As you wait

As you wait

Advent is a season of longing and waiting. It is a time to remember that amidst all the things we are doing with our lives – our careers, our hobbies, our goals and plans – that we are a people who wait and long for the return of our savior. But unlike most waiting rooms, we do not wait alone. God is faithful and has strengthened us so that we might be found blameless on the day of Jesus’ return.
 

Questions:

  1. How often do you think about the return of Jesus?
  2. What do you do while you wait?
  3. What does it mean to be found blameless when Jesus returns?
 
Our other Scriptures this week:

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Return with Thanksgiving

Return with Thanksgiving

Ten lepers are healed by Jesus, yet only one takes the time and effort to return to thank Jesus. How often do we return to thank God for the blessings, forgiveness, and very life that we live? This holiday season, at the end of a difficult year, perhaps it is hard to find reasons to be thankful, but God has already given us so many reasons to return with thanksgiving.

As you read Luke 17:11-19 ask yourself these questions. Talk about them at your dinner table.

  • Do we limit thanksgiving to received blessings, or do we remember to be thankful for the works of God we might otherwise take for granted (i.e., forgiveness, life, and love)? 
  • Do we remember to give thanks when life does not go our way? 
  • What daily habits can we nurture to help us return with thanksgiving? 

Our other scriptures for the week include:

Deut 8:7-18; Psalm 65; 2 Cor 9:6-15 

Peace, 
Chess

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Live with God

We look forward to seeing you in our service.  To participate via Zoom (and see, visit and encourage each other) click here to request the link.  If you prefer to just view via YouTube, you will find the service streaming here on our YouTube channel. Please let us know you joined us by filling out our Welcome Card

Live with God

As children of the light, Paul outlines what life is like while we wait for the expected return of Jesus. Armored with faith, love, and salvation, Paul reminds us that we are destined for salvation, not wrath, so that we might live our lives with God.

As you read I Thessalonians 5:1-11 ask yourself these questions. Talk about them at your dinner table.

    • How often do we feel God’s salvation compared to God’s wrath? Is God’s wrath an active, fearful part of your relationship with God?
    • What does living with God look like, practically speaking? Is it more than simply obeying commands?
    • How might we do as Paul asks and encourage one another with these words?

Our other scriptures for the week include:

Judges 4:1-7; Psalm 123; Matthew 25:14-30

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 
 

You can find the playlist here:

When I Look to the Hills 
A Shield About Me 
Healing Grace – YouTube 
Hard Fighting Soldier 
We will stand 
My Savior My God 
O Jesus, I Have Promised

 

Other Key Links:

Order of Worship for our morning virtual services

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Encourage One Another

We look forward to seeing you in our service.  To participate via Zoom (and see, visit and encourage each other) click here to request the link.  If you prefer to just view via YouTube, you will find the service streaming here on our YouTube channel. Please let us know you joined us by filling out our Welcome Card

Encourage One Another

As Christians were dying from persecution, they began to lose hope and confidence in their faith. So, Paul reminds them to encourage one another with the hope that no matter what happens in this life, Christ is triumphant for all of eternity. We are certainly not in the same position of persecution as those of Thessalonica, but we can still draw encouragement from the hope of eternal life.

As you read I Thessalonians 4:13-18 ask yourself these questions. Talk about them at your dinner table.

  • What threatens our hope and confidence in our faith?
  • How do these words encourage us?
  • How can we use these words to encourage one     
        another?

Our other scriptures for the week include:

Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78:1-7; Matthew 25:1-13

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 
 
You can find our playlist for this week here:

To God Be The Glory  
Great Are You Lord 
You Are My All in All 
Salvation Belongs To Our God 
My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less  
Days of Elijah 

 

Other Key Links:

Order of Worship for our morning virtual services

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Kingdom and Glory

Please let us know you joined us by filling out our Welcome Card

Kingdom and Glory

God’s word was made flesh and sent to live among us, working in us to call us into God’s kingdom and glory, but what will we do with this word? Will we let it transform us into the image of God, or will we limit and edit the word of God? Will we live a life worthy of God?

As you read I Thessalonians 2:9-13 ask yourself these questions. Talk about them at your dinner table.

  • In what ways is the word of God working among and in us?
  • In what manner do we accept the word of God? With welcome and zeal or hesitancy and reluctance?
  • In what ways are we called into God’s kingdom and glory today?
Our other scriptures for the week include:

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 
 
You can find our playlist for this week here:
 
 

Other Key Links:

 

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Sharing

Please let us know you joined us by filling out our Welcome Card

Sharing

In chapter one, Paul writes of sharing the gospel in word and power, and in chapter two the concept is elaborated by adding the sharinof ourselves. It is not enough to share the content of the gospel; we must also share ourselves, which requires an uncommon vulnerability.  

As you read I Thessalonians 2:1-8 ask yourself these questions.  Talk about them at your dinner table. 

 
What is the connection between sharing of self and sharing the gospel? 
How can we share ourselves? 
How can we share ourselves and the gospel during the pandemic? 
 
Our other scriptures for the week include:
 

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 
You can find our playlist for this week here:
 

A Common Love for Each Other 

O God, Our Help in Ages Past 

Be Unto Your Name 

On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand 

We Are The Body Of Christ 

Blest Be the Tie That Binds 

My Task 

Blessed Be Your Name

 

Other Key Links:


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Preach Often

 Preach Often

God has chosen to give to us the Word, which is not only scripture, but is Jesus himself. This Word, Paul writes, was given to the Thessalonians and they in turn sent it back out into the world so that others might received it also. But they sent the Word not with words, but with their reputation.  

As you read I Thessalonians 1:1-10 ask yourself these questions.  Talk about them at your dinner table. 

