Friday, December 6, 2019



Human beings have always been obsessed with staying young. Already 2500 years ago there is frequent mention in Greek mythology of water which, if one took but a sip, would make the person forever young.

The Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon believed he would find the Fountain of Youth when he traveled to Florida in the early 1500s. Apparently, he never found it for his death is recorded as having taken place in July of 1521.

Today our search for the fountain of youth has not stopped, only changed geographical locations. Today we believe forever young is found in health stores, gyms and plastic surgeons’ offices.

We’re afraid of getting older and rightly so. The older we are, the more likely we’ll be meeting death soon. And that thought is not a pleasant one for anyone who is honest with themself.

The great tragedy of our search for the fountain of youth is that what we are looking for is right in front of us. But for whatever reason, most choose to pursue what they deep down know, will be futile.

Jesus Christ said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives believing in me will never die.” Forever young? Better, forever perfect. In another part of the Bible we hear that the life Jesus offers in eternity will have neither death, nor mourning, nor crying nor pain. It will be a forever so good we have difficulty imagining it.

As we continue our celebration of Christmas, we want to keep Jesus’ death and resurrection always in the backdrop, for these two events connected with Christmas are the solid hope we have of being forever perfectly happy. And that is something worth celebrating!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, November 29, 2019



It was a typical Saturday in September of 1910. Clarence Hiller had painted the railings of his front porch during the day, enjoyed a good dinner and then retired for the evening. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, he heard someone trying to enter through a window of his home. He went down to investigate.
Hiller’s wife then heard two men fighting on the porch, two gunshots, and then the sounds of a man running away. She went out to see what happened and found her husband Clarence, dead on the porch.
Police apprehended Thomas Jennings a short distance from the Hiller house with the same caliber gun which killed Hiller in Jenning’s pocket. But police didn’t have any other evidence. It seemed Jenkins would go free.
The next day, an investigator who had been recently trained in the new art of finger printing. went to the crime scene. To his amazement, he found impressed in the newly painted porch railings a set of fingerprints. They matched those of Thomas Jennings perfectly. Jennings was later tried and convicted of the murder of Clarence Hiller primarily on the evidence of his fingerprints. 1
Fingerprints – each of us has a unique set which distinguishes us from every other human being. But what do fingerprints have to do with Christmas? The season of Christmas is all about Jesus Christ. The word Christ means Messiah or Savior. In the Old Testament there are many references to a coming Savior. They provide clues to what this coming Savior would be like and what he would do. Today, we look back at those prophecies, most originating more than 500 years before Christ’s birth, and we compare them to what the Gospel accounts tell us about the life of Jesus. What we find is that the life of Jesus matches the prophecies just like that of a finger to its prints.
Join us this weekend for one of our worship services. Your confidence in the truthfulness of the Christmas message will be strengthened.

1 Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (pp. 230-231)

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Underrated “Attaboy”



We’ve all been on the receiving end of stinging criticisms which hurt us deeply. Those were painful reminders of the power words have. To be daily bombarded with negative, sarcastic comments can be devastating.

While we could all use less destructive criticism, most people would benefit from a strong dose of genuine, daily encouragement. How many people have expressed the feeling that they were never able to please their parents because they rarely received a simple “attaboy”? “Attaboy” is just one way of saying, “Good job.” “You are looking great today.” Thanks for helping out.” “Way to go.” One doesn’t have to be eloquent nor articulate to give out “attaboys”. All that is required is a genuine desire to build people up.

This weekend we’ll be studying the eighth commandment which teaches us how to use our words in a way which gives glory to God. Each one of us can make a great start in making this study personal just by giving out a few “attaboys” between now and then. It won’t cost you anything, but it could mean everything to somebody who needs some sincere encouragement today.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, November 15, 2019

Even the Little Things

We like to describe our behavior which we know is wrong as “bending the rules”. It sounds so much better than, “What I did was wrong.” While rephrasing what we did might make us feel a little better, it doesn’t lessen the significance of our actions.

This Sunday we’re going to be studying the Seventh Commandment: You shall not steal. It is one of God’s commands that we often gloss over because we don’t take the time to dig into what he intends by it. We probably haven’t tried to rob a bank or break into someone’s house lately, so we’ve got to be good on this one, right? Not really, not if the Lord means us to be meticulously honest in all our financial dealings, even to the point of helping other people maintain their money and possessions.

What the Bible says about financial integrity might seem nit-picky. We need to remember that it is not only his authoritative command, but it serves to enable human beings to prosper. The greatest threat to wide-spread wealth is corruption, or in plain words – stealing in any form. When people are honest, economies flourish.

As we head into the 2020 presidential election we are hearing about new economic stimulus plans every day. The best, however, might be God’s simple command, “Don’t steal.” Join us this weekend for one of our services. You might find the subject of stealing is more relevant to your life than you imagined.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, November 8, 2019

The New/Old God


Judging by the amount of time people spend watching, reading, and discussing sexuality, it would seem that sex has become the new god for many people. It is seen as the driving force in human life, the one thing people cannot get enough of. This kind of thinking is a dramatic change from the recent past but a return to peoples’ beliefs of centuries ago. Many of what are called the pagan religions were very much rooted in sexuality. People believed there were gods who controlled the fertility of the crops they planted, their livestock and even their own families. Since that was an agricultural era, being fertile was a major issue. And so, people believed the most effective way to worship their fertility gods was to engage in sexual activity.

Modern people might laugh at the simple thinking of the ancients, but things really haven’t changed much. Years ago, people believed sex would bring them wealth given by the gods. Today, much more educated people believe sex will bring them happiness if they can only find the right partner(s) and techniques.

When Christians talk about sex it is usually dismissed as puritanical blackmail to keep young people from enjoying themselves. The truth is, a serious study of what the Bible has to say about sex is that it provides a path to a healthy wholeness which brings tremendous blessings to our lives.

Someone once said, “There isn’t anything new under the sun.” When it comes to the way human beings view their sexuality, that is certainly true. Our culture has embraced the same ideas folks did 3000-4000 years ago with the same tragic results. If you want a fresh view of this important subject, join us for one of our weekend services. You’ll be positively surprised by what you hear.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, November 1, 2019

How Much Is a Human Life Worth?


Sounds like a line from an action movie. The truth is, however, the value of a life is very much an everyday topic in our conversations and political debates. A pregnant woman asks, “Should I keep the baby?” A depressed elderly man wonders, “What is my reason for going on?” Medical experts decide who will receive vital medical services and who will not. Charities must make gut-wrenching decisions of where to send aid.

How much is a life worth? Depends on the person with whom you are speaking. One social commentator openly admits, “all human life does not have the same value”.1 An ethics professor from Princeton states that newborn babies should not have the same rights as adults.2 We live in an age of utilitarian psychology which preaches that right and wrong are based on what brings the greatest amount of happiness to the greatest number of people. We’re told not to ask the inconvenient question, “What happens to those in the minority?”

