Sermons

    Some stories stick with you. Do you know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? Or have you heard the one about the Little Red Hen? These childhood stories are cute but they are meant to teach greater lessons about persistence and hard work. Through the characters and narrative we learn.

    Jesus was a master at hiding truth in plain sight. He told stories to the masses. Some are easily and quickly grasp. Some have wholesome characters and others righteous villains. But all of them contain spiritual truth about salvation, the kingdom, and following Him.

    This summer we will explore these stories - the Parables. Join us as we seek to discover the truths hidden in plain sight!
    In the closing chapter of the Apostle Peter’s life, he writes to believers seeking to live out their faith. Is there something more they need? Do the teachers whispering in their ear have the secret? What do they need to know? Join us as we explore 2 Peter and discover God’s Empowering Grace.
    How does the storyline of the Bible fit together? How many stories are there? How many heroes? What are the key teachings of the Bible? This class will seek to simply explain the Bible. We will unfold two key ideas - The Biblical Storyline and Key Teachings of the Bible. Join us for this journey --- "How to Study the Bible?" series from "30 Days to Understanding the Bible" by Max Anders.
    Have you ever had post-holiday let down? The holiday arrives in a flurry of activity and excitement. Then it’s gone. And the next day comes. We get back into our day-to-day routines and life continues to plod on. From a Christian standpoint, it would be easy for us to feel that way about Easter. We are reminded of the horror of Good Friday and the power of Resurrection Sunday, but then Monday comes. It would be easy to abandon the joy of the Resurrection as it fades into just another holiday. But the truth is the resurrection changed everything on that day and for everyday afterwards. So, in one sense, we come together every Sunday to be pointed back to that truth. Even for the disciples, in those days following the resurrection, this truth changed everything.
    Life is filled with ups and downs, laughter and tears, joy and fears. But often as Christians we are taught that emotions shouldn’t play a part in our lives. We shouldn’t be guided by them. And when they pop up we should do all we can regain our stoic demeanor. If they are the negative emotions we should put on a smile and soldier on. But is that really the case?

    An honest reading of the Psalms seems to bring a very different experience. These tear soaked pages contain responses to real life in all its joys and horrors. They contain praises and sobbing. They have cries for justice and judgement along with pleas for mercy. How do we understand them? And how can these provide a pattern for our own experience?

    Join us this summer for our series Psalms: emotion and devotion.
    Next year, 2017 will mark the 500 anniversary of a monk and mallet changing the world. When Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to Wittenberg, a rediscovery was begun. The medieval church both through ignorance and malice had distorted the gospel. The reformation solidified around five simple but profound truths - the 5 Solas. We want to take a few weeks to revisit these truths. And by doing so not only discover our heritage but more importantly return to basic of Christianity. Will you join us?
    Following Christ is about what you do and don’t do. Right? That’s what it means to follow him. Isn’t it? When people describe Christianity, they are more likely to use the word ‘religion’ then ‘freedom’.

    But the Apostle Paul was violently opposed to religion. He wanted the Galatians to understand the purity and freedom that is found in believing and living out the true gospel.

    This fall we will work through the important letter to the Galatians to better understand the gospel and the dangerous imposter to it. And not only will we seek to understand these critical truths but how they daily impact our lives.

    Will you join us as we explore true gospel freedom?
    Our world is changing. The events in the courts, on the streets, in the news, around the internet, across the world, and even in our houses of worship have unsettled many. How are we to respond?

    Some have withdrawn in fear. Others have become louder and louder in hopes of inciting change. Still others have lingered in confusion. And some have just willingly closed their eyes hoping that through ignorance things might return to great familiarity.

    Does God have anything to say about how we respond? Is He concerned about what is going on? What is He calling us to say? What is He wanting us to do?

    Will you join us as we explore God’s requirements for us in this crazy world? They are different than you might think.
    Have you ever been around something so much it fades into the background and you forget it’s there? Early in our marriage, my wife and I moved into an apartment just yards away from the railroad tracks. For weeks we were startled from bed by the 3AM freight coming down the line. But after about a month or so, we never heard it again. Did it stop? No. We just got use to it.

    Unfortunately it can be like that with spiritual truth. When we hear something over and over and over we fail to see the reality of what it is teaching us. That is no where more true then The Lord’s Prayer. Many can recite it from memory. The phrases are familiar. But what if I asked you, ‘how has the Lord’s prayer changed your prayer life?’ Other then meaningless parroting now and then we would probably say not at all. But it was originally meant to give us template to transform our prayer. So why hasn’t it?

    We all have a story. Some of them are with dramas filled with wild twists and turns. Some are love stories. And some might be considered tragedies. But most of us are just boringly normal.

    But what if there was a greater story? And what if your story and my story were just small parts of one huge story--a story that was more ancient than we thought and wide enough to include every person who has ever lived? And what if that one big story that put into perspective all of our stories?

    This year at Hope we are exploring the Story that explains it all. Take some time to browse through some key events of this story below.

    Wanna read the story for yourself? Here is a copy of the reading schedule for this year.

    The Beginnings - How did it all start? Where did we come from? Is this how things were meant to be? In the important opening chapters of the Story, we explore these questions.

    From the very beginning the story line has been about God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule. But not far from the beginning it all went very wrong. God’s people decided to rebel and become their own people and reject God’s rule. So God kicked them out of His place. The rest of the story is about redeeming, renewing, and recreating those initial realities.

