Pastor's Sermons

Here are a sampling of sermons delivered from our pulpit during recent years. They are listed from the most recent to the oldest.
 
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Under the date of your choice, click on "Read It!" to download a .pdf file (this requires Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader -- both free -- to be installed on your computer) for viewing on your computer or printing.
 
Listen
If there is a "Hear It!" link at the bottom of the description, click it to listen, or right click it to save the audio file to your computer (usually faster).
 
Comment/Respond
If you have some feedback to offer about the content or impact of any of the sermons presented here, feel free to drop our Pastor an email. It will help if you refer to the title or date of the sermon in your note. Thanks!
 

Leaving a Legacy

resource type: info    
June 18, 2017
All dads want to leave a legacy. But what kind? Few are intentional about it. How can we improve and make it stick? Paul offered real help for real men to follow.
Read It! / Hear It!

Tongues of Fire

resource type: info    
June 11, 2017
"[Jesus] shall baptize you wtih the Holy Spirit and with fire." This fiery experience has been the nexus of controversy from the beginning (as were many things Jesus did and promised). Yet, hundreds of millions of Christians have experienced this and speak in unknown languages (tongues) today. WHat difference does it make?
Read It!

I Am Sending You

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June 4, 2017
Sent. What if your life has a purpose beyond your own aspiration? What if you have been sent by God? Isn’t that what Jesus meant when He said, “Just as the Father has sent Me, I am sending you”? Let’s take a look at that.
Read It! / Hear It!

He Will Glorify Me

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May 21, 2017
Jesus said, "There is much more I want to tell you, but you can't bear it now." Then He told them about the Holy Spirit's arrival, which would change everything. He is a Guide into the world of everlasting realities. He comes to gloify Jesus Christ.
Read It!

The Suffering Brotherhood

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May 7, 2017
Why are so many Christians persecuted for the faith around the world today? One pastor in Sri Lanka, who has been harassed for his faith, responded with a twinkle in his eye, “So that the rest of you will remember what real Christianity looks like.”
Read It! / Hear It!

Holey Wholly Holy to the Lord

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April 2, 2017
"Holiness to the Lord." It was the motto of Israel's High Priest. What does it mean today? Can we genuinely become holy? Should we? If so, how?
Read It! / Hear It!

Interactive Sunday, 2

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March 26, 2017
The theory of evolution and the doctrine of creation. Are they compatible beliefs? Can one be a Christian and believe in evolution? Does this subject have wider impact than one's personal belief?
Read It! / Hear It!

Opportunity for Joy

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March 19, 2017
It is common to view the difficulties in our lives, primarily, as problems to be fixed. The faster the turnaround on fixing them, we believe, the better. We imagine that we are meant to enjoy a problem-free existence, and without realizing it, we find ourselves fighting against God’s purposes.
Read It! / Hear It!

Interactive Sunday, 1

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March 12, 2017
The day was given over to three questions from the congregation: (1) Where did evil come from? (2) Is there a Hell? (3) How should a Christian respond to the political division in America?
Read It! / Hear It!

You Are, part 2

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March 5, 2017
Who you are (your identity), how you are (your attitude), and where you are (your opportunity) determine what you do with your life. Learn how you can make positive progress.
Read It! / Hear It!

You Are, part 1

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February 26, 2017
Who or what is God? What is God like? What can we expect from Him? Knowing the answers to these three questions makes an actual difference in who you are and who you become. Learn how.
Read It! / Hear It!
 

Dangerous Territory

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February 19, 2017
“In the last days, troublesome times will come.” In the Bible, you may find many such warnings, but all of them have been accompanied by a resilient hope. For God works all things together; He is enthroned over all. Who sits on the throne of your heart?
Read It! / Hear It!

The Voice of the LORD

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February 12, 2017
Christianity is a relationship more than a religion, at least as Jesus conceived it. He introduced us to God as Father, and to the Holy Spirit as Friend. Learning to hear and recognize His voice is foundational to a living faith.
Read It! / Hear It!

When Things Get Bad

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January 29, 2017
Sometimes, things get bad. What to do? Withdraw in fear? Busy yourself in denial? Make some noise? Riot? All common choices. Jesus never did any of those, during what was arguably the worst treatment a human might face. Listen to His advice.
Read It! / Hear It!

Act Different

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January 22, 2017
In these raucous, difficult days, I think of the Last Supper Prayer of Jesus. How easy it is to lose our way, even while intensely active. What would you ask of God on the eve of your death? Jesus was concerned for the future of His disciples--not for what might befall them, but for how they might react. These words have such immediate relevance for us.
Read It! / Hear It!

Three Bees

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January 8, 2016
Let's revisit the three elements of our church's tagline: Believe, Belong, Become. These words map out the destiny of each individual and the mission of the church. Let me show you how.
Read It! / Hear It!

ReBUILD

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January 1, 2017
Much of the story of God's people has to do with rebuilding. Why? Perhaps because we built poorly in the first place. Perhaps because we maintain what we build poorly. Perhaps because an enemy has destroyed what we worked so hard to build. Perhaps it is simply because things break down and rebuilding is a necessary part of life. What will you rebuild in 2017? This sermon may help with that process.
Read It! / Hear It!

What He Said

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December 18, 2016
No doubt many people have said many things about you. And you have told yourself things about you, too. Some of those things spoken may have become a weight like a ball and chain around your heart. Many have tried siomply retraining themselves with new, more positive words. But there are words with greater weight, greater impact than your own. What has God said about you? If you think you know, can you show the documentation for it? If you really want to know what God has said, then take a look at this sermon.
Read It!

Chasing Good

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November 27, 2016
Where is the good in this world? How will we know when we have found it? And what shall we do when we have discovered what is good? Here are some answers from God's Word.
Read It! / Hear It!

Finally!

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November 13, 2016
Waiting is seldom fun, unless it is accompanied by an eager expectation of the prize of our patience. Here are some helps for having the patience necessary and making the wait productive.
Read It! / Hear It!

Everything He Does

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November 6, 2016
When circumstances are confusing or tumultuous, we need an anchor and a compass. We need a dependable revelation of God's character and purpose, and a corresponding persistent response of devoted love and trust. Find them here.
Read It! / Hear It!

Wonderful Future

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October 16, 2016
God's Plan. Perhaps it seems enigmatic. Or, repressive. But what if it is, as the Bible says, "wonderful"?!? For some perspective, let's examine the first chapter of Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus.
Hear It!

Faith At Work

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October 9, 2016
Leading a life by faith is not like leading a life by wit or schooling or bluster. There is a young woman who can help us. Her name is Esther. This is her story.
Read It! / Hear It!

The Authorized Version of You

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September 25, 2016
What are we to do about authority--figures, issues--in our lives? How does God figure into all this? What authority do I have? What limits are there? So many questions... How about som answers...
Read It! / Hear It!

Countdown to Judgment

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September 18
Judgment is not a popular term, except in the negative, "Don't judge me!" But judgment is a central theme of the Scriptures, because judgment and justice are characteristic of God. And we look for (expect) justice in our lives. Will God really judge the world? Are we living in the Last Days? Even if not expressed, these questions haunt many people. Here are some answers intended to be helpful.
Read It! / Hear It!

Finding Hope

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September 4, 2016
We have been trained to process life based on the way we feel. But God never meant for us to feel our way to Him. He gave us the capacity to choose. It's a sacred freedom, perhaps the catalyst for all other freedoms. Let David, the psalmist, guide you to its fruitful application.
Read It! / Hear It!

Freedom In Christ

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August 21, 2016
An estimated 29.8 million people are living in illegal slavery today. And billions more suffer another kind of slavery--the slavery of the soul to sin. And the Church of Jesus Christ is uniquely qualified and authorized to deal with this blight. Find out how...
Read It! / Hear It!

Divine Preoccupation, 2

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August 14, 2016
Part two. Intentional worshippers do not go to church hoping that worship will happen to them; intentional worshippers go to church determined to make worship happen. It is their offering to God.
Read It! / Hear It!

Divine Preoccupation, 1

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August 7, 2016
Worship has always been a defining characteristic of people—whether they worshiped God or not, and which God they worshipped. We have been created to worship God—not because God is insecure and needs our flattery, but because worship is the means of divine-human connection.
Read It! / Hear It!

The Power of Our Prayers

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July 24, 2016
King Solomon set out to build an “exalted house” for God in the city of Jerusalem. But God had much bigger plans in mind—a temple that humans could not possibly build, a temple without wood or stone or metal. And He promised to hear every prayer made in that  place.
Read It! / Hear It!

My People

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July 17, 2016
God has made amazing promises to His people, and in every generation His people hold fast to them in faith. But most of His promises have conditions for their fulfillment. Let’s learn to love our part as much as we love his part.
Read It! / Hear It!

All Lives Matter

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July 10, 2016
All lives matter to God—regardless of skin color or ethnicity, regardless of handicaps or productivity. He sent His Son to rescue the rich, the poor, the slave, the free, the educated, the illiterate. God loves people!
Read It!

The Nation Whose God Is The Lord

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July 3, 2016
God is looking for our response—as a nation, as an individual. Our sins He will forgive. Our shame He will wipe away. Our conflicts He will resolve. Our destiny He will assure.
Read It! / Hear It!

God's Father-Heart

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June 19, 2016
God is a Father. He is the Father of all fathers. We discover what fatherhood is to be by observing what Jesus revealed about God’s relationship to sinners. After all, we all know by having been one, and some of us by having had some, that all children are sinners.
Read It!

Our Service of Worship

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June 12, 2016
If we will only seek God when we are lacking something, needing something… How are we different from those whom Jesus scolded when they sought Him because He gave them food to eat? The furnishings of the ancient Tabernacle guide us in presenting our worship to God meaningfully.
Read It!

One Flock

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June 5, 2016
Jesus said, "I will build my Church." Every architect and builder has a plan, a blueprint, from which he works, and an image of what the completed work will look like. Jesus shared his vision repeatedly, but sometimes we seem to have as much difficulty understanding His words as His first disciples did. How can we help build His Church if we do not share His vision? Time to revisit the blueprint.
Read It! / Hear It!

God's Word Is Powerful

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May 22, 2106
God's Word is powerful--whatever form it may come in--but only if we will trust it and use it! This is why the Bible is still the #1 best-selling book in the world today, and printed in more languages than any other literature. Most of all, this is why so many people give personal testimony to the transforming effects of the Word of God. See for yourself!
Read It! / Hear It!

Continuously Be Filled

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May 15, 2016
The message of Pentecost--the experience of Pentecost--is getting to know God personally and intimately. Peter proclaimed that this gift was for everyone whom God calls, so surely it is for you.
Read It! / Hear It!

Motherly Advice

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May 8, 2016
Can God give "motherly advice" or is He limited only to a father's perspective? Actually, the Bible is full of motherly advice as well, and here is a good dose of it.
Read It! / Hear It!

Called to Serve

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May 1, 2016
Meet Bob Franck, our new remodel Project Leader, who travels the nation in his recreational vehicle, while helping build out churches, camps, and schools. Why? Because God is able to use him. And God can use you, too.
Hear It!

Keep It Real

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April 17, 2016
For 115 years, the church has been riding the wave of a modern Pentecost--an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that has spanned the globe and infused nearly every denominational tradition with fresh fire. How shall we now live in order to encourage the Spirit's fullness?
Read It! / Hear It!

Walk By Faith

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April 10, 2016
What does it mean to "walk by faith, not by sight"? Those words seem simple enough. However, living out those words can be a tough assignment. Here is some sound advice for the Christian journey.
Read It! / Hear It!

Hope Begins Here

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March 24, 2016
When things go horribly wrong and the world seems to be unraveling, how do you believe in God's goodness? How do you cling to hope? What is the connection between faith and hope?
Read It! / Hear It!

Lifting Hands to God

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March 20, 2016
Jesus' "triumphal return" to Jerusalem started an uproar in the city. His dsisciples were shouting praises. The Jewish leaders were complaining loudly. "Who is this?" others asked. When Jesus shows up, there are always reactions of these sorts. How will you respond?
Hear It!

Tithe Challenge

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February 14, 2016
What if you could live without fear of lack or scarcity? What if there is a way to protect your hard-earned wages against catastrophic loss?
Learn the facts. Discover the promise. Engage with faith. Become cheerfully generous.
Read It! / Hear It!

Devoted to Prayer

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February 7, 2016
Characteristic of the Early Church was their penchant for prayer. Not just prayer meetings, but praying together—earnestly, fervently, persistently. It was into this atmosphere that the Holy Spirit first came. It was out of this atmosphere that God stretched out His hand to heal, and dispatched an angel to release Peter from prison. Will He do it again today? Will we?
Read It! / Hear It!

Devoted to Fellowship

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January 17, 2016
The Early Church, whose devotion to Jesus Christ was developed through various trials, settled into four essential practices, and one of them was fellowship—keeping close relationship with God and with each other. Practicing fellowship is a daily call to every Christian, through which the Kingdom of God on earth will either grow more robust, become stagnant, or shrivel. Don’t fall out of practice!
Read It! / Hear It!

Devoted to Learning

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January 10, 2016
The Early Church, whose development was recorded by Luke in the Book of Acts, shared a strong devotion to Jesus Christ. While their devotion was tested in many ways, four aspects became fixed through the trials, and one of them was learning—learning about Christ and His Kingdom and His ways. Above all else, a disciple is a devoted learner. Are you? 
Read It! / Hear It!

Times of Refreshing

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January 3, 2016
Will Nelken predicts “Times of Refreshing” for the church, urging us to learn lessons from the first followers of Jesus and apply them to our lives today.
Read It! / Hear It!

Extravagant Love, part 2

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December 27, 2015
Will Nelken continues the theme “Extravagant Love,” turning to the other side of that relationship: our response to God, our demonstration of the love He pours into us.
Read It! / Hear It!

Joseph--Husband of Mary

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December 20, 2015
Will Nelken introduces “Joseph—Husband of Mary,” the man God chose to parent young Jesus. There are profound lessons to be learned from this gentleman.
Read It! / Hear It!

Extravagant Love, part 1

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December 6, 2015
Will Nelken depicts the “Extravagant Love” that God has lavished upon those who seek Him, and reminds us that it never fades away or comes to an end.
Read It! / Hear It!

Access to God

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November 29, 2015
Tim Wells coaches us on finding “Access to God” and receiving the superlative benefits of His fellowship: mercy and grace.
Hear It!

The Meeting

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November 15, 2015
Everybody knows about it. It's been happening for millennia. Some regard it with indifference; others, with reverence. But many treat it casually. Yet it is God's chosen means of inspiring and informing and transforming His people, and bringing witness to the community. What is your take on The Meeting?
Read It! / Hear It!

New Wine from the Vine

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November 8, 2015
Which is more important, origin or processing? Interestingly, it’s the same for coffee as it is for spiritual formation. Both are important. However, as far as spiritual formation is concerned, process trumps origin. Jesus is the Savior of the WHOLE world, regardless of one’s genetic, historic, or ethnic origins. The process of salvation through faith in Christ and the power of His Spirit overcomes all of the anomalies of our origins.
Read It! / Hear It!

God At Work

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November 1, 2015
Jesus said, “My Father works until now, and I am working, too.” Tim Wells reminds us that there’s a creative revolution occurring right under our noses. It can be measured, but it often goes unnoticed, passing under the radar of everyday events and distractions. However, the more you tap into it, the greater your joy and fruitfulness.
Hear It!

New Wine for a New Wineskin

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October 25, 2015
Change is inevitable. What is not inevitable is progress. Progress requires vision, adjustment, dedication, adjustment, perseverance, and more adjustment. Did I mention adjustment? Inelasticity leads to brittleness, and that leads to breakdown (or worse). It’s time for reform.
Read It! / Hear It!

There Is No Plan B

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October 18, 2015
God’s plan for humanity is unique, one-of-a-kind. And His plan is you. Not only you (for there’s lots of support available), but you specifically, you uniquely. No one represents God’s grace just like you do. You have no alternate on the bench. There is no Plan B, but His grace is sufficient.
Read It! / Hear It!

Represent

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October 11, 2015
Missionary Earl Shorrock reminds us that God created you extra special! God created you for a purpose. You have a mission from God! Nothing else can satisfy your heart until this purpose is fulfilled.
Hear It!

The Kingdom Within You

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October 4, 2015
Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is within you." Many have taken that to mean that the divine is buried within the human, awaiting actualization--perhaps through special knowledge or intense meditation or faithful ritual. Is that what Jesus meant? Can we know what He meant? More importantly, how can we have what He declared?
Read It! / Hear It!

Above All

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September 20, 2015
"Seek the Kingdom and the Righteousness which are God's." It can be challenging to keep these goals front and center. So many other things contend for our attention. Yet, Jesus was not just guessing about what is important, nor about the rewards for getting it right. Your attention is the greatest gift you have to give.
Read It! / Hear It!

Unsettled

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September 13, 2015
Settled is a good feeling. Unsettled, not so much. Yet, Emerson wrote, “It is only as far as [people] are unsettled that there is any hope for them.” When we become settled, we are generally less observant and take fewer risks. Don’t settle for a religious life that lacks a vital relationship with Jesus Christ.
Read It! / Hear It!

Living Trust

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September 6, 2015
Fear is not a good motivation for conversations. It generates tension in the speaker and the hearer and makes understanding much more difficult. Jesus commissioned His followers to tell people about Him everywhere, but not for fear of hellfire. He gave us the Holy Spirit so our motivation would arise out of our loving and worshipful relationship with God.
Read It! / Hear It!

Hot Topics

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August 30, 2015
Culture and the media present an unending stream of “hot topics” for discussion and, sometimes, thoughtful contemplation as to how the Word and the Spirit of God address them and counsel our responses. Here are some general thoughts about responding to such topics, with illustrations specific to homosexual practices.
Read It! (No recording available)

The Word We Live By

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August 23, 2015
Feelings, circumstances, relationships, culture—all can throw us for a loop when it comes to living our faith on a daily basis. If you struggle to respond in ways that please God--you’re not alone, you’re not even unusual. When the world seems messy and it weighs you down, here are some words to help you. (The print version contains much more content than the audio version.)
Read It! / Hear It!

The Church We Belong To

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August 16, 2015
Jonathan Drahn points us to the kind of church we ought to be, and can be.
Hear It!

Being the Church (that Jesus is building)

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August 2, 2015
The church is not a building or a physical location. The Church is God's people, gathered together. It may happen under a tree, or on the beach, or in a sanctuary. It's never an individual; it's always a group ("two or more"). And it's not just bodies, it's relationships. Functional interdependence.
Read It! / Hear It!

A Word Spoken

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July 19, 2015
Missionary Stephen Aldrich reminds us that we sometimes confuse our present reality with our potential purpose. We imagine that what we have achieved so far, sets the limit for what we can do in the future. We think that our past failures are stronger determinants than the God of grace. Think again!
Hear It!

Practice of Praise

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July 12, 2015
Worship is about making space and time sacred, in order to offer praise to God, the Maker and Sustainer and Redeemer of all things. It can be any time and any space. We make it sacred by giving God our attention, appreciation, and anticipation. He makes it sacred by releasing His influence.
Read It! / Hear It!

The Price of Liberty

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July 5, 2015
Liberty for all... at what price? What are you doing with your liberty?
Read It!

Praise for God

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June 21, 2015
We no longer follow the ritual worship of the Old Testament. New Testament worship, to be vital and transformative, is to be offered in "spirit and truth." Here is a simple plan, in four stages, to help make your personal worship meaningful and effective.
Read It! / Hear It!

Passion for God

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June 14, 2015
God is passionate about you! His love for you (and all people) is relentless. It should be natural for our response to His love to be similarly passionate, but, for a variety of reasons, our passion often cools (in some cases, never even takes off). Time to get it back, and give Him the glory due His name!
Read It! / Hear It!

Our Faith

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June 7, 2015
Ours is a life of faith, a way of living, a path of learning. God is too big to grasp in even the most astonishing moment of realization—it will take a lifetime (and then some!). So, faith must grow—deeper, higher, wider, stronger—both more firm and more flexible. Learn how.
Hear It!

STOP! I Want to Get Off!

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May 31, 2015
Linda Pierce urges us to take charge of our thought life, because when we dwell on negative or unhealthy thoughts, they become toxic to us.  Jesus offers us a sound mind, a healthy mind. Contemplating the goodness of God generates blessing for us and others around us. And it honors God.
Hear It!

Missionaries Are Wimps!

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May 24, 2015
Missionary Scott Smith reports on God’s activities in Spain and tells us why God chooses wimps to serve Him in ministry.
Hear It!

