Preview: Sermons From the Edge
Sermons From the Edge
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Obligation or Opportunity: Sermons From the Edge
Thu, 06 Jul 2006 16:37:48 PDT
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 25:30 min
What is our attitude about giving? Do we see it as an obligation or an opportunity? A priority or a problem? Have you noticed in life that there is always some problem that presents itself and then when you get over that one, there is another one. If you wait until everything is perfect, if you wait until everything is settled, if you wait until all your financial issues or time issues are resolved, you'll never give anything to anyone. If we don't take it upon ourselves to manage our finances, to manage our talents, to manage our time, and make giving of ourselves and our resources a priority, then we will ultimately miss out on a fulfilled life.
Does fulfillment in life come from acquiring or from giving? How do I receive ultimate fulfillment in life? Do I do it by getting more or by giving more?
Five key issues that will help us achieve fulfillment in life:
1. Settle the issue of giving according to priority or problems.
2. Settle the issue of giving according to opportunity or obligation.
3. Settle the issue of who is in control of my life.
4. Settle the issue of leadership.
5. Settle the issue of love.
When you want to know for a fact what it is that you love, follow the money trail. Not only do we need to know where our money is in order to budget effectively, you and I need to know where our money is, so we will know where our heart is.Download mp3: Obligation or OpportunitySubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Making Choices: Sermons From the Edge
Sun, 11 Jun 2006 16:59:51 PDT
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 33:26 min
Our lives are comprised of a series of choices made over time and affected by time. The future is, in many ways, determined by the choices that we make in the present. All of our choices are routed or grounded in some faith stance.
You look at your bills, you look at the things that you'd like to buy, and then you look at your checkbook and you think, this is a drop in the bucket for everything I need to pay for. Finances and the stewardship of them is a subject that Jesus talks more about except for the kingdom of God. It is the number one reason given by couples as the reason for getting a divorce. It is the souce of countless heartaches, deprivation, and poverty on a global scale.
In this sermon, Gordon offers encouragement to those of you who are attempting to be a good steward and challenges those of you who have never taken the time to look at the choices you make and the effect that it has on your future. You can't achieve lasting fulfullment without being a giver. You can aquire but you can't receive fulfillment.
There is no living without giving.
--- “You don't get more because you have less, you get more because you handle more in a faithful way.”
-Gordon Venturella Download mp3: Making ChoicesSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Before & After: Sermons From the Edge
Tue, 23 May 2006 11:03:34 PDT
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 18:28 min
Life is fragile. With the ring of a doorbell, life can change forever. You get up thinking about your schedule for the day and in a heartbeat it’s changed. It doesn’t matter how important your agenda was for the day; it all gets rearranged.
You can take your vitamins, exercise every day, never drink and drive, wear your seatbelt, eat right, and not smoke, and the Grim Reaper is still there. The great interrupter stills roams around. If this life is all there is, then at best there is uncertainty, and then, the Grim Reaper.
Death is almost always inconvenient. It’s almost always an interruption. It’s not something that fits easily in to our palm piloted life. Death is starting out in to the light of the day and being enveloped in darkness.Easter is about recapturing the light.
--- "I remember the year I lost my three friends. Above all else I want Easter to be true because of its promise that someday I will get my friends back. I want to abolish that word irreversible forever. I suppose you could say I want to believe in fairy tales."
- Phil Yancey Download mp3: Before & AfterSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Life in the Trenches: Sermons From the Edge
Sat, 13 May 2006 08:38:36 PDT
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 20:31 min
Palm Sunday is all about enduring the harsher realities of life. It’s what happens after the honeymoon is over. It’s the first irate phone call after you’ve moved in to the new office. It’s what happens after the sale has been made - and you call the service department. It’s the distraction you must endure to get where you need to go, the detours you must go around to get to your destination. It’s what it takes to cross the finish line victorious. It's about life in the trenches.
In this sermon we're going to take a look at some of the highlights of the passionate week that Jesus had ahead of Him, any one of which could have been a distraction to accomplishing His mission.
