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What do I do now? Will I get through this? Perhaps you have recently asked yourself similar questions. When faced with life’s challenges and crises, it may feel as though you’re permanently besieged. Maybe you have the sense that you have run out of options; the walls are closing in and there does not seem to be an escape route in sight. Amid every…
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Living in the reality of the resurrection can be challenging. Thomas’ story teaches us that sometimes the most faithful disciples wrestle with unbelief, and that inner turmoil sticks around despite being surrounded by witnesses to the Risen Messiah. Nevertheless, Jesus meets us where we are and gives us exactly what we need to he restored; He gives…
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Do you ever have a hard time talking about money? Of course, we all do at times. I suspect even Jesus had a hard time with that topic, depending on who his audience was. The poor loved it. The wealthy Pharisees, not so much! One of Jesus' most difficult parables has to do with money—the story of the unfaithful steward in Luke 16. It’s a parable tha…
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"Darkness Will Not Overcome" is a 4-part series that will inspire, challenge, and empower you. In the book of John, the writer gives 7 signs to not only prove that Jesus is the Son of God, but of the miracle God wants to perform in your life. We will unlock the symbols and signs in the Bible that answer life's biggest questions and will give you ho…
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Words spoken to others matter. Final words especially have weight and meaning. The Scriptures share the final words of Jesus, poignant words from the cross. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” “Amen, I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise” “Woman, behold, your son….Behold, your mother.” “I thirst.” “My God, my God, why …
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To give someone a blessing is the most significant affirmation we can offer. - Henri Nouwen Dr. Delroy A. Brooks will share a message titled “Blessings of the Kingdom.” Pastor Brooks serves as youth, young adult and children’s pastor for the Kansas Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church in Riverside, CA. Dr. Brooks is happily married to his wife, Dr. …
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Pastor Tara VinCross will share the message, A Call to Healing, the fifth part in the Deep Calling series, exploring eight calls of God. The call to healing is a call to honesty and transparency. It’s an invitation to begin where you are, not where you wish you were. It’s an invitation to a process of trusting the work of the Holy Spirit over time.…
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Jesus lived and worked in a hostile environment. From the beginning of his teaching career to his death on a cross he faced unrelenting criticism, subtle micro aggressions, and blatant threats on his life. Even though his kingdom was about love and not about political power or popularity, many felt threatened. And threatened people often say and do…
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Pastor Tara VinCross shared the message, "A Call to Community," the fourth part in the Deep Calling series, exploring eight calls of God. The entire Christian life is meant to be done in community. As the people of God ‘do life’ together, the connection and care and compassion exhibited in the body of Christ is the greatest witness to the love of J…
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Pastor Baron Anthony Sovory will share the message entitled: "Strengthen My Hands." Rebuilding what was once torn down can be challenging. It may even feel discouraging, and some may try to prevent the progress. However, when we unite with a shared goal and mission, there are no limits to what can be accomplished. Lord, strengthen our hands to carr…
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Pastor Tara VinCross will share the message, A Call to Rest, the third part in the Deep Calling series exploring eight calls of God. Are you tired? Worn out? Needing rest? The stresses of life are real. What God wants us to realize is that the life of a disciple of Jesus is a life of surrender, which leads to rest.…
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Church bulletin bloopers can be good for laughs. A simple typo can be deadly in the case of this blooper: “Ushers will eat latecomers.” Or, in another case, could cause some disappointment and missed expectations: "Evening massage – 6 p.m. Communication can be tricky, to be sure. But communication matters, with both people and God. How do we practi…
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James K. A. Smith said, "You can’t think your way into new habits. New habits can only emerge as you practice them.” This is so difficult for us! Perhaps because practicing new habits is so routine, so ordinary. We want something bigger, and dare I say flashier, to bring us into deeper relationship with God, others, and our purpose in the world. Ye…
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How do we stay on message when the world pulls us in so many directions? How do we know which message to listen to when there are so many voices trying to get our attention? Is this just a matter of making a New Year’s resolution to be a better Christian? Pastor Mike Leno will explain how Jesus stayed on message in spite of the pressures of the wor…
