Oct 2, 2016
The ONE Real Faith
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Knowledge of God’s Word both its laws and it’s promises are of no value unless that knowledge results in behavior that strives to act according to it.  James tells us that the devil himself knows the word of God and even “believes” it.  He even twists the word of God itself to destroy everything that God has created especially his Kingdom, the Church.  God wants everyone to hear His good news about His Son, believe and become good citizens of His eternal Kingdom the Church.  We gather to grow and attract many more people to come into Christ’s Kingdom of grace to hear and believe THE GOSPEL.
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  • Oct 2, 2016The ONE Real Faith
    Oct 2, 2016
    The ONE Real Faith
    (Sharefaith App Image)
    Knowledge of God’s Word both its laws and it’s promises are of no value unless that knowledge results in behavior that strives to act according to it.  James tells us that the devil himself knows the word of God and even “believes” it.  He even twists the word of God itself to destroy everything that God has created especially his Kingdom, the Church.  God wants everyone to hear His good news about His Son, believe and become good citizens of His eternal Kingdom the Church.  We gather to grow and attract many more people to come into Christ’s Kingdom of grace to hear and believe THE GOSPEL.
  • Sep 25, 2016Treating People Right
    Sep 25, 2016
    Treating People Right
    Jesus gives a summary of the entire Law in the Gospel lesson; to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. James points out this means no favorites or deferential treatment.  Accept, affirm and appreciate all people. This is your calling. May this morning strengthen and inspire your journey of faith and love.
  • Sep 18, 2016Being Blessed by the Bible
    Sep 18, 2016
    Being Blessed by the Bible
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    You see someone starting to fall, and you reach out to steady them.  Someone sneezes and you say "God Bless You."  These are just some of the natural responses to situations that occur around us.  Something happens and we are compelled to act. The Apostle James tells us that this is what must happen when we read the Word of God.  We cannot just hear it and not be moved to response.  The Word of God changes us.  We are different because of hearing it.  We are convicted.  We are corrected.  And we are blessed.  Each person responds differently, but each person responds.  How do you respond to what you read in God's Word?
     
  • Sep 11, 2016Standing Against Temptation
    Sep 11, 2016
    Standing Against Temptation
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    The Bible talks about two different kinds of testing. One is called trials. The other is called temptation. They come from the same Greek word in the New Testament. However, sometimes translators choose "trials," and sometimes they choose "temptations" when translating to English. It doesn't much matter because often a situation can be both a trial and a temptation. But there is a way to distinguish them.  Trials are situations designed by God in order to help us grow. Temptations are situations designed by the devil in order to cause us to sin. We will learn from James how to mature in the face of both trials and temptations.
  • Sep 4, 2016Making Up Your Mind
    Sep 4, 2016
    Making Up Your Mind
    2016 James Series Banner
    Immediately after speaking about problems (vs. 2-4), James deals with the matter of decision-making.  In Greek, the word "double-minded" literally means "two-souled" -- pulled apart in different directions, divided loyalties, divided priorities. What the Apostle James references, we've all felt.  Life is full of decisions and basically is a series of choices we make every day. Failing to make a choice is a kind of choice itself.  How can the believer make wise decisions?  We'll learn from the Book of James...
     
  • Aug 28, 2016Profiting From Your Problems
    Aug 28, 2016
    Profiting From Your Problems
    Do you have any problems and challenges in your life right now?  If you are alive, chances are good that you do.  Problems are just a part of life!  One mistake that people make is believing that as Christians we should have fewer problems affecting us.  Not only is this just not true to what we experience, but it goes against the Bible.  Jesus Himself tells us, "In this world you will have trouble," (John 16:33).  What is different for believers is not how much trouble we experience, but how we respond to that trouble.  As Christians we can see God at work even in our problems.  So instead of asking God, "why me?" ... we can ask God, "what are you teaching me in this struggle, Lord?" God has an amazing way of using our problems for our good.
  • Aug 21, 2016In Christ Alone
    Aug 21, 2016
    In Christ Alone
    Series: (All)
    We gather weekly to celebrate  and grow more deeply in our understanding of what Christ has done for us and how He continues to care for us. Through our baptism, we are marked as a child of God, secured by Jesus in His forgiveness and grace. We stand together in Christ, a community of faith, as we daily, humbly speak and share His love with others.
  • Aug 14, 2016Jesus Sees Us All – Inside Out
    Aug 14, 2016
    Jesus Sees Us All – Inside Out
    Series: (All)
    Less than a month before His crucifixion Jesus spoke this parable about two people:  A Tax collector and a Pharisee!   One enters the Kingdom of God humbly and is exalted the other comes exalted and is humbled.   As we look at these two men who do we identify with?  If you are like me, we might see a little bit of both of the attitudes displayed by these two men within ourselves.  Sometimes we feel pretty satisfied with how we live our lives and then there are times when we feel depressed and dissatisfied with our behavior and actions.  This parable gives us a glimpse into all of our hearts, hearts that only Jesus truly and fully knows and understands.  We can pour out our heart to Him!
  • Aug 7, 2016The Marks of Spiritual Maturity
    Aug 7, 2016
    The Marks of Spiritual Maturity
    2016 James Series
    God's will for every person is that they grow. In Hebrews 6:1 we read: "Let us go on to maturity." In other words, God wants us to grow up.  In particular, He wants us to grow in the image and likeness of His Son Jesus.  And so He has given us His Word to reveal Christ to us, and to instruct us as followers of Him.  That's why one of the key areas of focus at of our church is “GROW."  It is our desire to help those we encounter to grow spiritually.  What does spiritual maturity look like?  God shows us in His Word.
     
