V I N E   S T R E E T 
 
 
A Village Of Unconditional, All Forgiving,
Never Ending LOVE.
 
 
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H O W   W E   W O R S H I P

Join Us Sunday Mornings

9:00 A.M. Village

Start your Sunday off in a casual, low-key gathering where we share breakfast and chat about Jesus and life. Small groups for all ages – Nursery Available!
 
 
This ain’t your old fashioned
Sunday School!
 
Join us September – May!
 
 
 

10:00 A.M. Worship

“A little something for everyone and a lot of Jesus” is how we worship. Come as you are and experience our energetic, spirit filled service with moving messages and music ranging from contemporary Christian to traditional hymns.
 
 
This service is geared for all
generations!
 
 

Teaching & Preachings

We teach and preach a Jesus that is real and authentic … Taken straight from the gospels with no biased or politics attached. Whether you’re an active participant or a “fly on the wall” listener, we have something for you.
 
 
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interests you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
B I G  I D E A 
 
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).
 
Pastor Bob
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
C H U R C H   M E D I A

Recent Messages

December 2019

The Fullness Of Love

“SERMON122219”. Genre: Other.


The Joy Of The Good News

“SermonAudio_121519_25mins”. Genre: Other.


This Is Peace!

“sermonaudio”. Genre: Other.


This is HOPE!

“SermonAudio1201_22min”. Genre: Other.


November 2019

Our Inheritance



October 2019

Questions For God

“SermonAudio102019”. Genre: Other.


Relationships

“sermonaudio101319”. Genre: Other.


The Bow

“Sermon10061921mins”. Genre: Other.


September 2019

Other People

“sermonaudio092919”. Genre: Other.


Why We’re The Way We Are!

“Sermon092219”. Genre: Other.




 
 
 
 
 
F R O M   T H E   B L O G

Recent Posts

What’s In Your Spiritual Toolbox?

During these unusual times of quarantine and “shelter-in-place,” it’s especially important for each of us to rely on a “spiritual toolbox” to keep us centered and healthy. Below I have offered four different “tools” that you can put in your own spiritual toolbox and use as needed. None of them are completely original with me – but all of them are in my toolbox for times such as these. I hope you find them helpful. Enjoy! 

TOOL #1: The poem “Take Time” by Martin Greyford

Take time to think . It is the source of all power.                                               Take time to play . It is the secret of perpetual youth.                                         Take time to read . It is the foundation of wisdom.                                                Take time to pray . It is the greatest power on Earth.                                         Take time to love and be loved . It is God given & It is the road to happiness.                              Take time to laugh . It is the music of the soul.                                               Take time to give . It is too short a day to be selfish.                                             Take time to work . It is the price of success.                                                        Take time to charity . It is the key to Heaven.

TOOL #2: “20 People to Pray For” — The Invocation prayer from last Sunday’s service – based on a prayer written by Jen Pollock Michel and read by Karaline Vanausdoll and Pastor Bob

Prayer is never meant to be our last resort. We have a God who walks with us, and is always ready to listen … our God bends his ear to towards us to hear our prayers, and so we pray:

