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Why Read the Bible? : Connect the Dots

Sep 11, 2016   //   by Wade   //   Sermons  //  No Comments

connect-the-dots“Connect the Dots”  Sermon Series  with Weekly Bible Readings

Read Your Bible!!  This reading guide traces the main events, themes and characters in the Bible from start to finish.  Readings will be discussed and addressed in weekly class sessions (Sundays, 9:30 and 11) and explored in the Sunday sermon.

The Bible has a storied history.  Martyrs have died to uphold it. Missionaries spend their lives translating it into obscure tribal dialects.  “Your word is better to me” says the Psalmist “than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” (Ps. 119). The importance and value of God’s written word is hard to overstate.

Yet if we’re honest, many of us struggle with the Bible.  We open it and find ancient writings filled with foreign names and places.  It confronts us with concepts and values that feel far removed from our contemporary world.  How often do we end up setting the Bible back on the shelf, confused and frustrated?  How often do we simply leave it there to gather dust?

 With that in mind, Oak Hills is trying something new this year. Connect the Dots is a 30-week journey through the story of the Bible, designed to do just what the name suggest – help us connect the dots of this ancient text in a way that brings understanding.  This series will take us through the Bible’s whole story, wrapping up in June 2017.  Buckle Up!  This will be both challenging and, I trust, powerful.  I am excited to unpack these ancient words week by week, watching how God shows up in the process!”

Series Introduction

September 12-18,  “How to Read the Bible”

  • Luke 24:13-32; 1 Peter 1:3-12; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Psalm 119:89-103
  • Sunday Sep 18 How to Read the Bible   Luke 24:25-32

September 19-25, “The Beginning”

September 26—October 2, “The Problem”

  • Genesis 3—5
  • Sunday Oct 2 The Problem Genesis 3:1-15  (World Communion)

October 3-9, “More Problems”

October 10-16, “The Family”

  • Genesis 12:1-4; Genesis 15; Genesis 17;  Genesis 22:1-19; Genesis 25:19-34; Genesis 29:1—30:24; Genesis 37; Genesis 50:15-21
  • Sunday Oct 16  The Family Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-12; 17-21

 October 17-23, “The Nation”

  • Exodus 1—3; Exodus 12:21-42; Exodus 14:1—15:3; Exodus 16; Exodus 19:1—20:21; Leviticus 16:29-34
  • Sunday Oct 23 The Nation  Exodus 19:1-6

October 24-30, “The Journey”

  • Numbers 13—14; Numbers 21:4-9; Numbers 27:12-23; Deuteronomy 2:14-18; Deuteronomy 6; Deuteronomy 30; Deuteronomy 34; Joshua 1; Joshua 6; Joshua 21:43-45; Joshua 24
  • Sunday Oct 30     The Journey Joshua 1:1-9

 October 31—November 6

November 7-13, “More Problems”

November 14-20, “The Kingdom”

  • 1 Samuel 1; 1 Samuel 3; 1 Samuel 8:1—9:2; 1 Samuel 10:17-25; 1 Samuel 13:5-14; 1 Samuel 15:1—16:13; 2 Samuel 5:1-12; 2 Samuel 6—7
  • Sunday Nov 20  The Kingdom 2 Samuel 7:1-13

November 21-27, “The Old Covenant and the New” Advent 1

November 28—December 4, “The Arrival”

  • Advent 2 – Matthew 1:1—3:23; Matthew 4:1-10; Luke 1:1—3:20; Luke 4:1-13; John 1:1-34
  • Sunday Dec 4  The Arrival Matthew 1:17; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1-5,14 (Advent 2)

December 5-11, Advent 3

  • Psalm 24; Isaiah 9:1-7; Isaiah 11—12; Isaiah 35; Isaiah 40:1-11; Isaiah 42:1-9

December 12-18, Advent 4

  • Isaiah 49:1-13; Isaiah 52:13—53:12; Isaiah 61:1-3; Colossians 1:1-20

Dec 19-Jan 8 - – (not recorded & weather closures)

Jan 15The Psalms: A Worshipping Life (Psalm 16).

  • Themes: worship as a way of life – joy and lament – living all seasons in relationship to God…

Jan 22Confirmation Homily Matthew 2:1-12 Rev. Christy Polk.

Snow DayWisdom: Treasure of the Godly (Proverbs 2:1-10).

  • Themes: difference between knowledge and wisdom – learning the “fear of the Lord.”

Jan 29Suffering: What Does the Bible Say?(Job 1:6-21).

  • Themes: the mystery of evil, the walk of faith, the promise of redemption…

Feb 5Solomon: The Kingdom Divided (I Kings 11:6-13).

  • Themes: Solomon’s downfall – the dangers and repercussions of a divided heart..

Feb 12 Elijah: The Minority Report (I Kings 18:17-39).

