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Evil Prevails - Episode 46

Edmund Burke said, "Evil prevails when good men do nothing." That is the sad story of Eli in 1 Samuel. And it is our story today. Check out this episode as we look at the contrast between the sons of Eli and Samuel. And we ask ourselves, Now that we know about it, what are we going to do about it?


Who Is Your Hero? - Episode 45

Who is Your Hero? Hannah's Hero 1 Samuel 2:1-2 Hannah had prayed with a bitter heart. Now her heart expresses joy. Joy is lasting but happiness is fleeting. Hannah’s joy comes from her position “in the Lord.” “My horn” is in reference to power. Hannah’s power comes from her position “in the Lord.” The greatest power over people is sin. But those that are in Christ have power over sin. Romans 6:5-14 She can smile at her enemies because the Lord has saved her. Nothing and no one can...


Does God Care? - Episode 44

The unrelenting prayers of a barren woman changed a nation and the world. With this lesson, we begin a new study on the Life of King David. I have included below a sample of the sermon handout. The Situation Israel needed godly leadership. Judges 21:25 God used a nobody from a family of nobodies to be an answer to this problem. 1 Samuel 1:1-2 The Impact 1 Samuel 1:4-8 Elkanah gave her a double portion or he gave her only one portion. Regardless, Peninnah tormented Hannah. This...


The Purpose of Jesus - Episode 43

Welcome to Faith in the Valley. For these show notes, I have attached a sample of my Sunday morning sermon handout. Where the words are underlined I typically leave a blank and then coordinate the handout with the slides. The podcast episode does not match the Sunday sermon exactly, but they are close. Let's see if this tool works. Your Takeaway You will never be right if you get Jesus wrong. Handout Confusion John 3:9-17 Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a religious leader. Being born...


A Fool For Christ - Episode 42

Stephen Colbert defines a fool as "someone who doesn't act according to logic...who doesn't act according to social norms or social expectations of what a human reaction would be." Today we will study what it means to be a fool for Jesus Christ. You see, being a fool is one thing, but being a fool for Christ is something altogether different. Your Takeaway If you are a fool for Jesus Christ then you have all the wisdom and all the power you will ever need. The Lesson The Cross Causes...


Unity In Spite of Differences - Episode 41

How can a church achieve unity if everyone is different? Great question. But it is possible. Unity doesn't mean we dress alike, look alike, or vote alike. Unity is found in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the cross. Takeaway The cross is the solution for church division. The Lesson Definition of Fellowship - 2:25 Philippians 2:1-2 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy...


Help for the Broken Church - Episode 40

The Church is broken. Not just our local church, but most churches which surround us. Even those that we deem to be successful. Why? Well, the short answer is that people are broken. And people populate churches. Open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians chapter 1. Takeaway Before we dive into the lesson, here is your takeaway. The church is not about you. The church is not about your pet program – missions, choir, Sunday School, Small Groups or children’s ministry. The church is not right to...


Cain & Abel The Two Worshipers in Every Church - Episode 39

In every church, there are only two worshippers. Whether it is a large church or a small, you will find only two worshippers in attendance. What am I talking about? Turn to Genesis 4 and I will explain. There are only two worshippers in any church. There is either an Abel or a Cain. As we study this idea you need to ask yourself and God which am I? Today, as we continue with our series, Getting to Know God we need to learn just one thing. Your Takeaway Today’s Takeaway is this: Worship...


How to Handle Temptation - Episode 38

Even after many years of being a Christian I still struggle with temptation. I know what the Bible says. I try to do my best. But still, I am tempted to do wrong. Maybe that is you as well. You know what is right but you are tempted do wrong. Takeaway Today we will study the subject of temptation. And I want to give you a simple takeaway. If you put Jesus first you will overcome temptation. James 1:13-15 Open your Bible to James 1:13. From James, I want you to understand some basics...


A Quick Study on Lucifer - Episode 37

I want to be brief with this lesson. I want to do it quickly. Why the rush? Because today we will study Lucifer and I have no desire to give Lucifer any significant time. Here is today’s takeaway. Lucifer wants to fill you full of lies and he wants to steal God’s glory. Ezekiel 28:12-15 Open your Bible to Ezekiel 28 and find your way to verse 11. Here we find a lament for the king of Tyre. But it is understood by most Bible scholars that this lament is for Lucifer, the fallen...


