A look back at the early church & a look back on this past year of our church. In this post we are going to look at some passages in Acts that describe the early church. As we walk through these passages and unravel the story, I want to place another story alongside it. That … Continue reading Seasons
The Junction of God, Man, and Holiness
Be Holy? What does that really look like? How am I supposed to do that? Jesus said some things that were really hard to swallow. Literally he once told a crowd, “...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (from John 6:53). This … Continue reading The Junction of God, Man, and Holiness
One People Bringing People to Jesus
Today we look at Caring for the spiritual part of a person. Their need for salvation, their eternal need for a relationship with Jesus. Today we talk about Bringing people to Jesus. But the way this happens is not what you might expect…
One People Blessing Our Community The past several weeks, we’ve been unpacking this vision for the Church of the Nazarene in the USA/Canada region. The way we will go about doing the mission. The mission being “make Christlike disciples in the nations.” We looked at the overall vision and its necessity in this juncture of … Continue reading Everyday Blessings
The Heart of the Matter
Idioms run rampant in America. I said idioms. Things like “You’ve got ants in your pants,” meaning you can’t sit still. Or “Getting your ducks in a row” meaning making proper plans. How about the “Elephant in the room?” Perhaps my use of idioms at the start of the message is the elephant in the … Continue reading The Heart of the Matter
ONE: Call to Unity
Last week I introduced the Vision Statement of the Church of the Nazarene, USA/Canada Region. We looked at the differences between Mission: Make Christlike Disciples in the Nations And VISION, or the way we live that out in our generation, in this day and age. There were 4 parts to the Vision for ministry here … Continue reading ONE: Call to Unity
ONE: From Mission to Vision
Over a year ago, the USA/Canada Region of the Church of the Nazarene sought to understand God’s Vision for ministry in our present day and age. We know the mission: “Make Christlike Disciples in the Nations” but what is it specifically that God has called and equipped us for? (Original message written by Pastor Tim Fisher, Crossroads Community Church. Edited for local context and presented by Pastor Matt Angell of Viroqua Nazarene.)
Palm Sunday Stump and the Hope of Regrowth
They had waited. They had experienced other anointed ones. Told stories of those great figures of their past and the things they did to free and redeem the children of Israel, but somehow, they still ended back in exile, needing not just a savior, but the savior. Who did people put their hope in, looking for new life, but inevitably just left with a stump…the stump of Jesse?
Tool Time (Isaiah 10)
The bible has many exciting things, fanciful things even. Hands appearing out of nowhere in the book of Daniel and writing words on a wall. Donkeys rebuking their owner for hitting them. People tossed into fire and not burning up. But today’s message is about tools that talk back. That’s right! Have you ever been working with a tool and it malfunctions? Hammer slips and smashes your thumb! What a mean hammer! Or the powered screwdriver strips a screw and now you have to leave the screw there or cut it off? I don’t know about you, but I do have a propensity for not talking so nice to my tools when they act up. Today we will be looking at a tools that God used in the bible. Also what happened when that tool talked back.
A Poor Sermon About Poverty
Today’s message is entitled “A Poor Sermon on Poverty.” It's not poor because it’s bad or anything…(well perhaps you can judge for yourself when you are done reading or listening to it.) But rather I want to talk about the reality of poverty and what the bible does say about this topic. The first thing might surprise you. In a society so outwardly focused on political policies that herald themselves as a fix for poverty, Jesus gives us these comforting words: You will always have the poor among you.
Trusting in God & The Folly of Fear
The Lord's Prayer. This prayer pattern that Jesus gives his disciples and down through the ages, gives to us through the reading of his Word, it is something that King Ahaz was missing. It wasn’t and isn’t just a religious chore, but rather a reflection of a clear relationship between a person and God.
The Right Prophet at the Right Time
Now to start today’s post, we actually start 6 chapters into Isaiah. He has an amazing experience with God almighty, it changes his whole life and of course he lives to tell the tale. He became the Right Prophet at the right time. There are stunning similarities to Jesus, who not only was and is the King and Priest, but was the Perfect Prophet for all time. As we get further into this series, we will learn about the Righteous King, who rules with his sword of justice. We will see how God plans to direct his children back to him, but at the conclusion of today’s message it is my hope we will have some active understanding of what has been done for our salvation and what our response should be.
Listening For Your Calling
I was at Northwestern Illinois weekend youth retreat - I was probably 9th or 10th grade Planned to go to a Christian college after highschool, but I wanted a clear direction as to what I would study before committing all that time and money. I prayed and prayed. Every chapel service I could, I would be down at the altar praying. There were times I wasn’t sure why I felt compelled to pray at the altar. Later I realized I was getting ready, getting quiet. Allowing myself to be available - listening to what God might say.
Healing Beyond the Walls
Friends, do you want to know more about the God who can bring the Dead back to life? I sure hope so. Today we will look at a passage where Jesus performed his second miraculous sign, a sign of healing - one that can’t simply be ignored. It can’t even be ignored by the hardest of hearts. My goals For this message are: to read and listen to The Scripture, reflect on it, then point out a couple big ideas from The passage that seem especially relevant to our current situation.