Refine Us, Part 9

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May 17, 2015
Spiritual refinement, or continuing formation, requires the present activity of the Holy Spirit. Without His aid and power, we will languish and decline. Learn to cooperate with the Spirit, and grow more faithful and fruitful.
Read It! / Hear It!

Worship On The Wall

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May 10, 2015
Tim Wells reminds us that Nehemiah was deeply moved at the broken-down condition of Jerusalem; it was a disgrace to his God and his people. And he purposed, with God’s help, to rebuild the walls and restore the city’s security. Herein is a picture of the restoration of the impact of the worshipping church.
Hear It!

Refine Us, Part 8

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May 3, 2015
What is your biggest obstacle as you follow Jesus? It may not be what you think it is. Since God works best through our weakness, what you imagine is a stumbling block may, in fact, be a golden opportunity. If you trust God.
Read It! / Hear It!

Refine Us, part 7

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April 26, 2015
If the Spirit has given us life, let us align ourselves with Him and let our conduct be controlled by Him. Let’s begin to consider what it means to “walk in the Spirit” with Jesus Christ.
Read It! / Hear It!

You Can Stand

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April 19, 2015
Do you know what it is to be “tested and tried”? Are you looking for a way out of a trial right now? Well, God wants to show it to you! And He wants to give you all that you need in order to reach the other side of the trial. He is committed to your success. He just needs you to stand with Him.
Read It! / Hear It!

Eat the Living Bread

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April 12, 2015
Jehovah Jireh is a name for God that means “God sees and provides.” He sees where you are and what you’re going through. He even sees what’s coming to you in the days ahead. And He provides accordingly. But we don’t automatically possess His gifts; we need to receive them. And that may take some time and effort on our part. Here’s how.
Read It! / Hear It!

Risen for Real

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April 5, 2015, Easter Sunday
The resurrection of Jesus was the central theme of apostolic preaching. From that miracle they derived their authority and the validity of their ministries. It was the source of their power and influence. It was the measure of God’s grace. It was the hope of their hearts. What is it to you?
Read It! / Hear It!

Wait Until

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March 29, 2015
Tim Wells reminds us of the spiritual necessity of receiving “the promise of the Father,” the empowering baptism with the Holy Spirit. Jesus commanded us to seek it expectantly, not as a matter of choice, but of faith and obedience.
Hear It!

Wells of Living Water

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March 22, 2015
Steve and Glenda Evans share about the impact they have observed as they drill deep wells to provide clean water to African villages, along with the Living Water of Jesus Christ. Clean water is necessary for physical health, just as Jesus Christ is necessary for spiritual life and health.
Hear It!

Refine Us, part 6

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March 15. 2015
Understanding God's purpose for giving the Law (the Ten Commandments) is vital to understanding and receiving His grace. What's more, grace does not supersede the Law or abolish the Law; actually, it affirms it, for grace is the means of obeying the Law, not skirting it.
Read It! / Hear It!

Refine Us, part 5

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March 8, 2105
The Ten Commandments are as contemporary as today’s sunrise. But we need to get to their heart, unentangled by the customs of an ancient culture, in order to reapply them to our lives today. We need to rethink their purpose.
Read It! / Hear It!

Are You the One?

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March 1, 2015
Life—and people—frequently challenges our faith, especially our confidence in what Jesus Christ has done for us, what we are becoming by His grace. If we are unprepared for such challenges, we may be undone by them. Here is help for the battle.
Read It! / Hear It!

Refine Us, part 4

resource type: info    
February 15, 2015
Some people prefer to follow a rulebook than to have a relationship with the Ruler. Others pursue a love relationship with the Ruler, without giving their attention to His rules. Neither is right; neither is effective. Find out why.
Read It! / Hear It!

Refine Us, part 3

resource type: info    
February 8, 2015
Most of God’s promises include conditions, which, if not met, render the promises useless and fruitless. Such conditions, since they are required of us, constitute commands. How do you respond when God commands something from you?
Read It! / Hear It!

Refine Us, part 2

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February 1, 2015
God is purifying His words in you—seven times over, like silver! And He is shaping you in the process. Recognizing His method and cooperating in faith is the difference between frustrated confusion and peaceful joy.
Read It! / Hear It!

A Church for the New Age

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January 25, 2015
We are told repeatedly, “The Church has become irrelevant. Modern culture is quickly becoming post-Christian.” If such statements bear temporal validity, they do not express eternal verity. “The authority of hell shall not stamp it out,” is the Divine viewpoint. How shall it be? Let me tell you.
Read It! / Hear It!

What Will You Do With The Bride?

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January 18, 2015
Jesus Christ is preparing a Bride, whom He has loved with an everlasting love. What is your relationship to His Bride? Do you love the Bridegroom, but want to divorce the Bride? Some members of the Bride (Church) may be off-putting, even hurtful—this is true. But have you been guilty of throwing out the baby with the bathwater?
Hear It!

Refine, part 1

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January 4, 2015
Are you more familiar with the promises of God, or the commands of God? Has it occurred to you that the commands of God are the roots from which His promises bloom? The Father’s commands are not given for our misery but for our blessing! Without them, His promises are like fallen petals—pretty and fragrant, but without life. Let’s get better acquainted with God’s expectations, so we may honor Him more and enjoy His full blessing.
Read It! / Hear It!

Revealed

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December 28, 2014
God has secrets that are past our finding out. But He offers more than enough revelation to occupy us all. He wants us to know Him and to understand what He’s after—His purposes. He will deliver the message to you in a timely manner. All you need to do is recognize it and trust its implications for your life. It’s a relationship in the making.
Read It! / Hear It!

If the Roots Are Holy

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December 21, 2014
Miracles DO happen. There are many amazing and wonderful things that happen every day, but those are not miracles. Miracles don’t happen every day, yet the Holy Spirit is still very active in the world today, and every once in awhile… it’s Christmas all over again!
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Did You Know?

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December 14, 2014
Life is full of mysteries. Much of what we call “coincidence” (or, “God-incidents”) fits in this category. All of them, evidence that we are not ultimately in charge—we didn’t write the book, we don’t own all the marbles, we’re not calling the shots. How should we respond in such moments? Is it possible to make a right move when we’re confused? Just as dancers can spin, and astronauts can float, without becoming disoriented, you can navigate those moments effectively.
Read It! / Hear It!

Into the Darkness

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December 7, 2014
Christmas lights are shining! On homes, in trees, on city streets, in store windows—everywhere! Christmas is the story of the arrival of light, after many years of hoping and longing through often gloomy days. It can be the story of a new dawn for you, too.
Read It! / Hear It!

Faith That Endures

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November 16, 2014
Evangelist Joe Jackson reminds us that Elijah was an ordinary man, whom God used in extraordinary ways. In spite of conflict with unbelieving authorities, and the resistance of heathen people, Elijah gained notoriety for his faith and prayers. He listened to God, and God listened to Elijah. God will listen to you, too, if you will listen to Him.
Hear It!

Take Courage

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November 9, 2014
We are prone to so many fears—small and great—that significantly limit our life experience and effectiveness. How to overcome them? Deny? Sublimate? Hibernate? You weren’t made for this! There’s a better way.
Read It! / Hear It!

The Joy of God's Heart

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November 2, 2014
God loves people, especially sinful, broken people. He doesn’t love them because they are sinful, but because they are sinful, He loves them. Nothing else can cure sin. Knowing this, God’s children should also love sinners—because that’s what our Father does, and because that’s all that can help and save them.
Read It! / Hear It!

Pursue

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October 26, 2014
Attraction turns to attention. Delight turns to desire. Liking turns to longing. This describes the threshold of personal relationship. If we say we love Jesus, but don’t long to give Him our attention, or desire to spend time with Him, who are we kidding? Learn how to cross that threshold and grow your walk with God.
Read It! / Hear It!

Not Ashamed

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October 5, 2014
“Gospel” means “good news.” Is that how you tell it? Is that how you live it? As people get to know you, do they think it’s a “good” thing? There may be many things in our lives of which we are ashamed, but we never need be ashamed of what God has done in and through Jesus Christ. His is the greatest story ever told. And people in your life desperately need to hear it. Will you help them?
Hear It!
 

How Do You Measure?

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September 28, 2014
Tim Wells reminds us how we measure all kinds of things (temperature, distance, time), we measure people (tall/short, skinny/fat, hair color, skin color), we measure ourselves (tired, grumpy, happy, productive). We even measure God (kind, unfair, good, untrustworthy), and He measures us (faithful, obedient, sacrificial, loving). But there is a plumbline, a true constant, a universal standard for spiritual measuring. Do you know it? You should. You can.
Hear It!

Summoned

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September 14, 2014
Every Christian has a calling. Every believer has been summoned. The world waits for us to take the stand and be a witness for Jesus Christ. We know He was falsely accused, wrongly judged, and wickedly executed. Now we have the opportunity to set the record straight, to restore His honor, and advance His kingdom. Will you answer the call?
Read It! / Hear It!

Who Do You Love?

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September 7, 2014
If you won a new car, would you hesitate to tell your family and friends? Probably not. Why, then, do we have such difficulty telling them about winning eternal life? Why does the name of Jesus seem dangerous, even to those who love Him? And what can we do to recover our testimony of faith?
Read It! / Hear It!

Following Faith

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August 31, 2014
Luke’s account of three real people encountered by Jesus, three men who expressed their intention to follow Him, is instructive to us all. He revealed how our good intentions can be undermined and come to nothing because of our own thinking. By the grace of God, we can do better than that!
Read It! / Hear It!

Make It Better!

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August 24, 2014
“Leave no trace” is a common environmentalist theme. But is it a Biblical theme? How would God agree with it? How would He disagree? What should we do about it?
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Followers Fish

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August 17, 2014
Larry Rust teaches that Christianity is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ that reproduces itself through other relationships. It is a relationship that is meant to be shared, because it’s a relationship of true love. You can’t keep that to yourself! The fact is this: others are dying to hear about it. It’s not right to keep it to yourself.
Hear It!

Sow for Eternity

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July 20, 2014
Jesus Christ died to give you eternal life. Eternal life is not just long life, it is life of a greater quality—life with God! Life with God is productive. It produces good fruit within you, and it produces good fruit through you. You are having an impact on people around you, as you spread the “fragrance of Christ.” Learn how to sow good seed effectively.
Read It! / Hear It!

Opportune Obligations

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July 13, 2014
When opportunity knocks, will you open the door? Jesus Christ has done so much for each of us, and His love is freely given. But His love also compels a response. Responding to the love of God is what we call discipleship or service to God. How will you respond?
Read It! / Hear It!

How Will They Believe?

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July 6, 2014
We each have at least four spheres of organic influence in our lives: biological (our relatives), geographical (our neighbors), vocational (our co-workers), and volitional (those we choose to serve). These are our God-given fields of harvest. How are you tending your field?
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You Can Overcome in Life

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June 29, 2014
“Overcoming” presupposes a test or difficulty that needs to be overcome. If you’re going to deal with stressors well, so they doesn’t give you high blood pressure and leave you irritable and cranky, or kill you before your time, you must learn to prepare yourself. Here are three ways to get ready for what you already know is coming.
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Finishing Well

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June 22, 2014
District Superintendent James Braddy reminds us that faith AND patience are required to fulfill God's will and receive what He has promised. The prize does not go to the starter, but to the finisher of the race.
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Failing to Grow Up

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June 15, 2014
Dr. Jay Herndon rehearses the story of Ahimaaz. He was the promising son of a high priest in Israel, when David reigned. Regrettably, he was also an ambitious young man whose pride derailed him.

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Journey to Pentecost - The Producer

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June 8, 2014
If your life seems like an unmanaged mess at times, it may be because you’re not paying attention to your Manager, or because you don’t understand what it is He is trying to produce. The good news is that you have a Producer! The Holy Spirit is overseeing your life to make it as fruitful and effective as it can be. He knows what the goal is and what needs to be done to get you there. You can learn to give Him your full attention.
Read It! / Hear It!

Journey to Pentecost - Give to the Lord

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June 1, 2014
Worship doesn’t just happen between 10:30 and noon on Sunday mornings. That collective worship experience is not the seed, but the fruit of a worshiping lifestyle. It’s a time to present our gifts to the Lord and to minister to His people. What will your gift be?
Read It! / Hear It!

Journey to Pentecost - On Mission

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May 25, 2014
Baptism with the Holy Spirit is God’s way of clothing His people with supernatural power for life and service—to extend the Church (mission) and to build the Church (spiritual formation). Jesus said, “You will receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Have you?
Read It! / Hear It!

Journey to Pentecost - D.O.A.

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May 18, 2014
Go to work, come home, eat, entertain ourselves, sleep, then do it all over again. Is that really living? Is life nothing more than that? Jesus said, “I have come to give you life.” He must have known that we needed it. But do we want it?
Read It! / Hear It!

Journey to Pentecost - Without a Hope in the World

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May 11, 2014
In a season of wars and acts of terrorism, earthquakes and other natural world upheavals, economic decline and collapse—we need a Helper! The Paraclete (the Holy Spirit) is our Helper, Strengthener, Sustainer, and Advocate. Do you know Him? Can you recognize His activity in your life?
Read It! / Hear It!

Journey to Pentecost-Keeping It Personal

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May 4, 2014
What Christian would reject the Holy Spirit? I think none. But far too many ignore Him, as if He didn’t exist, as though He wasn’t here. The first step on our Journey to Pentecost is to recognize that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not an “it.” And since He is a Person, we are to develop a personal relationship with Him—welcome Him, revere Him, entertain His presence, develop an ear for His voice, and cooperate with Him. After all, He is God with us.
Read It! / Hear It!

Do You Know Him?

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April 27, 2014
U.S. Missionary Brian Staub (Alaska) spoke. Walking where Jesus walked is not as important as walking as He walked. And He walked a lot. His first followers didn’t sit down as much as Christians do today. We need to put feet to our faith. Obedience is not a means to faith, but a demonstration of our faith.
Hear It!

Take It!

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April 20, 2014
Sacred symbols are intended to do at least three things: (1) identify the wearer, (2) authorize the bearer, and (3) inspire the viewer. But they can also become cliché, trite, meaningless. Let’s re-examine two of the greatest symbols of the Christian faith and re-discover their meaning and purpose. Then, let’s take them up for ourselves—not as symbols only, but as purpose and direction for our lives.
Read It! / Hear It!

No, God, I Won't

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April 13, 2014
God has called us to a partnership with Him—how amazing is that! When I compare my track record with His, I don’t see how that can work, but He makes it work! If I’m willing, that is… And here’s good news: even if you haven’t been willing in the past, you can get willing for the future. Try it; you’ll like it!
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Spend Your Way to Happiness

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April 6, 2014
Happiness! We all want it. Our nation was founded on the “inalienable right” of every citizen to pursue it. Why, then, is it so elusive, and so subject to rapid evaporation? Can money buy you happiness? Are you sure? You may be surprised by this report of a scientific survey.
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HEALING AND DELIVERANCE: The Power of the Blood

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March 23, 2014
There is so much bloodshed in the Bible! Some people claim that is the reason they don’t read the Bible (though that doesn’t keep them away from television or movies).Some Christians speak of the blood of Jesus as though it was a magic wand or impenetrable shield. But there is undeniable power in the shed blood of Christ. Why? And what is it good for?
Read It! / Hear It!

HEALING AND DELIVERANCE: Casting Out Demons

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March 16, 2014
Jesus did it. His disciples did it. Paul did it. Still think it’s irrelevant? Satan is mentioned almost 1300 times in the Bible. Could that be irrelevant? Don’t let Hollywood throw you; get your information from the reliable Source. Jesus gives His followers authority and power to expel demonic forces. You, too, can be calm and confident, as Jesus was.
Read It! / Hear It!

HEALING AND DELIVERANCE: I Will Heal Your Land

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March 9, 2014
There might be any number of reasons for diminished productivity in your life, but there is just one cause of restoration—that is, an act of God in answer to trusting prayer. Your “land” may not be a patch of soil, but your life still depends on several areas of fruitfulness, for which God holds the key. Learn to access that key.
Read It! / Hear It!

HEALING AND DELIVERANCE: Could You Not Watch With Me One Hour?

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March 2, 2014
There is such a thing as reserve grace—a supply of divine grace, accumulated over time, by regular visits with Jesus Christ. If you want to be a help to others, especially as a means to miracles, you need to have a reserve. Otherwise, that big challenge will eclipse His face and wither your faith. Just do it.
Read It! / Hear It!

Relationship Rescue: Dealing With Divorce

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February 23, 2014
Decisions are important actions. But decisions are never sufficient actions. Making a decision is like stepping through a door. Once inside, what you do from there is the real objective and measure of success (or failure). Here are five vital decisions to safeguard your marriage from divorce, or to recover your life after divorce.
Read It! / Hear It!

Relationship Rescue: Marriage Maintenance

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February 16, 2014
To avoid repair after a breakdown, be sure to follow routine maintenance instructions. It’s true for your automobile, but even more important for your marriage. Take this simple marriage maintenance checkup and find out what you need and where to find help. Solid advice for people contemplating marriage, too.
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Relationship Rescue: Dating Dilemmas

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February 9, 2014
Dating has its dilemmas. From the awkwardness of first dates, to the best way to end a dating relationship that’s not moving in a good direction (and everything in between!). There are few waters as deep and as confusing, and as full of potential hurt as a dating relationship. Let’s see if we can navigate those waters to safety.
Read It! / Hear It!

Relationship Rescue: Back to Basics

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February 2, 2014
“And the Lord God said it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). You and I are created for relationships. It may or may not be God’s plan for you to marry, but it is certainly His plan for you to have friends and other relationships. Yet, all of our relationships experience pressures (from within and without) that threaten to nullify them. Discover the truths that overcome the common myths of relationships.
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Words Count

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January 26, 2014
Missionaries Mark and Sarah Brown report on a phenomenal ministry in the largest slum in Manila, Philippines: four Kids Churches! Not departments of a larger adult church, but four churches that are almost 100% kids. Led by kids, reaching and teaching other kids. Mark also shared a message about the need for words in winning the lost.
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Live a Blessed Life

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January 19, 2014
God’s desire for you is to provide “a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). He promises to bless those who trust Him and do what He asks. Learning what that means (what it is that He asks) and how to put it into practice makes all the difference. Here’s a powerful example that you can try for yourself.
Read It! / Hear It!

You Can Be Free Financially

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January 12, 2014
“If the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free” (John 8:36). “Free from what?” you ask. Any sort of bondage! Anything that restricts you from doing the will of God. And that includes financial debt, which makes you a slave to the lenders, and may prevent you from answering the call of God. Here are five steps to your freedom.
Read It! / Hear It!

Go Green

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January 5, 2014
When it comes to money, no one wants to go “in the red.” We all want to have enough “green” to sustain our households. Here are five ways to “go green” financially and see God bless your efforts.
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WORD: Reviving Hope

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December 29, 2013
Hope springs from one’s view of God—the foggier it is, the dimmer the hope; the clearer it is, the brighter the hope. Jesus, the Living Word of God, builds hope in those who worship and follow Him, through spiritual wisdom and revelation. Now, where do you find that? Let me tell you.
Read It! / Hear It!

Shepherd: Reviving Worship

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December 22, 2013
Worship is so much more than singing and making music (or art of any kind). God sent His Son to be our Shepherd, and He can teach us what we need to know—and do—about worship.
Read It! / Hear It!

Savior: Reviving Wonder

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December 15, 2013
There is nothing to compare with the wonder of our salvation. Isaac Watts wrote: “Well might the sun in darkness hide and shut his glories in, when Christ, the mighty Maker, died for man the creature’s sin.” Our Creator became our Savior, not by an act of violent might, but by a deed of passionate humility. And the wonder struck the earth, like the first ray of sunlight, on the day He was born. “He will be called Wonderful” (Isaiah 9:6).
Read It! / Hear It!

Immanuel: Reviving Trust

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December 8, 2013
Ancient words, first recorded over 7 centuries before the birth of Jesus, point us to God’s central purpose in human history: to unite in everlasting friendship with humanity through Jesus (Immanuel, meaning “God is with us”). Do you need God to be with you today? Call on His name, Jesus.
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A Lively Hope

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November 24, 2013
Missionary Brent Johnson shared about his mission to bring the hope of the Gospel to Jewish people around the world through compassion evangelism. Unlike in America, Jews are not the upper class in most of the world. Many are still marginalized and persecuted. Even in Israel, 45% live near or below the poverty line. Yet, God has not abandoned His chosen people.
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Time for a Miracle

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November 17, 2013
A miracle may seem sudden and unexpected to us when at last it comes to pass, but every miracle has it’s appropriate time, from its inception. God always acts “in the fullness of time.” While you or I may have a part in a miracle, God does all the heavy lifting and pulls all the strings. So, what is our part when it’s time for a miracle?
Read It! / Hear It!

