2009

Ps119

Reverently Regarded Revelation (January)

The new year saw our church begin a congregational Bible-reading plan, journaling and prayer, along with regular House Groups in which our Scripture reflections were shared together.

To firmly focus us in these efforts, we spent a month in Psalm 119, soaking in its reverence for the Word of God.

“Direct, Uninhibited Contact”

“Why We Read

“Eat This Book”

“Revelation and Response”

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When God has a Thousand Word (February-March)

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” so goes the saying. What if God had a lot to say? I bet He’d paint a picture.

This series walked us through some of the most picturesque visions given by God to His messengers, the prophets. If we are seeking to be people shaped by the Word of God, then some long, hard looking at images like these is in order.

Ezekiel 37:1-14: Bones

Hosea 1-3: Marriage

Jonah 4:1-11: A Plant, a Worm, and a Wind

Haggai 1:5-11: Empty Pockets

Ezekiel 47:1-12: River

1 Kings 19:1-18: Whisper

Isaiah 65:17-25: New Heaven and Earth

Malachi 3:10: Floodgates

Isaiah 52:13-53:12: Servant and Arm

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When Lives Are Joined (April-May)

God joins lives together. More shocking, He joins together lives that we might not. Every single church feels the resonance of Paul’s image that we are like the human body, wonderfully united but shockingly diverse. How is that going to work?

This short series was an emphasis on the themes of unity and harmony that flow through Scripture’s call upon God’s people. It wasn’t easy in the first-century churches, and it’s not easy in today’s churches. But it has always been important.

“Some Things Are A Big Deal”

“Some Things Aren’t A Big Deal”

“When Worship Is A Big Deal”

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Pressed in Prayer (June-July)

In a continuing search for what it is that we need if we hope to be effectively shaped into God’s children in our given “here and now”, we turn our attention to prayer. What is it? How does it change us? How can we enter it more deeply?

“Pressed Into Prayer”

“The Mystery of Partnership”

“The Power of Prayer”

 “Unanswered Prayers”

“Praying Together”

“Struggling to Pray”

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Psalms Speak (August)

A casual flip to the middle of your Bible will land you in Psalms, but make no mistake—there is nothing casual about these words. Serving as the hymn book and prayer guide for ancient Israel, this collection of musical poems have continued to fuel and feed the souls of God’s people right up until the present day.
And make no mistake again: These words do speak. At times, they speak to us with instruction and inspiration. Other times, they speak about us, highlighting both the passion and the pettiness that live inside us. They can even speak for us, breathing our own prayers into us in times of dryness or confusion.
 
 
 

 

Psalm 25: “I’m In, Lead Me, Clean Me”

Psalm 135: “Praise the Lord”

Psalm 8: “Creation Calls”

Psalm 13: “How Long?”

Psalms 123-124: “If”

 

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Church Stripped Down (September)

Shrek enlightened the world by telling us that ogres are like onions–they both have layers. A childhood experience of scraping and sanding garage sale furniture with my dad was the first time I realized that beautiful things can get covered over by unnecessary and unattractive layers.

What might we find if we stripped down “church”? Under all the layers of expectation and experimentation, what is the point anyway?

This series is our effort to get under it all to the stripped down church.

“Peeling Back Layers”

“Nation of Priests”

“Body of Believers”

“Kingdom Community”

“Spirit Seekers”

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A Blazing Passion (October-November)

No image depicts passion more than flames. The people of God can be “on fire” or crying out to Him to “light the fire again”. Our desire for Him can be “consuming” or “snuffed out”.

But whatever phrase or picture one chooses, there is no denying the need for passion in the spiritual life.

For three weeks, we turned our attention to the place of passion in our spiritual lives.

“An Ignited People”

“Fanning the Flame”

“The Passion of the Christ”


In the Father’s Embrace (November)

One morning, we did all we could think to do to soak ourselves in one message–that we are the beloved children of God the Father. Songs, stories, interviews, music, children’s books–it all pointed us in one direction. The lesson from that morning can be heard here:

“In the Father’s Embrace”

Ministering Like Mary (November-December)

In becoming what God intends us to be, there has to be some form of “out-flow” in our lives. Said another way, we cannot become all we’re created to become without some form of ministry or service or giving or spending of ourselves on others. In that sense, we are “Made IN Ministry (a phrase our church has been rolling around recently). Sure, we are “Made FOR Ministry”, but more precisely, we are made IN it.

As we strive to live our lives of ministry, Mary’s life provides some powerful examples. Her willingness to step into God’s plans in very uncomfortable, even dangerous, ways reveals to us the intensity and risk and glory and confusion and more of accepting God’s call on our lives.

Luke 1:26-38: “Yes”

Luke 1:39-56: “God Shakes”

Luke 2:1-40: “Voices and Stories”

Luke 2:41-52: “Merely Mom?” (before communion)

Luke 2:41-52: “Merely Mom?” (after communion)

Glimpses of the Manger (December)

We ended our year with three guest speakers and their reflections on the story of Christ’s birth.  Our congregation was blessed by each of these men and their messages.

“Meeting God at the Manger” (Murray Sanders)

“Good News to the Poor” (Kevin Vance)

“Did You Hear the One About an Edomite, Some Arabs, and Jew?” (Wade Grocott)

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