February 18 "The Wandering Way"
(Scripture: Luke 4:1-13) Right after Jesus was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist, he was tempted by Satan. But Jesus was prepared because he knew his Father and called out Satan with the Holy Scriptures of the Bible (or Torah). We too can be prepared for temptation. We can pray and study our Bibles so that we know our Father and are able to use Scripture as our sword. When we feel God's presence in our lives we are stronger and the more we know about Jesus the stronger we become.
February 11 "If You Had Four Words"
(Scripture: Mark 1:40-45) If you were to describe Jesus with a few words, what would they be? Luke, in relating the story of Jesus healing a leper, chose words like compassion, touch, and willing. Jesus wanted to restore the leper to a full, holy life just as he wants for us. What words would you choose?
February 4 "Mother-in-Laws and the Politics of Healing"
(Scripture: Mark 1:29-39) Jesus had a clear message in his ministry--the Kingdom of God has come. He came to heal, exorcise, and challenge a society oppressed by the Romans. He taught with authority and healed those who were in need--not as random acts but with a purpose that led him to Jerusalem and the cross. He challenged everyone with learning what God is about and change the culture.
January 28 "Jesus the Exorcist"
(Scripture: Mark 1:21-28) When Jesus taught, he taught with an authority that amazed people who heard him. His authority was even over demonic spirits, something they had not witnessed before. Evil is in the world and condemns us but God's Holy Spirit convicts us of God's power and lifts the darkness in our lives when we trust his authority and call on his name.
January 21 "We Are Called"
(Scripture: Mark 1:14-20) When Jesus called his disciples to follow him they knew nothing specifically about what his plans were for them or even where he was going. Nor did they have any particular qualifications to offer that were apparent. They just knew in their souls that they needed to follow this rabbi and trust him. We are much like them in many respects. Most of us have no particular qualifications, status, or background that would make us obvious assets to our Lord but somewhere deep in our soul we feel called to follow him. Jesus isn't looking for anything but our desire and willingness to be his disciples and spread his love, grace, and peace to others. Are you willing? Where is God using you?
January 14 "Come and See"
(Scripture: John 1:35-51) When Jesus began to gather his disciples early in his ministry they were curious about this man that John the Baptist called the Lamb of God. They asked questions of him and he answered, "Come and see". Philip brought his friend Nathanael to Jesus with the same invitation, "Come and see". Sometimes we wonder what motivates people to come to Jesus Christ and we miss the point that all we need to do is invite others to "Come and see!" and let our Lord do the rest.
January 7 "What's Getting Wet Got To Do With It?
When we baptize with water it's not that there is anything magical about water. Water is symbolic of cleaning and purifying. So it's what we do after we have been baptized with that water that matters. God's Spirit is present when we are baptized--HIs loving, forgiving, Spirit. Then it's up to us to go through the effort it takes to change our lives, to shape ourselves into what God intends for us to be.
December 31 "Searching for the King"
We can meet Christ in many ways. Some meet him suddenly in the midst of a significant event in their lives and some meet him as part of a long journey. The Wise Men were not Jews, they didn't know scripture, but they knew astrology and the great prophesies of the time. They were more magicians than religious men and they were looking for a prophesied King who was to be located by reference to a star. Yet when they reached Jerusalem they knew only that they were looking for a child who was to become a great King and it likely took them a while to actually locate the Christ child--the King. Today we have the Gospels, we have church communities, books and other resources available in our search for Christ. How is your search going? We hope you've found the King, Jesus Christ.
December 24 "Christmas Love"
(Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25, John 3:16-17) Christmas is celebration of the most precious gift ever given. When God gave us the Christ child he knew the baby Jesus would grow up to change the world. Christ showed us and taught us what it means to love and when his love is in us we can become angels to others by spreading the gospel message.
December 17 "Do Not Be Afraid"
(Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25) God has many ways of speaking to us in our lives. One of those is angels--not the kind with wings popular in art but, more likely, messengers in human form. We can hear from angels through a casual acquaintance, a neighbor, a family member, or a friend. What's more, we can ben an angel for someone else as a messenger of Jesus Christ. Have you ever been someone's angel? If not, when will be the first time?