Eyes Wide Open

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November 10, 2013
It’s difficult to walk with your eyes closed. Just look at all we do to try to help sightless people navigate our busy world: canes, guide dogs, tactile curb mats, audible signals, Braille signage. Yet, we often insist on trying to navigate our own spiritual lives with eyes closed tight, ignoring signals, refusing to consider what we cannot see for ourselves. It’s not wise. It’s not safe. God offers us insight, wisdom, and grace for our journey. He can be trusted.
Read It! / Hear It!

From An Empty Life

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November 3, 2013
Redemption is a wonderful gift of God’s grace! A life of fullness is His intention for us. But life can seem full when it is actually empty by God’s measure. And life can seem empty when it is actually full. Don’t make the mistake of judging your eternity by your feelings today.
Read It! / Hear It!

No King? No Problem?

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October 29, 2013
Tim Wells preached from the story of Micah in the Book of Judges, chapter 17. What happens when there is no clear voice of leadership? What happens is this: each person does what seems best to his own way of thinking. And that leads to confusion and chaos. Who is your leader and whose way are you following?
Hear It!

My Presence, Your Reward

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October 20, 2013
The life of Peter offers many clues to the awesome grace of God, and the secret of Christ’s presence. What does it take to enjoy the presence of the Lord? Find instruction from the interactions between Jesus and Peter.
Read It! /  Hear It!

Grace Appeared

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October 13, 2013
God’s grace is the very heart of the Gospel message. In fact, that’s what makes it Good News! But that’s only God’s part. Many do not realize that we have a part to play, too. We cannot augment or replace God’s part, but no one else (not even God) can make up for your part. Yet His grace helps us tremendously to do our part. Learn about it and take advantage of His help.
Read It! Hear It!

Life is Fragile: Handle with Prayer

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October 6, 2013
Not only does life change rapidly, often against our desire, but life can actually turn on a dime, without warning. Some of those turns are tragic, some are glorious. In either case, we can be prepared to navigate the curves with grace and courage. Learn how and get started today.
Read It! Hear It!

Us Versus Them

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September 29, 2013
Jason Brown reports on planting an international church in Paris, France, and then shares a message about the global inclusivity of the Gospel that we believe and proclaim.
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Taking It Literally

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September 15, 2013
What do you make of it, and how do you do it? Over 600 specific rules and regulations for spiritual and social relations can be found in the Old Testament alone! We say we believe in the whole Bible, but is that just religious speak? Do we really understand what we read? Do we really give God our obedience? Learn how to understand and apply God’s truth to your everyday life.
Read It! / Hear It!

Tested/Trusted

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September 8, 2013
Waiting can be frustrating! When traffic slows to a standstill, will you choose a side street, instead of waiting? Sometimes it saves no time, but it’s easier to be moving than sitting! Yet, waiting is a major part of our journey with Jesus Christ. “Through faith and patience we inherit the promises.” You see, waiting is really about trusting. Light from God’s Word helps us to trust Him more.
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Renew Your Mind

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September 1, 2013
Chaplain Jim Uhey asks, "Would a person reject God?" Perhaps it’s more common than we realize. Every time we insist on our own way, or our own time, every time we act without first asking God. While it may not be our intention, that does not change the outcome. We need to renew our way of thinking.
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House of Prayer

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August 25, 2013
Chaplain Jim Uhey tells of the impact of prayer in his ministry to hurting folks, and of its impact in his own life, and suggests ways to develop a prayer-filled life.
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How We Do It

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August 11, 2013
An altar, a tabernacle, a temple… the Church. All by God’s design, built in partnership with men. His word to Moses is still relevant today: “Be sure that you build it according to the pattern that I have shown you.” God’s patterns are not frivolous, they are significantly specific. The Church must become freshly relevant to each culture and generation, while remaining true to the Designer’s original purpose. Let’s see how we can do that.
Read It! / Hear It!

Have I Got Good News for You!

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August 4, 2013
You have heard about the Gospel—the Good News—and probably you have heard the Gospel. But do you live the Gospel? Did you know that the Gospel is not just for people far from God? What makes the Gospel good? And what can make the Gospel bad?
Read It! / Hear It!

Not Ashamed

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July 21, 2013
The Apostle Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel message for one reason: It has the power to save a soul and change a life… eternally! Prison Chaplain Ken Stearn has seen this power at work and it has become his passion to tell everyone who will listen.  

Overcoming the Fears in Your Life

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July 28, 2013
Some suffer more, or lingering, fears, but all of us battle with fears from time to time in our lives—from fear of spiders or mice to fear of loss or pain. The worst kind of fear may not be terror, which is usually short-lived, but intimidation, which is usually more pervasive and long-term. Regardless, God has the answer for us, so that we may overcome whatever fears we face, however often we face them. Let me tell you about it.

Overcoming the Failures in Your Life

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July 14, 2013
A thousand fails do not a failure make! There is life after a failure, and most of us are living proof of that. What’s more, life can even be better and more effective after a failure. Here’s how to turn your failures into meaningful advances in life.

Overcoming the Giants in Your Life

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July 7, 2013
We all face giants in our lives. They seem most often to hang out right around the edge of our destiny. They’re bigger than life. They’re über scary. We feel altogether unprepared to meet them. Yet, God has made us “more than conquerors” through Jesus Christ. Here’s how.
 

Rebuilding the Roads in Your Life

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June 30, 2013
To get from one place to the next, you’ll need some kind of a road. Spiritually, roads speak to us of destinations (destinies) and routes (pathways or means of approach) and conditions (head winds or tail winds). You’re on a road right now. Do you know where it’s taking you? Is it taking you to the destiny of which you’ve dreamed? This message is about map-reading and weather-preparedness for your journey.

Rebuilding the Gates in Your Life

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June 23, 2013
Gates and doors are points of entrance and exit. They are moments of choice and opportunity. And the gates of ancient Jerusalem, surveyed by Nehemiah, speak of the choices and opportunities of the life of one who follows after God. Learn about them and be prepared for what is around the next corner in your life.

Rebuilding the Walls in Your Life

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June 16, 2013
Walls keep things in and keep things out. Walls define and identify. But walls can also inhibit and imprison. Good walls must be kept in good repair, while bad walls must be torn down. So, how are the walls in your life. Are you letting God in where He needs to be? Are you keeping out evil influences that threaten your safety? Learn how to rebuild godly walls in your life.
Text / Audio

Rebuilding the Temple in Your Life

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June 9, 2013
The most important place of connection during our time on the planet—with God and with people—has always been, and still is today, the house of worship. Not a particular building in a particular location, as it was for the ancient Hebrew nation, but the local gatherings of believers (two or more) for united worship and prayer. Learn how to rebuild this crucial meeting place and revive the value of devotion.  

Mud Dries

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June 2, 2013
The power of life and death is in the tongue. I take those words seriously. I am a communicator. So are you, even if not professionally. Is your communication thoughtful and intentional, or just emotionally reactive? Does your communication reveal the grace of Jesus? Do your words breathe life and courage? Do your words build up? Do you understand the power of your words? Do you understand God’s purpose for your voice?  

Taking You Into the World

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May 26, 2013
“The Holy Spirit and You” has been the sermon theme for May, bringing the power and ministry of the Spirit of Jesus home to you. The local church is not the end, but a means to this end: the revelation of Jesus in the world. The world does not enter the doors of our church; our church must enter the sphere of the unchurched—on mission for the Lord. And the Holy Spirit has come to help us do just that.

Edifying the Church

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May 19, 2013
“The Holy Spirit and You” is the sermon theme for May, bringing the power and ministry of the Spirit of Jesus home to you. The local church is not just a center for worship and religious ritual; it is a center for dynamic, growing spiritual life—both personal and corporate. Building up the church is not the task of the credentialed leadership or paid staff; it is the responsibility of every member to all the rest of the church. And the Holy Spirit is at the very heart of this grand work.

Anointing Your Friendships

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May 12, 2013
“The Holy Spirit and You” is the sermon theme for May, bringing the power and ministry of the Spirit of Jesus home to you. Friendships are vital to your life, especially your friendship with Jesus. They come easier for some than for others, but the Holy Spirit works in and through all of your friendships, to hone your heart and character. Friends help us to see ourselves more clearly. Friends help us to see God more clearly.

Awakening Your Devotion

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May 5, 2013
“The Holy Spirit and You” is the sermon theme for May, bringing the power and ministry of the Spirit of Jesus home to you. God’s Spirit is responsible for awakening your faith to the grace of Jesus Christ, and it is also His activity that awakens our hunger to get closer to God. Increased devotion is not a matter of simply working harder or reading more; it is the result of stronger acquaintance with the Holy Spirit.

Commission of a Disciple

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April 28, 2013
“What’s a Disciple to Do?” has been the sermon theme for April. Many are familiar with the Great Commission. But how should that play out in the real world. What are disciples and how are they made? What is it we are to teach them to do? This message does not suggest specific programs, but provides an overview of the disciple’s responsibilities that will help us to fill the gaps and develop an effective balance for spiritual growth.

Conduct of a Disciple

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April 14, 2013
“What’s a Disciple to Do?” is the sermon theme for April. Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is a major undertaking. It is not for the faint of heart. It is only for those who want to escape Hell and live in Heaven forever. Jesus warned of common interferences, instructed in fundamental tasks, and initiated His disciples in the basic responsibilities of following Him. If you’ve made the choice, you need to know these things!  

Character of a Disciple

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April 7, 2013
“What’s a Disciple to Do?” is the sermon theme for April. We begin by exploring what a disciple is like. A disciple can be anybody, but not everybody is one. Disciples are not born; they are made. So, what does it take to become a disciple of Jesus Christ?
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Overwhelming Victory

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March 31, 2013
Arrested. Convicted. Crucified. Buried. Done. Jewish religious leaders exchanged relieved handshakes; the troublemaker was gone. It would be business-as-usual again. But God is neither stifled nor prevented by men’s schemes or mistakes. Christ’s three-days-later resurrection trumped their plans and opened the door to Life for everyone. YOLO? I don’t think so. 

Your World Needs You

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March 24, 2013
Your world is your locality, including family, friends, and co-workers. They need Jesus. They need to know He is real. They need to know He is merciful. They need to know He is able. But His plan is to first reveal Himself through you! In order for that to happen, you must see yourself as Jesus does and you must live authentically, graciously, and faithfully. No one else can do that for you. 

Your Field

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March 17, 2013
Your world, your corner of the vineyard, is your field of ministry, and your assignment from the Lord. He knows who you are and where you belong at each stage in your life, and has strategically placed you “on mission.” Surrounding you right now are people that Jesus loves and is wanting to reach out to—through you. You can serve Him with joy, if you discover His strategy and learn to follow His lead.

Your Reach

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March 10, 2013
Tim Wells teaches. Our reach to those around us must be informed and it must be gracious. If we are unfamiliar with “what we believe” we will have difficulty helping others to see the goodness of the Good News. And if do not respect the people we reach (just as they are), we will be unable to communicate in ways that are meaningful to them. And if they can’t “hear” us, we haven’t yet fulfilled our task. 

Renewed You

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March 3, 2013
“Your World, Your Mission” is the sermon theme for March. Your world needs of love and righteousness, and your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to bring the good news of Jesus’ love and righteousness to your world. It’s a unique occupation—not that others cannot do it also, but no one else can do your part. From your conception through your life to this very moment, God has been shaping and equipping you to fulfill the mission for which He created you. Let’s review what He has done through the power of Jesus’ cross.

Intentional Community

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February 24, 2013
Community—to be functional and growing—must be intentional. It won’t just happen. That intentionality must spring from every individual who hopes to participate in that community. Without planning, preparation, pursuit, and preservation, community (if it has begun at all) will fall apart. You can be a vital member of your community, if you make it intentional.

Community at Risk

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February 10, 2013
God made us for community—communion with Him and with His people. But some people are more concerned about themselves than others, more interested in pleasing themselves than pleasing the Almighty. It creates tension, confusion, and disruption. Every church is at risk, and every believer is in danger of being sucked into their selfish plans. Learn what you can do to protect the church and yourself, and secure what Christ has given you.

The Community of Christ

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February 3, 2013
Community is integral to the design of the world—God’s design. God is three-in-one, and He made us two-in-one—male and female—(He is to be the third element of the human community). Of course, community-in-theory is not yet community-in-function, and that is where the Church comes in. The Church is where Christ develops functional community.

Draw Close

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January 27, 2013
God wants you to know Him. To know Him involves drawing near and listening closely. Because of Jesus, anyone can do this, yet few actually do. What will you do?

Revive Your Devotion

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January 20, 2013
Devotion is not a 10-minute reflection on your relationship with the Savior. Devotion is the way you live your life from day to day. Everyone is devoted to something—maybe yourself, maybe some amusement, maybe the Lord. It shows in the way you conduct your life. Let me share with you the tools and methods for reviving your devotion to Christ.

Intensity

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January 13, 2013
Jesus “set His face as a flint” to go to Jerusalem and face all the brutal horror that awaited Him there—and He did that for you and I! He came “to seek and to save those who are lost” and once He arrived, He loved us “to the uttermost.” Jesus lived life with a supernatural intensity—a steadfast purpose, an unperturbed spirit, and a relentless effort. Thus, He became our Savior. Now, He calls us to follow Him—with a similar intensity. This message describes it.
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If

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January 6, 2013
There’s a BIG little word in the English language: if. “If” changes everything. It introduces uncertainty. It challenges entitlement. Logically, however, “if” holds great promise, for it is always the precursor of what follows—if-then. Biblically, “if” is a very common word, not only among men, but from the mouth of God, for many of His great promises begin with “if”—they are conditional. If we meet the conditions, which are never out of reach, God will fulfill His promise. Simple. Assured. This message is about one of the greatest of those promises.  

Revive 2013

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December 30, 2012
Revival is an enduring promise of Scripture for the people of God. It is the hope of renewal and restoration, the chance to see what was broken be rebuilt, and to see what has died come back to life. It may apply to dreams and aspirations, and it certainly applies to God’s promised blessings. What we need to know is how to spiritually position ourselves to receive God’s reviving waves of grace. This message addresses that need.  

Fragrant Sacrifice

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December 23, 2012
Worship that costs you nothing is not real worship; it is a religious veneer. You cannot separate biblical worship from the concept and practice of sacrifice. But the New Testament practice is different than the Old. This is the lesson of the myrrh.

Superior Devotion

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December 16, 2012
Real worship flows from true devotion. Anyone might be impressed short term and cry, "Hooray!" But worship only arises from a captivated heart, a heart that is anchored and cannot be torn loose from its foundation. Such worship leaves a trail of something akin to a fragrance, a lingering aroma. It is a real offering to God.

Worship with Gold

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December 9, 2012
"We have come to worship Him." So, the wise men announced the intent that caused them to journey so far. Once they found the child-king, they bowed down before Him and presented their gifts to Him. They offered Him their gold, and we, too, can learn how to use our treasure to worship God.
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The Wisdom of Worship

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December 2, 2012
Worship is an act of the heart, more than any outward form of expression it may take. Worship is what you and I were made for. It’s what we were made to do. Above success in business or child-rearing, we were made to worship our Creator. You know who taught me that? Some wise men from the East, who packed up and traveled for months through harsh conditions just so they could lay their eyes on Jesus and bow down before Him. That’s worship. And that’s wisdom.

Seriously?

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November 18, 2012
“Serious,” when related to faith and religion, is sometimes misunderstood to mean somber, unhappy, drab. Biblically, it simply means dedicated, committed—when happy, when sad, when confused, when excited. Heart fixed on Jesus. Ears open to His voice. Lack of seriousness about our faith—casual Christianity—is a major hazard to spiritual formation. Learn what to do about it in this message.

Faith--What Is It Good For?

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November 11, 2012
In our efforts to define faith, we have often obscured it. Curiously, the Bible offers little help in this regard. Rather than defining faith, the Scriptures attempt to direct faith, for, in fact, faith is only defined by its object. That's why Jesus asked, "WHERE is your faith?" This message offers such direction.

We Call Them Heroes

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November 4, 2012
What would life be without heroes? We love them! We celebrate them! In fantasy, in history, and in real life. But who are they really? Are they truly unique individuals—like, super human? Do acts of heroism actually define anyone? Is there any hope for “the rest of us”? You can be sure there is! 

Two Covenants

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October 28, 2012
The suspicion and hostility between Islam and Judeo-Christian groups have been around since the days of Abraham’s sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Muslims venerate Ishmael as their ancestor, while Jews and Christians regard Isaac as the “promised son” (meaning, the one through whom God’s covenant of gracious blessing comes to us). This is not a slight divergence; it is a major distinction of understanding the Scriptures. Here is insight from veteran missionaries to strengthen your faith.

Salt and Light

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October 21, 2012
Dan and Carol Fryer joined us to sing and speak about being salt and light in our communities--bringing the flavor and revelation of Christ to the people--but in appropriate measure.

Weak AND Strong

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October 14, 2012
Waffles. They’re good for breakfast, but bad for mental behavior. Yet, who hasn’t waffled in their walk of faith, and wondered if they were the only ones who were so inconsistent? Sometimes I am strong, but other times I am weak—how miserable I am! If you’ve ever thought that, you’re in good company. Let me share with you the encouraging words of Scripture.

Your Eternal Inheritance

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October 7, 2012
Many people are unclear about the connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some suspect the Old Testament is included in our Bibles simply for historical reference, without spiritual bearing on our lives today. This is not the case. The Old Testament is equally the Word of God, though it has been superseded by the New Testament. The new and better things provided by the New Testament are the highlights of the letter written to the Hebrews, and profoundly instructive to us all, if we have the proper perspective.

Friendship With Jesus

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September 30, 2012
Tim Wells returns to the pulpit to remind us that God is not looking for good rule-keepers, but for devoted children. He is a Loving Father, not a Hard Taskmaster.

God's Ways

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September 23, 2012
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8). God’s ways are not just different, they are better! But our ways seem much more familiar and comfortable, though they are far less effective. Our challenge is to make the shift—to trust God more and ourselves less. Let me encourage you.

In the Valley of Human Need

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September 16, 2012
Todd Churchill reports on the work of God in Democratic Republic of Congo, and makes a powerful analogy of that nation’s history with Jesus’ encounter with a man and his demonized son, proclaiming the grace of Christ’s Kingdom that sets people free and restores their lives.

God Doesn't Want Employees

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September 2, 2012
Scott and Marisa Smith, missionaries to Spain.
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What We Cannot Lose

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August 26, 2012
When we tell God how thankful we are, it’s common to emphasize the good things we have and the qualities of life that we enjoy, perhaps because those are so easily lost. Maybe we need a new approach to giving thanks. Instead of focusing on what we have, perhaps we should thank God instead for what we cannot lose.

Take A Load Off!

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August 19, 2012
Pastor Linda Pierce reminded us that nothing is as wearying to the mind, to the heart, to the bones, as going it alone. This in itself should tell us that we weren’t made for that. Jesus’ invitation to come to Him and find rest—a rest that reaches your very soul—should be a welcome voice. It is the nature of this fallen world to download more than you can bear, so don’t forget that you have a Savior. Turn to Him. Come to Him. Stay with Him.

Loved So Much

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August 12, 2012
God loves you. We’ve heard it, and we’ve said it, so many times. But how much does He love us? What is the true measure of His love? How high? How deep? How broad? How long? How strong? How secure? Questions that beg for an answer. And the Bible offers plenty!

The Pharisee In Me

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August 8, 2012
The Pharisees were a leading sect of the Jewish faith in the days of Jesus and His disciples. Pharisees were known as believers in the Scriptures and believers in the supernatural and believers in life after death, much like Pentecostal Christians today. Yet, they were in frequent conflict with the ministry and teaching of Jesus and became the recipients of His stern warnings. What happened? Why didn’t their beliefs prevent such conflict? How can we avert such reproofs today?

Fragile Community

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July 29, 2012
Life predicts growth. A healthy church will be a growing church. But the health of any church depends on TWO things: the health of each part (member) AND the health of their interactions. A healthy church is NOT a collection of independently healthy individuals. A healthy church is a collection of INTERdependently healthy people. Every member must do his or her part, but the body grows by that which “every JOINT supplies.” The joint is where two parts meet together and interact. And those interactions are fraught with dangers and pitfalls. Learn about them and be ready!

