The church is famous for talking about God’s love but often a large chasm exists between our believing in God’s love and trusting it - the requirement for those who would live it. In this series we explore the perfect Love of God and how it changes everything.
It has been said that “The church doesn’t have a mission - the mission has a church.” The fact is that before Jesus had a single person following and trusting in him he was already on mission, well aware of the messes that drag us down, and modeling what a faith-full life looks like. This week we look at three essential elements for anyone serious about joining God in his work in the world.
Images From the Service:
More From Sundays In This Series
Pics from Wk. 4, Baptism Sunday (1/27/19)
Prior to the message “Picking Up a Prayer Habit” we saw this spoken word piece from Eshon Burgundy. (2min. 18sec.)
Prior to the message “Withdraw to Draw Near” Pastor Meghan used this commercial as an opening illustration. (30sec.)
Amidst all the things that you and + others seem to think you should occupy yourself with, what is truly essential? What might you call mission critical? Look with us at Jesus’ first words on record and how they both reveal his identity and set a trajectory for all that would follow.
What a joy it was to fill the house with song, laughter, activity, and the good news of Immanuel, God With Us. And hats off to the kids who staged what was perhaps the cutest nativity play in recorded history. Merry Christmas everyone!
As with geography, when it comes to navigating life, there are points of reference that remain constant and others that are susceptible to change. For followers of Jesus, he is that which is constant and against which all other life-navigation tools are measured. This Advent, as we await Jesus’ birth, we’re looking at one of his most famous sermons often titled the “Sermon on the Mount”, filled with blessings, warnings, and directives as essential today as ever.
The holiday season can be wonderful. But if we’re honest it can also be a time of heightened relational stress. Traveling away from home, reconnecting with extended family and reminiscing can generate tension between even the closest family members. Listen in as we look at the hospitality God has extended through Jesus and why his model can give us a way forward.
Someone said that “words create worlds” - places that we live our lives from and within. In fact, the scriptures describe God’s creative activity in the beginning as speech, and as people made in God’s image our words too cary tremendous power. This is a series about when God speaks better words than the ones we typically hear.
From “Worship + Lunch at the Lake”, Eastside Shelter House, Swan Lake State Park. Prior to the message we read and prayed through the scripture together.
Service of Child Dedication (10/21)
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
(1 John 3:1 NIV)
Worship + Lunch at the Lake (10/14)
(Pictures: Emily & Andy Moore)
Jesus had a way of journeying along borders - places in between where outcasts were put. In his account of Jesus life and ministry, Luke, a 1st century writer who chronicled eye-witness testimony, we see a Jesus who knew what a life of rejection was like, who came to call the sick, and who was God’s light in the world, here to seek and save the lost. Listen in and hear a story of Jesus’ encounter with 10 lepers (men who were enemies in religion + politics but brothers in suffering) and consider why this story of healing can inspire hope today.
We have a tendency, depending on what we are dealing with, to live either in the past or in the future. But what about now? And what will come of the choices we make today? For the next few weeks in our Sunday services we’ll be talking about how living in God’s kingdom is not only possible now but why it’s our best future plan and our best response to the past.
This video accompanies session 2. Thanks to The Bible Project for consistently putting out wonderful resources for helping people make sense of the scriptures. Check out their YouTube channel. This is not kid-stuff!
Sometimes it feels like our lives are lived in a whirlwind - opportunities, challenges, expectations, hopes, fears, and competing perspectives push us in many directions. Joins us as we study Paul's letter to the Colossians where he reminds us of four vital handholds that can offer followers of Jesus stability through it all.
Note: As an opening illustration we saw a 3min. video clip of children who, in the process of learning to ride a bike, ran directly into very obvious obstacles. We had a good chuckle at the expense of those kiddos - sorry, guys. If you imagine seeing said video you'll better understand the first moments of this week's message. Have a great day. Oh, and look out for mailboxes. - Pastor Tim
Jesus said that he came that we might "have life abundantly" but so often we settle for lives in which we "believe" in God with our minds and say we "trust" in God with our hearts but don't allow Him to work on the deep areas in us where we really long for freedom and transformation. This May and June we're preaching through this series that will equip you with practical tools for allowing God to do His amazing work. These lessons will coincide with adult learning groups offered on Sundays and Tuesdays through the month of June where we'll dive deep into the course material and spend good time reflecting together. We are so excited to dig in and hope you'll join us for this powerful time of learning and growing. Click here to learn more about groups.
