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In His Steps: The Turn

Mark 8:27-9:29

Main Idea: Jesus is the King, but a king going to a cross to die.  And to turn and follow Jesus, to be his disciple, we must die too.

In His Steps: The Stain

Mark 7:1-30

Main Point: Apart from a relationship with God through Jesus, our hearts, attitudes, and actions are stained. Jesus can touch and heal our stain.

Praying for Your Pastor

Jim Curty shares this morning of the need and importance of praying for your pastor.

In His Steps: The Kingdom, the Response

Mark 4, 6

Main Idea: Jesus is the King bringing God’s life-giving Kingdom, but people must decide if they will enter His Kingdom.

In His Steps: Authority, Power, Rest

Mark 1:13-2:28

Main Idea: The stories of Jesus’ teaching and healing showed that he had authority and power.  He is the rest that we are looking for in life, inviting us back into a relationship (dance) with God.

In His Steps: The King, the Dance, the Battle

Mark 1:1-13

Main Idea: God created life to be a loving and joyful relationship (dance) with him. The battle is the pressure and consequences of leaving the dance with God.  


Alvarado’s Story

This is the story of the Alvarado family’s story of a battle with childhood cancer.

Being a Christlike Disciple in Okinawa

Matthew 28:19-20

Main Idea: God is inviting you to join his work in making disciples among Okinawans and Japanese he puts in your life.   

Being a Christlike Disciple

Matthew 3:13-4:22

Main Idea: A disciple of Jesus learns from Jesus how to live their live like Jesus would.

Thrill of Hope

Luke 2:41-52

Main Point: Jesus is one we can put our hope in.

Thrill of Hope: Promise

Luke 1:39-55

Mary believed God’s promise of hope, even though it came with great risk, and found it was worth it.

Thrill of Hope: Generosity

Luke 3:7-18

As we put our hope in Jesus, we are freed to be generous instead of hoarding and securing.

Thrill of Hope: Way of Hope

John 3:1-6

Jesus is the way of hope, we prepare for his coming by repenting and being ready to follow him.

Thrill of Hope: Anticipate

Luke 21:25-36

Main Idea: Don’t put your trust in things or people who will change, break, or die.  Put your trust in Jesus who is unshakable and will come to save us.

We Believe: The Church

Ephesians 4:1-16

Main idea: The church is a family of Jesus, united in him and living out God’s love through the Spirit.

We Believe: Sanctification

1 John 4:11-19

God invites us to be holy as he is holy.

We Believe: Crucifixion, Atonement, Repentance

Faith Builders

Today we remember what God has done through Keystone over the past 50 years, and look forward to how we are part of the next 50 years.

Faith Builders: The Next 50 Years


See how God has worked over the past 50 years of Keystone and how we can be part of the next 50!

We Believe: Sin

1 Corinthians 15:55-58

Main Point: Sin is a failure of love in the heart where we choose to push God out and not love him back and follow him.

We Believe: The Bible

Today’s service was cancelled due to Typhoon Trami, but this is the audio from the Facebook Live that was done in place of the service.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Main point: The Bible is God’s revelation of who He is (Father, Son, and Spirit), who we are, and his plans for us.  Through these stories and reflections of God’s people, He has given us everything we need to know for salvation.

We Believe: The Holy Spirit

God is present in the world through his Holy Spirit. His Spirit teaches people what is true, convicts people of wrong, saves those who repent and believe in God’s love through Jesus, and transforms (sanctifies) us to be like Jesus!

We Believe: Jesus Christ

Main idea: God sent Jesus the son who came to us, died because of us, and rose again, to offer us forgiveness and life through a living relationship with God.

We Believe: The Triune God

We believe in one God who reveals himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who created the universe and created human to live in harmony with him and each other.

Acts: Paul’s Arrest and Defense Pt 2

Acts 24-26

God gave Paul many opportunities to share about Jesus.  Each person had a decision of how to respond.

Acts: Compelled by Christ – Paul’s 3rd Missionary Journey

Acts 18:23-21:17

Main Point: Paul’s life is caught up in helping people follow Jesus (through Baptism and the Holy Spirit), no matter the cost.

Acts: Compelled by Christ – Paul’s 2nd Missionary Journey

Acts 15:36-18:22

Main point: God has a purpose for our lives and we can be full participants in His redeeming work.

Acts: Who can follow Jesus? – The Jerusalem Council

Acts 15:1-35

It is Jesus, not laws and rituals, that can save us; setting us right with God and showing us how to live well with Him in His world.

Acts: Compelled for Christ – Paul’s 1st Missionary Journey

Acts 13-14

Acts: Moving Out – God Reaching the Gentiles

Acts 10-12

Acts: Encountered by Jesus – Saul to Paul

Acts 8-9

Acts: Exciting Beginnings Pt 2

Exciting Beginnings – A People Like Jesus
Acts 3-4

The Holy Spirit began to form Jesus’ disciples to be like Jesus and help others become like Him.

Acts: Exciting Beginnings

Acts 1-2

Jesus returned to heaven so that He could give the Holy Spirit, the very spirit and presence of God, to live in his followers.

What (Whose) story are you telling?

Today Pastor Rosslyn will share the story of her walk with Jesus.

God Questions: Is God egotistical? Who can bless?

Main point: God is the generous and giving one, who invites us to join what He is doing in the world, to be a blessing to others.

Got Questions: How do I parent?

Main point: We disciple children and youth God has put in our lives by helping engage their heart in love so they choose to love God back and love others.

Got Questions: Why Christianity?

1 Peter 3:15

Main point: Because of all God has done for us in Jesus we follow him. We follow Jesus, seeing where He is working in people’s lives and loving and inviting them to also follow Him.

Got Questions: What is self-centered and radical Christianity?

Main Point: We were created to love God wholeheartedly. Being self-centered, or indifferent (lukewarm) leads us away from Him and life.

Got Questions: What entertainment is wrong?

Main Point: We reflect God and reject sin (in entertainment and other choices) by seeking to love God, share his perspective, and act according to his commands and his character.

Got Questions: What about marriage and divorce?

Why did God create marriage? What is marriage supposed to look like? How do I think about this if I’m single? What does God think about divorce and remarriage?

Easter: Alive!

John 20:1-20

Main Idea: Jesus’ resurrection confronts and defeats our deepest fears.

Lent: Unusual Victory

Mark 11:1-11

Main Point: Jesus brings salvation and victory, but not in the ways people expected.

Lent: Death Leads to Life

John 12:20-33

Main Idea: When we are willing to give up our lives to Jesus, to die, we really start living.

Lent: Turning the Tables

John 2:13-22

Main Idea: Jesus is serious about confronting injustice.

Lent: Taking Your Cross

Mark 8:31-38

Main Idea: Jesus invites us to die to the lives we know to follow Him.

Lent: Water in Wilderness

Mark 1:9-15

Main Idea: Jesus’ baptism and temptation shows how God brings water even to the wilderness.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is a the beginning of lent, a day to remember that God made us from dust, and to dust we will return.

Lent: What is Lent?

Mark 1:9-13

Lent is the 40-day journey to Easter. It is a time of reflection, repentance, and fasting, to become more Christlike.

Making Christlike Disciples: In Okinawa

Matthew 28:19-20

Making Christlike Disciples: Testimony

Luke 8:38-39

Making Christlike Disciples: Being a Disciple

Matthew 3:13-4:22

Come Jesus: Jesus Comes

John 1:1-14

Come, Jesus: Make Room

2 Samuel 7:1-12, Luke 1:26-38

To follow God’s lead, we must make room.

Come, Jesus: The Party!

Theme:  Jesus is the party we are looking for, the one who makes the wrong things right.

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; John 1:6-8, 19-28


Come, Jesus: Make Things Right!

Theme:  Jesus, Come and Make Things Right!

Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37

Moses: What God has Done

Moses: Experiencing God Throughout Life

God wants us to experience him throughout all the parts of life (work, family, church, His Kingdom work around us).

Moses: Obey and Experience God

Exodus 7-14

Main idea: You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

Moses: Crisis of Belief

Exodus 5

Main idea: God’s invitation for you to work with him leads to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.

Moses: God Speaks

God speaks to reveal his purposes (through Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church).

Moses: Relationship

Exodus 2-3

Main idea: God pursues a love relationship with you that is real and personal

Moses: God’s Work

Genesis 12:1-4, 15:12-21; Exodus 1-2

Theme: God is always at work around you!

Look to Jesus: Running Like Jesus!

Hebrews 12:14-13:25

Main idea: Practical instruction to run the race with Jesus.

Look to Jesus: Run the Race!

Hebrews 12:1-13

Main point: Throw off sin. Follow Jesus. Be disciplined.

Look to Jesus: Remember those who trusted Jesus

Scripture: Hebrews 10:32-11:40

Main idea:  Persevere with Jesus by remembering those who lived by faith!

Look to Jesus: A Heart Submitted

Hebrews 10:1-18

Jesus came offering a heart submitted to God.

Look to Jesus: Jesus Brings Salvation

Hebrews 7:28-9:28

Main idea: How Jesus, our high priest, connects us to God.

Hokkaido Missions Reflections

Psalm 105:1-5

Today we hear stories from the participants of our Hokkaido missions team!

Look to Jesus: Jesus is Peace and Righteousness

Hebrews 5:5-7:22

Main idea: Jesus is a high priest in the order of Melchizedek

Look to Jesus: Jesus, Our Connection to God

Hebrews 4:14-5:4

Hold onto our High Priest, Jesus.

Look to Jesus: Don’t Miss Out

Hebrews 4:1-16

Don’t miss God’s promised rest by not listening to Jesus

Look to Jesus: Look to Jesus

Hebrews 3:1-19

Look to Jesus with a soft and obedient heart.

Philippines Reflections

Psalm 78:4-7

This week Pastor Brian and Julie share how God was working at the Global Nazarene Youth event they attended in the Philippines.

Look to Jesus: Jesus Understands Life

Hebrews 2:1-18

Main idea: Listen to Jesus because He understands our lives

Father’s Day

Be the Dad (Parent) your kids will love!

Look to Jesus: Created to Hear God

Hebrews 1:1-14

Main idea: God speaks to you through his Son Jesus.

Set Apart: Perfect Love

Matthew 5:48

Main idea: Jesus tells us to be perfect like God is. We are perfect to God when we totally trust and obey the Holy Spirit. When we do this, God changes our character to be like Jesus!

Set Apart: The Savior

Philippians 2:5-11

Unlike Israel, Jesus (God the son) lived his life surrendered to God. His life seemed to end in death and defeat, but God raised him from the dead. This shows God’s power is greater than any wrong or evil in us and around us. Jesus invites us to live our lives surrendered to God also.

Set Apart: Love Broken

God set Israel apart to love him and to help others love him. However, throughout the Old Testament, Israel showed a deep heart problem, failing to love God, pushing God out, serving other gods, and trying to be like other people. But God never gave up on his people he loved.

Glorious Defeat: Easter

Matthew 28:1-10

Sin is the source of fear, brokenness and death. Jesus has confronted them on the cross and has defeated him in the resurrection. He invites you to trust and follow Him.

Glorious Defeat: Dying to Defeat

Isaiah 50:4-9, Matthew 27

Jesus is the prophesied Suffering Servant who is taught by, listens to, and is faithful to His Father. His mission is to provide a word for the weary, to disciple, and to model obedience to His Father, no matter what transpires.

