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First Baptist Blowing Rock
Weekly sermons from Pastor Rusty Guenther of First Baptist Blowing Rock.
5 days ago
"Be the Light" July 4th weekend Message
In the midst of riots, protest and a pandemic; how are we supposed to celebrate July 4th and what should the Christians response be to all we see happening around us? We look at Jesus' words from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:14-16 as a challenge to followers of Jesus Christ and the Church in times such as these. We will also look at how fragile the freedoms we celebrate this Independence weekend actually are and the dangers we face for our Religious Freedoms. We also address some of the popular cultural and society movements like Socialism, Marxism, Social Justice and Black Lives Matter and how they line up according to Biblical principles. This message is a warning to the American Church to wake up before it is too late!
Jun 22, 2020
"My Dad is Stronger than your Dad" Fathers Day 2020 Sermon
A look at Psalms 128 as an encouragement to Father's and Families.
Jun 16, 2020
"Where is the Risk?" The Parable of the Talents
From Matthew 25:14-30
Jun 8, 2020
"Stepping Up and Stepping Out" The Struggle is Real Series Finale #55
We wrap up our sermon series from 1st Corinthians by examining Paul's final challenge to the church and individual believers as they strive to live out the lessons and warnings he has discussed in this important letter. While very relevant in the 1st century in Corinthian, his words and call remain relevant in the 21st century for a church that is struggling to survive in a changing culture and in an ever growing hostile society. From 1st Corinthians 16:13-14.
Jun 1, 2020
"Identifying the Open Door" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #54
How do we know when God is opening a door or providing us an opportunity to serve Him? How do we know when an opportunity is from God? What can we expect when we step out in obedience and go "through the open door"? In his closing words to the Corinthian Church, the Apostle Paul gives us some insight into how he determines when an opportunity to minister or serve is from God and what we can expect by "walking through that door". From 1st Corinthians 16:5-12.
May 26, 2020
"Faithful in All Things" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #53
As the Apostle Paul draws his 1st Letter to the Church at Corinth to a close in 1st Corinthians 16, he gives them some clear and direct instructions for collecting an offering for the churches in Jerusalem. Through his instructions, we can gain some insight into the "how's", "why's" and importance of including the taking up of an offering each week as a part of our personal and corporate worship. Join us as we tear down some myths and misconceptions as well as addressing some of the unbiblical abuses taking place in relation to our personal giving in the church. From 1st Corinthians 16:1-4.
May 18, 2020
Learning to Worship when it is not Convenient
As we continue to worship together online during this age of social distancing and stay at home orders; one of the casualties has been our willingness and ability to sing in worship. Like us here at First Baptist, most churches are broadcasting their entire worship services which includes the "singing" portion but if we are to be honest - joining in with the singing from home is not that same as it is in person in the corporate setting. It is awkward, it is uncomfortable and it requires more effort and we tell ourselves that it doesn't really make a difference - but does it? This message examines the importance of singing worship songs and hymns in the life of a Christ follower and how our lack of singing might have a direct effect on some of the struggles we are facing right now. Join us to discover why singing is so important - especially in light of all we are currently facing. From Psalms 100. To watch the entire service; go to firstbaptistblowingrock.com
May 11, 2020
"What are we standing for?" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #52
The past two weeks we have examines 1st Corinthians 15:58 and the call for Christians to "Stand". This morning we follow that up by discussing the importance of "where we stand" and "what we stand for" and how that relates to the current circumstances in our world with the Coronavirus pandemic. We examine Luke 13:1-8 and the "Parable of the Fig Tree".
May 4, 2020
"Where do we go from Here" pt. 2 The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #51
We continue to examine 1st Corinthians 15:58 as we strive to answer the question "What now?" As it relates to the powerful truth of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of a resurrection from the dead for Christ followers; but also as it relates to our current situation with the Coronavirus. From 1st Corinthians 15:54-58.
Apr 27, 2020
"Where do we go from Here? Pt. 1 The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #50
All of us have had "what now?" moments; those moments in our lives where we have planned or prepared for an event or activity for such a long time or with such intensity that once it is over, we have a sense of confusion. Graduations, new jobs, marriages, the birth of a child - all moments of celebration that once passed leave us feeling somewhat lost. That had to be what many of those early Christians felt after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ; "what now?" "where do we go from here?". You get some of that feeling by reading the Apostle Paul's incredible teaching on the resurrection from 1st Corinthians 15 and how he ends the Chapter. We are also sensing that same feeling in our culture as we deal with what seems to be the slow progression back to "normal" as we move into a new season of dealing with this Coronavirus Covid-19. After 2 months of being sequestered in our homes, separated from work, school, church, friends and family - what now? How do we transition back into a "new normal"? This morning we introduce some answers for where Paul felt the church and followers of Christ should move in light of the power of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the truth about our own resurrection from the dead and those same suggestions might also help us in where we go after this crazy Spring of 2020. This is part 1 of a 2 part sermon from 1st Corinthians 15:58.
Apr 20, 2020
"What Happens when we Die?" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #49
If you were to ask the questions, "What happens to us when we Die" to a group of people, the variety of answers might surprise you. Even in the Christian community, the question seems to bring our some crazy beliefs. I have heard everything from "becoming angels" or "ghost" to resurrection reincarnation. How did so many get so confused? Do we project what we "hope" might happen, or does it come from trying to offer comfort to those who are dealing with death? Maybe it arises because there are some things that the Bible calls a "mystery" and we don't do mysteries well, so we fill in the blanks ourselves. Join us to discover what the Bible actually says and why it is important for Christians to understand the truth about our own resurrections. From 1st Corinthians 15:35-49
Apr 15, 2020
"Hope for a New Normal" Easter Sunday 2020
Easter Service for 2020. We examine what we might have considered normal in light of the COVID 19 virus. From 1st Corinthians 15:19-20
Apr 7, 2020
"The End of the Begining" Palms Sunday 2020
A Palms Sunday Message on the relevance of the Cross of Jesus Christ on our everyday lives. We know the stories of Easter and Holy Week; we can describe what happened and how it happened - but how does that effect our everyday lives? We examine Colossians 2:8-15 as the Apostle Paul explains just how powerful and far reaching the Cross can be.
Apr 1, 2020
"Life Changing Friendships" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #48
Last week we examined 1st Corinthians 15:33-34 where the Apostle Paul uses a popular saying of his day, "Bad Company Corrupts Good Character" to warn the early Corinthians Christians about the danger of allowing the wrong people into our lives, He warns of how they can pull us away from our relationship with God and bring doubts into our lives. This morning's message takes that popular quote and warning and turns it 180 degrees and ask the question - if bad company can corrupt us, what effect can "good company" have on our lives? We examine what true friendship looks like using the example from the Old Testament of David and Jonathon and explain how true friendship can influence every area of our lives, including our Christian faith. From 1st Samuel 18:1-4, 19, 20.
Mar 23, 2020
"Choose your Friends Wisely" The Struggle is Real Series #47
We examine the short little warning that the Apostle Paul gives in verses 33-34 from his great theological teaching on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from 1st Corinthians 15. He uses a popular quote from his day "Bad Company corrupts Good Character" to warn of the dangers of allowing the wrong people to have an influence on our lives. We unpack this saying and discover how it relates to the current day and the dangers of choosing the wrong friends, or wrong peer group and how it can effect your spiritual walk and witness.
Mar 16, 2020
"Sometimes Helpless but Never Hopeless" Sermon Response to Current Events
This message examines how Christians should respond to the recent Coronavirus Pandemic. What does the Bible say about times like the ones we are facing and what can we learn from it. John 16:33, Matthew 7:24-27,Mark 4:35-41. You can watch a video of this entire worship service at http://firstbaptistblowingrock.com
Mar 3, 2020
"Public Enemy # 1" The Struggle is Real Series #46
We constantly hear about all of the threats facing each one of us; global warming, overpopulation, coronavirus, terrorism - and we live in a world of fear. Our media, whose job was once to educate and inform, spends all of their time feeding the hyperbole, fostering fear and trying to place blame. Like the little boy who cried wolf; when do we take any of it seriously? Why do we allow ourselves to be placed into bondage by fear over things that we have no control over? The truth is that most of the issues we spend so much time worrying and stressing over will never even effect us, or they will be handled and dealt with. But there is a threat that none of us will escape and while some should not be afraid of it - others of us should be very fearful. Join us to discover that that threat is as we break down 1st Corinthians 15:19-28.
Feb 24, 2020
" A World Without Hope" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #45
We continue our study of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from 1st Corinthians 15 by looking at Paul's theological argument from Chapter 15:12-20. The Apostle Paul paints a picture of what the life and faith of a Christian might look like had Jesus not been resurrected from the dead compared to the reality we can experience because He was. The world with no resurrected Jesus is a truly a world without hope.
Feb 17, 2020
"The Reality of the Resurrection" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #44
An introduction of 1st Corinthians 15 and the doctrinal teaching on the physical and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. We discuss how the resurrection is central to almost all of the other teachings of Jesus and the New Testament and the role this important truth plays in the life of the church and the individual Christian. From 1st Corinthians 15:1-7
Feb 10, 2020
"Sit Down Woman!" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series # 43
We examine the controversial passage from 1st Corinthians 14:34-35 that seems to instruct that women are to remain silent in the church and that it is disgraceful for women to speak in worship. Could this really be what Paul was teaching for the Corinthian church, and if so, does that mean it applies to all churches, everywhere - even today? How would that interpretation fit into the rest of Paul's teachings, even here in the same letter? Is it consistent with New Testament thoughts and practices? If not, then what is the true meaning of these passages and how should we apply them to our lives and our local churches? Some of our conclusions might surprise you! From 1st Corinthians 14:33-38.
Jan 20, 2020
"Worship, Order and Edification" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #42
What does it mean when we talk about having "order" in our worship services? Who gets to decide what is "order" and what might be "out of order"? In Chapter 14 of 1st Corinthians as Paul is addressing the abuses of some spiritual gifts during the time of Corporate worship; he takes a moment to lay out the priorities of worship. Instead of focusing on the "why" and "how's" of worship like many churches today get bogged down in; Paul lays out the overarching purpose of worship in a corporate setting (like what most churches have on Sunday's services). Join us as we examine the "rules" of worship and how they should effect everything we do as a church. From 1st Corinthians 14:26-40.
Jan 13, 2020
"The Mystery of Speaking in Tongues" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #41
Is the gift of "speaking in tongues" still available for Christians today or did it cease during the second or third centuries? If it is still available; what is it? A gift with foreign languages? a private prayer language? something to be used in church worship services? Regardless of what you might think or believe about the spiritual gift of tongues, we can all agree that it has been controversial and confusing for many in the church. So what exactly is it and what does the Bible really teach? We strive to answer all of those questions by examining the Apostle Paul's warnings and encouragements found in 1st Corinthians 14.
Jan 6, 2020
"An Unknown Prayer Language" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #40
As we begin to tackle the controversial 1st Corinthians 14 and the subject of "speaking in tongues" or a "private prayer language"; Pastor Rusty takes this message time to share his personal testimony and experiences with "tongues". By using glimpses of his spiritual journey, scripture and through the churches and people he has served for and with over the last 30 years, you get a glimpse of how the Holy Spirit has led, guided and taught him what it really means to be "Charismatic". From 1st Corinthians 14:1-5 - part 1 of 2 messages from this passage.
Dec 30, 2019
"The Difference between Thriving and Surviving" New Years Message
A challenge for Christians to stand in the promises of God in 2020 and what that might look like. A message on how God takes those things that we feel like we "just survived" and uses them to mold and shape us into "overcomers". From 1st Corinthians 10:31-11:1.
Dec 23, 2019
"The Greatest of These Is..." The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #39
Dec 16, 2019
"The Power of Love" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #38
Jesus warns us that others will know we are his disciples by the way we love each other. John warns over fifteen times in his first letter that if we claim to be a follower of Jesus and yet do not love our brother, we are a liar and the truth is not in us. The New Testament is clear that Christians have the capability and are commanded to love. In our study of 1st Corinthians, we find ourselves in Chapter 13, where the Apostle Paul warns the early church that this "love command" must start inside of the church and loving other Christians, then flow out to all other relationships we are involved in. But what does this type of love look like? How do we define it and practice it? Could what we have been calling "love" not be the type of love we are commanded to give? Join us as we examine what true, biblical, self-sacrificing, unconditional "Agape" love looks like and how it must be practiced. From 1st Corinthians 13:4-8
Dec 2, 2019
"In the Name of Love" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #37
We kick-off the first week of the Advent season by continuing our study from 1st Corinthians by looking at the "Love Chapter" of 1st Corinthians 13. In the English language the word "love" can be used to describe a number of things and through its multiple uses it has become very subjective and difficult to define. What does it really mean to "love" someone, or to "love" something? Is all "love" equal? Do we really "love" our spouse or children in the same way that we "love" a good meal or television show? In the Greek language of the Bible, there are several words used to differentiate what "love" means and it is through the study of those various words and their uses that we can begin to see the differences. 1st Corinthians 13 has become famous through its use in weddings but what is the real context of this very important passage and does it make a difference? Why is the word used for love "agape" in this Chapter so important for Christians and the church? Join us as we unpack the m…
Nov 25, 2019
"Some Assembly Required" The Struggle is Real Series #36
What do these three most dreaded words of the Christmas season (some assembly required) have in common with the local church? Join us as we examine the Apostle Paul's instruction manual for how the local church should be organized and operate. From 1st Corinthians 12:12-27.
Nov 18, 2019
"Wonder Working Power" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #35
What role does the Holy Spirit play in the life of a Christian? What does it mean to be "baptized in the Holy Spirit" or to be "Spirit-filled"? Are their certain Spiritual gifts that are "sign" that you have been "filled with the Holy Spirit"? Are all of the Spiritual Gifts listed in the New Testament still available for Christians today and if so, how can they be used to lift up and edify the Church? We discuss all of these questions and more in this message from 1st Corinthians 12 on the topic of Spiritual Gifts. Sadly, the same division and controversy that was evident at the Church of Corinth revolving around Spiritual Gifts remain in the modern church. We have allowed the enemy to take the gifts of the Holy Spirit that were meant to unify and lift up the body of Christ to become points of contention and controversy and distract us from the supernatural power available to every Christian. Join us as we explore this somewhat "controversial" topic. From 1st Corinthians 12:1-14
Nov 11, 2019
"The Gifts that Keep on Giving" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #34
The Apostle Paul tackles the confusion and misuse of Spiritual Gifts by the Corinthian church in 1st Corinthians 12. Sadly many of the same issues facing that early church concerning spiritual gifts are still found in the church today. Join us as we examine Paul's warnings and how they relate to both the church and the spiritual growth of individual Christians. This is an introduction on the topic of Spiritual Gifts as we examine 5 truths that every Christ follower needs to both know and apply to their lives. From 1st Corinthians 12:1-7.
Oct 21, 2019
"Do this in Remembrance of Me" The Struggle is Real #33
We continue our examination of the Apostle Paul's teaching about the Lord's Supper or Communion to the Corinthian Church from 1st Corinthians 11:23-34. This passage can be somewhat controversial as it has led many Christians and Christ follower's to abstain from participating in Communion for fear they might come in an "unworthy" manner. Was that really Paul's intent? Can we ever be "worthy" or pay "proper" respect to the meaning and purposes of this special event? Or was Paul simply reminding us that our behavior towards other Christians in the church will always affect our relationship with God and our ability to worship. Join us as we search for some Biblical answers and personal application from this "confusing" passage of scripture.
Oct 14, 2019
"Too Much Feast and Not Enough Love" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #32
From the early church until today, the very simple act of worship and unity that Jesus exampled at his last meal with his disciples before his arrest, has become a point of disagreement and distraction. Whether you call it Communion, Eucharist or The Lord's Supper, it has been surrounded in confusion, disagreement and divide; yet it was instituted by Jesus Christ as a means of displaying the power of unity and the celebration of community. Sadly for many Christians, we have allowed it to become everything but worship and celebration. Join us as we examine Paul's warning to the Corinthian church about taking this special time or worship lightly or for granted and how that relates to the modern church. From 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 Part one of 2 on this passage from 1st Corinthians 11:17-34
Oct 7, 2019
"Should I Shave or Let it Grow?" The Struggle is Real Series #31
An examination of the somewhat confusing and controversial 1st Corinthians 11:2-16. What does it really say about Men's authority over women? Should we cover our heads in worship? Should we cut our hair as a spiritual act? What in the world is Paul getting at in this crazy passage and does it have any application for the current church and Christian's today? Join us as we strive to unwind just what this passage means and more importantly what it meant to the original listeners and what Paul was trying to get them to understand! This podcast and sermon is a little longer than our normal weekly messages.
Sep 23, 2019
"Brick By Brick"
Our goal is to shape and develop First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock into a place where people can Belong, Believe and Become. This message is to help explain and define what those terms mean and how it effects our members and community. We also look at why it is important to be a part of a local faith community. From Ephesians 2:19-22.
Sep 16, 2019
"Follow Me" The Struggle is Real Series #30
The Apostle Paul makes a bold declaration in 1st Corinthians 11:1 when he tells the Corinthian Christians to "Follow me as I follow the example of Christ". As Christians, we are all following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, but what Paul was saying is that if you want to see what it means to live that out; look at me, watch me, listen to me and imitate me. I don't know many Christians today that would want that kind of pressure or be willing to make that kind of statement, but the truth is that people are already following us, watching us, listening to us, imitating us. It is part of our DNA and we grow up being taught by example. We start out following the examples of our parents, then our peers, then maybe a teacher or a coach, then maybe a co-worker; but we are all following someone. That means that someone is probably following you; your children and grandchildren, your neighbors, your friends, co-workers, fellow students, maybe people you will never see or know about -…
Sep 9, 2019
"Free to Be" The Struggle is Real Series #29
Join us as we discover the importance of maintaining balance in every area of our lives - especially our spiritual lives. We examine 1st Corinthians 10:23-24 and strive to discover just what it means to be spiritually free and how we can apply our spiritual freedoms to our everyday lives.
Sep 3, 2019
"American Idols" The Struggle is Real Series #28
What do we think about when we hear the term "idol", or idolatry, or "false idols"? Most of us think of bowing down to carved or created object, yet the most dangerous form of idolatry today has nothing to do with created objects but rather our attitudes and priorities. The Bible teaches that idolatry is the most destructive sin that a person can commit, yet we rarely hear that term any longer. We prefer less offensive phrases like "misplaced priorities" or "wrong perspective" or "different theology" but make no mistake, those things are no less idolatry or an offense to a Holy God than if we had a golden calf in the garage. Join us as the Apostle Paul takes a deep dive on the dangers of idolatry and how our unwitting participation can have profound effects on our relationship with God. Modern idolatry has less to do with things around us than it does with those things within us. From 1st Corinthians 10: 14-22
Aug 27, 2019
"It Could Never Happen to Me" The Struggle is Real Series #27
A look at 1st Corinthians 10:1-13 and the issue of trials, temptations and test. Join us as we examine how it could not only happen to you - but probably will! What is "it" listen in to find out!
Aug 19, 2019
"Not Everyone Wins" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #26
Most Christians would say that they have a desire to grow spiritually; to learn the word of God and how to apply it to their lives, to grow deeper in their personal relationship with God - yet their seems to be a huge gap between wanting something (desire) and actually doing it. Less than 5% of those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ say they actually read the Bible on a daily basis and less than 25% on a weekly basis and that includes a Sunday service where they are encouraged to read it. We will never develop spiritual disciplines in our lives and grow spiritually until we have the right commitment, motivation and training. Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to start something new, and even harder to stick with it until completion? The Apostle Paul offers some insight into his own personal life and how he was able to develop spiritually and grow by comparing spiritual growth to an athlete in training. Join us as we discover how we can apply these same principles and tru…
Aug 12, 2019
"Sam, I AM!" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #25
We continue our close examination of 1st Corinthians 9:15-23 and the Apotle Paul's motivation and determination to preach the gospel to anyone, anywhere at anytime. We once again look at what it means to be "compelled" and what exactly might it be that could compel us to move out of our apathy and comfort zone and move into a place of service for the Kingdom of God. Sermon #24 examined how Paul was compelled by the call that God had placed on his life and this morning's message picks up there to examine how Paul was also compelled by both the messsage itself and his own personal experience. These truths will challenge us and make even the most committed among us a little uncomfortable when we examine our own lives by comparison. A challenge for the church to be adaptable and flexible in our methods and ministry in a changing culture and for individual Christians to recognize the responsibility and role we each play in being "all things to all people"! Throw in a little visit from Dr. S…
Aug 5, 2019
"Do You Take the Call?" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series # 24
As Paul continues to defend his rights as an Apostle and his preference for choosing to abstain from those rights for the sake of sharing the gospel; he gives us some insight into his motivation for serving. While the word "call" is never used in the passage from 1st Corinthians 9:15-23, Paul clearly defines what a "call" from God looks like lived out. When we use the word "call" in a religious sense, most think of someone who has been called to vocational ministry, like a missionary or a Pastor; but the New Testament is very clear that everyone who gives their life to Jesus Christ has a new "call" on their lives - they have been "Called"! The problem is that it is a call that most Christians let go to Voicemail. Join us as we explore both the general and uniquely specific "calls" from God that those who choose to follow Christ have on their lives and how we can discover what that call means and looks like, in our everyday lives.
