Sermon by Congregational Care Pastor
Everyone is following something or someone... a political party or politician; a philosophy or ideology; a trend or popular culture; or some just follow their own heart, which could possibly be the most dangerous thing to follow.
Who or what would you say that you are following? As Christians, we should be following Christ, and most of us would say that we are. But how can we know for sure? Jesus says that the world will know we are his followers by our fruit. If we are truly followers of Christ, we should be leaving a trail of evidence in our path. Evidence that points others back to Christ.
Jesus made it clear that following him would not be easy. Following Christ requires a life of obedience to his teachings. We are called to give up our own selfish ambitions and surrender to his purpose for our life - advancing his Kingdom.
But Jesus promises that if we follow him, we will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. If we desire to be a radiant church, one pushing back darkness at every turn, we will need to make certain that we are following Jesus, the Light of the World. For when we follow Jesus, we receive light and we become light; the kind of light that shatters the darkness.
Sermon By Pastor Corky Calhoun
I think we have fairly well established that our Radiance is not just for Sundays or our geographical location. We are to shine as church out there, everywhere our feet tread. But how connected are we to understanding the Kingdom mission? How serious do we take advancing the Kingdom of God. The fact is we live in a world of competing Kingdoms, hundreds of little fiefdoms, and then there is the Kingdom of the world, that acts and operates against the Kingdom of God. How confident are we that we are representing the right Kingdom? I believe if you are not advancing then you are backing up. I think we are called to play offense and playing defense is only to protect our flank. Listen, the enemy is cunning and he will use anything; good things, fun things, tragic things, hurtful things and everything in between to cause us to take our eye off the mission. So what does it mean to advance the Kingdom of God? Well its quite simple, it means we should be repelling darkness. At Georgianna we believe we exist to give ourselves away, as I said last week that our light should be setting someone, or something aflame with the love of Christ. Join us Sunday as we get clarity about the Kingdom of God and how we can be advancing His righteous will.
Sermon by Corky Calhoun
Finally a subject I am an expert on....MASS! The concept of mass creating momentum in church came 15 years ago following my self-description of being a Rhino. The truth is we want to bump into things for Jesus, and the impact is always greater when we crash into things together. There really is power in numbers, unified behind a single mission or vision. It's part of what we committed our year to, which is all of us at least once a month be in the Historic Sanctuary in prayer for the needs of our community and the world. In an age of individualism, and many selfish agendas there is a powerful witness in the "us being one" and moving as one. I think the question I want to answer this Sunday is; momentum for what? Are we clear about what we are trying to do when we say we want to "Be" the church. You see, we aren't just "the" church (location), we are called to "be" the church (mobile, missional, movement). I think this is what separates those vessels that are radiant from the ones whose light is fading away. Being the church in our community, your light with my light, with our neighbors light for the benefit of others to see is what it is all about. Join us Sunday as we continue to build a strong foundation for being Radiant!
We are a people who live by the clock, everything has a time, and time keeps moving along no matter what we do. We can't slow it down, we can't speed it up...it just steadily ticks along till our earthly time is done. The fact is we are suffocated by our efforts to get life from sources other than Christ, and this is often why our light dims and fades away. We always think if only we had more time. Or we think I just need to be a better time manager. Or if I could only find balance in life between the many demands. The real issue is we fail to understand how precious time is and by the time we finally get it, we're almost out of it. Why is it the things that matter most in life, come at the expense of the things that mattered least? So let me be clear right up front I am no more qualified to preach on this subject of time, than I am at explaining String Theory. I am an oft confessed, but not cured workaholic! I like work and to be honest I don't always know when to stop. I hate telling people "No" although I am getting better at it. So maybe Sunday is just for me, but my guess is that I am not alone. I think we are a people who remain enslaved to the burden of attempting to make life work by trying harder. How's that working for you? I believe exhaustion, fatigue, and lack of margin directly affect our radiance, it dulls Christ in us. So set some time aside Sunday, to find some time, for a timely message!
Sermon By Pastor Corky Calhoun
This Sunday we begin a new series titled "Radiant Church". This series has been brewing in me for several months now as I continue to live in the shadow of declining and failing churches. The anchor for this series will be Jesus teaching from Matthew 5, calling us to be a light on a hill. Jesus compels us to be a light that draws others to him. So how bright is your light shining? Honestly, I think Georgianna does a great job in this area, however I believe the same could have been said at one time for every dying church out there. There are two things I believe that causes the church to lack Radiance, Jesus coming and removing his lamp stand for disobedience, and secondly when the people of God turn the dimmer down, and the church's influence slowly fades away. I am committed to seeing neither of these things happen to us. This week we will look at cause and effect of being average. We have become a culture that "settles" instead of pursuing excellence. I believe this settling is contagious, and nowhere can it be more attractive than in our spiritual life. Being average is killing the North American church. Listen, I just feel like Jesus deserves our best, that we should be all in, and that we should be turning our light up and then ripping the nob off. To be clear, this is not Pastor-speak...I actually believe this! So for the 8 weeks we are going to pour gasoline on our burning hearts to increase both the light and our passion for Christ.
Can't wait for Sunday!