  1. For what has God chosen us? To simply be forgiven, or for more?   
    2.  What or whom do we imitate? 
    3.  What “word sounds forth” from us, individually and/or corporately 
    4.  What role does the Holy Spirit play in our lives? In this passage 

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 
You can find our playlist for this week here:
 

Other Key Links:


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Peace of God

Peace of God

In Philippians 4, Paul characterizes the life of a Christian as a life of peace. However, so much of our daily life is plagued by worry, anxiety, conflict, stress, and hardship that distracts and detracts from any sense of peace. Thankfully, this passage offers a lot of advise for how to maintain peace in our lives. 

Questions: 

Jesus promised a different peace, what makes it different? 

What brings and supports God’s peace? 

What distracts and detracts from your sense of peace? 

What actions can you take to increase the peace in your life? 

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 
 
 

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Heavenly Call

Heavenly Call

God has called us to share in the death and life of Jesus, but are the things of our past that we have let define us preventing us from this call? Or are we more interested in calling Jesus to share in our life? Resurrection always requires death, and new life with Christ follows dying to self. 

Questions: 

What is “the heavenly call of God?”     

How can we share in the death and resurrection of Jesus now? 

What prevents us from sharing in the life of Christ? 

What is defining us other than the life of Jesus? 

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 

I Sing the Mighty Power of God   
Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
Flow, O Mighty Holy River
Christ Above Me
All to Us

 

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Emptied

Emptied

Philippians 2:1-13
Using what is probably one of the oldest Christian hymns, Paul paints a beautiful picture of Christ emptying himself. But what does it mean to empty one’s self? And if we are to have the mindset of Christ, how are we to empty ourselves as well? Perhaps the act of emptying requires faith that we will be filled by “God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for God’s good pleasure.”

Questions:

  1. What does it mean that Christ emptied himself?
  2. How can we have the same mind as Christ and empty ourselves?
  3. What are some practical ways that you can empty yourself?
  4. What prevents us from emptying ourselves?

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 
 

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One Spirit

Philippians 1:21-30

Writing from prison, Paul emphasized a unity of spirit and mind for the sake of the gospel. Though separated, Paul was still unified with the church in Philippi. The same is true today; though circumstantially separated, we are still on Church, united in spirit and mind. 

Questions: 

  1. What challenges come from being a church divided by Covid-19? 
  1. How does worship (even as it is today) help us stay united? 
  1. How can we maintain “one mind” while also maintaining social distance? 
  1. What defines our unity if not our physical presence? 

Sing with Us:

While we cannot sing in our in-person worship, we can be united in mind and heart by listening to and singing the same songs while we are apart. 
 

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Forgiveness

We are back!  Worship in person at 1pm or via Livestream on our YouTube Channel!

Forgiveness

Have you ever thought of Forgiveness as essential to worship? 
Peace, Chess
 

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Hearts of Worship

Hearts of Worship

Psalm 149

With in-person worship resuming next week, this is a good time to look back on our virtual worship experience as it informs our future worship experiences. Psalm 149 provides a unique perspective on our year so far and the rest that is to come.
Peace, 
Chess
 
 

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline.

Scriptures: Exod 12:1-14; Ps 149; Matt 18:15-20; Rom 13:8-14

Questions for Reflection:

How do you reconcile a God who would “strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals” (Exod. 12:12) with a God who would die for the sins of the entire world?

Morning Prayer:

O God of this and every morning, as I begin this day, call my name; as I step into this day, guide my feet; as I live this day, care for those I love; as I learn this day, teach me your ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Evening Prayer:

God of stars and planets, the setting sun ends this day for us as it rises on a new day for others.  For us and for them, be light in every darkness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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Reorientation

Reorientation

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26

What if? What if Egypt never enslaved and mistreated the people of Israel? Would they have ever left? So what if their experience in Egypt was meant to disorient them away from Egypt and toward the promised land. And what if God uses our disorienting moments and experiences to help usher us into a reorientation toward God’s self and new possibilities?
Peace, 
Chess
Be sure to take our survey on your plans for worship as we regather. You can find the survey here.
 

Our Worship this Week:

 

Hymns for the Week:

 
 

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline.

Scriptures: Exod 3:1-15; Ps 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b; Matt 16:21-28; Rom 12:9-21

Questions for Reflection:
How can your life include a faithful response to Jesus’ charge that his followers must “deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24)?

Morning Prayer:

God of love, today help us to live peaceably with all. Help us live in genuine love: to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to love you, O God, with our whole heart, mind, and strength. In Jesus’ loving name. Amen

Evening Prayer:

Holy God, because you have been with us this day, we have stood on holy ground. Thank you. We know that you will remain with us through this night. Thank you. We know that you will be with us again tomorrow. Thank you. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.


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The Snare is Broken

The Snare is Broken

Psalm 124

Reading Psalm 124 feels like a personal guarantee of safety. Maybe it is a favorite hymn, or perhaps it gave you hope through hard times, but it is also the greatest story ever told. In poetic form, this psalm tells the story of the cross, but to get there we first need to remember the cross as a story of victory rather than a personal story of forgiveness. The question that’s left, then, is what have we done with our escape?
 
Peace, Chess
 

As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline.

Scriptures: Exod 1:8-2:10; Ps 124; Matt 16:13-20; Rom 12:1-8

Questions for Reflection:

When have you succeeded in resisting the forces that seek to conform us

to the world? How has that felt like “spiritual worship”? What are the ways you most readily answer Jesus’ question: “Who do you say that I am?”

Morning Prayer:

Today, O God, help me receive your revelation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. It is in his name I pray. Amen.

Evening Prayer:

Holy God, for anything I did this day that was pleasing to you, I give you thanks and pray that you use me to your glory; for anything I did this day that was displeasing to you, I ask your forgiveness and pray that you redeem me for your glory. Amen.


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