  • Jul 31, 2016How To Pray Effectively
    Jul 31, 2016
    How To Pray Effectively
    Often people will say that they believe in "the power of prayer."  That's good; the Bible speaks frequently to the importance and effectiveness of prayer.  But when a person says that, do they really mean that they believe in the power of the pray-er ... meaning, the one who does the praying?  Jesus taught His disciples how to pray.  But when He did, He showed that the power is not in the one praying, but rather in the One being prayed to ... namely Our Father who art in heaven
    .  Jesus also taught His disciples that when we pray, it isn't "one and done."  We can't expect that just because we've prayed for something one time that the Lord will respond. Why not?  Of course, only God knows, but the Bible suggests that the process of praying does something in us as well.
     
  • Jul 24, 2016What to do when Life’s Unfair
    Jul 24, 2016
    What to do when Life’s Unfair
    We often complain that "Life's not fair!" But who ever said it should be?  Not God!  In fact, we really don't want God to be fair with us, do we?  If we got what we deserved, we would only receive God's wrath and punishment.  For the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 6:23, 
    "the wages of sin is death."  If you want to know what your works have earned you, the Bible tells you that your sin has earned you everlasting condemnation ... that is, death. This is bad news.  But, there is good news that follows.  Because you don't get what you have earned.  No!  You get better!  Romans 6:23 goes on to say, "but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
     Life truly is unfair! You don't get what you deserve - Christ does, as He dies on the cross. Instead, you get what Christ deserves - eternal life!  Now, how shall you live your life in response to God's gracious gift? 
  • Jul 17, 2016Can Faith Move Mountains?
    Jul 17, 2016
    Can Faith Move Mountains?
    Bigger is better, right?  We often think that! But, not so with the Kingdom of God.  We've been learning from Jesus about how the Kingdom of Heaven is different than our ways of the world; one such way is the idea of mustard seed faith. (A mustard seed is very small, by the way.)  Often we think that our faith is too weak or too frail to make a difference. Jesus teaches however, that even the tiniest faith is able to do big things - like move mountains, He says!  Why?  Because it's not the faith that's accomplishing it, but rather the One the faith believes in.  Big faith in a little god is worthless... but little faith in our big God .. that's powerful!
  • Jul 10, 2016Who Will Escape Judgment?
    Jul 10, 2016
    Who Will Escape Judgment?
    This week, Jesus has some sobering words about the Kingdom of Heaven. He teaches us in the "Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds" that there is not only good seed being sown in His harvest field, but there is also bad seed being sown by His enemy.  What do we do about this? Do we fight fire with fire and harm those who appear to belong to the enemy? Jesus says, "No." In so doing we might judge incorrectly and end up harming His children as well. Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby columnist) would agree.  She once said, “People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.”  So what is to become of the wickedness that is being sown around us?  Jesus answers this in today's parable.
  • Jul 3, 2016What is the Kingdom of Heaven like?
    Jul 3, 2016
    What is the Kingdom of Heaven like?
    This year our "God on Film" message series will feature teachings from the parables of Jesus each week, along with illustrations from popular movies.  This Sunday, Jesus answers the question, "What is the Kingdom of Heaven Like?" by telling His listeners the Parable of the Sower: "A farmer went out to sow his seed..." (Matt 13:3).  Jesus used the well-known examples of a farmer, a seed, and a harvest to explain mysteries of God's Kingdom.  He used common elements to teach uncommon messages.  And in so doing, He challenged His hearers to live a life aligned with God's Word - causing them and us to ask ourselves: "what kind of soil with the seed of God's Word find when it lands on my heart?"
  • Jun 26, 2016Raising Spirit Awareness
    Jun 26, 2016
    Raising Spirit Awareness
    Series: (All)
    As Lutheran Christians, we confess a Trinitarian belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  This means that we believe that while we have only one God, that same God has revealed Himself to us in three persons.  The ancient creeds of the Church express this understanding as best as can be done in human words.  While the Holy Spirit is always spoken of "last" in those creeds, He is by no means less  Godly.  In fact, we recognize the Holy Spirit's enduring and powerful work among us today even in our Catechism: “The Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.”  (Martin Luther).  How can we move from viewing the Holy Spirit as a mysterious "blur" and "ghostly presence hovering in the background" (Gordon Fee), to seeing Him as the powerful and active person of the Godhead that He is?