How the Kingdom of God Works

How the Kingdom of God Works…

And Our Place in It…Head, Heart and Hands

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90: 12



God is there….and here. He is close. He is the all in all.  Every human being knows this deep down in our souls. From the most ancient of civilizations to this day, human beings have searched after God, intrinsically knowing that God holds the answer to the knowledge of eternity – which He Himself has placed within our hearts. (Eccl.3:11) We all know that we literally are “here today and gone tomorrow,” yet eternity awaits….and God and His kingdom hold both the key to eternity and the key to living our lives for what counts right now….to living our lives in the fulfillment and joy and purpose for which we were created!

Jesus talked a lot about the kingdom. He centered it in Himself. He said, talking about Himself, “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near (literally, right here in front of you!). Repent (literally, change your mind – receive what I bring), and believe the Good News.  He showed by His life what it looked like to live in the kingdom. And He told stories -called parables – about how the kingdom works, inviting us to receive it all and live in it!

In the next few weeks we look at some of these stories that Jesus told about how the kingdom of God works….as He shows us also our place in it, Head, Heart, and Hands…as He shows us what life is meant to be about as people of the Kingdom of God!

“O Lord, teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Weekend of Nov.3rd, 4th                  “Kingdom Paradigm” (Living in the Kingdom Picture)

Early in our marriage I got the impression that Jane was angry over something. I can’t remember the details – as with so many things, they don’t matter and get lost with time. But I do remember that my response was to decide to get angry in return…until Jane took my hands in hers after dinner one night, and looking into my eyes with great concern said, “Brad, what’s wrong? I’m so concerned about you!” I was seeing things through a completely wrong paradigm. Jane wasn’t upset with me at all. And even if she was, I should have seen things through the filter, the paradigm, that she loved me and only wanted the best for me. A paradigm is a way of seeing things –  a filter through which you understand and respond to things. It is essential that we see things through a correct paradigm. Today, Jesus shows us the paradigm through which to see things – and to live – in the Kingdom. Interested?

Weekend of Nov.10th, 11th                “Kingdom Math”  (Living in the Kingdom Equation)

Basic math. Negative numbers. Quadratic equations. Geometry proofs. Trigonometry functions. Calculus…. well, you get the point. There are many types of math and if one is to function in that realm, they must know the equations. God has a math as well – and like many things of God, it is hidden in mystery. For instance, the math for God who dwells in His essence as the Trinity is 1+1+1=1. Today, we look at God’s Kingdom math. It too is a mystery. But if we are going to live in the kingdom, we really need to understand the math! Interested? 

Weekend of Nov.17th, 18th                “Kingdom Vision” (Living with Kingdom Eyes)

They say that Ted Williams (one of baseballs’ all-time great hitters) could actually see the stitching on the baseball as it was coming to home plate traveling at 90 miles per hour! It pays to have good vision!  I remember when I was coaching, another coach walked up to me in the middle of a game and told me to have the running back “cut back” right after he got through the line of scrimmage. I did – and it went for a touchdown. The other coach had “seen something.” But note this, If Ted Williams had never swung the bat his vision would have been wasted and if I had never told the running back to “cut back” the vision of that coach would have been wasted as well. Today, Jesus would give us “Kingdom Vision” in a way that perhaps we have never understood – SEEN before – so that we can LIVE with “Kingdom Eyes.” Interested?

Weekend of Nov.24th, 25th               “Kingdom Urgency” Living in the Kingdom NOW)

My son, Jeff, is an emergency room/trauma nurse. He tells the story of how one shift they brought in the husband of the doctor who was the Chief of Staff. While Jeff immediately recognized the signs of severe sepsis and began to take action, no one else caught it or believed him. In fact, the head nurse was so busy talking with the man’s wife (remember, she was the Chief of Staff of the hospital) trying to “make points” and assuring her they had everything handled, that she told Jeff to “calm down and quit acting like it was so urgent.” But being Jeff – and this being his patient – he refused, living in the urgency that the situation deserved, saving the man’s life. The next day the Chief of Staff pulled him aside privately in her office and thanked him for saving her husband’s life. Today, Jesus would give us “Kingdom Urgency.” He would hold up the situation in which we live our lives and how this by necessity points us to living our lives in the “urgency of the Kingdom” RIGHT NOW. Interested?

The Apostle's Creed


Where are you looking for something you can trust to live by? That’s what this series is about!!!

The Apostle’s Creed. No, it was not written by the Apostles. Rather, it is a short summation of the writings of the Apostles  - the New Testament – as the Holy Spirit gave them the words. It is a summation of who God is, what He did, and what this means for us.

And even though it does not date back to the Apostles, it has been around a long time. It was first used around 325AD in what is today modern France as a Baptism Creed. Why? Because it explained/declared/witnessed to this God in whose Name they were Baptized. It was a confession – a declaration, a witness of the faith.

But it is called a CREED. Think about that a minute. So often we think about a confession or CREED as simply a statement of what one believes. But a CREED is far more than that. It is something one lives by – isn’t it? When one was Baptized into the Name and reality of God, they were also saying, “this is the reality – the Creed – I will live by.” And for close to 1700 years, Christians to this very day have used these words -this CREED - to declare, “This is what I believe and this is the reality under which I will live my life!”

In the next few weeks we will focus on the eternal truths of the New Testament – written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the Apostles – yet summarized in the Apostle’s Creed. We will not look at this CREED simply from the idea of WHAT – what we believe, the content of our faith – though, of course, this will be our beginning place. Rather, we will look at this ancient CREED for what it is – a CREED – something to touch our hearts and move our hands; something to live by!

Where are you looking for something you can trust to live by – Head, Heart, and Hands? That’s what this series is about!

Sat./Sun, Sept. 8th/9th     Origins 1: Who is God?  (Focus on Relationship!)

Origins. Beginnings. “Who God is” is the foundation of all beginnings. To know who God is gives us a window into who we are and really all reality. Everything – including ourselves - begins with God. Everything -including ourselves - comes from God. Where do you long to know, see, and live in the “big picture.” This is our focus today, Head, Heart, and Hands!

Sat./Sun, Sept.15th/16th     Origins 2: The Creator God (Does it make a difference?)

A number of years ago I remember seeing in college a film of Dr. Leakey discovering “Lucy,” who at the time – since discredited - was held up as our “earliest ancestor.”  What I remember the most is the hushed, reverent, awe-filled tones used in the film, almost as if they were in worship, talking about our supposed origin as humans. Why would this be so since every one of these people would espouse a theory that says all of life only got here by chance and man is just another animal? Maybe it is because deep down we all know this isn’t true. Maybe deep down, in a place we can’t get away from, we understand our existence to be the stuff of awe and mystery…and it is! This is our focus today, Head, Heart, and Hands!