December 10 "Nothing Is Impossible"
(Scripture: Luke 1:26-56) If you find yourself yearning for peace in your life you can wait and wish things were better or you can seek Christ, inviting him into your heart. With Christ at the center of your life you will find him at work and see that he is inviting you to be a part of his work. Perhaps you will find angels among you who wish to speak into your situation. But, for sure, peace won't come until we seek God's peace and have a willingness to change.
December 3 "Make Ready A People"
(Scripture: Luke 1:5-25, 57-80) In the Gospel of Luke we hear about messengers, angels sent to announce God's plan for a Messiah to come and a messenger to announce his coming to the people of Israel. First, the angel comes to Elizabeth and Zechariah, then to Mary and Joseph. The angels were making a people ready for the incarnate God. We remember this as the story of Christmas.
November 26 "The Least of These My Brothers and Sisters"
(Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46) Jesus is our friend and he is also our Lord. He teaches us the way to a full life and asks us to follow him by being a servant to God and to our neighbor. The scripture reading makes it clear that our neighbor includes "the least of these my brothers and sisters" and Christ will judge us on our commitment to him through the way we care for those who need our help. Do you see Jesus in the faces of the poor? Let your love of our Lord encourage you to love those who are in need of Christ's love and particularly the "least"..
November 19 "Niceness Versus Kindness"
(Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23) When we walk in God's Spirit we enjoy his presence through our attitude and our acts. In Galatians, Paul lists the fruits of the Spirit and kindness is one of those fruits. Kindness is a sign of character that surpasses how you want to be seen and becomes who you really are. While being nice is desirable, niceness too often expects a payback. Kindness needs no payback because it's an act of love toward our neighbor.
November 12 "Wise Bridesmaids-Limited Vision"
(Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13) Jesus taught often through parables. In the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids, he talks about a group of ten bridesmaids waiting for the groom to arrive so the wedding party could begin. Five were "wise" and five were "foolish". When the groom was delayed and the oil for their lamps began to run out that night, the five wise bridesmaids still had oil and refused the pleas of the five foolish bridesmaids who were almost out of lamp oil. The foolish bridesmaids ran to the store to get more and, while they were gone, the groom arrived and the wedding party began. By the time the foolish bridesmaids returned the door to the party room was closed and locked and they were not able to join in the celebration. The "groom" in this parable was Jesus returning and those who weren't ready weren't saved. But wouldn't it have been a better outcome if the five "foolish" bridesmaids had recognized that getting more lamp oil was not the objective--Jesus return and the celebration were so much more important. Are we focused on the right things in our lives? Are you?
November 5 "Is That All There Is?"
(Scripture: 1 John 3:1-13) God didn't save you so that you could keep on being you. He saved you to become more like him. He wants you to break out of the frustrating sins that strangle your happiness. He wants you to be counter-cultural--centered on love and fulfilling his will rather than your will.
October 29 "Investing In Eternity"
(Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:2-14) We all have benefited from encouragement at important times in life. Family, friends, teachers or maybe even casual acquaintances who have boosted our spirits and strengthened our determination to get through difficult times and succeed in life. So, how are you passing it on? We each have a responsibility to the next generation--to give back the love and support that was crucial to us. It's our investment in eternity.
October 22 "Reputation Versus Legacy"
(Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:6-8) What are you leaving behind--a reputation or a legacy? A reputation is who you're supposed to be but your legacy is who you are? You can build a reputation in one act but a legacy is built over a lifetime. As Christians, our goal is to build a legacy that reflects Christ living in us.
October 15 " When is Enough, Enough?"
(Scripture: Acts 2:45-47) It is amazing what a life of generosity does when we've learned to say "enough!". It involves an inward journey of faith to answer the question, "Can God be trusted for my future?" Where are you on this journey? Is God sufficient for your life or do you need more? Are you ready to say "Enough!"
October 8 "A Vertical Line"
(Scripture: Acts 20:35, Proverbs 3:9, Psalm 116:12) Generosity is an exercise that begins by assessing what is in your heart rather than what is in your wallet. As children of God we learn to trust in him as we realize that all we have comes from his blessing, his grace in our lives. Our relationship becomes a vertical line between us and God. We give from our abundance out of loving generosity and, as we do so, we become messengers of Christ our Lord to our neighbors.
