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Do you like to hear a story you already know the ending to? What about a promise you KNOW is going to come true? Jesus is the answer to many of the questions and fears in Isaiah, and the fulfillment of the promises. This week we hear a beautiful and poetic description of who the Savior is and how He carried our burdens on His shoulders.…
 
Our journey with Isaiah takes a big turn - we’ve learned his language, we’ve heard his law, and now we explore the great promises found in his prophecies. “Zion,” or “Jerusalem” plays a central role in the covenant God has with his people, and for good reason!Shepherd of the Desert による
 
This week we see the struggle of a humanity caught up in corruption and brokenness in the words of Isaiah. The prophet needed to be honest with the people about what he saw - people lost in the worship of creation, having totally lost the reverence and relationship they had with The Creator! Surprisingly, the struggle continues even for us……
 
We're kicking off our "Cast of Characters" series for the first part of 2023 with the prophet Isaiah. One of the major ancient prophets with some of the heaviest messages and most beautiful revelations of God's grace, stepping into this Old Testament book can be intimidating. We'll take those steps together, though, and discover a messenger who is …
 
This time of year always has us thinking about greetings - seasons greetings, if you will! “Happy Holidays,” or “Merry Christmas,” followed by a “Happy New Year!” In worship we will be hearing about a greeting to an early church congregation - what did those words mean? How did they impact the people they were written toward? How might they have a …
 
Advent 2022 brings with it significant weeks in the month before Christmas - Baptism Sunday last week, this Sunday the welcoming of New Members gathered into our family over the last year. What a joy to embrace the life of waiting that Jesus calls us to as we expect His soon return! Join us for church on Sunday as we hear the words of Jesus in what…
 
Well, it’s Advent and we're headed to Christmas! Before we get there, though, we've got Baptism Sunday happening this weekend! This second week of Advent is a time to remember how John the Baptist called on people to return to God, and we are going to celebrate and welcome those receiving God’s grace in the waters of Baptism on both campuses! Join …
 
As we leave Thanksgiving and the month of celebrating it behind, we turn our eyes to the joy of Christmas. Our greatest Thanksgiving happens in December, not November. Jesus Christ, the intentional sacrificial and joyful savior of the world arrives in "mean estate." Shepherd, let’s go there.Shepherd of the Desert による
 
November is for Thanksgiving and this weekend the joy of saying “Thank you” stands front and center. To get there, we go to Calvary and listen to all the weeping and wailing happening around Christ’s cross. In the midst of it all, Jesus said with relief in his voice and hope in his heart, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Thank God, for heav…
 
Gratitude has a way of opening our hearts to generosity that transforms. Just as God generously works on our hearts and lives to make us more like him, so our generosity has the potential to make an impact! This week in church we explore what it means to give sacrificially - in such a way that our sacrifice is used by God for His purposes!…
 
Often, the first Sunday of November celebrates saints of two different kinds. First, All Saints' Day offers us the opportunity to reflect on Christians who have received their heavenly reward in the past year. We say, "Thank you, God!" for your faithfulness to them in this life and their faithfulness which provided an example to many of us. Second,…
 
This weekend we welcome eight confirmation students into our church and into The Church! These young people will be sharing their testimonies and boldly proclaiming the truth of the Gospel, and we will be extending a hand of encouragement and support for their lives of faith.Shepherd of the Desert による
 
Confirmation is coming up – which means we should ask the question, “Are we ready for this?” Come to church this week as we explore what it means that confirmation is not a finish line, but a starting point for a faith being formed each day after. The joy of being part of a worshiping community, the work of God in our hearts. While we prepare to co…
 
Every Christian knows we should pray. And every Christian probably also knows we should be praying more. But sometimes we don’t really have clarity on how we should pray or what we should pray for. This weekend we are going to zero in directly on what Jesus says about those two specific pieces of prayer - and our hearts will be blessed with a brigh…
 
The familiarity of church traditions can sometimes cause a loss of just how powerful these age-old practices really are. This week we take a close look at The Lord’s Supper, through the lens of a familiar miracle in Jesus’ ministry, to better grasp the face-to-face reality with a Savior who meets us as outsiders on our way. Do you ever wonder why c…
 
