News & Announcements

News & Announcements

Single On Purpose

We’ve spent the last few weeks focusing on marriage, but I’d like to step back and think about our singles again this morning.  Because of the church’s focus on marriage, one of the main questions that arises for unmarried believers is, so what am I here for?  This is especially true if a person has spent significant time as a single and is beginning to wonder if singleness is not just a season but a calling for their life.  What’s the purpose of being single and how can singleness be used for something meaningful?

As we’ve discussed previously, the church has not done the best job in helping singles find purpose and meaning in being single.  Often, the advice to singles is marriage oriented—how to look for a mate, anticipating the future marriage, or being content in the moment while waiting.  While these attitudes are helpful for some, for those who may spend a significant amount of their life—or all of it—single, this does nothing for them.

This morning, we’ll look at some ideas from the life of Paul about how he found his purpose and calling while being single.  We’ll apply those principles to our own lives and seek to uncover a “singular purpose”—one that goes beyond marriage and looks at singleness not only as a gift, but as an intentional calling used for something great.

                       

                                                                                   Scott McFarland


Enduring a Difficult Marriage

Throughout our “Living As You Are Called” series, we’ve talked about marriage in terms of ideals—what things SHOULD look like.  But, what about when they don’t?  And, what if someone finds themselves in a situation that looks like it may never be what it SHOULD be.  Well, in the opening words of Veggie Tales, “Have we got a show for you!”

Seriously, though, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this sermon over the years.  I realize that, as I talk about marriage, there are a significant number of people in our congregation that are living with less-than-ideal marriages and who may never get to experience the joy that marriage is and can be.  It’s not from lack of trying—they’ve tried for years to have a good marriage.  It’s not from lack of prayer—they’ve spent hours and hours on their knees asking God for better.  It’s simply because their spouse won’t move off whatever it is that makes things difficult, or won’t get help for their dysfunction, or isn’t interested in going to counseling, etc.  It’s out of this person’s hands.

What’s a person to do?  Should they just live that way?  Is there anything that can help, or does the Bible talk about it at all?  Actually, it does and yes, there may be some things that can help.  This morning, we’ll look at the story of Abigail in I Samuel 25, and the difficult marriage she was in before she got married to David.  We’ll look at the relationship between her and her husband and how Abigail dealt with this difficult person.  My hope and prayer is that it will give those of us in difficult marriages something to go off of to make things better.  I pray this is a blessing for all of those enduring a difficult marriage.

Scott McFarland


Holy Marriage | Leaving and Cleaving

The last couple times we have spoken of marriage in our series, we’ve talked about the importance of marriage as a way of producing holiness and the need for commitment (covenant) in marriage.  Today, I want to go back to our passage from Ephesians 5 and discuss one of the references Paul makes to something that should happen in a healthy marriage: leaving and cleaving.  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Eph. 5:31)

When we think about “leaving and cleaving” in a marriage, we usually think about two people leaving their parents and homes where they grew up, finding a house or apartment to rent or buy, and starting their life together.  We think about all the things that need to come together—cars, bank accounts, schedules, furniture, etc.—the physical things that are a part of combining two lives.

What we don’t often think about are the nonphysical items that make up a marriage—things that, I would argue, are what makes a marriage really work.  These are the attitudes, the ways of living, the accommodations made for someone else.  This is what the Bible speaks of when it talks about leaving and cleaving.  The ironic thing is there are some people who have been married decades and have never done this.  Oh, they may have some shared physical possessions, but their attitudes, hearts, and ways of living are still very much separate. 

This morning, we’ll talk about what it means to “leave and cleave” and how this is such a crucial step to having a healthy marriage.  If you’re married, I hope and pray you will be blessed and challenged by our discussion in God’s word!

Scott McFarland


Office Hour Updates

Keith will be out of the office February 5th through February 23rd.

Offices will be closed Monday, February 19th in observance of Presidents Day.

Scott will be out of the office Tuesday, February 6th. He will also be out of the pulpit Sunday, February 25th to fulfill his National Guard requirements.


Married For Holiness

A few weeks ago, I introduced our “Living as You Are Called” series with a sermon questioning the purpose of marriage and why people get married.  Most people get married with the idea that it will or should make them happy, then become disappointed when this isn’t the immediate result.  I argued that marriage is actually designed to make us holy—to be made more in the image of God than we were before.  This morning, we’ll continue that thought and look at the covenant of marriage.  When we get married, we stand in front of a bunch of people and say a lot of seemingly ritualistic, traditional words: the vows, the ring ceremony, the “I dos.”  All of these, while steeped in tradition, are extremely purposeful.  There is an incredible amount of meaning behind the words being said—they aren’t just for pageantry!  Covenants like marriage ultimately reflect the kind of agreement God made with His people in the Bible.  I found the below explanation of a covenant helpful.  Modern society often misunderstands the ideas behind covenant.

