Sermons

The Easter Effect - April 15, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Luke 24:36-49

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Dear Friends in Christ, if we can imagine there was a succession of those yellow triangle or diamond shaped warning signs along the spiritual “road” the disciples traveled from Good Friday morning to Easter evening, what might they be? Here are some suggestions:



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These Words Are Written . . . to Bring You Peace - April 8, 2018

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: John 20:19-31

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These Words Are WrittenWhat do you suppose the disciples were doing that Easter afternoon in the inner room?  Maybe they shared some food, like many of us did. Maybe they traded some stories about what had been going on recently. And as they did that, they probably just took some time trying to process what had happened over the last couple of days. It was a lot! Jesus had been put on trial and executed. Some had watched him die from a distance. Others had been too scared to come at all – would Jesus’ enemies be content with just killing him? Romans soldiers had been dispatched to guard the tomb, but the seal had been broken. The body was gone. Some said he had risen. Some even claimed they had seen him! Others blamed the disciples, who now must have found themselves looking over their shoulders for approaching Roman soldiers. And so, as the day drew to a close, they gathered in a quiet room trying to make sense of what they had seen and heard. They wanted to believe what they had seen and heard, but everything they thought they knew about anything told them it couldn’t be. One thing was for certain – there was no peace of mind – not yet.



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Better Than Expected - April 1, 2018

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Text: Mark 16:1-8

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On Easter morning, we expect flowers. Today, we are not disappointed; no matter how we picture it in our minds, we walk into church and we are struck by the wild contrast from the way we left church on Friday. Then our crosses were covered in black veils; today they are blooming with colors that represent life instead of death.



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Holy Week: The Big Picture - Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Philipians 2:5-11

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Dear Friends in Christ, I have a childhood memory of a bookshelf in our house lined with the colorful spines of a literary collection known as Reader’s Digest condensed books. Some of you may have that same memory. Today, these books seem to be standard items in thrift stores and yard sales. These “condensed” books were just what they said they were: within one book four or five larger novels were condensed down to the essentials necessary for understanding the whole story. And while the reader may not have gotten all the details, you got enough to see how the story fit together.  This thought comes to mind because the portion of God’s Word from the book of Philippians before us this morning presents us with a sort of “condensed version” of the entire life and ministry of Jesus Christ.  And we would have to say that it is a story of extremes. 



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The Perfect Combination - March 18, 2018

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Text: John 12:20-33

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We all have strengths and weaknesses. I don’t think any of us disagree. And as we go through life, part of the challenge is trying to figure out where we fit within society, and trying to find a way to glorify God with the particular combination of gifts that he has given each one of us. For instance, a young person might realize that he or she excels in math and science, but doesn’t do particularly well in literature and art. Such a young person might consider a career in engineering or medical research. Another student might struggle with numbers, but has a gift for writing and communicating. This student is encouraged to look at journalism or marketing. Still another teenager might seem to be average in school, but is able to accomplish great things in being creative and working with his hands, so he goes into a career in custom cabinetry or another trade. You get the picture. No career is “one size, fits all,” none is objectively better or worse than another, but there can be great satisfaction if you find the one that is just right for you.



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You Are God's Workmanship - March 11, 2018

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: Ephesians 2:4-10

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What are you going to do now? If you listened to the interviews with Olympic athletes after they completed their competition, I’m sure you heard that question asked – especially of those who were on their last Olympics. What are you going to do now? After reaching a goal that has been many years in the making – what’s next? Seems like almost anything that you do is going to be a letdown. And it’s hard, because sadly, the list of famous people who have struggled after their time in the spotlight has ended is long and tragic.



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We Need a New Law - March 4, 2018

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Text: Romans 8:1-10

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I know this isn’t the place to talk about politics, but I assure you, it relates to our discussion for today.  So here goes… How do you feel about guns?  That seems to be a big question in our country lately.  And it turns out that a simple question can be quite a divisive one, because different people can react to the same events, and based on their own background, experience, and opinions, they can come up with different answers. There are those on one side who say that we need new laws, because people shouldn’t have so many guns, or they shouldn’t have access to certain kinds of guns. Too many guns…At the same time, there are also people on the other side who also say that we need new laws, but they are on the opposite end of the spectrum: they say that we need more guns; we need armed guards or even armed teachers in every school. Who is right? Passionate people on both sides; I’d hope we’d all agree that no matter where we fall, preserving human life is always worth thinking about. I have no doubts that guns will be part of an ongoing conversation, but today we have an even bigger issue to deal with…



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A Proper Perspective - February 25, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Romans 5:1-11

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Dear Friends in Christ, it is always helpful to remember that those people in the Bible whom we rightfully consider heroes of faith and great spiritual icons, were at the same time human beings just like us. As such, they were subjected to the same ups and downs that we go through.



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God Is For Us - February 18, 2018

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: Romans 8:31-39

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I have some friends who can’t stand being left out of the fun – whatever it might be. Any time there’s a group doing just about anything – these guys are there. It doesn’t matter if it’s planned in advance or a text message five minutes before, if it’s humanly possible to be there, he’s in – even if others might look at his schedule and wonder why he puts himself through such great pains to be there. But, he can’t stand being left out. Maybe you know someone like that. Maybe you are like that. It’s common enough that society has jokingly popularized the acronym FOMO – fear of missing out – for use in teasing people with that personality trait.



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A Lenten Reality Check - February 14, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Acts 5:1-11

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Dear Friends in Christ, because it so clearly teaches that we are saved by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, Martin Luther had a special place in his heart for Paul’s letter to the Galatians. In fact, he once referred to it as his “Katie,” the name of his wife. Meaning, he loved it so much he felt like he was married to it.



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