To The Uttermost

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July 22, 2012
Missionaries Martin and Charlotte Jacobson expressed their hearts for the people of Argentina and the Patagonian Bible Institute, where they are training students who are planting churches and taking the Good News to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Build Community

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July 15, 2012
Community begins with God (from Whom every family on earth derives its name/character). The spirit of community comes from God. Yet, community is built (and broken) by people. Even the Community of Christ is dependent on the cooperative efforts of the followers of Christ—every one of us. This begins with right attitudes, so we must develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. And, we must learn to do the things that build community. Therefore, we study the “one another” instructions of the New Testament.

Embrace Community

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July 8, 2012
Community is not merely something humans have created in order to try and get along with each other; community is God’s idea. The Trinity is the quintessential community, from whom every band of brothers on earth derives its name (its character and purpose). However, community does not come pre-packaged and ready to enjoy; there are necessary ingredients that each one of us have to contribute and there is effort needed from us all to do to make it work well.

Like Father, Like Sons

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July 1, 2012
The concept of Biblical community is an illustration of the relationship of the Trinity—the oneness of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. It’s the church’s call, our call, to become like God, in a relational way. The community of faith, hope, and love is to demonstrate the good and trustworthy character of our Savior. Like Father, like sons.

Miracle Testimonies

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June 24, 2012   
Listen to four individual's stories of the power of God's life-tranforming grace!

No One Else

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June 17, 2012
The absolute uniqueness of Jesus is amazing! He is the Son of God and the Light of the world. He is the only Savior of humankind. There is no one to compare with Him. He has risen from the dead, He has loved us with an everlasting love, and He calls us to give to Him our total allegiance and obedience. Our conflicting love affair with ourselves and our blindness to the grace of God in our everyday circumstances mislead us, yet Jesus remains, like no one else we may know.

Does God Have Your Ear?

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June 3, 2012
“Phone’s for you… it’s God.” The Creator of the universe communicates with His creation! Not through the telephone usually, but through people—the people who wrote the Scriptures, the people who read the Scriptures, the people who preach the Scriptures, and more. But we each need to develop an ear to hear and recognize His voice. Tim Wells returned to our pulpit to encourage this process.

When the Spirit Testifies

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May 27, 2012
Someone once told me about Jesus Christ and His way of salvation… and it changed my life. Someone once told you, too. That’s God’s plan. He has made us partners in spreading the Good News and He doesn’t do it without us. But we wouldn’t get far or accomplish much if not for the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit. He’s our Helper. Don’t leave home without Him!

When the Spirit Prays

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May 20, 2012
Praying doesn’t come easily, but “there are no atheists in foxholes.” Difficulty turns almost anybody into a praying person. The Creator has built the practice of prayer into the foundation of a spiritual life. He said, “Call out to Me and I will answer you” (Jeremiah 33:3). Fortunately, God has also given the Holy Spirit to help us pray—not just on the spur of the moment, but to develop a praying life. This message is about how He helps us.
 

When the Spirit Sings

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May 13, 2012
The Spirit-filled life is a worship-filled life. Want to know how the Holy Spirit influences worship in your life and in your church? This message emphasizes the value, the means, and the manner of spiritual worship. It is what you were made for. Is your life full of worship? If not, why not? Make up your mind to become a worshiper!

When the Spirit Speaks

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May 6, 2012
Leading up to Pentecost Sunday, my sermons will highlight the ways the Holy Spirit invests in our lives to bring His Kingdom near. The first thing to capture my attention was the fact that God still speaks today. Whether speaking through the Scriptures, other people, or the circumstances of my life, there are four ways in which the Spirit speaks. Each is necessary and they progress together toward clarity and fulfillment. Do you have ears to hear?

RAISED to Eternal Life

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April 22, 2012
Perhaps we’ve heard about it so much that its meaning has become fuzzy or lost, but the life that Jesus has given you—the life that is working in you right now, if you’ve been born again—is eternal, everlasting, and death-defying! While you concentrate so much desire and effort on making things good for yourself in this life, you’re missing the point; Jesus is working to make things better for everyone, forever. If His life has taught us anything, it is that sacrifices in this life (when made according to the will of the Father) are worth it, because of what lies beyond this life. Do you have an eternal perspective of your life?

RAISED to New Life

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April 15, 2012
We often speak of being “born again,” but what does that really mean? Discover where this “new life” comes from and what it is like. The roots of new life are in the powerful resurrection of Jesus from the dead. In fact, that power is the measure of the power necessary to walk in new life with Christ. Thank God, He lives!

RAISED to Salvation

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April 8, 2012
The Gospel message is really a message about the resurrection of Christ. The first witnesses were specifically those who had witnessed His return from the grave. His resurrection was the central point of their preaching, as evidence that Jesus was God’s Son and that His work was effective for all who believe. This is what makes the call to repentance and faith compelling.

RAISED to God-Consciousness

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April 1, 2012
“God-consciousness.” Sounds like New Age terminology, but it simply means awareness of God’s presence—something the Holy Spirit has come to bring to each of us. Yet, not everyone has this awareness. Why not? Most times, self-consciousness stands in our way. The knowledge and power of the resurrection of Jesus provides the answer. Get your heart full of His resurrection life and you will discover His presence and activity all around.

Getting It Right, pt 1

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March 25, 2012
Do the Ten Commandments seem “out of date” to you? Some Christians imagine that they have no real bearing on the Christian life. In fact, they are more relevant than today’s newspaper. Though they are not the “rule of law” for the believer, they are still an accurate picture of the character of God and the community into which He has called us. So, let’s review these ten divine declarations and rediscover their application to our lives.

What Does God Expect?

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March 18, 2012
Kent Kelley introduced us to Crossroads International and reminded us that God is generous! He forgives us freely. He lavishes His grace on us through Jesus Christ. He has poured out His Spirit on the Church—in part, so that we might be generous, too. If we follow the Spirit’s lead and Jesus’ words, we will spend our lives, giving away what God has given us, for His purposes and for His honor. The first half of Kent’s message is about his mission and the second half is about ours.

Love to the Full

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March 11, 2012
People are inclined to think of Jesus just as they think of themselves or other persons. We are also inclined to imagine that His love is like our love. But God is faithful to define His love for us in fresh and mind-boggling ways in the Scriptures. For instance, He loved us in this way: “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” John 13 offers another practical definition, as Jesus expressed His love to His disciples on their final night together. His definitions, of course, are instructive to us, revealing the kind of love we are to show one another.

Jesus Loves You

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March 4, 2012
We say it. We believe it. But how often does Jesus’ love simply overwhelm us? It’s an amazing reality—profound, miraculous, and abundant. Yet, everyday pressures can obscure its radiant beauty and blind us to its presence. So, I invite you to take another look—a closer look—at how God has loved you through Jesus Christ.

Out of Darkness

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February 26, 2012
Jesus lifted the boy’s small lunch in His hands and uttered a blessing and began to distribute it to His disciples. They passed it out, and passed it out, and passed it out, until 5,000 men, plus women and children had eaten their fill. Then, they picked up 12 baskets full of leftovers, for the Lord had instructed them, “See that nothing is wasted.” He is just as careful about the circumstances of our lives that we deem trash (or worse). He is able to work all things together for our good. He redeems it all. Every tragedy, heartache, and mistake can be converted by His grace and power into an inspiration, a motivation, or equipment for service. Nothing is wasted. Everything is moving into the light.

Be Careful How You Build, 2

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February 19, 2012
Tim Wells continued his study of faithfulness, using Luke 19:11-13. Discipleship, flexibility and prayerfulness are integral to developing faithfulness to God. The local church is the training ground and center of our daily Christian life. Remaining alone will only bring disaster, but joining in wholeheartedly with other Christians will insure that our daily decisions of faithfulness are more easily made.

Be Careful How You Build, 1

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February 12, 2012
Using the illustration Jesus gave in Matthew of building a house on the rock or sand, Tim Wells helped us explore how small, daily decisions can build faithfulness or unfaithfulness into our lives. We looked at what faithfulness looks like, what tools God has given us to aid in building and maintaining it, and ultimately how God views unfaithfulness.

Sweet and Bitter

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February 5, 2012
Relationships are bittersweet. They can be oh-so-good or oh-so-difficult. Most of them are both. Even the relationship with God has its ups and downs. What can smooth out the path? How can we improve one that is faltering? Find out more by reading or listening to this message.

Here and Now

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January 29, 2012
Bob Kilpatrick preaches: Here. Now. That’s where Jesus is. That’s where you can meet Him. Nowhere else. Don’t put off your encounter with the Living God any longer. Perceive the Invisible One in your visible circumstances. He wants to meet you. Here. Now.

I Become

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January 22, 2012
Becoming is the pathway of being. It’s how you get from point A to point B in personhood. Becoming implies possibilities, growth, developmental change. Some of those possibilities are negative, while others are positive. It all depends on the “set of your sail”—what you’re aiming for. Anchor your life to Jesus Christ and the positive possibilities are almost limitless!

I Believe

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January 8, 2012   
Faith means many things to many people; not all of their ideas are even loosely connected to the Bible. But for us, faith is linked directly and solely to Jesus Christ—who He is, what He has done for us, and what He has promised. When we declare that we “believe” we should be clear in our own minds about what we mean. Faith has few definitions in Scripture, but many examples, which, in itself, illustrates that faith is not an intellectual concept so much as a reality of everyday life.
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I Belong

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January 5, 2012
Nothing is sweeter in the world of relationships than feeling like you “belong.” It is human nature to crave closeness, to seek friendship, to pursue relationships. Yet many of our cultural habits leave us disconnected and isolated. Fortunately, Christ has called us to relationship—with the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and with each other—and given us what we need to make it happen.

Renew 2012

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January 1, 2012
The Gospel message is about renewal—of hope (through faith), of heart (through worship), of life (through obedience), and of so much more. I believe the Holy Spirit has deemed 2012 to be Trinity’s (yours and mine) Year of Renewal. Please read or listen to this message and learn how God wants to make you “new again.”

Out of Obscurity

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December 25, 2011
You are one in 7,000,000! But it’s easy to get lost in the crowd at times, and feel unnoticed or wonder if we have made a significant contribution to anyone else’s life. The good news is that God specializes in people who are otherwise unnoticed. He lifts them out of obscurity into the light of His great love and uses them to accomplish significant things for His name’s sake. He glories in that contrast. The Bible tells about it over and over again. That’s what Christmas is all about!

Light of the World

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December 18, 2011   
How come Christmas? God loves people. And He has prepared for us a world significantly different than the one we know. It is already breaking into this present world, transforming individuals and the systems of which they are a part. That all began to become clear when Jesus arrived and began His public ministry, announcing, “The Kingdom of God is near.” Isaiah predicted this transition to an everlasting hope. And that’s why we celebrate Christmas.

The Sign of the Virgin

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December 11, 2011
Ancient prophecies were fulfilled at the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Miraculously fulfilled. Yet, they have other applications, as well. Perhaps surprisingly, they also offer instruction to you and I, for the circumstances out of which they arose were not unlike challenges that we might face from time to time. May we be drawn to Jesus during this Christmas season to celebrate His birth with fresh faith and joy.

Encouragement from God

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December 4, 2011
Professing Christians number nearly 700 million today—about 10% of the world’s population. And that number grows by about 165,000 each day. Yet, for the one-in-ten who are believers, it can feel less-than-triumphant. When you are not gathered in church with those of “like precious faith,” you may feel alone, insecure, marginalized. God’s people have always been a “remnant.” But God knows His own—every one of them—including you. And He stands on your side, to see you through to a glorious end. Trust Him. Follow Him. That's the encouraging message presented by Missionary Dan Stump.

Plug In To the Power

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November 20, 2011
God’s power is more than enough to meet the needs and crises in our lives. But how can we avail ourselves of it? Prayer is the answer. Communicating with God—spending time in His presence—releases His wisdom and power. Are you plugged in today?

Run to Win

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November 13, 2011
Paul viewed the Christian life as a footrace. Not a sprint, but more like a marathon. It calls for strength, focus, stamina, and persistence. Self-reliance becomes a stumbling stone in this race, luring us off-course, and must be carefully replaced by daily dependence on Christ. Paul points the way to achieving this in his encouraging letter to the believers in Philippi. This message aims to encourage that winning attitude.

Worthy of All Praise

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November 6, 2011
Paul’s letter to the Christians in Ephesus begins with a shout of praise to God, followed by a series of strong reasons to give praise to the Almighty. Paul was emphatic about the greatness of God and the praise that is due Him. His brief reflection can bring a crowd to their feet! See if it doesn’t move you, too

The Finisher

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October 23, 2011
Life can throw us a lot of curve balls—experiences we did not expect, situations for which we could not prepare. It is vital to know that God is near in those times, nudging, kneading, and squeezing out a good result. He is able to work all things together for our good, because He sees the end from the beginning, and no immediate circumstance can controvert His purpose. He is the Finisher of our faith.

God's Purpose for Your Life

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October 16, 2011
It’s the “one thing needful” in each of our lives: to know and do what God put us here for. Nothing else can fill that yawning space in our spirits. It’s what we were made for. It’s what gives our life meaning. Though elusive to the casual seeker, you can find and develop God’s purpose for your life. This message describes how to do that.

The God Who Is There

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October 2, 2011
Tim Wells ministered a stirring message about the amazing and glorious works of God all around us every day—from the microcosm of the atom to the macrocosm of the universe. It takes a certain willfulness to ignore the signs that are all around us. God is not hiding. He wants to be known and loved! And He deserves our praise.

Your Reward

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September 25, 2011
When asked about His return and the end of the age, Jesus told His disciples three stories to help them prepare. The stories were designed to encourage the kinds of heart that would be necessary to endure to the end, to receive His “Well done,” and to help populate the heavenly marriage supper. Devoted friendships. Faithful service. Selfless compassion.

Surprise Endings

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September 18, 2011
The Christian life is full of surprises—circumstances surprise us, friends surprise us, sometimes enemies surprise us, and God always surprises us.
When you anticipate the end of time and meeting your Maker face to face, do you expect any surprises? Someone has suggested that we may be surprised by who else we find there, and who we don’t find there. Jesus suggested that we may be surprised by God’s response. In an effort to prepare us and minimize any negative surprises, He told three stories—one about cultivating friends, one about work ethics, and one about building community. I’m sure you’ll need at least one, and maybe all three.

We Will Never Forget

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September 11, 2011
A decade has passed since that awful day, when more than 3,000 lives were horrifically taken from us. Life in the U.S. and in all the rest of the world has changed as a result of that spiteful deed. What is it we have vowed never to forget? If it is a vow to avenge, then we have lost before we started. If, on the other hand, it is a vow to learn what we may, and do what we must to relieve, to rebuild, to protect, and to progress, then there is credible hope. We must stand in faith and resist raw emotion, as well as raw nationalism, for we are the people of God.

Is Church Attendance Optional?

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August 28, 2011
Is church attendance optional? Of course. But whatever option you choose has consequences. Many people say they can worship at home…and yes, they can. But will they? Likely not. As members of a church we are part of a group that can help encourage and hold us accountable. Most importantly, do you know the purpose of church attendance? What is to be gained or lost by not attending? If you’re looking for answers, or if you think you’ve already figured it out, you may be surprised by what you find in this message.

Show Some Respect!

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August 21, 2011
How we treat other people is so important to God. And, it reveals our understanding of God Himself: His heart and His intent toward humanity and all creation. We cannot ignore this matter. Of course, it’s not so hard with some people, but with others, it can be downright irritating. What’s a person to do? This message offers some direction for the earnest Christ-follower.

The Way of Victory

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August 14, 2011
John, the apostle, was an eyewitness of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He was the only one of the twelve disciples who was present at Jesus’ crucifixion and He was one of the first to witness His resurrection. From such close, personal experience, he wrote four books of the New Testament, for the expressed purpose of drawing his readers into a similar closeness of faith and obedience. The first chapter of John’s first letter presents what I call “The Way of Victory”—the God-given means of growing each day in likeness to Jesus Christ.

Holy Spirit--Sanctifier

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July 31, 2011
How can we become wholly devoted to Christ? Does it mean no longer feeling temptation? Is it reserved for a select few? Is it possible to win the battle between the flesh and the spirit? How shall we live a life of faith? This message takes a practical look at the means of fulfilling God’s call to a truly Christian life—on His side and on our side. It is accessible to everyone, so don’t give up before you check this out.

Holy Spirit--Disciplemaker

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July 24, 2011
Discipleship is the lifelong journey of learning to follow Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is our Guide for the passage. You wouldn’t think of undertaking an expedition into unfamiliar territory without an experienced guide, would you? The Holy Spirit is a Counselor, an Advocate, a Helper, a Strengthener, a Healer, and a Teacher, of whom Jesus said, “I will send Him to you.” Have you received Him? Have you signed on for the adventure?

Fiery Holy Spirit

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July 17, 2011
“Messiah will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,” John announced. Fire had long been a symbol connected with God’s power. Sometimes, fire reminds us of fearful and destructive circumstances, yet we all use it, under controlled situations, every day. It was fire that first brought heat and light into our homes. It was fire that first purified medical instruments and welded metals together for construction. Our God has been known as “the God who answered by fire.” Question is: Have you got a holy fire burning on the inside? You can have. Is the Holy Spirit powerfully at work in your life? He can be. This message will show you how.

Holy Spirit--Lifegiver

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July 10, 2011
The One who created the world is the same One who gives us new life! That same creative power is at work in the Church and in the follower of Jesus today. Have you received Him? Have you received the Holy Spirit? The Father promised to send Him and Jesus has poured Him out on the Church. We are to walk in Him today. Find out more in this message.

Celebrate Freedom!

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July 4, 2011
God has put the hunger for freedom in our hearts. Every person feels it. Many chase it through means of self-gratification, only to discover that feeding oneself with pleasures tends only to bondage, not freedom. Where can true and lasting freedom be found? What will it take to find it? To keep it? This Fourth of July message tells the story.

Heart for Children

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July 3, 2011
Raegan Glugosh, R.N. received the call of God while on a short-term mission trip to Romania. She discovered dozens of babies, abandoned in state-run nursery wards. She returned to organize Christian caregivers for the infants, and then began to build relationships with young mothers, before they gave up or aborted their babies. She started the Hagar Home, where over 100 mothers and babies have been cared for, trained, and evangelized in the last 5 years. One woman, moved by the Holy Spirit, is having a profound and lasting impact on some of the most desperate people of Romania.

Great Dads

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Jun 19, 2011
Great dads are not born, they are made (and sometimes, remade). The Bible offers many examples of real-life dads, all of them seriously flawed. Children pay close attention to the way their dads relate to them, even when dads wish they didn’t. It’s the nature of the arrangement. So, how are dads supposed to behave? Paul offered cogent advice in Colossians 3:20-21, in order to recommend positive direction for dads who want to improve.

How Do I Love Thee?

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June 5, 2011
What is Holy Communion supposed to provide? Remember that the Table of the Lord invites us into the presence of the Lord Himself. It is not the ceremony, but the One whom we celebrate who imparts what we need. How, then, can we derive more from our times of communion with God? What is it that He intends to accomplish in our lives? Communion can be (ought to be) more than a ritual ceremony. This message will help you discover how.

Thief in the Night

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May 22, 2011
All the bluster about the end of the world on May 21, 2011, requires a response. The return of Jesus Christ and the destiny of the Church are too important to ignore, no matter how many people make untenable propositions about them. What does the Bible say? What is clear and what is unclear? Is there a reason to hope?

Ahava Moment

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May 15, 2011
Tim Wells returns to our pulpit to challenge the church to lean on the Lord for wisdom and courage, and to move forward together at His direction in faith.

Loving Back

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May 8, 2011
The unconditional love of a mother sets the scene for the amazing revelation that Paul gives of the love of God in Jesus Christ--unconditional, invincible, relentless--for you!

Rising Up

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April 24, 2011
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a mind-boggling event! And it is much more than a figure of speech, or analogy. Founded on four theological truths, Christ's resurrection offers seven dimensions of spiritual assurance for your daily life.

Who is Jesus? Who are You?

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April 10, 2011
Pastor Bill Berry returns to our pulpit to challenge us to think about the significance of who Jesus is, and the corresponding significance He imparts to each of us.

Purpose of Your Purpose

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March 27, 2011
Tim Wells returns to our pulpit to deepen our understanding of pragmatic Christianity. He underscores the church's need to walk together in unity.

