Pastor Paul

Finding Joy in Jubilee

Finding Joy Sermon Series

October 21st, 2018

Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost.

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Leviticus 25:8-13

You perhaps noticed a theme developing thus far in this series, the realization that joy is not obtained through accidental encounter but rather through intentional pursuit.

In the early years of the nation of Israel, God would remind His people of the need to pursue joy by instituting the “Year of Jubilee”, a time in which people were liberated, property was restored, and life was intentionally simplified.  Perhaps there’s something of value in this tradition even for Americans today, namely that joy can be found just as sufficient in the act of giving things up and simplifying our lives as it is by adding to them.

Have you created space for joy in your day to day?  Let’s consider together.

We Are Charged

Jumpstart Sermon Series

September 16th, 2018

Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost.

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Mark 6:34-44

There’s no doubt that personal time with God makes up the foundation of a dynamic and growing faith life, but foundations are meant to be built upon, right?

Some of the most rewarding times in our spiritual journeys occur when we step out of our prayer closets and seek the Lord together. Pursuing God was never intended to be a solo act. Believe it or not, Jesus addressed this as He miraculously fed the 5000+, not so much with His words but in the truth that lies between the lines.

Let’s allow God to speak afresh through this story. Can more time seeking God together with others help jumpstart your faith? Time to find out.

What?

Bullhorn Sermon Series

August 19th, 2018

Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost.

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Ezekiel 2-3:3

What are we afraid of? Most of us can admit to the logic of how important
it is to share our faith. The Good News we have to offer can unlock eternity to
those who have yet to receive it. Yet with all the people that still claim Christ in
our world, how often do you actually encounter someone courageous enough to
witness to their faith, even in subtle and non-confrontational ways? Why?
Because we are afraid. The risk is too great. Well, it’s time to begin to name
those fears and confront them head on. As messenger to the wayward nation of
Israel, the prophet Ezekiel faced a task even more daunting than our own. Yet God
emboldened him for his assignment. And He can do the same for us. As risky as it
is to speak aloud our faith, even greater is the risk of remaining silent.

Why?

Bullhorn Sermon Series

August 5th, 2018

Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost.

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Mark 1:40-45

Before we stick our necks out there to engage in any task as anxiety-
inducing as faith sharing, it’s only natural to seek a solid explanation as to why we
need to do so in the first place. Can’t I just follow Jesus and keep my faith to
myself? It’s a valid question but the answer is already evident in the question
itself. Jesus stopped at nothing to share the Good News of God’s love with all He
came in contact with. Truly “following Jesus” demands that we do the same. The
leper in Mark 1 couldn’t help but share the Good News of Jesus Christ with
everyone he met. To him, it was a natural and joy-filled act. Perhaps his story can
offer some pointers for us.

First Fruits

Circles Sermon Series

July 1st, 2018

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Exodus 15:1-5

The notion of putting God first in life is one many believers widely embrace.

Of course God comes first, right! Yet putting this notion into practice is often a completely different story. Would we be more apt to put God in His proper place if we better understood the impact it has on every other relationship and experience we have in life/ Perhaps. God went to great extremes in the Old Testament to impress upon His people the importance of seeking relationship with Him first and foremost. From His provision of daily sustenance of flakes of grain appearing on the ground, to His very specific instructions for the treatment of animal sacrifices and annual harvests, God instructed His children as to what is truly most important in life. And guess what, it hasn’t changed! Let’s explore together.

Indivisible

May 27th, 2018

First Sunday After Pentecost & Memorial Day Weekend

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Mark 12:13-17

On this weekend in which we remember the sacrifice of our nation’s greatest heroes, we pause to ponder anew what it means to serve both God and country. 

Though our nation remains unified in many ways, the divisions among us are increasing, and the space between grows wider by the day.  As Christians, how are we to not only exist in but contribute to a divided world?  We are quick to forget that Jesus faced this same challenge during His time here on earth.  May his wisdom in responding to a fractured society grant us wisdom for the same 2000 years later.

Activate The Power Of Faith

Made For A Miracle Sermon Series

March 11th, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Pastor Paul is preaching.

God’s love, when we finally recognize and take hold of it, inevitably leads to a new awakening. 