  • Themes: God’s hidden power and presence in a dark time, the lonely calling of faithfulness…

Feb 19 Hosea: Prophet to the Northern Kingdom (Hosea 1:1-5, 2:13-20)

  • Themes: God as a “jealous God” – sin as unfaithfulness, God’s grief and grace…

Feb 26 Isaiah: Prophet to the Southern Kingdom (Isaiah 6:1-13).

  • Themes: God’s unchanging majesty – the danger of a “shrink to fit” concept of God…

March 1st – Ash Wednesday

March 5 (lent 1) Daniel: Faithful in Exile (Daniel 1:1-21).

  • Themes: living in (spiritual) exile – walking in countercultural witness to the true kingdom…

March 12 (lent 2) The Remnant Returns (Ezra 1:1-4, 3:10-13).

  • Themes: Patient waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises – God’s ultimate faithfulness.

March 19 (lent 3) Malachi: Bridging the Testaments (Malachi 3:1-4, 4:4-6).

  • Themes: The joy and fear of the coming “messenger” – his mission foreshadowed.

March 26 (lent 4) “The Ministry of Jesus” (Mark 1:9-28) – not recorded.

  • Themes: Who is Jesus and what did he come to do? (Proclaim and enact the kingdom…)

April 2 (lent 5) The Road to Jerusalem (Matthew 16:13-21).

  • Themes: The costly journey of Christ – to be “messiah” is to suffer.  We are called to follow…

April 9Palm Sunday, (lent 6) The King’s Cup (Mark 11:1-10, 14:32-36).

  • Themes: Triumphal entry (glory!) vs. Gethsemane (agony!) – what is the “cup” Jesus drinks?

April 16 – Easter Sunday Fear and Great Joy (Matthew 28:1-10).

  • Themes: the first witnesses felt “fear and great joy” – why Easter should make us feel both…

April 23 New Life/New Lifestyle Romans 1:1-5, 16-17.

  • Themes: living by faith on the foundation of the risen Christ – a whole new way of life.

April 30 In whom the resurrected Christ dwells Ezekiel 36:26, Acts 1:6-11, Colossians 1:25-27 – Rev. Christy Polk

  • Themes: The Spirit (of Christ) as our ongoing source and sustenance in life.

May 7 One Lord Colossians 1:3-6, 2:6-7.

  • Themes: Jesus as the focus and fullness of the Christian life – we never “outgrow” him – he is God’s fruit-bearing branch in our lives and the world.

May 14 (Communion) One Gospel Galatians 1:1-9, 3:23-39.

  • Themes: The gospel (“good news”) – what it IS and what it is NOT.

May 21 (Choir Appreciation) One Body Eph 2:11-22.

  • Themes: the power of the gospel to shape a new humanity – reconciled in Christ, united in mission.

May 28 “One Ministry” Philippians 2:1-11.

  • Themes: A Jesus-shaped life of servanthood.

June 4 (Pentecost)“One Hope” 2 Corinthians 4:7-18.

  • Themes: Living out hope in a broken world.

June 11 (Communion) “The Presence of the Future” Matthew 5:1-12.

  • Themes: Living life NOW in light of the Kingdom to come.

June 18 (single service – summer schedule) “Thy Kingdom Come” Revelation 21:1-5a.

  • Themes: what is our ultimate hope? – a glimpse of God’s victory.

Podcasts Annunciator

Sep 1, 2016   //   by Wade   //   Sermons  //  No Comments

Podcast of sermons is

I am. (because) He is. – exploring our God-given identity

Jun 25, 2016   //   by Wade   //   Sermons  //  No Comments


Who am I?  What is my identity?  It’s impossible to answer these questions apart from the relationships that define our lives: the people we come from, the people we live with, the people we serve.  We know who we are only through relationship.  And behind all of our human relationships stands one great, primary relationship: our relationship to our Maker.  When we start to ask “who am I?” we stand before an even deeper question: who is God?  And who am I, in relationship to him? Read more >>

David: Learning the Shape of a Godly Heart

Apr 3, 2016   //   by Wade   //   Sermons  //  No Comments


I once asked a respected pastor friend how he plans out his preaching. He said “I try to make sure that someone attending regularly over a five year period would be exposed to the whole story of scripture, Old and New Testaments.” I have been heeding his advice ever since.

You cannot grasp the story of scripture without a good sense of its primary characters, and David is close to the top of the list. The reign of King David was the pinnacle of Israel’s history. His career shows us both the enormous possibilities and the devastating weaknesses of human power. To meet King David is to meet a “man after God’s own heart” (I Sam. 13:14). But David’s weaknesses ultimately pave the way for the coming of a greater King – the “son of David,” Jesus himself.

As we move through this spring series, I’m excited for the ways David’s life will teach us to cultivate a heart of godly character. I’m excited, too, to look again at Jesus – our true “Shepherd, Warrior, and King” – through the lens of these fascinating old testament stories.

