The book of James is undoubtedly one of the most direct and straightforward books of the Bible. A favorite to many, it holds a great deal of depth and practicality for the committed follower of Jesus. The first letter to the Christians scattered throughout the Roman empire, James speaks to the heart of those facing trials, temptations and difficulty.
Other Upcoming Messages and Series
“Guardrails” (Many of life’s greatest regrets can be avoided if you protect yourself from the danger zone—if you establish some guardrails.)
Past Messages & Series
June 1 – Ephesians 2 – Christ is the Key mp3
The Acts of the Apostles
May 18 – Acts 27 – Hardships mp3 | ppt
The Story of the Great King
Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall. Kings come and then fade away into the past. There is, however, one King who is still dynamically altering the trajectory of nations, impacting the lives of countless individuals, and governing the course human history. From now through Easter we will be reading together through the book of Mathew where we are introduced to Jesus, the great King.
March 30 – Amazed no mp3/recording error (sorry!) | ppt
The Wisdom Challenge
Life is a challenge at times. We all wish we could receive guidance and wisdom to help us in our daily living. In the Bible, God offers us practical guidance which is helpful in our everyday lives. We invite you to accept the challenge to know God and experience Him more fully in your daily life through the wisdom He gives in the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
March 9 – Watch Your Mouth mp3 | ppt
It’s a new year…again. People are making new year’s resolutions…again. Many will set out to lose weight, quit smoking, improve their lives…again. It is curious, this desire for newness that sparks the human soul. Still, at times we all feel the leaden drumbeat of which the Bible speaks, that there is nothing new under the sun. So, in truth, what’s new?
January 19 – Better Than Life mp3
January 28 – Cheer Up! mp3
February 2 – Cheer Up! (Part 2) mp3
Happily Ever After?
The idea of marriage is filled with many myths, such as “True love comes naturally” or “I didn’t marry the right person” or, my favorite, “If only he/she would recognize their need to change.” These myths create a mountain of expectations that will never be met and often leave husbands and wives disappointed, disillusioned and unsatisfied. In this series we will debunk these myths and offer a biblical view of marriage.
Discovery: Refocus Your Life
New discoveries are exciting. As a child we experience them in wonder and delight. As we grow older they can come fewer and farther between. The same is true in our spiritual lives and in the life of our church. There is really only one thing that can keep real discovery and excitement alive in us, saving us from a life of boredom and disappointment.…
Jesus and Your Money Struggles
Since the Great Recession, many are still trying to make sense of their present financial situations. This series is for the disheartened listener who is having trouble with feeling financially out of control or trying to make adjustments for their long-term picture. We will hear God’s direction for a simple, clear path with Him toward a more stable existence for those willing to accept it.
October 6 – Danny Daniels mp3
Is God Still Interested In The Ordinary?
Is God interested in me as an individual? Does who I am and what I do in my life matter in the grand scheme of things? I feel like a nobody in the light of humanity and God’s plan for humankind. I don’t do anything important for God-why exist? Is God still working in my life for the furtherance of His Kingdom?
September 29 – Is God Still Interested In The Ordinary mp3
The Extraordinary Ordinary Christian
Have you ever wished you were more? More disciplined, more patient, more assertive, more compassionate–it could be a very long list. How about more ordinary? Who wants more of that? How can you even have more of that?Truth is, yes, everybody is ordinary and ordinary is pretty much what it is. But not to God. He made ordinary. And He didn’t make it a baseline upon which we are to improve, but as a completeness to be discovered. And that’s extraordinary!
A Fresh Wind in Our Sales
One of the really strange things about religious people is that they tend to think you should believe like they do. C.S. Lewis once wrote that the world’s major religions have eight major themes, eight ethical standards in common. So in light of those eight commandments, what makes Christianity so different? Right here is where Christianity becomes less of a religion and something much more personal and powerful…
Let’s face it. Most of us are exhausted. We have too much to do and too little time to do it. The idea of practicing Sabbath-keeping, that is, “to cease, to stop working” for a 24-hour period each week, just doesn’t seem practical. There are simply too many activities to engage in, too many opportunities to take advantage of, or too much work to be done.
Gripped by a growing anger, our nation is ominously sowing seeds of rage against any person, group, church, or institution committed to follow Christ’s teaching. Like countless other cultures before ours, many today hear Christ’s truth as an accusation, and Christ’s love on the cross as their condemnation. We need to reclaim our right to courageously assert that some things are wrong. We dare not allow ourselves to be rendered speechless.