Sat./Sun, Sept. 22nd/23rd     Jesus   (Who is he? What did he do?)

There are a number of short films where a “man on the street” approached is used as an interviewer and cameraperson ask people in a low-key way who they think Jesus is….or was. The answers span from “I don’t think he ever existed” to “He was a good man” to “He was a son of God” to “He was a prophet” to “He was THE Son of God.” Today this is our focus; Who he is. What he did. But not just to know in our heads…rather to know in our hearts and to live by. Jesus: Who he is. What he did. Head, Heart, and Hands! 

Sat./Sun, Sept. 29th/30th     Jesus   (What is he doing NOW?)

Now THIS is a GOOD question! Have you ever thought about it? How would you answer it? And what would be your basis for your answer? And can we ever know for sure? Or do we have to “put our brains on the shelf” and just speculate? Today, we focus on knowing for sure what Jesus is doing NOW and what this means for us; Head, Heart, and Hands!

Sat./Sun, Oct.6th/7th      Jesus  (The Rest of the Story!)

Our society – and humankind in general seems fascinated by world doomsday scenarios. Just look at all the movies that have been made with this as the story! It’s as if we know it’s all got to end sometime. But have you noticed that these same movies always seem to have a hope for a tomorrow in them?...even if it’s for a few or on another planet? Why do you think this is so? Today it seems as if we focus on the opposite end of origins. And in a sense, we do as we focus on the other end of the timeline….the end. But maybe in Jesus this end becomes a new beginning. This is our focus today; Head, Heart, and Hands!

Sat./Sun, Oct. 13th/14th     The Spirit  (Who is this guy?)

Have you ever had someone knock on your door whom you did not know? How much do you trust them when you first open the door? How about when you meet someone new in another way? Before we begin to trust someone we need to get to know them – right? Today we focus on “getting to know” the Holy Spirit so we can learn to trust Him more; Head, Heart, and Hands!

Sat./Sun, Oct. 20th/21st     The Spirit (How does it all work?)

I know nothing about how a car engine works….BUT I know enough. I know enough to put gas in it. I know enough to put oil in it. I know enough to take it to the mechanic when the little lights come on. I know enough to turn the ignition key and I know enough to drive it. I can take full advantage of the car even though I honestly do not know how it all works; I just trust it works. So it is with the Holy Spirit. This is our focus today; Head, Heart, and Hands!

Sat./Sun, Oct. 27th, 28th      The Bottom Line: Grace!! (Reformation Day Celebration!!)

If you could take all of the letters in the words of the Apostle’s Creed and put them in a blender, the one word that would come out is GRACE. Five hundred years ago a man -Martin Luther - rediscovered this for it had been largely lost and most lived in a darkened world void of grace.  We – together with all Christians who know this God of grace – joyfully remember and celebrate this gift! Grace; Head, Heart, and Hands!

Life Animated (Revisited!)


He (Jesus) did not say anything to them without using parables. Matthew 13:34)

Can you believe it? August marks the beginning of a new school year!! Back to school we go! What a great time to revisit this fun and exciting special focus! This year we will be using the classic animated children’s films Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. This is going to be a blast! It will be like “going to the movies” but even better! Come and check it out! And bring your friends! It just may make “going back to school” a little easier! Oh, and we just may have an “ah-ha” experience or two as we see how these stories reveal things about ourselves and how our stories intersect with the story of God for us in Jesus! Don’t miss out on this fun adventure!

Our lives are made up of stories. Perhaps this is why we are story tellers. Books. Plays. Musicals. Films. Aesop’s Fables. Ancient Greek tragedies. Shakespeare. It seems that humankind has always had a need to tell stories. Stories are meant to explain our existence. They point to a voice within each of us that whispers to us of a “backstory,” a greater story behind our stories which somehow intersects with our individual stories to make sense of our lives.

Through these stories we almost instinctively try to answer “the big questions” that are part of each of us. Stories are a window into our soul. They can touch our hearts or communicate a point to us in a way that mere words cannot hope to do. They can give us that “aha” moment of truth like no other medium. Jesus often told stories, called parables, even coming to the point where He only spoke using these stories. In this way, He intersected God’s story with our stories. 

Embedded in the stories we tell are the longings of our souls…which all, finally, point to the only place these longings can be met; Jesus. On these three Sundays, we will use these three stories in film to examine our human condition, the longing of our souls, our need for a greater story, and how the greater story of God in the Savior meets us squarely in this place of need. Whatever your age, this series will connect with you in your story with the story of Jesus!

Sat./Sund., August 11th/12th                               Beauty and the Beast

Ok. This is a classic! Great characters! Wonderful music! But what does this movie reveal about  ourselves and our stories….and how God’s story connects with our stories? What does this movie say of the ancient questions we are asking that are embedded in the stories we tell over and over again? What are we trying to explain? What are we trying to understand?...and where does God’s story in Jesus connect to it all? Come and see!...and maybe, for the fun of it, before this Sunday gather together your family and/or friends and watch the movie one more time!

Sat./Sun., August 18th/19th                   Cinderella       

Another classic. A tale of evil making another feel worthless and alone. (Can you relate? Have you ever felt this way?) A tale of help given in a hopeless situation. A tale of good triumphing through love! Why do we tell such stories? Why do we call them “classics?” And how does this story fit into our story and how the story of Jesus intersects with ours? Come and see!...and maybe, just for the fun of it, before this Sunday gather your family and/or friends to watch the movie one more time!

Sat./Sun., Sept. 1st/2nd                      Sleeping Beauty

Once again, an absolute classic story! A story of intrigue and rescue! A story of good vs. evil. A story with a villain and with a hero. A story where love triumphs! Why do we tell such stories? And how do these things fit into our story and how the story of Jesus intersects with ours? Come and see! …and maybe, just for the fun of it, before this Sunday gather your family and/or friends to watch the movie one more time!

“Knowing the Heart of God….And Living In It!”

"Knowing the Heart of God... And Living In It!"

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Humankind has always sought to know God and to live in Him….because deep down every single human being knows that God is there. How about you?

The Bible says, “God has set eternity in the hearts of humankind; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Eccl.3:11)  But then, we really don’t need the Bible to tell us this, do we? If you were to calculate the number, out of all of the billions of people who have ever lived, who have claimed they believe that there is no god, it would be so small as to be statistically irrelevant! In truth, these people are anomalies in the overwhelming statistical and historical reality of a universal belief of humankind that God is there.

We see this reality reflected in our own time as many thought the decline of Christianity in Europe and the USA would mean the end of religion – that is, an end to a human “spirituality” that sought out a reality beyond space and time that stretched into eternity. But this has not been the case. Both in Europe and especially in the USA we have remained a “spiritual” people seeking some type of “spiritual” truth. Humankind just seems to know deep down in the very essence of who they are that there is an eternal reality; a reality grounded in God.

