HITTING ROCK BOTTOM.

  Scripture: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” – Psalm 139: 7-8 Message: There’s an old cliché that says, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” In other words, when the battle rages and the bullets fly, people tend to pray. There’s just something about realizing that you’re out of options and in need of divine intervention. Jonah experienced this kind of…

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WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

Scripture: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 Message: The Gospel is incredibly good news that follows bad news. Imagine that out of nowhere a North Korean long-range ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead was 30 minutes from hitting Los Angeles. Can you imagine the horror and fear not just in LA but around the world? Then twenty minutes later we learn that the US military has shot…

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FINDING FREEDOM FROM YOUR PAST Part I

Scripture: “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 Message: Did you know that the prophet Hosea’s love life is the topic of an often overlooked and pretty unexpected story in the Old Testament? (You can find the full story in his namesake book, Hosea.) The short version of the story goes like this: God told Hosea to marry a woman with a “bad reputation.” She was known around town for her “loose morals” and sexual immorality…

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RECONCILIATION AND THE ORIGINAL “COME TO JESUS” TALK

Scripture: “He said to him a third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to Him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.”’ – John 21: 17 Message: Most of us are familiar with the expression: a “come to Jesus talk.” We think of it as a last chance. It can be a tough-love conversation between a coach and an…

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REMEMBER YOUR ROOTS.

Scripture: “He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.” – John 21: 7   Message: Peter first surrendered his life…

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MARRIAGE: GOING THE DISTANCE.

 Scripture: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6: 14 Message: With a divorce rate of 50%, there’s no denying that marriage is difficult.  It’s easy to list all the challenges and difficulties facing spouses in a marriage, so what does God have to say on the subject? How can we experience the kind of marriage that God desires – the kind of marriage that not only lasts, but grows…

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WHO DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?

Scripture: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 2:3-5 Message: Think of a person you admire and whose life you’d like to model. Is this person a great athlete? Is he or she an extraordinarily gifted artist or entertainer? Maybe this is someone with an incredibly analytical…

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DO YOUR ‘IN-LAWS’ FEEL LIKE ‘OUT-LAWS?’

Scripture: “Your people shall be my people…” – Ruth 1:16     Message: Perhaps the relationship people struggle with most is getting along with those in-laws. In-laws are the gift we received in marriage – and sadly, a gift many want to give back.   Even in healthy in-law relationships, there will be tensions and challenges. You both love the same person, and the only reason you’re attached is because of that person. That can mean competing interests. In-laws can sometimes be made to feel like out-laws. They get to…

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OPEN TO CHANGE.

Scripture: “No one puts new wine into old wine skins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wine skins.” – Luke 5: 37-38     Message: As a church, one of our core values is to be open to change. That can sound a bit like a contradiction. What do I mean? It means that we are sure of the trustworthiness of the Bible. We are absolutely confident the…

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DISCIPLINE BRINGS HOLINESS.

Scripture: “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12: 10b – 11   Message: What is holiness? Holiness means to be set apart in character, spirit, values or priorities. It means to be more like God. Since God is holy and we are not, it’s natural that there will be tension as…

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