Dec 10, 2017
“Advent, Astrophysics and Light in Darkness” – Rev. Allan Brooks – John 1:1-5
Series: Advent
This Christmas season is one where the impossible defines what is possible, where our infinite God works to do what only God can do. If Advent is the season of preparation for what God is doing, how can we possibly wrap our mind around a God this big? We start by looking to the creation summary in John's Gospel. "In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." John 1:1-3. When we look at what we know about the universe, isn't it amazing that galaxies and solar systems look the same as the stuff that makes us up? The intricacies of creation, how perfect everything is set for existence to be our reality. God is in the infinitesimal and the infinite. He is there in the smallest nuances of our lives and overcomes our biggest obstacles. And as John continues, "He is the light of all man kind, and the darkness has not overcome it" (paraphrased John 1:4-5). Praise God for a season to celebrate He who overcomes our biggest problems, shines in our darkest hours, and knows every nuance of our being.
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  • Dec 10, 2017“Advent, Astrophysics and Light in Darkness” – Rev. Allan Brooks – John 1:1-5
    Dec 10, 2017
    “Advent, Astrophysics and Light in Darkness” – Rev. Allan Brooks – John 1:1-5
    Series: Advent
    This Christmas season is one where the impossible defines what is possible, where our infinite God works to do what only God can do. If Advent is the season of preparation for what God is doing, how can we possibly wrap our mind around a God this big? We start by looking to the creation summary in John's Gospel. "In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." John 1:1-3. When we look at what we know about the universe, isn't it amazing that galaxies and solar systems look the same as the stuff that makes us up? The intricacies of creation, how perfect everything is set for existence to be our reality. God is in the infinitesimal and the infinite. He is there in the smallest nuances of our lives and overcomes our biggest obstacles. And as John continues, "He is the light of all man kind, and the darkness has not overcome it" (paraphrased John 1:4-5). Praise God for a season to celebrate He who overcomes our biggest problems, shines in our darkest hours, and knows every nuance of our being.
  • Dec 3, 2017“The Perfect Christmas” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Matthew 1:18-25
    Dec 3, 2017
    “The Perfect Christmas” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Matthew 1:18-25
    Series: Advent
    Life vary rarely goes according to plan, and never turns out perfectly. Joseph had to learn this first hand. Setting himself up as a respected carpenter in his community, everything started to fall apart when Mary became pregnant. Joseph had two options; he could either break off his engagement to Mary and leave this unfortunate event behind him, or he could trust God's messenger, take Mary as his wife and raise her child. What God was doing went against all the honorable rules Joseph new in his society. This was far from the perfect plan Joseph had for his life. But this was God's perfect plan, to grace the world and offer all of His people the gift of salvation. This is why we worship this season, to celebrate His grace and rejoice in the imperfections that only God can make perfect.
  • Nov 26, 2017“Construction Zone” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Isaiah 40:3-5
    Nov 26, 2017
    “Construction Zone” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Isaiah 40:3-5
    Series: Advent
    This is the season of good news ~ news to bring great joy to all peoples. What is this news? That Jesus, who came to us a child, embraced our existence, to make himself known. That we now may see His light, know the Truth, and have a way through whatever may come in life where no way exists. For as it is spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together." (Isaiah 40:4-5)
  • Nov 19, 2017“Where is the Turkey?” – Rev. Gary Hilton
    Nov 19, 2017
    “Where is the Turkey?” – Rev. Gary Hilton
    Series: Pentecost
    Have you ever piled your thanksgiving plate so high that you can no longer see your turkey? You know it eventually gets lost in all the various flavors of Thanksgiving dinner, but man is it good that way! Do you ever pile on activities and act like everything is perfect in your life to hide who you are and how you feel? While thanksgiving dinner might be good this way, it is hard to live like this. Praise be to a God who sees past all the walls and facades we put up and knows who we truly are. This can be a horrifying thought, knowing that God really knows us, because then we have to face that truth instead of deceiving ourselves with the same image we show others. But this is really our biggest blessing, because God, knowing everything about us, comes to us as we are and "dares us to trust he loves us just as we are..." as stated by the late Brennan Manning. We don't face this truth alone, but with a God who brings healing from our brokenness, dares us to trust and believe in His love, and calls us to show this love to others.