Jul 29, 2019
"The Ultimate Expression of Freedom" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #23
After introducing the concept of a Christ follower's willingness to restrict their own freedoms and rights for the sake of a weaker or more immature fellow Christian in 1st Corinthians 8 in last week's message; the Apostle Paul continues to illustrate this concept by using examples from his own life. Here in Chapter 9, Paul makes the case for his own rights as an Apostle and how he freely sacrifices those rights for the sake of the gospel. In this study we will examine what makes someone an Apostle and why their are no modern day apostles as well as the argument on the churches responsibility to financially support their ministers and Pastors. We also continue to examine the overall concept of sacrificing our rights and freedoms as Christians for the sake of others. When should we consider it and what might it look like? Join us as we walk through 1st Corinthians 9 and learn what it means to truly express your rights and freedoms with love as our motivation.
Jul 22, 2019
"Coloring Outside the Lines" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #22
The Apostle Paul has already warned the Corinthian church about using their personal convictions as a spiritual club to guilt, manipulate and control other Christians. These convictions are not always spiritual admonitions but rather guidelines and boundaries that the Holy Spirit has convicted the individuals for their own personal growth, yet when we try to push these convictions on others or worse, we judge others because they do not hold the same convictions; it can lead to legalism and turn biblically gray areas into dangerous absolutes. But what about on the other end of the spectrum? What about the spiritually mature Christ follower who has experienced freedoms in various areas yet they use those freedoms to undermine the personal convictions of the more immature believer? If one side is dangerous, might the other be just as dangerous and possibly turn something that is not sinful into sin through our actions? While Paul may be talking about eating meat sacrificed to idols in 1…
Jul 15, 2019
"Serenity Now" The Struggle is Real Sermon Series #21
One of the greatest areas of struggle in a Christians life is dealing with destructive discontentment. From the Garden of Eden until today, we all struggle with the idea that if we could only have a better job, a better relationship, a bigger house, etc. then life would all work out and we would be happy and satisfied. But it never works out, because those things only create a bigger hunger and never satisfy. That is the same lie that convinced Lucifer to rebel against God in the heavens, and it was the same seeds of discontentment that led Adam and Eve's to disobey God in the garden and it continues to rob Christians of their peace, joy and contentment today. In the middle of answering questions about relationships from the Corinthian church in 1st Corinthian 7, the Apostle Paul lays out some incredible truth about the roots of discontentment and confronts the three main areas where most of us continue to struggle with learning to be content. He also identifies the answer to why God m…
Jul 8, 2019
Let Freedom Ring; July 4th Weekend Message
A message looking at the Freedoms that we have as Americans compared to the Freedoms we have in Jesus Christ. From Galatians 5:1-6,13
Jul 1, 2019
"Should I Stay or Should I Go?" The Struggle is Real Series #20
What does the Bible really teach about divorce? about remarriage? While most are quick to point to the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 5 and 19, the Apostle Paul takes a deeper dive in answering questions from the Corinthian Church about specific instances that Jesus' teachings don't cover. Join us as we examine those specific examples and try to seek some truth we can apply to our own relationship situations as well as how the church should treat and minister to those who are divorced or remarried. Regardless of what we might believe or may have been taught; the issue of divorce and remarriage from a Biblical standpoint is much more complex than what many make it out to be. From 1st Corinthians 7:8-17.
Jun 24, 2019
"Single and Blessed" The Struggle is Real Series #19
Many people consider 1st Corinthians 7 to be the Apostle Paul's manifesto on marriage and if that is true, then it is also his masterpiece on Singleness. All throughout the Chapter, Paul continues to confront the culture and the church's wrong thinking about those who are unmarried or single by reminding them that not only was he single and content, but being single is a gift from God and comes with many blessings and opportunities to serve and minister that married people will never have. Join us as we discuss why the modern church needs to repent of the same mindset as the Corinthian church in our attitudes and behaviors towards those who are not married and move towards a more Biblical attitude. Many of us are guilty of seeing those who are single and older and asking ourselves "I wonder what is wrong with them that they are not married?" or "Why are they still single?" when we should be recognizing that God calls and gifts those among us to be single for a purpose. Join us as we ce…
Jun 18, 2019
A Message from Pastor Rusty Guenther
Just a short message from Pastor Rusty about our lack of recent podcast due to some sound upgrades and his recent vacation. We will be back with a new podcast on Monday, June 24th from the Sunday, June 23rd worship service. We also would like to announce that our entire worship services are now Livestreamed each Sunday at 10:00 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on our church's website (firstbaptistblowingrock.com) or our church's Facebook page. You can also go back and watch services from earlier services. This is also available on mobile devices by going to our website from those devices. Thank you for listening to our podcast and for your continued support of our ministry by sharing it with your friends and family. We have people listening from all around the globe and in every state and we thank you for that. If you ever have any questions about a message or a prayer request, or if their is something our ministry might can do for you; please let us know by emailing us at office@first…
May 20, 2019
"It's Just Sex" The Struggle is Real Series #16
The Church at Corinth was surrounded by one of the most immoral cultures in the Roman world and the city of Corinth and it's Temple to Aphrodite was ground zero. With over 2,000 temple priestess who supported the temple through prostitution, the prevailing attitude concerning sex and sexual behavior had devolved to the point where it was considered just another "activity" like eating, sleeping and going to work. This had a strong influence on the mindset and the activity of the Corinthian Christians as they found themselves embracing this new "liberating" sexual revolution. With slogans like "Everything is Permissible" or "I can do what I want" to "It's My Body", these early Christians lost sight of the devastating effects that sexual activity outside the confines of Biblical marriage can sow in our hearts and souls. The Apostle Paul not only confronts this mindset, but warns and reminds this early church - and us, how we are to respond to sexual temptation and how sexual activity outs…
May 13, 2019
"The Christian and the Courthouse"; The Struggle is Real Series #15
As the Apostle Paul continues to challenge the Church at Corinth about what it means for the church to love one another and operate as a "family"; he confronts the issue of Christians suing each other and church members taking other members to court. As America continues to be the most litigious nation in the world with over 125 million civil lawsuits filed last year; the church is not far behind. Any easy search will discover information about Pastors or church staff members suing deacon boards, deacon boards suing the staff, church members suing the church, members suing one another and even individual churches suing their denominations. It seems Paul's warnings from 1st Corinthians 6 have gone unheeded and the reputation, integrity and testimony of the church and its members continues to deteriorate. Join us to discover why Paul thinks Christians taking other Christians to court is such a big deal and how it can destroy the unity of the Body of Christ. We also address when it is oka…
May 6, 2019
The Tolerant Indifference of Accommodation; The Struggle is Real Series #14
One of the struggle for the Christian Church today is how do you create a welcoming, loving and gracious attmosphere where anyone and everyone is welcome yet still be a Holy place that stands for God's righteousness. The simple answer is balance, but many congregations and even denominations find themselves slipping into the dangerous extremes where you are either legalistic, harsh and judgmental on one end or you ignore, rationalize and excuse sin in the name of tolerance and love to the point that the church becomes powerless and indistinguishable from the world on the other. In our passage today, the Apostle Paul deals with the somewhat controversial topic of "Church Discipline" and in his warnings and encouragements, I think we can find some answers for maintaining balance and creating an open and welcoming, grace centered church that still takes sin seriously. Join us to discover the answer. From 1st Corinthians 5.
Apr 29, 2019
Authentic Spiritual Leadership; The Struggle is Real Series #13
In the setting of the local church, it seems like everyone has an opinion on what a Pastor does or even should be doing. Some think the Pastor only works on Sunday's and Wednesday's, others think the Pastor should do everything that is needed done around the church - after all, the church does pay their salary! Sadly, when you look at most Pastor's job descriptions and combine it with the expectations of church members; you have a job that even the Apostle Paul couldn't live up to. Could it be that many of the churches that struggle and find themselves in decline have arrived at that place because their Pastor or Spiritual leaders spend so much time trying to live up to the unrealistic expectations of church members that they have no time or energy left to actually Pastor? So what does the Bible actually say about "what" a Pastor should be focusing their time and energy on? Join us as we examine how Paul confronts the division and the disunity in the Church at Corinth by laying out a p…
Apr 23, 2019
The Glorious Easter Conjunction - Easter 2019
Join us as we celebrate Easter and the impact and power of the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ by examining one of the most memorized and quoted verses in the Bible; Romans 6:23. In this short and concise verse, the Apostle Paul captures the impact of the Easter story and the implications it holds for all of humanity.
Apr 8, 2019
"Gaining a Proper Perspective" The Struggle is Real #12
Apr 1, 2019
"Where Why is Just as Important as What" The Struggle is Real Series #11
We continue to examine the Apostle Paul's warning to the Corinthians church in 1st Corinthians 3 as he introduces the idea of Christians standing in judgement before Christ to give an account of their lives. Sadly, for a majority of people, most of what we claim to believe and understand about Heaven is based more in popular literature, movies or television than in scripture. So it is not uncommon to discover that many Christians do not understand that their are two judgements mentioned in the New Testament and both have huge eternal consequences. Most would recognize the "Great White Throne" judgment mentioned in the Book of Revelation where all mankind will give an account for their lives and how they responded to Jesus Christ invitation of salvation, but many do not understand about the second judgment that Christians will face. This will not be a judgment of sin but rather one of stewardship. Join us as we explore what this place of judgment will be and how our lives lived for Chri…
Mar 18, 2019
"The Corruption of Carnal Christianity" The Struggle is Real Series #9
Can a Christian be "worldly"? or "Carnal"? And if so, what does that really mean and look like in a practical sense for today's church? How would you define an "immature" Christian versus a "mature" Christian and does the maturity level of a Christian really matter anymore? As the Apostle Paul continues to confront the divisions in the Corinthian Church (as well as today's church), those are just a few of the questions he strives to answer and define. Could it be that one of the reasons so many Christians struggle in their relationship with God and their faith is their maturity level? Listen in as we try to allow Paul's teaching to shine some light on the "shallow" faith that seems to be so pervasive in the church today and what we can do about it. Could it be that spiritual immaturity is corrupting the message and ministry of the church and endangering Christ followers? Listen in! From 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:9.
Mar 11, 2019
"I Can See Clearly Now" The Struggle is Real #8
In our passage from 1st Corinthians 2; the Apostle Paul continues to explain God's wisdom versus the wisdom of men and now he introduces the role that the Holy Spirit plays in illuminating God's wisdom for Christ follower. In this message, we give an overview of the Holy Spirit's role in the life of Christians with an emphasis on how he brings scripture to life. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can know the ways, wisdom and will of God as revealed in His word. We discuss the confusion over the Holy Spirit's role in a Christ followers life and the difference between revelation and illumination. From 1st Corinthians 2:6-16.
Mar 4, 2019
"Releasing God's Wisdom and Power" The Struggle is Real Series #7
What makes an effctive witness? What makes an effective Sermon? Why was the Apostle Paul's message so powerful that we continue to study and follow his example today? In this passage from 1 Corinthians we can gain some insight into how Paul was able to release the power of God's wisdom and message through his life and testimony as well as discovering how we can do the same in our own churches and personal lives. In a world where we are told the church must be more "relevant" and focused on "needs based" message and ministry; the Apostle Paul counters that the most relevant message is that of the Cross. In this Sermon we examine how followers of Christ can allow what the world calls "foolish" to be unleashed and released as the "power of God". From 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.
Feb 25, 2019
"The Paradoxical Nature of God's Wisdom" The Struggle is Real Series #6
As the Apostle Paul continues to explain the differences between the wisdom of the world and God's wisdom in his 1st Letter to the Corinthian Church; today's message finds him listing several examples that prove that divide. Using paradoxical language, he describes the types of people that God uses to further his kingdom; the types of people that He calls to serve, to minister, to teach and preach. In a time where so many Christ followers are quick to find excuses for why they "cannot", the words found in our passage today offer a rebuke and an encouragement for why "God can"! From 1st Corinthians 1:26-31.
Feb 18, 2019
"Wise In Our Own Eyes" The Struggle is Real Series #5
Paul continues his discussion on the divisive nature of the Cross and all that the Cross represents by taking his assertion from last weeks message that "there are only two true responses when we are confronted by what Christ accomplished on the Cross" and suggest their are two main reasons people reject the "Message of the Cross". Have you ever wondered why people reject Christ and walk away from his offer of forgiveness and salvation? This message looks at those two groups; one wanting a sign from God, and others caught up in their own wisdom, reason and understanding, and explores how that relates to today's culture. We also examine and discuss the "expected process" of someone converting to Christianity, or surrendering their life to God through Jesus Christ and ask the question "Have we made it more complicated than it really is?". From 1st Corinthians 1:18-25.
Feb 11, 2019
"When the Cross of Christ Divides" The Struggle is Real Series #4
As the Apostle Paul continues to confront the divisions in the Church at Corinth over personalities and preferences, he moves into the issue of philosophical differences. Just as last week we examined how the Cross is the foundation for unity within the church, this week we look at the "flip side" and how the Cross can be divisive outside of the church and when it comes to world philosophies. We discuss the centrality of the Message of the Cross to everything Christians believe and uphold and how that message compels Christ followers to "deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus". From 1st Corinthians 1:17-19
Feb 4, 2019
"The Power of Unity in a Divided Nation" The Struggle is Real Series #3
When the Apostle Paul begins to confront the problems and issues plaguing the Corinthian church, he starts with addressing the power struggles and division that is tearing the church apart. As many churches today continue to be torn apart over issues of personality, programs and power; Paul's words still ring true. If division and quarreling is left unchecked it can destroy a church body, a churches witness and their ministry to the local community, leaving individual Christians as spiritual casualties in the process. Join us Paul "names names" and calls out the various groups on their real agenda by reinforcing the power of unity that is only found in the Cross. From 1st Corinthians 1:10-17
Jan 21, 2019
"You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" The Real Christmas Story # 3
There were over 80 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the birth of the Messiah; very specific prophecies, and yet many of the very people who had spent their lives studying those prophecies missed his arrival. The odds of one person fulfilling all 80 of those prophecies are 1 in one hundred quadrillion (1 with 17 "0"'s) yet Jesus Christ fulfilled them all. In this message, we finish up our series on The Real Christmas Story by looking at how many times Ralphie was warned about the dangers of a Red Ryder BB gun and shooting his eye out and how that relates to the warnings of the coming Messiah. We will examine some of the various prophecies about the birth of the Messiah and how Jesus fulfilled them as well as the prophecies from Jesus's own lips and the Apostle Paul about the second coming of Jesus Christ. Will we be as prepared for his second coming as the religious scholars were for his first? From Isaiah 9:6-7, 1st Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
Jan 21, 2019
"The Letter to an Ancient Church with Modern Problems" The Struggle is Real Series Intro
We begin a new series examining the Apostle Paul's first letter to the Church at Corinth that we are calling "The Struggle is Real". In this series we hope to address many of the struggles that Christians face trying to live out and apply Biblical principles and truth to their everyday lives. This message is an introduction to the series and examines the history and problems facing the Corinthian church and the culture they live in. We also find Paul laying a foundation of some important truths that he will build on throughout the letter. In his short introductory greeting Paul addresses not only who the church is but also what it means to be "sanctified" in Christ and why that is important to both the original readers and to us today. From 1 Corinthians 1:1-3
Jan 8, 2019
"Fra-gee-lay" The Real Christmas Story # 2
Part 2 of our Real Christmas Story series that examines the Biblical Christmas story through the lens of the popular movie and television show "A Christmas Story". This week we discuss Ralphie's dad and all the trials and tribulations he faces in the movie and how that related to Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus Christ. Joseph is a character who usually gets pushed to the sides of our nativity scenes and Christmas musicals. There are no songs about Joseph and we know very little about him; yet without Joseph and his obedience to God in a very trying and difficult circumstance, we would have no nativity. Join us to discover how God used Joseph to fulfill numerous Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus' birth and how his example of obedience can still teach us a few lessons today.
Dec 4, 2018
"The Dreaded Triple Dog Dare" The Real Christmas Story Series #1
We kick off our new series that uses the popular Christmas Movie "A Christmas Story" as a jumping off place to discover some important elements of the Real Christmas Story that tend to get overlocked. As we discuss Ralphie and his Christmas experience in the 1950's and his pursuit of a Red Ryder B-B gun, we will take a closer look at several scenes and storylines from the movie and how they compare to the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The first in this series examines the "Dreaded Triple Dog Dare" when Ralphie's friend Swartz dares Flick to stick his tongue on a frozen telephone pool. Join us as we discover why Jesus was born when he was and how that fits into God's overall plan for each one of our lives. From Galatians 4:4-7.
Nov 27, 2018
Starting the Holidays Off Right
Every year it seems like the Christmas Season starts earlier and earlier and as Thanksgiving bleeds into Christmas, it might be beneficial for each of us to take a moment, hit the pause button, and examine our hearts. While we like to bemoan the commercialization and secularization of Christmas, those issues are not the heart of the problem - the problem just might be our hearts! This week between Thanksgiving and the start of Advent gives us a great opportunity to examine our hearts and make sure we have the right foundation and motivation to start the Holidays off right. Join us as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ. From Matthew 6:22-24;33.
Nov 19, 2018
"The Ones That Return" Season of Thanksgiving #3
We finish up our study on developing a Thankful heart and grateful spirit by looking at the benefits and blessings that are unlocked when we express gratitude. We look at an encounter that Jesus had with 10 men struck with leprosy to unpack the difference between feeling thankful and being thankful and why it matters. We also suggest some practical ways we can express our gratitude to those around us during the holiday season. From Luke 17:10-19
Nov 12, 2018
"The Foundation of a Grateful Heart" Season of Thanksgiving #2
As we continue our series on developing a grateful and thankful spirit during this season of Thanksgiving, this message examines what is at the core or foundation of true gratitude. Why do we sometimes struggle with being thankful for what we have been blessed with and how do we overcome the barriers to a grateful heart like envy, greed and lack of faith? Join us as we examine what the Apostle Paul calls "the secret" of gratitude and how we can learn to apply this "secret" to our own lives. From Philippians 4:10-13.
Nov 4, 2018
"Blessed and Highly Favored?" Season of Thanksgiving Series
For those who have grown up in the church or around the church, you might be unaware of how strange some of the most commonly used phrases sound to those outside of the church. We have a tendency to speak "Christianeze" and cling to our own terminology and catch phrases that might not be communicating what we hope. Think about some of these phrases like; "hedge of protection" "whole armor of God" "Traveling Mercies" "unspoken prayer request" "washed in the blood" "speaking in tongues" and even "born again". If we have to take time to further explain what a term means we might be better off using a different term or phrase. One of the most popular phrases in "christianeze" today is "Blessed and highly favored" and if you have been around Christ followers for any length of time you have probably heard it expressed. There is nothing wrong with the phrase, it comes straight from the Angel Gabriel's lips to Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Luke's gospel; but when we use it in our everyday voca…
Oct 14, 2018
"Who is Going to Fill Their Shoes?" Harvest Day 2018
As the average age of a majority of church congregations in the United States continues to rise, it is understandable that the same is true for church leadership. The average age of Senior Pastors in the US is in the mid 50's, our foreign missionaries average is in the mid 50's, even our deacons, elders, Sunday school teachers and committee membership is around the mid 50's. While there is nothing wrong with people in the mid 50's or even older, it stands to reason that as the average age continues to rise and with the current trend of younger people dropping out of church; what is going to happen in 15 years? Will we have difficulty finding missionaries to step in and take the mantle from those who have served faithfully? Will churches have difficulties finding a Pastor? Will we see a shortage of leadership within our congregations? If that happens, how will it effect the spread of the gospel around the world or even in our own backyards? CK Chesterton once said, "Christianity is only…
Sep 30, 2018
"Why We Gather" This is Us Sermon Series #26
Have you ever thought about why we gather together on Sunday mornings for church, or corporate worship? Not the theological reasons; it is pretty clear in the Bible that the local faith community is the main avenue for individual Christians to grow and serve and it is the main means by which God accomplishes his purposes here on earth. I am talking about your own personal reasons. Why do you "go to church"? out of habit? routine? obligation? because you think it is expected of you? Building on last week's message of "Why we sing" this message strives to answer in a practical and Biblical manner, "why we gather together" in worship and by doing so, hopefully give us some insight into why church attendance continues to decline across America. From Psalms 100.
Sep 23, 2018
"Why we Sing" This is Us Sermon Series #25
Have you ever wondered why churches spend between half of even a third of their worship services in song? If you look back over the last 30 years in the history of the American church, the greatest place of contention, disruption, disunity and spiritual warfare has revolved around that portion of our worship services where we sing. We have fought over how we sing, what we sing, and even the instruments we use when we sing and churches continue to split, become spiritually neutered and rendered powerless in the process. For the enemy to attack this portion of our worship service's with such ferocity, it must be pretty important. Listen in the discover "Why we sing". From Nehemiah 12, John 4:21-24
Sep 9, 2018
"Unknown but not Forgotten" This is Us Sermon Series # 24
Have you ever considered your legacy? What will people think about you when you are gone, or will they even think about you? What about 50 years from now, or 75? When you think of the great examples of those who were faithful to God in the Bible it is easy to come up with the names like Moses, Gideon, Joshua, David, Nehemiah, Elijah; but the vast majority of people whose legacy we follow are unnamed and really unknown. They served God, remained faithful and sought to do his will; yet to our history they seemed to have been forgotten. But God's point of view is much different than our recorded history. To God, each of those faithful forgotten were valued treasures, remembered and rewarded for their service and faithfulness. What a great encouragement for many of us today who can get discouraged or feel like we are all alone, or even underappreciated. Join us as we look at Nehemiah 11 and gain some encouragement to press on.
