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 Meaning of Mountains

October 20 2019

Jesus tells us that if we have faith, we can cast mountains into the sea. Clearly this doesn't literally happen, so what is he talking about? Why would we want to do that?

Simply, mountains are the love that we organize our life around. We could organize our life around God, or we could organize around how much we love ourselves. Guess which mountain needs to get cast into the sea.

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The Parting of the Red Sea - Family Service

October 13 2019

This story has some great lessons for the young and old. God will save us, but what do we have to do in the process?

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Ezekiel Part 5 - The Lord is There

October 6 2019

Ezekiel is given a vision of a new temple, and it is given the name of "The Lord is There." We take a look at some of symbolism present in this temple, and using this story as a guide, what it would mean for the Lord to be in us.

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Ezekiel Part 4 - You're Useless!

September 29 2019

God creates us all for a purpose, but what happens when we go against His will and fail to be a part of His kingdom?

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Ezekiel Part 3 - The Slow Descent into Destruction

September 22 2019

Israel didn't always have a king. They wanted one to be like other nations, and God warned them against it. Over the centuries their kings gradually led them astray, and away from God. Now they are only following their heart's desire, and this week we take a look at what they have got themselves into.

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Ezekiel Part 2 - A Tour of the Temple

September 15 2019

God does not always require us to operate solely on faith, and in fact at times will lay out very clear evidence for the wrong doings of humanity. As God calls Ezekiel to be a prophet, we see that God lays out the case against Jerusalem and that what they thought was hidden from God was in fact well known by Him.

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Ezekiel 1 - Ezekiel's Vision

September 8 2019

God called Ezekiel and he saw an incredible vision of cherubim, and wheels covered with eyes... what does it mean?! One of the things we can take from it for sure is that this vision was given to Ezekiel to give him the confidence in the Lord to do as he was told. Can we have the confidence even if we haven't seen?

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Family Service - Cast Out of the Garden

September 1 2019

This is a family service. The Adam & Eve story gives us a warning about following our physical senses over God's Word, and so this week we're going to look at one of Swedenborg's stories of the afterlife where we see the consequences of listening to the serpent.

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Jesus & the Victim Mentality

August 25 2019

It can feel safe and comfortable to take the role of the victim, and at some point in life we've all done it. But this week we compare to stories in the Bible, that of 1 Samuel 15 where King Saul is answering to Samuel, and John 10 where Jesus talks about being a good shepherd, and we can see a big difference in power between the one who claims victim-hood and the one who doesn't.

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Staying Faithful in the Routine

August 18 2019

Life isn't always exciting, and we can feel like we're not progressing when things are just following the same old routine. However, there is a lot going on behind the scenes, and if we can do the right thing in the routine parts of life, we'll be well prepared for handling the big things.

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On the Edge of God's Kingdom, Judges 18

August 11 2019

We'll be continuing with last weeks story. Micah made some household gods and this week, as you might imagine, the whole thing goes bad for him. The inner meaning of this story relates to people who would be in the lowest part of the Lord's kingdom, that is, the lowest heaven, and it serves as a warning about how we can go from being in the kingdom to being out of it.

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Nailed It! Micah's Idols, Judges 17

August 4 2019

Ever have the experience of creating something where the sum of the parts just doesn't add up to what you were aiming for? I think that's the lesson in this story. Micah basically sets up his own little church, but fails to see that there's more to it than just having a "god" and a priest.

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Joseph in Prison Explained

July 28 2019

In this talk we take a look at Genesis 39 and 40, where Potiphar's wife falsely accuses Joseph and has him put in prison. He then interprets the dreams for Pharoah's butler and baker. There's some really interesting symbolism in this story, and we use it to take a look at what this story means for our life.

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Fighting the Same Fight: Undefeated Nations

July 21 2019

We're looking at this question of why it is that we seem to struggle with the same thing for our entire life. This drew me to look at the nations that were not defeated when the Israelites were taking over the Promised Land. Are these nations a metaphor for us? Are we doomed to be miserable because we cannot conquer our spiritual enemies?

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Fighting the Same Fight: Family Issues

July 14 2019

There some places in the Word where we're told to fight against our father, mother, brothers, etc., and the idea is that as we work on our regeneration we're going have to fight family members. Not literally of course, but we're going to have to fight against parts of ourselves that are closely tied to our identity and sense of self. These issues are not easy to recognize, and painful to give up when we do. We'll be seeing this concept illustrated in the story of King David.

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Fighting the Same Fight: Hereditary Evil

July 7 2019

Traditional Christianity asserts that we're all born doomed because of what Adam & Eve did thousands of years ago. While we don't believe that to be true, there is some truth in it. This week we'll take a look at Swedenborg's concept of "hereditary evil" and note just how hard it is to change what we've been born into.

