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The Story of Our Faith - Week 6

Our Christian faith is anchored in history. Reflecting the Apostles' Creed, our proposed SOF declares that Jesus was crucified "under Pontius Pilate" (Article 4). The mention of a first-century Roman governor may seem out of place in a broad formulation of essential truth in most religions—but not in the Christian faith. Instead, it situates the gospel at a particular place in the chronicle of human events. In that way, it is consistent with the Bible's own emphasis. The climactic event of the Bible, the coming of God into the world, is rooted in history (see Luke 1:1–4). The Scriptures tell us that a Jewish baby named Jesus was born in a village called Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago. We are provided with actual eyewitnesses to the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Bible declares that this story is actual history.

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The Story of Our Faith - Week 5

In the story of our faith thus far, we have affirmed truths about the human condition and about God that, when viewed together, present an apparent clash. On the one hand, we have said that human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under his wrath (Article 3). We all stand in need of the restoration of our fallen nature, reconciliation with our creator (and with the rest of creation), and rescue from the judgment that our rebellion against God's rule deserves.

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Subcategories

  • What's the Point?
    Article Count:
    7
  • Be Part of Something Bigger
    Article Count:
    31
  • The First Christmas Songs
    Article Count:
    15
  • Synced

    Synced Series

    Join us this Fall in our all-church emphasis called "Synced" as we explore what a Spirit-synced way of life looks like. In addition to our worship services we urge everyone to participate through weekly family devotions, through daily personal devotions, and in smaller communities (such as small groups and classes) where you can discuss and apply what you are learning. It's never too late to join!  Feel free to bring a friend, co-worker, or family member!

    Article Count:
    48
  • How to: Live
    Article Count:
    14
  • Don't Waste Your Life

    This is the series our spiritual leadership has asked me to do to address the discipleship issue we often call stewardship. My understanding of stewardship is the utilizing of the time, gifts and resources God has given us to serve God's mission. That mission includes:

    • Demonstrating the glory (the characteristics, ways, greatness) of God
    • Fulfilling our God-created mandate to care for the world he has created
    • Bringing God's blessing to our world – including his message of salvation, his love, and his justice.

    A life of good stewardship is foundationally a life of service. Thought of simply, good stewardship is the intentional use of our time, talents and treasures that do not last long to bring about good things that last longer. Jesus-followers have the opportunity to be the most effective stewards because we know temporary resources can be utilized for eternal benefit. Ministry itself is a life of stewardship because it is taking the gifts and resources God has provided to meet the needs of people with them. Ministry is serving people as Jesus served.
    I already have several goals in mind that I hope our associates will also embrace and help take root in their areas:

    1. That LAC might take continuing steps in the direction of moving from a culture of paying people to serve in a whole host of areas to a culture of volunteer service. To do so, we have to begin rethinking many parts of our operations that are simply a part of how we've done things a long time.
    2. That people trapped in ways of life characterized by busy-ness, purposelessness and/or financial bondage might find freedom and that they will flourish as God-glorifying stewards.
    3. That a significant number of our LAC attendees will make generous, joy-filled, sacrificial, regular, repeatable financial giving a part of their discipleship.
    4. That the generosity of our people in their use of time, talents and treasures will bring glory to God as those who watch us see the difference between Jesus-followers and a consumer society.

     

     

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    To His Glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Teaching Series Schedule

     

    Article Count:
    18
  • What Child is This?

    Sociologists point out that the theme of many human beings in the 21st century is an underlying disappointment with life as we have experienced it. This expresses itself in countless ways:

     

    • expecting a marriage to fill an almost inexplicable void;
    • living life through our children—hoping that they will find something we haven’t;
    • career dissatisfaction—thinking (or hoping) that a job change will make life better;
    • midlife crises—hitting a point in life when we realize that we haven’t found yet what we’re looking for—and that we probably are never going to…

    The Bible gives an explanation for this disappointment. Scripture tells us that we were made to be shaped by the presence of God in our lives. The heart of our human search for fulfillment stems from Genesis 3 when people walked away from the one who alone can fulfill. The first humans disobeyed God and hid from him. As we know, the disobedience and hiding continue.

    But the beautiful good news of the Bible is that God has not given up on us. God loves the people of the world even as we run away from him. Still, God keeps coming after us, and from Genesis 4 until Matthew 1, God carried out a plan to make us right with him again.

    It’s Advent Season again, and most of us know the story—i.e., God came after us personally. God himself came into this world so that we might have the disappointment of life without God eradicated and abundant life restored. God came as a baby in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Every year, we remember God’s coming. This Advent 2011, we will be guided in our remembrance by Paul’s teaching in Colossians 1. (I encourage you to read this chapter often this month.) We will join carol writer William Chatterton Dix in asking “What Child Is This?” And, I will be asking us all to be praying for people we love who need to find abundant life in the only way possible: through entrusting their lives to Jesus as their savior and lord.

    This first Advent weekend, we will be looking at the longing the world had from Genesis 4 until Jesus’ birth for God’s long-prophesied coming. As the Christmas carol says so beautifully, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining… 'til he appeared!"

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    To His Glory,

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Teaching Series Schedule

    • Come, Desire of Nations, Come

      Week 1Nov. 26 - 27

      Colossian 1:1-8Colossian 1:28-29

      Saturday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

    • Born a Child and Yet a King

      Week 2Dec. 3 - 4

      Colossian 1:9-14

      Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

    • Hail, Incarnate Deity

      Week 3Dec. 10 - 11

      Colossian 1:15-20

      Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

    • God and Sinners Reconciled

      Week 4Dec. 17 - 18

      Colossian 1:19-23

      Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

    • Be Born in Us Today

      Week 5Dec. 24 - 25

      Colossian 1:24-29

      Christmas Eve Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      Christmas Day Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

     

    Article Count:
    15
  • According to Jesus

    This fall at LAC we will hear together the first third of the Book of Matthew (we’ve only gotten so far to chapter 5 but have no fear - we’ll return to the rest) of what I consider to be the most important sermon ever preached, i.e., Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7. Why do I say this?

