2003 Sermons

State of the Congregation Address 200301/05/03

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Entering into Worship01/12/03

  • Speaker – Peggy Riley
     
  • Whom do you worship? What do you worship? In today's entertainment-focused society, we often emulate people such as athletes, musicians, and movie stars. People who are rich and famous allure us. Yet, they are human beings like you and me. What we truly desire and need is the healing presence of Jesus Christ.

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Coming Together at the Cross01/19/03

  • Speaker – Curtiss P. DeYoung
     
  • Diversity marks the world. Moreover, these differences often lead to division. Is it possible to unite around the cross of Jesus Christ? Curtiss DeYoung, Associate Professor of Reconciliation Studies at Bethel College, addressed this question in his sermon.

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Consumer or Disciple?01/26/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg began a new sermon series on discipleship with this sermon. A natural progression from his sermons on love, discipleship is the concrete manifestation of love. It is about what love looks like in day-to-day life.

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Welcome to the Army02/02/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg continued his sermon series on discipleship by showing that the church should be purposeful, like an army, in its interaction in the world. To help the audience to understand the rigorousness of being in an army, Greg interviewed on stage a former Marine named Anthony.

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Reconciliation02/09/03

  • Speakers – Greg Boyd, Efrem Smith
     
  • This morning Efrem Smith and Greg Boyd preached as a team on the topic of reconciliation and its centrality to the Gospel. The text for the sermon was II Corinthians 5:16-21.

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Me, We, and the Trinity02/16/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg continued his sermon series on discipleship by preaching on the principle that what’s best for a person is when the good of the community is also considered. The world illustrates this relationship between the individual and the whole in such things as animals, the sciences, and economics.

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Black History Month Service02/21/03

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The Matrix02/23/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg continued his series on discipleship by emphasizing the importance of controlling what we think. He focused on Romans 12:2 which reads, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” He challenged us to wake up to the transforming truth of Jesus Christ.

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Building the Kingdom03/02/03

  • Speaker – Richard Coleman
     
  • Rev. Richard Coleman of Kingdom Oil preached about making the Twin Cities God’s kingdom. He focused on the need to submit to God, as Jesus demonstrated in the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Rev. Coleman stated that our “holy hope” – our greatest vision of what we can attain – must be in submission to God.

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Next Steps03/09/03

  • Speaker – Efrem Smith
     
  • This morning Efrem Smith preached from Philippians 2:1-5 about taking the next steps of growth in the Christian life. Efrem exhorted the congregation to step out in faith.

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Frozen/Unfrozen03/16/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This morning Greg preached briefly about the healing touch of Jesus Christ. The text for the sermon came from Matthew 8:1-3, 14-15. In these verses, Jesus heals a leper and a woman’s fever by touching them. At the end of the sermon, there was an opportunity for people to receive prayer about areas in their life that need God’s touch.

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Communicating with God, Part 103/23/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Do you ever wonder how a person “hears” a word from God? People speak about prayer as “communication with God,” but how is it that someone listens to God? Greg addressed these questions by beginning a two-part sermon on “Communicating with God.”

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Communicating with God, Part 203/30/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This week Greg concluded this two-part sermon by giving four more principles for communicating with God.

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Jesus In, Jesus Out - Wrong in, Blocked Out04/06/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg preached this morning about how to cultivate a perspective of giving that demonstrates freedom in Christ. He shared that accepting our culture’s matrix of lies keeps us from the natural expression of giving that should characterize a follower of Jesus.

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Four Principles of Kingdom Giving04/13/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • As Woodland Hills anticipates the pledge weekend for Growing in the Spirit (May 3 & 4), Greg preached about four principles of church giving.

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The Rest of the Story (Easter)04/20/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This Easter morning, Greg preached about the power of Jesus’ resurrection to revolutionize our lives. To introduce the power of this new life in Christ, he contrasted it with a life not marked by the resurrection.

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Living on the Edge04/27/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg’s sermon this morning confronted the mindset of fear and self-preservation that pervades our culture. As the church anticipates next weekend’s commitment services for Growing in the Spiri, Greg challenged us to step out in faith in light of God's love and faithfulness.

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Faith is Love in Action05/04/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This morning on the commitment Sunday for Growing in the Spirit, Greg preached that the Christian life is about action.

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The Motherhood of God05/11/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • On this Mother’s Day, Greg preached about the vital importance of women and moms and about how they reflect God.