Glorious Defeat: Dying to Fear

1 Samuel 16:1-13

God’s invitation may cause fear because we are not in control, but we can obey with the assurance that God is in control and brings good things in his way and timing.

Glorious Defeat: Dying to My Plans

Genesis 12:1-4

God’s invitation for Abram to follow him meant dying to life as He knew it. God used Abram’ life to impact the entire world.

Glorious Defeat: Dying to Complaining

Galatians 2:20, Exodus 17:1-7

God always provides what we need in His time. Grumbling or complaining demonstrates lack of faith, obedience, trust, and reliance upon God.

Come, Jesus! – Actively Waiting

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11

Jesus will return resurrecting the dead and calling the living who love him to share life with Him forever!

Come, Jesus! – Life and Love

Matthew 25:31-45

Eternal life means both finding Jesus as the source of goodness, but also sharing his character of goodness in how we act here and now. To not do so is to choose eternal death.

Making Disciples in Okinawa

Matthew 28:19-20

God is inviting you to join His work in making disciples among the Okinawans and Japanese He puts in your life.

Making Disciples

Matthew 28:19-20

We make disciples by learning how God is working around us and joining him to help others choose to live their lives as Jesus himself would.

Being a Disciple

Matthew 3:13-4:22

A disciple of Jesus learns from Jesus how to live their live like Jesus would.

God With Us: For All You Have Done

Isaiah 63:7-9, Matthew 2:13-14

We remember all God has done, and commit to follow him this new year!

God With Us: Savior, King

Isaiah 9:1-7

Theme:  Jesus is the world’s Savior and King

God With Us: Invitation

Matthew 1:18-25, Isaiah 7:1-16

Theme:  When God invites, what is our answer?

God With Us: Healing

Isaiah 35:1-10

Theme: When God comes he brings healing and life to the desert.

God With Us: Anticipate

Isaiah 2:1-5

Theme: We can anticipate God bringing peace as we walk like Jesus.

Becoming Like Jesus: Just Do It!

Matthew 7:13-27

Theme: You can not fake becoming a disciple of Jesus. Take what Jesus has taught and do it!

Becoming Like Jesus: A Good Relationship with God

Matthew 6:8-15

Theme: A Kingdom kind-of person learns to speak to God in Prayer.

Becoming Like Jesus: Living with Others

Matthew 7:1-12
A Kingdom kind-of person learns God’s way of asking instead of condemning.

Becoming Like Jesus: Living Without Worry

Matthew 6:25-34

Theme: A Kingdom kind-of person can let go of worry, trusting God knows and will care for their life.

Becoming Like Jesus: Treasuring God

Matthew 6:19-24

A Kingdom kind-of person learns to treasure God first and most, and this aligns their other treasures in a life-giving way.

Becoming Like Jesus: Seeking God’s Approval

Matthew 6:1-18

A Kingdom kind-of person learns to do the right things for the approval of God, not other people.

Becoming Like Jesus: Jesus’ View of Enemies

Matthew 5:38-48

Main Idea: A Kingdom kind-of person learns to live with and love their enemies as God does.

Becoming Like Jesus: Living without Anger

Matthew 5:21-26

A kingdom kind-of person learns to value others and not use anger and contempt.

Becoming Like Jesus: God’s Good Life for Us

Matthew 5:1-20

AS we trust Jesus and his Kingdom, He gives us the good life!

Becoming Like Jesus: When God Comes Near

Matthew 4:12-25

Through Jesus, God is present and has power to help you today!

The Thread: Daniel


Daniel was a prophet who, although living in exile, honored and obeyed God.  He was equipped with the gift of interpreting dreams which God used to speak to the rulers in Babylon. As a prayer warrior, Daniel was provided a glimpse into the future.

The Thread: Elijah

1King 17-19:18

Elijah was a prophet who obeyed God. He faced many personal obstacles as he served and followed God’s directions. Yet, even though at times, he felt weak and unable to continue, God sustained him in miraculous ways, so he was able to demonstrate God’s power and love as he fulfilled God’s plan for his life.


The Thread: Samson

Main idea:

Samson was a human being very much like us. He had God’s call on his life. He knew what he was supposed to do. But often he made small compromises that made him vulnerable to spiritual attack. He was weak spiritually but strong physically. He too often relied on his own strength rather than the strength the LORD wanted to provide.

The Thread: David – A Broken Leader

2 Samuel 11& 12

David was a man who had everything. He was the leader of a nation and had wealth beyond measure. And yet sin still found its way into his heart in ways that broke him deeply. He serves as an example of what not to do and how to recover from sin.

The Thread: David

David was a man who had everything. He was the leader of a nation and had wealth beyond measure. And yet sin still found its way into his heart in ways that broke him deeply. He serves as an example of what not to do and how to recover from sin.

The Thread: Ruth

Ruth stand as an example of someone who wasn’t afraid to serve those who were in positions of authority in her life.

She knew what it meant to commit to a cause and follow through on that commitment.

The Thread: Moses

Moses was an reluctant leader. It took years for the LORD to draw out his leadership abilities. But when he allowed the LORD to work, the LORD did impossible things through him. And the LORD was lifted up in the eyes of the whole world.

The Thread: Joseph

Genesis 37-50

God often uses the worst of circumstances as a means of bringing glory to Himself.

The Thread: Jacob

Genesis 27:1-35:29

Everyone of us come from a family that has brokenness. When the LORD asks us to follow Him the journey often starts with very small steps of faith. He calls us to move in order get us unstuck from our comfortable lives into His greater future. And along the way we often end up more broken, more in need of His grace than ever before.

The Thread: Abraham

Genesis 11:27-23:20

God keeps His promises. He has communicated to people down through history. Some have had a special place in His plan. He made promises to them and He kept them, even when the people failed in trusting Him. Abraham is just such a person.

The Thread: Stories of Our Faith

Hebrews 1:1-2:4

Despite human sinfulness, people have trusted the LORD down through history. We place our faith in Him rather than other places. Jesus is the only worthy object of our faith.

All others fall short in bringing safety and satisfaction to our lives.

The Life God Gives: Honor Contentment

Exodus 20:17

Often life is ruled by desires of what we think we want or should have but do not or can not have. Wrong desires accepted lead to life-taking attitudes and actions.

The Life God Gives: Honor Integrity

The Life God Gives: Spouse Only

Exodus 20:14

Physical sexual intimacy between a husband and wife is a sacred gift that bonds two people together as one and

that opens the opportunity for new life. Sex and sexuality finds its purpose and goodness in a life-long relationship, unpolluted by our warped cultural values.

The Life God Gives: Honor Life

Exodus 20 :13

We honor life by seeing and treating people as God does. This means not murdering, but deeply letting God help us put away anger and contempt.

On Mother’s Day, this is the best way of being a mother and honoring our Mother!


The Life God Gives: Honor Family

“And God spoke all these words:…Honor your father and mother.” We obey and honor God as we honor the parents God gave to us. Through relationships within our family, we learn how to live together. Strong families who serve God, contribute to and create strong societies.

The Life God Gives: God’s Care

Exodus 20:8-11

Honoring the Sabbath day means we stop work to remember God’s presence, to let go of our control and results, and trust He is in control. When we do we choose to be with God and He gives us real rest.

The Life God Gives: God Only

Exodus 20:4-6

God gave us a need to be in relationship with Him, because He created us as physical beings living in a physical world. He has shown us the way to respond to His love for us; however, we look for physical ways and things to satisfy our needs rather than placing God first in our lives. When we do, we create idols.

In His Steps: The Beginning

Mark 15:33-16:20

Jesus died, taking on the worse of our attitudes, our actions, our stain.  But when he rose from the grave he has defeated our sin, he offers us forgiveness, and invites us back into a relationship with God, back into the dance.  He loves you, He forgives you, He is life, and invites you to follow him, in his steps.

In His Steps: He Wants, We Want

Mark 9-13

As Jesus begins his movement towards Jerusalem and the cross it becomes more and more evident that people have only two choices, to continue to live for what they want, or to trust him for what He wants.  What do you choose?

In His Steps: The Turn

Mark 8:27-9:29

Jesus is the King, but he begins to describe that he is a king going to die on a cross. And what’s more he says to follow him, to be his disciple, we must die too. That’s the shock, but also the good news in order to find real life.


In His Steps: Invitation and Response

Mark 4:1-34

Jesus told stories about God’s kingdom, what He is able to do in our lives if we let him.  Today we’ll look at those stories.

In His Steps: Power, Authority, & Rest

Mark 1-2

The stories of Jesus’ teaching and healing showed that he had authority and power. He is the rest that we are looking for in life, inviting us back into a relationship, the dance, with God.

In His Steps: The Dance, the Battle

Mark 1:1-13

God created life to be a loving and joyful relationship with him, like a dance.  But life is often a battle, with temptation and the fall-out of leaving the dance with God.  Jesus, the King, came to show us the steps back into to the dance!

Mission: In Okinawa

Matthew 28:19-20

Today we are looking at what it means to be a part of God’s mission to the Japanese and Okinawans that we live around.

Mission: Making Disciples

What does it look like to make disciples like Jesus says?

Mission: Being a Disciple

Matthew 3:13-4:22

Jesus came not to invite people to a religion, but a relationship.  He invited people to become his disciples, and told his followers to make disciples. What does it look like to be a disciple? A disciple is someone who learns from Jesus how to live their life like Jesus would.

Characters of Christmas: Angels

Luke 1:5-38, Matthew 1:20-25

We are so familiar with the characters in the Christmas story.  The Angels were simply messengers inviting Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, and the Shepherds to Jesus.  But God used the messenger to play an important part.  He asks you today, ‘Will you be my messenger?’

Characters of Christmas: Wise Men

Mathew 2:1-12

God’s love invites everyone to Jesus.  Even using a star to astrologers from the east.  But they said yes, they left life and families to journey to the manger, and they offered their best to him.  Will you?

Characters of Christmas: Jesus

John 3:16

Of all the characters invited to the nativity Jesus was the first to say ‘yes’.  And his life was constantly led by his Father’s invitation and he said ‘yes’ even to death.  And he stands inviting you to turn and be his disciple.  Will you say yes?

Characters of Christmas: Joseph

Matthew 1:19-21

Joseph, by all accounts, was a good man, a hard worker.  But when God invited him his entire life was rocked.  Joseph is only briefly mentioned in the Bible, but he played a significant role in God’s story because he said, ‘Yes’ to God!

Characters of Christmas: Mary

Luke 1:38

We are so familiar with the characters of the Christmas story.  But each was was given a specific invitation by God and they chose to say yes, no matter what it cost them or how it changed their lives.  Today we look at Mary and what it meant for her to say ‘yes’ to God.

We Believe: The End – Resurrection and Judgment

Revelation 22:12-22

There is, thankfully, an end to evil, wrong, injustice, pain, and death!  But people are the cause and the enactors of these very things.  When we chose to live with and for Jesus he teaches us how to live well, and we want to live with him forever.  But of we choose to try to life on our own wisdom, strength, and power, then we choose to live forever separated from God.  Choose Jesus!  That you may live!

