Sunday, December 18, 2011

When God Calls You to Something Big

Focus: God calls each of us to something BIG and we need to learn the A, B, C's of accepting that call.

"When God Calls You to Something Big"

A. You will be AFRAID
B. You will be BEWILDERED, BELIEVE Anyway
D. Let Christ be DEVELOPED in you, DELIVER Christ to others
G. You will be be GREETED by GOD

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Focus: Alignment to the vision must be restored after time and bumps cause components to work against themselves.

I. TEAM Alignment...

II. ...Requires PERSONAL Alignment
   C. CONCERN for the PEOPLE

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Stakin While Packin

I. Your God inspired Vision will FACE OPPOSITION

II. How to make the ENEMY'S strategy INEFFECTIVE
A. PRAY Immediately
B. REMEMBER the SOURCE of your God inspired vision
C. REVISE your PLANS appropriately
Revision 1: Post a GUARD


Revision 3: STAKIN while PACKIN

Revision 4: The TRUMPET call

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Focus: What God put in your heart to do - Investigate!

I. Faith is not a SUBSTITUTE for careful PLANNING; Faith and PLANNING are PARTNERS.
    A. Investigate BEFORE going PUBLIC with your vision
    B. Before ACTIVITY, seek meaningful SOLITUDE

II. Cast your Vision
    A. The Problem
    B. The Solution
    C. The reason something must be done
    D. The reason something must be done now

III. Even when GOD'S HAND moves, there are MANY BATTLES yet ahead!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

From Ruins to Rewards

Focus: A clear vision will move us emotionally, motivationlly, directionally and purposefully.
I. Do you WEEP over any RUINS? Proverbs 25:28

II. How to move from Holy DISSATISFACTION to pure SATISFACTION?

    A. The BIRTH of a Vision

    B. A Vision begins as a CONCERN

    C. A Vision requires PATIENCE and PRAYER
        1. WEEPING, then WORKING

    D. Pray based on God's PURPOSES and PROMISES

    E. Pray for OPPORTUNITIES, not just MIRACLES

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Witness a Seduction... The Enemy's Plan Revealed

Focus: "Be sober, be vigilant"... God has given you the plan for victory!

I. The Enemy's Plan

II. God's Plan For Victory - His Word!
     A. LEARN IT
     B. LOVE IT
     C. LIVE IT

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Deuteronomy 6:5-7
New Life Version (NLV)
5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 Keep these words in your heart that I am telling you today. 7 Do your best to teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.

Focus: God does not desire to be a part of our lives, our relationships, our families or our church. Rather, He desires to be FULLY INTEGRATED into it all.

Introduction: Integration Means
A harmonious whole
To be made into a whole
To make a unified whole


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Show Me That God Loves Me

Show Me That God Loves Me
Titus 2:11-14

Focus: God's sacrifice shows we are deeply loved.

I. Christ put OUR NEEDS ahead of HIS OWN.
A. This Grace TEACHES us.
B. This Grace PURIFIES us.
C. This Grace makes us EAGER to DO what is GOOD.

II. How to show others that God loves them.
A. The GOSPEL is more than TALK.

Titus 2:11-14 New International Version (NIV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Mark Luffman, IT Director
Cottonwood Oak Creek School District

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

How to Show Others That God Accepts Them

Focus: Don't discard muddy diamonds!

I. Recognize your OWN MUD





Go to Mark Luffman's Mirror.Me Reflection
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Show Me That God Accepts Me

Focus: Everyone is a treasure of great work!

I. Am I _____?

II. Is valuing a ____ __________ biblical?

Psalm 8:4-5 New International Version (NIV)
  • 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
  • 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
  1. SELF WORTH, properly understood, is rooted in the VALUE God places on us.
  2. The world's "NOBODIES" are amazing "SOMEBODIES" to God.
III. God accepts YOU as YOU.

