Why is Jesus in a Parade?

d09fe9f9-c785-4b5b-b02c-b98fe10ec1f3Palm Sunday is a bit of a mystery.

– It’s a mystery because we’re never really sure why we’re shouting “Hosanna!”, knowing all the while that this parade ends in a bad way for the man on the donkey.

– It’s a mystery because Jesus usually isn’t one for publicity.  Up till now, he’s shied away from this sort of thing.

– It’s a mystery, because we’re mystified with what to do with the palm leaves after worship.   Bring them home?  Throw them away?

Why is Jesus so celebrated on this day… and why is it important that we DO celebrate the Sunday of the Palms?

Come, discover the meaning behind this special day:
This Sunday at 10am!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trading in Your Old Goat

a5475803-355e-4117-885d-836f6a36d365Uh oh.

Just when we thought we had life all figured out (be a nice person…  carry your cross… depend on Grace), Jesus upsets the apple cart again.

This time he’s telling a parable about who gets the nice accommodations in the Kingdom, and who gets a ride straight to the basement.

But it’s not just any parable.  It’s Jesus’ last parable.  The final story he told his disciples before heading towards Jerusalem and the cross.   That makes it really important.   Really… really important.

Sheep or Goat?  Ever wonder which one you might be?  The people in the text didn’t know!  Find out where you might fit in the story, and how to “change sides” while there’s still time!

This Sunday at 10am!

 

Get ready for Sunday:  Read The Sheep & The Goats

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grace

0a67d020-cd64-4bf6-aee7-d2029dcb19a2You can see it in the old man’s visage.   He’s poised to eat a simple dinner.  It’s hardly a meal worth giving thanks for.  Yet his sincerity slices through the image like a hot knife through butter.  He is thankful.  He sincerely believes that even these simplest elements of life are a gift.Maybe even life itself.

Just when we think we’ve got it all under our control — we’ve thrown the right amount into the offering plate, said the right prayers at the proper intervals, and behaved nicely to everyone — Paul comes along and pricks our self inflated egos by telling us that it’s all done by God’s Grace.

All of it.

For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.   (Eph 2:8)

Is it possible that this old man understands things about God that we don’t?

Let’s talk about Grace.   Real Grace.   The free kind.  The expensive kind.

This Sunday at 10.

– Pastor Mac

Read Ephesians 2:1-10 today and get more out of your Sunday!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Got Discipleship?

cd2a39db-28db-4d1f-9ca4-c75057358a3e

Sometimes we make it seem that becoming a disciple is like qualifying for the Varsity team in High School. You do your stuff… the coach likes you… and you get the letter to sew onto your jacket.    Lot’s of things we do as churches probably engender that idea:  We havediscipleship courses,discipleship meetings, and books galore about how to become a Disciple.Then there’s Jesus’takeondiscipleship, which is loads simpler, and yet, infinitely harder:Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”   – Mark 8:343 easy steps.  Deny, take up, follow.   What could go wrong?Last week we talked about our glasses full of “Me”:  How Jesus told us to pour all the “Me” out (deny ourselves), so he can pour himself in.

This week we’ll strive to understand what Jesus really meant when he said “take up your cross and follow me.”  (Nope, it’s not what you think!)   We’ll also discover where GRACE plays a role in our striving to become disciples.

We might even get to lift a few crosses, while we’re at it.

See you on Sunday!

– Pastor Mac

Read Mark 8:30-38 today and get more out of your Sunday.

If you missed last Sunday’s message on Discipleship, you can catch up by listening to the streaming audio at the link below.
Click Here For Last Week’s Message
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome to the Wilderness

44242369-e7f9-4e7b-a8d9-8c61e369a516Have you ever been in the wilderness?

Being sent  (literally: cast out) into the wilderness makes for a rough and tumble beginning to Jesus’ ministry.   No motor home, tow-behind camper, or even a pup tent out here.  Jesus is going out to face down both the elements and the powers that don’t want him to succeed in his ministry.