     

    God’s rescue mission has begun. And the promises that were first given to Abraham of a descendant, a land, and blessing are beginning to be realized. But God is not done. The story of the Kingdom is how this family goes from a small few to a nation. In this transformation they struggle with the surrounding nations, their leaders, and their own hearts. Listen for how this new kingdom finds its way under God’s rule.
    The promises of a people, a land, and a blessing had been made by God. And He had fulfilled, by both miraculous and mundane means, His words. However, the people of Israel had consistently failed and run after other gods. The peak of the kingdom had come under David and Solomon, but now they were long gone and the nation languished in cycles of rebellion and judgment. Would the promises of God still hold? How could they come true now? Would God abandon His people? In this next section of the Story, we will see how the story line takes some twists and turns. And we will see that God’s promises don’t retreat, but advance to even greater and deeper levels.

    The first half of the Story (the Old Testament) has told us that we have a problem, a deep, pervasive problem. We are rebels against God. Instead of worshipping, loving, and serving Him, we decide to forge our own destructive path.

    But God is merciful. And He has initiated a plan to save us. The plan will come in the form of a person. As we enter into the next phase of the Story, we meet this one who has been sent to save us all.

    Click for a copy of the reading schedule.

    The following is the audio from the "i want a New Marriage" seminar to remember, recommit, and renew one of your greatest possessions: Your Marriage!

    •You will get an objective snapshot of your marriage relationship—Strengths and Growth areas
    •You will have an opportunity to learn and practice skills that will strengthen your relationship and help you resolve conflict.
    •You will work together to develop a plan to address the growth areas of your marriage.
    •You will leave encouraged to move forward in a healthy, intimate relationship.

    Peter was an apostle, who walked with Jesus, led the early church, and knew a little about difficult circumstances--both self-inflicted and externally imposed.  But he also knew something about hope.  We are going to take a look at his background, his life with Jesus, and his leadership in the church. 

     

    I pray that this series will give us all a realistic look at life and a reason for true, living hope.
    Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).  -  (Matthew 1:23 ESV)  ---

    Have you ever felt the presence of God? Was it one of the holy moments? Those times seem rare, isolated to moments of special venues and secret times. They are hard to describe and even harder to recapture. But what if God was here? Right where you are? That time and space would become sacred. Not in a mysterious hidden temple kind of way but at a spot where you met the only one who knows you thoroughly because he created you.
     
    We are told that in Jesus we are promised not a God that hides on lofty mountains or in secret temples, but someone who dwells with us! He is ‘God with Us’! Will you join us this week as we explore and celebrate Immanuel?
    Common sense seems to be in short supply these days. While millions of bits of information is rushing past us, we seemed to have dropped common sense to grab the latest, greatest, and fleeting info. But in doing so have we have forgotten how to really live?

    Try to regain some Uncommon Sense by diving into the book of Proverbs. This is an ancient book about daily life. It talks about friendship, money, sex, work, marriage, and more. And along the way we will discover that common sense just might not be that common after all.
    Broken. Betrayed. Hurt. Bitter. Stung. When I read those words my mind is flooded with the faces of people who have moved through my life and left destruction behind. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you are gun shy to enter into relationships because of your history.

    Enter the gospel. When it enters our life it hits the 'reset' button on our primary relationship with God. So it must impact our relationships with those around us.

    We examine the small personal letter of Philemon. In it Paul writes to his friend, Philemon, who had been betrayed by his slave Onesimus. We will get a front row seat to see the how the gospel reorients our relationships and make them a living demonstration of the cross --- a great picture of how the gospel not only changes our relationship with God, but transforms our relationships with others.  

     

    Have you ever asked the question - WHY?

    We live in a world filled with tragedy. Some exist on a grand scale like war or famine. But others are devastatingly personal: the loss of a loved one, sickness, & pain. Why do these things happen? Better yet why do they happen to YOU. Have you ever wanted to ask God - WHY?

    Meet Habakkuk. He lived in a time of national tragedy. He looked at his nation and asked, why. In fact he asked it directly to God. And God answered.

    Come hear their conversation. And maybe God will answer your why question too.
    It was just a week. But it changed the course of all of human history. On Sunday the crowds yelled for him to become king. But by Friday they were screaming for his execution. What happened? Do you know the back-story? Why does it matter?

    We will Journey to the Cross to discover this incredible story and how it changes everything.
    Examine the seven sayings of Christ and considers His cross-work, where He defeated Satan, sin, and death through His resurrection.
    God's perfect work through imperfect people.
    Do you have hope? Not just a wish or a dream but real, ongoing, life-changing hope. This world is filled with difficulties and disappointments on both a personal and global level. Discover the source of true hope as we go through "The Dawning of Indestructible Joy" by John Piper.
    Understanding God's Wrath and Grace
    Advent is a season of anticipation. We wait for family. We wait for presents. We wait for the celebration. We wait for the day. With each passing day the anticipation builds. But what if never came? What if like cursed Narnia, it was always winter but never Christmas? If that level an anxious anticipation pains you, you are starting to understand Advent. Because Advent is a season pointing us back to entry of One person. One for which the world was pregnant for millennium, Jesus Christ. 
     
    Will you come wait and celebrate with us this Advent season. Each Sunday in December we will sing, read scripture, light the Advent wreath, and examine these important hope we share.
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