Easter Sunday at The Saroyan Theater in Fresno 2001

September 23rd, 2017

This was Northwest's Easter Service in 2001 at the Saroyan Theater in Fresno.  Bufe Karraker, the Senior Pastor of Northwest died February 13, 2001, so he was not a part of this service.  I know he was there in spirit though.  And thank the Lord, as believers, we do not grieve like unbelievers when it comes to death.  Oh death, where is your sting?  Our hope is in Christ and in His resurrection and our resurrection someday.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  Amen!   This is filled with music and drama and H. Spees gives the message at the end.  I am not sure if this event continues today in Fresno.  This year the event was made able by a Memorial fund for Bufe Karraker.  Bufe was my uncle and I miss him very much but I know I will see him again someday.   


Easter Service at Saroyan Theater in Fresno 1990

September 22nd, 2017

Easter Sunday, 1990, at Saroyan Theater in Fresno.  Northwest Church held their services there and reached out to the public.  It was a mixture of music and drama and a message by Bufe Karraker.  Bufe talks about Peter's denial of Jesus.  We have all failed.  Still, God who is the only one who has the right to condemn us, instead sets us free through trusting in Jesus Christ, who paid for your sins.  He also talks about the criminal dying on the cross next to Jesus, just a bare flicker of faith.  He acknowledged Jesus as his Savior and Jesus heard him.  Today you will be with me in paradise.  Bufe challenges us to take that step of faith and move toward God.  Become a friend of God today.


Joseph of Arimathea by Bufe Karraker on 3/18/90

September 21st, 2017

Steve Jobs challenged John Sculley, CEO of Pepsi Cola, to come to Apple.  "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?" Jobs asked Sculley.  Life is full of crunch time for all of us.  Joseph was born in Arimathea and then lived in Jerusalem.  He was a man of noble character, a pious man, a member of the Sanhedrin (Jewish Supreme Court), wealthy and spiritually-oriented.  The Sanhedrin was a powerful group of people and they were trying to get rid of Jesus.  Bufe talks about Joe and Nick (Nicodemus), two men on the Sanhedrin who loved Jesus.   Joseph of Arimathea was the rich man who had the empty tomb for Jesus after Jesus' death.   Bufe talks about Jesus' crucifixion and how Joe and Nick risked everything and took care of Jesus' body after his death.  Joseph bravely went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body.  Are you spending your life selling sugared water when you ought to be involved in something changing the world?

Isaiah 53, Matthew 27:57, 60, Luke 23:50-56, Mark 15:43, 46, John 19:38-40.


Centerpiece of the Gospel by Bufe Karraker on 3/26/95

September 20th, 2017

Bufe talks about visiting Masada with his wife.  He mentions the Jewish guide who knew the Bible well and yet didn't believe in Jesus.  Bufe talks about the Centerpiece of the Gospel, the Cross of Christ.  We say we believe it, yet how many people have you shared this most important message with?  We get excited by temporary things, but this is eternal!   Bufe talks about the problems at that time with sharing Jesus with the Jews and also with the Greeks (Gentiles).  Bufe talks about being on the Mount of Olives and how he remembered Jesus' words in Matthew 23 when Jesus was there.  There is a little chapel there now with a mosaic of a hen with chicks.

1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 30-31, Deuteronomy 21:23, Matthew 23, 1 Corinthians 15.


Boasting Only in the Cross by Bufe Karraker on 9/10/95

September 19th, 2017

Paul had a lot to boast about: the right family, the right education, the right experience, and then he met Jesus.  He was born again on that day and he grew up in his faith.  Why did God use Paul?  Bufe talks about the 4 things Paul did to be used by God:  1.  He threw away all of his past accomplishments and possessions and boasted only in the cross.  He put his trust and faith in Christ alone.  2.  He knew Jesus Christ as his Lord, not just his Savior.  3.  He was not hung up on the future and success.  He gave up everything else in order to know what it means to suffer and die with Christ.  4. Paul vowed to be one of the group who lived in the fresh newness of life.  He wasn't waiting for heaven.  He was living in the joy of knowing the Lord in this life.  New life begins for you the moment you believe and trust in Jesus and nothing can end that for you throughout eternity.  Bufe talks about forgetting the past and moving on in Christ.  