In modern times we define a host of relations by contracts. These are usually for goods or services and for hard cash. The contract, formal or informal, helps to specify failure in these relationships. The Lord did not establish a contract with Israel or with the church. He created a covenant. There is a difference. Contacts are broken when one of the parties fails to keep his promise. If, let us say, a patient fails to keep an appointment with a doctor, the doctor is not obligated to call the house and inquire, "Where were you? Why didn't you show up for your appointment?" He simply goes on to his next patient and has his appointment secretary take note of the patient who failed to keep the appointment. The patient may find it harder the next time to see the doctor. He broke an informal contract. According to the Bible, however, the Lord asks: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" (Isaiah 49:15) The Bible indicates the covenant is more like the ties of a parent to her child than it is a doctor's appointment. If a child fails to show up for dinner, the parent's obligation, unlike the doctor's, isn't canceled. The parent finds out where the child is and makes sure he's cared for. One member's failure does not destroy the relationship. A covenant puts no conditions on faithfulness. It is the unconditional commitment to love and serve. —Bruce Shelley (https://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/c/covenant.htm)

Join us this morning as we look at the marriage covenant, and how our modern misunderstanding of covenant is part of our misunderstanding of the divine intention for marriage!

Scott McFarland


The Gift of Singleness

“Someday my prince will come…”  So goes the famous line in the song from Disney’s “Snow White.”  Before breaking out in song, Snow White describes her ideal prince—“there’s nobody like him anywhere at all.”  Disney does a great job at painting the picture of a beautiful, lonely, young girl who is waiting patiently for the perfect man—her prince—to come and sweep her off her feet.

But, what if the prince (or princess) never comes?  Is it so bad to spend a significant part of your life—maybe all of your life—single?  The movies and music of our culture would lead you to believe so.  Rarely do you hear anyone talk about the benefits of being single, especially in the church.

Look at what Scripture says about being single—it actually says quite a bit!  Paul says, about being single, “I wish that everyone was like me.” (I Cor. 7:7)  My hope and prayer for our time together this morning is that you will be empowered to live a single life, see it as a viable option, and gain hope for whatever the future might bring—prince or no prince!

Scott McFarland


Living As We Are Called

I’ve been wanting to do a series on marriage and singleness for a while.  Marriage in our society is so, so lacking.  For those who are married, it is often about survival— survival until the kids are out of the house, until one spouse gets a different job so they can afford to support themselves, until they get past…  For those who are unmarried, many have battle scars from previous marriages and have vowed never to do that again.  Marriage satisfaction and flourishing almost seems to be something you can only find on a movie screen with your favorite actor.

And, what about singles?  Unfortunately, in every church I’ve been a part of, singles get the leftovers of any meaningful life discussion.  The lion’s share of attention goes to married people in navigating life together, but what about singles?  Some will never marry, have no desire to marry—is that wrong?  I don’t think so.  Can they also have fulfilling lives, all while maintaining their singleness?

How can we help each other live godly lives in whatever state we find ourselves in, all the while acknowledging the unique challenges associated with each situation?  My hope is that over the next few weeks we’ll deal with some of those questions and issues.  Jesus came to give us the “abundant life” (John 10:10) and this extends to our relationships, or lack thereof.  We’ll be looking at a variety of passages—both directed to singles and married—to understand what God wants for us in the state we find ourselves in.  I hope you’ll join us and invite a friend!

Scott McFarland


Don’t Just Invite People To Church

Invite them to lunch.

Invite them to your table or patio.

Invite them into your life. Be there for them.

WE – not our building – are the church.


More…in ‘24

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard the announcer joke and say something about the motto for 2024 will be “More in ’24.”  After the 2020 motto “2020 Vision” everyone was talking about around the New Year, I’m not really sure I want to know what “more in ‘24” really means.

All kidding aside, what do you want this year to be about?  I know we talk about it every year, and maybe we even make some resolutions about it.  What do you want 2024 to look like?  We can’t determine the world events of the upcoming year, but we can make plans and determine a path we would like to take in the coming year.

I’d say if you talk to most people, they are looking for more: more joy, more purpose, more money, more time, more peace…  The list goes on.  Jesus says in John 10:10 that He came to give us ABUNDANT life, not just any kind of life.  That kind of abundance doesn’t come by accident.  Abundant life in Jesus is the result of intentional effort and pursuit of what is most important.  Jesus also says in Matthew 6:33, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Abundant life—“more in ’24”—only comes as a result of pursuit of what is most important in life, the kingdom of God.  It’s interesting that when we pursue God’s kingdom and righteousness, He promises to give us all the things we truly need.  Isn’t that a comforting thought?


Mary’s Song of Praise | Taken from Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said,

My soul magnifies the Lord,

          and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

          For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for he who is mighty has done great things for me,

         and holy is his name.

And his mercy is for those who fear him

          from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;

          he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

he has brought down the mighty from their thrones

         and exalted those of humble estate;

he has filled the hungry with good things,

         and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

          in remembrance of his mercy,

as he spoke to our fathers,

         to Abraham and to his offspring forever.

May you experience the joy and freedom of life in Jesus this Christmas.  Glory to God in the highest!

 

Scott McFarland


Displaying 1 - 10 of 368

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 35 36 37