January 2015

One and Only Life

What will we do with the one and only life God has given to us? Will we squander the resources God has entrusted to us or will we invest them wisely to make a difference in this world and impact eternity? We only have one chance to live our lives. The choices we make today affect the people in our lives, the world in our generation, and our footprint into the future. Imagine if God’s people became lavishly generous with our time, money, abilities, and the Gospel. Imagine impoverished children

December 2014

The Magnificat

Hope is important to a hurting person, persecuted person, or rejected person. Mary experienced God’s favor, to give birth to the Messiah, not because she merited it or came from a favored nation or belonged to a famous family. Mary experienced favor because of her genuine faith and humble state. We’ll explore the “Magnificat” with Mary’s song of celebration to learn how God can use anyone who is humble and available to glorify God and further Christ’s mission in the world.

The Warnings of Jesus

Who is Jesus? Diverse perspectives of Jesus Christ fill people’s opinions, media portraits, academic research and everyday conversations. A religious philosopher?  A social revolutionary? A crazy guy who claimed to be God? A mysterious figure we can’t know much about? The Son of God? What does that mean? We’re exploring the identity of Jesus as revealed in the Gospel of Luke during

Neighbors in Need

Jesus surprised everyone in the crowd when he shared the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We’ll probe challenging questions evoked by this thought-provoking story. Who are people in our culture robbed by racism, crime, poverty, violence, abuse, corruption, and thrown to the side of road like the victim in this parable? Since Samaritans were despised outcastes, what injustice and anger must this Samaritan have overcome to fuel such compassion on another suffering person? What can we learn, in our world filled with so many overwhelming needs, from the specific actions by the Samaritan to wisely meet needs? Come ready to be inspired and equipped to take genuine acts of compassion and justice in the name of Christ.

November 2014

The Identity of Jesus

The Identity of Jesus is the question we will be looking at this Sunday, and it’s one that Luke is sure to put at the center of his Gospel. In fact, when the question of Jesus’ true identity is discussed amongst the disciples, it marks a crucial moment in the life and ministry of Christ and the disciples who follow him. The answer to this question is no

The Healing of Jesus

We’re among a huge crowd jammed around Jesus on his way to the home of Jairus, a prominent synagogue leader, whose daughter is dying. Can you feel the anticipation for another miracle? Don’t push as we move faster to get there before the girl dies. Suddenly everything stops. Why did Jesus stop? Look ahead. Can you see Jesus talking with someone? Must be an important man to stop Jesus on the way to Jairus’ home. You’ve got to be kidding! Jesus is talking with that homeless woman, can’t

Spiritual Soil

Imagine you’re traveling in the year 2034 and we run into each other at an airport or conference or reunion. We would celebrate seeing each other after 20 years and catch up about where we live, our families, our work, and a lot more. Then we would ask about our faith. What will we say? Tragically, too many people will have fallen away from God because life became dominated by careers demands, education stress, too much media, family worries, seductive sins, or other things that can choke out

The Flip-Flop of Forgiveness

How do we think about or, more importantly, experience forgiveness in our lives and community? In this incredible story, Luke paints a picture of forgiveness that subverts countless social norms and reveals a love of God that is both universal and unfailing. Through the actions of a known sinner and social outcast, the question of Jesus’ mission will be made even more clear as he envisions relationships with God undergoing the transforming power of true forgiveness and restoration.

The Upside Down Kingdom

Jesus comes down a mountain, for the first time with his twelve apostles gathered together, to a huge crowd with expectations of the Messiah, but surprises everyone with by teaching what we call The Beatitudes. The kingdoms and cultures of the world so often value power, success, appearance, accolades, comfort, etc. But Jesus defines the ethics of the Kingdom of God, upside down from so many expectations, challenging his followers to pursue humility, generosity, sacrifice, forgiveness, etc. Some

October 2014

The Authority of Jesus

Luke continues unfolding the identity of Jesus with a story revealing the authority of Jesus over physical creation (by healing a paralyzed man) and spiritual realm (by forgiving sins). Do we really believe Jesus has authority over everything? This can be difficult in the midst of global chaos, human tragedies, and controlling power of sin. We’ll be challenged to discern if we live with Jesus in authority over our lives and whether we more resemble the Pharisees, in their prideful skepticism of Jesus, or the paralyzed man’s friends, who desperately persevered to get their friend to Jesus by climbing onto a roof, tearing open a hole, and lowering him down to get to Jesus.