    • When Jesus says that we are to make disciples from among people of all nations "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded" in Mt. 28:18-20, this sermon contains the teaching central to those commands. All who will be Jesus’ disciples are to hear and obey what he teaches here.
    • This is the main section of Scripture that has guided God’s people to live wisely both in good times and especially in tough times. When Dietrich Bonhoeffer asked how to live for Jesus in the face of mounting Nazism in Germany, he found this sermon directed him. It became the basis for his classic book, The Cost of Discipleship. After World War II, as German church people tried to figure out how to live in the humiliation and failure so evident from their nation’s support of Hitler, Pastor Helmut Thielicke courageously proclaimed that people need to have someone different ruling their lives, that we must follow the kingdom of God rather than of anyone or anything in the world. For three years (1946-48), Thielicke took his people week after week to Matthew 5-7, at St. Mark’s Church in Stuttgart. The repentance called for, and the new life in Christ offered in Pastor Thielicke’s sermons, are recorded in part in his book, Life Can Begin Again.
    • Even those who do not follow Jesus can read this sermon and see something very different from the world’s self-aggrandizing values. Mahatma Gandhi came to see the beauty of Jesus through reading the sermon though, sadly, he felt that he had never seen the way of life Jesus calls for being lived out through those who claim to follow Jesus.
    • In this one section of Scripture, we find Jesus addressing the biggest and most practical issues we face in life: our inner character, the way to influence the world, the authority of Scripture, hatred and reconciliation, marital faithfulness, sexual purity, honesty, anger and revenge, and dealing with enemies.

    I want to warn us all at the outset that, in the sermon, Jesus demands that our lives must change if we follow him. You may ask, "What must change? Jesus will answer, "Everything." I say this as a warning because people sometimes say, "Pastor Greg, you’ll be preaching on the Sermon on the Mount? I love the Sermon on the Mount.” My experience is that people love the Sermon on the Mount until we actually read it. When we read it, we see we are given a choice: Will we surrender to the rule of God in our lives or try to maintain control ourselves? We will be brought back into the age-old conflict of who is in charge, that started in Genesis 3.

    The key to it all is the phrase that expresses the heart of Jesus’ ministry, i.e., the kingdom of God (or, the "kingdom of heaven” as Jewish people like Matthew who did not like to use Jehovah’s name in public settings would express it). Jesus used the phrase at the beginning of the sermon (Matthew 5:3,10) and in his summary at the end (Matthew 7:21). In between, Jesus tells us what life must be like when God is ruling. We will be looking at what our lives should become when we follow the King of kings and Lord of lords - according to Jesus.

     

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    To His Glory,

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Teaching Series Schedule

    • Inner Character

      Week 1Sept. 17 - 18

      Matthew 5: 3-5

      Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

    • Our Heart's Desires

      Week 2Sept. 24 - 25

      Matthew 5:6-12

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Walter Alexander, Pastor of Adult Ministries

    • Changing the World

      Week 3Oct. 1 - 2

      Matthew 5:13-16

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Carol Kenyon, Pastor of Preteen

    • Reconciliation

      Week 4Oct. 8 - 9

      Matt. 5:21-26

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Mark Finney, Warehouse Ministry Team Leader

    • Sexual Faithfulness

      Week 5Oct. 15 - 16

      Matthew 5:27-30

      Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries & Annie Mclaren, Pastor of Junior High Ministries

    • Greatness

      Week 6Oct. 22 - 23

      Matthew 18:1-16

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday & Saturday Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

    • Speaking the Truth

      Week 7Oct. 29 - 30

      Matthew 5:33-37

      Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

    • Our Mission

      Week 8Nov. 5 - 6

      Matthew 28:18-20

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Special Service

    • Revenge

      Week 9Nov. 12 - 13

      Matthew 5:38-42

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

    • Developing "Family Traits”

      Week 10Nov. 19 - 20

      Matthew 5

      Speaker: Jeff Mattesich, Associate Pastor of Student Ministries

     

    Article Count:
    28
  • Life Together

    A Summer in Philippians

    We would like to buy ten dollars' worth of gospel, please. Not too much. Just enough to make us happy, but not so much that we get radical about it or addicted to it. We don't want so much that we learn to hate injustice or lust or covetousness. We don’t want so much of it that we start loving enemies or cherishing self-denial. Most of us are certainly not yet ready to contemplate missionary service in some alien culture. (And we're not sure we want our children and grandchildren to go off into some global mission work, either.) We want to feel good about doing good things—not get committed to personal sacrifice and generous giving. We want ecstasy, not repentance. We want to have warm fellowship with nice people, but we don’t want to love those from different races and ethnicities. We want to give charity to the poor, not have them in our homes. We would like enough gospel to make our families secure and our children well-behaved and our businesses thrive but not so much that we redirect our ambitions or find our giving enlarged. We would like about ten dollars of gospel, please.

    -Adapted from D.A. Carson’s Basics for Believers (who adapted it from a Paul Rees sermon)

    We will study Paul’s letter to the Philippians throughout the summer of 2011. I had not been planning for us to do that, but I sensed God’s leading to this short book while I was studying other things. Now, I’m not saying that the Lord dropped a scroll in my hand or sent an angelic choir directing me to Philippians. I simply know that as I began roughing out our summer schedule, I could not move away from this book in the Bible.

    So, I’ve been reading Philippians over and over throughout the past several weeks. I’ve never preached through this letter, even though I’ve taught it in seminary classes. I previously thought that Philippians’ theme was something like Joy in the Midst of Adversity. After all, Paul mentions joy 16 times in this short letter. And he talks about joy while sitting in a prison, probably in Rome. However, Philippians is dealing with something much more basic than that. It really is about life together in the family of God. If Ephesians is the Bible’s manifesto about what the church of Jesus Christ is, Philippians is all about what life is supposed to be like in the church. It’s very personal, practical, and often hard-hitting. We’ll discover that “ten dollars of gospel” is not what following Jesus together is about.

    It soon will become clear from Paul’s writing to the Philippians that what ties us together in the church is our thoroughgoing commitment to the gospel. So, our recent studies in the Statement of Faith centered on the gospel will be foundational. Moreover, this gospel is centered in the person and work of Jesus Christ. So, as always, we will be forced to think about Jesus again and again and... And what we will discover is that this Jesus-centered gospel always calls for us to change our lives - both individually and corporately. When we do, we will discover that we can have joy in any situation and contentment whatever the circumstances. Indeed, we will discover the thrill that we "can do all things through him who gives us strength" (Phil. 4:13). All of this flows from life together (yes, I know of a famous book with that title written by another Jesus-follower imprisoned because of his faith) as those committed to the person and mission of Jesus Christ.