Maybe you have a Passion Week ahead of you. And maybe you will encounter some of the same distrations that Jesus did. If so, you’ll need to make some resolutions, in order to make it to the end of the week.
---"I have no rights of my own to be offended. I voluntarily gave them up when I became a Christian. I don’t have time to take offense – I only have a mission to accomplish. Everything else is a distraction."
-Gordon Venturella Download mp3: Life in the TrenchesSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Are You Feeling Lucky? - Sermons From the Edge
Fri, 05 May 2006 10:59:51 PDT
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 23:26 min
Most people who emigrate from one country to another are doing so in search of a better life. Whether we're talking about the first pilgrims to this country hundreds of years ago, or today when Chinese immigrants stow away in a ship in unsanitary conditions, I have to think most do so in hopes of a better life.What would be a better life?
Deep down, if we were honest, we'd admit that we're making decisions about that question every day. Would it be better for me to respond ethically on the job, or just make a run for the money? Would it be better for me to invest my time and money in the church? Or in other pursuits? Would it be better for me to work here – or there? Should I live in this kind of house or that kind of house? Where should my children go to school? How much education do I need?
In this series about the real teaching of the real Jesus we will see what He has to say about a better life. Crowds are gathering about Jesus, and I have to believe they're concerned with what we're concerned with: Will this man mean a better life?
Instead of playing to the crowd, Jesus skipped the parables and granted his audience a full-blown philosophy of life: We call it the Sermon on the Mount. In it Jesus talks about immigration we all need to make. It's immigration from the Kingdom of this world – To the Kingdom of God. In this passage He challenges us to take the risk and live like citizens of a different Kingdom. You decide for yourself whether or not it's a better life.
--- "To be a Christian, to immigrate to a New Kingdom, one must take up his cross, with all its difficulties and agonizing and tension and carry it until that very cross leaves its mark upon us. Ultimately it's the mark of a better life."
-Gordon VenturellaDownload mp3: Are You Feeling Lucky?Subscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Celebrate the Plain Truth: Sermons from the Edge
Tue, 04 Apr 2006 11:49:36 PDT
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 25:39 min
In this sermon we take a look at another aspect of Jesus' life that we can celebrate - His use of plain speech.
Jesus may have spoken in parables at times, but they were relevant parables, accessible to those who really wanted to know. When Jesus spoke with people He spoke in terms everyone in his day could understand. His language was the language of everyday commerce – not King James English. He talked about sheep to shepherds, about fruit trees and planting seeds to farmers, about home construction to laborers and fishing to fishermen. He used common everyday objects to which his listeners could relate: A key, a door, a gate, bottles of wine, a wedding party. He used vivid illustrations; a big log in a person’s eye, a camel going through the eye of the needle. How is it that we’ve managed to complicate and confuse the gospel message?
Turns out that communicating the Gospel in plain language is sometimes complicated work. Those of us who have already trusted the gospel message need to use language people understand to tell the story of Christ. Too often we develop our own religious jargon, which is gibberish to seekers. Even though we may mean well, when we try to communicate with anyone outside our Christian subculture using God-talk, christianeeze, a spiritualized jargon that makes us sound otherworldly, we become less like Jesus not more like him. The fact of the matter is that God-talk can become a form of idolatry; a way of making God small and manageable, and like all forms of idolatry, easier to control.
So, how do we get outside of our own culture and begin to relate to other people around us? Listen to this sermon and find out. Download mp3: Celebrate the Plain TruthSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Celebrate With Humility: Sermons From the Edge
Sun, 26 Mar 2006 14:42:43 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 24:14 min
Almost always when we start to feel a little too good about ourselves, something or someone comes along to bring us down a notch. This inspirational piece is that something which puts us back in our place:
If you can start the day without a cigarette,
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pills,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches, and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,
If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct them,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend, If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics,
Then - my friend you are almost as good as your dog.
