Families bring us our highest highs and our lowest lows. Jesus was born into the bittersweet complexities of a human family. If you've ever wondered if God knows the struggles of family life, the answer is yes. Discover the bonding power of family life.
God is right here. Closer than you ever dreamed--as near as your breathing. He's waiting to be touched. That makes prayer so simple. All Adam has to do is lift a finger. Any time, day or night, you can too.
As America has become more secular, the city can seem less welcoming than rural areas. But the truth is that Christianity is more at home in cities than in any other setting. Perhaps like no other time in Christian history, first-century New Testament life strategies for work and love and truth and sex have relevance and instructional power for us today. Christianity has always been an urban faith.
Is there a more definitive symbol of summer fun than sand? Images of sand evoke dreamy thoughts of lazy afternoons, languid walks, and sounds of children laughing. But sand isn't just for escaping. It is also the environment for some of God’s deepest wisdom and understanding. What can the many characteristics of sand teach us about how to follow Jesus?
Jesus’ movement is not doing well these days. In many places where his name appears, Jesus’ people lack their founder’s passion. Where do we go to get it back? Let’s go to the source—the person of Jesus. Watch Jesus’ dazzling people skills as he loves people and makes them believe there is actually a God who knows us. Take a walk with Jesus. Would you have followed him?
Each year, the church celebrates the day Jesus entered Jerusalem to people waving palm fronds, which was an honor given to a king. People thought he was coming as a conquering hero to overthrow Roman oppression and establish a new rule. But Jesus had a different kingdom in mind.
How fitting that the author of the phrase “be doers of the word” was James, Joseph’s biological son and Jesus’ half-brother. Both Jesus and James grew up in Joseph’s carpenter’s shop, and carpenters tend to be practical people. Like his father, James was about tools. James helps us learn the craftsmanship of faith. What are the practices we can apply daily to create a life of true beauty and excellence?
Every day we face spiritual choices. We want them to be minor, but they're not. What if life is actually a great, cosmic struggle between good and evil? The good news is a victorious life is available to each of us, if we put on the full armor of God.
A person’s ability to sustain a commitment to a value or a behavior isn’t based on feelings, which wax and wane, but on a deeper sense of devotion. When you’re devoted to something, you build your life around it. These spiritual disciplines might also be called spiritual devotions.
Artists by the thousands have endeavored to capture on canvas the faces and gestures of the characters in the original Christmas story. Look at key moments in the gospel birth narrative through the eyes of great works.
Common grace is the idea that God can bring us a touch of his love and make us smile through the simple, everyday things of life. What are the simple gifts right under your nose that you’re missing?
We often think of our life as a mishmash of hundreds of individual moments in time. But what if everything we experience is really part of one great narrative? When we see the Bible as one seamless narrative, we can find a daily purpose in God’s eternal plan.
Only the transforming work of the Holy Spirit that strengthens and changes us. What do we do? Open our eyes to the dimensions of Christ’s love - its width, length, height, and depth. Only then can we be filled to the rim with the fullness of God.
The stories of the Bible happened in a hero culture. But biblical heroes surprise us. They are not superhuman. They are often weak, lowly, and make wrong choices. They are ordinary people whom God uses to carry out His work. The triumph of the biblical hero is God's, not the hero's.
Ironically, much of our current culture’s seeming love for the body is a version of an ancient heresy, the denial of the body. The Gnostics espoused the early church heresy of believing in the mind, but not the body. Because the body was nothing, they believed it was disposable - they could do anything and it didn’t matter. The Bible, however, teaches that we don’t have a body, but that we are a body, made in God’s image.
When our students co-lead worship in both venues, we honor graduating seniors, and we give Bibles to our fourth graders.
The Western art tradition powerfully depicts the Passion of Jesus. Each Sunday for Lent 2014, our pastoral team uses an iconic Holy Week painting to teach us new insights about the death and resurrection of our Savior.
