Prodigal God: Week Five

In the final week of the “Prodigal God” series, Pastor Nate Gagne speaks about the celebration that happens in heaven when one person comes home or fully embraces the father where they have been keeping Him at arm’s length. It’s not for the church to judge the validity of their re-dedication or whether or not they are old enough or sincere enough to truly make that decision. Jesus accepts the young, old, those with a past, those who have previously scorned Him; Jesus accepts all. The church can become the older brother on the outside looking in because we are too self-righteous to accept our returning brothers as brothers. We can become complacent & comfortable in our church groups. However, God wants to invite more in, just as the Great Commission says; ‘go and make disciples’. God wants to open His house to everyone, whether or not we enter the party is up to us.

Prodigal God: Week Four

In the fourth week of the “Prodigal God” series, Pastor Andrew Zemianek speaks about the principle of proximity not being equivalent to relationship. The older brother was in close proximity to the father, however, he missed out on a true relationship with him due to his pride & poor attitude. Conversely, the younger brother, who decided to leave the proximity of his father realized his error & came back which created a closer relationship between them than the brother who never left the household. The older brother robbed himself of the relationship with the father & his younger brother because he couldn’t let go of his pride & judgment. The older brother’s refusal to acknowledge his brother’s return kept him on the outside when the father was inviting him in. There is room for everyone at God’s table, whichever brother you decide to be will determine your relationship with God & your ability to love one another; wayward or self-righteous, both paths take you far from God.

Prodigal God: Week Three

In the third installment of the “Prodigal God” series, Pastor Nate Gagne speaks about the younger son & his realization that he was lost and needed to turn around & go home. The younger son wasn’t necessarily worse off than the older son; pride is just as sinful to God as utilizing prostitutes. The difference is that the younger son eventually determined he was lost & made an effort to return home whereas the older son was lost all along & never realized or tried to course correct. The older brother sinned as he refused to offer his brother forgiveness & accused their father of playing favorites by throwing him a party when he returned. The lostness of the older brother was more corrupting than the lostness of the younger brother. The person with an attitude & perspective of the love of Jesus serves because they love their father, the older brothers slip into attitudes & perspectives of moralism; ‘I do therefore I am loved, others who don’t do shouldn’t be loved’. Jesus is for everyone, whether we are judging Him thinking He’d never take us back after all we’ve done or judging others because we don’t believe He should, He loves us just the same & is simply waiting for us to realize we are lost & return home.

Prodigal God: Week Two

In the second week of the “Prodigal God” series, Pastor Nate Gagne takes a new perspective on the prodigal son parable. Both sons missed out on the father’s love because they were too focused on material possessions. The younger son essentially wished his father dead, deserted his family responsibilities & exposed his family to economic hardship by leaving his place in the family economy & demanding the value of his share of the estate prior to his father’s death. The older brother disgraced his father by complaining about the injustice of his brother being welcomed back while he stayed begrudgingly to labor on with the family, not out of love but obligation so as to collect on his ‘investment’ upon his father’s death. Although the brothers dishonored their father, one in his request, one in his response, he still loved them unconditionally. Similarly, God is a good Father to those of us who have either walked away or judged those who have decided to return.

Prodigal God: Week One

In the first week of the “Prodigal God” series, Pastor Nate speaks from Luke chapter 15 in which Jesus tells the parable of the Prodigal Son. We have a mis-perception of the term ‘prodigal’ as meaning one who returns, however, it’s actually referring to the recklessness with which the aforementioned son expended his resources before coming back to the father. We have all left God at one point or another, whether or not we return home is up to us. Sometimes, just like the Prodigal Son, we must experience what it’s like without our father to understand the depth of his kindness, love and goodness. God’s love is like that of a good father; He continually leaves a light on for us to find our way home and spares no expense welcoming us back once we make a decision to come. God freely gives His love, but we must decide whether to accept it or to walk away.

Mental Hell: Week Three

In the final week of the “Mental Hell” series, Pastor Nate Gagne speaks about our human tendency to cover up our sins rather than confess them. The more we try to cover up, through substances, lies, or other means, the more energy we expend moving farther from God’s will. The truth eventually comes out & we only serve to hurt ourselves, and potentially others, in the process. God gave His son Jesus to set us free; the deeper we entrench ourselves in our sins, the more we suffer needlessly. It’s never too late & we can never walk far enough away from God to be unable to be redeemed by Him. You have to make a conscience decision to leave your mental hell in order for God to help you escape from it. The more you confess to God in your prayers, confess to others when asking for forgiveness & confess to yourself that how you see yourself isn’t how God sees you, the closer you will get to freedom from your mental hell.