BackStory: The Unexpected Ending to Big Bad Ahab
BackStory: Recapping King Saul and MiriamWeak Ahab looking bad, gets invaded.Ahab is handed a planArameans receive Bad IntelAhab fails to seal the dealA Troublesome TreatyAhab gets down and humbledWhat about your story? BackStory: Recapping King Saul and Miriam Over the past couple of weeks, we introduced this theme of backstory. Bible characters who we-for the … Continue reading BackStory: The Unexpected Ending to Big Bad Ahab
To listen to the audio recording of this message, CLICK HERE or use the Spotify player at the end of this post. One of the most revered people in all the bible, shy of Jesus - the Son of God himself, is his mother: Mary. People have painted paintings, made statues. Some religions even go … Continue reading BackStory: Namesake
Complaining – Part 5
Devotional - Severe Consequences Last time we looked at Moses’ need for help in leadership & the Israelites want for meat. Let’s see how God addresses both of these items. “But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a … Continue reading Complaining – Part 5
Complaining – Part 4
Devotional- Needs and wants We start our scripture just after Moses got over dramatic, asking God to end his life because he could not bear the load, the burden of these complaining people. “The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the … Continue reading Complaining – Part 4
Complaining – Part 3
Devotional -“ just unalive me now.” Preface: I recently learned that the term “unalive” (grammatical incorrect, I know) is used online in place of the word “kill.” Perhaps someone is trying to make a joke, but on the internet sarcasm doesn’t really translate…[like at all.]So they might use this term in place of kill. Additionally … Continue reading Complaining – Part 3
Complaining – Part 2
Devotional - What’s for dinner? “Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. … Continue reading Complaining – Part 2
Complaining – Part 1
Devotional “And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and … Continue reading Complaining – Part 1
BackStory: No Guts, No Glory?
Below is Sunday's message in blog-format. If you'd rather listen to the podcaast of this sermon, Click Here or use the Spotify Player at the end of this post. When read the words “King Saul” what comes to mind? Tyrant? Emotionally Unhinged? Angry and controlling? Cowardly? Disgraceful? King Saul was Israel’s first anointed king. Historically, … Continue reading BackStory: No Guts, No Glory?
Preview and a Quick Question
This post is two-fold. This Sunday, I'm planning on speaking on "BackStory." When we take a look further back and deeper into a person's past, we get a fuller story and perhaps a better perspective. I find that certain people in the bible are always presented in a certain kind of light. King Saul for … Continue reading Preview and a Quick Question
Go and Sin No More
Once again a topic came to my mind and heart and it was because of hearing something on the radio. Last week, I forgot to say this, but that song - “True in the Light” played on the christian radio station as I was driving home from dropping off my daughter at school. The day … Continue reading Go and Sin No More
True in the Light
What's true in the light is true in the darkness. Last week in Sunday School class, my wife, Jacki, shared something that she has shared before with us. Our previous pastor in Oklahoma had a saying “What’s true in the light, is true in the dark.” I had not heard this saying first hand as … Continue reading True in the Light
Fresh Start – Grafting
I’d like to start this post with a little story. Many of my colleagues have been eulogizing our District Superintendent, Dr. Donley on social media, sharing memories and photos. I had a handful of experiences with him. I want to share one of those with you. Believe it or not, coming up with a coherent … Continue reading Fresh Start – Grafting
Noel – Christmas Service
Did you miss out on our Christmas Sunday Service? We've tried to recapture this service in blog form. to listen to the service in it's "entirity" CLICK HERE and listen on Spotify. Sing along, read along and reflect on "What God has Done!" Prelude: “ Come Thou Long-expected Jesus” Reading 158 “Our God Comes” “I … Continue reading Noel – Christmas Service
Noel – Evidence For Christmas
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good … Continue reading Noel – Evidence For Christmas
Noel – Light of the Word
Mankind regularly finds itself in dark places. We need to see what is right before us, gain an understanding of our surroundings, our current situation. We need guidance, the light at the end of the tunnel that beckons us to better things. We need to be cleansed and purified from sin and unholiness. Jesus doesn't just point these things out to us,
Noel – Omnipotent Power
Today we start in a very unusual place for a sermon during advent season. Our scripture today is from the Letter to the Hebrews. If you haven’t opened your bible to that yet, go ahead and do so now. Recently Hebrews caused a bit of commotion in the world of Jeopardy! The Clue: “Paul’s letter … Continue reading Noel – Omnipotent Power
Noel – Happy Birthday Songs
Christmas 2022 Sermon Series Imagine for just a moment, it’s your special day. You’re having family and friends come over for dinner or perhaps joining them at a restaurant, and it’s all because you are celebrating your birthday. They are thankful for you, you are grateful to the Lord for another year to serve him … Continue reading Noel – Happy Birthday Songs
#SoBlessed – Jesus At Arm’s Length
Today we are on week two of our series #SoBlessed. Last week we looked at the “Flip-side to blessing.” The very things we think seem to make us blessed, namely material possessions, actually hamper us from being truly blessed. We left off with this word - If Jesus says, “you’re blessed: take comfort. If he … Continue reading #SoBlessed – Jesus At Arm’s Length
#SoBlessed – The Flip-side of Blessing
"If Jesus says we are blessed, take comfort. If Jesus says to us “Woe!” then we ought to be warned."