    To His Glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

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    Teaching Series Schedule

    • The Bond We Share

      Week 1May 21 - 22

      Philippians 1:1-11

      Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries

    • To Live is Christ

      Week 2May 28 - 29

      Philippians 1:12-26

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries

    • Strength and Courage in Community

      Week 3June 4 - 5

      Philippians 1:27-30

      Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries

    • Stopping the Fight

      Week 4June 11 - 12

      Philippians 2:1-4

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Jesse Oakes, Pastor of High School Ministries

    • Honoring Father

      Week 5June 18-19

      Philippians 2:5-11

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Carol Kenyon, Pastor of Preteen Ministries

    • Growing Together without Complaining

      Week 6June 25 - 26

      Philippians 2:12-18

      Speaker: John Secrest, Associate Pastor of Adult Ministries & Young Adults

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: John Secrest, Associate Pastor of Adult Ministries & Young Adults

    • Becoming FAT Christians

      Week 7July 2 - 3

      Philippians 2:19-30

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

    • The Audacity of God's Love

      Week 8July 9 - 10

      Philippians 3:1-11

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Carol Kenyon

    • God's Renewing Grace

      Week 9July 16 - 17

      Galatians 6:1-4

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

    • Pressing Forward Together

      Week 10July 23 - 24

      Philippians 3:12-4:2

      Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

    • Euodia, Syntyche, & the Elephant

      Week 11July 30 - 31

      Philippians 4:1-9

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries

    • From the Inside Out

      Week 12Aug. 6 - 7

      Philippians 4:1-9

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

    • The Secret

      Week 13Aug. 13 - 14

      Philippians 4:10-13

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday Speaker:Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

    • We Are One In Christ

      Week 14Sept. 3 - 4

      Philippians 2:1-11

      Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

      5 pm Sunday & Saturday Speaker:Matt Barnes, Guest Speaker

       

     

    Article Count:
    40
  • Breathe Out

    The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. The sea has a number of water sources flowing into it, primarily the Jordan River and a number of perennial springs under and around it. However, there are no outlet streams. Therefore, the body of water simply sits and receives but never flows outward. The Dead Sea is called "dead" because the resultant high salinity prevents macroscopic aquatic organisms, such as fish and aquatic plants, from living in it.

    I have often thought that the Dead Sea is a parable for us as followers of Jesus and for the church as a whole. We must receive input—Bible teaching, corporate worship, fellowship, prayer support—to survive, but when the church is made up of people who are only receiving input, it will soon become a stagnant church. Individually, we will become lifeless believers. You see, no matter how much sound teaching we hear, no matter how much warm fellowship we enjoy, no matter how many theological books we read, if all of that knowledge does not flow out into Christian witness to the world at large, we will die.

    So, let me tell you a lesson I've learned about killing a church. I know how to do it. All you have to do is fix the whole of the boards' and the members' focus on internal matters. It doesn't seem to matter what the object of that internal center of attention is: which kinds of hymns or songs should be sung, whether a new building program should be launched, or even how the constitution and by laws might be amended. All of those things are important. However, if we become internally focused to the point that we are not reaching out with the message and love of Jesus, like the Dead Sea, we will become a dead church. The Bible consistently tells us that the church of Jesus Christ was not made to live in isolation from the world but to give witness to the world. Jesus called us to be called "salt and light" out in the world. But salt must be spread out or we will only parch one another's throats. Lights must shine outward or we will only blind each other. When a church starts focusing only on internal matters, within a generation—or at the most, two—we will find a church that has become stagnant.

    For this reason, we regularly take a few weeks at LAC to make sure that we hear God's Word calling us to flow out into the world and be God's agents of reconciliation to the world. Over the next few weeks, we will look anew at what we call "breathing out" into the world with the compassion of Christ. We will start by considering afresh what difference we are called to make in our own local community. And we will end with considering the blessed privilege we have to be involved in our Father's global mission. Throughout all of the weeks, please read 2 Corinthians 5:9–6:2 and meditate particularly on these words:

    God gave us the ministry of reconciliation...
    2 Corinthians 5:18

    God committed to us the message of reconciliation...
    2 Corinthians 5:19

    We are Christ's ambassadors...
    2 Corinthians 5:20



    To His Glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor


    Teaching Series Schedule


    listen-sermons_on

     

    Article Count:
    8
  • The Story of Our Faith

    On March 31, 2004, I met with six pastor-theologians as a part of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) Spiritual Heritage Committee (SHC) because the denominational board had asked us as a group to address issues that might help us as a movement remain true to the gospel. The EFCA Board of Directors had been prayerfully considering the possibility of and need for a revision to their Statement of Faith. For four years after that meeting, I was involved with these six wonderful brothers in Christ as we developed, communicated, and then defended the articles of faith we were proposing. During these years, we had numerous public discussions regarding the various articles of faith. Across the nation, we led sessions where the fine points of the document were discussed. Finally, in June 2008, the proposed revision was discussed, debated, voted upon, and approved.

    When I came to LAC in 2007, I was still involved in that process. Lee Merritt, the LAC Ministry Council chair, informed me that our church also needed to review its statement of essential biblical convictions. We now also have been involved in that review process for about three years. Our proposal is similar to the one adopted by the EFCA but has been revised in the light of many discussions held throughout our church. Last week, I began a series of messages looking at the preamble of these theological convictions which, we believe, all center around what the Bible calls the gospel, i.e., God's good news. This weekend, we begin a series of sermons looking week by week at each conviction.

    To accompany the sermons, we will also be posting commentaries online and at the LAC Welcome Center in the Worship Center Lobby, Chapel Lobby and Plaza Information Center to supplement what cannot be covered fully from the pulpit. This document is based on the EFCA commentary that soon will be available in a book entitled Evangelical Convictions: A Theological Exposition of the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America. The exposition I have adapted from that forthcoming book will be shorter and re-drafted to fit the Statement of Faith we are proposing at LAC. I am thankful to my theologian friends—Mike Andrus, Bill Jones, Bill Kynes, David Martin, Ruben Martinez, and Greg Strand, Chair—both for the work together and for the opportunity to post this material before publication. Though many contributed to the commentary, the writing was done mainly by Dr. Greg Strand and Dr. Bill Kynes. Your pastor accepts responsibility both for the abridging and re-focusing of the commentary now being made available to us.

     

    To His glory,

    listen-sermons_on

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Teaching Series Schedule

    Article Count:
    33
  • This Ecotonic Moment

    In a lecture series at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Dr. Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School spoke about what he called "ecotonic" moments. An ecotone is a place at which two ecosystems come together, where they meet and blend into one another. It is a place unstable, shifting, and fragile but also fertile, characterized by diversity, fluidity, and transformation.