"We opened the sermon time with a clip of the song "A Million Dreams" from the film, The Greatest Showman. We cannot repost here for copyright reasons but you should totally check it out as a major illustration referred to throughout the message. Just watch the whole film - it really is wonderful image of the effect our past can have on our present." - Pastor Tim
This week we were blessed to have Danny and Meghan Bruggeman with us in worship. Both trained in youth ministry, they have served churches in Illinois and California. Since last fall when we learned that they were discerning a call to serve in the Midwest our leadership council has been prayerfully considering the potential of growing both our staff and our capacity to serve the community. On January 28th the Bruggemans will be presented at our Annual Business Meeting where the church will vote on this exciting opportunity. Listen in and learn more about how they came to trust in Jesus, why they're dedicated to serving youth and families, and what excites them about living in Carroll.
Bottom Line: Jesus is the One before whom we are both completely vulnerable and completely loved.
As humans we have limited sight. That's the way it is. And only able to see the exterior of things we're left to make sense of our world and other people based on what we can see. But while people judge one another based on externals, God looks straight into the heart. This understanding has the capacity to both comfort us in our weakness and challenge us in our pride. Ironically, it's in confessing the parts we'd rather not allow anyone to see that we are able to be loved most fully.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 51:10-12; Our Gospel reading was John 7:14-24.
A video we played prior to this week's message:
Bottom Line: Following Jesus can be boiled down to hearing & doing.
The life of faith has always been about hearing God's words and trusting them. But often we are content to merely hear them without acting or to act, doing lots of things for God, without paying attention to what He is saying. This week we look at a story of a young boy, still new in his faith, and his faithful response to God's call against the backdrop of priests who literally have God's words written in stone and yet cannot or will not hear.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 3; Hebrews 1:1-2; Our Gospel reading was John 20:19-23.
*Re-recorded due to technical difficulties.
Bottom Line: A growing faith means a shrinking fear.
We are made by God, in the image of God, for relationship with God, built on trust in God. And He wants a more robust, more free, and less fearful life for us than we settle for. But fear has a way of turning us back around as we romanticize the things we gladly left behind. As we see in the story of the Hebrews, once they're liberated from slavery in Egypt, the road to a better life is paved with small commitments to trust in God and deny their fear.
Scripture: Exodus 13, 14, 16; Deuteronomy 8; Our Gospel reading was John 6:25-35
Bottom Line: God chooses to work through people, even in their disabilities, in saving and healing the world.
Pain and bondage are not new in our world nor is God's desire to set people free. In this week's message we look at Moses - yet another unlikely hero through whom God did just that. But we'd do well to notice that the outcome & the strategy weren’t up to him. In fact, Moses wasn’t required to have the name, knowledge, reputation, skill, or even the desire… all he needed was willingness. And look at what God did through him.
Scripture: Exodus 2, 3, 4; John 8.
Bottom Line: The best stories involve the b-team, brokenness, and the birth of something better.
Jacob was left running scared from his enraged brother - fearing for his life. He knew he had blown it, was all alone, and with only a rock to rest his head on, and that’s where he really experienced God. Jacob was so amazed that God met him there that he exclaimed, “God is in this place—truly. And I didn’t even know it!” The scriptures are filled with terribly ordinary characters. If they are extraordinary it might be most for making extraordinarily bad decisions. Good thing God is in the business of blessing people just like Jacob - just like you and me.
Scripture: Genesis 27, 28, 32; Psalm 139, John 1 & 5.
You can always search and find Bible content here.
Bottom Line: God has always been after our hearts - not our sacrifices.
Whatever we place great trust in will have the power to direct the course of our lives. Our question then is not if we will trust but what we will trust and what or who has proven worthy. This week we looked at an incredible story from the life of Abraham, an ancient ancestor of Jesus. It's a story of faith, longing, impatience, surprise, and provision that, in the end, turns out to be not only about the testing of Abraham’s trustworthiness but the proving of God’s.
Scripture: Genesis 12, 21, 22; John 1; Romans 4.
You can always search and find Bible content here.
Links & Extras
A wonderful synopsis of the 2nd half of the Bible's first book. Helpful for framing today's story in the context of the wider narrative.