We Believe: Living in the Spirit of Jesus

Ezekiel 36:25-27, Matthew 3:16-17, John 16:7, Acts 2:1-4, 2:44-47

Every living thing grows and changes, and the same is true with relationships. Jesus’ offers us salvation but calls us deeper to let his Holy Spirit have total freedom to teach, lead, guide, and change us. This is called sanctifiation. The question is, have you said yes?

We Believe: God Makes a Way

God Makes a Way – Prevenient Grace

The problem of sin cannot be overstated. The problem of most is that they underestimate it.  But God makes a way.  He comes, even in our self-absorption to help us think of him, to invite us to choose him, to offer his strength, his power, his perspective.  If we will let him.

We Believe: Sin

Genesis 3:1-6

Today we look at who human beings are, and the reason why things are not as they should be in our lives and the world.  This reason is sin.  We’ll explore what it is, where it comes from, what it does, and begin to see it’s solution.

We Believe: The Bible

2 Timothy 3:14-17

What is the Bible and what is it’s role in the life of a Christian?  Today we look at why it’s important, it’s background, it’s organization, it’s purpose, and how to meet God as we read His word!

We Believe: Holy Spirit

John 16:7-15

Today, in talking about God the Holy Spirit, we see how close God comes to us, even living within us!  We will look at how the Holy Spirit teaches, convicts, gives life, and transforms us to look like Jesus.

We Believe: God – Three in One

We look today at what the Bible says about God, the unity of Father, Son, and Spirit, and what that means for us, our lives, and our future.

Got Questions: How Do I Live?

We were created by God to serve one purpose only, to imitate Jesus.  But what does that look like when we are making daily, practical choices and decisions?  What is wrong and right and why?

Got Questions: What about suffering?

How does a Christian explain the suffering in the world?  Where is God in the midst of illness, evil, and wrong?  Today we will look to God and his word to answer these questions and look for His truth and promises in the midst of suffering!

Got Questions: What about homosexuality?

Today we look at God’s gift of sex and human sexuality, in light of the reality of homosexual actions and orientation in the lives of many people.

Got Questions: What about science?

Today we explore science, evolution, and how God created the heavens and the earth.

Got Questions: Can I really trust God?

This is a huge question.  Trust can not be forced and sometimes our understanding of God keeps us from trusting him.  Can we trust God when he seems to give desires that will never be fulfilled?  Can I trust a God that says to also fear him?  What if I didn’t grow up in religion and struggle with what it means to trust God? Today we’ll look to the Bible for answers!


Got Questions: Why do we do this at church?

It’s good to know why.  Why do we sing at church?  Why do have baptism and when should a person be baptized?  Why does our church have women pastors while other churches do not?  Today we’ll look into the Bible to find answers!

Got Questions: What about other religions?

Many Christians ask this question.  How do we know we have the truth? What about others who were born into another religion?  Does it really matter as long as we are interacting with God?  Today we’ll look to the Bible to find answers!

Got Questions: Who is God?

You asked many questions!  Is God really everywhere?  Can he know the depths of each heart?  You talk about the Father, Son, and Spirit, so is God one or three?  Did Jesus really go down to hell?  If God knows everything do we have a choice?    So today we will look at God’s word to come to an understanding of who God is!

Set Apart: Sent

John 17:6-20

God has loved us, come to us, took on our worst, offered to forgive us and given us his heart (as we are willing to surrender, repent, and love him back) and now He sends us into His wide world for His heart and purposes!  His purposes as you work in your job, His purposes as you interact with your family, His purposes as you meet and interact with new people, His purposes as you consider the future!  We have a hope, and a purpose!

Set Apart: Empowered to Love

Acts 1:3-8, 2:1-4

Jesus’ disciples walked with him for 3 years, but that wasn’t enough.  Jesus didn’t want to leave them alone, but to be with them at all times! So he sent the Holy Spirit to give them God’s power, God’s way of seeing things, God’s heart to reshape and remake their own.  But they had to be completely willing. God doesn’t force his way into our hearts.  The question is, will we be totally surrendered as well?

Set Apart: The Savior

Philippians 2:1-11

So much of life is spend trying to do, to get, to make.  But much of our effort leaves us tired, empty, and broken.  Jesus came and showed that the life surrendered to God finds a power, direction, and purpose that is what we have been looking for.  It is what we were made for!

Set Apart: Created for Love

Genesis 1-3

God is calling you into a life-long adventure of following him, growing to be like Jesus.  Every relationship, every hope of people are reminders we were created by God and for God.  We look at what we were created for, and what went wrong.

A2F: The God Who is Near

Pentecost Sunday
John 15:26-27, 16:5-15

Who wouldn’t like to spend a day walking with Jesus, in the flesh?!  But when Jesus went to heaven his disciples became anxious.  The fact that we can’t always see or perceive Jesus also can make us anxious in certain situations of life.  Yet Jesus gives hope.  He is not leaving, but is sending his Spirit not just to walk with us, but to live in us!  We can have hope and joy in all situations knowing that, no matter the outcome, God is near, God will help us, and God will take care of us.

A2F: The Great Invitation

John 17:6-19

We long for someone who will love us, be proud of us, want to include us.  In his prayer in John 17, Jesus prays to his Father for us, in these very same ways!

A2F: Jesus Calls Us Friend

John 15:9-17

On this Mother’s Day we remember that Jesus invited us, male and female, to be his friend, to be changed by him to bless others, and to join him in His work in the world.  Thank you to the women who have let your lives be used to impact us!

A2F: Jesus the Vine

John 15:1-11

Every day the decisions we make are based on this question: Where does a good life come from?  Jesus says that like a vine is the only way that a branch can stay alive and also to thrive and bear fruit, He is the only true source of a good life for us and the way that we find the fruit of a really, good life!

A2F: Jesus the Good Shepherd

John 10:11-18

People are looking for something they can count on, someone they can count on, something real.  From the stock market, to buying stuff, to a cycle of relationships there is still a deep thirst.  Jesus teaches that he is the good shepherd, the one who is real, and who can and wants to guide us, take care of us, so that we may experience real life.  He’s what we’ve been looking for all along.

A2F: Believe Then See!

Luke 24:36-48

Thomas wouldn’t believe until Jesus stood in front of him.  But Jesus did stand right in front of his disciples and they didn’t believe, they thought he was a ghost. It simply couldn’t be true!  Oftentimes we do the same. God is present, powerful, available and we think we are still on our own.  Believe, and you’ll be amazed what God begins to help you see!

A2F: Seeing is Believing

John 20:19-31

It’s easy to think we know what is real, only to find out that we were wrong.  Despite the good news of Jesus’ resurrection his disciples and Thomas lived in the lie and pain of denial that Jesus couldn’t be alive. But he was and he is!

A2F: Alive!

John 20:1-18

Jesus rose from the dead, conquering all evil, sin, and death.  He is alive.  Yet for even his own followers that morning they struggled to believe it and so remained in sorrow, despair, grief, and death.  Today is is alive and present.  But will we believe? Will we receive the life and hope he gives?  He is alive?  Will you believe?

A2F: Die to Live

John 12:20-33

Here’s the funny thing about life, it was made to be lived, but the more you try to hold onto it the more it slips through your fingers.  There’s a break in the human heart that tries to create life, to keep life by ourselves but Jesus teaches as we are willing, like He did, to give up his life to God’s plans and ways, we will discover what real living is all about!

A2F: Cleansing the Temple

Ashes to Fire:  John 2:13-22

Life can sometimes start running us.  Routines, schedules, making a living.  God created all this to be lived in his order, but as we will see in our scripture, people began to use the very things God created to try to control and replace him.  Whenever this happens we are headed for a crash.  So Jesus, in love, steps in to upset things and cleanse the (our) temple.

A2F: Losing your Life to Find It

Ashes to Fire: Mark 8:31-38

There’s great irony that we avoid suffering at most any cost.  Yet Jesus says this is precisely the road he will take.  Ironically while Jesus had a deep quality of life and resurrection, most of our attempts to gain life without Jesus’ way of love-led suffering fractures, does not last, and can not satisfy.

A2F: Remember Who You Are

Ashes to Fire: Mark 1:1, 9-15

Life can be filled with the pressure and stress of trying to manage our commitments, allegiances, and purpose.  But Jesus lived a different, and opposite way.  He submitted to his Father in baptism, he trusted his Father’s wisdom, power, and resources in his time of temptation, and he lived for the life-giving purpose of sharing the good news of his Father’s presence and availability to care for every part of life!  So have you accepted this?  Are you living submitted, dependent, and active?!

Choose Life: Daniel

The characters are set, the curtain goes up.  What will they do?  What choices will they make?  Who will save them?  The message of Daniel is God’s invitation, and warning to make good choices.

Choose Life: Ezekiel

The book of Ezekiel is extremely dramatic.  God’s punishment is coming but instead of being willing to accept it, Judah fights against it and causes even deeper hurt and pain for themselves.  Yet God is not disciplining them and letting them face the consequences of their actions just to get even.  No, like a loving parent, or a good coach he is wanting to get to the source of their living, and change their hearts.  But God won’t force that.  They, and we, must choose if we will let him.

Choose Life: Hosea

Hosea 1-13

The book of Hosea is an in-your-face appeal to exactly how much God cares about his people and exactly what their actions are like.  God is honest, but honest in love.  Apart from him there is no life, but death.  But Hosea invites the northern kingdom of Israel, and us, to repent.  Choose life, so that you may live!

Choose Life: Joel

Joel 1-3

The Day of the Lord. This is the recurring theme in Joel’s book.  To the readers the day of the Lord is first a time to fear, like a student who realizes they’re not ready for the pop-quiz.  But as they choose to repent, the day of the Lord becomes something to look forward to and life for.


Matthew 2:1-11

The wise men were the last anyone expected to come worship Jesus.  They were outsiders, a different religion, and lived far away.   Yet in God’s invitation he showed his heart that reaches beyond and invites us to Jesus, and a lifetime journey with him!

Illuminate: Light

John 1:1-14

Illuminate: Joy

John 1:6-8, 19-28

Christmas is the season of joy! But so often it, like our lives, are desperate grabs for a joy that eludes us or slips through our fingers.  John the Baptist gives a clear example and teaching that life’s Joy truly comes as we find our calling and purpose from God in Jesus.

Illuminate: Love

Mark 1:1-8

We deeply need to be loved and to love.  Mark starts his gospel not with a birth, but a message: “God loves you! Repent and love him back!”  This is how we get ready for Jesus.  This is where we find the love of God through forgiveness we so deeply need. And here is where we find a baptism of the Holy Spirit not just to free us from past guilt, but to transform our flaky hearts to be a person who loves!

Illuminate: Hope

Mark 13:24-37

December can be such a paradox.  With so much ‘holiday cheer’ people can so often be exhausted, depressed, and hurting.  In our scripture today Jesus tells the truth about the problems of the world (which begin in our own hearts and characters), but he also gives the good news!  He is coming, he has come, and he’s coming again!  We can have hope because Jesus can come in our current lives and transform us if we will let him.  And he will come again to destroy all that is evil, and lead us into a forever-life of all things good!  Be of good cheer!  Have hope!

Story of God: Part 3

New Testament

Jesus, God with us, bursts in the most unexpected way as God’s solution to the human heart-problem of sin.  His life, his death, and his resurrection not only give an example but break the power of sin.  He returned to heaven to send the Holy Spirit, God in us, to live and dwell in his follower’s hearts in teh book of Acts.  The rest of the New Testament is the story of this great message, and the life change that comes with it as we learn to live with God through Jesus!

