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Oct 15, 2017
Please Accept This Invitation

October 15, 2017   "Please Accept This Invitation"   Matthew 22:1-14
 

Some years ago I officiated  a wedding for a couple who put a tremendous amount of effort into their wedding ceremony. They sent out invitations to over 200 of their friends and family and acquaintances. They even rented horses to ride away on at the end of the festivities.

As I stood with the groom, ready to make our entrance into sanctuary,, he peered out at the nearly empty pews and quietly whispered, "Where is everybody?"

My heart broke.

This Sunday we'll take a look at a parable in Matthew's Gospel that addresses a situation where many are invited to a wedding feast but few attend. The point of the parable is that our Father in Heaven has also invited us to a wedding feast - have we accepted his invitation and are we prepared to attend?

         In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

 

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  • Oct 15, 2017Please Accept This Invitation
    Oct 15, 2017
    Please Accept This Invitation

    October 15, 2017   "Please Accept This Invitation"   Matthew 22:1-14
     

    Some years ago I officiated  a wedding for a couple who put a tremendous amount of effort into their wedding ceremony. They sent out invitations to over 200 of their friends and family and acquaintances. They even rented horses to ride away on at the end of the festivities.

    As I stood with the groom, ready to make our entrance into sanctuary,, he peered out at the nearly empty pews and quietly whispered, "Where is everybody?"

    My heart broke.

    This Sunday we'll take a look at a parable in Matthew's Gospel that addresses a situation where many are invited to a wedding feast but few attend. The point of the parable is that our Father in Heaven has also invited us to a wedding feast - have we accepted his invitation and are we prepared to attend?

             In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

     

  • Oct 8, 2017Grape Expectations
    Oct 8, 2017
    Grape Expectations

    October 8, 2017    "Grape Expectations"   Isaiah 5:1-7
     
    What are God's expectations for our congregation?
     

    This Sunday's message will reflect on "a song for my beloved" from Isaiah 5 where the owner of a vineyard had great expectations that went unfilled. How are we meeting the expectations of our gracious Lord who has equipped us for service in this world? 

                                  In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

  • Oct 1, 2017Is the Lord Among Us?
    Oct 1, 2017
    Is the Lord Among Us?
    Series: (All)

    October 1, 2017 Is the Lord Among Us?

         There are those who believe that sharing Holy Communion requires a certain amount of intellectual understanding and/or holiness. From the beginning, many have erected fences around the table of our Lord, often with the good intent of protecting it. But Jesus came to break down walls, not build them, and there are no human beings more worthy of coming to His table than those we call children.

         And who better to testify to the place of children at his table than our Lord himself. In Matthew 21, the chief priests and teachers of the law hear children calling out in praise of Jesus. They are indignant. But Jesus quotes the Scripture to them that says, "From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise." In Luke 18, Jesus scolds his disciples for preventing children from coming to him. Despite whatever personal disdain we may have for children, Jesus values them highly and invites them into his presence.

               Let's follow his example this Sunday.
                                  In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    Exodus 17:1-7

  • Sep 24, 2017Who Needs God the Most
    Sep 24, 2017
    Who Needs God the Most

    September 24, 2017 Who Needs God the Most?
     
    Shawna is preaching on  the Parable of the Vineyard Workers
     

    Matthew 20:1-16

  • Sep 17, 2017Youth Sunday – Our Road – Paige Sailer
    Sep 17, 2017
    Youth Sunday – Our Road – Paige Sailer

    September 17, 2017 Youth Sunday - Our Road

    This Sunday is "Youth Sunday"!  We'll celebrate the blessings of a youth ministry that God has used over the years to change many hearts and lives. Our youth will be leading much of our worship and Paige Sailer will share a testimony of faith. 

                                  In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    Romans 12:2

  • Sep 10, 2017It’s God’s Call on How Far You Should Go
    Sep 10, 2017
    It’s God’s Call on How Far You Should Go

    September 10, 2017 Teach Me O Lord

          This Sunday is "Education Sunday" and we'll lift up in prayer all the teachers who expand the minds and souls of our young people from home-school, to public school, to Sunday School.

         I was blessed to have some adults who truly cared about me as I grew up. My first grade teacher's name was Happy Boozer (I'm not kidding) and she truly lived up to her first name, though not the second, thank God.

