Suffering and evil are given as the two most common reasons people can’t or won’t believe in God. Yet, it is out of the most diabolical and tragic instances of suffering that God uses to call people to believe in Him. This Easter, join us as we share the story of, “He Lives.”
If Jesus were to come to town today, how would he be received by your community? Your co-workers, friends, fellow students or neighbors? How would you respond to His coming? Join us this Sunday as we learn what Palm Sunday means to all of us in, “Here Comes Jesus.”
We live in a post Christian culture where everything seems to be okay to talk about except Jesus. Yet, we are called to be witnesses and, like the disciples who went before us, we should expect some pushback and even difficulties as we talk and live out our faith. But the question is this; Is it worth it? Is it better to keep quiet and avoid the hassle or risk the threat of being misunderstood, cancelled or worse? Join us this Sunday as we answer that question, “Is It Worth It?”
People are looking for personal fulfillment, happiness, and peace yet find disappointment and brokenness. Yet, as Jesus walked on earth He told us what that most important thing to do in all of life. Join us this Sunday as we hear about “That One Thing”.
No one will contest that we are currently living in increasingly difficult times. The question is why? Why is there so much fighting, violence, anger and hatred? Why is it that generations, races, and even Christians are seemingly at odds with one another? Join us this Sunday as we finish perhaps our most controversial sermon series as we look for answers in, “Kingdoms in Conflict.”
Abortion is probably one of the biggest political hot buttons in America. But politics aside, the sad reality is that there are many who have an abortion story that have been living in shame and secrecy for years or even decades. This Sunday we examine how believers can interact and engage with those who have been impacted by abortion and to respond in a godly way that points to the attributes of God.
For years now we have seen younger generations walk away from church and from the faith. We’ve also seen a trend at Laurelwood of younger generations leaving to find a church elsewhere. Laurelwood's leadership has had many discussions centered around this problem, however, to work towards solutions, we really need the whole church to be involved in this critical conversation. Please join us in this conversation and prayer over finding ways for Laurelwood to help the younger generations connect with church, experience Jesus, and become his disciples.
Is Scripture true? Is science true? Are they both true? Has science disproven the existence of God or the credibility of the Bible? These are critical questions that people in our technologically advanced world are asking and we should do our best to address them. Join us as we explore how Scripture and science relate to each other.
We live in a day that is becoming increasingly divided. Our culture loves to “take sides” and unfortunately, Christians sometimes take sides based on which voices are the loudest. When it comes to the issue of our planet and how to care for the world we live in, the Bible should be the loudest voice of all! This Sunday, we will try to ignore the noise from the different sides and the politics that often try to influence us, and we will examine what God says about stewarding this amazing world we live in.
The culture war between the LGBTQ+ community and the church has been exponentially increasing over the last decade. How should we as Jesus followers respond to this culture war? How can we minister and share Jesus with a community that seems at times opposed to us and our beliefs? Join us as I go through scripture to give us suggestions on how we should respond to this growing tension.
This Sunday we are talking about holy sexuality. Talking about sexuality might make some people feel uncomfortable, but we don’t need to let it be uncomfortable. Steve, Patricia, Sam, and Mindy will unpack for us why it is important to have this critical conversation with our loved ones.
Racial injustice is literally a hot topic today, yet, I believe this is the best time in our nation’s history to address it in a way that brings justice for all. Join us this Sunday to see how God would have us to not only have critical conversations on this topic but be part of His solution in “Racial Justice."
The political division in our country today is unlike anything we have experienced since our nation divided over the Civil War. Our U.S. Capitol was stormed on Wednesday with four people dying, one of them shot. Other state capitals nationwide this week have seen crowds gather, some carrying guns, which has led to the evacuation of some statehouses and lawmakers. As we continue our series on Critical Conversations let’s look at how Jesus would have us engage in political discourse this Sunday as we discuss, “Political Positions”.
There are so many critical issues today with such strong and divided opinions; Social justice, Climate change, gender identity, Science and the Bible, political divisions,… How do you respond as a believer in Christ? How do we, as a church, “become all things to all people so that we may by all means save some?” Join us this Sunday as we learn how to have, “Critical Conversations for Critical Times.”
