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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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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