Joy from Another World (Dec.13, 2009)

The true Joy of Christmas, is not dependent on my situation or anything else in this world, it’s anchored in the unchanging grace and love of Jesus Christ; the One who understands my deepest fears, answers my deepest questions, and has revealed my deepest purpose. Click the link below to download.

Love from Another World (Dec. 6, 2009)

I see no reason to deny that there may be other forms of intelligent physical life in the universe; but as a Christian I already know that there are other forms of intelligent spiritual life in the universe (as the angel sent to Joseph in Matthew 1: 18-25 testifies); and that beyond all of this is the mind and purpose of the Creator who sent an emissary to explain to a frightened fiancé the lengths He was about to go to show us a love that is truly out of this world. Click the link below to download.

Hope from Another World (Nov. 29, 2009)

No doubt Zechariah breathed two great prayers as he stood in the holy place of the Temple for the first and last time in his life: "Lord, send your Messiah to deliver Israel from her enemies." And then, "Lord give me strength to bear the burden of being childless with my wife Elizabeth." But there, in that holy place, from beyond our world, an angel of the Lord brings hope to Zechariah: God's people have not been forgotten...and neither have you! Click the link below to download.

Christ and the Feast of Tabernacles (Nov. 22, 2009)

"I will be your God. You will be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you" (Levitcus 26: 11-12). Dr. Tuvya Zaretsky, one of the founders of Jews for Jesus, shares a special “harvest” time message that will bless Jews and Gentiles alike. Dr. Zaretsky explains why the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34ff.) was a powerful reminder to Israel that God longs to dwell in the midst of his people, and to make them fruitful...a dream fulfilled through Y'shua (Jesus) the Messiah (John 1:14). Click the link below to download.

The Song of Reconciliation (Nov. 15, 2009)

Papa said to Mack, “I want to take away one more thing that darkens your heart.” Mack immediately knew what it was and turning his head away from Papa, started boring a hole with his eyes into the ground between his feet…Now there was no holding back as hot tears poured down his face and between sobs Mack cried, 'Papa, how can I ever forgive that SOB who killed my Missy?'"(The Shack, p. 226). In The Shack, Mack discovers that forgiveness is key to the final step of healing that Papa wants to do in his life – but it may be the hardest step of all. Thankfully, Papa has not left us without some clear guidance when it comes to walking the difficult road that may or may not lead to reconciliation. Click the link below to download.

The Woman Jesus is in Love With (Nov. 1, 2009)

In this spiritually hungry age, interest in the person of Jesus is unmistakable and enduring; at the same time, the popular image of the church that bears his name is less than flattering. In Paul Young’s novel, The Shack, Jesus explains to Mack that the church is more than a cold institution…she is "the woman I'm in love with." Scripture speaks of at least three marks of the church that is Jesus' beloved bride: beauty, faithfulness, and love. Click the link below to download.

Here Come Da Judge (October 25, 2009)

There comes a time when each of us is absolutely certain that we could be better umpires than God; and that we could make better judgment calls if given the opportunity. In The Shack, Paul Young’s character, Mack, gets that very opportunity; but in the end he's certain about one thing: “I don’t want to be the judge!” Here are 4 biblical reasons why.... Click the link below to download.

The Keeper of the Garden (October 18, 2009)

"As Mack rounded the trees, he saw for the first time a magnificent was chaos in color...It was confusing, stunning, and incredibly beautiful....'Looks like a mess,' muttered Mack under his breath." (The Shack, p. 131). Our lives often feel like an unkempt garden, a random, chaotic mess. Yet, what seems like chaos to you and me – is a living fractal to God (a beautiful pattern that emerges out of seemingly random and chaotic events). Surprise! The Holy Spirit loves to work out God’s good plan in and through our messy lives. Click the link below to download.

Jesus in Jeans (October 11, 2009)

In Wm. Paul Young's novel, The Shack, Mack first sees Jesus "wearing jeans covered in wood dust and a plaid shirt, sleeves rolled above the elbows, revealing well muscled forearms. His features were pleasant enough, but he was not particularly handsome....Mack knew instantly that he liked him." What is it about Jesus Christ that drew people to him then, and that draw people to him today? The gospels are profoundly disinterested in Jesus' appearance; but they do suggest that he was great company, that he made God real, and that his life was profoundly human. Click the link below to download.

