2005 Sermons

Being the Kingdom in a Groaning Creation01/02/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Non-Violence, Problem of Evil
  • Greg is internationally known for his work on what theologians call “the problem of evil,” which was the subject of this week’s sermon. People had been calling Greg all week asking "Did God cause the tsunami in Asia? If not, why did God allow it?" Such questions assume that God is directly responsible for natural disasters; Greg argues that this assumption is not biblical.

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First Fruits01/09/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Kingdom of God
  • Christians are the “first fruits” of the “human harvest” that God is bringing up on the earth. Greg discusses how just as in a natural harvest a small portion of the crop is ready early, we as Christians in this world now are ready for heaven before others have realized that heaven has been prepared for them! Contrary to the assumption that when the messiah came all would be transformed immediately, Jesus teaches that there is a process, an unfolding that will occur. We are a part of that process as the first fruits!

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A Little Yeast01/16/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Non-Violence, Sexuality, Sin
  • Everything in our lives is connected in some way to every other thing in our lives. We must be aware of this if we are truly to root out sin and manifest the Kingdom of God. The biblical image is that of yeast leavening a whole lump of dough, which is used both positively (Mat. 13:33) and negatively (2 Cor. 5:16). Sin—including festering anger, unforgiveness, resentment—works like yeast to penetrate deep into the lives of those affected; likewise, the Kingdom of God works like yeast transforming the whole for good as well. Therefore, we cannot really compartmentalize our lives. And as we begin to cooperate with the yeast of the Kingdom of God in our lives, we quickly find the world resisting us.

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Living in the Big Story01/23/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Non-Violence, Reconciliation
  • In this sermon, Greg reinforces the message of the Kingdom of God by helping us see our lives not only in relationship to ourselves and those closest to us, but also in the “big picture” of what God is doing in the world. The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that is growing within the world to transform it. It is not only how it impacts our personal lives that matters, but also how our personal lives participate in the larger Kingdom efforts that God is calling us to.

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Neil Anderson, 8:45 a.m. Service01/30/05

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Neil Anderson, 11:00 a.m. Service01/30/05

  • Speaker – Neil Anderson
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Sin, Transformation, Temptation
  • **Please note, this study guide is only applicable to the 11:00 a.m. service. Unfortunately, we did not anticipate that Neil would give three different sermons for each service! Though very generous on his part, it was a surprise to us!**

    This message challenged us to be content as children of God, walking freely in the Spirit, and it warned us of the two things that might prevent us from experiencing the freedom we have: legalism and license.

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River of Life, Part 202/06/05

  • Speaker – Brenda Salter-McNeil
     
  • Reconciliation
  • This week, Woodland Hills Church truly had a blessing! Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter-McNeil came back to preach the Word of God and finish up her two-part series “River of Life,” from her November 2004 visit. She opened up by singing “Spirit of the Living God” and reminding us that it’s only by God’s Holy Spirit that we can be empowered to do anything of Kingdom value.

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The Enemy Within02/13/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Love, Transformation
  • Jesus gives us the greatest commandment, to love God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We've all heard this command, but we tend to resist the basis for loving our neighbors — loving ourselves. The "small story" we often live in focuses on what we've done, what was done to us, and what we dislike about ourselves. The Big Story is the eternal perspective. It includes not only us, but what God has done, is doing, and will do through us. In Christ, we are to see our story as part of the Big Story. With God's help we can embrace this process to overcome the evil within.

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Why Did Jesus Die?02/20/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Salvation
  • “Why did Jesus have to die?” We all know that Jesus died “to take away the sin of the world.” But what about a more complete explanation? How can Jesus be justly punished for our sin? A common explanation has been that the Father’s wrath against our sin moves God to destroy us because a holy God cannot tolerate sin. The Son becomes a buffer and takes the punishment in our stead. While this is true, it is not the entire truth. Greg challenged this thinking by reminding us of some of the biblical descriptions of the work of Christ. Jesus reveals the love of God, not merely conceals God’s wrath.

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Hearing God, Part 102/27/05

  • Speaker – Kevin Johnson
     
  • Topics – God's Will, Presence of God
  • Kevin Johnson, our Community Pastor, introduced this week’s message with a statement: “I want to hear from God.” Every culture seems to have felt this desire. It’s a human urge to be connected with our Source, with God, with our Creator. We want to make contact with the divine somehow, and different cultures have developed many diverse ways of expressing this. Does God speak to us today?

