Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Role of the Church

Our Sermon Series at Almond Union is titled A Study in Spiritual Maturity.

We've been looking at those things that we do that lead to a deeper level of spiritual maturity, with the idea that we can be a little holier and a little deeper as we celebrate Easter.

This week we look at the role of the church in developing our spiritual maturity.  A warning - it's probably not what you think!

To read or listen to the sermon, click here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Standing firm...

“If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!”
Proverbs 24:10
How has your winter been?  Are you anxious to get back on the bike?  When I am done writing this I’m going to go out for a short ride!  I’ve been called crazy, but I like to try to get out at least once a month, and this winter has been so hard, I haven’t been out since December.  I’m tired and oh so ready.
Some people are anxious to get back in other ways.  I’m anxious as in excited.  I can’t wait.  It’s been way to long, and I’m going now whether the roads are good or not, whether it’s warm or not.  But some are anxious because of health issues.  Are bad knees or lung issues or back pain going to make it difficult?  Some are anxious because of financial issues.  Am I going to have the finances available to do what I want to do and go where I want to go?  Will I have the money to the kind of riding I hope to do?  Some are anxious because of a host of other issues.
How do we handle the anxiety that comes our way?  Some can be affected so greatly they almost become paralyzed.  They’re afraid to try, afraid to reach out, afraid to even attempt.  Anxiety keeps them from accomplishing anything.
But on the other side, some can be affected so greatly they become unstoppable.  They become so fully focused and undeterred that they will push on through the greatest obstacles and succeed at all costs.  In fact the obstacles only serve to sharpen their focus and increase their desire.
I’m sure most of us will find ourselves somewhere in the middle.  But Proverbs 24:10 suggests that perhaps the latter example is better.  That we show our strength when we push through our obstacles.  Perhaps more importantly, we show our source of strength when we push through our obstacles.  We all have limits, but we believe in one who is limitless.  Paul shared the source of his strength in his letter to the Philippians, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”  (Php. 4:13). 
Paul found that to be true in his life, and you can find that to be just as true in your life, when you don’t falter in times of trouble, but push through those times of trouble with Jesus who gives you the strength.

Faith First

  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Taking him...