This week, Pastor Pete concluded “The Daniel Dilemma” series by teaching us how to love well in today’s culture. Daniel had influence in his culture because he served his Babylonian masters well. If we want to influence our culture, then we need to understand what love is and what it is not. Loving others like Jesus has loved us is the key.
In this message, Pastor Pete used the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace as an example for standing firm in faith during a challenging situation. Their story shows us that standing firm takes courage and faith, but when we stand we have the opportunity to inspire others. The enemy is constantly putting pressure on us through a culture that bows to many different idols. Listen to learn how to live a stand-up life in a bow-down world.
While Babylon is the physical setting for the book of Daniel, in Part 2 of this series, Pastor Beth Miller suggests it’s also a mentality, or way of seeing the world. And it still exists today. It’s a confused way of thinking that elevates self, lowers God, and blatantly stands up to God in pride. So when the sin of pride is all around us, how do we humble ourselves and see sanity restored?
Pastor Pete began a new series this week called “The Daniel Dilemma” to teach us how to stand firm and love well in a culture of compromise. From the day Daniel was brought into Babylon, he stood for his faith. His example shows us how to live in a culture that is constantly shifting its core values and has turned tolerance into compromise. We do this by learning to live in the tension between truth and grace. As we hold God’s truth high and give freely the grace we freely received, we can journey together to make a difference.
Pastor Pete wrapped up the “Holy Spirit” series by teaching about the three different baptisms mentioned throughout the New Testament that are available to followers of Christ, and explained what the third baptism, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, is. The word baptism means “to be immersed in.” The first baptism happens at salvation as we are immersed into a relationship with Christ and His body. Water baptism is the second baptism. The third baptism is the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which provides the power you need to live this life victoriously and to do everything God is calling you to do.
In this third message of the “Holy Spirit” series, Pastor Pete tackles the term “charismatic,” and brings clarity to its true meaning. Charismatics aren’t people who are crazy in church; they’re people who believe the Holy Spirit is still living and working in the lives of people today and has given each of us the “spiritual gifts,” or “divine enablement,” we need to do the work He has called us to do. Discover and develop the gifts the Holy Spirit has given you that empower to do the works He’s planned in advance for you to do, so that together we can advance His purposes in the world as we help people know & follow Jesus step by step. You were made for this!
If you’ve ever struggled with wanting to control the narrative of your life and panic when that control is removed from you, especially when life throws you a curve ball or you have to walk through something that wasn’t part of your plan for your life, then you’ll appreciate this message from our lead pastor’s wife, Kelly Jankowski. Using the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and personal examples from her own life, she shares the secret to having peace when life happens and we realize we’re not in control of our lives. Choosing to trust God, who writes better stories than we do, and daily surrender our lives to him, will result in the peace we all crave when faced with the unexpected or with questions we don’t know how to answer.
In this second message of the “Holy Spirit” series, Pastor Pete explained the meaning of two of the three major holidays on the Jewish calendar: Passover and Pentecost. In the Old Testament, Passover celebrates when God spared the lives of the sons of the Israelites who put lamb’s blood over their doors during the plague in Egypt. This was a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do for us. Jesus, who is our Passover lamb that came to fulfill the Old Testament law and holidays, was crucified on Passover. Pentecost, which means ‘fiftieth’, is observed fifty days after Passover and celebrates the day that God wrote His law on tablets of stone in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church on Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus died for us. And this time, God wrote his law on our hearts and gave us His power to make a difference. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live righteously, supernaturally, and on mission to accomplish the things God created us to do.
Who is the Holy Spirit? The third person of the Trinity has often been misunderstood resulting in some keeping Him at an arms length. In part one of this new series, Pastor Pete taught us who the Holy Spirit is and how we can strengthen our relationship with God by opening up our hearts to Him. The Holy Spirit is like a breath of fresh air. He is unseen, unpredictable, powerful and refreshing, and in order to not take Him for granted, we must let go of our fears and misperceptions and go all in.