July 07 – We The People (re: Freedom of Speech) mp3
July 14 – We The People, part II(re: Speech & Other Freedoms) mp3
July 21 – Giving Away The Farm (re: The Socialist Threat) mp3
July 28 – Giving Away The Farm, part II mp3
Aug. 04 – Clash of Civilizations (re: Islam, Jihad and Jesus) no mp3/recording error (sorry!) | ppt
There tends to be a lot of confusion surrounding baptism. And while the topic often evokes strong emotions, it is not a subject in which people have much to draw from, other than their own experience. For this reason we are taking the time to explore what the Bible has to say about baptism and how this informs our understanding of this universal Christian practice. If you are a follower of Christ and baptism is still on your “to-do” list, this message may be the nudge you need to finally go public.
July 1 – Going Public mp3
The Best Question Ever
Can a simple question foolproof your life? When it comes to sorting out the complexities of life, only wisdom can reveal the best path. Let’s face it—we’ve all made some pretty dumb decisions in our lives. For most of us, there are chapters in the past we would like to rewrite. You are about to be introduced to a single question that will revolutionize the way you make decisions. (Note: Series based on pastor Andy Stanley’s book, “The Best Question Ever”.)
Red Letter Day
It was a Red Letter Day. Bloody, beaten, and nailed to a cross, a dying Jesus looked at those around Him and spoke His final words as a man. What did he say? How is the whole story relevant for us today? In this series we celebrate His ultimate victory on that Red Letter Day as we look at the final words of Jesus as He was dying in our stead. It is truly amazing how these sayings have made such a dramatic impact on our lives and even on the world. We invite you to join us as we learn what help His final words can offer in some revolutionary ways.
Living With the Light On
Illumination… enlightenment… darkness… God encourages His people to live as those who “walk in the light,” as opposed to “walking in darkness.” Do you ever feel like “the light’s on but nobody’s home?” Join us for this helpful study from the book of Ephesians, chapters 4 and 5 as we learn about living with the light on!
The Light mp3 (by Roger Thyng)
Opportunities mp3 (by Roger Thyng)
ONE: How To Get Along With Just About Anyone
(The beauty of living at peace with others)
Unity is to be a shining hallmark of God’s people, displaying the love of God to the world. But overcoming differences in opinions and personalities comes at deathly cost to our human pride and ego. The payoff is a growing commitment to Jesus, a growing commitment to one another, mutual concern, concerted action, and harmony. The great question, then, is, “How can I get along better with others in a very real and healthy way?”
One mp3 (by Roger Thyng)
One For All mp3 (by Roger Thyng)
Truth or Consequences
Priorities. As we look ahead to 2013 we will all make many choices based on our priorities, some small and of little consequence, others quite important and of great consequence. Interestingly, Jesus, often challenges us to make surprising choices which may seem counter-intuitive. In this message we’ll look at one such story about Jesus’ view of our priorities and choices.
Uncomplicated: Enjoying the Holiday Season
Christmas certainly can have its share of stress. Life doesn’t always go as expected; chances are your Christmas plans won’t either. Still, the message of Christmas is simple and uncomplicated. God came to us in a simple and uncomplicated manner. This Holiday season let’s rediscover the hope and joy of Christmas in its simplicity.
December 02: Uncomplicating Christmas
December 09: A Random Christmas
December 16: God With Us
December 23: Finding Christ in Christmas
December 30: Uncomplicating Church by Ron Smith
SHAPE: Be Uniquely You
We express love and service to God by loving and serving others. In the joy of selfless service we discover the unique purpose he created us for. We may still need the tools to help us understand how we’re shaped. Join us on a fun journey of exploring our individual spiritual gifts, our heart, our abilities, our colorful personalities (!), and how our life experiences can help others.
Election 2012: America Has Issues
Many feel that Christianity and politics should not be mixed. However, the Bible is replete with stories of spiritual leaders calling political leaders to account for leading contrary to God’s will. Join us to see what the Bible really teaches about God and politics.