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Fighting the Same Fight All Your Life

June 30 2019

I've encountered a number of good people, who are doing their best to live according to the Word of God... but they feel like they've been struggling with the same thing all their life and not making any progress in their spiritual battles. In this talk we attempt to explain what is really going on at our deeper levels, because despite the appearance, progress is being made.

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The Binding of Isaac Explained

June 23 2019

In this story Abraham is asked to take his son's life as a sacrifice to God, and it serves as a foreshadowing of Jesus' own death on the cross. When we look at this story we can get a better idea of what it is that God does and does not want us to give up for Him.

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Revelation Explained

June 16 2019

People are generally aware that dire prophecies about the end of the world are written in the book of Revelation, but what most don't realize is that they are visions of things that were to happen in the spiritual world, not the physical. In this talk we get an overview of the last 10 chapters of Revelation and a brief explanation as to what it all means.

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Why Don't Angels Say More To Us?

June 9 2019

The question we'll be looking at is "Why don't angels tell us more?" I've wondered that myself, and I came across Jonathan Rose's Bible study class on it, and have adapted it into a sermon because I think it's an interesting question and this story from the book of Acts provides an interesting answer.

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The Transformative Power of the Word

Rt Rev David Lindrooth

June 2 2019

It can be easy to think of the Bible as just a book, but we're taught that it actually has "indescribable power." It connects us back to God Himself, and through that connection we have power to transform our life.

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Sodom and Gomorrah Explained

May 26 2019

This week we're taking a look at the story of Sodom & Gomorrah. One of the things we want to address is the idea that God destroyed these cities. We believe that God is love, and that He didn't actually rain fire and brimstone down, but it sure appeared that way to Abram. Instead of seeing this as a story of God's wrath, we see it as showing us that God will go to great lengths to protect the good, and that despite warning to leave a doomed place, evil people choose to stay and thus ultimately doom themselves.

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Covenant With Abram

May 19 2019

Ever feel like God's promises aren't lining up with reality? That maybe God has promised more than you think He can deliver? In the Bible, Abram had this problem, and what we will also see is that Abram's experience also is relevant to Jesus' concerns that humanity could not be saved. It turns out that God did deliver, but it can be comforting to know that even the best of us have our doubts at times.

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Mother's Day - Hannah Prays for a Son

May 12 2019

What would you be without your mother? A mum is so much more than just the one who changed your dirty nappies, she's the one who will love you no matter what. For good or for bad, even when you drive her crazy, she still loves her children.

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Road to Emmaus - God With Us

May 5 2019

The story is where Jesus appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and then appears to a doubting Thomas. He's risen, as He said. However, despite these assurances we are often like the disciples on the road, who are walking with Jesus and don't even realize it because they are so absorbed in their thoughts of the world. The reality is that Jesus IS RIGHT THERE WITH THEM! I think that's the lesson we're supposed to talk, is that when we're too focused on the problems of this world we fail to realize that is is RIGHT HERE WITH US TOO.

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Practical Providence

April 28 2019

The theme for this Sunday is "Practical Providence" which will allow us some space to talk about how some soldiers have experienced Providence in a very personal way. My thinking is that often we think of Providence as working on a grand scale, say like Jesus' birth, death and resurrection, but it's important to have in mind that Providence works in the details of life too.

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Easter 2019 - Love Your Enemies!

April 21 2019

Jesus told us to love our enemies, but he also walked that talk. He loved us even when we hated him. His life is a model for us follow, but we can't follow it if we don't have an enemy. Every time an enemy comes into our life, they are sent there to be a catalyst for change. Every time we choose love, our spiritual skills increase. Don't hate your enemies, love them, because they are going to propel you higher!

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Palm Sunday 2019 - Expectations

April 14 2019 - Rev Howard Thompson

Palm Sunday is an ancient story about expectations. The people were expecting a king who would make them the greatest, but instead they got a king who said that they needed to be the least.

2000 years later, people still don't seem to fully get Jesus' message. We still want to be thought of and seen as greater than others. Let's learn to be servants instead.

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Why Do You Call Me Good?

April 7 2019

As part of our lead up to Easter, we're looking at a story that happens on Jesus' journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus encounters a young man who comes up to him and says, "Good teacher..." Jesus responds with, "Why do you call me good?"

This response has generated a lot of questions among Christians. Was Jesus saying to *not* call him good? Was he emphasizing the "why* did he call Jesus good? What's going on here? This Sunday we'll be looking into this, and answering what Jesus was driving at.

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Serenity and Perspective

Elisha and Chariots of Fire

March 31 2019

How different would our perspective on the world be if we could much more clearly see the forces of good all around us? It's not often that I think we get that sense, but it's such a fundamental message of the Lord's: trust me. Everything is going to be okay, even when it looks like it isn't.