Have you ever felt like church is the place where you walk in, hear “you’re bad but God loves you” and you walk out until next time? This week we are digging into the gift and opportunity God gives us to draw close to him and trust him with our problems and pains. God desires intimacy with you, as a dear Father rather than a distant judge. As we ta…
 
What is baptism? Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God's command and combined with God's word. (from The Small Catechism of Martin Luther) What does baptizing with water indicate? It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sin and evil desires, and that a…
 
This week we continue our walk through the foundational anchors of our faith - and focus on the Apostle’s Creed. This short summary of our Christian beliefs carries deep implications in life. It can be a source of great encouragement, a strong reminder in the face of doubts, and a rallying point in moments of weakness.…
 
What we believe can be an unbelievably divisive conversation. Not impolite. Not inconsiderate. Not antagonistic. But divisive. The conviction of the pastoral staff of Shepherd and the Bible itself is this: As many people live in the world, as many convictions and worldviews exist as well. Whenever you talk to another human being about eternal, spir…
 
This week in worship we finish up our August series: By Faith. Hebrews 13 guides our reflection on what it means to live a life characterized by our faith - a life that is founded not on unstable things in this life, but the confidence of the Kingdom of God. When that is our foundation, we live lives filled with words, works and praise that look di…
 
FAITH KNOWS ITS FATHER We’ve walked through Hebrews 11 together, leaning on the examples of the faithful who came before us. Sometimes, though, the distance between us and God remains. We feel lost, we feel uncared for, like shooting in the dark. Yet in Jesus God meets us here, in real life, in person, in powerful ways.…
 
This August we started looking into the final chapters of what may be the final book written in the New Testament—historically speaking that is. The book of Hebrews, according to many scholars, was written long after the days of Jesus walking on water and earth—some 60 years later. Times of great testing were settling on the early church. Faith was…
 
Do you struggle with believing in a truth you can’t see? Is it hard to trust God’s word in a world that seems so contradictory against it? August is a chance to surface those struggles and difficulties. On Sunday we take our first steps in a month long study of faith. Come to church these next four weeks as we read through and appreciate the book o…
 
Have you ever felt like God isn't listening to your prayers? Or maybe just that prayers are a nice exercise but they don't do anything? This week we dig into a lesson Jesus gives to his own disciples about prayer. To sum it all up, "keep praying, and pray boldly!" Join us in digital worship as we consider what it means to keep prayer at the forefro…
 
Jesus tells us throughout the Gospels to "love our neighbors." Most of the time, it is easy for us to picture who our neighbors are and even to obey Jesus' command toward those people! But sometimes we get tricked into restricting the definition of "neighbor" far more than Jesus ever would have wanted - so we turn back to a familiar story with an i…
 
This weekend marks our annual celebration of freedom and independence as a nation! While pondering and remembering the great gift of national freedom we have is important, as Christians we cling to the more powerful reality that true freedom comes only from God. Come to church this weekend as we dig into spiritual freedom, and discover the joy of J…
 
What does being a Christian cost you? In this week's Gospel reading from Luke 9, Jesus explains that those who follow Him are to proclaim His kingdom and do so without hesitation or excuse! On the one hand, the cost for you to be a Christian is everything for it means giving up your self-reliance. However, the cost for you to be a Christian is also…
 
This Sunday we continue our summer series "Here We Grow!". There’s nothing better than “A Father’s Love." Let's take a moment and reflect on our Heavenly Father's love for us. As dads, we remember our own spiritual growth, receiving the love of Jesus and now extending His love to our children and grandchildren.…
 
This week we kick off our summer series “Here We Grow!” while we celebrate Trinity Sunday! We worship a God who shows us to Himself as a creating Father, a redeeming Son, and a working Holy Spirit, calling us to faith! Though we struggle to grasp this fully, we know that true wisdom comes as a gift from God and not a product of our own efforts or a…
 
Life brings us to places where we feel isolated, misunderstood, and confused. All this is a result of our own brokenness - yet God in His wisdom and mercy meets us even in those place, and uses us there for his incredible purpose! Come to church this week to hear about how God has put you in a special and specific place, and meets you there for the…
 