Yet, throughout human history, we see humankind searching but not finding; longing but not being fulfilled; desiring to know truth but left empty.

The Bible says the truth is not something we need to discover or to achieve or to earn. Rather, the Bible says that the truth has come to us. His Name is Jesus and He is “the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” In Jesus is the heart of God revealed; in Jesus is the answer to what we all seek, the One who can fulfill every longing; the One who is the truth that fills us up.

In the next few weeks, in 4 three-week mini-series, we will look to know and receive the heart of God revealed finally in Jesus; And we will look to be empowered to live in it! For this is what we all seek!

Humankind has always sought to know God and to live in Him….because deep down every single human being knows that God is there. How about you?


Mini-Series #1…The Inviting God

Have you ever been on the outside looking in?...And then someone invited you in? How did it feel? In this short three week series God would have us know Him as the One who invites us in….This is God’s heart toward us!...And this is how he would empower us to live toward others!

Saturday and Sunday, May 5th/6th  “It’s Personal”

When my oldest son was in the 4th or 5th  grade a number of kids in his class asked him personally if he would play on their little league baseball team. It’s nice to be wanted. Even though it was a longer drive, we let him do it. Did you know you are personally wanted by God?...That He would touch your heart with His heart-feIt invitation? It’s nice to be wanted….And it’s a gift to have such a heart towards all.

Saturday and Sunday, May 12th/13th  “It’s Relevant”                    

“Ontogeny recapitulates philogeny.”  It is something I had to learn in detail in an advanced Biology class in college where, just as we finished the final, we were told that it was no longer thought to be true…Did you ever have to learn something in school that you knew would NEVER be relevant in your life? God’s invitation to you – from His heart to yours – will never be irrelevant. It is a gift to receive and a gift to live in!

Saturday and Sunday, May 19th/20th   “It’s Not Something He Wants Us to Miss!”

Have you ever driven cross country in the Midwest and as you are approaching some restaurant or museum there are huge signs –one after another over a number of miles perhaps even on the sides of huge, old truck trailers – advertising the attraction or eatery? They really don’t want you to miss their invitation! Did you know God, in His great love for you that doesn’t want you to miss the invitation, does very similar things? Did you know that we are called to do the same?


Mini-Series #2…The Connecting God

Have you ever experienced a time when you weren’t sure you were welcome in a particular situation? Awkward, wasn’t it?  Throughout the Bible God’s heart is revealed as the One who breaks down the barriers so we can see and know His wide open arms of welcome and friendship as well as His heart of hospitality towards us in every situation and every moment. In the next few weeks we explore what this means for us both to receive it and live in it!

Saturday and Sunday, May 26th/27th    Hospitality: You are WELCOME Here!

When I would bring friends home, my dad had a way of making them feel if they belonged with us!...and he firmly believed they did! His concern and care for them expressed in genuine hospitality was transparent and real! I remember when my dad died Ernie Perez, a close friend of mine from High School that I had not seen in 20 years came to his funeral…that’s how connected he felt to my dad. The hospitality of God; You are welcome here! receive it and to live in!

Saturday and Sunday, June 2nd and 3rd  “I Call you Friend!”               

The first day Jane and I got to the Seminary, I went to the Administration Office, got squared away, and then was immediately asked if I would help move in another student and his family who had just gotten there. So I worked with Lee all afternoon and got him and his family moved in. But the thing I remember about that day? We each offered the other one the hand of friendship in ways too numerous to count. We remain close friends to this day.  Today, we see the heart of God in that He offers us the hand of friendship…and empowers us to do the same.

 Saturday and Sunday, June 9th/10th  “Here for the Duration”

Have you ever sung a version of the song “On Top of Old Smokey?” Most of them talk about someone being all alone on top of a mountain without….something they desperately need. God, in His love, NEVER leaves us “on top of Old Smokey.” He NEVER says, “Your on your own now!” No, in His love He stays connected….and He would empower us to live this same way toward others.


Mini-Series #3….The Discipling/Apprenticing God

The story goes that when someone asked Michelangelo how he could sculpt such beautiful works out of the stone, he said that he saw the figure in the block of stone and all he did was to bring it out. God sees us as who we are in Christ and what we can become in Him! By His Spirit, in His love, He works to sculpt His work of art in each of us!  We were made for great things!

Saturday and Sunday, June 16th/17th    “Special Made for a Purpose”

Have you ever seen the movie “Chariots of Fire?” It is a movie about the English men’s track and field team at the 1924 Olympics. There is a character in the movie who is a Christian and says, “I was made to run. When I run I feel God’s pleasure.” Do you have that one thing –or perhaps a couple of things – that you know you were just “made to do?” In truth, God has put each of us together special and unique and then has gifted us even beyond this with His Spirit to do special and unique things. What will this mean for you?

Saturday and Sunday, June 23rd/24th   “Doing Life Together”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “learning by osmosis.” Basically what it means is that just as when you throw salt in a glass of water and over a few seconds it spreads through the entire solution, so too when we spend enough time doing life together with someone, they tend to “rub off” on us. So, God wants to do life with us so He can rub off on us…but He also wants us to do life with each other, so that who we are in Christ can rub off on each other as well. Jesus does NOT leave us alone. He comes to do life with us. Such is God’s heart toward us.

Saturday and Sunday, June 30th/July 1st   “On the Job Training”

Have you ever “learned by doing?” It really is the only way to truly learn how to do something. I mean, you can talk about it, diagram it, understand it, see someone else doing it, but until YOU do it, you will not truly learn how to do it and get better at it. (If you have ever been on a football team and remember the first scrimmage of the year you know exactly what I mean!) Jesus taught His disciples through “on the job training.” And He still does. He just uses us to do it. He does NOT leave us alone. He comes to us. Such is God’s heart toward us.


Mini-Series #4…The Sending God

John 3:16 is the most well-known verse in all the Bible. It says in part, “For God so loved the world that He SENT His Only Begotten Son…” Jesus was sent to us and for us by God the Father! We have a wonderful, loving, sending God! And then Jesus, following the Resurrection, says to His disciples, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you!” This is our focus in the next few weeks!

Saturday and Sunday, July 7th/8th  “A Way of Life”

Not long ago I had a cataract removed from my left eye. It was really quite amazing to go from seeing hardly anything out of that eye at all to 20-20 vision. But the thing that I wasn’t prepared for was how all the colors were so crisp and clean and vivid! It was amazing to see like that again! This kind of transformation gift is what God gives us as people who see themselves as SENT just as Jesus was SENT! As Paul wrote in the book of Philemon, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith (in word and deed!), so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ!”

Saturday and Sunday, July 14th/15th "Always to Others"

Jesus came for all. We are sent to take Him always to others. We are pleased and privileged to have the recently retired Rev. Ted Hartman with us who has served our district with distinction for many years as the Mission Executive. May God, the Holy Spirit, bless His message and witness to us this morning!