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Hearing God, Part 203/06/05

  • Speaker – Kevin Johnson
     
  • Topics – Simplicity, God's Will, Presence of God
  • Kevin Johnson, our community pastor, continued his two-part series. He began with an affirmation that it is the very nature of God to speak to us and lead us. Not only in exceptional situations but as a general rule! God is not a single independent entity, but a community of three persons. Community, and therefore communication, is as the foundation of God’s reality.

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Jesus for Thinking People, Part 103/13/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Defense of Christian Faith, Resurrection
  • Greg introduced the Book of Luke by first providing some context for the Gospel. Then he launched into a big question that occurs to many who read the Bible in general: “Is this true?” In other words, is the Gospel about Jesus that Luke researched and presents true? And to get at this he broke it down as follows: either it is true or it is false. If it is false, then it can be false in one of two ways: intentionally false (Conspiracy Theory) or unintentionally false (Legendary Theory). This week’s message focused on showing how irrational the Conspiracy Theory is.

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Jesus for Thinking People, Part 203/20/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Defense of Christian Faith, Resurrection
  • In this message, Greg explains the “Legendary Theory.” This theory maintains that though the authors of Luke weren’t consciously lying and trying to deceive people (they genuinely believed what they where saying), they were just wrong about essential things like Jesus’ being both the messiah and God! They were not trying to deceive, but they themselves were deceived, according to the Legendary Theory.

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Jesus for Thinking People, Part 303/27/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Defense of Christian Faith, Resurrection
  • In the last two weeks Greg spent time showing the flaws in the “conspiracy theory” and the “legendary theory.” This week he addressed another theory that secular scholars offer to answer the question: “What happened to produce the Gospel accounts?” The resurrection could have been a hallucination. Greg had five responses to counter this theory.

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But You Promised04/03/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Pain & Suffering, Blessings
  • Greg began with Luke 1:5-7. The focus was on Elizabeth and Zachariah, both of whom where obedient to “the Lord’s commands and decrees.” The next sentence in the text starts with the word “but” and indicates something unexpected and in this case disappointing for Elizabeth and Zachariah. “But they were childless…” and “…both well advanced in years” which to first century Jewish ears would have sounded like a curse. Greg used this passage to raise a few questions: What do we do when we feel that God has not honored a promise? What do we do when it looks like God has let us down? How do we deal with disappointment with God?

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The Beloved Community04/10/05

  • Speaker – Efrem Smith
     
  • The church needs to be positioned as an agent of God's love in the world. People decide which church to attend based on a lot of things (location, denomination, who’s preaching, etc.), but they stay in a church because there is love. What does this love look like? Efrem offered us four elements of what it means to be “the beloved community” and a force of love in the world. To illustrate the kind of life being advocated, he used a humorous but poignant comparison between Batman/Batgirl and Superman/Wonder Woman. Efrem’s challenge was to understand that we were born to live as children of God. We are intended for great things in this world and beyond.

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Smelling Good04/17/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Sacrifice, Worship, Presence of God
  • This week's message on "Smelling Good to God" was drawn from Luke 1:8-10. Greg used this text as an opportunity to show how the Old Testament temple structure and worship offer insights into the language and imagery of the New Testament. A significant part of Greg's message centered on the new reality of us, both collectively and individually being the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19). Collectively, as the community of faith, we are the Body of Christ, and the temple of God. The Holy Spirit dwells within us. So, what then does this mean? Since we are all now priests of God, we also share the responsibilities of priests. If we feel that our lives are not very dynamic and exciting in terms of our Christian walk, we may want to accept this challenge! God wants all of our lives. As we yield more and more to God, we will experience the peace that comes from drawing on the true source of Life.

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Ministers Behind the Ministry04/24/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Community, Spiritual Gifts
  • This week we got a glimpse at the real Woodland Hills Church! The Body of Christ is made up of all the followers of Christ, not just the church staff. A healthy body makes efficient use of all its parts. The video we saw showed much more of our actual church body than we usually get to see. Greg referred us to two main texts to support this idea that church is about the people, not the building or just the leadership.

