Living Stones Church, Red Deer, Alberta

Living Stones Church

Passion for God, Compassion for People. Life happens. If you missed a sermon, want another listen or want to forward your favourite message to a friend, you can do it right here, right now! We trust our messages will encourage and inspire you, don’t take our word for it; check it out yourself! read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

Sunday, May 26, 2024 - How to Address Personal Bias in Addressing Personal Issues - Pastor Paul Vallee
28-05-2024
Sunday, May 26, 2024 - How to Address Personal Bias in Addressing Personal Issues - Pastor Paul Vallee
John Series In management courses, a concept often raised is an awareness of something called, ‘cognitive bias.’ This is dealing with how we think about and perceive issues. This is true for the work environment and maybe even more critical in understanding how it affects personal relationships. So, what is cognitive bias? “While we believe that we receive information objectively, our brains unconsciously filter data, distorting our perception of reality. Because bias can distort our critical thinking, we become prone to irrational decisions and inaccurate judgments about others.” What makes this even more critical is we think we are right. Cognitive bias causes us only to receive information that agrees with our thinking. This is known as ‘confirmation bias,’ which means we are unwilling to hear the opposing point of view and are looking for those who agree with our point of view. The ancient wisdom literature spoke of this very danger in the book of Proverbs of not carefully considering the other side of the story. “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” (Proverbs 18:16). In other words, wisdom allows us to hear another point of view. "In a lawsuit, the first to speak seems right until someone comes forward and cross-examines.” (Proverbs 18:17) The Living Bible, a paraphrase, states this text like this: “Any story sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the record straight.” One of the great tragedies of Jesus's interaction with some of the religious leaders in his hour was that they were unwilling to consider what Jesus was saying and doing. Therefore, their blind prejudices kept them from responding positively. This is true not only regarding our relationship with God but also with others. Are we trying to understand and love others for who they are or want them to be?
April 14, 2024 - How You Can Experience Real Freedom in Your Life - Pastor Paul Vallee
15-04-2024
April 14, 2024 - How You Can Experience Real Freedom in Your Life - Pastor Paul Vallee
One of the subtle ways in which we can be deceived is when we have been raised in a genuine Christian home environment and then assume that we are Christians because we have an intellectual acceptance of Christ and the Christian faith. Yet, it has never been internalized, nor has it been our life's motivating principle and passion. It is what Jesus told Nicodemus, a religious leader in his day, that his need was to have a 'spiritual birth.' The theological term is 'regeneration.' This is where God's Spirit enters our lives and brings healing, hope, and meaning. How do we know that we are 'born of God? Jesus becomes first in our lives. We now are concerned about pleasing Him. We have a desire for the things of God. It is a beautiful gift to grow up in a godly home where Christ is revealed through the life of a godly parent or parents. However, godly people do not always produce godly children. Each person must embrace the Christian faith. In John 8:31-59, we find Jesus challenging his disciples and the Jewish people at the Temple regarding putting our faith in the wrong things. The Jewish people felt that because of their racial lineage and heritage, they were God's children based upon their lineage. Jesus is now explaining to them that they must have a spiritual lineage, where they need to trust Jesus as the Messiah to become a part of God's spiritual family. What was true for them is equally true for us. In exposing their false hope, Jesus explains who He is. What they do is what that information defines their lives, just as it does for us today.
March 31, 2024 - How to Transform an Ever-Diminishing Life to an Eternal One - Pastor Paul Vallee
01-04-2024
March 31, 2024 - How to Transform an Ever-Diminishing Life to an Eternal One - Pastor Paul Vallee
Easter Sunday On February 27th, 1991, Ruth Dillow was at her home in Kansas when the phone rang. It was terrible news from the Pentagon. Her son, Private First-Class Clayton Carpenter, had stepped on a landmine in the Persian Gulf War and was dead. It was an awful, sickening reality to learn that her son would never come home again. Three days later, Ruth received another phone call. The voice on the other end said, ‘Mom, I’m alive!’ Ruth said that at first, she could not believe it was the voice of her twenty-three-year-old son, over whom she had mourned for nearly three days. She said, ‘I jumped up and down. I was overjoyed! You just don’t know how much.’ Imagine the joy! The thrill of having gone from the depths of despair to overwhelming elation, from grief and loss to news of great joy! That’s the scene we find in the Scriptures. The early followers of Jesus had witnessed His betrayal, the hastily assembled verdict that was a sham to justice, and watched as He was crucified. During the next two days, they grieved, struggling with shame for not standing with Him in His last hours. Their dreams and hopes were crushed. But like Ruth Dillow, the moment came when they heard incredible, seemingly unbelievable news. Women from their company came breathlessly into the upper room, declaring He was alive! Jesus is alive! Jesus continued to appear to them for forty days until they finally watched as He ascended into heaven. That’s the message of Easter! It is a message of hope in a world of despair. It is the message that our society desperately needs. It was the message that the first disciples preached. It was the message that Peter preached to a crowd of people in Jerusalem fifty days after the death of Jesus. It was during the feast of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit, true to His nature, empowered the disciples to be witnesses to the person and work of Jesus Christ.  After explaining the miracle of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit from the book of Joel, Peter begins to explain the essence of Christianity. It is the message of the resurrection. The resurrection is the most significant event of the church. Today, we celebrate the reason why death is defeated for those who put their trust in Christ. Sin no longer has authority and dominion over our lives. Easter Sunday is our declaration of freedom.  Jesus is alive, currently interceding for us, and lives in us. Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, states four life-changing truths: when we embrace them, an ever-diminishing life transforms into an eternal one.
