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The Weekly Message

Recordings of the weekly message are available online for download.
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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.

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Living Free

posted Jun 23, 2019, 2:25 PM by web feat

As human beings, we are sadly encouraged to live in fear. We are taught to avoid "The Other," those who are different from us. We are taught that they are "The Enemy." And it is easy to become a slave to fear and these false, divisive teachings.

But as Paul writes in Galations, "In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal."

We are ALL children of God, all created and loved by God. What if we were to choose to actually live that way? That's where the real  freedom is. And it's a choice.

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

To See or Not to See

posted Jun 9, 2019, 3:01 PM by web feat

It is near the end of Jesus' time on earth, and he gets a surprising question:

"Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we’ll be content.”  “You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’"  [from Eugene Peterson's, "The Message"]

There is much we humans don't see in this world, and good deal of it is sadly by choice. As Jesus said, we live in a loveless world, and "a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world." 

What are we missing, because we choose not to see?

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

Joy in Unexpected Places

posted Jun 2, 2019, 2:33 PM by web feat

It's a wild story. Paul and Silas are beaten and thrown into jail, shackled and placed in solitary confinement. And how do they respond? By praying and singing a robust hymn to God, much to the surprise of the other inmates. 

Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose. Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: “Don’t do that! We’re all still here! Nobody’s run away!” ("The Message" by Eugene Peterson)

How is it that Paul and Silas could be so abused, and yet still have joy in spite of their circumstances? And how could they resist the urge to escape to save the life of their jailor?

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

Looking in the Mirror

posted Mar 31, 2019, 3:41 PM by web feat   [ updated Apr 2, 2019, 6:16 PM ]

It's a familiar story: a man has 2 sons. One takes off, wastes his inheritance, and comes home ashamed, apologizing, and begging for forgiveness. Meanwhile, the other son has been living at home, working hard on the family farm. When he finds out that his father has not only welcomed his brother back, but is throwing him a big party, he is furious. Where is the party for HIM? His father comes out and tries to talk to him, but he won’t listen, and won't forgive.

In his mind, he is no doubt the "good son." But might he also be in need of forgiveness?

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

A Fair Warning

posted Mar 24, 2019, 4:18 PM by web feat

We all fee temptations big and small. And it's easy during challenging times to give in, and justify it. But Paul has an important reminder for us:

"Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life.... But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.

The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did..." (from 1 Corinthians 10, Eugene Peterson's " The Message)

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

It's Your Choice

posted Mar 17, 2019, 3:06 PM by web feat

It's easy to get off course, especially when so much of the world is headed the wrong direction. But Paul encourages us to stick to it, and to be fully aware of what we're up against. 

Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! (from Philippians 3, Eugene Peterson's, "The Message")

We all have a choices. Let's not choose the easy way, but the right way.

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

Facing Our Fears

posted Feb 17, 2019, 3:38 PM by web feat   [ updated Mar 17, 2019, 2:58 PM ]

We all experience times of fear - sometime legitimate, sometimes caused but things that will never happen. But we are not alone, and we must not allow our fears to take control of us. As the Psalmist wrote,

Stay with God!
    Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
    Stay with God. (From Psalm 27, Eugene Peterson's, "The Message")

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

A New Focus, A New Life

posted Feb 10, 2019, 3:52 PM by web feat

It wasn't what they expected...But when Jesus finished teaching, he said to the fisherman Simon,

 “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.”

Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch. [From Eugene Peterson's "The Message"]

A carpenter instructs discouraged fishermen to fish where they've caught no fish. Though exhausted and doubtful, they do as he asks, and are overwhelmed by an abundant catch. And this is just the beginning. 

God is calling us as well. Will we trust and follow?

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

What’s Getting in YOUR Way?

posted Feb 3, 2019, 3:26 PM by web feat   [ updated Feb 10, 2019, 4:18 PM ]

This is what God said:
“Before I shaped you in the womb,
    I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
    I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
    that’s what I had in mind for you.”

 But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me.
    I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!” 

God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’
    I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there.
I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it.
    Don’t be afraid of a soul.
I’ll be right there, looking after you.”   (Jeremiah 1, Eugene Peterson's, "The Message")

God calls us all to things that feel beyond what we can do. It can feel overwhelming, but God is with us eery step of the way. We only have to be willing. But how do we get past our obstacles?

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

When We All Work Together

posted Jan 27, 2019, 2:46 PM by web feat   [ updated Feb 10, 2019, 4:19 PM ]

During this time of division,  in 1 Corinthians 12 we find an important reminder:

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. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. 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. (from Eugene Peterson's "The Message")

Like the various parts of our bodies, we are all different and function in different ways, but we all have value, and are necessary parts of the whole. 

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

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