April 3rdA Heart for God. (David is chosen) I Samuel 16.

April 10thCourage (David and Goliath) 1 Samuel 17.

April 17thFriendship (David and Jonathan) I Samuel 20 Christy Polk

April 24thIntegrity (David and Saul) I Samuel 24.

May 1stLeadership (David and the Amalekites) 1 Samuel 30.

May 8thSubmission (David fumbles the Ark) 2 Samuel 6:1-12.

May 15thWorship (David brings up the Ark) 2 Samuel 6:13-22.

May 22ndHumility (David’s covenant with God) 2 Samuel 7.

May 29thKindness (David and Mephibosheth) 2 Samuel 9.

June 5thRepentance (David after Bathsheba) 2 Samuel 12, Psalm 51.

June 12thLove (David and Absalom) 2 Samuel 18.

Encounters on the Way

Jan 13, 2016   //   by Jeremy   //   Sermons  //  No Comments

OnTheWayThe final days of Jesus’ life took the form of a journey. Jesus, having spent several years ministering throughout Judea and Samaria, reached a decisive moment: the time to “set his face toward Jerusalem.” He knew what he would find there: hostile authorities, calloused Romans, and the Cross. Yet he chose to go, and he didn’t look back.

Trust at the Core…

Dec 12, 2015   //   by Wade   //   Sermons  //  No Comments


jehova JirehOrganizations (including the church!) need guiding values – the set of bedrock principles upon which everything else rests: the way we conduct business, the decisions we make, the priorities we choose.  The core values in place here at Oak Hills are grounded in scripture and prayerful discernment, and therefore capable of guiding our church into health and faithfulness for the long haul.

But there’s a danger: any set of values can easily become a carefully worded dust-gatherer, sitting on a shelf, totally removed from the day to day life of the church and its people.  Values – even good ones – only help us if we put them into practice!  Step one is to know our values, and to think through what they mean for us, both individually and corporately. Read more >>

Jesus: Long-Awaited One

Dec 9, 2015   //   by Wade   //   Sermons  //  No Comments


Nov. 29th First Sunday of Advent.  “The Genealogy: Jesus, Son of Israel” Matthew 1:1-25.  Christy Polk, MDiv.

Dec. 6th Second Sunday of Advent.  “Jesus, the Son of Man” Luke 2:1-20. Jeremy Sanderson

Dec. 13th Third Sunday of Advent.  Children’s Pageant, Christmas Concert.

Dec. 20th Fourth Sunday in Advent.  “Jesus, the Son of God” John 1:1-18. Jeremy Sanderson

Dec. 27th Christmastide.  Service of Testimony and Thanksgiving.


Philippians – The Beloved Community

Jul 12, 2015   //   by Wade   //   Sermons  //  No Comments

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to a new chapter! Over the past several years, God has been “making a way in the wilderness,” faithfully providing for Oak Hills through a season of transition, and bringing us, now, to the threshold of something new. What a thrill to be jumping into that “new thing” with you all! I have an increasing sense of joy and anticipation as the date of our arrival at Oak Hills grows near. This is an exciting time for the Sandersons, and, I hope, for you as well! Let me give you a peek into our plan for worship and sermons this summer: As I prayed about a scriptural focus for our first season together, I was immediately drawn to the book of Philippians. Philippians is Paul’s letter to his most beloved church. He wrote it from within a prison cell, and yet it’s a letter filled with joy. All of the treasures of the gospel are contained within its few short chapters, and for that reason, it’s always been among my favorite books of the Bible. Diving into Philippians is like taking a cool, refreshing bath in the deep waters of the gospel – I pray we will come away invigorated! Read more >>

Biblical Common Sense with Brother James and Stories from the New Testament

Apr 12, 2015   //   by Wade   //   Sermons  //  No Comments

Sermon Series 1 for Spring 2015 – James

James does focus on the necessity for believers to act in accordance with our faith. He tells us that it is common sense for us to act on our faith. However, many of us have difficulty finding way to act out our faith in our lives. It seems so easy to find ways that we fail to take action with actual deeds and expressions of our faith.  We may need to focus on our actions and words during events that tempt sinful behavior, regard toward the poor, handling of money, and general interaction with all other people. Let us learn how James, as a brother and friend, encourages us to do good, according to the faith we proclaim. Read more >>

"I Am" Lent Series

Feb 24, 2015   //   by Wade   //   Sermons  //  No Comments

Why did the religious leaders pick up stones when Jesus used the “I Am” mentioned in the scriptures to refer to himself? Jesus also said; “I Am…” the ‘light’ and ‘living water’. Was He really many different things? Follow us as we journey with Jesus to the cross and learn how His ‘I Am’ lessons were understood by the people of those days and what it teaches about His identity and integrity today. Read more >>