As 2020 comes to a close, I think we can all agree on one thing: this has been a very strange year! Looking towards 2021, there are still uncertainties. There are still so many questions. I don’t know what this next year will look like, but I do know that God is for us and God is on our side. And in the midst of all we’ve gone through, we have great hope in a great God.
2020 will probably go down in history as a dark, depressing, and difficult year. Few of us have escaped from the distress, doubt, and despair of the myriad of events that have played on in life and in the media. Yet, Christ declares Himself to be the Light of the World. Join us this Sunday as we see the truth of that in “The Light in the Darkness.”
So much has already been said about the difficulties so many of us have faced this year. Whatever your individual situation, join us this Sunday in, “Rediscovering Christmas Joy.”
What is the value of preaching about end-time events? Does it have anything to do with present-day needs and stresses? We need strength as we struggle with stress, strains, anxieties, so how does what is happening in the future help us? We will gain wise insight when we look forward to the things found in Daniel 12. Daniel received a personal word to encourage his heart at the end of the book of Daniel, "Heroic Faith in Troubling Times."
How bad will things get for us? How is it possible to have joyful optimism even when the world
is crumbling & the pandemic crushes our spirit? While the gloom of winter settles over us, we
can shine bright. How? When we have heroic faith to believe that while culture goes from bad
to worse, God works inside of me to supply peace, strength and courage for every day.
What is going on in the world today? Have you sensed that it might be more going on than what we can see and experience? Join us this Sunday as God pulls back the curtain and reveals a supernatural view in “Spiritual Warfare.”
The election is almost over. Whether or not we think our country is heading in the right direction, heroic faith prays for the nation. What is the most effective way for us to pray for our country? Does confessing the sins of others even work? Optimism comes when we realize that God's plans are perfect, even in troubled times. Heroic Faith believes that God's atomic clock will be right on time.
November 3rd, election day, is over, those who predicted a blow out for one candidate or another missed it by a mile! When you and I make predictions and projections, they are, at best, calculated guesses. Yet, for God, His predictions (prophecies) are always true. This Sunday, let’s look at the benefits of studying prophecy today in “Faith to Live By”.
We are facing one of the most contentious and divisive elections that I have ever experienced. Yet, someone has shared the etymology (word origin) of the term “Politics”; Poly meaning many and Tics meaning blood sucking parasites! Wow! Will this election determine our destiny or is there someone or something greater at work? Join us this Sunday as we take a fresh look at apocalyptic literature in Daniel 7 this Sunday in “Political Animals.”
Do you feel the tension today? Are you sensing the pressures to conform, to keep your mouth shut, and even to try and avoid the loud voices and opinions championed by the media, politics, or popular opinion? There’s a familiar Sunday school story you may have heard as a child that was written for us today. Join us this Sunday as we look at the heroic faith of Daniel in “Trusting God.”
Could a simple act of service change a life and impact the world for good? Steve Reynolds, a World Vision staffer, was serving in relief camps in Ethiopia in the 80’s during one of the great famines of a generation. A young European couple, Paul and Ali Hewson wanted to visit there and World Vision asked Steve if he would help. Ali and Paul stayed a month watching Steve work, helping out, with Paul, a musician, writing some songs to entertain the kids. Paul and Ali went home, committing to continue to help. We know Paul better by his nickname, Bono. Since that trip in 1985, Bono and his Irish rock group, U2 has traveled the globe and become an advocate to the poor, persuading govern ments and leaders to give billions of dollars of aid to the poor. It all started with a servant named Steve who served the poor and helped others do the same. How might God use you to change this world we live in today? Join us this Sunday as we continue our series in Daniel as we look at Leading With A Serve.
This Sunday we will be continuing our series of "Faith in Troubled Times" by going through Daniel chapter 4. I believe that God has a lot to say to us through the story of King Nebuchadnezzar, both as an encouragement and as a warning. You won't want to miss it!
Questions to Consider 1. Which of the three applications do you feel God asking you to work on? 2. What tangible ways are you going to change your lifestyle to reflect your worship of God? Do you need to start by finding ways to step out in faith? What small, mundane sacrifices can you make to spend …
I love a good movie. For me, the most compelling movies are the ones with a good story; a narrative that grips you. The Bible is full of amazing historical narratives that could easily be made into a movie, and Daniel 2 is one of those narratives. Within this movie-script-worthy-narrative of Daniel 2 emerges a protagonist, an antagonist, action, conflict, and resolution. Join us Sunday as we dive into this narrative to discover how Daniel responded to a very troubling situation, and what that means for us when we face troubling times.