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"The great challenge left to us is to cut through all the glitz and glam of the season that has grown increasingly secular and commercial, and be reminded of the beauty of the One who is Christmas."- Bill Crowder We gather to remember the One who is our Hope, Light, and Love this Christmas. In music and in readings, congregational songs and the spo…
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"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." 1 John 1:1 Margaret Philbrick, author of Back to the Manger, shares that seeing Christmas through the eyes of her children opened her eyes to the wonder and full…
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The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. Isaiah 9:2 We can relate to the people of God at the time of Isaiah the prophet: oppression and darkness seem to rule the day. For them, and for us, a light dawns. Hope rises because of Jesus. Pastor Tara VinCross will tur…
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Brené Brown said, “What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” Every year, we pause as a community for gratitude, in our annual Gratitude and Missions Sabbath. We recognize that we give because we have received from the lavish love of God (1 John 3). Paul says in Ephesians 5:20 to "Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, i…
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It’s irrational to buy a lottery ticket. Yet millions do, even more when the prize gets huge. According to Seth Godin, the odds of winning the $1.6 billion MegaMillions lottery are minuscule. You’re 400 times more likely to be hit by lightening. He points out that for some people, paying for the ticket is a bargain because it offers them something …
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Lieutenant Commander Tom Smith, Chaplain, US Navy (retired) will be our speaker this Veterans Day Sabbath. Chaplain Smith has been in pastoral ministry for 45+ years; 12 as a pastor, 20 as a Navy Chaplain and 15 years serving as the Chief of Chaplains at the Loma Linda VA. He is the husband of Sue Smith, the father of four children and five grandch…
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Lawrence Kutner said, "Children learn and remember at least as much from the context of the classroom as from the content of the coursework.” This holds true for the letter written to the church in Laodicea. The context matters just as much as the content of the message. Pastor Tara VinCross concludes our sermon series in the Book of Revelation, ta…
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What does it mean to be rich? You might immediately point to the things that we possess. What we own and the stuff we manage. Yet, being rich is about so much more. A rich life is about opportunities… open doors… real connection. These are the unshakable things that hold in the chaotic earthquakes and eruptions of life. Pastor Tara VinCross continu…
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How many of the things that you do really matter? The message to the church in Sardis is not an easy one. As we dig into the history of this city, we hear God’s wake up call for believers then and now to pay attention to what will last. Are you alive or dead? God’s invitation is to freedom, purity, and victory. What a beautiful invitation it is! Wh…
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The feel of someone's hand in yours, a back rub from your spouse, a warm hug from an old friend, a high-five from a teammate, a reassuring touch from a member of your small group--in whatever form it takes, a welcome touch feels good and often brings us healing. But why? This Sabbath, discover how giving and receiving meaningful touch can increase …
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We use words to encourage and affirm. We use words to criticize and diminish. We use words to communicate approval or disapproval, delight or disappointment. We use words to express heartfelt appreciation. Each one of our relationships--personal or professional--hinges on the words we say. Join us this Sabbath morning as we listen to and learn from…
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We are experiencing a crisis of discipleship in our churches because we’ve prioritized baptisms over spiritual transformations and productions over connections; we’ve reduced the Gospel to an information-transference, and we’ve emphasized doing things for Jesus and His teachings, yet we’ve neglected His friendship and the way He’d invited us to liv…
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Pastor Tara VinCross continues in our sermon series in the Book of Revelation, taking us deeper into the letter to the church in Thyatira. It’s easy for us to forget to factor in evil. We go about our lives day-by-day, and miss the fact that there is an enemy who is distracting you from the things of God. This letter helps us to see the evil around…
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Pastor Tara VinCross continues in our new sermon series in the Book of Revelation, taking us deeper into the letter to the church in Pergamum. In this letter written to the people who live in “the city where Satan has his throne,” we are reminded of God’s reign. When everything around you causes you to question that God is Sovereign, God reminds us…
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