?).  But Jonah is a masterpiece of a

By | 2017-07-12T09:20:03+00:00 July 2nd, 2017|Categories: A Whale of a Prophet, Sermon|Tags: , , |

Fresh Off the Boat

This sermon discusses Jonah's prayer from inside the big fish, based on Jonah 1:1-10. I can remember the first time I heard the story of Jonah.  After I heard the story, I didn’t go swimming for weeks. Oh, wait that was Jaws.  Now, I remember the story.  The whale ate Jonah, and he became a real boy.  Oh wait, that was Pinocchio.  Maybe I don’t remember the real story of Jonah as well as I thought!  All I have is images of the Veggietales version with Archibald Asparagus as Jonah (I would have gone with Bob the Cucumber myself).  And I bet I am not alone.  Ask anyone—they would tell you that Jonah is a fish story and one that is very hard to swallow, at that!  And as a result, we just don’t take these forty-eight verses very seriously (when was the last time you saw the Veggietales version of Hosea?).  But Jonah is a

By | 2017-07-12T09:20:45+00:00 June 25th, 2017|Categories: A Whale of a Prophet, Sermon|Tags: , , , |

Running Off

This sermon discusses Jonah's request that the sailors throw him overboard in order to calm the storm, as well as the remarkable indication of the sailors' faith, based on Jonah 1:8-17. I can remember the first time I heard the story of Jonah.  After I heard the story, I didn’t go swimming for weeks. Oh, wait that was Jaws.  Now, I remember the story.  The whale ate Jonah, and he became a real boy.  Oh wait, that was Pinocchio.  Maybe I don’t remember the real story of Jonah as well as I thought!  All I have is images of the Veggietales version with Archibald Asparagus as Jonah (I would have gone with Bob the Cucumber myself).  And I bet I am not alone.  Ask anyone—they would tell you that Jonah is a fish story and one that is very hard to swallow, at that!  And as a result, we just don’t take these forty-eight

By | 2017-07-12T09:21:50+00:00 June 18th, 2017|Categories: A Whale of a Prophet, Sermon|Tags: , , , |

Off to a Bad Start

This sermon discusses Jonah's decision to go to Tarshish instead of Nineveh as God had commanded him to do, based on Jonah 1:1-10. I can remember the first time I heard the story of Jonah.  After I heard the story, I didn’t go swimming for weeks. Oh, wait that was Jaws.  Now, I remember the story.  The whale ate Jonah, and he became a real boy.  Oh wait, that was Pinocchio.  Maybe I don’t remember the real story of Jonah as well as I thought!  All I have is images of the Veggietales version with Archibald Asparagus as Jonah (I would have gone with Bob the Cucumber myself).  And I bet I am not alone.  Ask anyone—they would tell you that Jonah is a fish story and one that is very hard to swallow, at that!  And as a result, we just don’t take these forty-eight verses very seriously (when was the last time

By | 2017-07-12T09:22:41+00:00 June 11th, 2017|Categories: A Whale of a Prophet, Sermon|Tags: , , , |

Off on the Wrong Foot

This first sermon of this series gives the background and context for how to examine the book of Jonah, based on Jonah 1:1-3. I can remember the first time I heard the story of Jonah.  After I heard the story, I didn’t go swimming for weeks. Oh, wait that was Jaws.  Now, I remember the story.  The whale ate Jonah, and he became a real boy.  Oh wait, that was Pinocchio.  Maybe I don’t remember the real story of Jonah as well as I thought!  All I have is images of the Veggietales version with Archibald Asparagus as Jonah (I would have gone with Bob the Cucumber myself).  And I bet I am not alone.  Ask anyone—they would tell you that Jonah is a fish story and one that is very hard to swallow, at that!  And as a result, we just don’t take these forty-eight verses very seriously (when was the last time

By | 2018-02-24T15:19:12+00:00 June 4th, 2017|Categories: A Whale of a Prophet, Sermon|Tags: , |

The Blessings and Dangers of Doubt, Part 2

This sermon explores the blessings and dangers of doubt (Part 2) and is based on Jude 20-25. Let's take a quiz.  Pick one.  Doubt is (a) the worst sin imaginable, (b) a terrible weakness that derails people's faith, (c) a great benefit and encouragement to our faith, or (d) an essential and necessary part of our faith.  Here's my advice: if you want to start an argument in a church, ask a question like that.  If I had to guess, most of us would argue that doubt is a bad thing, a really bad thing.  Want some proof?  Would any of us want our kids to have serious doubts about their faith? I didn't think so.  Some of us, on the other hand, believe that doubt, when applied properly, can actually strengthen our faith.  Want some proof?  Look at the faith of Doubting Thomas! So, what is the correct answer to

By | 2017-06-17T23:05:18+00:00 May 28th, 2017|Categories: Doubting Thomas' Faith, Sermon|Tags: , , , |

The Blessings and Dangers of Doubt

This sermon explores the blessings and dangers of doubt and is based on Jude 17-23. Let's take a quiz.  Pick one.  Doubt is (a) the worst sin imaginable, (b) a terrible weakness that derails people's faith, (c) a great benefit and encouragement to our faith, or (d) an essential and necessary part of our faith.  Here's my advice: if you want to start an argument in a church, ask a question like that.  If I had to guess, most of us would argue that doubt is a bad thing, a really bad thing.  Want some proof?  Would any of us want our kids to have serious doubts about their faith? I didn't think so.  Some of us, on the other hand, believe that doubt, when applied properly, can actually strengthen our faith.  Want some proof?  Look at the faith of Doubting Thomas! So, what is the correct answer to the quiz? 