Saturday and Sunday, July 21st/22nd "Our Student Ministry"

On this very special day, our students and Student Ministry will  be featured. These young people are not simply the “church of tomorrow” but the church of TODAY! This will be a lively, joyful, insightful day of celebration!

Saturday and Sunday, July 28th/29th   “We (Together!) Are The Body of Christ!”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “perception is everything?” What it is saying is that perception is powerful because it frames how one sees things, whether it is how one sees another, or how one sees themselves. What is your perception of the people of God, the church? The Bible depicts us as being SENT together on a mission – to actually join Jesus on His mission! We are an army on the move! And the Bible says the gates of hell (gates here being defensive weapons since we are the ones doing the attacking) shall not prevail against us! This is our focus today!

Saturday and Sunday, August 4th/5th “Experience Is A Great Teacher”

Did you ever teach a young person (maybe your own son or daughter) how to drive a car? You can talk about it and rehearse it and have them watch you, but they really won’t learn until they actually do it. Today we focus on ways that we can intentionally gain experience through doing by going on “short term mission trips.” Why? It is what Jesus did! We can do some great things! And we can grow in our everyday discipleship!

Finding Jesus: Monday through Friday!


(God’s Easter Gift To You!)

Were you ever in a Math class in school where someone said something like, “This is crazy! When will I ever have to use this stuff in my real life? It’s just not relevant!”?

The point of this series is that Jesus is relevant not just on Saturday or Sunday but on Monday through Friday as well! Interested?


Sat. March 31st and Sun. April 1st  Finding Hope: Monday Through Friday!  Easter Celebration!

Easter will be awesome! Great crowds of God’s people connecting with God and one another in worship…and then over breakfast and conversation as we share our lives. And the worship!...Exciting, joy-filled, worship with great music and song! And the reality of the victory of the Savior… “He is risen! He is risen indeed!”…But this morning, it is on the above theme that we especially focus. Biblical hope is certainty….certainty in what Jesus has done for us.  And don’t miss this; It is a hope – a certainty – that is relevant and is meant to be with us Monday through Friday – not just on Saturday and Sunday! Where do you need this gift of Easter hope in your Monday through Friday life?

Sat. April 7th and Sun. April 8th     Finding Peace and Purpose: Monday – Friday!

Peace: How are you doing with that?...not just on the weekends but Monday through Friday? And purpose…does the Monday through Friday grind sometimes feel pointless? Today we focus on a peace that is relevant not only on Saturday and Sunday but on Monday through Friday as well. And we focus on a purpose that is not only for the Sunday moment but also transcends the Monday through Friday grind. Where do you need this Easter gift of peace and purpose in your Monday through Friday life?

Sat. April 14th and Sun. April 15th       Finding A Second Chance: Monday – Friday!

Sometimes we would be shooting hoops in the driveway when my dad got home from work.  I can still remember him saying again and again - wanting to make one shot before he went in the house to see mom -  “one more,” “one more,” “one more,” until he made it.  Where do you need “one more” – a second chance? This is our Easter focus today. And this second chance is not just for Saturday and Sunday; it is to take into your Monday through Friday life as well. Where do you need this Easter gift of a “second chance” in your Monday through Friday life?

 Sat. April 21st/Sun. April 22 Finding Success and Connectedness: Monday-Friday!

Where are you chasing after success in your Monday through Friday life?....and how’s that working for you? And where, in the struggle to achieve, do you feel disconnected and alone? Today we focus on the success and connectedness that the Resurrected One would give us; not just on Saturday and Sunday but also in our Monday through Friday life. Where do you need this Easter gift in your Monday through Friday life?

Sat. April 28th and Sun. April 29th    Finding Your Place: Monday through Friday! 

When I was 8 years old my older brother and I walked to the falls at Yosemite National Park from where my family was camped in the meadows. It was a long walk for an 8 year old. (I even remember the grass being over my head in the meadows when we began and the switchback trails looking as wide to me as a highway lane does today.) But I knew my place. I followed my older brother and I was content. He led. I followed. And even though it was a challenge, everything went great. Are you sometimes searching for your place in your Monday through Friday life? Today we focus on the Easter gift of finding your place…And it is not only for Saturday and Sunday but for your Monday through Friday life as well! Where do you need this Easter gift in your Monday through Friday life?

Diamond Vision


Early in my Sophomore year in High School, just before Christmas, I had the opportunity to see “A Christmas Carol” (ie. “Scrooge.”) in a “theatre in the round”

in Hollywood. (I remember I was a Sophomore because a pretty Senior girl who had tickets asked me to go and even drove…but my high hopes were soon dashed….but that is another story!)

The play was wonderful! However, I kept wondering how it was being viewed by the people across from me as well as from the various angles in the audience that circled the performance. I mean, literally, every seat would see the play a little differently….like a many faceted diamond! After the play, we even took some time to circle the stage trying to picture how each angle saw the play!

Jesus –and what He means to us – is like a many faceted diamond. In one sense, He means the same for each of us….but in another, who He is and what He offers to us is different for each one of us depending on what we are going through in our lives. Further, even as we individually live our lives in the constant change of circumstances and struggles, He is there for us every day exactly as we need Him to be, a multi-faceted diamond! Perhaps this is why the Bible has four different books that narrate Jesus life – to begin to show us this many-faceted diamond that IS Jesus! Perhaps this is why, in the first chapter of the book of Romans alone, the word Gospel – Good News – is used seven times concerning Jesus! Jesus is Good News for each of us in every facet of our lives!

In the next few weeks, we will explore Jesus in “Diamond Vision,” looking to understand a little better the many faceted ways that His love would touch our lives and the lives of all in the multifaceted realities of our lives. This is Good News! receive and to give away! Where/how do you need a Savior in your life?

Each message will feature a unique video. If you want to share the video on it's own they are available on our videos page.

Sat.,Sun., February 17th/ 18th     “Falling Plates”

Growing up, our ever day plates were made out of Pyrex – pretty much unbreakable unless you were really trying. But on special days such as Thanksgiving or Christmas or a Birthday, mom would get out “the good plates.” These were different. If you dropped one of these, it would shatter. And on top of this, these plates had been passed down from my mom’s mom to her. They were MUCH MORE valuable than the Pyrex plates. Today, we compare our lives to falling plates – not the Pyrex kind but the Valuable kind – and how Jesus would put us back together. This is Good News!... to receive and to give away!

Sat./Sun., February 23rd/24th                “Freedom Within”

These are two common words put together in an uncommon way, yet expressing the longing of each of us. Freedom. We usually talk about this in a way that focuses outside of ourselves in the sense of, “being free to do what I want.” Within. What is inside of us. Hidden. Private.  But what if we brought the “within” out into the light? Where/how are you in a prison – enslaved – inside? And what would it mean to be free. Because Jesus brings freedom….inside! This is Good News!... to receive and to give away!