    We are told that we also live in a place and time during which we are experiencing unparalleled flux. Countless sociological studies tell us that we are the end of Modernity and the beginning of Postmodernity. Whether this is true or not, one thing is certain: This is a different world now from the one I was born into. It is quite clear that we are called by God to live according to the changeless values of His Word in an ever-changing world. It’s an ecotonic moment for churches as we begin a new decade:

    • Music and worship styles are in great flux.
    • Communication means and methods are rapidly changing—from telephone to texting, from mail to email to Twitter
    • Churches are growing not so much in the Western world as in the "South."

    What should a church do in such times? What dare not change? What simply must change?

    I'm convinced that the Bible, "our final authority for faith and life," can provide guidance for days like these. The Book of Acts, for example, was written in a time of great change for the church. In Acts, Luke sought to describe what God did to transform his people from being made up almost exclusively of Jews to including Samaritans and Gentiles. God's work would expand from being almost solely in Judea to impacting the entire world. And, let me tell you in an understatement: This was not easy!! It required changes:

    • Theological Clarifications – Jesus' coming had changed everything. He was God but not the Father. Jesus would send the Spirit who also was God but not Jesus or the Father. So, God is both three and one?
    • Worship Adjustments – No more sacrifices were needed. Now, not just the words of what we call the Old Testament were to be read and studied but those of Jesus? And, what songs should be sung?
    • Ethnic Differences – Jews and Samaritans and Gentiles came into God's family. So, what does a church do when those they used to hate had the same Holy Spirit within them? Did they have to eat together?
    • Leadership Changes – What would they do with outsiders—like Paul? What if those who have gifts of leadership don't look like their earlier leaders looked?

    I could go on and on. My point is that the Book of Acts was written for an ecotonic moment. May its opening verses guide us as we embark on our own ecotonic moment at LAC.

     

    To His glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    "THIS ECOTONIC MOMENT AT LAC"
    SERIES SCHEDULE

    Date Series Title/Speaker Scripture
    Jan. 1-2 Considering the Days We Are In
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    Acts 1:1-8
    Jan. 8-9 Considering What God Has Done Among Us
    Speaker: John Lewis
    Psalm 136
    Jan. 15-16 Considering Where God Has Placed us (Our Jerusalem)
    Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries
    Jan. 22-23 Grabbing Hold of God's Good News (Preamble)
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    John 17:20-23



     

    Article Count:
    11
  • Unwrapping The True Story of Christmas

    A team of our LAC family members has been invited to Thailand at the beginning of Advent Season to sing Christmas music and tell the story of the season. This invitation has come specifically because many people in Thailand love the Christmas Season as we celebrate it in the U.S.A. The malls and public places in Thailand are filled with nativity scenes and Christmas music. If you were to go there, you would probably think it looks and sounds a lot like our own country. Trees, gifts in wrapping paper, colored lights, tinsel, and carols are everywhere. All of this is taking place even though almost 95% of the Thai population is Theravada Buddhist.

    When I've asked Thai friends why Christmas is so popular in their country, I have been told that there are two main reasons. The first is that the totality of the celebration seems to be so much fun. Merchants love the economic opportunity to encourage people to give gifts. People seem to enjoy being a part of a worldwide festival.

    The second reason for Christmas' popularity is that many Thai people appreciate as much of the story as they understand. As one man told me, "Who doesn't love the beautiful story of a simple family making a long trip to their hometown? The parents overcome adversity and the mother gives birth in such humility. Then, the child grows up to be an amazing man who wants everyone to experience peace and goodwill!"

    I believe that many Southern CA people enjoy the Christmas Season for the same reasons. As long as Christmas is all about 1) celebrating and gift giving and 2) a nice sweet legendary story, it is just fine.

    Of course, the Bible insists that what is described in its documents describing Jesus' birth is not simply a nice story. When we take off all the external wrapping and get into the real meaning of Christmas, we find that the Biblesays that God came to earth in Jesus as a part of a divine rescue mission. Jesus came not just to be an example of humility but to give his life as the only hope for fallen and mercy-needing people. Jesus insisted that he alone can forgive our sins and that, therefore, he is the only way to God. Mostly, the Bible declares that the Christmas story is not simply a nice legendary tale. No; according to eyewitnesses and the biblical writers, the things described really happened! Take a look at what Luke said about his account:

    Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1-4

    We are going to be looking at what Luke said about Jesus' coming throughout Advent 2010 at LAC. We will seek to get through all the external wrapping paper of the Season and look at the claims Scripture makes. We will discover that the Bible says that God's coming to earth really happened—and that it matters that it happened. Because the story is true, we can sing, "God and sinners reconciled. Joyful all ye nations rise. Glory to the newborn king."

    To His glory,

    listen-sermons_on

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    "UNWRAPPING THE TRUE STORY OF CHRISTMAS"
    SERIES SCHEDULE

    Date Series Title/Speaker Scripture
    Nov. 27-28 It Truly Happened
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    Luke 1:1-4
    Dec. 4-5 Hearing the True Story through the Noise
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    Luke 1:26-45
    Dec. 11-12 The True Story Inspires the First Christmas Song
    Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries
    Luke 1:46-55
    Dec. 18-19 How to Listen to the True Story
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    Luke 2:8-20
    Dec. 26 The Most Ignored Part of the True Story
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    Luke 2:25-35



     

    Article Count:
    14
  • Introducing Jesus

    We come to our fall 2010 "journey" as a household of faith that we are calling "the REACH 2 Journey." The theme is Knowing Jesus So That We Can Make Him Known. The most important thing we have to offer our world is the message, love, peace, and living hope of the crucified and risen Jesus. Two parts of this are absolutely essential: First, we need to continue to get to know Jesus ourselves. This is what should happen when we participate in the life of the church. I have called this "breathing in." God gives us a church family, a people with whom we learn about our Lord and experience his grace.

    But, second, according to the whole of Scripture, what we breathe in must be breathed out to the world. We are to make known to others what God has used others to make known to us. We who know Jesus are to make him known to a world that needs his rescue and transforming power.

