Nov 13, 2016
Esther, the Story of – Part 4 – Esther 5:1-9:4
main Nov 13, 2016 was designated as "Orphan Sunday 2016." What better biblical story about a biblical orphan than the story of Esther. She was a Jewish girl, who lost both of her parents while they were living as foreigners in Persia. Thankfully her older cousin Mordecai adopts her as his own daughter, and they remained living in Susa, Persia, the capital city of that great pagan empire. Yet there is so much more to this story! God had Mordecai and Esther right where He wanted them to accomplish His protective plan for the Jews whose lives were being threatened by wicked Haman who was the prime minister or Persia. We would like to encourage you to download the teaching notes, open your Bible to Esther 5, and listen as Pastor Anton teaches this 4th and final message in the series "Esther, the Story of." We hope and trust that you will be encouraged. 
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  • Nov 13, 2016Esther, the Story of – Part 4 – Esther 5:1-9:4
    Nov 13, 2016
    Esther, the Story of – Part 4 – Esther 5:1-9:4
    main Nov 13, 2016 was designated as "Orphan Sunday 2016." What better biblical story about a biblical orphan than the story of Esther. She was a Jewish girl, who lost both of her parents while they were living as foreigners in Persia. Thankfully her older cousin Mordecai adopts her as his own daughter, and they remained living in Susa, Persia, the capital city of that great pagan empire. Yet there is so much more to this story! God had Mordecai and Esther right where He wanted them to accomplish His protective plan for the Jews whose lives were being threatened by wicked Haman who was the prime minister or Persia. We would like to encourage you to download the teaching notes, open your Bible to Esther 5, and listen as Pastor Anton teaches this 4th and final message in the series "Esther, the Story of." We hope and trust that you will be encouraged. 
  • Nov 6, 2016Esther, the Story of – Esther 3:8-4:17 “For Such a Time as This”
    Nov 6, 2016
    Esther, the Story of – Esther 3:8-4:17 “For Such a Time as This”
    main Have you ever considered "why" you were born in the era that you were? Have you ever considered the parents that you were born too, and the part of the world in which you grew up in? While we did not have an opportunity to choose any of these, we have the privilege and responsibility of answering it. And the only place to get the real TRUE answer to these questions is the Word of God, the Bible. We would like to encourage you to open your Bible to Esther 3, and download the teaching notes to follow along as Pastor Anton teaches on the Story of Esther. We hope and trust that you will be encouraged and challenged. 
  • Oct 30, 2016Esther, The Story of – Esther 2:1-3:7
    Oct 30, 2016
    Esther, The Story of – Esther 2:1-3:7
    mainOur World View has a great deal of influence on how we view God's activity in the world and in our lives. For some, their belief is that there is no god, and thus what we are able to experience, measure, etc., is reality, and there is nothing outside of it. This first view is commonly known as naturalism/materialism. There are also many who believe that god is in everything, this is classically known as Pantheism. There are also those who hold the view of a Deism. This is the view that God or a god created the world and the universe, and then set things into motion. This is commonly exemplified in the illustration of the "great clock maker," where the clock maker builds the clock, winds it up, sets it in motion, and watches it spin-out. Finally, there is the view of Theism. Although there are many off-shoots that come from the Theistic worldview, this is the view that believes that God not only created the world, upholds it keeping things working and functioning, but that He also enters into our realm at times. 
         Our prayer is that as you open up your Bible to the book of Esther, download the teaching notes, and listen to Pastor Anton's message, that you will have an open mind and heart to see God's activity in this story. We believe that God is at work and on the move in our lives, and we hope that you will be encouraged by this message. 
  • Oct 23, 2016Esther, The Story of – Esther 1:1-22
    Oct 23, 2016
    Esther, The Story of – Esther 1:1-22
    mainDo you like a good fairy-tale story? Many in our culture do. The Book of Esther, written roughly in 470 B.C. and most like by Mordecai, contains all the setup to a great fairy-tale story. A wealthy king, a beautiful queen, a breathtaking palace, royal parties, an orphan girl, a beauty competition, and the young girl winning and becoming the new queen of Persia! At least is some of the basic highlights until you arrive at Esther 2:20. However the problem is this, the book of Esther is a real life story, and in real life, things rarely end "happily ever after." It is very important to note that a unique characteristic of the book is that the name of the Lord God is never mentioned, nor is He ever prayed to. Prayer is suggested, but never mentioned explicitly. Yet even with the absence of the mention of God, His handiwork and divine providence of the Lord is seen throughout.  We would like to encourage you to download the teaching notes, and turn in your own Bible as pastor Anton teaches on the Story of Esther, chapter 1. We trust that you will be encouraged.
  • Oct 16, 2016Counter Culture – The Call to be Set Apart – Romans 12:1-8
    Oct 16, 2016
    Counter Culture – The Call to be Set Apart – Romans 12:1-8
    The Story of Elijah - Counter Culture Smaller Website Banner
    Have you ever thought about your purpose in life? Why you are here, and what you should/will accomplish with the time that you have? 
    In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul's letter to the Christians in Rome, there is a dramatic shift at the beginning of chapter 12 from the previous 11 chapters. Paul had been teaching the Christians what they "ought to know" when it comes to the Gospel and the Word of God. However in chapter 12, the shift is made, and he begins teaching the believers how they ought to live. Not in the sense of legalism, but in light of God's grace and mercy, how Christians ought to live lives of service for The King of the universe. We would like to encourage you to download the teaching notes, and open your Bible to Romans 12, as you listen to this week's message by Pastor Anton. We trust that you will be encouraged.  
