July 2021
Life Is The Battle; Death Is Our Victory
July 18
I had to be away this weekend for a personal matter. Surprised by the need to change my plans, I invited Ben, who is our Choir Director and leads the singing in our services, if he would be interested in offering a message. Most people would have shied away but Ben submitted to the Holy Spirit and it shows in his message. Thank you Ben for being such a servant of God.
Our Choices & The Consequences
July 11
Last week, we reflected on three concepts of faith. As we read Mark’s telling of the death of John the Baptist, we see the effects or maybe a better way of saying it, the consequences of having a faith that is blind and the result of knowing about something without believing. The choices Herod makes are the same as choices most people make when not first considering Christ.
The Power Of Faith
July 4
We are dealing with two separate stories and each story is dealing with an entirely different issue. Jesus’ visit to Nazareth is dealing with belief and unbelief while the commissioning of the disciples is dealing with the calling of the disciples and proclamation of the Gospel. Both stories have one thing in common—acceptance or rejection of the Messiah or his representatives.

June 2021
In Times Of Desperation
June 27
In our times of desperation, when our own resources or actions are inadequate to get us out of the fix we are in, it’s then that we rely on the faith that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God but also the one who rescues, saves, and heals the desperate. In our reading today, we find Jesus reaching out not because of desperation of others, but because of who he is. Isn’t it comforting to know he is always nearby and as we are reaching out to him, Jesus is reaching out to us. Thus, faith is born and sustained.
A Promise Is A Promise
June 20
The story of Jesus calming the storm has been the favorite story of many over the years. For most, we see in this story the hope of protection against any calamity that might come our way. To be certain, there is a promise that Jesus makes here, a promise worth believing; a promise that can be trusted. The question for us as we hear this passage read is this: “Are we willing to accept the promise offered?” There is a peace that comes with the promise that transcends the storms of our lives. After all, a promise is a promise!
Living In The Mystery Of Life
June 15
We tend to think of ourselves as the farmer who must tend to the fields weeding and watering the crop. We must be busy in order to be productive! But Jesus totally glosses over the farmer’s work. He knows our tendency and how we would naturally see this so he takes us on a very different direction emphasizing the mystery of the seed that grows into a plant or tree necessary to sustain life. We are to see ourselves as the seed. The mystery of our growth is the sustaining work of the Holy Spirit and that is a truth we can depend on.
Belonging To The Family Of God
June 6
Our Gospel reading from Mark has two stories happening at the same time. Jesus’s family is concerned for him, and therefore are seeking him out. As that story is unfolding, Jesus’s authority has been challenged by the religious leaders. As Jesus is explaining the importance of understanding that authority does not come from position but rather from God above, we return to the “outer story” of Jesus’ family searching for him. Jesus response may seem harsh at first but like his teaching on authority, his revelation of family brings a whole new meaning of family as a follower of Christ. Listen as both lessons in our reading are meant to build up and encourage our faith.

May 2021
The Mystery Of The Holy Spirit
May 30
One God in three Persons—a mystery that is far easier to declare and to believe than it is to explain. Our suggested Bible readings for this week speak of God in mysterious and ultimate terms. In our passage today from the third chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of God the Father who sent God the Son. Jesus is annoyed with Nicodemus but never gives up on him teaching him that God’s Holy Spirit comes and goes like the wind but is present with us. If someone asked you, “Are you saved?” how would you answer their question? Understanding the doctrine of the Trinity is the beginning of finding assurance of your salvation, is the core of our faith, and is central to the identity of being a Christian.
He Is Here Now
May 23
Throughout the time of the Old Testament, the spirit of God spoke to key leaders and prophets about the will of God, the promises of God, and the ways of life with God. Today is Pentecost, the day we celebrate the birth of the Church. Today, God’s story revealed in scripture is the revelation of a promise made that is a promise kept! The question for us is a hard one to live into and that is, “How do we respond to the news that we have received the Holy Spirit?”
He Is Here Now
May 16
Some claim that Jesus was a prophet and a great moral teacher without ever recognizing that his greatest work was neither of those things. Today we witness the resurrected Christ returning to the Father. As we continue in our series “Real Answers 2 the BIG Questions,” our question this week is “Are we ready to worship as these first disciples did? Are we filled with ‘great’ joy?”
BFF: Best Friend Forever
May 9
We are continuing in our series “Real Answers 2 the BIG Questions and the question for this final week of Easter is “What is a friend?” What is/are the characteristic(s) that makes one call another “my friend?” Is it trust? Is it companionship? To understand this is to understand “Best Friends Forever!”
What Is The Church Connected To?
May 2
Last week the big question for our Easter series “Real Answers 2 the BIG Questions” was one of relationship, “Do you trust God?” This week the question we are seeking to answer is directed to the church—in general and specifically in the local setting: “Where is the church in this Gospel passage?” Or, as the title for the message today suggest, “What is the church connected to?”