.October 14 – “One Nation Under God: God and Politics” .mp3
The Purpose of Prayer
What is the secret of the extraordinary power of God that seemed to flow through the great men and women in the Bible? Prayer. The American church has perhaps allowed itself to be lulled into thinking that prayer and action are at opposite ends of the scale of Christian activity. On the contrary. Those who want their actions to be effective focus time and effort in prayer…
Grace Changes Everything
Grace. What I crave most when my guilt is exposed. The very thing I’m hesitant to extend when I’m confronted with the guilt of others—especially when their guilt has robbed me of something I consider valuable. This is the struggle, the struggle for grace. It’s this struggle that makes grace more story than doctrine, that reminds us that grace is bigger than compassion or forgiveness. When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing. But when correctly applied, it seems to solve just about everything.
God’s Grand Design
Despite all our learning, achievements and social advancement there seems yet to be an emptiness in the heart and soul of our nation. This was made evident when Rick Warren’s bestseller, “Purpose Driven Life” made a massive impact on society. Strangely, people are still searching. Perhaps because it’s not only God’s purpose in our own life that draws us, but our relation to this incomprehensible God in His towering, mysterious and masterful purpose for all things throughout the ages. Join us as we venture into uncovering God’s stunning master plan in the amazing book of Ephesians.
Aug 19 – “From Galaxies to Governments: The Center of the Universe” mp3
There is a popular old song we used to sing called, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” What does it mean to follow someone? Do you echo their footsteps? Imitate their every move? Does it mean you are right behind them at every cost? In this two-part series, find out what it truly means to follow Jesus.
Feeling Free Again
What is freedom or liberty? Is it being free to do whatever you want? A fish only feels free when it’s in the water; take it out and it is miserable! The Bible teaches us that we are created for freedom, and that deep inner freedom can only truly be known in God’s forgiveness and acceptance in Jesus Christ. If you have been trapped in things that kill your joy, then God wants you feeling free again.
The Simple Message of Jesus
Life can be complicated demanding wise choices, sometimes immediately on the spur of the moment. In many such decisions we can’t really know how the outcomes will effect our lives later on. Fortunately, Jesus gives us a single simple challenge that can make a profound and positive difference in our life choices.
Keys to Understanding the Bible
The Bible – It’s the journey of a lifetime. But does it ever feel like you left home without a map? With all the twists and turns and challenges of life, it’s easy to feel like we’ve lost our way. During this teaching series we will explore how to use and understand God’s own perfect atlas – the Bible. He promises to light our path to a full life and beyond.
Memorial Day 2012: Remember
The phrases, “In God We Trust” and “One Nation under God” are taking on more and more significance as so many seem to have forgotten the central values and beliefs upon which our nation was founded. Fortunately, God knows how individuals and nations tend to behave and He gave us some very specific reminders to help us.
Surprised By Hope
Hope is a vision of the future that gives us courage. It’s not wishful thinking; it’s a confidence that God has something for us with which nothing can compete. Jesus offers just such a steadfast hope, not only for the future, but hope for our present and even for our past. Join us this Easter and discover more about God’s hope that can shape our world!
May 6: “Anchored in Hope” (by Roger Thyng) mp3
Jesus the King
Today he’s a king; tomorrow he’s a scapegoat. When life gets tough, you need to know who you are and where your power comes from. Jesus knew those things—and he also knew what lay ahead. Praises would turn to jeers, beatings, death… and triumphant resurrection. Many who were praising Him as their savior, would yet reject Him as their king.
How do we learn to trust God? Faith is more than positive thinking. Positive thinking will not produce faith. Faith is an active trust in God, and the only way to develop faith is to learn to know God. Since He is trustworthy, as we learn to know Him, we spontaneously learn to trust Him.
This Little Piggy Had None
Some of the little piggies in the rhyme went to the market and had roast beef, but today most people relate better to the piggy that had none! Unemployment and rising debt have left many feeling pinched. This series on managing money God’s way offers practical tips and biblical guidance. Learn to reduce your debt, increase your savings and have a brighter future.
Feb.12: “This Little Piggy Went To Market: The Dangers of Debt” mp3 | notes
Feb.19: “This Little Piggy Stayed Home: Jobs and Joblessness” mp3 | notes
Feb.26: “This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef: Learning To Handle Money Well” mp3 | notes
Mar.18: “The Greased Pig: Money & the Church”
Workshop 2: Putting Your Best Foot Forward (Help Finding a Job) mp3
Workshop 3: What You Really Need to Know About Working For Yourself mp3
Thrive means to grow, develop, flourish—to be fortunate and successful. It’s the kind of life we all want—one that impacts the world and turns us into the best version of ourselves. There’s a way to experience that kind of life. Jesus said that He came to bring us life—life to the fullest! Discover the Bible’s plan for your growth and success. This is our theme for 2012: Don’t just survive…thrive!.
