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43 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
The Trumpet and the Trowel
When God’s people step into God’s will to accomplish God’s purpose, they can expect opposition. The enemy will use ridicule and rumor, bullying and abuse to cause us to withdraw, to stop what God is building. We might expect that following God’s will should bring God’s blessing—and it does—but that blessing may be found through a difficult path where our internal tiredness will also face external intimidation. That is the story of Nehemiah Chapter 4. Because God’s people join together to build in God’s work, the enemy reacts with shame and threats. This Sunday, we will consider how we can continue to build God’s church in the midst of enemy opposition.
45 minutes | Oct 10, 2021
Is Nehemiah Too Narrow Minded?
Nehemiah chapter three was all about building walls and closing doors. It seems like an odd emphasis, at least from a Christian perspective. Aren’t we supposed to be about bringing people in, not putting up walls to keep people out? Do you sometimes feel like Nehemiah should be less like Moses and the law, and more like Jesus? Nehemiah seemed pretty harsh and exclusionary with Sanballat the Samaritan in Neh 2:20, saying that he has no portion or right or claim with them in Jerusalem. Ouch! So, what does Nehemiah’s narrow-mindedness tell us about the gospel, and are some people excluded from inclusion in God’s blessing today? Let’s talk about it on Sunday. Pastor Bob
51 minutes | Oct 3, 2021
What You Do Matters. Nehemiah Chapter 3
Nehemiah chapter three is a fun chapter to read. In 32 verses there are about 100 names of people and places, most of which we cannot pronounce. This is the part of Nehemiah’s story that reads more like one of those long chapters of numbers in the Book of Numbers. Why is that chapter here, and why does it matter? These names might not matter so much to us, but maybe they should because they certainly matter to God. And you know what—your name matters to God too. What you do matters to God and he never overlooks what his people do for his name. Let’s talk about it, understanding what they did and what we should do also.
44 minutes | Sep 26, 2021
God’s Hand is Upon You – Nehemiah Chapter 2
You have seen a need or come face-to-face with a crisis concerning the well-being of those you love. You’ve prayed for God to do something, to make a way. You’ve prayed for days, for weeks, for months… You feel like you’re hanging by a thread. Suddenly, the moment of truth has come—will your prayer be answered, or will your story have a shorter and unhappy ending? In Nehemiah Chapter 2 the story is not cut short. Nehemiah’s thread does not break; his story of God working continues to go forward even with some storm clouds of opposition appearing on the horizon. Come and see how Nehemiah can go forward, God’s people can arise and build, and you can take the next step, because “the good hand of God is upon you.”
44 minutes | Sep 19, 2021
Nehemiah – Building Up and Bringing Hope
Some people see the story of Nehemiah as one about leadership and logistics, or construction and correction. Those things are certainly in there, but the foundation on which all of those things are built is a story of restoration. It’s a story of confession and covenant, of God’s provision and protection. It’s a story in which we see that God does hear and answer prayer, and we can see that mere men can show something of the heart of God. In Nehemiah 1 we’ll see something of God’s own heart and something of our restoration and God’s working in us.
49 minutes | Sep 12, 2021
We have a guest speaker this Sunday, John and Carol Ragsdale serve with Trans World Radio in the Middle East and North Africa, bringing the Gospel and hope in Christ to some of the most unreached people. John will be sharing with us from Colossians 4:2-6, and reporting on some of the challenges and opportunities for missionary radio in the last couple of years
42 minutes | Sep 5, 2021
What Are You Afraid Of? – Mark Chapter 16
It's a strange thing for the Gospel of Mark to conclude outside the empty tomb with the words, “they said nothing to anyone because they were afraid.” That’s not right, how can it end that way?! It’s almost scandalous – and it seemed that way after Mark wrote it, too. The truth is, it didn’t end that way, and yet for us, some days it does. Have you at times been afraid to share what God has done? We all have. So, what do we do with our fear?
44 minutes | Aug 29, 2021
The King Worth Believing In – Mark Chapter 15
Cultural leaders rage against Jesus, seeing his followers as a greater threat than real criminals. Political leaders desperately try to preserve the appearance that they are in charge. The masses are easily manipulated to demand what seems to be the solution, rather than what is truly good or right or just. Am I talking about Mark Chapter 15 or 2021? In the midst of troubled times, Jesus stands above all as the one worth believing in, then and now. And yet, we are surprised by those who do believe.
37 minutes | Aug 22, 2021
Break the Bottle – Mark Chapter 14
We know that serving the Lord is important, but have you ever thought someone was going too far? Have you ever thought that someone’s service was too costly, even wasteful – that they should do something else instead? That’s what the disciples thought in Mark Chapter 14. But, the far more important question is what does Jesus think about it? Sometimes there’s more going on in our sacrifice in serving than even we realize.
