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When Ugly Turns To Beautiful

UGLY SWEATER, UGLY SIN . . . We tend to treat sin as though it is an ugly sweater that has become fashionable. “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:6-8 “The barrier I have met is almost total...



"Advent" (Isaiah 9:2-7; 11:1-2; 12:1-2, 25:6-9) Works cited/Recommended Reading: ESV Study BibleHidden ChristmasChristians in the Age of OutrageCome Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional 1. Joy to the world!Isaiah 9:3 (ESV) - Ed Stetzer - Ed Stetzer 2. God rest ye merry gentlemen!Isaiah 11:1-2 (ESV)Isaiah 12:1-2 (ESV)Luke 2:10-11 (ESV) 3. Come thou long expected Jesus!Isaiah 25:6-9 (ESV)Psalm 13:1-2a (ESV)


Thanksgiving - The Cheerful Giver

The Cheerful Giver The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifullyd will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiencye in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his...


Why We Value Spiritual Health

Being spiritually healthy means daily evaluating your heart to see if there is anything hindering growth. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24 A heart that is spiritually dead “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the...


Why We Value Life-Change

THE CORE: A LETTER TO THE LUKEWARM Revelation 3:14-22 Jesus knows the true condition of your heart. “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16 “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:17 Life-change never happens until a person...


Mark Cramer's Story



Crying Out To God

Psalm 107 Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So 1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from troublea and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he...


Why We Value Community

THE CORE: WHY WE VALUE COMMUNITY Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18; Acts 2:42-47 WE VALUE COMMUNITY . . . Because God has created us for community. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness . . . So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26a, 27 “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18 Because the...



THE CORE: AUTHENTICITY 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 2 Corinthians 6:3-11; Philippians 3:12-16 AUTHENTICITY’S ENEMY . . . One of the greatest hindrances to authenticity is fear. AT THE CORE OF AUTHENTICITY . . . Authenticity is not being true to yourself but being true to who you are in Christ. “Spiritual pride is the illusion that we are competent to run our own lives, achieve our own sense of self-worth, and find a purpose big enough to give us meaning in life without God.” Tim...



Psalm 133:1-3 Ephesians 4:32 Matthew 18:21-35 Psalm 139:23-24


Why Does Missions Matter?

Matthew 28:18-20 1) God's mission is to reach the world. 2) All Christians are called to join God in His mission. 3) Effective Participation in God's mission demands discipline.


Vision Sunday (2018)



Prayer - Praying Boldly

PRAYER: MORE THAN JUST WORDS Joshua 6:1-20 “Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Why? Because they don’t require divine intervention. But ask God to part the Red Sea or make the sun stand still or float an iron axhead, and God is moved to omnipotent action.” Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker God is the One...


Prayer - Spiritual Battle

THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE . . . “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,...


Prayer: More Than Just Words - Part II

Matthew 6:5-13 PRAYING GOD’S WORD . . . Powerful and effective prayer is shaped by the abiding word of Christ in you. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 God answers prayers that are saturated with the truth of His word. “For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 “God only answers petitions that His Son...


Prayer: More Than Just Words

Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Romans 12:12b “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 “ . . . pray without ceasing . . .” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “ . . . be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12b GOD’S INVITATION . . . Prayer is God’s invitation to enter into His presence. Everything flows from the presence of God. “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures...


The Gift of Administration

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (ESV) Luke 22:24-26 (ESV) The Gift of Administration leads the church to be a people of order while reminding the church of the God of order. 2 Timothy 2:4 1 Corinthians 14:33 Psalm 19:1 Romans 11:36 Works Cited/Further Reading: ESV Study BibleThe MacArthur Study Bible (NASB)Hidden ChristmasSpurgeon on LeadershipCome and See


The Gift Of Prophecy

SPIRITUAL GIFTS: PROPHECY 1 Corinthians 14:1-33, 39 YOU MAY HAVE THE GIFT OF PROPHECY IF . . . You have a desire to serve God, empowered by His Spirit, to boldly and fearlessly proclaim God’s truth. You have a sense of discernment and a desire to make people aware of sin in their lives, so they will repent. You have the ability to easily spot what is wrong and often have to look to find something right. You have a strong burden over the brokenness of people that compels you to pray...


The Gift Of Serving

SPIRITUAL GIFTS: SERVING 1 Peter 4:10- 11; Romans 12:7 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 THE GIFT OF SERVING . . . THE GRACE AND GLORY OF GOD IN SERVING . ....