People want relevancy. They want to know how things make a difference in their lives. Often, they equate God with just the opposite – idealistic notions which have nothing to do with day to day living. Nothing could be farther from the truth when it comes to determining the value of a human life. The moment we take that responsibility away from the One who deserves it and place it into the hands of other human beings, we open the way to the annihilation of millions as we witnessed in the last century. As some have put it, “Without God we are only chemical machines.” That’s a scary thought because when machines no longer serve the purpose of their owner, they are thrown on the trash heap.

You are more than a machine and your life has an inestimable value. Join us this weekend for one of our services to find out why.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, October 25, 2019

Life Minus Authority = Chaos

No one likes the thought of having another human being as a supervisor or manager. If we have difficulty accepting God’s ruling role in our lives, how much less we willingly submit to a fellow member of our race! However, the sociological formula above is true, if there are no structures of authority in life such as parents, law enforcement agencies, and governments, we would be living in total chaos with everyone doing exactly what he or she wanted with little or no regard for how their behavior affected others.

In the last seven of the 10 commandments, God establishes laws and institutions which make human life in large groups possible. This weekend we’re going to be studying the fourth commandment – Honor your father and mother. It seems that God is talking to us about the family, but this commandment goes much deeper than that. As we dig into Biblical truths we find that God has established various authorities which are designed to be tremendous blessings in our lives.

While there are times, as children, we resent our parents, in most cases, when we get a little older we are profoundly grateful for the loving discipline with which they molded our lives. We might complain a lot about the government, but imagine if we had a different type of government? Worse yet, what would our lives be like if there were no government at all? Try to picture your daily life in such a scenario. It would be chaos.

God’s commandments are just that – commandments to be obeyed. But far from being a miserable burden we must carry through life, they open the door to incredible benefits which God has designed for us. Join us for one of our weekend worship services and open God’s door to blessings in your life.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, October 18, 2019

Where Are You Looking?


The view of a person using binoculars is going to vary tremendously depending on the direction those binoculars are pointed. The same is true for the way people look at what is important in life. For those who see our world as closed off from God, as an experience which begins at birth and ends with physical death, the view is going to be focused downward, on the individual and how he or she perceives what is most important. For the people who look up to the God who is not only powerful but also involved with and committed to human beings, such individuals will take their cues from Him. And as you would imagine, the conclusions are usually very, very different.

On Sundays some people have made a habit of “going to church.” They do so for many different reasons, but there are some very strong historical explanations for this practice. From very early on, the God of the Bible commanded people to take a day off to not only rest, but to focus on him, to see that life is about so much more than just working, eating, playing and sleeping – it’s about being a part of his family and what he is doing in this world.

The Third Commandment: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, is really about worship, and worship is simply the window to God’s world. In worship we see God for who he is, what he has done for us and what it means to our daily lives. Worship takes our fixed downward gaze at the world as we know it and opens up the possibilities of a life with God and for God.

Worship, it’s so much more than going to church, it’s a whole new way of looking at life. If you need a change of spiritual scenery, join us for one of our weekend services.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, October 11, 2019

Names

Who comes to mind when you hear the names: George, Abraham, and Michael?

Your answer would definitely be influenced by your age and where you where brought up, but there is probably a good chance that when you read George you thought of a guy with a white wig and blue uniform with the last name Washington. As for Abraham, did a soulful, sad, bearded man come to mind as you remembered Abraham Lincoln? If you are a musical person, the name Michael would have led you to picture Michael Jackson in your mind. If you’re into sports, you saw Michael Jordan soaring through the air with a basketball.

Names mean a lot not only to the one who holds the name but also to other people. We identify others by their names, it is our way of visualizing the individual.

And what about the name – God? What comes to mind when you hear it? Do you feel fear, love, resentment or even apathy? What do you imagine: a bully, a dictator, a father or a Savior? How do you use God’s name? To express anger, ridicule, praise or worship?

Here’s an interesting question: why are the names “God” and “Jesus Christ” the only proper names we use to express extreme anger and frustration? What are we trying to say? Are we blaming God for the situation? Why does cursing with God’s name pack such a powerful punch among us humans?

When you share your name with another person, most probably, you want to get to know them; you are interested in learning more about them and you want them to get to know you. Have you ever thought God has told us his name(s) for the very same reason?

If the only way you know how to use the name of God is when you’re angry, you are selling yourself way short. The name of God can transform your life. Why not join us for one of our weekend services to find out how?

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Saturday, October 5, 2019

"Your God May Be Too Small"


If someone is giving us more details than we think we need, our response is something like, “Just get to the point.” We much prefer bullets to paragraphs. “Keep it simple” is the watchword of the day. We even carry this attitude over into our relationship with God. When we do, the results are disastrous. In a few words, we dumb God down. He becomes either a genie who does miracles at our whim or a bully who punishes us at his whim. For most of us, our conception of God is far too small.

It’s good for us on regular occasions to take a step back and reevaluate who God is and what kind of relationship we have with him. This weekend we have an excellent chance to do just that as we study the very first of the 10 Commandments: “You shall have no other gods;” or in the words of Jesus Christ, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.” You may find that the God you thought you knew is far greater, far better, far more able to transform your life than you ever imagined.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, September 27, 2019

“Don’t Tell Me What to Do!”

Nobody likes to be told what to do. And that is probably why we have such a hard time with laws. We even have a saying which reflects this attitude, “Rules are made to be broken”.

There is one situation, however, when we not only want, but demand laws – that’s when someone is doing something we don’t appreciate. Then we’re all over the law thing, demanding that justice be done!

No doubt about it, we human beings are complicated. Sometimes we like things, sometimes we don’t. It just seems to depend on the circumstances we’re in. And that thinking pretty much summarizes our way of looking at laws.

God’s view on the matter of law is very much different. His take on it is there is an unchanging standard of right and wrong that doesn’t vary with how we feel at a particular moment in the day. These laws are called the 10 Commandments. In recent years they’ve gotten a bad rap. They’re called repressive, antiquated, even intolerant. Those descriptions could come from a personal bias however – a bias which comes from the thinking, “I’m going to live my life the way I want and not even God is going to tell me different.”

So, when we talk about the 10 Commandments, it really comes down to, “Who is our God?” Do we step up to that role on occasion so we can do what we want or do we let God take his rightful place, even when it doesn’t seem convenient?

The two words “radical” and “revolutionize” both have very strong meanings but they aptly describe what happens to human life when we accept God for who he is and willingly submit to his 10 Commandments – our lives are radically revolutionized!

Join us for our Sunday morning service as we begin a sermon series on the 10 Commandments.

Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, September 20, 2019

For When We Cry

You may not be a person who cries often, but surely you can remember a few times when, after you made sure no one was looking, you broke down in tears. You might even remember those scenes with vivid details. They were times of searing pain. Times when you may well have wondered, “What’s the point of it all?”

When life is fun, no one asks, “What’s the purpose of my existence?” We’re too busy enjoying ourselves. But inevitably, we go through periods during which we either aren’t having a whole lot of fun or we have come to the conclusion that there may be more to life than just having fun. Such times in our lives can raise a lot of hard and even uncomfortable questions.

