"How Christmas Changes Our Story"

Rev. Dr. Stacey Cox

"How Christmas Changes Our Story

What difference does Christmas make? We've answered that question from a variety of perspectives in recent weeks. Sunday, we conclude our Advent series by examining the responses of two aged saints when they were introduced to the infant Jesus. Their responses that first Christmas remind us the only gift that will matter 100 years from now is the Gift that was given 2,000 years ago. Join us Sunday for "How Christmas Changes Our Stories"!

"How Christmas Changed Herod's Story"

Rev. Dr. Stacey Cox

"How Christmas Changed Herod's Story"

Christmas isn't the 'most wonderful time of the year' for everyone. Many experience, what Sinclair Ferguson calls, "Pre-Christmas Stress Syndrome." PCSS' causes are fairly obvious: financial pressures, burdens placed on us by others expectations, etc. Yet, there's another syndrome related to Christmas: "Post-Christmas Stress Syndrome." One figure in the Christmas narrative experienced it in a major way: King Herod of Jerusalem, the one really dark character in the story. But he wasn't the last to suffer from it. Sunday we consider how Christmas evoked the worst in this man, and many today. Join us!

"How Christmas Changed Joseph's Story"

Rev. Dr. Stacey Cox

"How Christmas Changed Joseph's Story"

Let's face it, each Christmas there's a gift that's unexpected or unwanted. No, it probably isn't a gift-wrapped cat from 'Aunt Bethany,' but it's the sort of gift that will either be sent back to the store or re-gifted quietly, so no one will ever know. Because no one wants to have to explain this gift. Who could explain it? Maybe that's what Joseph was thinking when he learned Mary was pregnant before their wedding. Sunday, we consider how that first Christmas changed his story. Join us!

"How Christmas Changed Mary's Story"

Rev. Dr. Stacey Cox

"How Christmas Changed Mary's Story"

Christmas expectations versus Christmas realities are often the difference between Norman Rockwell and Clark Griswold. Which begs the question: What's the meaning of it all? What difference does Christmas make - in our heart and life, in our world, in history? Advent starts Sunday, and we're going to begin to answer those questions with an unwed, pregnant, teenage girl named Mary. Join us for "How Christmas Changed Mary's Story"!

"The Sin Nobody Confesses"

Rev. Dr. Stacey Cox

"The Sin Nobody Confesses"

Sometimes we hear the phrase "It was an inside job" to describe a crime committed within an organization. That's exactly where the tenth commandment takes us - inside the human heart. The first nine laws deal with actions, while the tenth deals with one's attitude and motive. It gets to the heart, the gateway of violating the rest of the Law. Here is a law that cuts, the one nobody admits. Join us Sunday for "The Sin Nobody Confesses"!

Truth Matters

Rev. Dr. Stacey Cox

"Truth Matters"

'He's lying.' 'She's a liar!' 'Fake News!' We hear these types of statements often. Too often. If statistics are to be believed, 91% of the American population tells lies regularly. The majority of us find it a challenge to get through a week without lying. It appears dishonesty is woven into the fabric of our culture. The ninth commandment is a call to truthfulness, a commitment to truth that runs more than skin deep. God delights in it. Join us Sunday for "Truth Matters"!

"Mine, Yours, God's"

Rev. Dr. Lane Stephenson

"Mine, Yours, God's"

The attention (and money) of many have been directed toward the recent lotteries and the astronomical amounts to be won by the person with the right combination of numbers. The sales pitch of "You can't win if you don't play" ignores the reality that millions of people must lose for one person to win. No, the sermon this week is not on the lottery. But as we look at the eighth commandment, we see that God calls us to a life of giving, not stealing, and that He promises eternal blessings beyond measure to all who lay up treasures in heaven by embracing Christ and living for Him.

Purity In Christ

Rev. Dr. Stacey Cox

"Purity in Christ"

John Steinbeck, in Travels with Charley, wrote about how countless people in our culture view sin: "It is our practice now, at least in the large cities, to find from our psychiatric priesthood that our sins aren't really sins at all but accidents that are set in motion by forces beyond our control." And that was in 1962. Candy-coating sin remains quite common. Adultery is a term that has virtually disappeared, and many people think they 'haven't violated that one either.' Sunday we examine the 7th commandment. Join us!