  • Nov 12, 2017“Stones in the Dust” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Nehemiah 2:17-18
    Nov 12, 2017
    “Stones in the Dust” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Nehemiah 2:17-18
    Series: Pentecost
    Sometimes life tears us down, and we feel broken and battered. In those moments, all that is left to do is begin rebuilding. In the passage from Nehemiah, Nehemiah gets permission from the Persian King to go back to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding the city, for the Babylonians sacked the city and took Israel into exile before they were conquered by Persia. For 70 years, Jerusalem lay in ruins, but by God's will Nehemiah took groups of Israelites back to begin rebuilding the city. It is in these times of rebuilding that God works to rebuild us. These are the moments that we can draw closer to God, grow and become stronger people. The rebuilding process can be long and it can be painful, but to grow closer to God through the process is one of the greatest blessings you can have.
  • Nov 5, 2017“No More Tears” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Isaiah 25:1-9
    Nov 5, 2017
    “No More Tears” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Isaiah 25:1-9
    Series: Pentecost
    We all experience sorrow and loss, but God gives us a promise that overcomes it all. As we remember and honor those who have been instrumental to our lives this All Saints Weekend, hear the promise of God through the words of the profit Isaiah.
  • Oct 29, 2017“Heart Giving” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Matthew 6:19-21
    Oct 29, 2017
    “Heart Giving” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Matthew 6:19-21
    Series: Pentecost
    We all know the phrase "God loves a cheerful giver," but have you ever really though about what that means. In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus begins spelling that out for us when He talks about where we keep our treasures. Our hearts have an emended power to discreetly direct our thoughts and actions to the point where the things that we most care about get the bulk of our attention. Most of us know this, but pay little attention as it is happening. The question is; what are our hearts pointed toward? Are they wrapped up in the material around us, or are our passions and treasures centered in God's Kingdom? So, when we give, are we giving out of obligation or are we investing in the Kingdom, in God's acts of salvation and grace around the world and through His church?
  • Oct 22, 2017“Saving and Giving” – Rev. Allan Brooks – 2 Corinthians 9:6-9
    Oct 22, 2017
    “Saving and Giving” – Rev. Allan Brooks – 2 Corinthians 9:6-9
    Series: Pentecost
    As we move into our second week discussing stewardship, we reach two of the most important topics on what we should do with our money: saving and giving. Stewardship is the act of managing something, either an event or another's estate, and when applied to finances we are saying that all that we have is from God and it is our job to take care of it. As stewards of these resources, we have these obligations take care of ourselves and others; to save that we may meet our expenses and to give to serve those in need. At its core, this is what being a steward of God's resources is all about.
  • Oct 15, 2017“Working For Money” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Genesis 2:15-18
    Oct 15, 2017
    “Working For Money” – Rev. Allan Brooks – Genesis 2:15-18
    Series: Pentecost
    Have you ever become so caught up in your work that it feels like such a burden that you have forgotten the joy you had when you started the job? We are told everyday to work harder so that we can earn more money, in order to buy more stuff; but after a while we realize that there is no joy in that pursuit. When we look back in Genesis, we see that God made us to do work; Adam and Eve were made stewards of the Garden. We need to transition from working for money, to working for God's glory - doing everything we do as if it were for God. Then, we might find true joy and peace.
  • Oct 8, 2017“Building Fences” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Luke 4:14-21 & Mark 7:1-8; 14-15
    Oct 8, 2017
    “Building Fences” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Luke 4:14-21 & Mark 7:1-8; 14-15
    Series: Pentecost
    It is easy for us to judge others based on our perceptions of how people should live, and if they do not live up to our standards, then we see them as out-casts and people un-worthy to be a part of society. But Jesus never saw people that way. He came to proclaim God's Good News to the out-cast, heal the sick and free the prisoner. What is worse, is that we tend to cast these judgements based on our traditions; traditions that can get in the way of serving God and serving others. These were some of the traditions that Jesus ignored, knowing that sharing a meal with someone deemed a sinner meant a chance for repentance, or that healing the sick or befriending the outcast meant more than remaining traditionally clean. If we call ourselves Christians, than we must follow Christ's example; to go and serve and not cast judgment from our comfortable pew.