Celebrating our Journey

I’ve missed a few posts in the past weeks. If you’d like to look back on sermons from the last few Sundays, feel free to click on the following links: Trusting GodCountercultural LeadershipCourageous Strength.

This coming Sunday is our first “Celebration Sunday” in which we look back at our journey thus far through the Bible. We’ve come a long way, all the way from Genesis to Joshua, from Creation to the Promised Land! Join us for a wonderful celebrate service at 9:15 followed by a biblical buffet of snacks and a fun game of Biblical Jeopardy!

Peace, Phil

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“Holy Living”

This past Sunday we focused on the call throughout Leviticus to be Holy as God is Holy. If you’d like to read through the sermon, feel free to click the following link: Holy Living.

Family Discussion Questions are:

  • What does it mean to be holy as God is holy?
  • How can we practice Sabbath and Jubilee today?
  • How does God take care of us and our land?

This next Sunday we journey with God’s people into the wilderness. We will learn with them what it really means to trust God.

Peace, Phil

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Exodus/Sinai

This past Sunday, we focused on the Formative Event for God’s people, from Exodus to Mount Sinai. At Mount Sinai, God entered into covenant relationship with the people and truly taught them to be human again. If you’d like to read through the morning sermon, please click the following link: Covenant-Sinai.

May we continue to keep God’s covenant today so that we can truly embrace our calling to bless other people in our local communities and throughout the world!

This next Sunday during community worship, we will explore what it means to be holy as God is holy.

Peace, Phil

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Exodus

This coming Sunday during community worship we will be focusing on the Exodus, that formative event when God freed God’s people from slavery in Egypt. The story of the Exodus is found in Exodus chapters 1-15. As you read this story again and prepare for community worship, also consider the following questions:

  • How do you find yourself caught in cycles of slavery? What areas of your life do you cry out to God for freedom? What would freedom look like in these situations?
  • Where do you notice God’s mighty acts in our world today?
  • How is God calling you, perhaps in ways you aren’t comfortable with (like Moses with public speaking)?

May we receive God’s liberation afresh as we reflect on this formative event in the story of God’s people.

Peace, Phil

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Patriarchs-Matriarchs

This coming Sunday during community worship we are focusing on the stories of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, all the way from Abraham to Joseph (Genesis 12-50)! As you prepare for community worship, consider the following questions:

  • Which of the characters in these stories do you feel like you can relate to the most? The least? Why?
  • How is it that such a convoluted family history is the start of God’s chosen people?
  • Where do you notice reconciliation present in these stories?

May God bless us as we reflect on the beginnings of God’s chosen people.

Peace, Phil

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Fall Stories

This coming Sunday during community worship, we are focusing on four stories depicting the fall of God’s good, orderly creation: Adam and Eve eating the fruit (Gen. 3), Cain killing his brother Abel (Gen. 4), the corruption of humanity before the great flood (Gen. 6-9), and people trying to make a name for themselves by building a great tower (Gen. 11).

As you prepare for community worship, read through Genesis 3-11 and also consider the following questions.

  • What do these fall stories teach us about sin?
  • What do you notice about God’s judgments in these stories?
  • Where do you notice God’s Grace in each story?

May God help us receive grace even amidst the brokenness of creation.

Peace, Phil

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“Co-Creators”

This morning during community worship, we focused on the two creation accounts in Genesis 1-2 and on how God calls each of us to join God in the continuing work of creation all around us. If you’d like to read the morning message, feel free to click the following link:_Co-Creating_.

Family discussion questions for this Sunday are:

  • What do the creation stories teach us about God?
  • What do they teach us about people?
  • Which story captures your imagination? Why?

This next week, we will reflect on the fall of creation, although we must always remember  a few key things:

  • In the beginning, God created all things good
  • People are made in the image of God and filled with the breath of God
  • God calls people to join God’s continuing work of creation.

Here’s our weekly handout: 0908. Remember to keep up with the reading plan! May God continue to bless us as we embrace and live God’s Word!

Peace, Phil

 

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Creation

This coming Sunday during community worship we will focus our attention on the two creation stories in Genesis 1-2. As you prepare for gathered worship, please read through these chapters and also consider the following reflective questions:

  • What is the purpose behind these stories of creation?
  • How important are these stories in relation to the bigger story of scripture? Explain.
  • Who are the most important characters in these stories?

May God bless us as we dive into our Year of the Bible! In addition to reading Genesis 1-2, I challenge you to keep up with the Bible reading plan in your binders so that we can all read the whole Bible together in a year! (It only takes about 10 minutes a day.)

Peace, Phil

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“Are we listening?”

This morning during community worship, we focused on how God speaks throughout Scripture and beyond. God spoke powerfully through the Exodus (Deuteronomy 25:5-10a), through the Prophets (Micah 6:6-8), and through Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3a). And God continues to speak to us today. Are we listening?

If you’d like to read through the morning sermon, feel free to click the following link: Are we listening_?

Family discussion questions for this week:

  • What passages of Scripture have you memorized throughout your life? Are you ready for the challenge of memorizing these three passages of Scripture?
  • How does God speak in our world today? How do you respond to God’s living Word?
  • How do today’s passages serve as summaries of larger portions of Scripture?

Handout for Binder this week: 0901

Reminder: We start the Bible Reading Plan tomorrow (Monday, September 2nd)!!

May we receive God’s living Word with open hearts and minds so that we can live God’s Word.

Peace, Phil

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“God Speaks”

This coming Sunday, we will consider some of the ways that God speaks throughout Scripture, through the story of exodus, through the prophets, and finally through Jesus. As you prepare for community worship, be sure to read Deuteronomy 26:5-10a; Micah 6:6-8; and Hebrews 1:1-3a. Also consider the following questions:

  • (Deuteronomy 26): What are your firstfruits? How can you offer them to God?
  • (Micah 6): What are the burnt offerings, calves, rams, and oils that we try to bring to God today?
  • (Hebrews 1): Jesus represents God. As a follower of Jesus, how do you also represent God?

Our challenge for this coming year will be to memorize (at least) these three Scripture texts because they touch on key points in the major sections of God’s salvation story.

Peace, Phil

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