March 3, 2024 - How to Empower the Lives of Others in Their Brokenness - Pastor Paul Vallee
04-03-2024
March 3, 2024 - How to Empower the Lives of Others in Their Brokenness - Pastor Paul Vallee
John Series, John 8:1-11 Nobody likes to be disciplined. When it is done right, it brings about a healthy outcome. Disciplining your children is one of the most difficult challenges of being a parent. Everything is great when kids obey, but if they say or do something that needs to be addressed, then it causes tension. Discipline often creates pressure on the relationship. That is one reason why people avoid doing it. Some parents are afraid to discipline their children because they think their kids will interpret their actions as unloving. But the reality is that if we don’t discipline our children when they do what is wrong, it ultimately is the unloving thing to do. If we don’t correct in love, we allow that person to eventually learn behaviours and patterns that will be self-destructive and cause pain. Healthy discipline is an expression of love, one reason God disciplines us as His children. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son: ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. (Hebrews 12:5-6) God has an aim and a goal for each of us.  He wants us to grow up as godly, loving people.  Another way to express this is that we will become like Him.  And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those, God foreknew he also predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son... (Romans 8:28-29a) God is shaping us through life’s journey to become Christ-like. God helps us be filled with humility, compassion, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness and to be able to face life’s difficulties and injustices, just like He did when He lived on earth as a man. Why? So that our lives will be lighthouses guiding those living in the dangerous storms of life. So, how do we handle sin? Usually, in our own lives, we act far more mercifully than we do with others. It is amazing how blind we are to our faults. Generally, the things we despise in others are usually those we struggle with ourselves.  That is why Jesus warns us against judging others.  Is there a right road to take when dealing with sin issues in a social context? How are we to treat people who have made terrible decisions?    Here, in this incident in the life of Jesus, we learn of three attitudes in our approach to dealing with others involved in sin. As I’ve already stated, Two of these attitudes are ungodly and unhealthy in restoring a person to a right relationship with God. Jesus addressed both of these attitudes and then showed us a model of how to address the issue of sin in the lives of others.
February 25, 2024 - Discover How to Quench the Thirst in Life - Pastor Paul Vallee
26-02-2024
February 25, 2024 - Discover How to Quench the Thirst in Life - Pastor Paul Vallee
John 7: 37-52, John Series Survival experts talk about the rule of three. You can live without air for about 3 minutes, without water for three days, and without food for about three weeks. There are exceptions, but that is generally the limits of human existence. Interestingly, Jesus describes the relationship with God in terms we can understand. In Jesus’ wilderness experience under significant testing by the devil, Jesus responds to the temptation of turning stones into bread to satisfy his hunger. Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’   Matthew 4:4 We need to consume God’s word to sustain spiritual life, even as food sustains our physical life. In John 6:35, Jesus said that He was the bread of life. Eternal life can only be found in Him.  In John 7, Jesus focuses on the human longing and desire that drives our lives. There is a thirst in every heart. Just like water is essential for human existence, the absence of water is a crisis. In a land like Canada, where we have abundant water, we take it for granted, but living in a desert where water is scarce; its value is more deeply appreciated. In Israel, there are only a few sources of fresh water, one of which is the level of precipitation, the small Jordan River flowing from the mountains of Lebanon and now some desalination plants in the Mediterranean. Water is critical to her existence, and the people there understand that. So, when the Scriptures speak of water, they speak of what sustains life. In the Old Testament, we find prophetic utterances that speak of having thirst quenched by what God provides. One example is found in Isaiah 55:1a, 3. 'Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.’ Therefore, water was thought of in ancient times as a provision from God. Donald Bowes relates: “Divine blessing is spoken of in terms of water ...and the desire for spiritual life described in terms of thirst for water.
February 18, 2024 - How to Shatter a False Sense of Self - Pastor Paul Vallee
21-02-2024
February 18, 2024 - How to Shatter a False Sense of Self - Pastor Paul Vallee
John Series John 7:14-36 One of the most challenging things is shattering people’s biases and prejudices. People today speak of tolerance and openness regarding ideas, values, and lifestyles. Still, the reality is that our world is filled with self-righteousness, intolerance, and blindness in relationship to what is healthy, virtuous, and loving. This can be true both in a religious and a non-religious context. Yet, what may be more stunning to us is that this has always been the way of human beings. We see this in our text today, as Jesus goes up to the Festival of Tabernacles and begins to expose the ignorance and prejudices of the people. What is tragic is that these people see themselves one way, but when exposed, they are actually the very opposite of who they think they are. One of the reasons why God tests us is to reveal our true condition. Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way, I will test them to see whether they will follow my instructions. (Exodus 16:4) If God knows everything, why the need to test us to see what we will do? The test is to show us the true condition of our hearts. Will we obey or disobey? Will we trust God, or will we not? What is tragic is when the reality of the true state of our soul is different than what we thought. At that moment, the opportunity for the most significant growth and change can occur. In Jesus’ teaching in the Temple, He exposes the actual state of the people’s hearts and understanding. They are living in a state of self-deception, and Jesus reveals it. Jesus is shattering a false sense of self, or the self that the fallen, sinful nature has marred.