Sat./Sun., March 3rd/4th   “Paper Hats”

Hats. A cowboy wears one type of hat. A ship’s captain another. And a common sailer another. And a king another! In a sense, the kind of hat we wear determines how we see things…and how we live in our world. How do you see things? What hat are you wearing? And how is that working for you? Did you know that Jesus came to give us a “new hat?”….a new way of seeing things? And did you know that it was meant to change everything?” Where do you need this? This is Good News! receive and to give away!

Sat.,Sun., March 10th/11th    “Flow”

When we were in Denver, a large water pipe ruptured across the street from the church. They had it fixed in a couple of days, strongly telling us that the water was fine. Yet, for days afterward, when we turned on the water, it came out brown and fresh and healthy! we can be healthy. Today, we focus on the “water” we drink for our soul. How healthy has it left you? Did you know Jesus is called the “water of life?” Here is refreshing, clean, healthy, water for your soul, whatever your need! This is Good News! receive and to give away!

Sat./Sun., March 17th/18th  “The Search”

On one backpacking trip, my brother and I were hit with an unexpected blizzard. It was so fierce, we got out the maps and walked out a shorter way. When we got home, we found out my parents had called “Search and Rescue” who were getting ready to try to find us. The problem? They would have looked in the wrong area!....Where are you lost in your life? Where do you hope someone is searching for you? Where do you need to be found? There is someone who is searching and who knows right where you are! His Name is Jesus. And He has come, and is coming for you! This is Good News! receive and to give away!

Sat./Sun., March 24th/25th   “Newly Forged”

Do you remember the first “Karate Kid” movie? The patience of a young man, who has come to an old Karate Master to learn Karate, is sorely tried as he is told to do such things as paint a fence and wax old cars. Finally, he loses his trust and with it his patience, calling out the older man….who then shows him that the movements he was doing over and over again in the work was training him in the movements of Karate. In a sense, they were “forging him” to be what he wanted to be. Where, deep down, do you want to be –perhaps even need to be -  “different?”….maybe even not knowing what this means? What would you say if you were told that Jesus, somehow, through every experience and all situations, is working according to His plan to forge you into exactly who you should be as you walk in Him?  This is Good News! receive and to give away!

Pray Under The Cross


Lent is a time when we focus on the cross and what this means for us. As we do this, one does not need to look far to find our Savior praying; His wonderful and moving prayer for Himself, His disciples and finally, for “all who would believe in Him through their message” – for us! – spoken on the Thursday night before He died; His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane –“Father, may your will be done!” – and it was as He went the way of the cross; and His prayers on the cross –“Father, forgive them,” “My God, why hast though forsaken me?,” and “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”

But prayer – this communion with God – is not just for Jesus. It is a gift given to each of us through what Jesus did on the cross. In fact, when His disciples, seeing His intimacy with God through prayer, came to Him asking Him to “teach us to pray,” He graciously did so. And He does so for us as well.

Ash Wednesday – February 14th              Dear Children/Holy Name

We come in repentance confessing our sins. Through the cross of Jesus we are declared to be His own dear children and are renewed in living to Hallow His Name! What does this mean for our prayers? (Note: This worship includes both the imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion.)

Wednesday, February 21st -Kingdom/Will

The gracious kingdom of God and the gracious will of God is inextricably bound together. What does this mean for us in our prayers?

Wednesday, February 28th- Bread   

See the depth and brilliance of Jesus as He simply yet powerfully teaches us to pray for “bread.” What does this mean for us in our prayers?

Wednesday, March 7th - Forgiveness

 Forgiven: the gift of a state of being received and a way of life to live in. What does this mean for our prayers?

Wednesday, March 14th- Temptation/Evil  

The gift of victory over all our enemies – received and lived in! What does this mean for our prayers?

Wednesday, March 21st- Kingdom, Power, Glory

The certainty of God’s Kingdom, Power, and glory seen in the cross. What does this mean for our prayers?

This is Jesus


When I was in the 8th grade a friend and I slipped out of the house about 10pm to toilet paper the principal’s house (because we LIKED him!). We walked about two miles to his house, realized we had “hit it perfectly” because he was not home, and proceeded to masterfully cover everything with toilet paper. Just as we turned to go, a police car rolled up and there was no mercy. But as we were sitting in the back seat of the police car (you ever noticed there is no door handles in the back seat of a police car?) up walks my father. He had quietly followed us in the car to make sure we were ok! He then proceeds to have a laughing conversation with the police officers and soon we are in his car on the way home. That was my dad. He was ALWAYS there for us!

Have you ever told a story about your mom or dad or someone else to try to communicate what they are/were like and who they are/were? It’s what we do, isn’t it? It’s how we can communicate in ways that are powerful and hit the mark.

For instance, right now you know my father much better than if I had just said, “he was always there for us.”

And yet, there will always be questions…”how did he see us go?” “Why did he let us sit in the police car?” “What did he say to the policeman that was so funny…yet “freeing?” There is always questions, but the truth of the story still stands: “my dad was always there for us.”

In the next few weeks, we are going to look at some stories about Jesus in the Bible that were written so that we might really –intimately and personally – in the midst of the great mysteries and questions of our lives, know Him and who He is and what He does for us…for you.  THIS is JESUS!!...And even in the face of all the questions and mysteries of our lives, THIS STANDS!

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Saturday/Sunday, January 6th/7th   “He Is One Who Is King of All….My King!”(Coming of the Wisemen)

Mystery. Questions. They are always with us when it comes to Jesus. Yet, through them all this story is told to establish deep within us that Jesus is the King of all who has come to be our gracious king. THIS is Jesus!

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Saturday/Sunday, January 13th/14th         “He Is The One Who Forgives My Sins!”

Mystery. Questions. Deep down, each of us longs to be unconditionally loved and accepted. But what does this mean and who can do this for us so that we know it’s real, even with all the hard stuff we live through together with all the questions this brings?  Jesus can. It’s called the forgiveness of sins. It’s why He came. THIS is Jesus!

Saturday/Sunday, January 20th/21st     “He Is The One Who Meets My Needs”

Mystery. Questions. Where are you in need? Physically, relationally, provisionally, spiritually? Amidst the mystery and questions of life, where can you turn in complete confidence to have those needs met? And how can you be sure? At Thanksgiving everyone –religious or not – stops and remembers to be thankful for all they have. Why? Perhaps it is because every human being is acutely aware of the many variables including health and opportunity upon which hangs our ability to meet our needs. Perhaps, because finally, we are not the ones who meet are needs but rather it is Another who provides all things for us. THIS is Jesus!