In this sermon we will learn through the example of Jesus what humility looks like and what some of the characteristics are of truly humble people. Download mp3: Celebrate With HumilitySubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Celebrate With Your Rowdy Friends: Sermons From the Edge
Fri, 17 Mar 2006 10:45:13 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 24:15 min
Christians frequently hide behind the phrase, hate the sin but love the sinner, but too often have an attitude that comes off as holier than thou because our real feeling is disgust for the tax collectors and sinners we encounter, and it shows through.
The position of the New Testament is that more tolerance is displayed toward the tax collectors and sinners than toward those already in the church who claim to be following Jesus. Too often it's just the opposite. We tolerate behavior in the church that we condemn in the world and think the world doesn't notice...they do.
The list goes on and on of those groups of people that the church has alienated that would have otherwise been attracted to Jesus. It's apparent that rowdy people, those on the margins of respectable society, felt comfortable with Jesus. They were in fact attracted to Jesus.
Who are tax collectors and sinners to you?
Who are the lowest of the low to you?
Do scum like hanging out with you? Download mp3: Celebrate With Your Rowdy FriendsSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Celebrate Breaking Down Barriers: Sermons From the Edge
Tue, 07 Mar 2006 13:42:13 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 21:16 min
You don't have to look around too much to discover that some people think that differences should be eliminated. You don't have to look around too much to find people that think the only perfect way of looking and behaving is based upon my preferences, my race, my gender, or my rigid interpretation of God.
God created people differently and that's something to celebrate.
In this sermon, Gordon talks about three characters and three insights we can gain from the story of Jesus traveling through Samaria. Listen to this sermon and see how Jesus broke every religion, ethnic and gender barrier of his time simply by being where he was and asking for a drink of water. Download mp3: Celebrate Breaking Down BarriersSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Celebrate Getting Connected: Sermons From the Edge
Sun, 26 Feb 2006 22:41:03 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 23:36 minRadio conversation between a U.S. naval ship and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland:
Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees south to avoid a collision.
Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees north to avoid a collision.
Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the captain of a U.S. Navy ship. I say again, divert your course.
Canadians: No, I say again, you divert your course.
Americans: This is the Aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States' Atlantic Fleet. We're accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers, and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees north. I say again, that's one five degrees north, or counter measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.
Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
It seems that too many people today are on a course in life that they're convinced is the right course. But what they have forgotten or not noticed along the way is that they have traveled so far outside the path that God would have for them that they have become disconnected; the cord has been pulled out from the power source and they have not noticed it and they’re headed for a crash.
Preachers will usually preach on this topic by urging everyone to cut way back on their schedule and pray three or four hours a day. The result is that some church members feel guilty because they know they've never spent three or four hours a month in prayer let alone every day and further - they know they're never going to do that. Seems to me that the least we can do in church is not pretend. Seems to me the least we can do in church is to be honest and not pretend and cause unnecessary guilt.
What disconnects us from God is being busy where we have no business being busy. It's not busyness per se that disconnects us, it's the dysfunctional response to the tyranny of the urgent. It's living under the misconception that we can solve everyone's problem, that we can get involved in everyone's business. That we have to be the messiah that Jesus never was... whole churches fall prey to this. Pastors and other leaders in the church are notorious for accepting the mantle of dysfunctional care giving. Pretending to be someone who actually needs to be on call 24/7 as the only counselor, the only teacher, the only preacher, the only decision-maker. Jesus led a busy life and stayed connected to God. But He didn't heal everyone, teach everyone or respond to everyone's call. Staying connected to God is for busy people who can tell important things from urgent things, who understand the difference between the work God has given them and the work they have created in a people pleasing ego feeding frenzy.
In this sermon, Gordon talks about two very basic principles that can help us to get and stay connected to God. Listen to this sermon to find out what those principles are. Download mp3: Celebrate Getting ConnectedSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Celebrate Promises: Sermons From the Edge
Sun, 19 Feb 2006 21:54:33 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 19:46 minA new monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand. He notices, however, that they are copying copies, and not the original books. So, the new monk goes to the head monk to ask him about this. He points out that if there was an error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all of the other copies. The head monk says, "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son."
