2017

Awe & Wonder | It's a Wonderful Life!

Snow or Sunshine.  Fruitcake or Cut-out Cookies.  Wassail or Eggnog. Nativity Scene or Train Set. Santa Claus or Saint Nick. Maybe all of the above – and more?
Whatever ingredients you choose for a magical Christmas, two are absolute necessities: Awe and Wonder. You can’t have a truly Merry Christmas without them. But busyness, struggle, and, well…just life…can strip away the awe and wonder and leave you deflated and cynical instead.
This Advent Season, come get a dose of what you really need.  Put a little Awe back into this season of Wonder.

For many of us, Christmas just isn’t right without curling up and watching the classic tale, “It’s a Wonderful Life!” George Bailey lost the wonder. He began his life with enormous hopes and dreams, and with his beautiful wife Mary at his side, anything seemed possible. But misfortune strikes and he finds himself lost - all the wonder and joy sucked out of his life. He sees no alternative but to end it all. At the very last moment, a supernatural intervention shows him how wonderful his life really is, and the awe and wonder come rushing back! It really IS a wonderful life!

Awe & Wonder | Awesome Assignment

Snow or Sunshine.  Fruitcake or Cut-out Cookies.  Wassail or Eggnog. Nativity Scene or Train Set. Santa Claus or Saint Nick. Maybe all of the above – and more?
Whatever ingredients you choose for a magical Christmas, two are absolute necessities: Awe and Wonder. You can’t have a truly Merry Christmas without them. But busyness, struggle, and, well…just life…can strip away the awe and wonder and leave you deflated and cynical instead.
This Advent Season, come get a dose of what you really need.  Put a little Awe back into this season of Wonder.

So much goes into Christmas. The families who do it best are the ones who divvy up the assignments, making sure everyone has a job to do. Aunt Stella brings the stuffing and sweet potatoes. Cousin Sam brings the pies and fruitcake. Dad hangs the lights while Mom wraps and hides the gifts.  Everyone helps decorate the tree. What’s the most awesome assignment at Christmas?

Message Notes

When the Messiah was promised to bring restoration and healing to our broken world, the prophets were given the assignment of announcing his coming.

As the time drew nearer, Isaiah comforted the people:

“Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.
Tell her that her sad days are gone
 and her sins are pardoned." 
Isaiah 40:1-2

He declared that he had an awesome assignment:

“Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
‘Clear the way through the wilderness
for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland
for our God!’"
Isaiah 40:3

John the Baptist picked up that awesome assignment:

"’Who are you?’, they asked...’what do you have to say about yourself?’ John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah; ‘I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, 'Clear the way for the Lord's coming!'"
John 1:13
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’"
John 1:29

We are honored as followers of Jesus to have the same awesome assignment this Christmas:

BE the good news.

SHARE the good news.

Awe & Wonder | Awesome Name

Snow or Sunshine.  Fruitcake or Cut-out Cookies.  Wassail or Eggnog. Nativity Scene or Train Set. Santa Claus or Saint Nick. Maybe all of the above – and more?
Whatever ingredients you choose for a magical Christmas, two are absolute necessities: Awe and Wonder. You can’t have a truly Merry Christmas without them. But busyness, struggle, and, well…just life…can strip away the awe and wonder and leave you deflated and cynical instead.
This Advent Season, come get a dose of what you really need.  Put a little Awe back into this season of Wonder.

So many names are associated with Christmas. Of course there’s Joseph and Mary. Herod - the one who THOUGHT he had an awesome name. There’s Scrooge and Tiny Tim. Santa and Rudolph.  The Grinch and Cindy-Lou. Who can forget Ralphie, his Dad, and the A Christmas Story family? But do you know the most awesome name of Christmas? 

Message Notes

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

A child

A son

A name

Wonderful Counselor

Mighty God

Everlasting Father

Prince of Peace

The government will be on his shoulders.

Hallelujah!

Awe & Wonder | Awesome Gift

Snow or Sunshine.  Fruitcake or Cut-out Cookies.  Wassail or Eggnog. Nativity Scene or Train Set. Santa Claus or Saint Nick. Maybe all of the above – and more?
Whatever ingredients you choose for a magical Christmas, two are absolute necessities: Awe and Wonder. You can’t have a truly Merry Christmas without them. But busyness, struggle, and, well…just life…can strip away the awe and wonder and leave you deflated and cynical instead.
This Advent Season, come get a dose of what you really need.  Put a little Awe back into this season of Wonder.

What was the most memorable gift you ever received? What’s the one that you were most thrilled to give? What makes a gift awesome? What kind of gift fills the recipient with awe and wonder?

Message Notes

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” II Corinthians 9:15
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

The perfect gift must be PERSONAL.