If you knew then what you know now, would you make a different choice? Consider the California couple who went to a park last Saturday for their gender reveal party. They used a “smoke generating pyrotechnic device” at the El Dorado Park in Yucaipa, 70 miles east of Los Angeles. A wildfire erupted and, as I write this, over 11,000 acres have burned, hundreds of people have evacuated and it’s become one of the worst fires Yucaipa has ever seen. We make choices every day, but some choices change us. How do we choose wisely? Join us this Sunday as we see how Daniel and his friends show us how to “Choose Wisely.”
Living through this pandemic, struggling with the sin of racial division, experiencing the chaos of riots, troubled economy, a politically divided country...where is God in all of this? How can we follow Jesus together in the loss and chaos of life. Join us this Sunday in the parking lot or livestream as we begin a new series in the book of Daniel, “Facing Troubling Times With Faith.”
Why is it that the Good News of the Gospel is often so hard to share with others? How can we let others know how to experience the greatest hope and joy in life? Join us this Sunday as we complete our series, “Our Rhythms of Discipleship” with the rhythm of “Witnessing Together.”
There’s an old axiom that states, “It is better to give than to receive.” Is that really true? If it is, then what does that mean for you and me? Join us this Sunday as we look at “Giving Together.”
Confessing something can be both difficult and freeing. There’s something incredibly humbling about admitting your mistake, but also it is so beautiful to admit your fault and to receive grace. The Bible talks a lot about confession. It commands us to do it and also instructs us in different ways of confession. This Sunday we will take a look at different ways of confession and why it’s so important to confess your sins. Then we’ll actually take some time at the end of the service to practice “Confessing Together”.
What if you knew just what to say, where to go, what to do, or how to respond to all the opportunities, trials, choices, relationships, and situations you are facing or will face? How valuable would it be for you to have that kind of wisdom? That would be some kind of wisdom, a wisdom that we can’t find here but one that God offers. Join us this Sunday as we continue our series in “Our Rhythms of Discipleship” as we look at, “Gaining Wisdom Together.”
Serving others is a HIGH PRIORITY for Jesus Christ. 1 Serving was His purpose for coming to this earth. Matthew 20:28 2 If you want to be great, serve others. Matthew 20:20-28 Jesus taught that to be great, be a servant to others. Jesus, modeled serving, John 13:1-15. Be looking at …
Most of us know what it means to pray, but many of us have a hard time praying. Jesus taught His disciples to pray and shares some key elements if we are going to pray effectively. Join us this Sunday either online or for the first time outside in the back parking lot as we look at, “Praying Together”.
3 REASONS to worship together Jesus died for the Church (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25) It encourages one another (Hebrews 10:24-25) It reminds us not to do life alone (Galatians 6:2) 3 WAYS to worship together Proclaim who God is with others Read scripture together Sing together (hear people’s …
This Sunday join us as we go over the importance of reading scripture together. While reading scripture alone is a great practice to do as disciples, there is also great power in reading scripture as a community. I hope this message inspires all of us to grow in this area of following Jesus together.
Some people dance because they are happy, some do it to compete with others, some as a romantic gesture, and sadly, many of us don’t dance at all. Yet, God invites us into the dance of discipleship as we follow Him together. Let’s see what some of the movements in this new series, “Our Rhythms of Discipleship” in “The Dance of Discipleship.”
All of us have been hurt, frustrated, and angered over the death of George Floyd and what has happened in our nation and around the world following his brutal and senseless death. How does a follower of Christ make a difference in this life? Join us this Sunday as we look for answers as we finish this series on Following Jesus Together in “Go and Make.”
When I was 13, I made a decision to re-dedicate my life to Christ and follow him with my whole heart. That decision was a moment where I said no to living how I wanted to live, and yes to living the way God wanted me to live. Essentially, I made the decision to die to my fleshly desires and follow God. Join us this Sunday as we unpack what it means to Come and Die and how we all are called to Follow Jesus Together.