So, he goes down into the cellar with one of the copies to check it against the original. Hours later, nobody has seen him. So, one of the monks goes downstairs to look for him. He hears sobbing coming from the back of the cellar and finds the old monk leaning over one of the original books crying. He asks what's wrong.
"The word is celebrate," says the old monk.
Over the next 8 weeks we are going to start a new series about the things we have to truly celebrate. What we are talking about is real celebration, not substitute celebration or fake celebration, not the kind that leaves you feeling worse in the end, but a genuine, eternal kind of celebration. The kind of celebration that leaves you feeling better and stronger because of it. And it centers around who Jesus really is.
In this sermon, Gordon talks about three promises about which we can always celebrate. They are not particularly complex but rather simple and yet profound. Listen to this sermon to find out what those promises are. Download mp3: Celebrate PromisesSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
What If I Stumble? Sermons From the Edge
Fri, 10 Feb 2006 22:46:14 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 22:38 min
There are few events more embarrassing than tripping or falling down. Have you ever had that experience? You're walking along confident, assured, proud, and your foot catches an uneven spot in the sidewalk and you do that half fall. Sometimes in the mix of relationships, when we don't know what to do, when we aren't paying attention, we stumble.
We make mistakes.
We overschedule our lives.
We get into or stay in damaging relationships.
We lash out in anger.
We're not all that we could be, should be, every moment of every day of our life.
But mark this down, the primary condition of the human sprit that transcends race, class, and culture is that we all stumble, we all miss the mark, we all sin.
When I stumble I am faced with a profound choice:
How will I deal with the stumble?
Will I get back up?
Will I deny it?
Will I confess it?
Will I complicate things by lying?
Will I just give and say I couldn't help it?
Listen to this sermon to hear about some of the blocks in life that can cause us to stumble. Download mp3: What If I Stumble?Subscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Women are from Nordstrom, Men are from Sears
Tue, 24 Jan 2006 13:29:37 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 25:10 min
The book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus has been on the bestseller list for many years. The fact that it rose to the top of the list says something about our culture: Maintaining positive, healthy, nurturing, mutually affirming relationships with members of the opposite sex is difficult.
To start the new year we are going to embark on a miniseries, Renewing Your Relationships, because regardless of your station in life, chances are, that you have relationships at some level that could stand to be renewed.
In this first sermon of the series, some of the questions that will be raised are: Why should I seek to understand a member of the opposite sex? If I can have my physical desire satisfied elsewhere why go through the hard work of relationship building? If I can get along in this life and get what I want from life, why all this time and trouble to understand someone unlike me?Download mp3: Women are from Nordstrom, Men are from SearsSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
The Time is NOW: Sermons From the Edge
Tue, 03 Jan 2006 11:30:44 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 23:05 min
Time is a word we use daily and yet it may be one of the most difficult words to define. We can quantify time. We know we have 1440 minutes everyday. But that doesn’t really define time.
The question for most of at a personal level is this: What time is it for me? That is, is it time for me to love, or go to war, to gain, or to lose, time to stay, or a time to go, time to grow, or a time to die? What time is it for me?
What do you need to start?
What do you need to quit?
What do you need to change your attitude about?
Who do you need to treat differently?
Where do you need to go?
Where do you need to stay?
What do you need to grow?
What do you need to allow to die?
What do you need to confront?
What do you need to reconcile?
The time IS now...do something different. Download mp3: The Time is NOWSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Why the Wise Men Were Really Wise: Sermons From the Edge
Thu, 29 Dec 2005 11:04:19 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 22:23 min
For the first time in human history, our problem is not in having access to information, the problem in our day and age is managing all of the information which we have the ability to access and to decide whether or not we should learn it. Not everything that’s out there is worth taking the time to learn about or to know. So what’s the difference between information and real wisdom?
Real wisdom is never outdated. Information can become outdated and data can become useless.
The Christmas Story ends with a band of wise men, magi, scholars on a journey toward truth Himself. And along the journey this group of truth-seekers learn some important life-lessons; life-lessons that time and technology will never change.
