BEING THE CHURCH

being the church

MARCH - JuNE

03/11/18  and so it begins

We have a picture of how the Church of Jesus Christ organized and moved in the world in the first century AD.  It was ALIVE in so many ways; ways that amazingly changed the world in its time.  In OUR time, the church in America presents its own unique face to the world.  What would it look like if we answered the call to be the church in our day that the Holy Spirit calls us to be?

BEING THE CHURCH - ...and so it begins!
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03/18/18  total devotion

God has a plan for spreading the truth about who He is and what He has done throughout the world.  Typical of Him, it relies not only on His beauty, and might, and righteousness, and love, but also on His church.... on me and you.  We cannot truly be the church while we rely on our own initiative or strength, but we must rely and deeply desire the Holy Spirit...ours for the asking.  Once filled, you stand ready for all that God dearly desires to do through you. Your part in changing the world.

BEING THE CHURCH - Total Devotion
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03/25/18  Ground zero  -  Brandi Ledbetter

The Christian life is the only truly authentic life style on the planet, but be careful before you congratulate yourself too much.  As they used to say in advertising, "Accept No Substitutes!"  A true follower of Jesus is marked by selfless devotion to Jesus, to His Father God, and the Holy Spirit.  Wherever that devotion calls you; in your home or in your workplace, or halfway around the world... think deeply about the cost and the reward of your every day choice to really follow... or not to.. 

BEING THE CHURCH - Welcome to Ground Zero
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04/01/18 dare to believe -Easter's fool

Celebrating Easter on April Fools' Day.  It seems too ironic to imagine, right?  In our world, people have a strange sense of proportion when it comes to truth.  When something is unprovable in the physical world, we say that we need to have faith to see it, we need to trust in the item in question.  TRUST is the acronym that drives our discussion today.  To reap the benefits that God has given us through Christ's resurrection, we begin with TRUST...  

BEING THE CHURCH - Dare to Believe - Easter's Fool
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04/08/18  entrusted with evangelism    Rev. Art Tober

We are not all Billy Grahams, thank God for His wisdom.  What we all are, as Christ followers, are Spirit-filled children of the King.  We all have a story to tell, and we all have a job, direct from God the Father.  We are to share that which we know with people that God brings across our path.  As lovers of Jesus, our stories are so compelling and so 'true' that any and every heart can be reached with God's love.  What other job would you ever want?  

BEING THE CHURCH - Entrusted with Evangelism
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04/15/18 The reason for our hope

In every circumstance, followers of Christ are called to be able to express the reason for their hope in Christ.  It can seem that we're surrounded on all sides by skeptics, and whether true or not, all of us should be able to give compelling reason for why we love Jesus and know our faith is true.  It's just what I believe is not the right answer.  What is YOUR right answer?

BEING THE CHURCH - The Reason for Our Hope
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04/22/18  embracing the wow

The first century, the Church experienced all sorts of examples of an active Holy Spirit at work in their midst.  Healings, true community, continual mass conversion of folks into the Body of Christ.  Do you experience these things in your world on a regular or even occasional basis?  The Holy Spirit remains the same, but do Jesus' followers?  What is your expectation of God's visibility in your world every day?  Will you expect and embrace what God is at work to do in your life?  What might await you and those closest to you if you would? 

BEING THE CHURCH - Embracing the Wow
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04/29/18  honest to god

One of the marks of empty faith is our urge to "negotiate" with God.  We bring Him a version of ourselves that we have built up by our words and our self-image that is just not true.  Observers see only one side of us, but there is another less attractive face we try to hide.  Through the act of trying to hide it from God we reveal our true selves.  To be authentic children of God we must relentlessly pursue honesty, especially within our own hearts.  Doing so can liberate our souls!  

BEING THE CHURCH - Honest to God
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05/06/18  you must choose

A Christianity that never forces you to choose likely is not authentic.  Discernment is not just a matter of using appropriate judgement but also also a matter of taking that which we learn about what God and actively applying it in your life.  The early church was faced with choosing moments on a regular basis, as are you.  The same is true of your life... You must choose.    

BEING THE CHURCH - You Must Choose
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05/13/18  pings and problems

Sonar is interesting.  It works because an energy wave is sent out, reflected back from an object, and heard and interpreted by the source.  If any part of that process brakes down, dangerous things can develop.  Attackers can go unnoticed.  Battles can be lost forever.  Is your spiritual sonar working for you as you grow toward Christ-likeness? Are you sending out pings?  Are you hearing the replies?  Are you interpreting or are you ignoring.  Be jealous for your soul.

BEING THE CHURCH - Pings and Problems
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05/20/18  it all starts with yes

We live in a culture where Christians are often thought of as "Just say no!" people.  Good advice as far as it goes regarding avoiding sin, but their are also sins of omission.  How often have we ignored the voice that asks us to do something good?  It's easy to think that ignoring God is a "victimless" act, but is that true?

BEING THE CHURCH - It All Starts with Yes
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05/27/18  give yourself away

Memorial Day is a time to think about sacrifice.  Many of us know of friends or family who have given all they have for the welfare of others.  If we as the church can do that as we are called to, we can change the world.

BEING THE CHURCH - Give Yourself Away
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06/03/18 graduation sunday

Graduation has long been viewed as a time of great transition; from what has been into what will be.  For lots of younger graduates it's also a time of moving towards greater freedom and self-definition.  It begs the question, what guides and motivates us during change?  What type of foundation allows us to grow and change and maintain the essence of our faith in Jesus as we do so?  Clay Stanton brings us a framework for success that is never-ending.

GRADUATION SUNDAY - Clay Stanton
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