1) For the sick and infected: God, heal and help them.                                                                                                     2) For our at-risk populations: God, protect our elderly, those with less means, those of color who are disproportionately affected and the uninsured.                                                                                                            3) For the young and the strong: God, give them caution and good sense to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease. And inspire them to help others, not to put them in harm’s way.                                            4) For our local, state, and federal government officials: God, help them understand the true nature of this virus and to take actions which put us in front of the virus.                                                                                           5) For our scientific community: God, give them new knowledge, ancient wisdom, and a persuasive voice of truth.                                                                                                                                                                                      6) For the media: God, help them to communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.                                                                                                                                                                                    7) For consumers of media: God, help us find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors and enable us to implement the recommended strategies, even at a cost to ourselves.                 8) For those with mental health challenges: God, provide them every necessary support to bring them peace and a sense of security and safety.                                                                                                                                9) For the homeless: God, protect them in their shelter systems and outdoor habitats, and keep them from this disease and other harms.                                                                                                                                                    10) For travelers stuck in foreign countries: God, help them return home safely and quickly.                                          11) For missionaries throughout the world, especially in areas with high rates of infection: God, provide them with your words of hope, and equip them to love and serve those around them.                                            12) For workers facing layoffs and financial hardship: God, settle their panic, and inspire your church to generously support them.                                                                                                                                                     13) For families with young children at home: God, help our mothers and fathers to find creative ways to care for and nourish their children. And for single mothers and fathers, God, help them to grow their networks of support.                                                                                                                                                                14) For parents who cannot stay home from work and must find care for their children: God, give them grace to see a way and present them with creative and affordable solutions.                                                            15) For those in need of regular therapies and treatments that must now be postponed: God, help them to stay patient and positive and healthy.                                                                                                                               16) For business leaders having to make difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees: God, give these women and men the wisdom of Christ-like love, and help them to lead self-sacrificially.                                                                                                                                                                                       17) For pastors and church leaders: God, help us to creatively imagine how to pastor their congregants and love their communities well.                                                                                                                                                     18) For students, especially high school, college and university students: God, show them that while life is uncertain, their trust is in you.                                                                                                                                                19) For God’s people in every neighborhood, community, and country across the world: God, in this time of the unknown, may your Holy Spirit inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world.                                                                20) And for frontline health care workers and first responders throughout the land: We thank you for your courageous call to serve us, and anyone, and everyone, who needs help. 

God, teach us to be your faithful people in this time of global crisis. And help us to follow in the footsteps of our faithful good shepherd, Jesus, who laid down his life for the sake of love. Amen.

TOOL #3: “Be Kind” – circulating through various social media platforms – author unknown

As governors are trying to figure out how to ease back in to a new normal, please remember:                                                                                                       Some people don’t agree with the state opening…. that’s okay. Be kind.                           Some people are still planning to stay home…. that’s okay. Be kind.                                 Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening….that’s okay. Be kind.                                                                                                    Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their homes….that’s okay. Be kind.                                                   Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off….that’s okay. Be kind.                                                                                                            Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job….that’s okay.     Be kind.                                                                                                        Some will wear masks for weeks….that’s okay. Be kind.                                                Some people will rush out to get the hair or nails done…. that’s okay. Be kind.                     The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay. Be kind.              We each have a different story. If you need to stay home, stay home. But be kind. If you need to go out, just respect others when in public and be kind!                             Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story. We all are in different mental states than we were months ago.                                                                So remember, be kind.

TOOL #4: “4 Ways to Soften Loneliness” from the website: “Calm”

4 Ways to Soften Loneliness

 1 | Let go of unhelpful stories.

All too often, loneliness gets tangled up with fear. Deep down, we’re afraid that being lonely means that there is something wrong with us. We worry that we are unloveable or that no one truly gets us and that we will be alone forever. These stories we tell about ourselves are untrue; they keep us stuck and weigh us down. Sadly we feed these tales of self through our constant attention, and they end up growing and consuming our every thought. Our job is to interrupt these troubling thoughts and to focus on something else. We must stop buying into the stories we weave out of fear.

2 | Share how you’re really feeling. 

Sometimes we feel lonely because we hide who are we are and how we’re feeling from others. When a friend asks you how you are, tell them the truth. Instead of automatically saying you’re good, try saying something like, “yesterday was difficult, I’m missing being out in the world and felt really lonely” or “I’m grateful that you called, it’s so good to hear your voice”. Being vulnerable can leave us feeling a little tender and exposed, but the beauty is that it facilitates true connection. By opening ourselves up to be seen and heard, we’re no longer alone in our inner experience.

