The Rest of the Story
March 09, 2008
by: Pastor John Stillman
Passage: Esther 8:1-10:3
Series: Standing Out in a Blend in World
Duration: 39:27
The final chapters of Esther are a wrap-up to the story, but they are not unimportant because they tell us why this story was written down. It was written so that the readers would remember why they celebrate the festival called Purim. It was written so that people would remember that God delivers His people. It was written because they dared not forget the past. And neither do we. When we forget our sinful past and God’s salvation, we run the risk of missing the rest that Jesus came to give.

The Great Reversal
March 02, 2008
by: Pastor John Stillman
Passage: Esther 5:9-7:10
Series: Standing Out in a Blend in World
Duration: 40:18
As a rule, standing out in a world that calls us to blend-in to its value system is a good thing… except in the case of pride. Pride is an internal attitude of the heart that is focused on self – my needs, my hurts, my successes. Pride always, always, always will be reversed (see Job 20:6-7, Psalm 138:6, Proverbs 16:18, and Isaiah 42:8). In fact, like Haman, a great reversal awaits each and every one of us. It’s only a matter of whether the reversal is voluntary or forced

Influencer
February 24, 2008
by: Pastor John Stillman
Passage: Esther 4:1-5:8
Series: Standing Out in a Blend in World
Duration: 41:28
Do you stand out as a person of influence? Do you believe that God has put you on earth to accomplish something? Is your heart burdened to make a difference or solve some problem? The truth is: we all are influencers in one way or another. Parents influence children. Sales people influence customers. Students influence their peers. But being an effective influencer is more than just being a persuasive speaker. It involves a process of steps and actions that are providentially initiated, guided, and planned by God.

The Role of the Dice
February 17, 2008
by: Pastor John Stillman
Passage: Esther 3
Series: Standing Out in a Blend in World
Duration: 42:54
The focus of this chapter is on the hostility shown against God and His people, and how God responds. In this instance, the hostility manifests itself in the pride, attention-seeking, and vengeful attitude of Haman. In the middle of this, God shows His providence in controlling the roll of the dice that sets the date for the massacre of the Jews. As we face hate and attack, we are encouraged to wait patiently on God’s justice by demonstrating mercy.

Miss Persian Idol
February 10, 2008
by: Pastor John Stillman
Passage: Esther 2
Series: Standing Out in a Blend in World
Duration: 42:33
Do you ever feel like a number, like just another cog in the machine, a nameless face in the crowd? Esther had a pretty face, but no one cared much what her name was. She was just one of 400 girls taken by force to be part of the empire’s machine-like process to find a new queen. She stood out from the crowd, but it wasn’t because of her beauty. Ultimately, it was God’s favor that made Esther stand out in her blend-in world. Remember that next time you’re feeling lost in the crowd.

Hammered
February 03, 2008
by: Pastor John Stillman
Passage: Esther 1
Series: Standing Out in a Blend in World
Duration: 35:21
There are a lot of pressures to blend-in with society, to fit in, just “do as you’re told,” and avoid making waves. The opening chapter of the story of Esther tell us that Esther, Mordecai, and their fellow displaced Jews lived in the same kind of culture. It was a culture that applied extreme pressure to fit in and feared the disruption caused by anyone who attempted to stand out. God’s people need to know that His kingdom surpasses every earthly empire and don’t need to be afraid to stand out.