The Journey of Grace is not just a theme, but a reflection of a person’s life. We continue on the full journey as we interact and cooperate with the Grace of God. We can press pause, sit down, say “I’m tired or sore. I can’t go any further than this…” God is always going ahead … Continue reading Sufficient Grace
I want to do a quick recap of the mile markers along the way of this Journey of Grace. This trip with its winding roads, pit stops and scenic overlooks. It’s a journey not meant to be rushed but enjoyed and experienced along the way. Before we even got into the car, our journey of … Continue reading Sustaining Grace
Sanctifying Grace – Navigating the Gap
Let's recap previous areas we've talked about on the Journey of Grace. This Journey to becoming made a disciple. The first stop along the way has been The Compelling Invitation. Someone's story, their life is so compelling we can't help ourselves. We reflected on the links from John the Baptist all the way to the … Continue reading Sanctifying Grace – Navigating the Gap
Saving Grace – “Different Stories, Same Need.”
Thanks for joining us again at Viroqua Nazarene. We’re in this series called “Journey of Grace.” It’s all about discovering the Grace of God along your path to becoming more and more like his son, Jesus. And becoming more like Christ is the essential characteristic of a person called “Christian.” We talked two weeks ago … Continue reading Saving Grace – “Different Stories, Same Need.”
Thanks for joining us again this week. I usually say when we are in a sermon series that we are “on a journey.” Well this time it is overly intentional. The series is the Journey of Grace. We are discovering how discipleship isn’t a math problem to be solved, but rather a trail to be … Continue reading Sneaky Grace
The Journey of Grace – The Compelling Invitation
I'm going to start this new sermon series by addressing some criticism. It’s not personal to me or to our church, but rather criticism some folks have about the Christian Faith and Christian churches. The top criticism not believers and non-church goers have about church is that it’s filled with hypocrites. We hear this frequently, … Continue reading The Journey of Grace – The Compelling Invitation
Help Wanted. (Devil Need Not Apply)
Making the enemy feel unwelcomed. Two weeks ago, prior to sunday school I was here in the sanctuary praying. I didn’t know why, but an idea came into my mind. You see I was trying to think about rebuking the devil. You know how we sometimes will pray “Holy spirit you are welcome in this … Continue reading Help Wanted. (Devil Need Not Apply)
UnComfortable: Getting What We Don’t Deserve
It is the most bizarre thing I’ve heard in the bible. And that’s saying something since there was a talking donkey in the bible!
UnComfortable: The Sins of the Father
A Series on topics we'd rather not talk about. I’ve titled today’s message “The Sins of the Father.” Today we will look at several verses in the Bible that address this concept. Here’s something uncomfortable to start with: a cursory reading of them might lead you to believe they contradict one another. Where one insinuates … Continue reading UnComfortable: The Sins of the Father
UnComfortable: Armed or Armless
I want to paint an uncomfortable picture for you. Are you ready? You’re sitting in church service, music just ended and the minister is about to begin the message. You hear gunfire going off near the entrance of the building. You wonder if it was gun fire or a car backfiring. Soon you hear a … Continue reading UnComfortable: Armed or Armless
31 days of blogging
Blog post By Pastor Matt Have you ever tried blogging once a day for a month? I did it last year around this time and this summer I planned out to do it in the month of July. 31 days works really well with brief commentary/devotional based on Proverbs. With a busy life: full time … Continue reading 31 days of blogging
UnComfortable: “That is what some of you were”
A series discussing topics that we'd rather not. Uncomfortable topics. Out of all of them, today is one I am probably least comfortable with. Perhaps you are in the same boat. You know about this topic, you have beliefs about this topic, and perhaps you wouldn’t mind discussing it…but not in a church setting. That … Continue reading UnComfortable: “That is what some of you were”
UnComfortable: Port Authority
I’m going to decide that the length of my shoe = 1 Foot, because ya know it’s 1 foot. One of my feet at least. This is not a standard that everyone can measure by. Some people have smaller feet and others, longer feet. If we determined the length of our church sanctuary using that form of measurement, using our own feet as the measurement for “1 foot,” we’d all come up with something different. This is an illustration of our world today. For many people, Truth is not absolute. There is no standard. No consistent measurement. And this is the problem. It was Pilate’s problem.
Proverbs 28 – Cloudy with a chance…
“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.”Proverbs 28:19 NIV Have you ever seen the movie, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs?" It's about a young inventor who tries to use science to make it rain food. It sounds silly and of course … Continue reading Proverbs 28 – Cloudy with a chance…
Proverbs 29 – Justice For All?
“By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.”Proverbs 29:4 NIV For me this seems like a verse that can easily translate into our life. A Leader (king) who actually enforces the laws, supporting justice: all of that gives the area over which they lead - … Continue reading Proverbs 29 – Justice For All?
discussing the topics we'd rather not...