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Busting out of the Matrix05/18/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg has preached numerous times about the cunning power of “the matrix” (i.e. the pattern of this world that blinds humanity to the truth of the Gospel). This morning he continued that theme by preaching about a driving aspect of the matrix, namely, the gnawing feeling of discontent that we believe we can meet through the acquisition of more things.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Tithing05/25/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • In this week’s sermon Greg continued his series on stewardship by preaching about tithing (the practice of giving 10% of one’s income). Is this a law that Christians must follow?

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Remember06/01/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This morning Greg spoke about “remembering” as a way of moving forward in life. He used two Scripture passages as the basis for his sermon. One text illustrates the wrong way to remember and the other the right way.

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Training for the Kingdom06/08/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This morning Greg continued his series on discipleship by speaking about the rationale for living a disciplined life, and how this type of life affects our present situation. The main text was 1 Corinthians 9:23-27 where Paul exhorts his readers to live a life marked by an eternal purpose that displays a commitment to discipline that would rival that of an “Olympic” athlete.

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It's Time to Be Healed06/15/03

  • Speaker – Peggy Riley
     
  • On this Father’s Day, Peggy Riley preached about the healing power of God the Father through Jesus Christ. In particular, Peggy focused on the release from bondage that God provides to those suffering from generational curses. God’s intention for us is not to live captive to such things, but instead to live abundantly, experiencing the fullness of God’s blessings.

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Pregnant With Jesus06/22/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg continued his series on discipleship by preaching on the nature of kingdom training. Galatians 4:19-20 served as the text for a message about two competing models of discipleship: the legal-religious model and the love-relational model.

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The Road that Leads to Death06/29/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This morning Greg preached about four steps that characterize the road to spiritual death. He emphasized that spiritual formation happens regardless of whether or not a person is intentional. Thus, we can become increasingly formed into the likeness of Christ through our participation in the divine nature (see 2 Peter 1:4), or we can turn away from God. This morning Greg focused on the latter. What typifies the road to spiritual death?

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Clashing Kingdom07/06/03

  • Speaker – Richard Coleman
     
  • Richard Coleman preached about the clashing kingdoms of Satan and God. The death and resurrection of Christ has fundamentally secured the Kingdom of God’s victory over Satan. However, a real battle still persists between God and Satan until Christ’s return. Disciples of Jesus will inevitability experience the reality of this conflict. Scripture states that the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). We must stand our ground in Christ.

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Dying to Self, Part 107/13/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This morning Greg continued his series on discipleship by preaching about the necessity of dying to self. Expounding on Luke 14:25-28, Greg stated that God’s call “to hate” family and self does not literally mean hate, but instead is a figure of speech used in ancient times to emphasize meaning.

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Dying to Self, Part 207/20/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg continued his sermon from last week by illustrating in three areas how dying to self makes a difference in living for Christ.

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Dying to Self, Part 307/27/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This week Greg continued his series on dying to self and its connection to discipleship by illustrating how this change radically alters a person’s perspective on individuality.

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How the Dead View Others08/03/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This week Greg continued his series on dying to self and its connection to discipleship by illustrating how this change radically alters how a person views others.

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Dying and Wealth08/10/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg concluded his sermon series on “Dying to Self” by preaching about how a person’s identity rooted in Jesus Christ changes his or her perspective on wealth and comfort.

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Life After Death08/16/03

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The Barbarian Way Out of Civilization08/17/03

  • Speaker – Erwin McManus
     
  • This morning Erwin McManus, Senior Pastor at Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, challenged the congregation to live passionately for Jesus. He exhorted the congregation to recapture the essence of the “barbaric” attitude of a new Christian. God desires that we live with abandonment.

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Synergy08/24/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg stated that an understanding of discipleship as “synergistic” (where God and humanity work together) steers away from polarizing extremes that typically characterize people’s understanding.

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Transaction or Connection?08/31/03

  • Speaker – Mark Stromberg
     
  • Mark preached from John 4:4-30, 39-42, the famous passage that records Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman. Mark stated that this section of Scripture illustrates the difference between transactional relationships and relationships that connect with people.

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God of Etcetera09/07/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This weekend Greg examined Ephesians 3:16-19 and found that this passage contains the ultimate goal of all discipleship. Not only is the goal stated here, but also the means by which we can achieve it.

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Becoming a Detective of Your Brain09/14/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • For some reason, even though we have accepted Christ in our lives, certain things about us are very difficult to change. Is changing these bad behaviors a lost cause? No. God is working with us for change, and we must take proactive responsibility for what is going on in our brains.