Mental Hell: Week Two

In the second installment of the “Mental Hell” series, Pastor Nate’s wife Michelle Gagne shares about her personal experiences in the mental health field as well as some of her own Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Even if things have happened to you in your lifetime, God can heal your mind & self-image where these experiences are concerned. God calls you “chosen”, “loved”, “a son or daughter”, “conqueror”, “coheir”, “beautifully & wonderfully made” and many other things. When we allow words spoken over us by others to drown out God’s voice, that’s when we lose His vision for us, and we often turn to self-medication tactics to fill the void. The more we seek out & embrace the person God says we are, the more confidence we will have & we may even be able to help someone else walk out of the lies dictating their lives as well.

Mental Hell: Week One

In the first week of the “Mental Hell” series, Pastor Nate Gagne lays out the two causes for mental health issues; physiological & spiritual. Physiological reasons could be a diagnosed disorder or a chemical imbalance in the brain. Spiritual reasons could be an attack from tormenting spirits such as those Saul experiences in 1 Samuel 16 in the bible. There is no shame in experiencing mental health challenges due to either cause. However, the enemy will leverage spiritual forces against you, especially if you are already struggling in the physical, in order to try to get you to stop trusting God for a resolution or to keep you from asking Him to help you in the first place. There is definitely a space for conventional medicine & therapy in improving mental health. However, God knows everything about you; He has the power to bring your physiological issues into alignment as well as to chase away the tormenting spirits that plague you. It’s not God’s will that you should suffer & struggle but that you would be made whole, complete & confident in caring out your calling.

Easter 2019

In this standalone message, Pastor Nate Gagne speaks about the events leading up to Jesus’ death and the reaction following it. Jesus came so that we could have life. He lived knowing he would be subject to death for the things we would do wrong. God sent Him in place of us to take our punishment. If we walk with Jesus, He can show us the path to life & keep us from the pitfalls that we can experience trying to walk without Him. In our darkest moments, He is the light Who keeps us from stumbling blindly in the dark. He went ahead of us & experienced the punishment for all of our missteps so that we wouldn’t have to. Continuing to stumble around blindly in the dark is a choice you can make, because Jesus will never force you to follow Him, but the path is so much more enjoyable when you decide to.

Uncharted Territory: Week Three

In the final week of the “Uncharted Territory” series, Pastor Nate Gagne speaks about the difference between miracles of action & miracles of desperation. Miracles of desperation are what we often think of; crying out to Jesus in our darkest moments of need. Miracles of action are often less thought of but more powerful; such as the lame walking, the blind seeing, the leper being cleansed. The more obedience, courage and faith a miracle takes, the more the action steps you modeled for someone else toward Jesus. It seems unbelievable when someone is miraculously healed, but that’s something only God can do. God calls us to miracles of action to pave the way for others as faith takes action which can only be modeled. Similarly, we only learned how to love once we saw Jesus’ love modeled for us. To step out in faith & experience the miracle of action is to help give someone else the courage to step out into their uncharted territory of exploring Who God is.

Uncharted Territory: Week Two

In the second week of the “Uncharted Territory” series, Pastor Andrew Zemianek speaks from the book of Acts in which Cornelius gets saved after Peter listens to the promptings of God although they are against the popular Jewish culture. The Jewish believers were skeptical of Peter’s involvement with the gentiles, non-Jewish people. When God gives us a vision to move into uncharted territory, we must come to the realization that God is moving in our lives and He makes that vision a reality. What seems impossible to us or a major culture shift is often no barrier for God. God’s will is to reach all people; what’s uncharted or uncomfortable for us are lands and peoples He created.

Uncharted Territory: Week One

In the first installment of the “Uncharted Territory” series, Pastor Nate Gagne reads from the book of Acts in which the early church was disobedient to Jesus’ will; speaking only to other Jews & remaining in Jerusalem even though Jesus had called them to go out into all the world and make disciples. We as the modern church still grapple with the issue of getting comfortable in our routines, groups, buildings instead of bringing God’s message to those who don’t know Jesus and having our lives be a testimony to non-believers. We need to bring the presence of God everywhere we go as the likelihood of people getting up early on a Sunday to come into a church building is very slim. Although it’s easier to remain in our comfort zones, we must step out into uncharted territory in order to truly follow God’s call.

Passion: Week Three

In the third installment of the “Passion” series, Pastor Andrew Zemianek speaks about the power in being single. The culture of today’s society is that we need to test drive the relationship before we take it the step of marriage. However, the statistics from the US attorney’s office point to a higher divorce rate in couples that lived together prior to getting married. If your desire is to get married, as the bible explains in 1 Corinthians 7, it should come from passion. God ordained marriage and the expression of sexual desires within that covenant. But entering into a passionless relationship purely because you feel that was the natural progression of the relationship will only end in derision. You cannot truly express your passions in life if you’re fearful of losing a relationship. There will never be a perfect relationship, but we have a perfect Savior who can help us attain the passions He has put in us. The true goal of marriage is to find someone who will stand beside you and spur you on toward those God-ordained passions while stoking the flames of the passion within your relationship.