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Sat./Sun., Jan. 27th/28th       “He is the One Who Understands My Temptation”

Mystery. Questions. In the intricacies, mysteries, and questions of life, where/how are you tempted to do what you should not do or to not do what you should? Is there one who really understands and can help in the multifaceted shadows of your personal struggles to do right? Yes. THIS is Jesus!

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Saturday/Sunday, February 3rd/4th         “He Is The One Who Calms My Fears”

Mystery. Questions. In the mystery and questions of life all of humankind seems to live in multi-faceted fear. It is different for each of us as each of us live through unique and different experiences. Yet, we all have fears. What fears reside in you? There is One who can calm them once and for all. THIS is Jesus!

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Sat./Sun., February 10th/11th        “He Directs My Path. He Secures My Eternity.”(The Transfiguration of Jesus)

Mystery. Questions. Have you ever heard the poem, “Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood?” The point is that the traveler has a decision to make – which way to go – and the choice will make “all the difference.” Is there one who can guide our lives in the “forks in the road?”…who can, amidst all the questions and mysteries, lead is in the path that “makes all the difference?” Yes! THIS is Jesus!

New Beginnings


This is the time of year –when one year slides into the next – that we think of all the things that ought not to be but are…and all those things that ought to be but are not. It is why people talk about -and sometimes make - New Year’s resolutions. It is a time when people, just for a moment, dare to hope that things can be different, that we can actually have new beginnings. But, like Camelot, the ideas and resolutions and hopes soon seem to fade away. BUT WHAT IF we really could have –and live in – New Beginnings? What would it look like? How would it feel? What difference would it make? Because we can; it is a gift of God to us…right now, at the beginning of a new year.

Christmas Family Stories


Last Summer my whole family got together for a week together at the Beach, together with my brother and his wife. One of the things I noticed is how many family stories we remembered together. My kids are old people now, so they love to tell/remember these stories together as well. And, they were delighted when my brother would tell them a story about me growing up that they had never heard before. And of course, all three of them know their “birth stories” that I have recalled for each of them on their birthdays for as long as I can remember. Yet, when we all get together, those birth stories seem to get retold a couple of times even though it is no one’s birthday at that moment.

How about you? Do you tell family stories when you get together with your family? Or maybe as you are reading this, the stories are just popping into your mind and leaving a smile on your face? (And if not a smile, I pray a realization that God was with you and sustained you in those difficult times as well.)

On these three Wednesdays in Advent, we are going to go back many centuries and observe the family of Mary and Joseph as they remember the family birth stories. And we won’t be as those who are on the outside looking in, but rather we will do so as part of the family of Jesus. For family stories are never told in a vacuum. They are not just reminiscences, but rather they also reveal insights into the family and are meant to give us identity, purpose, meaning, and direction in our present day lives.   So join us with your whole family as we tell the Jesus family Christmas stories; the Jesus family birthday stories.  For these family stories ARE Christmas….and through them we are reoriented to joyfully celebrate Christmas brand new!

Wednesday, December 6th                  “Who is This Baby?”

When Sarah – our oldest daughter – was born we were going to the Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. We left for the hospital (“honey, we have to go NOW” as I timed the contractions..) at about 630a just as the sun was rising after a night of heavy snow. As a southern California boy I will never forget my anxiety as I was maneuvering through the snow and ice…yet in the middle of my anxiety Jane, looking at the beautiful morning as the sun shone off the fresh snow that clung to the trees, said, “what a beautiful day to have a baby.”…And when I tell this story to Sarah I look at her and say, “And that baby was you!” Tonight, we focus on the birth of Jesus. At the end of this night our goal is to lovingly say, “and this is who that baby was and is.”  You won’t want to miss it. This is what Christmas is all about!

Wednesday, December 13th                 “What Will This Baby Do?”

You know the comments people make as well as I do; “Look at how strong he is, he could be a “fullback!” She is so fast – she just glides…I wonder if she’ll be a runner. Did you notice? He has almost perfect pitch already –goodness, he’s going to be a singer! Look at her rhythm!...She could be a great dancer…or maybe a drummer – a rock star! He is so smart..he will be able to do anything he wants to do…he could be a doctor or an architect or an engineer. She is just so smart and look at that personality…she could be the first woman president!” And so it goes. We all have dreams for not just our children but for all children. Tonight, we focus on what the baby Jesus will do. You won’t want to miss it. This is what Christmas is all about.

Wednesday, December 20th   “What Does This Mean for Us?...for Me?

Every time the Summer Olympics rolls around, there are stories about the families of the athletes; how both the support of and success of their child has completely changed their lives. There are stories of families moving across the country so their son or daughter is able to train under the best coach. There are stories of how families have sacrificed and even sold their homes to give their son or daughter the opportunity to do what they are doing. And there are touching, personal stories of how a family has been brought together by the quest they are on together. Probably not one of these families at the birth of their child had any inkling of how their son or daughter would affect their lives, what it would mean in their lives, how it would change their lives. Tonight, we focus on what the birth of Jesus means for us – how He is meant to change our lives every day and forever! You won’t want to miss it. This is what Christmas is all about!

Merry GRINCH Christmas!!


“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of (your) life.” Proverbs 4:23

Yesterday I went to Physical Therapy. As I was leaving I wished a “Happy Thanksgiving” to the gal at the desk. She looked at me with a totally worn out expression on her face and said wearily and with no joy, “yeah, my son just told me he was coming. I’ve got so much work to do.” Can you relate?

Christmas is just around the corner. It is meant to be a time of joy, hope, and peace all wrapped together in a heart of love. But December is such a world-wind, isn’t it? There is so much to do! Gifts and sweets and parties and food and travel and family and neighbors and a tree and decorations and…  if we’re not careful, we end up worn out and weary. It all becomes a chore, something just to get through. It loses what it is meant to bring us. Can you relate?

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we will focus on “guarding our hearts” so that our Christmas celebration and joy - what it means in our lives - will be all it is supposed to be. For you see, for each of us, our heart is the wellspring of our lives, our heart effects everything we do, and from our heart comes the ability to receive anew and celebrate all that Christmas is.

So why,“Merry ‘Grinch’ Christmas? Well, the Grinch’s problem was his heart. His heart was two sizes too small. But it got fixed. It got fixed when the truth of Christmas touched his heart. You see, it is our heart that can rob us of what Christmas is meant to be, but God –with the Grinch as our example – would fix it to our great joy!

Saturday /Sunday, Dec.2nd & 3rd      Guarding The Gift of A Pure Heart       

The Grinch hated Christmas.  (Do you ever find yourself there?) But no one seemed to know why. (Do you know how your heart gets to that place?) Yes, his heart was two sizes too small….but how did that happen? How does it happen with us?  And how does it get fixed? And how can we “guard it?” After all, it is important. For it was Jesus who said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God!”…And  I might add, they are the ones who are able to celebrate Christmas to its fullest!

