June 11, 2017 • June 11, 2017 • David Hammerslag
Our lives can become a frantic rushing from spinning plate to spinning plate. We give each enough attention to prevent a disastrous crash, then we rush off to the next plate that is in danger of falling. We make our lives more and more frantic, hoping that with this one last plate spinning in its place, we’ll be happy and satisfied. Do you ever feel like a plate spinner? We think if we can just manage to keep all the plates spinning -- make sure none of them come crashing down -- then we will be happy and contented. Yet, even when we do manage it, usually for only a very short while, we end up feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. Soon some of the plates will start to slow down and wobble, demanding our attention again. The plates become our masters. We become imprisoned by the need to keep the plates spinning. They command our attention. There's a better way. And Jesus shows it to us.
Hope and Dreams
May 7, 2017 • May 7, 2017 • Graeme Sellers
What happens in a time of drought is that as hope declines, dreams contract. They get smaller and smaller and smaller until we only allow ourselves to dream things we believe are doable But when hope takes up residence in us, then hope is a dream factory. Hope is coming upon us, hope that fuels transformation and releases dreams. Even in a time of drought, Father is inviting us to dream again!
Be Swift to Choose Peace
November 20, 2016 • November 20, 2016 • Graeme Sellers
Peace is everything which makes for another’s highest good. Anything that is not God’s highest good for your neighbor, co-worker, countryman is an enemy of peace! So when circumstances and the enemy of our souls conspire to steal the peace of those around us, we must aggressively pursue peace by being with and standing alongside them.
Holy Spirit Stories & Surprises
July 30, 2017 • July 30, 2017 • Dr. Kim Engel-Pearson & Mike Bradley
As we embrace a renewed emphasis on Holy Spirit, both his person and work, we hear stories from Kim and Mike concerning how the Spirit has surprised and delighted them with his leading. These stories increase our faith and encourage us to be alert for God — his speaking, moving, inviting — in a time of accelerated activity and increased sensitivity and awareness to God movements around us.
November 6, 2016 • November 6, 2016 • Graeme Sellers
Faith is believing that what God says and who God is, is the most real thing, the truest thing. As we saw last week, God takes pleasure in the simple fact of us; and at the same time there are actions, qualities, things we do that please him. Having faith is one of them, and it’s easy enough to see why, especially in light of our identity as sons and daughters: because faith is an indicator of our love relationship with God. No wonder he loves faith—not because it’s a badge of spiritual accomplishment but because it opens the door for us, as children, to receive the love of our Father.
Responding to God's Voice
July 23, 2017 • July 23, 2017 • Graeme Sellers
We have a built-in capacity for the voice of God; we are created to hear His voice because we are sons and daughters. We possess the ability to hear the voice of God without ever reading the Bible, without ever attending a church service, without ever uttering a prayer. This is not an aspect that some have and some do not—it is imprinted within you by your creator as a baseline measure of being human. God speaks. So, when He does, what to do next? Move. Act. Immediately. Typically, when God speaks is His timing. It’s never, “Get around to this sometime, would you? You know, when it’s convenient for you.” Understand: the voice of God is not neutral—the voice of God makes a claim on us. Joshua 24:24 “We will serve the Eternal One, our God, and we will obey His voice.” (The Voice Translation)
The Drought Is Coming to An End, Pt. 2
April 23, 2017 • April 23, 2017 • Graeme Sellers
Today we return to an encouraging word that the Lord gave us in early February: "The drought is coming to an end." To say “The drought is coming to an end” is not the same thing as saying there are no more rivers to cross, mountains to climb, valleys to traverse, hardship to endure. It is to say that a long season of loss, lack, and less is coming to an end. Why would God bring it to our attention again? Well, assuming that He is directing this conversation, clearly it’s a matter of some importance to him. And if it’s important to Him it is important for us. At a minimum, he’s telling us to pay attention. It’s easy to lose sight of something once it’s no longer immediately in front of us. Our tendency, once we’ve heard something, is to move on to the next thing. It’s rare that we would take time to consider and then reconsider what we’ve heard, and that's what we're doing today.
July 9, 2017 • July 9, 2017 • Lee Meyer
God-sightings and reports from Pastor Lee's first-ever sabbatical. While on this wonderful journey, Lee sensed God inviting him to reflect Jesus' light in three ways: 1. Learn to go deep in prayer 2. Study and follow in the way of Jesus 3. Risk loving others
Corporate Prayer: The Oneness Principle
December 11, 2016 • December 11, 2016 • Tom Demaree
Tom Demaree, Founder and Director of Pentecost Walk, has prayerwalked over 22,000 miles across the length and breadth of the country, bringing God’s message of repentance-in-unity to the body of Christ by coming alongside pastors and leaders as a brother and a friend. To date, these joint-efforts have touched all 50 states, involving thousands of churches. In this message Tom highlights the role of oneness in corporate prayer.
