Ancient Cliff Notes


series began on Sunday August 19, 2018. 

In this series, we are exploring stories and books of the Old Testament in a cliff notes style, highlighting the key elements and only giving one sermon on each story. 

In each sermon, we will work to help you gain an understanding of what happened THEN, what it means for you and I NOW, and how it points to Jesus. 

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As a church in the inner city of Detroit, who is always working on new and creative ways to reach our city, we are always working to raise the support needed to do the work that we do. Because of that, it could be very easy to keep whatever money does come in, right here in the city. But one thing that God spoke to us at the beginning of 2018, was that even though the needs right here in our own city will never all be met, that we needed to sew seeds into the work being done all around the world, so began to support several missionaries, from China to Cuba to Haiti to Indonesia to the campus of the University of Michigan.

In this series, we brought in 3 of those missionaries to share with us what is going on, in China, Haiti, and Indonesia, and then we honed in on our mission right here in Detroit. We want to always remember that we are not the only mission in the world, and want to support the work God is doing all over, but at the end of the day we must never forget that we are on a mission here, and it is a very clear mission that will only come to pass by the grace of God and the faithfulness of His people.

There is a very big difference between vision and mission. Sometimes, we spend all of our focus and energy on where we want to go, that we miss what we are supposed to do with what we have right now, and where we are right now. In the Bible, Jesus doesn’t really give us much of a vision, what he really gives us is a mission. Go, make disciples. Bring people back to God. Reconcile with the people in your life who you have hurt, be an agent of reconciliation for people who are far away from Jesus. Don’t count their trespasses against them.

Do it in your neighborhood.

Do it where you work.

Do it at school.

Do it in our city.

Do it on the other side of the world.

Do it wherever God calls you to go.

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Gifts of the Spirit


The Gifts of the Spirit are without a doubt the absolute most divisive subject WITHIN THE CHURCH over the last 100 or so years. 

Nothing has been more divisive, because it has an enormous target on its back. When the Church is functioning in these gifts in the proper order and with love as the centerpiece, as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14, it becomes an unstoppable force for change in our world.

But its something that we absolutely have to do everything that we possibly can to get right, so that our gifts truly would point people to Jesus, and not push them away from Him. 



Frank Macchia "Groans Too Deep for Words"

***Please note that all of the following books were used as resources for this series but not everything in each of these books lines up perfectly with the conclusions that we have drawn in the series. These resources will help you in any continued study beyond what we have done, as you wrestle with this difficult topic yourself.  We strongly encourage you to begin with the teaching series . 

***Please note that all of the following books were used as resources for this series but not everything in each of these books lines up perfectly with the conclusions that we have drawn in the series. These resources will help you in any continued study beyond what we have done, as you wrestle with this difficult topic yourself. We strongly encourage you to begin with the teaching series

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Galatians 6:9 is the verse of the year for 2018 - "Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" - and with where we find ourselves as a church in this season, I don't think that there is a better verse in the entire Bible for us. 

May this verse carry our church as we work to close the gaps that are still open, finish the projects that we have started, and move forward on the dreams that God has given us for our community!

Enjoy this three part series!

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Core Values


if you have no gauge on what is important, then you have no way to measure whether or not you are on the right track

That is what Core Values do…

they keep us disciplined… they keep us on mission… they give us something the bounce whatever it is we are doing, off of, and see… IS THIS FURTHERING THE MISSION OF MY LIFE? 

I know for us, in this city, as transient as it is, and just because of the heart of the city… it can sometimes be difficult to determine “God… are we on the right path?” but this gives us a clear guide… 

So we ask questions like: 


are we living and growing more and more generous? Are we working together more than we used to? Are we getting more courageous with every new step we take?or are we getting more timid and less bold with each step we take? are we holding closer to our wallets because we feel like things are too tight for us to help anyone else… 

Are we living our lives outside of ourselves? Are we reading the word of God more, praying more, and growing in our worship and adoration for Jesus? Or have those things become afterthoughts to our busy lives? 