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Pray Until Something Happens05/01/05

  • Speaker – Brenda Salter-McNeil
     
  • Topics – Healing, Prayer
  • Rev. Brenda's message today was entitled: Operation Push: Pray Until Something Happens, and was based on John 5:1-19. As stated in verse 19, "the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing." Jesus walked with his spiritual eyes open in order to see what the Father was doing. He knew he had to stop and say what he could see. That is why Jesus was accurate in prayer. He only said what he could see. He only did what he could see God was doing.

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The Sweet Aroma of Worship05/08/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Worship
  • Greg began by reading Luke 1:8-10. In previous messages we heard about how the Old Testament teachings are often a shadow of what is to come in the New Testament. Specifically, the temple of the Old Testament foreshadows what the Christian and the Christian church should be today. The primary functions of the temple were sacrifice, prayer, and worship.

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Rappers, Nuns, and Disciples05/15/05

  • Speaker – Sandra Unger
     
  • Discipleship
  • Sandra Unger began this sermon with a visualization exercise. We were asked to picture in our minds the following people: a mailman, nun, rapper, basketball player, pilot, Christian and finally a disciple of Jesus. For many people, it was easy to conjure up a picture of the first five but the last two posed a problem. Following Jesus is actually remarkably simple. Submit your entire life to Christ and he will give you a new one. It’s not difficult to know what the right thing to do is. But it is often very difficult to jump into the unknown territory that comes along with doing the right thing.

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The Invisible Society05/22/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Spiritual Warfare
  • Greg spoke this week on “The Invisible Society: The Truth about Angels.” The word “angel” is a transliteration and means “messenger” in Greek. We see in Scripture that God sometimes sends an angel as a messenger to God’s children. Greg offered these four teaching points during the sermon:Angels are real, there are LOTS of angels, angels are under God’s direction, not ours, and some are good, but some are evil.

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Sibling Rivalries05/28/05

  • Speaker – Efrem Smith
     
  • Topics – Identity in Christ, Relationships, Sin
  • Efrem spoke about familes and how they can be a great place to pass down a blessing or they can be a place that can pass down curses. Using Genesis 4:1-11 he tried to help us understand why the events that happened in the story of Cain and Abel could occur.

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Living with Disappointment05/29/05

  • Speaker – Stina Busman
     
  • Topics – Hope, Pain & Suffering
  • Stina Busman preached this morning on grief. She offered this question for reflection: What do we do when we have to live with and after disappointment and defeat? As we all know, some things in this world go profoundly wrong. For Stina, it was the loss of Scott, her fiancé. Stina closed with a challenge: who will write the end of this chapter: Jesus or the enemy? We may grieve deeply, but we do so with great expectation!

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Lessons from the Womb06/05/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Controversial Issues, Kingdom of God, Non-Violence
  • Greg started out by reading through Luke 1:13-17; Luke 1:42,44; and John 18:36. Luke’s gospel starts with the birth of a revolutionary movement—the beginning of the Kingdom of God. It’s like a mustard seed that though small at first will prove victorious in the end. We, as Christians are to be known by how different we are from the world. That is, how truly we love one another and the world.

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Preparing a Highway for the Lord06/12/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – End Times, Kingdom of God
  • John the Baptist’s role was to prepare the way for Jesus. The Church has a role that is similar to John’s: just as he prepared the way for Christ 2000 years ago, we too are to prepare the world for the second coming. We are to live today as though Jesus were coming back at any time. We don’t live the way the world lives. We are a part of a revolution. We invest in the Kingdom. We revolt against the status quo. We work to bring about the Kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven. And as we do this, we hasten the Lord’s return.

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Kingdom Parenting06/19/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Marriage, Parenting, Creation Care, Family
  • This week's sermon is entitled "Kingdom Parenting." Greg kept our eyes on Luke 1:13-17 and pointed out that there is a prophecy being fulfilled here that might escape our attention if we read through this passage too quickly. It is found in verse 16 that John will "turn the hearts of the parents to their children" which echoes what was stated in Mal. 4:5-6. The focus of today's message is what does it mean to be "kingdom parents"?