Sep 2, 2018
"When You Least Expect It" This is Us sermon series #23
When you mention Satan in Christian circles you will find that many Christ followers fall into one of two extreme positions; they are either obsessed with spiritual warfare and see the devil in everything, or they downplay or ignore that he is even real, with many picturing him as some cartoon with a pointy tail and horns. The Bible is very clear that both of those extremes are dangerous and the Apostle Peter warns us in 2 Peter 5 that we must always be alert as "the enemy" or Satan would love to "devour" all we hold dear. Jesus warns in the Gospel of John that not only is Satan a liar, but he seeks to steal, kill and destroy our relationship with God, our peace, our joy and our purpose. We must take him serious because one of his greatest tools of disruption are the people we encounter in our everyday lives. This message examines and identifies how the enemy will use other people to attack, undermine, intimidate and isolate us whenever we strive to be obedient to God's word and apply…
Aug 26, 2018
"Discovering Your Worth" This is Us Sermon Series #22
How do we determine our worth? Is it our income? our talent? our abilities? For the Christ follower our value or worth should not be defined by who we are, or what we can do, or have done but rather "whose" we are. From our story in Nehemiah we discover that the Israelites used the old broken and burned bricks from the destroyed wall to rebuild the new wall. They literally redeemed those bricks that had laid around for 170 years and which most people had considered worthless and gave them value. They formed the foundation of all that was new. God does the same thing for each of us. Even at our worst, God never stopped seeing our worth and value to Him - we just needed to be redeemed. Join us as we discover the beauty and joy of redemption and how valuable each of us really are to God. From Nehemiah 4:1-2, Nehemiah 6:15-16.
Aug 19, 2018
"Operation 99" This is Us sermon series #21
Aug 5, 2018
"What are you Hungry For?" This is Us Sermon Series #19
In Nehemiah chapter 6 we discover that Nehemiah has seen his dream/vision become a reality. The walls of Jerusalem are complete and in record time. In Chapter 7 we learn that after completing the task, the people go back to their villages, jobs and normal routines, yet something is still not right. They had their security, life was returning to normal, but something was still missing. In Chapter 8 as they gather back in Jerusalem to celebrate "Rosh Hashana", the Jewish new year, they are confronted with the reality that what is missing and has been missing for 170 years is their relationship with God. Join us as we examine how our appetites and desires dictate our decision making and "what we are hungry for" is always revealed by our actions. In the message, we discuss the growing threat of a "Spiritual Anorexia" in the church and in many Christ followers lives as we are in danger of losing our spiritual hunger for the power and presence of God. How does it happen? How can you get it b…
Jul 29, 2018
"A Strongholds Slippery Slope" Part 2 This is Us Sermon Series #18
We continue our examination of Strongholds that exist in the lives of Christ followers and that have been institutionalized in the church. Strongholds are "beliefs, ideas, pretext or principles" that are contrary to the Word of God. These are ideas we have allowed to take root in our hearts and minds that keep us from fulfilling God's call on our lives and distort our mission and message. This week we examine and explain the stronghold of "Americanized Cultural Christianity". A homogenized view of what it means to be a Christ follower that circumvents scripture and replaces it with the American dream. We examine what Jesus expects out of those who follow Him compared to what we hear from most American Christians. We also examine the offshoot stronghold of "Christian Nationalism" that is beginning to take root in many churches and communities in America and how it loses sight of where our true hope and allegiance lies. From the three parable of Matthew 25, 2nd Corinthians 10:3-5, Revela…
Jul 22, 2018
"A Strongholds Slippery Slope" This is Us sermon series #17
In 2nd Corinthians 10:3-5, the Apostle Paul uses the term "Stronghold" to describe thoughts, pretext, reasonings and even beliefs that can take root in our hearts and minds that are contrary to scripture. These "strongholds" can be both conscious or subconscious. Many times we do not even realize that they have taken root until they are exposed by the truth of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. These "strongholds" influence our thought patterns, our presuppositions, our prejudices, our philosophies and even our worldviews and while they might seem innocent, many are unbiblical and can not only hinder our spiritual growth, they can also distort the message of the gospel we are called to proclaim. These same strongholds, over time, can become institutionalized in the church and keep a local faith community from fulfilling its mission. This morning we examine how Nehemiah dealt with a potential stronghold in Nehemiah 13 as well as identifying 4 strongholds that can be found in many of o…
Jul 15, 2018
"Escaping the Pit of Despair" This is Us Sermon Series # 16
Everyone of us has faced discouragement; things don't turn out the way we had planned, not moving as fast as we had hoped, everyone is not supportive - we have all been there. But if we are not careful, simple discouragement can lead us into a pit of despair where we can lose hope, joy and even our faith. By revisiting our story from Nehemiah, this message examines and identifies several factors that can lead us into discouragement and despair. We then look at how Nehemiah dealt with discouragement and discover some spiritual solutions to not only guard against it, but to also help those who find themselves on the verge of despair. From Nehemiah 4:10-12, Psalms 40:1-3.
Jul 8, 2018
"Some Things Are Still Worth Fighting For"
As we celebrate our nations independence, this week we examine some of the reasons that drove the 13 colonies to choose independence and whether or not we have achieved those goals. We examine how that relates to the church in the areas of religious liberty and freedom and ask the question; is their anything today that we really feel is worth fighting for? Join us for a call to the church for a Spiritual Revolution and Revival that declares not our independence but rather our total dependence on the one who created, saves and leads us. From 2 Samuel 23:11-12.
Jul 1, 2018
"The Impossible Becomes Reality" This is Us Sermon Series # 15
Nehemiah gathered forty four diverse groups of people and put them to work rebuilding a mile and a half wall that used to encircle the city of Jerusalem. People from all types of backgrounds and walks of life, people with no real training in construction, and under constant threats of attack; he led them to build. In 52 days, less than 2 months, they had completed the wall to a height of 8 feet or half of its original height. For 170 years the walls had been nothing more than rubble that people walked over and ignored and then this stranger with a vision had called them together to accomplish the impossible and he did it in less time than it takes most churches to put a committee together. How? How did this seemingly impossible task become a reality in such a short amount of time? Join us to find out the secret for witnessing the impossible become reality and along the way you might just discover the keys to moving forward with your own God given dream. From Nehemiah 3
Jun 24, 2018
"Can Dreams Become Nightmares" This is Us Sermon Series #14
It is all to common to find Christians and Churches pursue a God given dream or vision, only to find it turn into a nightmare along the journey. From losing sight of our true purpose to allowing opposition or distractions to get us sidetracked; History is littered with the stories of how well intentioned people and churches go from moving forward to falling by the wayside. In this message, we examine the many detours and dangers that Nehemiah faced as he pursued his vision. Sometimes it is even the most well intentioned thoughts and ideas that can turn our dreams into nightmares. This is a great warning for anyone who is willing to boldly step out on faith and trust God to see the "what could be" become a reality. From Nehemiah 5:14-19.
Jun 3, 2018
"Getting from Here to There" # 3 This is Us Sermon Series #13
As we continue our discussion on following our God given dreams and visions, this morning we discuss how we can recognize when God is opening a door, or providing a means for our dreams to become reality. So many churches and Christians become focused on God working in the same way He has worked in the past, that we miss all of the new opportunities and open doors right in front of us. We examine how God provided for Nehemiah thought the most unexpected place as he pursued his dream. We also discuss the opposition and conflicts you will face once you begin to go through the open doors that God provides. Join us for an encouraging look at how you can identify when, where and how God is working all around you to provide a means for you to fulfill your God given dream. From Nehemiah 2:1-9
May 27, 2018
"Getting from Here to There" #2 This is Us Sermon Series # 12
When God gives us a vision or dream for anything; our families, our future, a career, a ministry opportunity; there is always a tension between the way things are and the way things can be, or should be. It is in this tension between the two where most of us spend our time. We know what could be, we might even know how to see it become a reality, but waiting on God's timing and for God to open a door that will allow us to move forward is one of the hardest parts of following a dream. We hate waiting and instead of being patient, many times, we end up forcing the issue or taking matters into our own hands and making a mess of it. This morning we will examine Nehemiah's life and journey and how he handled waiting for God to provide an "open door" for his dream to become a reality and what he did in the meantime. If you feel like God has you in a "holding pattern" as you strive to move from where you are to where you want to be, or even where you should be; this message is for you. From N…
May 20, 2018
"Getting From Here to There" This is Us Sermon Series #11
How do we know what God's dream or vision for our life is? Does everyone have one? What about the church, how can we know? Where do we start? Join us we continue our series "This is Us" by talking about the tension between "where we are" and "where God wants us to be" and how it relates to the "dreams and visions" that Peter talked about in quoting Joel at Pentecost. The Bible is clear that God created each one of us with a purpose but how can we know what it is, and once we do, what can we do about it? In this message that reflects on the recent history of First Baptist Blowing Rock, we examine what it takes to get from "here" to "there". From Nehemiah.
May 13, 2018
"The Faith of a Determined Mother" Mothers Day 2018
A celebration and encouragement to all of our Mothers. From Matthew 15:21-28
May 6, 2018
"Turning Cant's Into Cans" This is Us Sermon Series #10
How many of us have allowed the "cant's" of the world and the people around us to stifle and kill our hopes, dreams and visions? The Bible is clear that God has a purpose for each one of us and he reveals and plants that purpose in our hearts through his visions and dreams. He does the same thing for churches and ministries. Then how can we know it is a "God given dream" and not just our own? What do we do once we discover what His dream is for our lives? or for our churches? Join us as we answer those questions and discover how we can learn to turn all of those "cant's" in "cans"! From Act 11:6-10.
Apr 29, 2018
"The Inconsistent Idea of an Inactive Church Member" This is Us Sermon Series #9
One of the rare phenomenon found in many churches is the idea of an "inactive member". Many churches claim to have one number as "church members" that is usually much greater than the number of people who are in worship on a regular basis. Some have "members" who have not been in that church for years, some who they don't even have an active address or phone number to be able to contact; yet they are still counted as "members". In searching the Bible it is difficult to find anything that might indicate it is possible to be an "inactive" church member; the name itself is an oxymoron. How do you define "active" or "inactive'? Join us as we discover what the New Testament defined as an active member of a local faith community and along the way uncover why we should "join" church in the first place. From Colossians 3:11-17
Apr 22, 2018
"Membership Has Its Privileges" This is Us Sermon Series #8
We continue our "This is Us" sermon series by examining the "how" and "why" of the various things we do in the church by discussing how we evaluate church health or church success. How do we measure success and by what standards? It is difficult to evaluate the success of a program or ministry unless we first examine why we do those programs or ministries. Do we do them because their is a Biblical mandate or it was something the early church exampled? Or do we do them because it is a preference (the way we like it, or way it has always been done)? Or do we do them because of pragmatism (it works, or has worked somewhere else)? We can't honestly evaluate something until we investigate the "why's". This message examines the principle of church membership. Is joining a local church a preference, pragmatic or a biblical mandate? What does the Bible say? Why is it important? Join us to discover the answer. From 1 Peter 5:1-4,Hebrews 13:17.
Apr 15, 2018
"The Right Stuff"; This is Us Sermon Series #7
We continue our examination of who we are as "the church" by looking at the first church and what where their guiding motives and methods. As we plan for the future and who we want to be as a church and a Christian community in ten, twenty or even fifty years; the best place to start is by examining where we have come from, where we have been and to allow those lessons to become guardrails that guide us towards the future. We have an example in Acts 2 of the most effective and Biblical church growth model in history; yet many fail to apply those founding principles as they plan for the future, choosing instead to chase trends, fads and programs. Join us as we discover how the secret to the churches future might just be found in our past. From Acts 2:42-47.
Apr 11, 2018
Wednesday Night Study; "History and the Bible" Session 6
In this session we examine the world setting and context for the end of Genesis (Joseph's death) and the beginning of Exodus (Moses birth and calling). We also answer some questions related to our Sunday sermon series on Baptist beliefs that cover; baptism and infant baptism, religious liberty and communion. We hope to have the maps and study notes available online at the churches website this week. Thank you for following along and for your emailed questions.
Apr 8, 2018
"The Keeper of the Bones" This is Us Sermon Series #6
We continue the sermon series "This is Us" calling us to examine who we are as a church, what we believe, what is our vision for the future and how are we going to accomplish it; this morning we examine "Where we came from", our heritage. Using the story of Josephs bones in Genesis, Exodus and Joshua, we discuss the importance of passing along our story and how Christ has impacted that story to the next generation. Building on the history of how FBC Blowing Rock came into existence 115 years ago, we are challenged by what it might look like 115 years from now and our role in that future. The reason so many churches are in self preservation mode is because they have lost sight of their original mission and message and have resorted to programs and personalities to try and stay relevant. We can never understand where God is leading us, if we do not understand and remember where we have come from. Join us as we discover the importance of the "Keepers of the Bones", not only in the history…
Apr 1, 2018
The Terminus of Time; Easter Message 2018
Join us as we rediscover the power and purpose of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. What does the empty tomb mean to me and do for me? From Psalms 22, Philippians 3:7-11
Mar 18, 2018
"The Road to Calvary" Easter 2018 #1
This week we begin our journey to Easter by examining the journey Jesus took to the Cross. By asking the question, "When did Jesus start on his journey to Calvary"? or even "When did Jesus make the choice to start on the road that led to the Cross"?; we survey pivotal points in His life, take a quick survey of the Old Testament, including the Prophets, the Old Covenant, Moses's calling and even God's covenant with Abraham to try and discover a surprising answer. Join us on a journey of discovery as we each prepare our hearts to make the journey to the Cross in the coming weeks.
Mar 11, 2018
"A Free Church in a Free State; Religious Freedom" This is Us Sermon Series #5
We continue our Sermon Series examining "who we are" as a church and "what we believe" by looking at what has become the most recognizable Baptist distinctive; Religious Freedom! Since soon after the reformation, Baptist have fought and died for the principle that true worship and true obedience to God can only come through the practice of free will. In this message we examine the history of Baptist and religious freedom, from our first statement of faith in 1644, to the founding of Rhode Island based on religious liberty, to our fight to insure the inclusion of religious liberty in the first amendment to our nations Constitution. We examine the scripture behind this principle and the privilege so many take for granted. We also discuss the misguided thoughts behind the idea of "separation of church and state" and the current battles being waged in America to diminish and destroy religious freedoms. From Galatians 5:1-10.
Mar 7, 2018
Wednesday Night Study; "History and the Bible" Session 4
This week we examine Genesis 15-25 while stopping to examine the meaning and purpose of the Covenant that God makes with Abram. We explain the significance and similarities between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. We also examine the identity of the person described as "The Angel of the Lord" all throughout the early Old Testament and how his identity can change the way we read the stories as well as reveal some new insight into New Testament theology. We also discuss how people in the Old Testament were made right with God that allows them to receive eternal life. From Wednesday night, February 21,2018
Mar 6, 2018
Wednesday Night Study; "History and the Bible" Session 3
This sessions looks at the setting and background for Abram's journey to the "promise land" in Canaan. It would be helpful if you have a Map to follow the early part of the discussion. In most Bibles, you will find a Map in the back that shows the "World of the Patriarchs". This is the map we use for the discussion. We will also discuss Genesis 12-15 and Abram's journey to Egypt and his encounter with a strange king from Salem that could have New Testament ramifications. From Wednesday February 14th, 2018
Mar 4, 2018
"Competent to Stand Trial" This is Us Sermon Series #4
We continue our study of what makes us a Baptist church and what we believe by looking at the Baptist distinctive of "Soul Competency" or "Soul Liberty". While those terms may not be familiar to many Christians, they are rooted in the idea that every person is created in the image of God and therefore accountable for their own actions and the consequences of those actions before God. This seems to run counter to our modern culture where instead of holding individuals responsible for their actions, we would rather find fault or blame, make excuses and rationalizations. We examine the danger this mindset can have on a nation, a culture and on an individual. Soul Liberty also holds that as each of us has equal access to God, we can also each read, understand and interpret God's word on our own and we examine the dangers inherent in misunderstanding this truth that can lead to legalism or license. From Romans 14:1-13.
Feb 25, 2018
"The Priesthood of all Believers" This is Us sermon series #3
We continue our examination of "who we are and what we believe" as Christians and the Church by examining what it means to be "Baptist". This message looks at the Baptist principle of "The priesthood of believers" and examines how it evolved from the reformation principle of "Solus Christus" and it's effects on our ecclesiology, or how we govern and minister as a church. While the idea that Christ is the only mediator between God and Man is not strictly a Baptist belief, when linked together with the principle that every Christian is a "priest" it forms the basis for our congregational form of governance as well as "who does" and "how we do" the ministry of the church. It also reveals the great privilege of direct access to God that every Christian has as well as the great responsibility that comes with that privilege. From 1 Timothy 2:1-6 and 1 Peter 2:4,9-10.
Feb 18, 2018
"Yes, That's the Book for Me" This is Us sermon series #2
As we continue our new series "This is Us" by examining what we believe and why we believe it; we take a look at some of the key principles of what it means to be a "Baptist church". This week we examine the principle of Biblical Authority or what Martin Luther called, "Sola Scriptura" - Scripture Alone! Not only will we look at some key Bible passages that shed some light on this principle, but the history of this principle from the New Testament church until today. We also examine those things that other faiths and denominations might elevate on par with scripture when looking at our faith and practices and discuss the danger that a Christ follower might encounter when we stray from "Scripture Alone". From 2nd Timothy 3:10-17
Feb 14, 2018
Wednesday Night Study; History and the Bible Session 2
We examine Abram's spiritual and physical journeys as he encounters God and moves his family to Canaan. A look at the original Covenant that God made with Abram and Abram's religious background. We also examine Abram's encounters in Canaan and Egypt.
Feb 11, 2018
"What's in a Name" This is Us sermon series #1
An introduction to our series "This is Us" by examining the name "Baptist" and where it came from and what it means. We examine the issue of baptism by immersion, its history and why it is so important in a Baptist church. This new series will be examining what we believe as a Baptist church and why it is important as well as the history and heritage of our church as it relates to planning for our future.
Jan 28, 2018
"A Field Focused Vision" Evangelism and the Church
Jesus tells the disciples in John 4 to "Open their eyes to the fields ripe for Harvest" after they seemingly missed an opportunity to share with the Samaritan women at the well. Has the church today fallen into the same trap of missed opportunities? Have we spent so much time focused on ourselves and our own spiritual growth and maturity that we have lost sight of our task? Do we even see these "fields" that Jesus was talking about? What will it take for us to get back to the place where sharing our faith and being Christ witness to those around us is our main priority, or is that even possible at this point? Join us as we discover how regain a "field focused vision" that will allow the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to all we have been missing. From John 4 and also is connected to the sermon theme from January 21st "A Fierce Urgency of Now"
Jan 24, 2018
Wednesday Night Study; History and the Bible Session 1
In our new Wednesday night study we are looking at the Bible and its setting and context as it impacts all of History. This introduction looks at Genesis and the Creation story.
Jan 21, 2018
The Fierce Urgency of Now
Is the Church more concerned with it's own survival over advancing the Kingdom of God? Have we lost our passion for sharing our faith? Have we emphasized spiritual growth at the expense of evangelism? Have we lost our sense of urgency? Join us as we discover how to regain a "fierce urgency of now" when it comes to sharing with others what is supposed to be the most important thing in our lives. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? From John 4:27-38
Jan 14, 2018
Be Still and Know
Psalms 46 has been used as a great source of strength and encouragement to those facing trials and struggles, but what if it was more than a source of comfort but rather a place to find confidence? The Psalmist encourages us to "Know" or "experience" God in a very real and tangible way in our everyday lives but this first requires that we "Be Still". What might that look like and what can we discover if we ever take the time to try it? Join us as we take a closer look at this powerful passage and unlock the keys to what might make your 2018 a year to remember! From Psalms 46
Jan 7, 2018
"Don't Turn out the Lights; The Parties Not Over"
When does Christmas end? Is it on December 26th? Or maybe it is on January 7th, the end of the 12 days of Christmas and the celebration of the arrival of the Magi in many churches? While we debate and discuss how the beginning of the season keeps getting pushed back early and earlier into November, but what about its end date? Is it when we finish unwrapping that last present, or when the relatives all leave, or maybe when we take down all the decorations? In many Christmas stories and musicals, it seems to end with the arrival of the Magi, but in Matthews version of the nativity, he includes a couple more scenes that seem get overlooked and even left out. Might these 3 scenes bring some insight for when we can officially stop celebrating Christmas or maybe they suggest that Christmas is more than a seasonal celebration? Join us as we examine Matthews additional scenes and what role they might play in helping us in expressing the message of Christmas all year long. From Matthew 2:13-2…
Dec 31, 2017
When did Christians stop being Dangerous? New Years Eve 2017
When you read in 2nd Corinthians 11:21-29 as Paul describes some of the things he endured and overcame while sharing the gospel, you can't help but thinking "dangerous". But why would this simple, old theologian be in danger or even dangerous to those around him? It wasn't who he was that made him dangerous, but rather his message. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:18 that the message of Jesus Christ was foolishness, or offensive to those who are lost and that made it dangerous. For the last 2000 years, history is filled with stories about the followers of Christ who have been considered dangerous by those in power, by those who protect the status quo, simply because they identified and lived out the message of Jesus Christ. So what happened? Are Christians in North America still dangerous? Or for the sake of accommodation or acceptance and approval have we watered down or removed the very parts of the message that made it dangerous, the very parts of the Word of God that releases the p…
Dec 24, 2017
Do the Wise still seek Him? Christmas Eve 2017
In spite of what we see in our traditional nativity scenes, we don't know how many Magi/Wise Men there actually were, we don't even know when they arrived on the scene or where they really came from; so what role do they play in the story? Join us as we examine the purpose and message of the Wise Men and how their arrival brings both the Old Testament and the Death of Jesus Christ into the Nativity scene. From Matthew 2:1-12
Dec 3, 2017
"How Hope Overcomes The World" Living Sacrifices Series #16
It seems like you can't watch the news or get online without being overwhelmed with acts of "Evil" happening all around the world; church shootings, hunger and homelessness, marriages and homes dissolving and hate filled protest. We have a tendency to want to ask why? what happens that causes these events or these acts? The answer is simple; we live in an evil and fallen world and trying to understand it won't change it, trying to rationalize it won't change it, yet on this first weekend of Advent we find an answer; Hope! Paul closes Romans chapter 12 by reminding us that responding to evil with evil will never stop it or change it - the only thing that can overcome evil is good - and the Bible tells us that the ultimate good that overcomes evil is Jesus Christ. As followers of Christ, we do not live like those who have no hope, who fear evil,but with the understanding that evil can be overcome and one day it will be eliminated. Listen in to find out what that looks like in our everyda…
Nov 26, 2017
"Its Always Been a Matter of Trust" Living Sacrifices Series #15
The Apostle Paul warns us that if we claim to be followers of Christ, people will be watching us and for many people, the only definition of Christianity they will see is what they observe from your life. He tells us to be careful and strive to always do what is "right". So what does doing what is "right" mean, and what might that look like in our everyday lives? In Romans 12:17-20, he gives us several practical examples of how we can live out what we say we believe in a way that is not only "right" but is sure to catch the attention of those around us. Join us to discover what it looks like for a Christian to truly live out Christ example in a hostile world.
