August 2021

Songs of Scripture: Faithfulness

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, August 29, 2021

Text: Psalm 71

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Some of us might remember well one of the longest running ad campaigns in the last century.  Those who are too young can still find it on YouTube… It was way back in the days before you could skip over commercials on your DVR, so anyone watching TV in those days saw them on a regular basis. From 1991-2004, an advertising agency hired by Chevrolet ran a campaign that aimed to brand Chevy trucks as dependable, reliable, strong enough for any task, powerful enough to pull any fully-loaded trailer, built for whatever one might need it for. The agency gained permission to use a song from Detroit’s own Bob Seger, and then it was easy to put it all together and remind us all time and time again that Chevy Trucks were made in America and built “Like a Rock.” 

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Songs of Scripture: Wisdom

Pastor Kyle Bitter - The Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, August 22, 2021

Text: Psalm 1

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A journey starts with just one step. That’s true of just about anything you want to accomplish – starting something new, breaking an old habit – it starts with just one step. If you decide you want to kick your caffeine habit, it starts with the first cup of coffee you pass up. If you decide you want to get into better shape, it starts with that first trip to the gym or that first step out the door. If you want to eat healthier, it starts with that first changed meal. A journey starts with just one step. It sounds kind of simplistic, because one cup of coffee, one workout, one meal – none of these do much in and of themselves. But, if they’re the first steps in a new routine? You might look back in a few weeks or months and be amazed at the progress!

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Songs of Scripture: Trust

Pastor Kyle Bitter - The Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, August 15, 2021

Text: Psalm 34

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Last summer when so much of the world was going crazy in so many ways, I saw an article inviting people to get away. It described a totally self-sufficient property that had been designed for disconnecting from society and all the craziness that was going on at the time. Surprisingly it was all crammed onto a little less than an acre. Some chickens and a few other selected animals for meat, carefully divided up parcels of land for farming different kinds of fruits and vegetables, a modest home with a well for water, solar panels on the roof and couple of wind turbines for electricity. Supposedly it would allow a family of four to live independently, off the grid, separate from the rest of society.  Maybe that kind of lifestyle has some appeal to you, or maybe it seems a bit crazy, but whatever your opinion is, I’m guessing that the idea of independence and having control of your life is something you value. After all, we find ourselves looking for it throughout life. As young adults, we look forward to being independent of parents, teachers, and others in authority and free to make decisions for ourselves. On the other end of life, as senior citizens, we often desire to retain our independence as much as we can! We move into places labeled as “independent living” even as we prepare for the possibility of needing some level of assistance. None of this should be surprising, because the idea of independence and taking care of yourself is built into the fabric of our culture. What’s the real name for the fourth of July? Oh yeah, Independence Day!

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Songs of Scripture: Abundance

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, August 8, 2021

Text: Psalm 145

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I know it’s August, but do you remember what Thanksgiving looks like? Of course, you do. If you have been to church on Thanksgiving Eve or Thanksgiving Day before, you can almost picture the decorations up front. In our part of the world, Thanksgiving generally coincides with the harvest season, and so there might be corn and pumpkins and squash, and maybe other fruits and vegetables on display as a reminder of God’s glorious provision of all that we need and all that we have. Some churches even have a wicker cornucopia, a horn of plenty, and it’s usually overflowing as a symbol of abundance. Today, we don’t have any of those decorations up front. But we do have Psalm 145 as a reminder of how today and every day is a good day to practice thanksgiving and praise to God.

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Songs of Scripture: God's Presence

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Tenth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, August 1, 2021

Text: Psalm 84

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Dear Friends in Christ, we sometimes hear people talk about escaping bad news or a stressful situation by saying they are going to their “happy place.”  It’s usually said in a lighthearted yet wistful manner. Maybe you’ve used this cliché yourself. What does it mean, and where is it?

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