Passion: Week Two

In the second week of the “Passion” series, Pastor Nate speaks about affairs and how “seeking a daytime of passion can lead to a lifetime of regret”. Although no one ever sets out to enter a marriage with the intention of it ending eventually in an affair, we often spend our lives chasing the heat of passion once we feel our marriage cooling down and getting cold. In Proverbs chapter 6, Solomon warns against the allure of someone other than your spouse. Current culture embraces the idea that looking but not touching is acceptable, however, Jesus warns against this as being the same as committing adultery with that person. The only way to snuff out the spark of an affair before it fans into an oil-well fire, destroying the valuable resource of your marriage, is to truly realize the value of rekindling the relationship you already have.

Passion: Week One

In the first week of the “Passion” series, Pastor Nate Gagne reads from Song of Solomon in which a bride is talking to her groom. God didn’t create us with feelings to have an emotionless life, the things we equate with marital satisfaction are passions that God ordained. However, when we take them out of the context of marriage or pervert them with our own images of what marriage should be, that’s when relationships start to burn out. Pastor Nate equates a cold marriage to a cold house; it’s just uncomfortable. The key to reigniting your marriage is to provide lots of kindling rather than gasoline (positive reinforcements rather than accelerants) and to fan the sparks back into a flame. Rather than turning the cold shoulder or playing the blame game, celebrate the victories over pettiness and try to remember to be kind, even when it’s difficult.

Vision Sunday 2019

In this standalone sermon, Pastor Nate lays out the vision for Restoration Church in 2019 & gives a big announcement that will be coming Fall 2019. Restoration’s goals really center around local church expansion, developing future christian leaders, and supporting global missions. This not only comes in the form of money but in terms of prayer, leadership, partnership and fellowship. As in 2 Corinthians 4, God has called us to overcome momentary struggles to reach eternal goals. We are in a season of growth within our church, and with that must come a growth in our vision & mission.

Begin Again: Week Four

In the final week of the “Begin Again” series, Pastor Nate Gagne speaks from Joshua chapter 24, in which Joshua proclaims the famous adage, ‘but as for my family, we will praise the Lord”. Joshua makes this statement in response to his question for the other Israelite people. Moses had only brought them so far, some had entered the promised land but some continued to question their next steps. In this statement, Joshua draws attention to the reason the Isrealites came as far as they had, God. Joshua proclaims that he will continue to follow God because he never could have gotten as far as he had without God. Although failure is not our future, as we have learned through the series, God will allow us to fail if we choose to. God is loving & just; His love moves Him toward blessing us, but His justice stays His hand when we decide we don’t want to embrace His blessings & provisions.

Begin Again: Week Two

In the second week of the “Begin Again” series, Pastor Nate continues in the book of Joshua, this week speaking about the testimony of Rahab. Rahab had the reputation of being a prostitute, so the people of Jericho did not expect anything significant from her, however, history remembers her as integral the the Israelite victory over Jericho. Although she did not at first believe in God as her savior, she believed in & respected His power. In that respect & deference to His authority, she was able to see her family spared from the fate of the rest of Jericho. In this way, Rahab is an example of failure not being our future. Although no one thought she would accomplish much, God had a different plan for her life. Rahab may have had a reputation, however, God decided to use her as an example that it’s never too late to begin again.

Begin Again: Week One

In the first installment of the “Begin Again” series, Pastor Nate Gagne speaks from the book of Joshua in which God promises Joshua the Israelite people will inherit the promised land, even after they had failed to for decades prior. Joshua had had a mentor in Moses & found himself discouraged once Moses died as he thought, if my hero couldn’t fulfill God’s promise, how can I? This is an extremely poignant scriptural reminder that although our heroes & examples may not live up to our expectations, we shouldn’t allow that to stop us from realizing God’s promises in our own lives. The Israelite people in the time of Moses were fearful, lacking in faith and were disobedient to God. For this reason, God held back the blessing of the promised land until His people had their hearts in the right place to receive His promise. These same deficiencies are what keep us from God’s promises today; we fear, we lack faith, we disobey. However, it’s never too late to begin again as Joshua does when, although it may have seemed irrational from an earthly standpoint, he decides to stand on God’s promise and make the changes his people need to make in order to fulfill the promise.

Letting Love Compel or Living as a Rebel?

In this standalone sermon, Pastor Nate examines Saul’s motivation in the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 15, in which Saul disobeys God’s commands and in response gets his rank of king stripped from him. Saul then rebelled against God for years & made his life more difficult than if he’d repented for sinning against God. Rebellion causes us to act in ways we don’t actually want to act because we led ourselves into places God never intended for us to go through the making of decisions He never intended for us to have to make. We rebel because we seek freedom, but the rebellion in & of itself becomes its own form of bondage. Later in the life of Saul, he became a follower of Jesus, after being brought low by his rebellion. It’s never too late to stop rebelling against God & instead allow yourself to be compelled by His love as opposed to repelled by it.