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Sun, Dec 22, 2019
Passage: Luke 2:26-29
Duration: 45 mins 33 secs
As we go through the different stages of life, our experience of Christmas changes. Senior years mark the final stage, full of changing roles, relationships, and losses. However, senior years are not without joy. In fact, the faithfulness, beauty, and goodness of God come into focus as we draw near to our death. Both Simeon and Anna model a seasoned faith, full of gratitude in their waning season. They are a model to us in any season of our lives to look for the goodness of God.
Sun, Dec 15, 2019
Duration: 46 mins 31 secs
As we go through the different stages of life, our experience of Christmas changes. Adulthood marks the next stage, full of responsibility, volatility, and thoughtfulness.. In fact, we see Mary model grown up faith in the opening chapters of Luke. In a rare, biblical story dominated by female perspectives, Luke details Mary's response to God's appointment as the mother of the Lord. She remains faithful to God, his law, her husband, and newborn, setting a powerful example for us all to follow. People need good examples in to flourish--so, grown ups, keep living well!
Sun, Dec 08, 2019
Passage: Luke 2:41-52
Duration: 47 mins 40 secs
As we go through the different stages of life, our experience of Christmas changes. Childhood marks the first stage, full of wonder, adventure, curiosity, and questions. In fact, we see Jesus reflect a similar attitudes on his childhood Passover experience. In the only biblical tale of his childhood, Luke details his family custom, an annual trip to Jerusalem, and growing sense of calling. Jesus provides models a life of wonder, learning, and submission, which should last well beyond our childhood!
Sun, Dec 01, 2019
In the closing chapter of Ruth, the loose ends get tied and the story comes full circle. The morning after Ruth has proposed to Boaz, he seeks out the nearest relative (kinsman redeemer) to discuss Naomi's land and Ruth's future. Boaz offers to care for Ruth and Naomi. He proves an honorable man. And two gutsy women who have lost much, regain love and security. This powerful narrative proves that when God's people submit to his leading, it has lasting impact.
Sun, Nov 24, 2019
Passage: Ruth 3:1-19
Duration: 49 mins 21 secs
Naomi and Ruth hatch a big plot. They scheme their way into an unlikely betrothal between Ruth and Boaz. The foreign, barren, widow has little more to offer than her kind reputation and bold faith. But that is enough to impress Boaz. He provisionally accepts her proposal and sends her home with good news and extra grain. The third scene shows the power of big risks, big asks, and rehearsing God's redemption, even if it means overturning some social norms.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019
Naomi and Ruth hatch a plan and get to work. So does God (did He ever stop?). The Moabitess starts gleaning and "happens" on Boaz's field. This noble relative of Naomi quickly takes Ruth under his wing because of her active faith. Boaz protects her, promotes her, and provides for her needs. The solution to her and Naomi's hunger problem stems from God's providence, her diligence, and Boaz's generosity. When many hands work together, God brings much good from it.
Sun, Nov 10, 2019
Passage: Ruth 1:1-22
Duration: 49 mins 14 secs
Some people have a harder lot in life than others. Job is among the most famous biblical sufferers. But there is another, less often discussed sufferer. Her name is Naomi, and we read her story of dramatic status change, mounting losses, and waiting on God. Fortunately for Naomi, God showed up in the kindness of her daughter-in-law who shared her burden. God's kindness still shows up today through human kindness.
Sun, Nov 03, 2019
Everyone has potential. Sadly, many do not reach it. Their lives our wrecked by untamed passions and uncontrolled pride. Need a case study? Look no farther than Samson. This miracle child, empowered by the Spirit of God, spiraled to his death. His good looks, strong arms, and clever riddles could not compensate for his foolish decisions. And yet, God still used him and answered his prayers. That offers hope to those of us who likewise fail to reach their God-given potential.
Sun, Oct 27, 2019
We get stuck in loops. When they're good, we call them grooves. When they're bad, we call them ruts. As creatures of habit, we cannot help but gravitate toward the predictable. This ancient problem is most tragically illustrated in the book of Judges. Generation after generation in Israel does evil, gets oppressed, cries out, receives a deliverer from God, experiences short-lived peace, and then repeats the cycle. Fortunately, God can help us break bad cycles and replace them with good ones.
Sun, Oct 20, 2019
Passage: Judges 2:6-13
Duration: 52 mins 48 secs
After Joshua died a leadership vacuum opened. Worse yet, Israel intermarried with the Canaanites and failed to clear their land of idols. Thus begins the book of Judges, which chronicles God's people descent into false worship and civil warfare. This message will orient us to the book of Judges -- its structure, key players, and major themes -- and the timeless threat of idolatry. God's prohibition of idols (and jealousy) betrayed his desire for his people to live full and free lives. For those interested in a life of delight, they must uproot idols.
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