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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. 

At the Heart of It All

posted Feb 11, 2018, 3:28 PM by web feat

It's a passage we typically hear at weddings, but it's more radical than we realize. And it applies not just to couples starting a new life together, but to all of us. We are to love everyone without judgement, even if it makes us uncomfortable. Even if we disagree. Even if we are of different races and religions.

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (From 1 Corinthians 13, Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

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

We Hate to Wait

posted Feb 4, 2018, 2:29 PM by web feat   [ updated Feb 11, 2018, 3:20 PM ]

Even though we have been hearing these stories all our lives; even though we know God created our world and knows everything, inside and out; even though we're told that God is working in it all - we hate to wait. And we can grow weary with worry. We want our answers now.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind. (Isaiah 40:31 - Eugene Peterson's, "The Message")

It's worth the wait!

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

Facing Our Demons

posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:02 PM by web feat

We all have them, whether we like to admit it or not: those parts of ourselves that we may be ashamed of, or may feel are not really us. Maybe it's a bad temper that seems to come from out of nowhere. Maybe it's an addiction we feel we can't control. Maybe it's a deep fear that drives us to bad choices. The good news is that while we may feel powerless, God is not. We too can be freed from our demons. But first, we have to face them, and be open to change.

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

Where ALL Are Welcome

posted Jan 21, 2018, 2:02 PM by web feat   [ updated Jan 28, 2018, 2:54 PM ]

In these troubling times, it's easy to forget that God created and loves us ALL. That He so loved the world - ALL the world - that the ultimate sacrifice was made so that we might all know and love each other as ONE family, where ALL are welcome. Once the Jews were considered the holy people, and the rest of us unwanted outsiders. But God sent His son to Jesus:

He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody...

...Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.

That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home. [From Ephesians 2 -Eugene Peterson's "The Message"]

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

Are We Willing to Trust?

posted Jan 14, 2018, 3:02 PM by web feat

God has given us an amazing gift. As Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians,

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. (Ephesians 1:1-5 - from "The Message")

But to receive this precious gift, we have to trust Him. That's not easy. And yet when we do, amazing things happen.

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

A Glorious Reminder

posted Jan 7, 2018, 4:10 PM by web feat

As we start this new year, it's good to be reminded how loved and blessed we are. As written in Ephesians 4:

"How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for." 

May all be blessed in this new year!

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

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. 

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. 

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