Somebody Wake Up Jesus! - Mark 4:35-41

June 26, 2022


“Who then is this, that even the wind
and the sea obey him?”

Mark 4:41


There will be storms in our lives. We live amid chaos and forces that are bigger and stronger than us.

The good news isn't that God holds an umbrella to keep us from getting wet, but rather that God can grant us peace in the midst of the strongest storm.

Someone once wrote, “I'd rather be in a rocking boat with a calm Jesus than to be in a calm boat with a shaky captain.

It's Unfair - Romans 5:6-11

June 19, 2022


God proves his love for us in that
while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8


God's love and grace isn't fair.

They are incredible gifts to people like you and me who do not deserve them. Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, not once we got it right.

Let us live this good news, both in our own hearts and lives, but also for the sake of others. For it is God's grace that saves a wretch like me.

Leap of Faith - Romans 5:1-5

June 5, 2022


Since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1


Faith is taking the first steps of a journey not knowing how you will get there. Faith isn’t about what we can do.

Faith is about what God has already done.
Faith is about who God is.
Faith is about what God is yet to do.

Filled with the Power - from Acts 2:1-36

June 5, 2022


All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in other languages,
as the Spirit gave them ability.

from Acts Acts 2:4


How often do we make excuses to God?

We say, "I can't do that? I've never done that? Please find someone else? There are lots of people more qualified than me."

God's response is usually, "You're right. You can't do that. But I can. The Holy Spirit within you will get it done through you."

Who? Me? - Acts 1:1-11

May 29, 2022


"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit
has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses
in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”

from Acts 1:8


We often pray, "God, when will you __________?"

Jesus' disciples were no different when they asked him, "Is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" Jesus' response continues to often be the response to our questions. He tells them that there is more at work than they can imagine, but they have a part in it. He tells them, don't worry about all that. Instead, get ready, the Holy Spirit will empower you to do far more than you ever imagined.

God continues to enable us to be witnesses to Jesus, whether it is right where we are, or to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Lip Service or Life Service - John 21:9-17

May 22, 2022


Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John,
do you love me more than these?”

Peter replied, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”
Jesus responded, “Feed my lambs.”

from John 21:15


Saying we love someone is different than living it. Jesus asked Simon Peter if he loved him. Peter replied that he did love Jesus. This cycle of question and response took place three times, with Jesus calling for Peter to feed his sheep each time.

To say we love Jesus cannot be separated from living that love in ways that reveal God's love in Jesus.

God Doesn't Fit in Your Box - Isaiah 55:8-9

May 15, 2022


The Lord says:
My thoughts and my ways are not yours.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.

from Isaiah 55:8-9


Isaiah 55:8-9

Pastor Ivan Castro of Refugio de Dios Preaching

"God, listen to my great idea. You are really going to love it!" a friend in seminary summarized one of her recent times of prayer - while laughing uproariously at herself.

While her prayer reveals a wonderful intimacy and nearness with God, she realized that at that moment she was monumentally under-appreciating the God to whom she was praying. Like a loving parent, God longs for us to share our deepest pain and our greatest joys, the smallest and largest parts of our hearts. But, like a parent with a child, loving these moments together, God is the one who knows immeasurably more, has a perspective far beyond our own, knows what is of greatest value, and is lovingly committed to our ultimate welfare.

Note: Technical problems interrupted today's service and a portion of the sermon was lost.

Most of the sermon is available as these two parts:

A Mother's Love - Passages from Isaiah

April 24, 2022


Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

from Isaiah 49:14-15


Isaiah 46:3-4, 49:14-15, 66:12-13

We often think of God in terms of, "O Father, who art in heaven," but scripture also reveals God in motherly terms.

In the passage above, from Isaiah 49, a taste of God's unimaginable love and faithfulness is revealed in a mother's love for their child.

Simple Steps of Faith

April 24, 2022


Jesus said to them, “Cast the net to the right side
of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.

from John 21:6


John 21:1-14

God often uses simple steps of faith to reveal himself, and to fulfill our greatest needs.

The disciples saw Jesus arrested, beaten, and crucified. They heard from the women that he was raised from the dead, as he said he would. They followed Jesus' instructions and returned to Galilee where they were to wait for Jesus.

Once there, they returned to their old way of life - fishing. They weren't telling people about Jesus; they weren't continuing Jesus' ministry of healing and compassion; they returned to their old ways of life, and failed to catch fish.

They followed Jesus' first instruction, to return to the Galilee, and now a voice from the shore told them how to do their job, to cast their net to the other side of the boat.

As they obeyed Jesus in small steps they encountered their resurrected Lord.

Now I See It

April 24, 2022


Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the scriptures,
he was buried, and that he was raised
on the third day.

from 1 Cor. 15:3-4


1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Sometimes, what we think we know keeps us from what we need to know.

The Apostle Paul was a dedicated persecutor of Christians until he encountered the risen Christ. What he thought he knew about Jesus kept him from the wonderful truth that was there all the time. Jesus, whose followers he once persecuted, was what he was missing all along.