“What is my life all about?”
“Does my life really mean anything?”
“Is everything just programmed for us; do we actually have a choice in anything?”

What we believe the answers to those questions are, will determine the course of our lives because they serve as the foundation on which we live each day; they are the glasses through which we see the world.

What are the foundational beliefs on which you build your life? Are you confident they will withstand the difficult times you will face? Join us for one of our services this weekend as we review the rock-solid truths we’ve been studying in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. It’s a foundation that will resist anything – even the inevitability of death.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Inconvenient Truth about Faith


Very often the terms “person of faith” or “faith-based” are not intended to be complimentary. As one skeptic put it, “faith is the license religious people give themselves to keep believing when reasons fail.” The inconvenient truth about faith, however, is that every human being lives by some type of faith. There are no laboratory experiments which can be repeatedly carried out and arrive at the same conclusion to demonstrate to people what the purpose of life is, how to be happy, who to marry or even what career to choose.

The real question is: in what or whom have you placed your faith? Christians have always believed that the God who made the human race continues to be actively involved in his creation and especially with his creatures (us). It is by no means a blind faith, but neither is it as “slam dunk” certain as most people would want. Basically, their question is, “Why doesn’t God rip open the sky and show himself to us in a way that would eliminate all doubt?” Whether the answers provided to such a question are convincing or not to those ask it, the one thing we all must keep in mind is that who or what we put our faith in means far more than we imagine, both for the present and the future.

So, who or what is your faith in? Is your faith solid, secure, attested? Are you satisfied with the confidence level you have in the one you’ve put your faith in? If not, join us for one of our weekend services. We all have a lot to learn from a man named Abraham about faith.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, September 6, 2019

Hope

Hopelessness is not seeing any kind of light at the end of the tunnel. Hopelessness leads to depression, even suicide. There is little else in life which so crushes the human spirit than the belief that things will never improve.

After Adam and Eve turned their backs on God’s offer to live in a perfect relationship with him in which they were to recognize his role as Creator and their role as his creatures, everything changed drastically – for the worse. The one word which best describes life after the fall into sin is “brokenness”. And when we look around at our world, at ourselves, we see brokenness. Broken relationships, broken hearts, broken dreams, broken bodies, even nature is broken.

If God had stepped out of the drama at that moment, humanity would have been lost in an unending ocean of hopelessness. But with one short statement directed at the devil, the one who led the first people to push God out of his own creation, the light of hope pierced the darkness. God said he would send someone to destroy the devil and what he had done.

God didn’t give many details. Adam and Eve certainly must have had a lot of questions. But one thing was for sure, they had hope that life would somehow, someway get better. And you can have that same hope!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, August 30, 2019

Life Shouldn’t Be This Way

We human beings disagree on most everything, but there is one subject about which we are unanimous – there should not be so much pain, suffering and evil in the world. We express our feelings with a heavy sigh and the all too familiar words, “Life shouldn’t be this way.”

Of course, that statement leads to questions such as, “Was there ever a time when life was less difficult? Did something happen to change things? Is there even the possibility that life could be better?” For many, the answers to those questions are summed up this way: “It is what it is. Suck it up and make the best of the life you have.” Others are even more pessimistic. Their view is described by the popular bumper sticker, “Life stinks and then you die.” Cynicism is not a very effective way to deal with difficult times.

Genesis, the first book of the Bible provides the information we need to not only face the pain and suffering we all must confront, but also the ability to overcome it – to be victorious. For the last several weeks we’ve been talking about the foundational truths on which we can build our lives. This week is essential because there is no one who escapes the painful trials of life. You will face them. The question is, “How?” The book of Genesis gives us some rock solid pillars to build on.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, August 23, 2019

“How Can Something So Good Cause So Much Pain?”

There is no more beautiful scene than a couple looking into each other’s eyes, repeating their wedding vows. There is little more tragic than to see those same two people months or years later screaming at each other with looks of hate. Marriage is one of the mysterious ironies of life. It can bring the greatest of joys, it can also rip apart our hearts.

Some have become so cynical about marriage that they have openly declared it a thing of the past, an antiquated ritual of history which should give way to an open view of family and sexual relationships for which there are no moral regulations other than mutual consent.

It is essential for Christians in these times of changing morality to go back to the basics of what God has revealed about human relationships. And he is not silent. Already in the second chapter of the first book of the Bible we learn about God’s intention for marriage. What we find is clear, specific and most of all, for our ultimate happiness. Contrary to what some may propose, happiness is not getting or doing what we want. No, it is becoming what God created us to be, to fulfill our purpose for existing. When we see God’s instructions on marriage from that perspective, our eyes begin to be open to the blessings God intends for us.

If you are confused by what you’re hearing about sexuality and marriage, the wisest thing you can do is go back to the One who started both. What was meant to be so good doesn’t have to also include so much pain. God offers you that incredible option.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, August 16, 2019

“I Only Wanted to Be Happy”

Have you ever said, “I only wanted to be happy” after having made a bad decision which blew up in your face? It’s a pretty common experience for most of us. Wanting to be happy seems like such a good reason for doing things. Who doesn’t want to be happy? Ironically, however, wanting to be happy frequently causes us to be extremely unhappy.

Last week we began a new sermon series called “Foundations”. We’re studying the first chapters of the first book of the Bible, Genesis. In it we encounter foundational principles for living – pillars on which we can solidly build our lives day after day after day. These teachings enable us to navigate the rough waters of life by providing a clear path to know and do God’s will. And in the end, that will make us happy the way God intends.

Join us for one of our weekend services. Regardless of what has happened in the past, now is the time to start building a life foundation that will stand…no matter what.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, August 9, 2019

Foundations

If there is any part of a building one doesn’t want to cut corners on, it’s the foundation. The walls, roof and interior can be of the highest quality materials and workmanship, but if the foundation is compromised, the structure is going to fall apart, probably sooner rather than later.

Jesus once told a story about foundations. His account though, had to do with the beliefs or values which serve as the foundation of our lives. What he basically said was: if a person’s beliefs about what is important in life are not right, no matter how much success they might have, things are going to fall apart for them.

Some of the foundational beliefs on which we build our lives are based on how we answer the questions, “Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? What is right and wrong? What happens when I die?” There is heated debate in our society if there are even answers to those questions much less one correct response. The result is a great deal of confusion on the part of many people concerning the whole reason for their existence.

While the first three chapters of the opening book of the Bible, Genesis, have been relegated by some to the dust heap of antiquated mythology, for Christians, this portion of the Bible is one of the cornerstones of our understanding of human life. One could say that Genesis 1-3 is a huge part of our life foundation.

If you’ve been struggling for answers to the big questions of life recently, join us for one of our weekend services. You might get some “extreme makeover” ideas for your life foundation.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, August 2, 2019

Maybe Our Problem with Heaven is Us

It can be uncomfortable talking about heaven with some people because of their rather condescending attitude towards life after death.

“So, if you say the right words when you die you get to go to the big amusement park in the sky and ride the roller coaster forever!”