This is the greatest story, the story of God, the story of the Bible. It is the story of our lives. It answers the deepest questions of the human heart. It is an invitation for a life we can not imagine. It means admitting the honest truth of our own sin, but finding the forgiveness of Jesus from the cross, and the invitation to be part of what God is doing having God himself, the Holy Spirit, living in us and guiding us, as we let him moment by moment, day by day!

The Story of God: Part 2

Solomon – end of Old Testament

We continue the story through the very stormy years of Israel’s split, bad kings, destruction and exile, and God’s bringing them back from exile.

What’s it about? God created us for a relationship with him, with one another, and to work in his world. We have chosen to reject God and life and choose to ignore or fight against him. This is called sin, and it comes with a high price for ourselves and others. God is calling us back to a relationship with him, like a loving parent he is not afraid to punish, but he will not give up on us.

The Story of God: Part 1

Genesis through Solomon

If you had to tell the whole story of the Bible in three weeks, what would it be about? How would all the different stories tie together to one big story?  We begin this week to look at the Story of God throughout the Bible that explains who God is, who we are, and what life is all about!

Experiencing God: Testimonies

Psalm 78:1-8

Today we hear personal stories of how God is active, inviting, and working in and through people.

Experiencing God: Obey and Experience God

Matthew 14:22-33

The most amazing part of live is experiencing God working through your life. This is what we were created for!  We finish our series with the amazing goal of all the steps God has been taking us through, of actually experiencing God!

Experiencing God: Joining God Requires Major Adjustments

Genesis 12:4-5, Exodus 7:2-7, Psalm 51

God’s invitation to join him will take us outside of our comfort zone.  It will lead us to a crisis of belief if we will choose to believe God is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do.  But when we decide, we must begin to act, to adjust our lives, to obey.  As we do this we will find the miracle of God working through us. And we will discover the purpose we were created for; to live, love, and work with our Creator!

Experiencing God: Crisis of Belief

Genesis 12:1, Exodus 5:22-6:1, Psalm 69:1-3

God is always working around you!  Because he loves you he invites you to a love relationship with Him, and also to join Him in what He is doing!  But that invitation leads us to discover what we really believe. It calls us beyond our imagination, our comfort, our abilities.  It is an invitation where we have to choose to trust him in faith, and act in obedience.  And the result is nothing less than a miracle!

Experiencing God: God Speaks to His People

One of the great mysteries of life is that the God who created everything would speak to us!  But how does God speak to us, and how do we know when it is actually God?  Today we look at the life of David and how God spoke to him.

Experiencing God: God Invites You to Join Him

2 Chronicles 17:1-15

Our lives are full of plans, ideas, thoughts, and dreams.  But when God shows up he invites us not to our ideas of life, but to his.  And come to find out, his ideas and ways are real and lasting!

Experiencing God: God Pursues a Love Relationship With You

1 Samuel 26,  Psalm 19

We long for relationships that are real and personal.  We do this because our deepest hunger is for a relationship with God that is real and personal.  The great wonder and mystery is that God first loves us and seeks that kind of relationship with us.  He did it for David in a very practical but difficult time in his life, and he wants to do the same with you!

Experiencing God: Learning to Experience God

The deepest truth of scripture is that God created us for an experiential relationship with him.  Too often we settle for talk about God and it’s a poor substitute.  As we look at the story of David through scripture, we will see how he God led him into an experiential relationship with him and God’s open invitation for you and I!

Family: Anderson and Jana Godoy Testimony

Romans 8:28, Matthew 6:33

Being a part of Jesus’ family is not simply a name tag we wear, it is an invitation to an amazing new life that Jesus leads us on every day!  Today we hear the story of Anderson and Jana Godoy, and how they became a part of Jesus’ family, and what that has done in their lives and the exciting places it has taken them.

Family: Living in the Family

Ephesians 6:10-18

What does it mean to live, day by day in the family?  There is an enemy actively trying to destroy the family of Jesus, the devil.  But Jesus gives us help, a defense.  Paul writes about the Armor of God.  Our family clothing, and our family defense.

Family: Invitation to the Family

Ephesians 1:3-10

Our hearts long for a family.  God created us this way, to be part of his family.  And in Jesus, and through his blood because of our sins, we are freely invited to be a part of God’s family!

Missionaries from Thailand

Tomo and Ceny Hirahara are missionaries from southern Thailand.  Today they share with us what God is doing there!

Family: Accountability in the Family

Ephesians 4:22-25

In sports, health, jobs, and family there are healthy boundaries of accountability that ensure safety, health, and long-term happiness.  God built principles of accountability based on the truth of how the world works into creation but also into the relationship with us and in the church. So are we being truthful with God, others, and ourselves?  Are we willing to be accountable?

Family: Leadership in the Family

Ephesians 5:21-6:9

Husbands and wives, parents and children, bosses and workers.  These are some of the most fundamental relationships we have, but can be some of the most painful as well.  Our ideas of what it means to be ‘leader’ or ‘follower’ in these have caused tremendous dysfunction.  God helps us navigate this so that we would be a united family!

Family: Questions in the Family

Matthew 7:1-14

There are many questions when we live together as a family in Jesus.  Why did you do that? What are you thinking?  When will this happen?  How will I accomplish this? Often instead of simply asking we begin to try to get what we want by judging, condemning, or blaming. We look today at Jesus’ teaching of the best way to live with God and others when there are questions; ask!

Family: Conflict in the Family

Ephesians 4:17-5:2

Conflict is a part of every family because we are different and unique.  Jesus teaches us the example of how to deal with conflict as we look at Paul’s instructions to the church in Ephesus today.

Family: A United Family

Ephesians 4:1-16

We need family.  We were created that way by God.  We find true family as we share a common life in Jesus.  This is what the church is.  But what does this kind-of family look like?  Today we see that God’s own character of unity in diversity meets us precisely in our uniqueness and differences to bind us together in Christ!

Father’s Day

Malachi 4:6

Every person has two things in common: we have a father, and we need a father.  We look today at God’s word His example of what a Father is, to learn to love, honor, and forgive our Fathers, and how to become a good father to our children.

A2F: God’s Faithfulness

A story of God’s work in the life of Tony Alvarado as his family deals with their son, Austin’s cancer.

A2F: With Jesus Behind Locked Doors

John 20:19-31

There is much to fear in the world we live in.  It was this same fear that drove the disciples behind locked doors, even after the women told them Jesus was alive.  Then Jesus came, and with him came peace… joy!  He invited them to leave fear and doubt and invited them to a life transformed!

A2F: With Jesus to the Cross

Matthew 21:1-11

Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday.  We hear them all the time.  Perhaps we identify with ones who praise Jesus, but do we understand the reality that we have been and are the ones who also shout ‘Crucify him’?  We look today at this critical understanding of why Jesus died and our part in it.

A2F: With Jesus At a Grave

John 11:1-45

Jesus’ timing could not have been worse.  Lazarus had already died.  Did he know? Did he care?  But as everyone found out, God’s timing was perfect and his answer to prayer was more than they could have imagined!

A2F: With Jesus Along the Road

John 9:1-41

Seeing and blind.  It seems so cut and dried.  Either you can see or you can’t. And you certainly know if you can or can not see.  But in this story Jesus shows not only his power to make a blind man see, but also shows the truth that many people with eyesight live blind.

A2F: With Jesus at a Well

John 4:4-30

We can be thirsty for so many things.  Physical thirst is a great metaphor for much of our lives.  But we thirst most of all for the ability to be honest, especially about our failures.  Jesus meets a woman who was thirsty, but for water only he could give.  She found it as she discovered that God knew everything about her and still loved her!

A2F: New Life

John 3:1-17

New life, new birth.  We look forward to it for babies, we look forward to it in a new school-year, new job, or new home.  But more than anything we were created for a new life with Jesus.  He helps us see the real world around us.  This is what we were born for!  This is our destiny!

A2F: No Shortcuts

Ashes to Fire
Matthew 4:1-11

We begin this season of lent, 40 days of preparation remembering another 40 days of preparation from scripture, the temptation of Jesus.  In it we find the same temptations that are common to us, and how Jesus trusted his father to face temptation without sin.



Psalm 103

God is good!  He can be praised!  Why?  Because of all he has done, in the lives of people throughout scripture, in the lives of people throughout history, and in our lives, as we have begun a conversation with him through Jesus.


Psalm 69

There always are and will always be circumstances in life that make us feel desperate.  These reveal in our actions and emotions who we are, as humbling as it is.  But in this conversation of David God meets him in desperation, and provides joy!


Psalm 23

Life is full of needs (and wants!).  David talks about walking the road of needs, and of pain and the God who provides all the needs, and never leaves us, even though the darkest valley.


Psalm 55

One of the hardest conversations to have is when we’ve been betrayed.  Anger almost keeps blinding us to even talking to God.  We journey with the writer of Psalm 55 through the conversation with God when we are betrayed.


Psalm 66

God is always at work around us.  Often we forget that. But as the Psalms remind us, and we see God’s grace and presence we begin to find hope, peace, joy and a desire to share it!  We are not alone!

Through the Valley

A reflection of the Keystone Mission trip to the typhoon-devistated town of Balangiga in the Philippines.


Psalm 42


Psalm 1

The Invitation

Matthew 2:1-12

We are wired to want great things, significant things, lasting things.  Human history is filled with explorers, leaders, and normal people who look for something transcendent, something beyond.  It was to similar star-gazers long ago that God made a special invitation through one star, to the birth of the savior of the world.

Be Amazed

Matthew 1:18-25

God does amazing things around us all the time.  The most amazing thing is that he invites us to be a part of it.  Joseph’s less-than comfortable invitation took him to the end of himself, but also made him a central part of God’s redemption of the entire human race!

Be Fruitful

Matthew 3:1-12

As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth it can be easy to forget that is it Jesus preparing us for his return, not us preparing to welcome him!  This week, through John the Baptist, we are reminded it is not simply the titles we wear (‘Christian’, ‘Jew’, ‘Sunday School Teacher’, or ‘Pharisee’) that God is pleased with, but a life that bears fruit; fruit that reflects the character of Jesus, fruit of the spirit.

Can’t fake it, Just do it!

Matthew 7:13-27

Jesus ends his disciple training program, the sermon on the mount with a critical reminder.  It’s more than just ‘hearing’ and ‘knowing’!  It is about ‘doing’ and ‘being’!   Let’s put into practice what Jesus has been saying, so that we can become the kind-of people that he himself was!

A Life of Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13

Learning to simply ask of God leads us into a life of prayer.  The relationship of Jesus the Son and his Father, seen through the Lord’s prayer helps us to learn and practice how to have a conversational relationship with God!

Learning to Ask

Matthew 7:7-12

As we learn to trust in God’s immediate kingdom presence and power in our moment-by-moment lives, then we can begin to let him help us release the manipulative and forceful ways that we interact with others.  He teaches us his kingdom way of influencing others for good, the simple request.  Ask.

Living with Condemnation

Matthew 7:1-6

It’s amazing how easy it is to become critical or judgmental.  Even and especially for Christians we can fall into wanting good things for people only to be frustrated and jaded by their lack of response.  Jesus talks about this issue as we continue learning what it means to live in God’s powerful and present kingdom here and now!