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Spiritual Imposters

The Gibeonite Deception

March 24 2019

This service is based on the story in the book of Joshua where the Gibeonites deceive Joshua and the Israelites into believing that they're from a far off land. They are, of course, actually neighbors that Joshua and Co. are supposed to destroy. I was thinking of this story as a bit of an appendix to the Daniel series because after we learn to get our ego in check, we still have to conquer the land. We're still in Babylon! So we have to go back, and establish the land... which means we have to restart the process of conquest all over again. This includes watching out for imposters, that is, things in our life that are evil that claim to be good.

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Love Over Ego Week 6

Love Wins

March 17 2019

We've been following the story of Daniel, noting how Daniel symbolizes love and the kings of Babylon symbolize our ego. Through this story we've seen our ego develop and make positive progress from being totally self consumed to now actually caring about love. The ego is no longer evil, but it still is easily deceived.

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Love Over Ego Week 5

Contentment Over Materialism

March 10 2019

The story is the one where the king is having a great feast, and then sees the writing on the wall that spells out his impending doom. Key to this story is that they're using the holy and sacred artifacts that were taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so there's a clear indication that religion is being abused and perverted. The "Love Over Ego" program sees this as a descent into materialism, and that one of the key steps to bringing our ego under control of our higher self is to learn to be content with our lot and not turn to materialistic practices to find happiness. It won't work.

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Love Over Ego Week 4

Humility Over Shame

March 3 2019

This week is the 4th week in our series of "Love over Ego," and in this story a mighty king is humbled by God for his lack of humility. It's actually a familiar story we can see in life where people rise to great heights only to suffer a great fall. The Scriptures teach us to be humble, and if we can let go of our ego enough to become a servant we'll find that there's tremendous healing to be found in humility. I found a great quote by CS Lewis on humility... he said "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." Well said. Let's give it a shot.

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Love Over Ego Week 3

Confidence Over Arrogance

The Bible tells us to have confidence, and that arrogance is a sin, which creates a bit of a tight rope act for some people who think that arrogance is just an over abundance of confidence. But that's not actually the case. In this talk we look at the difference between confidence and arrogance, and see how they relate.

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Love Over Ego Week 2

Intention Over Expectation

This Sunday the topic is "Intention over expectation" and the idea that we can start off with a good intention... "I'm going to reach out to some old friends and host a party at my house" but when the reality does not meet our expectations it can destroy the good intention and motivations that we started with. The idea is that we have to stay focused on our intentions, and not let our ego's expectations of things ruin the experience.

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Love Over Ego Week 1

True Identity

Identity issues are popular topic in the world today, and in this story Daniel has to choose his identity: is he a Jew or is he Babylonian?

He was born Jewish, but the Babylonians were trying to convert him to to one of them, and despite being offered a better life as a Babylonian he chose to stay with the identitiy that God gave him.

It wasn't an easy choice, but in the end it actually worked out better for him. The same can be true for us. When we live the way God says we should, our true identity will shine brighter than anything the world can give us.

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Benefits of Boredom

It can be easy to take the whole "being useful" teachings to an extreme and essentially become a work-a-holic. There are benefits to boredom, including opening ourselves us to creativity and allowing us time to stop and reflect on our lives. Reflection is vital to our spiritual health!

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Being Useful

Couldn't God just do everything without us? Sure, but God also knows that we get our greatest delight and satisfaction out of accomplishing things and being useful. This week we look at some of the teachings about usefulness as a reminder that sitting around and doing nothing isn't actually paradise.

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Remembrance Day 2018

There's a new super hero movie every few months these days, but today we're going to talk about real heroes. Real heroes don't have super powers, but nevertheless when they see a need, they meet it. The know the price, and they're willing to pay it. And despite that they may be terrified inside, they don't talk themselves out of it. Today we honor the fact that these brave men and women did what needed to be done, despite the fear they were experiencing.

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You Can't Go Back Part 2

Jacob and Laban

Sometimes we find ourselves looking back, thinking about "the good old days." While it's fine to look back at fond memories, we have to be careful that we don't try to go back to old spiritual states. God has us on a path for continual improvement, and so He gives us good times and experiences on our way to help us grow, but eventually we have to leave those behind as we take the next steps on our journey.

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You Can't Go Back

Perhaps you've heard the saying, "You can never go home again." Recently I had the experience of trying to go back in time as it were, and likewise found I just couldn't go back. In the Bible there are a number of places where we're told we can't or shouldn't go back to old places... what's the meaning of these stories? Can we really not go back?

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The Innocence of Children

The disciples of Jesus were arguing over who would be the greatest in heaven. Jesus says to them that actually they needed to change and be like little children, because they are the greatest in heaven.

Maybe you've heard that story before, but recently I had the opportunity to be around the innocence of some little children and it was just so nice! I had forgotten just how precious kids can be, and it's a good reminder of how we need to be if we're going to like those in heaven.

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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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