A single fiber is weak, incapable of warmth or beauty. But two fibers together form a card, the start of something big. Many fibers become a strand, and many strands become one work of art. We are woven together as part of Christ's Church, with power to change the world.
Are we in a Post Christian age? Where is Jesus in all of this? Have we been here before? Is there hope for the future? Join us as we explore what it means to have hope in a changing world.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23
The Chronicles of Narnia, the classic novels by Christian writer C. S. Lewis, tell the story of four London children who are sent to a professor's country home for protection during World War II. There, they find a magic wardrobe leading to a land called Narnia. To defeat the White Witch, who holds the land under her evil spells, they must join forces with Aslan the lion. These delightful stories are filled with Christian symbolism and profound insight.
Justice is perhaps more easily understood in its absence. We know injustice when we see it, in poverty and oppression, in racism and crime. Injustice is systemic brokenness. It’s obvious that life isn’t supposed to be this way. Justice is more than a social, political or legal topic. It making what is broken whole and complete. It is a glimpse at the heart of God. The word of God is clear: Do Justice.
The Psalmist says, "The Lord is my rock." How true is this? Is it possible to embrace the message of Jesus to such an extent that we live in his heavenly reality day by day? Is it possible, like the house builder who put his house on a rock, that we can live a life that can stand up to anything?
Well, summer was fun while it lasted. Now it’s back to the grind. Sometimes we think of the “end of summer feeling” as a grief process. From fun and freedom, we return to joyless routines that leave us feeling half alive. Is there a way to look forward to the fall months with passion and spiritual purpose? In John 15, Jesus says, “I’m the vine. You’re the branches.” Then he adds a single word: “Remain.” Learn how this word holds the key to achieving a mind over the grind.
For many, some of our best memories are of childhood summers, when the days seemed endlessly free to roam, explore and play. A treasured memory for many is the family road trip vacation, with luggage on the car, road side attractions, and postcards sent home. A life of grace is designed for the same sense of peace and playfulness. This summer, explore the long sunsets and lemonade days of the faith life.
This series of reflections on Psalms asks some important questions about our legacy, the value of intergenerational community, the nature of lifelong faith, and the important of fathers.
New life can grow in the driest of places. But seedlings are fragile. They need to be carefully planted and nurtured in order to grow. The acting of cultivating such life is what we as the body of Christ do when invest in people and communities around the world. This takes time and sustained relationship. This month we celebrate our ongoing work and call each other to even greater works of growing new life.
The experience of doubts can seem like a vast desert, with no water in sight. We can’t just wish them away. But in the Bible we find a God thoroughly unfazed by our doubts about him. Instead of suffering along the surfaces of our landscape, why not dig deeper into the dry deserts of your faith?
Individual sermons that are not part of a 2013 series. Includes both non-series Sunday sermons and weekday sermons.
The Ten Commandments isn't really a set of rules, but the top ten of a complete teaching guide from God. Its purpose is to keep us on the right path and save us from our human tendency to wander off and get lost.
95-year old former Japanese Prisoner of War Louis Zamperini, whose story is told in Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, offers a compelling backdrop for joy through suffering as communicated by the Apostle Paul in the book of Philippians.
God came to earth in a particular place and time with a date of birth, fingerprint and a mother's maiden name. In "The Power of Particularity" we see how God used common details to give Jesus universal appeal.
Examining iconic Christmas stories through the lens of faith.
As followers of Christ, we are the live wires through which God lights a lost and hurting world, a divine communique for dark homes and lost travelers.
America faces a rising tide of unchecked desire. This series looks at our behaviors, but its goals are deeper, and moves us toward sanctification, or the process of being made more like Christ.
Like a classic car, the core beliefs of John Calvin’s theology are timeless in their power and performance.
Olympians know that purpose comes not at race’s end. Away from the laurel wreath, victory comes in the training. Our faith life could use such discipline.