Feb 22, 2015
“Go and Declare It” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
Series: (All)
"Go and Declare It"
By: Patrick Barber
Scripture: Psalm 143
Maybe you don't feel the same way I do, but I love church.  I love being here together on Sundays.  I love the singing, the fellowship, the study--all of it.  For me, this is comfortable and safe.  I feel like I'm with people who in most ways look at life the same way I do.  I'm with people who care about me and can help me when things are tough.  For me, the church is a living, breathing representation of Jesus in my life.  And I need that. When I think about what it must have been like to have lived when Jesus lived, to have heard him talk about the kingdom of God, to have seen him heal people and still storms and cast out demons, I wish I could have been there.  The church is great and all, but to have been right there with Jesus would have been even better.  If I'd have been there, I would have wanted more than anything to follow him around and be one of his disciples.  Can you imagine how amazing that would have been?  Just to be part of that? But there's more to discipleship than that.  There's more to following Jesus than coming here to worship and fellowship and encourage one another.  Jesus also wants us to go. There were times when people wanted to follow Jesus around and he said, "No."  That isn't because they were unworthy.  It wasn't because he didn't love them.  It wasn't because he was part of a closed club.  It was because he needed them to go and witness and declare how much God had done for them.
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  • Feb 22, 2015“Go and Declare It” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Feb 22, 2015
    “Go and Declare It” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
    "Go and Declare It"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: Psalm 143
    Maybe you don't feel the same way I do, but I love church.  I love being here together on Sundays.  I love the singing, the fellowship, the study--all of it.  For me, this is comfortable and safe.  I feel like I'm with people who in most ways look at life the same way I do.  I'm with people who care about me and can help me when things are tough.  For me, the church is a living, breathing representation of Jesus in my life.  And I need that. When I think about what it must have been like to have lived when Jesus lived, to have heard him talk about the kingdom of God, to have seen him heal people and still storms and cast out demons, I wish I could have been there.  The church is great and all, but to have been right there with Jesus would have been even better.  If I'd have been there, I would have wanted more than anything to follow him around and be one of his disciples.  Can you imagine how amazing that would have been?  Just to be part of that? But there's more to discipleship than that.  There's more to following Jesus than coming here to worship and fellowship and encourage one another.  Jesus also wants us to go. There were times when people wanted to follow Jesus around and he said, "No."  That isn't because they were unworthy.  It wasn't because he didn't love them.  It wasn't because he was part of a closed club.  It was because he needed them to go and witness and declare how much God had done for them.
  • Feb 15, 2015“Love What?” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Feb 15, 2015
    “Love What?” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
     2.15.2015
    "Love What?"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: 1 John 3:11-18
    "Love" is probably one of the most misunderstood words in the English language.  And that's a problem for those of us who read the Bible for insight into God and His desire for us.  As you've probably noticed, "love" gets a lot of attention in Scripture.  It also gets a lot of attention in our culture, but the way culture understands love and the way God describes and demonstrates love are often two very different things....
    ... But if we can get "love" right, if we can figure out what it is and how it looks in practice, if we can remember why "love" is the key to a life of active faith and discipleship, then our lives change for good.  Not only for our good, but for the good of our neighbors.  And not just our neighbors, but even our enemies.  That's right, we're not talking about Hollywood's selfish, over-indulgent kind of "love."  We're talking about God's love.
  • Feb 8, 2015“Old and New” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Feb 8, 2015
    “Old and New” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
    2.8.2015
    "Old and New"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: Psalm 15
    17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17
  • Feb 1, 2015“What If…” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Feb 1, 2015
    “What If…” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
    "What If..."
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: Psalm 145:1-13a
    Have you ever played the "What if?" game? When I was a history teacher, my classes would sometimes talk about what might have happened if, say, the Japanese would not have attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Would the U.S. still have entered the war? Or, what if the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 had been successful? Or, what if President Carter would have won re-election in 1980? You get the idea. It can be a fun game that makes you think about how the world might have been different--for better or worse. I've heard preachers play the same game with their churches: What if Jesus chose not to die for us? What if God wasn't merciful? What if.... So I'll play along with this scenario:  What if Jesus was a mute?  Think how different his ministry and impact would have been if everything else was the same but he never spoke a word. He still healed people.  He still spent time with outcasts. He still performed all his miracles and still died, was raised, all of that--but he never said a thing. Would it have made a difference? How, then, does that affect the way we view our own ministries?  We are called to serve, and I'm all for the idea of "being the hands and feet of Jesus," but is that enough? Or should we also learn to speak his words and share his proclamation in ways that point people to God and his emerging kingdom?