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Spiritual Warfare09/21/03

  • Speaker – Ted Roberts
     
  • The "good fight" is the one you win! This sermon focused on how to fight "the good fight." There are four things we need to know: 1) The enemy’s tactics, 2) the enemy’s weapons, 3) our tactics and 4) our weapons.

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The Nature of Faith09/28/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This week Greg explored the difference faith can make in our attempts to "take captive every thought" in order to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Ultimately the point is to know the truth and let that truth transform your reality.

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Deciding to Follow Jesus10/05/03

  • Speaker – Dwayne Polk
     
  • Dwayne Polk’s message this week continued in the line of Greg’s ongoing focus on discipleship this year. Polk described the decision whether or not to follow Christ as a “choice of critical significance.”

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Letting Go of the Grail10/12/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Letting go of our own desires, rights, conveniences, pleasure, wealth, and security is necessary if we are to serve a master other than ourselves. If we do choose Jesus, we must die to our own agendas so that in Christ, we can really live. Christianity is an all or nothing decision.

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Jesus on the Street10/19/03

  • Speaker – Sandra Unger
     
  • Through the touching stories that Sandra relayed, we can see that Christ truly is to be found among the "least of these." Most of us are able to hide our pain beneath the façade of nice clothes, stable living situations, good friends and family support, but do we understand that we too are the least? We must never forget that we are all, always, desperately in need of God.

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Peter Pan Escapes the Matrix10/26/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • In Christ, we are radically free from the things that bind us to this world. The problem is that we have been brainwashed and led to believe lies about ourselves that prevent us from being what we were created to be. Do we trust our own thoughts about ourselves and others or do we believe what God says?

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Feelings11/02/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • It is important to note that Greg tied this discipleship series to our church's Vision Statement. We are called by God for a purpose, part of which is being discipled into spiritually empowered people. In this message Greg explored how we can guard our hearts. We cannot "will" to feel differently about things, but we CAN change how we think and represent things in our minds. Our feelings will follow.

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How Beautiful11/09/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Greg's sermon this week was a reflection on several texts with a guiding theme of "overcoming duplicity." To work toward overcoming duplicity we need to ask the following set of questions: What is duplicity? How can it be overcome? What replaces it?

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Zooming Out11/16/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This week Greg talked about a problem that we all experience: joylessness. We read in Scripture that God is joyful and he desires for us to experience joy too! We need to experience the Joy of the Lord if we are to live an empowered spiritual life in Christ. Joy strengthens us to endure the difficulties of life here and now.

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A Brightly Colored Shirt11/23/03

  • Speaker – Kevin Johnson
     
  • This week Kevin Johnson, our Community Pastor, brought a powerful message dealing with our hearts. He described the "heart" as the center of human existence, where our human abilities to love, marvel, and dream reside. We are able to experience events and truths deeply in profoundly empathetic ways. In this way the heart really demonstrates the truth of our being created in God’s image.

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Joy Corkers11/30/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Recently Greg has been speaking about the Joy of the Lord and how we are intended to participate in that joy. This week’s sermon addressed two common ways that joy can be "corked" and restricted in our lives. The first is the "Savior Complex" and the second is the "Payback Complex." Both complexes rob us of the joy that God intends for us.

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Communion and Holiness12/07/03

  • Speaker – Donna Stoesz
     
  • During this service we participated in communion and had an opportunity for people to receive prayer and healing. Donna Stoesz, one of our prayer warriors here at Woodland Hills, led us into this time of renewal and restoration.

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The Free-for-All God12/14/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This week Greg discussed the familiar story of the three wise men in Matthew 2. As it turns out, there were not three of them, they were not wise by biblical standards and they were not kings, as has been assumed by many over the generations. So what is going on here?

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Letting God into Your Box12/21/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • This week Greg again focused our attention on the story of the Magi from the east (Mt 2:1-11). God was willing to "get in the box" with these astrologers, to "speak their language" as it were, even though it required that God suspend his ethical opinions about their way of life. God's love for astrologers was greater than his hatred for astrology.

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The Star of Bethlehem12/24/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • What was it about the star in the sky that convinced the Magi that a king (THE king) had been born in Judea? In his Christmas Eve message, Greg examined the astrological significance this star held for the Magi and showed how modern astronomy confirms the biblical account.

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Pressing on in 200412/28/03

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • 94% of all New Year's resolutions fail. Bringing about permanent change in the way we think and live is very difficult. Yet the Bible says we are to be continually changing into the likeness of Christ. In this message Greg discussed how we can work with God to bring about permanent change in our lives.

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