Sermon by Pastor Corky Calhoun
This Sunday we conclude our "Great Prayers" series on Compassion Sunday. This is the Sunday we all unite together in bringing a one time, sacrificial, annual gift to the church in support of Tabitha's House and our daughters in Haiti. I firmly believe the key to leaving a legacy is to keep what is at stake constantly in front of us. I believe you have to know what matters in this world and recognize the power of your influence for good or evil. Legacy leaving should be a natural response for Christians considering that Christ makes us heirs to the Kingdom, but it seems to be a lost art in our culture today. In a world that is less concerned about issues of eternity and leveraging our life for blessing, the consuming thought is get more, have more, share less. I had a coach ask me once; what is it you want to be remembered for? This is a question that cuts both ways because for sure there are some things we don't want to be remembered for. While I can give lots of answers to the question, I think the number one for me...is I want to be remembered for being generous. Generous with my resources, generous with my time, generous with the gospel, generous with my love, generous with my compassion for others. I simply believe generosity creates the best ripple effect of change in the life of some one else. Jesus prayer in John 17, looks up, then looks around, then looks ahead. The fact is we are gonna leave something behind when we go, after all Jesus did...the question is, what kind of legacy will it be.
Sermon by Corky Calhoun
Janice did such a nice job laying a foundation for this coming Sunday's sermon. One of the universally felt needs of all humanity is this concept of hope. Uncertainty sets the stage for hopelessness. Thankfully, we who believe Jesus as both Lord and Savior have a clear and certain future. Over the years I have witnessed the evidence of those who go through life hopeless and those who go through life hopeful, and often times the dividing line is Jesus. Hopelessness causes people to sit down in their misery, resigning themselves to their present circumstances. While hopefulness is the anticipation of what is yet to come, that there is something around the corner that compels you forward. As Christians we can be situationally helpless but never hopeless. The God of the Cross is also the same God of the Empty Tomb. Momentary circumstances trumped by Grace and Love. I believe "Faith" creates hope, so where faith is conceived, hope is birthed. I think sometimes we just need a spiritual tune-up, to be reminded that we are a people of Hope. We live in a culture which claims that hope is fleeting, it's because culture is an ever changing whirlwind of chaos. However, God in whom we have put our hope, is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I find that adversity helps me remember that I wasn't supposed to do this life without God. Join us Sunday as we remember that Hope is the spirit of anticipation, that something better is coming!
Sermon by Community Care Pastor Janice Shepard
Uncertainty. We all can relate. We live in times of uncertainty. At some point in our lives, we all will be faced with a crisis so overwhelming that it feels like a vast army is coming against us. Something will go down that will threaten our protection, our provision or our peace. It's what we do in that moment that will set the stage for the outcome. Will we panic, become paralyzed by fear, self-soothe with harming behaviors, blame God, or deny Him altogether?
Join us Sunday, as we look at one of the Great Prayers of the Bible, offered up by King Jehoshaphat. When faced with a very real and present danger, he humbled himself before God and the entire nation, inquiring of the Lord. His humble and earnest prayer, along with his willingness to worship and praise God even in the thick of his crisis, resulted in God giving victory without the nation ever
having to fight at all.
Life is messy, disappointing, uncertain. The question is, can we bear the uncertainty? Can we bear not knowing how God is going to provide for our most urgent need and still trust that he will?
Sermon by Corky Calhoun
So it is just way to easy to say "To God Be The Glory." It sounds so spiritual, sounds so sincere...the problem is that I am not sure God is feeling much glory from us. It's always been funny to me, that when we have a good day it's because we are so amazing, but when we have a bad day it's because God doesn't like us. It's like praying for days, weeks, and even months and then God delivers and our first response is...man, I was so lucky. I think living in a secular world, and the bombardment of individualism has taken the shine off God's glory. The end goal of every day should be to glorify God. For thirty years I have asked myself the same three questions every night when I go to sleep. Was God glorified through my life today? Was my wife edified by the way I treated her and stewarded our love? And, did I bless my children today? You see as Christians, I think we constantly need to be thinking about every thought and action with the end in mind. If we are a people called by his name, will God even be glad we of all people are known by his name? I always think when it comes to God, I don't want to embarrass him and I never want to be found ashamed of him. These are the filters that ensure God gets the glory. So whose Glory is it? Well it's God's and the way it unfolds in our life is through our adoration. You see we always adore the things dearest and nearest to our hearts. So what do you adore?
Sermon by Lay Leader Kelly Butz
How does our vertical life impact our horizontal life? It seems that God always magnifies those things in my life that I wrestle with as I prepare a sermon. If I am honest, my prayers have been hovering at ground level lately, simple prayers with low expectation. Are our comfortable lives generating comfortable prayers that lack the power to transform? If we are honest, it is easier to insulate ourselves from the pain of this world as we move comfortably through life, than it is to submit ourselves painfully before the Lord . God wants us to pray desperately! Prayer, our vertical relationship with God, spilling out into our everyday lives as we love deeply and serve others. Not serving for our own Glory, but for Christ alone. As Christ followers, we should be fueled by a sense of urgency to pray powerful prayers expecting that light will shine brightly into dark places. How high we reach determines how far our lives ripple out into the world. How High? How Far? Join us Sunday as we stretch toward heaven with great expectations to reach a broken world.