Seeking after truth is not always easy business. Along the journey of our spiritual pilgrimage toward maturity, toward the mind of Christ, we learn some important life-lessons that can contribute to our ultimate wisdom if we’ll pay attention and follow the truth that is revealed.
Listen to this sermon to hear about several important life-lessons that the wise men learned along their journey toward truth. Download mp3: Why the Wise Men Were Really WiseSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Who Would Believe It? - Sermons From the Edge
Sat, 17 Dec 2005 13:46:19 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 24:05 min
Have you ever had that struggle of faith when life presents you with a dilemma in which you’re not sure how to respond and you wonder where God is in all of it? You’re faced with whether or not to accept it and move ahead in faith or reject it as being too preposterous. I think that’s the position we find Joseph in as we examine the Christmas story from his often overlooked perspective.
W. H. Auden has pictured Joseph at home that night, in an empty house, sitting there in the dark. He hears everything; the drip of the bathroom tap, the creak of the sofa spring, the wind against the window. And he hears Mary, again and again, telling him about the angel, about the message, about the Messiah. But who would believe it? Who could believe that God would choose to invade space and time via a scandalous disgrace?
The more I think about this story, the more I meditate on these few brief verses of this incredibly poignant passage regarding Joseph and Mary, the more I think maybe scandal was precisely the point. Maybe the circumstances surrounding Messiah’s birth were meant to tell us what following the Messiah would really mean. Maybe following the Messiah would mean the same thing for us that it meant for Joseph, scandal.
So what is God trying to tell us in this little bit of Christmas trivia? Listen to this sermon as we pull our chair up next to Joseph and let’s learn what we have in common with Joseph as he faces this bit of news that Mary tells him.Download mp3: Who Would Believe It?, Sermons From the EdgeSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
The People Who Missed Christmas: Sermons From the Edge
Fri, 09 Dec 2005 14:02:37 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 23:32 min
One of my favorite childhood Christmas stories was The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
. I was shocked as a youngster that anyone could be so evil as to want to steal Christmas. Since then, I've discovered that many people have had Christmas stolen from them. I'm not talking about those who stoop to stealing Christmas presents from under the tree. I'm talking about those who have the real meaning of Christmas stolen from them because of the attitudes that they foster and allow to grow in their spirit.
In this sermon we will take a look at those who missed the First Christmas even though it happened all around them. While they were actual participants in the drama, the meaning and fulfillment passed them by. The similarities between that first cast of misguided characters and people today are striking. Listen to this sermon to find out who they are and to learn from what they missed.Download mp3: The People Who Missed Christmas, Sermons From the EdgeSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
How to Celebrate Christmas: Sermons From the Edge
Wed, 30 Nov 2005 21:01:14 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 21:17 min
This is the time of year that most people’s thoughts turn toward celebration. Well, how exactly do you celebrate? Some people define celebration by decorating, some by visiting relatives or friends, and some by watching endless hours of football. Some begin celebrating by getting drunk at the office party on the last working day before Christmas and don't sober up until sometime after New Year's Day. But that’s what they think of when they think of celebrating, anesthetizing reality. Fewer and fewer in our culture think about celebrating the birth of the one about whom this holiday is named by going to Church. Maybe that's because for many the church is not the place they think of when they think of celebrating.
In this sermon we will ask the novel question that frequently doesn't ever get asked: How did those who witnessed the first Christmas celebrate?
Here are some alternative Christmas celebration ideas for those of us that have been looking for love in all the wrong places:Alternative Celebration Idea #1:
The Shepherds Celebrated By Gossiping Good News Everywhere.Alternative Celebration Idea #2:
The first people at the first Christmas celebrated by being amazed.Alternative Celebration Idea #3:
Mary celebrated by holding these precious thoughts deep within her heart.
Celebration is a capacity of the heart, not a condition of your external circumstances. If your heart's not changed, if it has not been rewired to really accommodate celebration, you'll forever be trying to anesthetize reality with mind altering substances or trying to cover it up with material trappings.