  • Jan 25, 2015The Year of the Lord’s Favor – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Jan 25, 2015
    The Year of the Lord’s Favor – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    1.25.2015
    "The Year of the Lord's Favor"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: Isaiah 61
    I miss the days of do-over’s. I remember playing games as a kid and, when things didn’t go well, we’d call a do-over. But as an adult, that doesn’t happen as much (golfers and mulligans, notwithstanding…). And that’s too bad, because sometimes we still need a chance to reset and start over. In His law with ancient Israel, God told the people to observe a year of release from debt and bondage every seventh year (Deuteronomy 15) and a larger liberation from poverty and oppression every fiftieth year, which was called the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25). For the poor and afflicted, that was good news indeed. That was quite the do-over. But not everyone was thrilled about that. Imagine if you were the one who’d been more wise, or more lucky, or who’d worked harder? Would you really want to reset the scales and start over?  Maybe not. After all, some people don’t deserve a fresh start, right? And some people don’t deserve a second chance, right? I mean, grace is for the worthy, right? Right???
  • Jan 18, 2015Led By the Spirit – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Jan 18, 2015
    Led By the Spirit – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    1.18.2015
    "Led By the Spirit"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: Hebrews 4:14-16
    My kids hate naps.  It doesn't matter how tired they are, when I tell them it's time for naps, you'd think I'd have grounded them for the rest of their lives.  It's awful.  But I do it anyway, because I'm their dad.  And dads are supposed to love their kids.  And to love someone means we give them what they need.  We deal with them in ways that lead to their greatest benefit.  And sometimes that means we lead them in ways they don't like. When Jesus began his public ministry, right after he was baptized and the Spirit descended upon him (Luke 3:21-22), God the Father proclaimed his love and pleasure for Jesus. Following a huge event like that, you might expect a party.  Surely a celebration was in order, right?  But that isn't what happened next.  Instead, Jesus was "led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil" (Luke 4:1b-2a).  Why would the Spirit of God do that to the anointed one of God?  And why does it so often seem like God is doing similar things to us?  Aren't we his children?  Isn't he our Father? Could it possibly be because he loves us?
  • Jan 11, 2015Preparing the Way of the Lord – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Jan 11, 2015
    Preparing the Way of the Lord – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    1.11.2015
    "Preparing the Way of the Lord"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: Luke 1:67-80
    Many of you were not able to worship with us last week because of the weather and driving conditions. Thankfully, things are better today and you're here! When we miss time together, it reminds us how important our time together is. With that in mind, let me also take the opportunity here to invite you to connect again tonight and Wednesday night. Tonight a group of us will meet here at the building at 5:00 to sing together and discuss some lessons from Psalms. We also have AGAPE Groups that meet in homes tonight. The contact information for those groups is listed on the back of this bulletin. You are very welcome to join any of those small groups. On Wednesdays, we have classes for all ages here at the building beginning at 7:00. I know there are a lot of reasons not to come back. We get tired and busy. We've worked all day. The kids have school the next morning. But if you stay away, you really do rob yourself of the blessing of fellowship, prayer, study, and singing.  And you miss the opportunity to bless others by encouraging them. We sometimes forget about that. God gave us "church" for a reason. As we begin this new year together, I hope and pray that you will connect in ways that will help you prepare for the coming of the Lord.
  • Jan 4, 2015Questions – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Jan 4, 2015
    Questions – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Happy New Year PowerPoint Template (1)
    "Questions"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: Malachi 4:1-6
    It’s funny to hear the questions kids ask. My family drove almost 1500 miles on our holiday circuit through Arkansas and Missouri, so you can imagine the most frequently repeated question we heard from our kids. But my favorite question from the trip was, “How long until it’s Christmas time again?” Really?! I hadn’t exactly started counting down the days again. Have you? I hope not. If we’re always looking forward, then we’re not really living now in the present. There is a time for reflection, a time for planning, a time for dreaming about what lies ahead. But most of our time should be spent in the here and now, because we know that Christ is coming again, even if we don’t know when. The better question for us is whether or not we’ll be ready for Him. At the conclusion of one of his parables, Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b).  It doesn’t matter how many days we have left until Christmas or Spring Break or whatever special day you have marked on the calendar. The most important day is going to be a surprise. Until He comes, every single day is important, because it gives us another opportunity to live a life that matters.
  • Dec 28, 2014Seasoned – Speaker: John Langley
    Dec 28, 2014
    Seasoned – Speaker: John Langley
    Series: (All)
    12.28.2014
    "Seasoned"
    By: John Langley
    Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
  • Dec 21, 2014More Than a Baby in a Manger – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Dec 21, 2014
    More Than a Baby in a Manger – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: Christmas
    12.21.2014
    "More Than a Baby in a Manger"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: John 1:1-18
    (Almost) everyone loves babies--especially if we don't have to change the diapers, get up for 3:00am feedings, or listen to the crying that sometimes comes with little ones who can't talk yet. I know I love carrying other people's babies around on Sundays. Their innocence is contagious. Their love is unconditional. And they pose no real threat or danger to us. They're cute and cuddly and we can give them back to their parents whenever we're ready. That isn't the case with Jesus. One thing we might accidentally miss about the Christmas story, is that the people who were drawn to the baby Jesus didn't come to see him because he was cute and cuddly. They came to see him, and worship him, and bring gifts to him, because he was announced as their Savior and their King. So let's not treat him as if he's just a baby in a manger. He isn't here to simply make us feel good and to be handed back to the Father when things get untidy. He's here to be loved, and  adored, and served, and worshipped. And followed.