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Living to Love
People to Christ
2017 Messages

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Reformation Sunday
10/29/17(Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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10-29-17 - Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

Martin Luther struggled with grace. Even though he had devoted his life to serving God and the church, he had a hard time receiving and understanding the love of God in his own life. But, in this struggle Luther was led to discovering the truth of the Gospel, and the Reformation of the church, which we celebrate today.

Romans 3:19-28
John 8:21-32


I Love Sundays
9/17/17 - 10/22/17(Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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10-22-17 - How Sundays Changed the World

History confirms that the Church of Jesus Christ has affected more positive changes on our world than any other entity. It has done so because of the energized efforts of Sunday people. More than any other group, the Church has changed the world. Wherever Sunday people go, God goes. And lives change. And hope abounds.

Acts 4:32-37
Matthew 16:13-20

10-15-17 - Sundays Can Change Your Eternity

Why does the Church exist? And how did it come into existence? Back in the beginning, Church was God’s idea, and it still is His idea. And when you understand why God loves the church so much, I think you’ll not only love the Church, you’ll love God more.

Galatians 3:26-4:7
John 3:14-21

10-8-17 - Better Sundays Make Better Families

One of the greatest challenges of our day is to raise great kids in the midst of a ninety-mile-an-hour culture. We move so fast and have so many opportunities and obligations, it’s hard to find time to be together as a family, much less enjoy your family. The Lord wants to help you with that today. And so do I. Welcome to Sunday!

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Matthew 19:13-15

10-1-17 - Good Sundays Make Better Mondays

During Jesus’ day, the Jews had all sorts of laws about what you could and couldn’t do on the Sabbath. One Sabbath day Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” What He was saying was, of all the days of the week, God knew we would need a day to break from everything else we were doing and refuel, refresh and refocus.

Psalm 100:1=5
John 4:19-26

9-24-17 - Sundays Can Surprise You

Sunday was meant to be the best day of your week. Many of us grew up in situations where Sunday was boring, or a rat race, or where Sunday was just another day. Sundays were never meant to be that way. God made Sundays for you! With so much going on in our world, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. God created Sundays as the cure for that.

Psalm 122
Mark 2:23-28

9-17-17 - No Excuse Sunday

It is so easy to find excuses not to attend worship on the weekends – tired, busy, sports, etc. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us not “to neglect meeting together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” Life is hard enough, so we are in constant need of God’s forgiveness and strength, to stand in His presence, and be encouraged by our brothers and sisters in Christ. So, no excuses, let’s meet together!  

Hebrews 10:19-25
Matthew 7:24-29


Summer in the Catechism
5/28/17-9/10/17 (Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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9-10-17 - The Real Presence of Christ

Most churches have a constitution and by-laws that govern the functioning of the congregation. They are designed, voted on, and presumably implemented to help leaders and members have structure, make decisions, govern, and handle conflict if it arises. Matthew 18 is used often to help congregations deal with adverse behavior and conflict in the life of the church. The real presence of Christ makes all the difference in the world when it comes to healthy decision-making, reconciliation, and harmony in the community. With Christ and His love at the center of our conversations, the results can be amazing so that all involved can move forward.

Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:10-20

9-3-17 - I Believe in God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is probably the least known and understood person of the Trinity. We know that God the Father created all things. We know God the Son, Jesus, suffered, died, and rose again for our sins and for new life. We are a little fuzzy, though, on the Holy Spirit and the role that the Spirit plays in our lives. The Holy Spirit is one of the core beliefs of the Christian faith. Just as it is important to understand the activity of God the Father and Jesus the Son, so also it is important to understand what the Holy Spirit does and how the Holy Spirit moves in our lives.

1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 16:5-15

8-27-17 - I Believe in God the Son

Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and Christians all seek to bridge the distance between God and man to bring humankind and God together. All other religions are centered on humankind’s efforts. Only Christianity proclaims the truth that in the person of Jesus Christ God was bridging the gap between himself and humans. Jesus Christ did what we can’t do.