  1. Be brave and reach out to people in similar situations.

Our lives and the lives of those around us are forever changing. Friends get married and have kids; other friends move away or find themselves busy with a new job. Sadly, the people who once kept us company might not have the time to hang out in the ways they once did. The loss that comes with change is undoubtedly worth grieving and it’s essential to offer ourselves compassion. At the same time, we need to open ourselves to new people, especially those who may have similar schedules and interests. There’s no shortage of digital spaces to connect with others online. If you’re looking for mindful company, check out the Daily Calm Community Facebook group. Or, try a new app to search for a date, a friend, or even a business mentor! Maybe there are friends of friends in the same situation as you!? If so, ask for an introduction.

4 | Befriend yourself. 

One of the most helpful things we can ever do is to learn to love our own company. Notice what’s getting in the way of you enjoying time alone. For many of us, the voice in our head can be quite judgmental and unkind, not a very good friend. So stop giving your inner critic the mic and start listening to the quieter voices within that will guide you back to what nourishes and inspires you. Make yourself a special dinner or take yourself on a beautiful walk. Light candles, play wonderful music, get all dressed up and do a puzzle.

Friends – God has gifted us with a rare and precious gift – TIME! Let us use it well … and all for the Glory of God! 

Blessings all around – Pastor <>< Bob


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THE SILVER LINING: USING THIS GIFT OF TIME WISELY

In the very first chapter of the book written by Jesus’s brother James, he says this: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”(James 1:2-4)

Pure joy? Seriously? How can this trial of perseverance we’re in, be used for “pure joy” and help us become “mature and complete, not lacking anything”? If James himself were here, we could ask him that. But he’s not. So let me take a stab at it. 

With all the darkness of the COVID-19 crisis around us, there still remains some light … some silver linings. Start with the heroic efforts of so many health care workers and first responders who are willing to risk sacrificing their own lives, literally, for us. Jesus says that there is no greater love than this; “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) 

Not nearly as dramatic, but still a significant silver lining for all of us, is the “acquisition” of more time in our lives. Our culture has come to a point where time is considered more valuable than money. Our schedules are full. Our time is taken up. We are busy people and we have come to like it that way. But now, during this crisis, things have changed. As Mick Jagger says, “Time is on our side.” This is just what we’ve been praying for – remember? “If I only had more time.” “If I can squeeze it in.” “I just wish I had one more hour.” Well, we do.  

Friends, those days are here! And now that we know they’re going to be around for perhaps another month at least, let’s use this time wisely and do our best to fulfill the expectation that James has for us – “so that we may be made mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

Now that’s a pretty big order. But I’ve got a suggestion. Let’s take this gift of time in the month of May to reintroduce ourselves to Jesus … or perhaps meet him for the very first time. You deserve that. No longer will you have to rely on what other people say or what you’ve been taught to believe. Spend some of your precious time and deepen your relationship with Jesus, who came to this world so that you could, by faith, be made complete, as James would say. After all, can you really know enough about Jesus? 

But before you jump the gun and start seeking and searching for Jesus, I want to offer 4 tips from a book I’ve been reading called “The New Testament in Its World” by N.T. Wright. Wright offers some insights to help us and guide us when we head out looking for the real Jesus.  

1) Start with the truth about your relationship with God: You were made by God … and for God; and you are made for God’s glory, to worship God, and to reflect God’s likeness in your life. Not only that, but doing that is your heart’s deepest desire, even if you don’t realize it yet. And John 1:18 tells us that though no one “has seen God,” God has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Thus, when you go looking for Jesus, remember that you are looking for the revelation of God in this world. Seek Jesus … Find God. 

2) The absolute primary source for finding out about Jesus is the 4 Gospels that form the beginning of the New Testament. Ever since He came, there have been many secondary and alternative “sources” for finding out about who Jesus is. Often, those sources are other people in our lives! That’s called, good intent – failure of execution. The only way for you to discover who Jesus really is, is to build your own personal relationship with Him. Do it for yourself! Jesus cannot meet you and form a relationship with you based on what other people say or believe. He wants to meet you in person! And that begins in your heart, with a little prayer and a little faith (just the size of a mustard seed), where the Holy Spirit can guide you through the Gospels as if you’re reading it all for the very first time. Don’t believe me? Try it. And if you do, the first thing you’ll learn about Him is that He already loves you … just the way you are … and wants you to love Him the same way.