April 2021
My Friend, My Comfort, My Strength
April 25
In case you haven’t noticed as we are in this six-week period of Easter, the sermons are part of an Easter series Easter: Real Answers 2 the Big Questions. This week the big question is one of relationship—namely our relationship with God. It’s personal. It’s real. It’s about trust in God.
Enough To Have Enough
April 18
We are now later in the day, the first day of the week, the first day of the resurrection. We are listening to Luke’s account of what happened when Jesus appeared in the upper room. It isn’t just Thomas that Jesus invites to touch him. The question for our reflection on Luke’s account is “When to know Enough to Have Enough” to be witnesses to the resurrected Christ.
Faith, Forgiveness, & Sent
April 11
For us, a whole week has passed by. But for these disciples in the Gospel of John, it is later but still the first day of the week. John begins by telling us the disciples and some of their companions were locked in the room of the house where they celebrated the Passover meal Thursday evening. It is late in the day, but the disciples have not seen and have not heard everything.
Who Are You Looking For?
April 4
If Jesus’ final words were “It is finished” (John 19:30) … “Into your hands I commit my Spirit” (Luke 23:46) and the Gospels ended there with his death, then our story and the story of Jesus’ life would truly be a tragic one. But, we are here this Easter morning because the story didn’t end – it was just beginning.

March 2021
Carrying Jesus To Another Place
March 28
The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels. When we are given details in this Gospel, you can rest assured there is an important reason. Until our reading today, Jesus has walked everywhere he went. There is a great lesson for us in understanding the significance of the donkey or to put it another way, the giving of the donkey for Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. How can a donkey be so important for our everyday lives?
Lost & Found
March 21
Divine paradox is at the heart of our Gospel reading. And when it comes to divine paradox, we finite beings tend to have trouble understanding. The disciples clearly did not understand Jesus, at least not until the resurrection. What are we to hear that we should understand? What are we to do that we should be intentional about living into our faith? What is the role of the church here and now?
Choose Your Rut Carefully. You May Be There A Long Time
March 14
The heart of our reading today is a message that can be summarized in two words: “Jesus Saves!” How does that happen? As we’ll see, it is something that is offered to everyone but not everyone wants to be saved. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Choosing your rut carefully is choosing how you travel through time this side of heaven and that’s called life.
Making All Things New
March 7
The religious leaders ask Jesus for a sign that gives him the authority to cleanse the temple. As it happens, they do not get the answer they expected and consequently reject the truth they receive. There is but one question that requires your direct and personal answer in order to understand the lesson for your lives in today’s Gospel reading: “What does making Jesus Christ, ‘Lord of your life’ mean?”

February 2021
What’s The Plan?
February 28
Jesus is in a difficult spot. One minute Peter confesses Jesus as Messiah and the next he is refusing to accept God’s divine plan of salvation has something to do with Jesus and the cross. Getting the disciples, getting you and I to be part of the mission is not going to be easy for Jesus.
Making Room For God
February 21
In the tradition of the church, Lent is a time of revival and re-commitment of submission and sacrifice responding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we listen for the voice of God to speak to us. As we explore this passage from the Gospel of Mark, we discover that Jesus who was without sin, was tempted by Satan. We discover that we are tempted in the same ways as Jesus was tempted. We discover the wisdom of the season of Lent is to teach us to walk in the ways of Jesus—to respond to temptation in the same way Jesus did—by making room for God.
First Act Or Second Act Christians: Which Are You?
February 14
The stories leading up to the transfiguration of Jesus are meant to introduce him to the world. After the transfiguration, Jesus turns to Jerusalem and toward the passion of what Christians around the world recognize as Holy Week. The transfiguration occurs as a transition from the wonder of Advent and the hope of the Epiphany to the journey that is the season of Lent. It is an “intermission” if you will, between two themes—two acts of the Gospel. The question for us as we explore Mark’s account of the transfiguration of Jesus is: “Are you a ‘first-act’ or a ‘second act’ Christian?”
Healing Hands
February 7
Mark’s Gospel moves at a torrent pace and the passage for the message this week illustrates the whole of Mark’s Gospel. Sometimes, the most import lessons are best learned by watching the basic habits of Jesus. He begins teaching in the synagogue before wanting to move out to the broader regions of Galilee. He will heal many but he begins with family in Simon’s home. And he begins each day in prayer. The most important lessons sometimes are the most basic things.