Galatians 6, Philippians 3


Salty Salt and Bright Light by Bufe Karraker on 6/8/97

September 18th, 2017

Bufe talks about when he was called to be a pastor.  Bufe reads a quote from Eugene Peterson's 'Run with the Horses'.  The adventure of goodness, the pursuit of righteousness doesn't make headlines anymore.  We are the light of the world and we need to shine the love of Jesus to the world.  We are also the salt of the world.  We help preserve the world.  Bufe shares 4 truths about the call to Christians.  1.  Christians are fundamentally different than non-Christians.  2.  Christians must penetrate the non-Christian culture.  3.  Christians can influence and change society.  Bufe talks about working with people of other cultures and races.  Salty Salt and Bright Light.  

Matthew 5, Romans 1


New Star Shining by Marty and Heather Acree on 1/7/90

September 17th, 2017

Beautiful song sung by Marty and Heather Acree at Northwest Church in Fresno.

New Star Shining
They didn't own a house, no crib no toys were waiting
Still they had their love for the child they were anticipating
He was born one winter night on a road between two towns
They wrapped him up so warm and tight and said
It looks like heaven's come down
There was a new star shining in the sky up above
By its light that winter night
They found peace and perfect love
If we want to find it, I know we always will
For that new star is shining for us still
He worried how to feed him on the trade that was all he knew
It was hard enough to make ends meet when they were only two
But the cold, the dark and hunger couldn't take away their joy
And she knew that they would find a way
For their precious baby boy
There was a new star shining in the sky up above
By its light that winter night
They found peace and perfect love
If we want to find it, I know we always will
For that new star is shining for us still
Songwriters: Johanna Hall / Johanna D Hall / John Hall / John J Hall
New Star Shining lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Early Warning! by Bufe Karraker on 1/7/90

September 16th, 2017

There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!  Nothing can separate you from the love of Jesus Christ!  Bufe talks about the 4 Gospels showing Jesus in 4 different lights. He centers on Matthew's account of Simon Peter.  Matthew's picture of Peter is not pretty, not sympathetic, and it is critical.  The last thing Matthew writes about Peter is the denial of Jesus.  Peter is a study of failure in Christian living.  We have all failed somewhere in our Christian life.   He looks at Peter's 3 denials.  Do you, as a professing Christian, try to hide your identity as a Christian, when you are away from other Christians?  Do you run away from situations where you know you will have to show your colors?  Peter denied Christ 3 times and went away crying.  Did he repent?  Matthew followed Peter's denial with the story of Judas's suicide.  Why?  To deny Jesus is dangerously like betraying Jesus.   Peter didn't begin as a failure.  Bufe looks at the gradual decline of Peter's faith, starting with the episode of Jesus walking on the water. Do circumstances determine the amount of faith you have?  Do you think like the world or do you think like Jesus?  Do you have over-confidence in yourself or do you have confidence in God?  How much time do you spend in prayer?  Bufe asks us to honestly assess our lives.  

Romans 8, Luke 22:31,32, Luke 24:34, Mark 16:7, Matthew 16, Matthew 26, Matthew 27:3, Matthew 10, Matthew 14, Matthew 16, Matthew 26:41, Matthew 5


Oaks of Righteousness by the Spirit Choir on 1/7/90

September 15th, 2017

This is beautifully sung by Northwest Church in Fresno's Spirit Choir.  It has a Jewish flavor to it and I love the mixture of a minor key and joy you find in much of Jewish music.  Enjoy!



Mature Christians by Bufe Karraker on 10/1/95

September 14th, 2017

Bufe had been to Promise Keepers and shared some insights he had received from Howie Hendricks, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.  Bufe talks about how believers need to grow up!   What is your attitude toward the Word of God?  Bufe talks about how to develop a desire for the Word of God:  1.  Read it.  2. Hear it.  3. Study it.  4. Memorize it.  5. Meditate on it.  6. Share the Word of God.
1 Peter 1-2, Hebrew 5

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