Stand Alone Messages

10-29-17 “Part Hearted”  2 Chronicles 15:1-15. Dr. Dave Ward

Amaziah served the Lord, but not with his whole heart. This sermon seeks to peer into the character of Amaziah to discern what made him be so part-hearted. We realize Amaziah was following the example he received, continuing traditions he was familiar with, keeping the peace in contentious times, and holding onto attachments and addictions. All of these are the symptoms. The disease was pursuing whatever worked best in the short term. If God worked best, Amaziah followed. If God’s way led to suffering, Amaziah raged. Our meditation of Amaziah ends with ways of diagnosing our own part-heartedness, and treatments for the cure.

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10-22-17 “The Next Wrong”  Mark 10:17-31. Rev. Ethan Linder

When we look at The Rich Young Ruler, we often see a smug, self-assured aristocrat in love with his money. But if we look closer at the text, we realize he had a vision of discipleship strikingly similar to ours: always focused on the “next right thing” God would call him to do. In this interaction, Jesus proves that discipleship is often about having lives that are quick to respond “yes” even when God asks us to do the next wrong thing—an act of obedience that disrupts all our plans.

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08-13-17 “Grace in the Slump” 2 Samuel 11:1-15. Dr. Lenny Luchetti

Many Christians find themselves in a spiritual slump. Their passion for God has diminished. They still come to church, pray and read their bible, but deep inside they feel as if their best days in Christ are behind them not before them. The good new is that God doesn’t abandon us but comes to us while we’re in the slump to get us back on a spiritual streak again. This is the story of David in 2 Samuel 11-12.

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08-06-17 “Including & Belonging” Mark 12:28-34; James 1:26-2:4, 8-9, 12-13, Rev. Steve DeNeff

Favoritism is one of the hardest things to get over because most of us prefer the company of others like us. It is our very sense of “belonging” that makes “including” so difficult. But to love others as much as we love ourselves is at the core of our religion even more important than our worship (“burnt offerings and sacrifices”).  What would it look like – what would WE look like – if we put our preferences down and love others as much as we love ourselves? How might it affected the very religion we practice? How might “including” affect our sense of “belonging”?

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04-23-17 “Living Resurrection” Luke 24:36, 45-49; Ephesians 3:7-11, Rev. Steve DeNeff

On the first Easter, Jesus established, not only the gospel (Lk 24:45-47), but the community that would be responsible for declaring it: the Church (24:48-49). This new community – as flawed and fragile as it is – would become “the mystery which for ages past was kept hidden in God … so that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known … according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Jesus Christ,” (Eph. 3:9-10). Yet there are many who underestimate the power of this community, some who attend it every week. Today we’ll celebrate the power of the Church – “the resurrected ones” – and the purpose of our church in particular, and then, in light of that, your place within our church.

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02-26-17 “The Ultimate Test of Worship” Luke 9:18-22, 28-43a, Rev. Steve DeNeff

In Luke 9, we read the story of The Transfiguration (vs.28 “he went up to the mountain to pray”) and Jesus healing a demon possessed boy (vs.43 “Awe gripped the people as they saw this majestic display of God’s power.”) The marriage of these passages call for two equal movements within our faith. First, that we withdraw to be alone with God. Second, that we become involved with humans who are in deep need. There are whole religions that focus solely on withdrawing or solitude, and entire religions focused only on outreach or benevolence. The Christian life, however, calls us to both. We may be naturally drawn to one, but as The Church and as individuals, we must learn to do both and learn to skillfully move within them

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02-19-17 “Too Good to Love” Philemon, Dr. Dave Ward

“Is there a place in your life where you unknowingly live face to face with the will of God and keep missing it? This week we are going to experience the book of Philemon anew. We will discover some key differences between the way Paul and Philemon lived out their faith and the impact that had on others. Philemon’s ability to miss the will of God while being a faithful Christian will challenge us to reevaluate some of our most everyday actions. And in the end, we will rejoice in all the good things we have to share in Christ Jesus.”

