“I urge Euopedia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also …”

Pastor Mark preaches on the apostle Paul's letter to the Philippians, where he addresses the issue of discord in the church and how to achieve unity. The sermon text is Philippians 4:1-9. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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They say, “Come, let us wipe them out…”

Pastor Mark preaches on the horrific events in Las Vegas where 58 people were murdered in the largest mass shooting in American history. He notes that all of us live in a culture of death, to which we have become assimilated and accustomed. In a culture of death, death becomes an instrument of social purpose. Pastor Mark calls for a time of national mourning and lament - the lifting up of all our pain and grief and turning them and ourselves over to God, that God may heal our pain and we may be shown God's way forward. The sermon text is Psalm 83. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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God Is the God Who Calms the Storm (Except When God Doesn’t)

When horrible things happen in the world, we have a tendency to get mad at God and blame him for letting it happen. Pastor Jason discusses this and notes that God created the beautiful, but dangerous world that we live in. Would we want to live in a world with no danger? God also gave us the freedom to make choices, and sometimes we make some really bad choices. As a price for this freedom, we have to live with the consequences of our bad choices. Did God create this world and then go off and leave it alone, or is he still active in the world? Our faith asserts that God is still active in the world, working through us when we choose to work to reduce the suffering and to bring healing, to show others that we care. The sermon text is Psalm 65:5-13. The Rev. Jason Mack preaching.

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“…who though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant…”

Pastor Mark compares and contrasts the story of Buddha with that of Jesus. Gautama Buddha was born into a royal family and was protected from seeing the suffering in the world. But one day he saw a poor beggar, and Buddha forsake his royal upbringing and took the life of a beggar to find the cause of suffering. Jesus chose to be born into a poor family to become a servant. The stories are so similar, but also very different; Buddha's father kept his son in an insular life so that he would not experience suffering, while Jesus' father was alert to the suffering of humanity from the beginning of time. Mark goes on to use this story to illustrate the apostle Paul's exhortation of letting the mind of Christ be in you. The sermon text is Philippians 2:1-13. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“Should you not have mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?”

Pastor Mark preaches on the parable of the servant who was forgiven his debts by the master, but refused to forgive the debt owed him by a fellow servant. Do you see yourself in this story? Which servant are you? The sermon text is Matthew 18:21-35. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“Allow the children to come to me …”

The disciples asked themselves, "What are we going to do about those children?"  Do you ask the same question?  Pastor Mark preaches on the story of Jesus rebuking the disciples when they tried to stop parents from bringing their children to be touched by Jesus. The sermon text is Mark 10:13-16. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“If any want to become followers, let them … take up their cross and follow me.”

How many steps have you taken today? Jesus told us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Pastor Mark discusses taking steps in following Jesus; he calls these "cross steps" - steps beyond gentle waters, steps that lead to authentic love. The sermon text is Matthew 16:21-28. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“But when he saw the strong wind he…began to sink.”

Pastor Mark preaches on the story of Jesus coming to the disciples walking on the water; Peter asks if he can walk on the water also. He starts out OK, but when his attention shifts from Jesus to the wind, he begins to sink. Mark declares that an important lesson for the church lies herein - the essence of discipleship is training our eyes on Jesus. Mark applies this lesson to church management and calls on churches to keep their eyes on Jesus - to be more like Jesus - and to not be distracted by those who call for churches to be more like a business with its emphasis on efficiency. The sermon text is Matthew 14:22-33. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“Ho, everyone who thirsts come to the waters.”

Are you thirsty? Do you find that modern secular life does not satisfy your thirst? The prophet Isaiah calls us to drink of the waters of God; our thirst is satisfied only when we participate in what God is doing for all people. The sermon text is Isaiah 55:1-5. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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“…that very Spirit intercedes with groans too deep for words.”

Life is hard! Yes, indeed life is hard. The apostle Paul knew that well. He had been beaten repeatedly, shipwrecked, lost at sea, and imprisoned on several occasions. Sometimes we don't know what to pray, or even how to pray. But Paul, writing from a prison cell, reminds us that God shares in our suffering and is already interceding for us.  What hardship can separate us from God? Paul answers that nothing can separate us from the love of God. The sermon text is Romans 8:26-39. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

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