     

    Waybright Greg 500x683

    To His glory,

    listen-sermons_on

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    "INTRODUCING JESUS: Coversations with God's Son"
    SERIES SCHEDULE

    Date Series Title/Speaker Scripture
    Oct. 2-3 The Life Giver
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    John 3:1-21
    Oct. 9-10 The One Who Satisfies the Deepest Longings
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    John 4:1-42
    Oct. 16-17 The One Who Makes Whole
    Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries
    John 5:1-15
    Oct. 23-24 The One Who Unites and Divides
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    John 6:53-69
    Oct. 30-31 The One Who Gives Sight
    Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries
    John 9:35-41
    Nov. 6-7 The One Who Loves Us
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    John 11:17-37
    Nov. 13-14 The One Who Is the Way to God
    Speaker: Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries
    John 13:36-14:14
    Nov. 20-21 The One Who Calls Us to Die and Live
    Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    John 12:1-8, 20-26



     

    Article Count:
    22
  • Special Sermons
    Article Count:
    32
  • Three Essential Connections

    Lake Avenue Church is a community with a cause directed by Colossians 1:28: Lake Avenue Church proclaims Christ – teaching each one and admonishing each one in wisdom so that we might present each one fully mature in Christ. To this end we strenuously labor with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in us. We therefore are committed to expanding God's Kingdom by becoming and developing wholehearted, fully-engaged followers of Jesus Christ.

    In pursuit of that vision, LAC has developed a plethora of ministries throughout the years. Each of these is intended to contribute to Christian maturity. Of all those ministries, there are three essentials we believe each growing participant at LAC should be involved in regularly. To that end, we boldly call and challenge everyone (100%) who calls Lake Avenue Church their church home to three "ESSENTIAL CONNECTIONS."

    Sept. 4-5: Worship
    Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    A commitment to participating in one of the four gathered worship opportunities: Saturday Evening, Sunday morning services in the Worship Center, and Sunday evening "Warehouse." - Psalm 95

    Sept. 11-12: Community
    Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    A commitment to participating in gathering where the "one-anothers" of the New Testament can be engaged in more fully than in a large-gathered worship service. These include adult classes, small groups, and Warehouse "Hubs". - Hebrews 10:19-24

    Sept. 18-19: Service
    Speaker: John Secrest, Associate Pastor of Adult Ministries & Young Adults
    A commitment to using our God-given gifts to serve the mission God has entrusted to LAC. - Romans 12:3-8; Colossians 1:28

    Sept. 25-26: "A Call to Connect" Weekend
    Speaker: Dr. Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor
    Sermon Title: "Knowing Him to Make Him Known" - Philippians 4:7-14
    Join the LAC Family as we corporately commit ourselves to these essential connections.

    Join us this fall as we learn more about each one of these "Three Essential Connections."

    To His glory,

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

    Article Count:
    12
  • When Times Get Tough

    Over the past week, I have received four messages from university students, each of whom has made a recent commitment to become a more devoted follower of Jesus on campus. Although they are attending different schools and perhaps do not even know one another, they expressed (in different ways) the very same sentiment: “Pastor Greg, this is not easy. I’m not being imprisoned or killed for my faith, but I still feel rejected… Mostly, I feel out of sync with everything around me. My friends think I’ve lost my mind. My faith convictions seem to clash with everything being taught in my classes. I don’t get invited to the things everyone else is doing… My campus is a warm, friendly place, and I love my friends, but my beliefs are creating distance between everyone else and me. Do you have any advice? Will you pray for me?”

    One of the things I have told them is that their feelings reflect perfectly what the Christians in Asia were feeling when the Apostle Peter wrote his first letter to them. Peter wrote this letter before Christians were actually being put to death for their faith in Jesus—but their faith had put them “out of sync” with those around them. The Christians valued what others in their communities did not value. These new Christians said that they felt like “aliens and strangers in the world.”

    Does that sound like the way we sometimes experience life when we’ve sought to make a deeper commitment to Jesus? If so, the series of issues we will address from May–August may be geared directly toward you. We are entitling it “When Times Get Tough.” When Peter wrote the letter, he spent very little time telling them the philosophical reasons for suffering. And, he did not say that they should just “grin and bear” the trials because Jesus will be coming soon. Instead, Peter told them the resources God gives us in the midst of tough times. Very practically, he gave specific directives for how we should live. I believe that we will find the lessons as timely as they were when they were first given.

    To His glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

     

    "WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH" LESSONS FROM 1 PETER: SERIES SCHEDULE
    May 1-2 We Need a Place to Belong 1 Peter 1:1-2
    May 8-9 We Need Hope in the Midst of Trials 1 Peter 1:3-7
    May 15-16 John Perkins, Guest Speaker
    May 22-23 We Need To Remember What Has Come To Us
    1 Peter 1:6-12
    May 29-30 We Need to Know What We Were Made For 1 Peter 1:13-16
    June 5-6 What You Need to Know in a Storm
    John Secrest, Associate Pastor of Adult Ministries
    Matthew 14:22-33
    June 12-13 Unlikely People
    Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries
    Matthew 4:18-20
    June 19-20 We Need an Attitude of Gratitude 1 Peter 1:17-21
    June 26-27 We Need to Keep Growing 1 Peter 1:22-2:3
    July 3-4 We Need to Know Why We Should Be Different 1 Peter 2:4-12
    July 10-11 We Need a Heart to Serve 1 Peter 2:9-25
    July 17-18 We Have Great Opportunities 1 Peter 3:8-22
    July 24-25 We Need to God-honoring Relationships
    Albert Tate, Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries
    1 Peter 3:1-7
    July 31-Aug. 1 We Need to Know What We Believe 1 Peter 3:18-4:6
    Aug. 7-8 We Need to Know How to View Suffering 1 Peter 4:12-19
    Aug. 14-15 We Need to Be Ready for the Battle 1 Peter 5:1-14
    Article Count:
    44
  • Here and There

     

    Waybright Greg 500x683

    Live a life that impacts. As Christ-followers, we are called to respond to a suffering world with Christ’s love. Through this challenging three-weekend exploration of outreach in our modern world, you will discover the Kingdom-building role you play in your community and world. Get ready to be transformed!

    "Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

     

    News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord." – Acts 11:19-24

    • April 10/11 - Community Day
    • April 17/18 - World Focus Weekend

      Prayer and Praise Walk Cambodia: From Killing Fields to Living Fields

      Saturday, April 17, 9:30 am
      Location TBA (includes lunch)
      Join us as we pray for & celebrate the work God has connected us to in Cambodia since 2004! April 17 marks 35 years since the people of Phnom Penh walked out of their capital city on the promise renewed life, only to experience death and destruction. Since then, God has been rebuilding the people of Cambodia, as we’ve witnessed through our partnership with World Relief. Take a short walking journey with us through our Pasadena neighborhood which will provide symbolic places to pray for the Cambodian people and nation. We will conclude with a celebration through worship and the sharing a Cambodian meal. For more information contact Global Outreach at or 626.844.4887.
    • April 24/25 - The Church Here and There
      We will be joined by our own ministry teams and partners to equip the LAC Body for missional living. Equipping and training options from local outreach through Alpha to sharing your faith with Muslims. We will have representatives from equipping ministries that range from a half day experiences to two years overseas. Here AND There, both take training and this may be the best place to discover the next step.