So this season, hear the good news of God identifying with us, allow yourself to be amazed, and store it up and ponder it seriously.Download mp3: How to Celebrate Christmas, Sermons From the EdgeSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
What is Community? Sermons From the Edge
Mon, 21 Nov 2005 20:55:01 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 25:01 min
I'm not so sure we really know what community is anymore. It's not because we don't use the word enough. We've got community banks, community development, community churches and community organizations. We've also got communities where people are drawn together on the basis of having shared interests. Thus, today you have the gay community, the business community, the labor community, the Harley-Davidson enthusiast community, and any number of subgroups according to similar talents or interest.
But is this real community? Is it really community when you get together with people just like you all the time. Is that what is meant by the word community?
Community is such a stranger to many of us because the price to forego individualism and selfishness seems too high for some of us or it’s so far out of sight because none of us have ever had a true model of community. If the real agenda of community members is increased personal power and prosperity rather than the well being of the community - we'll not remain a community for long. If everyone has to get their way, no one gets their way.
Real Community is more than the sum of its parts and while there are differences today from the 1st century there are common elements. They are as simple to understand and as uncommon to find today as they were 2,000 years ago. Listen to this sermon and hear about three elements that make up real community. Download mp3: What is Community?, Sermons From the EdgeSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Lose the Love that Fades: Sermons From the Edge
Sun, 13 Nov 2005 17:23:03 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 18:48 min
There is a love that fades and needs to be lost in our life, not cultivated in our life. And it has to do with holding our life up to the light and seeing it for what it is. The kind of love we are talking about in this sermon is the kind laden with spiritual fat that can lead to all kinds of spiritual disease. It's the kind of love that eventually fades. And it all starts out with something that at first appears to be a good friend. Something that satisfies our appetite and feels good. Its name is desire.
Desire lights fires in our bellies. It makes us itch for what we've never had enough of, hunger for something better than we have ever tasted and thirst for living waters we've never drunk. But out of control, desire is trouble. And desire that is not controlled can lead to addiction.
Desire is a friend that will take over control of our lives if we let it. When the river of desire runs wildly out of its banks we get swept away to places we never thought we would be...the dark side.
In order to be spiritually healthy I need to regularly ask myselft these questions:
What desires do I need to lose?
What wants do I need to lose?
What do I think I need that I really need to lose?
What do I see that I think I just have to have?
...and it's really something I need to lose.
What do I have to lose?
“I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all.
But the things I have placed in God's hands I still possess.” — Martin Luther Download mp3: Lose the Love that Fades: Sermons From the EdgeSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Don't Tempt Me: Sermons From the Edge
Wed, 09 Nov 2005 21:18:57 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 20:56 min
It’s been said, “I can resist anything but temptation.”
Most of the time when we give in to temptation, we know that we shouldn’t, we know that it’s a temptation, we know that it’s going to have potentially disastrous and negative consequences but we give in anyway. What’s going on here that contributes to that?
Money is gambled away
Food is gobbled up
Illicit relationships are entered in to
Exercise is ignored
Harsh words slip out
Drinks and drugs are taken
Secrets are covered up
Blame is projected
Laziness is indulged
Conflict is avoided
Lies are told
Agendas are hidden
Prejudices are harbored
Mistakes in short are made...
Today we don't want to talk so much about the evil out there, we want to talk about the evil in here. And it's here. Some people live under the mistaken notion that becoming a Christian automatically reduces the likelihood of temptation and trials. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The church is the battleground of the real world. The cosmic setting in which we find ourselves is behind enemy lines. And behind the enemy lines is a place of constant temptation that none of us get completely beyond. Our greatest protection is to admit that and to never think ourselves beyond or better than others.
This sermon presents three statements that when believed act like weed killer when it comes to resisting temptation. Listen and find out what they are. Download mp3: Don't Tempt Me: Sermons From the EdgeSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Lost In Translation: Sermons From the Edge
Sun, 30 Oct 2005 19:49:44 PST
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 24:26 min
The church today is a little like Bill Murray in Tokyo, just a little uncertain and just a little confused. Sometimes it is hard to see Jesus in some churches in this country today. Sometimes He gets lost in translation of what we call church.
