Sermon Series “Perfectly Imperfect Faith”

Six week series talking about the life of faith using Hebrews Chapter 11.

Video MessageResources
Week 1:
I Believe
Monday Memo notes

Quotes to Remember
– When you hope, you do not yet have what you are hoping for, but, by believing it, you begin to resemble someone who possesses it. (St. Augustine)
– If you do a word search in the Bible for the word, “afraid,” you’ll notice how often it appears with the words, “Do not be”…Virtually every time God calls someone to do something in Scripture, He pleads with them, “Do not be afraid!”…Why? Because cowardice is one of the great life-thieves of all time…Spiritual cowardice worms its way into our souls when our eyes become obsessively focused on our circumstances… (Gary Thomas, writer on spiritual formation in church history) 
Book Recommendations
Pastor Chris mentioned two books in yesterday’s sermon. If you’re looking for a good read, both are worth your while. 
One of the single best books on the subject of faith, a good companion to our series on Hebrews 11, is John Ortberg’s “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat” – If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat: Ortberg, John
Regarding the pressure Christians, both 2000 years ago and nowadays, face to “shrink back” and lose their Christian distinctiveness in the world, try Michael Frost’s “Keep Christianity Weird” – Keep Christianity Weird: Embracing the Discipline of Being Different: Frost, Michael
Week 2:
Abel’s Faith
Monday Memo notes

Scripture Reading This Week
The most extensive passage in the Old Testament about “the law of firsts” is in Malachi 1.6-14, and it focuses on God’s response to that guideline being ignored – check it out: Malachi 1.6-14 NRSV
Prayer for Faith this Week
From “The Complete Book of Christian Prayer”:
“Eternal God, help us to entrust the past to Your mercy, the present to Your love, and the future to Your wisdom. We believe; help our unbelief, this we pray through Christ, amen.”
Week 3:
Rahab’s Faith
Monday Memo notes

Prayer Focus this Week
We used the following short creed about faith and choice near the end of yesterday’s worship services; pray over and through it a few times this week as you seek to emulate Rahab a little more:  From Bruce Prewer (The Uniting Church of Australia):
Faith demands choice. By the grace of Christ, we can choose.
We choose to believe that light is better than darkness, sharing is better than hoarding, truth is better than deceit, mercy is better than revenge, love is better than indifference, and God is better than chaos.
We choose to have faith in the God who is love, and choice will verify itself on the long and narrow road of life.
By grace, we choose faith. Thanks be to God, amen.

More on Rahab
1. Powerful short video offering a corrective to how some male interpreters have viewed the person of Rahab critically: Redefining the Story of Rahab | Jen Wilkin
2. Introduction to the kind of powerful ministry being done in the name of Rahab to those with a background like Rahab: 
Stop the Human Trafficking Happening Right Here – RAHAB Ministries
RAHAB – A Ministry of Hope
Week 4:
Barak’s Faith
Monday Memo notes

Quote for the Week
“…Every Christian’s life is marked by windows of opportunity that demand a radical step of faith in order to follow Christ and fulfill His purposes for them. The difference between good and great is not a matter of knowledge or pedigree but a willingness to live by extraordinary faith. What makes a step of faith radical is that it will always involve significant risk…The Lord will bring you to the edge of a decision at which point you’ll have to decide whether to leap in the direction He’s calling you or pull back to a place that seems safe…You will have a decision to make that pits obedience against comfort and convenience…While you usually know which direction God wants you to choose, you also know most people will think you’re absolutely crazy for choosing it…” (Chip Ingram)
Prayer for the Week
1. At least once this week, pray through that Chip Ingram quote for your own life, and for KirkWood’s present and future. 
2. From the Church of New Zealand: 
“Eternal God, give us such trust in You that we measure our lives not by what we have done or how we have failed, but only by our faith in You. We believe – help our unbelief, amen.”
Week 5:
Samson’s Faith
Monday Memo notes

Quotes to Remember
“God makes His own sweet, often underappreciated music, with cast off, second hand, pawn shop instruments.” (George Guthrie, commenting on the characters included in Hebrews 11)
“Faith is better understood as a verb, not a noun, as a process, not a possession. It is on-again, off-again, rather than once-and-for-all. Faith is not being sure of where you’re going, but going anyway. It is a journey without maps.” (Frederick Buechner, in “Wishful Thinking – A Seeker’s ABC”)
Prayer for the Week Rev. Teri Peterson (The Church of Scotland):
O God, You who are always doing a new thing, we confess that we sometimes close windows against the fresh air of new ideas, against other people’s voices, and against the winds of change.
God of every place and time, we confess that we often draw the curtains against people who are different and who disagree with us.
Forgive us our insulation in our locked homes, our shuttered churches, and the security systems on our hearts.
So in Your grace, help us open up our lives, and let your Spirit blow through, this we ask today, amen.
Week 6:
Jephthah’s Faith
Monday Memo notes

Quotes to Remember
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” (C.S. Lewis)
– “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” (Anne Lamott)
“Theology is the study of God and God’s ways. For all we know, dung beetles may study us and our ways and call it humanology. If so, we would probably be more touched and amused than irritated. One hopes that God feels likewise.” (Frederick Buechner)
A Prayer for the Week
Praying Hebrews 11 (Rev. Richard Einerson – The United Church of Christ):
O holy One, we thank You that we stand in a long line of believers who have been faithful through the ages. You have always led Your people through trial, hardship, and their own failure, and set before them hope for today and a better tomorrow. Help and strengthen us as we seek to be as faithful as our forebears.
As Jesus taught us, give to us a faith like a mustard seed, which has small beginnings but which yields large results. Give to us a faith to move the mountains of difficulty which come to each of us. And give to us a faith which has a vision of Your new world in which peace and love characterize the relationships between neighbors, races, classes, and all nations.
God, may we walk with You through the ebb and flow of our years, and the victories and defeats to come, till You call us home to Your eternal Kingdom, amen.