By | 2017-06-17T22:59:00+00:00 May 21st, 2017|Categories: Doubting Thomas' Faith, Sermon|Tags: , , , |

Faith and Doubt

On this Mother's Day, our sermon examines the relationship between faith and doubt based on Matthew 13:53-58, using the faith of Jesus' mother, Mary, as our example. Let's take a quiz.  Pick one.  Doubt is (a) the worst sin imaginable, (b) a terrible weakness that derails people's faith, (c) a great benefit and encouragement to our faith, or (d) an essential and necessary part of our faith.  Here's my advice: if you want to start an argument in a church, ask a question like that.  If I had to guess, most of us would argue that doubt is a bad thing, a really bad thing.  Want some proof?  Would any of us want our kids to have serious doubts about their faith? I didn't think so.  Some of us, on the other hand, believe that doubt, when applied properly, can actually strengthen our faith.  Want some proof?  Look at the

The Other Doubter

After the resurrection when Jesus reinstates Peter, we encounter the way in which Peter doubts (John 21:15-19), which is different from that of Thomas. Peter doubts that he is worthy of being forgiven because he had denied Jesus. Seeing Jesus' grace and mercy toward Peter encourages our faith in powerful ways. Let's take a quiz.  Pick one.  Doubt is (a) the worst sin imaginable, (b) a terrible weakness that derails people's faith, (c) a great benefit and encouragement to our faith, or (d) an essential and necessary part of our faith.  Here's my advice: if you want to start an argument in a church, ask a question like that.  If I had to guess, most of us would argue that doubt is a bad thing, a really bad thing.  Want some proof?  Would any of us want our kids to have serious doubts about their faith? I didn't think so. 

By | 2017-05-20T23:03:00+00:00 April 30th, 2017|Categories: Doubting Thomas' Faith, Sermon|Tags: , , |

The Unlikely Doubter

Let's take a quiz.  Pick one.  Doubt is (a) the worst sin imaginable, (b) a terrible weakness that derails people's faith, (c) a great benefit and encouragement to our faith, or (d) an essential and necessary part of our faith.  Here's my advice: if you want to start an argument in a church, ask a question like that.  If I had to guess, most of us would argue that doubt is a bad thing, a really bad thing.  Want some proof?  Would any of us want our kids to have serious doubts about their faith? I didn't think so.  Some of us, on the other hand, believe that doubt, when applied properly, can actually strengthen our faith.  Want some proof?  Look at the faith of Doubting Thomas! So, what is the correct answer to the quiz?  That's what we will be trying to resolve in our new series, "Doubting Thomas'

By | 2017-04-29T13:34:20+00:00 April 23rd, 2017|Categories: Doubting Thomas' Faith, Sermon|Tags: , , |

Resurrection Sunday: Christ Alone

What makes the resurrection such a good day? In addition to all the blessings we enjoy in Christ, more importantly, the resurrection fulfills the story of the Bible. Rejoice and celebrate that Jesus is King based on Luke 24:1-8.

By | 2017-04-17T14:55:07+00:00 April 16th, 2017|Categories: Sermon|Tags: , , |

For the Glory of God Alone

On this Palm Sunday, our sermon examines the fifth of the Five Solas: For the Glory of God Alone (based on John 17:1-5). In Jesus' prayer, He asks that God's glory be revealed in His death and resurrection: "I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."

By | 2017-04-17T14:39:17+00:00 April 9th, 2017|Categories: 5 Solas, Sermon|Tags: , , , |

Christ Alone

This sermon examines the fourth of the Five Solas: Christ Alone (based on Acts 4:8-12). Here, we rejoice that "salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."

By | 2017-04-08T11:59:21+00:00 April 2nd, 2017|Categories: 5 Solas, Sermon|Tags: , , |

Scripture Alone

This sermon examines the third of the Five Solas: Scripture Alone (based on 2 Timothy 3:14-17). Knowing what Paul meant when he states that all Scripture is "God-breathed" gives us confidence that God's Word is "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

By | 2017-04-08T11:58:38+00:00 March 26th, 2017|Categories: 5 Solas, Sermon|Tags: , , , |

By Faith Alone

By the time the Reformation was in full swing, everyone knew the gospel could be reduced to the "Five Solas" (think of them as the Reformation's "five spiritual laws," but in Latin).  Now Latin has a way of making things sound truly impressive, but the word "sola" simply means "alone" or "only."  Herein lies the glory of the Reformation.  They proclaimed that the gospel came by grace alone, was embraced by faith alone, by Scripture alone, through Christ alone and for the glory of God alone. Five short statements.  And in these we hear the very essence of the gospel. This sermon examines the second of these "solas": By Faith Alone (based on Romans 1:17 and James 2:14-19).

By | 2017-04-08T11:58:24+00:00 March 19th, 2017|Categories: 5 Solas, Sermon|Tags: , , , |

By Grace Alone

By the time the Reformation was in full swing, everyone knew the gospel could be reduced to the "Five Solas" (think of them as the Reformation's "five spiritual laws," but in Latin).  Now Latin has a way of making things sound truly impressive, but the word "sola" simply means "alone" or "only."  Herein lies the glory of the Reformation.  They proclaimed that the gospel came by grace alone, was embraced by faith alone, by Scripture alone, through Christ alone and for the glory of God alone. Five short statements.  And in these we hear the very essence of the gospel. This introductory sermon in our series examines the first of these "solas": By Grace Alone (based on Ephesians 2:1-10).

By | 2017-03-15T16:09:23+00:00 March 12th, 2017|Categories: 5 Solas, Sermon|Tags: , , , |
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