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Being People of the Jubilee

June 27th, 2010 by Will Martin

In the Old Testament, the number seven was considered a very special  number. Every seventh day was to be sacred to God–a Sabbath Day. Every seventh year was to be a “Sabbath Year” —a sabbatical year—in which the land was to rest. It was an expression of God’s concern for His creation and a means of teaching God’s people to trust Him for their needs (as opposed to them trusting only their work). Then, after seven times seven years came a really big deal—a particular year called Jubilee.

In Leviticus, God says: “Count off seven sabbaths of years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan” (Leviticus 25:8-10).

Come and see  during our Journey in the Word, what this has to do with our understanding and experience of how God changes our lives. You will be surprised!

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Your Service

June 6th, 2010 by Gary Wallace

We continue our Biggest Loser series – a series started a few weeks ago by Pastor Will.  The whole idea for this series is based on the TV show of the same name.   The premise is that by disciplining yourself to do the right things and eating the right foods, you will lose the most weight and in doing so, become the biggest winner.

Oftentimes, doing the right things doesn’t feel good.  You are ridiculed, you are faced with all kinds of external and internal pressure to give in to your natural desires to just quit, but by being disciplined, you win.

That is exactly the same way with our Christian life.  There are some spiritual disciplines, that if you follow, even though your body yearns against it, you will become the biggest winner.    In previous weeks, we covered the discipline of prayer and the discipline of reading the Word.  Today, we will be talking about the discipline of service.  As you go through our time together today, our desire is that you get to know Jesus personally and that you discover the joys of service.

God Bless You,

Your Pastors

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The World’s Greatest Conversations

May 30th, 2010 by Will Martin

I’ve been married 20 years. During that time, my wife and I have experienced periods of extreme busyness that tended to cut short our times of real togetherness. During such seasons, she’s consistently pointed out to me that “the distanced life” is not what she signed up for. When we “dated” we spent serious time together. Once I picked her up for an evening, our time was our time – nothing else interfered. We ate together, talked together, laughed together, dreamt together, we were together – period. Then once we were married, we found that we increasingly had to schedule times to talk about serious issues. Ok – let’s look at the schedule – when can we sit down and talk? Sound familiar to anyone?

Perhaps at some point you have felt like your prayer life is a similar routine. Prayer somehow has become something that you have to schedule. Where can I fit in? Can I fit it in this week? I’ve gone too long without fitting it in. I’ve been so busy – I need to sit down and talk with the Lord!

That routine is not God’s intention for you. He didn’t adopt you into a life of “Check in with me occasionally so we can catch up with one another.” As sure as the sun burns bright, God intends for you to know what it means to live in His presence – walking through every day with Him, bringing every thought, concern and circumstance to Him and then listening for His response (or His silence).

Perhaps a real key in learning how to do this is found in learning how to live consciously in His presence every moment of every day. As we take our Journey in the Word today, we’ll be looking at prayer less as a “conversation event” and more as a lifestyle of continually living in God’s loving presence and care. What else can I say – in His presence is just the place to be – it gets sweeter every day.

Hoping and praying that we all have good ears to hear His voice,

Will

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Devoted to the Book

May 23rd, 2010 by Will Martin

Did you know that many of our best words like “new, adventure, surprise; unique individual, person, vocation, time, history, future, freedom, progress, spirit, faith, hope, and justice” have come through Jewish culture (actually, the concepts behind the words)? And did you know that this has a significant impact on the life that you are living today?
How so? Listen and think through today’s sermon to find out.
Pursuing understanding with you,

Will

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Boxes, Strings, Ladders and Birds

May 16th, 2010 by Will Martin

During our time in the word today, amongst other things, we’ll be thinking largely about the following two quotes:

Firstly, “. . . confess your sins to each other” which is a rather serious, biblical command found in James 5:16.

Secondly, we’ll consider a quote found in the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer where he begins to describe how churches unwittingly establish an environment that drives believers away from obedience to the command above from James, “He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be the Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, Common Prayer, all their fellowship and service, may still be left to their aloneness. The final breakthrough to communion -to community- does not occur because although they have fellowship with each other as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout-as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner.”

Looking forward to discovering more of true life with you,

Will

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An Unbelievable Life

May 9th, 2010 by Will Martin

In our Journey in the Word today, we’ll contemplate the following questions:

“Have you ever noticed how absolutely extraordinary is the life that Scripture describes as normative for Jesus Christ?”  It is a life filled with joy; a life marked by sincere love from the heart, a life characterized by a deep sense of satisfaction and unhindered peace; a life that is anything but common.

“Have you ever noticed how painfully common is the life of many people within the church?”  When you glance around the church, in general (not just PCC), it’s not hard to find evidence of depressive attitudes, grudge harboring, restlessness and anxiety to name just a few problematic behaviors/attitudes.

“Why is there such a gap between Scripture’s glorious description of the Christian life and the real, day-to-day of so many “Christians?”  And “if such a gap exists in your life is there anything that can be done about it?”

Hoping that we discover answers and fullness of life together as we seek His face,

Will (for the Pastors)

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