“Manger and Mystery: Recovering the Stable” (December 2, 2018) w/ Vern Collins

First Sunday in Advent

from Isaiah 9:1-7

As we begin the season of Advent, the march toward Christmas we must acknowledge that there is much that is familiar about this time of year.  There are traditions we uphold, customs, gatherings that happen every year, people we expect to see, even food we expect to eat…it is part of what makes this time of year so special…being able to enjoy things that we don’t always get to.

What if in the familiar, we have lost sight of that which is foundational to our reason for celebrating?  Has the birth of Christ simply become for us another familiar tradition rather then the foundation of our hope and the expectation of our future?

w/ Vern Collins

“What Kind of King?” (November 25, 2018)

from John 18:33-37

Who or what are the little kings you have set up on the thrones of your life to serve and protect the kingdoms of your desires, your pursuits, your opinions, your comfort or your convenience?  How are those little kings serving you?  Have they proven weak yet?

What happens when your little kings and kingdoms begin to collide with the kings and kingdoms of those around you?  We tend to live in this perpetual state of conflict with the world around us and feelings of being unfulfilled with our own life.  Surely this can’t be all that Jesus had in mind.

What if instead of fighting against the reign of Christ in your life, you lived a life submitted to Jesus as King.  What if by losing yourself you found what life is meant to be?

w/ Vern Collins

“A Stewardship Journey: Choosing to Follow” (November 18, 2018)

from Matthew 4:18-22

What kind of follower are you?  In an age of social media, we “follow” any number of people and organizations.  Are you simply an observer, are you one who engages hoping to prove your self right, or are you one who follows until you don’t like what you hear or see at which point you are quick to “unfollow.”

Have you ever considered how who and what and the manner in which you are following in culture is impacting how you understand what it means to follow Jesus?

We can know everything we need to about stewardship and what that means for discipleship, but until we are willing to follow, until we are willing to take our first step or our next step we cannot experience the fullness of what God has for us and wants to do through us.

w/ Vern Collins

“A Stewardship Journey: Most Important” (November 4, 2018)

from Mark 12:28-34

What does stewardship mean to you?  Often times we cringe at those words in church…here comes the ask, right?  More money.  More time.  More serving.

What if stewardship weren’t about what you GIVE, but about Who you understand God to be, and how you lived your life in response to that?

As we start this series inviting you to consider a new way of thinking about stewardship, what if you thought about the journey of stewardship as a journey?  When starting a journey, what is most important to have…in order to sustain a journey…what is most important to have?

w/ Vern Collins

“Healing Connections: Forgiveness” (October 28, 2018)

from John 8:1-11

Often times we can know that God loves us and calls us to love those around us…to be LIKE JESUS to the world around us.  We can know that God loves us so much that He gave His Son as a payment for our sin.

If we know those things, what keeps us from feeling like we are living the new life that Jesus promises?  Why do we feel “stuck” somewhere between where we were and where God is calling us?  For many of us, it can be boiled down to one word: FORGIVENESS.

Too many of us carry the stones of condemnation or anger or frustration or hurt around, hindering our walk in the freedom of grace that God offers us in Jesus.  Maybe it’s our inability to forgive someone who has hurt us, or maybe it’s our inability to forgive ourselves…regardless, the invitation is to out those stones down and walk in freedom!

w/ Vern Collins

“Healing Connections: Vulnerability” (October 21, 2018)

from Mark 5:21-43

Perhaps the one thing that keeps us from experiencing the fullness of God’s ability to heal and restore and renew, both our relationship with Him and relationship with those around us, is the one thing that is most difficult for us to do…that is, admit that we are weak.

Admitting weakness, coming to terms that we don’t have it all together, that we have been hurt and that we hurt others, that we are desperate for help, that we try to put on a facade of strength, but the truth is many of us are broken and bruised and worn out.

Coming to terms with this about ourselves, naming these things…there is a word for that.  Better yet, there is a posture for that…vulnerability.

While it is one of the most difficult things for us to practice, it is the catalyst for God to bring healing in our relationship with Him and with those around us.

w/ Vern Collins

*including a special testimony from two from our Crossroads family

“Healing Connections: Listening Well” (October 14, 2018)

from James 1:19-21

It takes no intentional effort to hear.  Hearing is merely our body’s ability to perceive sound.  Listening however, requires an intentional action.  The ability to perceive sound, and then process what it is and what it means.  I wonder how many of us confuse the two.

Or to push that a bit further, I wonder how many of us when we do listen, listen in a way that values and honors the other person.

In our 2nd week of our “Healing Connections” series we are challenged with what it means not only to listen, but to listen with humble attentiveness.

w/ Vern Collins

“Healing Connections: Humility” (October 7, 2018)

from Philippians 2:1-8

Not only were we created for relationship with God, but we were actually created for relationship with one another as well.  We know that Jesus makes possible through His death and resurrection, relationship with God.  But Jesus also makes life-giving relationship with one another possible through that same death and resurrection.

The problem is, something that is meant to be such a gift and such a reflection of Who God is in the relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…relationship with one another…is the cause of some of our greatest frustration and hurt in this world.

So how do we love one another well.  How do we operate in ways that are healthy and foster relationships that reflect Who Jesus is to the world around us?

We begin with humility.

w/ Vern Collins

“Framework for Faithfulness: Boldness” (September 30, 2018)

from Joshua 1:1-9

What are you afraid of?  What keeps you from taking your next step of faith…from being faithful to that which God is calling you to do?

Boldness is the catalyst for living in to who God has called you to be in this world.  What if you stopped “collecting” the characteristics for a faithful life, and you started living the life God has given you faithfully?  What if you stepped boldly into the work of bringing hope to this world?