January 2021
I Know Who You Are
January 31
To believe is to be convinced of the truth—to know that something is true and can be trusted, can be counted on in every situation. However, there also is the human factor that must be taken into account when it comes to beliefs. At the center of our reading from Mark’s gospel for today, is the authority of Jesus—the authority of God, but for some, truth has nothing to do with it. And that is the lesson for our lives as we explore Mark’s telling of the man with an unclean spirit. There is the human response to truth.
Doing What You Are Meant To Do
January 24
Knowing a bit about how Jesus became familiar with these first disciples before he called them, gives us some insight as to who they are, where they lived, and what they were doing before they met Jesus. And that is a great lesson for anyone hearing the story that is the calling of the first disciples. You see, they were busy in life “doing life” until they met Jesus. After meeting Jesus, they were doing what they were meant to do!
I Can’t Get Them To Look
January 17
It is believed that Jesus is thirty years old when he was baptized. Coming out of the wilderness, John sees Jesus and says to two of his disciples, “Look, here is the Lamb of God” (1:36). The call of Jesus’ disciples begins with the testimony of John the Baptist. Who are these people being called? What attracted them to Jesus that he called them in the first place?
Clean, Safe, & Saved
January 10
Our sermon text for today is the baptism of Jesus as recounted in the Gospel of Mark. We have heard from prophets of the Old Testament and from angels appearing to shepherds that indeed, the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. But today, it is neither prophet nor angel but God who declares “this is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” This is not only God’s declaration of Jesus’ identity. It is God’s claim on our lives that we are His sons and daughters.
The Things We Do
January 3
The New Year offers the promise of making better choices, of stopping bad habits in favor of introducing better ones. For believers, we see in Jesus a life lived in humility, who lived with a sense of urgency, and who lived never looking back. Jesus is our model as we consider our hopes and dreams for the New Year. We see in the Apostle Paul, a joy that exists when Christ is the center of our lives.

December 2020
Things Are Not What They Seem
December 20
This fourth Sunday of Advent is symbolized by love—God’s divine love. However, even for God, somethings require others to help, to cooperate, in order to complete the task. In this case, God selects a young girl, probably about the age of sixteen, to carry out his plan. There is one small, tiny detail to be considered, she has already been “given” or committed to marriage to a tradesman—a carpenter in the village of Bethlehem. We certainly can understand Mary’s exuberance but…, but things are not what they seem.
Road Contruction Ahead
December 6
This is the second week of our Advent series “Celebrating the Birth of Christ, Living for His Return.” Last week we heard Jesus declare, “Be alert at all times” (Luke 21:36). Celebrating the birth of Christ reminds us that we are witnesses to God’s plan of salvation for the world. Last week we reflected on looking forward to his return through acts of worship, Holy Communion, and service. Today, we are reflecting on how we respond to God’s construction crew repairing the potholes of our hearts and the rough spots of our lives.

November 2020
Looking Forward: Living In Hope
November 29
Advent by its very meaning is a time of preparation—of looking forward. In the life of the church and as Christians living in the resurrection of Jesus, this is a time of preparing to celebrate his birth and a time to be reminded of looking forward to his return. While that is the very essence of Advent, the question that remains for each person to answer is, “What are you preparing for?
Random Acts Of Kindness
November 22
This is Christ the King Sunday on the church Lectionary calendar. It is also the season of Thanksgiving and this Thursday, in the midst of a pandemic, we will take time to reflect and give thanks for all that God has blessed us with—something we should do every day. Our Gospel reading today points to Jesus’ vision of a real and future event—his second coming. It also is a not so subtle picture of the many ways we can and should respond to God’s love. And all of this serves to remind us of the personal relationship we have with God.
Living A Resurrection Life
November 1
This passage of Revelation takes notice of who the saints are, how they are dressed, and what they have experienced. To get at the heart of the lesson for our lives though, we must answer the question, “Are we living a resurrection life?”

