September 2019

"All In" Discipleship

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, September 29, 2019

Text: Luke 14:25-33

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Dear Friends in Christ. Two seemingly random thoughts which we will connect momentarily...Number one. If you watch television you’ve probably seen these advertisements by a major network provider. A real-life situation is portrayed that calls for excellence or commitment or a high level of skill – like surgery, or a potentially dangerous carnival ride, or swinging a big business deal. Given its importance and long-term ramifications for the people on the receiving end, they understandably look for assurance in the abilities of their providers. A brief conversation ensues, and what they discover is that their providers are, at best, mediocre at what they do – and their mediocrity seems to be just fine with them. Troubled looks follow.

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The Way Up is Down

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, September 22, 2019

Text: Luke 14:1, 7-14

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The more we listen to Jesus and his words, the more familiar we become with the idea of paradox. Or, to put it in simpler words, Jesus says a lot of things that seem backwards, or upside down, the kind of statements that don’t seem to make sense to us at first. If you were here last weekend, you heard a good example, when Jesus says, “there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.” And that isn’t the only one. What else did Jesus say?

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Fear of Missing Out

Pastor Kyle Bitter - The Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, September 15, 2019

Text: Luke 13:22-30

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Fear of missing out – commonly abbreviated FOMO in text messages and on social media – has become a common phrase among younger generations in our country. Fear of missing out. If your friends are doing something and you’re not there, you might miss out on something and regret it forever, and so the phrase is used to tease people who make great sacrifices to be there anyway. Even though the phrase is probably used most in social settings among friends, the sense behind it certainly isn’t limited to that. Fear of missing out can be a big motivator in other parts of life too that have nothing to do with social life. If you are offered a new job or a different position and you waffle back and forth for too long…the job might be offered to someone else instead and you might miss out. If you wait too long to start a project, you might not be able to finish it in time, and you miss out. The social aspect of the phrase might be somewhat new, but the general idea behind it isn’t new at all. Phrases like “Strike while the iron’s hot,” “Early bird gets the worm,” “Snooze you lose” have been around for a long time. The ancient Roman poet Horace coined the phrase “carpe diem” – seize the day – to communicate the very same idea! When opportunity comes, take it, because that opportunity might not come along again! Don’t miss out!

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Pastor Joel Leyrer - Unity Sunday - Sunday, September 8, 2019

Text: John 3:14-17

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Dear Friends in Christ,  In a private letter written to a friend in 1944 the English writer J.R.R. Tolkien, best known as the author of the Lord of the Rings book series, created a new word for the literary world.  It’s printed in the service folder as the theme of this sermon. The word is “eucatastrophe.”

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Jesus is the Treasure

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, September 1, 2019

Text: Luke 12:32-34

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You don’t need to raise your hands or anything, but how many of us have ever wished we could have walked with Jesus and heard him preach to us? Wouldn’t it be amazing to watch his expressions as the words come out and  he reveals the Father to us in his teachings? Maybe the thought occurs to us on the days when church seems particularly boring: “If only Jesus were preaching instead of this guy…”  Maybe it happens when you pray, and it seems like silence on the other end: “If only Jesus could answer my questions directly…”  Maybe it happens when you are struggling with temptation or guilt or worry: “If only Jesus could know what I’m thinking and preach the perfect sermon I need right now…”

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