“When I get a better job, car, relationship…then I’ll be happy.” Sound familiar? Sometimes we spend so much time looking ahead that we completely miss life’s simple treasures that unfold everyday. In this series we’’re asking the question, “What makes us truly happy?”
Dec. 11: “Positive Under Pressure 2″ sorry, no mp3 available | ppt
What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do
Do you ever struggle with wondering what God’s plan is for you? What is His will, and how are we supposed to discover it? How are we supposed to be “led by the Spirit” as the Bible says? You may be surprised (and relieved) at just how clear and simple it’s all really supposed to be.
November 20: “How God Speaks” mp3 (guest speaker, Roger Thyng)
Nuts & Bolts
In America we are conditioned to “branding.” Every company, every entity, and even churches work at creating a brand to make them readily identifiable. But what happens when we “brand” others by labeling them? People are more than the label we assign them. Join us for this critical series on how to break free of branding, and live in the unity to which God invites us.
July 31: “Out of the Pigeon Hole” (recording malfunction; no mp3)
August 7: “What Brand Are You Wearing?” by Roger Thyng, guest speaker mp3
A Love That Changes Everything
There are many people who think of themselves as “Christian.” Some believe that because they attend a church or had Christian parents they are somehow Christian by default. But Christianity as described in the Bible is a life-changing encounter with the living Christ, Jesus, followed by a life radically transformed. The human heart is dramatically renovated and infused with the love and power of God…and it changes everything…mp3 | notes | ppt
Blessed Is The Nation: America’s Foundation
Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” Contrast that with Psalm 11:3 – “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” What is the truth about the faith and theology of America now compared with that of our founding fathers? Take a compelling look at the “cause and effect” relationship between America’s Christianity and her current cultural meltdown. But what can we do? Is there hope for our nation?
Jonah: A Story of God’s Mercy
Did you ever run away from home? Maybe you got to the end of the block before turning around and going back. It all seems silly in retrospect, but at the time you had plans. But your plans always fell apart, didn’t they? You were so focused on what you were running from, not what you were running to, that you found yourself faced with the question, “Now what?” In this series, we’ll walk through the story of one of the world’s most famous runners.
The God Questions
Religion is out. Spirituality is in. But the tough questions remain. If you could ask God any question, what would it be? “Why does a good God allow suffering?” How about, “What really happens when I die?” Or, “Do all roads (and all religions) lead to you?” “Is the Bible true and can I trust what it says?” These are all great questions, and we’re exploring the answers. Come join us – no question is too tough!
The 360 degree concept implies all side, all segments, the full orb or circumference. Life 360 is about life management. It is learning and applying Biblical principles of oversight and management to every dimension of your life. This is what the Bible calls stewardship. Stewardship encompasses all of life—all that we have and all that we are. This is a plan to make the most of that sacred trust…a 360 degreeplan.
Starting February 13
This recording from March 6 is not a teaching message or sermon, but rather a talk about our vision for the next 6 months at Lake Hills. I firmly believe that people need to hear vision in concrete, practical ways in order to rally to what’s being presented. This podcast is about the next steps we’re taking as a church in order to lead more people to know Christ and to follow Him fully. I hope you enjoy it. ~ Mike Knapp..mp3 | notes | ppt
This week and next present the dizzying culmination of the entire football season. The SuperBowl and the ProBowl are the venues where we see the very best of the best slug it out on the gridiron. This year I’ve decided to share my enthusiasm the next two Sunday morning messages in a two part mini-series entitled, “Game Day” because, after all, life is a contact sport!
Fresh Start 2011
We learn on TV how to make over homes, wardrobes, bodies and even faces. Seems we all want a “New Me” at some level. A tuck here, a pinch there, a little less, a little more. Something within us insists “I can do better,” “I can do more,” “I can be different.” But trying harder doesn’t usually bring the result we hope is possible. Can God really help us find a Fresh Start?
