Weekly Message

Sermon Audio

Your Life Is Divinely Orchestrated.

Rev. Todd Beiswenger

Friends, we know that God has plans for us, plans that are for good. But, that doesn't mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us. In scripture we see several instances where God allowed something bad to happen to one of His people, only for Him to turn it to good.

Sometimes the bad things, the enemies, are sent so that we can pass a test that moves us to the next level. In one famous story, David was a shepherd boy, and what he needed to propel him higher wasn't a friend, but an enemy. Goliath didn't hold David back, he advanced him. God will do the same for you!

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The Inner Meaning of Cities in the Bible

There's a deeper meaning to all the stories and places in the Bible, and one teaching is that "cities" represent structured teachings or systems in our mind. This week we explore why cities serve as that symbol.

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Christianity is a Team Sport

Jesus Sends out 70

It seems that there has always been hierarchy within religious orders, but is it really meant to be that way? Jesus empowers and sends out 70 who were not part of his inner circle, and they are surprised and delighted that they too can cast out demons and heal others. God encourages ALL of us to go out and spread the Word too because we're all in this together.

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God Encourages Our Growth

Jesus Feeds the 5000

When we're little, our parents will try to stretch us out of our comfort zone to teach us new things. Our Heavenly Father is no different, and in this week's story we see Jesus trying to stretch His disciples understanding in order to encourage their growth.

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Seeking the Presence of God

Jesus Heals Jairus' Daughter and a Bleeding Woman

Some people know that they want to be good people, but at the same time they're seeing that they are losing the desire to be good. We see this in other areas of our life... we want to be fit and in shape, but we're not making progress so the desire to be fit wanes. The same thing can happen spiritually, and when it does, we need to seek the presence of God.

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When We Don't Live Up To Our Own Standards

Jesus Casts Out A Demon

I don't know about you, but I've heard this story about Jesus casting out a demon before and haven't really related to it. I've never seen a demon possessed person, and so it just seemed like a story that wasn't relevant to my life. Until now. I started looking at the details and symbols of this story and now see this story completely differently.

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Obedience in the Face of Fear

We just completed a series on the book of Jeremiah, and the people, well, they weren't so obedient. This week we're going to compare their disobedience with the obedience of the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. How did they fare when faced with real challenges?

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Book of Jeremiah Part 5

Deadly Sins and a New Beginning

Jeremiah is known as the" prophet of doom." In this final part of his book, he really earns that name. He proclaims doom againt 9 other nations, telling them about the bad things about to come. Each of these nations represent a particular way in which we can run afoul of God's plan, but the story finishes on a positive note, showing how God will still try to rescue us from our captivity.

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Book of Jeremiah Part 4

Running Scared

This is the fourth in a 5 part series on the book of Jeremiah. Most of us don't make good decisions when we're scared. The question is will we listen to God in times of trouble? Or do we prefer our own advice? Jeremiah warns them again of impending doom, doom than can be avoided... but once again, nobody listens.

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Book of Jeremiah Part 3

The Struggle Between Science & Selfishness

After God calls Jeremiah, God lays out His case against the Children of Israel. Jeremiah replys to God saying, "Yes, what you say is true, but everybody else is just as bad as we are." God says, that's exactly the point. You were supposed to be special, My chosen people, not just like everybody else. It's a great conversation with God, one we should pay attention to.

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Book of Jeremiah Part 2

Conversations With God

After God calls Jeremiah, God lays out His case against the Children of Israel. Jeremiah replys to God saying, "Yes, what you say is true, but everybody else is just as bad as we are." God says, that's exactly the point. You were supposed to be special, My chosen people, not just like everybody else. It's a great conversation with God, one we should pay attention to.

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Book of Jeremiah Part 1

Gaining Spiritual Clarity

This week we look at the call of Jeremiah, and get a basic understanding of the context of his story as well as look at some of the main symbols used. Overall, this book is an appeal to our basic desire for self-preservation. God is calling us to come back to Him not because it's the right thing to do, but because if we don't a terrible fate awaits.

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More Wheat, Less Weeding

Jesus tells the tale of a farmer who plants wheat in his field. An enemy of the farmer plants some weeds in the field. Friends of the farmer offer to pull out the weeds, but the farmer refuses. Why? Because he doesn't want the wheat damaged. It's more important to not damage the wheat than to get rid of the weeds. We'll be exploring what this story means for us.

