February 2021

Judas: The Hands of Betrayal

Pastor Joel Leyrer - Midweek Lent 2 - Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Text: John 13:21-30

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Dear Friends in Christ, Today we begin our midweek Lenten series under the theme, “The Hands of the Passion.” For the next five Wednesdays we will consider certain key individuals and the role they played during Holy Week. This evening we will focus our attention on a man whose name is often used interchangeably with the word “traitor,” and the one disciple that parents rarely, if ever, name their children after: 

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Faith Works

Pastor Kyle Bitter - The First Sunday in Lent - Sunday, February 21, 2021

Text: Genesis 22:1-18

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Have you ever noticed how hard it is to answer the “why” questions when it comes to the Bible? Why did God do this and not that? Why does God allow this difficult thing to happen? Why doesn’t God use his almighty power to address that? Why did God set up his plan of salvation in the way that he did? The list goes on, and in such situations we know that God wants us to trust him, but that’s not always easy to do – especially when what we see going on around us doesn’t appear to match up very well with what God has promised us! God is powerful and promises us that he’s in control…but we look around and see a lot of chaos and turmoil! God is loving and promises to do all things for our good…but there is still heartache and pain in life. God is forgiving and promises that because of what Jesus did our sins are forgiven so much that it’s just as if they didn’t happen…but we still struggle with guilt and the consequences of our own sinful decisions. Situations like these are among the devil’s favorites for trying to get children of God to doubt. Did God really promise that? Is he really going to come through? Has something changed with God’s plans? No matter what the specifics are, it’s a variation on the same temptation the devil’s been using from the very beginning when he led Adam and Eve to question God’s plans and promises. Did God really say…? Sadly, such temptation is just as effective today as it was back then!

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An Equation for Lent

Pastor Joel Leyrer - Ash Wednesday - Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Text: 2 Samuel 12:1-13

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Dear Friends in Christ, One of the crowning achievements of the artist and sculptor Michelangelo is a 17-foot-tall marble statue of King David as a young man. The size seems appropriate because David is one of those larger-than-life Bible figures. Outside of Jesus and Moses, there is more written about him in the Scriptures than anyone else, and it is fair to say that even those with only a passing knowledge of Old Testament are familiar with his name.

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Is It Good for Us to Be Here?

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Transfiguration - Sunday, February 14, 2021

Text: Mark 9:2-9

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At some point, I’d guess that all of us have imagined what it would be like to live the life of a celebrity. We picture the adoring fans…and we can’t help but start thinking about the lifestyle, how we’d spend all that money: luxurious homes, fancy cars, maybe even a private jet that could take us wherever we wanted to go—like somewhere warm. You could have a personal chef, and a personal trainer, and a personal assistant. You’d hang out with other celebrities and eat at the finest restaurants and you’d never have trouble getting tickets to the biggest events around. 

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The Greatest Miracle

Pastor Kyle Bitter - The Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany - Sunday, February 7, 2021

Text: Mark 1:29-39

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What makes something count as a miracle? Miracle is a word you hear pretty frequently. Let me give you a few examples. “Miracle on the Hudson” – a label applied to the dramatic emergency landing of a passenger aircraft in the Hudson River in 2009. Miracles of modern medicine treat or cure diseases that at one time were fatal. You see it a ton in sports. “Miracle” is the title of a movie about the improbable victory of the 1980 US hockey team over the Soviet Union. NBA headlines this week included this one: "Wizards score 6 points in 4 seconds in miraculous comeback vs. Nets.” What is it that makes people call something a “miracle”? Examples like these would seem to be things that are improbable, things that are highly unlikely to happen but amazing when they do! You and I probably see a miracle as something even greater than that – something impossible without outside help! A miracle is what you hope for when all other options are exhausted and all hope seems to be gone.

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The Voice of Authority

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany - Sunday, January 31, 2021

Text: Mark 1:21-28

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Dear Friends in Christ…We have just experienced a year of competing voices by those in positions of authority. Our recent presidential election cycle was marked by accusations and controversy. We’re closing in on a year long pandemic featuring all kinds of experts with lots of initials after their names presenting conflicting views on what should or should not be done – and we’re bracing ourselves for more of the same. And we’ve experienced civil unrest both nationally and locally with charges being made by one group and countercharges being made by another.

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