God Has Given You Your Purpose for Life - Episode 36

Several people have said, “If you aim at nothing you will hit nothing.” And you know what? I believe that. A life lived without purpose is a life without focus, a life without a destination, a life without a goal. In the Bible, God tells us the purpose He has for our lives. He tells us in general or overall terms. He then sets out some specific purposes again for all of us. And He guides us to understand our Personal Purpose, the purpose He has just for you. In today’s lesson, we will...


You Are Creative Because God is Creative - Episode 35

This past week I was at the church Saturday morning for a meeting. Around 11 AM, when the meeting was breaking up, Russ, one of our elders entered the church carrying large box. In the box was a mixer, some bowls, and ingredients for a project. There were eggs, milk, coconut flakes, and saltine crackers. I knew quickly what Russ was up to. He was going to use the church kitchen to make Cracker Pudding. That’s right, you heard correctly, Cracker Pudding. Cracker Pudding is a Carroll County...


Getting to Know God - Episode 34

In Colossians 1, starting at verse 9, Paul begins to pray. He is praying for the church in Colossae and he is praying for us. What does he pray? Paul has some specific requests. Among them is his desire for us to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. And later, Paul prays that we would increase in the knowledge of God. This request of knowing God should come as no surprise. God created all humans to have a relationship with Him. Any relationship is based on knowing something about...


Jesus is Life

Here is the truth of the matter. Sin brings death. Adam brought death on mankind with his sin in the garden. But Jesus brings life. His person, sacrifice, and resurrection bring life. This life defeats death. Today we will look at the seventh and final sign performed by Jesus and recorded in John’s Gospel. This sign is the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Before we do, I would like to take one minute and review the other six signs. Each sign declares and aspect of Jesus. Each reveals a...


Overcoming Spiritual Blindness - Episode 32

The world is a dark place. Just today, as I was preparing this lesson, a man drove a van up Las Ramblas in Barcelona and killed 13 people and injured another 100. On any given day, terrible things done to others. Child abuse, rapes, murders. The world is a dark place. But it is also dark in your local community, where good citizens go about their business doing no harm to others. It is dark because they are blind, spiritually blind, and they move through life lost and hopeless. Today we...


Jesus is God of the How - Episode 31

Sometimes life is overwhelming. Moments, situations, goals, whatever. You have no idea how this thing will work out. How will you overcome this situation? How will you accomplish this goal? How will you endure this moment? Maybe your family member has cancer. Maybe your spouse has left you. Maybe you’ve started a new job or created a new business. Whatever that thing. You wonder, how will this work out? And this is what you need to know - Jesus is God of the How. And that is our...


Jesus is Able To Meet Your Greatest Need - Episode 30

Let’s start with a question. What is your greatest need? What is your deepest longing? I know mine. And I am certain you know yours. This question is related to today’s takeaway. Today we must come to understand that Jesus is able. And He is able to fulfill your greatest need and your deepest longing. We are in a lesson series, pursuing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We want to see the glory of Jesus. Initially, we are looking at the seven signs performed by Jesus and...


God's Holiness Revealed - Episode 29

This is the fourth lesson on the subject of Christ’s glory. I want to remind you of our theme verse, 2 Corinthians 4:6. Here it is from the long forgotten Good News Translation. “The God who said, ‘Out of darkness the light shall shine!’ is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God's glory shining in the face of Christ.” And that is what we are attempting in this study. We want to open up the Scripture and search for Jesus Christ. It is like a...


Jesus Never Stops Caring for You - Episode 28

We are on a journey of discovery. Our goal is to understand the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. In the first leg of our journey, we are visiting the seven signs performed by Christ that are recorded in the Gospel of John. These signs reveal the Glory of Jesus. Our first was when Jesus turned the water into wine. This sign revealed Jesus’ love and mercy toward people. It demonstrated a truth about God – that God blesses both the righteous and the unrighteous. And it also revealed...


Selfie Church - Episode 27

We live in a self-centered world; a selfie-world. Sadly the church has become a place of self-worship. When this happens, the worship of Jesus is replaced with the worship of self. Takeaway Don't focus on your glory. Focus on the glory of Jesus Christ. Wrong Reason The people of Galilee were drawn to the words and works of Jesus. They were not drawn to Him. John 4:45 People followed Jesus for what He could do for them. People attend church for the same reason. Last Resort This...