Do you struggle with fear? When faced with difficult circumstances, fear can either paralyze us or cause us to overreact. Both of these pitfalls can make a bad situation worse. In this message, Pastor Mark teaches the story of Paul's journey to Rome in Acts 27 to give us tools for dealing with fear.
Disclaimer: This message is for those struggling within the "normal range" of fear and does not seek to address medical conditions (e.g., panic attacks) or serious mental illness. Those with medical or mental health conditions who should seek help from appropriate medical professionals.)
There is so much suffering and death around the world, and when honestly acknowledged it raises the question: Is life meaningless? The resurrection of Jesus answers this question: No! Despite the cruelty, brutality, and violence that we see around us, love is stronger than hatred and life is stronger than death.
(Thanks to Rob Bell; his video, "Resurrection," inspired this message.)
Do you ever find that it's easier to develop close friendships with people of no faith or a different faith than with many self-identifying Christians? Maybe it's because some Christians assume that they are the sole possessors of God's infallible truth, rendering all who disagree objects of conversion or eternal damnation. This kind of absolutism not only wounds people outside the church, but creates hostile divisions within the church and family too. The good news is that we don't have to hold our Christian faith this way; Jesus offers a different kind of identity. In this message, we will look at our penchant for tribalism and explore how Jesus invites us to create an alternative, inclusive community of love that is grounded in our common humanity. This timely message will seriously challenge you to rethink how you relate to those who are different.
Using the TLC show "Hoarders" and the comedy of George Carlin, Pastor Mark explains how many people unwittingly assume that money can solve our problems and make us happy. As greed takes on the dynamics of addiction, we think that we are using money only to discover that money is using us. According to Jesus, the way to freedom is faith (trusting in God) and generosity (sharing with others, especially those in need).
In this message, we reflect on the life-cycle of churches, the importance of mission and core values in church turnaround work, and what the leaders at First UMC Cocoa Beach are doing to move us in a more vital direction.
What irritates you the most about your spouse or significant other? What do you fight about? What is necessary to keep the relationship alive and happy? And not only with your spouse, but also with your kids, friends, and relatives? In this message, Pastor Mark explores these questions and offers a helpful tool that will improve your most important relationships.