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The Weekly Message



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Facing Our Fears

posted Feb 17, 2019, 3:38 PM by web feat

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. 

What Do You Value Most?

posted Nov 18, 2018, 2:02 PM by web feat

Time passes quickly, and every day we make choices. But too often there are serious disconnects between what we say we value most, what we say is most important, and how we actually live. The worst part is that we may not even realize this until it's too late. Maybe it's time to step back, take an honest look, be honest with ourselves, and make some changes.

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

The Power of Perseverance

posted Nov 11, 2018, 1:29 PM by web feat

It's easy to believe that our faith and good works should somehow protect us and make us immune to misfortune. That if we live good lives, we should be rewarded and never have to suffer. But as we know, life doesn't work that way. The good news is that God never leaves us, and each challenge we face just makes us stronger and wiser and more compassionate toward others. God uses adversity to shape us into the people we were created to be. So, we must never give up and never give in.

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

What Does Love Look Like?

posted Nov 4, 2018, 3:11 PM by web feat

A religion scholar asks Jesus,  
“Which is most important of all the commandments?”

We know Jesus' answer:
“The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”

And the religion scholar responded,
 “A wonderful answer, Teacher! So lucid and accurate—that God is one and there is no other. And loving him with all passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as you love yourself. Why, that’s better than all offerings and sacrifices put together!”

But what does that love look like in practice? How do we actually live what we say we believe?

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

The Problem with Power

posted Oct 21, 2018, 1:43 PM by web feat

It's a surprising request from 2 of Jesus' 12 disciples:

 “Arrange it,” they said, “so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory—one of us at your right, the other at your left.”

Say what? How could they have heard Jesus' teachings and watch Jesus in action, and still not understand?

“You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” he said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.” (From The Message by Eugene Peterson, Mark 10:35-45)

But are we any different?

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

Words Matter

posted Sep 16, 2018, 2:49 PM by web feat

It's easy to be careless with our words, tone impulsive and just "shoot from the lip," without realizing the possible consequences. And yet, those words can cause more damage than we realize.

 "A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!

It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell." (From The Message by Eugene Peterson, James 3:3-6)

By our speech, we can also make the world a better place. We all have a choice.

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

When You're Under Attack

posted Aug 26, 2018, 3:43 PM by web feat   [ updated Sep 16, 2018, 2:41 PM ]

We all go through those times when we feel we're under attack, when we personally experience the evil of this world. And in times like these, Paul reminds us we have options.

"...be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." [NIV, Ephesians 6:10-13]

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

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