3) The reason this is so important is because we are all attracted to “the truth.” We all have an inherent desire, as we found out in the Garden of Eden, to know the ultimate truth. Well, here’s some truth: truth starts and ends with God. But God’s truth is infinite and endless. Too much for any human being to handle, or even imagine. So how do we get a handle on God’s truth? From Jesus. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (14:6) Jesus, again, is the revelation of God’s truth given to us in a way that we can see it, hear it, and get to know it. And, eventually, love it. So, as we pursue this new relationship with Jesus, know that he will lead you to truth. Truth is now a person. One we can comprehend, if we dare. And what we usually find is that the truth of Jesus we discover is different in many ways from the Jesus other people were introducing us to. 

4) Understanding the truth about God through Jesus is so important because of the mission that we are all called to. Jesus isn’t just the revelation of truth for us; he is also “the way” and “the life” for us. And He is calling us. And sending us,” out into this world that we live in to share his love with others. When we do that, we are living his life. The way – The truth – The life. No more precious gift exists than living like He did. But be prepared as you set off on this journey. You will find out that following Jesus isn’t only a great gift; it’s a sacrificial one too. And for many people, that’s where they draw the line. They still think they know truth, and who Jesus is, but they haven’t really met him. Trust me on this. When you meet Him for yourself, all over again or for the very first time, you will know in your heart His truth for you today. 

Do you think you’re ready for that? Most of us are so embedded in our daily routines and beliefs that we cannot even imagine there is a more abundant and greater life for us just by meeting the real Jesus. Many of us think we already know the real Jesus and for the most part, it’s working well enough. But Jesus has other plans for you. Your “good enough” life is not the same as the “abundant” life He has to offer you. And that’s … the truth. 

Go ahead. Pick up a Gospel. Pray for the Holy Spirit to be with you. And start reading. You’ve got the time, and you’ll find Jesus there, and He’s been waiting a long time. 

#More Jesus – Pastor Bob

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The Power of Love vs. the Love of Power

Do you remember that inspirational sports story that made the rounds a few years ago? It was about a college softball game between two rivals. In the last inning, the team that was behind had 2 outs with their “power” hitter up and the game on the line. As fate and the softball gods would have it, the hitter hit a game winning home run … so she and everyone else thought. But, unfortunately she injured herself coming out of the batter’s box and couldn’t run around the bases, which the rules require in order for the home run to count. The rules also stipulated that her teammates were not allowed to help her around the bases. It looked as if the home run wouldn’t count, and the other team would win. 

That’s precisely when the Power of Love overcame the love of winning, and the players from the other team came out and helped the power hitter around the bases by lifting her up and carrying her. They carried her all the way around and then made sure she touched home plate, which the rule required. What the rules didn’t say anything about was the Power of Love. And on that day, at that game, Love defeated power, in the form of winning, and peace came to both teams and everyone who was there. It’s what Jimi Hendrix meant in his quote just above.

And before everyone left the park that day – players, coaches, parents, and spectators – they wondered: “Why can’t life be more like that?” 

Jesus wonders that too. If you’ve been in my study at church, you may have noticed the small water fountain that sits on the end table just as you come in the door. Sitting directly beneath the fountain, under the light that extends out, is a replica of Jesus in the Upper Room. No, He’s not at the Table feeding the Last Supper to His disciples. It’s a powerful moment of Love that occurred before the meal. As each disciple came in the door after a hot and dusty day in overcrowded Jerusalem, they found Jesus sitting there waiting for them, on His knees, with a rag for a towel, to clean the feet of each of His followers. 

Jesus literally could have all the Power in the world that He desired. But He knew that was not the answer to what ails the world. Jesus knew that “Power” – the seeking of it in all its forms (winning, domination, control, wealth, status, even surviving) – was not the remedy for what the world needed. He refused the temptations over and over to claim that power over the world and its people that He could have anytime. Instead, Jesus brought the power of something else more powerful than the lust of power itself. Jesus brought to us the Power of Love. It was a Love unlike the world had ever seen before. It was Divine. It defeats the raw thirst for worldly power every time, whether or not the world realizes it (and for the most part, the world still doesn’t get it). 