    To his glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Article Count:
    9
  • Turning Points

    All of us have had “turning points” in our lives, where the direction we were going suddenly changed, often dramatically! Those times in our lives were usually “life-changing” and left us “different” and even “transformed”! That is certainly true for us, who have experienced a “spiritual turning point” in our life experience, where God takes a hold of us and makes us, in biblical terms, “new creatures in Christ.” The Bible is full of examples of this, most notably the conversion of Saul on the Damascus Road and Lydia in Thyatira. They were not only transformed inside-out, but God turned them around and gave them each a new mission in life that brought the Gospel to millions in the then known world.

    During the Lenten Season 2012, in all of our worship services from February 25/26 to Easter, we are going to focus as a church family on the theme of “turning points!” There will be an emphasis on STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION, a.k.a. “turning points”, which are made possible through a personal relationship with God. We will explore the stories of men and women of Scripture and see how God worked in each one of their lives to bring about a “turning point”. We will see how this “turning point” left each one radically different as persons and how that experience gave their lives new purpose, meaning and focus.

    A significant part of what we want to learn together as a church family as a result of these weeks of worship and teaching emphasis include three different aspects of “turning point stories”:
    1. Listening to the stories of others, 2. Telling our story, and then 3. Sharing His story.

    It is so important that we take time to LISTEN to others and their life stories to hear clearly about those experiences, that have shaped and formed their thinking and their attitudes especially about God and faith. Why are they perhaps indifferent about the Christian faith? Or, why do we sense such an antagonistic and even angry attitude at the very mention of God or the Church? Often, usually, there is someone or something that has triggered such a response. Listening to their story results in our understanding them better and gives us perhaps a more sensitive and appropriate opportunity to TELL our story about how God has worked in our lives and what a difference it has made. Eventually, there will come a time (as we pray for them) when they indicate a desire to know more about this relationship with God and ask how they can experience his life-transforming help. That is the point when we are able to SHARE the Good News of Jesus Christ a.k.a. “His Story!”

    Our hope for this Lenten Season for each one of us in the Lake Avenue Family could be summed up in this statement:

    The Turning Points Challenge: Let’s every one of us be ready to share our story with a friend!

    Here are some examples of “turning point stories” from our church family:
    …“My life now has purpose and meaning!”
    …”I have found a deep sense of joy and freedom…”
    …”I have exchanged my fear for his peace!”

    Let’s pray that over the next six weeks there will be hundreds more of just such fresh “turning point stories” that will be told by our friends and neighbors, who have heard and responded to the Good News of Jesus!

     

     

    listen-sermons_on

    To His Glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Teaching Series Schedule

     

    Article Count:
    20
  • Beginnings - Winter 2010

    Waybright Greg 500x683

    Genesis 1:1-2:3

    The word "genesis" refers to a beginning. It's the perfect word to describe what was long called the first book of Moses in the Bible. The biblical book of Genesis is the beginning of the what has been called the canon, the gathering of those books we know as Scripture.

    And it takes us back to the origin of time and space in its opening refrain, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The book of Genesis not only announces the beginning of creation, but the framework of something much more profound. In the opening three chapters, we are provided with Scriptures' essential teaching about the ultimate issues in our existence:

    • the nature of God,
    • the origin and nature of our world
    • what it means to be human
    • the purpose of human life
    • what has gone wrong with a once-very good-world
    • why there is still hope for our now imperfect world and its people.

    These, of course, are the most foundational matters of life. They give the basis for everything else we learn in the Bible. So, at the beginning of 2010, we will look at the beginning of God's book of beginnings.

    It provides the foundation for everything else that we read in the Bible. I pray God will use it to deepen our understanding and strengthen our faith. It will be a good way to "begin" our year together.

    We begin our study of beginnings right where we should begin, i.e., with the One who brought all things into being. We will simply ask, "Who is God — as God is disclosed in the opening chapter of the Bible?" Some may want me to deal with some of the secondary issues in Genesis but I am going to focus on the "main thing." Genesis 1's main concern is making God known. The only character we find is God. All the action in the entire chapter is initiated by God. The subject of the first sentence and the last sentence in the chapter is God. God's name occurs 35 times in 34 verses. For us to begin with any other primary interest will lead to a misreading of the text. Pray with me that God will make himself known to us as his children in fresh and understandable ways as we begin our brief study of "beginnings."

    To God's glory,



    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Article Count:
    10
  • Ears to Hear - Lenten Season

     

    Waybright Greg 500x683

    The Lenten season has often been thought of as a journey by followers of Jesus, a journey from where we now are to where we are promised to become in Christ. We all know that we are not yet what we ought to be. However, by God's grace and through his power (made available through faith in Jesus and the subsequent gift of God's spirit), we are promised that someday we will be "complete in Christ" (Colossians 1:28), people conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

    The Lenten journey begins with Ash Wednesday, a time in which Christians have taken to engage in the painful but necessary exercise of examining our lives. We look at those parts of our behavior and attitudes that we know do not honor Christ. We acknowledge that and confess that our sins are a part of what required the cross. But, Ash Wednesday is not hope-less. We also know that God's grace is greater than our sins; his forgiveness sufficient for the enormity of our sins. We receive the sign of the cross remembering first, that our sins demanded a cross if ever we were to be saved. But, second, we rejoice that the sinless Son of God died on the cross as our substitute. "By his wounds, we are healed (Isaiah 53:6)."

    Throughout the Lenten Season, we remember the journey Jesus made to the cross on our behalf. We ask God to open our eyes to areas not yet surrendered to him that we might walk more closely to our Lord. In doing so, we cast our eyes on Jesus. We look at his life and at his words. Eventually, we remember his death... and then his resurrection. At the end of the journey, we long to have a deeper faith and a deeper gratitude that God's grace is greater than our sins.

    This year at LAC, we will be joining with several other churches in Southern California (Bel Air Presbyterian, Faithful Central, Young Nak Celebration, Church on the Way, and First Presbyterian of Hollywood,) to look specifically at the stories Jesus told on his way to the cross. Each of these "parables" Jesus told takes on new meaning when we see it in the light of Jesus' own journey from his home area of Galilee to the cross. Remember that Jesus knew where he was going – to Jerusalem. He knew what awaited him there – death by crucifixion. Jesus knew that his Father had appointed him to this calling. And, he knew that the result of his painful death would be the opportunity for forgiveness and new life for all who placed faith in him. Even this excruciating death was to bring Jesus deep satisfaction. As the book of Hebrews put it, "Who for the joy before him endured the cross...'

