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  • Living on Purpose: Every day is a new opportunity to begin again

    Billy Holland|Jan 1, 2024

    I hope everyone is having blessed holidays with family and friends. Spending time with those you love is much more meaningful than all the customs and traditions. The same is true with our spiritual lives, as it comes down to our personal relationship with God and the peace and joy we have living in His presence. I’ve spoken with several people over the last few weeks who have no family and spend holidays alone. However, they rejoice in the hope that comes from knowing God and trusting Him in e...

  • Sermonette: Dec. 25, 2023

    Pr. Jeff Halvorson|Dec 25, 2023

    Greetings Brothers and Sisters In Christ. We continue with our Advent story this week. Last week we discussed the four outer candles on our Advent wreath. This week we focus on the center candle, the Jesus candle. The four outer candles, Hope, Peace, Joy and Love are fine all by themselves, each representing great and beautiful attributes. But in the center, the Jesus candle puts them all together. In our Christian lives, none of the other four candles matter if we don’t have Jesus at our center. Jesus is the “Reason for the Season.” As Chris...

  • Living on Purpose: Rebellion hides behind the mask of pretending

    Billy Holland|Dec 18, 2023

    Last week we talked about how common it is for many Christians to talk about how they love, worship and serve God, but could some of this be their imagination? Maybe a misunderstanding or could it be a deception? There are sobering Bible passages that talk about our works on earth and our heavenly rewards such as Matthew 7:21-23. “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I wil...

  • Sermonette: Dec. 18, 2023

    Pastor Jeff Halvorson|Dec 18, 2023

    Greetings Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We continue with our Advent story this week. Let’s take a closer look at the Advent wreath. As I mentioned last week, our wreath has five candles; four on the outside and one in the middle. The outer candles are either purple or blue and many churches have three of those and a fourth one that is pink. There is a center candle that is white and is called the Jesus candle. The four outer ones are Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The Hope candle is not the word hope we use in everyday conversation. I hope I g...

  • Sermonette: Dec. 11, 2023

    Pastor Jeff Halvorson|Dec 11, 2023

    With two exceptions, my weekly sermons are based on scripture. The exceptions are Advent and Lent. The ways in which we celebrate these two holiday seasons are based on tradition. Advent is the beginning of our church calendar year. We use this season to prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Lent is the time leading up to Holy Week, when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday. You will not find mention of these two seasons in scripture. However, both of these events hold an important part in our church...

  • Living on Purpose: Does the sin we commit in secret only hurt us?

    Billy Holland|Dec 11, 2023

    The sin of Achan found in Joshua 6:17-19 is a powerful example of how one person committing evil in private can negatively affect their family, church congregation or place of employment. “Now brother, what people do is their own business and it has nothing to do with me. If people want to cheat others, or lie, curse and steal, or watch porn, what’s that to me?” I can tell you what God’s word says about it. Being dedicated to others through the bond of our word, and especially if we are a spirit...

  • Sermonette: The Annunciation

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Dec 4, 2023

    Today, I want to delve into the wondrous and awe-inspiring event known as the Annunciation – a moment that forever changed the course of history and brought forth the Savior of the world. The Annunciation is a powerful testament to the mysterious and beautiful ways in which God works in our lives. In the Gospel of Luke, we find the account of the angel Gabriel appearing to the young virgin named Mary, announcing that she would conceive and bear the Son of God. The angel's words, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (...

  • Living on Purpose: Loving God is knowing His will and doing it

    Billy Holland|Dec 4, 2023

    Most of us have heard the 1969 song, “More Today than Yesterday” by the band Spiral Staircase. The chorus says, “I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.” I had not heard it for a while, but I’m sensitive to music and often a song will trigger my emotions and then I start asking the Lord about what is the hidden message within the music. It’s a catchy tune that has a happy bounce to it, much like what someone feels when they are in love. However, despite this song being...

  • Sermonette: Community

    Amy Kippen|Nov 27, 2023

    Beloved Community of God, Pastor Amy writing to you today about community! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means for all of us to be a community together, and also reflecting on how much this community has truly become my home over these last years. In 1 Peter 4:8–11, Peter explores the profound significance and transformative power of community in our Christian journey. 1 Peter 4:8: "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." In this verse, Peter implores us to place love at the for...

