2017 Sermons

New Beginnings01/01/17

  • Speaker – Seth McCoy
     
  • Topics – Community, Kingdom of God, Relationships
  • This weekend service recognized our teaching pastor and dear friend, Seth McCoy, as he gave his last sermon here. Seth and his family will be transitioning from Woodland Hills to serve God’s Kingdom in another capacity. We celebrate and thank the McCoy family for serving, loving and participating in our larger Woodland Hills family. In this sermon, Seth discusses his affection for Woodland Hills and for the process of following your calling through three lenses: A telescope, a microscope and a rearview mirror. 

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Your One and Only Life01/08/17

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King's Kingdom Way01/15/17

  • Speakers – Greg Boyd, Dennis Edwards
     
  • Topics – Non-Violence, Reconciliation, Peace
  • This weekend we honor the memory and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a message from Dennis Edwards and Greg Boyd. King dedicated his life to the pursuit of the one new humanity inaugurated in the life of Jesus and this sermon focuses on King’s commitment to justice, peace and love.

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Treasure: Spend it Well01/22/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Generosity, Money, Blessings
  • God lovingly entrusts us with money, possessions, and resources. As followers of Christ we are called to surrender all our gifts to the Lordship of Christ. Because God is an other-oriented God who lovingly pours out blessings, and we are made in His image, then we too should be people who use our resources to bless others. 

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Time: Spend it Well01/29/17

  • Speaker – David Morrow
     
  • Topics – Disciplines, Kingdom of God, Faithfulness
  • Sometimes time doesn’t feel like such a gift. In fact if we’re not living in right relatedness with how God intended us to function, it can feel much more like a burden. Throughout history technology innovations have made false promises about giving more time back to their users, but in fact we have as many distractions as ever to keep us from living the simple, undistracted, others oriented life God calls us to. In this message we explore what can be done to take back control of how we’re living our life and spending our time so we don’t fall in to temptations that lead to getting our life from how busy we are. 

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The True You02/05/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Faith, Fear, Forgiveness
  • This initial sermon in our Overwhelmed series was a foundational message about the root of everything that holds us back.  God has designed us to have power over our brain and our thought life and it is our responsibility to be disciples of our brain.  We must fight against the cultural lies of our world by daily renewing our mind by focusing on who God says we are.

    Here is a link for the video that we played before the teaching.

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Shame02/12/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Identity in Christ, Judgment, Love
  • In the second week of our Overwhelmed series Greg unpacks the topic of shame. We begin by looking at the origin of shame in Genesis 3; what shame is and where it comes from. Next we look at how God defeats shame on the cross and welcomes us to live shame-free lives through His unconditional love. 

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Depression02/19/17

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Unforgiveness02/26/17

  • Speaker – Brianna Millett
     
  • Topics – Forgiveness, Identity in Christ, Kingdom of God, Transformation
  • This is the fourth week in our Overwhelmed sermon series. Today we discussed the challenge of unforgiveness and resentment. Brianna suggests that living out of a false identity can be perhaps the greatest source of our struggle to extend forgiveness to ourselves or to others. The way to freedom from our unforgiveness is to remember the truth of who we are in Christ, and to be transformed more fully into our true identity by being transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

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Addiction03/05/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Hope, Identity in Christ
  • In the Kingdom of God freedom is an end in of itself. It is part of our nature as created beings to be free and not be ruled over by one another, any agent in the spiritual realm, or by substances or behavior patterns. For many people addiction is one of the key stumbling blocks that perpetuates cycles of shame, hiding, and a lack of fullness of life. In this message Greg explores what lies at the heart of all addictions, substance or otherwise, and how we go about untangling ourselves from their grip so we can step into the full life that God desires us to have.

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Fear and Control03/12/17

  • Speaker – Sandra Unger
     
  • Topics – Fear, Love, Calling
  • Fear is part of the journey in this life, but for many, fear is consuming. As a result, it serves as a roadblock that keeps us from entering into what God has for our lives. God provides a way for us to move beyond fear and into a life of love. This is possible not because we have a guarantee that everything will work out as we wish, but because, even in the midst of the ups and downs of life, we know that God's love is greater than the fearful circumstance we face. 

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Something Else is Going On03/19/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Love, Non-Violence
  • The Old Testament often portrays God as either doing, commanding, or threatening violence. For many, this is a huge problem because these depictions contradict the way Jesus lived and commanded. What are we to do with this contradiction? In this sermon, Greg invites us to see that there is something else going in these portrayals of violence, and we can only see this something else when we understand what was going on when Jesus died on the cross. 

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The Heavenly Missionary03/26/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Non-Violence
  • God is a God who stoops down, out of love, in order to meet people where they are. He is a heavenly missionary who accommodates that which he is against in order to win people over to the truth. This metaphor of a heavenly missionary helps us understand what God was doing when we read about the violent depictions of God in the Old Testament. 