Discover Your Purpose

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March 20, 2011
John F. Kennedy said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” Each of us has a God-designed purpose for our lives, the purpose for which we are here. Too few of us seriously seek to understand it, let alone fulfill it, yet it is the well of meaning and significance for our hearts. Perhaps we are hindered because we imagine that our purpose is a destination, a static place or condition at which we hope to arrive. It is not. Life is not static, and we are eternally alive. Your purpose is a way—a path, a direction, a manner of travel. “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way.” Finding your purpose and pursuing it releases the joy of the Lord in your life, continually.

Use the Word to Get Ready 5/5

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March 13, 2011
God has a plan for your life. Like a shepherd leads his sheep, the Lord Jesus leads His people, and that includes you! He knows where to find food and water and a secure place to rest. He also knows where you are needed to serve. He orchestrates opportunities for service—in the church, in the community, to the ends of the earth. But are you ready to serve? Have you been prepared? Have you been equipped? Well, the good news is that He does that, too! God uses His Word to prepare and equip His children to serve fruitfully in the world.

Use the Word to Transform 4/5

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March 6, 2011
Knowing right from wrong only makes a difference if we actually do something about it. Correcting our mistakes is a first step in that direction; getting back on the right track is the second step. However, human nature is twisted by sin, so that we cannot, with consistency, do the things we want to do or the things we believe are right. Returning to the straight and narrow path is only the first part of our task—and the easiest. Staying the course is the real challenge, and requires personal transformation. For that we need training, lots of training. This kind of training has just one effective source: the Word of God. Reading the Bible for knowledge is fine, but reading it for personal transformation is what really counts.

Use the Word to Correct 3/5

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February 27, 2011
The Scriptures are useful for “showing us truth,” “exposing our rebellion,” and “correcting our mistakes.” Everybody needs correction at one time or another. But correction can only be effective when one certain spiritual criterion has been met. Do you know what it is? Much of the correction that other people offer is simply in line with what will please them more, but is it what God wants? Only God’s Word gets us back on our feet and back on the right path with Jesus.

Use the Word to Reveal 2/5

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February 20, 2011
God's Word is useful for “showing us truth” and “exposing our rebellion.” The first seems more desirable than the second, but they go hand-in-hand and both are necessary. Recall Jeremiah’s warning: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” We cannot move forward with God if we keep lying to ourselves, yet we may fear what we will find out. Only the Word of God exposes our rebellion with compassionate gentleness. And then helps us recover and progress.

Use the Word to Teach 1/5

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February 6, 2011
The “usefulness” of the Word of God is undeniable, but often overlooked. Some hold superstitious views of the Bible’s value, revering the physical book itself in hope of mysterious benefits. Others imagine that a familiarity with Bible stories is sufficient to invoke a mystical blessing. In fact, the Bible is only useful (in the way God intended) when it is taken to heart and put into practice through faith. One of its uses is to “show us truth.” Nothing could be more important! If we misunderstand the truth (the reality of God’s world), things don't seem to fit and remain incomplete.

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

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January 30, 2011
Cain and Abel. Ananias and Saphira. The crippled man beside the Beautiful Gate in Jerusalem. Persecuted believers around the world. Your neighbor, who is struggling to make ends meet. What these share in common is the everyday human battle: Will I be generous and compassionate, or stingy and indifferent? “Am I my brother’s keeper?” What can you do to show regard for the poor? The Scripture offers many thoughts, a few of which have been captured in this message.

The Open Table

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January 23, 2011
Jon Katov, founder of the Open Table (www.theopentable.org), was our pulpit guest, sharing his candid story of discovering how to love the poor--the Jesus way.

Stewardship of Life

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January 16, 2011
The world makes resolutions; the church considers its responsibilities. Our aim is to steward (manage) what God has given us in order to maximize His glory. God has given us both a mortal life and an immortal life, both of which must be stewarded in three directions: for the sake of God, for the sake of others, and for the sake of ourselves. This message is about how that plays out day-to-day.

Our Hope

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January 2, 2011
As this new year begins, we are stilll looking for hope. It has not been found (as it was promised) in the political upheaval of recent elections or in the stimulated economy, simply because the source of lasting hope has never been political or economic. Hope rises when we see God working out His plan in the earth, regardless of the political or economic climate. Keeping hope alive and growing depends on our faith in Jesus Christ, the King of all the earth.
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After Christmas - What?

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December 26, 2010
Pre-holiday stress? Post-holiday letdown? How to keep Jesus in the center of the season? Here's some advice for making it from Christmas to New Year's and beyond.

Give Him Gifts

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December 19, 2010
There are no bystanders in the Kingdom of God. Everyone has something to contribute, and everyone has an opportunity to do so. The story of the magi is compelling.  These men were so convinced by God that something phenomenal was happening in their generation, that they left everything to become a part of it. Are you becoming a part of what God is presently doing in the earth? You carry within you an essential piece of the work; don’t withhold it. Instead, make it an offering to the Lord for His use.

Lord at Your Birth

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December 12, 2010
The third verse of "Silent Night" concludes with these words: "Jesus, Lord at thy birth." God invested such weighty significance in such an inauspicious beginning! With God, the apparent significance (or lack of it) in beginnings means little, for the significance of a person is not determined by her beginning but by her end. And God bundles that magnificent end in the very beginning! "Despise not the day of small beginnnings."

Sing a New Song

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December 12, 2010
The Nativity Hymns — spontaneous, prophetic songs of praise expressed by persons in the Nativity story. Their songs teach us much about our spiritual history, as well as the times in which they lived. More than that, they teach us about the way the Spirit moves in a heart that is devoted to God: He gives a new song for us to sing! He has given you such a song, too. You must find your song and sing it for the Lord. He longs to hear your voice!

Holy Is The Lord

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November 21, 2010
The priests of the ancient Jewish faith wore a special hat with an engraved sign attached, that read, “Holy to the Lord.” It signified their consecration to God’s worship and service. It did not indicate that they were better than other Jews or less sinful; only that their lives were dedicated to honoring God, who said, “You will be holy, because I am holy.” God is set apart by nature, and those who devoutly serve Him are set apart also, by calling. Holiness is a wonderful and beautiful attribute of the Almighty. And rightly understood and cultivated, it is a blessed attribute of His children, too.

Who Was, Who Is, Who Is to Come

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November 14, 2010
What is it that makes Jesus so special and deserving of our worship? His teachings were profound and His miracles were amazing, but it is not these things. We do not worship Him because He was a great man, or even the greatest of men. We worship Him because He is God. From everlasting to everlasting, He is God. This message emphasizes that wonderful fact.

None Like Him

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November 7, 2010
Tim Wells returns to our pulpit, preaching about the unique ministry of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit. What Jesus has done for us by His death and resurrection is communicated to us by the Holy Spirit, not only in revelatory understanding of Scripture but also in ever-increasing personal transformation. He convicts and convinces us of sin, of righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The result is a holy love in heart and lifestyle.
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Jesus, All in All

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October 31, 2010
Jesus’ summary “I am” statement is the theme of this message: “I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” To take in the vast extent of those phrases is awe-inspiring. To recognize the breadth of their personal application is humbling.

Jesus Alone

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October 24, 2010
Jesus is unique. He declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He alone has provided us a way to God, an understanding of God, and the life of God. No one could ever improve on what He has done. No one could even come close. What a Savior! This message will strengthen your faith, deepen your love, and raise your hope, because He is wonderful!

Jesus, the Way

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October 17, 2010
It is written that Saul of Tarsus heartily persecuted “the followers of the Way.” The followers of Jesus were so known because their relationship to God through Him impacted not only their thoughts, but also the way they led their lives. In fact, if we do not follow His way, then we have not known His love, for the love of God is life-changing! This message emphasizes Jesus' personal involvement with our lives, from beginning to end — eternally.

Jesus, the Son

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October 10, 2010
How well do you really know Jesus? This series focuses on who He is. This first message examines “The Son.” This quality of relationship is absolutely essential to who Jesus is and what He has done for us. If we understand it and embrace it, it has the power to transform our everyday lives. Let me show you how.

The Church's Heart

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October 3, 2010
The initial discovery of what Jesus has done for us is life-changing! Forgiveness, cleansing, healing, joy released, hope restored, and so much more. How do we so soon forget and fall into religious ruts? Who hasn’t awakened at some point to realize they have just been going through the motions and lost the heart of the Gospel (left their first love)? Paul deliberately and persistently draws us back to the elemental faith of our salvation in his letter to the Church in Philippi -- a welcome and refreshing shower of truth.

Confirmed

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September 26, 2010
Have you ever stepped out on a creaking floor or a bending stair step tentatively, testing its capacity to hold your weight? Then you know how important it is to receive confirmation before taking the next step. We also need confirmation as we follow Christ. We don’t want to presume that we have chosen the right way, we want some confirmation. This message illustrates the power of confirmation and describes where to look for it.

Be Content

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September 19, 2010
Contentment is an elusive grace in our hurried and overloaded world. Yet it is a hallmark of Christian experience, exemplified most notably by Apostle Paul, whose journey with Christ was rife with dangers, heartaches, and troubles. You, too, can experience contentment as a frequent, if not continual, gift from God. This message describes how.

Share the Truth Respectfully

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September 12, 2010
Sharing who Jesus is, what He has done, and how He has been working in one's life is the substance of evangelism. Historically, it has been the manner more than the content that has made it difficult for other's to hear what we are trying to say. This message is an effort to transform that process.

Live Life Out Loud

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September 5, 2010
Evangelism is not an unnatural process that God has forced upon His followers; it is the natural expression of joy and wonder for who Christ is and what He has done that results from a personal relationship with Him. This message offers pointers for releasing your story of His influence.

Prepared

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August 29, 2010
Tim Wells returns to our pulpit to encourage spiritual preparation for growth and discipleship.

The Will of God for Dummies

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This message offers basic principles and seven insightful questions for finding and doing God’s will with your life. Could anything be more important? The world and all of its attractions and pleasures are passing away, but the person who does the will of God will remain forever.

Set the Captives Free

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Human captivity is an appalling thought. Yet, spiritual and emotional bondage is a common condition. Jesus Christ came to set captives free. Not only physical slavery, but also emotional and spiritual bonds can be broken in His name. Or, we can endure them for a lifetime, in spite of His emancipating power. Which would you choose?
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Tested in the Wilderness

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“Tested faith is of greater value than pure gold that has been tried in the fire.” Most people do not look forward to being tested. Perhaps it is the fear of failure, or simply the stress of having to prove oneself. But for all of that, nothing is stronger than tested faith. Like tested (purified) gold, the process removes impurities and increases natural resilience. Even Jesus, God’s Son, had to be tested (“made complete by the things that he suffered”). And His example of overcoming by faithfully standing on what God has said guides us to success.

Waiting for the World to Change

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July 25, 2010
Waiting is hard! And we do so much of it. Waiting for God can be the worst, because everything in us may scream, “I know how to do this; I don’t need to wait!” But God’s ways are not our ways, and He does all things well. So, we wait for Him. But we ought not to wait idly. Your world is not going to change for the better if you just wait and do nothing, so “be up and about” your Father’s business! Wait for the Lord, but wait with ACTIVE faith.

The Sin of Self-Condemnation

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Have you ever given yourself a bad time for some persistent fault in your life? Have you wondered if you could ever be free? Or if you could ever serve God effectively? Such self-doubt and recrimination plague more people than are willing to admit it. In fact, self-condemnation is one of the prominent “spiritual disciplines” of many Christians, who vainly hope that their self-made purgatory will advance their cause with God. It won’t. Self-condemnation is an evil impediment to the work of God through His church. If you have been plagued by it, this message could bring you freedom.
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By Love Serve

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How we use our freedom determines whether or not it lasts and grows. Freedom in Christ is so extraordinary, and obtained at such enormous expense. We dare not ignore it; and having received it, we dare not waste it. We have been bought to be freed. Our freedom actually has a purpose beyond our personal release. This message tells of that objective and its means.

Gifts From the Spirit

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The gifts of the Spirit — supernatural gifts given to the followers of Jesus — are often the arena for controversy, sometimes divisively hostile. Yet, these amazing gifts have been given to accomplish exactly the opposite: the welding of the church in love and harmony. Perhaps that’s why the devil fights them so persistently. This message emphasizes their Biblical purpose and appropriate uses.

Gifts From the Son

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The gifts of the Son are the inspirational gifts He has given to His Church. These gifts are people, divinely enabled people, who provide specific functions for the health, growth, and development of the Church. For only a mature Church can fulfill God’s plan and qualify to be the bride of Christ.

Gifts from the Father

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God gives gifts to His children. This message looks at the gifts of the Father — motivational gifts given to every human being from birth — and how they are released for fulfillment through the new birth. So much variety! All for the effectiveness of the individual and the church.

Three Things

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This message is a reflection on the saving grace of God, for our past, for our future, and for our present through His gifts of faith, hope, and love.

For Good Works

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The Holy Spirit has come to us! He brings so much with Him — spiritual gifts of knowledge, speech, and power — and does so much for us. He makes us holy. He leads us into all truth. He prays within us. He inspires our worship. Yet all of these things are the means to a higher goal — God’s ultimate purpose for our lives, for which He is preparing us every day. Are you burning brightly for the Lord, or just glowing dimly?

He Will Honor Me

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All that belongs to Jesus Christ belongs also to His Church; we are “joint-heirs.” But how do we receive it and enter into our inheritance? The answer lies in the person of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent to us. He said, “[The Holy Spirit] will honor me by taking what is mine and making it known to you.” Our service to Jesus is dependent on our relationship with the Holy Spirit. If we are not well-acquainted with the Spirit, we will lack wisdom, understanding, strength, and power, and the result will be dishonoring to Jesus. Are you living in the Spirit?

Spirit of Prayer

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God has offered us a gift that we cannot live without, a gift that we cannot worship without, a gift that we cannot serve without — yet many have never opened the package for themselves, assuming the gift would work for them anyway. It is the amazing gift of the Spirit of grace and prayer, first promised by Zechariah and confirmed by Paul. This gift is tailor-made for you, because you were made for this gift; designed for it; never intended to be without it.

What the Spirit Says

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The Holy Spirit is God’s voice to His people. But who is really listening? Some will not listen until squeezed by circumstances. Some prefer horoscopes and celebrity “wisdom.” Others use the Bible like an encyclopedia of spiritual principles and pithy sayings. Is that really listening to God? We must develop an ear that recognizes the Holy Spirit’s voice. Because He wants to speak to you. Are you listening today?

Holiness to the Lord

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This series begins with a study of holiness in the life of a believer. Key to the whole conversation is the fact that holiness is never first a behavioral issue. We cannot generate holiness by any adjustments to our behavior. We have to look deeper. Holiness is first a matter of nature, and then of character and attitude. This is why God has given us His Spirit. This is why every person must be born again. Does the Holy One dwell in you? Are you letting Him have His way?

Overflowing Joy

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April 25, 2010
You cannot separate a life of faith from a life of worship. Believers are praisers by definition, yet by practice it is not always so. Whether in church or at work or at school or at home, the practice of expressing heartfelt praise to God is vital (if only under your breath). Without a purposeful decision to practice this, you will soon fall silent. And when praise ceases, darkness creeps in. So, make up your mind to give God the praise that He is due.

In the Garden of Prayer

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We learn to know God's heart as we spend time with Him in prayer and pray about everything. We know God listens when His people pray, and we know what God is capable of when He answers our prayers -- and yet for all that, too little praying actually occurs. Grace-before-meals does not qualify as a life of prayer. Jesus' disciples, who were raised in a culture of religious prayerfulness, were so stimulated as they observed Him praying that they begged Him, "Lord, teach us to pray." This message examines His response.

A Living Word

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God still speaks today and He wants to speak with YOU. Learning to hear God's voice is an essential feature of Christian living. But it requires commitment and persistence. Have you ever covenanted with God about this? Isn't it time you did?

Two Lives to Live

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"I am the resurrection and the life." If Christ were not raised from the dead there would be no hope of forgiveness or freedom from sin. And if we do not experience a new birth, Christ's work on the cross is for nothing. He identified with our need so that we could identify with His solution.

Searching for Water

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March 28, 2010 (no text available)
"Good Soil" requires plenty of water. African Missionary Steve Evans describes the desperate search for water that plagues that continent, and how God is replenishing the soil and the hearts of the people.

Living in the Shadows

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Tim Wells returns to our pulpit to address the condition of "thorny ground," when God's grace becomes overshadowed and offset by temporal things and concerns, and no fruit is produced.

Shallow Soil

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Still considering Jesus' parable of the sower, and our responsibility to spread the Gospel, this message looks at the condition of shallow soil--a thin layer of superficial soil over bedrock that roots cannot penetrate to find nourishment. It is the story of people whose faith is weak, unstable, and short-lived. It is a frustrating and desperate condition, but one for which the Bible offers stong help.

The Footpath

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Jesus told a story about a farmer who went out to plant his fields. The seed he scattered found four different types of soil, which each produced differently. These soil-types are really people — seekers with differing openness to the Gospel. I believe you and I have the same task as that farmer, and we have something to contribute to the openness of those we are trying to reach. Though we are not in control, if we are attentive and yielded, God can work through us to help people. This message considers the case of the footpath.

Nurturing Growth

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How can you help your interested friends and family to get closer to finding Christ, and remove hindrances from their path? Become a nurturer of faith. This message offers practical guidelines for this crucial ministry.

Sowing Good Seed

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What should you say to an unchurched person to help awaken their interest in the Gospel? Should you quote Scriptures? Should you correct their misbehaviors? Should you warn them of judgment to come? Should you point out all that they are missing? These are commonly invoked means of directing hearts to Jesus. Most of the time, however, these are not effective ways to do it. This message considers four alternate means, designed to awaken spiritual curiosity and faith, without trampling personal dignity.

Can You Dig It?

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February 14, 2010
Linda Pierce returns to our pulpit to help us prepare the hearts of others to receive the Gospel through our intercessory prayers. Over time, in answer to such prayers, God softens hardened hearts and breaks through barriers that have been built up against the truth. Are you praying for your part of the harvest field? Shouldn't you be? Someone is dependent on your prayers. Don't give up!

Gathering Good Seed

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Gathering good seed is a necessary task for any gardener. God provides all the seed we will ever need for His Kingdom, but some people are too busy to pick up their supply! Here are some practical tips for filling your sack full of good seed.

The Power of One

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January 31, 2010
Our guest, Dr. Lew Shelton, President of Bethany University, demonstrated the unimaginable impact of one person's life in the hands of the Savior. God is "able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine, according to the power that works within us." What could He achieve with your life?

An Unnamed Servant Girl

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January 24, 2010
The very circumstances that it would seem interrupt or curtail our usefulness to God, may be the springboard to a greater usefulness than we have ever imagined. There are no “nobodies” in the Kingdom of God. Even if you’re unknown to those around you, God knows your name and He knows why you are where you are. District Assistant Superintendent, Sam Huddleston, preaches about “An Unnamed Servant Girl,” who, because of her faithfulness to God (in spite of great hardship and pain) changed a nation.

God's Fellow Workers

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We are workers together with God! His Kingdom is not built around us; it is built through us! With His power, proper equipping, and divine opportunities, we can have great and lasting impact on the people and social structures around us. As He said, "The harvest is great!"

Heart for the Harvest

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Having a “Heart for the Harvest” challenges our natural self-interest and calls for our most energetic faith. We must learn to express our faith by acts of love and compassion. It takes alertness and empathy and, oftentimes, hard work. You may be called on to till the soil, or to plant the seed, or to tend the young shoots, or to reap the fruit. It’s all necessary. It’s all the work of the Lord. And it’s all good… if your heart is in it. Is it?

Unto Us

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In our "noisy" world, we learn to tune things out. We develop "selective hearing." More times than we'd like to think, we do it to God Himself. Familiar verses may have a hollow tone, as we skim the words of God. A truth that we regularly overlook is how personal God's love and care are. He loves you personally. His promises are for you.

Give Him Your Trust

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December 13, 2009 (no text available)
Faith is a subject often lost in the attempt to define it! At its root, it simply means "trust," reliance, and dependance. Rev. Bill Berry pulls from the writer of Proverbs to remind us how to implement ir.

Be Prepared

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December 6, 2009 (no text available)
The return of Jesus Christ to our planet is a foundational doctrine of the church, and a primary source of Christian courage and hope. This message examines this subject from Jesus' perspective (signs and warnings) and from Paul's perspective (preparation and hope).

