July 2018
Click on the microphone icon in the images below to listen to an audio recording of the sermon.
I Am Persuaded
But I Say...

Leston Blackburn,  July 1st

Leston Blackburn,  July 8th

I am persuaded… This is the phrase that Paul uses to teach about the immeasurable, immense, limitless love of God. That Paul should be the person writing about this love when he had tried in zealous rage to snuff out all connotations of this love being available through Christ is testimony to the transforming power of God’s love that breaks through the heady heights of self-righteousness as well as the depths of human despair. I too am persuaded. I am persuaded that in the race of life, in every joy and every sorrow, in every high and every heartache, we have a God who has chosen to look beyond our arrogance and our ugliness, our lack and our limitations, to run to our side, embrace us in our journey, and bring us home.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uses a pedagogical argument to reframe the Law to help people see that there was no separation between external rituals and inward attitudes. The cup could not be “clean” on the outside but dirty on the inside and yet truly be clean. Jesus comes along and shows the people that when it came to personal relationships, they were completely misunderstanding and therefore misapplying the true Law of God while drawing a false distinction between religious practice and the unspoken attitudes of the heart. Leston peels back the veneer to peek into the kind of heart God is looking for and wanting to form in us.  

Presence-Aware People
Living Stones

Leston Blackburn,  July 15th

David Gleaves,  July 22nd

Psalm 31 reflects a time in David’s life when he was faced with tremendous distress and turmoil. It could have been written either during the time he fled from Saul, and was holed up in Keilah, or during the time of Absalom’s rebellion. He pours out his heart before God as he shares about how the situation had affected him, physically, emotionally and psychologically. Yet as he does, he also begins to bring to mind how God is his supply in so many ways. As a consequence, the second half of the Psalm ushers in a picture of great victory in what appears to be the very midst of the storm. We will take a moment to explore just what David did that brought such relief.

David takes a wonderful look at how God uses us as living stones to impact the world around us. Reflecting on a building project in Birmingham, happening close to his workplace (and called Paradise, incidentally), David explores how the process of building can sometimes be quite messy, but the outcome is always incredible. As with the building project, so often with life. Yet God uses the little we may think we can contribute to make a big difference in a messy world where many little stones come together to build a lasting work.

God's Kindness Leads to a Changed Mind

Leston Blackburn,  July 29th

You see, when you have truly been touched by the grace of God, you will see others through that grace. Nobody who truly understands grace and mercy looks down their noses at anybody else – regardless of how "broken" those people may still appear to be. If God’s grace doesn’t change our attitude towards others, it is probably because it hasn’t truly touched our hearts. We can’t throw stones while holding up surrendered hands. And hands that hold the grace of God don't have room for stones. God’s forgiveness of us cannot be divorced from our forgiveness of others.

Previous Messages (2017)





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