Nov 19, 2017
"Slip Sliding Away" Living Sacrifices Series #14
As the Apostle Paul continues to paint a picture of how the followers of Christ are supposed to live from Romans 12, he moves from our relationship with a specific group of people in verses 14-16, to a more general audience in verse 17. While at first glance it may seem to be just a simple instruction to "always do what is right" but when you examine the context and his word choices from the Greek language; it unlocks the keys to a lifestyle that has the potential to transform our culture. In a culture that has embraced Moral Relativism where what is "acceptable behavior" or how we define "right or wrong" changes and shifts according to popular opinion, our circumstances or the situations we face; Paul challenges Christ followers to a different standard. From Romans 12:17
Nov 12, 2017
"Pride and Prejudice" Living Sacrifice Series #13
We continue looking at character traits that will help or hinder our ability to put into practice "Blessing those who persecute us, bless and do not curse" from Romans 12:14. Much like stretching before you run or exercise; the Apostle Paul gives us some traits that will help stretch us spiritually and soften our hearts to get us to the point that we can learn to bless those difficult people in our lives - those who have betrayed us, bullied us, hurt or disappointed us. Learning to do this goes against our human nature and everything we are taught in our culture, so it is not easy, but for the Christ follower, it is not an option. In this message we look at both Pride and Prejudice and how prevalent and controlling they are in our lives and how they can both become a huge barrier to our being obedient to Christ command. We also discuss the fact that our ability to "bless those who persecute us" is not as much for those we are blessing as it is for us. From Romans 12:14-16
Nov 6, 2017
Operation Christmas Child Testimony from Pastor Mark Brumbelow
We were blessed to host Pastor Mark Brumbelow and his wife Cherry from Grace Baptist Church in Brazoria Texas to share how God has used their small rural church to do some incredible things with Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. In 2015 their church of 40 members collected 5321 shoeboxes! Their goal this year was 6975 to bring their 3 year total to 15,000 shoeboxes which is an incredible amount, then Hurricane Harvey hit their area. All but one of their church families lost their homes in the flooding from the Hurricane and yet while many of them sheltered and lived at the church, they continued to collect and pack shoeboxes. Even in the midst of the devastation they were able to surpass their goal and this year packed 8031 shoeboxes to be distributed to needy children around the world. This is their testimony from our service on November 5, 2017. At the end we were able to surprise the Brumbelow's by presenting their church a gift of $5000. from the Hurricane Relief Offering we rai…
Nov 5, 2017
"Blessing when you feel like Cursing" Living Sacrifice Series #12
As a follow up to last weeks sermon from Romans 12:14 where Paul commands Christ followers to "Bless those who persecute us, bless and no curse". Knowing that this command goes against our human nature and can be so difficult to live out; Paul follows up in verses 15-16 with some practical examples of how we might prepare our hearts to be able to bless those who have persecuted us, betrayed us or hurt us. In today's message we look at the first two; Practicing Empathy and Promoting Harmony. Join us to discover what it really means to be empathetic and how showing empathy to those who hurt us might soften your heart in your response. We also discover that promoting harmony might mean sacrificing our need to always be right, or always be heard, or to always have the last word. From Romans 12:14-16
Oct 29, 2017
"A Radical Response to Mean People" Living Sacrifices Series #11
All of us have people in our lives who have hurt us; some intentionally, some by accident and some never even realize the pain they have caused. We have people in our lives who betray us, who bully us, who lie about us to get ahead. People who make fun of us, who talk behind our back, who spread rumors about us - just plain old fashion "Mean People". In response to these people, we spend a crazy amount of time, effort and energy planning our revenge, our retaliation or at the very least we love to dream about all the bad things we wish would happen to them. Good News! The Bible gives us a very clear and concise response on how to respond and handle these types of people in our lives. If you have even been picked on, betrayed, bullied, hurt, lied about or left out - this message is for you. From Romans 12:14-16
Sep 24, 2017
"The Building Blocks of Authentic Community" Living Sacrifices Series #9
Terms like "authentic" and "community" have become the new Christian buzzwords. You find them in purpose statements, on church signs, on our logos and in our orders of worship; but do we even know what they mean? Are we advertising something that we are not providing or even producing? Have they simply become cliché's to an outside world who finds more community at their local bars, gyms or sports fields? In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul lays out several building blocks and behaviors that can turn a religious gathering into an authentic community if we are willing to listen. In a culture with a hunger and desire to "belong" to something or somewhere; what is the local church offering? From Romans 12:9-13
Sep 17, 2017
"When Have We Loved Enough?" Living Sacrifices Series #8
How do we define love? How do we define how we are supposed to love others? Sure we can describe what love looks like, or it's attributes or characteristics but can we define it? What about God's love? If Christ followers are supposed to "love others the way God does, or the way God loves us", what does that mean? The problem with coming up to an answer for that question is everyone has their own definition. In Romans chapter 12, the Apostle Paul gives a pretty good definition for not only what God's love means but also how our love for one another should be defined, but it is not as clear cut as most of us would like. When he uses the word "Hate" to define God's love it can bring some confusion. Join us as we dig deep in Romans 12:9 to discover what "True, Sincere and Genuine" love means and how it can radically transform each of us as well as the church and the culture we live in
Sep 10, 2017
"Keeping the Body in SHAPE" Living Sacrifices Series #7
How do we determine if we are a healthy and growing Christian? How do we determine if our church is "healthy"? Some would point to external factors; size, attendance, programs, growth - others might look at the past and determine progress made - but do those really reveal health? For years we determined a person's health by looking at their weight and height then finding on a chart how those two compared to the average. The only problem with that was that different people carry weight differently; what might be healthy for one person, might be different on another. So doctors and researchers began to factor in "body shape" to determine what was "healthy" because each person is unique. The same is true in the church and for individual Christ followers; we are all unique and different - with different gifts and talents and different "calls" on our lives. So like an individual, one of the ways we can determine our "spiritual health" is by looking at our SHAPE. Join us as we examine Romans…
Sep 3, 2017
"Use it or Lose it" Living Sacrifice Series #6
It had been well quoted that in the average church 10% of the people do 90% of the work and while that may not be the case in many churches, a Gallup Poll found it close to reality. Even more disturbing is that the same poll revealed that of the 85-90% of church member who are not serving or working in their churches, 50% said they could not picture any circumstances where they would get involved. Is it any wonder that churches are closing their doors across America at a record level or that our cultural is turning more secular faster than anyone could have ever imagined - half of the church is sitting on the sidelines. Jesus never intended that someone who calls themselves one of His followers would not be active in ministering and serving in His church. Join us as we look at what the Apostle Paul taught concerning how we are to be involved in ministry and why. From Romans 12:3-8
Aug 27, 2017
"Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall" Living Sacrifice Series #5
We live in a very self absorbed culture. Our social media sites are filled with "selfies" and other pictures from our day to day adventures. Our self worth seems to hinge upon how many views or likes we get from our media post on the various apps we can't help but check at every waking moment. We are eliminating grades in school for the same reason that everyone now gets a trophy for simply showing up. We have allowed the culture and popular opinion to define us according to it's subjective standards that always seem to be changing to the point that many people no longer recognize the person they see staring back at them from the mirror in the morning. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear in Romans 12 that for those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, the greatest change in our lives should first take place in our minds - the way we think, our worldview and most importantly, the way we see ourselves. The way we view ourselves is pivotal to the way we see and treat others, and fo…
Aug 20, 2017
"God's Will Revealed" Living Sacrifice Series #4
In a recent USA Today survey people were asked what would be the one question they could ask God. Over 80% responded that they wanted to ask God, "What is your will for my life? What is my purpose?" Even in the church, many long time Christians still struggle with the idea of "God's Will" and purposes for their life. Does He have a specific will for me and if so, How can I know it.? God's will is one of those spiritual principles that we have made a lot more complicated than it should be. The Bible is very clear and even direct when it comes to God's will, even His personal will for our lives. The problem is not in the discovery, the problem is in the application. Join us as we look at Romans 12:2 and not only discover what God's will is for each one of us, but also why it is so important that we live it out - experience it!
Aug 13, 2017
"Living Transformed in a World of Conformity" Living Sacrifice series #3
We live in a rapidly changing culture and it is having a profound effect on Christians and the Church. Behavior and lifestyles that only a few years ago seemed abnormal or out of the mainstream are now not only accepted but even celebrated. The lines between how society defines good and evil and right and wrong are being blurred and it is happening at such a pace that many in the church don't know how to respond. As personal experience, circumstances and opinions are elevated over any form of absolute truth the world does not need our conformity or for us to blur the lines about what we believe and stand on as found in God's word; the darkness needs a light! So how do we respond? How do we show grace, mercy, and love to those around us as we reach out to minister and share the Gospel without compromising what we hold dear? The Apostle Paul lays out some simple principles in Romans 12:1-2 that might hold some answers. Join us as we continue our study from these foundational verses and e…
Aug 6, 2017
"When Sacrifice becomes a Lifestyle; Worship becomes a Privilege" Living Sacrifices #2
As we continue looking at Romans 12:1, we examine the ideas behind individual worship and what that might look like in the church. The reason many people today struggle with worship is related more to what they are willing to give than any various worship styles. Worship must always include a sacrifice and it starts with each of us willingly giving every part of ourselves to God and everything else that we do flows from there. If we struggle with giving, if we struggle with our prayer life, if we struggle with singing in worship, if we struggle with serving; the first place to examine is the altar of our heart and see what we have sacrificed.
Jul 30, 2017
"Too Many Empty Altars" Living Sacrifices Series #1
If you pay attention to the media, it would be hard to miss all of the articles, books and reports declaring the decline of the Christian church in America. From falling attendance numbers, shrinking membership roles to declining conversions, it seems like there is no good news for the American Church. But are we really in a crisis or is this simply just a correction? Could it be that over the last 30 years the church has lost sight of its mission and purpose and what we are experiencing is simply God's way of calling it back to Him? We begin a new series based on Romans 12 that suggest the answers might be found in the Apostle Paul's call for believers to become "Living Sacrifices". Join us as we discover what that really means and how it has effected not only the churches in America, but individual believers and their ability to see the power and purposes of God for their lives. In the introduction to this series we examine Romans 12:1 and ask the question, are their "Too Many Empty…
Jul 9, 2017
"Too Many Chargers and Not Enough Plugs" Message on the Sabbath
A recent survey found that people had greater success naming the kids on the Brady Bunch than trying to name the 10 Commandments. The second most recognized Commandment was the fourth; "Honor the Sabbath and keep it Holy" yet most people could not really explain how we are supposed to do that in today's church. It is often one of the most misunderstood or controversial commandments and it is the only commandment that is not quoted or revised in the New Testament. Nowhere in the New Testament are we asked to follow this commandment and if you study the Gospels you will find that it is the only commandment that Jesus did not keep. So what happened, and does it still apply to Christ followers? Is the Sabbath supposed to be on Saturday or Sunday or does it even matter? Join us to discover some interesting truths about this important commandment and how it is not only relevant for the church today, but it is a gift from God that can change our lives if applied correctly. From Exodus 20; Ex…
Jul 2, 2017
"Why Celebrating Freedom is Not Enough" July 4th weekend
While Americans gather this weekend to celebrate our Independence and Freedoms; churches on Sunday will be full of people singing and celebrating their spiritual freedoms, yet many remain in bondage. In Galatians 5, Paul reminds us that until we experience true spiritual freedom and understand what we have been set free from, we will struggle to walk out those freedoms. For many Christ followers, we simply exchange one bondage for another and never really understand how free we are; free to offer ourselves in worship, free to love our neighbors, free to honor God in our lifestyles, free to share our freedoms with others. When you have really been set free, it is not enough just to gather once a week and sing a few songs about it - we must LIVE it.
Jun 25, 2017
"The Future is Now" No Filters Series #3
If you want to make people uncomfortable in church just mention the word "change"! While we are willing to strive for some personal change, when it comes to changing how we do church, or what we do at church, or even a line on the order of service; we are much more hesitant or even resistant. Yet, for the church to reach the next generations, we must change and adapt. It is not a matter of compromising belief or standards - but rather examining our structures, our prejudices and our preconceived notions and seeing how they line up with what God is doing around us. Using the passage from 1 Samuel 16 again, we look at David and all the changes he brought to the nation of Israel for some insight into the types of changes that we need to make if we will carry the anointing and power of God into the future.
Jun 18, 2017
"Standing in the Gap" No Filter Series #2
In 1st Samuel 16:1, the nation of Israel and its future was at a crossroads. God has just taken His anointing away from King Saul and was moving towards the future by sending the Prophet Samuel to find and anoint the new king at the home of Jesse. But Samuel was in mourning for his friend Saul, and had no idea what God's plans for the future involved and what he might find while looking for this "new king". Join us as we look at how Samuel allowed God to use him to become a bridge between the past and the future and discover the parallels with the struggles the church is finding as it strives to reach the next generation. Samuel was willing to "Stand in the Gap" on behalf of the Nation of Israel and become a bridge from Saul (the past) to David (the future). Where are the Samuel's today that will help us move the gospel and our churches out of the past and into the future?
Jun 11, 2017
"Gaining God's Perspective" NO FILTERS mini Series
People today love to take pictures, we have whole social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram built around sharing our pictures with the world. In a recent survey, high school and college students use their phones more for taking pictures than phone calls. With the explosion of picture taking, the arrival of quick self editing using "filters" has followed suit. Most of the pictures we see on social media have been edited in some way using our built in 'filters" but the problem with these filters is that they can distort reality. We start a new "min-series" of 3 messages looking at an unfiltered snapshot from 1st Samuel 16:1 and three people's lives and interactions with God. This message examines King Saul and how he went from God's man in Israel to yesterday's news. Examining what it means to have "God's anointing" and how Saul lost it, we look at our lives "unfiltered" and what that same "anointing" means to each of us, as well as our churches.
Jun 4, 2017
"Daring to Deal with Depression"
Depression is one of those topics you don't hear discussed much in church, yet it is said 20% of all Americans (1 in 5) will suffer from serious depression in their lifetime. Currently almost 19 million Americans suffer from some sort of clinical depression and a recent study found that 36 % of all teenage girls have suffered a significant depressive episode or consider themselves depressed. The Bible is full of examples of those who suffered from depression; from Moses, Job, Jeremiah, David and Elijah, the Bible speaks out on depression. Many of the Psalms give voice to those struggling with depression but the church has remained silent or depended on trite responses and false perceptions like; "You just need more faith" or "You need to Love Jesus more". All around us people are struggling and suffering in silence and it is time for Christians and the church to bring depression out of the shadows and deal with it. Listen in to find what really dealing with depression should look like!…
May 28, 2017
"More than Some Good Advice" Following Jesus Sermon Series #35
As we wrap up our study on the Sermon on the Mount, we ask the question, "Why does it matter?". Why is the sermon so important? Why do many consider it to be one of Jesus's greatest teachings? To help find some answers, we look at how the original listeners responded? What did they think, and what difference did it make to them? While many today try to separate Jesus from the life lessons found in these passages, to those sitting around Jesus, listening intently as he taught- Jesus was the message. It was His authority found all through these 3 chapters of Matthew that made the difference and it is His authority that makes the difference today. Listen in to discover how these verses can move from truth to transformation in every area of your life. From Matthew 7:28-29.
May 14, 2017
"A Mother's Passion" Mother's Day 2017
Join us as we learn some important lessons about the influence of a Mother's Passion. We hope to redeem a Mother who has received a bad rap in the New Testament as well as gaining a few examples for all parents to follow when it comes to our children's spiritual future. From Matthew 20:20-28
May 7, 2017
"The Dangerous Dilemma of Deceived Sheep" Following Jesus Sermon Series #33
In every letter that the Apostle Paul writes to the various churches he warns them about false teachers. Numerous times throughout the Gospels, Jesus warns about false teachers but none clearer and more direct than what is found at the end of his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7. He is very pointed in calling out those He calls "wolves in sheep" clothing whose intent is to build up their own kingdoms, their own power and their own prosperity at the expense of deceiving those looking to follow Christ. He then goes on with a scary and heartbreaking warning about the end results of those who get lured into these false teachings by describing what will happen when they stand before him in judgment at the end times. Instead of hearing "Welcome in my good and faithful servant", Jesus warns they will hear "Depart from me, I never knew you". We have a clear warning, we see the results of the deception but what is difficult to understand is how it happens. How does a sincere and spiritually see…
Apr 30, 2017
"Empty Words and Kept Promises" Following Jesus Sermon Series #32
While many consider Jesus words in Matthew 7:21-23 to be the most shocking or heartbreaking of the entire New Testament, others would love to bypass, overlook or rationalize them away. After warning about false teachers or "wolves in sheep's clothing", Jesus now confronts the end results for those who fall into the trap or are lured away by those teachings. What makes the teaching so startling is that He is clearly talking about good, sincere and religious people who are inside the church and have said all the right thing and done all the right things and yet when they stand before God in judgement, they will be rejected. This passage makes very clear that not everyone will be saved and even more striking, some who think that are saved will still be rejected. What is clear is that one day everyone on earth will stand before God and give an account for their lives and they will only hear one of two responses; "Welcome in my good and faithful servant" or "Depart from me" and the differen…
Apr 23, 2017
"What Big Teeth You Have" Following Jesus Sermon Series #31
People have been using and blaming God for their own profit and gain, to build their own kingdoms and to justify their sinful actions and behavior since the garden of Eden. False prophets and false teachers claiming to speak for God are scattered all through the Old Testament, but as Jesus establishes His church he knew it would only get worse. In every letter/epistle the Apostle Paul wrote to his various churches one can find a dire warning against false teachers and the dangers they bring to both Christ followers and the true church. So it should not surprise us that as Jesus brings one of his greatest teachings to a close, he emphatically warns about false teachers calling them "wolves in sheep's clothes". He predicts that when Satan was not attacking the church, he would be joining it and over the years Satan has sowed more destruction through imitation than he ever could with outright opposition. Luckily for us, Jesus did not just give a warning - he outlined a way by which we cou…
Apr 16, 2017
"There is" Following Jesus Sermon Series #30 Easter 2017
The Apostle Paul encourages the Church at Philippi to "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" in Philippians 2:12 as an encouragement for them to never stop examining their own hearts and motives. Jesus spends the better part of the end of his Sermon on the Mount on the same topic giving several metaphors and illustrations calling for self-examination. Yet you will not hear it discussed much in today's "church world" for fear of causing people to "doubt" their salvation. So we propagate a cultural Christianity where assurance comes from a date written in the front of a Bible, on a baptismal certificate or on a emotional memory from our youth instead of a changed heart. Jesus is pretty clear that each of us have one of two choices, the wide gate and the wide road or the narrow gate and narrow road. There are no exceptions, no compromises, no middle ground and the reality is that if you have not chosen the narrow gate found in Jesus Christ, you are already headed down the wide…
Apr 2, 2017
"The Pulse of a Christ Follower" Following Jesus Sermon Series #29
Many love to quote Matthew 7:1, "judge not least you be judged" yet that passage is found in a section of Jesus' teaching from the Sermon on the Mount that puts a spotlight on what could be defined as "judging". We are told not to be self-righteous or hypercritical in how we respond or treat others and we are warned to never try to take God's role and authority as the ultimate judge of peoples hearts and motives; yet the entire chapter is a call to evaluation - self evaluation! Using several metaphors and parables, Jesus teaches that their is a clear delineation between those who are His disciples and those who are not, and he calls those listening to his Sermon to evaluate their own hearts, motives and actions to see where they stand. He starts this call for evaluation by describing how prayer, worship and their outflow determines the heartbeat or pulse of a healthy Christ follower. Listen in to check your own spiritual pulse. From Matthew 7:7-12
Mar 26, 2017
"Don't Find Fault, Find a Remedy" Following Jesus Sermons Series #28
In our current culture, it doesn't take long for anyone who states a conviction or belief that might runs counter to modern PC group think to receive the admonition, "Judge Not least You Be Judged". It seems that is the "go-to" response on Facebook, Social Media, Blogs, Websites and sometimes even in person anytime we might express a biblical conviction about sin or sinful behavior. My first reaction to reading or hearing this response is to quote Inigo Montoya from "The Princess Bride"; "I do not think that word means what you think it means!". Taken out of context, the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount might seem to call us to be more "tolerant", but is that what he really means? What about the context of those words and the verses that follow? Do they back up this interpretation? What about other New Testament passages or even Jesus' own words later in the same sermon, do they? Join us as we discover what Jesus meant when he called us "Not to Judge" in Matthew 7:1 and the…
Mar 19, 2017
"Paying Interest on Borrowed Trouble" Following Jesus Sermon Series #27
Worry is not only something that can affect your health, your sleep patterns and stress levels but according to Jesus IT IS A SIN. We don't like to think of it in those terms, but God does. Worry and Anxiety rob your joy, diminish your worship, corrupt your faith and reveal that you really don't trust God according to Matthew 6. Jesus unpacks a convicting illustration to his earlier teaching on what we invest our time / talent and treasure on and who we really serve by proving that the wrong "temporary" investments will always reap worry, stress and anxiety and the right "eternal" investments will reap contentment, joy, peace and faith. Why do we worry? It is simply a lack of faith in God or the results of placing our faith in the wrong things. Tired of sleepless nights? stress related stomach problems? Feeling overwhelmed? Luckily for us, Jesus ends his illustration with a very clear suggestion and some practical steps we can take to make worry and anxiety a thing of our past. From M…
Mar 12, 2017
"In God we Trust" Following Jesus Sermon Series #26
In Luke 18 when Jesus is asked by the "rich young ruler" what it takes to "inherit eternal life" Jesus responds by calling him to "sell all you have and give the proceeds to those in need". Was this a specific command for this one person or is it something He expects from every follower? In our series from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus seems to be encouraging his followers to invest their time/talent and treasure in eternal things over the temporary things of this world - but it is only a suggestion and not a command. What is the difference and how does it relate to those of us today who are followers of Christ? Maybe the issue was not that the "rich young ruler" had money but rather that his money HAD HIM. Listen in as we discuss what it means to only serve one master and the consequences that occur when we try to serve more than one. From Matthew 6:24
Mar 5, 2017
"Finding Focus in a Blurry World" Following Jesus Sermon Series #25
Is it possible for God to be moving in our midst and we not know it? Could He be opening doors and providing opportunities and yet we are unaware? What did Jesus mean when he warned "He who has eyes to see, let him see"? As Jesus continues to encourage his followers from his Sermon on the Mount to invest their time/talent and treasure in things that have eternal value, he also warns that for some followers, it may be difficult to recognize what has eternal value and what is only temporary. Join us as we strive to understand his warning and what it might mean for us today as well as what Paul meant when he prayed that God would "open the eyes of their hearts" for those believers in the church at Ephesus. From Matthew 6:22-23.