Jesus’ experience in the desert reminds us that being his followers is, at times, a lot like entering a war zone.  Not the imagined war zone of TV news anchors… but a real battle on a spiritual level.   All kinds of temptations get tossed before us in the twisted hope that we’ll choose a more comfortable and familiar path (stones into bread, anyone?), and thus happily detour away from the Mission given to us.

Maybe you’ve felt a little bit of that in life.  Like everything is against you… and that taking an easier route would be almost a blessing.   Almost.

Have you ever been in the wilderness?

Let’s talk.  This Sunday at 10:00

– Pastor Mac

Get more out of Sunday:  Read Mark 1:9-15 in the NIV

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mary and Martha

Sunday’s Message:   A favorite story with a deeper meaning…  Martha, Mary, and Jesus.

Sunday’s Weather:
I don’t even want to talk about it!   The weatherman says that a big storm Saturday night into Sunday is likely.   Yuck!

IF the weather forces a cancellation, you’ll find it on your TV screen (Chs 6 & 13) by 8:30 AM.

If snowy weather keeps us out of the pews: please consider putting your tithe into an envelope and bringing it next Sunday along with your regular weekly tithe.

Hope to see you Sunday!  Stay safe and God Bless!

– Pastor Mac

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Matters of Life and Death

2568df91-6c06-4476-977e-3b90ad80e9a6More Matters of Life and Death

This Sunday we welcome Pastor Eric Hanson to deliver our message.
Pastor Eric is the father of Sarah Bailey.

Scripture: Luke 21:10-19

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jonah was Italian?

5138920c-7653-4d63-96f6-d63a82269cbb

You would think that three days in the belly of the fish would set anyone straight.   But soon enough Jonah is griping about God again.   Do WE ever do that?   Sometimes! Come as we wrap up the Book of Jonah:  Deep Grace Pt-4.

Stay for Lunch.

Spaghetti Tacos, yeah baby!
Actually, it’s a potluck, but we’ll have plenty of spaghetti and some taco shells to share as well.

Sunday is our Annual Meeting Sunday, and we’ve got some things to do and some plans to talk about for the year ahead.   You do not have to be a member to stay for the lunch and the meeting… just eat, listen, and enjoy!

See you Sunday!  – Pastor Mac

Sermon from last week.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jonah, Experiencing Grace

87192e13-ae3e-4d90-9373-c6da2573819ePart 3 – Sackcloths and Ashes

The biggest fashion rage right now is LL Bean boots.   Not the fancy ones, but the ones like your grandfather used to wear.  Those boots!   Apparently wearing a 100 year old design of boots is a way to tell the world “I’m hip!”.  Go figure!

Faced with a fierce judgement from God, the Ninevites (aka: the bad guys) stripped to their skivvies, put on sackcloths, and sat in the dirt.   This was a fashion statement of it’s own:  “We screwed up, and we’re really sorry.”   Funny part was… it worked.  God “relented” and called off the whole thing.

This week we’ll talk about some famous people who went to extremes to find forgiveness… and whether we should keep a few sackcloths handy for ourselves. Hopefully not!

See you in Worship!  ~ Pastor Mac

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Experiencing Grace Part 2

Jonah: Experiencing Grace

Part 2 – The Belly of the Fish87192e13-ae3e-4d90-9373-c6da2573819e

Click.  The lights go out.  One minute everything is fine, the next.. utter darkness.   No television.  No wifi.  Not even the hum of the refrigerator to fill the void.

Blackouts are a lot of fun at first.
But after a few hours, it wears on you. There’s nothing to do.  Everyone gets quiet.  Soon its just you and your thoughts.

Jonah gets to spend three days alone with his thoughts, which is part of God’s work of redemption for him.   Out of this solitude comes a fully renewed sense of his life’s purpose.

What would God say to you if you spent a few hours alone… just you and Him?   What would you say to Him?  How might that change your sense of the meaning of your life?

We’ll explore those questions and more this Sunday.

See you in Worship!  ~ Pastor Mac

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment