Pastor Barry is the speaker unless otherwise noted. Schedule subject to change.
2nd The Forgotten Tree of Christmas. Acts 10 39-43. The Christmas Tree has become an important part of the celebration of Christmas. The popularity of the Christmas tree is interesting since these kinds of trees are not native to the Holy Land. There is a tree however that is part of Christ’s story. The cross that Jesus died upon is referred to a tree in scripture. He chose a tree that was cursed, shameful, an instrument of execution… and made it into something beautiful – a symbol of love, compassion, caring, and mercy. On this first Sunday in Advent The Lord’s Supper will be observed.
“We Wish You a Mary Christmas” is to say I desire for you the miracles in Mary’s life and that you respond as she did. Mary is a prototype of how we too can experience Christmas – Jesus coming into our world. There is a sense in which you too are meant to deliver Jesus to the world.
12/9 We Wish You a Mary Christmas (1): God Knows You and Has a Plan for Your Life. Luke 1:26-27. The point of Mary’s virginity was to affirm the miraculous intervention of God in her life and body, that it was an impossibility, humanly speaking. I wish for you to see yourself in Mary’s situation, not as innocent, pure or untarnished, but in the sense that there may be impossible situations in your life that require faith to believe in a miracle. I wish for you a Mary Christmas is to say that I wish for you the simple kind of faith to believe that there are miracles and blessings that can come into your life when God shows up.
12/16 We Wish You a Mary Christmas (2): Don’t Let Reason Ruin the Season. Luke 1:28-29. Mary was troubled at what Gabriel said to her. Her reaction is completely natural and understandable. Mary tries to do what most of us would try to do in that situation…figure it out. but you can’t figure God out! Reason fails us when it comes to faith and God. The Angel tells Mary she is highly favored and that the Lord is with her. He encourages her. To wish you a Mary Christmas is to wish that you will know that you are special and the Lord is with you too, and that you will stop worrying, wondering, and doubting and just have faith that things will work out.
12/23 We Wish You a Mary Christmas (3): Be the Miracle Someone is Praying For. Luke 1:31-38. The angel is a messenger and the message to Mary is, “I have come to give you good news, the Lord is about to enter into your circumstances.” Where that happens there shall be God’s provision and blessing. But Mary asks, “How shall this be, I haven’t had the kind of experience necessary for this?” The answer is…God! With God nothing is impossible. Then the angel boosts Mary’s confidence by sharing a testimony. That’s the value of testimonies – encouragement and challenge. When you are facing an impossible situation, and you don’t see any human way out, God may have you right where he wants you. Mary was willing to be the miracle someone else was praying for.
30th Guest Speaker: Jon Rawlings. About Jon… From 1992 until 2005 Jon served as the Executive Vice President of International College and Graduate School, a Bible college and seminary in Honolulu. From 2005 until the end of 2008 he served as the pastor of Kailua Baptist Church. In August of 2008, Jon and his wife Jeri, a teacher at Hawaii Baptist Academy, started an intentional community at their home as a ministry to young adults (20’s and 30’s). In addition to helping them reach important financial goals, they help them learn basic life skills and become mature followers of Christ.
6th How to Make a Fresh Start. Isaiah 43:18-19. Sometimes you give life your best shot but you still come up short. It’s easy to focus on the failures of your past but God is far more interested in your future than He is your past. In this sermon Pastor Barry shares practical Biblical ways to make a fresh start in the new year using the acrostic S T A R T. S – Stop making excuses. T – Take stock. A – Act in Faith. R – Refocus your thoughts. T – Trust God to help you succeed. God specializes in new beginnings. Find the power and hope to make one in 2019.
Can He Hear Me Now?: How to Pray Effectively
Can HE Hear Me Now? Find out! Statistics show that almost everyone prays. But do you ever wonder if your prayers reach God’s ears? Does He answer? You’re not the only one with questions about prayer. When Jesus’ disciples wanted to know how to pray effectively Jesus gave them a model, we call it The Lord’s Prayer. Join us for this sermon series and get your questions answered.
1/13 Our Father in Heaven. Matthew 6:9. At one time the Jews had experienced the purity of genuine prayer, but now they have abandoned it for the routine and ritual of empty religious exercises. In response to their need, Jesus said, “This, then, is how you should pray: (6:9). Apparently there’s a right way and a wrong way to pray. Jesus proceeded to give them a model for praying effectively and it begins with our relationship with God.
1/20 Hallowed be Thy Name. Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4. What Jesus is saying here is that all that is embodied in God’s name is to be recognized as holy. Hallowed means to treat something or someone as set apart, or separate. God should be revered, respected and regarded as holy. We hallow God’s name when we live a life of obedience to Him, when our lives are a vehicle of His holiness. Before we start asking for what we want, we should ask for what He wants.
1/27 Thy Kingdom Come. Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4. God’s program centers on a person. And it’s not you. Christ is that person, and His kingdom is God’s program. To pray, Thy kingdom come, is to pray May Christ reign here and now. Praying the right way does not mean letting God in on our plan, but calling on God to fulfill His plan.
2/3 Thy Will Be Done. Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4. This phrase affirms that we have a right to refuse certain situations as inevitable. We have a right to pray that God will intervene and do things the way they ought to be done. Praying this way is an act of defiance against Satan and all that is fallen in this world, but ultimately the problem with “Thy” will is “my” will. We’ve got to get “self” out of the way.
2/10 Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread. Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4. Bread represents all physical provision. We can’t be a spiritual being unless we are first a physical one and so God begins with the physical. God cares that our physical needs are met and because of that we don’t need to be preoccupied with the physical. As a matter of fact God does not want you to be preoccupied with physical things. When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”, we are saying that we trust God to supply all the physical needs of our lives.
2/17 Forgive Us Our Sins. Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4. This is the only part of the prayer upon which Jesus comments (Matthew 6:14-15). This gives focus on the importance of forgiveness. In this sermon Pastor Barry will share six reasons from scripture why we should forgive others. The life of many believers is short circuited in its power because of unresolved conflicts with people. If you regard sin in your heart, The Lord will not hear you (Psalm 66), and if He doesn’t hear you He can’t help you. But don’t get mad at God. The problem is on our end.
2/24 Lead Us Not Into Temptation. Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4. The more we understand about the promises of God, the richer, and more meaningful our prayers will become. The first three petitions in the Lord’s Prayer relate to God and His glory. The last three relate to man and his need. This petition is the cry of the heart that despises the potential of sin to harm and ruin our life and the lives of those we love. It is a safeguard against presumption and a false sense of security.
TBD So Heavenly Minded No Earthly Good. Genesis 18:1-5 & Luke 24:28-31. Many of us take great care in ordering our lives, arranging the details, structuring the activities, strictly following our daily schedule and list of things to do. There’s security in that, but there can also be idolatry in that too. Order, the familiar, control, security, minimize the need for faith. Faith is a venture into the unknown, into realms of mystery, away from the safe, the comfortable and the secure. In this sermon Pastor Barry shares how strangers, the unknown, the unsettling, and disorder, have drawn him to deeper faith and how these things can remind us of our need for God. He says, “I’ve had to rethink the role of the stranger and the value and place of Holy interruptions.”
TBD The Strange Gift of Suffering. II Corinthians 1:3-7. Pain and suffering are heightened when they happen during the most joyous time of the year. Suffering is not uncommon in the Christmas season, in fact it is integral to the message of Christmas. There is much emphasis on giving gifts at Christmas but no one would think of suffering as a gift, no one except for the apostle Paul. We find his Christmas gift wish-list in the second letter he wrote to the church in Corinth, and on it is “the fellowship of His suffering.” It’s a strange gift but in this sermon Pastor Barry shares why it truly is a gift we each should be happy to receive.
TBD Weathering the Storms of Life. Mark 6: 45-52. We are like sailors upon the sea. It’s not a question of if there will be storms, there will be storms. And there may be leaky boats. Sometimes it will seem there’s no way out. Our response often makes the difference on how we weather the storm. Unfortunately our natural tendencies tend to perpetuate our problems instead of solving them. In Mark 6 Jesus’ disciples illustrate five of these tendencies we should avoid when we’re on the stormy seas of life.
TBD The Wisdom of the Wisemen. Matthew 2:1-2. Even though we don’t know a lot about the Wise Men we can understand why they are called “wise”. It has more to do with what they did than with what they knew. And what did they do? They followed God’s divine leading, they responded in faith, and they worshipped the Christ Child. When a person has truly received the gift of God’s Son, worship and the outpouring of gifts is a natural response. This is what Christmas is all about…God’s gift to us – His Son, and our gift to God – our heart and life. We demonstrate the wisdom of the Wise Men when we follow, have faith in, and worship Jesus.