Edgewater Lutheran Church
Viewer Discretion Advised - 8.7
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        Fall Men's Retreat

        August 13, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 14, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be in the Lake Arrowhead area. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Register using this link. The cost of registration covers food and housing for the weekend. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Fall Women's Retreat

        August 20, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 21, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be in the Lake Arrowhead area. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Register using this link. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Blood Drive Rescheduled!

        September 4, 2022 - 3:30 PM - 3:30 PM
        Edgewater Lutheran Church and the American Red Cross are hosting an upcoming blood drive. Please join our lifesaving mission and schedule an appointment today! Click here to make an appointment The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.
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        Corona Life Services Walk for Life

        October 1, 2022 - 1:00 PM - 1:00 PM
        The Walk for Life raises funds for Corona Life Services. Corona Life Services is a nonprofit community medical and family support clinic established in 1998, providing free medical services and support to women and families facing unplanned pregnancies. We are dedicated to promoting the truth about the sanctity of human life, God's abundant love, and hope for the future as promised in Jeremiah 29:11. Register as a walker with Edgewater's Team or donate here.
      • Bible Trivia
      • Isaiah 64:6ESV

      • 1 John 1:8ESV

      • 1 John 1:10ESV

      • Isaiah 6:5ESV

      • Ecclesiastes 7:20ESV

      • Psalm 14:3ESV

      • 1 John 3:4ESV

      • Psalm 66:18ESV

      • Romans 5:12–13ESV

      • Isaiah 59:2ESV

      • James 2:10ESV

      • John 8:24ESV

      • John 8:34ESV

  • Way Maker
  • Alive
  • We Praise You
  • Never Lost
      • Galatians 4:1–7ESV

  • The Leaven

    Do you not yet understand? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod! Do you not understand”
    This is what Jesus says to the disciples, these are the the bullet points of the conversation that they have and I wonder do we understand what He's saying? I think His message is worth clarifying a little bit.
    So fundamentally here is what Jesus is saying, He's telling the disciples to watch out for the influence of the Pharisees who are a cultural group, they are a religious group, they are a political group and the influence of Herod who is the representative of power in the area, he is political ruler, he is a military ruler. Now Jesus uses the image of leaven or of yeast to explain kind of how their influence can impact someones life and what He's trying to communicate is that you have to be careful because even if their influence seems small it can have a massive effect, a ripple effect on the entirety of your life. Just like you only need a little bit of yeast to make bread, and it works it’s way through the whole loaf, Jesus is warning about pervasive, unseen influences. Now the disciples don't get it, they're distracted by the fundamental needs that they have or that they imagine that they have.
    So that is what's going on and the question I think that forces us to ask ourselves is what is leavening our lives today or to put it more directly what are those small, unseen but pervasive influences in our lives that are impacting our faith and our witness and our walk in a negative way?

    What’s influencing you?

    When I think about it we have Herod and the Pharisees as the political powers, the cultural powers, the religious powers, the military powers - I mean between Herod and the Pharisees you have represented a lot of of the world, a lot of what is worldly. If we think about what are those kinds of things today a wide range of things might come to mind.
    You know TV shows and movies and music you gotta recognize that their little bit of influence can have a ripple effect into the rest of your life. If you’re watching this stuff and the violence is always extreme, it can desensitize you to that stuff. Like when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, I personally thought that wasn’t a big deal at all. Another source of influence can be your group associations. For example, if you identify really closely with the Republican party, you might start to view Democrats as the enemy instead of as people that Christ died for. Another source of influence can be the people you spend the most time with, your close friends. If they don’t value church on Sunday morning, and they’re always scheduling group activities during that time, you might start to devalue church a little bit too. Social media is a big one! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Reddit - whatever your poison is - by design shows you what you want to see. That makes an echo chamber and tends to make views slowly more extreme.
    Those are just a few examples, but I want you to take a few seconds and really think about what are some of the things that are subtly influencing how you look at the world, how you act, and how you think? Is anyone brave enough to share?