Letting Go of Worry

Matthew 6:25-34

Living for an Audience of One, Pt 2

Matthew 6:19-24

Jesus warns of two things that will distract and keep us from living a kingdom life; seeking other’s approval and trying to secure our lives by material things.  Jesus begins to explain human nature and the things we treasure.  Most of these physical treasures (money, relationships, food, etc) were created by God, but only as we learn to be treasured by God and treasure him first, will these things be life-giving and not life-taking.

Living for an Audience of One

Matthew 6:1-18

Nobody likes a hypocrite, a person who says one thing but does another.  But Jesus reveals how easily it is to let our growth in his kingdom become about what other people think, as opposed to learning to walk with Jesus.  Here Jesus gives three illustrations of the kingdom life as we live for an audience of One.

Living without Anger

Matthew 5:21-26

The good news of Jesus of a life lived without anger and contempt!

Armor of God Pt 1

Ephesians 6:10-18

Reflections – Goodbye, Hello

Acts 1:3-10; 2:1-6, 14, 42-47

Hellos and goodbyes can be hard.  There’s loss of people important to us and the risk of new relationships.  But in Jesus we can find hope for goodbyes and new hellos.  We can find out how he redeems, and uses these in ways that not only provide for deep and meaningful friendships, but that put our every move under the power of His unstoppable kingdom!

Reflections – Being a Part

Malachi 3:8-10

We want our lives to be a part of something that lasts, something that matters.  The Bible teaches us that God wired us that way.  Ultimately it is God’s plan and his things that will last and matter far beyond our goals, our plans, our house, our job, and our finances. All this ‘stuff’ is ultimately God’s anyway!  The painful reality though it that we often think of it as ours.  God challenges us to put this before him, including our finances, and see how he will bless us.  And in a lifechanging way to use our giving back to him to make us a part of what he is doing!

Reflections – Sent

Matthew 4:16-20

What was it about Jesus that led Peter and Andrew that day to simply stop, and walk off their jobs to follow him?  This is Julie and my story of how God called us to Japan to be a part of what he is doing.  But the heart of God’s call is the same for you!

Reflections – Merrill has Left the Building

John 4:1-29

When we tie our life to Jesus we must follow him, because he was and is a man on the move.  He was about his father’s heartbeat of seeking redemption for lost and hurting people.  Far from making him unapproachably busy, he was always ready for his father to interrupt him with a person in his path.

A Birthday Party for a Prostitute

Luke 9:1-9

Everyone hated Zacchaeus.  He was a cheat and a traitor.  Yet Jesus saw him with different eyes.  Pastor David Graves speaks to the world-wide delegates of the Nazarene Church General Assembly about God’s eyes that would see Zacchaeus differently, and ones that would throw a birthday party for a prostitute.

Our Deliverance

Matthew 6:13

What Will You Seek?

Matthew 6:10

Intimacy and Awe

Matthew 6:9

Teach us to Pray


Where is He?

John 20:1-18

Have you ever walked to a friend’s grave?  For Mary it must have brought back so many memories of Jesus.  She had accepted the ‘facts’.  She had seen him die.  Then terror struck when she saw the tomb open.  She accepted the ‘facts’ that he must have been taken away.  Next she was encountered by angels and even Jesus himself and she simply shared the ‘facts’ Jesus was gone and she wanted to know where.  Then came the good news, that her ‘facts’ were wrong.  Today receive the good news that he is alive, and in so many ways that means our ‘facts’ are wrong too!

Praise is God’s Alone

Luke 19:28-40

On the road into Jerusalem his disciples and followers began to praise him.  Yes there were very difficult times to come, but as they remembered all he had done they were filled with joy.  As we keep our eyes on Jesus we are offered the same joy that comes form the Holy Spirit!

The Fragrance Filled the House

John 12:1-8

There are smells that bring back powerful childhood memories.  Mary’s washing Jesus with the perfume and her hair filled the house both with the perfume but was a symbol of the beautiful spirit of devotion to Jesus.  May our lives carry the fragrance of Jesus for everyone we are around.

Coming to our Senses

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32


Wilderness Survival Guide

Ashes to Fire Series
Luke 4:1-13

In the story of Jesus’ temptation he faces up to the same temptations to physical things, personal glory, and religion without commitment that are so common in our lives.  The amazing thing is it is his willingness to let his Father take him into the wilderness and to his limits that Jesus finds true strength and clarity of his Father’s purpose.

Kingdom Sketches: Love Lived

Luke 10:25-37

What does God want from me?  It’s a question we ask and it’s a question that was asked to Jesus. Love God and love others was the answer.  But the attitude of the asker often reveals our own. Who, exactly do we HAVE to love?  Then Jesus tells a very familiar story, that shows a life that sees in God’s kingdom eyes is a life marked by compassion that acts.  It’s a life of love, transformed by Jesus who has so loved us first.

Kingdom Sketches: Unstoppable

Matthew 13:31-33

We are impressed with big things; wealth, mass rallies, massive churches, large companies.  These have the sense of being unstoppable. This often leads us to live our lives for big things, even big religious things. But Jesus’ parable of the wheat and mustard seeds reveal that God’s kingdom looks different than what the world things is unstoppable.  It seems at first to be unexpectedly small. But it always grows, and it alone is truly unstoppable!

Kingdom Sketches: All God’s

Matthew 21:33-34, 25:14-30

The word ‘mine’ comes so naturally to people.  It’s one of the first words children learn to say!  The reality is, there are lots things that we don’t technically own, but take care of and are responsible for.  Jesus, in these Kingdom Sketches, challenges us to recognize that our very lives themselves are are gift.  In the end, it’s all God’s.

Kingdom Sketches: Lost and Found

Luke 15:1-32

Jesus was a genius story-teller.  And in the short stories, called Parables, he used something as basic as the things we lose, to illustrate the incredible heart of love God has for the lost.  Jesus paints a picture of a world where even and especially the least and worst are relentlessly pursued by the God of love.

Anticipate the King

Matthew 2:1-23

The beginning of the life of Jesus was anything but quiet.  He was hunted by a despotic king, surprised by wise men bearing valuable and prophetic gifts, and protected by the simple yet profound obedience of his father Joseph.  All three of these characters anticipated the King in a different way, and in them God shows us ourselves.

Anticipate the Coming

Micah 2:2-5a

We have our ideas of how God could come into our lives.  Fix our finances, help us get the promotion, enable us to be great evangelists.  But the funny thing is apart from God, human thinking has a ‘bigger is better’ idea.  Micah prophecies that God’s salvation for the world will come in a small town of Bethlehem, come as a baby, come to be peace.

Anticipate the Prophecy

Zephaniah 3:16-20

In Zephaniah God not only speaks truth about Judah’s broken ways of living, but he erupts into a prophecy of his great, merciful, and joy-filled goal for his people if they will trust in him.  For us in the midst of wars, massacres, job and family stresses and frustrations, and our own sinfulness these words come as a call to listen, repent, and hope!

Anticipate the King

Malachi 3:1-3

It’s easy to anticipate Santa’s coming, unless he actually does give coal for being a bad boy or girl!  It’s easy to anticipate Jesus’ coming, unless he actually will judge the earth and our lives with justice!  This advent season Malachi reminds us that God’s amazing love happens as we let him continue to shine his light on us and transform us.  These changes to be like Jesus help prepare our eyes for the day when we will see him in his full brightness, the fulfillment of hope, joy, love, peace!  Let us prepare as we anticipate the King!

Anticipate the Promise

Revelation 21:1-5

What would be your idea of a perfect day?  The best things of our world come from the one who created us, for he is the giver and source of all good things.  Sin has twisted and broken even the best of things, but God has made a promise.  Jesus will come, he will return!  And in his kingdom the perfect day will be a normal day!

We Believe: Jesus’ Return and Eternity

Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 22:17-21

So where does it all end, this story of planet earth and God’s interaction with it?  God makes the wrong things right, he takes his children home!  The frightening part is that we will be shown exactly for who we are, not just what we say.  But the great hope is that as we continue to repent, submit, and follow God we are a people of hope.  While the story ends, it actually only just begins!

We Believe: Entire Sanctification

John 16:5-16

When Jesus was with his disciples near the end he made very clear that his upcoming death and resurrection God was using to offer them a new kind-of life, a spirit-filled life, a life completely set apart, entire sanctified for God.  So often believers continue like the disciples before pentecost, loving Jesus but fighting a sinful nature. But something amazing happened as God stepped even closer, giving us his very spirit, to live within and transform us to be more and more like Jesus!

We Believe: Justification, Regeneration, Adoption

Luke 15:11-24

So what exactly happens when we get saved?  Is it just emotion and sparks?  The bible teaches some distinct but powerful parts of this experience.  We are justified, set right with God.  We are regenerated, given a new heart and nature.  And we are adopted, invited into God’s own family, the same relationship that the Father, Son, and Spirit have with one another! While these words may sound academic, they are as powerful as the story Jesus told of the Prodigal Son.

We Believe: Repentance

Luke 19:1-9

What does it mean to repent?  It’s one of those church words that we think we have to do.  But Zacchaeus’ story is so much more powerful than that.  In Jesus, Zacchaeus found the answer to his deepest questions, and while I’m sure there was fear in giving up what he had always known, he was sorry for the way his worthless way his life was lived, and he quite literally gave it away to come and follow Jesus.  God awakened, he responded, and that day salvation came.  What an amazing new life!

We Believe: Prevenient Grace

While we were created in God’s image and are completely valuable to him, the effects of our sin and rebellion against God is total.  We have no ability whatsoever to even want God or choose the salvation he offers in Jesus.  But we see throughout scripture God’s grace that goes before our response, his prevenient grace, which awakens our consciences that we can exercise the free will he has given us.

We Believe: Sin

If the God of love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, created the world and us in his image, stepped back and called it all very good, then why do we see all of the hurt pain, and brokenness that surround us today?  Something has failed, and we call that something sin.  Today we’ll look at where sin came from, how it impacts every person on planet earth, and God’s response.

We Believe: Jesus Christ

Jesus is easily the most recognized figure in human history.  But the great scandal is in Jesus we see the face of the infinite God.  In Jesus we see the power of God overcoming sin in the most shocking way.  And in Jesus we are invited to the life we were created for, life with God.

James: Confession and Accountability

James 5:16-20

Have you ever struggled with sins in life that just keep coming back around?  It’s like you have victory, then later you fall again? It’s discouraging and embarassing and because of this chances this is an issue you’re keeping between you and God.  But James has good news and a practical plan as his last words to the believers he writes to: You can’t do it on your own. Confess to each other and hold one another accountable.

James: A Different Kind of Life

James 5:13-17

If you break up the memorable moments of life into three categories they could probably mostly fit under the headings ‘happiness’, ‘trouble’, and ‘sickness’.  James moves to the end of his letter stating that these things are realities of life, but he challenges his readers and us to invite God to be a part of them.  And here we discover that we have God and our brothers and sisters in Christ to share our joy and pain with.  And we see a picture of a different kind-of life in the middle of our normal and every-day existence.  And it is wonderful!