Christmas In The Real World
There is something magical that captures us during the Christmas season. But this year, in the midst of an unstable economy and high unemployment, creating a magical Christmas will be a challenge for many people. But here is good news; You can have more with less, and Christmas can still change your world. Join us as we learn how to celebrate Christmas in the real world.
An old friend of mine used to say, “Thanksgiving isn’t one day a year when you eat turkey; it’s the rescue of your entire personality from being a turkey!” The Bible teaches that the pathway to happiness is thankfulness and contentment. In fact we are taught to be thankful in everything! Radical gratitude…it can transform your attitude and your entire life.
How To Understand The Bible
The Bible is the world’s best-selling book. Year after year millions of copies are sold or given away. Although most ancient books have disappeared from memory, the Bible continues to be printed more than any other book and is available in more than 2,000 languages. It has helped form the basis for Western society and has shaped much of its religious, economic and social outlook. Yet in spite of the Bible’s popularity, it has also rightly been described as the world’s most misunderstood book. Although millions of people are Bible readers, many find it hard to understand. Some even give up trying, thinking it is too confusing. This message is about one very important key to help you understand the Bible.
Psalm 1: Which Way Are You Going?
Your life is already on a definite path, no matter whether it feels like it or not. There may be some things up in the air, but you have already made choices and chosen a direction to go in your spiritual life. Even if you have chosen not to decide what to do about God, and have put it out of your mind, that is, in itself, a choice that has already set you on a specific path. Which way are you going? This week’s message is a call to happiness which begins by refusing to allow the anti-God world around you to dictate your worldview, your ethical life, and your moral decisions.
Titus: Serious Christianity, from Chaos to Christ
The letter by Paul to Titus is a short New Testament book that is packed full of useful information on how to set things straight in our churches, and how to move personally from a life of chaos to a life in Christ…from brokenness to blessing. Join us as we view serious Christianity–knowing and doing what is right through the grace of Jesus–verse by verse through the book of Titus.
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Oct.24 – Guest Speaker Free Methodist Supt. Chuck Frankenfeld .(no recording available)
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Part of Something Great
Everyone wants to feel significant…to have a sense that our life really counts for something. We all secretly want to be something more than we are… Listen in as we talk about how God carefully and deliberately shapes you a little more every day to be part of something great, and has been for your whole life.
Sept.5 - About Lake Hills .(This was the prelude to an open discussion forum in the church service about where we are and where we go from here for the next few months. Part of the session was recorded, but the quality isn’t great. The recording ends somewhat abruptly, but most of the teaching portion was recorded.)
How To Profit From Your Problems
Problems. We all have them. They make our life more, well, interesting. Don’t you wish you could just take a vacation from your problems? While that may work for a little while, sooner or later you will have to face them. Fortunately, God gives us some very practical help on dealing with life’s troubles.
This is a simple message on learning to pray more effectively, as taught by Jesus. There are a lot of “Christian” myths and erroneous teaching surrounding prayer that seem to make it more of a challenge than perhaps God intends for it to be.
God and Country
What happens when a nation forgets God? What happens when God is pushed out of government? Why are we losing more and more freedom? How does secularism advance? What is its outcome? Join us throughout July as we address this issue and discover hope in our messages titled, “God and Country”.
It seems that large, powerful families are often associated with father figures. It’s no different in the Bible. The head of the most powerful family in the world is also know as “the FatherGod”. He only wants what’s best for you and He’s gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.
What you see is not all there is. Have you ever experienced something that seemed unexplainable? The Bible teaches that there is a very real and unseen spiritual dimension. It dynamically affects your everyday life. Join us as we study the Supernatural.
Lest We Forget (Memorial Day 2010)
Why are so many seeking to remove our nation from the values upon which we were founded? And why are so many seemingly forgetting the attacks made on us by Islamic terrorists? This Memorial Day Sunday we remember those who have fought for us, those who are defending us, and reasons why we are at war.
“The Parable of the Hidden Treasure” is one of the popular stories Jesus used to describe the Kingdom of God. It is a story about treasure and obsession. Listen in on our message from Sunday, May 2, as we seek to unearth the hidden truth which so many miss in one of Jesus’ most misunderstood narratives.
So You’re Dead; Now What?
The afterlife is cloaked in mystery. What happens moments after we die? What is Heaven really like? What about Hell? And does what we do in this world really matter in the next? Join us for a series to uncover the life-altering answers to these questions in “So You’re Dead…Now What?”