October 1 "We Are Marching In The Light of God"
(Scripture: Malachi 3:10) When we are children, we may have gotten 25 cents from our parents to give to the offering in Sunday School and we gave because we knew we would still have plenty. As we grow, we may give without quite the same feeling. We have bills to pay and our budgets are tight. We may not give generously but we try to give what we can. We step out in faith, trusting a loving God who gives abundantly. It is an evolutionary process. We take God at his word that when we faithfully give back to God he will never disappoint us. We give out of love and we are richer just for that.
September 24 "The Wonderful Riches of Peace"
(Scripture: Phillipians 4:4-9) We all want peace. The question is how do we achieve it. Most of us live with a battle that rages within us as we seek contentment because we are so focused on material things when peace is, in fact, a spiritual thing. To find peace we first have to be at peace with one another and focus on the what unites us rather than divides us. And, during stressful times, we need to seek and receive help from others. Through others we can find true peace by accepting God's love and forgiveness.
“The funny thing about the questions of life is that the ones we ask at the end are the ones we should begin with. It is tough to craft a meaningful life without considering our end: What do we hope for, what do we dream for, relative to our lives, our family, our children?”
David Green, Founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby
September 17, 2017 "You Have One Life to Live"
(Scripture: Ephesians 5:15-17) We only have one life to live. We know that. Yet how much of what we are doing is lasting? Life is a gift. We want to live purposefully, with intention and determination--but how? Engage in a relationship with God. For everything we do in Christ's name will last.
September 10, 2017 "The Passing Zone"
(Scripture: Luke 6:38) In a relay race, there is a 20 meter segment known as the passing zone where the baton is passed from teammate to teammate. It's a period of transition that can serve as a metaphor for periods within our lives. In life our passing zones come when we go to school, get our first job, have children, get a promotion, retire. Do you prepare for these transitions with care and purpose? It's important because how well you pass things on determines your legacy. As Christians, we inherit the legacy of those before us who imparted their love, generosity, and faith on to us. Their generosity has given us wonderful resources. What will you be passing on?
Labor Day Weekend “Our Duty In the Midst of Devastation”
(Scripture: Job 1:6-22) The story of Job is a story of holding on to our faith in difficult times. The recent destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey has tested the faith of many of us, challenging us to draw near to God and work in community with others to be witnesses to God's love through helping our neighbors who are suffering from devastating losses.
August 27, 2017 “There is No Rewind Button”
(Scripture: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11) Life always moves in a forward direction. There is no going back. Do your commitments match your convictions? It often isn't the major commitments that we need to pay attention to but the routine commitments because they can take the most time day to day. It too often happens that some major crisis in our lives forces us to confront the fact that we haven't taken time to love, to spend time with our family and friends, to undertake a promised goal because they didn't seem to have the sense of urgency that our routine commitments had. We need to ask ourselves if we are overcommitted to things that don't match our convictions because they can be eating up precious time. And time will not slow down.
August 20, 2017 “Resign as Master of the Board”
(Scripture: Luke 22:24-27) Do you live under the illusion that you're in control? Proverbs 16:9 tells us "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." Save yourself a lot of anxiety and disappointment. Power comes to us when we yield to God, deny ourselves, and follow his plan.
August 13, 2017 “Keeping Score”
(Scripture: Philippians 2:5-11) Most of us like to set goals in life and keep score. We watch our weight, our bank accounts, our walking steps or running mileage, our promotions, and many other areas of our lives we believe to be important. Do you ever consider how God keeps score though? He sent his Son to leave his status in heaven to become a human baby in a cold manger. Jesus had human parents and grew up to become a rabbi, choosing a dozen unlikely men to be his disciples and teaching a message of love as he fought injustice and hypocrisy--a message that got him crucified. How do you score that? Today, as we look at the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, VA where bitter hatred and bigotry brought riots and death we have to wonder whether the values of this world are connected at all to Christ's values. While we strive to move up, Christ descended until he was on a human level so he could show us the importance of love, and fighting injustice and evil. As Christians we should be reminded of this and perhaps review how we are keeping score.
August 6, 2017 "The Game"
(Scripture: Luke 12:13-21) The objective in Monopoly is to achieve the good life by any means. We buy more and more until we own it all. But in Luke we hear Jesus telling us the life of accumulating more and more is foolish. Our possessions are not ultimately what brings a rich life unless we recognize God's blessing and are rich with Him and with others.
July 2017 Sermons
July 30, 2017
Who Can Separate You From God's Love?