James: Plans

James 4:13-17

Plans. Our lives are filled with plans.  What we will do, where we will go, what we want, how we will accomplish it.  From jobs, to hobbies, to shopping, to family we make plans.  Nothing are wrong with plans, but James warns that we often leave God out of our plans. Only with God are our life’s plans good and right.

James: Two Ways to Live

James 4:1-12

In much of life there are two clear choices.  Eat vegetables or don’t.  Get up on time or don’t.  Choose to keep a bad attitude or choose to not.  Trust and obey God or don’t.  While the process of making this decision is never clear-cut much of the difficulty is that there is a part of us which wants to follow God but do our own things as well.  James teaches not only is this impossible, but when we do our own thing it always breaks things apart.  But with God there is forgiveness, grace, and a wide-open life!

James: Wisdom

James 1:5-7, 3:13-18

Have you ever seen a master at work?  Maybe it’s an olympic athlete, or a professional musician, expert businessperson, or gifted parent.  It’s amazing to watch.  They have knowledge and it is combined with great skill but there’s more than that, it’s an art, a finesse.  They are wise. They understand all the parts of their profession and bring out more than just results, but something beautiful and amazing to watch.  James reminds us that wisdom comes from God, the one who in his infinite wisdom put the world together.  And he is offering to give us his wisdom in the decisions we make, as we parent, or date, or work in our marriage, or develop in our career.  He gives us wisdom that goes beyond just living well, but inviting us, like Jesus, to live like the Master!

James: Money

James 1:9-11, 2:1-13, 5:1-6


Money. We all have it and no matter how much we have we never seem to have enough.  Money, and the things that it enables us to do can easily become the goal of our entire lives.  James saw these things happening and he warned against them.  Our problem, he says, is a heart problem of greed and desire which doesn’t reflect who God is.  The truth is that there are people God created and Jesus died for who don’t have enough, but will we let us help us see them the way he does?  Will we act?

James: Words

James 1:26-7, 3:1-12


We use and hear thousands of words every day.  Speaking and hearing is so common that we don’t even think about it.  But words have the ability to shape our reality.  The words people use about us and that we use about others can build them up or destroy them, can invite God into our lives or push him out.  James is right to say that our words, our mouths, reveal the deepest parts of our character.

James: Mature and Complete

James 1:2-8, 12-18

Trials are just a natural part of life.  They are inevitable, and they are rarely enjoyable!  But James opens his book with a stunning claim, “Consider it pure joy when you face trails of many kinds.”  What?!  As we look at James’ first verses of his book we begin to discover a God who is at work even in the deepest messiness of life. And if we will let him, he will do a work in our heart and life that not only helps us survive the tough times, but come to thrive in them.  He will give us joy that is bigger.  And that is good news!



James: A Life Transformed

James 1:18

The Christian life can sometimes feel like a confusing roller coaster.  We have moments of great emotion of faith and trust that we are loved by God and he will guide and take care of us.  We have moments of exciting discipline as we spend regular time in the word, serving others, and spiritual disciplines.  But faith sometimes is hollow and our actions don’t agree with who we say we are, and sometimes we feel like we’re doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons.  Our look at James over the next 12 weeks is the discovery of a man who was transformed both in his faith and in his actions.

Ashes to Fire: A Holy Church

John 17:6-19

Have you ever sat by the bed of a loved one as they neared death?  The words spoken during times like this are burned into people’s memories.  It is usually a summary of their deepest hopes, dreams, instructions for the ones they love.  In John 17 Jesus prays for his followers.  This is a prayer of commitment for God, a prayer meant for us to have overheard.  This was a prayer that God would protect them in a world that was hostile, that the joy Jesus had would be with them, that they would be transformed (sanctified) by God’s continued presence and word, and that they would carry on the mission Jesus began. His prayer echoes through time assuring every generation of the love of God for his people, and his care and guiding for us as we trust in him!

Ashes to Fire: You are My Friends

John 15:9-17

Built into the DNA of human personalities and the human spirit is a desire for love, for joy, for true friendship, for purpose, to be chosen, and to love one another.  This is why people wear the clothes they do, or spend their money the way they do.  This guides what jobs people seek.  In short, it is the center of much of our lives. But these things are seem to come and go in life, elusive and difficult to maintain. Today we read the good news of Jesus for us.  Jesus loves us, and offers the infinite joy of God to us!  As we join him on his mission to love others, to overcome evil with good we find not only did he first find and choose us to join him, but he calls us his friend.  In Jesus the deepest of human needs are met, because he was the one who created us.  What incredible good news!

Ashes to Fire: I Am the Vine

John 15:1-8

There is something sacred about things that grow.  Whether you see fields of grain or rice that stretch to the horizon, or a garden erupting with blossoms and life there is the breath of a life-giving God.  Jesus often used God’s creation as a way to understand that we too were created to grow in him and that growth has certain rules.  Today we look at what it means to be fruitful, to stay connected, and to be pruned.

Ashes to Fire: Washing Feet

John 13:1-5

It was a shock to the disciples. Their lord and master was bowing down as if he was the servant of a home that people didn’t even think about.  It was shocking and disgraceful!  Leaders didn’t do this.  Leaders are served, but here is Jesus preparing to wash their feet.  But Jesus knew exactly what he was doing and he set the example for all who would follow in his footsteps.

Ashes to Fire: Believing is Seeing!

John 20:19-31

In this second week of Easter we find in scripture that the truth sometimes slowly sinks in.  While Mary tells the disciples of her encounter with Jesus we find them still locked in a house, frightened and forlorn.  And we too often are like they. Hearing that Jesus holds the keys to all power, but living without confidence, joy, and courage in a world of media, science, and politics that is hostile.  But Jesus comes in the midst of their fears and doubt, denying by his very presence that which they most feared, proving conclusively that he truly is Lord and God.  And he invites you also to believe!

Ashes to Fire: Easter – He Saw and Believed

John 20:1-18

That lonely morning when a heart-broken Mary Magdalene walked to the tomb she had no idea what lay in store for her.  It was empty.  But while she and Peter saw only the remains of a theft, John saw and believed, without fully understanding all the details, that Jesus was not dead, he was alive!  Later, while Mary stayed to mourn, Jesus came and spoke to her, but she didn’t see him, only her greif… until he called her by name.

He is alive!  There is no sin so great, so evil so dark, no end so final that Jesus has not overcome it.  He is alive and all human history has a new chance to live!  Do you believe?

Ashes to Fire: The Lord Needs It

Mark 1:1-11

You could feel the excitement!  It was contagious with people shouting, singing, clambering over one another, waving palm branches.  Jesus was riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy of the prophet Zechariah.  Finally God would give Israel the freedom they had desperately longed for… But they didn’t understand their true problem, they did not understand Jesus was coming to deal with evil, but an evil which lived even inside of them.  They didn’t understand… do we?

Ashes to Fire: A Single Seed

John 12:20-33

Have you ever imagined how a tiny acorn has the potential of growing into a tree the size of a house?  This is potential God has created but it is only unleashed as the seed is planted and dies.  The even more amazing by-product is that as the seed is transformed into the tree it forms hundreds and thousands of more seeds each with the potential for life! Jesus makes the same parallel in our scripture passage, and invites us to the same fate.  Die to self and truly live.  And not just live but be a source by which God can bring life to others.  What a life!

Ashes to Fire: Snake on a Pole

John 3:14-21

When you have or work with small children you recognize the need for discipline to help them understand boundaries to have good relationships.  God did the same for Israel in their desert wanderings when they were being very disrespectful.  But even more than a good parent, he provided a way of salvation with a snake on a pole (see Leviticus 21:4-9).  Even more Jesus says that he is that way of salvation for us.  He tells us the deepest character of God is love for his creation seeking not to condemn, but offer even stubborn people like us a new start and a new life.  If we simply look, we will live!

Ashes to Fire: Whip of Cords

John 2:13-22

I’ve watched fathers who grow up loving baseball get more and more obsessed with winning and the stats of the game that when they teach their sons, the kids end up hating the sport. It’s so easy to miss the point in the things of our lives, nothing more-so than with the life of faith given by God. John 2 gives a rare portrait of a dysfunctional religious system and how Jesus responds to it. The question we ask this lent is, ‘Where, Lord, do you need to drive out things in my life, even seemingly good religious things, that keep others from knowing you?’

Ashes to Fire: Lose Your Life to Save It

Mark 8:31-38


There is a two-sided coin of being a human.  One is wanting what we want, and it is shocking what people do to get what they want.  The other side is fear that if we don’t secure life for ourselves then we will be lost or forgotten.  Jesus, though, flies in the face of these two human realities saying, if you want to save your life then it means dying to yourself, taking up your cross, and following him.  For the fearful it means trusting God in the very face of their fears.  For the graspers it means letting go and submitting to God to give what we need and change what we want. For both it means dying to an old way of life.  But Jesus says that if we trust him and let go, we will find the life we’ve always been looking for.  The very life God created us for.

Ashes to Fire: Remember Who You Are

Mark 1:9-15


The season of Lent has begun.  It is a time of honest reflection, of remembering, of repentance.  Apart from God we are ashes.  The cross reminds of us this.  But in our passage we find that we have not been left alone.  Jesus, the Son of God, our savior and guide begins to blaze the path and shows us how to live.  He knew who he was, and calls us in our hearts, our attitudes, our will, and our actions to remember who we are.


Revelation 21:1-7

This week Daniel Morton, a 6-year old in our congregation, died in a tragic accident at his home.  This week’s service is in memory of Daniel and for the support of his parents Jeremy and Vanessa.  The promise we hang onto in the midst of the storm, is that in Jesus we have a life that not even death itself can stop.  And this hope gives us deep comfort.


Ezekiel 36:24-28, 37:1-14

Have you ever gotten stuck in a rut?  Perhaps it’s in a relationship and you’ve done again, the thing you said you wouldn’t do.  Consequences come and you feel hopeless asking, can I ever change?  In the storm, God’s promise comes to us from the prophet Ezekiel, speaking to Israel after hundreds of years of abandoning God, now conquered and deported to foreign lands. He says, Yes you can!  If you will come before me I will help you not just change your actions, but the root of your problem, your heart itself.


2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10

It’s easy to not feel safe.  With economic threats, job cutbacks, life in a violent society, threats to marriage and more, it seems that life can be spent simply trying to establish and maintain security.  Paul lived in a life filled with more threats than we will probably experience, but God taught him that it was precisely as we trust in God’s promise and grace in the middle of the fear or uncertainty, he will guide us through it. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  We can shout in the face of the storm, “I don’t have to be afraid, even in weakness, because in God I am safe!”


2 Chronicles 7:11-14

Challenges and difficulties are a natural part of life.  A difficult boss, a poor choice, stress in marriage, or the death of a loved one can make the typically calm waters of our lives into a turbulent storm.  It is in these times that our live in Christ is tested and it is easy to grow hopeless.  Yet God has made promises to us which serve as light.  Sometimes the storms can seem so big that the promises seem small or insignificant, but it it as we cling to God’s promises in the midst of the storm, we find that his power is greater than even that of the pounding waves.

Last week we spoke of the affirmation that we are priceless in God’s eyes no matter what we have done or not, so we can live life in response to the assurance that we are valuable.  This week we listen to the promise of God’s forgiveness which frees us from the paralyzing past to begin to live again and to live for God!