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01-01-17 “Even Greater Things” John 14:9-21, Rev. Eric Crisp

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11-20-16 “The Challenge of Blessings” Exodus 16:11-17, 31-36, Rev. Alex Sicilia

Through this message I intend to present the idea that blessings have a specific purpose from God, that is to help us become more like Jesus and to accomplish our part in His mission in the world. Because of our human nature, blessings can be misunderstood and even misused because, we tend to lose sight of that purpose and make blessings an end rather than a mean; and then the very blessings that were intended to make us grow, (move) may become the reason we’re not growing. We want to encourage hearers to get a Biblical perspective on “blessings.”

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11-13-16 “A Thing of Beauty” Isaiah 53, Rev. Lenny Luchetti

This political climate is rather ugly- name-calling, grudge-holding, etc. Add to this the ugliness of violence via terrorism, school shootings, etc. We are beauty-starved. I’m trying to suggest that being immersed in and absorbed in ugliness makes us ugly; we need to become beauty-sleuths, identifying beauty wherever it can be found. The more we see the beautiful canvas of God hanging on culture’s ugly frame, the more we begin to embody beauty. The idea is that the more beauty we take in, the more beauty we pour out. The beauty that pours out of us is the peacefulness and faithfulness of Jesus explored in Isaiah 53.

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09-04-16 “Others” Micah 6:6-8; Luke 9:1-2, 6, 12-17, Steve DeNeff

There are two storylines in our day – one of unprecedented accomplishments and prosperity, and another of disorder and fear – and what is most needed is a remnant of genuine people who are wise. But what is wisdom? Where does it begin and how does the pursuit of it make all other things easier? This sermon will introduce wisdom and folly as currents in a river, with the “fear of the Lord” as the headwaters of wisdom. It will challenge us to “get wisdom, though it cost all you have,” (4:7) and show how the “fear of the Lord” means more than simple faith.

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08-24-16 “Sacred Companions” 1 Peter 4:7-11, Steve DeNeff

“In a culture divided by politics and special interests, where even the closest of “friends” are alone together, the way of Christ is a new community in which we are “members of one another,” (Eph. 4:25). In fact, throughout the New Testament are almost sixty “one another” references that describe our life together.  In fact, the people around us have tremendous power over our spiritual development. If you’re stuck, try changing not only your practices, but your company as well. This sermon will explore the importance of sacred companions, help to identify the people we need to help us grow (caution: not always the ones we want), and give practical ways for finding them.”

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08-21-16 “Offensive Grace” Luke 15:11-32,  Dr. Amanda Drury

The parable of the lost son gives great insight into the love of God the Father. The father doesn’t show tough love: “sorry, son, you made your bed and now you have it lie in it.” It’s not just love: “son, you will need to work for me for the next two decades to pay off your debt.” Instead it’s outrageous love, even offensive love. The son is embraced even before an apology is on his lips. He squanders his fathers riches and is rewarded with blessing after blessing after blessing. This parable perfectly sums up how the gospel is a stumbling block. Amazing love, amazing grace.

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05-29-16  “War and Peace” Exodus 14:10-14,  Dr. Ken Schneck

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04-03-16 “Partnering with God” Acts 1:1-11, Rev. Chris Williams & Rev. Beau Hamner

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12-27-15 “The Right Mindset for 2016” 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. Rev. Chris Williams

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09-06-15 “Oh, the People You Meet!” Luke 9:28-37. Rev. Steve DeNeff

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08-23-15 “A Different Kind of Normal” Matthew 5:1-10, 14-16. Rev. Steve DeNeff

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08-16-15 “Unstuck” Luke 9:57-62; Phil 3:10-15a. Rev. Steve DeNeff

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08-09-15 “Why” Matthew 28:16-20; Colossians 1:28-29. Rev. Steve DeNeff

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