Feb 26, 2017
"Insider Trading on Eternal Markets" Following Jesus Sermon Series #24
We make investments every day; we invest our time, we invest our talents and we invest our treasure on those things that we think are important. As Jesus continues his teaching from the Sermon on the Mount aimed at calling his followers to a higher standard; he warns that while we may pay lip service about what is important to us - the true devotion of our heart is always revealed in where we have invested our time, talent and treasure the most. Join us to discover how those investments that we make, not only reveal the condition of our hearts, but also have eternal significance. From Matthew 6:19-21.
Feb 19, 2017
"A Pattern for Passionate Prayer" Following Jesus Sermon Series #23
In James 5:16, The King James Version translates James' promises that "the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much". In a more modern translation it is given as "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective", another says "The effective and passionate prayer of the righteous works" yet most followers of Christ would not honestly describe their personal prayer life as being "powerful" or "effective" and even fewer might say that they feel it "works"; so is James wrong or are we missing something? If Jesus tells His followers in the Sermon on the Mount that we now have his righteousness and that the powerful Holy Spirit is now dwelling inside of us, why is prayer so difficult and why do many Christians not feel their prayers are effective? Is it the way we pray, the amount of time we prayer or maybe it is the words we use? In the middle of his teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus slips in what many consider to be the greatest model of prayer ever given.…
Jan 29, 2017
"All the World is a Stage" Following Jesus Sermon Series # 21
As Matthew 6 transitions from Jesus encouragement for his followers to develop and pursue spiritual maturity (perfection) from Matthew 5; Jesus follows up with a warning. He warns his followers here in Matthew 6 to be on their guard not to fall into the same trap that had ensnared the Pharisees when it came to their spiritual disciplines. Using the examples of prayer, fasting and the giving of our resources; he reminds us that it is not the act, but rather the heart and motive behind the act that counts. This mornings message focuses on "giving" and how we can allow it to both lose it's power and cause us to miss out on the rewards if we are not careful. Learning to give of our resources is not so much dependent on our ability to open our wallets or write a check as it is completely submitting our hearts to the Holy Spirit. Listen in to learn about the true rewards of giving as well as how to test your motives when it comes to being obedient. From Matthew 6:1-4.
Jan 22, 2017
"For Show or to Grow?" Following Jesus Sermon Series #20
At the end of Matthew 5, Jesus encourages his followers to strive to "grow up" spiritually; to grow into mature believers. This growth starts with a changed heart that is totally submitted to the control and leadership of the Holy Spirit and leads to certain spiritual behaviors that not only help us continue to grow, but also allows us to use the gifts he has given us to impact others. Jesus starts Chapter 6 of Matthew with a stern warning for those seeking spiritual maturity to guard their hearts and motives to keep from falling into the trap of putting the acceptance and approval of men over the obedience and glory of God. Join us as we examine those "spiritual disciplines" and the danger that can arise when we loose focus for why we are doing them. From Matthew 6:1
Jan 15, 2017
"A Perfect Resolution for a Perfect New Year" Following Jesus Sermon Series # 19
Can a Christ follower ever be "perfect"? Is that even a possibility? Not sinless - that is impossible as long as we live in these fleshly bodies; we will always struggle with sin - but perfect? Paul tells the church at Philippi in Philippians 3:12 that he has not been made "perfect" but he continues to pursue it. In Hebrews 6:1 we are told to move on from elementary teaching towards perfection, and in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:48, Jesus calls his followers to "be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect". Would Jesus really call and command us to do something that was not possible, or achievable? So what is this "perfection" and why does it hold the key for totally changing our lives, our families, our churches and our culture in the new year? Listen in to discover how "perfection" is not only attainable, but expected for anyone committed to "Following Jesus".
Dec 11, 2016
"Expect the Unexpected" Christmas 2016
The very first Christmas had its share of interruptions and disruptions so why should we be surprised when our Christmas plans don't go as we had hoped or planned. So many of us dream of creating the perfect Christmas memories; usually along the lines of a Norman Rockwell painting, and what we get is a Clark Griswold Christmas with our own version of cousin Eddie, lights that don't work and burned meals. Instead of letting these interruptions become learning moments or even memories of their own, we allow them to rob our joy and even ruin our holidays. Join us to learn how the first Christmas could have been a disaster and yet God used it to change the world and discover how your unexpected interruptions might just be great opportunities for the same results! From Matthew 1:18-25
Dec 4, 2016
"Learning to Live in the Second Mile" Following Jesus Series # 18
When confronted with how we are to respond to someone who has hurt us, or is taking advantage of us, or even suing us; Jesus gives a curious answer that speaks directly to the heart of a his followers. In Matthew 5:41 Jesus directs his follower that if they are compelled to carry someone's burden for one mile, they should go two. To his original listeners, this spoke to a Roman law where a soldier could compel any able bodied man to carry their packs or loads for one mile - for the rest of us, it speaks to a transformed heart. He simply implies that those who choose to follow him should be know for going beyond what is expected or required in meeting the needs of those around them - going the second mile! Listen to today's message to find out what that might look like in our everyday lives. From Matthew 5:38-42.
Nov 27, 2016
"Take My Word for It" Following Jesus Sermon Series #17
With the recent Presidential elections over and after a nasty and ugly campaign, one thing is pretty obvious; regardless of which candidate you supported - the character and integrity of a candidate no longer matters to a majority of Americans. Both candidates trustable rankings were in the low 30 % meaning that over 70% of America did not trust or believe the word of either candidate and yet the same people who said they did not trust or believe a candidate went on to support and vote for that same candidate. We make excuses like "someone's private life" shouldn't effect their "public life" and yet that is the exact same argument Jesus was dispelling in his Sermon on the Mount! The religious leaders came to believe that as long as everything looked good publically, as long as you followed the prescribed rules - you were spiritual/righteous; Jesus came along and said they had missed the point! Here in Matthew 5:33-37 He argues that it is our private lives - the condition of our hearts…
Nov 20, 2016
"Till Death do Us Part" Following Jesus Series #16
Jesus continues his Sermon on the Mount by dealing with the controversial topic of Divorce and how it relates to his followers and the new righteousness that He has introduced. We examine the Old Testament precedent and the context for Jesus' words found in Matthew 5:31-32 as we get to the heart of how divorce affects us both spiritually and culturally. While the scriptural stand on divorce may be confusing for many today, Jesus words and meaning are very clear and have lasting consequences. Join us for this message that looks at this painful and often ignored subject.
Nov 13, 2016
"An Affair of the Heart" Following Jesus Sermon Series #15
In Matthew 5 as Jesus continues to give examples of the new standard he requires for those who would follow Him; he looks to the 7th Commandment for guidance. "Thou Shall not commit Adultery" sounds like an antiquated rule from a long ago past; when is the last time you have heard someone describe an extra martial affair as "adultery"? We use more flowery term today like "An Affair" or "a Fling" because those don't seem to sound as bad as "Adultery". Regardless what we want to call it - the consequences are the same; the destruction of the family, the watering down of what commitment and covenant mean and the breaking of God's heart. The good news for most of us is that we will never commit adultery, it is not really an issue for a majority of those in the church so I guess we can pat ourselves on the back and move along until we hear the words of Jesus linking a "lustful look" with the same consequences as adultery itself. Does Jesus really suggest that sexual lust can destroy familie…
Nov 6, 2016
The Consuming Danger of Anger; Following Jesus Series #14
In Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus warns his follower that while they may no longer be subject to the spiritual punishment of the moral law from the Old Testament that does not mean it is no longer important and valid for their lives. Just the opposite; whereas the Pharisees and religious leaders righteousness was based on obeying the letter of the law and only concerned with the act itself - The new righteousness that Christians are called to follow requires a high obligation - our motives and thoughts behind the act. We are called to Holy living and the path to that holy living is obeying the commandments of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, but Jesus adds a further obligation by reminding us that transformation starts in the heart and effects every part of our lives, so while the acts we commit have consequences, we cannot forget that our thoughts and motives have consequences as well. He spends the rest of Chapter 5 giving 6 examples of what this looks like lived out. This morning w…
Oct 16, 2016
What Kind of Light Are You? "Following Jesus" Sermon Series #12
Oct 9, 2016
"The Fatal Flowering of Flavorless Followers" Following Jesus #11
If you had to use a metaphor to describe the value of someone or their character; what would you use? We say things like, "they are gold" or a "treasure" or worth a "million bucks" "priceless", a few years ago it was a great compliment to be called "the bomb" but what about "salt". That doesn't seem like a real flashy compliment but it is the term that Jesus used to describe his followers. Of all the metaphors he could have used, why salt. To understand what he is saying about his disciples, you need to discover how important salt was to the culture in ancient Rome and Jerusalem. While it may lose some of its meaning in our culture - the power of his description still resonates. Whether we want to believe it, or even understand it - "Being Salt" is a part of the very nature of a Christ follower. From Matthew 5:13.
Oct 2, 2016
"The Blessing We Openly Avoid" Following Jesus Sermon Series #10
Around the world, thousands of the men, women and children face persecution and even death simply because they identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. Yet here in America we tend to think of religious persecution as a rarity instead of reality. We tend to think that Jesus suggested that His followers might face some persecution when the truth is that he clearly declared that anyone who worships Him and strives to live their lives according to His principles; will face persecution and even death! No suggestion, no "might" or "if's" but a certainty. In the last, and most troubling of his Beatitudes, Jesus makes it very clear what his followers can expect from this world. Persecution is a given - but He also suggest it is an incredible gift as well. Maybe the reason many have not or don't face persecution in America today is that those around us have not seen Jesus in our actions and words. Maybe we have become so much like the culture that we no longer stand out or stand up. Li…
Sep 25, 2016
"A Family Resemblance" Following Jesus Sermon Series #9
Most of us have been told from time to time that we might look like one of our parents, or maybe even sound like them. We can't help it; our genes play a role in the inherited traits and spending the first eighteen to twenty years of our lives around them play a major role in the learned traits. Whether we like it or fight it; most of us end up seeing our parents influences lived it in our own lives. What about our Heavenly Father? As Christians we are called the "children of God" and are a part of the family, so what do we do or say that most sounds or looks like our Heavenly Father? Or a better way to ask might be, "When do we most resemble God?" While the easy, sunday school answer might be, "When we love" because the Bible does teach that the world will know we are his followers by our love; but that is followers, or disciples - what about His children? When do God's children most look like their Father? Jesus gives us some straight answers in His Sermon on the Mount and the 7th Be…
Sep 18, 2016
"Developing a Heart with a View" Following Jesus Sermon Series #8
Have you ever looked back on your life at times when you faced difficulties, struggles or life changing events and could clearly see the hand of God at work? Like the poem "Footprints in the Sand"; you could see where God carried you, where He opened doors, where He provided for you, where He brought people into your life to encourage and support you. How would you like to not have to wait until after you have passed through the valley to see God at work? How would you like to be able to see Him moving mountains in front of you, see Him performing miracles, working in our midst, changing lives? In the 6th Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches that it is not only possible but a promise to those who are "pure in heart". It is not just a promise for those we think of as "Super- Christians" but for every follower of Christ. Listen in to discover how you can claim this promise and why Holiness and Purity still matter. From Matthew 5:8
Sep 11, 2016
"Earthly Investments with Heavenly Returns" Following Jesus Sermon Series # 7
Jesus begins his most famous of Sermons by painting a picture of the character of a Christ Follower in what we call the Beatitudes. It is a great description of who a Christian should be when they submit themselves completely to the control of the Holy Spirit. The first 4 of these character traits all deal with the relationship between a follower of Christ and God. The next four are the natural outflow of the first four and relate to how we interact with those around us. The first of those four is being Merciful and in an interesting twist, the promise for the merciful is the same as the action, "Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall receive Mercy". Sadly, many in the church misunderstand this promise to mean that they can earn God's mercy by showing others mercy. Not only will this thinking not produce mercy, it robs the believer of the joy, peace and blessings that come from trusting in God's grace and in His loving and merciful nature. Join us as we examine and strive to under…
Sep 4, 2016
"Stay Thirsty My Friends"; Following Jesus Sermon Series #6
In this study of the fourth Beatitude, Jesus promises that those who hunger and thirst for the presence and power of God will be filled, but what does that look like in a practical sense. How can we hunger and thirst for something like God's presence. Join us as we examine how the actual Greek words Jesus used unlocks the key to pursuing God and finding real joy and happiness. Many in the church are no longer spiritually hungry and the results are obvious in our personal lives, the spiritual vibrancy of the church and in our lack of influence on the culture. The promise Jesus makes for each one of us is that until we pursue God's presence and power in our lives with the same passion and determination that God used in pursuing us; we will never be satisfied, or content.
Aug 28, 2016
Clear Eyes - Full Heart - Can't Lose! Following Jesus Sermon Series #5
Jesus promises joy, happiness and blessings to those who are meek and gentle, yet the world seems to offer just the opposite. Those who chose the path of following Jesus will always exhibit meekness, but just what does that really mean and if Jesus described himself as meek - what happened when he overturned the tables in the temple? What about when he confronted the religious leaders? Believe it our not those two instances were probably the greatest examples of His meekness. Listen in to discover what meekness really means and how a life of meekness can not only eliminate stress and heartache but also comes with a promise for those who pursue it. From Matthew 5:5
Aug 21, 2016
"The Profound Joy of Sadness"; Following Jesus sermon series #4
How can someone who is sad actually be happy or blessed? Once again Jesus offers the ultimate paradox as he challenges his followers to find internal joy, happiness and blessings in the midst of mourning. As we look at the 2nd Beatitude Jesus introduces in His sermon on the mount, you might be surprised to find this is not your normal mourning or sadness. Jesus is challenging those who would follow him to allow their hearts to be broken over what breaks God's heart with the promise of comfort and ultimately happiness as a result. How does that happen and how does it effect your relationship with God and the world around us? Listen in to find out. From Matthew 5:4
Aug 14, 2016
"How to Be Dirt Poor Broke Happy" Part One; Following Jesus Sermon Series #3a
(This is the first half of the sermon from August 14th, the conclusion of the message can be heard in Part Two.) What does it mean to be happy? How can we attain happiness? A recent pew research poll found that only 1-3 American describe themselves as happy - that is 33%, so 67% of American are unhappy. We live in the most prosperous nation in the world, with more wealth, benefits and comforts than ever before and yet we are still unhappy? Maybe we have been looking for happiness in the wrong places! Join us for this introduction of the Beatitudes from Matthew 5 and the Sermon on the Mount from our new Series "Following Jesus". From Matthew 5:3.
Aug 14, 2016
"How to Be Dirt Poor Broke Happy" Part Two; Following Jesus Sermon Series #3b
(This is the second half of the sermon from August 14th, the beginning of the message can be heard in Part One found below.) What does it mean to be happy? How can we attain happiness? A recent pew research poll found that only 1-3 American describe themselves as happy - that is 33%, so 67% of American are unhappy. We live in the most prosperous nation in the world, with more wealth, benefits and comforts than ever before and yet we are still unhappy? Maybe we have been looking for happiness in the wrong places! Join us for this introduction of the Beatitudes from Matthew 5 and the Sermon on the Mount from our new Series "Following Jesus". From Matthew 5:3.
Aug 7, 2016
"Hard to Hit a Moving Target" Following Jesus Sermon Series #2
An introduction to the Sermon on the Mount discussing the importance of slowing down and unplugging to be able to hear the voice of God. We also discuss the various applications for the Sermon on the Mount and why it is considered the Greatest Sermon every given. From Matthew 5:1-2.
Jul 31, 2016
"Freed Up to Follow"; Following Jesus sermon Series Introduction
This is an introduction to our new Sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5-7. This introduction looks at the call for every Christian to be a follower of Jesus Christ and what that really means. We look at the true meaning of Spiritual Freedom and Grace and the two abuses of that freedom; legalism and license. This message deals with the trap of spiritual license and how it corrupts our ability to follow Christ. From Galatians 5:13-15.
Jul 17, 2016
I Still Haven't Found What I Am Looking For
This message examines the Call and Vision of FBC Blowing Rock - We discuss what our purpose statement means for each church member and follower of Christ. We explain what is means to be a "place to Belong, a place to Believe and a place to Become". It also cast a vision for the coming year.
Jun 19, 2016
The Blessings of a Father; Father's Day message 2016
In the Old Testament, fathers would gather their children around them, lay hands on them and pass along a blessing. Can Father's still pass along a blessing to their children in our modern culture? If so, what would those blessings be? Join us as we encourage and challenge fathers on how they can give their children the freedom and blessing to grow into who God has called and created them to be. From Genesis 49. Father's Day 2016
Jun 12, 2016
The Heartbeat of a Dreamer; The Path of a Dreamer Series #16
When you examine the life of Joseph, one has to wonder how he was able to overcome all he was faced with - all of the betrayals, the struggles, the loneliness. What was their about him that allowed him to place his faith completely in God regardless of the circumstances? In the last story we have of Joseph before his death in Genesis, he is visiting with his brothers after their fathers death and in this conversation, he reveals the "core values" that motivated and guided him to be used as an instrument for God's plans. Each of us have core values that help us develop our character and worldview - how do ours match up with Joseph's? From Genesis 50
May 29, 2016
Great Faith Starts with Small Steps; The Path of a Dreamer Series #15
Many Christians can be heard saying, "It would be much easier to follow God if He would just show me where we are going" and one can understand the frustration and even fear from that statement. But if God showed us where He was leading us it would not require faith; it would simply be instruction. Learning to listen to the voice and word of God and trust Him is part of the maturing process of a Christ follower but how can we know if we are following in the right direction? Join us as we discover how Jacob/Israel overcame fear, doubt and his past history to step out on faith and trust God for a new future. From Genesis 46:1-7
May 22, 2016
Total Forgiveness Experienced and Expressed; The Path of a Dreamer Series #14
Most Christians will not question that we are called to forgive those who have hurt or disappointed us; the words even come easily off of our lips, "I forgive you" but have we really forgiven them? The standard for forgiveness according to scripture (Colossians 3:13) is to forgive as Christ forgave us- that is a high threshold that most of us struggle to achieve. Joseph had given total forgiveness to his brothers and as he reveals himself to them and they experience a great reunion, he walks out that forgiveness and gives us a great example of what real and total forgiveness looks like. Join us as we discover how we can really know if we have forgiven someone. From Genesis 45:1-16
May 15, 2016
Restoring Broken Trust; The Path of a Dreamer series #13
At one time or another most of us have disappointed others and lost their trust or lost our trust in someone. Trust is one of those things we take for granted until it is lost and once it is gone; it can be very difficult to restore. For most of us, it is easier to just give up on that person and walk away; but as Christians, grace calls us to a different path. If their was anyone who had a good reason to give up and walk away, it would be Joseph. Yet, he committed himself to seeing his family and their relationships restored and that required rebuilding trust. Join as we discover the importance of restoring trust and some steps you can take to begin the process. Genesis 43-44
May 8, 2016
Jacob's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; The Path of a Dreamer Series # 12
Even the most optimistic person can allow the struggles and difficulties of life to turn them into a pessimist. We are surrounded with sensational and negative news everyday and it seems like once things turn against us they pile on. A bad day turns into a bad week and continues to grow. Join us as we discover how Joseph's dad Jacob/Israel allowed himself to be consumed with negative and pessimistic thoughts to the point that it clouded his vision, stole his joy and almost made him miss out on the ultimate blessings from God. Each of us face the same dangers when we allow pessimism to rule our hearts. From Genesis 42,43.