The Heart of the Reformation

Rev. Dr. Stacey Cox

"The Heart of the Reformation"

This Sunday many Protestant churches (sadly, not most) will be remembering the importance of the Reformation that shook the world five centuries ago. Which leads us to ask, 'Why bother? What can a cluster of events beginning in Wittenberg, Germany possibly teach us today? Who cares?' One thing the evangelical church needs to grasp more perhaps than ever before is the heart of the Reformation. It was supremely relevant in the 16th and 17th centuries and it remains so today. Join us Sunday for this important message!

"Honor Your Father and Your Mother"

Rev. Dr. Lane Stephenson

"Honor Your Father and Your Mother"

Honor. It's a duty and a virtue that is in short supply, isn't it? The Bible commands us to "give honor to whom honor is due," with both Paul and Peter commanding believers to "honor everyone" and applying that duty to various relationships in life. Such honor is rooted in the home and in God's commandment to honor our parents. This Sunday morning we learn of a duty that is foundational and formative to all of our relationships in life as we study the fifth of God's Ten Commandments.

A Day Unlike All Others!

Rev. Dr. Stacey M. Cox

A Day Unlike All Others!

The longest commandment of the ten is the fourth: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy . . ." God took more time in giving this law than He did any other: ninety-four words in all! And its truth is real medicine to all takers. Sadly, it's the medicine - the blessing - we love to hate. We rarely relish in it, much less delight in it . . . and to our detriment. We continue our study in the Ten Commandments this Sunday with "A Day Unlike All Others!" Join us!

The Name Above Every Name

Rev. Dr. Stacey M. Cox

The Name Above Every Name

Chances are you've heard the following description of a movie: "It was good, but there was too much cussin'." Often our understanding of the third commandment is limited to such a case. The commandment does have something to say about profaning God's name by speech, but it has much broader implications than 'filthy language.' Sunday we'll explore it together with our message, "The Name Above Every Name."

Graven Mistakes

Rev. Dr. Stacey M. Cox

Graven Mistakes

Children love to play make believe or pretend. Little boys acting out as their favorite Marvel characters; little girls playing 'mommy' to a baby doll. As God's image bearers, we are gifted with imaginations. But, like all good things, imagination can go bad. It can be used to withdraw from reality into fantasy that is wrong and ruinous. Nowhere is this truer than in imagining and worshiping God. Sunday we continue our study of the Ten Commandments with "Graven Mistakes." Join us!

The Lord Your God

Rev. Dr. Stacey M. Cox

The LORD Your God

Too often, the Ten Commandments are mistakenly considered God's "rules" - His outdated list of do's and don'ts that add up to a guilt-ridden, legalistic way of life. Yet, the Bible tells us they come from a loving heavenly Father who speaks to His child in "I-you" terms at every point; to one who has been loved, saved, and kept in Christ. Sunday we begin our new series on the Commandments with "The LORD Your God." Join us!

Surviving Life & Death

Rev. Dr. Stacey M. Cox

Surviving Life & Death

I was recently in an outfitter and ran across a "survival kit in a can." Twenty-five survival items stuffed in an air-tight, nuclear proof can; things like a fishhook, a whistle, waterproof matches, a stick of Big Red gum - don't get caught in the wilderness with bad breath. If only life came with a ready-made survival kit! Good news: God has given that to us! Join us Sunday for "Surviving Life & Death"

Friends

Rev. Dr. Lane Stephenson

Friendship

A longing for friendship existed in the heart of Adam before sin entered the world. It is a consequence of our being created in the likeness of a Triune God. The book of Proverbs provides wise instruction on friendship that is rooted in the nature of God, revealed in the heart of God, and fulfilled in Christ. We focus this Sunday on friendship from the perspective of God's wisdom.

Family Wisdom

Rev. Dr. Stacey M. Cox

Family Wisdom

Dressing like a first-grader is fairly simple; all you have to do is button your shirt wrong. You know, button your shirt so that the holes and the buttons don't match up. Get that first button wrong, and there's no way to correct it without starting over. Getting the first one right is the key to getting everything else right. Marrying and raising a family is like that shirt; get the first things right, then the other buttons start to line up in a way that works. We're headed there Sunday with "Family Wisdom". Join us!