  • Living on Purpose: Giving thanks with an attitude of gratitude

    Billy Holland|Nov 27, 2023

    We just celebrated Veterans Day and we are so thankful for being able to live in a country where we are not being held under the terror of a dictator. Our son is a Marine and we have always been very proud of him. He was injured in the service and has suffered every day since, but he keeps pressing forward and does the best he can. My family has personally suffered loss from war and has a deep appreciation for the sacrifice these men and women have made to protect our country. My uncle, Kenny...

  • Sermonette: Give Thanks

    Pastor Amy Kippen|Nov 20, 2023

    As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, it's a perfect time for us to reflect on the profound message found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." In this short but powerful verse, the Apostle Paul provides us with a timeless truth that transcends the boundaries of time and culture. "Give thanks in all circumstances" may seem like a challenging command, especially when faced with trials, hardships or uncertainties. However, embedded in these words is a profound...

  • Living on Purpose: Jesus did not call us to be a bench-warmer

    Billy Holland|Nov 20, 2023

    I’ve watched Kentucky basketball since I was a kid and I admit that sometimes I do get a little carried away. I was reading an article a few years ago and was intrigued by a comment from the father of one of the players, who by the way was a top 10 NBA draft pick. He was asked about the first time he recognized that his son was going to be a special player, and he explained that it had a lot to do with the way he held the ball even at an early age. He went on to say his son’s body language rev...

  • Sermonette: October 30, 2023

    Pastor Mindy Meier|Oct 30, 2023

    "And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there." – 1 Corinthians 7:17 Attributed to Augustine of Hippo, a fourth-century father of the faith: “There is a God-shaped void in every human heart.” Each human knows how this feels. Life is full of disappointments. We wish our job was better; we wish our marriage was better; we wish our kids would do as we say; we wish we’d stick to our workout plan! Enhanced by social media algorithms,...

  • Living on Purpose: We cannot share what we do not have

    Billy Holland|Oct 23, 2023

    Recently, I spoke about a wonderful man who is a member of our church, and if you recall he just turned 95 years young. His name is Charlie and since then I’ve had the privilege to spend some time with him. I listened intently as he shared his amazing testimony about what has been going on with him for the last couple of years. He said throughout his life he had been a person of few words, a quiet person who just minded his own business and kept his thoughts to himself. He believed his l...

  • Living on Purpose October 16, 2023

    Living on Purpose|Oct 16, 2023

    It’s never too late to learn something new Growing older is not an excuse to stop advancing in our faith and our prayers. Confess that you have energy and stamina, a sound mind, spiritual discernment and a desire to live an active life. If you have worries, give them over to God and trust that His promises to protect and take care of you are true. If you feel you’ve lost your sense of purpose, God can help you get back in the race and find personal fulfillment that can restore confidence and feelings of self-worth. When we lose our fer...

  • Sermonette: October 9, 2023

    Rev. Mindy Meier, First Congregational Church|Oct 9, 2023

    The Apostle Paul loved the church in Corinth. It was arguably his favorite group of people he led to faith. He opened a church there, with high hopes of their leadership in passing on the faith. Corinth was a rich mixture of Greek, Hellenistic and Roman influences. Not only culturally diverse, but geographically in a location that connected mainland Greece with the Peloponnese. Many different cultures and people of different religious backgrounds lived there, as Corinth was a hub of commerce and innovation. The gospel Paul brought there was...

  • Living on Purpose: Letting go of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul

    Billy Holland|Oct 9, 2023

    I dedicate much of my writing to providing positive and encouraging words of hope and inspiration, but I also must be truthful, we are growing older. I apologize for reminding us about that, but instead of all the negative attributes of aging, we should embrace it more like we are a fine wine that is becoming more delightful and appreciated. Those of us who are noticing a few gray hairs and aching joints, relax and count your blessings. It is God that has allowed you and I to be at this place...