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Soundness & Purity of Doctrine

Many people are familiar with the Cain and Abel story. They're the two sons of Adam and Eve, and in a jealous rage Cain murders Abel. After the main story there is a short genealogy that at face value seems like unnecessary information. However when we see this story as an allegory we see that this genealogy lays out what happens when we remove love from our faith. Oddly enough, it ends up that we lose our faith as well.

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Waiting With Expectancy

There's a teaching in New Church theology that talks about how for the angels, they see future events as events that have already happened. This is part of the reason why prophecies are given in the Bible: they provide hope for us, but they allow the angels to see things as already complete.

We can also think like angels, and wait with expectancy for future events to unfold, acting as if they have already happened. The Lord promises a better world, and when people complain about the world around us we can choose to see all the good people in the world instead of focusing on the bad.

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Releasing Barabbas

The stories of the Bible are more than just history, but also a metaphor for our lives. They give us great insight as to the workings of our mind. So picture this: two people are in prison. One is a murderer. The other is Jesus. The people are told that one will be released. They choose to release the murderer. Who would do that?!

The answer is that we all do that. At times we all choose to release Barabbus, and it happens when we are unwilling to do what the Word teaches. We would rather believe in our own version of the "truth" which will only lead to further pain and suffering.

Don't release Barabbas.

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Finding Common Ground

We say we can lead a horse to water, but we can't make it drink. In this story, Isaac digs a few different wells for drinking, but there are arguments about who owns the well. It's an interesting story about finding common ground, and that if we do this effectively eventually people might see the blessings that we can bring into their life.

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Human Perception

Last week the topic was angelic perception, but what about human perception? What do we have the ability to perceive? Why can't we perceive more now? Is there anything we can do to perceive more?

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Angelic Perception

When I think of a person who is "perceptive" it is a person who is very good at reading between the lines and reading a situation when the information is not obvious. However, "perception" also refers to our ability to take in information from our five senses, and when it comes to angels, they do take in information via their five senses that is obscure and difficult to see if we can see at all.

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What Do Angels Do?

The word "angel" comes from a Greek word meaning "messengers." But the New Church teaches that angels do a lot more than just bringing messages. Join us as we take a look at some of the different things angels do in the Scriptures while also looking at Swedenborg's teachings on angels.

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Pleasing the Lord

During the Easter season we appropriately spend time looking at what God has done for us, so it is a good time to think about ways we can repay His goodness. How can we please God for all things He's done for us?

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Practicing Forgiveness Week 5

Transformation

When you learn the skill of forgiveness, it can transform your life. Old habits, old ways of thinking, old wounds that have been inflicted on you can be released and you can become the person you want to be. Don't let others have control over you, let their stuff go and become your best self.

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Practicing Forgiveness Week 4

Forgiving Yourself

Even when you've been forgiven by others, we can look back in horror at some of the things we've done and have a hard time forgiving ourselves. At some point we have to draw a line in the sand and say, "That's not who I am anymore" and let go of those condemning thoughts.

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Practicing Forgiveness Week 3

Seeking Forgiveness

Do you wish to be forgiven for the wrong that you've done? Sure you do. But in order for that to truly happen you have to show that you've actually changed your ways. Joseph seems pretty magnanimous when he forgives, but a closer look at the story shows that he's only forgiven his brothers once they've demonstrated that they wouldn't offend again.

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Practicing Forgiveness Week 2

Forgiving Others

It isn't easy to forgive others when they have so clearly done us wrong. But we have to. To not forgive leaves us captive to them. In this week's story we hear about Joseph, who is sold off into slavery, then imprisoned for a crime that he did not commit. When given the chance to get even, he instead offers reconciliation saying, "What you intended for evil, God intended for good." Those are words to live by.

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Practicing Forgiveness Week 1

Why Forgive?

We're starting a 5 week series on "Practicing Forgiveness" with a message on why should we forgive. Sure, Jesus commands it, but beyond that it is shown to transform our lives. When we leave the bitterness, resentment and hurt behind, it frees us and opens us up to better give and receive love. Science also has shown that forgiveness is linked to better physical health too. It's a win any way you look at it.

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Working Through Weariness

When you've got plans and goals for your life, and they don't materialize in the time frame you had in mind, it can really wear you down. Whether is be you haven't been cured from a disease, or picked up a new skill you've been working on, delays along the way are wearisome. Paul writes, "Don't get weary in well doing." As you'll hear in this service, there are plenty of times success doesn't come right away, but if we keep doing the right thing we will get success in the important things.

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