CULTURE OF CHRISTMAS: Asian Christmas

December 14, 2014
Stephen Ulangca

“Asian” is a term that can apply to half the planet, but at NOCC it is primarily represented by Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Filipino. Today we will explore some of the customs of these cultures and how they can point us to Jesus!

CULTURE OF CHRISTMAS: African American Christmas

December 7, 2014
Randy Christian

Christmas, as we experience it, is a product of culture–and of course which culture depends on who and where we are. Many of these cultural customs enhance the celebration of the birth of Jesus–that is, if you know what they are about! In this three part series, we will explore the influence of three different cultural groups on Christmas celebration, and what they can contribute to our understanding of Christmas. We being with the African-American culture.

THE GOOD STUFF: How Do You Say Good-bye?

November 30, 2014
Stephen Ulangca and The Elders

Paul closes his letter with class and love, thanking the Philippians for their contribution to his life and work, and making sure they know how important they are to him. It is a reminder to us that the people God gives us as friends, co-workers and brothers and sisters in the Lord are important–and so is how we talk to them.

Due to extenuating circumstances a slight change was made to this sermon.

THE GOOD STUFF: Joy Together

November 23, 2014
Randy Christian

We know a lot about happiness–at least, about trying to be happy. We think we deserve it. We recognize each other’s right to have it. We spend our lives chasing happiness. But happiness doesn’t last. Joy does. There is a big difference, and Paul tells us how to have the real thing.

THE GOOD STUFF: Citizenship

November 16, 2014
Randy Christian

Paul was a Jew–and a leading Pharisee at that. He was also a Roman–holding a citizenship that literally saved his life on several occasions. Paul used these credentials when they helped further the gospel, but his real prize was his citizenship in heaven. He understood what that meant, and was willing to rid himself of anything that would keep him from living as a citizen of God’s Kingdom.

THE GOOD STUFF: Credentials

November 9, 2014
Randy Christian

Our society–and often people in the church itself–values being “good”. That usually means thinking “I’m good enough”. But the reality is, none of us has anything to brag about–our credentials don’t impress God. Our “righteousness” is an illusion. No one is good, much less good enough–except Jesus. The amazing thing is, he “gives”, us his righteousness!

THE GOOD STUFF: For Christ’s Sake

November 2, 2014
Edmund Brooks

That phrase is usually heard as an expletive, but Paul took it seriously. If we belong to Jesus as our King, it changes how we approach life. Now we know it isn’t what we are interested in–what our agenda is–but what Jesus’ is interested in that is important. When we know that, the phrase changes and we actually live “for Christ’s sake”, and Paul gives two examples of men who live this way.

THE GOOD STUFF: That Humble Thing

October 26, 2014
Randy Christian

One of the most difficult things for people in the world to understand is how “God” could become “flesh”. It boggles the mind! And yet he did–and in doing so, he “made himself nothing”. What does this say about how we who follow him should live?

THE GOOD STUFF: Worthy

October 19, 2014
Randy Christian

Paul didn’t seem to react to things the same way we do. When people tried to hurt him, he asked one question: Is this helping or hurting the gospel? Why? Because Paul lived by a simple principle–he wanted to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.

THE GOOD STUFF: God Isn’t Finished!

October 12, 2014
Randy Christian

As we begin our study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Paul greets his readers and reminds them that God is working in them–and that he will continue to do that work until he has completed it! We need to be aware of God’s work in us as well–and know that, regardless of how we feel, God isn’t finished with us yet!

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