October 30, 2016 • October 30, 2016 • Graeme Sellers
If we, as sinful and selfish parents, take pleasure in our children why would we think it odd that the Father takes pleasure in us, his sons and daughters, not because of anything we do or achieve, but for the simple fact that we are his? You’re his son, his daughter—he takes pleasure in you! What else would he do?
Why Does My New Life Look So Much Like My Old Life?
March 26, 2017 • March 26, 2017 • David Hammerslag
J. Philippe, author of Interior Freedom, tells us, "What often blocks the action of God’s grace in our lives is less our sins or failings, than it is our failure to accept our own weakness—all those rejections, conscious or not, of what we really are or of our real situation. To 'set grace free' in our lives, and paving the way for deep and spectacular changes, it sometimes would be enough to say simply 'yes'—a 'yes' inspired by trust in God to aspects of our lives we’ve been rejecting." "We refuse to admit that we have this defect, that weak point, were marked by this event, fell into that sin. And so we block the Holy Spirit’s action, since he can only affect our reality to the extent we accept it ourselves. The Holy Spirit never acts unless we freely cooperate. We must accept ourselves just as we are, if the Holy Spirit is to change us for the better."
Thankfulness: A Practical Guide
November 27, 2016 • November 27, 2016 • Graeme Sellers
Gratitude is a choice. It doesn’t just come upon you when Holy Spirit is the mood to bring it. And the more deliberately and regularly you choose it the more it reproduces itself in you. There is no spiritual gift of thankfulness. There is only the practice of it, and we cannot wait for optimal conditions to practice it. If we do we may never start!
A Puzzling Paradox
If God Can vs. When God Doesn't • August 27, 2017 • Graeme Sellers
Here is a puzzling paradox: If God Can vs. When God Doesn’t. Which is it? Is it Psalm 37:4, "If you delight yourself in the Lord he’ll give you the desires of your heart," …OR… "What make you think it’s a good idea to get what you want?" What would the impact be if these two things lived comfortably side-by-side for us, not in conflict or contradiction, but in beautiful mystery?
July 2, 2017 • July 2, 2017 • Dirk Duhlstine
Community isn’t about where we live, but about our connection to one another, about the canvas of our common (shared) life and what we choose to paint on it. This is important because at Wonderful Mercy we believe not in religion but in relationship: a true and meaningful relationship with Father, through Jesus Christ and sealed by Holy Spirit.
Cultivate Your Mind
October 1, 2017 • Graeme Sellers
We must cultivate our minds—prepare them to raise crops of life, hope, purity, faith, joy. This means cultivating the mind of Christ the Father has given us. To have the mind of Christ is to think as he thinks so we can join Father where he’s working. The mind of Christ isn’t air-dropped into us when we become Christians, fully formed and functioning flawlessly. It is something we cultivate, tend to, work on. This won't happen unopposed. There is a battle for our minds. This is war, as Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” We’re going to need well-tended, carefully cultivated minds to make it in a world that’s hostile to God.
Our Life Together Is a Life for Others
November 26, 2017 • Graeme Sellers
Most churches—ours included, if we’re honest—are essentially churches for us, organized with our comfort, preferences, and perspectives in mind. But what if our thinking and doing in our life together were first informed by deep compassion for those who are lost in the seductive embrace of a world that promises everything but delivers so little? When God builds His church He doesn’t build it for us. He builds it for the people He misses the most. Jesus wants to raise up a church that rises to the occasion of God’s heart for the world. That’s why our life together is a life for others.
October 16, 2016 • October 16, 2016 • Graeme Sellers
59% of Americans agree “Worshiping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church.” But here’s what the author of Hebrews knows: much strength arises from being together and worshiping together. Even if the sermon is poor and the worship shoddy, the church service gives us chance to be together, and that, more than any pleasure we take or approval we give of the sermon or worship, is the real point The author know this, too: community increases love. How can it do otherwise if Jesus is there with us? As 1 John 4:8b tells us, “God is love.” And where love increases, the things of God must follow
Two Wrong Choices
Cultivating Your Personal Field • September 24, 2017 • Meg Crossman
This morning we talk about knowing some of the wise ways to cultivate the fields the Lord has given us. Cultivating particularly involves destroying weeds and allowing our seedlings to grow well. This involves knowing how to combat the weeds without destroying the vegetables or plants we want to develop and maintain. Our Lord warns us in John 10:10 that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:11 that “no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” If we are going to be successful in cultivating our fields, we need to know who our enemy is and how he works.