Text Sermon (Blog Format)

Aim to Be an Amos

For the past two weeks, the entire world swiveled its head toward Thailand and this past Tuesday, the world gave a collective sigh of relief.  Twelve soccer players and their coach all safe.  While we don’t want to forget the volunteer diver who lost his life in the process, we thank God for guiding the strategy and the execution of this rather risky plan as there seemed to be no alternative way to free the trapped team. You ever feel trapped?  Ever feel like you...

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Jesus is Amazing

So what word stuck out at you during the Gospel reading for today?  Amazing.  Kind of the key word of this section.  So that sent me chasing the rabbit of what people find “amazing.”  I came across a YouTube channel called “That’s Amazing.”  Two Wisconsin kids who can do all these trick shots – whether it’s with a paper airplane, frisbee, darts, flicking a bottle cap or flipping bottle itself, kind of like we tried to do with...

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Your Story Matters to Jesus

If you’re familiar with social media, then you might know that Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook all have features called your “Story.” This is a little different than making a normal social media post in at least two ways. Firstly, you can make the picture you post look really goofy. For example, you can make lasers come out of your cat’s eyes. Secondly, after 24 hours, your picture disappears from the internet. No one can see it. I’m not entirely sure why it...

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Does Jesus Care

Does Jesus care? You’re doing your very best to provide for your family. You make sacrifices to give them all you can. You have turned down jobs you would enjoy more but don’t pay quite as much only to lose the job you have a month later. And then when you need them those former offers are gone. Does Jesus care? You sit at the bedside of a loved one who is deteriorating. She has lost her strength. She is beginning to lose her mind. She has lost her will to live. She is ready to go...

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God's Word of Grace Is for Every Person in Every Place

A young girl named Sally transferred from a Christian school to a public school because her family had moved. On her first day of class, the teacher said, “Today we’re going to study Zoology, and the first subject in Zoology we will study is whales. Does anyone know anything about whales?” she asked.  Sally raised her hand.  “Yes, Sally, what do you know about whales?” the teacher asked.  “Jonah was swallowed by a whale,” she said. ...

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Shalom

So we just started a new round of Starting Point classes last week.  As typical, Pastor M spends the weeks leading up to a new session hitting the streets, inviting the people we have a relationship with in some way, shape, or form.  A few weeks ago, he had a rather odd experience.  As he stood on the doorstep, he could hear music blaring from within.  He could hear footsteps and other noises that indicated that someone was obviously home.  Yet, nobody came to the door,...

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The Place of God's Law in Your Christian Life

You may have heard of an author named AJ Jacobs. A number of years ago, he wanted to become the smartest man alive, so he read through the entire Encyclopedia, and then he wrote a book about it. The book is called “The Know-It-All.” Then he wanted to become the most religious man alive, so he read through the entire bible, wrote down all its laws, and spent one year doing his best to live by every one of them. He offered the animal sacrifices, followed the dietary restrictions, and...

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From "Woe" to "Go"

Last July, Erin and I went to Ireland. And once again I couldn’t help but stand in awe of our Creator God. The landscape was just beautiful. Rolling hills that were so green, different than the Midwest green. And the way these green hills would run into the ocean, amazing. This is the image that really sticks in my mind. These are the Cliffs of Moher. We’re standing at the edge 700 ft above the ocean. You look out and see nothing but endless blue. I remember thinking, I have a big,...

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Be Reminded Of/By the Holy Spirit

Can you remind me to _________________?  Ever say those words?  We all have our own way of reminding ourselves to do something.  I don’t know anyone who actually does the string around the finger trick, but we have our own tactics:  sticky notes, phone dings, lists, set something by your keys, etc.  Why do we do that?  We don’t ask for reminders about everything, but why do we take extra precautions to be reminded about some things?  Because...

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Find Strength for the Rocky Attacks on Your Faith

If you’ve been waiting to plan that vacation to Hawaii, you may want to wait a bit longer. You may have heard of the volcano that erupted last weekend. Kilauea volcano has actually been erupting for more than 30 years. But anything that came out of it sat harmlessly in a large crater until last weekend, when the bottom of the crater dropped out, sending the magma into the earth, where it plugged up the volcano’s plumbing, causing pressure to build underground until the earth...

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