Illuminate: Peace

Luke 1:26-38, 46-55

Christmas can be a time of great joy, but it can also be a time which reminds us that we feel alone or inadequate.  It’s easy to feel that the forces of the world go on and leave us behind.  Yet it is precisely to a very simple girl named Mary that God comes and gives good news.  She would be entrusted to be the mother of God’s savior, Jesus!  Mary did what many do not when they are encountered by God, she said yes.  In this complete dependence upon God we see in Mary’s life, and God invites us in our lives, to experience the peace he gives.  We know that he loves us and will take care of us.

Illuminate: Joy

John 1:6-8, 19-28

What is the secret to Joy?  Christmas, if ever, shows that the world is hungry for it.  We look again to John in the wilderness.  The people coming to him are seeking it, the religious leaders are curious about it for their own motives.  But John does not play into the lure of the crowd or of the leaders.  He is simply honest before God and obedient.  His entire life points to Jesus.  And there lies the challenge and invitation to us.  In Him our lives find the joy we were created for!

Illuminate: Love

Mark 1:1-8

Have you ever felt that all the celebration surrounding Christmas doesn’t deeply satisfy?  It’s great and fun, but it comes and goes, and we’re looking for something that lasts. Mark’s gospel begins not with angels, wise men, and stables but rather John in the wilderness saying that the Messiah is coming and to get ready! People flocked out to him.  They’re not unlike ourselves.  They’re looking for God.  And they are asking, “How do we get ready? We’ve tried so much stuff.”  And John says, come before God honestly, confess, repent, and be baptized.

Illuminate: Hope

Mark 13:24-37

As we enter the Advent season all around us is the hope of Christmas trees, parties, gifts, and holiday cheer.  However, this often tries to mask and hide the deep brokenness that exists in our lives and in our world.   Jesus tells the truth, sin causes destruction and it will continue that way, BUT he will come again!  This is the source of true hope in this Advent season! Our savior is going to come and make the wrong right.  I want to be ready!

The Story of God: Going Home

Ezra, Zecheriah
(Nehemiah, Haggai)

Have you ever woken up in life and wondered how you got to the place you were;  Whether it be driven by stress or anxiety, out of shape, a broken marriage, dysfunctional relationships, or just a sense of apathy, or so far from God? It seems impossible to get out… to change.  Yet in the book of Ezra, God not only delivers his people from their nightmare of exile to a foreign country, but walks with them as they return home and learn a new way to live with Him as they rebuild their relationship with their God, their lives, and their city.

The Story of God: Victory in Defeat

Esther 1-10; Daniel 3, 6


We daily make choices and these choices guide our lives into different directions.  Sometimes we wake up and wonder how in the world did we get to the place we are.  Israel probably asked the same question as they had drifted so far from God that he allowed other nations to conquer them and for two generations they lived in exile.  Yet God was still at work!  In the stories of Esther, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego we see how God works in all things for people who put their trust and obedience in him.

The Story of God: Warnings, Part 2

2 Kings 17-25, 2 Chronicles 28-36, Ezekiel


After Israel’s disobedience and final defeat by Assyria and exile, the nation of Judah continues to live their own way.  Like a stubborn kid who will not obey or respond to a parent who loves them, God let’s Judah live their way and they are defeated by Babylon and also taken from their land and sent to Babylon.  We read in Ezekiel 10 that God’s spirit leaves the temple in Jerusalem. It would seem that God has finally given up on his people who have for centuries been unfaithful to him.  But then it goes east, towards Babylon, towards his people!  The love of God never gives up.  It is a love that will forgive our past, our failures, a love we can give our entire lives to, a love that can transform us, and a love which can give us a new heart!

The Story of God: Solomon- The Meaning of it All

1 Kings 3-11, Ecclesiastes


Solomon had it all.  He was from a good family, he loved the Lord, he was smartest man on earth, he was rich, he was powerful, he was successful.  God blessed him, but then Solomon began to drift.  He began to let the gifts get in the way of his relationship with the Giver.  Then he begins to lose perspective and finds himself disconnected from God and alone.  He thinks through his life, and all that money, sex, and power has given him, and he, tells us the meaning of it all.

The Story of God: After God’s Heart Pt. 2

1 Samuel 18 – 2 Samuel 11 ; Psalms 51, 57

In the character of David we get a large view of a person’s life with all of its strengths and weaknesses, and we find that David is very human just like you and I.  However, David was known as a man after God’s own heart.  How?

Today we look at how David interacted and responded to God when he was in difficult times, being hunted by King Saul.  After he is given the throne, victory over his enemies, and peace we see how David interacts with God in success.  Finally in the story with Bathsheba we see how David interacts with God in moral failure.

In the picture of God’s interaction and David and David’s with God, we can see God also calling to us to be men and women after his heart.

The Story of God: Like Other Nations

1 Samuel 8

Life is full of choices and they aren’t always easy ones.  Yet these choices are based fundamentally on our trust either in God and his promises or on ourselves.  Through the scripture of Israel asking for a king, we look at the choices we make, the impact of these choices, and God’s direction and response with us through it all.

The Story of God: God in the Shadows


The book of Ruth is an fascinating and wonderful story, one of hurt and loss and hope and restoration.  Yet it is strange that God does not speak according to the text directly act in this whole story.  Many times our lives may seem the same way.  We love God we want to serve him, but it does not seem as if he’s ‘doing’ anything.  The book of Ruth not only shows God’s great grace and faithfulness in the confusing and messy parts of life, but also how he weaves stories of people like you and I, as we trust in him, into his amazing story.

The Story of God: Right in Their Own Eyes


God has heard the cry of the Hebrews in Egypt and saved them with a powerful hand.  He gave them the way he created them to live, he put up with their distrust and whining, and when they finally learned to take him at his word he went before them and gave them the promised land, a home!  In Judges, though, we find that Israel compromised again, not driving out all the people of the land like he asked.  And just as he had warned the gods these people served became a distraction and snare for Israel.  They began a cycle of forsaking God, suffering the consequences, and crying out for deliverance, yet never truly changing.  We look at how we also easily fall into the same cycle and let this story be a sober warning of life lived apart from God, and an encouraging reminder of the great grace and love of God for us!

Sendai Missions Trip Testimonies

Keystone Nazarene Church took a group of four to the tsunami-stricken areas of Sendai and the Tohoku region.  Here are the stories of the participants about their experience and how God changed them during these days.

The Story of God: A Home



We look today at what it means to be ‘home’ with God through Israel’s taking of the promised land.

Story of God: Waiting…Training

Deuteronomy 1-2

After miraculously being delivered from Egypt, God took this people, his new nation into the wilderness to teach and form them.  Their eyes were on God’s promised goal, the promised land, but first God had to change who they were.  We look also at what it means to wait, to be disciplined, and shaped by God as we are a part of his mission to redeem all creation to himself!

VBS 2011 – God of the Mission

Acts 27:13-44

The theme of our Vacation Bible School this past week has been, Mission to M.A.R.S (Meet a Risen Savior).  In it we have looked at the stories of the transformation of Paul and God’s using him to travel boldly to the farthest parts of the Roman Empire (for us it has been the farthest planets of the Intergalactic Roman Empire).  Today we listen to another of his stories, how in the midst of a tremendous storm, God not only gave Paul peace in the midst of despair, but also used him to bring peace to others.  This is a reminder for us that God not only helps us to survive storms, but as we trust in him, we find that he brings about hope and salvation precisely in the midst of those circumstances which threaten to tear our lives apart.

The Story of God: Way to Live

Exodus 20:1-17

God created humans, and after they broke the relationship through Adam and Eve, He has continued to pursue them to restore this relationship.  In Moses he showed that he is greater than the powers which oppose him, and that his character can be trusted.  Now he takes them into the wilderness to show them (and us) a new way to live, to learn how to be faithful to the God who has been faithful to them, to learn how to love the Lord their God, and how to love others.

The Story of God: Delivered

Exodus 1-12

For the Hebrews life happens again, they find themselves enslaved, trapped, and hurting.  God hears and acts, but he does not act alone.  He chooses one who will trust him, and through him God breaks the backs of the spiritual, political, and economic powers that stand against him.  And God does this for those who cry to him, even today.

The Story of God: Faithfulness

Genesis 37-46

God is the driving force in his story, though many times he works quietly in the background.  In the story of Joseph we see how dysfunction and life happen, yet how God uses even these for good in the life of his followers and through them for the whole world.

The Story of God: Called

Genesis 12:1-13:3

After Noah God began a new direction in trying to redeem his prized creation.  He called one man, and promised from this man he would create a people, and from this people he would bless and work throughout all the people of the earth.  God called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They had to make a difficult choice of trusting and obeying. And we see what happens when people take God at his word.

The Story of God: New Beginnings

Genesis 8:20-22, 9:1-17

We’ve heard and seen that God is a God of creativity, relationship, commitment, and justice and that humans are doubting and lost.  This spiral from the garden of Eden goes until God decides to start over with a great flood.  Yet God remembers the righteous, and amazingly God makes a promise to never give up on mankind again.

The Story of God: Rebellion

Genesis 3

God created humans in his image, an image of relationship, and true relationships requires choice.  But humans chose to seek good and evil for themselves and to distrust the God who gave them everything.  Here lies the break, the entrance of sin and brokenness into our world. Yet this choice is one that we have to make every day.

The Story of God: Beginnings

Genesis 1-2

Who is God?  Why are we here? Where is our world going? The Story of God found in the Bible is the story of God’s relationship with his creation. In the beginning we read that God created the heavens and the earth, but in this story we find out a great deal about who God is, who he created humans to be, and his purpose for his world!

Mothers and Fathers

2 Corinthians 6:16-18

We all have been shaped by our parents, for good or bad.  On this Father’s Day we look to scripture to see how its commands and illustrations about how God intended us to live, play into what it means to be a son or daughter, mother or father.  And we remember again who is our true and ultimate Father.

The Life Jesus Gives: Pentecost

Acts 1:3-7, 12-14; 2:1-12, 37-47


What does it mean, ultimately, to live in the life Jesus gives?  It includes spiritual disciplines which help re-train us to live according to God’s way of thinking, and the way he created us to live.  But ultimately it means that God changes our heart, our will, our motivation.  It means God lives in us.  We look at the story of Pentecost, and how God radically transformed and equipped his embarrassed and timid disciples to powerful men and women boldly telling all God has done, and we ask that God would do the same in us.

The Life Jesus Gives: Driven by Love

2 Corinthians 5:14, Acts 1:8

Living the life that Jesus gives, a life marked by the power of his resurrection means that we change.  We begin to look more like Jesus.  One of the essential ways that we change is that we begin to see other people like he does, that we begin to love them like he does, even our enemies.  But what does this look like?

The Life Jesus Gives: Typhoon Service

Proverbs 1:7


Last night we had a category 2 typhoon tear across Okinawa with gusts over 110 miles per hour.  As I stood on my balcony in the sheer force of the storm I felt both awe and fear.  Today we look at what the bible teaches of the fear of God and how this is a vital part of the life Jesus gives.

The Life Jesus Gives: The old has gone, the new has come

2 Corinthians 5:17

We want to be like Christ, to live in the power that guided his life, and the power which raised him from the dead.  This is the power of God that conquers sin even here and now!  But how to we practically remain connected to this power?  And what happens when we are in the new life, but the old doesn’t seem to disappear?