Luke 19 Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
  • 1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
    5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner." 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
The Parable of the Ten Minas
  • 11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'
    14 "But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.' 15 "He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 16 "The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.' 17 "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.' 18 "The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more.' 19 "His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.' 20 "Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.' 22 "His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?' 24 "Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.' 25 "'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!' 26 "He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.'"
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
  • 28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' say, 'The Lord needs it.'" 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" 34 They replied, "The Lord needs it." 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
  • 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
  • "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" 40 "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
Jesus at the Temple
  • 45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 "It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.'" 47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to Show Others That God Understands

Focus: We need to become conduits of God's love and understanding.

I. We are walking relational demonstrations of the TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY
II. Express the "FEEL IT Mode" before the "FIX IT Mode"
  • Matthew 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved right by her deeds."
  • Luke 7:34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'

  1. How do we express the "FEEL IT MODE?"
  2. How to be a CONDUIT of Christ's COMFORT
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
  • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Ephesians 2:6-7, 10 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 10 For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
  • Genesis 2:18
  • 18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
  • Romans 12:5
    5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:26-27
    26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Show Me That God Understands

Show Me That God Understands
Mark 1:41; John 11; Hebrews 4:15

Focus: Christ understands my deepest needs, fondest dreams and highest hopes.


II. Christ meets our need for UNDERSTANDING.
A. One message of the incarnation is this: I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND!
B. How did Jesus show he understood? Jesus cleansed a leper.
C. Why did Jesus leave glory and come to such a humiliating death? Jesus raises a big stink! To show how much He loves and understands us.

Mark 1:41
New International Version (NIV)
41 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!"

John 11

The Death of Lazarus

1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."

8 "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?"

9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world's light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light."

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."

12 His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

27 "Yes, Lord," she replied, "I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you." 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked.

"Come and see, Lord," they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"

37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 "Take away the stone," he said.
"But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."

40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."

The Plot to Kill Jesus

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
"What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation."

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, "What do you think? Isn't he coming to the festival at all?" 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.

Hebrews 4:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Good Ole Fashioned Church Service

A Good Ole Fashioned Church Service

Focus: Each of us finds our meaning and function as part of His body.

1. Setting the stage for corporate worship
A. They GATHERED together
B. They SEPARATED themselves
C. They SOUGHT their place

2. Essentials for corporate worship
C. CONFESSION and AFFIRMATION of our relationship with Him and COMMITMENT to Him
D. WORSHIP as a response

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fill It Up!

Fill It Up!
Ephesians 5:18

Focus: One result of being "filled up"is real joy, peace, and hope!

1. A little background:
Who is the HOLY SPIRIT?
A. He's the One CHRIST PROMISED would come.
B. He's the One who WASHED, SANCTIFIED and JUSTIFIED believers.
D. He's the One who determines our SPIRITUAL GIFTS and FILLS us.

2. A little explanation:
What this all LOOKS LIKE... FILL ME UP!
A. KNOW what is going on and CONFESS.
C. KNOW and ACT accordingly.

3. A little closing note:

Romans 15:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

The New Covenant and Commandments

The New Covenant and Commandments
Focus: The best life on planet earth is by faith in Christ that produces obedience.

I. Many Old Testament Commandments NO LONGER APPLY

II. Don't discard OBEDIENCE, discard LEGALISM

III. How to obey without being LEGALISTIC.
A. Don't lean on THE RULES for righteousness
B. Lean on CHRIST for righteousnes

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Eternal Life is not a Destination... It's a Relationship

Eternal Life is not a Destination... It's a Relationship

John 17:3
New King James Version (NKJV)
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Focus: Heaven is the "perfection" of the relationship we have begun and grown in during our short pilgrimage in the world.

1. God REQUIRES a Relationship

2. God DESIRES a Relationship

3. God REVEALS Himself through relationships

4. God is GLORIFIED in and by our relationships

Philippians 3:7-14

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stop Using Strategic Misrepresentations

Stop Using Strategic Misrepresentations

Deuteronomy 5:20

Focus: A lie has speed, but truth has endurance. Edgar J. Mohn
Proverbs 12:39, Deuteronomy 5:20

I. A "False Witness" is SOMEONE WHO LIES Exodus 23:1, Proverbs 12:17, 14:5, Leviticus 19:11, Proverbs 19:5
A. A "white lie" is A LIE. Acts 5:2
B. A "half-truth" is A WHOLE LIE.
C. Deception is A LIE.