  • Oct 2, 2016Counter Culture – Ahab Gets His Just Desserts – 1 Kings 21:1-16; 22:29-38 and 2 Kings 9:30-37
    Oct 2, 2016
    Counter Culture – Ahab Gets His Just Desserts – 1 Kings 21:1-16; 22:29-38 and 2 Kings 9:30-37
    The Story of Elijah - Counter Culture Smaller Website Banner When was the last time that you had an excellent dessert? Most of us were taught to clean our plate in order for us to be able to have our dessert as kids. Dessert was a reward for the "good eating" habits that we performed. In the story of Elijah, we see how the wicked King Ahab and Jezebel seem to do evil over and over again without having any consequence. In this final message in the 6-part series titled "Counter Culture" Pastor Anton teaches on what happened to Ahab and his vile wife Jezebel. We would like to encourage you to turn in your own Bible to 1 Kings 21 and download the teaching notes as you follow along. We hope and trust that you will be encouraged.
  • Sep 25, 2016Counter Culture – Burning the Plow – 1 Kings 19:9-21
    Sep 25, 2016
    Counter Culture – Burning the Plow – 1 Kings 19:9-21
    The Story of Elijah - Counter Culture Smaller Website Banner
    All alone with the Lord. Hiding in a cave on Mt. Sinai is where we last found the Prophet Elijah. He had fled from Jezreel for his life for fear of what wicked king Ahab and his vile wife Jezebel might do. Wishing for the Lord to take his life, it is fairly obvious from the Word of God that Elijah was not only feeling like a failure, but that he was depressed. 
    Yet as we read in 1 Kings 19, the Lord is not done with Elijah, and He gives Elijah an opportunity to experience His power and presence with him on that mountain top. He gives him a three-fold command to anoint three men, two as kings, and Elisha to be his understudy. We would like to encourage you to turn in your bible to 1 Kings 19 and follow along as Pastor Anton teaches on what God's calling is going to require for faithful servants. We hope and trust that you will be encouraged. 
  • Sep 18, 2016Counter Culture – Prophet on the Run – 1 Kings 18:41-19:9
    Sep 18, 2016
    Counter Culture – Prophet on the Run – 1 Kings 18:41-19:9
    The Story of Elijah - Counter Culture Smaller Website BannerHave you ever experienced a "mountain top moment" in your life? such an event could be described as a joyful moment of victory after a long-fought battle or sporting event. It could also be the emotion and sense of accomplishment following the completion of a difficult test, or just having been given a raise at work. As several examples have been mentioned, no doubt some of your own "mountain top experiences" have been flooding into your memory banks.
    In 1 Kings 18, the prophet Elijah experiences not one, but two mountain top experiences back to back. The showdown on top of Mt Carmel between the 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah and Elijah and the one true God ends in an awesome display of God's absolute power and authority. And literally hours later, God sends the much needed rain across the lands where there had been drought for three straight years. We can be sure that Elijah is thrilled! Yet what happens next might come as a surprise, I believe it was for Elijah. His expectations were not yet, wicked Ahab and his queen Jezebel did not repent. Instead Jezebel orders that Elijah be killed! Fear sweeps in like the winds of the rain, and Elijah suddenly flees out of fear for his life. What would you have done? What is your default reaction of opposition or even unmet expectations? We would like to encourage you to download the teaching notes, and follow along in your own Bible at 1 Kings 18 & 19 as Pastor Anton teaches. We hope and trust that you will be challenged and encouraged. 
  • Sep 11, 2016Counter Culture – “Baal is Busted” 1 Kings 18:17-40
    Sep 11, 2016
    Counter Culture – “Baal is Busted” 1 Kings 18:17-40
    The Story of Elijah - Counter Culture Smaller Website BannerWould you rather have the entire world behind you, and be warring against the true God of the universe. Or would you rather have the entire world against you and have God almighty on your side (or at least you be on His side)? 
    The reason why we must ask ourselves that question at the start of this teaching is because in many ways, that must have been what Elijah the prophet was feeling in 1 Kings 18. He is called by the Lord to confront wicked King Ahab (King over the northern tribes of Israel), and lay out a challenge before the king. Call for all of Israel, and the entire company of 850 prophets of the false gods Baal and Asherah and let us have a showdown at Mount Carmel to see who is the true God. 
    We encourage you to download the teaching notes, and turn in your own Bible to 1 Kings 18 as you listen to this week's sermon by Pastor Anton Folz. We trust that you will be encouraged. 
  • Sep 4, 2016Counter Culture – Elijah at Empty Jar Graduate School – 1 Kings 17:1-24
    Sep 4, 2016
    Counter Culture – Elijah at Empty Jar Graduate School – 1 Kings 17:1-24
    The Story of Elijah - Counter Culture Smaller Website BannerWhat would you be willing to lay down in order to place the Lord first? In a culture that seems to be entirely headed in one direction, would you be willing to go against the flow in order to serve God?
     
    Elijah was called by the Lord to do some very bold and dangerous things. And in the midst of following the Lord, he became public enemy number one. Yet while all the nations seemed to be against him, Elijah was on the side of One True God. in 1 Kings 17, we read of some miraculous and counter cultural ways in which God used to provide for Elijah. We would like to encourage you to turn in your Bible to Kings 17, and download the teaching notes as Pastor Anton teaches on this part of the life of Elijah. We trust that you will be encouraged.