One of the themes of Christmas is the promise of HOPE. But what do we do and where do we turn when hope is hard to come by? Our Advent 2018 teaching focus is a series of four talks on the robust nature of Christian hope in the midst of dark times. Our deepest prayer is that amidst the joys, challenges and struggles of modern life, you will find real and lasting hope this holiday season.
The shortest gospel presents us with unique insights into the message and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. But it also presents us with riddles and puzzles. Mark is about God’s reign, its present hiddenness but also future glory, its surprising way of coming, and its challenge. This Gospel is about discipleship, its costs and rewards, its failures, and its renewal. Mark is also about grace, and the way Jesus and his followers cross religious and social barriers to pass grace on to those who have been excluded from it.
We are surrounded by people and institutions claiming that they are the "greatest" and assuring us that they have the wisdom we need to live happy lives. But the book of Colossians helps us focus on the greatness of Jesus and how He surpasses anything else we can worship or give our lives to.
Suburban culture is a culture of comfort. It’s being sold to us everywhere we look. We’re encouraged to do what we want, when we want, with whomever we want. If something is uncomfortable, we want to avoid it at all costs. The Christian faith, though, is just the opposite: it is uncomfortable. If you want to be part of the church, you need to embrace, understand, and see the beauty and hope in the challenging realities of being part of God’s people.
Some parts of the Old Testament are just plain strange. The stories of Elisha in 2 Kings would certainly fall into this category. The prophet gets involved in strange assignments, supernatural happenings, mysterious disappearances and more! Similar to the TV series of a similar name, his life shows us that there is often more going on than meets the eye.
Unfortunately, there are erroneous beliefs about God and Christianity that have snuck their way into modern church culture. These popular phrases or ways of thinking are sometimes in direct conflict with what Scripture actually teaches! In this series, we'll ask what the Bible really says about judging others, if God helps those who help themselves, if obedience always lead to blessing, and more!
Conversation around topics of human sexuality, marriage, and relationships have become somewhat flippant in our culture. In this series, we will be looking at these issues through the lens of the Old Testament book the Song of Songs (or the Song of Solomon) as we learn more about the importance of sacrifice, love, intimacy, and honor within relationships.
Fear seems to be a chronic part of the human condition in our world today. Yet often what we worry about reveals a part of our lives that we don't fully trust God with. Maybe we don't trust God with our future, or we don't fully trust that God will provide for us in the difficult seasons of life.
Perhaps that is why we are repeatedly admonished in the Scriptures not to be afraid. In this series, we'll explore what it means to take our fears and surrender them to God. To grow our faith that God can better care for the things close to our hearts than we can.
So what are you afraid of?
The book of Revelation is often viewed as bizarre and impenetrable for the modern reader. It’s been misused by some to create elaborate apocalyptic timelines or neglected by others as too bleak and violent. But the final chapters of the Bible provide perhaps the most vivid vision of God’s redeeming purposes for the whole of creation. Join us as we press in past the strange images to find out how evil is being challenged and overcome through the victory of Jesus and how can we become participants in the unfolding drama of persevering faith, courageous hope and costly love.
What does bold faith actually look like?
The prophet Elijah is one of the most interesting and colorful characters in the Bible. God used him during an important time in Israel’s history to oppose a wicked king & queen and bring revival to the land. But Elijah’s life was filled with turmoil. At times he was bold and decisive, and at other times fearful and tentative. Elijah knew both the power of God and the depths of depression.
The Bible says, "Elijah was as human as we are" (James 5:17) and yet he exercised bold faith. We learn through his life story that even with all our human foibles & frailties, God can still work powerfully in and through us.
The story of Scripture is the story of the God's kingdom. Yet if you were asked to describe the shape of Kingdom of God, could you do it? Despite how much Christians talk about the "kingdom", defining it is actually harder than you might expect! In this teaching series, we explore the places in the Bible where this curious phrase shows up and the principles that the Kingdom of God runs on. You may just find yourself caught up in the Story!