    In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus' own Lenten journey began in Luke 9:51; i.e., when Jesus resolutely set his face toward Jerusalem. He was determined to complete this eternally appointed expedition toward death out of love for us! In the 2008 Lenten journey, we looked at Jesus' encounters with people on his way to the cross in a series we called Divine Appointments. This year, we will ask the Lord to teach us from the Stories on the Way to a Cross told by Jesus personally. Believe me: knowing that he had few months to live, Jesus did not waste his breath on trivial things. These stories, often called parables, address the central issues of our existence. Therefore, we will consider the most important aspects of life as Jesus teaches us who are his followers about matters of life and death on the way to his own death.

    I pray that our lives will no longer be the same at the completion of this journey.

    To his glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Article Count:
    13
  • The Church Becomes Flesh
    Article Count:
    5
  • Knocked Down But Not Out
    Article Count:
    19
  • PEACE: God and Sinners Reconciled
    Article Count:
    8
  • Shared Faith Series
    Article Count:
    12
  • Break Forth
    Article Count:
    31
  • When Jesus Is In Charge
    Article Count:
    8
  • Examining Our Ways
    Article Count:
    36
  • Together
    Article Count:
    24
  • Anticipation
    Article Count:
    14
  • Listen & Hear
    Article Count:
    24
  • The Breakthrough Series
    Article Count:
    54
  • Life Changer

    Mark's gospel opens with the clear and resounding title "The beginning of the good news about Jesus, the Messiah and the Son of God." In Mark 1:2–8:21, the main point of God's Word is to reveal who Jesus is. In those chapters, Jesus consistently and repeatedly does all of the things that only God could do. He forgives sins, controls the winds and waves through his commands, heals the sick, casts out demons, and even raises the dead. Everyone who saw his acts and heard his teaching should have known that Jesus was the long-expected and prophesied Messiah and Son of God.

    In Mark 8:22, the focus of the Gospel of Mark changes from describing who Jesus is to calling people to follow him. Christians have long called Mark 8:22–10:52 "Jesus' Call to Discipleship." The section begins and ends with stories about Jesus' healing blind men. These miracles really happened. At the same time, they point to the fact that, on our own, we are spiritually blind to God and need to have Jesus open our eyes to his reality.

    How do we respond to a man who is the Son of God? Jesus says, "Follow me" (8:34). Then, throughout the rest of this passage, Jesus goes on a journey from the northern part of Israel to Jerusalem where he will die. Three times, Jesus tells us that he has come to die—and that we should follow him. This raises the natural question "What will happen to us when we follow a man who says he has come to die as a ransom for us?" (10:42–45) The brief answer is that he changes our lives. What does he change? Everything:

      • Our perception of reality
      • Our basis for decision making
      • Our marriages and families
      • Our use of possessions
      • Our values
      • Our past, present, and future

    Throughout this Lenten season 2013, we will learn about Jesus the life-changer. I pray that he will change our lives

    listen-sermons_on

    To His Glory,

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

    Article Count:
    25
  • I Am Advent Series

    Churches throughout the world take the weeks before Christmas to turn their eyes toward Bethlehem's manger and pray for a deepening understanding about the meaning of God's coming to the world in Jesus. Two questions have always been at the heart of what we call "Advent Season

    • Who was Jesus?
    • Why did he come?

    At LAC, we will join the global church's celebration of Advent again in 2012. What we will do this year is listen to Jesus' personal claims of who he was and why he came into the world. Those claims create huge challenges for the view that many would like to hold about Jesus, i.e., that he was only a good, moral man who said a lot of profound things. C.S. Lewis made it clear that as acceptable as that view may be to all sorts of people, it is not one that Jesus allowed:

    The really foolish thing that people often say about Jesus is: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. ... Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse - C.S. Lewis


    What did Jesus say about himself? Many of Jesus' clear claims about his identity are located in John's gospel. The stage is set particularly well by the question some would-be Jesus followers posed in John 8:53: "Jesus, who do you think you are?"

    I pray that when we hear Jesus' own words about himself we will see him more clearly, love him more, and follow him in ways that reflect his glory to our world.

    listen-sermons_on

    To His Glory,

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Advent Series Schedule

    • I Am the I Am

      Week 1December 1 - 2

      John 8:48-59

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

       

    • I Am the Light of the World

      Week 2December 8- 9

      John 8:12-18

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Walter Alexander, Pastor of Adult Ministries

       

    • I Am the Good Shepherd

      Week 3December 15 - 16

      John 10:1-18

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

       

    • I Am the Way, the Truth & the Life

      Week 4December 22 - 23

      John 14:1-6

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

       

    • I Am the Bread of Life

      Week 5December 24

      John 6:5-13

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

       

    • I Am the Vine

      Week 6December 29 - 30

      John 15:1-17

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Jeff Mattesich, Associate Pastor of Children & Student Ministries / Jesse Oakes, Pastor of High School Ministries

       

     

    Article Count:
    14
  • This Too Shall Be Made Right

    The 1992 Disney film "classic", Aladdin, had a song in which a down and out boy promised a bored princess "A Whole New World" was about to begin – one that has "a new fantastic point of view... Unbelievable sights -- Indescribable feeling. Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky. This promise seems unrealistic but sometimes we'd like it to be true because this world is one that seems to need some major renewing.

    And not only children's movies but also influential thinkers have tried to argue that a bright new world is ahead. In the early 18th century, the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz wrote a book entitled Theodicy in which he tried to prove that we don't need a new world, that we live in the best of all possible worlds. And, of course, Karl Marx cast the same idea into an economic argument. He applied Darwin's development theory to the politics and economics and argued that eventually the proletariat would defeat the bourgeoisie and a utopia will come to this world.

    But, very few people in our world have ever been so optimistic. Most of us have a lot of things we think are wrong with this world. We complain about them every day. There are many things we would like to see changed. In fact, most of us know that there is nothing “this side of heaven” that is perfect. And, we sense that no human power can bring in a whole new world. In fact, in order to be optimistic about our world, we have to be optimistic, not about the world as it is now, but rather about the world that we hope this one is leading toward. And we sense intuitively that what we need for this world to be made right is for a new rule to break in, the kingdom of the God who created heaven and earth needs to come and re-create this world. Only then can we truly be optimistic.