Stones of Remembrance

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November 29, 2009
Missionaries DeLonn and Valerie Rance visited to tell of their work in Latin America, and to remind us that God wants to show Himself through His church everywhere. What has He done in your life that He might use as a "stone of remembrance"?

Passion for God's House

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November 22, 2009
John's Gospel offers many unique perspectives of the life and ministry of Jesus, emphasizing His deity. One of the events he recorded that is omitted from the other three accounts is the early cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem, shortly after Jesus performed His first public miracle at Cana. It is a detailed report, including later insight provided by the apostles' reflection. There was one prophecy fulfilled, and another, given--to deepen our devotion and strengthen our confidence.
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Love Letters

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Take a brief look at four of Paul's letters: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. While each is unique in its emphasis, they share several common threads: getting to know God better, the pre-eminence of Christ, growing in faith, and expressing God's love. Paul's own passion for Christ and His Church radiates in these letters.

Inside Looking Out

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Luke came into the Kingdom with a particular compassion for people who felt marginalized or excluded, and tailored his reporting of the ministry of Jesus to encourage such people to see the inclusiveness of God's grace. This message deals with the contrast between human wisdom and foolishness, in terms of how we respond to God's Word. Are you building your spiritual life wisely? Or, are you headed for spiritual disaster? Jesus explains the difference.

What Foolishness!

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The people of Corinth were known as an unruly lot, worldly wise and factious. Becoming Christians did not magically change all that; they required a great deal of savvy pastoral care. Carefully laying again the foundation stones of the Gospel, Paul attacked human pride as counter-productive and revealed the superior wisdom of God’s amazing grace, that their praise should be for God alone.

I Am Here

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Miracles do not produce faith. They may support faith and enhance faith, but if faith is not already active, miracles cannot change that. People can walk away from a bona fide miracle and think nothing more than, “That was cool!” The miraculous feeding of five thousand men and their families from one family’s lunch was intended by Jesus to communicate something important about who He is and why He had come, but no one got it. But He saw to it that eventually they would. Do you get it?

Becoming

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In his Letter to the Romans, Paul so carefully lays out the message of the Gospel. He must be very clear — for the sake of Jewish converts and Gentile converts, both of whom were inclined to believe that salvation  is the result of what we do for God (cleaning up our act, changing our habits, becoming religious). Paul offers something akin to the reverse of President John Kennedy’s oft-quoted theme: “Ask not what you can do for your God; ask what your God has already done for you.” Christian salvation is God’s work, from start to finish. Unless we believe and rely upon that, eternal life will elude us. We are not yet what we shall one day be, but God is not finished with us! We are becoming His.

Few Are Chosen

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One of Christ’s final parables about the Kingdom of God tells the story of the wedding banquet for the king’s son, and the peculiar case of the man who showed up in the wrong attire. Jesus never threatens us, but He is faithful to warn us, for He knows how prone we are to wander from His ways. This story presents such a warning, and there is much security to be gained from its review.

Drawing Near

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"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." What a wonderful invitation. And what an amazing promise that is! God wants to be close to us; He is not keeping His distance. In this message, learn about this good news and how you may practice it.

A Life Transformed

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September 20, 2009 (no text available)
Robert Douglas shares his journey to faith and wholeness.
God is able to transform human lives! When He created the universe, He started with nothing at all and turned it into all we see around us today! When Jesus Christ redeems human beings, He turns ordinary people into extraordinary demonstrations of His grace!

Pray the Word

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The power of God’s Word to transform lives and circumstances is epic. It outlasts its opponents and continues to unfold just as God determined. This Word also provides an outstanding example and guide for our prayers. Do you ever feel that your prayers are feeble in the face of your circumstance or need? Take God’s Word into your mouth and that will change! This message offers practical hints for empowering your prayers by the creative application of God’s Word.

The Word of Life

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God's Word is alive and life-giving. Not just the Bible, but the Bible in the hands of the Holy Spirit. This message will help you learn to read the Sacred Book and hear God's voice at the same time.

Prayer Is Supplication

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This message looks at the final facet of the ACTS model: Supplication. A word that has fallen from contemporary use, supplication means humble, earnest pleading. It is the manner of “making our requests known to God.” When it comes to asking God, many people approach Him as if He were their most dreaded rich uncle (as seldom as possible). Yet, God invites us to ask! And pointedly promises, “Ask, and keep on asking, and you will receive.” Here are some tips for those who want to actually live by faith.

Prayer Is Thanksgiving

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Third in a series on the prayer model, ACTS: “Thanksgiving.” Giving God thanks is an expression of faith, hope, and love. Faith, because we trust Him to hear when we pray. Hope, because we anticipate His help. Love, because this relationship with Him makes life full and complete. The Bible says it is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord. It is a practice that yields wonderful benefits, amplifying our faith, hope, and love.

Prayer is Confession

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Models of prayer are powerful aids to consistent and effective prayer. We have begun learning about one based on the acronym ACTS. This message considers the second element, Confession. The word confession often has a bad connotation, because it stirs feelings of guilt or shame. But in Scripture, confession was always the first positive step a person could take toward God. Whether being honest with God by confessing our sins, or expressing our hope by confessing our faith, it was always a positive step, yielding grace from God. This message aims to help make confession a normal part of Christian life again.

Prayer is Adoration

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The series of messages is based on the acronym, ACTS, which serves as a guide for praying. The first element is “Adoration.” Worship and prayer belong together. In fact, worship is what gives prayer its dynamic. Without it, prayer is flat, lifeless. Beyond that, adoration is the proper approach to God, and puts us in our proper place before Him. To say it plainly, true prayer is not a matter of making demands of God-who-must-do-what-we-ask, but of making requests of God-who-has-compassion-for-our-needs; it is a matter of expressing our trust in God-who-has-promised-to-help-us. Therefore, worship is putting the right foot forward.

Have Compassion

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July 19, 2009 (no text available)
Missionary Jim Uhey compels us with Scripture to be merciful as our Heavenly Father is merciful, describing his own work in response to major national disasters.

Descend Into Greatness

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Plainly, "humility" and "humiliation: share the same root meaning, but they can be quite different experiences, can't they? Most Christians are willing to be humble, when confronted by circumstances that force it upon us. But fewer seek it or intentionally pursue it. It's just not gratifying. Nevertheless, it is the heart of who Jesus is and the essence of His greatness. Discover the greatness that awaits... lower down.

Falling Up

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This message traces the promises of 2 Chronicles 7, in which God calls our attention to the signs of natural trouble around us and urges a prayerful response, with His attendant promise to meet us in the place of prayer and bless us.

What Do You Say To A Friend? Pt. 5

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"What Do You Say To A Friend Who Has Been Put Off By Christians?" addresses the troubling issue of mistreatment in the church. It can happen anywhere. EVen visitors from other churches may take the opportunity to push their personal views or express ungodly attitudes Most of the time, it can be overlooked in love or overcome by faith, but sometimes it leaves real bruises. This message aims at bringing release and healing.

Father Sent His Son

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Pastor Nelken offers a sequel to last week's story of the two sons. What happened after the party wound down? Well, the family relationships continued and grew, however bumpy or slow the path. Fathers continually send their sons to work, and sons continually choose how they will respond. How are you doing at this?

Who's Your Daddy?

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Linda Pierce returns to our pulpit to deliver this message about the love of our Heaqvenly Father, based upon the story of the prodigal son. If you're like me, you can identify at different times with each of the sons in that parable. I need a Heavenly Father to bring me home. How about you?

If We Believe

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June 7, 2009 (no text available)
Missionary Michael Chandler delivers an encouraging message, calling us to believe God, to declare our confidence in Him, and to take risks of faith.

What Do You Say to a Friend? Pt 4

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Friendship is a marvelous thing, but it also has its challenges. It can become awkward when a friend falls into serious sin. What can you do? What should you say? Friendship, however, is the best ground for dealing positively with such situations. And the Holy Spirit is your best Helper at such times. This message offers some practical pointers.

What Do You Say to a Friend? Pt 3

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“What? Me, worry? Who has trouble?” I don’t know anybody who has not experienced difficulty. Do you? Some more than others, of course, but the tension, the frustration, the worry are familiar to all. How can our faith help? What will Christ do to help us? What can you do to assist a friend who is going through it? What should you say? What should you avoid? This message contains some practical pointers.

Honor Your Mother

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In the United States of America, one day of each year is designated Mother’s Day, a day to recognize mom with gratitude. In the Bible, every day is a day to honor your mother! Just as her care for her children is perpetual, so should be their respect of her and their praise. Your mom surely wasn’t perfect, but she deserves your respect. And not just one day a year. You’ll find some Biblical and practical tips for doing so in this message.

Top Humility Tips & Tricks

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Tim Wells offers his top tips and tricks for living in Christian humility. This message offers down-to-earth guidelines for submitting ourselves to God and showing preference to others as we serve the Lord.

Network 21-1

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April 26, 2009 (no text available)
Jean Morgan has served in world missions for two decades, working with U.S. military in Germany, with Greek pastors in Greece, with missions students at a university, and now with seekers from all over the world through Network 21-1, an Internet evangelism ministry. In this message he shares the need and the amazing opportunity for well-grounded Christians to have a world-wide impact for Christ.

What Do You Say To A Friend? Pt 2

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We all have friends who want advice and encouragement. What do you say to a friend who struggles with doubt? Doubts can be crippling. Can you help them move past it without simply dismissing their doubts as insignificant or foolish? I am certain you can. You’ll find a few practical steps to take in this message.
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Because He Lives

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The single greatest news headline of all time: He Is Not Here. He Has Risen. The greatest news report ever given: Jesus Is Alive And I Have Seen Him! Two millennia have passed, yet the news breaks again with equal impact. It is history-making. It is life-changing. God’s plan — older than human history itself — is unfolding, just as He said it would. We are witnesses and participants, and that is reason for celebration. Because He lives, we live also.

Shouting and Singing

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The story of Jesus’ “triumphant entry” to Jerusalem, commemorated by Palm Sunday, was a most unusual procession. Not that crowds and shouting were unusual, but their “king” did not arrive with great pomp and circumstance. The whole event was relatively organic and simple — humble — and punctuated by one of the three times recorded when Jesus wept. Listen to the story again, but with fresh ears, and receive a fresh illumination.

What Do You Say to a Friend? Pt 1

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Do you have friends who don't know the Lord? You certainly should. How do you tell them about Jesus? How do you explain what He has done in your life? How do you begin that conversation? How do you continue it? When is it completed? This message addresses these matters.

Be the Change

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March 15, 2009 (text unavailable)
David (Faouzi) and Linda Arzouni, who now serve in the West African nation of Mali, powerfully challenged us from the Scriptures to become change agents in our world by developing solid credibility, refusing to compromise the message, being compelled by the harvest, making unconditional commitment to the Lord, and expressing an irrepressible compassion for the lost.

I Will Hear

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What does it take to unleash God's amazing promise to hear and forgive and restore? Sometimes God initiates trouble in our lives just to see if we will turn to Him in faith or push on in our own strength. If we respond as faith would lead us, God has promised to transform our situation.
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Passover 2.0

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Long ago, God planned to improve on the first Passover (through Jesus Christ). But, for His promised plan to be fulfilled, we must wait for Him and listen to Him and obey Him. Unfotunately, it's not in our DNA to wait. Once we hear a good idea, we begin immediately to grow impatient of its fulfillment, and often strike out on our own to "get the job done." And everybody learns that you cannot substitute for God. Only God can do God's work in God's way. So, the lesson is to wait for God, so we may have good success.

All Kinds of Prayers

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“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” In these tough times, the church must rise in faith and light the way back to solid ground. And the church never rises so high as when it bows on its knees in prayer. It is time for us to pray! We begin by receiving from the Lord the love, courage, energy, and faithfulness needed to do so. “All kinds of prayers” are what God wants from us. This message offers a smorgasbord of teaching on what is effective.

The Mystery of Prayer

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February 15, 2009
At times, prayer seems a very simple thing; at other times, it seems enormously difficult. Its power is not in the one who prays, or the depth of the need, or  the manner of prayer, but in the God who hears and answers. Prayer can never be reduced to a formula or recipe, because it is essentially about an individual's relationship with Almighty God. Getting to know Him and letting Him into your life involve the process of a lifetime! He does not settle for superficial relationships; He is continually pressing for greater depth. So, prayer remains a mystery, but one that taps amazing power!

Until

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How can we understand what God is doing? What He is up to? Where it’s all heading? The Bible gives us glimpses “beyond the veil” of the unfolding of a plan that is grand and effective. They key to seeing it, to grasping it, is found in a single word in the Bible. This word helps to define God’s part and our part in the continuing saga of the restoration of the Kingdom of God. This message explains it.

We Belong to God

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February 8, 2009
I find that many people’s frustrations and discouragement arise from forgetting “whose they are and whom they live to serve.” Each of us is responsible to live life the best way we can, but as soon as life becomes primarily about you and your interests, pressures increase and nerves frazzle. We will all have pressures and challenges to deal with, but is God with you in your struggles? He wants to be. He can be. Listen to this message and ask yourself again, “Who do I belong to? And, who am I serving?”

Trust the Lord

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Move your faith to the next level! Inertia also challenges the spiritual realm. God continues to move everything forward, while we tend to set up camp wherever things are most comfortable and convenient. The key to your faith's growth is actually trusting Jesus Christ as He works in and around your life. This message can help you to bear more spiritual fruit in your life.
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Where Are You Growing?

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How does faith come to us? How does it grow within us? God has designed a specific path for your faith's development. While the details are unique to you, the general steps are common to us all. The more you cooperate with His plan, the better things will go and the more you will grow. Read this message to see where your growth may have become snagged and learn how to release it.

Compassionate Justice

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Isaiah 43 gives a brilliant picture of the ministry of Messiah Jesus and His Church. Isaiah revealed a very full-featured Messiah. That Jesus could fulfill all of this (let alone the other prophecies concerning Him) should persuade any open heart. If you long to know Him more and partner with Him in His work, this message is for you.

Chosen

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Identifying ourselves with Christ has always been challenging. From our point of view He tends to seem so “other,” so remote. Only the Word and Spirit of God can bring Him near and link our hearts with His. What begins as an objective truth must flower as a subjective experience. For, from God’s point of view, we are Christ’s body; we are one with Him. Thus, we are to take our cues from Christ for our lives, “because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17) We are His voice calling out, His hands reaching out. This message unfolds His example for us, and points us to our own spiritual privileges and responsibilities.
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What Gift Shall I Bring?

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One of the things that can drive the joy out of the Christmas season is the pressure people feel to obtain just the right gift for another person. But the thing that can suck the very life out of the season is a loss of focus on Jesus Christ. After all, isn't it really about celebrating His birthday? What if you had to bring just the right gift for Jesus Himself this year... what would you bring? What gift could you offer that would mean the most to Him? You'll find Biblical guidelines in this message.

Rise Up and Walk

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Guest Speaker: Linda Pierce
Like the crippled man who waited for the divine stirring of the Bethesda waters in hope that he would be healed, perhaps many people today wait for “a stirring” in their lives in order for something divine to take place. That man discovered that when Jesus Christ was present, no stirring was needed, only the response of faith. “Rise up and walk!” Jesus said. And the man obeyed! Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!

An Eternal Glory

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“Why so downcast, oh, my soul?” the psalmist wondered. Could it have been the fact that his father-in-law was hunting him down to kill him? Or that his wife despised his religious fervor? Or that his son had plotted to usurp his throne? Or that he had fallen into unfaithfulness and his wickedness had been exposed? And you thought you had problems! Well, whatever the problems or issues that grieve your heart, I’m certain they seem big enough to you — that’s why they call it “trouble.” What is often less than clear is that God is hard at work in the midst of our difficulties to make something beneficial of them. What we need is a “bigger view” of our circumstances to discover God’s activity and rely on His plan.
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He Is Our Peace

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Everybody’s crying out for peace. For some, it means little more than “bring our soldiers home.” Apparently, many do not intend to apply it to their own relations with immediate neighbors or other drivers on the freeway or people with political or religious ideas different than their own. That is how superficial and self-centered our thoughts about peace can be. God has another idea and He has actually done something to effect it! “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men!” the angels sang at Jesus’ birth. Jesus is God’s answer to our cry for peace. Whether international peace, or racial harmony, or family accord, or your own peace of heart and mind — Jesus is the answer. This message can lead you to lean on Him more for the peace we all need.

Remnant of Promise

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God gave Jeremiah this job description: “Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant.” God oversees all kinds of changes among nations and people with an eye to His intended outcome. Sometimes God prunes in order to produce more fruit. He is not afraid to use just a remnant to accomplish glorious things. When we find ourselves in such a condition, the only significant question is this: Do we believe He will use us to do it? Little is much when God is in it!

Make the Moral Choice

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There is a need for seeing something of God’s viewpoint and purpose in order to make a truly wise choice when we enter the voting booth. Nothing is “just politics” or “just economics” — God compassionately cares and wants to be involved, in order to ultimately “turn everything to good.” He involves Himself through his people. This message lends insight to the condition and movement of our world, and the role you may have as you serve God’s interests and values. God help everyone to vote intelligently and spiritually.

Let It Go

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One of the major hindrances to answered prayer is the inclination to pray “outside of the will of God.” Yes, it happens to all of us. In the complexity of life it’s easy to lose track of God’s will, or find ourselves waffling between two apparently virtuous possibilities. When we rely on ourselves primarily or subjectively, the chance of missing it is always great. That’s why, in our most lucid seasons, we earnestly want to know what His will is. It seems unfortunate that the answer to our search usually is revealed on a need-to-know basis. This message uncovers some of the common delusions that cause us to stumble, and points to a clearer path for your faith.

Live Free

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“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!” So, why do we encounter difficulty and misunderstanding as we purpose to serve the Lord? Why is it hard to accomplish the very things God has assured us that He wants us to do? Why must we wait so long for God’s promises to be fulfilled? What is God trying to do in our lives? To follow Jesus with whole-hearted devotion, choosing God’s will over our own, calls for Spirit-led discernment, a heavenly perspective, and courageous faith — gifts of the Spirit given to those whose hearts are yielded to Him. You may be certain that Christ wants you to learn to “Live Free,” and that is the theme of this message.

Moving Forward

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We all get stuck at times in our spiritual journey, but some people stay stuck for a long time (some actually don’t realize they’re stuck… they think they’ve arrived!). Yet ours is a journey that does not end in this lifetime, so we need to continue moving forward every day. God is continually forging His image in our souls. This message discusses three major hindrances to spiritual formation and two paths to spiritual advancement.

His Faithfulness Frees Me

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September 28, 2008 (no text available)
Dan and Carol Fryer have been ministering through music for 18 years. Dan is an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God, who has served on staff at Cathedral of Faith in San Jose California. Carol has committed the past 12 years to her work at Advent Group Ministries, a Christian agency working with drug/alcohol addicted teens and their families. Together, they have ministered through music in churches, on television programs, overseas for the armed services, and they have sung the National Anthem for the Oakland Athletics, the San Francisco Giants, the Colorado Rockies and the Houston Astros. This audio clip gives a sample of their ministry in our Sunday service.

Life in the Spirit

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Is there a difference between “spiritual life” and “life in the Spirit”? Indeed there is! Everyone has a spiritual life (even atheists), but not everyone experiences life in the Spirit. A new birth through faith in Christ is a prerequisite for life in the Spirit.  Even then, the pressures are great to draw us back into living as we did before the Spirit came — trusting in our own reasoning and natural inclinations. But the Bible reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” This message offers some practical steps for enjoying life in the Spirit continually.

Follow the Spirit

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Following Jesus Christ means more than just “going to church” on Sundays, or owning a Bible which you occasionally read, or saying a prayer before meals. It is an “everyday-every moment” pursuit. It is a “24/7” operation. And since Jesus is presently in Heaven at the Father’s side (praying for us), He has sent His Spirit to guide our journey. Therefore, Paul urges us strongly to “follow the Spirit’s leading” and not our fleshly desires, because these lead to very different outcomes. This message is about learning to give the Holy Spirit sway in our everyday lives.

Pray in the Spirit

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The Church of Jesus Christ was born in wind and fire! That Day of Pentecost was a series of miraculous signs and wonders — a stream that continues to flow to this day! And yet, for many, the sense of wonder has dissipated, replaced by hopeless boredom as they go through the motions of a life of faith. Has God died? Has His covenant ceased? Has His will been upended? Or, have we wandered from our first love? Our first love was ablaze with God’s love and the Spirit’s energy. The path to return and remain in that flow is not far away, but very near. This message will trace it for you and guide you to the gate for your everyday enjoyment of the Spirit-filled life. It is on the tip of your tongue!