“Today a Savior is born to you!” Luke 2:11

The perfect gift is given to meet a specific NEED.

“Call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

The perfect gift is SACRIFICIAL.

“You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” II Corinthians 8:9

Awe & Wonder | Missing the Wonder

Snow or Sunshine.  Fruitcake or Cut-out Cookies.  Wassail or Eggnog. Nativity Scene or Train Set. Santa Claus or Saint Nick. Maybe all of the above – and more?
Whatever ingredients you choose for a magical Christmas, two are absolute necessities: Awe and Wonder. You can’t have a truly Merry Christmas without them. But busyness, struggle, and, well…just life…can strip away the awe and wonder and leave you deflated and cynical instead.
This Advent Season, come get a dose of what you really need.  Put a little Awe back into this season of Wonder.

From the very first Christmas until this one - 2,017 or so Christmases later - some people are awestruck with wonder, and others wonder what the fuss is all about. What makes the difference?  It’s in the Story.

Message Notes

From the very first Christmas until this one, the world has divided into three groups:

Those who reject the wonder.
Those who wonder what the fuss is all about.
Those who are awestruck with wonder

Herod rejected the wonder.
It threatened his power and position.

Matthew 2

The people of Bethlehem overlooked the wonder.
They were busy with their own priorities.

Luke 2, Matthew 2

The shepherds and the wise men were transformed by the wonder.
The wise men prepared and sought the wonder.
The shepherds were surprised by the wonder, but they immediately responded with joy.

Don’t miss the wonder!

We Are Cornerstone | Finding a Family

In the middle of great change, some things are absolutely unchanging. Cornerstone’s mission and identity remains strong. We are here to help people find the Father, a Family, and a Fulfilling Future—all birthrights of God’s children. In these weeks we want to help you get ready for the best holidays of your life as you discover each of these beautiful destinations.

Knowing the Father is priceless—being part of an expansive family makes it even more wonderful! Relating in God’s family gives you a place to belong and a place to become. And, it helps you get better with your family at home, too!

Message Notes

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are not presentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12: 15-27

Family Rules

  • In our family, we are committed to one another
  • In our family, we spend time together
  • In our family, we have open, frequent communication
  • In our family, we resolve crisis and pain together
  • In our family, we express affirmation and encouragement often
  • In our family, we share a spiritual commitment
  • In our family, we trust each othe
  • In our family we enjoy mutual freedom and grace

We Are Cornerstone | Finding the Father

In the middle of great change, some things are absolutely unchanging. Cornerstone’s mission and identity remains strong. We are here to help people find the Father, a Family, and a Fulfilling Future—all birthrights of God’s children. In these weeks we want to help you get ready for the best holidays of your life as you discover each of these beautiful destinations.

There’s a big difference between simply being a biological parent, and being an investing, loving, providing, present Father. Of course, we are all God’s children in the sense that he created us, but what a difference it makes to know him as the One who invites us to call him “Daddy.”

Message Notes

“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” Psalm 103:13

He is our SOURCE.

“There is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live.” I Corinthians 8:6

He PROVIDES.

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”  Matthew 6:31-33

He KNOWS and LOVES us intimately.

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him ‘Abba Father’ (‘Daddy’). For his spirit joins with our spirits to affirm that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:14-17
“Every hair on your head is numbered.” Matthew 10:30

He EMPOWERS us.

 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

When God re-fathers you, he makes you capable of being a redemptive and healing representation of Him in your world.

The Good Land of Er | Picking Up Your Cloak

You were made for more.

Life can be better, you can be stronger, and the future can be greater if you work with God to fulfill your destiny and calling.

Through the real-life stories of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, we will learn how God works with people who work with him.

You are just like Elisha. You are standing in front of your destiny and your legacy. People are watching you. They are depending on you. They want you to pick up your cloak, and lead them to the good land of Er!


Message Notes

The trip to the good land of ER started with a determined choice.

“Elisha set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.” I Kings 19:21

For Elisha, and for us, there comes a day when we can’t just live off the faith of the great men and women in front of us. We have our own gifts and work to do.

When the season changes, you have to get through your grief, pick up your courage and your cloak.

Don’t just put your toe in the water; STRIKE the water. Be part of a work of God that will leave the world around your breathless.

So, how does it end?

“Elisha died and was buried.” II Kings 13:20

But it wasn't over yet.

The Good Land of Er | Eyes Wide Open

You were made for more.

Life can be better, you can be stronger, and the future can be greater if you work with God to fulfill your destiny and calling.

Through the real-life stories of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, we will learn how God works with people who work with him.


While you’re drawing up your dreams for the good land of Er, you’ll find out what Elisha and everyone after him has discovered: you’re surrounded by enemies. But if they are all you see, you will be easily defeated. You have to intentionally see with eyes of faith.