[Scripture: Romans 8:26-39] We all have times when we struggle with prayer, our faith is weak, we can't sense God's presence...yet God is there. God loves us and there is nothing that can separate us from that love. Nothing. Even when we can't find the right words, Paul assures us that the Spirit of God intercedes. For prayer is not about the right words but about opening our hearts to God. Have you opened your heart?
July 23, 2017
God's Solution to the Power of Evil
In Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, Jesus describes our growth and fruitfulness in terms of the soil we grow from. Fruitfulness comes from having good soil. We need to nurture our faith in good soil by discarding that which hardens our hearts. If you feel you haven't been growing spiritually you should consider how much you're investing in daily prayer and study. Put Christ in first place and you are guaranteed a spiritually productive life.
July 16, 2017
Condemned...To Eternal Life Lay Pastor Bob Buck
(Scripture: Romans 8:1-4) Mistakes are part of living. We struggle but fail at times and then become discouraged by our weakness. We can't win--at least not on our own strength. But Paul tells us in Romans 7 that "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Don't let anything you've done or not done separate you from God. Trust in him and let him lead you to what is right.
July 9, 2017
"How Difficult Is It To Say No?" Pastor Linda Baumheckel
Of all the words our language, one of the most difficult for many of us is "No". It too often runs contrary to our desires to say no so we struggle. In Romans 7:13-25, Paul talks about this very problem. We have struggles of the flesh and of the spirit. We resent, challenge, or just reject the laws that restrict our freedom. The decision to accept Jesus Christ in our lives requires us to say no to the other gods in our lives though. The surprise, however, is that in saying no we find true freedom.
July 2, 2017
"Beyond the Big, Black Door" Lay Pastor Bob Buck
We love our freedom and liberty as Americans but what are we willing to sacrifice for them? Back in 1776 many of the founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence paid with lives and property. They gave up a comfortable life to stand up for America's liberty. In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Paul says that even though he is free of the demands and expectations of everyone, he has voluntarily become a servant to any and all. He gave up his comfortable life to serve those who needed to know the love of Christ. Jesus showed us the way through his own sacrifice and our legacy is to show his love and grace to those who suffer from a hunger that can be both physical and spiritual. The question is whether we are willing to sacrifice our comfortable life to serve them. When we take on that commitment we are truly free because we have put our security in the hands of our loving Lord.
June 2017 Sermons
“No Prayer, No Power”
June 25, 2017
"God-Focused" Community Prayer Lenny Dagg preaches
(Scripture: Acts 12:1-11) Praying together, or community prayer, is vital to a church but to make it successful the Bible tells us we need to pay attention to at least four principles: First, we need to be God-focused which means we need to know his will and follow his lead. Second, we need to be together and in one accord. We need a deep, authentic, loving, and trusting fellowship between us as we pray together. Third, we need to have a clean heart and be willing to acknowledge where we fall short as we seek forgiveness. Finally, we need to be of one accord--all on the same sheet of music. Unity of heart and desire seems simple but it takes all of the preceding three principles to achieve true unity. Our church is working on such unity and we invite you to be a part of it with us.
June 18, 2017
"The Power of Being God-Centered" Pastor Linda Baumheckel
I will teach a principle in two parts that brings Holy Spirit power into Community Prayer and our lives. Preview the scripture reading:Acts 12:1-11. Awesome choral music this Sunday and the 11 Music Team will share a powerful praise with "In Christ Alone."
June 11, 2017
“You Do Not Have Because You Do Not Ask” Lay Pastor Bob Buck
(Scripture: James 4:1-2) It takes no effort to read anywhere in the Bible and recognize that prayer is fundamental to our relationship with God. We have to find time to prayer--to make it a priority. Yet, for whatever reason, most of us find ourselves weak in actual practice. It may be because we have difficulty relating to God at times. We get distracted, even in the midst of our spiritual battles, and miss the fact that prayer is our first line of defense in troubled times. Or we think we can handle things ourselves. Whatever your reasoning, it may be that you do not have because you do not ask God. Give him a try.
June 4, 2017
"An Air Offensive" Lay Pastor Lenny Dagg Preaches
The power of the Holy Spirit comes down and the church is birthed in the book of Acts. Acts also points us to how the first believers prayed. What could Lenny be teaching us this week about praying together? I assure you there is much to be gleaned.
Preview the scripture reading: Acts 6:1-7 in the New Revised Standard Translation.