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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. 

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. 

Hope in a Dark Time

posted Sep 10, 2017, 2:51 PM by web feat

Devastating hurricanes hitting Houston and Florida, like nothing we've ever seen. Over 1000 forest fires in the western United States and Canada. Massive flooding in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. An 8.0 earthquake in Mexico. And all in a matter of weeks.

It would be easy to grow discouraged. But Paul, who first hand experienced everything from shipwrecks to beatings to punishing imprisonment, encourages us to take heart, and never give up. He reminds us that there is always reason for hope, even in the darkest of times:

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. (Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

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

The Power of Love

posted Aug 27, 2017, 2:08 PM by web feat

It's hard to believe as we read this opening passage in the first chapter of Philippians that Paul can sound so happy, so at peace, so filled with love. Especially when we are reminded that he is imprisoned - writing while living under circumstances most of us would consider horrific.

And what is his secret -- this man who once was angry and violently condemned Christians? His power comes out of love. Knowing God's love, and being committed to sharing that love, wherever he is, whatever the circumstances. And he prays this prayer for the Philippians:

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. 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. (Peterson's "The Message")

May it be a prayer for us as well.

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

Where ALL Are Welcome

posted Aug 20, 2017, 2:44 PM by web feat

As we once again witness conflicts based on differences, it is important that we never forget that we were ALL created by a God who loves us all, and welcomes us all. As it says in this excerpt from Isaiah 56:1-8,

"Make sure no outsider who now follows God
    ever has occasion to say, ‘God put me in second-class.
    I don’t really belong.’
And make sure no physically mutilated person
    is ever made to think, ‘I’m damaged goods.
    I don’t really belong'...

...“And as for the outsiders who now follow me,
    working for me, loving my name,
    and wanting to be my servants—
All who keep Sabbath and don’t defile it,
    holding fast to my covenant—
I’ll bring them to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
They’ll be welcome to worship the same as the ‘insiders,’
    to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to my altar.
Oh yes, my house of worship
    will be known as a house of prayer for all people.”
The Decree of the Master, God himself,
    who gathers in the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather others also,
    gather them in with those already gathered.”

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

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.

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