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Kingdom Parenting, Part 206/26/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Forgiveness, Parenting, Family
  • Greg reviewed the main points from last week which were: individually, we all need to “get a life.” By this he means we need to get out life from Christ so that we are operating out of a fullness, rather than a deficit. Then as couples, we need to get a life together! One of the best things parents can do for their children is to model what it is for parents to love one another and have a rich, vibrant life together. This week Greg focused on a third principle. Breaking the domino effect of generational curses through the power of forgiveness.

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The Good News Revolution07/03/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Salvation, Sin
  • Continuing our study of Luke, we managed to get as far as Luke 1:18-25! Zechariah is in the temple and is visited by the angel Gabriel. Zechariah questions Gabriel about the promises of a son. He has asked for a sign of this. Gabriel grants Zechariah the sign: silence until the birth of John the Baptist! God had sent Gabriel to deliver “good news” to Zechariah. This idea of “good news” was the centerpiece of Greg’s message today.

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Just a Nobody from Nowhereville07/10/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Kingdom of God
  • God sends the angel Gabriel to Mary to tell her that the Lord has shown favor on her. She would conceive Jesus who would be the heir to David and his reign would have no end! Greg spent significant time emphasizing that the way God works is not how we might expect. The fact that God overlooks all of the “usual suspects” when it comes to starting a revolution, and chooses a young peasant girl as the entry point for the King, this demonstrates the character of the Kingdom. It is often just the opposite of what we might expect.

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What Was I Born to Do?07/17/05

  • Speaker – Annie Perdue-Olson
     
  • Topics – Spiritual Gifts, God's Will
  • Annie shared passionately that we each need to understand our unique Kingdom purpose. She reminded us of Greg’s message last week and the fact that Mary’s willing spirit was the primary qualification God needed from her to do an amazing thing in the world. This same thing, our willingness, will determine how God is able to use us too. God designed us with a very specific idea in mind and, and finding out what God designed us to do is a personal process of discovery. Annie ended her sermon by reading The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt and challenged us to be willing like Mary was, even if we feel like “nobody from nowhereville”.

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Hearing God Revisited07/24/05

  • Speaker – Kevin Johnson
     
  • It was great to hear from Kevin Johnson, our Community Pastor this week! Kevin pointed us to a couple of key passages on hearing God in the Gospel of John. The first passage asserts that God’s sheep hear God’s voice and follow. The second reminds us that not only will God’s people follow God, but that God will abide with us. All of this points to the important truth that God desires to speak to us because it is in God’s nature to do so.

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The Right Heart for Redemptive Community07/31/05

  • Speaker – Dwayne Polk
     
  • Topics – Community, Relationships
  • It was great to hear from Dwayne Polk—one of our Associate Youth Pastors—this week! Dwayne reminded us of an important word Greg delivered to Woodland Hills in June of 2004. God led Greg to speak these words to us: “I know of your passion in worship and fervor in proclamation, but you are too much of an event and too little of a community…become a community. Let all who have an ear to hear listen to what the Spirit is saying.” Dwayne then challenged us to look at what it would look like to be living in redemptive community.

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The Right Context for Redemptive Community08/07/05

  • Speaker – Dwayne Polk
     
  • Topics – Community, Spiritual Gifts, Individualism
  • This week Associate Pastor Dwayne Polk continued his discussion of community by taking a close look at the powerful biblical metaphor of the Church as the Body of Christ. He started off by marveling at the amazing work of God in creating a human being. Our bodies and their various features are truly miraculous. Not only did God have an amazing plan for the human body, God has an amazing plan for the Church, the spiritual body of Christ, through which God intends to accomplish the reign of God on Earth.

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Mary, the Favored One08/14/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Love, Blessings, God's Will
  • Greg’s sermon this week broke down into three parts. The topic was the meaning of the angel’s words when the angel told Mary that she was favored (Luke 1:28). Part I of the sermon focused on what “favored” does not mean. Part II focused on what it does mean. And part III examines why the word “favor” is used at all.

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The Kingdom Challenge08/21/05

  • Speaker – Annie Perdue-Olson
     
  • Topics – Pain & Suffering, Spiritual Gifts
  • In July, Annie shared with us how God gives each of us a unique design and gifts to further the Kingdom of God. This week she was back to share a little more about what God’s “Kingdom Challenge” for us involves. The text Annie used was I Peter chapters 3 and 4 where the author is writing to Christians in Asia Minor who are suffering under intense resistance from their culture.