    The promise of the kingdom of God is that all things will be made right. Evil powers will be obliterated, sickness will cease, ignorance will be eradicated, sin will be defeated and death will be no more. Mark’s Gospel begins by giving us a very descriptive title in v. 1: The beginning of the good news about Jesus, the Messiah and the Son of God.

    I have several goals as I begin this series:

    • To understand more fully who Jesus is and why he came. I am praying people will come to faith in Jesus and that those of us who are already following him will “see him more clearly, love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly.”
    • To gain a better understanding of our world – especially why it is that there is so much that is wrong in our world even as God’s rule has been planted in our world and most surely will eventually come in its fullness. I pray we will learn to wait upon the Lord – and be faithful to serve and obey the King of God’s kingdom while we wait.
    • To gain specific insight into many of the wrongs in this world – evil powers, disease, alienation, legalism, hunger, poverty, ignorance, abuse of authority, and death and dying. We will see that Jesus has authority over all of them and promises their defeat and elimination.
    • To make commitments to becoming more thoroughly (radically) involved in furthering God’s rule in this world. When Jesus came to this world to announce the coming of God’s rule, he immediately called people into service. God furthers his kingdom in people and through people.

    To His Glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

    Article Count:
    46
  • The Great Escape

    Scholars have disagreed fiercely about countless issues related to the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Torah. Who wrote it? When was it written? Did the things reported really happen, or are they simply literary constructions? The list of disputed matters could go on and on.

    However, there is one issue that almost all agree on--ancient rabbis, contemporary Jewish scholars, literary critics, liberal protestant theologians, Roman Catholic Old Testament teachers, conservative students of the Bible...and LAC's Senior Pastor. We all know this: The central theme of the great Book of Exodus is the presence of God at every time in history, in every place people live, and in every situation of life. This is the theme that has made Exodus the most-loved book of his people who were in slavery early in our own country's history. Many of the "Spirituals" that we still love to sing are rooted in this book. Indeed, Exodus has almost always been the main book people turn to when they are going through times of trouble. In those times, we read the story again and remember that God is always present, that he is powerful and loving and forgiving, that he rescues people who turn to him, that he expects us to live the way he's made us to live, and that he will always be who he is. In the Book of Exodus, we will find God declare at the most telling moments, "I am who I am!"

    0800785991


    Years ago, a man named Brother Lawrence wrote a devotional book that God has used to sustain many people facing challenges. He called it The Practice of the Presence of God. Exodus teaches us what that "practice" looks like on life's journey. It tells of the great escape of God's people from slavery to freedom, from oppression to the promised land, and from the rule of a hard-hearted Pharaoh to the rule of a gracious and wonder-working God. If you want to learn how to escape from where you are in your life so that you might walk in the joy of salvation, this summer's series at LAC is for you.

     

     

    listen-sermons_on

    To His Glory,

     

    Dr. Greg Waybright
    Senior Pastor

     

    Teaching Series Schedule

    • Grumbling after the Victory

      Week 10July 28 - 29

      Exodus 15:22-17:7

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

       

    • Food for the Trip

      Week 11August 4 - 5

      Exodus 16:2-5, 27-35

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

       

    • God in the Dock

      Week 12 August 11 - 12

      Exodus 17: 1-7

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

       

    • Battle in the Wilderness

      Week 13 August 18 - 19

      Exodus 17: 8 - 16

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Walter Alexander, Pastor of Adult Ministries

       

    • Leading from the Middle

      Week 14August 25 - 26

      Exodus 18

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Jeff Liou, Pastor of College Ministries

       

     

    Article Count:
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  • Breathing Out: Here & There

     

    This weekend we begin a four-week “Breathing Out” series focused on “Here AND There.” From the beginning of God’s story as recorded in scripture, as voiced through the prophets, as affirmed by Christ’s ministry and as pursued by the disciples and the early Church, we observe a relentless pushing out of the gospel. From the covenant with Abram to “bless all the families of the earth” (Gen, 12. 1- 3) to God’s declaration through Isaiah that, “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob…I will also make you a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” and to Jesus’ promise that the gospel would be preached to all peoples before the end comes (Matt 24.14); God has been on mission small and large, personal and societal, here and there throughout all of time.

    Our journey begins by reminding us that we do not just have Turning Points away from something, but by definition, we are also turning toward something else. We will re-examine what the turning to be a follower of Jesus meant for four fisherman in Galilee, for a young girl growing up in Pasadena in the ‘50s and to an underground church in Tunis today.

    Week Two will have Pastor Greg looking at how the context of the early Church has some similarities within our own in the Los Angeles area, revisiting the dynamic circumstances surrounding Pentecost in Jerusalem and seeing how their “Here” also connected to “There” as well.

    Week Three we will focus us “Here.” In “Stopping to Exhale,” Pastor Eric Johnson, a part of the Lake Avenue Foundation team, will help us see “breathing out” into our neighborhood means crossing boundaries of every type, as we follow Jesus into our own nearby communities. We will have chances to connect and get involved with our local outreach ministries that weekend.

    Week Four, Pastor Greg welcomes a very special guest to share the message with him. Lisa (Repko) Borden is an LAC missionary, who along with husband Bryon founded Wild Hope International. Lisa will tell stories from over ‘There” of God on the move among the Maasai of N Tanzania, where she makes her home.

    “Here AND There” will culminate the following Friday, May 11, with the Concert for Wild Hope – an LAC partnership with Christian Assembly Church of Eagle Rock (CA) – where together Lake and CA’s choirs, bands and orchestra will do a benefit concert on behave of the ministry of Wild Hope, as our two churches join together to fill the Worship Center with praise and worship for the God that is on mission, from the City Center Here to the Ends of the Earth There!

     

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    To His Glory,

     

    Scott White
    Pastor of Global Outreach

     

    Teaching Series Schedule

    • From Turning Point to Sent Ones

      Week 1April 14 - 15

      Mark 1:16-20

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Scott White, Pastor of Global Outreach

       

    • Created & Discipled for Good Works Here & There

      Week 2April 21 - 22

      Acts 2:5-12

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

       

    • Stop Waiting to Exhale

      Week 3April 28 -29

      Matt 25:31-46 - 2 Cor 5:16-19

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Eric Johnson, Lake Avenue Church Foundation STARS Program Manager

       

    • Breathing Out Here & There

      Week 4May 5 - 6

      Isaiah 58:6-12

      Saturday/Sunday Speaker: Greg Waybright, Senior Pastor

       

    Article Count:
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