“If there aren’t cigars and whiskey in heaven, I don’t want to be there.”

“Are you saying everybody is going to play harps, sit on clouds and be nice to each other all the time? Come on. Get real!”

Even Christians sometimes wonder, “Is heaven too good to be true?”

But wait a minute. Maybe the problem is we’re so jaded by our self-centered, me first life and culture that we sell God short. Let’s be honest, if God is more than a souped up Avenger, he’s in a league of his own. He is all powerful. He is perfectly good. He can do what we would never imagine. And that is exactly the kind of God we both need and want. We don’t want some hybrid Hercules type who is pretty much like ourselves!

Now if God is so great, so good and so powerful, and then he tells us he’s got a really great place for us, do you think you’re going to find drug dealers there? Will you expect serial killers, power hungry dictators or even typical husbands and wives viciously attacking each other over dinner because of something one of them said three years earlier? Do you think people in God’s heaven will be bored, hopeless and depressed? That doesn’t seem to fit!

When talking about heaven God could have just said, “All I’m going to say is that this place I’ve got for you is really cool.” That would have been enough. But to whet our appetite for eternity he described cities with streets of gold and buildings with gem-studded walls to get us out of our narrow-minded ideas that this life is the end all and eternal life is just an afterthought.

If you’ve ever wondered about life after death and whether it’s all that important, join us for one of our weekend services. It might give you a new appreciation for the phrase, “The best is yet to come.”

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, July 26, 2019

Lessons on Love

We hear so often “Love is the answer,” that this response has become a predictable cliché that goes in one ear and out the other. The problem is not that love isn’t what is needed to resolve complicated differences between people, the sticking point is that everyone seems to have a different idea of what love is. Some people say that love means there is no judgment. Others talk about tough love. Still others simply say, “Love is being nice to each other.” But that leaves us with the question, “What exactly is it to be nice?” And then there are those who equate love with sex. But reality shows us if sex is love, we might need less of that kind of love to eliminate some of the tragedy in our world!

If you’ve been singing the old song, “All You Need is Love”, but aren’t really sure how love practically plays itself out in your day to day life, join us for our Sunday morning worship service. A man named John who was very, very close to Jesus Christ wrote extensively on this subject of love. You might not like everything he says about it, but you will have a clear understanding of the kind of love that actually rocks our world.

Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, July 19, 2019

“The Surveillance Camera God”

A woman recently complained that she was brought up with the idea that God was like a surveillance camera, constantly filming everything we do, holding over us the continual threat of vicious retaliation should we step out of line. As a result, this individual decided that God was not for her and embarked on a life of pretty much doing whatever she wanted.

Whatever it is people hear about the God of the Bible, the whole concept of a Big Bully in the sky shouting at us, “Behave or else” is skewered when compared to how He has revealed Himself to humanity.

This weekend we are going to be studying what the Apostle John, the disciple who knew Jesus best, wrote about why Christians live as they do. Ironically, fear of punishment is not the primary motivator, but instead our relationship with Christ. Make no mistake, John is very big on living like a Christian. We won’t find any, “It really doesn’t matter how you live” from him. But his motivation is so different from the “Surveillance Camera God” mentality. Rather than fear, John reminds us of who God has made us – part of his family. He takes us to the cross and shows us the contrast between good and evil which cannot be compromised. For John, it wasn’t a matter of “I have to live like a disciple of Jesus,” but, “I want to”.

If you find yourself identifying with the woman described in the first paragraph, join us for one of our weekend services. Your relationship with God is too important, too good to be spoiled by an “I have to” life.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Uncompromising Jesus

At a time when people prefer the question, “How does it make you feel?” to “What is true?”, Jesus can come off as uncompromising. There were a lot of people that disagreed with the claims he made about himself when he lived as a human being on this earth. Some were incredulous, “That man just called himself God!” Others showed disdain, “Who is this guy from Galilee who claims to forgive sins?” And still others were mocking, “It took 46 years to build this Temple and you are going to rebuild it in three days?!?!”

But Jesus never backed down. He was not all that concerned that what he said upset people. His priority was to enable them to understand what he was saying about himself and their need for what he was offering them. Christ never diluted his message. In fact, at times he stated the truth in a way that was so clear, so in your face it infuriated people. One might ask, “Why would Jesus do that?” On reading the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, there can be only one response: He was totally convinced he is the true God, the only Savior from sin and death, the only eternal hope for human beings. It really doesn’t matter how those statements make us feel, but it is absolutely necessary for us to know they are true.

Jesus’ resurrection is the ultimate proof that what he said about himself is trustworthy. Because the events of the first Easter Sunday are historical, we cannot compromise on Jesus. But why would we? Who Jesus is and what he did for us is too good to change.

Join us for one of our weekend worship services. Discover why you wouldn’t want a compromised Jesus.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, July 5, 2019

Belief Matters

While there are some people who disdain the concept of beliefs, saying that the only principles which can be trusted are those that are demonstrated and replicated in a science laboratory, the issues which cause the most conflict among us are all based on beliefs. Whether people are discussing immigration, the legalization of marijuana, abortion, LGBTQ rights, end of life issues and many others, peoples’ concept of right and wrong are based on beliefs. And they feel very strongly about their beliefs, stating they are right and people who disagree with them are wrong.

When there is division over right and wrong, it could be that everyone is wrong, but there is very little chance everyone can be right. And that fact should motivate us to think seriously about our beliefs in regard to right and wrong.

Two thousand years ago an old man named John wrote a short letter to some Christians he knew very well. This John had been a follower of Jesus Christ and had personally seen Jesus many times after his resurrection from the dead. In this letter John explains why belief matters, especially when it comes to right and wrong.

If you find yourself confused by the information you’re getting about the current controversies of our day and are wondering if there actually is a right and a wrong, join us for one of our weekend services. Things just might clear up if we go beyond ourselves and our limitations to find a solid foundation on which to base our beliefs. Reading John’s letter gives us that opportunity!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, June 28, 2019

“There’s Always Time for God Stuff Later”

Wise king Solomon searched far and wide, everywhere under the sun, trying to find what to live for. He experienced it all, everything we human beings think will bring us happiness. His ongoing response was the monotonous refrain: “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” Solomon came to the realization there just wasn’t anymore pleasure to feel, no more power or money to gain, no more wisdom to achieve. What was this man’s conclusion to his search for meaning apart from God? In the last verse of his book on the subject he writes:

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12:13


These words are a good reminder to those who put God off thinking that if they get serious about Him now, they’ll miss out on the good things in life. Jesus Christ said it is just the opposite.

“I came so they can have real and eternal life,
more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
(John 10:10 - Message Bible)


If you have this nagging, vague notion that God is an important part of your life, but have fallen into the habit of thinking, “There’s always time for God stuff later,” join us for one of our weekend services. You might change your mind.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Problems We’re Forced to Face

There are some things we cannot avoid in life, try as we might. Regardless of how smart, efficient, honest and hard-working we are, at some point we are going to have to deal with injustice, a sense of confusion about the direction our lives are taking and finally death. All three cause considerable pain and suffering. All three are neither easily nor quickly resolved. All three can destroy our lives. What are we human beings to do?