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The Non-Violent Warrior04/02/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Judgment, Non-Violence, Problem of Evil
  • If we read the Old Testament assuming that it all is about the cross of Christ, then we can see how God stooped to the level of the cultural conditioning of the Old Testament authors to allow himself to be portrayed as violent. In addition, when we read carefully, we can actually see, within the passages of violence themselves, the nonviolent character of God breaking through.

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The Word of God in Print and in Person04/09/17

  • Speaker – Bruxy Cavey
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Non-Violence
  • How are other pastors and church leaders responding to Greg's proposal for interpreting the violence of God in the Old Testament? In this sermon, we get to hear from the perspective of Bruxy Cavey, pastor of The Meeting House in Toronto, Canada. He summarizes his interpretation of Greg's writings, and offers his take. 

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Good Friday04/14/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Forgiveness, Sacrifice, Salvation
  • “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus experienced separation from the Father on Good Friday, and many of us feel the same way. But God is here for us! Our Good Friday service included testimonies, a sermon message, worship and communion.

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Reason for Believing04/16/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Defense of Christian Faith, Resurrection
  • The Resurrection of Christ is central to the Christian message, yet it can be hard for some people to believe. Usually when people die, they stay dead! If Christ rose from the dead, it confirms his claims. Either Jesus rose from the dead, or the disciples were lying (Hoax theory) or the story is legendary (Legend theory). In this message Greg looks at the reasons to believe in the resurrection of Christ from historical evidence, and he examines problems with Hoax and Legend theories. 

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How Clearly Have We Seen God?04/23/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Transformation, God's Will
  • This weekend we kicked off our new sermon series, Glimpses of Truth. For the next six weeks Greg will be covering the ways in which the Spirit of God was consistently working in the hearts of God’s people to reveal as much of God’s true character as possible. Throughout the Old Testament we read many examples of how the spiritual immaturity of God’s people determines their understanding of God’s true character. Never coercing nor shaming, but through love and immeasurable patience, God meets us exactly where we are and carries us on to the full revelation of Godself that is finally found in Jesus Christ. 

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Does God Play Favorites?04/30/17

  • Speaker – David Morrow
     
  • Topics – God's Will, Presence of God, Calling
  • A surface level reading of the Old Testament gives the appearance that God has chosen Israel as a favorite nation, and has therefore discriminately blessed and protected them in and against other nations. Just as we discovered during the cross centered series, if one looks below the surface there actually is much more than is first apparent about the cultural understanding of God’s interactions with His people, the Israelites’ hearts, and God’s true calling and intention for their nation.

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Is God Into Rules?05/07/17

  • Speaker – David Morrow
     
  • Topics – Grace, Relationships
  • In week three of our 'Glimpses of Truth' sermon series we continue to look for portraits of God in the Old Testament that look like Jesus. This week we look at rules. The first five books of the Old Testament alone contain 613 different rules. Using Hebrews 1:1-3 as our springboard we can see that God gave rules to accommodate Israel’s needs as well as to protect and bless. In fact, in Jesus we see the ultimate expression of God’s desire, not for rule following, but for hearts given to Him in love.

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Make Room05/14/17

  • Speaker – Nicole Bullock
     
  • Topics – Faith, Hope, Pain & Suffering, Faithfulness
  • God gives us dreams for our future. Yet, the circumstances and demands of life have a way of causing us to put those dreams away or forget them all together. How do we allow God to awaken us to the dreams he offers us? In this powerful message, Nicole Bullock (Co-Pastor of Blue Oaks Church in Brooklyn Center, MN) shares the story of a Shunammite woman who makes room for God in the face of paralyzing discouragement. Nicole also shares her own story of keeping faith in God through the uncertainty of seemingly-hopeless circumstances.

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Has God Always Been Loving?05/21/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Grace, Kingdom of God, Non-Violence
  • The underlying theme behind our 'Glimpses of Truth' series is the idea that before we had the full revelation of God in Jesus, people only caught glimpses of him. He showed himself, but like the sun on a cloudy day, people's view was obscured by their culture, so what they saw was not the full revelation but one marred by their own expectations and fallenness. But despite this, there were still a few instances in the Old Testament where we can see glimpses of the Christ-like God that we know. 

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Is God Angry?05/28/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Love, Transformation
  • Throughout the Old Testament we get clouded pictures of the character of God. Hebrews tells us that God gave our forefathers many glimpses of the truth. But through Jesus Christ, God gives us the full revelation of the truth. So what are we to do with the pictures that suggest God is an angry, wrathful, violent God? In this sermon, Greg points out various Old Testament stories that are glimpses of the truth of God’s character. With a careful reading that goes beyond the surface picture of the story we see that the greater revelation of the truth that God is a God who is rich in mercy, slow to anger, gracious and compassionate, that God is love. 