Message Notes

When it’s really dark, we need help to see accurately.

You do have enemies on the way to er.

People
Distractions

Behind them all is your adversary.

You need help to see accurately.

II Kings 6
Pursuing God’s purposes can be exhilarating.It can also be terrifying.

Sometimes all we need is the ability to see what is already there.

You are not alone. Never have been. Never will be.

“the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” I John 4:4

Your father sees more than you see.

"i pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of god’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at god’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.”  Ephesians 1:18-21

Oh, Lord, open my eyes so I can see!

The Good Land of Er | Ego & Losing My Edge

You were made for more.

Life can be better, you can be stronger, and the future can be greater if you work with God to fulfill your destiny and calling.

Through the real-life stories of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, we will learn how God works with people who work with him.


It was true in Elisha’s day, and it’s true today. Ego will choke my opportunity for a greater life. When I’m in the midst of pushing forward, I can lose my edge. What do I need to do?


Message Notes

It is possible to be too great for your own good.

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Naaman would do anything to be healed, but…

II Kings 5

What is the Jordan River in your life?

Good, even great, people can miss their miracle if they think it’s about them.

“Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.” Mark 8:35

When God says how and when to take the dip, do it.

The Land of Er isn’t a permanent, automatic residence. It is ours through intentional daily decisions.

II Kings 6

We can be consistently swinging away on auto-pilot and lose our edge.

Identify where you lost it.

Base your identity in Christ. God is a master at recovering and keeping what was lost.

“Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.” Proverbs 24:16

The Good Land of Er | Digging Ditches, Pouring Oil

You were made for more.

Life can be better, you can be stronger, and the future can be greater if you work with God to fulfill your destiny and calling.

Through the real-life stories of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, we will learn how God works with people who work with him.


God used Elisha to do mighty miracles to bless others. What God gave him was always enough.


Message Notes

It’s not what we do FOR God; it’s what we say TO God.
YES OR NO.

Is it greater to stay or go?
Whichever one God calls you to do.

DIGGING DITCHES: II KINGS 3

Thinking big and starting small are two sides of the same coin.
Greater opportunities bring greater opposition.
Only God can send the rain. But he expects you to dig the ditches.

POURING OIL: II KINGS 4

What do you have in your house?
All God needs is all you have.
Think inside the box. Embrace your limitations.
You have everything you need to do what God is calling you to do right now.

The Good Land of Er | Pushing The Plow, Burning The Plow

You were made for more.

Life can be better, you can be stronger, and the future can be greater if you work with God to fulfill your destiny and calling.

Through the real-life stories of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, we will learn how God works with people who work with him.


Elisha didn’t look for his destiny; his destiny found him. Then he had a choice to make. God finds us where we are, and we have choices too. Our better, stronger, greater future depends on them.


Message Notes

There was nothing glamorous about Elisha’s start.

God interrupted him with an invitation to the land of Er.

Elisha made a bold breakaway from his past.

Stepping up to your destiny:

Your destiny will find you, and you will have a choice to make.
Your choice: make a bold breakaway, or be harnessed to the ordinary.
God doesn’t necessarily tell you HOW he will do it, just that he WILL do it.
Burning your plow has a cost; the cost of not burning it is greater.

The Good Land of Er | The Man, The Myth, The Legend

You were made for more.

Life can be better, you can be stronger, and the future can be greater if you work with God to fulfill your destiny and calling.

Through the real-life stories of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, we will learn how God works with people who work with him.


Elijah was the man. He was an amazing figure, with extraordinary abilities and presence. He was the man Elisha pursued to be the most influential person in his life. Who I give priority in my life determines how the direction and extent of the “er” in my life.


Message Notes

You were made for more.

Life can be better, you can be stronger, and the future can be greater.

“I am come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” John 10:1

Elijah was the man.

He was an amazing figure, with extraordinary abilities and presence.

“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!” James 5:16-17

He was the man Elisha pursued to be the most influential person in his life.

Who I give priority in my life determines the direction and extent of the “er” in my life.
Better, stronger, greater—it all happens intentionally.
Some people never become better, stronger, and better because they won’t leave “good enough” behind.

Team up with someone who is living in the good land of ER.

Direction In Disaster | What If It's All A God Thing?

In the midst of disaster, we are often aimless because we feel as though we have no control.
The truth is we are in control of more than we think


Message Notes

DIRECTION IN DISASTER PART 2: What We Control

We are in control of how we think.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable --  if anything is excellent or praise worthy --  think about such things. Philippians 4:8

We are in control of what we say.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Philippians 2:14-15

We are in control of what we do.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27

Holiness: A social presence that demands a response.

We are in control of our attitude.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

We are not in control of what happens to us. 

No matter what happens to us we are in control of:

What we think.

What we say.