II. Why do we lie?
A. Telling the truth is not ALWAYS EASY. Galatians 1:10, Proverbs 9:7-9, Ephesians 4:15
C. Satan is the FATHER OF LIES and the LEADER OF LIARS. Revelations 12:9, John 8:44

III. What to do? Ephesians 4:22-25
A. Break the HABIT (put it OFF)
B. Practice new HABITS (put these ON)

Mark Luffman, IT Director
Cottonwood Oak Creek School District

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Sabbath Principle

The Sabbath Principle

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 (KJV)
[12] Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. [13] Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: [14] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. [15] And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

Focus: Sabbath is what our leisure-hungry and work-addicted culture desperately needs.

I. STOP WORK one day a week.

A. With a purposeful rest OFFERED to the LORD
B. Make it a HOLY time

Respect Sex and Marriage

Deuteronomy 5:18
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
18 'You shall not commit adultery.

Focus: God invented sex and marriage and clearly explained the boundaries that make these gifts beautiful rather than hurtful.

B. FORGIVENESS does not erase all the CONSEQUENCES
C. God's way is ALWAYS BEST for you

II. What's the big deal?
A. All sins are not ALIKE
B. Sex is a powerful gift when in THE BOUNDARIES
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Honor Your Father

Deuteronomy 5:16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Ephesians 6:1-4

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Family Relationships

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Focus: Command #5 is glue that holds all society together.

I. Why should I honor my Father?
A. Because this PLEASES GOD Colossians 3:20
B. Because this IS RIGHT Ephesians 6:2
C. Because this IS GOD FOR YOU Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16, Ephesians 6:2-3

II. How should I honor my Father?

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why His Name is a Big Deal

Why His Name is a Big Deal

Deuteronomy 5:11

Focus: The desire of our heart is for God's name and reputation to be renowned!

I. Don't MISUSE God's name
A. PROFANITY Colossians 3:8
B. Meaningless GOD' TALK

II. Don't TAKE God's name MEANINGLESSLY Isaiah 4:1, John 17:11
A. The name = ENTER the COVENANT
B. Honor God's name = EXPAND God's REPUTATION making his name RENOWNED

Sunday, June 5, 2011

No Play-Doh Gods

Deuteonomy 5:7-10

Focus: There is only one name brand God, don't settle for less.

I. Don't shape an IDOL GOD.
...Or it will SHAPE you!

II. Don't shape GOD into an IMAGE image.

A. Not into an IMAGINATION image.

B. Not into an MENTAL image.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Have No Other

Deuteronomy 5:1-7

Focus: God wants to be the love of your life.


II. We function best when we FEAR him MOST.

III. We function best when we TRUST him MOST.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Acts 26

Focus: A life directed by God lives unhinderedly.
The only one who can hinder the work of God but you.

I. SHIPWRECKED But Unhindered.
II. SNAKE-BIT But Unhindered.
IV. DISCOURAGED But Unhindered.
V. CHAINED But Unhindered.
VI. REJECTED But Unhindered.
VII. WAITING But Unhindered.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Under the Weather

Under the Weather
How to Go Through It and Not Go Under
Acts 27

Focus: We need not be knocked down by what we go through.

I. Don't go THROUGH it ALONE


III. Choose your CAPTAIN well

IV. Don't be deceived by the GENTLE BREEZES

A. There comes a time to abandon the LIFEBOATS
B. Take your EYES OFF THE FACTS and fix them by FAITH on GOD
C. Sometimes God uses a SHIPWRECK to get you where He wants you to be

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Acts 26

Focus: Heaven is not like horseshoes and hand grenades; close just doesn't count.