Saturday/Sunday, Dec.9th & 10th     Guarding the Gift of A Passionate Heart

Passionate. When a person is passionate about something it means that they care deeply about it. It is the “why” of life –correct? But have you ever lost your passion? It is like the air being let out of a ball – like being punched in the stomach – and it takes the air out of living –doesn’t it? How does that happen? And how can we get it back?... Especially with Christmas around the corner?

Saturday/Sunday, Dec. 16th & 17th    Guarding the Gift of A Patient Heart

Patient. On the one hand, my son, James, had no patience when it came to not knowing what his gifts were under the Christmas tree; when we weren’t around he would prick tiny holes in the wrapping paper so he could find out. On the other hand, he had great patience in that he would painstakingly with great care use this process he had developed of putting these tiny holes in the paper- that you wouldn’t  even see unless you were looking for them. Do you ever lose your patience around this time of year? …and with it, your “Christmas spirit?”  Want to get it back?

Sunday, December 24th         Guarding The Gift of A Peaceful Heart

In a hurricane, the force of the wind and rain is devastating!....but in the hurricane, all is at peace. This is how I picture a heart that knows and lives in peace. Even though the hurricanes are screaming all around us, a heart at peace is not affected; it is beyond it. Take a deep breath right now and then let it out all the way. Feel that? When is the last time you did it down to your very soul? Today the Grinch finds peace for his heart. He finds it in Christmas. It is where we can find it as well. Where do you need peace?

“The Blessing of Living A Generous Life…. ….And Real Life Money Issues That Get In The Way”


The cat is out of the bag. Study after study in the last few decades have shown that people who live generous and giving lives have a much happier and fuller life. This is true – Christian or not - across the spectrum of generations and social realities and people groups and level of income. But we don’t need anyone to tell us this – do we? Deep down, we all – every single human being – both knows this and has experienced it. When we are generous and giving it fills us with joy, purpose, and meaning –doesn’t it? It is almost as if someone made us to live this way but we have forgotten how to do it or perhaps something is getting in the way.  

When we left Denver to serve St. Matthew, one of the things we did was have a big garage sale. A little girl found a rather expensive educational toy that my daughter had loved, but her parents, seeing the $5 price tag, said “no.” So, I gave it to them. I will never forgot the joy in that little girl’s face but neither will I forgot the joy I had in giving it to her. It filled me up…so much so that I was giving things away all day!...And I still smile about it!

What stories can you tell? We all have them, little glimpses that remind us that we were created to live generously and in so doing to be filled up and complete in ourselves…Little glimpses that touch our hearts with the truth that living generous and giving lives is what we were made to do. When you think about it, this is exactly what the Bible says. It says we were created in the image of our Heavenly Father, who gives GENEROUSLY every day to all. And when we lost sight of who we were created to be, our generous Heavenly Father generously gave  His own dear Son so that we could have and live life anew as His dear children, being filled with His joy  and reflecting His generous heart in our lives.

In the next few weeks, this is our focus; the blessings of living the generous life we were created to live…and the real life money issues that get in the away. Don’t miss it!

Sunday, November 5th                   “Not Having Enough” (Fear vs. Identity)


Not having enough. Have you ever struggled with this dilemma? I mean, how can someone be generous when they don’t have enough themselves? It makes sense…but a rather unsettling statistic is that virtually no one thinks they have enough. That is, study after study finds that when people are asked if they have enough money, virtually everyone –no matter how much money they have – say they need just a little more. How about you?.. We tend to tie the blessing of living a generous life to having enough or maybe even having beyond enough…but maybe there is a different way of looking at things, a way that would empower us to live the blessing of a generous life even when we don’t think we have enough. This is our focus today.

Sunday November 12th Everybody Wants A Piece of Me (Worry vs. Grace)


Ok. What’s the first thing you think when the doorbell rings and you answer the door to find a salesperson in front of you? Are you open to listen to what they have to say?...or are you immediately guarded as if they are trying to part you from your hard earned money? We have learned from experience that wisdom says for us to be concerned – worried even – in that everyone seems to want to separate us from our money. But where is this wisdom -this frame of mind – taken too far in the sense that it is a roadblock keeping us from living in generosity in those places and opportunities that God gives us? That is, where is this mind set perhaps keeping us from living in the blessing of a generous life? Where does it make sense to see others through the eyes of grace instead? This is our focus today.                                                                                                      

Sunday, November 19th "Giving 'til It Hurts??" (Limits vs. Thankfulness)


When I was in grade school, I remember reading the story of Roger Bannister, the first runner to run the mile under 4 minutes. It was a feat of both mental and emotional as well as physical proportions. Why? Because all of the “experts of the day” said it couldn’t be done, that the human body was simply incapable of running a mile under 4 minutes. But Roger busted through what now is seen as an “artificial limit” to a new place. How do we view the blessing of living a generous life? Do we immediately put limits on it? I mean everything in our lives and in our world has limits –right? This grace of giving, this living a generous life certainly must have limits as well –right? It’s what we talk about today. Come and see as we celebrate Thanksgiving together!

Sunday, November 26th "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow" (Ego vs. Honor)


In the classic movie, “The Lord of the Rings” there is a scene where the evil Saruman asks an orc that he has just created the question, “Whom do you serve?”…to which the orc replies, “Saruman.” This is always the bottom line, isn’t it? Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” …to which Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” The key to living in the blessing of a generous life, finally, is about these two questions, the bottom line. Who do you say Jesus is?...And whom do you serve?  This is what we focus on today.

For The Sake of the Gospel- Reformation Celebration

For The Sake of the Gospel- Reformation Celebration


This year marks the 500 year anniversary of what has come to be known as the Protestant Reformation. On October 31st, 1517, an unknown but brilliant professor-monk name Martin Luther from Wittenburg, Germany, posted 95 statements on a church door meant to “reform” the teaching of the institutional church where an understanding and proclamation of the Gospel had largely been lost. For Martin Luther, it was always and personally about the Gospel – the Good of Jesus - so much so that he was willing to die for it and barring this, to live his life proclaiming it. Therefore, it is with great joy that I can confidently say to you that Martin Luther would be in full accord with the following statement; There is really only one good reason to talk about – or remember – Martin Luther; for the furtherance of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ! This is our focus today!      

Unoffendable: A Better Way To Live

“How Just One Change Can Make All Of Life Better”

I know. I know. We live in a time when everyone is trying to tell you they can make your life better. All one has to do is go to a bookstore or perhaps google “self – help books” and the response can be amazing! There are products and gurus to improve your relational, financially, mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. All you have to do is buy their book or their program or their supplements or a ticket to their presentation!  All you have to do is to sign up – and pay – for a few lessons!