Philippians 2:5-11
John 3:14-17

8-20-17 - I Believe in God the Father

We continue our look this summer in the Catechism, as we look to the three articles of the Apostles’ Creed. This Creed has been Christianity’s statement of faith for over 1,600 years. What do we mean when we say these words and how do these beliefs impact our lives today. Today, we look at the first article – God the Father.

Psalm 46:1-10
Matthew 3:13-17

8-13-17 - King George and the Ducky

There is something that goes on every day in our country and in most of our lives. It is called coveting, and it is the desire to have something or someone that belongs to another person. It is life in twenty-first-century America. Instead, God directs us to desire the right things in the right way, love our neighbor, cultivate gratitude, give generously, and choose to be content in our lives with what we have.

Ecclesiastes 5:10-12
James 4:1-7

8-6-17 - Truth, Justice and the American Way

Many of you remember the TV show Superman, who fought for “truth, justice, and the American way.” What has happened to truth in America? We are not talking about propositional truth, but about telling the truth. Truth seems no longer important in our country. Today, we look to Scripture to see what it says about truth, justice, and God’s way.

Deuteronomy 19:15-21
Matthew 5:33-37

7-30-17 - Stop, Thief!

Exodus 20:15 says, “You shall not steal.” Again, this command is a simple two-word Hebrew phrase with a wide application even for our world today. It is especially applicable to Christians. Today we look at the command that prohibits taking something from another without permission.

2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Matthew 22:34-40

7-23-17 - The Scarlet Letter

Exodus 20:14 makes God’s view of marriage and sex very clear. He is not like the politicians hemming and hawing as they try to avoid taking a stand for fear they will lose some voter base. God just says it, and what He says, He means – marriage and sex are sacred, a gift from God.

1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Matthew 19:4-6

7-16-17 - Sanctity of Human Life

There is a positive and negative message in all of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are not just a list of dont’s; it is a list of “dos” as well! In the fifth commandment God is forbidding intentional, invisible and insidious murder. But also in this commandment, God is proclaiming the sanctity of human life.

Genesis 9:1-7
Romans 13:1-5

7-9-17 - Live Long and Prosper

Our world is obsessed with living long and prospering. The problem is, they are looking in all the wrong places. Exodus 20 and Ephesians 6 give the clear answer. Exodus 20 makes it clear that the health of a nation is directly tied to the family. Ephesians 6 comes at it from a different angle – quality of life.

Romans 1:18-19, 28-32
Mark 7:8-13

7-2-17 - Freedom's Walk

This week, our nation celebrates Independence Day. It is a time to celebrate our freedom as Americans and to reflect upon what it means and what it costs for us to be free men and women. In Jesus Christ, we have been set free from slavery to sin. We are called to walk in that freedom.

Romans 8:1-4
John 8:31-36

6-25-17 - Time Out

Time-Out. The term has many different applications. Parents use it as a disciplinary tool. A coach uses it to stop the game for a short time. The idea of time-out is stopping, ceasing, or taking a break. Long before the idea of time-out was thought of for child discipline or made a sports term, God called His people to a time-out or Sabbath rest. Today, we look at the Sabbath for Israel and Sabbath rest for us.  

Exodus 20:8-11
Hebrews 4:1-13

6-18-17 - Reverence God

We don’t attach a lot of weight to the importance of a name. It is primarily an identification tag. That is not the case in Scripture. The name of God is not just a name; it is who He is. So we need to take care as to how we use God’s name. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:1a  

Malachi 1:6-14
Matthew 5:33-37

6-11-17 - Worship Wars

It has been said that idolatry will lead America to its downfall. At its very core idolatry is a worship issue. People were created to worship. The question is, who do we worship? Our answer begs the question, “What do we believe about the one we worship?   

Romans 1:18-25
John 4:19-26

6-4-17 - The Big Ten

What was the place of the Ten Commandments in Israel? They were not merely a set of laws to be followed; God saw these as the foundational principles for his people to live by. They would be later summarized as loving God and loving others. Are they still relevant today? Absolutely!

