“Transitions: Bread for the Journey” (August 2, 2015)

from John 6:24-35

The journey through this life is full of transitions…transition between jobs, transition in relationship, transition in faith, transition in family, transition in seasons of life…we’ve talked about what it means to navigate those transitions, but the questions remains: what anchors you in those transitions?  Do you have what you need for the journey?
In our passage this morning from John’s Gospel, we find Jesus promising a bread that will last…what is this meal He is offering?  Is it still available today?  If so, where do we find it, and how could it be so lasting?
Come to the Table, and see…
w/ Vern Collins

“Transitions: Rooted and Sent” (July 26, 2015)

from Ephesians 3:14-21

For many the idea of committing one’s life to Christ is committing to a life full of rule-following and void of freedom.  In Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus, he prays that they would be rooted and established…but he is not praying that they would be rooted and established in RULES, rather in LOVE.
Perhaps it is not about a loss of freedom that Paul is after for followers of Christ, but that they may know what freedom truly is.  A freedom from fitting the mold the world tries to force you in to, so that you are open to inviting the world into a life grounded in the One Thing that doesn’t change.  God’s love for humanity and His desire that they may know the fullness of life only found in Him.
w/ Vern Collins

“Transitions: Love” (July 19, 2015)

from John 3:16-17

While it might just be a verse so familiar that you have become numb to the weight of it, John 3:16 carries for you a foundational truth that will anchor you in any transition or season of life you happen to find yourself in.  The keys to appreciating the power in these words of Jesus are recognizing the desperation of your situation, understanding the difficulty of this kind of love, realizing the reality of the remedy, and seeing the danger in keeping your distance from this life-giving truth.

w/ Vern Collins

“Transitions: Listen” July 12, 2015

from Mark 9:2-8

We came away from week 1 of our “Transitions” series daring to believe that transitions not only carry the possibility of being good, but also necessary for what God desires to teach us…about Who He is…about who we are…not only does God teach in the midst of transition, but He is faithful to use transition to prepare us for what is next.
So knowing that God is not surprised by your circumstances, that God does not waste time, and that He knows you intimately…just how do you go about allowing God to maximize the transitions in your life to the fullest extent?
Simple.
Listen.  That’s it.  Listen to Him.  That’s the starting point.  That’s the instruction for the journey…listen.
w/ David Hockett

“Transitions” (July 5, 2015)

from Luke 4:1-13

Life is full of transitions.  Transitions in work.  Transitions in relationship.  Transitions from one stage of life to another.  They are simply part of the rhythm of life.
When transitions in life go smoothly, they are little more than one thing ending and another beginning.  When transitions become difficult, however, they can begin to feel more like an interruption or a road block to whatever may be coming next.
As we begin this new series on transitions, we find from the story of Jesus’ time in the wilderness, that not only is can we find purpose in transition, but that God is faithful in the midst of them.
w/ Vern Collins

“Body of Christ: as Church” (June 14, 2014)

from 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

We are conditioned from an early age that if we have any hope of success, we need to be set apart.  This is great for those who feel like they are, and a road block for those who feel less than unique in a world that values distinction.
The problem is, our distinction often creates division, so we find ourselves not only suffering the effects of this, but trying to compensate for it by calling for unity in the midst of our diversity.
Paul argues, that as the Body of Christ, we find unity because of our diversity, not in response to it.
How would the church begin to look different; how would your life begin to look different if you saw yourself as one part of the whole, and began to value the parts around that also contribute to the church being the body of Christ?
w/ Vern Collins

“Body of Christ: For Us” (June 7, 2015)

from 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The call for the Christ follower to be Christ to the world can be at best confusing and at worst something that on you can make a quick mess of.  In an age when the church and the follower of Christ are seen as being judgmental, hypocritical, or more concerned with self than with a hurting world, is there hope of bringing the gap?
The invitation to Christ’s table is an invitation to a deeper understanding not only of the journey that led Christ to be broken for us, but a deeper understanding of who we are called to be in Him.
w/ Vern Collins

“Body of Christ: In One Jew” May 31, 2015

from John 20:24-31

The lifeless form on the cross, the broken bread at The Table, the church, and the individual following Christ…all, the Body of Christ, yet for much of the world there the disconnect between who the Christian, or what the church is and who they understand Jesus to be.
Perhaps if we had a better understanding of what it means to be the Body of Christ, then we would begin to look more like the One Who is at the head.
In week 1 of our new series, we look at Jesus’ patient encounter with Thomas after the Resurrection, and are challenged in the way we might approach those around us who doubt.
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: Who Are We to Withhold Water?” (May 24, 2015)

from Acts 10:44-48

In our final week of our “Questions” series, we wrestle with perhaps one of the most piercing questions yet.
Have you experienced the love of God?  Do you share it with others, or do you find yourself being choosey with whom you decide to share it?  Have you experienced the grace of God?  Do you freely offer grace to both your friends and your enemies?  Have you experienced new life in Christ?  Do you share that new life with the world around you, or is it something you keep to yourself?
In this week’s passage, we find in Peter a willingness to trust the end without seeing it, a willingness to go to the fringes, and a willingness to offer the hope of Christ to the most unlikely people…
Are you willing to do the same?
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: Do I Drink the Blood of Goats?” (May 17, 2015)

from Psalm 50:1-15

Do you often feel like you “miss the mark” in your relationship with God?  Perhaps you feel like you work and strive and bring things to the table and still feel as if God is not responding the way you would like…
In our passage this week, God calls to question our understanding of worship and sacrifice, and most importantly our view of Who He is.
Maybe you are working too hard to hit a mark that God is not asking you to hit.
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: What Will it Profit?” (May 3, 2015)

from Mark 8:31-38

What does a new perspective of Jesus mean for any who seek Him?  It means a deeper understanding of why He came and what life with Him is meant to be.
In this week’s passage, the Disciples come face to face with some shocking news that means everything for them is about to change…perhaps more should change for us as well.
Is the life you are pursuing with Christ truly a life WITH Him, or is it a life that seeks only to fit Him in to the places that are safe…the places in your life where He will do the least amount of damage?
Jesus is calling you to more.
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: Who Shut the Doors of the Sea?” (or “A New Perspective”) April 26, 2015

From Job 38:1-11

Perspective is everything!  In this passage giving us a window into a conversation between God and Job, we find that Job is being offered a fresh perspective of God…

What if you had a fresh perspective of the living God?

