“Overwhelmed: Headlines” (September 27, 2015)

from Matthew 24:1-8, Mark 4:35-40

How long, O Lord…how long?  So many around the world, those affected by the events told in the headlines and those who watch from afar, find themselves asking this question.
How long?  How long must this go on…this hurt and pain?
As we begin our 5 week “Overwhelmed” series, we do so by looking at the headlines.  We are overwhelmed with difficulty in this world…a world that is beginning to look much like that which Jesus describes to His Disciples in Matthew 24.
Perhaps, though, rather than worry about when, we would do well to worry about where.
Where is Jesus in the midst of this?  What if you lived knowing He was right in the middle of the storm with you?  In a place of peace, and faith?
w/ Vern Collins

“Dreamers: The Dream Fulfilled” (September 20, 2015)

from Revelation 21:1-6

The dream fulfilled.  Everything you hoped for, everything you wanted, right?  What if the dream fulfilled wasn’t just about what you hoped to see happen in your own life, but about what God wants to see happen in the lives around you?
In the final week of our “Dreamers” series, we are challenged with the thought that being a part of God’s dream for this world, it not just about how it benefits you, but about you inviting others to in to the dream with you.
w/ Rev. Laura Beach

“Dreamers: Dreams Deferred” (September 13, 2015)

from Deuteronomy 34:1-12

How do you deal with disappointment?  Do you dwell on it, or move past it?  Does it make you angry or do you numb yourself to it just to keep functioning?  You’ve worked toward something, planned for something, dreamt for a long time of doing something…only to be let down?  How do you deal with the disappointment?
What about when it seems to be God Who is the One leaving you disappointed?  What happens when it is God Who is the reason for your dreams being dashed or deferred?
Rather than allowing it to shake the foundation of your faith, what if you took a bigger view of your life…and a bigger view of the work that God can do in and through it?
w/ Vern Collins

“Dreamers: Taking Hold of the Dream” (September 6, 2015)

from Philippians 3:3-16

What goals have been set before you?  What are you chasing?  What are your dreams for your life?  Have you accomplished any of those goals?  Are you in the midst of chasing them?  What happens when you’ve completed them?  What happens when you accomplish your goals?
What are you going to do now?
How does that accomplishment leave you feeling?  Satisfied?  Empty?  Worn thin?  Like you have purpose, or like life has been stolen from you?
What if you pursued the dream that Jesus and the dream He has for you with the same drive that fuels the pursuit of your own dreams?
What if the dream Jesus has for you was enough?
w/ Vern Collins

“Dreamers: A Different Kind of Dream” (August 30, 2015)

from Matthew 5:1-12

Once we truly begin to wrap our minds and hearts around God’s dream for this world…that all will be made right…that even now, Christ, through His church is working to make things right, to bring hope, to bring healing, to offer something “more,” to a hurting world…once you find yourself open to that in your own life, it becomes a compelling invitation to make that dream real for the world around you.
But it is difficult.
While it is a dream the world needs, it is one that often seems out of place…like it is somehow competing with the dreams this world has and the things the world chases.
Perhaps a better understanding of the things Jesus values in the Kingdom He came to inaugurate gives us a better understanding of what God sees as beautiful…and a deeper willingness to embrace those things in your own life.
w/ Vern Collins

“Dreamers: Come and See” (August 23, 2015)

from John 1:35-51

Have you experienced something so amazing that you wanted to tell everyone you know…yet at the same time, you didn’t really want to tell anyone because you were afraid of what might happen to that experience?
How have we come to the place where we treat the Gospel the same way?  How have we come to the place where we treat the Hope found in Jesus like something we want to protect for our own?  Jesus is God’s dream for humanity, God’s dream in the flesh…open for all…and yet so many are never invited into the dream.
Perhaps being reminded of your own invitation into the dream…perhaps being reminded that the invitation we offer to others was never meant to be complicated…it was meant to be as simple as, “Come and See.”
w/ Vern Collins

“Dreamers” (August 16, 2015)

from Genesis 37:1-11

Dreams are often nothing more than an interruption to a night’s sleep, or make us question what is real when we awake from them…sometimes we blame them on a bad meal, and others on recurring fears…whatever the case, we rarely give our dreams much attention.
What if you knew there was a dream that has existed since the beginning of Creation?  What if you knew a dream has been shared and passed down since the beginning?  What if you were told you could have a part in it?
God has a dream for this world that stretches from the Creation Story all the way to Jesus’ return to establish His Kingdom on earth forever.  In this new series, we will dive in to this dream of God’s for the world He created, and for humanity whom He loves.
w/ David Hockett and Vern Collins

“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!

 

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