Solomon, the supposed “man of wisdom” discusses these three problems we’re forced to face in his thesis on the meaning of life apart from God – the Old Testament book of the Bible we call Ecclesiastes. His conclusions, in and of themselves, are rather gloomy. But that is not where the study ends. Solomon had become bitter, almost jaded in his thinking over the years. It seems that while he recognized the activity of the living God in the world of humanity, he did not appreciate the overwhelming optimism it brings to those who embrace His working in their lives.

For New Testament believers, Jesus Christ radically transforms our understanding of God’s commitment to people, even in the face of injustice, confusion and death. His crucifixion and resurrection provide us with the right responses to the real-world problems which confront us all.
Whether you are facing these challenges right now or are wondering what your reaction will be when it is your turn to meet them head on, the biblical teachings we’re going to study this weekend are too important to leave for another time.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, June 14, 2019

Money – The Two Sides of the Coin

Money – hundreds of millions of people have lost their lives trying to get it. Countless relationships have disintegrated over the subject of money. On the other hand, ask anyone how to solve the critical problems of our world and money will be at the top of the list of solutions.

There are few things which produce such powerful human reactions as money. That’s why it’s a topic Jesus talked about so much. One time he said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” It was a warning to be on guard against money becoming most important in our lives.

Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, talked about money too. However, he fell into the trap of letting it control him instead of the other way around. His conclusions are both well known and sobering. Above all, they continue to be extremely relevant 3,000 years after they were written.

Money is like a scalpel; it can hurt or heal. What is it doing in your life? If you aren’t sure, join us for one of our weekend worship services.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, June 7, 2019

Change and Timing

Learning to adapt to change and finding the right timing are both significant challenges for most of us. We often become comfortable with our routines in life and even something as small as placing the toothpaste in a different section of the medicine cabinet can be reason for personal trauma. On the other hand, we are mystified why sometimes what we do works out well when other times we’ll do or say the exact same thing and it will blow up in our faces. The old saying is, “Timing is everything,” but who knows what the right time is?

The man who wrote the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes struggled with change and timing like the rest of us. In his search for the answers to life’s greatest questions, Solomon wrestled with these two also. His conclusions aren’t the most positive. But then he did most of his research apart from God.

Change may be inevitable, and timing may always be complicated, but God is in control. No matter how out of control your life may seem at this moment, our all powerful God’s rule over everything is the one great assurance that in the end, things will work out.

If you’re having trouble dealing with change in a certain area of your life or can’t seem to figure out this whole “timing” thing, join us for one of our weekend services. Solomon asks the right questions and we get the right answers from Jesus Christ.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, May 31, 2019

“Foundations”


The old saying goes, “A house is only as strong as its foundation.” That statement certainly bears itself out looking at the photo of the new apartment building which, though recently built, didn’t have the kind of foundation a structure that size required. Foundations aren’t just important, they are essential.

Each one of us builds a foundation for our lives. This foundation is made up of our core values, beliefs and priorities. Everything we do in our day to day lives results from this foundation.

A man name Solomon wrote a book in the Bible about life foundations. He was a man famous for his wisdom. But something happened to him. Somehow his wisdom got away from him and he went through a phase during which he was searching for his life foundation. Since he was wealthy and powerful, he had every option available to him. The tragedy of it all was the conclusion he came to. He wrote, “It’s all meaningless, like chasing the wind.”

The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes speaks to readers of the 21st century as powerfully as it did in the year 1000 BC when Solomon wrote it. It’s a book that makes us think, sometimes confronting us with brutal honesty. Ultimately, however, when we read it in the light of the person of Jesus Christ, it is a book that leads us to joyfully and thankfully build our lives on the foundation of Jesus.

If the foundations of your life seem to be showing signs of cracking, join us for one of our weekend services.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, May 24, 2019

“What’s the Point?”

What does it take to get you to throw up your arms in frustration and shout, “What’s the point?”

We all have our limits. Things don’t go the way we want, and it seems that no matter how hard we try, our circumstances don’t get better. Maybe it’s a person we’re trying to get along with. Maybe it’s a financial situation that never seems to improve. And maybe it is just life in general. What’s the point of life? Now that is an important question.

This weekend we’re going to be studying the events of the first Pentecost which took place 10 days after Jesus ascended into heaven, removing himself visibly from the presence of his disciples. He had told his followers that it was actually better for them that he leave so that the Holy Spirit would come to them in a more powerful way. The disciples were probably more than a little skeptical about that promise until the day of Pentecost.

While we often think of Pentecost as little flames of fire over the disciples’ heads and their ability to speak in languages they had never studied, the real significance of that incredible day was the message which the apostle Peter preached to the people who were gathered around. He told them the point of life is to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior – nothing else comes close to that one priority. It’s a challenging statement which Peter backed up with his eyewitness claim of having seen Jesus alive after his crucifixion.

What’s the point of your life? According to Jesus Christ, it is to know him in a personal way as your Creator, Savior and Lord. If you’re interested in what that looks like in a practical way, join us for our Sunday morning service.

Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, May 17, 2019

It’s Going to Work Out

When I was a little boy, it was my dad who brought the “It’s going to work out” presence to the difficult situations in which I would find myself. Whether he was able to solve the problem or not, with him there I knew I was safe. I knew I’d get back home. And somehow, someway life would return to normal. Even after I became an adult, it was always a calming influence to talk to him when hard times came into my life. To me, just the tone of his voice reassured me, “It’s going to work out.”

But, as happens to us all, my dad got older and eventually developed a significant case of dementia. I remember the first time the reality of his situation hit me. Par for the course, I called him up to ask for his help. But this time, he couldn’t. He couldn’t make it all work out. His voice, instead of being calm and assured, was frightened and confused. Over the phone talking with him, I sobbed. I don’t think my tears were out of pity for him, but for me. If things we’re going to work out, I couldn’t depend on my dad anymore.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, forty days after his resurrection, his disciples must have felt the way I did the day I realized my dad suffered from dementia. With Jesus around, things always worked out – even his being crucified! But now he was removing his visible presence from their day to day lives. The One who always made things right was gone. How would they go on? What these followers of Christ would later learn was that the Lord’s Ascension was the crowning confirmation that everything would work out for them – and will work out for us.

For many Christians the Ascension is an event that is an after-thought in the life of Jesus, an anti-climax in the shadow of his resurrection. That’s not the case! Join us for one of our worship services this weekend and discover why you can be sure that with Jesus, your life is going to work out.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, May 10, 2019

Sacrificial Love and Selfish Love

When it comes to comparing sacrificial love with selfish love we’re caught between a rock and a hard place. Most of us have a very hard time giving something up we enjoy for the benefit of other people. Sacrifice is great…as long as others are doing the sacrificing. Now, we all very much enjoy selfish love because we get what we want. Who doesn’t like that? But, we’re also aware that everybody else likes to get what they want. If some people get their way, others don’t, and that’s where the conflict starts. So, our dilemma is: sacrificial love is great for getting along with other people but it isn’t what like to do, while selfish love is very enjoyable for us but hard on getting along with others.

