Sermons by Minister

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Thanksgiving In The Flesh

October 13, 2013 by Barry Parker

Over the last number of weeks, we have been on a journey, exploring the big picture of Scripture. Beginning with creation and our tragic turning away, we pressed on to consider how God partners with his people to renew all things. Today we are confronted with a new development in the plot: the promise of a child who will finally make things right.Before turning to John 1:1-14, read Isaiah 9:1-7.1. What are your first impressions of this passage? What feelings does it stir up for you?2. In verse 2, Isaiah uses images of darkness and light. What…

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The Love Of The Judge

October 6, 2013 by Barry Parker

We began our journey through the big story of Scripture by considering God's creation and the place of humans at the heart of it. We then came face-face with evil and our rebellion against God. After that we turned our attention to the story of Abraham, exploring how God partners with his people to make a better way. Today we are moving further along in the narrative to confront the challenges of partnering with God.Let's read Hosea 11:1-9 together.1. There is a story embedded in this passage – a story about God in relationship wi…

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The Gift of Perspective

September 15, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Genesis 1:1-2:3 together. It might be helpful to go over it two or three times in different translations and allow a few minutes for quiet reflection before discussing.1. First impressions. How does this passage strike you? What initial thoughts do you have?2. Spend some time considering the overall structure. What are the patterns that you notice? Have fun with this.3. Obviously God is the main player in the narrative. How is he represented throughout?4. This passage gives a dynamic picture of God in a developing relationship with his cre…

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Welcome: Climb a Tree

September 9, 2013 by Barry Parker

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Walking The Life. Living The Walk.

July 14, 2013 by Barry Parker

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Spiritual Architecture

June 9, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Ephesians 4:1-16.1. In 4:1, Paul writes that you are called (remember he is writing to all Christians in this letter). Do you have a sense of God’s calling in your life? What does God’s call look like?2. Verse 2 is a template for healthy relationships, whether in community, family or the workplace. Unpack his challenge. What does it mean to be humble, gentle, patient, and forbearing (look up Matthew 7:3-5). What does this look like in your life?3. In verses 3-6, he pleads for unity, a prevalent theme throughout Ephesians. What…

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More Than We Can Ask Or Imagine...

June 2, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Ephesians 3:14-211. Re-read verse 14-15. Why does Paul kneel in prayer? What does this “posture” suggest? (Refer back to 3:12)2. Even though in prison, Paul is concerned about other believers. Considering verses 16-17, what are the resources he recommends?3. What does it mean that God will “empower you with inner strength”? (verse 16)4. Why does Paul pray that love would be their foundation (verse 17)?5. In verses 18-19, Paul ties God’s love with being “made complete.” What difference can this full…

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Immersed In The Trinity

May 26, 2013 by Barry Parker

“In the National Gallery of Art in London there's a picture of the Crucifixion that is so dark that when you first look at it, you can't see anything. But if you stand and ponder it, and if you do not permit your gaze to falter, eventually you will see in the darkness a very dim figure of the crucified Christ. If you look longer and do not allow your attention to be diverted, you then begin to discern behind the figure of Christ the presence of God the Father, whose hands are holding up his Son, and on his face is a look of unimag…

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The Church For The Other

May 19, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Acts 2:1-13.1. Do you ever have trouble seeing the big picture the Bible paints? Is it challenging to ‘connect the dots’ when you consider what God is up to in the great span of cosmic history and human experience? When we go on a journey, we note progressive signposts or waymarks that point to our destination. Read Genesis 1:2; Genesis 2:7; Ezekiel 37:1-10; John 3:1-12, John 14:15-20; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; Romans 8:1-11 and Galatians 5:22-23. Now, connect the signposts. In what direction are they pointing?2. Are you a patient…

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The Mystery Revealed

May 12, 2013 by Barry Parker

1. What does Paul call himself in verse 1? Why? How does Jesus ‘take’ prisoners? (Read Acts 22:22-29)2. What had the Ephesian church heard concerning Paul and the extending of God’s grace, mystery, and revelation given to him in verses 2-3? (See Galatians 1:11-17)3. What is this multi-facet mystery in Christ as Paul explains it here in verse 6? Discuss his use of the terms children, body and promise.4. What is God’s purpose in forming the church as expressed verse 10? Who are the rulers and authorities Paul mentions? Wha…

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Family Portrait

May 5, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Ephesians 2:11-221. Re-read verses 11-13. Now, take a few minutes to read Genesis 17. What is the significance of circumcision? Now, read Romans 4:1-17. Paul cites when Abraham was justified. What is the significance and why is it important? Why is this section here? What is the application for us?2. Re-read verses 14-18. What does it mean that He is our peace? What was Christ’s purpose on earth? How did he do it? Why did he do it? What is the good news for you in these verses?3. Re-read verses 19-22. Have you ever seen Christianity…

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Bridge Building

April 28, 2013 by Barry Parker

Read Ephesians 2:1-101. In verse 1 Paul says we were dead. Then, in verse 3 he says we used to live that way. How can you live if you are dead? What is Paul trying to communicate in these first three verses?2. In verse 5 we read God gave us life through the Resurrection of Jesus. How does that work? What is the link? Why is it so important to be tied so closely to Jesus Christ?3. Discuss verse 8. What does it mean to be saved (from what?) by grace (what is grace?). What are we saved to or for?4. In verse 10 we are called "God's masterp…

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