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The Weekly Message

Recordings of the weekly message are available online for download. If you'd like to be notified when new recordings are posted, click on the "Subscribe to posts" button below. (You will need to install a "reader" if you don't already subscribe to rss feeds. Learn how here.)

Is there a topic or Scripture you'd like to see addressed in the weekly message? We welcome your questions and ideas, and invite you to contact us with your suggestions. Also let us know if you need more information, or have difficulty accessing a recording. 

Fighting Our Fears

posted Aug 13, 2017, 2:45 PM by web feat

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation, overwhelmed, anxious, fearful? Our lives can change in an instant, and no matter how we may try to be prepared and wise, no matter how deep our faith, there will be times and situations that rattle us to the core. 

In Mathew 14, we find the powerful story of Jesus walking on water in the midst of a powerful storm. It's a miracle that not only touches his disciples' lives deeply, but also encourages Peter to boldly step out into the water himself. But Peter's eyes are drawn away from Jesus, and suddenly he is mentally as well as physically sinking into the churning waters, until his cry for help brings Jesus to his side to save him.

Our minds can do the same, churning in fear and anxiety. But there are practical ways to re-center, to re-frame our toxic thoughts, and to get our eyes back on our Lord. One that my be helpful is Michaels Hyatt's "7 things to ask when bad things happen." 

Click here to listen to the message, and here for other resources. 

Why We’re Not Satisfied

posted Aug 6, 2017, 1:45 PM by web feat

In a world so filled with distractions; in a world where it's easy to feel that we know what's best for us; in a world where many see themselves as their own gods -- it can be easy lose our way. And as we lose our way, we can feel empty. We can feel a large hole inside, and we can wonder why none of the things we're chasing really make us happy or satisfy us. And then we may off chasing the big thing, only to be left with the same disappointing results. What's happening? And what does it take to fill that hole inside?

Click here to listen to the message, and here for other resources.

Are You Listening?

posted Jul 16, 2017, 2:16 PM by joicy b

Using a boat as his pulpit, Jesus turned to those on the shore with  a story, intended to "to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight." 

“What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams. “Are you listening to this? Really listening?” (Matthew 13:3-9, Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

We all have different levels of readiness to hear, ability to understand, and openness to the message. We all have freedom of choice. Which seeds are we?

Click here to listen to the message, and here for other resources.

When Our Good Intentions Fail

posted Jul 9, 2017, 2:27 PM by joicy b   [ updated Jul 9, 2017, 2:31 PM ]

We've all been there. We have wonderful intentions - we know what we need to do (or not do), and then we give in to temptation...as Paul writes in Romans:

"I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up...I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question??

Like Paul, we too ask - is there no one who can help us with our temptations?

"The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different." Romans 7:18-25, Peterson's "The Message"

Click here to listen to the message, and here for other resources.

It’s the Little Things

posted Jul 2, 2017, 2:49 PM by joicy b

As we look at the world and consider the tremendous need out there, it's easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged. How can any of really make a difference in such difficult circumstances? But as Jesus gives his final charge to his disciples, he also offers significant clues to us:

"This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.” (Matthew 10:42 from Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

How do we do it? We start where we are, for even little things can make a big difference. And we trust God will do the rest, if we're just willing.

Click here to listen to the message, and here for other resources.

Through Thick and Thin

posted Jun 18, 2017, 2:36 PM by joicy b

As Jesus prepared his disciples for the most important work they would ever do, He knew they were afraid. He knew they felt overwhelmed. But he had words for them that apply to all of us:

If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me. (Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

We were created for something greater than any of us can even imagine. And the God who brought us into this world is there along side us always, giving us the strength we need to see it through.

Click here to listen to the message, and here for other resources.

Unity and Diversity

posted Jun 4, 2017, 4:49 PM by web feat   [ updated Jun 18, 2017, 2:26 PM by joicy b ]

It's easy for us to get lost in our independent thinking, and forget that we are all connected, all part of something so much bigger. Paul tried to explain this in his letter to the Corinthians:

What I want to talk about now is the various ways God’s Spirit gets worked into our lives. This is complex and often misunderstood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable. Remember how you were when you didn’t know God, led from one phony god to another, never knowing what you were doing, just doing it because everybody else did it? It’s different in this life. God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can...

He goes on to explain using a wonderful metaphor:

...You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives...The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive. [1 Corinthians 12:1-13 - Eugene Petersons' "The Message"]

Words that still hold true.

Click here to listen to the message, and here for other resources.

Love Much and Love Well

posted May 21, 2017, 2:23 PM by web feat

Imagine being chained to a Roman guard and held prisoner, relying on the kindness of others to pay for your meals and basic needs. Would you feel loving and full of joy? Probably not! 

And yet, here is Paul, dictating what is described as one of his "happiest letters" to the church in Phillipi. 

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well...Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

What was his secret? How could he know such joy in the midst of such terrible circumstances?

Click here to listen to the message, click here to access related resources.

Living in Harmony

posted May 7, 2017, 3:04 PM by web feat   [ updated May 21, 2017, 2:23 PM ]

After Jesus was resurrected and showed himself to the disciples, he then went to heaven. And they then had a choice: they could choose to return to the old life, or they could choose to live following his teachings. And Peter urged: "Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!”

And so they did, creating a community where everyone looked out for each other.

"Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met. (Acts 2:43-45, The Message)

The story continues...

"The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.

And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person’s need." (Acts 4:32-35, The Message)

Quite a contrast to today's world. How might all our lives be better if we chose to look out for each other?

Click here to listen to the message; click here to access related resources.

What Are We Missing?

posted Apr 30, 2017, 1:57 PM by web feat

It's kind of surprising when you think about it... Jesus had risen from the dead, and word had reached his disciples that the tomb was empty. And yet,

"... two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was."

They were followers who had been with him, who had seen him and heard him extensively, and yet they didn't recognize him? Even after walking with him, and hearing him share the teachings of the Bible? Oddly, it was not until they sat at a meal and he broke bread with him.

At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. (From Luke 24, The Message)

Jesus is with us as well. What might it take for us to see him?

Click here to listen to the message; click here to access related resources for April 30, 2017

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