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God and His Competitors

Past Message Series Links

Songs of the season

We will harken back to the past with four wonderful Christmas Carols.  This series will explore the stories, theology, and Scripture related to five well-loved carols.  Teaching, singing, seeing, feeling them can add texture to our faith this Christmas season.  We hope that understanding the carols more will enhance our singing of them, and increase our joy in the advent season.

Good News For Friendship

Rooted

We’ve selected an all church discipleship tool called Rooted for the fall, which will help align our church.  The Rooted Experience has the potential for bonding group members together, even as individuals in each group will discover the joy of regular rhythms of Bible, prayer, journaling, service, celebration, personal testimony, and more.

Engaging this material—as an entire congregation—will help build our theology and spiritual rhythms.  It will be a springboard to personal, group, and congregational growth and unity.  Messages will precede five weekly readings and reflections for individuals.


Broken To Beautiful

Have you ever experienced a strange mix of feelings toward the Church? Toward your own church? Like, you love your church, but you also are frustrated with The Church? You know that the church is the “bride of Christ,” that Jesus died for the church, and that He says the church is His “Plan A” for the world. And yet, you also know that the church is filled with people who still need a whole lot of redeeming! Or maybe, you even feel somewhat disconnected from the church, while remaining deeply attracted to Jesus.

We experience these contradictory feelings for a simple reason. The church is made up of messy people, like me. Early in 2022, we preached a series on the church aptly called, “A Beautiful Mess.” No New Testament church embodies that beautiful mess as vividly as the one in Corinth, Greece. In this series, we’re going to dig into what made this church so frustrating, and yet so special. We’ll be reminded of how wide God’s mercy is, to people like us, who are deeply in need of mercy.


God's Name

The centerpiece of this series will be Exodus 34:6-7, “He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.”  This is a critical scene at a critical juncture.  Moses is set to receive the 10 Commandments, for a second time.  He is brokenhearted over Israel’s rebellion, and he begs to see God’s glory.  This is what God reveals to Moses.  These verses are repeated dozens of times throughout the Scriptures, always harkening back to this original setting, where Moses received these “names” of God.  

 

Each week in the series, we’ll look at an attribute mentioned in Exodus 34 and then point it to Jesus. In the process, we hope to center ourselves on who God is–his full orbed goodness and grace to brokenhearted and rebellious people like us. 


Whispers from the Manger

This three week Christmas series will (re)introduce us to a few characters of the Christmas story that tend to get short shrift: Zechariah, Anna, and Simeon (Luke 1:57-2:35).  We’ll do three more biographical portraits of these three characters, and how their hopes were realized with the birth of the messiah.  We can find our own stories in their stories as well.  Their longings often represent ours during the Christmas season. 


Citizens of Another Kingdom

For most Christians, faith is reduced to “getting to heaven,” and being morally upright.  This creates Gospels of fire insurance and sin management.  These are critical, but inadequate.  Jesus’ most frequent teaching was on “The Kingdom of God.”  Pressed to define that, many Christians cannot do so.  In this series, we will understand the Kingdom of God, and how it differs from the Kingdoms of this world, which we all live in, and often pledge unholy allegiance to.

Through teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and numerous parables, we will learn that we are primarily citizens of a different kingdom, with different values.  The Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of Christ in the lives of ordinary men, women, and children.  It’s anywhere you look and see the will of Christ being done in this world.  And we will seek to bring more of Jesus’ heavenly kingdom vision to earth, where He wants it to proliferate.  Changing our vision has the power to change what we become.