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Easter 2017

Sunday, April 16: Easter Three year old Nicole was as anxious for Easter to come as she had been for Christmas to arrive. One day, as Nicole and her father stopped at a store to buy her a new pair of shoes, for the tenth time she said, “Daddy, I can’t wait for Easter!” “Honey,” […]

Bolivia Update

Sunday, April 9: Bolivia Update We have spent the last few weeks in the Book of Hebrews in a series we have called Sacred Spaces. In it, we have been talking about ways to encounter God in the everyday. Encountering God means living the way that Jesus lived—with eyes open to the hurts of the […]

Sacred Spaces – Hebrews 2:5–9

Sunday, April 2: Sacred Spaces Hebrews 2:5–9 We are in the third week of a series called “Sacred Spaces,” about the high priestly ministry of Jesus as described in the Book of Hebrews. When we speak of “sacred spaces,” we mean the places where we encounter God—the places where heaven and earth seem to overlap. […]

Sacred Spaces – Hebrews 1:1–14

Sunday, March 19: Sacred Spaces Hebrews 1:1–14 Hebrews has a message for the people of God who live in a world that refuses to acknowledge God: God has spoken. Gareth Cockerill The Epistle to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who found themselves hanging on to hope by their fingernails. Nero, the cruel despot […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 48–49

Sunday, March 12: Jacob Genesis 48–49 Last week, we saw Jacob come into his own—he became one of the great patriarchs of Israel. But what of the promises made to Abraham and Isaac? Did they come true, or did Jacob the rascal squander God’s favor? Further, what does all of this mean to us?In Genesis […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 35:1–29

Sunday, March 5: Jacob Genesis 35:1–29 When we think of Jacob, we think of him as one of the great patriarchs. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the fathers of the Jewish nation—the great patriarchs of the people of God. However, to this point in his story, Jacob hasn’t acted very patriarchal. In fact, he’s been […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 33:1–20

Sunday, February 26: Jacob Genesis 33:1–20 Jacob is on his way home. Twenty years before, he defrauded his brother and was forced to run for his life to escape his wrath. Esau, in fact, had promised to kill him. Esau is a big, strong, hairy guy with bow hunting skills. To make matters worse, Jacob has […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 32:1–32

Sunday, February 19: Jacob Genesis 32:1–32 If there was ever a man who found himself between the proverbial “devil and the deep blue sea,” it’s Jacob between the day he leaves behind his father-in-law, Laban, and the day he meets up with his brother, Esau.At the end of Genesis 31 Laban is behind him and […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 31:1–55

Sunday, February 12: Jacob Genesis 31:1–55 Jacob’s story begins with a word from God that his older brother Esau will serve him. But even from the beginning, it’s difficult to imagine how this might be. Esau is older. He’s stronger. He’s bolder and braver. His father is on his side. He doesn’t look ready to […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 30:25–43

Sunday, February 5: Jacob Genesis 30:25–43 We have been journeying through the life of Jacob for a few weeks now. From his angel-heralded birth, to his deception of Esau and Isaac, to his vision of God, Jacob’s life has been full of drama. Now we’ve know from the beginning that Jacob would inherit the blessing […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 29:1–30:34

Sunday, January 29: Jacob Genesis 29:1–30:34 As we return to our study in Genesis, Jacob has left home to escape the wrath of his bow hunting brother. Esau would like nothing better than to turn him into a human pin cushion for stealing his blessing. So, out of fear, he walks 50 miles on his […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 28:1–22

Sunday, January 22: Jacob Genesis 28:1–22 There is no event so common place but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not… because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. Frederick Buechner “There are two great tragedies in life,” […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 26–27

Sunday, January 15: Jacob Genesis 26–27 Have you ever found yourself saying that you have been blessed by God? What does that mean? Is blessing proof that God loves us more than others? Is blessing a sign that we are better or more righteous than most people? What about those who don’t experience blessing? What […]

Jacob

Jacob – Genesis 25:19–34

Sunday, January 8: Jacob Genesis 25:19–34 Last year we studied the life of Abraham. It was an awesome glimpse of a man of amazing (albeit inconsistent) faith. There were times when Abraham trusted God with the impossible. There were other times when he thought things were too perilous even for God and he decided to […]

Christmas Eve Service

The Whisper of Christmas There was a great and powerful wind, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle […]

Christmas Service

Sunday, December 18: Christmas Service Ephesians 1:3–10 Christmas is coming! I know it seems like it is still a long ways off, but this Sunday is actually the last Sunday before Christmas. It’s almost here! Leading up to Christmas, we have been studying the Book of Ephesians. This is fitting because the book is all […]

One: Ephesians

Ephesians 6:10–24

Sunday, December 11: One Ephesians 6:10–24 “Now, I want you to remember that no [one] ever won a war by dying for his country. . . .”“Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity.” “ . . . [T]hey may take our lives, but they will never take OUR FREEDOM!” I considered painting my […]

One: Ephesians

One – Ephesians 4:17–32

Sunday, November 20: One Ephesians 4:17–32 Two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a struggling church in Ephesus—a major city in what is now Turkey. Ephesus had a great history. It was the capital of Asia Minor, both politically and economically. It was the third largest city in the Roman Empire. […]

One: Ephesians

One – Ephesians 4:1-16

Ephesians 4:1–16 To dwell above with saints we love, That will be grace and glory. To live below with saints we know, That’s another story. In the first three chapters of Ephesians we’ve been learning about the formation of the church, the body of Christ, made up of all Christians everywhere, no matter how diverse […]

