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“Palm Sunday” is the day Jesus’ triumphantly entered Jerusalem, just five days before he would be arrested, tried & crucified for our sins. This is one of the few times during His ministry that the crowds genuinely acknowledged Jesus for who He really was. And we join in that chorus today!
We are grateful on this Big Picture Sunday to have our whole church family together, from young to old and every age between. We cherish this multi-generational gathering, as there are few places in our world where this actually takes place anymore. Let’s embrace and celebrate the gift we have in this church!
We share the Palm Sunday Service (10am) in its entirety here.
If I asked you to recite the Lord’s Prayer, you would most likely begin saying “Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be your name.” And you would be right, because that has become known as the Lord’s Prayer, found in Matthew 6.
But where Matthew 6 is more of a guideline for us on how to pray, John 17 is the best example we have of Jesus praying.
We know Jesus prayed. But we don’t often get a look at what Jesus prayed. That’s why John 17 is so amazing, because it’s the longest recorded prayer of Jesus, spoken on the night before he would go to the cross for us.
It’s 26 verses, about 630 words. It takes only 3 ½ minutes to read it aloud. But it will take all eternity for us to fully understand it! Because it is deep. The good news is, on this darkest night, Jesus was praying for you. Here’s Pastor Mike Penninga with part 24 of our Gospel of John series, “That You May Believe”
If you had one metaphor to describe God, what metaphor would you use? In the middle of Jesus' well-known "Farewell Discourse" (Jn. 13-17), Jesus describes the Father as a Gardener! What a powerful painting of what God is like! The Father is not a distant figure off in outer space, He is near and involved in the stuff of our lives A gardener cannot garden from a distance, he must be near. Come listen to this encouraging word from Pastor Marcus as he unpacks what it means for Jesus to be the True Vine, the Father to be Gardener, and us to be...the branches!
Have you ever tried to put a puzzle together without the box cover? It might be fine if it’s a 10 or 12 piece puzzle, you can’t go too far wrong with that. But imagine if I just walked up to you and handed you 1,000 random puzzle pieces and said, “Have Fun.” You wouldn’t know where to start, how to finish, because you don’t have the big picture in front of you.
I think our lives can be like this. We get handed and we pick up along the way these seemingly random pieces, and we try to make sense of them, but until we get a look at the big picture, we are helpless.
Into this dilemma steps Jesus and says “Let me show you how it all fits together. . . Let me show you what life is meant to look like.”
This message from John 14 is to me the picture on the box. We can’t get any more central. And Jesus can’t get any more clear.
We are trusting that some of you will finally be able to take those pieces of your life and find how they fit together. Here’s Pastor Mike Penninga with Part 22 of our series in the Gospel of John, “That You May Believe”
There are some parts of the Bible that are difficult to understand. Today’s passage is not one of those. In fact, the issue is not what we should do, but that we don’t want to do what Jesus invites us to do. And yet if we lean in to what He models, we actually live a more blessed and joy-filled life.
Here’s Pastor Mike Penninga with a message on embracing the servant’s towel, and why there really is no other option for those who claim to follow Jesus.
Question: Has your love of God ever spilled out in a way that others think is crazy? Today we find ourselves face to face with an act of love birthed out of a deep appreciation and gratitude to Jesus.
I’m so excited to introduce a long time friend and powerful preacher, Marcel Morneau, who has made the trip all the way from Oliver to open God’s Word with us. You can email him, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Lazarus come out". And the dead man came out!" John 11:43-44
The raising of Lazarus was the culmination of Jesus’ miracles in the Gospel of John. But what does this mean to us?
That death isn’t the end! That there is really life beyond the grave, and it is found in Jesus Christ.
This message from Pastor Mike Penninga could actually change your eternity, so let’s lean in together.
In life we get lost. . . And we need someone to come looking for us.
In this life we get attacked. . . . And we need somebody to fight for us.
In this life we get hungry. . . . And we need someone who can provide for us.
In this life we get tired. . . . And we need somebody to comfort us.
Who do you turn to when you are lost, attacked, hungry, tired?
Pastor Mike shines the light bright on the one who came as our Good Shepherd, who knows us, loves us, and is willing to lay His life down for us. We pray you will discover the one you were made to be with.
When was the last time you were influenced by someone else’s story? Perhaps their experience made a difference in a purchase you made or a path you took. Truth is personal testimonies are powerful. In today’s message, Pastor Mike Penninga reminds you that what God has done in you is meant to be shared. Your story is to be used for His glory!
People are okay with Jesus as "a" way, but have difficulty with Jesus as "the" way. Isn't it narrow and arrogant to speak of Jesus in such terms? Does it really matter?
Perhaps you have wondered how to view Jesus in a world of religious "options". Dr. Paul Chamberlain, one of the leading Canadian Apologists, presents a powerful message entitled "Communicating Jesus in an Age of Pluralism" that gets to the heart of the issue.
A survey was commissioned not that long ago to find out what one question people would ask of God. By an overwhelming margin, the most urgent question was: “Why is there so much suffering in the world?”
If you haven’t wrestled with this question, you will. Because pain and suffering and disease and tragedy and evil are part of our human experience.
So how do we reconcile this reality with the existence of God? In part 2 of our series, “Thinking”, Pastor Mike gives hope and help to those who are wondering if God can still be good in the midst of such difficult circumstances. And through it all, He reminds us, we are not alone!
What do we do with those questions that seem to haunt us, tripping us up on the journey of life and faith? Are we allowed to vocalize them, to pursue answers to them? Does Christianity allow for a "Thinking" faith?
Absolutely! In fact, the greatest commandment is to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:30)
And so that's just what we want to invite you to do during this new series, "Thinking", January 2015. Our prayer is that God would indeed meet you right where you are at to strengthen your confidence in Him. The good news is God is not afraid of your inquiry. He invites it! And He is deeper than your deepest question.
Here's Pastor Mike Penninga with week 1 of this 3 week series.
Welcome to a New Year! I am grateful for a God of new beginnings and second chances, a God who gives each of us a whole calendar of new kingdom opportunities.
Every year we take the first Sunday in January to look ahead by looking back. What has God called us as a church and us as individuals to, and how will that play itself out in 2015? I’m so excited to share a message that’s been building inside of me entitled, “Living a Leveraged Life.” As you’ll see (and probably already know), when you leverage something properly, you can accomplish more. I believe there is a spiritual principle in there, and we want to go after it today and this year. Excited to lean in together!
One of the things I enjoy about this time of year are the TV specials and magazine features that look back on the year that was. We see this in news, stories that impacted us, sports, highlights and bloopers of the year, entertainment, who we were talking about, watching.
And so on this last Sunday of 2014, we wanted to pause to look back on the year that has been for our church family.
The two words that come to mind are God’s provision and presence.
Here’s Pastor Mike inviting us to pause to praise as we wrap up 2014!
When you couldn't get to God, God came to you.
That is the message of Christmas. That is what we celebrate and that is what makes a world of difference.
In this short (13 minute) devotional from Christmas in the City, Pastor Mike shares two stories about the big picture of Christmas, God come near. May you be encouraged to know that you are not and never will be alone!