  • Sermonette: October 2, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner, E-Free Church|Oct 2, 2023

    This week as I was reading 2 Timothy, I came across a strange passage. For those who don’t know, this book and its companion 1 Timothy are letters from Paul to young Timothy and a must-read for all young pastors. As I read 2 Timothy 1, I arrived at verse 5: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” This verse struck a chord in me because it hits a very dangerous and emotional issue in rural America today: our youth are leavi...

  • Sermonette: Sept. 25, 2023

    Pastor Joe Greiner, E-Free Church|Sep 25, 2023

    I wrote this sermonette years ago; but in memory of Gary Mackrill who passed away last week, I’m sharing it again. This week I was reading 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. For those who don’t have this passage memorized, this is where Paul talks about Christians having the "ministry of reconciliation." Now I won’t lie, I was a bit intimidated by this phrase. It sounds extremely burdensome and religious. "Ministry of reconciliation." Then, I look at the passage, and that didn’t help my fear. The passage is a mess. Paul’s words spin around, and back and...

  • Living on Purpose: We only have one chance to make it right

    Billy Holland|Sep 18, 2023

    The other day I was speaking with a person I’ve known most of my life, and he asked me if I could go back in time and live my life again, what would change. You would think this would be a question from someone who has maybe suffered and now contemplates how much better life would have been if different decisions had been made. However, this person has been very blessed with a nice family, decent health and more wealth than they will ever be able to spend. It’s true that many people are jus...

  • Sermonette: September 11, 2023

    Joe Greiner|Sep 11, 2023

    E-Free Church How big is your faith? This is the question I feel like Jesus has asked every last human in their heart of hearts. How big is your faith? Is it big enough to believe in Jesus? Is it big enough to move mountains? Is it big enough to believe in the Twins this year? (Just kidding.) This is “the” question of all existence that even the people of the Bible had to face. Often times, I feel like the only reason some people are even mentioned in the Bible is to show how they responded to this question. One of these sorts of cha...

  • Sermonette: August 28, 2023

    Jeff Halvorson, Sheyenne Oberon Area Ministries|Aug 28, 2023

    Greetings dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Wow. The summer is just about over. The kids are back in school, all the way from kindergarten to college. Locally, baseball is done and football and volleyball are the sports of the season. The family summer vacations are just memories now, though I imagine there are still a few weeks left for those who have lake cabins. I'm writing this on Monday to make sure it gets to the Transcript in time to make this edition. The weatherman says the temperature may get into the 90's a few days this week. My...

  • Living on Purpose: God's love is about forgiveness, not condemnation

    Billy Holland|Aug 28, 2023

    Some of you might keep a close watch on the news, and others may listen occasionally or not at all, but whatever the case, you’ve heard enough to realize that it’s common for worldly information to be relayed from a biased perspective. Worldviews and convictions dictate which side of the fence individuals are on, however; for the Christian, we are realizing that social politics has become a confusing puppet show that distracts us from what God is saying. We should know and trust that He is the...

  • Sermonette

    Jeff Halvorson, Sheyenne Oberon Area Ministries|Aug 21, 2023

    Greetings dear brothers and sisters in Christ. This won't come as very much of a surprise to those who know me but I enjoy sports. I enjoy watching them at almost every level. One of my favorite sports is college football. When I lived in Colorado, I had season tickets to University of Colorado football. Never missed a game. If there was no home game, I watched them on television. Basketball also, although it wasn't very often, they were televised. I really enjoy watching our local students play. I enjoy going to the volleyball matches and...

  • Sermonette: August 14, 2023

    Pastor Jeff Halvorson|Aug 14, 2023

    I hear from time to time that surely, with all the strife currently happening, the world must soon be coming to an end. There have been, from time to time, people who have predicted the actual day the world was ending. Judgment Day! Christ's second coming! Yep, they knew the actual day it was going to happen. Well, those days have come and gone and we are still here. Our earth has not ceased to exist. Early on when the coronavirus was spreading like wildfire, I had an acquaintance tell me that this pandemic was predicted in the book of Revelati...

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