Papa & the Trinity (October 4, 2009)

Like Mack, in Wm. Paul Young's book, The Shack, many of us have distorted images of God; distortions that can only be changed by an encounter with the true God at the point of our deepest hurts and disappointments. Click the link below to download.

The Great Sadness (September 27, 2009)

Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Have you ever considered that great sadness might be one of God's greatest gifts? In Wm. Paul Young's novel, The Shack, Mack experiences a gut-wrenching personal loss that threatens to steal his faith and his hope. Mack's story illustrates several spiritual truths from scripture about grief: that it has a place in every human life; that it has many faces and expressions; and that God gives special grace to us in our sadness. Indeed, God can do miracles through those who mourn their losses, their sins, and the wrongs of this world that He wants to make right. Click the link below to download.

Missy's Questions...and Ours (September 13, 2009)

Like Missy in Wm. Paul Young's novel, The Shack, most of us have a few nagging questions that we'd like to ask God. These are questions that Scripture also deeply cares about: God, are you real? Are you good? And finally, do you really care about me and my deepest pain? Click the link below to download.

A Labor of Love (September 6, 2009)

We can be professionals who are Christians…but God save us from becoming professional Christians! The labor we do for God is always a labor of love or it is nothing at all. Unlike the labor of our hands, it is a work motivated not by profit, prestige, or personnel reviews, but by God's love for us; our love for God, and our love for people. Click the link below to download.

Overflowing Encouragment (August 30, 2009)

Paul writes, "All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us" (2 Corinthians 1: 3ff. / The Message) God is there for us so that we might be there for others. Are you going through some hard times? Listen to three powerful testimonies from Joseph Banuelos, Christine King, and Mirja Bishop...and experience God's encouragement right now. Click the link below to download.

Walking on Feet of Clay (August 23, 2009)

For centuries, people have used the phrase “feet of clay” from Daniel 2: 31-32 to describe an unexpected flaw or vulnerable point in the character of a hero or any admired person. In our culture of celebrity what do we do when the person we most admire fails or disappoints us? Click the link below to download.

Beware the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (August 16, 2009)

Who's afraid of the big bad sheep's clothing? For centuries, the phrase has referred to any hidden danger or those who portray goodness while intending evil. Jesus reminds us that the wolf is not just at the door, he's inside the church. He gives us 4 tests to see through his phony disguise... even if we are the one's wearing it. Click the link below to download.

Are You Casting Your Pearls Before Swine? (August 9, 2009)

Jesus wants us to know that each of us has in our possession things that are far more costly, far more valuable than gold, silver, or pearls. Do you know what they are; and how you will keep them out of the pig pen? Click the link below to download.

Thorns in Paradise? (August 2, 2009)

As good as things may seem to be in this life (or as bad) this is not the end! The end is eternal life. Paradise, real paradise, is yet to come. Through his all-sufficient grace, Christ is empowering us to serve him here in this imperfect world…and in the world to come. Click the link below to download.

God Bless Our 'Drop in the Bucket' (July 5, 2009)

Is America 'the greatest nation on God's green earth' or just 'a drop in the bucket'? As citizens of the kingdom of God, we're called to pray for and bless the country in which we live; while acknowledging that it is -- in the words of Isaiah - 'a drop in the bucket' when compared with the immensity and power of God. America's future depends on its willingness to be a humble servant of God among the nations. Click the link below to download.

Can a Leopard Change Its Spots? (June 28, 2009)

Last Thursday, two entertainment icons died – Farrah Fawcett was an icon of female beauty, and Michael Jackson an icon of pop music: for both of them, personal change was one of their biggest challenges. For all of us, change can be scary; and may seem impossible given our stubborness and sinful nature. But there is hope of real change in a grace-filled community, with a new vision of who God says we are, in the practices of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Click the link below to download.

Are You Ready to Get Some Rest? (June 21, 2009)

On this Father’s Day, a day supposedly of rest, it is our Heavenly Father who teaches us the true purpose of rest and how to experience its greatest blessings. In this message we explore the origin, necessity, and practice of sabbath rest. Click the link below to download.

Time to Put Your House in Order (June 14, 2009)

If all we’ve done to put our house in order is to vacuum the carpet, or make sure that our property is properly disposed of when we die, we have some unfinished business (and praying) to do. Putting your house in order means trusting God to bring order, harmony, and healing, to your house….in whatever way he chooses…and then to bring you to his Father’s house to live with him forever. Click the link below to download.