I. FULLY Persuaded?

II. NOT Persuaded?

III. ALMOST Persuaded?

Acts 26:1-32 (NET)

Acts 26
Paul Offers His Defense
[26:1] So Agrippa1 said to Paul, "You have permission2 to speak for yourself." Then Paul held out his hand3 and began his defense:4
[2] "Regarding all the things I have been accused of by the Jews, King Agrippa,5 I consider myself fortunate that I am about to make my defense before you today, [3] because you are especially6 familiar with all the customs and controversial issues7 of the Jews. Therefore I ask8 you to listen to me patiently. [4] Now all the Jews know the way I lived9 from my youth, spending my life from the beginning among my own people10 and in Jerusalem.11 [5] They know,12 because they have known13 me from time past,14 if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party15 of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.16 [6] And now I stand here on trial17 because of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors,18 [7] a promise19 that our twelve tribes hope to attain as they earnestly serve God20 night and day. Concerning this hope the Jews are accusing me,21 Your Majesty!22 [8] Why do you people23 think24 it is unbelievable25 that26 God raises the dead? [9] Of course,27 I myself was convinced28 that it was necessary to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus the Nazarene. [10] And that is what I did in Jerusalem: Not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons by the authority I received29 from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote30 against them when they were sentenced to death.31 [11] I punished32 them often in all the synagogues33 and tried to force34 them to blaspheme. Because I was so furiously enraged35 at them, I went to persecute36 them even in foreign cities.
[12] "While doing this very thing,37 as I was going38 to Damascus with authority and complete power39 from the chief priests, [13] about noon along the road, Your Majesty,40 I saw a light from heaven,41 brighter than the sun, shining everywhere around42 me and those traveling with me. [14] When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,43 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself44 by kicking against the goads.'45 [15] So I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord replied,46 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. [16] But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance47 as a servant and witness48 to the things49 you have seen50 and to the things in which I will appear to you. [17] I will rescue51 you from your own people52 and from the Gentiles, to whom53 I am sending you [18] to open their eyes so that they turn54 from darkness to light and from the power55 of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share56 among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
[19] "Therefore, King Agrippa,57 I was not disobedient58 to the heavenly59 vision, [20] but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea,60 and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God,61 performing deeds consistent with62 repentance. [21] For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple courts63 and were trying to kill me. [22] I have experienced64 help from God to this day, and so I stand testifying to both small and great, saying nothing except65 what the prophets and Moses said66 was going to happen: [23] that67 the Christ68 was to suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, to proclaim light both to our people69 and to the Gentiles."70
[24] As Paul71 was saying these things in his defense, Festus72 exclaimed loudly, "You have lost your mind,73 Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!" [25] But Paul replied,74 "I have not lost my mind, most excellent Festus,75 but am speaking76 true and rational77 words. [26] For the king knows about these things, and I am speaking freely78 to him,79 because I cannot believe80 that any of these things has escaped his notice,81 for this was not done in a corner.82 [27] Do you believe the prophets,83 King Agrippa?84 I know that you believe." [28] Agrippa85 said to Paul, "In such a short time are you persuading me to become a Christian?"86 [29] Paul replied, "I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time87 not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains."88
[30] So the king got up, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them, [31] and as they were leaving they said to one another,89 "This man is not doing anything deserving90 death or imprisonment." [32] Agrippa91 said to Festus,92 "This man could have been released93 if he had not appealed to Caesar."94

Mark Luffman, IT Director
Cottonwood Oak Creek School District

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why Doesn't God Do Something?

Why Doesn't God Do Something?

Acts 25

Focus: When God is NOT doing the "something" you want, it is because He is doing something else that you don't yet see.

I. God's ACTIONS and INACTIONS work together


III. God's silence HELPS US GROW

B. God's silence makes the MESSAGE LOUDER
C. God's silence ADVANCES the GOSPEL

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Felix Indrome

Felix Indrome
Acts 24

Focus: We will all be held accountable for how we responded to the truth and grace.