    A Drop in the Bucket

    Now we take all these things and we say, “well yes, they have an influence, but it's not that serious.” And there's some truth to that statement, because for each of these instances, for all of these things that influence our lives, they have a different impact based on what they are and who we are. It depends who you are, it depends what grounding you have, and it depends on what the influence is. To try and illustrate this point I'm going to walk around with you guys so everyone can see this is a glass of water. And my two lovely assistants also have containers of water. We’re gonna put a single drop of food coloring in each of our glasses. As you can see my glass and the larger jar over there have not changed much. The shot glass on the other hand has started to look different. This is just like some of the little influences in our lives. If we’re grounded in worship every week, in God’s Word every day, in relationships with friends and family who support our faith - that little influence doesn’t make a huge difference. If we’re alone, if we don’t have the support that comes from church, if we’re not regularly in God’s Word - that little influence can make a big difference.
    Now my assistants and I are going to pour a lot of food coloring into each of our containers. At this point, my friend with the shot glass is just trying not to get the blue water on the floor and both my glass and the jar over there are entirely different colors than when we started. This helps us understand how those little influences can build up and seriously impact our faith and our lives, no matter how much support we have.

    Pointing Back

    That leaves us with a lot of gray area. This is gonna be different for every person in this room. Each of us will have a different amount of influence you can absorb before it negatively impacts your faith and your walk, each of us has a different amount of support. In fact, we might even be like the disciples, who were distracted by the realities of life and didn’t even think about how they were being influenced. The disciples’ immediate question is about actual bread, they're distracted by just the realities of life they don't have time or energy, apparently, to think about who is subtly or not so subtly influencing them.
    So Jesus reminds them of the miracles that he did and he grounds them again in the incredible reality of what he has done for them. That is our role as church, as a community of the faithful, to point each other back to those promises time and time again. No matter what influences have been working on your life over the course of the week, it is our responsibility, it is our joy as brothers and sisters in Christ to say “remember everything that Christ has done for you, remember that he lived, he really lived, he did miracles, he taught incredible lessons, and he died, he died a death he didn't deserve, and three days later he rose from death, he did the impossible so that we would have life in him, he rose from the dead so that one day we can rise from death, from sin, from all of the mess in this world to a perfect new creation with him. Jesus points them back to his incredible work and we point each other back to his incredible work in the midst of whatever influences are in our lives.

    Anticipating the Consequences

    And we need a similar reminder in our lives, because all of that is not to say that those influences matter don't matter though and we should seriously consider the influences in our lives. We should consider how they impact our faith, how they impact our beliefs and our actions and our attitudes, this is worth thinking about . So I think it's worth developing some things to consider for how we evaluate these influences in our lives.
    I mean in the same way you might look at a nutrition label and decide whether or not a food is something that you want to put in your body. One of the big things I look at is the added sugars number, if a single product has 200% of the added sugars you're supposed to have in a day - I'm gonna probably avoid that product. Or if it has 150% of the sodium you need in a day, I'm not gonna have that, that's not good for me. But say it has 90% of the Vitamin C I need for the day, well I'm gonna go ahead and have that orange juice. So in the same way we need to think about the things in our lives that are influencing.
    So to maybe be a little reminder for you, I printed out these little nutrition labels and you're free to take one, I should have enough for everybody. You're free to take one home - put it on a mirror, on your fridge, or in your car - somewhere you're going to see and think about it. Think about the things in your life that might be influencing you. Are they sinful? How useful are they? Do they help your witness? Do they encourage your faith? Do they encourage you to do the right thing? Do they help you to love your neighbor more? Do they help you to love God more? What is the cost to your faith? What is the cost to your calling?
    Christ calls us to view the things of this world with discretion and to always keep in mind the faith that saves us. So with that, I present Life - Viewer Discretion Advised. Amen.
    JOSH: The sermon sounds good! I would add a more Gospel proclamation because there is a lot of 3rd use in there. To stay with the theme of influence - you can talk about how Christ has had the greatest influence on our lives - changing our realities completely. Maybe even use the classic water metaphor of our lives being filled with bad, earthly leaven and Christ cleanses and gives us the
      • Mark 8:14–21ESV

  • The Lord's Prayer
  • Bless the Lord

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