    I was something of a hyper-active joker (a smart-aleck according to my parents) who liked to lean back in my chair during reading circle and fall backwards, crashing to the floor. The other kids would hoot and holler with laughter. That was understandable - kids by nature laugh when their classmates do really stupid, infantile things. What used to astonish me was that Miss. Boozer would laugh, too. No punishment. No warnings about how I was going to suffer a concussion. She would just laugh and keep reading.

         Pretty soon I stopped the pranks because I discovered that she was a really good reader and I enjoyed the stories more than the laughs. And as I began to read myself, she encouraged me and complimented me to the point that I no longer needed to do pratfalls in order to get attention.

         Miss Boozer taught me it was OK to be who you are. In fact, it wasn't just OK. It was essential to life, learning, and happiness.

         Thank you, Miss Boozer for teaching me that it's possible to be myself and be happy, even in school. And thank you to every teacher who has ever made an eternal difference in a child's life.

                                  In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    Psalm 119:33-40

  • Sep 3, 2017Have it HIS Way
    Sep 3, 2017
    Have it HIS Way

    September 3, 2017 Have it HIS way

          This Sunday's message tells an amazing story. Peter has just become the first disciple of Jesus to openly declare Jesus is the Son of God. Then Jesus proceeds to tell his disciples about the dark times ahead, including his betrayal and crucifixion. Peter's reaction? "God forbid... that cannot happen to you!" In other words, Peter openly denies the authority of Jesus just moments after declaring his deity.

          This isn't the Bible's only example of human beings trying to tell God what to do. On Sunday we'll examine some of those passages, take a look at God's responses, and ask the question, "What would my life be like if I always insisted that God let me have things my way?" Burger King's slogan may work fine for burgers, but having it our way - and not God's way - is a certain recipe for a disastrous life.

                                                               In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    Matthew 16:21-28

  • Aug 27, 2017The Deliverer
    Aug 27, 2017
    The Deliverer

    August 27, 2017 The Deliverer

    What an amazing age we live in. One moment I'm keyboarding an order to Amazon, the next day my package is delivered. Soon drones will drop packages on our doorsteps within minutes of our orders. Almost everything we can imagine-from groceries, to auto parts to computers-are available for delivery in increasingly efficient ways that compress our perceptions of time and distance.

    As amazing as all of this may seem, there is one delivery system that rises above all others. Moses may have been the deliverer of his people, but there is only One Deliverer who takes away our sins. One Deliverer who will pick up our sorrows and burdens and carry them for us throughout our lives. One Deliverer - Jesus Christ - who will carry us home to heaven.

    This Sunday we'll connect to this One Deliverer in worship and word, exploring the Scriptures for the story of how one fully human, fully divine person became the Savior of the world, delivering us from the burden of our sin.

                            In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    Exodus 1:8-2:10

  • Aug 20, 2017Families in Crisis
    Aug 20, 2017
    Families in Crisis

    August 20, 2017 Families in Crisis
     

         I know of no writings in the world that deal as honestly with the topic of family strife, division, and crisis as those in the Bible. The first family unit in the opening chapters of Genesis exhibits poor judgment and fratricide. As Genesis proceeds we see story after story of brother against brother, of parents struggling to control their children, of families torn apart.

         If we leap all the way from Genesis to Jesus, we find Jesus' mother and siblings wondering if we have a demon and Jesus proclaiming that his true family are those who hear and do his will. Still, as Jesus hung on the cross he made sure his mother would be cared for by his disciple John. 

         Are these simply stories for stories' sake or are there powerful lessons applicable to all families in all ages? Does your home sometimes feel more like a battlefield than a place of peace and contentment? Come this Sunday as we explore God's Word to find both the causes and the solutions for families in crisis.

                                  In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    Genesis 45:1-15

  • Aug 13, 2017I Will Call Upon the Lord
    Aug 13, 2017
    I Will Call Upon the Lord

    August 13, 2017 Call Upon the Lord

    In the Scriptures, calling out to the Lord is an exercise of faith. It's amazing how often we call out for help in our contemporary culture: we call out to Google incessantly for directions, information, and explanations; we call out to the pastor to counsel us through tough times; we call out to television shows that promise us the wisdom of doctors and scientists and cultural philosophers such as Oprah. 

    Yet the Bible insists that true help and salvation can only come when we call upon the Lord. This Sunday we'll explore the mysterious power displayed when a person calls upon the Lord as a first - and not last – resort.

    In Christ's Grace and Peace, Pastor Bob

    Matthew 14:22-33