I. FLUFF fades 24:1-8
A. IMAGE 24:1
B. FLATTERY 24:2-4
C. WORD-SPIN 24:5-8

II. Do you want FLUFF or STUFF? 24:9-21

A. Waiting as an EXCUSE 24:22-23
B. Waiting for CONVENIENCE 24:24-25
C. Waiting for a BRIBE 24:26

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Another Game Show

One Another Game Show
1 John 4:7-10



C. Do you ENJOY being TOGETHER?

II. How does GOD see OTHERS?

III. What are WE WAITING for?

Purposefully Using the Lord's Strategy for Excellence

P.U.L.S.E., our children's Bible and discipleship club for kids from 4 years old through 6th graders meets on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm at the Zalesky Site. We have something for everyone! Great Music & Singing, Creative Bible Challenges, Bible Memorization, Games & Activities, Awards & Prizes, and Special Events.

This year we're looking at verses in the Bible that tell us how we are to act towards "One Another" so that we can live in a way that pleases God! That means a game show every Monday night to understand what God's will is for our lives. It also means we'll be learning about some pretty cool Greek words to help us better understand! Your kids won't want to miss out!!!

Mark Luffman, IT Director
Cottonwood Oak Creek School District

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Take Courage

Focus: I don't need to worry because my Father is the pilot and He is taking me home.

I. A clear conscience REDUCES WORRY 23:1-5

II. A clear conscience INCREASES BOLDNESS 23:6-10
     A. You may still GET DISCOURAGED 23:11
     B. But MANIFEST PRESENCE makes all the difference 23:11

III. Our Father is a GREAT PILOT 23:12-16
     A. He uses CREATIVE ROUTES.
     C. He makes the WEAK STRONG and causes the LAST to be FIRST. 23:23-35

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

What's Your Story?

Focus: How did you become convinced that Jesus is the living supernatural Lord, the Son of God.

I. Do you have a Faith Story?

II. Look for opportunities to tell your Faith Story
  • A. Speak RESPECTFULLY even to the DISRESPECTFUL 22:1
  • B. Speak in their LANGUAGE 22:2
  • C. Speak NATURALLY - don't try to SOUND SPIRITUAL 22:2
  • D. Find common GROUND, build BRIDGES, IDENTIFY with them 22:3-5
  • E. There's no need to CONDEMN BEHAVIOR 22:3-4
  • F. You may be MISUNDERSTOOD or REJECTED 22:22
  • G. What are you WAITING FOR? 22:16
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Destination Resolved

Focus: Every Christian is called for a divine purpose; don't be dissuaded.

Acts 21

I. LISTEN to God; He still SPEAKS 21:4, 11


III. Take aim: RESOLVE to FOLLOW Christ 1 Cor 11:1; Acts 20:24; 21:13-14

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Know the Way

I Know the Way

Acts 19

Focus: What we don't know CAN hurt us!

I. You need to know "The Way" 19:1-10
A. God adds His STAMP of APPROVAL 19:11-12
B. FAKING YOUR WAY is dangerous 19:13-16
C. MIX and MATCH BELIEVING is wrong and dangerous
D. REPENTANCE authenticates "The Way" 19:17-20

II. Walking in "The Way" requires AUTHENTICITY and has AUTHORITY 19:11-20

III. "The Way" causes a GREAT DISTURBANCE 19:23-41

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Three Most Important Things About Sharing Your Faith

Focus: Do you really believe, that what you believe is really real?

I. Really BELIEVE it 17:1-9

II. Really BELIEVE it 17:10-15

III. Really BELIEVE it 17:16-34

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Five Tips to Strengthen Outreach

Focus: "for God so loved the world... " that he SENT US!

1. Learn from a MENTOR 16:1,3


3. Lean on GOD, not FAMILIAR PATTERNS 16:6-10

4. Be STRATEGIC 12, Be CREATIVE 13, but look to GOD to OPEN HEARTS 14

5. TRUST GOD when bad things DOMINO 16:16-34

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Lord... He Will Deliver Me

Sermon by Doug Freeman, January 9, 2011

1 Samuel 17:31-51

Focus: This is the word of the Lord to __________: Not by might or by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.

I. Be Pre-Prayered to fight the god fight.

II. Be Obedient to the father's direction.

III. Be Quick to Remember God's faithfulness.

IV. Be Sustained by God's word.

V. Be Humble-- We must Surrender to be victorious.