This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day. It is an excellent opportunity to study what the Bible says about the kind of sacrificial love we so often associate with mothers and their children. But this is a topic which goes far beyond mothers; it is a subject every Christian needs to take seriously every day of our lives. The sacrificial love of Jesus Christ changed all history for all of eternity and it is meant to transform our lives on a daily basis. Sacrificial love was the way God opened heaven to the human race; he intends for it to open the way to blessings in our lives and those of other people.

We invite you to celebrate Mother’s Day with us!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, May 3, 2019

Wake Up!

Usually our impression of the term “wake up” is negative. Either we have to break out of a pleasant sleep to get up and do something unpleasant or someone is insulting us, saying that we should be smarter and understand better what is going on in our lives. However, “wake up” on Christmas Day when all the presents are waiting to be opened, well, then those two words are music to our ears.

In a vividly picturesque way, the Apostle Paul describes physical death as God’s way of waking us up to eternal life in heaven. Far from being a punishment or put down, God’s wake up call is the invitation to take off all the problems and pain of our earthly lives to put on a new, supernatural body which is made not only to last forever, but to exist in holiness.

Tomorrow morning one of two things is going to happen to you. Either you are going to hear “wake up” via your alarm or a family member, or you are going to hear the voice of Jesus saying, “Wake up, it’s time for you to be with me, to live the way you were meant to live.” Whatever happens, you have a lot to look forward to. Either you will be Christ’s representative in this world, or you will be his companion in his world.

Sleep well!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 26, 2019

Non-Negotiable

When you hear someone say, “I’m sorry, but this is a non-negotiable,” you know that there is probably going to be some type of confrontation. The term “non-negotiable” is another way of saying, “I’m drawing a line in the sand. I’ll go this far but no further.” While some non-negotiables actually should be negotiable, there are some things a person needs to insist on as true, as the basis of one’s morality and integrity. One of the great issues of our day is the lack of moral non-negotiables.

When it comes to Christianity, the first and most important non-negotiable is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Living in an age which is enthralled with science and technology, it can be tempting to tone down the stupendous supernatural character of the resurrection in order not to offend peoples’ non-miraculous sensitivities. But there’s no way to get around it. The resurrection is the miracles of miracles. If it happened as the gospel writers show it did, then the only sensible reaction is to bask in the power of God being displayed and its meaning for us.

The celebration of the resurrection didn’t end with Easter Sunday. It’s going to continue in full force this coming weekend in our worship services as we reaffirm the non-negotiable statement, “I Know that My Redeemer Lives!”

Saturday evening: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning: 10:00 am

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

You're Invited!

Each year we commemorate the events of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. Please read through the descriptions of the various services we will be holding over the next several days and join us for those you are able to make.

Maundy Thursday (April 18 – 5:30 pm)
Seder Supper

Join us for a family-oriented dinner and worship service this Thursday as we commemorate the events of Jesus’ life on the night before his crucifixion. It is a beautiful opportunity to connect God’s plan of rescuing the human race which begins in the Old Testament and is completed with the coming of God’s Son, Jesus. We’ll begin at 5:30 pm. Please bring a dish to pass.

Good Friday (April 19 – 7:00 pm)
Service of Darkness

There is no other place a Christian ought to be on Good Friday than before the cross. Though we’ve heard the story countless times, its meaning and application never diminishes. The joy of Easter is in what Christ accomplished on Friday. Join us for this powerfully solemn worship service at 7:00 pm.

Easter Sunday (April 21 – 10:00 am)
The Resurrection and the Question that Won’t Go Away

“Why God, do you let so many bad things happen in this world? Why do you let bad things happen to me?”

Those are tough questions. Questions which keep us up at night. Questions for which there are no simplistic solutions. But the resurrection of Jesus Christ can be the starting point for coming to solid responses to the “Why” questions of life. While the answer the resurrection holds out to us may not be the one you want right now, it can be the one you need forever.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Who Is Your King?

You have a king who rules your life. Whether you have identified that king or not, someone or something has filled the decision-making place in your heart. Most people enthrone themselves. But there are some who let another person or a dream or an idea call the shots for them. Sometimes people even have a king in their lives which they would rather depose, but they feel incapable of making a change. Who rules in your life?

One Sunday about 30 AD, Jesus of Nazareth entered the city of Jerusalem on a donkey. He did that on purpose. He was fulfilling a prediction made hundreds of years earlier by an Israelite prophet that the Messiah, the promised Savior King would do just that. Everyone present caught on immediately and they responded with shouts of enthusiastic support.

That support, however, did not last long. Five days later Jesus was crucified. But it was on the cross that he demonstrated the power and extent of his kingly rule. He did what no political king could – he destroyed evil and death. And his resurrection from the dead confirmed once and for all his rightful rule in the lives of every human being. Yet, he will not rule by force – only by invitation.

Join us for one of our weekend services. Invite King Jesus to rule in your heart!

Saturday evening – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, April 5, 2019

Life after Easter

The two major celebrations of the church year are undoubtedly Christmas and Easter. After Easter though, we sometimes find ourselves asking, “Jesus rose from the dead. That’s exciting. Now what?” The answer to that question is the ascension of Jesus which took place 40 days after the resurrection.

Jesus’ ascension is one of the events in God’s working in this world which is often unappreciated. Like the first disciples who saw him slowly fade into the distance we think, “That’s not fair. He’s abandoned us!” But far from leaving us on our own, Jesus returned to heaven fully restored of all his power and glory as true God. Though invisible, he is intimately involved in the workings of the world on a daily basis, bringing human history to its ultimate conclusion, an event referred to as Judgment Day.

What Jesus said about Judgment Day and the role of Christian people in working with him in bringing it to pass answer huge questions critical to our lives such as, “Where is this world heading?” and “What is my role in the grand scheme of things?” Knowing how history is going to end and how we as individuals can practically be a part of that eternity changing moment of history is vital…right now and when it happens.

Join us for one of our services this weekend. Let’s talk about life after Easter!

Saturday evening – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, March 29, 2019

Can We Really Change?


Our first reaction to that question is, “Of course! People can always change. It all depends if they want to.” Statistics, however, paint a very different picture of change – that it is often temporary and always excruciatingly difficult. Whether the issue is drugs, alcohol, food, sex, shopping (and the list goes on and on), we human beings find ourselves enslaved by behaviors which destroy us and no matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to change.

One writer put it this way, “Finite, sinful people are neither smart enough, selfless enough, nor strong enough to overcome the downward pull of self-interest and self-preservation that characterizes all of us some of the time, and many of us most of the time.”

The reason the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important event in human history is because it explodes the straight-jacket of a finite life. Being restricted to an existence spanning only between our birth and death diminishes profoundly the motivation to make the necessary sacrifices to bring about real change. Jesus returning to life three days after his crucifixion confirms what we’ve already suspected – there is life after physical death. And it is the same Jesus Christ who offers anyone and everyone the opportunity to spend that life after death with him.

