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460>_13002219

Sermon by Corky Calhoun

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The middle ground that stands between life's challenges and eventual victory is always a road of perseverance. We have become a culture of the quick fix, the easy button approach to life and when the going gets tough more and more people just quit. It's why happiness fails to have long term sustainability, and why in this life we not only need a sustainable joy but a defiant joy. I believe that the words defiance, perseverance and endurance are all synonymous. They all have to do with staying in the game against a known resistance. If we are going to advance the cause of Christ, if we aren't going to have our "Joy" stolen, then perseverance will have to be a part of the kingdom game plan. Furthermore, I believe our cultural pursuit of comfort has caused us to minimize this personal value of perseverance, and in some cases made it a non-necessity. This is a formula for both long term failure and frustration! I want us thinking of iron sharpening iron, that we see challenges as what strengthens us to finish well! See you Sunday as we build a foundation of Defiant Joy!

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460>_12984033

Sermon by Pastor Corky Calhoun

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Sermon by Pastor Corky Calhoun
This Sunday we conclude our summer series "Shine" with a look at this aspect of the fruit of the spirit, that requires some personal responsibility. So have you ever said something to some one and you immediately wished you could take it back? Have you ever let the actions of one person influence your reactions to many others? And how is it that one person dings us and we then feel the permission to ding dozens? Self-control covers a multitude of issues, whether it's our tongue, our desires, our selfishness, our weaknesses. The thing is, the absence of it is a spiritual issue. As I say so frequently, you may not have a... (fill in the blank) issue...what you probably have is a Jesus issue. Have you ever noticed that when we fail to exercise self-control in some aspect of our life, it always seems to be some one else's fault? Why do we do that? Why do we play the blame game? What ever happened to personal responsibility? The fact is our "witness" to all things Christ, or our ability to "shine" His glory is directly connected to the spirit led self-control we demonstrate. We live in a world of cyber-courage that allows us to fling insults and criticize others without seeing the damage we cause. What if we could hit the pause button and ask...does this comment, action, activity, feeling or thought, actually glorify God and represent Christ that I claim lives inside of me? Join us Sunday as we close out our summer series with an exclamation point.

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Sermon By Corky Calhoun

It was about 700 years ago that reformer and priest Martin Luther penned these words, "A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing...is worth nothing". Probably nothing else in all of Christendom is more distorted than our understanding of sacrifice. It's hard in our comfort based culture to embrace suffering of any kind, and sacrifice is rare. I find that sacrifice is a noble virtue we want in public servants, but seems beyond our ability when its thrust upon us. For example, I haven't met anyone who doesn't want our schools to be safe, I just haven't met anyone who can agree on who should pay for it. If we are going to live the life Christ has called us to as His Disciples then there will be some sacrifice involved. Somebody is going to have to give something up in order for some one else to have. Isn't that what Jesus did? Trade his life for our sin so that we would be granted life? When people ask me why the North American church is in decline, I tell them it is the curse of the 3 C's; Comfort, Convenience and Complacency. Here is my driving passion; I want the church to be here for my grandchildren, and I know that won't happen without some sacrifices. Our church is 136 years old, the doors are still open because people made sacrifices in the name of Jesus. The Kingdom doesn't advance without sacrifice, plain and simple. Join us Sunday as we look at this critical aspect of allowing our faith to shine.

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God, by his very character and nature is compassionate. And that is good news for us sinners. It is because of God's compassion that we don't always get what we deserve. And that compassion finds its
fullest expression in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.
The purpose of Jesus' earthly mission was to seek and to save that which was lost. Yet along the way, he encountered multitudes of sick and suffering people. And scripture tells us that "he healed every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people." These healings ultimately demonstrated Christ's power to free everyone, not just from physical suffering, but from the bondage, penalty and consequences of sin.
There's a well-known story in the Bible that brilliantly illustrates this. Join us Sunday as we dig deep into this Parable to see the undeniable and incomparable compassion of Christ and how he has entrusted us to continue this mission until he returns to take us all home.

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I am so excited to be back in the pulpit this Sunday. I am super grateful to Janice, Nathan, and Kelly for the last 3 weeks of amazing teaching. We really are rich in preaching talent. So you know how it is when I have been away from the pulpit, it's usually "waterboarding" preaching, so consider yourself warned! This Sunday we will be focusing on what I believe is a sweet spot for our church, a life of generosity. We have intentionally created a culture of generosity where it is never a matter of what's in your wallet, but what's in your heart that matters. Generosity is general giving on steroids, it's intended to be an overflow expression of our time and resources for the Kingdom. Generosity is to give and then some, an extra dose of time or resources. I learned recently one of the Greek words for "offering" is the word "hilarious". Now there are probably lots of ways we can interpret this, but I hope it's through the lens of joy. Deedie and I never give with a spirit of scarcity and regret, but we always give with a spirit of abundance and anticipation. There is no greater joy than when we get that we have been blessed to be a blessing. This Sunday will be all about celebrating that we understand that we who claim the name of Christ...exist to give ourselves away. Can't wait to see you Sunday.

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Sermon By Lay Leader Kelly Butz
This summer as we have moved through our series, I have been challenged, confirmed, filled with joy and reduced to tears.
This week we will look at living a Life of Endurance. I think as a culture we often see endurance as temporary and fleeting. Is it situational and circumstantial, something that we lean on when we are challenged or in seasons of turmoil? The Bible is full of examples of lives lived with endurance beyond anything we have experienced. The Apostle Paul LIVED a LIFE of endurance and he preached the Gospel despite all of the challenges he faced. He didn't give up and he didn't change his mission. Paul endured through hardship and persecution. Whether people accepted him or not. Do we have that same kind of endurance? Or is our endurance connected to an on/off switch that we use when we feel like we need a boost just to get us through. If we are honest, we are a distracted, comfortable people, content to give up when the going gets tough. God's holy word is not about giving up, but about living a life of endurance every day. Join us this Sunday as we look at 3 enduring principles of the Christian Life and how they propel us into a Life of Endurance!

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Sermon by Youth Pastor Nathan Walter

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Sermon by Community Care Pastor Janice Shepard
This summer we have been looking at the evidence of our own personal holiness and faith that spills over onto the individuals we encounter and allows the Christ in us, to shine on them. LOVE, being a fruit of the spirit, is certainly an attribute that a true Christ-follower's life should be characterized by.
After all, didn't Jesus tell us that the first greatest commandment is to love God and the second greatest is to love people?
But loving people isn't always easy. They bend truths, break vows and stab backs. It can be hard to love people when they are stubborn, selfish and rude.
Could it be that this kind of relationship-saving love is not within us? Could it be that we need help from an outside source? Could it be that the first step of love is not toward them but toward HIM?
Join us Sunday as we discover that the secret to loving well, just may
be living loved.

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