Exodus 20:1-17
Galatians 4:1-17


Memorial Day
5/28/17(Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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5-28-17 - Dave Anderson/Roger Walck from Shepherds Canyon Retreat

On this Memorial Day weekend we celebrate the love and care of our gracious God, and that we can cast all of our worries, cares and concerns on Him for He cares for us in all circumstances. As Peter wrote: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10).

Daniel 3:24-26; 28
1 Peter 5:6-11


Praise Sunday
5/21/17 (Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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5-21-17 - I Will Bring God Praise

On this Praise Sunday, we talk about bringing God praise for all He’s done. If we would praise God acceptably, we must praise him in sincerity, with our whole heart. Our joy must not be in the gift, so much as in the Giver. The triumphs of the Redeemer ought to be the triumphs of the redeemed. All praise be to God for what He has done for us in Jesus!

Psalm 9:1-11
Psalm 150:1-6


The Case of Christ
4/23/17 - 5/14/17 (Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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5-14-17 - Explaining the Good News of Christ

Believe + Receive = Become. This is a simple but Biblical way that all of us can explain the Good News of Christ. And when we share that message, and when we see our own family members and friends take positive steps toward becoming followers of Jesus, then we’ll realize that we, too, are experiencing more and more unexpected adventures in our own lives.

1 Peter 3:13-22
John 1:29-34

5-7-17 - Embracing the Truth of Christ

The penalty we’ve earned for our wrongdoing is spiritual death. That’s terrible news. But the good news is that God is offering us a free gift of forgiveness and eternal life, which Jesus paid for by his atoning death on the cross. When we repent of our sin, and gratefully receive Christ’s payment for our sin, we then enter into relationship with God and the door to His eternal home is opened for us.

1 John 4:7-16
Matthew 11:25-30

4-30-17 - Exploring the Evidence for Christ

If the resurrection is true, it changes everything. It confirms Jesus’ identity as the unique Son of God and opens the door to eternal life for anyone who will truly follow him. On the other hand, if Jesus’ resurrection is a legend or a lie, then Jesus is, at best, just another unfortunate crucifixion victim in a long line of failed revolutionaries and false messiahs. That is why it is so important to focus on the question of whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. This weekend, we look at the evidence.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 24:13-27


Easter Season - The Crosses of Lent
3/5/17-4/16/17 ......(Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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4-16-17 - Easter - The Feast of Victory

Christ is risen! All our debts are paid! Death is no more! This is the great and comforting message of Easter. No more do we need to fear death. For through our Baptism into Christ, we have died with Christ and believe that we will also live with Him. Today we also rejoice and give thanks to God that He has prepared a celebratory feast of “rich food” for all people in the salutary gift of the Lord’s Supper (Isaiah 25:6). It is truly a “feast of victory” for all those who share in His death and resurrection by Holy Baptism. This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia!

Acts 10:34-43
Colossians 3:1-4

4-9-17 - The Cross of Rejection...Hurting with Jesus!

As we reflect on our own experience with personal rejection, we share at least in part and understand in part, the suffering of Christ. I want to know Christ and experience the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, to become like Him in His death, and so somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 14:27-46

4-2-17 - The Cross of Commitment - The Paradox of Following Christ

The cross Jesus carried was a cross of commitment. It was the cross that called him to do the extraordinary thing of dying in order that others may live. Following Christ is a paradox. It is an invitation to lose one’s life in order to secure one’s life. Following Christ is a commitment to live and give your life for God and others.

Romans 8:1-11
John 12:20-26

3-26-17 - Sacrificial Love

Lent is a season wherein we may consciously be aware of the sacrificial nature of Christ’s suffering for our eternal salvation and consciously enter into his suffering by living out sacrificial love toward others. In Lent we also we become gratefully aware of Christ’s love for us… and perhaps for the first time, wish to receive it for ourselves

1 Peter 1:3-9
John 3:14-21

3-19-17 - Passion for People

When a person is passionate about something, that person puts more time, attention and energy into it. It is more than just enthusiasm. Passion moves a person to invest their whole heart, mind, body and soul into something. Jesus’ passion was that God’s house be a place where anyone and everyone could connect with God.

