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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. 



How Long?

posted Dec 3, 2017, 1:17 PM by web feat

Earlier and earlier each year we see the Christmas decorations in stores and Christmas ads everywhere. Christmas music dominates the radio stations, with the promise that it's the "hap, happiest time of the year." But not for everyone.

As we begin this Advent season, we're reminded of the struggles we face as human beings - struggles that humans have faced from the beginning. We are reminded of our limited understanding of how God works in our lives, and how often WE are the obstacle, not God. Our losses and challenges can feel especially painful, as we wonder, "How Long?" How Long must the pain go on? How long before God saves us from our suffering? How long before we understand?

Now is the time to listen for God, and to open our hearts to Him. Now is the time to make room for the One who knows us better than we know ourselves, the one who has a plan and a purpose for our lives - even if we can't see it, and don't understand. 

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

Our Greatest Enemy

posted Nov 19, 2017, 3:25 PM by web feat

It is often thought that doubt is the greatest enemy to our faith. But we actually have a greater enemy: FEAR. And it's not just an enemy of our faith. It is also our greatest obstacle to fulfilling God's purpose in our life.

In this parable, a wealthy man "called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money."

The reason he gave his master? "I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’"

How often are we like scared servant, playing it safe, and missing opportunities? If we truly trust our Lord, our lives can't be governed by fear.

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

Why Wait?

posted Nov 12, 2017, 4:20 PM by web feat

We all know people who procrastinate, who wait until the last minute, who don't prepare or plan, and who suffer the consequences. We may be among them, fighting crowds trying to do last minute shopping before that big storm blows in. Or running out of gas because we forgot to check the tank. With our busy lives, there are so many ways that things can fall through the cracks, and we can find ourselves unprepared.

Sadly, our spiritual lives can be one of those things we postpone and shove to the back burner. But we do so at a great cost. God offers us so much in this life that we will miss if we don't stay focused on Him. We need to keep Him front and center, and to live out now what we say we believe.

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

Beware of the Pretenders

posted Nov 5, 2017, 2:36 PM by web feat

Throughout the Bible, Old and New Testament, we are warned of those who are high and mighty, but whose lives don't reflect what they preach. In fact, it can be the exact opposite.

Micah warns:
The leaders of Jacob and
    the leaders of Israel are
Leaders contemptuous of justice,
    who twist and distort right living,
Leaders who build Zion by killing people,
    who expand Jerusalem by committing crimes.
Judges sell verdicts to the highest bidder,
    priests mass-market their teaching,
    prophets preach for high fees,
All the while posturing and pretending
    dependence on God" 
(Micah 3)

And Jesus uses strong words to warn as well:
“The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer...

An how are we to live differently?
...“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty." (Matthew 23 from Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

Yes, we are called to actually live our faith, as humble servants, recognizing the "pretenders" for the fakes they are, and giving our lives in service to others.

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

Do We Really HAVE To?

posted Oct 29, 2017, 3:04 PM by web feat   [ updated Oct 29, 2017, 3:05 PM ]

It was their last effort to trap Jesus:

"When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?'"

What to say, with some 613 commandments to consider? But Jesus once again got to the heart of it in his response:

"Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” (Matthew 22:36-40 from Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

At the heart of our faith is LOVE.

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

A Tricky Question

posted Oct 22, 2017, 3:20 PM by web feat   [ updated Oct 29, 2017, 3:06 PM ]

As Jesus continued to teach, the Pharisees became increasingly disturbed. But what to do? So they hatched a plan to try to trap him into saying something damaging. 

"They sent their disciples, with a few of Herod’s followers mixed in, to ask, “Teacher, we know you have integrity, teach the way of God accurately, are indifferent to popular opinion, and don’t pander to your students. So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?'" (from Matthew 22, Eugene Peterson's, "The Message.")

Jesus' answer was simple: “'give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.'”

It wasn't what the Pharisees expected, and they left in silence, unable to respond. But how does this speak to us, and how are WE to respond?

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

Overcoming Worry

posted Oct 15, 2017, 1:36 PM by web feat

Is there anyone who doesn't worry? Surely Paul had good reason to worry, held under house arrest. He had no idea what might be ahead for him, but it didn't look good. And surprisingly, it was in this context he wrote one of his happiest letters. He also offered

"Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

Good advice, from one who was living what he preached. And he didn't stop there --

"Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."

With God's help, we, too can overcome our worries.

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

Why Do We Resist?

posted Oct 8, 2017, 3:24 PM by web feat

We have a God who created us, who has known us since we were formed in the womb. A God who knows us better than we know ourselves, and who wants only the best for us. And yet, there can be a disconnect as soon as we're reminded of the "rules" which we are to follow. 

This famous passage -- commonly known as the 10 Commandments - begins with God reminding His people that He brought them out of slavery. And He has not brought them -- or us -- out of slavery only to re-enslave us. Rather, He knows better than we ever can what is needed for us to have the life we were made for. And it is only in following God's mandates that we can be truly free.

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

If We Have a Heart

posted Oct 1, 2017, 2:19 PM by web feat

This world can be confusing. We are encouraged not only to be OUR best, but to be THE best. There is much distrust and disagreement, even among Christians. 

Paul offers a timely reminder of who God calls us to be and how He calls us to live:

"If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand."  (Philippians 1, Peterson's "The Message")

But how can we put this into action?

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

What's Really Fair?

posted Sep 24, 2017, 1:58 PM by web feat

It's described as being the least popular of all of Jesus' parables, and it was the last parable he shared before his entrance into Jerusalem, before his final week on earth. He tells the story of an estate manager who hires workers to harvest his grapes. They are hired throughout the day, all working a different number of hours. At the end of the day, he pays them all the same -- regardless of how long they worked. And those who put in the longest hours are furious. Yes, the manager paid them exactly what was agreed upon. But to pay those who only worked an hour or 2 the same as those who had worked a full, long day? How is that fair?

Perhaps we need to rethink our understanding of "fair?"

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

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