Sometimes churches translate out Jesus.
Here is what we know: There are more options available today then ever before for the average person in America. We know that Islam is growing in this country. We know that Mormonism is growing in this country. We know that mainline protestant churches are continuing to decline in this country. We know that the number of people who say they are not connected to any particular church is growing.
We know that more and more people are going to fewer and fewer churches in this country.
So, what does it mean to be a Christian in the year 2005? I mean right here, right now, for you and me. What does it look like to be a Christian? And what is the point of church?Download mp3: Lost In Translation: Sermons From the EdgeSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Timing Is Everything: Sermons From the Edge
Fri, 21 Oct 2005 15:27:48 PDT
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 27:42 min
We come to forks in the journey of our life when the reading is finished, the praying is prayed, the counsel has been received and it’s time to decide. Today, in the last sermon in this series, we’re going to learn from the model of Esther that making better decisions means that timing really is everything.
We find along life there are some road signs that present us with choices. The road signs we encounter are labeled: Excuses or Example
When I am faced with these kind of decisions in my life will I give in to excuses or will I choose to be an example in the decisions that I have before me. Random or Purpose
Making difficult decisions always involves questions, many of which include answers that we will not see this side of eternity.Cowardice or Courage
Esther resolved what we all have to resolve in making difficult decisions and it’s this question: “What is the worst thing that could happen to me?” The worst thing I suppose that could happen to me in any decision that I have to make is...I could die.
When you decide what’s worth dying for in your life, decision-making gets easier. Download mp3: Timing Is Everything: Sermons From the Edge
Also, be sure to listen to two original spoken word music productions (Live By Faith, original mix & Live By Faith, extended chill mix)
featuring clips taken from this sermon by Gordon Venturella. Click here to listen
(scroll to the bottom of the page).Subscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
When You Have to Move: Sermons From the Edge
Mon, 10 Oct 2005 13:15:15 PDT
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 26:25 min
Sometimes we have to journey a little bit further down the road of life then we’d prefer. There are times when we would just as soon prefer to stay in one place and life’s circumstances move us to a new place or a new location, for whatever the reason. These unfortunate, unforeseeable and unplanned events in our life push us along and force us to keep moving even though we’d rather complacently stay where we are.
In this sermon, we will look at the story of Ruth for some insight into dealing with the unfortunate, unforeseen, unplanned events in our lives. Three questions that arise from these events are: (1) What can I do when I’m running on empty? (2) Which route do I take? and (3) How can I fill my tank up with hope?Download mp3: When You Have to Move: Sermons From the EdgeSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast
Off The Map: Sermons From the Edge
Sat, 01 Oct 2005 10:06:24 PDT
Audio sermon by: Gordon D. Venturella | 23:34 min
Sometimes we miss a lot of incredible opportunities because of a lack of vision in our lives. We’re not able to see it. We’re not able to capture the vision that God may have for us because of preconceived notions or because of the way we’ve already figured things should be, could be, ought to be. We set out to travel where we think we need to go and in the process we block out other avenues, other possibilities, other interesting sites that we might have otherwise seen, that we might have otherwise experienced if it were not for the spiritual blinders that we put on our life. We set out on a predetermined course of action and we miss other things that God may in fact have had in store for us.
In this week's sermon you will hear another tip while driving down the road of life which may, at first, seem rather paradoxical. The tip is that we’ll discover that driving down the road of life making good decisions in order to enjoy the ride to the fullest sometimes involves traveling off the map.
Why would anyone want to march off their map? Why would we want to leave behind that which is familiar to do that which is uncomfortable? The Christian pilgrimage is all about knowing that I’m not in the place I could be or should be. I’m not completely sure of how to get there, but my trust in the relationship of the One who gives the promises will help me to take the next faith step. What’s the next step for you?
What we discover as we get a little bit further down the road of life is this: If we really want to live, we have no choice but to march off the map. Off the map, into the unknown, based on faith in the One who’s called us.Download mp3: Off The Map: Sermons From the EdgeSubscribe to Sermons From the Edge Podcast