One: Ephesians

One – Ephesians 2:11-22

Sunday, October 23: One Ephesians 2:11–22 We are just a couple of weeks away from the Presidential election. Is everybody excited about this? One thing that came up early on in the debates was the idea of building a wall on the border between the U.S and Mexico. It’s an idea that has been both […]

One: Ephesians

One – Ephesians 2:1-10

Sunday, October 16: One Ephesians 2:1–10 Ephesians 2:1–10 is one of the most famous passages ever penned by Paul. In it, the apostle succinctly explains God’s work in our lives through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a familiar passage to many of us (and for good reason!).But, like the ideas of many familiar […]

One: Ephesians

One – Ephesians 1:15-23

Sunday, October 2: One Ephesians 1:15–23 It’s been said that, “Prayer is the point at which heaven and earth share contiguous borders, where we take counsel with God on matters of eternal importance.”We often forget that, don’t we? Either that, or we don’t believe it. But the Apostle Paul believed it. When it came to […]

One: Ephesians

One – Ephesians 1:1-14

Sunday, October 2: One Ephesians 1:1–14 What’s another word for Thesaurus? Why is abbreviation such a long word? If nothing sticks to Teflon, how do they stick Teflon to the pan? Why do kamikaze pilots wear helmets? Is it possible to be totally partial? If nothing else, those questions remind us we don’t know everything. […]

Generosity 3

Sunday, September 25: Generosity Micah 6:6–8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly before your God.” Micah 6:8 If you have been with us the past few months you know that we did a […]

Generosity 2

Sunday, September 18: Generosity Luke 19:1–10 We have an awesome opportunity in Gig Harbor. We live, work, and play among some of the smartest, most talented, and most powerful people in the world. This city has amazing potential and a lot of assets. But Gig Harbor also has a reputation of not having a lot […]

Plowshares and Pruning Hook – Haggai

Sunday, August 7: Plowshares & Pruning Hooks Haggai “Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai 1:5 As we have gone through eight of the Minor Prophets so far, there has essentially been a singular theme: “God is back and, boy, is He mad.” To his rebellious kids, God has given way more warnings than they […]

Nehemiah 10-12

Sunday, May 22: Steadfast Nehemiah 10–12 What’s your problem? Those are the words that opened our Steadfast series. Nehemiah certainly had a problem: the walls of Jerusalem were torn down and the city was a laughing stock to all of its neighbors. His problem was big and it seemed impossible to solve. This week we are going […]

Steadfast – Nehemiah 5:1-19

The name Nehemiah is often synonymous with leadership. He was an organizational wizard, a courageous soldier, and an inspiring communicator. He used his gifts and his influence to solve a problem that had defeated all of his predecessors, and he did all of this under constant threat of attack. But none of those things were […]

Steadfast – Nehemiah 4:1-23

There is an old Irish benediction that contains the words, “And may the wind always be at your back.” If you have ever done any sailing that phrase needs no explanation. There’s nothing more exhilarating than to be on the water and have a strong prevailing wind at your back with its full force filling […]

Steadfast – Nehemiah 2:1-20

Have you ever had one of those “ah-ha” moments when you finally realized what God was doing in your life? Sometimes, life doesn’t make sense. You look around and you think, “What in the world am I doing with my life? What in the world is God doing in my life? Does God even care […]

I am with you – John 17:20-26

Jesus has finished his sermon in the Upper Room and is now in the process of closing in prayer. So far he has prayed for himself. He has also prayed for his disciples, whom he will soon be leaving behind. But in John 17:20-26, at the end of his last public prayer before his death, he turns […]

I am with you – John 17:1-5

What do you think of when you hear the word “glory”? A high school football state championship? A standing ovation after a speech or a performance? The look of pride in your parents’ eyes after a great accomplishment? We all take glory in different things. What do you think it takes to receive glory from […]

I am with You John 16:16-24

“It is the nature of joy that all questions grow silent, and nothing needs explaining.” Rudolf Bultmann. When you read the gospels do you ever have questions about some of the things Jesus says? Would you occasionally like some clarification on statements he makes?That’s the situation with the disciples in John 16:16-24 as we return […]

I am with you Introduction

Imagine that you were one of Jesus’ disciples. You’ve traveled with Jesus for 3 years now and you’ve recently witnessed his most amazing work—raising his friend Lazarus from the dead. But just as Jesus’ ministry was starting to make sense and your excitement for the future was at its height, Jesus drops a bomb on […]

Christmas Eve

Kindness

Once a year there is a Sunday where either Matt or I get to teach on whatever we want. The rest of the year is all scheduled out. But on the Sunday after Christmas we get to choose. It’s always hard for me to decide what topic to teach on. I’m not good with unlimited […]

Christmas Eve

Christmas Sunday

Christmas, of course, is about a lot of nice things. Christmas is about the worship of an invisible God who entered time and space to make himself known. Christmas is about friends and family. Christmas is about giving and caring. It’s about rejoicing because we are part of God’s family forever. It’s about joy and peace. […]

Three generations of hands

Abide 1 John 5:13-21

1 John 5:13–21 In families, consistent values are passed down from generation to generation. That’s part of what it means to be a part of a family. However, each generation has to make the family name their own. Sometimes, children are not exactly like their parents (and sometimes grandkids are). In families, there is both […]