May 1, 2016
The Forgotten Mission Field; The Path of a Dreamer Series # 11
Joseph's wild journey has seen him go from slavery to prison to the palace of the Egyptian Pharaoh and now it comes full circle as he is confronted with where it all began - his family. Many people fail to realize that their most important mission field is their own family; brothers, sisters, parents, children and grandchildren. For some that might require some restored relationships. Join us as we discover how Joseph's path to family restoration opened up new opportunities for ministry. From Genesis 42.
Apr 24, 2016
When the path of a Dream leads Home; The Life of a Dreamer series #10
As Joseph lived out the success of a new job, new wife and kids, new place of power and influence he was surprised to find that this new path led to a familiar place - home. As he comes face to face with his brothers, the very ones who began his now 20 year journey abroad, he is confronted with the idea of revenge or reconciliation. From Genesis 41-42.
Apr 17, 2016
Living the Dream; The Life of a Dreamer Series #9
Joseph's life had plenty of struggle and disappointment - dysfunctional blended family, beaten and sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused of sexual harassment and sent to prison for doing the right thing, 10 long years languishing in prison and in the blink of an eye he stands before the greatest leader of the largest kingdom on earth. From prison to the palace in one step and he is given a new job, new wife, money, prestige, influence, he has it all - he was literally "Living the Dream" - but the telling question for each of us is "When did he start living the dream?" Join us as we discover how Joseph captured his memories without letting them capture him and along the way truly defined what it means to "live the dream" for each of us. From Genesis 41:50-52
Apr 10, 2016
Will You Be Ready When the Door Opens? The Life of a Dreamer Joseph Series # 8
How can you know if God is opening a new door for your life or ministry? How can you know if you will be ready when the opportunity comes? Are you ready today? What if the answer to achieving all of your dreams presented itself today - would you recognize it? would you be ready to follow? Join us as we look at the life of Joseph as he walks through an open door that changes his life and becomes the fulfillment of all his dreams. From Genesis 41
Apr 3, 2016
Daring to Deal with Disapointment; The Life of a Dreamer Series #7
Ever been disappointed or let down by someone close to you? Ever felt betrayed by someone you trusted or even a family member? Join us as we discover how our response to these disappointments can sidetrack or even destroy our God given dreams. From the life of Joseph, Genesis 40,41
Mar 13, 2016
Dealing with Delayed Dreams; The Path of a Dreamer Series #6
While patience may be a virtue, it is a rarity in society today. We are a generation of instant gratification - we want it now; and that has crossed over into our walk of faith. We expect instant results but the Bible teaches us that some of God's greatest lessons come during a period of waiting. Moses waited for 40 years herding sheep on the backside of a desert before God called him, Paul cooled his heels in Arabia for 7 years and even Jesus waited 18 years before starting his public ministry. It seems some of God's greatest lessons come while we wait. In this message we examine how Joseph not only endured but thrived while waiting 13 years in prison for God to open the next door. Do you find yourself waiting? waiting for the perfect job? waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right? waiting for an open door or opportunity? waiting for an answer from God? waiting on your dreams? For the Christian, waiting is never wasted time - their is always a reason and purpose behind it. Give a listen and disco…
Mar 6, 2016
Dreamers get lonely but are Never Alone; The Path of e Dreamer Series #5
As you pursue your dreams, you will encounter trials and difficulties; their will be times when you will feel all alone and even abandoned. It is in those moments that God is preparing you for what is to come. How do you respond when things don't go your way? when things don't turn out how you planned? We need to remember that God is not so much worried about the circumstances in our lives as much as he is how we handle and respond to those circumstances. Join us as we learn a few lessons from Joseph on handling adversity and trials. From Genesis 39.
Feb 28, 2016
The Dream Sabotaging Seduction of Sin; Path of a Dreamer Series #4
All of us struggle with temptation; it is a part of life. We are tempted materially, personally and even sexually. It is not a sin to be tempted; even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness and overcame it. The sin comes from how we respond and nothing can short circuit a dream like personal sin. Regardless of what the culture contends, we each have the ability to walk away from temptation - to say no! The life of Joseph gives us some great lessons on facing temptations and how we can overcome the seductive pull they have on our lives. From Genesis 39.
Feb 21, 2016
A Smooth Path is Never Promised; The Path of a Dreamer Series #3
It is easy to look at people who have achieved great success in their various fields and admire them or even be envious. If one was to look at the end of the book of Genesis and read about Joseph's success, we might admire him. A former prisoner from a foreign land who has risen to become second in command to the Pharaoh of Egypt, a beautiful wife and two sons, surrounded by his brothers and their families, put in a position to save the nation from a great famine - what is not to admire. The only problem is that most of us would not be willing to walk the path and endure the pain, suffering and struggle he faced to see his dreams become a reality. The difference between having big dreams and seeing big dreams become a reality is the amount of faith and trust we are willing to place in God when the path we are on becomes difficult. God never promised us it would be easy to do His will or follow His way, but He does promise it will be worth it! Have you allowed obstacles, distractions, s…
Feb 14, 2016
Beware the Dream Killers; The Path of a Dreamer Series #2
All of us face dream killers in our lives. They can either distract and discourage us from following our God given dreams or make us stronger and more determined. Join us as we identify some dream killers that Joseph faced and how he overcame them and gain some lessons on how we can overcome our own "dream killers". From Genesis 37.
Feb 7, 2016
Breaking Generational Strongholds; The Path of a Dreamer Series #1
At least nine times in the Old Testament it is implied that the sins of the father will be passed along to future generations (his children and grandchildren). Since both the Old and New Testaments are clear that each of us is only accountable to God for our own actions, what could these verses be talking about? As we begin our new series on the life of Joseph, we take a look at his background and childhood to examine the possibility that his father and grandfathers actions might have created "Generation Strongholds" in his life and how he overcame them. Join us as we examine what a "Generational Stronghold" is and how it not only effects each one of us but also our children and our children's children. From Genesis 37:1-4
Jan 10, 2016
A Few Sacred Cows that Need Tipping
Join us as we examine a few things that we have allowed to become sacred cows in our personal lives and in the life of the church that have the potential to become idols. Many of these are good, if not great things, that were created or given to us as a way to help develop a deeper relationship and walk with God but over time many of these things have become items of worship themselves. Anything that hinders, detracts or gets in the way of our worshiping and serving God has become an idol - even good things like a worship style, or a denomination, or even certain doctrines. You might be surprised at how these things grow from a sacred cow to an idol and what the end results can be on us as individual believers and on the church. From Matthew 12:1-14.
Jan 3, 2016
A New You for a New Year
Is God interested in our New Years Resolutions? to lose weight? to be a better parent or spouse? What about our spiritual resolutions? to pray more? to read the Bible? to go to church? Do they ever really make a difference in the long run? Join us as we discover the only real resolution that matters and how changing our perspectives might make a difference in 2016. Philippians 3:12-16
Dec 27, 2015
When Does Christmas End?
As many take down the decorations and move on to the celebration of the New Year, one has to wonder; when does Christmas actually end? Is it after the presents are opened? when the decorations are down? when the kids go back to school? Who says it has to end? Join us as we discover the key to celebrating the message and meaning of Christmas all year long. Matthew 2:13-23
Dec 20, 2015
The Real War on Christmas; 200 Proof Series, Biblical Answers to Cultural Questions #10
Is there a real War on Christmas? Are people trying to remove Christ from Christmas? If so, when did it start and why? Does it really matter? How are Christians and the church to respond? Join us as we conclude our series on cultural topics by looking at what many today are calling a "War on Christmas" and how it affects the church and Christ followers. Matthew 2:1-5
Dec 6, 2015
The Rise of Cultural Christianity; 200 Proof Series, Biblical Answers to Cultural Questions #9
The recent Pew research religious survey and study found that 72% of American's identify themselves as Christians and yet 64% of them say that "many religions and paths can lead to God and salvation". So less than 35 % of identified Christians believe that faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only way to eternal life and a right relationship with God! One of the core and foundational beliefs of Christianity and only 3 out of 10 Christians hold it as a conviction? So who gets to decide what it means to be a Christian? Join as we examine the Rise of a Cultural Christianity in America that has a "form of godliness but denies the power of God". Why is this happening and growing and what can the church do to change direction?
Nov 29, 2015
The Beauty of Biblical Marriage; 200 Proof Series, Biblical Answers to Cultural Questions #8
With the recent Supreme Court ruling that strived to redefined the definition and description of marriage in the United States - the church's response has been varied. The argument seemed to settle around "rights" - the individuals right, a couple's rights and what feels right but has anyone asked what scripture says "Is Right"? God created and defined the covenant of marriage between one man and one women for greater purposes than a civil union - it is a picture of Christ covenant with his bride - the church; and any effort to redefine or "put asunder" what God has created, corrupts this picture. This is one reason that sexual sins are so destructive. Join us as we discover not only why Biblical marriage is so important, but how the church is called to respond to those caught up in alternative lifestyles.
Nov 22, 2015
Who is my Neighbor? The Immigration and Refugee Crisis; 200 Proof Series, Biblical Answers to Cultural Questions #7
In the last several weeks it seems everyone has had an opinion about the growing Refugee Crisis in Europe and how the United States should respond. Social Media has blown up on the topic, Political candidates all offer their opinions and solutions, Christians seem to wrestle with the conflict between compassion and security; but what does the Bible say? If all we had to go on in forming our opinion about this issue was the voice of God in His Word and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, I wonder how different it might be from what we have been expressing. This is one of those issues where God's word is not silent and offers a challenge to each one of us as we strive to answer the question, "Who is my Neighbor?". **The video that was shown during the middle of this message can be found here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBjZ7kpTLrs
Nov 15, 2015
Brew Unto Others- The Christian and Alcohol; 200 Proof Series, Biblical Answers to Cultural Questions # 6
Should a Christian drink alcohol? Did Jesus drink wine? Was it real wine or more like grape juice? What does the bible say about alcohol? Is it wrong for Christians to drink socially? Even if it is not against scripture - is it beneficial? We examine all of these questions and more as we take a practical look at scripture and how it relates to alcohol and the church.
Nov 8, 2015
Your Life Matters - Depression and Suicide; 200 Proof Series #5 Biblical Answers to Cultural Questions
The churches historical answers for depression and suicide have always been things like "You just need to have more faith", "If you loved God/Jesus more you wouldn't be depressed" and the like. While they may be great "Sunday School answers" they don't address the underlying issues that cause depression and suicide and they certainly don't minister to the families and friends caught in it's path. Depression is at epidemic proportions in the United States and if we claim to be "pro-life" we have an obligation to step up and engage those struggling around us. What can we do? Listen to find out....
Nov 1, 2015
All Lives Matter! pt.2 ; 200 Proof Series - Biblical Answers to Cultural Questions
A follow up to last week's message on "All Lives Matter". This message looks at the issues of Euthanasia; including doctor assisted suicide and even "passive euthanasia" where life giving measures are withheld. We also address the problems with claiming to be "Pro-LIfe" and yet supporting Capitol Punishment and the death penalty. The question is are we going to be consistently pro-life or just conditional. We also look at how someone with a biblical worldview that is pro-life must re-evaluate their responses to issues like poverty, adoption, homelessness and even immigration.
Oct 25, 2015
All Lives Matter! pt. 1; 200 Proof Series - Biblical Answers to Cultural Questions
Since 1973 in the United States of America over 50 million preborn Babies have been murdered for the sake of convenience and we shrug our shoulders and remain shamefully silent and indifferently passive. Most in the church would proudly proclaim their "pro-life" stance but what does that mean and how has it influenced our lives? People make the excuse that Abortion is a very complex, divisive and political issue but that Bible proclaims that the sanctity of all life is a very clear, vital and moral issue! So what can we do? How can live our lives in a way that consistently advocates for life? Join us for this first part of two messages on "All Lives Matter". Part 1 deals with Abortion. From Jeremiah 1:5
Oct 18, 2015
Are We There Yet? Harvest Day 2015
The "State of the Church" message on where we have been and where we are going. God's vision and purpose for First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock. From our annual Harvest Day joint worship service.
Oct 11, 2015
The Search for Truth and Authority; 200 Proof Series; Biblical Answers to Cultural Questions #2
How can a Christian explain what they believe and why they believe it if they are not comfortable with the Bible. A recent survey found that 88% of American have a Bible in their home with the average home having 4.7 Bibles, yet only 52% of Christians say they read the Bible at least once a week. Only 62% of Christians say that the Bible is their source of authority and truth - so what do they other 40% use as a measurement for what is truth? It seems we don't have a cultural problem as much as we have a Bible problem in the church. Join us to discover the importance of God's word on how we are to engage our culture. From 1 Timothy 3:14-4:4; Galatians 1:6-10.
Oct 4, 2015
The Christians Response to a Changing Culture; 200 Proof Series - Bibilcal Answers to Cultural Questions Introduction
Many sociologist believe that America is headed toward becoming a post-Christian nation, much like what Europe experienced in the past 50 years. As the culture and morals of our nation change, how is the church to respond? How can we carry out the great commission and still stand up for our convictions and values? Do we really even know why we believe what we say we believe? Can we back it up with scripture and explain it in a manner that allows room for grace, mercy and love? Join us for this new series that will examine many of the culture changes we are encountering as well as looking at some of the popular "hot button" issues as we explore why we believe what we believe and what that means moving forward in a possible hostile environment. This Message is an introduction and lays the foundation for the series. From 1 Peter 3:13-17, Matthew 5:10-16.
Sep 27, 2015
The Ultimate Prayer Request; To Be or Not to Be, series from Ephesians final message
Have you ever wondered how to pray for someone? From last weeks message we discovered we are to pray specifically and continually for other believers but what do we pray for? In Romans 15:30, Paul asked the church "I urge you brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying for me". He seems to indicate that through our prayers for others we can invest more than a few words but we can actually join their struggle, come alongside them and join them as they face the circumstances of life. How is that possible? Are you tired of praying general, generic and rote prayers? Would you like to pray in such a way that you become invested in what you are praying for - and better yet would you like for others to pray that way for you? Join us as we discover the answers to those questions as Paul offers a final word of encouragement to the Church at Ephesus through The Ultimate Prayer Request. From Ephesians 6:19-20.Add a description here.
Sep 20, 2015
The Prayer that Wins Battles; To Be or Not to Be, series from Ephesians # 43
Prayer is one of the most under utilized elements in many Christ followers lives, yet it is the most powerful tool available for releasing the power of God. As the Apostle Paul wraps up his teaching on Spiritual Warfare and the armor of God, he emphasizes the importance of prayer. Prayer is what empowers our spiritual protection and armor and Paul is very specific on how, when and what we can pray to see this power released. The surprise comes when we realize who the recipients of this power releasing prayer are. Join us as we discover how the Church and our fellow Christians play a role in our spiritual battles. From Ephesians 6:18.
Sep 6, 2015
The Wardrobe of a Warrior; To Be or Not to Be, series from Ephesians #42
What does it mean to "put on the full armor of God"? We have armor? What is it for and where do I get mine? What does Paul mean about this "day of evil" that is coming stuff? Join us as we examine Paul's teaching on Spiritual Warfare and the Armor of God from Ephesians 6. Discover some very practical examples of how these spiritual truths can clothe you with the power of the Holy Spirit and empower you to face whatever this world throws at you.
Aug 16, 2015
The Believers Role in Spiritual Warfare; To Be or Not to Be, Series from Ephesians #41
Explore the role and responsibilities of a Christian when it comes to Spiritual Warfare. From Ephesians 6:10-17. Part two of our look at Spiritual Warfare from our Study in Ephesians.
Aug 2, 2015
"Where are the Boots on the Ground?" To Be or Not to Be; Series from Ephesians #40
First in a mini series on Spiritual Warfare - This message serves as the introduction to what Spiritual Warfare entails and the nature of the battle and the nature of the enemy we are fighting. From Ephesians 6:10-13
Jul 19, 2015
What Makes a Succesful Parent? To Be or Not to Be, Series from Ephesians # 38
How do you measure the mark of a successful parent? Good grades? athletic involvement? well rounded? get into a good college? popularity? Many parents consider themselves a success if they can keep their students from the dangers in our culture like drugs, alcohol, premarital sex, trouble with the law. What about as a Christian parent? Shouldn't the goals for our children be different and based on the Bible - and what does the Bible say success looks like? Who is responsible for children and teenagers success? Parents? Grandparents? The Youth Minister? The Church? Join us as we examine Ephesians 6:1-4 to discover that success and the American dream are not the same as Biblical success and that raising Godly kids has less to do with what they do or don't do and more to do with Who they are.
Jun 28, 2015
New Beginings John 3:5-17
Message from our Student Pastor, Matt Wallace
Jun 21, 2015
The Passion of a Spirit Filled Husband; To Be or Not To Be Series from Ephesians #36
Jun 14, 2015
The Heart of a Spirit Filled Wife; To Be or Not To Be Series from Ephesians #35
Jun 7, 2015
The Foundations of a Biblical Marriage; To Be or Not to Be Series from Ephesians #34
Wives Submit? Husbands do what? That sounds so archaic and out of touch. The reason we struggle with Paul's encouragement to Husbands and Wives in Ephesians 5:21-33 is because we have forgotten what Marriage was intended to look like. We have settled for mediocre and blah or bailed out when true biblical marriage is so much more. To help us put Paul's teachings from Ephesians in context, you must go back to the beginning - Genesis 2!
May 24, 2015
Searching for Spirit Led Gratitude; To Be or Not to Be, Series from Ephesians #32
We have always been taught to thank God in the midst of our trials and struggles and even during the storms of life; but what about after they are over? Paul teaches that the Christian that is under the influence and control of the Holy Spirit will not only thank God in the storm, they will thank God FOR the storm! Think of the most difficult and trying times of your life; a time of pain, struggle and suffering. Can you thank God for that season of your life? Should you? Join us as we explore why it is so important for Christ followers to be grateful and thankful for everything in life - even those seasons of struggle. Discover how your spirit-led gratitude can change your life and your perspective. From Ephesians 5:20.
May 19, 2015
Releasing the Song in your Heart; To Be or Not To Be, series from Ephesians #31
"I just don't like to sing, it is nothing against the hymns or choruses". This statement is becoming more commonplace in worship every Sunday as more and more believers mumble through the song portion of worship. The problem with that is you have the dynamic Holy Spirit of God living inside you and He has a Song to sing. Maybe we need to examine our hearts to find out why we are quenching the Holy Spirit's song each week and discover how that is affecting your day to day lives.
May 10, 2015
Under the Influence; To Be or Not to Be series from Ephesians # 30
Should Christians drink alcohol? Should Christians drink wine? Is wine evil? This passage from Ephesians 5 answers none of those questions and it is time we stop trying to make it say something it does not. It also does not imply that when a Christian is filled with the Spirit they will "act like a drunk". It also does not say that the amount of Holy Spirit we have is insufficient and we need a "second blessing" or a refill - Find out what Paul is trying to say when he reminds the Christians of Ephesus to "not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit". A little clue to help; it has little to do with you getting more Holy Spirit and a lot to do with the Holy Spirit getting more of you!
May 3, 2015
Moving from Living Accidentally to Living Intentionally; To Be or Not to Be Ephesians Series #29
Are you seizing the day or is the day seizing you? Do you look back and wonder, where did the time go? You might be living accidentally. Paul warns the Ephesian Christians to "make the most of every opportunity", to live with a purpose and be intentional! Join us to find out how! From Ephesians 5:15-17.
Apr 19, 2015
The Long Life of a Little Light; To Be or Not to Be Series from Ephesians #28
Many today think that the way we need to reach our nation and world for Christ is to be louder. We need to make a more vocal stand in the political arena or be more vocal about our morals and values. Paul would suggest from Ephesians 5 that their is a different solution. What is going on in our nation today and the moral and spiritual decline is not because we have not been loud enough; it is because we have not been LIGHT enough! Taken from Ephesians 5:7-14.