What we do.

Our attitude.

 

Slide 13

The question is not:

Do I have the will power?

 

Slide 14

The question is:

What power source am I connected to?

 

Slide 15

Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

 

Direction In Disaster

In the midst of disaster, we are often aimless because we feel as though we have no control.
The truth is we are in control of more than we think

Message Notes

Micah 7:8-11
Do not gloat over me, my enemy. Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in the darkness, the Lord will be my light. Micah 7:8

Think toward faith; not in circles without answers.

Because I have sinned against Him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until He pleads my case and establishes my right. Micah 7:9

Seek spiritual truth; not who is to blame.

He will bring me out into the light and I will see His righteousness. Micah 7:9-10

Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame.

She who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will behold her downfall. Even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.

Anticipate the power of God.

Beware using your freedom of speech to create a slavery to strife.

The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries. Micah 7:11

Prepare to build.

THINK

SEEK

ANTICIPATE

PREPARE

Put Me In, Coach! | Invest and Invite

It’s baseball season! Our favorite MLB teams are vying for a chance at the World Series. T-ball tykes, high school and college sluggers, church and business league players have been giving it their best through the hot summer days. A true ball player doesn’t shy away from a challenge. When the stakes are high and the challenge is big, a winning player is anxious to get in the game and on the field. That winner’s plea is, “Put me in the game, Coach!”


Players who are proud of their team and love the game want people to be part of the excitement. They are all about investing in others, sharing their enthusiasm, and inviting them to be part of a thrilling win!


Message Notes

People who didn’t like religion liked Jesus.

He told three stories about the goal in Luke 15.

The lost sheep

The lost coin

The lost boy

 It’s all about relationship. The ones who are gone are the focus of his attention.

 A group of believers with the heart of the Father focus in the same way.

 “Lost” is not offensive—it shows value. You only search for things that are valuable and precious.

 Searchers have to search—not talk about it.

 The key to our church remaining connected with God is INVEST and INVITE.

Pray for opportunities.

Be intentional in our relationships.

Everything we’ve done this morning we’ll do better in heaven. Everything but search.

 If we want to be a church where God feels free to show up, we have to deliberately be a church where people far away from God feel free to show up.

Here We Stand | Freedom Sunday. Here We Stand.

“…the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:1-3

Our world is poor, broken, and in bondage.
Followers of Jesus Christ have been given a mission and the power to be healers and restorers.
The world is crying. Jesus is calling. We accept the challenge.
We will widen our worldview.
We will give water, attack poverty, and release the prisoners.
We will bring comfort, beauty, joy, and praise.
We will banish despair.
We can make a difference. We must.
Here we stand.


Here We Stand | This is How We Change the World. Here We Stand.

“…the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:1-3

Our world is poor, broken, and in bondage.
Followers of Jesus Christ have been given a mission and the power to be healers and restorers.
The world is crying. Jesus is calling. We accept the challenge.
We will widen our worldview.
We will give water, attack poverty, and release the prisoners.
We will bring comfort, beauty, joy, and praise.
We will banish despair.
We can make a difference. We must.
Here we stand.

Jesus had a strategy for changing the world. It is still the one that truly works today.


Message Notes

“Strategy 101”
by Jesus

 

Embrace the purpose

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:17
“I have come that they might have life, and might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

 

Go to the party.

“Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17

 

Honor God’s commands and character over anyone’s preferences.

“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” Mark 7:9

 

Throw your own party—SERVE.

“He got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13:4-5

Here We Stand | To The King. Here We Stand.

“…the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:1-3

Our world is poor, broken, and in bondage.
Followers of Jesus Christ have been given a mission and the power to be healers and restorers.
The world is crying. Jesus is calling. We accept the challenge.
We will widen our worldview.
We will give water, attack poverty, and release the prisoners.
We will bring comfort, beauty, joy, and praise.
We will banish despair.
We can make a difference. We must.
Here we stand.

As Christ-followers, we are part of a Kingdom that is not of this world, but a Kingdom that is coming. Everything we do, we do as unto the King.



Message Notes

“I will develop my life for the greater good. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth. I will never boast, but cherish humility instead. I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word. I will defend those who cannot defend themselves. I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises. I will uphold justice by being fair to all. I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship. I will abhor scandals and gossip - neither partake nor delight in them. I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help. I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven. I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward.” - King Arthur, Le Morte d'Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table

The Oath to the King:
“Whatever you eat, drink, or do, do it all in the name of Jesus...” Colossians 3:17

“Follow me as I follow Christ.” I Corinthians 11:1

Show them a personal relationship with the King.
Invite them to experience the fellowship of the round table.
Expose them to the thrill of doing something significant for the Kingdom.

“Now to the King, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen!” I Timothy 1:17

To the King!