And With Fire

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Shout the word “Fire!” in a crowded room and you’ll get an immediate and excited reaction. Jesus said, “I have come to set the world on fire.” What kind of reaction do those words stir in you? Many people would simply be confused. Jesus, John said, would come to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. What is this baptism with fire and why do we need it? This message aims to explain and apply what the Scriptures say about this gift from God. I hope it stirs you to respond, “Let me burn for you, Lord Jesus!”

Anointed

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One Saturday in the synagogue, Jesus read from the words of Isaiah. He declared that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord was upon Him and described God’s purpose for sending His Spirit. It is this same Spirit whom God has sent to us, who now rests now upon our lives. Do you suppose He intends to do the same things through us that He did through Jesus? If so, how are we doing with our “divine assignments”? This message will help clarify God’s plan and motivate you enter into it even more fully.

Get the Power!

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The Risen Christ said He would confer upon His followers the “promise of the Father,” the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He urged them not to leave the city until they had received that power from God above. What is the baptism with the Spirit? How does it differ from the Spirit’s residence in the born-again believer? Why was Jesus so adamant about the necessity of receiving this gift? This message answers these questions, so that you may release or enhance the flow of God’s power through your life.

The Church As Jesus Builds It

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What does it take to build a church? Many are concerned about what the church should look like. While that’s not an insignificant discussion, I don’t think it’s what Jesus cares for us to know, or He would have been more specific about it in His Word. He speaks plainly about the nature of the materials and the manner of the building. If we learn all we can about the nature of the materials He chooses and mind the manner in which we contribute to the building, He will oversee the outcome (what it looks like in the end). So, how does Jesus build His church? This message offers a summary outline and some meaty questions to think about.

God's Glad Welcome

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In our world’s battle against terrorism, one terrorist organization is typically overlooked: the Church! Now, don’t misunderstand me… thankfully, the Church is no longer engaged in pogroms or crusades against “outsiders,” but there continues to be a lot of terrorist work against the insiders (Christians) from pastors’ pulpits and teachers’ lecterns. Sincere seekers and God’s own people are threatened with His wrath and vengeance and the apparent impossibility of reaching Heaven’s gate with a scorecard sufficient to gain them entrance. I find a stark contrast in the words the Holy Spirit gave to Paul to write concerning the Gospel message that he preached. Ephesians 3 offers one such example. See for yourself! God isn’t threatening you to meet with Him, He’s inviting you.

Because of Christ

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July 27, 2008 (no text file available)
Rev. Mel Grams was our visiting pulpit guest. Over fifty years in the ministry on several continents has provided a depth of spirit, grace, and wisdom to Mel's ministry today. In this message, he explores the wealth that is ours simply and fully because we are in Christ.

To Be Like Jesus

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July 20, 2008 (no text file available)
Rev. Mel Grams was our visiting pulpit guest. Over fifty years in the ministry on several continents has provided a depth of spirit, grace, and wisdom to Mel's ministry today. In this message, he pleads with us to have the heart of Jesus Christ.

Becoming a Glorious Church

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In the pages of Scripture, the Church of Jesus Christ is a unique organism: a family, a body, an army, a missionary society, and the fullness of Jesus Himself. In the end, God sees the Church as “glorious,” “with spot or wrinkle or any such thing,” “faultless” and “blameless” and “holy.” He sees each of us fully conformed to the likeness of Christ (who is the visible image of the invisible God!). I wonder at times, how shall this be? What seems impossible to us is possible for God. Take a look with me at a contemporary view of the Church in the United States and while the raw material may suggest despair, remember that God made everything that exists out of nothing at all. So, when it comes to “Becoming a Glorious Church,” He can bring it to pass!

True Allegiance

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Independence Day stirs in me various feelings and thoughts about patriotism and courage and unity against opposition. What does it look like to bear allegiance to God— the King of nations? How could that play out in real life? The Bible, of course, provides multiple examples of such a lifestyle. None, except for Jesus Himself, shines as brightly as the story of three young men from ancient Jerusalem, whose world was shattered when invading armies overthrew their government and took them captive to a foreign land. Allegiance to God in such a setting is remarkable, even today. See how they did it.

Bob Kilpatrick

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June 29, 2008 (no text available)
We welcomed Bob Kilpatrick, who led us to God’s gracious and powerful presence through intervals of worship in song, worship in testimony, and worship in the Word. Unique, humorous, and touching describe Bob’s style for me. He can get “under your skin” in light-hearted ways that break down stuffy assumptions about God and church and bring fresh light to being the church. Bob’s entire ministry with us has (82 minutes), with his permission, been posted here.

I SAW the Lord

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June 22, 2008 (no text available)
This is a message by Rev. Gary Evans about seeing the Lord at work in our lives in three dimensions: salvation, anointing, and wisdom. All three are vital for a full life that God will use.

What Is A Dad To Do?

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Of all the many tasks and responsibilities of fatherhood, just two surface in my mind as most important: flowing out of a dad’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ, he should cherish his wife and champion his children. This message addresses those two vital activities in practical terms. If you’re a dad, or know a dad, or had a dad, or wished you had, this could bless, encourage, and strengthen you.

The Power of Forgiveness

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Pulpit guest, Linda Pierce, presented this message about forgiveness (and unforgiveness). Is there any more universally applicable theme for people today? With the swelling connectivity of people globally through technological advancements, and population growth and urbanization, the need for exchanging forgiveness increases daily. And the painful impact of unforgiveness takes it relentless toll each day. Here are some directions for dealing with these processes.

Prescription for Joy

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In Jesus’ first recorded sermon (Matthew 5), He announced the unusual nature of His Father’s Kingdom, and the fundamental characteristics that invite the greatest joy (“supreme blessedness”) into our experience — and they are almost the opposite of natural human tendencies! How can we hope to develop traits that are so unnatural for us? How can we overcome our ordinary inclinations? While the process cannot be made other than what it is, you will find four techniques in this message that, when applied diligently, will take you where you want to go.

Surrounded

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Have you ever wondered how porcupine’s manage to mate? It sounds like a dangerous proposition! Building a genuine community from a diverse group of people — whether a family, a business, or a church — can also be a daunting task. After the first flush of excitement, it might even seem impossible, but “with God all things are possible.”
While He’s at work behind the scenes, what is required from us? A lot of love, a lot of patience, and a lot of persistence — all of which are fruit of the Spirit! Enduring to the end is not only what is needed for me to be saved (that’s what Jesus said), it is also necessary in order for all of us to become that glorious community that the Bible calls the “bride of Christ.”

Substantial Evidence

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God has provided to us the greatest power in the universe: the Holy Spirit, the same power by which He raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in Heaven. And it is given to us! However, it remains largely untapped. Sometimes, God’s people get stuck in religious ruts and cease to move forward. Sometimes, they content themselves with a little of God’s blessing and cease to hunger for more. Sometimes, they let the world eat away at their faith’s foundation and fail to realize what they are trading away. God desires that each of His children manifest “Substantial Evidence” of the Holy Spirit’s control in their lives.

Partnering with God

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When I first met Jesus Christ, I was astonished that He was even real. How much more that He was interested in me! Then to learn that He had a plan for my life and wanted to include me in His global campaign to rescue people from sin astounded me! But what really overwhelms me is to realize that God — who created everything that is and sustains it by His power — has made me a partner in His program (not just a cog in the machinery or a vassal servant, but a fellow worker)! How should I respond? How can I please Him? These are the questions that move me. The answers that I am finding I have shared in this message.

After the Fall

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Stuff happens. Sometimes bad people seem to get away with their wickedness. Sometimes good people seem never to get a break. How does Christ prepare us for this inequity? Can He really make a difference in our lives when it comes to painful incongruities? Yes, He can! This message proposes the way to recover your faith after it has been dealt a severe blow by the winds of life. Who doesn’t need that? Don’t let the garbage of this contrary world bury you or snuff out your light. Jesus has more than enough grace and power to get you back on your feet again.

Christ In Action

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April 20, 2008 (no sermon text available)
Guest speaker, Dr. Denny Nissley, shares the essence of the Gospel message, challenging us to put our faith into action, helping people in Jesus’ name and sharing the message of Christ with as many as we can. Denny has preached in 16 foreign countries, in all 50 states, and on the streets of every major city in the US. In the last 10 years he has developed a massive disaster response ministry, capable of preparing and serving 15,000 meals daily. His volunteers have also rebuilt homes on the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina, and in Southern California after the wildfires.

A Culture of Hospitality

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Hospitality to strangers (those outside the circle of family and close friends) was regarded as an obligation, a sacred duty, among people of the ancient Middle East, especially so among the Israelites, God's people. This duty is carried over into the pages of the New Testament through the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles, yet our American culture has eclipsed its application in much of the Church. We must recapture this powerful testament to the grace of God and rebuild a culture of hospitality in the Church, if we are to reach the isolated, ignored, disenfranchised, and marginalized people that make up much of our modern population. Some of the most advantaged and prosperous are also the most unhappy. Let the Church arise to make them all welcome!

A Culture of Service

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One measure of spiritual health is how much of ourselves we freely give away to others. One day, Jesus sat with His disciples near the Temple treasury box to observe people's giving. When a widow woman placed two pennies in the box, Jesus commented, This woman has given more than all the rest, for they gave from their abundance (just a little off the top), while she has given everything she has.  Selfishness is the antithesis of spiritual life. But knowing that does not make it automatic; in fact, nothing makes it automatic, but it can become habitually intentional, as this message describes.

Finishing the Race

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March 30, 2008 (no text file)
Guest speaker, Tim Wells, reminded us that the Christian life is really a spiritual marathon, and not an emotional sprint. Therefore, it deserves the same measure of preparation and persistence as a long footrace. Only disciplined training can ready our spirits for this kind of output. Some things must be laid aside, other things must be picked up, and most of all, we must keep our eyes fixed on the goal, if we hope to actually reach it.

Dying to Live: Life Overcoming

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Jesus' promise of life abundant and His teaching about how to engage that kind of life is compelling. There can be only one conclusion: we find our lives by giving them away. Jesus demonstrated that and He taught it repeatedly. He presented His own lifestyle as an example for us to follow. The grace and courage to actually do so has only one source of supply: the Spirit of the Risen Christ, whom God has given to us. He is more than enough, no matter what may come our way.

Dying to Live: Life's True Value

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Jesus led the way in living for God, and also dying for Him. He clearly offered His life intentionally, to fulfill the will of the Father. In so doing, He cleared our debt for sin, but He also demonstrated the kind of life that is greater than death — the life that death cannot conquer! And He intends to live that kind of life again in each of us who follow Him by faith. This message explains how.

Dying to Live: Losing to Find

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Jesus challenged us to willingly lay down our lives for His sake. He taught that there is a way of “Losing to Find” what is most valuable in life. Our natural inclination to cling to the life we have is the very thing that prevents us from having the life we most deeply want. Learn from this message how to respond to the death of a vision and where to set your focus in order to find the abundant life that Jesus promised.

Dying to Live: Staying Alive

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Let's walk again the pathway to the cross and the empty tomb. This first message in the series, “Dying to Live,” examines the human hunger for life in its fullness, and our dalliance with death in order to try to extract the very most we can from life. It is God’s desire and design, too, that we should find and enjoy a full life — not just full of material things but especially fullness of spirit. It is why He sent His Son and why Jesus paid such a price. See how fullness of life can be yours.

First Things: Telling Others

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“Telling Others” (about Jesus) is a vital demonstration of our love for them. We can serve others' needs and communicate our kindness and generosity and care, but without the Message about Jesus compassionate service can be mistaken for nothing more than the “milk of human kindness.” Kindness, generosity, and caring are essential appetizers, if you will, but eventually we must get to the “main course.” Why? Because it is the Message about Jesus that leads people to repentance toward God and faith in His Son. And “without faith it is impossible to please God.” This message could move your loving deeds up a notch.

Hard Lessons

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I believe the story of Job is true—about real persons and real experiences—but each character in the story also represents a “voice” that can be heard within our own thoughts during times of trial and difficulty. Job’s own agony represents every person’s battle with confusion and bewilderment in life (and who has not known those?) due to acts of God that cannot be explained and do not fit our rational constructs. If you have ever struggled to understand what God is doing, then you know the battle I’m talking about. Perhaps this account can help.

First Things: Loving Your Neighbor

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To make practical our love and service for God, we must also love and serve one another. This is at the heart of the transformed life for which Jesus saved us. From this message, you may learn who it is we are to love and how we are to love them. Loving those who love us isn’t so bad; loving others who don’t treat us well can be really difficult, but God will give us grace, if we trust Him for it.

First Things: Intimacy with God

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Loving God is more than activities, for we are to love Him "with all our heart." Intimacy is frequently misunderstood, making it all the more difficult to apply it to our relationship with God. Yet, it is what we were made for! Your relationship with God can grow, and in doing so it must grow more intimate. I believe there are two key elements that will lead you in that direction. This message aims to lead you clearly to that path!

First Things: Loving God

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“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously.” With these were words Jesus set the direction for every Christian’s life. The road that leads us there has two lanes: love God and love your neighbor. But how? “Do the things you did at first.”  This message draws your attention to basic, practical steps for fulfilling the first of these commandments with your life: loving God above all.

First Things: First Love

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If we are to seek God’s Kingdom above all else, we must begin with the matter of loving. It is the first and foremost commandment, on which all other spiritual matters depend — loving God and loving our neighbors. What we often ignore is that true love is a choice, long before it is a feeling. Jesus calls us to reflect and renew this choice on a regular basis. It’s the right place to make a fresh start.

First Things: First Pursuit

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What are the “First Things” of following Jesus? This message, entitled “First Pursuit,” highlights Jesus' effort to peel away the many layers of “stuff” that keep us separated from God in our daily lives. Even religious duty can have that effect! Here, you may learn how to break those bonds and discover new freedom in Christ. For Christ's sake, let’s put first things first.

Carols: O Holy Night

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“O Holy Night” is surely one of my favorites. It’s only been around for 160 years, but has been recorded by as many artists. A true classic, it spans the entire continuum of Western music genres, from Country to Opera. This song captures three universal longings of humankind (to realize what you have hoped for, to discover One worthy of worship, and to be freed from oppression) and unveils their fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ.

Carols: Joy to the World

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Third in the series "Christmas Carols We Have Loved."
Isaac Watts wrote this 300-year old call to the church to wake us up to our divine blessings in Christ and to stimulate us to live a kind of song. Watts issues a personal invitation to recognize what God has done for us — forgiveness, new birth, and all-sufficient grace —and tell the world of our joy. Together, because of Jesus, we really can bring joy to the world!

Carols: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

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Second in the series "Christmas Carols We Have Loved."
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” was written 270 years ago. Can you imagine people singing the same tune and lyrics for three centuries?! Do you know any song written recently that you think might still be sung 300 years from now? This carol presents the Christmas story from the inside — not just the external details, but the inward purpose and workings of God. The hymn writer unveils God’s ultimate aim, His chosen means, and its life-transforming impact. It’s a wonderful hymn of highest praise.

Carols: O Little Town of Bethlehem

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First in the series "Christmas Carols We Have Loved."
We have heard them and sung them for years, but seldom stopped to really contemplate their lyrics. So, using four long-time favorites as our base, we will explore the wondrous meaning of Christmas and the implications of the songs we sing.
This message looks at “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” a song that has been sung for more than 100 years. Aside from being the birthplace of Jesus by what some might call a stroke of fate, what is the significance of the village known as the “House of Bread”? It turns out the songwriter gave us much to think about toward our own significance.

Letters: What the Spirit is Saying

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This message is a summary examination of the message in Christ's seven letters to the Church. His message is timeless, since churches (and individual people) face the same tests and temptations repeatedly. The answer to our dilemmas always involves a return to Christ and getting back to the basics of Christian behavior.

Letters: A Glimpse of the Author

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Have you ever wished you could sit down and have a face-to-face conversation with Jesus? What would that really be like? Apostle John had many during the four years He walked with Jesus, but never one like he had when he was on Patmos Island. This was Jesus like he had never seen Him before. Most readers today find Him equally unusual. Take another look with me at the One who wrote seven timeless letters to the Church.

Faith: Acts of Faith

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Certainly Jesus' faith was real faith. From three dozen snapshots of His actions in the real world of humankind, one can gain a pretty clear view of real faith at work and learn some essential lessons for our own journeys. You're invited to examine this "tourist's guide."

Faith: The Journey of Faith

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The third message in the “Real Faith” series. Faith is not a destination, it is a journey, a journey filled with doubts and difficulties, but a journey with a sure end. Using the recorded life of Abram (Abraham) as our guide, we explore how bumpy the journey can be, yet how gracious and faithful God is as He leads us toward His desired purpose.

Faith: Substantial Assurance

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This second-in-a-series message deals with the ever-present interference of doubtful thoughts that threaten to hinder or block our progress in the journey of faith. I suggest that such doubts need not sideline you at all. Instead, they may become your stepping stones to an ever-increasing faith. I hope this message will show you how.
Audio (Regrets: this audio warbles during the first half, owing to a poor tape-recorded original )

Faith: Faith Basics

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This first message in a series lays the foundation for our pursuit of “Real Faith,” examining where faith comes from, what it comes for, and where it leads. If we can get the foundation right, we can overcome, if not avoid altogether, numerous problems and confusing hindrances. May this review of the “ABCs” of knowing and following Christ surprise you and relieve you.

Tongue: Bringing Grace

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This message emphasizes developing positive speech: “Bringing Grace — Speech that Refreshes.” It addresses the difficult discipline of self-control to help those who struggle, and illuminates cooperation with the Holy Spirit.  Learn the three elements of gracious speech that produce positive impact. You can tame your tongue.

Tongue: Exercising Tongue Control

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The Bible says that our tongues wield the power of life or the power of death. In my past, I have killed plants and animals by sheer neglect. I have also killed some human relationships by a more aggressive approach: the misuse of my tongue. “…Words will never hurt me,” we used to say. How foolish! Words may not break bones, but they can certainly damage lives. How to control the damage? The Bible says that man cannot! But God can. With God’s help, you can tame your tongue.

On the Fast Track

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This message expresses God’s purpose to make fasting a part of our spiritual arsenal and the extraordinary power that is released when regular fasting is mixed with regular praying. What was once an integral part of the Christian path, has fallen into some disrepute and much disregard. This is my call to a “fasted life,” the serious pursuit of God’s purpose and presence. God can bring down demonic strongholds and make a way where there seems to be none, but He only does that when we demonstrate a serious devotion to His program and invite Him to work. He is the God “who works for those who wait for Him.”

The Reward of Rejection

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Linda Pierce has been a member of this congregation since her childhood. This was her inaugural sermon as a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God.
 
We are all familiar with rejection, and nearly everyone feels they have had more than their share. Yet, for all of our experience, generally, we don’t handle it very well. This message explores the roots of rejection, as well as its fruits, how the Lord Jesus managed rejection in His own life (He, too, was very familiar with it), and what He offers us for this common, but difficult, battle. Through Him, we may gain the reward of rejection.

Dad: Thinking of You

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We take our cues from our Heavenly Father; He teaches us what it means to be a good father. His mindfulness and gentle guidance of our lives exemplify the way to do it right. His grace and powerful Spirit, operating in our lives, enable us to follow His lead and make a tremendous, lasting impact on our own children and others that we care for. Take a look again at how He cares for you, and see if it doesn’t melt your heart with love and compassion.

Dad: Standing in Humility

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A dad’s greatest strength is not physical, but inner. It is the strength that some (who have none of it) think is weakness. Moses, who led over a million Jews through the Arabian Desert for forty years, possessed this strength. Jesus, the King of all kings, was also known for this strength. It is one of the marvelous fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is humility. This message underscores its powerful effect in the home.

Dad: Learning to Trust

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Mom: When Moms Pray

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Nothing is more powerful than a mother’s prayers. A mom’s prayer sticks better than any glue; you can’t shake it or escape it. There are three primary motivations for prayer. Two of them are outside of your control: trouble that presses you to the point of desperation, and blessing that overflows with thanksgiving. We don’t get to choose when those will come our way. The third is largely in your hands: when you recognize the presence of the Lord, you can stop other things to give Him prayerful attention. If you ignore the third, you’re likely to take the second for granted, too, which means God must use the first — trouble and pain — to get your attention. This message is aimed at helping you make the most of your prayerful influence.

Mom: Build Your Home

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God placed moms right at the center of home life and gave them the awesome task of building their homes (or else, tearing them down with their own hands). And, after their own homes, they continue to wield influence in the lives of grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and other kids of the neighborhood or church. So, in an effort to help moms do it well, this message presents seven habits of godly moms — the things that will build up and not tear down.