Easter is ore than just a fun holiday for giving kids baskets of candy. It's more than just a historic day that we remember. It's a celebration of the event and the person that not only changed history, but also has changed countless lives. On Easter, we celebrate the only person who ever walked out of a tomb never to return again! Using the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Pastor Pete helps us to realize that we all spiritually sick with a sickness called sin, that the resurrection isn't just am event; it's a person whose name is Jesus, and that Jesus didn't come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive.
Our Good Friday Service
As Pastor Pete concluded this series, we learned another way to live through our darkest hours by observing how Jesus endured His darkest hours. After hours of suffering on the cross, Jesus said, "Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit." By making this declaration as His darkest hours drew to an end, Jesus showed us how to trust God, surrender our struggles to Him, and then completely let them go.
This week we learned another way to live through our darkest hours by observing how Jesus handled His darkest hours. After hours of suffering on the cross, Jesus declared, "It is finished." While Jesus Himself was not finished, His work on the earth was complete when He defeated the enemy once and for all through His death on the cross. As He recognized His most difficult trial had come to a victorious close, Jesus reminded us that our struggles have purpose and our pain has an end. Whatever your present suffering may be, you can rest assured that it will come to an end and that good will come from it.
This week we learned another way to live through our darkest hours by observing how Jesus handled His darkest hours. After hours of suffering on the cross, Jesus showed His humanity by addressing His need for help with the words, "I am thirsty." The fact that He, as the Son of God, asked for a drink demonstrates that none of us are so self-sufficient that we can survive our darkest hours without the help of those around us. Like Jesus,we need to be human enough to acknowledge our need.
“My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”
How can it be that Jesus would have felt forsaken as he hang on the cross? In this moment, Jesus was all human. He had to be for the perfect sacrifice of sin to work and for God to be a just God. Make no mistake about it though, it offers an incredible model for us as Jesus demonstrated that is OKAY to bring your hard questions to God. In fact, we learn in several areas of scripture, especially I Peter 5:6 where Peter writes, “Humble yourselves therefore, under God’s might hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you.” This teaches us that even when we are in our darkest hour, to Aim Your Hard Questions at God, Not Man.
This week we learned another way to live through our darkest hours by observing how Jesus handled His darkest hours. In His greatest moment of pain on the cross, Jesus was not focused on Himself; instead, He focused His concern on His mother and her future. Through His example, Jesus showed us that even when we are going through a difficult situation personally, we need to be sure we are taking care of the people closest to us.
This week we learned another way to live through our darkest hours by observing how Jesus handled His darkest hours. As He hung on the cross between two criminals after being brutally beaten and mocked, Jesus could have focused on His own problems. Instead, by ministering to the criminal who hung next to Him who was experiencing the same things He was, Jesus taught us that we can take what we're going through and help others who are experiencing similar struggles.
We've all gone through dark times. Jesus was fully human and experienced pain too. His time on the cross was his darkest hours. The Darkest Hour is a 7 - week series that will look at the seven statements that Jesus made from the cross that will help us find hop when life hurts and learn how to respond in our darkest hours. In part one, we look at Jesus' statement of "Father, forgive them..." Pastor Pete talked about what forgiveness is not and gave some practical ways we can walk in forgiveness towards others.
Today, the phrase “Facebook official” means that you aren’t really in a relationship until you change your Facebook relationship status to say that you are. The way our culture views relationships is radically different from what Scripture declares, so in this series we’ll see what the Bible has to say about some of our “Facebook official” relationship statuses. In part four, Pastor Pete tackles the complicated world of dating and gives 3 Dating Rules to help people avoid the pain and frustrations of the ‘It’s Complicated’ status.
Today, the phrase “Facebook official” means that you aren’t really in a relationship until you change your Facebook relationship status to say that you are. The way our culture views relationships is radically different from what Scripture declares, so in this series we’ll see what the Bible has to say about some of our “Facebook official” relationship statuses. In part three, Pastor Pete gives a challenging and grace filled message to those who’ve experienced the pain of divorce.