Tag Archives: Gospel

(May 3, 2020) “Stronger: Remember Who You Are”

from Philippians 3:1-14

While seasons of struggle are challenging for a number of reasons, perhaps the thing that makes them most uncomfortable, most unnerving…the thing that makes us want to be on the other side of those challenges, is that they challenge our understanding of who we are in ways that we are often unprepared for.

What if instead of fearing what is revealed about our identity in those difficult seasons, we saw it as an opportunity to examine that upon which we have built our lives? What if we saw it as an opportunity to consider that the fullness of life can only truly be found in Jesus?

w/ Vern Collins and Jeff McClain

(April 12, 2020 Easter) “Trusting God’s Resurrection”

from Matthew 28:1-10

The story of Jesus’ resurrection is familiar to so many, but if we allow the story to become to familiar, we run the risk of no longer expecting that we can be surprised by Jesus…we run the risk of losing sight of the fact that Jesus might just be showing up right where we are.

May the hope of the resurrection meet you in a very real way this Easter season.

w/ Lory Beth Huffman and Vern Collins

(April 5, 2020) “Trusting God’s Plan”

from Matthew’s Gospel account of the final week of Jesus’ life as well as a look at Matthew 26:36-46

For Palm Sunday we listen to the last week of Jesus’ life told from beginning to end and close with a brief message looking at Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. What might we learn from Jesus’ vulnerability? What might it tell us about Jesus? How might it draw us in to Holy Week?

w/ Vern Collins (message) and Lory Beth Huffman, Jeff McClain, Laura Byrch, and Ben Fitzgerald (readers)

(February 16, 2020) “Your Next Steps: Growing Spiritually”

from Luke 10:38-42 and Acts 2:42-47

Perhaps the greatest step we can take in this discipleship journey is the one that places us at the feet of Jesus…and yet in a world of busyness and seemingly endless demands on our time, this is the thing that tends to fall off of our list of priorities first.

What if, starting now, you made time at the feet of Jesus a priority instead of an afterthought? Imagine how it might help you to reorder your day as you begin to grow in your love for God and His Kingdom.

w/ Vern Collins

(February 9, 2020) “Your Next Steps: Serving”

from Isaiah 58:1-12

When you think of worship or the practice of religion, what comes to mind? More importantly, what do you believe the purpose of our worship or the practice of religion is FOR?

Are we simply checking boxes, or are we placing ourselves humbly before God in hopes that we might be transformed…in hopes that we might moved beyond our self-focus in order to focus on those around us?

What if this week, you took a step toward serving someone around you? Recognizing where they might have need, and being willing to come alongside them…just as God, in Christ, has come alongside you.

w/ Vern Collins

(February 2, 2020) “Your Next Steps: Connecting”

from Luke 8:4-15

Wherever you are on your journey with Christ, there is a thread that binds all who are on that journey (or even considering that journey) together. That is that not a single one of us is called to walk this journey alone.

Using Jesus’ parable of the sower, we consider the value of connecting with others in this journey of growing in Christ.

w/ Vern Collins

(January 19, 2020) “Your Next Steps: Discipleship Journey”

from Matthew 3:13-17

A life of following Jesus if full of challenges. There are many times that we wonder if it is all worth it. We might have doubt, we might have fear of what is ahead, we might wrestle with guilt over feeling like we’re not doing this well.

Unlike trips we might take in life: vacations, road trips to see a friend or some exciting place…what if in life with Christ the thing that sustains us is not the destination, but what is spoken over us at the beginning?

Imagine how your perspective of following Jesus might change if you allowed it to be sustained and rooted in the truth and good news of the beginning…that you are the beloved of God, and that God has called you into life…a life He promises to walk through with you.

w/ Vern Collins

(January 12, 2020) “A Simple Message”

from Matthew 3:1-12

The call to repent is at the heart of the Gospel invitation…and yet, for so many it has left a bad taste in the mouth of those who hear it. What we stopped hearing the call to repent at the end of a pointing finger, and instead heard it as a hope-filled invitation to something new?

John’s is a simple message full of opportunity.

Perhaps you might hear it again for the first time…

w/ Vern Collins

(January 5, 2020) “…and Have Come to Worship”

from Matthew 2:1-12

Epiphany invites us to wrestle with the question, “Who is Jesus TO YOU?”

The build up through Advent to Christmas can seem immense considering how quickly it all seems to leave us…Christmas is packed away for another year…and yet if we are willing, we might just find that the Hope that has come, is present, and continues to come in Jesus…it might just mean something for us now.

w/ Vern Collins

(December 22, 2019) “Looking for Light: Leading Others to The Light”

4th Sunday of Advent

from 1 Peter 2:9-12

Who are you?

We tend to answer a question like this by talking about the things that we do. What if defining who we are was not connected to the things you do, rather the things you do is a direct result of who you are?

The coming of the Light of Christ, and choosing to walk in that Light, to build your hope on Who Jesus begins to mean something for WHO YOU ARE. What if your life began to be defined by what God proclaims over you as His child?

That becomes a life worth living. That becomes a story worth telling. That becomes an invitation worth offering…

w/ Vern Collins and testimony by Darcy Carson

(December 15, 2019) “Looking for Light: Walking in the Light”

3rd Sunday of Advent

from Titus 2:11-14

“If only I had __________, then my life would be different.”

