Tag Archives: Faith

“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

“What You Believe” (April 8, 2018)

from John 20:19-31

What you believe determines how you live.  How you respond in a given situation is dictated by the set of beliefs upon which you’ve built your life.

What you believe about love determines who you are in a relationship.  What you believe about time determines how you use the time you have.

The same is true for what you believe about Who Jesus is…it impacts everything about how you live your life.

If Who you believe Jesus to be determines how you live, then what you have experienced in your walk with Jesus determines what you are living for.

w/ Vern Collins

“Falling Into Goodness: Wrestle With God” (March 18, 2018)

from Genesis 32:22-32

Yes, you’re taught not to fight…but we fight anyway don’t we?  Maybe it’s not about throwing punches, but it nearly impossible to go through this life without finding ourselves in contention with others from time to time…

What if fighting is actually a part of the journey?  What if it has everything to do with what you are fighting for and who you are fighting?

For our 5th Sunday in Lent we consider Jacob and the fight he had with God…perhaps it’s time for you to get in the dirt with God!

w/ Vern Collins

“Anxious: Zechariah” (December 3, 2017)

from Luke 1:5-23

If we are taught anything about waiting, we are taught simply to be patient…we’re typically not taught anything about how to navigate the feelings of anxiousness that can arise when we find ourselves waiting for something.

Over the next few weeks we will look at how being anxious in our waiting can either be a hindrance to being a part of what God is doing, or serve as a catalyst that will propel us into deeper faith and more faithful participation in what God is doing.

w/ Vern Collins

“Set Free: Faithfulness” (November 5, 2017)

from Jeremiah 32:1-15

It’s not that we don’t want to respond faithfully to the life-changing gift that God has given us in Christ…it’s that too often faithfulness feels just too inconvenient.

What if instead of thinking about what it might mean for us now, we begin to think about what God is calling us to in terms of what it might mean for God’s Kingdom in the future?

What if you begin to think of both the little acts of faithfulness and the huge leaps of faithfulness as something might God use to teach you about Himself now as well as plant seeds for growth in the lives of others in the future?

w/ Vern Collins

“Set Free: Self-Control” (October 29, 2017)

from 2 Peter 1:1-11

If you could control anything what would it be?  Time?  Distractions? The weather?

What about yourself?  What about those things that might be a distraction or a hindrance to experiencing, enjoying, and living in the fullness of life with Christ?  What about those things that hinder and harm relationship with others, or those things that affect how you feel about YOU?

Imagine how your day or your week might begin to look different if you took seriously Peter’s words that one of the results of our faith in Jesus should be self-control.

w/ Vern Collins

“Set Free: Joy” (September 24, 2017)

from Habakkuk 3:17-19

In our series on the Fruit of the Spirit (from Galatians 5:22-25) we look next at the fruit of “Joy.”

What is joy to you?  Is it an intense feeling?  Is it momentary or is it lasting?  Is it the same as happiness or different?  Is it some religious outburst or something that resides quietly within?

What if joy were all and none of these things?  What if a response of joy had more to do with trusting God whatever your circumstances and offering a response of rejoicing as a result of that trust?  How might your perspective on this life change of you chose a response of joy in the midst of trials?  How might the lives around you be changed?

w/ Vern Collins

“More to the Story: Daniel” (July 10, 2016)

from Daniel 3

If someone asked you Who God is, how would you answer that question?  How would you describe God to the world around you?

Particularly now when this world is hurting, when so many questions surround the acts of hate and violence that seem so prevalent…what would you tell this world about who God is?  How would you describe God?

What if it wasn’t an explanation that this world needed, rather an introduction?

Do you know God in a way that you would allow you to introduce God to this world?

w/ Vern Collins

“Foundations: Serve” (November 15, 2015)

from Joshua 24

Options.  Many live in a culture full of options.  Options for clothing, cars, the way you spend your time…upgrade options, warranty options, media options, options for the way you connect with others…it is a culture that caters to the consumer.

What if, however, we have become so accustomed to crafting this life to be the most comfortable it can, that we have made optional things that should not be?

Take serving and loving others for example…Jesus never presented it as an option…even in our Old Testament passage from Joshua, we see that amidst the options of lesser gods, Joshua makes it clear that those options are no option at all, really.

What if the way you served was a life style, not simply another option on your list?

w/ Luke Edwards

“Foundations: Connect” (November 8, 2015)

from John 15:1-17

How is it that we’ve boiled Christianity, that is, what it means to be a follower of Jesus, down to NOT doing the things we shouldn’t do, and being sure to do the things we should?

The invitation of Jesus is to life…a full life to be more specific.  Yet, we have somehow bought in to this idea that life with Christ is little more than behavior modification.

In this week’s foundation of Connecting, we consider that what we DO for God is simply not as important as how we are WITH God through our connection in our relationship with Jesus.  Perhaps the fruit, or what we “do” comes as a byproduct of abiding in Christ as He calls us to do in John 15.  Not only in relationship with Jesus, but in relationship with one another do we find that God is able to bear fruit in and through our lives that is beautiful in His sight.

Rather than focusing on, “doing and achieving,” what if your focus became, “abiding, and being?”

w/ Vern Collins

“Foundations: Worship” (November 1, 2015)

from Revelation 7:9-16

Silent Mediation.  Old Hymns.  Traditional.  Contemporary.  Praise and Worship.  There are as many different opinions about what worship should be as there are people worshiping…or as there are people in church.

As we begin our “Foundations” series by looking at both foundations of the faith and foundations of who we are as a church and how we accomplish our mission of, “Loving our Community and inviting all to discover life in Christ,” we begin with worship as being a vital piece of that identity.

What your worship were not a matter of preference of style, but was the, “True Worship,” Jesus refers to in John 4, and that we catch a glimpse of in the vision of the throne in Revelation 7?

 

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Time” (October 18, 2015)

from Deuteronomy 5:12-15

n an average lifespan (minus the time spent sleeping), you have 394,200 hours to get everything done you need to get done…

A LIFETIME to get things completed…and yet many of us live our lives as if time is slipping through our fingers.  “To-Do” lists grow longer or keep getting pushed to tomorrow, calls are left unreturned, emails are left unanswered, the amount of demand continue to grow and time seems to continue to shrink…so how are we meant to keep our heads above the water?  How are we meant to do it all?

You’re not.  You’re not meant to do it all…you’re meant to abide in the One Who can.

And you begin by stopping  and resting.

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Money” (October 11, 2015)

from 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

Whether it is the worry associated with not having enough, or the pressure of knowing how to steward if you have it, money continued to be for many one of the greatest causes of stress in many people’s lives.

While it is a necessary part of living in this consumer-driven culture, surely God’s intention was never for it to become the burden that it is.

In 2 Corinthians 8 Paul is telling of a group of believers who though they find themselves in the midst of severe persecution and poverty, are begging for the opportunity to participate in the offering for the Jerusalem church.

How is this possible, when many of us stress over paying bills for the roof over our heads.

Perhaps our problem is less a money issue, and more one of perspective…imagine how you would view the things in your life, money included, if you had a bigger view of God.

w/ Vern Collins

“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