The year 2020 was a banner year for bad news and left many with “news fatigue” or anxiety regarding circumstances and events about which they can do nothing. However, the people of God are “good news” people, and through the prophet Isaiah, God reminds us that no matter how bad the news seems to be, God is still at work. Check out this message as we talk about the cure for news fatigue.
A good disciple is one who seeks connections with people who do not share their race, religion, political party or ideology. Jesus did not begin his ministry by talking only with like-minded Galileans. Instead, he and his disciples made sacrifices and faced hardships to do the work of helping, healing, teaching and preaching. When Jesus call us to follow him, we must leave some things behind. What do you need to leave behind to walk into the fullness of life that God offers? Check out this message as we reflect on this question.
When buying a car, we want a test drive. When buying a house, we want to walk through all the rooms. When buying a new pair of jeans, we want to try them on. In other words, we want to try it before we buy it. Likewise, when Jesus invites us to become a disciple, he uses the same approach. He says, "Come and see" : Come and see who I am and what I am about. Try out this way of life and see what happens. There is no high-pressure sales pitch, just an open invitation. Check out this message as we see how this approach creates safety and breathing room for us as we decide the kind of life we want to live.
Words have power. They have the power to inspire hope or plunge us into despair. They have the power to incite violence or bring peace. They have the power to set us free with the truth or enslave us with lies. They have the power to shape how we think about ourselves, others, and the world in which we live. In this message, Pastor Mark talks about how to use our words in ways that honor God and bless others.
Sixty-five years ago a religious book was published that changed the conversation about God and what it means to be a Christian. It was C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity." It became a classic because it focused on timeless truths of Christianity rather than the latest theological or cultural fashions. In a similar way, the apostle Paul suggests that there are a few basic things that are common to all Christians. In this message we will explore how focusing on these can strengthen our spiritual lives.
Howard Thurman once said, "Where there is no dream, life becomes a swamp, a dreary dead place, and, deep within, a [person’s] heart begins to rot." This Sunday, we reflect on the importance of dreams to give us hope. Drawing on the Prophet Isaiah, John the Baptist, Martin Luther King Jr., and Howard Thurman we will discover resources to dream the world better!
During the COVID19 pandemic, especially as we enter the holidays, many people are feeling isolated and alone. We want to visit with family and friends, to give them a big hug, sit with them in the same room, and be together in-person. We want to get back to normal. In this message, Pastor Mark explains that the book of Isaiah, which is about Israel in exile, shares a similar emotional, psychological, and spiritual context. They too wanted things to get back to normal and to have their relationships restored. More than anything, they wanted to reconnect with God. In all of this, Isaiah prays to God, "O that you would tear open the heavens and come down” (64:1), and then casts a vision of restoration, a vision that points beyond itself to something bigger--Emmanuel, God with us.
How do we distinguish between good leaders and bad leaders at every level? What kind of leaders should we trust and support, and what kind of leaders should we distrust and disempower. Different groups have developed different tests and standards, but if you are a Christian, it's really not up to you. God sets the standard in scripture and then holds us accountable accordingly, not only as individuals but also as a nation. Check out this message as we reflect on the marks of a good leader and how nations are judged by how they treat the most vulnerable members of society.