As Jesus began His earthly ministry he spent time walking through the land, healing many and teaching crowds. But it was to a few men He called to “Come and Follow.” As we seek to Follow Jesus Together as a church, let’s look at this next level of growth in our discipleship journey this Sunday in, “Come and Follow.”
Most churches are designed for church people. They have a tendency to cater to meeting their own needs and interests instead of engaging the lost with the Gospel. Yet, Jesus, the holiest person in the world attracted the worst of the crowd. It was the religious people who were offended by Jesus and even called Him, “a friend of sinners”; and God was okay with that. How should the disciples of Christ connect with those who need Christ to follow after Christ together?
Join us for church this Sunday as I preach through Titus chapter 1 and 2. Following Jesus together as one church body seems like a simply task. However, there are many things working against us as a church. Together we will be taking a look at the unique roles that Paul gives to us in our life stages, and dispelling some of the lies that prevent us from fulfilling those roles.
Who are the people that helped you understand what it meant to be a follower of Christ? How are you currently helping others do the same? Join us as we look at the role of the church in following Jesus together in “Intentional Intergenerational Discipleship”
One of the major things that is happening with this pandemic is the fact that we must stay at home; parents, children, youth…24/7. What is it that God might be doing for us at this unique time and situation? Join us this Sunday as we look at “Home Grown Disciplemaking.”
Living in a pandemic is a game changer for schools, businesses, and families. How should it change us as a church who currently cannot meet together for worship and fellowship but are called to make disciples? Join us this Sunday as we begin a new series, “Following Jesus Together”.
For many, Easter is a day to sleep in, eat chocolate, and hide eggs for the kids to find. But for those who know the truth, this day changes everything. Join us this Easter to understand the difference this day makes to you in “Jesus: King of Kings”
Week three of our global pandemic. Some of us are feeling anxious, some of us have doubts, and we all don’t know how long it will last nor the impact it will have on us, our families and our country. Palm Sunday, usually a time of great celebration for the church, is now remembered in our homes today. What does Jesus have to say to us during our crisis? Join us as we look at “Finding Christ in our Crisis.”
Never before has the church been called upon to be a light shining in the darkness. Together we can live out and share the Gospel so that it becomes embraced by a world needing love and hope. Join us this Sunday as we go livestream at 10:15 and then hear, “The Power of Community.”
The Coronavirus has changed everything but God is on the throne! How should the church respond to the changes and challenges that we are facing today? Join us this Sunday for a live cast at 10:15 and the sermon to follow, “Blessed to Be a Blessing."
This Sunday we will be continuing our series through Romans as we look at chapter 14. In this chapter, Paul calls the church of Rome to be unified despite their divisions and different convictions. While we may no longer have divisions over Kosher or Sabbath laws such as the church of Rome did, we still face many divisions within our church. Whether it’s political parties, theological differences, or how to live within our current culture, many people within our church hold different views on these topics. Join us this Sunday as we talk about how God calls us to love one another, and be completely unified, while still having strong convictions.
It’s an election year and we are already tired of all the advertisements, media coverage, and the nastiness that politics brings. How does a follower of Christ respond to all of that? Join us this Sunday as we look at “God, the Government, and Me”
When you understand who Jesus is and what He has done for you, how do you respond to it? What does it look like to be “all in” for Jesus? Join us this Sunday as we look at, “Living What You Believe".
Ever face a person or situation where you assumed something that was later proven wrong? Of course you have. We have all made snap judgements of our routines as well as people. Ever made some of those snap decisions when it comes to God? Join us this Sunday as we take a closer look at “Does God Keep His Promises?”
Most people can tell what Christians are against, but do they really know what we are for? The Gospel is Good News and it’s the only news that will give people eternal life. For all of us who have friends and family that don’t know the Lord and for all of those who are not sure of their eternal destination, this message is for you. Join us this Sunday as we understand “God’s Good News.”
Do you ever wonder what God is doing when it doesn’t seem that He is doing anything at all? Ever find yourself in a tough situation and said to yourself, “I don’t deserve this?” Ever prayed for something to happen and the very opposite took place? Join us this Sunday as we answer the question in Romans 9, “Who Are You, God?”
Today is Superbowl Sunday. Whether your favorite team is playing or not, one team will declare victory today. For those who follow after Christ, you, too, can declare victory in life. Join us this Sunday as we see how we can be over comers in “Gospel Living.”
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.”