Imagine the ways you might grow…imagine how the world around you could be transformed!

w/ Vern Collins

“Framework for Faithfulness: Christ at the Center” (September 23, 2018)

from Luke 10:38-42

We are conditioned, many of us, to compartmentalize our lives as a means of surviving the pace at which we tend to operate.  We can call it self-preservation, and while it might help us feel like we are keeping our heads above water, when that mentality creeps into our spiritual life it becomes dangerous.

Without realizing it, it means that define what is at the center of our lives by determining what Christ can touch and what He must leave alone.  We set aside time to connect with Him, and often in doing so, try to decide the parts of us that He gets to connect with.

What if everything we do is meant to be an act of worship, and act of placing and keeping Christ at the center of who we are?

w/ Vern Collins

“Framework for Faithfulness: Values” (September 9, 2018)

from Daniel 3:1-18

What drives your decisions?  What determines the way you spend your time, your resources, your energy, the things you pursue?  Follow the trail of those things and you’re not too far off from being able to determine what you value most.

If Vision (see the message from 9.2.18) determines the path on which we are journeying, then our Values determine HOW we journey that path.  The questions we must wrestle with in this are: Are the things we tend to value worth the value we assign them? And are the values by which we live in fact life giving or are they stealing life from us?

w/ Vern Collins

“Framework for Faithfulness: Vision” (September 2, 2018)

from Nehemiah 1:1-2:6

Much of our time, energy, and attention are spent reacting to someone else’s urgent or to our own need to achieve or acquire or accomplish.  We have deadlines to meet, meetings to make, assignments due, bills to pay and on top of all of that we set goals and have ideas for things we’d like to accomplish and overcome.

This is life, right?  But is this really the “full life” Jesus came to offer (John 10:10)?

What if the picture we grabbed on to for who we could be come or what our situation or the situation of the world around us could look like isn’t born out of our own need for validation or comfort or security…what if it is born out of something that God plants in us?

What if God has a vision for you?  A preferred future born out of His call to live life to bring Him glory and invite others into His story?

w/ Vern Collins

“Framework for Faithfulness: You Have a Role to Play” (August 26, 2018)

from Exodus 17:8-16

Alongside beginning this new series in which we consider those truths and characteristics that together build a life of faithfully following Jesus in the call He has on us as the Church, we also have the privilege of celebrating and praising God for 10 years of faithfulness and fruit in and through our Crossroads Worship Gathering.

As we celebrate all that God has done over the past 10 years, we are challenged to consider the truth that ALL of us are invited to play a role in God’s ongoing unfolding work in this world of inviting humanity into life through Jesus.

How will you say, “yes,” to the call?  Where is God calling you to take the next step and invest your life in all that He is doing in this world through the church?

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: Jesus Did Many Other Things” (August 19, 2018)

from John 21:15-25

John ends his Gospel with this curious last sentence: “Jesus did many other things as well.  If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

What is it that makes, “many other things,” possible?  Work harder?  Delegate more?  Accomplish more?  Sleepless nights?  Saying, “yes,” anytime you are asked to do something?  Sure, these are all possible elements to accomplishing many other things, but what if it begins by saying, “yes,” to a meal?  What if it begins by saying, “yes,” to relationship with Jesus?

And what if we allow Jesus to take us deeper?  What if we allow Jesus to ask more, rather than to work so hard to become what the world is suggesting we ought to be?

w/ Vern Collins and Jeff McClain

“Summer Reading-John: Revelation in the Routine” (August 12, 2018)

from John 21:1-14

What does the resurrection of Jesus mean to you?  There is no denying that it is the the pivotal event on which the faith of Christians for generations continues to be built…it is the hope on which the church stands, and we mark it each year when we celebrate the resurrection at Easter.

But too often, we think of the resurrection as just that-an event.  Something that happened.  Something that can be marked at a point in time and is completed.  When we view the resurrection as simply an event, however, it becomes difficult to live in the hope that is made possible through it.

What if the resurrection is so much more than an event?  What if the resurrection is an eternal reality with significant implications in your every day life?

What if Jesus, truly does meet us in the routine with new revelation of Who He is?

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: Priority in Prayer” (August 5, 2018)

from John 17

In a life spent trying to follow Jesus well, we know that prayer should be a priority.  Why is it, then, that something that is so vital to our connection with God often seems to difficult to grasp?  Am I praying correctly?  Am I asking God for the right things?  Are my prayers too small?  How can I “pray without ceasing” when I can’t remember to give thanks for a meal?

What if part of the issue is not that prayer isn’t enough of a priority, but what the priority of our prayer is?  In John 17, we find that Jesus gives an example of prayer that might just change our perspective on what a life of following Him could look like.

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: I Am The Vine” (July 29, 2018)

from John 15:1-17

What is your life oriented around?

There is a saying often used in the business world that states, “All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results  they are now getting.  If we want different results, we must change the way we do things.”

While your life is not an organization or a system, the same truth is applicable.  If Jesus says that we are to bear fruit for His Kingdom, it begs the question: what kind of fruit are you bearing?

What if our primary focus isn’t the fruit, but what our lives are rooted in?

w/ Vern Collins

“Let the Journey Begin” (July 15, 2018)

from Genesis 12:1-9

In the first of a special two-part series (and brief break from our “Summer Reading” series), we welcome new Senior Pastor Lory Beth Huffman who challenges us to consider what it might look like for us to journey TOGETHER with the future that God is calling us in to.

God is calling.  Right where you are.   Will you follow?

w/ Lory Beth Huffman

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