Apr 12, 2015
Forgetting to Close the Window; To Be or Not to Be, Series from Ephesians #27
Many believers do a great job trying to protect themselves from immorality but forget a rather simple way for it to seep into our lives. Join us as we explore Paul's warning; not only about sexual immorality and all that includes, but also about our language and how that influences our desire to imitate Jesus. His warning also gives us some insight on how Christ followers and the church should address the sexual laxity of our culture. From Ephesians 5:3-7.
Apr 5, 2015
The Sweet Aroma of Easter; To Be or Not to Be Series from Ephesians #26
Easter Message from Ephesians 5:1-2. We know about the smells of Christmas and Thanksgiving but does Easter have a smell and if so, what does it smell like? Join us as we discover how the sweet aroma of Easter surrounds us daily!
Mar 22, 2015
Principles for an Abundant Life; To Be or Not to Be Series from Ephesians #25
Jesus promises a full and abundant life; but what does that mean or even look like in our culture today? Is it a life without pain or suffering? a life of wealth and prosperity? And if it is something we can experience or even a promise from scripture - how do I get in on it? Join us as we continue our study from Ephesians to discover some principles to experiencing a full life. From Ephesians 4:25-32.
Mar 15, 2015
Can We Handle the Truth? To Be or Not to Be , Series from Ephesians #24
Mar 1, 2015
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back; To Be or Not to Be series from Ephesians #23
Can a Christian lose their salvation? Can they lose their relationship with God? Why do so many Christ followers lives seem no different than those that don't follow Christ? Find the answers to these questions as well as learning how most spiritual battles are won or lost before we ever act by joining us as we examine an important warning from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus. From Ephesians 4:17-24.
Feb 22, 2015
The First Church of Neverland; To Be or Not to Be, Series from Ephesians #22
Is Spiritual growth a requirement, an expectation, or an option for the Christian and why is it so important? The Apostle Paul warns that if we are not growing up spiritually we are growing apart in our relationship to God. There is no status quo for those that follow Christ, no places to settle in or camp out. The Holy Spirit compels us to grow and if we are not growing it is because we have made a conscience choice. Join us as we discover why spiritual growth is so important and what happens to us when we are not growing. From Ephesians 4:12-16.
Feb 1, 2015
The Diversity of a United Church; To Be or Not To Be; series from Ephesians #20
A Continuation from the message on January 18th, "Moving Forward Together as One". From Ephesians 4:7-10
Jan 18, 2015
Moving Forward Together as One; To Be or Not to Be Ephesians series #19
How important is unity in a church? Without it, a church cannot function, grow, serve or be effective. It is so important that as we move into the more practical aspects of Ephesians, Paul prefaces the promises and power of the church on whether or not they are united. A divided church is a dying church and too many churches have allowed disagreements to turn into division and that division turns into death. Join us as we discover the keys to unity and how we can have healthy disagreements and still move forward as a united body following God's leadership. We also address some of what has happened here at First Baptist in the past 18 months and the faithfulness of God as we move forward. From Ephesians 4:1-6
Jan 11, 2015
The Power of Claiming Your Calling; To Be or Not to Be study from Ephesians #18
Everyone loves to claim Philippians 4:13, "I can do All things". We see it quoted on Facebook, Twitter feeds, we sing about it, memorize it, even claim it as a Biblical promise. The only problem is that before you can attempt the "I can" you must claim the "I am" (small letters). So many of the Biblical promises and principles that Paul lays out throughout all of his letters are based on the premise that you can not achieve them in your own strength. We can try, and many of us do, only to grow frustrated and fall away. To achieve the prescriptive sections of Paul's letters (where he gives us some encouragement on how to apply God's word to our lives) we must realize that it will take the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. That can only happen when we begin to see ourselves the way God has now recreated us to be as new creations. Join us as we continue our study in Ephesians and discover a bridge that allows principle to become practice. From Ephesians 4:1-3
Jan 4, 2015
God's Will for Your Life in 2015; To Be or Not to Be Series from Ephesians #17
Do New Years resolutions ever really work? We all start with the best of intentions and yet so many people never achieve their New year's goals. Why not this year, instead of making new resolutions, we strive to discover what God might want for lives? Could you use more of God's power in your everyday life? in your relationships? your marriage? your church? God's power is directly tied to our finding and following His will for our lives. Where do you find God's Will - God's word. Join us as we continue our study from the book of Ephesians as Paul makes the turn in Chapter four from principles to practice. From Ephesians 4:1
Dec 28, 2014
God Can; But Will You? "To Be or Not to Be" Series from Ephesians #16
"God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine" These words from the end of Paul's prayer in Ephesians chapter three get passed around, misquoted and posted as a promise on Facebook on a weekly basis. It is used to encourage people that God is always working out something bigger in our lives than we expected, but is He? and is that what this verse promises? The Bible is clear that God can, and will work in and through our lives in ways beyond our imagination but Paul is reminding us here in Ephesians that the power of God does not come down from on high - but out - out from the Holy Spirit's work in our own hearts and lives. Join us as we examine how each one of us can expect great things from God in 2015 but only if we are willing to attempt great things for God.
Dec 7, 2014
From Park to Power; To Be or Not to Be Sermon series from Ephesians # 15
If God has given us everything we need to live and experience an "abundant life" while here on earth; what do I need to do to start experiencing it? In what many call the "heart" of the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul lays out some key principles that allow the Christ follower to move from reading about "biblical truths" to experiencing them in your everyday life. Are you experiencing power in your spiritual life? in your marriage? as a parent or grand-parent? Join us as Paul explains how you can move your life from "Park to Power" like shifting a car into 1st gear. From Ephesians 3:17-19
Nov 30, 2014
Making a House a Home; "To Be or Not to Be; Ephesians Series #14"
Many of you visited relatives over the thanksgiving holidays; some of you even spent the night with them in their home. Did you feel welcomed and at home or did you feel like you were crashing their party or cramping their style? Most of us have experienced the difference between a house (some place to stay - roof over your head) and a home (a place where you feel safe, welcomed and like family) but what we don't realize is that the Holy Spirit can tell the difference in our hearts. While the Holy Spirit comes to live in us at conversion, how we treat Him determines whether he just has a place to stay or a home. Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:17 that when He has a place to "dwell" or a home in our hearts; his power reaches in and through us to touch every area of our lives. Join us to discover the difference between a heart that is just a house and a heart that is a home. From Ephesians 3:14-17.
Nov 23, 2014
Too Good at Keeping a Secret; "To Be or Not to Be; Ephesians Series #13"
Nov 16, 2014
Finding the Freedom of Forgetting
Sometimes the hardest part of forgiving is forgetting. Even after we have moved on from something or someone, the memories still hold us captive and can rob us of our joy and intimacy with God. How can you stop allowing memories from your past from hindering your future? We can learn a lot from Joseph and his life's story in Genesis. How does what Joseph named his firstborn son help us learn to forget? Join us for this timely word that interrupted our Ephesians series - it may be just for you. Genesis 41:52-53.
Nov 9, 2014
Making the Most of the Mystery; To Be or Not to Be Ephesians Series #12
Have you ever wished that God would give you some insight into what lies ahead in life? Maybe just a clue about our relationships, or our job future, or even our health? Wouldn't it be awesome to know what was going to happen tomorrow or the next day? The Apostle Paul reminds us that there is a reason we don't have that ability; a reason why our future can seem mysterious and unknown and it is called TODAY. "Today is the day that the Lord has made! let us rejoice and be glad in IT". Life is mysterious for a purpose. Join us as we continue our series from Ephesians by starting Chapter 3 and taking a lesson from Paul on making the most out of the mystery.
Nov 2, 2014
Why Finding a Family Fits; To Be or no To Be Ephesians series #11
Have you ever felt like you did not belong? Like you did not fit in? Ever walked into a room and everyone stopped talking? All of us have been on the outside looking in at one time or another but the Apostle Paul explains that for God's children that is no longer a reality! We belong! We are now a part of a family that we don't have to try to impress or be something we are not to get accepted - Listen and find out how God provides for you a family that fits. It could make all the difference in the world!
Oct 26, 2014
The Unity of Peace and the Peace of Unity; "To Be or not To Be" Ephesians Series #10
We all have walls in our lives; barriers that we create to either keep people out, or to help keep parts of us in. We build them in our marriages and our relationship, we build them at work and in our community; we even build them at church! The Bible is pretty clear that Jesus came to break down barriers and walls. He destroyed the wall that separated man from God but he also destroyed any reason for us to have barriers or walls between us and others in our lives. Walls keep us from being honest and genuine but they also keep us from intimacy with God and others. Listen as Paul describes the dangers of walls and how we can tear them down piece by piece. From Ephesians 2:11-22
Oct 19, 2014
When Your Best is not Good Enough "To Be or Not to Be" series from Ephesians #9
Have you ever tried your best at something and it was still not good enough? Maybe at a job or in a relationship or trying to make a life change? You give it everything you have and yet you still feel inadequate? The good news is that the first step in overcoming your inadequacies is recognizing that you have them - recognizing that for some things in life and in certain circumstances; your best will never be enough. That doesn't sound like good news does it. I doubt it would make the title of a "self help" book but Paul explains in Ephesians 2 that it is at that very moment that the "not so good news" becomes "Great"! It all revolves around a little word that is talked about and sung about almost every week in churches around the world and yet we still struggle to understand it; Grace. Listen and learn how Grace can change even the worst of your circumstances and situations and make your "not good enough's, more than sufficient!
Oct 12, 2014
From Mess to Masterpiece; To Be or Not to Be Ephesians Series # 8
What is the best "before and after" picture that you have ever seen? Was it a weight loss miracle? A makeup makeover? What about a house that someone flipped or a car that was completely overhauled? We love to hear and see "before and after" pictures and stories. They encourage us with potential and hope, but what if someone was doing a "before and after" about your life? What would be the turning point, the moment that your "before" became and "after"? Paul encourages the Church at Ephesus here in Ephesians 2, by pointing out the greatest "before and after" story every told and unbelievably, you and I are a part of it. Listen and discover how God can take a "hot mess of a life", a pretty disturbing "before" and turn it into a beautiful "after", a masterpiece.
Oct 5, 2014
Harvest Day Worship Choir Special
Our new Worship Choir's version of "In Christ Alone" . Led by Sid Greene
Oct 5, 2014
A Power Providing Prayer for the Church; To Be or Not to Be Series #7
This message from our Harvest Day service tackles the issue of what happened to the Church at Ephesus from the time of Paul's prayer in Chapter one to the conclusions we hear about in Revelation 2. How did they go from redeemed Saints, exploring their inheritance in Christ, to 'loosing their first love"? It remains a problem today in both churches and individuals. We lose our passion and purpose and instead of searching for what happened, we just try harder, add more works and programs and hope it will come back. It is time we found the real solution to what is ailing our powerless churches and purposeless believers - join us for some answers from Paul's simple prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23.
Sep 28, 2014
The Ultimate Down Payment; To Be or Not to Be, series from Ephesians #6
What does it really mean to be a "child of God"? Should it make a difference in how I live? worship? interact with others? As a child of God, a "joint -heir" with Jesus, and a part of the family; does that mean I get an inheritance? We have heard hymns and choruses proclaim these themes, probably even sung or said the words ourselves - but what does it really mean? and does it really matter? Join us as we find out just how incredible an inheritance you already have and what it might mean for your future. From Ephesians 1:13-14
Sep 7, 2014
The Never Ending Power of Redemption; To Be or Not to Be, Series from Ephesians #5
We sing songs and hymns about being "redeemed", we read about it in scripture, and sometimes a Pastor or teacher may throw it out there; but what does it really mean? It is not a common word we use today so for many Christians the real meaning is never fully grasped. Since many fail to understand it, we fail to realize just what the Bible is saying when it calls us "The Redeemed". Join us as we look at Ephesians 1:7-10 as Paul explains the power and promises that come with redemption. True freedom and real forgiveness can be yours. Would you like to experience freedom from your past, from your mistakes, from your regrets? How about a true and lasting forgiveness? Give it a listen.
Aug 31, 2014
How to Be to the Glory of His Grace; To Be or Not to Be series from Ephesians #4
There are video clips flooding the internet of a prominent Pastor's wife proclaiming to the church, "We don't come to worship for God - we do it for ourselves - we do it to make us happy and God's greatest desire is for our happiness". Through all the controversy and opinion being thrown around about this quote - what does the Bible say? Here in Ephesians 1, the Apostle Paul clearly proclaims that "it is not about us"! We were created and redeemed for God's glory and God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness. Join us as we continue our look at Ephesians 1:3-6 and how God's plan of salvation was around long before you or I were ever around yet we "get" to be a part of it.
Aug 24, 2014
To Be to the Glory of His Grace; "To Be or Not to Be" Ephesians series #3
When did God decide to send Jesus as a sacrifice for the sins of man and a means for man's salvation? Why did he do it? Was it so we could go to heaven? be forgiven? have a relationship with Him? The answers to these questions take us into the deeper waters of scripture, into some of the central truths of the New Testament and leave many believers breathless. While the answer is simple; the impact it can have on our day to day living is profound. Do you dare wade into the deep end? The discoveries can be life-changing. Join us as we dive into the wonderful truths of Ephesians 1:3-6.
Aug 17, 2014
"Every Blessing" To Be or Not to Be series on Ephesians # 2
The Apostle Paul starts this wonderful letter by reminding Christ followers that not only are they a "totally new creation" but also that they have been given the most incredible blessings available. You don't have to wait for them, your don't have to earn them, you don't have to pray for them; they are already yours! The question is not what more can God give you - the question is what are you doing with all you have already been given? Our need is not to receive something more but to do something more with what He has already given us! Join us as we continue our introduction to this new series and you might be surprised to find out all that you already possess to live an incredible and abundant life. From Ephesians 1:3
Aug 3, 2014
"Saints" Introduction to new series from Ephesians "To Be or Not To Be"
What do you call those that identify themselves as a follower of Jesus Christ? What do you call yourself? "Christian" "Christ Follower" "Sinner saved by Grace" ? Does it really matter? The Apostle Paul thought so and rightly identified the faithful believers in Ephesus as "Saints" . Do you think of yourself as a "Saint"? If not; it could be the reason you find yourself struggling to embrace and claim all of the blessings and promises of God that are yours in Christ Jesus. It could be the reason you find you have a powerless faith. Join us as we kick off our new series from the Book of Ephesians and discover that it is foundational for Christ followers to understand their new identity in Christ. It matters because your identity will influence and direct your destiny!
Jul 27, 2014
The Unfaithful Bride
What does a healthy looking church look like? What makes it effective? Jesus gives us some hints when he visits the temple and has a run-in with the religious leaders and over turns some tables. Is he still in the table turning business? Join us as we examine Matthew 21 and this famous incident and how it relates to the modern church and each of us as individuals.
Jul 20, 2014
Put Me In, Coach; How the church is like a championship sports team
Church bashing is all the rage - everyone wants to "follow Jesus" just not be a part of the "church". The only problem with that is, following Jesus MAKES you a part of the church - you don't have a choice. The church is the means by which Jesus chose to change and empower the world and trying to "follow Jesus" apart from the church is like being a suited up and talented football player that has no team to join. You can have great uniforms, be the fastest guy around and have incredible skills but if you are not on a team - you will never get in the game! Listen as we discuss how members of a healthy and effective church are very similar to members of a championship sports team.
Jul 13, 2014
We Surrender Some - Commitment vs. Surrender
Many church leaders would say that one of the greatest problems they face in the church today is the lack of commitment from the members and those involved. Everyone likes to sign up to help, or shows up for the planning rally or even come to the first meeting but as time goes by; they drop out, wander away or just plain quit. The problem is that the Bible never calls us to give it our "best effort" or "try harder" or even "up our commitment level". Jesus calls those that want to follow him to "complete surrender". The church and Christians don't have a commitment problem, we have a surrender problem. Listen to how Jesus responded to three different guys who were not quite sure how committed they could be to following him. From Luke 9:57-62
Jun 22, 2014
The Reports of its death are Greatly Exaggerated; Matthew 16:13-20
All you seem to hear about today is how much trouble the church is in. Denominations are shrinking, baptisms down, church attendance slacking off, losing a generation; everyone has an opinion. Online blogs, magazine articles, even whole sermons relegated to listing everything that is wrong about the church; but what about all that is right? This hand wringing and finger pointing about the church being down and out and on it's last legs might come as a shock to the one who calls it His Bride. It's time we start focusing, preaching and talking about what's right about the church and a good place to start is at it's founding. Is the church dying? NOT HARDLY!
Jun 8, 2014
Dissecting the Heart of a Servant; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
What makes a true servant serve? If it is not for the recognition or the fame, if it is not because they feel guilty or convicted or that they are somehow trying to pay God back; then what is it? Jesus tells us in Matthew 20 that the greatest in his kingdom will be the one who serve others - so what makes a servant tick? Join us for this message as we dissect and examine the heart of the Apostle Paul and learn how each one of us can develop a true heart of a servant.
Jun 1, 2014
Does the Body need Exercise?
What does a "healthy church" look like? How do you know it is healthy, and how did it get that way? Doctors will encourage us that the quickest way to better health is through exercise - but what about the church? How does it "exercise"? Join us as we look with the Apostle Paul and his diagnosis of a healthy church and the promises that come with good health. From Ephesians 4:11-16.
May 25, 2014
When Awesome becomes Ordinary ; Matthew 18:1-4
Can a Christian have a "spiritual" mid-life crisis? Is it possible for our faith, walk and worship to become routine? Have you ever found yourself going through the motions spiritually or felt like you were in a rut? All of us from time to time, regardless of age or how long you have been a Christ follower, go through seasons of our faith when what was once Awesome has now become ordinary. How can you guard against this happening? What can you do to get out of this pattern? Jesus gives us some great advice from our passage and you might be surprised to find out it has to do with your inner child!
May 18, 2014
Let it Go; Sermon based on lessons from the movie Frozen
It has become a worldwide blockbuster, making over a billion dollars before ever being released on video. It has spawned countless number one musical hits; earned an Academy Award for it's signature song "Let it Go" and has been the "go to" soundtrack for children and preteens all winter and spring. It is a fun and entertaining movie but did you know it was based on a Christian short story by Hans Christian Anderson? Released in 1844, "The Snow Queen" has influenced everyone from C.S. Lewis, who used its imagery in "The Chronicles of Narnia" to the current Disney blockbuster. If you get past the catchy tunes and the funny characters there are some important lessons for Christians of all ages. Join us as we learn why letting it go may be a solution to reaching both outside and inside the walls of the church. Based on John 13:34-35 - this message was recorded in our traditional service.
May 11, 2014
Mamma Tried - Mother's Day Message from 2014
May 4, 2014
Everday Advice from the Found Faithful; Final sermon in the Found Faithful series #16
Wouldn't it be great if the heroes of faith from the Bible could speak to us and give us some practical advice for living a faith filled life. What do you think they would say? How did they do it? While we don't have actual words of advice from many of the characters we have studied in this series; the writer of Hebrews does end the great "roll call of faith" chapter with some words of wisdom for each of us about walking a life of faith. Join us as we finish the Found Faithful series with some everyday advice and words of encouragement from those who have walked the walk. From Hebrews 12:1-3
Apr 27, 2014
Faith Building on Faith; Found Faithful Series #15
Most of us can think of someone from our past whose influence on our lives has been significant. A coach, a teacher, an older teenager, a relative, someone from church, a co-worker. Someone who took the time to encourage, believe and speak into your life and yet they probably don't even realize the difference they made. Even the Apostle Paul had someone that found him at a very vulnerable time and literally got him back on his feet again a changed man. Faith always builds on Faith; someone poured into our lives and we are called to reinvest. Join us this morning as we look at the difference Ananias of Damascus made in Pauls life with one simple act. From Acts 9. (taped in the early service on April 27th with special guest worship leaders from the Appalachian State Baptist Campus Ministry worship team and a taste of Bluegrass)
Apr 20, 2014
Faith Comes out of the Shadows; Easter 2014 Found Faithful #14
Who were the two men that took Jesus off the cross and buried him? Why them? Where were the disciples? What motivated these two Pharisees, members of the Sanhedrin, the very council that condemned him to death, to risk everything to make sure Jesus was buried in a tomb? Join us for this Easter message about faith coming out of the shadows and how it affected that first resurrection Sunday. From John 19:38-42 ; Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.
Apr 13, 2014
A Life Defined by Faith; Found Faithful Series #13
Are deathbed coversions real? If so; why are we so bothered by it? Could it be we misunderstand grace? Could it be we misunderstand what really saves us? Find the answers in Jesus' last conversation on the Cross. Palm Sunday from Luke 23:38-43
Apr 6, 2014
The Faith of Sacrificial Worship; Found Faithful Series # 12
If you had to describe what real, genuine, worship looked like; what words would you use? kneeling? standing? hands raised? crying? reverent? shouting? singing? It is a trick question. Worship is not about the expressions we use but rather a matter of the heart. Those words describe the ways we express our worship and really don't indicate the heart of the worshiper. Too often, we get caught up in the "how's" of worship and argue and debate which way or expressions are "more genuine" or "spiritual" and neglect the "why's of worship". Join us this morning as we examine the lives of two very different people who had an opportunity to worship and how they responded, but more importantly, why they responed the way they did. That is where our Faith comes in. Based on Luke 7:36-50.