Pride Goes Before the Fall (June 7, 2009)

If Solomon is right and pride goes before the fall then let’s face it: we’ve all fallen flat on our faces. The good news is that by the grace of God we can recognize the signs of false humility and spiritual pride, and begin to grow in genuine humility by the example and power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Click the link below to download.

There's Nothing New Under the Sun (May 24, 2009)

The "Searcher" of Ecclesiastes explores four approaches to finding true satisfaction in life: the pursuit of knowledge, the devotion to work and career, the desire to be forever young, and the thrill of pleasure or anything new. His conclusion is that all is "emptiness" and that "there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9). It's a grim outlook, until we understand, as he did, that the ground of truth that gives meaning to our work, offers the hope of life beyond death, and is endlessly new and exciting cannot be found "under the sun" but beyond it (Ecclesiastes 2:26)! Click the link below to download.

It's More Blessed to Give Than Receive (May 17, 2009)

“It’s more blessed to give than receive.” This is a saying we might expect to see above a kitchen table, nicely cross stitched in a matted frame; but few of us would think of it with the seriousness that Paul used it on the day he bid a final farewell to his dear friends in Ephesus. For when Paul used it he wasn’t talking about a plate of cookies or a large and impressive sum of money, he was talking about his life. Jesus says that it is a blessing to receive; but that it’s an even greater blessing when we learn how to give. Paul explains why. Click the link below to download.

Who's the Apple of Your Eye? (May 10, 2009)

From the day of our birth, we have a deep need to be be noticed, valued, and ultimately loved, by others. "You are the apple of my eye." It's a familiar line, even a cliche, but how many of us realize that it's more than three thousand years old, a phrase that comes from the pages of the bible; a phrase that speaks not just of human love, but of the love -- one that can heal our deepest hurts and fulfill our deepest longings. Click on the link below to download.

The Last 'Scapegoat' (May 3, 2009)

These days, no one wants to be a scapegoat, unfairly blamed for the sins and failures of others, but everyone wants to have one. Let's face it, we are pretty much all masters of "the blame game" and the evasion of responsibility. Many are not aware that the word 'scapegoat' comes from a ceremony in which Aaron as High Priest confessed over a goat all the sins of Israel before leading it away into the wilderness (Leviticus 16: 20-22) as a sign of God's mercy. Followers of Christ believe that this foreshadowed the day when the Messiah Jesus would come to be the final scapegoat and our High Priest (Hebrews 10: 1-14), as he was led away to the cross and freely accepted blame for our sin. Jesus accepted blame even though he, of all people, was justified in blaming others. He forgave when he could have condemned. By the power of his Spirit, he has set us free to stop blaming and start loving as he loved us (1 John 4: 1-12). Click the link below to download.

Seek and You Shall Find (April 19, 2009)

Thomas is the premiere example in Scripture of the journey from skepticism and doubt to what the Apostle Paul calls, "the full wealth of conviction." Thomas was honest, refusing to say he knew what he did not know. Thomas was a scientist, wanting to see the evidence for himself. And when Thomas was convinced, he was passionate, declaring at the feet of the Risen Christ, "My Lord, and my God!" He voices our doubts that we might increase in faith. Immediately following this message is the testimony of video-game developer Peter Akemann, a brilliant man whose doubts were transformed into a robust and passionate faith in Christ. Click the link below to download.

Making All Things New (April 12, 2009)

The Risen Christ declares, “See, I am making all things new!” Yet some may justfiably look at the on-going troubles of this world and ask, “What's new? What has really changed since that first Easter?” Through Matthew's gospel and personal experience we've discovered that there really is a new beginning, a new kind of belonging, a new reason for believing, and a new blessing to share because Jesus is alive. Click the link below to download.

A Transforming Moment (Feb. 1, 2009)

Over the centuries, the word of God has transformed those who have taken time to read it. Martin Luther, a catholic monk whose soul was tormented by the thought of God's impossible expectations, lived a life wracked with guilt and fear. Then in 1515, while lecturing on Paul's letter to the Romans, God opened his heart and mind to the truth of his grace as he read and studied Romans 5: 1-11...and grasped that peace with God is a gift that is ours by faith in his Son who loved us and gave himself for us. This transforming message continues to speak to the hearts of men and women today, as Elder Moira Donnelly's testimony powerfully and personally illustrates. Click the link below to download.