Romans 6:1-7
John 2:13-22

3-12-17 - See Through It

We are invited to willingly take up our crosses and follow Christ completely, fully aware that eternal gains far outweigh earthly suffering and loss. There is no eternal profit in caving in on matters of faith in this life... What does it benefit you if you gain the whole world but lose your soul in the process? When suffering in this life… see through it!

Romans 5:1-8
Mark 8:31-37

3-5-17 - The Cross of Tempation

In the Season of Lent, we have an opportunity to experience what it means to be a follower of Christ as we consciously take up our crosses and follow Him. “Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24) We will look at the temptation of Jesus by Satan. In His temptation we see that we, too, bear the cross of temptation, but also see how to handle it strengthened by His Spirit.

Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11


Lenten Services - Salutary Gift
3/1/17-4/5/17 ......(Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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4-13-17 - Maundy Thursday - The Covenant Meal

When God made His covenant with Israel through Moses, it was confirmed by the shedding of innocent blood. Moses took half of the sacrificial blood and threw it on the altar, thereby making atonement for the sins of the people. And half the blood he threw on the people, declaring, “Behold, the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words” (Exodus 24:8). This was followed by a covenant meal. In Christ’s death, He has established a new and greater covenant. As He is crucified, His blood atones for the sins of all people. And as Moses and the elders of Israel beheld God and ate and drank, so also do we behold God and eat and drink in His presence when we receive the covenant meal of His body and blood.

Exodus 24:3-11
Hebrews 9:15-22
Matthew 26:17-30

4-5-17 - Nuptial Feast

The biblical writers frequently use marital terms to speak of God’s relationship with His people and the salvation that He has prepared for His Bride. For example, “For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:5). This imagery is carried over into the New Testament, as Christ identifies Himself as the Bridegroom of the Church (Matthew 9:15; 25:1). No wedding would be complete without a wedding feast, and it is no different with the marriage of Christ and the Church.

Matthew 22:1–14

3-29-17 - Rest for the Weary

Weary? Need to rest awhile? That’s what the Sabbath was for, that’s what the Lord’s Supper provides, and that’s what our focus is for Lent V. The Israelites were commanded to observe the Sabbath, for God made the heavens and the earth in six days, and on the seventh day, He rested from all His work. They were to “put aside the work you do, So that God may work in you” (LSB 581:4). These Sabbaths all pointed to the One who is Himself “lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8). As God rested on the seventh day after His work of creation, Christ also rested in the tomb on the Sabbath Day after His work of redemption. Thus, Jesus is our true Sabbath Rest. He says, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Matthew 11:27–12:8

3-22-17 - Blest Communion

St. Paul writes regarding the Lord’s Supper: “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:14–22) These words remind us that to participate in the salutary gift of the Lord’s Supper is truly to participate in a “blest Communion”—first and foremost, communion and fellowship with Christ without others and the company of heaven.

Luke 24:28–35

3-15-17 - Lent III

During His earthly ministry, Jesus healed many with sick and diseased bodies. Christ’s healing touch restored limbs, raised the dead, and removed fevers. As the hymn says: “His hallowed touch brought sanctity, His hand removed impurity” (LSB 624:2). In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus paints a vivid picture both of our predicament under the curse of sin and of our salvation (Luke 10:25–37). Like the man who had fallen among thieves and was lying half-dead, we were “dead in the trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). We were incapable of helping ourselves. But this kind and compassionate Samaritan, Jesus Christ, comes to us and binds up our wounds and takes our burden upon Himself.We are talking about rebuilding broken relationships. I can’t think of anything that will develop and test and prove your character more than working through relationships. This is one area where the church definitely needs to take the lead. Jesus Christ gave clear instructions. If we follow His teaching, and have the difficult conversations, and pray through things together, bathed in a spirit of love, God will get the victory, and you will get the blessing.