Yet embracing God’s love is merely a launching point.  God would have us know the joy of a transformed heart, and new purpose for a new life we now embark on with God.  The motor that launches and sustains us on this new journey is called faith.  Faith is a powerful force with endless potential, but it is also a quandary for many of us.  How do we possess it, much less wield it?  We aren’t the first to confront such questions.  Peter confronted them all as he stepped off the edge of a boat to mosey across the surface of a lake.  Let’s take a closer look. 

 

The Miracle of Love

Made For A Miracle Sermon Series

March 4th, 2018

Third Sunday of Lent

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Luke 15:11-24

If we are, indeed, made to be a miracle reflecting God’s love and glory into the lives of others, we must first strive to understand and embrace God’s love and grace to the fullest extent for ourselves. 

In “Made for a Miracle”, Mike Slaughter declares that “Everything begins with our own understanding of God’s unfailing, unconditional love.”  Though a true appreciation for God’s love is beyond our reach in this world, our ability to experience His perfect plan for us is still dependent on soaking in and processing as much of His love as we possibly can.  Luke’s account of the story of the Prodigal Son will be our guide as we take one more pass at delving deeper into God’s unconditional love for us.

 

Church Rocks

The Land Sermon Series

February 4, 2018

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Matthew 16:13-20

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” 

These are the words of Jesus spoken to perhaps his most passionate follower during His ministry.  Of this there is little question.  A great deal of question surrounds this reference to a rock, however.  Was Peter himself the rock?  Was Jesus the rock?  Was Jesus pointing to a rock as He spoke?  Was Dwayne Johnson standing in close proximity (pop culture joke, if you don’t get it no worries!).  Questions certainly abound with regard to this statement by Jesus.  Now I don’t want to cheat you out of your own interpretation of this text.  However, at least for me, these questions were all I answered as our tour group stood in the exact location Jesus was likely standing in as He spoke these words.  I can’t wait to share “Church Rocks” as we launch this short sermon series.  Don’t miss it. 

The Rest of the Story

CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP - Lighting the Christ Candle.

2017 Advent Sermon Series: Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph

Luke 2:1-20

There is so much more to the story of Jesus than just his birth in the manger.

Christmas Eve is just a snapshot of Jesus and who he was and is to the world. Is that the type of faith that we have in him? Is our faith in Christ just a snapshot in our lives when things are really bad or really good? Joseph lived a life that was FAITHFUL so that generations who would come after him would live in faith. So many times his story could have gone in some other direction which would have changed our stories forever. What will the rest of your story look like after Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem again this year? Is Jesus just a snapshot or is your life now all about the story?

The Journeys that Choose Us

December 24, 2017: Last Sunday of Advent - Lighting the candle of LOVE.

2017 Advent Series: Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Luke 2:1-5

For Jesus, life would both begin and end following a journey from the region of Galilee south into Judea. 

Journeys often serve as book ends, or at the least defining moments in our lives.  Most of Jesus’ defining journeys in life were ones He never would have chosen.  Perhaps we can relate to Jesus in this way.  Yet this doesn’t stop the journeys from choosing us.  Let us consider together the journey Joseph faithfully guided his wife and unborn child on.  No doubt, it will be marked by plenty of displeasures.  Maybe your journeys have been defined by great agony or distress as well.  Yet while God has no desire to see us face trial, sometimes it is life’s most epic journeys that provide our greatest “coming of age” moments.  And all the more when we have our eyes open to God’s providence working in our midst.

Ten Percent Thankful

November 26, 2017 

Pastor Paul is preaching.

Luke 17:11-19

 

I hear it all the time around Thanksgiving. 

Those who are seeking to be true to the spirit of the holiday beckoning those around them to “remember to be thankful” this time of year.  Some even take on the practice of proclaiming a number of things in their lives that they are thankful for, either in their personal reflections or on social media, all to ensure the holiday maintains its sacred purpose.  I can’t help but ask myself, “Why do we need to remember to be thankful?  If thankful is something that we ARE rather than just something we DO, shouldn’t it be a natural part of our day to day, a sentiment well entrenched in our hearts?”  Of the ten lepers Jesus healed in Luke 17, only one returned to express gratitude.  Only one paused in the midst of receiving a mighty blessing to acknowledge the source of that mighty blessing.  What about us?  Are we truly thankful?  Let’s consider together the true meaning of Thankgiving.