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Fatal Illusion06/04/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Love, Pain & Suffering, Free Will
  • This is our first week of the new sermon series, Moving Pictures. In this series we will look at different movies that show a particular theology. This week we were entertained with the film, Bruce Almighty, a film which highlights the question of free-will. Greg takes us through the illusion of fatalism. The foundation of fatalism (also understood as determinism and/or Calvinism) suggests the world and all its happenings are determined. All that unfolds, including all suffering, is a result of fate, a pre-determined destiny of events established by God. But, there is a different way of understanding the world and God’s relationship to the created order. God created a world with free-will; where humans have the capacity to freely choose life or choose death. God is a relational God and longs for relationship with humans who freely choose love. With the free-will understanding of the created order we discover God is not the author of all that unfolds in the world, but that humans play an integral role in what comes to pass. 

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The Beast of Shame06/11/17

  • Speaker – Sandra Unger
     
  • Topics – Love, Transformation
  • The story of the transforming power of love over shame is all around us. This past weekend Sandra showed us this theme in the movie 'The Beauty and the Beast', and we learn how powerful love can be to defeat even the most paralyzing shame.

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Why We Can't Know Why06/18/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Free Will, God's Will
  • This week in our Moving Pictures series we explore the film 'The Adjustment Bureau' to better understand the complexities of a world with free will. Every decision we make unfolds massive ripple effects, making it almost impossible to know why things happen as they do. Our hope in the midst of this beautifully complex world is found in God who is infinitely smarter than we can ever understand.

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Repent!06/25/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Fear, Forgiveness, Repentance
  • The word "repent" is often associated with fear based tactics like street side preachers shouting “turn or burn!” Though fear based attempts to motivate change rarely have lasting positive impact. The New Testament picture of repentance is instead displayed as a joyful invitation to acceptance of the grace and mercy poured out by a God of love. 

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Hidden Figures07/02/17

  • Speaker – Nikole Mitchell
     
  • Topics – Reconciliation, Relationships, Peace
  • God’s Kingdom is breaking in upon this world in beautiful ways. Yet, many of us have a difficult time feeling on the inside of this movement, many of us struggle with feeling as though we are outsiders. In this message, Nikole Mitchell shows us through the movie “Hidden Figures” a central piece of the Gospel message that often gets neglected – that God has destroyed every wall that divides us as humans… He has taken every outsider, and made us insiders.

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Our Heavenly Wedding07/09/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Baptism, Marriage, Repentance
  • Later this month Woodland Hills will be doing our annual baptism ceremony at Lake Phalen, and so in light of that Greg used this week's sermon to talk about baptism and contrasting it with the magical way of thinking about it that we see in the movie 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou'.

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The Force Awakens07/16/17

  • Speaker – Shawna Boren
     
  • Topics – Faith, Fear, Identity in Christ, Calling
  • Each of us is unique. We each have our own story, our own calling, and our own distinct set of giftings, talents, and experiences that shape our uniqueness. However, many of us are stuck living in stories of all the reasons we are disqualified from having a life of purpose and impact in the kingdom. Shawna uses the unlikely heroes of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' to remind us that God can nullify any of the objections our minds present that keeps us from living out our identity in Christ.

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Redeeming the Past07/23/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Healing, Hope, Transformation
  • In this final sermon in our Moving Pictures series, Greg looks at how the past can be redeemed and give way to a healing future. All people carry wounds and brokenness from their past and many of us continue to live those hurts in the present. Greg examines how through the love of Christ all people’s pasts can be transformed and integrated into God’s great story of redemption. 

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Temple Tantrum07/30/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Non-Violence, Spiritual Warfare, Conflict, Peace
  • In our new Turning Over Tables series, we examine how central Jesus (as well as other new testament authors) placed our call to non-violence. In fact at one point in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus pre-conditions being considered a child of God to our love toward enemies and refusal to return evil for evil. Many throughout history have tried to twist scripture to fit certain personal or other non-Kingdom nationalistic agendas, but Jesus’ call to us is that His Kingdom is not of this world. What makes His followers distinct is our refusal to engage in violence no matter the “just” circumstance.

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Hangry08/06/17

  • Speaker – David Morrow
     
  • Topics – Judgment, Love, Non-Violence
  • It is common to hear objections about the differences between the God of the Old Testament and Jesus in the New, but what about the views some hold that Jesus wasn’t actually non-violent? How do we handle the Scriptures that seem to imply He engaged in occasional violent acts? In this second message in our series, Turning the Tables, David Morrow shows how Jesus cursing a fig tree had nothing to do with violence, and everything to do with liberation from that which enslaves His people, both individually and collectively. 

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Revolting Beauty08/13/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Identity in Christ, Transformation
  • One of the core convictions of Woodland Hills is that God is indiscriminately loving and opposed to all violence. But many Christians since the 4th century have not wanted this to be true. It's more comfortable for us to hate our enemies and be justified in doing so. So some Christians have gone to great lengths to argue that Jesus was not actually opposed to violence. Debunking these arguments is what Greg focused on during this 'Turning the Tables' message.

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The New Joshua08/20/17

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • The fourth week of our sermon series, 'Turning the Tables'. Greg continues our series on nonviolence by examining passages from Luke and Matthew. 

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