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Already, But Not Yet08/28/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Hope, Kingdom of God, Sin
  • "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end" (Luke 1:32-33). Such were the words of Gabriel to Mary regarding the coming of Jesus. These were words promising that Jesus would be the Messiah, the one who would reign over the earth, bringing peace and victory.So what does it mean for Jesus to reign today or "for everything to placed under his feet" as Paul writes in Eph 1:22? Where is the victory?

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From the Old to the New09/04/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Transformation
  • The story recorded in Luke 1:39-45 highlights Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth and John represent the old, while Mary and Jesus represent the new, the new things that God is doing in the world. Elizabeth and John are not in competition with Mary and Jesus; instead they acknowledge, submit and rejoice in the new that is coming.

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The Dancing Spirit09/11/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Salvation, Trinity
  • When Mary greeted Elizabeth, she was filled with the Holy Spirit. One of the central characteristics of the Kingdom Jesus inaugurated is that people would be immersed in the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is not a sub-diety; He is the third person of the Trinity, three persons but one God. There are five biblical facts that substantiate the reality of the Trinity:
    1.The Bible names that Father as God.
    2.The Bible states that the Son is God.
    3.The Bible also refers to the Holy Spirit as God.
    4.The Father, Son and Spirit interact with one another.
    5.The Bible makes it clear that there is only ONE God.

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Participating in the Trinity09/18/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Identity in Christ, Trinity
  • Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit when she was greeted by Mary, the mother of Jesus. To be filled or immersed in the Holy Spirit is a phrase often quoted, but what exactly occurs when we experience this filling? The role of the Holy Spirit is to connect our spirits with the divine nature so that we actually participate with God in His life. The goal of discipleship is to see yourself as you really are. See yourself as defined by Christ, as participating in God's self-relationship, the divine nature. When this is your self-image, all other sources of self-esteem become petty.

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Filled with Fire and Power09/25/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Holy Spirit, Power
  • The discussion about the filling of the Holy Spirit, is nothing if not controversial. There are those who make this the linchpin of the church, while other run from it and steer clear of any discussion about it. To attain some biblical understanding of the filling of the Holy Spirit, we will look at three questions.

    Question #1: Is the infilling of the Spirit distinct from simply believing?
    Question #2: What is the evidence of the infilling of the Spirit?
    Question #3: What does the infilling of the Holy Spirit do?

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Adventure into the God-Dance10/02/05

  • Speaker – Scott Boren
     
  • Worship
  • Mary’s Song illustrates for us what participation with God in the divine dance looks like. Her song paints a broad picture that helps us understand what it means to get involved in the God life. Recorded in Luke 1:46-55, Mary’s song is an expression of worship, but not just any kind of worship. Her song is one that paints a specific picture of a dance with God, a risky dance of adventure with the untamable, unfathomable God.

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Good Sex, Bad Sex10/09/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Marriage, Sexuality
  • This weekend Woodland Hills joined in a national event called “Porn Sunday”. The goal of this weekend was to expose issues surrounding pornography and to openly discuss the effects it has on our society, marriages and children. Greg used this as a basis for his message to discuss ways pornogrophy jades our view of sex, contrasting it with God's view of sex.

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The Mary-Blessed Kingdom10/16/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Money, Blessings
  • Greg contrasted the difference between world ecomonics and kingdom economics using something he called The Mary Principle. The Mary Principle simply stated is, the greatest blessing is found in blessing others. He based all of this by first discussing what Mary being blessed did not mean. True blessing in the kingdom means being used by God for his purposes.

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Your Thoughts, Your Destiny10/23/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Hope, Joy, Transformation
  • Mary's song praises God because He scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. God's is incredibly concerned about how we think because what we do is a product of how we think. Inmost thoughts steer all of life. Our quality of life is determined by our thought lives.

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The Great Reversal10/30/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Money, Power, Blessings
  • In Mary's song, she proclaims that God has touched the poor but has rejected the rich. That he has chosen to humble people of power while lifting up the humble. In other words, those who look like they deserve the blessings of God miss out on them. The Kingdom of God is one that is upside down. It is the great reversal that does not make sense to our power-hungry and money-crazed world. God's view of success evaluates life much differently. The world sees money and power as the sign of success. In the Kingdom, success is defined by what you do with them.

