Sunday Schedule

Worship & Sunday School 9:30 & 11:00 AM
Evening Education 6:00 PM

A few weeks back we studied Peter’s water walkin’. After the rescue, Jesus referred to Peter as “little-faith” and asked him to think about why he doubted. Nobody else has ever walked on water so it seems to me Peter’s faith was bigger than the faith of most people—even though it was small. The narrative this week takes us to another culture almost 60 miles away from the Sea of Galilee. The people of Tyre and Sidon were Gentiles and outside the scope of Jesus’ limited ministry. Mark 7 records that Jesus went into a house in that region to hide away for a while but His solitude was interrupted by a woman…a mom to be specific. Obviously Jesus’ reputation preceded Him and this woman was in serious need of help. Her daughter was demon-possessed and “grievously vexed.” Both Jesus and the disciples tried to put her off but she would not leave. On Sunday, we’ll study the exchange between them, it is beautiful. My point at this point however is what Jesus says to her at the end…He says, “O woman, great (mega) is your faith!” Peter had little faith but this Gentile woman had mega-faith. Why would He say that to her? What had she done? What did Peter think of that!? If we’re going to get beyond little faith I suggest we study this woman. I hate to give away the answers but I don’t know how many readers are also listeners. I’ll give you a clue…she had great faith because she believed in spite of plenty of good reasons not to. And our pal Peter failed to believe when he had every good reason to succeed. What does our “faith-meter” look like today? Little or Mega?

"The New Legalism"

It’s been a problem since the first church council (recorded in Acts 15); for some reason humans get hung up on externals.  We have a deep propensity for evaluating people, including ourselves, based upon what we do or do not do.  Technically, legalism is the subject addressed in the New Testament book of Galatians.  There we learn that legalism in the strictest sense is the teaching that we cannot be right with God apart from keeping the law.  Paul referred to that as “another gospel of another kind.”  He wrote to the Ephesians that salvation is not of works because we would boast about it.  Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, made possible by Christ alone and for the glory of God alone!  However, over the years, people who believe that statement have still made lists of what they deemed to be appropriate and inappropriate behaviors including all kinds of things ranging from what one eats and drinks to forms of entertainment to what Bible version one uses.   That has often been referred to as legalism but it is only “practical legalism.”  By that I mean having to do with everyday practice not destiny.  For many years there were a lot of “don’ts” on that list for the members of evangelical (and especially fundamental) churches.  In spite of the fact that Jesus talked about the development of one’s heart, we still became focused on the externals.  Sadly, many people still miss the point but have gone in the ditch on the other side of the road.  Now, it seems many boomers and millennials have taken the things on the list and decided to practice them “since the Bible doesn’t forbid them…” as a new test of one’s spirituality.  Our freedoms in Christ and “under grace” are championed on Facebook and in conversations as if this is new revelation.  My fear is not the liberty, it is that we are still focused on the externals!  The doing and not doing should not be the central issue.  The heart of the matter is the heart.   The reader will say, “What we do is reflective of the heart.”  True and False.  Sometimes what we do is to hide the heart.  Jesus certainly cares about what we do and don’t do; this is fairly obvious in the Sermon on the Mount.  The principal matter however, is what we are becoming from the inside out.  What kind of people are we becoming?  What kind of person do you want to be when you grow up?  It sure would be amazing if we could get committed to that.


We believe God has placed us here to glorify Him by “making disciples”of Jesus Christ.  In other words, we invite you to join us in becoming His apprentices. Our process is summarized in four descriptive words.

  • Worship:  A lifestyle of love and devotion to God.
  • Connect:  A lifestyle of love and commitment to others.
  • Grow:       A lifestyle that is producing the likeness of Jesus Christ.
  • Serve:      A lifestyle of service for Christ within the body and in our community.