3-8-17 - Bread from Heaven

In answer to the grumbling of His people, God rained down bread from heaven for the Israelites during their journey through the wilderness (Exodus 16:1–15). This bread satisfied their physical hunger, but it did not allow them to live forever. They eventually died. In His incarnate Son, God has once again rained down bread from heaven for His people (John 6:27–35). Unlike the manna that God gave to the Israelites in the wilderness, this bread endures to eternal life.

John 6:27-35

3-1-17 - Ash Wednesday - Life Giving Tree

Because of the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, access to the tree of life was barred. Through the obedience of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, and by His sacrificial death on Calvary, access to the tree of life has been opened up once again for those who believe. In the salutary gift of the Lord’s Supper, the Christian receives “salvation’s living fruit” and with it the promise of eternal life.

Revelation 22:1-5, 14


Broken
2/5/17-2/26/17 ......(Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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2-26-17 - Mending a Broken Spirit

Do you ever feel broken? Broken – like things in your life are out of joint, or like there’s something about you so flawed, so out of whack, that you don’t know if you can ever get it back “in whack” again. What do you do with your brokenness? The short answer is: Take your brokenness to Jesus. He’s able to put you back together again. And He’s the only one you’ll ever find who has it all together.

Luke 7:36-50

Isaiah 40:28-31

2-19-17 - Rebuilding Broken Relationships

We are talking about rebuilding broken relationships. I can’t think of anything that will develop and test and prove your character more than working through relationships. This is one area where the church definitely needs to take the lead. Jesus Christ gave clear instructions. If we follow His teaching, and have the difficult conversations, and pray through things together, bathed in a spirit of love, God will get the victory, and you will get the blessing.

Matthew 18:15-20

2 Corinthians 2:5-11

2-12-17 - Healing a Broken Heart

Too often, when a person feels hurt, when they feel emotional pain, they hole up. Like a wounded animal, we go to our cave and lick our wounds. We feel all alone. We wonder if anyone cares. Be assured – God knows your situation. He is with you in your pain. Just like he was with Mary and Martha, he will be with you. Open your heart; open your spirit. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.

John 11:17-27, 35-44

Psalm 51:10-17

2-5-17 - Restoring Hope to Broken Dreams

This s the beginning of a new series “Broken.” We go around with smiles on our faces, trying to act like everything is OK. But in reality, most of us have broken dreams, broken hearts, and broken lives. Today we’re talking about “Restoring Hope to Broken Dreams.”

Luke 24:13-35

Psalm 23:1-6


Investments

Making Sound Investments for the Year
1/8/17-1/29/17 ......(Newest Messages on Top)
Sunday Services

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1-29-17 - Your Spirit - Risk Free Investment

God has given us a life bigger than work, taxes and death. God has given us an eternal, abundant life through a relationship with God. God has made this relationship possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God waits patiently for us to respond to God’s love and to live in the reality of the spiritual. The invitation is always there to come and live by faith.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10

John 14:1-6

1-22-17 - Your Family- Investing in Growth

Families and friendships can easily be taken for granted in our hectic lives. Paul reminds us of the essential elements that make strong families and friendships and encourages us to intentionally invest these elements in the lives of the people with whom we are blessed and look for ways to continually strengthen those relationships.

Ephesians 5:21-6:4

John 13:31-35

1-15-17 - Renewing Your Mind - setting it on Higher Values

There is a saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” It is true that this world is filled with a lot of garbage. It takes effort and determination to set our minds on good things and make positive investments to our mental and spiritual health. Our investments then produce great dividends. We are changed into God’s image, enjoy the riches that are ours and influence the people around us in a positive manner.

Romans 12:1-8

Matthew 22:34-40

1-8-17 - Your Body - Investing for the Future

It is the beginning of a New Year. We enter this year with hopes that it will be a prosperous year in more ways than merely financial. If 2017 is to be a prosperous year, then now is the time to make sound investments that will enable this to happen. Mutual funds may be one area of investments, but it is also important for us to invest in our body, mind, spirit, and relationships. Today we begin making sound investments for the New Year with our bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:9-20

John 13:10-17

1-1-17 - Investing for the Future