The Life Jesus Gives: Exercises for a Healthy Life

Ephesians 2:8-10


Jesus has shown us that ‘remaining’ in him and being ‘good soil’ means that we have a responsibility. But aren’t we saved by grace alone and not works?  We look today at Paul’s famous statement to learn about the way God saves us and the part he has called us to play in responding to him.

The Life Jesus Gives: Living the New Life

John 15:4-6, Matthew 13:3-9


We want to know Christ, but why is it that we so often are unable to do what he did and what he has called us to do?  We look at Jesus’ words in John 15 and Matthew 13 to learn what it means to ‘remain’ and be ‘good soil’ and the practical ways that Jesus did this and that we can follow him.

The Life Jesus Gives: A New Point of View

Colossians 3:10-11


The resurrection of Jesus is a testimony of the power of God to destroy sin, evil, and death.  This is good news for our lives not just when we die, but that here and now we can also experience the resurrection power of Jesus, freeing us from sin and enabling us to live for God!  But how?

Easter: In His Steps – Alive!

Luke 24:1-12, 36-49


The women came to the tomb to grieve and to get on with life, but the stone was rolled away, Jesus was not there.  The angel tells them he is alive!  For the disciples hearing this story is hard to believe.  Things like this just don’t happen, but Jesus appears in the flesh among them!  And Jesus, the conqueror of all sin, death, evil,  and brokenness invites them to walk in his steps to tell the good news of God’s forgiveness and power of life offered to all!



Lent: In His Steps – Steps of Salvation

Luke 19:28-44


Jesus finishes the long journey to Jerusalem.  He reaches it on an important day, lamb selection day before the passover memorial of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt.  He also arrives riding on a Donkey, fulfilling the messianic expectation from Zechariah.   The people have a unique choice to make.  Will they see Jesus as the lamb of God come to be sacrificed for their salvation, or will he be the conqueror who will throw off the burden of Rome from Israel.  He has only come to do one. Will the people miss the most important aspect of walking in his steps?  Will we?

Lent: In His Steps – Steps of Humility

Luke 18:1-33


As Jesus nears Jerusalem he speaks to his disciples about the critical importance of a trust in God shown through humility.  Using the stories of the Unjust judge, the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Children, and the Rich Young Ruler, he paints the picture of this essential attitude of walking ‘in his steps.’



Lent: In His Steps – Lost and Found

Luke 15


It’s amazing how quickly life becomes defined by ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’.  When the ‘insider’ religious see Jesus around the ‘outsider’ sinners they begin to grumble.  But Jesus tells three stories that powerfully portray the unspeakable heart of love of God for every single person he has created.

Lent: In His Steps – Worry, Security, and Generosity

Luke 12:1-34


Perhaps the greatest human desire is for security.   This desire for security is often found in relationships, and possessions.  And when this security is threatened, people are often driven by worry.  On the road to Jerusalem, Jesus confronts these issues with the good news that God will take care of us!  We are not forgotten and we don’t need to worry!  But he also shows that true trust in God means letting go of some of the most important things in our lives.

Lent: In His Steps – Counting the Cost

Luke 9:51-62


In Luke 9:51 Jesus begins an intentional journey to Jerusalem, and ultimately to his death.  He did so intentionally knowing that this was the path life must take.  It was the path that led to death, yes, but ultimately resurrection and salvation for all mankind!   For those of us who want to walk in his footsteps Jesus challenges us to first count the cost.  It will cost our possessions, comfort, allegiance, energy, and time.  Will we give up everything to walk in his steps?

Tsunami Memorial Service

With the earthquake and tsunami which have ravaged the northern Japan mainland we pause to stop and reflect on this unthinkable tragedy.  We pray for those whose lives have been torn apart. We reflect on our own fragility of life. We look to God’s word for peace, hope, understanding.  Finally, we look for how in Christ we are called to respond.

In His Steps – What the Lord has Done For Me

Luke 8:26-39


We don’t have to look far around us to see the symptoms of sin tearing apart the lives of people all around us, or our very own.  Amazingly, we sometimes get used to life as it is, even if it’s not what we want, and resist the healing God is offering!


The story of the Geresene demoniac carries us in Jesus’ steps towards understanding what God offers, and what we most deeply need.

In His Steps – Approaching Jesus

Luke 7:36-50

Jesus had dinner with Simon, the Pharisee when all of a sudden the town ‘bad girl’ shows up weeping, wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair, kissing his feet.  Simon is appalled that Jesus would let a sinner near him, doubting if he truly is a prophet.  Jesus counters not only by showing that all come before God in need of mercy, but while the woman loved Jesus much and has been forgiven, Simon loved Jesus little. Simon came to Jesus feeling adequate himself, yet the woman recognized not only was she inadequate, but also that she was being offered forgiveness.  Hers was a response of love.

In His Steps – God’s Way of Thinking

Luke 6:17-49

Jesus followers were people who recognized they had need.  They were sick, demon possessed, tax collectors, confused.  Jesus sat down with his disciples and began to explain God’s way of thinking, God’s kingdom.  Here those in need were blessed because God would provide for them.  Because of this they no longer had to live by loving friend and hating enemies, but rather loving their enemies.  They didn’t need to point fingers, but let God evaluate their lives.  Their lives would eventually show a good fruit!

In His Steps – Being a Disciple, Making Disciples

Luke 6:12-16

Jesus has begun his ministry and as we walk in his steps he shows us the wisdom of God in growing as a follower of him and also in how we are called to live.  After a night full of prayer Jesus chooses 12 specific disciples from his many followers to invest his life in. This is a life investment that is intentional, regular, personal, accountable, costly, and focused on Jesus.  Every believer should  be discipled, having a mature believer help them grow in Christ.  And every believer has been commanded to make disciples. This means not only to point everyone they meet towards Jesus, but to invest their lives in specific people God leads into their paths.

In His Steps – Face to Face with Jesus

Luke 5:1-32

Just after Jesus’ temptation he begins to share about the good news of God across Israel.  As we walk in his steps through Luke 5 we see the people who had face to face encounters with Jesus, and how their lives were never the same again.

In His Steps – The Great Temptation

Luke 4:1-13

In this sermon series we walk through Luke’s account of the life of Jesus.  We will walk in Jesus’ steps to understand who he was, who we are, and who he calls us to be.

Every one of us face temptation.  To be tempted is to be human. We look at the story of Jesus’ temptation and find that his temptations are just the same as ours.  And Jesus helps us walk in his steps to go through temptation but not to sin!

God With Us – Healing

Psalm 107, Isaiah 35:1-10, James 5:7-10

When Jesus shines his light on us we are shown for what we truly are.  But Jesus does not leave us that way, but as we let him will begin to set things right in our lives, healing the brokenness.  He will bring life to desert wastes.  He will not only come again to destroy all evil and heal heaven and earth, but here and now he has given us his Holy Spirit to comfort, guide, and heal us as we call on him.

God With Us – Judgment

Isaiah 11:1-10, Romans 15:4-13,  Matthew 3:1-12

A hope of Jesus coming again is that he will judge the world, he will set the wrong things right.  Judgment is like shining light in a dark place, it shows what is there, no more and no less.  The amazing good news is that Jesus shines his light on us here and now through his Holy Spirit, offering to set our lives right so that we would be a people of hope and peace!

God With Us – Anticipation

Isaiah 2:1-5, Romans 13:11-14,  Matthew 24:36-44

The Christmas season is upon us!  The music and decorations bring a sense of great anticipation.  But holidays come and go, so what do we most deeply anticipate?  All humanity’s deepest hopes are met in Jesus Christ.  He did not only come to earth, but he will come again.  And here and now he has left us his Holy Spirit.  We are not along.  God is with us.

Living with Relatives

Galatians 6:1-10

Life naturally brings about conflict.  But how as members of God’s family are we called to deal with conflict, especially conflict among believers?  Paul speaks in the last chapter of his letter to the Galatians about this topic.  We are invited to bear one another’s burdens, remembering that we have been forgiven much.  In this way, by God’s help we generously give of ourselves and maintain unity in the family.

Baptism Service

Romans 6:3-5

Baptism is the church’s symbol of ‘Joining the Family’.  Today we baptize people into the Christian family and a reaffirmation of baptisms.

Joining the Family

Romans 6:3-5

This week we look at something that is pretty familiar, a Christian wedding ceremony, to better understand Baptism.  Like marriage, baptism is a public confession of faith in Christ but even more-so than marriage, baptism is a way in which God’s grace works deeply to transform us.  Baptism is the formal entrance into The Family.

Family Resemblance

Galatians 5:16-26

What does it mean to be a member of the Family of God?  Paul tells the church in Galatia that as they examine their lives they will see fruit that shows their life according to the flesh or their life according to God’s spirit.  Our fruit shows our true nature regardless if we have gone to church our whole lives!  We live by God’s spirit when we daily put our trust in Jesus.  Doing this also requires actively putting to death our old way of live by the choices we make and the things we choose to value.  We have been invited to the incredible fruit from God’s spirit!

The Heir

Galatians 4:1-7

Paul has been passionately telling the church in Galatia that they are not set right with God by what they do (obeying the law) but rather through putting their trust in Jesus Christ.  In these verses he makes the analogy of a child who has not yet reached adulthood.  This sermon is a story to further illustrate Paul’s point.

What Does it Mean to be a Follower of Jesus?

Galatians 2:15-21

Rich Steele fills in for Pastor Brian this week looking at what it means to be a follower of Jesus from Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  Paul in the beginning of his letter emphasized they could not earn acceptance by merely obeying the law.  Here Paul emphasizes the centrality of salvation as a gift from Jesus by his grace!

Deadly Detours

Galatians 1:6-9

This is the first sermon in our series on Galatians called “In the Family.”  We will listening in on Paul’s conversation to the churches in Galatia and learning what it means to be part of the family of God.

In this passage Paul is confronting the believers about listening to people who have come and said they must be circumcised in order to be saved and part of God’s family.  He says that anything apart from trust in God’s grace through Jesus Christ is a deadly detour and lead them (and us) back down the dead-end road.  Nothing we do can earn salvation or God’s acceptance, but he has offered it freely through Jesus Christ!


John 17:6-21.  Jesus final words are important to us, and he used these final words praying to the Father for his followers, us!  He prayed for unity, even though unity in the body of Christ is not easy.  He also prayed that we would be sent into the world, but not be of the world.

Perfect Love

Jesus says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”  We look at this verse today to see what Jesus means by this and how it impacts us living set apart in the spirit of Christ.

Empowered to Love

Romans 7:14-25, Acts 2:1-4

We were created in the image of a God of love and relationship to be in a loving relationship with God and with others.  Humans since Adam and Eve have chosen to love themselves which has broken our relationship with God and others.  The law given to Israel did not solve the problem and God promised to take care of the core issue, the rebellious, self-centered human heart by giving us a new heart.  In Jesus Christ we see what loving God and others looks like, and through his sacrifice on the cross this life is made open to us!  In Christ we receive the new heart, but Jesus said that his desire for us is to be filled with his Holy Spirit, the very new heart God promised so long ago!

Jonah: The Heart of God

Jonah 1-4

Ultimate Gift, Ultimate Sacrifice

The Covenant, The Doubter

Genesis 16-17
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