Chances are this past week you said something you shouldn’t have. I’m guessing this past week you had an attitude towards someone that was unkind, even sinful. I bet this last week that you felt guilty for something. What’s wrong with you? It’s the same thing that is wrong with me and was wrong with the Apostle Paul. Please join us this Sunday and even invite a friend as we talk about the struggle that every Christian has every day in, “The War Within”.
Martin Luther, as he spoke about temptation, said it well, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair”. The question is, “How do we keep them from building their nests?” Join us this Sunday as we continue our “Gospel Truth” series in Romans in, “How To Avoid Temptation.”
We have celebrated Christmas and are now moving into a new year. As we do so, one of the things Laurelwood looks at is possibly selecting some new Elders to bolster our current council. The question we all ask ourselves is: ”Who should we recommend?"
Should it be someone who has owned their own business? Would financial experience be what we are looking for? Someone who has a great personality and gets along with everyone? Perhaps someone who has been a counselor? Maybe we need an ex-pastor or missionary? Possibly it should be someone younger who seems really on fire for God? Isn’t it about time we had a woman be an Elder? The questions can seem endless to us sometimes.
God inspired the Apostle Paul to write to two young pastors several letters to help them in the selection process in their churches. Those men were facing similar questions from the diverse spectrums of a brand new church to a well-established, entrenched church. Paul’s guidance proved priceless to them then and even today it can be the same for us.
This Sunday we will look at the qualifications and assurances that God gives us to help and encourage us in our selection of Elders. Although the list of qualifications seems exhaustive, we will try to look at it in a way that doesn’t leave us exhausted.
Greta Thunberg was just named Time’s Person of the Year for her work calling attention to climate change. If there was a Time Magazine Person of the year award back in 520 BC, Zechariah would certainly be worthy of consideration. His message spoke to a post-exilic nation that had returned to their homes but had not yet fully returned to God. We live in a post-Christian culture that needs a Zechariah to call us to fully return to the Lord today. Join us as we hear this message God has for us in “The Gospel according to Zechariah.”
John Ortberg, pastor and author, shared an interesting twist on the Christmas story; “Someone has recently pondered what the first Christmas might have been if wise women had come from the east instead of wise men. They would have asked for directions, made it to Bethlehem on time, helped with the delivery, cleaned up the stable, made a decent meal, and brought some practical gifts.” Where do you turn when the unexpected becomes your reality? Join us this Sunday as we look at, “The Gospel According to Isaiah.”
We celebrate Thanksgiving this week and yet, shouldn’t we be celebrating in thanksgiving to God every day? Don’t you have reasons for every day of life to thank God for who He is and what He has done? Join us this Sunday as we see, “Thanksgiving as a Way of Life”.
While Thanksgiving appears to be a celebration of family, food, and football, the back story to Thanksgiving included difficulties, disease and death. Join us this Sunday as we take another look at Thanksgiving through the lens of Scripture and our times in, “Thanking God When Life Is Tough.”
In Leadership magazine there was a cartoon by Mary Chambers of two women in a Bible study together. One of the women says to the other, “Well, I haven’t actually died to sin, but I did feel kind of faint once.” How do we understand when Paul says, “but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” Romans 5:20? Do we try to live in sinless perfection, or without moral restraint, or is there something else Paul has in mind? Join us this Sunday as we look at “Following Jesus Together.”
Have you sensed the darkness creeping in more and more? I am not talking about Daylight Savings time but the physical weariness and spiritual oppression that seems so tangible in our lives today? Join us this Sunday as we talk about both the helplessness we feel as well as the hope we can find in Christ as we look at Romans 5, “Help for the Hopeless.”
If someone handed you $5.00 without any conditions, would you take it? Jia Jiang, an entrepreneur who was paralyzed by the fear of rejection, decided to face his fears by handing out $5.00 to total strangers. How his experiment relates to our justification by faith is the subject of the message this week, “Can You Believe It?”
Most of us have an occupation, but each of us also has a calling. Because of the daily tasks that demand our attention, it is easy to become preoccupied with our occupation and miss our calling. A journey with Peter through John 21 will help us discover what holds us back, and how to step out of our fears and into our calling.
Ken Sande, author of Peacemaker, recently said that Christians often think of the Gospel as two doors. The door of conversion by which we are saved, and the door of heaven, that assures us where we will go when we die. He went on to say, that many Christians live in between those two doors according to the law. Could that be true? Could many of us be living life today, knowing we are saved and going to heaven, but the truth of the Gospel is not affecting our lives today? The Apostle Paul uses the life of Abraham to show us what justification by faith looks like in our lives today. Join us this Sunday as we look at “Living Between The Two Doors”.
It was two hugs that made the national news. Brandt Jean hugged Amber Guyger in court, following her conviction for the murder of his older brother, Botham. The story is even more incredible in the fact that the judge, who sentenced Amber to 10 years in prison for this crime, stepped down from her bench and hugged her. What would cause the brother of a slain man and a District Court Judge to hug a condemned murderer? Join us this Sunday as we look at Romans 3 in “Getting Right With God.”
Excuses. We all make them whether it’s about the mess we left behind, why we were late for work or class, or the things we say to get out of a ticket or trouble. But do we have any good excuses when God is the One we are talking to? Join us this Sunday as we face the sobering reality of being in the courtroom with God as our judge in “The Verdict Is In.”
Throughout history people have done many things to try and get right with God. Some have chosen to live in caves. Others have beaten their bodies or walk on their knees. Some have taken vows of silence, or poverty, become vegetarians, or even refuse to kill an insect…all in the effort to be right with God. People go to church or synagogue or mosque or a temple. They try to reach God with music; with and without instruments. There are so many things people have done in the name of religion to get right with God. How about you? Are you religious? How do you know? Join us this Sunday as we look at what it means to get right with God in, “But I’m religious.”