Dec 18, 2016
The Ghost of Christmas Future – Transformation
The Ghost of Christmas Future was sent to terrify Ebenezer Scrooge (from Charles Dicken’s 
A Christmas Carol) with a vision of his future - one of loneliness, gloom, and death - if he did not change his ways.  During our worship today, may we experience a renewed wonder that our God was incarnate and sent to this world at Christmas to give us a vision of our future: one of joy, peace, and glory!
  • Dec 18, 2016The Ghost of Christmas Future – Transformation
    Dec 18, 2016
    The Ghost of Christmas Future – Transformation
    The Ghost of Christmas Future was sent to terrify Ebenezer Scrooge (from Charles Dicken’s 
    A Christmas Carol) with a vision of his future - one of loneliness, gloom, and death - if he did not change his ways.  During our worship today, may we experience a renewed wonder that our God was incarnate and sent to this world at Christmas to give us a vision of our future: one of joy, peace, and glory!
  • Dec 11, 2016The Ghost of Christmas Present – Repentance
    Dec 11, 2016
    The Ghost of Christmas Present – Repentance
    pictureIn Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol
    , the Ghost of Christmas Present was sent to haunt Ebenezer Scrooge with visions of his miserable condition.  In the same way, our God sends the Holy Spirit to us through His Word to bring us to repentance about the sin that causes the misery in our lives.  May we open our hearts to the visitation of the Holy Spirit in our worship as we await Christmas.  
  • Dec 4, 2016The Ghost of Christmas Past – Sorrow
    Dec 4, 2016
    The Ghost of Christmas Past – Sorrow
    The weeks of Advent which lead up to the celebration of Christmas can be times of sorrow for many people, for many reasons.  It may feel that we bear spiritual chains, just as the ghost of Marley did at the beginning of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.  May it be that we are freed from any and all sorrow by the visitation of the Holy Spirit, during worship today.
  • Nov 27, 2016Developing Patience and Prayer
    Nov 27, 2016
    Developing Patience and Prayer
    A lot of your life is spent waiting. You need patience in every area of your life.  The book of James teaches us about patience. In chapter 5, St. James uses the word "patience" or "perseverance" six times, giving us three different illustrations to teach us when to be patient, why to be patient, and how to be patient. But what shall we do while we wait?  James concludes his epistle with clear instructions to pray in our challenges and to pray in our waiting.  Prayer allows us to wait with hope.  As we begin this season of Advent, that is just what we do ... wait with hope!
  • Nov 20, 2016Being Wise with Your Wealth
    Nov 20, 2016
    Being Wise with Your Wealth
    Many people wrongly believe that the Bible teaches that it's wrong to be wealthy. They think that the Bible says that "Money is the root of all evil" It actually says "The love of money is the root of all evil."  (emphasis added.) God is not opposed to wealth, in fact, many good people in the Bible were extremely wealthy including Abraham, Job, David and Solomon in the Old Testament and Barnabas and Joseph of Arimathea in the New Testament.  So God is not opposed to wealth, simply for wealth's sake. But God is very much opposed to the misuse and abuse of wealth. He wants us to use our wealth wisely, no matter how much or how little we have.  Today we are going to look at both wrong and right uses of wealth - so that no matter how much money we have, we use it wisely.
  • Nov 14, 2016God at Work in Faithful Warriors
    Nov 14, 2016
    God at Work in Faithful Warriors
    Series: (All)
    Even in battle, God goes with and before his people.  He gives audacious courage to a young shepherd boy facing a war-hardened giant.  He gives unequaled faith to a humble centurion.  And God guides America's greatest generation to victory in an epic struggle between good and evil.
  • Nov 6, 2016Facing Your Future
    Nov 6, 2016
    Facing Your Future
    2016-james-series-cropped2Wouldn't you like to be able to predict the future?  People try.  Some use tea leaves, fortune cookies, astrology, palm reading and more - all in an effort to get a grasp on the future.  We read books, subscribe to services that provide forecasts and economic predictions. We attend conferences and seminars on planning and goal setting, and on and on. But what is the Christian viewpoint toward the future? How are we to prepare for and react to the unknowns in our future?  St. James has something to say about that - including some mistakes to avoid.
  • Oct 30, 2016Not Trying to Play God
    Oct 30, 2016
    Not Trying to Play God
    We tend to judge others.  We don't like to admit it, but we make judgments about other people.  We don't always speak those judgments out-loud, but we make them in our heart.  We do this with people we are close to, as well as people we've only observed briefly.  The truth is that what we judge in others is in fact often the very thing we dislike in ourselves.  Psychologists have known this for a long time - we tend to react to what we perceive as our own weaknesses.  This makes sense, because we are all guilty of breaking the same Law - God's Law.  The challenge for us, James points out, is that there is only one Lawgiver - and therefore only one Judge.  God. 
  • Oct 23, 2016Avoiding Arguments
    Oct 23, 2016
    Avoiding Arguments
    2016-james-series-cropped2 James doesn't beat around the bush. He gets right to the point. He doesn't waste any time. Long before modern psychology came along he had some profound insights on the cause of conflict: "What causes fights and quarrels among you. Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?" (4:1) James says that the cause of arguments is conflicting desires. When my wants conflict with your wants we have conflict.  The question we discuss today, is how does the Christian respond when that happens?
  • Oct 16, 2016Relating Wisely to Others
    Oct 16, 2016
    Relating Wisely to Others
    (Sharefaith App Image)People are great, aren’t they?  Some of them, yes.  But some of them are irritating, intimidating and annoying to us - if we're honest. The fact is, a lot of the problems we have in life are because of personality conflicts. We don't get along with people.  James gives us some practical advice on dealing with other people - even those we don't really like. James 3:18 is a key verse,"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."
    James teaches us that we need to be wise in the way we act toward people. Today we will learn how Christian wisdom differs from human wisdom.
  • Oct 9, 2016Managing Your Mouth
    Oct 9, 2016
    Managing Your Mouth
    (Sharefaith App Image)
    Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 
    "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Jesus reveals in this verse that what comes out of our mouths displays what is in our hearts. Our words have an effect on the people around us, but perhaps more importantly they affect us. 
     Our words have the power to direct the course of our lives - toward good, or toward destruction.  And our mouths have the ability to praise God or praise self - to give witness to God's goodness and mercy, or to shout curses.  Such a little piece of anatomy; so much influence.
  • 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
    (Sharefaith App Image)
    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.