Jul 7, 2019
GOD
God is God. You’re not. Your favorite (or least-favorite) politician isn’t. Not even Morgan Freeman (of Bruce Almighty fame) can claim that honor. God is God. Cancer isn’t God. Divorce isn’t God. Chronic pain isn’t God. Not even death gets to be God. God is God. And He is all-powerful and utterly unique.  “Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:8-11). Oh how blessed we are to know and be known by our Real. Present. God.
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  • Jul 7, 2019GOD
    Jul 7, 2019
    GOD
    God is God. You’re not. Your favorite (or least-favorite) politician isn’t. Not even Morgan Freeman (of Bruce Almighty fame) can claim that honor. God is God. Cancer isn’t God. Divorce isn’t God. Chronic pain isn’t God. Not even death gets to be God. God is God. And He is all-powerful and utterly unique.  “Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:8-11). Oh how blessed we are to know and be known by our Real. Present. God.
  • Jun 30, 2019Present
    Jun 30, 2019
    Present
    We continue pondering our Real. Present. God. particularly as we encounter Him in the Psalms.  Have you ever considered the words of Psalm 139:1 “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?”  These are either terrifying or comforting words depending on your perspective.  If you are hiding from God, His presence might be unnerving but if you are afraid or in danger, then God’s presence is a great comfort.  In Psalm 46, God’s presence is offered as a comfort to His people.  The image is of God as a refuge - a place of great strength when you are weak and a place of protection and provision when you face persecution or struggle. We thank God for his sweet and comforting presence in our lives!
  • Jun 23, 2019Real.
    Jun 23, 2019
    Real.
    Psalm 46:1 sets the stage for our next few weeks: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  In this short verse we encounter our Real. Present. God.  Today we will focus on the first word, “Real.”  That word has several potential connotations, but we will explore two of them in particular.  First - we understand something to be “real” if it is physical, earthly, tangible and actual.  This life that we live is real - not fiction and not fantasy.  Second - we desire and need “real” relationships - ones that are authentic, candid, honest, frank and vulnerable.  We certainly seek that with each other, but especially with our Real. Present. God.
  • Jun 16, 2019RLC: Changing
    Jun 16, 2019
    RLC: Changing
    In the letter of James, we read, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:23-24) When we look at the words of Jesus in the Bible, do we go away unchanged?  No.  Jesus’ words are life changing!  He changes the way we see life, death and our relationship with God.  On this Trinity Sunday having been changed by the Son and empowered by the Holy Spirit, may we bring glory to our Father in Heaven as we continue to put the words of Jesus into practice!
  • Jun 9, 2019RLC: Going
    Jun 9, 2019
    RLC: Going
    As Christians, we have the greatest message of hope in the world. Especially on this Pentecost Sunday, we are reminded that Jesus has given us His Holy Spirit to empower us to go and share the hope that lives in us with the world. When one person declares what Jesus has done for him, it changes the whole community in which he lives. How can we change our neighborhoods, family, and even the world with the message of the gospel?  
  • Jun 2, 2019RLC: Giving
    Jun 2, 2019
    RLC: Giving
    Today we begin one of the most challenging weeks – Giving. There are more Red Letters about giving than almost any other subject. Why is that? Because Jesus loves to give! He gave His life for the life of the world. Jesus wants us to reflect Him in how generous we are with others. Don’t think your giving makes a difference?  Bring what you have to the Lord. With just a little – five loaves and two fish – Jesus can do a lot?  
  • May 26, 2019RLC: Serving
    May 26, 2019
    RLC: Serving
    We are motivated by expectations. We give and serve but we expect something in return. We may start without expectations but at some point, we ask, “What’s in it for me?” As we follow Jesus and put his words into action, He calls us to serve without expecting anything in return. This is the true heart of a servant?
  • May 19, 2019RLC: Forgiving
    May 19, 2019
    RLC: Forgiving
    As followers of Jesus we are always asking, “What is my purpose?” We ask the question, but do we really want the answer? What if the answer is to forgive that person who has wounded you deeply? What if the answer is to put down your self-righteous stones that make you feel better than others. What if Jesus is calling His followers to be known for what they are FOR than what they are AGAINST?
  • May 6, 2019RLC: Being
    May 6, 2019
    RLC: Being
    Before we are called to do anything for Jesus, we are called to spend time with Jesus. However, in our desire to follow Jesus we often jump into action and forget that our DOING flows out of our BEING with Jesus. In the coming weeks, Jesus will call us to Forgive, to Serve, to Give, and to Go. None of these are possible unless we first learn to abide in Being with Jesus.
  • Apr 28, 2019RLC: Introduction
    Apr 28, 2019
    RLC: Introduction
    More than half of the words in the Gospels come from the mouth of Jesus. These are the Red Letters of Scripture. We memorize them, we quote them, we write books about them, we post them on social media. Jesus called us to do none of these things. He called us to do them!  God’s Word is living, active and life-changing for those who read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it.  Let us open our hearts to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we embark on this 40-day challenge.  
  • Apr 21, 2019Consider Jesus
    Apr 21, 2019
    Consider Jesus
    Series: (All)
    Consider that this morning we celebrate a victory - Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was slain for our sins, but He has risen from the dead! Through baptism and faith in His Name we have forgiveness and eternal life. That means that because He has risen, we too will rise. That’s something to celebrate! … Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
  • Apr 18, 2019Love is the Greatest
    Apr 18, 2019
    Love is the Greatest
    Series: Love Is
    The night before He dies, Jesus shows His disciples how great His love is for us by doing the work of a servant and washing His disciples' feet. Love is so great, it moves us to do sacrificial things!
  • Apr 14, 2019Love is Fulfilling Promises
    Apr 14, 2019
    Love is Fulfilling Promises
    Series: Love Is
    Jesus knows He will soon die when He rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Yet, He goes to Jerusalem anyway. Matthew says He does so, in part, to fulfill a prophecy from Zechariah. Jesus keeps this promise in the prophecy out of His love for us.
  • Apr 10, 2019Love is All Things
    Apr 10, 2019
    Love is All Things
    Series: Love Is

    Forgiveness and love are intimately connected. You will never be able to love someone well if you are not able to forgive them for the times they do not love you well. We should seek, on the one hand, never to lead someone we love into sin while, on the other hand, forgiving others when they tempt us into sin, or sin against us.

  • Apr 7, 2019Love is Truthful
    Apr 7, 2019
    Love is Truthful
    Series: Love Is
    Achan’s lie hurts not only Achan, but the whole Israelite community. To love someone is to tell the truth, even when the truth embarrasses us, or is tough for them to hear!