October 2020
Are You Doing Your Best To Do The Right Thing?
October 25
Asking the right question, that is the path to truth. Jesus answers the Pharisee’s question but sets an expectation they had not considered. He then asked them a question and it was so difficult for them they decided not to ask him any more questions. What is the lesson for us? What is Jesus expecting from us as his followers.
Committed To Christ: Giving / Knowing When, Knowing Why
October 18
We are seeking to make these essential practices the habits that transform our lives and deepens our relationship with God. And so, it may seem a strange topic to be discussing money, specifically giving, as an essential spiritual practice. Jesus knew that “our relationship with money can either sabotage our spiritual life or deepen and support it.”
Committed To Christ: A Disciple As Witness For Christ
October 11
How does a church “make disciples” much less make disciples in such a way as to change the world? As we continue in our Committed to Christ series, we attempt answering such important questions reflecting on the practice of a disciple as witness for Christ.
Committed To Christ: Serve To Know Your Gifts
October 4
The Committed to Christ discipleship series has been focused on three essential practices John Wesley called “acts of piety:” prayer, study, and worship. For the remainder of the series we shift to those essential practices John Wesley called “acts of mercy:” serve, witness, and generosity. Today, we are exploring the essential practice of serving.

September 2020
Committed To Christ: Worship – A Living Hallelujah
September 27
A praying disciple informed by Scripture celebrates the joys of life and displays courage and strength in the face of adversity. But even for these faithful followers, without encouragement and nurturing, the fire of the Holy Spirit can dim to a warm ember or even a cool piece of charcoal. Worship is the place to be as one body in community—to praise God. Being in attendance isn’t enough. We must be active participants to experience his presence!
Committed To Christ: Study – Being An Informed Disciple
September 20
We are now in our third week of our Committed to Christ message series reflecting on six practices of a disciple of Jesus Christ striving to grow deeper in our relationship with God. Last week, we reflected on prayer as the foundation to a faith-filled life as followers of Jesus. This week, we are reflecting on the practice of study and we are being reminded of the importance and impact of reading the Word of God. An informed disciple leads to a dynamic church.
Committed To Christ: A Life Lived As A Praying Disciple
September 13
We are continuing in our Series “Committed to Christ: Essential Practices of a Disciple.” Our focus for this week is on the essential practice of prayer. Why is this an essential practice? What is the impact on your life? The answers to these questions are at the heart of this lesson.
Committed To Christ: Fan Or Follower
September 6
Paul is in the court of King Agrippa on trial for the accusations brought against him. While making his defense, Paul offers his testimony of who he was as a Pharisee before his encounter with Christ compared to who he is now as a follower of Christ. His was not only a testimony but also an invitation to join him in following Christ.
August 2020
The Choices We Make
August 30
Answering questions such as “What is your highest priority?” or “Who do you say the Son of Man is?” gives you pause to reflect on your relationship with God. What does the choices we make say about our faith journey? Perhaps the deeper question is what can we do to make better choices?
Making Godly Choices
August 23
For six weeks now, we’ve been talking about doing the work of disciples and living out our faith. Our reading provides an opportunity to reflect on making Godly choices. So, naturally we must answer the question “How do we do that? How do we make Godly choices?”
A Matter Of The Heart
August 16
Our Gospel reading is a story of fear and of faith. There were twelve disciples in the boat. We usually don’t give much attention to Peter getting out of the boat—in the middle of a storm no-less. What is the lesson for us today? Have you walked on water lately?
Have You Walked On Water Lately?
August 9
Our Gospel reading is a story of fear and of faith. There were twelve disciples in the boat. We usually don’t give much attention to Peter getting out of the boat—in the middle of a storm no-less. What is the lesson for us today? Have you walked on water lately?
You Feed Them!
August 2
Jesus tells the disciples that there isn’t any reason to send the crowd away and then instructs the disciples to feed the people. There is not anything wrong in their assessment—they indeed have five loaves and two fish. The problem lies in their inventory.
JULY 2020
Both/And Not Either/Or
July 26
Our reading today is a series of parables Jesus offered explaining what the kingdom of heaven is like and ends with Jesus inferring that disciples train to bring out both the old and the new that is the treasure of heaven. What did that mean for these first followers of Jesus? What does it mean for the followers of Jesus today?
Wheat & Weeds; Specks & Logs
July 19
Conventional wisdom says if something is broken, fix it or get someone who can. The parable of the wheat and weeds turns conventional wisdom on its head.
The Sower, The Seed, & Responsible Grace
July 12
God sows the seed of his grace generously and indiscriminately. To be the seed that falls on good soil we must choose to follow Jesus.
The Great Commission
July 5
These are Jesus’ final words on earth to his followers. They are an expression of invitation, purpose, and expectation.