Knowing there is more to come, to look forward to, human beings have every reason to open themselves up to the changes Christ rose from the dead to bring about in their lives. The full effect of those changes may not come until we see Jesus face to face, but come they will!

Join us for our Sunday morning service and let the change begin.

This Saturday only – Dinner & Movie Night – 5:30 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, March 22, 2019

Daydreaming


It’s another gorgeous Aloha Friday in Paradise, so if you did some daydreaming about the weekend, that’s pretty normal. So what did you dream about? Going to the beach? Doing some shopping? Taking a mini vacation? Just sleeping in?

Daydreaming is a way of escaping the routine of our day to day lives. We jettison to another world in which we have life exactly the way we think it would be best. Unfortunately, for most of us reality and our daydreams remain two very separate worlds for our entire lives. And that can leave us a little depressed at best and cynically bitter at worst. Our daydream worlds reflect what we think we need most to be happy and fulfilled. Yet, when we aren’t able to achieve what we think we need, we feel cheated by life.

Jesus Christ regularly talked about what we need to be successful, happy and fulfilled. However, what he considers necessary shocks us. In the daydream of Jesus we don’t find a ton of money, beautiful people laughing or fast cars. All we see is a bloody cross on a lonely hill. Our reaction is, “How can that make me happy?” To which he replies, “Trust me, what I did on that cross will make you happy not for five minutes or five hours or five years, but forever. It’s what you need most. It’s all you really need.”

There’s one more huge difference between our daydreams and that of Jesus. Ours don’t come true. His does.

If you’re feeling a little cheated by life, join us for one of our worship services. You’ll find what you need most. And…you might even find your daydreams coming true!

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am



Friday, March 15, 2019

God’s Take on Greatness

The disciples of Jesus get a lot of unfair criticism over their constant debates about which one of them was the greatest. It’s not that their obsession to be considered the best was pretty childlike, it’s because we all are just like Peter, John and the others. From little on we dream of greatness, of appearing on TV or having people ask for our autograph. As adults, we still find ourselves fantasizing in a Walter Mitty world of greatness. We want to be acknowledged and valued. To be honest, we all secretly or openly want to be the greatest…just like those disciples of Jesus.

Jesus Christ was, is and always will be The Greatest. But his concept of greatness is so tremendously different from our thinking. Our desire for greatness is selfish and pride driven, it serves primarily us. The greatness of Jesus is all about the good of other people. His greatness accomplished the liberation of the human race from all which makes us miserable. Christ’s greatness comes from serving, ours comes from asserting.

On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus’ disciples were still arguing over which one of them was the greatest. In a shocking reversal of roles, Jesus gets down on his knees and begins to wash each man’s feet in a vivid lesson of what true greatness is – serving.

It’s no secret that God’s take on greatness isn’t too popular. It never has been. And that is one reason human history is drenched in the blood of war. And it has to be that way. No one will ever submit to the greatness of another without the use of force. That is, unless it is the greatness of Christ.

The mystery of God is that he never forces anyone to acknowledge the truth about his greatness – he only invites. And his invitation comes to each one of us personally through his Son Jesus Christ who says, “I have come so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” John 10:10 Message Bible

Is it time to reconsider what greatness means to you? Join us for one of our weekend services. You might find the greatness God offers is exactly what you’re needing.

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Future Is Uncertain, But the End…That’s a Given


There are times when it seems that Jesus and Satan are involved in a massive arm-wrestling contest over the control of our planet. When there is peace and prosperity, we imagine Jesus is winning. During times of war and poverty, we think Satan has the edge.

The last book of the Bible, Revelation, is also the most confusing. Leading the reader through a series of almost psychedelic visions describing what will take place before the end of the world, the apostle John leaves us not only uncertain, but downright scared. Life for human beings in general, and Christians especially, is going to get progressively more difficult as we approach the end of life as we know it.

But if there is any doubt about the final outcome, John’s revelation leaves no question the victor is and can only be Jesus Christ. In one terse sentence the defeat of Satan and all evil is described. One sentence! And then the triumphant depiction of heaven begins! It’s majestic, breath taking and inspiring. Life as we experience it today ends. The only fitting description for heaven is to imagine everything Satan used to make our lives miserable in the here and now will be absent. It will be different and it will be mind-blowing!

Are you experiencing one of those times in life when you’re starting to wonder who’s winning the cosmic war between good and evil? Join us for one of our services this week end. You need to hear what’s coming! It’s too good to leave for another time!

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, March 1, 2019

Going the Distance


One of the most bittersweet books of the Bible is a short letter the Apostle Paul wrote to a young colleague and friend named Timothy. Paul is probably writing from the Mamertine prison in Rome. It is a dungeon with only one entrance, a hole 15 feet from the floor. Most were left to die there. No one escaped. Paul was waiting for his death sentence to be carried out.

Paul is down. He is in a horrible place. His legal sentence is worse. And even some of the people he called friends and Christians have turned their backs on him. From the words he writes we can almost picture an old man sitting in filth. Cold, alone, he desperately asks his younger friend to come quickly to help him die well. If ever there was a scene to remind us that Jesus Christ never promised a problem free life to his followers, this is it.

But the letter ends on a powerfully triumphant note.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. *

Paul knew that the One he trusted in was rock solid. Despite the tragedy he was experiencing, he believed with all his heart that the life Jesus saved him for could not be compared with anything he would have to endure in this life. And so, Paul went the distance. Will we?

* 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, February 22, 2019

Your Mission

Do you sense there is an urgency in your life, that you have an important mission to complete which will have some kind of profound impact on other people? Or do you see life more as an often repetitious, even dull meandering through routine daily tasks which no one seems to notice? Is it pretty hard some days to get excited about what is going to happen during the next 24 hours?

This week we’re going to study the life of a man named Paul. If you would have been able to speak with him in his later years he would have told you that things turned out totally the opposite of what he had expected. But in the same breath he would have added that he wouldn’t have changed anything.

Paul came to know Jesus Christ in an incredibly startling way. That encounter changed his life forever. In fact, his life became a mission for Jesus. His was a life of challenges and suffering, and yet at the same time what he did changed the course of history.

God has his eye out for modern day Pauls, people he can use to touch the lives of others for all of eternity. It isn’t an easy or comfortable life. It is, after all, a mission. But what a mission it is!

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Saturday, February 16, 2019

What Now?

We’re told that Jesus appeared to his disciples over a period of 40 days after he physically rose from the dead on that first Easter Sunday. He used those occasions to continue to teach his followers what the meaning of his crucifixion and resurrection were and what both events had to do with their lives and God’s ultimate plan for human history. Still, as these disciples watched Jesus ascend to heaven, one gets the feeling that there was the nagging question in their minds, “What now, that he is gone?”

The answer to that question came 10 days later in the form of a powerful display of the Holy Spirit coming upon those first followers of the Lord. It was a new beginning in many ways, but above all, it answered the question “What now?” Jesus was not visibly present among his followers, but they knew without a doubt their mission was to get his message out to the world.

