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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. 

Strength in Weakness

posted Jul 8, 2018, 3:47 PM by web feat

We all face challenges we would never choose, and we try to be strong. But too often we think we need to be the source of our strength, forgetting that our real strength comes from God. Paul experienced a lifetime of difficulties, but never lost hope. In fact, he came to see his "handicap" as a gift.

"...so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."  (From 2 Corinthians 12, Eugene Peterson's, "The Message")

How can we do the same?

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

Time for a Fresh Start

posted Jun 17, 2018, 2:42 PM by web feat   [ updated Jun 17, 2018, 2:46 PM ]

We sadly live in a time of serious division, when even some who profess to be followers of Christ disregard the lives of others, and too often put their own self interests first. But this is not what God intended for us. We must never forget that God created us all, God loves us all, and God calls us to love and care for each other as our brothers and sisters.  As Paul wrote,

"One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look...Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other." (From 2 Corinthians 5, Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

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

Don't Lose Heart

posted Jun 10, 2018, 2:20 PM by web feat

For many, this has been a week of great challenges. And in a moment, our world can be turned upside down.

The apostle Paul knew adversity well. From shipwrecks to prison cells, he lived a life of constant difficulty, yet never lost site of the bigger truth, and a bigger purpose. As he wrote to the Corinthians,

"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." (From 2 Corinthians 4, Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

God is making a new life in us as well, and though we may endure circumstances we would never choose, God is by our side, preparing us for something bigger and greater.

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

Living a Joy-filled Life

posted May 6, 2018, 4:30 PM by web feat

We all want to live happy lives, and we all want to be loved. But the secret to both is a far cry from what the world would have us believe. Jesus points the way to what will give us a joy nothing can take from us.

“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love...You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. But remember the root command: Love one another." 
(from John 15:9-17, Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

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

He Cares That Much

posted Apr 22, 2018, 3:02 PM by web feat

Who is this Jesus, and why should we trust him? How is he different? As told in the Book of John:

“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him." (from Eugene Peterson's, "The Message")

And in contrast to the many then and now who make big promises while looking out only for their own best interests, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice. He gave his LIFE for us. Yes, he cares that much.

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

What's the Point?

posted Apr 1, 2018, 1:15 PM by web feat

In this 1 Corinthians 15 passage, Paul passionately reminds his followers about "the Message on which you took your stand and by which your life has been saved." 

He reminds them, "that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; and that he finally presented himself alive to me."

But what does this mean for us? What's the point, if we're not living as God called us to live? And what does that look like?

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

The Time Is Now

posted Mar 18, 2018, 1:29 PM by web feat

Who was this guy Jesus? Who was this one who brought a dead man back to life? People wanted to see him, but did they understand? Were they willing to follow where he lead? He tried to tell them...

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

 “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.  [Eugene Peterson's "The Message"]

His words are for us as well. Like the seed, things in us must die for us to fully live. Our purpose is to follow him, letting go and reckless in our love. And the time is now.

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

Pondering God’s Love

posted Mar 11, 2018, 3:44 PM by web feat

Life can be full of challenges that can seem insurmountable. But God is always there for us. As the Psalmist writes,

"Some of you wandered for years in the desert,
    looking but not finding a good place to live,
Half-starved and parched with thirst,
    staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion.
Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God.
    He got you out in the nick of time...

...Some of you were locked in a dark cell,
    cruelly confined behind bars,
Punished for defying God’s Word,
    for turning your back on the High God’s counsel—
A hard sentence, and your hearts so heavy,
    and not a soul in sight to help.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time...

...Some of you were sick because you’d lived a bad life,
    your bodies feeling the effects of your sin;
You couldn’t stand the sight of food,
    so miserable you thought you’d be better off dead.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time... [from Eugene Peterson's "The Message"]

It is time we ponder God's great love for us, and be grateful.

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

They Crossed the Line

posted Mar 4, 2018, 1:52 PM by web feat

As we reflect on the 10 Commandments during this time of Lent, we here this story, and see a stark contrast between God's word and the practices at the Temple. God's law was being twisted in ways that blatantly took advantage of the people, while lining the pockets of the leaders:

When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.

Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” [from Eugene Peterson's, "The Message"]

It's a time to ask ourselves, how might we be falling short in our own faith practices, or twisting them to our own advantage? 

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

Making the Impossible Possible

posted Feb 25, 2018, 2:35 PM by web feat

It's easy in difficult times to give up, to think there is no hope. But the Scriptures give us some vivid examples of God making the impossible possible when one is willing to believe. Consider Abraham:

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said...

...But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God. [From Eugene Peterson's "The Message," Romans 4]

God's plans for our lives may be different than His plans for Abraham, but He is no less present. 

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

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