This last weekend of the Easter season sees Shepherd celebrating the Ascension of Jesus Christ, the 40 day triumph of a Son's return to His heavenly Father. Leaving his beloved church behind, Christ works behind the curtain of history leading, guiding and establishing the Gospel of mercy and grace and forgiveness for sinners. Get ready for a great …
 
This week in worship we encounter a seemingly trivial story of a person coming to faith, and a home being opened to missionaries. When we look deeper, we see the Spirit of God opening a heart to hear the Truth of God's love, causing a whole family to change course for the Gospel. Since Easter, we've been studying the real-life impact of Jesus' resu…
 
Last week we learned how the Easter story transforms us into people no longer keeping ourselves as our number one priority. This week, we encounter a challenging story - God opening the gates to a relationship with Him for people outside His Jewish covenant! This story teaches us a lesson in not only putting our selfishness aside but taking hold of…
 
Happy Mother's Day from Shepherd! As we spend some special time this weekend celebrating and thanking God for our mothers and our motherly figures in life, worship with us! Paul writes to the Ephesians at the end of Acts, "it is better to give than to receive." Mothers are certainly examples of living out this generous lifestyle, and we all are cal…
 
This week we celebrate Baptism as a church! Baptism is one of God's powerful gifts to His children - its commanded, beneficial, and lifelong! Through Baptism, God calls us His own, he washes us clean from our sins, and we put on the perfection of Jesus! God works through the water of Baptism and the Word he speaks so that all who are baptized are w…
 
Hosanna! Come to worship this Palm Sunday as we finish out our mini-sermon series, Last Laps: Getting Ready for Good Friday. About the series: The last laps of a race are both the hardest and the most hopeful. Hard, because the physical resources necessary to compete are quickly being depleted. Hopeful, because the hard labor of competition is near…
 
Having a heart of darkness breaks every relationship. As we take the final turn in our March sermon series, "The Heart of Darkness", we hear a familiar story starring a prodigal son. In fact, there are two sons in this story--one who lives in wild and reckless abandon, the other who embraces a prideful perspective. Interestingly, both sons fall pre…
 
Death is the necessary outcome and consequence for sin. In Luke 13 Jesus recalls a story steeped in death. These Scriptures paint a gruesome picture of the deep brokenness and evil in the world. In fact, the world may try its best to convince us that death is not an enemy; to convince us that death is something to be denied. God shows us the grave …
 
Having a heart of darkness mutes the voice of God, causes us hardship in hearing clearly what He says. In our defense, we may ask, "With all the voices in the world, how can we be blamed for listening to the wrong ones?" Or, "Is it my fault I don't hear God's truth in a chaos filled with lies?" This week we take seriously our responsibility for sin…
 
Having a heart of darkness is like walking in a spiritual wilderness. Rescue cannot happen without the Rescuer entering that same wilderness. In this opening weekend of our Lenten sermon series, "The Heart of Darkness", we'll take stock of our Rescuer as Jesus enters the wilderness and the temptations that are found there. His fight with Satan is o…
 
At the top of a mountain, in advance of death’s valley, the Son of God speaks with his Father. A who’s who cast of Old Testament saints surrounds him and his three apprentice-disciples. Humility is anchored to who you really are at heart. This Son who well-pleases His Father is the perfection of a humble servant ready to come off the mountain and d…
 
Pride cometh before the fall. To understand and appreciate humility is to confront head on the other side of the character coin: pride, arrogance, conceit and envy. Every virtue is matched by an opposing vice. Sometimes disciples enhance their virtue. Sometimes, through the power of mercy and renewal, disciples knock down their vice. This weekend w…
 
Humility takes many forms. The Son of God was conversant in the many sizes and shapes humility might take. In this second week of our February worship series, we spend some time studying these many facets of humility in Luke 6.Shepherd of the Desert による
 
Humility stands side by side with power. The closer we come to the cross, the place of God’s greatest power, the more humility Jesus displays. In this opening weekend of our worship series, “The Heart of Humility”, we take in the simultaneous power Jesus possesses and the humility he exudes.Shepherd of the Desert による
 
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