But this advice is different. It comes from Jesus and it is offered free of charge.  Jesus said, “I have come that they (that YOU!!) might have life - and have it to the full.” Jesus came so we could have the best life possible –yes, certainly forever with Him face to face in heaven - but also every day here and now. And in these next few weeks we are going to look at one change that He would empower us to make that will make our whole life better!

So, how is life working for you? Could it be better? Are you stuck? Are you willing to listen to what Jesus has to say? After all, you don’t have to buy a ticket or a book or other products….and this in itself would seem to make it different from all the others, some of which you may have tried. So, what do you have to lose? We’re even going to GIVE you something; a FREE book with the deal! So why not give it a try?

Saturday, Sep. 9th and Sunday, Sept. 10th Leaving the Anger Behind (The Better Way)


Ok. Be honest now. What gets you offended? How about when another driver does something down right inconsiderate – or even stupid?  How about when things don’t go your way at work or school or on vacation? Or maybe when the mechanic doesn’t get your car fixed?  Or maybe when your spouse does that thing again?..or maybe when your children do what they do?  Or maybe because of all the stuff that is just NOT RIGHT everywhere you look? So, given all this, how often do you have an attitude of offense? Did you know when you look up the word, “offended” in a dictionary, it will invariably use words like “anger” or “resentment” in it’s definition? So, let me ask another question. How often do you have an attitude of anger? …And how’s that working for you? Today, Jesus gives us a better way to live.

Saturday, Sep. 16th and Sunday, Sept. 17th Living in “Beautiful Expectation” (Gratitude vs. Anger)


When Sarah, our oldest, began to crawl, we immediately moved the things we had on shelves on all the furniture in the house up a little higher…and then a little higher…and then a little higher. We also put those plugs in the electrical outlets and those baby locks on the cabinet doors. Why? We knew what kids do. It’s just who they are. But what we had to get used to was seeing all the amazing things she did day after day. And we were thankful. Today, Jesus would change the way we see things, empowering us to live in gratitude – in “Beautiful Expectation” – instead of anger. It really is a better way to live.

Sat, Sept. 23rd and Sun, Sept.24th         Living in Grace: Received And Given (“Being” vs. “Having To Do”)


In the home I grew up in, we always helped with everything. Yardwork. Dishes. Clothes. Housework. It didn’t matter. We always did it together. But I remember, as the years went by and Jane and I would come home for a visit, how I would jump up after dinner to do the dishes and mom just said, “Just leave them. Let’s go sit in the patio and talk.” There is a difference between “being” and “having to do.” It’s called grace. It is a better way to live. Interested?

Living in True Relationship (Self-Righteousness vs Peace)
Sat, Sep. 30th and Sun, Oct 1st


“I can relate.” Have you ever heard this phrase? Have you ever said it? When you think about it, the one place we can all relate is in the things that don’t seem to go right…in our common brokenness. In fact, is it not when we self-righteously deny our brokenness – or at least say and believe that we are better than the other guy -  that we lose relationship? What is the conversation stopper – to connect with others in brokenness or to communicate that “this brokenness” has never touched you? Self – righteousness as one compares themselves to another is a relationship killer. Refusing to be offended by others is a powerful door-opener to actual relationships. Only when one is at peace with themselves and who they are can there be true relationship. This is the gift of Jesus to you today. Interested?

Sat, Oct. 7th and Sun, Oct.8th            Injustice: We Have to Do Something! (Anger vs. Action)


I was talking with a friend of mine a couple of years ago concerning the death of his father. It was during WWII. His father was not in the military because he worked on the farm. One day his father suffered an appendicitis attack. They took him to the one hospital that was near them, but it was now on an Army Base which was on a routine lockdown. They refused to allow his father on the base. By the time they did, his appendix had burst and the ensuing infection killed him. There are many things in our world that are just wrong – things that need to be changed and that cause us to be angry - but what should be our reaction? Should we “fly off the handle” in anger or look to respond in action?...or is this a false dichotomy? Today, Jesus would guide us in the better – the best - way to live!

Sat, Oct 14th and Sun, Oct. 15th Living Healthy- Just Chill Out! (Fear vs. Trust)


Vitamins. Supplements. Protein powder. Regimens. New diets. It seems everyone has an idea about healthy living. Today, Jesus would show us what it means to live healthy –in trust, not fear. Interested?



Sat, Oct. 21st and Sun, Oct. 22nd Living in The Bottom Line: Grace (Power vs. Weakness)


So, bottom line, where is the place of power when it comes to living our lives – and what is the place of weakness? And how do these flesh out in our lives? The bottom line is grace. In grace is power to live a better –the best - way. Today, we explore what this means and what it looks like with Jesus as our guide. For He came so we could have life more abundantly!

Life Animated

Life Animated

Can you believe it? August marks the beginning of a new school year!! Back to school we go! What a great time to revisit this fun and exciting special focus using the animated children’s films Inside Out, Zootopia, and Moana. This is going to be a blast! It will be like “going to the movies” but even better! Come and check it out! And bring your friends! It just may make “going back to school” a little easier! Oh, and we just may have an “ah-ha” experience or two as we see how these stories reveal things about ourselves and how our stories intersect with the story of God for us in Jesus! Don’t miss out on this fun adventure!

Stories….Told By Jesus… “How the Kingdom of God Works”…

Stories….Told By Jesus… “How the Kingdom of God Works”…

Have you ever heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” The idea is that one could use a thousand -10 thousand – words to describe something to you which is beyond words…and in just one moment of seeing it, you would have a greater understanding than all the words in the world could give you. Such things as the vastness of the ocean stretching beyond the eyes…or the crashing of 20 foot waves on the shore…or the awesome grandeur of the Rocky Mountains… or a blanket of snow that covers the Great Plains for miles. This is why Jesus used stories –pictures put to words – to describe how the kingdom of God works, so that we might see a picture of the hidden kingdom revealed and come to a greater understanding than all the words in the world could give us

Blueprint for Ministry

Blueprint for Ministry


Blueprints. When I was 9 years old, my mom and dad put an addition on our house. I will never forget when they rolled out the blueprints and showed us what it was going to look like! It was so much easier to visualize after seeing those blueprints! And, of course, without those blueprints, the builders would have had no directions, no guide, no “map” with respect to what they were doing!

Did you know God is a God of “blueprints?” All one has to do is to look at a living cell or the DNA molecule as well as countless other examples in nature! It even says in the Bible, talking about our lives together as the people of God, that, “God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace.”

The Story Continues

The Story Continues

Have you ever watched a movie which was a true story and at the end of it they tell you what happened to the various people in the story as their lives continued? “Remember the Titans” was one movie that did it. So did, “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” And just recently, “Heartbreak Ridge.”  It really pulls everything together, doesn’t it? It reminds you that these were real people and their stories continued….and in fact, maybe they lived through a number of stories after the one you just saw.