52 minutes | Aug 16, 2021
It's Time to Wake Up! - Mark Chapter 13
When discussions about end times and Jesus’ return devolve into speculation and forced interpretations, people tend to avoid the topic of end times prophecy altogether. But, are we neglecting something Jesus specifically told his followers to understand? The reality is, there are general signs all around us that don’t tell us anything specific, and then there are two specific, can’t-be-missed signs that will tell exactly when the end of the age is here and Jesus is coming. We’ll talk about these on Sunday. But more importantly, we’ll talk about why Jesus said we need to understand this. We’ll talk about what difference God’s future makes in your today
32 minutes | Aug 8, 2021
Question Your Selfishness - Mark 12
Think about a time when you were selfish as a kid. It shouldn't be too hard to do. Kids are naturally selfish, but we hope that they grow out of it as they get older. It doesn't always happen though, does it? In fact, I can think of many times recently where I thought or acted selfishly. We know that God has called us to live differently than this. But it is hard to live for God, it is hard to put others first—in order to do that we need a different perspective. Jesus helps us do that as he answers three questions posed to him by the selfish religious leaders in Mark Chapter 12. Join us this Sunday as we learn how to live not for ourselves, but yet for God.
36 minutes | Aug 1, 2021
When Worship Withers - Mark 11
Have you noticed the trees lately? Of course you have, we live in the PNW, there are trees everywhere! But have you noticed some withering going on? About a month ago, Jill and I started to notice that some of the leaves and needles on trees were turning brown (or even black). It was curious though, because it was only happening on the west side of the trees. That's when we realized that it was connected to the heat wave. You see, the hottest part of the day is in the afternoon/evening and that is when the sun is shining from the west. That's why there is only brown on one side. Hopefully, these trees will recover just fine, but there is one withering tree in Mark Chapter 11 that will never recover. However, it's not so much about the tree, it's actually about worship.
52 minutes | Jul 25, 2021
Walking Through a Wasteland– Mark Chapter 10
As Jesus travels with his disciples through the barren landscape from Galilee to Jericho and then on to Jerusalem, Mark records some of his final lessons for his disciples. He is preparing them to walk in his ways after he has departed. These practical lessons concerning marriage, children, wealth and ambition are as relevant today as they were then. Keys to surviving when you’re walking through a wasteland include: go back to the beginning, think smaller, stop trying, and aim lower.
42 minutes | Jul 18, 2021
The One Worth Following – Mark Chapter 9
When we get serious about following Jesus, the cost to follow is high. How do we know it will be worth it? Will his kingdom actually come or have we misunderstood? It’s so hard to lay aside things in life that have always seemed so normal and important… These are tensions Jesus’ disciples experience—both then and now. To strengthen them (and us) Mark 9 gives a glimpse of Christ’s kingdom both in the future, and now: the sacrifice and the glory.
40 minutes | Jul 11, 2021
What Do You See? – Mark Chapter 8
Several years ago bpChurch helped with an evangelistic booth at the Clark County Fair. We used optical illusions to show people that sometimes how they are seeing something might not be how it really is. For example, a line looks curved when it’s actually straight, or something seems bigger when it is actually smaller. Mark Chapter 8 challenges how we see things. Could it be that we don’t see the truth about Jesus as clearly as we thought we did? Could it be that even if we see Jesus as Lord and Savior, we still might be missing the main thing in following him?
50 minutes | Jul 4, 2021
Cleansing Habits and Hearts – Mark Chapter 7
We’ve heard a lot about washing hands in the last 15 months: “wash your hands frequently so that you are not infected by others around you.” Ironically, this was also commonly heard in the time of Jesus: “Wash your hands so that you are not defiled by unclean people around you.” But what does Jesus say about hand-washing? You might be surprised… And what does he say about those unclean people around you?
48 minutes | Jun 27, 2021
A Tale of Two Banquets – Mark Chapter 6
Jesus is not like other human rulers; he often does not do what we expect. Is that a problem with Jesus or with our expectations? We “know” that the best thing for us is always to “follow Jesus and do as he says,” but we don’t always do that. We have a tendency to trust and follow others instead; we easily follow lesser leaders who are closer to us—following the familiar instead of the better. Mark 6 uses contrasting events to show that Jesus is the one we should follow, even when our instincts or desires urge us to do otherwise. In a day when multiple nearby voices demand we follow them, we need this reminder of why we follow Jesus.
37 minutes | Jun 13, 2021
What are you afraid of? – Mark Chapter 5
Mark 5 actually begins in Mark 4:35-41 with the disciples caught in a storm. From there a series of episodes put us in the midst of several different circumstances that most people would find fearful. Do you fear the possibility of a natural disaster like an earthquake or fire? Would you have a knot in your gut if you came face-to-face with someone who is obviously demon-possessed? Have you ever feared a cancer diagnosis or coming down with Covid? This past year has certainly showed us how much people are willing to give up to try and stay safe when we believe we have something to fear. Some things should be feared, but what should we do with fear? How does faith change what we fear or how we fear? And how can we have peace in the midst of genuinely fearful circumstances?
42 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
Seed, Soils and Sowers – Mark Chapter 4
This week we will see how Mark prepares God’s church, in a secular and unbelieving environment, to maintain a fruitful witness of faith. It won’t be easy, there will be rejection, discouragement and distraction. But there will also be wonderful results, where the only explanation can be that “God is in this, look what God is doing in people’s lives!” That’s what we want to see more of, even if it means risking rejection, troubles or failure, because God’s fruitfulness is worth our faithfulness.
42 minutes | May 30, 2021
New Wine In Your Skin – Mark Chapter 3
God is doing something new—salvation in Jesus is new wine that cannot be contained in the old wineskins of religious rules and traditions. So, what are the new wineskins which will carry and convey God’s salvation to others? The answer may surprise you.
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