Power to Heal

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Jesus was so sure of His power, even against grave illnesses, natural tempests, demonic infestations, and death. I have longed to have such power. Have you? This message will teach you how to connect with this awesome power and how to avoid short-circuiting it.

Christ: You Will Receive Power

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The descent of the Holy Spirit is the culmination of all that had gone before — the cross, the resurrection, the ascension. Together, all made possible the sending of the Spirit, that God might redeem for Himself a new people, a people of the Spirit. And the power of the Spirit given to the church is but the means to another end: revealing and establishing God’s Kingdom. Thus, to be filled with the Spirit is not peripheral (as some would suggest) but integral to the plan of God. Without Him, we can do nothing of eternal value. From this message, learn why God has given such power to men.

Christ: He Lives to Pray for You

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It is tragic that one of the least understood and appreciated events on the annual church calendar — Ascension Day — represents one of the most significant acts in the ministry of Jesus Christ. His return to Heaven was not a time out after a job-well-done; it was key to the fulfillment of the work itself. This message unfolds the wonder of this event as it answers five questions: How? Why? Where? What? and When?

Christ: A Change Of Identity

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“Why am I here?” For many, it's a persistent, nagging question. In this message, I explore God’s answers for why we are here and what we are to do. It all hinges on the resurrection of Jesus — that mammoth miracle that defies all other explanations — by which God set in motion a new way of living.

Christ: Trading Our Sorrows

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The cross may seem a gruesome reminder of human brutality, or, in contrast, a silver-and-gold badge of religiousness hung around the neck. But, from God's point of view, the cross of Christ became the means of administering divine power to humanity. This message looks at the power of the cross from three angles: its power toward us, its power within us, and its power through us.

Friendship: No Greater Love

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The thought of laying down one's life conjures up images of selfless heroism, yet it is really much more everyday than that. It has more to do with denying self-centered pleasures and conveniences to take an interest in other people's needs. A life that is not lived day-to-day for the interests of others would unlikely be offered in a moment of heroic activity -- in fact, may be completely unaware of the opportunity as it passes. Such is not the life that Jesus has called us to. Learn from this message how to develop a daily life led by the greater love.

Friendship: Sounding Off

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Every good friendship needs room for “Sounding Off,” because friends do not always agree and they must have room for working through their disagreements. In this message, I discuss six familiar obstacles that must be overcome for friendships to persist. I hope it will provide you with helpful reminders and tools you can use to strengthen your friendships — they are worth so much.

Friendship: First Steps

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Friendships are the rhythm and melody of life. Without them there is no song. What are the “First Steps” to building good friendships? First, to have good friends, you must be a good friend. Attitudes of approach are crucial, building possibilities or shutting them down. Then, there are some simple practical steps to follow. I have outlined them in this message. I hope it serves to revive dwindling friendships and plant new ones.

Friendship: How It All Begins

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Friendship is a crucial part of life, with the potential of great impact -- for good or for bad. Friendship really begins by the providence of God and, therefore, develops by prayer -- usually, lots of it. In this message, you will see how you can begin making and keeping good friends.

Awe and Wonder

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Do you feel like you live in a perpetual desert? How long has it been since the presence of the Lord brought tears of gratitude to your eyes? Is prayer a drudgery or often neglected? Do you struggle to find the words with which to praise God? Do you catch yourself putting on a "Chrisitan face" to hide the sour thoughts and feelings inside? Perhaps this message can help change things for you. Let me teach you to "look up" to see God in your world, and to "look around" to see His hand in your life and others'.

Have Hope!

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“Hope in God,” the psalmist urged. Lack of hope may take more lives than any disease or warfare. In fact, it is often a major contributor to disease and hostility. Yet God has offered so much hope to the world through the good news of Jesus Christ. Why, then, do so many Christians require prescription drugs to moderate their despair? Paul wrote to the Colossians about the hope that he observed in their lives, commending them for its impact and reminding them of its source. His message is timeless in its power to refresh our vision and renew our hope in Christ. I hope this message communicates a similar impact.

No Other Way

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Why is it so difficult to trust and seek God consistently, even when it is what we choose to do? One problem may be an unclear understanding of the sure reward that awaits those who trust and obey. Another may be the length of the journey to reach that distant (though well-established) shore. Another may be the frequent distraction of our own self-importance. Like a marriage, our relationship with God begins with a pledge of loyalty and must endure various seasons—nearness-distance, excitement-boredom, passion-weariness—over a long time. Moments of renewal (the more frequent, the better) are more than appropriate, they are necessary. Theis message may provide you with one of those precious moments.

How Do You Grow A Church?

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In exploring the matter of growing a church, I concluded that a church that is spiritually healthy will grow quite naturally, without gimmicks or hype. So, I unpacked the subject of spiritual health—how we can achieve and maintain it. And what is true for the church is also true for the individual. Perhaps this message will help you discover the balance of purpose that will propel you to fullness of life.

As For Me And My House

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Mark records one of the few times Jesus acted in anger. He was indignant at the people's insensitivity to what is truly sacred. God's view of what is sacred can be surprisingly different from ours. I am frequently challenged to keep in view the unique values that God holds high. So much seems to interfere with that viewpoint. So much wrestles for that position. I hope you find this message illuminating and helpful.

Called To Be Faithful

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Many people have expressed that 2006 was a year of strenuous testing for them. Tests, however, do not come without purpose, and their purpose is good when Jesus is in charge of our lives. Nevertheless, they can be difficult. But if we hold on to our faith in the Lord, we will see the end and it will be good and we will be grateful. That is His way and His promise. This message offers are some lessons from a particularly difficult time of testing in the life of Abraham.

Have You Heard?

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How did last year's activities and achievements express your sense of purpose for your life? Finding that purpose and pursuing it are the essence of following Jesus Christ. Even setbacks and reverses are no evidence of failure, if by faith we are "following hard" after Him. Instead, they hone our purpose and strengthen our resolve to grow and obey. The key, I have found, is in learning to discern God's voice from the multitude of voices that can be heard, and then listening intently to understand His purpose. It is this skill of listening that I have addressed in this message.

The Gift That Fits Every Heart

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Reviewing the world's greatest story from the shepherds' point of view. Every ordinary person has been given an extraordinary gift. Every insignificant person has been given divine significance! No one is unimportant in God's world. No one is worthless. God Himself not only traversed the heavens but transformed Himself into one of us, so that we might discover how much He loves us and wants us to know and trust Him. Perhaps this message will awaken and renew your love and faith.

Gifts Fit for a King

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When you consider what led the magi—their quest, their guide, their purpose—those many miles and many months across deserts and mountains in search of the “newborn king of the Jews,” I think you must agree that it is a compelling story.

Confused and Disturbed

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I am moved by the interchange between the angel, Gabriel, and the young woman, Mary, in Luke 1. God still speaks today and does wonders in this world. This message offers guidance for your listening ear to recognize and receive God's prophetic promises for your life.

In Conflict: Go and Be Reconciled

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Reconciliation—replacing hostility and separation with peace and friendship—is the central theme of the Bible, and the purpose for which Jesus died. But reconciliation with God is only the beginning of the story, which leads toward reconciliation among all people, especially Christians. Yet, even for believers, it can be a difficult road. This message offers principles to ease your journey.

In Conflict: Gently Restore

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Sometimes, it is necessary to confront people about changing their behavior, even when you also bear some responsibility for the conflict between you. Most who have tried have quickly discovered that these attempts do not always turn out well. This message is offered to minimize such failures.

You Can Find Freedom From Sin

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Getting the "log" out of your own eye is an involved process, neither lightly nor quickly handled. The recent collapse of the ministry of Ted Haggard prompted me to present this plan for finding spiritual freedom.

In Conflict: Get the Log Out

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"Blessed are the peacemakers," said Jesus. Peacemaking is hard work, but it is work that is close to the heart of God, who is the God of peace. This message offers the second step toward making peace: getting the log out of your own eye first.

In Conflict: Glorify God

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Your first step toward becoming a peacemaker is to learn to glorify God in the midst of conflict. We always show what we really think—not what we say we think—about God when we encounter conflict. We will either show that we have a big God, or we will show that we have a big self. This message offers some practical tips for seeking to make Jesus known in the face of conflict.

How To Be A Peacemaker

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Conflict is inevitable in our lives, yet Jesus gives His blessing to those who learn to make peace well. His word offers major insights, tools, and methods for doing so. This message is the first in a series inspired by Ken Sande's book, "The Peacemaker."

Make Your Stand

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Spiritual warfare is a subject often skirted in thought, but inescapable in experience. This message is a call to the church, offering caution, encouragement, and how-to's for the battle.

Love God With Your Whole Heart

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Don’t you feel sometimes that so many things clamor for your attention and your energy, that it’s a wonder anything really gets done?!? As a result, people tend to compartmentalize their lives, reserving some attention, energy, and emotion for work, some for family, some for church, some for leisure, and so on. In the end, we don’t give anything our whole attention—we think it’s impossible! Yet, Jesus said the most important commandment of all is to love God with your “whole heart.” “How?” you ask. This message offers an answer.

You Haven't Begun To Live

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…until you’ve begun to give. God is a giver, and His children are to show a resemblance in this respect. We, too, are to become cheerful givers (whom God loves). But we cling so tightly—for fear of losing, for anger over being taken, for fear of not having enough left over, for greed, for stinginess—that we scarcely know what it is to “freely give,” as Jesus directed. We need to learn again the lesson of sacrifice—the heart of worship. That’s what this message offers.

Training For Fruitfulness

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Me and My Insecurities, part 5
Why must we deal with our fears? Why not just ignore them? Because fear unchecked leads to all kinds of emotional and mental instability, and fear attracts predators, who would take advantage of us. Fear and faith cannot co-operate; to embrace one is to dismiss the other. There is a good side to fear, and there is also healing for our insecurities. The answers we need are found in the Living Word of God.

What's Ahead For Me?

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Me and My Insecurities, part 4
The Bible says that our fears are fueled by a fear of judgment-to-come. How do you look toward your ultimate future? Do you look forward to seeing God face-to-face? Or, are you haunted by your past? Do you struggle to cover your tracks and clear your record before Jesus returns? Do you think you’re judgmental toward others? Even more importantly, how does God think of you from day to day? There are solid, encouraging answers in the Scripture. Take a look with me.

I Can't Live Without That!

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Me and My Insecurities, part 3
There are so many things we consider “necessary” for our lives, both material and emotional. Even if we once got along fine without them, once we have had them, their loss can be difficult. God has much to offer in this all-too-common struggle to grasp or to release.

Must We Fight?

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Me and My Insecurities, part 2
Fear and insecurity are the twin psychological terrorists of our day—more prevalent than mosquitoes and more debilitating than car bombs—the plague of modern humankind. Insecurity often breeds conflict, and conflict breeds more insecurity. All the metal detectors and National Guardsman in the country cannot eliminate them. Fear of conflict stymies many people—frozen in indecision or enflamed to control. No matter what your habitual reaction has been, you can overcome a fear of conflict in your life. Jesus Christ is the answer for you.

What About Me?

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Me and My Insecurities, part 1.
The Bible says, “Everything that can be shaken will be shaken.” It seems to be a reference to our times. From our shaking planet and devastating tsunamis to shaking governments and economies, it’s unsettling and upsetting. Add urban crime and international terrorism, and our sense of security is rattled. Insecurity boils down to four common fears: lack, conflict, loss, and judgment. This first in a series of messages deals with the fear of lack—whether focused on money or food or relationships or your future—and the Bible’s answers for us.

Good and Angry

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It’s one of the most devastating emotional issues we face—individually, collectively, nationally. There’s a thin line between justice and vengeance; one is righteous, the other is sin. It is well known that displays of anger can disrupt and destroy relationships. However, the most sinister effect of anger is how it eats at the one who is angry. Failing to deal with anger in appropriate and constructive ways has long term and widespread impacts in our lives. Here are some insights into being good and angry, adapted from a sermon by Jason Freeman.

Alone, Yet Not Alone

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Wars are long, drawn out affairs—a series of battles, on various fronts. That's why war is such a laborious and expensive endeavor, demanding a great deal of forethought; many people haven’t the tenacity required for its success. That’s also why we need the Bible’s urging: "Don't grow weary..." Finishing well is the most important thing. Loneliness is one of those recurring battlefronts in the Christian's spiritual warfare. All of us are familiar with it as a sense of deep emptiness. Some of us are particularly susceptible to its ravages and fear it will never end. This message offers strategy for overcoming loneliness effectively.

Does God Love Sports?

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Saving souls is not the equivalent of winning ball games. Who would dispute that? But many believers pray as if God’s chief purpose was to make them winners. At times ignoring the needs of others, and at other times ignoring their own real needs, they pray and “believe” that what they want for themselves should be what God wants. This message offers a more effective handle on discovering and pursuing God’s purpose for your life.

In A Desert Place

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The desert can be a fascinating place (unless you're stuck in one). Spiritual deserts are seldom fascinating, but they can be very productive. We may tend to think of them as aberrant, unpleasant seasons forced upon us as we journey toward the perpetual garden of bliss. Actually, during this lifetime, deserts are the norm for most people and garden are the sporadic oases. Most importantly, deserts are a vital part of God's design for building faithfulness in our lives. And, without faithfulness, we cannot hope to reach fruitfulness. This message is about making that journey well.

A Spirit-Filled Church, part 2

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The character of a Spirit-filled church provides an anchor for faith and a compass for growth. Of course, character can only be known by behavior, and a Spirit-filled church has a Story to tell. So, here are five types of behaviors that characterize Spirit-filled churches and Spirit-filled people's experience. Are they yours?

A Spirit-Filled Church, part 1

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Here are five measuring sticks of the spiritual fullness of any congregation, in any culture, in any generation. These timeless standards date back to the founding of the Church on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). They are time-tested, and have prevailed in every setting. They will work for you, too!

A Father Indeed

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Explore five elements of a father’s love (and of God’s love for each of us), taken from Jesus’ story of a father and his two sons in Luke 15.

Spirit-Led Praying

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The Bible urges us to "pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion." But, what does it mean to "pray in the Spirit"? Many have become discouraged with their own practice of prayer because they have not learned to partner with the Spirit. Examine four ways the Holy Spirit assists us to pray. To know and practice these is to pray with great effect.

Power and Purpose

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Pentecost was originally a feast of harvest among ancient Jews, but in Acts 2 it became the birthday of the Church! The baptism with the Spirit was given, as Jesus said, for “Power and Purpose.” This message addresses this two-fold impact of God’s gift. God never expects us to live or work in His Kingdom apart from His helping power. That’s why He sent the Spirit. Nor does He leave us to chart our own purposes; He has a purpose of His own for us. Living in conflict with God’s purpose for our lives leads to so many roadblocks and heartaches. If you’re weary of slamming into walls, remember that His way may seem narrow at times, but it will get you through the gate. Follow His lead.

Who Do You Say That I Am?

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Who was Jesus of Nazareth really? Most importantly, who do you say that He was? As the absolute essence of Christianity, this doctrinal truth could not be more compelling. Sure, theologians have argued the peripheral minutia of this matter for millennia. But this is central: Is He God or isn't He? Was there an incarnation, where God became a man? To say that Jesus is anything less than God-in-the-flesh, even to say that He was the greatest of all human beings, is to reduce Christianity to a mere idea, a preference, a religious contender. We believe, as Peter did, that Jesus "is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God." This message tells why.

How Did We Get Our Bible?

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This is more than a history lesson. This is relevant news to many. News, because of the paucity of general knowledge of church history. Relevant, because the facts of such history are once again being assaulted in the popular media—The Da Vinci Code, The History Channel, and investigative journalism. There is a groundswell of contemporary interest in ideas and documents that were debated and denounced thousands of years ago (and several times since then). Their proponents never win the argument (for they lack foundation), but they never cease to try. It is the age-old battle first engaged in the Garden of Eden, when the serpent lied to Eve: “God is hiding information from you, which, if you discover it (if you let me show it to you), will make you a god, too.’ Our only defense, in each generation, is to learn the truth for ourselves.

Neither Male Nor Female

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Mary Magdalene—was she the wife of Jesus and Chief Apostle of the Church? These suggestions arise from The Da Vinci Code, though they are not new allegations. Since the 4th century, the Gnostic cult has perpetrated such ideas as part of an effort to dismiss the apostolic leadership of the Early Church. Suggesting that Jesus’ teachings were more important than His person or His works, they preferred an elite spirituality based on secret knowledge and ritual. But the Kingdom of God which Jesus preached is not for the elite or the initiated, but for all people—both male and female.

Acts 29 and Beyond

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The first in a new sermon series, “Finding the Real Jesus,” tackles some of the provocative issues raised by the book “The Da Vinci Code.” An otherwise harmless mystery novel, the author asserts many things as historical facts, which most certainly are not. It has become a major assault on the Christian faith and the Roman Catholic Church. Tragically, the author doesn’t even get the simplest geographic facts straight, much less the weightier religious ones. A poor job of research. The result however, is much confusion about Jesus Christ, so it cannot be ignored by the church. People you know will be talking about Him. Are you prepared to respond? This message addresses some of the inaccuracies from the standpoint of church history.

The Final Word

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Facts versus Faith. Is that really the issue? God's power and authority were confirmed throught the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. The wisdom of God still stuns the human intellect and illuminates the human heart. How can we who believe this be overcome by anything this world can throw our way? May your faith be strengthened.

The King Has Come!

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Palm Sunday. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Not the king’s arrival that we might expect: riding on the young colt of a donkey. Yet, He fulfilled ancient Jewish prophecy (Zechariah) and demonstrated the nature of the King: humble. It is also the nature of His Kingdom and of His subjects. This is a message about His comings and how we receive Him. Too many times, however, we miss Him, bringing Him to tears. Here are four ways we may recognize His Kingdom and its “comings” to us. We must be alert, for the Kingdom is here and now.

Members Together

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Jesus Christ has done such an amazing work in uniting people from every walk of life, from every nation, culture, and language, into a body, a family -- forever. I am repeatedly amazed at the unity He creates among diverse peoples -- the sense of family. This message addresses what might be called the "best practices" of the Family of God -- the things that are necessary for maintaining the unity the Spirit gives. You may not find things new here, but you might find fresh encouragement for our journey together.

Walk In Faith

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“Faith is lived not in creeds or doctrines but in moment-to-moment dependence upon God — the experience of His presence and leadership.” That was my reflection of last week’s sermon, "I Am." This week’s message offers practical direction for the daily battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Your struggle is not the sign of imminent defeat, but of persistent faith (and faith’s eventual victory). I long for you to know in a personal, experiential way, how much God is for you, and for you to trustingly follow Him to new heights of joy and service.

I Am

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Your personal sense of identity as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ is the single most significant change agent in your life. Everyday events and the course of your lifetime hinge upon that perspective. Moses, like all of us, struggled to grasp the dawning awareness of God’s covenanted presence in his life. Creeds and doctrines form the structural foundation of our faith, but faith is lived not in creeds or doctrines but in moment-to-moment dependence upon God — the experience of His presence and leadership. This message calls us to shift our perspective and grow in this direction.

We Are

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If you take your eye off the catcher’s glove you won’t hit it. Your aim naturally follows your eye. What do you see yourself becoming? Do you see what God sees? Because what you gaze at is what you’ll become. This message examines some of the things the New Testament writers said about themselves (and us) when they said, "We are.." By this you can find out what God sees in you, and what He sees in your future.

You Are

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Did you know that the Biblical word “confess” means to speak in agreement or to say the same thing? One aspect of confession that is often overlooked, yet absolutely vital to a follower’s progress is the confession of your faith. This is far more than telling others that you believe or what you believe. It has to do with learning to speak (and think) about yourself the same way God speaks about you in His Word. Initially, this may seem like trying on someone else’s shoes — awkward, not yet a proper fit. But over time (even just a little) it liberates, because you are speaking (and thinking) the truth (God’s truth) about yourself. Here are some of the ways that God identifies you, some of the things God says “You are...”

Kingdom Identity

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Some people are afraid to think about how God sees them. In reality, it is not God’s view of us that spells danger, but our own. Many still see themselves as they have since childhood; they have not allowed the words of God to change their thinking much at all. That is a tragedy of immense proportions! Kingdom identity is what Christ has made of us and how God sees us today. The words of Peter offer one example of God’s point of view. In the end, what God thinks makes all the difference. Why not let it begin to make a difference right now, too?