Unless you build the foundation of your life on PURPOSE, you very well may find yourself working and working and working but never feeling like you have gotten anywhere. 


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In putting together this Core Values series, and shaping a lot of the direction for where we see our church going, the following books were either directly used and were mentioned or quoted during the series. 

In putting together this Core Values series, and shaping a lot of the direction for where we see our church going, the following books were instrumental in the shaping of the values. 

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Love Incorruptible


A series based on the book of Ephesians.

This 14 week series was given between April 23, 2017 and July 23, 2017

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we have an identity problem in our world. 


and we have it in our churches


and so often, when someone comes into this place, or wants to talk to a Christian and confess their “sins” to them, or whatever… what we tend to do is immediately focus on that thing… that “sin” and we try and work people through behavior modification thinking that “if they can just change the way that they ACT, then their lives will change…” 


but the root of so many problems can not be weeded out by changing your behavior… because who you are is always there, whether you mask it or not. The real issue is people don’t know who they are! 

Even Christians! They don’t know who they are… they don’t know what they are worth! 

Its an identity issue. 


We find our worth in the things that we tangibly accomplish or don’t accomplish on this earth. Take me for example… and today I can share this as a “testimony” but many of you have heard me say it as I was walking through it as well… We wanted to get that house. 

and I was riding high when we raised the money… I was feeling like the king of the world, like “we are going to DO SOMETHING!” 

but then when deal after deal fell through, seriously, I got so down on myself that I was a little depressed. I felt like a liar… I questioned the vision that God gave us… and I felt a bit like a worthless pastor at times…

now that we have it, I think because of that, I can honestly say that God is working, and having the house or NOT having the house does not define who I am… 

When I sin… when I screw up… I feel worthless. I feel incompetent to be a pastor at this church… not always… but sometimes… because what I am doing is, I am putting my worth in what I DO. and when things seem like they are not working… I do the same thing… I let myself take the blame… 

But what Ephesians says, is that my identity is not found in houses, churches, messages, music, art, and even Godly behavior. It is found in Jesus. 

and no book of the bible is more clear about this, than Ephesians.

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A few weeks ago, our blessed city went to the ungodly temperature of -3 degrees out.

It was bitter. Absolutely awful.

Our current bedroom is one of the rooms in our house that we have NOT renovated yet, and so it is not insulated and we don’t

have a very good heating system set up in that room yet, so it got down to about 45 degrees at night during

that week inside the room, which was really really cold....

I woke up that morning, just freezing, and went fill my hario water kettle with water so I could make a cup of coffee and begin to warm myself up, and I turned on the cold water in the kitchen, and nothing came out.

I waited. and waited. and nothing.

I turned on the hot water, and I could tell it was struggling but that water did come on... so it was not hard to diagnose that the cold water line to the kitchen has frozen.

Nothing was coming out.

So I text Ben Allen and asked him for some advice... and he gave me several wise words... obviously, the hope... the goal in that moment, is to figure out how to get the pipe to thaw before the water expands and the pipe bursts.

He asked some questions about the way that we had the pipes insulated, and their location in our crawl space under the house...

He explained that the way you prevent the pipes from freezing, beyond taking the proper steps to insulate and protect them, is you have water running through them. Running water prevents freezing. But obviously, at that point, the water was already frozen inside, we had to warm the pipe up.

The first idea was, get a space heater and just blow hot air on it until it thaws, and then make sure to insulate it properly.

But when we went outside to go down there, we realized that we had, in the summer, taken the little door off of the crawl space to get into it, and we never put anything back in its place. So the absolutely frigid cold air was under there... NOTHING stopped the outside air from coming in, the pipe was as good as OUTSIDE... in -3 degrees...

of course it would freeze. So Jake helped me make a new door and we put this huge piece of insulation on the door, and we closed off the crawl space. Then we got a little heater for Dawn and I’s room that was 45 degrees before then, and we heated that back up to about 68...

so now the whole house was a good temperature, the floors weren’t as cold because the crawl space was finally closed off, and we were able to sleep without being miserably cold, and we woke up the next morning, and went to turn on the cold water, and it kind of gave this weird sound like it was working hard but was clogged or something, then all the sudden the facet spit out this wonderful brown colored water for about 10 seconds, and then the water cleared up, and it works just fine now.