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Fearing the Untamed God11/06/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Creation, Fear, Presence of God
  • We read in different parts of the Bible that we are to fear God, but what does that mean? Many people live in a state of constant fear that God will reject them or cause them harm if they act or think in certain ways. This is not what the Bible means by fearing God. But fearing God doesn't mean nothing. In our culture, God has become so common that he is no longer sacred. People act without any regard for what God thinks. What then is a proper understanding? It is true that God did become one of us, taking on human flesh. But if all we see is the intimate God, he becomes too "nice" and too "tamed" to be worthy of worship.

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Finding the Story of Your Life11/13/05

  • Speaker – Scott Boren
     
  • Topics – Identity in Christ, Individualism
  • In this prophetic song, Zechariah speaks a blessing over his new born son, John. He says, “And you my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him.” John 1:76. These are words of blessing that form a foundation upon which John built his life and ministry. These words established him in the story of God and helped shape his identity.

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Finding the Story of Your Life, Part 211/20/05

  • Speaker – Scott Boren
     
  • Topics – Community, Identity in Christ, Blessings, Individualism
  • In part one of this two-part series, the nature of the fenced-in self was introduced. This sermon dealt with the two that relate to the individualistic focus that characterizes the fenced-in self. Living within the four walls of the fenced-in self, we hide from others, trying not to reveal any weaknesses or short-comings, thereby we reject feedback as we live the unobserved life. The final two fences are torn down through the receiving of the connected life and the sharing of the connected life.

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Making His-Story11/27/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Kingdom of God, Reconciliation, Salvation
  • Zachariah's Song alludes to over 35 different Old Testament scriptures. With the use of phrases like "God of Israel," "to his people," "from our enemies," "his servant David," and "our father Abraham" the reader of this song should recognize how Zachariah is looking back. But he is not just looking back. He is looking back to look forward. He is using the actions of God recorded in the Old Testament as a backdrop for the even greater things God will do through Jesus Christ. With these allusions we can see how God makes His-Story, how the story of God's dealings with Israel becomes the story of God redeeming the entire world.

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Checkmate12/04/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Salvation, Power
  • The telling of the birth of Jesus is the ultimate example of how God brings about His Kingdom into the world by bringing about salvation (God’s plan) within a context of human power (man’s plan).The savior of the world came into the world very different than a worldly king would have entered. As we look at our world today, it may look like the Caesars of the world (rulers, principalities, powers) are in control. Yet, it is important to remember that God is ultimately in control. God is always at work in all situations, subversively bringing to pass his own plans and purposes and bringing redemption.

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Sanctified Emotions12/11/05

  • Speaker – Mike Davis
     
  • Transformation
  • The definition of something being “sanctified” means that it is separated (set apart) unto God for His exclusive use. God desires our entire being to be sanctified and conformed to His will. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Our intellect, will and behavior are aspects of our being that we can learn to surrender to God. But, there is also another part of our being, one that is given very little attention to within teachings on sanctification; our emotions.

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A Life Interrupted12/18/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Topics – Sacrifice, God's Will, Faithfulness
  • Are you willing to have your life interrupted by God? Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, had his life turned upside-down as he said “yes” to God’s plan for his life. Joseph can be considered to us, as followers of Christ, a hero of the Kingdom of God. He is a model for what it means to live in the Kingdom. Joseph was a person, who without any consideration for his own personal gain, without any regard for how it would cost him, gave up his own plans and dreams and followed what God was calling him to.

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Reindeer Games (Christmas)12/25/05

  • Speaker – Greg Boyd
     
  • Blessings
  • At times, we're all sucked into the "reindeer games" of our culture – seeking money, success, possessions, reputations, or talent. We can also get sucked into the game of religion and feel like we'll never be good enough for God. Reindeer games make us feel like misfits! Greg used a video clip from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & The Island of Misfit Toys" to remind us that God isn't interested in the games of this world. They're all geared toward winning happiness and worth from a source other than God. He encouraged us this Christmas season to opt out of the reindeer games and live free by getting our value and worth from Christ.

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