Have you gotten to a point in your life that you are asking the “What now?” question? You don’t have to be old to ask it. All it takes is a series of circumstances which leads one to wonder what really brings lasting meaning and value to human life. The title of the chapter we’re studying this week in the Story Bible is “New Beginnings”. Join us. See if you might find a new beginning to answer that question, “What now?”.

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, February 8, 2019

Life’s Foundation: Fact or Feeling?

It’s a question we struggle with every day of our lives, every decision that confronts us. Are we going to base our behavior on what we believe to be true or on how we feel? Feelings are fun; feelings give us all different types of pleasure, but feelings can sometimes be totally wrong, leading us into disaster. We can all think of examples in our lives when we wish we would have followed the facts rather than our feelings.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christianity. If Jesus’ body is still in the tomb Easter Sunday, there’s no point in giving him much thought at all. He was a man who said he was god but wasn’t. But the tomb was empty that Sunday 2000 years ago and until today no one has come up with a better explanation than that given by the angels to the women who first went to the place he was buried, “He is not here, he has risen, just as he said he would.”

“Jesus Christ has risen.” He is alive. He is who he claimed to be. Everything he said is true. We have foundational facts for living which guide our feelings so that rather than be enslaved by them, our lives are enriched through those emotions. When the truth of the Resurrection is the foundation of our lives, we begin the exhilarating journey to the life God intends for us.

Join us for one of our weekend services. Let the resurrection story work its miracle in your life.

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, February 1, 2019

In the Dark

“She’s such a smart person. How can she be so in the dark about what is going on in her life?”

Have you ever said something like that about another person? Has someone said that about you? Being “in the dark” isn’t necessarily about not being intelligent or smart, it just means we don’t see things the way they really are, for whatever reason, and so can’t make good decisions.

In his teaching, Jesus described humanity as being “in the dark”. As a race, we have so much incredible potential, but we don’t see things the way they are, primarily when it comes to the big issues of life such as, “Why are we here? What’s the point of my life? What happens when I die?” Because of our broken relationship with God we answer those questions from a limited, self-centered understanding of reality.

This week’s reading in The Story Bible is titled, “The Hour of Darkness”. It narrates the last days of Jesus earthly ministry, including his crucifixion. It is a dark chapter. And yet, the irony of all that happens is that the result is Jesus shattering the spiritual darkness which permeates human existence and replacing it with the liberating light of a second chance with God and an opportunity to experience life as He means it to be. Because of Christ going to the cross, no one needs to be in the dark about what really matters in life anymore!

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, January 25, 2019

He Was Not “Just a Good Man”

When it comes to who Jesus Christ claimed to be, no one has explained the issue better than C.S. Lewis in his best selling book, Mere Christianity.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


In chapter 25 of the Story Bible, “Jesus, the Son of God”, there is no doubt Jesus not only believed he is the Son of God, but he clearly told people the same thing and then encouraged them to put their faith in him as the one who gives eternal life! The claims he makes are certainly not those of “just a good man”.

Jesus is controversial. He does not allow us to casually consider him and his teachings when time affords us. As God, he demands not only that we recognize him as God, but also receive him as the Savior and Lord of our lives. And what a God he is! Everything changes – forever – because he is not “just a good man”.

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Extraordinary Jesus

More than nineteen hundred years ago, there was a Man born contrary to the laws of nature.

This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did he cross the boundary of the country in which he was born.

He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous and had neither training nor formal education.

In infancy he startled a king; in childhood he puzzled doctors; in manhood he ruled the course of nature, walked upon the waves as pavement, and hushed the sea to sleep.

He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for his service.

He never wrote a book, and yet more books have been written about him than any other person of history.

He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students.

He never practiced psychiatry, and yet he has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near.

He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have freely given up their lives to further his cause.

The names of the past, proud statesmen, scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone. But the name of this Man grows in fame with each passing year.

His enemies could not destroy him, and the grave could not hold him. He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed as God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils. He is the risen, the personal Christ – our Lord and Savior.
Text adapted from the writings of Evangelist Sam Jones.

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Unpredictable Jesus

It becomes clear very early in the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, you can’t put him in a box and make him fit into some type of spiritual leader stereotype. One minute he is being tempted by the devil, the next he is curing a leper. During the first part of one week he spends a few days socializing at a wedding, while in the latter part of the week he turns the Temple in Jerusalem into bedlam. To a ruined woman at a well he tells her straight out he is the Messiah, the Promised Savior of the Old Testament. To a wealthy, aristocratic religious leader he seems to speak in riddles. Jesus…you can never predict what he is going to do.

We might think we would like a Jesus we can figure out. Probably because that would mean we could then control him so that he would do what we want. But maybe that is just the point. As God himself in a human body, Jesus brings a totally different view and purpose to human life. And we can be pretty sure it is going to be very different from ours.

This past week in our daily readings of the Story Bible we accompanied Jesus during the first year of his public ministry. In that short time, he said and did so many things; he changed so many lives. But above all, he came to bring change which only God could.

If you are looking for a god who will pat you on the head, commiserate with your problems and then, with a Grandpa-esque wave of a hand magically take away all your problems so that you can live life on your terms, you won’t find him in Jesus. Yes, there is powerful empathetic emotion in Christ’s dealings with people, but above all, he does everything possible, everything necessary to get them to heaven – that’s what he came for. Sometimes he was gentle, sometimes his methods were tough, but above all, he came to rescue us and that’s exactly what we see him doing.

Join us for one of our weekend services. Be ready to be surprised by the unpredictable Jesus.

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, January 4, 2019

When God Got a Face

We are curious about peoples’ appearances. For instance, if you are reading a book you enjoy very much, on several occasions you probably turned to the back cover to look at the photo of the author. While physical looks can often be deceiving, we feel that just being able to put a face with a name is important.

The birth of Jesus of Nazareth is the event which enabled all human beings to put a face with the name – God. From the beginning of recorded history people have tried to describe God in a concrete way. Some of those attempts have been surreal such as the Hindu god Lord Ganesha who has the body of a man, the nose of an elephant and 4 arms. The idea of a god who cannot be seen or touched or spoken with is for many, unacceptable. And so, an image invented by another human being is the only option.

Throughout the Old Testament, the God of the Israelites made it very clear he would not accept worship through any kind of statue or carving. He did not want people to limit him by their human preconceptions of who and what he should be. But then, suddenly, God reveals himself in the most tangible way possible, he becomes a human being and lives life as we know it for some thirty years.

Jesus didn’t mince words when it came to who he is. On one occasion he said to his disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” In Jesus, God got a face. And what a face it is, full of all the power and majesty we would expect from God joined with an uncompromising commitment to bring us into his family, even if it meant dying on a cross.

This Sunday we begin the New Testament portion of our Story Bible series. If you haven’t been able to accompany the weekly readings up to this point, don’t let that keep you from starting this week. God’s face is too good to not look at!

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.