Nothing had burst! We were so grateful.

But in that particular circumstance, we never even went fully down into the crawl space and blew hot air on the pipe. All we did was adjusted the atmosphere around the pipe. We changed a few small things, and in doing so we fixed a problem that could have been much worse.

and life is like that.

Sometimes there are areas in our lives, that we just need to change, if we are going to be who we are supposed to be. There are certain places in life that you will not be able to go if you aren’t willing to make the necessary adjustments to get there.

and please, hear my heart on this, because you know me... I believe with all of my heart that God can use anyone. He can use anyone to do anything. He spoke through a donkey in Numbers 22 (verse 30)

In the Genealogy of Jesus listed in Matthew chapter 1, we find out that God used one of the most screwed up family lines in history to be the ones who usher in the Christ.

In that family line include Judah and Tamar, which is one of the most screwed up stories you will find anywhere both about gross sexual sin, manipulation, and the thing that the bible describes as the worst thing in their story... utter injustice, as Judah refused to do his required duty of taking care of Tamar, who was the widow to his sons.

In that Genealogy is Rahab, who we know was a prostitute.

One of the most peculiar lines in Matthew chapter 1 talks about King David, it says that David was the Father of Solomon, by the wife of Uriah. So Matthew even goes out of his way to focus on how screwed up that situation is, by not even naming Bathsheba but instead focusing on the fact that through something sinful... through David sleeping with someone else’s wife... continued the family line of Jesus.

Abraham was a liar and a coward. Isaac was a liar and a coward who followed in His Father’s footsteps, did not learn from the mistakes of his father, but instead made the same mistakes.

On and on it goes... and on and on God continued to use those people to play a role in the greatest story that will ever be told for all of human history.

God can use anybody. No matter where you find yourself today. God will meet you there... right where you are. And he can use you to do something great, even as you are right now, even when maybe you even think... “I am not as I should be.”

I believe that the gospel of grace is the most powerful, life changing gift on the planet. But I also know that as a church, and as people who want to see God move radically in this place... we can’t just stay the same after grace gets ahold of us.

Ultimately something has to happen in you, if your life is ever going to move beyond this place where you always feel like God is fixing you and reconciling you and bringing you back all the time... to a place where you can just stand in health and say God, I am not perfect, I never will be... BUT I AM NOT GOING BACK TO WHAT I USED TO BE.


God will use anyone who is wiling to be used, and He can even use bad situations to lead to things that fulfill his purpose, like he did with King David. He did a series of bad things, that in many ways got progressively worse, and in the end Uriah, Bathsheba’s first husband was killed at David’s hand, and Bathsheba ended up losing the baby that was birthed out of that affair...

and God still used that relationship to later birth Solomon, who would carry on the family line that Jesus would eventually be born into.

And God continued to use David in amazing ways for his purposes.

but there had to come a time when something changed in David, that actually took shape in his heart and took form in the way that he lived his life, so that he could actually be used by God every day... through everything that He did... not just the things that God had to save him from and redeem him for the mistakes that he made.

There had to come a time in David’s life when he uttered these words:

“Create in me a CLEAN HEART, oh God, and renew a steadfast Spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

and he was later known as what?
A man after God’s own heart, who did all that he was commanded to do.

Something changed in him.. he was a flawed man who became so in tune with what God wanted him to do, that he did it all.

we have to change if we are going to be the change.

And there are things in our lives that just cause us to stay the same, year after year, time after time.

For some people it is obvious sins that we keep coming back to.

But for others it is subtle sins that we keep coming back to... and sometimes it is things that, in and of themselves aren’t even sinful, and yet we give them such a hold over our lives that they derail what God is trying to do in us and it becomes sinful.

So for this series, we are going to cover some of those areas. 

These are not the only things... but these are some of the things that really work against people and really stop people from being who they are supposed to be and doing what they are supposed to do in life.