In the Upper Room on that fateful night with His disciples, Jesus taught them first the most important lesson – the Power of Love is what will change the world, and its people. So He showed them what that looked like, and told them to become foot washers instead of power seekers. And then he ate with them to teach them how Love will always win, even when it looks most unlikely. Like when Love conquers death.  

And you don’t have to take mine, or Jimi Hendrix’s, or Jesus’s word for it. Google is the ultimate source for everything worldly. If you look up “Power of Love,” it tells us that: 

“There is no greater power than love! Love has the ability to heal the world. Love is pure and decent, innocent and true. When the energy of love takes hold of you, resistance is futile. It has the capacity to heal old wounds and cleanse you of any negativity that does not serve you.”

The “Love” that Google is referring to is the “Power of Love” that Jesus brought to the world. It’s from a Divine source, God, and it tells us that the real Love is unconditional, all-forgiving and never-ending. It’s not just the kind of love that can turn injuries into miracles on a softball field and somehow erase the difference between winners and losers. It’s the same Love that can heal or make whole any part of your life that is suffering or broken. 

Think of life these days: How often does the “Love of Power” dominate in a relationship to such a degree that a marriage is unable to continue. How many times in our national politics is the common good shoved aside because the lust for Power is more important than winning for the citizens and not for the Party? How many families are hurting right now, today, because the need for each person, or one person, to have control and command over others becomes their personal mission? And how many of us, individuals trying to make our way day to day in the quiet desperation of our lives, have given up on the Power of Love to transform us and our lives into a power for good and decency and innocence and purity? 

Jesus can do all those things, for all those people, and more! That’s because, as Google says, “There is no greater power than love!” Jesus came to change the way we think about Love. His “agape” Love is not about loving People because they treat me well or loving things because they benefit me. Agape Love is about us becoming the selfless servant who washes the feet of the people in our lives, in any way that they may need. It’s also the power that inspires a softball team full of competitive women to forget about winning and instead transform what the game is all about to begin with – just another opportunity to show the love of Jesus. 

One of my favorite fundamentalist preachers and writers is Tony Campolo. My friend, Bruce Condill, recently shared a cassette tape (kids, ask your parents!) of a speech he gave in 1984 at George Fox University. In this speech, he tells the story of a renowned sociologist Willard Waller … by the way … he’s from Walla Walla, Washington. No kidding! He claims, and I agree, that Love and Power cannot be expressed at the same time. They are diametrically opposed to each other. And, in the end, the Power of Love will always defeat the Love of Power when Love is given the chance. Sadly, way too often, the Power of Love is never given the chance, because the love of power is what dominates in our daily lives. 

That’s why having Jesus in your life is so important. God alone is the source for this amazing life-changing world-saving love, and Jesus is the one who teaches us how to live that way. With Jesus, Love moves from being a noun to becoming a verb – Love Alive! And it can help you in every part of your life.  

If you don’t trust me, and you don’t trust Jimi Hendrix, and you don’t trust Google, then maybe you’ll trust Huey Lewis (“The Power of Love), or maybe The O’Jays (Love Train), or maybe Barbara Streisand (What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love), or, finally, maybe you’ll trust the Beatles (“All You Need is Love”). 

But, as for me today, I’ll trust Jesus! I prefer to look at all of the frontline doctors and nurses and first responders and grocery checkers and garbage collectors and mail deliverers and on and on, during these dangerous times of COVID-19, and I’ll see Jesus at work – those selfless sacrificial servants – who are living out His last commandment from the Upper Room, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) Jesus also said that there’s no greater Love than that of one putting their life on the line for another.

If we can just trust the Power of Love instead of the love of power, then the whole world can be changed. And yes, you might lose a few more games, or you might take some illogical risks, but you’ll never forget the miracles! That’s the Power of Love! 

Peace … and Love!

Pastor Bob


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