Mark 14:12-26

On this Memorial Day weekend we are reminded that freedom is never free. On a recall when we recall the sacrifice of those who gave their lives in military battle, we are also reminded of what Jesus did on our behalf. He willingly gave His life in order to secure for us inward freedom and peace with God. Freedom is never free. On the night before Jesus went to the cross, He established a memorial remembrance that has come to be called the Lord’s Supper. As we reflect on that evening when Jesus gathered with his disciples around a table in an upper room in Jerusalem, we come to see that He insistently wanted us to regularly remember Him and this sacrifice He offered on our behalf. There is value in remembering – regularly, deliberately remembering that which is most important.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Epic Community: Faithful to the End

Acts 6:8-15, 7:1-60

Among the most compelling and challenging biographies in Scripture is the story of Stephen. He was a follower of Jesus who was “all in.” In the face of threat and menacing opposition, he boldly spoke truth. Stephen was a man who did not pay much attention to being diplomatic if diplomacy meant he needed to compromise truth. He lovingly and straightforwardly spoke truth. He was a man full of the Holy Spirit – in fact, as we will see late in Acts 7, he was empowered and full of the Holy Spirit as he faced death. What kinds of qualities does God shape in a man who is faithful to the end – a person who could honestly and resolutely sing the refrain, “I have decided to follow Jesus – no turning back – no turning back. Join us as we take a closer look at the life of a man who lived all out for Jesus right through the finish line.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Mother’s Day : Legacy

II Timothy 1:3-7

Inheritance and legacy are similar in that they are gifts or investments we leave behind to in some way enrich those we love. Inheritance is something you leave FOR people. Legacy is something you leave IN people. While this is not an exacting differentiation, it can be helpful. On this Mother’s Day we want to recall the lives of two women who left a priceless legacy in the life of a boy – a son to one of these women, and a grandson to the other. This boy, Timothy, grew up to be a gospel man and a leader in the first century church in Ephesus. Legacy is a remarkable dynamic. We want to pause today and thoughtfully consider the impact that moms and grandmas who are armed with sincere faith can have in the lives of their family. The legacy of a gospel woman can have transformational impact on those she loves.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Lean into Conflict

Epic Community: “Lean into Conflict”
Acts 6:1-7

God can work through conflict to forge redemptive outcomes.  In conflict, He displays His grace blesses in unexpected ways those surrendered to Him.  He did it on numerous occasions in the biblical story. One of those occasions was in the thriving first century church in Jerusalem.  It was an epic community that was growing and powerfully influencing many lives in and around Jerusalem.  In the midst of the growth and vitality, there arose challenge.  There was conflict from outside the church, but the more formidable challenge involved conflict coming from within.  We are told early in Acts 6 that a “complaint” arose. So how is the leadership of the church going to respond?  How is the church going to move through this potential crisis?  The story is fascinating.  The church not only “got through the crisis,” but the church experienced new levels of vitality later.  Join us as we take a look at this instructive incident from church history that can teach us much about how to respond to conflict.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Stay on Mission

Various versus from Acts 13

What’s your mission? God has a mission for all of us. This week we will consider how we can “Get” and “Stay” on mission.

Pastor David Miller

Live Awake

We live in a world with distraction all around. The media tells us one thing, people tell us another; we have an internal battle between our own flesh and the Spirit of God. With all this noise it can be easy to want to simply close our eyes and live in apathy. But Romans 13 is a call to live awake. Are we as the Church living awake? Are our Spiritual eyes open to the things of God or do we continually hit the “snooze” button in order to drown out the noise all around. The time is coming indeed it is already here for us to wake up. How can we as the people of God LIVE AWAKE?

Youth Ministry Intern Evan Petras

Epic Community – Generosity

Acts 4:32-37

God is a wildly generous God. In the biblical story we discover that God gives lavishly. Healthy communities of Christ-followers reflect characteristics of God. In the first seven chapters of the book of Acts, we have recorded for us the dynamic story of the first century local church around Jerusalem. One of the signature characteristics of that New Testament community was generosity. While it’s possible to give without loving, it is not possible to truly love without giving. In their love for Jesus and for one another, this community of Christ-followers reflected something of the LORD they followed in the generous way they gave. In what ways did their unity with one another shape their attitude toward money? For them in the first century and for us today, how does the practice of generosity connect to a desire to encourage one another? We have recently celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. How does the reality of a living Savior impact our experience of generosity as we share together in “epic community?”

Pastor Tim Haugen

Hope Is Alive !

I Peter 1:3-9

“Around the world on Easter Sunday Christians celebrate the event that is most pivotal in all of history – the resurrection of Jesus.  A first century follower of Jesus named Peter wrote a letter highlighting the far-reaching impact and implications of the resurrection for those who believe. As you thoughtfully read Peter’s letter, you are confronted with the truth that the resurrection of Jesus is inseparably linked to dynamic hope.  In the New Testament there is this recurring theme that gospel hope is more than a wish.  Gospel hope is rooted in events that actually took place on the stage of history.  For followers of Jesus, His resurrection is about life and about hope.  It is a “living hope” that can have dynamic implications for our lives now, and extraordinary promise for our lives in the future.  Hope can reorient lives, and get people back on track whose lives are off the rails. Gospel hope can bring meaning and purpose when life is convulsing and not making sense.  Join us on Easter Sunday as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and as we consider how it meaningfully links to substantive hope.”

Pastor Tim Haugen

Palm Sunday

Luke 19:41-44

There are two occasions in the Gospels where we are explicitly told Jesus was weeping.  One of those occasions was on Palm Sunday.  In one sense, it seems curious that on a festive day where Jesus was hailed and celebrated as He rode into Jerusalem that this would be one of those occasions.  In Luke 19:41-44, as Jesus rode into the city at the beginning of Passover, we are indeed told that crowds cheered and praised Jesus.  And yet later that same day, He was weeping in the city.  Why?  What was it that so grieved Jesus?  Palm Sunday provides opportunity for us to see from an intimate angle the love, lament, and greater love of Jesus. What can we learn about His resolute love, His deep lament, and the extent to which He was willing to go to love people who didn’t recognize Him? On this Palm Sunday, we look closely at Jesus.

Pastor Tim Haugen

Hide and Seek

Luke 19:1-10

A closer look at an encounter that Jesus has with a guy named Zacchaeus. In Luke 19:1-10, we learn more about this encounter and we are given insight into Jesus’ attitude toward people whose lives are messy.  Jesus said He came to seek and to save the lost.  What does that mean?  The gospel makes it clear that God desires relationship with people.  The gospel further reveals that God has taken expensive initiative as an expression of this divine desire.  Remarkably, God does not require that we “get our act together” before we can relate to Him.  Rather, He pursues us and meets us where we are.  While believers subsequently are compelled to change and to live out distinctive priorities reflecting the leadership of Jesus in all of life, we need to acknowledge that change is a “fruit” of relationship with Jesus, and not a “root” of relationship.  It happened in the life of Zacchaeus.  His story is one of remarkable transformation – transformation that is triggered by honest encounter with Jesus. So while Jesus takes initiative in the relationship with us as He did with Zacchaeus, are there steps we can take to better “see” Jesus?  Rather than pretending we can somehow hide from Him, what steps are taken in the lives of people who are found by Jesus?  Come this weekend as we marvel again at Jesus – His power and authority and compassion – moving Him to seek and save the lost!

Pastor Tim Haugen