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

“Pathways: Serve” (February 15, 2015)

From John 13:1-17
Serving others is one of the greatest tools we have in showing the love of Christ, yet it is often reserved for those times when it is convenient for us to do so.  We set aside time to serve, but when our service is “complete” we are back to our own pursuits.
In the account of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet in John’s Gospel, we see one of the most startling displays of servanthood, and the example we are called to follow.  When we consider that the most worthy of being honored in that room, stopped and honored those with Him, we are challenged to consider what a life of service might look like for us…and how it might impact the lives of those around us!
w/ Vern Collins

“Pathways: Connect” (February 8, 2015)

from John 1:43-51

A life spent walking with Jesus can be a difficult pursuit.  Often we wrestle with feeling like we are getting it right, or find ourselves crippled by the guilt we carry when we feel like we have missed the mark.  This can be incredibly inhibitive to sharing the Good news of Christ with others…and yet, we are all called to do so.
What if rather than being so concerned with getting it right or having all of the right answers, you were more focused on looking for ways to simply invite others to “come and see” for themselves?  What if your life was spent simply inviting others to journey alongside you?
What if you were less concerned with conversion and more concerned with CONNECTION?
In week 3 of our series, we look at John 1 and Philip’s invitation to Nathanael to simply “come and see,” and find that perhaps the work of CONNECTING with others and others to Christ is not as difficult as we have allowed ourselves to believe…
w/ Vern Collins

“Pathways: Worship” (February 1, 2015)

from John 4:4-26

In week 2 of our “Pathways” series, we begin look at our strategy to accomplishing our mission of “Loving our community and inviting all to discover life in Christ.”
As we begin with worship as a key element to a life of following and serving Christ, you must be willing to ask, “what happens in you, and what happens through you as a result of gathering with the church in worship?”
In the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus at the well, we find some powerful truths about who Jesus is, what happens when we encounter Him, and what needs to happen as a result.
w/ Vern Collins

“Pathways: Vision and Mission” (January 25, 2015)

from Revelation 21:1-6

Andy Stanley defines vision as, “A clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.”

The world looks at the condition of things and has one thing to say about the direction we are heading…the Lord has something entirely different to say about it.

What is the difference?  Vision.

In Revelation 21 the church is given a clear picture of the way things are going to turn out…and we are invited to be a part of making that hope a reality now….the conviction that it should be!

“Heaven Comes Down: Epiphany” (January 4, 2015)

from Isaiah 60:1-6

No one likes to feel overlooked, forgotten, marginalized, or unnoticed.  Often our New Year’s resolutions have a goal that is bettering ourselves in hopes of avoiding such feelings…but what do you do when it feels like God is the One Who is overlooking you, when God is the One who isn’t noticing you?
What do you do when you feel like God is answering everyone’s prayers but yours?
Epiphany is about realization.  It is realization of Who God is through what God is doing.
In Isaiah 60:1-6 we have an opportunity to connect the visit of the Magi to a greater purpose in God’s choice to give His glory to Israel.  More than that we have an opportunity to come away with a new realization of what might just be behind the way God chooses to deal with us.
w/ Vern Collins

“Heaven Comes Down: Two Things” (December 28, 2014)

from Galatians 4:4-7

Many who are followers of Christ have some degree of understanding that God, through Christ has redeemed them…that is saved them from the penalty of sin through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross…
Why then, do so many find themselves caught in the perpetual up and down of “growth and guilt, growth and guilt, growth and guilt?”
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we find what could prove to be one of the most important truths about what ELSE Christ accomplishes in our redemption…
w/ Vern Collins

“Heaven Comes Down: The Goal” (December 14, 2014)

from Isaiah 61:1-11

We are more than midway through the season of Advent.  Christmas is fast approaching.  We tend at this point to feel the crunch of preparing for that day on top of wrapping up the end of another year.
Last minute shopping, final preparations, wrapping gifts, party plans, time with family, and even unexpected guests…what is goal of Advent?  What are we really preparing for?  A few hours on Christmas morning?  Then what?  What is the finish line?
What if Advent was about more than preparing for one day, or one moment…what if Advent was about something more than Christmas?
What if Advent was about transformation?
(w/ Vern Collins)

“Heaven Comes Down: Comfort” (December 7, 2014)

from Isaiah 40:1-11

What comforts you?  Are you a stress eater?  Do you find comfort in people?  Do you seek pleasure as an escape from difficulties?
We tend to seek comfort in the temporary and company in those who bear the same weaknesses we do, when all the while God is offering us comfort that lasts because it is comfort based on His promises, His faithfulness, and His Son Jesus.  In Isaiah 40 we find that God is offering us comfort based on His promises before we ever knew we needed them to be true!
(w/ Vern Collins)

“Heaven Comes Down: Listen” (November 30, 2014)

 

from Isaiah 64:1-9

We begin this new Advent series by considering that it is in the midst of our desperation that the Lord comes.  While it may seem too often that the heavens are silent, we must not stop crying out for the Lord to hear us in the midst of our suffering.  What is the cry of your heart? What are you longing to see God do?  Where are you longing for Him to move in your life or the lives of those around you?  Consider the condition of the world we are living in…may this Advent be about looking for those places that ‘Heaven Comes Down.’
(w/ Jeff McClain)

“Life Cycle: Birth” (November 23, 2014)

 

from Luke 1:26-38

In John 10, Jesus makes this promise that He has came to offer “life to the FULL.”  In our “Life Cycle” series we have spent time looking at the elements of such a life of following Jesus, and are left with the challenge of pursuing Him toward leaving a legacy worth following.
The question is, “what do you do when that journey is interrupted?”  How do you handle interruption?  How do you handle those moments, or people, or that news that comes in and seems to derail your journey?  Do you ignore them?  Do you follow them?  Do you become embittered by them?
What if the key to journeying well was not less interruption, but embracing more of the right interruption?
In Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth we see Mary’s life interrupted in a creation-shattering sort of way, and yet rather than ignore this interruption or become frustrated by it, we see Mary embracing it…and teaching us something incredibly significant in the process.
(w/ Vern Collins)

Messages and Media