How would you fill in that blank? The things we hope for are often the things that shape our lives…how we spend our time and energy, how we spend our resources, the things we pursue…and so often, those are the same things that leave us frustrated.

What might be different if we had something to hope in that was more than just a fleeting desire. What if our hope could be rooted in something eternal, something that would transform us…SOMEONE Who came to find us? Imagine how life could change if we lived life built on the foundation of hope made possible by Jesus.

w/ Vern Collins

(December 8, 2019) “Looking for Light: Jesus is the Light”

2nd Sunday of Advent

from Isaiah 9:1-7

After establishing the relationship we tend to have with darkness…that is, that we long to see it done away with in the world around us and yet at times, learn to make friends with it within us…once we come to terms with the darkness we must allow ourselves to ask, “Who is this One Who was born into the darkness?”

In his first letter, when speaking about God, John says, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:6) How is it that the One in Whom there is no darkness, would willingly enter into the darkness of this world…into our darkness?

Isaiah paints a picture for us of the manner in which Jesus comes…one that is inviting, one that is meek, yet powerful; King, yet humble. What if the power of this Light to dispel darkness is wrapped up in the manner in which this Light comes?

w/ Vern Collins

(December 1, 2019) “Looking for Light: The World Jesus is Born Into”

1st Sunday of Advent

from Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 and John 3:19-20

Advent is meant to be a season of hope. Hope that God has not left us alone. Hope that things can change. Hope that this is not all there is…

Throughout Scripture the work of God, the presence of God, the coming of Christ are all associated with Light. We mark the season of Advent with the lighting of candles to remind us of this Light that has come and is coming…but can we truly appreciate this Light unless we are willing to understand the darkness into which it has dawned?

w/ Vern Collins

(November 24, 2019) “Glimpses of Jesus: Running”

from Luke 15:11-32

What is your understanding of God’s love for you? Is it something you simply know about, or is it something you have experienced for yourself?

In this story Jesus tells in Luke’s Gospel, our understanding of the love of God our Father might just be challenged…in life-changing ways…regardless of where you find yourself in relation to Him right now.

What if you knew God was calling you home to Him? What if you knew God was running toward you in the Person of Jesus? What if you allowed yourself to experience that embrace? What about your life might just change?

w/ Vern Collins

(November 17, 2019) “Glimpses of Jesus: Healing”

from Mark 5:21-43

In this week’s glimpse of Jesus, we find two similar yet very different encounters with Jesus. Both people who come to Jesus are seeking healing, and both experience healing in very different ways.

Perhaps you have longed to see healing in your life or in the life of someone you love. Perhaps you have sought God for that, praying that healing would indeed come. Maybe it did…maybe God answered those prayers in the way you hoped…praise God for that.

But what if it didn’t? What if healing didn’t come in the way you hoped for or expected? Is it possible that Jesus is working to bring healing in your life in places deeper than an injury or an illness? Is it possible that Jesus wants to heal completely…even if it means you may still bear the pain of injury or illness?

What if you sought that kind of healing? What if you trusted Jesus enough to heal in the way you or those you love need most?

w/ Lory Beth Huffman

(November 10, 2019) “glimpses of Jesus: Calming”

from Mark 4:35-41

That there will be challenges in life is unavoidable. The question becomes not, “what if?” but “when?” When you find yourself faced with one of life’s storms, something that is out of your control…where do you turn? Do you seek the expertise of others? Do you rely on your own wisdom or ability or pure determination to weather the storm? Or might you be willing to turn to the One Who is Lord over the storm?

The One Who is in the midst of the storm with you!

What if God doesn’t just have in mind to rescue you FROM the storm, but to deliver you THROUGH the storm? How might your faith…how might your life be transformed as a result?

Who would you know God to be on the other side?

w/ Vern Collins

(November 3, 2019) “Glimpses of Jesus: Inviting”

from Luke 19:1-10

(*including an invitation to the Lord’s Table, and to consider where we might invite someone to a fellowship meal this week. )

If the promise we have in Jesus through the Holy Spirit is that God is present with us always, then why is it that the hope we should have in that truth can seem so fleeting?

For one, we can point to the fact that we live such distracted lives…that’s it not Jesus Who is absent, it is we who are not paying attention.

For these 4 weeks we are going to look at the ways Jesus might be present with us. In knowing how Jesus longs to meet us in our day to day, we might just find that He is not only with us, He is working within us, while at the same time revealing to us the ways we might be a reflection of Who He is in the lives of people around us.

We begin with a familiar story found in Luke’s Gospel that asks us to consider the inviting nature of Jesus!

w/ Vern Collins

(October 27, 2019) “Ambitious Church: Kingdom Come”

from Matthew 6:9-13

In the things you seek in life…even in the things you pray and ask God for…what if you are not aiming high enough? What if the things you are seeking, even the things you are asking God for are too small? What might it look like to reorient your desires and your wants to something that is already present…to God’s Kingdom. A Kingdom that is here and that is still coming!

What are those things that are keeping you from seeking God’s Kingdom FIRST? What would it look like to surrender those things, or to reorder the things you are seeking, to allow God to lead you in prioritizing the things you desire in your life?

How might things change if your chief desire was to be a part of seeing God’s Kingdom come on this earth?

w/ Vern Collins and Stewardship Testimony from Grace Koppenheffer