Mar 30, 2014
The Faith to Seek the Truth; Found Faithful series #11
Many Christians are great at sharing "what" they believe, but not so great at "why" they believe it. When it comes to the "why's" and the difficult questions of our faith, we often fall back on our Christian cliché’s and catch phrases and end up building barriers to the very people we need to be reaching. We are called and commanded to build bridges and engage our culture with the Good News not build walls! Join us and listen as we discover the story of two very different men that would not allow walls or barriers to keep them apart. On a dusty dessert road; one following the Spirit and one searching for truth combined to teach us all a great lesson on the power of faith! From Acts 8:26-40.
Mar 23, 2014
Enough Faith to Stretch; Found Faithful Series #10
How much faith is enough? Is this a simple question with a complex answer? Enough to do what? To see someone healed? To see a life changed? To move a mountain? Join us this week as we discover the story of a women who "had issues" and yet had enough faith to find physical, emotional and spiritual healing. How much faith did it take? You might be surprised at the answer. All of us "have issues", even if we don't like to admit it or we are not desperate enough yet to want to deal with them - but they are all too real. Listen to find out how God can take our "issues" and make them an opportunity. From Luke 8:40-48
Mar 16, 2014
A Passionate and Compelling Faith ; Found Faithful #9 John the Baptist
The Bible tells us quite a bit about John the Baptist; we know about his prophetic birth to Zechariah and Elizabeth, his very active public ministry, his baptizing Jesus in the Jordan river, his flashy fashion sense, his strange diet and even his death at the hands of Herod. But the question we examine with this message is; what was it about John that attracted so many people? His personality? His reputation? You might be surprised with the answer and in the process discover why Jesus called John "the most important man ever born". From John 1:6-9, Matthew 3:1-3
Mar 9, 2014
A Faith that will not let you Quit; Ruth "Found Faithful Series # 8"
What is your favorite love story? Maybe from literature like Romeo and Juliet or maybe from the movies or even some TV characters? What about the Bible? We don't always think of the Bible when we think of love stories but it contains the greatest love story of all time; How much God loved you and I. Join us as we look at the complex love stories we find in the Book of Ruth, and along the way learn some lessons on developing a faith that never quits.
Mar 2, 2014
How Faith Leads You Through The Fire ; Found Faithful #7
The three Hebrew boys hanging out in the fire with Jesus; rescued and called out, clothes not touched, the evil king repents, happy ending! But what happens when there's no happy ending in sight? What about the first deacon, young Stephen, whose powerful ministry was cut short by a hail of stones and his broken lifeless body left on the street? Was his faith any less than Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? In spite of many false teachings and misunderstandings of scripture; God never promised he would get us out of the fire, but rather through the fire! Sometimes he does; there's a divine healing,a deliverance, supernatural miracles - but more times than not, the world presses in on top of us. Making it out is not where faith is involved; it is found in God's promise that we can make it through the fire (or the stones, or the bad doctor's report, or disease, or the trials and sufferings of this world). Join us for this timely message that discovers hope and peace in the midst of our "fire…
Feb 23, 2014
When Your Faith Leads You to The Fire; Found Faithful Series # 6
All over the world; from the middle east of Egypt and Syria to the Far East of Indonesia and China. From the Sudan to Central America; whole families and individuals are facing job loss, poverty, hunger and persecution and some are even facing death. They did not commit a crime, it has nothing to do with politics or race; it is simply because they have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and identify themselves as Christians. While it is hard for us to comprehend that type of Christian persecution here in America; could it be a part of our future? What about our children's and grandchildren's future? Are we teaching and modeling an uncompromising faith that will prepare them to trust God regardless of the cost? Join us this week as we examine the faith of those three Hebrew boys enslaved in Babylon as described in Daniel 3. Find out what kind of Faith it requires to not only face the fires but a faith that will lead you to the fires.
Feb 16, 2014
When Your Faith Falters; Elijah "Found Faithful" series #5
Have you ever faced a season of despair, burnout or depression? Can you relate to what it means to be emotionally, physically or spiritually exhuasted? For every mountaintop their comes a valley, for every high there comes a low and at one time or another in all of our lives we face a season where our Faith seems to falter. Join us this week as we explore how Elijah the prophet could go from the fire of God falling at Mount Carmel to sitting under a tree in the desert praying to die. Discover the danger signs and traps of depression and discouragement as well as how God brings healing to Elijah's heart and faltering faith and how He can do the same for you and I. From 1 Kings 19.
Feb 9, 2014
When Grace and Faith Collide - Rahab ; Found Faithful Series #4
From a house of shame to the Hall of Fame. From an unknown prostitute to a princess in the tribe of Judah. Never underestimate what God is weaving together and the transformation that takes place when His grace collides with our faith. Join us as we look at the life of Rahab of Jericho and how her faith allowed her to be sure of what she hoped for and certain of what she could not see. Like Rahab, our story is not finished and regardless of where we find ourselves, we are never out of the reach of God's amazing grace! From Hebrews 11:31. Joshua 2
Feb 2, 2014
The Foundation of Courageous Faith; Found Faithful Series # 3
How does someone go from fearfully cowering in the woods to leading an small army of 300 against overwheming odds and 135,000 enemies soldiers? By allowing his faith to overpower his fear. Many followers of Christ allow fear to keep them in bondage and rob them of their purpose and power. Listen today to find out how to set your faith free and stand against the "spirit of fear". From Judges 6-7 and the story of Gideon.
Jan 26, 2014
Who'll Stop the Rain; Found Faithful Series # 2 Noah
Waiting on God can require a lot of patience. Have you ever held on to a promise from God but had to wait longer than you expected? Have you wanted to give up, quit praying, gotten angry or even discouraged and depressed? Have you felt like you were all alone while trying to do what God was calling you toward? Imagine waiting over 100 years for God timing. Noah did and he remained faithful through it all. What did he have that we don't? Listen to our message from Hebrews 11:4-7 and gain some encouragement and hope as we discover the keys to being "found faithful".
Jan 19, 2014
To See the Impossible Scene; Introduction to the Found Faithful Series
When you read through the Bible it is easy to be intimidated and overwhelmed by the faith and actions of those you read about. How did David have the strength to face Golaith? Noah the perseverance to build an Ark? Esther the patience to follow God's plan? Were these "super believers" that we could never aspire to follow? In our new series "Found Faithful" we will be examining these questions and many others as we look at the lives of some of these Bible characters and the power of our Faith. While many Christians understand that we are saved by faith; most never realize this untapped resource that is available when facing our own "giants and mountains". Listen as we start this series off by defining "Faith" and how it gives us the ability to see the impossibel scene.
Jan 12, 2014
Why Small Victories Matter; Overcoming Our Sercret Sins pt 2. Life Changing Apps #17
This is part two of the Message from January 5th, "Overcoming Your Secret Sins" looking at 1st John 5:15-21 and how we can have victory this year over all of our struggles with sin. Following up on last weeks encouragement to pray for one another in the body of Christ, John continues with specific applications we can apply to our everyday lives.
Jan 5, 2014
Overcoming Your Secret Sin; Life Changing Apps Series #16
All of us have certain sins we struggle with more than others; sins we think no one else will notice or find out about. Some that we have excused or rationalized for so long that they have become a part of our character. In this message from 1st John 5, we discover that even those "secret sins" can rob us of our joy, peace and intimacy with God. Listen to discover how you can overcome and defeat those sins in your life and put them behind you once and for all. You might be surprised at the simple answer that will leave you declaring to other Christians, "You can count on Me!"
Dec 29, 2013
Don't Be Afraid to Ask; Life Changing Apps Series from 1st John #15
James tells us, "We have not because we ask not" and in our study of 1st John we are reminded that as followers of Christ we can approach God for anything. God desires an intimate relationship with each one of us and prayer is the main avenue to that intimacy. So many times we allow fear and a misunderstanding of God's nature to keep us from asking but it is in the asking that intimacy is developed. Through approaching and asking we learn more about God's will, His love for us and how we fit into his plans. Stop taking this great privilege for granted and listen as we discover what it means to "pray according to God's will".
Dec 22, 2013
Still No Room in the Inn; Christmas 2013
We spend a lot of time, effort and energy preparing to celebrate the 1st arrival of Jesus Christ, but how much time and effort do we spend preparing for his 2nd coming? Even with all the signs and prophecies most of the people in Bethlehem had no idea the Messiah had come. In the last chapter of the New Testament, Jesus promises "I will return soon" yet most Christians live their lives like their is "Still no room in the Inn". Are you as prepared for Christ 2nd Advent as you are celebrating his 1st? Listen as we explore how can be prepared.
Dec 15, 2013
Claiming the Promise of Victory; Life Changing Apps Series #14
Part 2 of the message from 1st John 5:1-5. Followers of Jesus Christ have a promise of victory over every circumstance or situation we may face, the problem is many are not claiming or walking in that promise. What does it mean to be an "overcomer" and how can we live in victory? Join us as we discover a promise that could set you free in every area of your life.
Dec 1, 2013
To Survive or Thrive - It is up to You; Life Changing Apps Series from 1st John #13
Which of these two terms would describe your Christian walk; Survive or Thrive? Too many Christ followers live their lives just trying to survive. When faced with trials or difficutlies we hunker down and hope to wait it out or just surivive until the whistle blows. That is not only un-scriptural, it is selling short the promises and calling of God on your life. In our study, John reminds us that through faith in Christ victory, we can also have victory - in every circumstance and situation. Victory is not a life without problems, but found in how we handle the problems we face. It is time we claim the promises of God and live up to our calling as Overcomers!
Nov 24, 2013
An Extra Serving of Lettuce at Thanksgiving; Life Changing Apps Series from 1st John #12
Do the Thanksgiving holidays stress you out? Blended families, extended families, dysfunctional families all gathering in one place. Black Friday? The perfect meal? Can’t we all just get along? The Apostle John has an App for that and it is a lot easier than you might think; more Lettuce!! No, he is not suggesting you go vegan, or even mix in a little green with your turkey and ham. What he is suggesting could change the whole environment of your holiday gathering. Join us for this weeks’ message from 1st John 4:7-21 and discover the secret.
Nov 10, 2013
Nigerian Millionaires and Beta Testing; Life Changing Apps Series #11
Can you tell the difference between truth and error, clairty over deception? In a day when confusion and deception reign, how can a follower of Jesus know what is true? Are their false teachers and leaders that seek to control and build their own kingdoms instead of setting believers free and advancing Christ kingdom? In this podcast and passage, the Apostle John seeks to bring freedom and truth but also give the Christ follower a few easy principles to help us develop a spirit led discernment. 1st John 4:1-6
Nov 3, 2013
Is your Assurance Blessed? Life Changing Apps Series #10
Doubts? Guilt? Not Good enough? Bound to your past? Do these sound familar? These are the struggles that can become chains of bondage for the followers of Jesus Christ. Chains of our own making. While many freely accept the incredible forgiveness we have through Jesus Christ, we still struggle to forgive ourselves. Listen as the Apsotle John identifies 3 truths that can set us free and give us a path to forgiveness. You can have assurance; not based on emotion or feeling but Truth. 1st John 3:19-24.
Oct 27, 2013
Have you Checked the Defaults? Life Changing Apps series # 9
Did you realize that it was a religious dispute that instigated the first recorded murder in the Bible? What happened and how does it affect us today? Listen as the Apostle John explains how the "Spirit of Cain" continues to dissrupt and divide the church and destroy its witness. He also points out, that the answer to the problems is as simple as changing your defaults. Ist John 3:11-20
Oct 20, 2013
Upgrade Available; Life Changing Apps series #8
We live in a culture that continues to rename, redefine and rationalize sin to make it more palatable and easier to justify. Even in the church, it is popular to downplay the destructive nature of sin for the sake of comfort. In this warning, the Apostle John concludes that the measure of a true Child of God is how they react and respond to sin and he reminds us all of the incredible power we have through Jesus Christ.
Oct 13, 2013
What's in a Name? Life Changing Apps series from 1st John #7
The names we use to identify ourselves carry history, heritage and meaning. Sometimes we even allow those name to become our identitiy. For those that have an initmate relationship with God; you have a new name. A name that carries a promise, a new identity and will define us, not just in this life but also the next. You are a "Child of God"!
Sep 22, 2013
Virus Protection; Life Changing App series from 1st John #6
Does it really matter where you go to church? Does it matter what you believe as long as you are sincere? John warns us that one of the greatest dangers for the Christ follower and for the church are false teachers, or as he calls them "anti-christ". How can you know if someone is a false teacher and what can you do to protect yourself and your church? John has an APP for that.
Sep 15, 2013
The Love God Hates - Life Changing Apps Series from 1st John #5
As Christ followers we were redeemed to have an intimate relationship with God; John calls this "Walking in the Light". In theological terms it is called "sanctification" or the fellowship we have with God as we are led and guided by the Holy Spirit to be made more in his image. Along that journey we all face distractions that hinder our walk, but none greater than the allure of the world. Listen as we heed John's warning and learn an APP for dealing with those distractions.
Sep 8, 2013
The Road Less Travelled; "Life Changing Apps" Series message 4
What does it really mean to "Walk as Jesus Walked"? Jesus states that anyone who wants to be his disciple must follow him but how can we do that? John has an APP for that and it starts in the community of faith, the body of Christ, the church! You might be surprised at the simple, yet complex answer. Listen and find out why most Christians find it hard to follow the road less travelled. From 1 John 2:3-11
Sep 1, 2013
The Power of Sin is Broken - Life Changing Apps series from 1st John #3
The Christian life is about the journey not the destination and we were created to share that journey in community with others. Since sin has been defeated, we can not only have an intimate relationship with God but with other believers. What robs us of that fellowship is our unwillingness to be real, genuine and authentic, even in the church. Listen and find out the Apostle John's APP for that problem. We will never find unity in the body of Christ until we can be authentic.
Aug 25, 2013
Walk in the Light ; Life Changing Apps Study from 1st John #2
Is their a difference between having a relationship with God and being "in fellowship" or intimate with Him? John thinks so, and in his clear and concise manner he describes how that fellowship can be lost and the personal consequences that affect everyone around us when it happens. We were created and redeemed to "Walk in the Light"; to experience the fullness of an abundant life - do you have that App?
Aug 18, 2013
There is an APP for that; sermon #1 in series "Life Changing Apps"
This is the introduction to our new series from the book of 1st John entitled "Life Changing Apps". We will be walking through this wonderful letter discovering truths and principles to apply to our everyday lives. In this introduction we examine the importance and promise of applying God's word to every area of our lives.
Aug 11, 2013
Alex Nsengimana Testimony
We were honored to have Alex share his testimony in both services on Sunday, August 11th. As a child Alex lived through and witnessed some horrible attrocities during the Rwandan genocide of the 1990's. With family members and guardians being killed in front of his eyes, Alex and his siblings were sent to an orphanage where he recieved an Operation Christmas Child shoebox that opened his heart to the love, grace and forgiveness of God. Listen to Alex's testimony as he shares how God provided an opportunity for him to go back to Rwanda and deliver shoeboxes to his old orphanage and also visit the prison holding the very people who murdered his family.
Jul 28, 2013
"A Legacy of Righteousness" Repair, Rebuild and Restore Nehemiah Series # 20
The final message in our study of Nehemiah looks at the legacy that Nehemiah leaves behind. In Nehemiah 13, we see Nehemiah reveal his motivation for all he has done; and we also get a glimspe of his passion. All of us leave a legacy; when we leave schools, when we leave a job, for our children, our grandchildren, our communities. The real question is what kind of legacy will it be. Listen to find out!
Jul 21, 2013
"The Slow Drift Towards Compromise and Complacency" Repair, Rebuild and Restore Nehemiah Series #19
The last chapter of Nehemiah (Chapter 13) describes how the people in Jerusalem went from a great revival and mountain top experience to falling back into sin and disobedience. Listen as we discover how each of us can slowly slide into the same pattern if we are not vigilant. Nehemiah also gives us some great lessons for dealing with the sin in our lives.
Jul 14, 2013
All Over But The Shouting "Repair, Rebuild and Restore" Nehemiah Series #18
As Nehemiah leads in the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem an incredible time of corporate worship breaks out. Listen to discover a few simple reminders about our personal and corporate worship that we can all learn from Nehemiah.
Jul 8, 2013
This Little Light of Mine; Matthew 5:14-16
This was our July 4th weekend service. Message discusses how a Christian and the church is to respond as our nation moves away from the values and principles it was founded on.
Jul 7, 2013
Our 11:00 Worship and Patriotic Service from July 4th Weekend
This is our entire patriotic service recorded in our 11:00 traditional service from the July 4th weekend. Featuring several numbers by our choir and the sermon, "This Little Light of Mine" from Matthew 5.
Jun 30, 2013
The Difference between Making and Keeping; Repair, Rebuild and Restore #17
Do you know the difference between "making" a promise or commitment and "keeping" that promise or commitment? Many in the church today seem to have a "keeping" problem. We easily and readily "make" promises, even to God; but when it comes to "keeping" those promises and commitments - the struggles come. Find out how the people in Nehemiah's day found a solution to this problem!
Jun 9, 2013
A Prayer for Community Restoration Repair, Rebuild and Restore Nehemiah series # 16
A call and challenge to the church to experience the power of corporate prayer
Jun 2, 2013
Talking More and Saying Less
Repair Rebuild and Restore #15
May 26, 2013
Repair, Rebuild and Restore Series #14
May 19, 2013
Nehemiah Repair Rebuild and Restore Series # 13
May 12, 2013
Women of Valor Mother's Day 2013
Mother's Day 2013
May 5, 2013
When Burned and Broken Become Beautiful
Nehemiah Series #12
Apr 28, 2013
Strategies for Standing Strong
Repair, Rebuild and Restore Series #11
Apr 21, 2013
When Our Actions Are Louder Than Our Words
Apr 15, 2013
Fresh Oil New Wine: The State of the Church
Apr 1, 2013
The Power of His Resurrection Easter 2013
Easter Service 2013
Mar 24, 2013
Living He Loved Me Dying He Saved Me
Palm Sunday Service
Mar 17, 2013
When The Call Comes From Inside The House Nehemiah - 5
Nehemiah Repair, Rebuild & Restore Series
Mar 10, 2013
Dealing with Discouragement Nehemiah 4
Nehemiah Repair, Rebuild & Restore Series
Mar 3, 2013
More than Just a Brick in the Wall Building Blocks of Unity
Nehemiah Repair, Rebuild & Restore Series
Feb 24, 2013
More Than Just a Brick in the Wall pt 1 Barriers to Unity Nehemiah 3
Nehemiah Repair, Rebuild & Restore Series
Feb 17, 2013
The Place where Ridicule, Mocking and Scorn are the Norm - Nehemiah 4
Nehemiah Repair, Rebuild & Restore Series
Feb 10, 2013
Turning Your Vision Into Others Dreams - Nehemiah 2:9-18
Nehemiah Repair, Rebuild & Restore Series
Jan 27, 2013
When Vision Becomes Reality
Nehemiah Repair, Rebuild & Restore Series
Jan 20, 2013
How Vision Matures
Nehemiah Repair, Rebuild & Restore Series
Jan 13, 2013
Where Vision is Birthed - Nehemiah 1: 1-4
Nehemiah Repair, Rebuild & Restore Series
Jan 6, 2013
Soil Samples from 2012
Luke 8: 4-15
1 hr 19 min
Dec 30, 2012
Forgetting What is Behind
Sep 2, 2012
Do You Pinky Promise?
Living An Unleashed Life Series - Do You Pinky Promise?
1 hr 16 min
Aug 26, 2012
Counting WIth Anticipation - James 5: 7-11
Living An Unleashed Life Series - Counting With Anticipation
1 hr 1 min
Aug 19, 2012
What's In Your Wallet?
Living An Unleashed Life Series - What's In Your Wallet?
Aug 12, 2012
Did You Even Ask?
Living An Unleashed Life Series - Did You Even Ask?
1 hr 2 min
Aug 5, 2012
What Did I Forget?
Living An Unleashed Life Series - What DId I Forget?
1 hr 13 min
Jul 29, 2012
The Lord Willing
Living An Unleashed Life Series - The Lord WIlling
1 hr 9 min
Jul 15, 2012
Breaking The Power of Pride - James 4: 5-10
Living An Unleashed Life Series - Breaking The Power of Pride
1 hr 1 min
Jul 8, 2012
The Link That Keeps Us Leashed - James 4:1-6
Living An Unleashed Life Series - The Link That Keeps Us Leashed
1 hr 2 min
Jun 17, 2012
Worldly Wisdom or the Wisdom of the Word - James 3: 13-18
Living An Unleashed Life Series - Worldly Wisdom or the Wisdom of the Word
1 hr 7 min
Jun 3, 2012
Can A Tongue Be Tamed - James 3: 1-13
Living An Unleashed Life Series - Can A Tongue Be Tamed
May 20, 2012
I Will Walk By Faith - James 2: 14-26
Living An Unleashed Life Series - I Will Walk By Faith
1 hr 5 min
May 6, 2012
Motivated By Mercy - James 2: 8 - 13
Living An Unleashed Life Series - Motivated By Mercy
Oct 30, 2011
"The Dawn of the Dead"
From the Series "Reform, Revive and Renew" preached on October 30, 2011. Passage from Ezekiel 37:1-4