It could change everything!

 

“Questions God Asks: Do You Love Me?” (April 19, 2015)

*This week’s message includes the announcement about our senior pastor, Jason’s Byassee new appointment starting July 1st.  We are incredibly grateful for his leadership, we love he and his family deeply, and pray God’s blessing on their faithfulness in this call.

from John 21:15-19

People do crazy things for love…quit jobs, move half way around the country, get tattoos, change lifestyles…what do you do to show love to those you in fact love?  What are you willing to do to show love to someone?
Are you willing to protect them, willing to commit to them, willing to challenge them…would you be willing to jump out of a boat for them?  Peter did all of these things for Jesus.  Perhaps, the greatest example of Peter’s we have to follow, however, is his willingness to meet Jesus on the shore of his need for grace, hear the question, “do you love me?” and be willing to follow Him once more into a life of surrender to the cause of the Gospel.
What are you willing to do?
w/ Vern Collins

Easter Message-“Questions God Asks: Why Are You Crying?” (April 5, 2015)

from John 20:1-18

Easter Sunday.  Resurrection Day.  For the church, it all hinges on this one event; this moment in time when Jesus resurrected from the grave.  Unlike other historic events that happened once and are commemorated annually, on Easter the church celebrates the fact that the resurrection is still happening and is breaking in to this world all around us.
As we look at Mary’s encounter with Jesus we find with hope that the resurrection of Christ is as important and powerful today as it was almost 2,000 years ago.
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: Why Have You Forsaken Me?” (March 29, 2015)

from Mark 15:33-34

At the pace with which we live life, the time between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday can seem like a blur.  Life doesn’t stop.  Responsibilities don’t cease.  So often we respond to the demands of life on autopilot.
This week, what if you took time to consider Christ’s last hours?  What if you took time to consider His suffering?  What if you took time to consider the cross?  What if you took time to consider His cry, “My God, My God way have you forsaken me?”
For all who have felt forsaken.  For all who have sought the cover of darkness.  For all who feel alone.  For all who are lost.  For all who are wandering.  For all who feel used up and pushed aside…Jesus asks this question so that you might know the answer…because it was for you….that you might know life, that you might be found, and that you might dwell in the Light of Christ for eternity.
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: Who Do You Say I Am?” (March 22, 2015)

from Matthew 16:13-20

Many of us try hard to avoid being put on the spot.  We try hard to keep from being called to the carpet to solve a problem or answer a question.  What if we’re wrong?  We’d rather avoid answering than risk being wrong…
Yet, in Matthew’s Gospel we are asked a question not only that we cannot avoid, but is the most important question we will be faced with in our lives.
“Who do you say I am?”
The answer to that seemingly simple question determines everything about your present and your future…and how grateful we are that Jesus is patient and persistent in seeking our response, because He knows it means everything!
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: Why Do You Involve Me?” (March 15, 2015)

from John 2:1-11

n the Gospel of Matthew Jesus teaches us to ask the Father for what we need and He will provide.  How often, though, do you feel like your prayers are going unanswered or ignored…how often, do you feel like Jesus might be saying as He does in this week’s passage, “Why do you involve me?”
As discouraging as this can be, we find hope in the fact that Jesus is always up to something more than what is right in front of us.  We find hope in the fact that the “small things” do matter.  And we find hope in the fact that even though Jesus hears our requests, He will not compromise why He came for what we think we need.
Jesus didn’t just come to turn water in to wine…He came to offer us life and transformation.

“Questions God Asks: Who is the Lord?” (March 8, 2015)

from Exodus 5:1-9

The Bible is full of words used to describe God.  Awesome.  Mighty.  All-knowing.  All-powerful.  Righteous.  Judge.  Protector.  Deliverer.  Vengeful.  Jealous.  Good.  Loving.  Patient.
While this is true, while scripture is full of descriptions for God, how would you answer if asked the question, “Who is the Lord?”  In our passage this week from Exodus 5, Pharaoh asks Moses that very question.  While it would be easy to see Pharaoh’s question as one of curiosity, we must understand that it is actually a question of authority?
Who is God that He should have authority in your life?  Who is God that you should follow Him?
Who is God to you?
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: Where Are You?” (March 1, 2015)

from Genesis 3:1-10

Where are you?
It seems like a simple enough question.  You are where you happen to be, right?  Well, yes.  But where are you with that decision, or where are you with how things are going in your life right now?  Or where are you with that hard conversation you’ve been needing to have.
Where are you?
It suggests that we might not be where we are supposed to be or expected to be.  In week 1 of our “Questions God Asks” series we look at Genesis 3:1-10 and God’s question to Adam as He comes to meet with him in the garden… “Where are you?”
In this season of Lent, it is perhaps one of the most important questions you can wrestle with.  And in doing so, may you know that God is seeking you…just as He was Adam…seeking you that He might offer hope.
w/ Vern Collins

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