Tag Archives: God

“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

“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

“Falling Into Goodness: Dwell With God” (February 18, 2018)

from Matthew 4:1-11

As we begin our journey through the season of Lent, we invite you to consider Lent perhaps differently than you ever have before.

What if, instead of surrendering some habit you are trying to break, or feeling guilty about the things you can’t surrender or simply don’t want to surrender, you saw Lent as a time to rest?  A time to rest in the ground of God’s goodness, and allow God to speak to you about who you truly are as one loved deeply by Him.

w/ David Hockett

“God Is: Vast and Personal” (January 21, 2018)

from Isaiah 40 and Psalm 139

 

week 2 of our “God Is” series…

while it would be easier to be able to define God as having ONE attribute, the reality is we will never see God for Who He is, and will never live pursuing the life He longs to give as long as we continue to limit our view of Him.

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

“Life Together: Made For Each Other” (February 5, 2017)

from Genesis 1:26-27

Our lives tend to be a web of relationships.  Marriage, family, dating, friendship, classmate, co-worker, employee and employer, proponent and opponent of an issue or idea…

Relationships can often be a source of great joy or they can be a source of great pain in our lives.  There are times when we find ourselves seeking isolation because we have been so wounded by relationships…and there are times when without realizing it, we find ourselves living in a “functional isolation” born our of the illusion of connection we create through social media.

To say that relationship is complicated is an understatement…but what if we saw relationship not just as a challenge we have to navigate, rather something for which we were actually created?

Imagine how you might begin to look at God, and humanity around you differently if you lived like you were created for connection with both.

w/ Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Deliver Us” (January 29, 2017)

from Matthew 6:13

It’s not just that we feel overwhelmed from time to time…many of us are living lives in a constant state of being in over our head…and yet we tend to spend our time and energy looking to people and powers and systems in this world to change things…to give us hope.  What happens when those are the very things that seem to be stealing hope from us?

In our final week on the Lord’s Prayer, we look to Jesus’ petition for our protection and deliverance…a protection and deliverance He would make possible because He Himself was not protected from suffering.

w/ Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Forgive” (January 22, 2017)

from Matthew 6:12

We live in a world that is full of hurt, and many of us carry that hurt around inside us.  Whether we hurt over the things we have done that we feel guilt over, or whether we have been hurt by others…our lives are marked with pain of some sort.  The question is, what do we do with that hurt?  Do we simply learn to deal with it, or are we willing to release it?  To seek forgiveness, to be forgiven?  What about forgiving others?

Are we willing to name our pain, and trust that God can release us from it?

Are we willing to release others from the pain they have caused us?

Too often not…but it is not impossible.  Perhaps all it takes is a new understanding of forgiveness, what happens when we are forgiven, and what can happen when we forgive.

w/ Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Thy Kingdom Come” (January 8, 2017)

from Matthew 6:10

At the heart of the prayer Jesus offers as the example for His disciples to follow is surrender.    It is naming the work He has been called to do and committing Himself to that work…the work of seeing God’s purpose accomplished on this earth.

In inviting His disciples and all who would follow to pray in this way, Jesus is also inviting us to name and commit ourselves to being a part of God’s rescuing and restorative work on this earth.

And yet, our tendency is to build our little kingdoms and then ask God to bless them.

What if instead, our lives were spent building the Kingdom that Jesus came to inaugurate?  What if we began to bend ourselves to the work of God rather than trying to bend God to our work on this earth?

Imagine how different our lives might look.

w/ Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Our Father” (January 1, 2017)

from Matthew 6:7-9

If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated by prayer, if the mystery that surrounds prayer, the fact that it seems like prayers too often go unanswered or aren’t answered the way you’d like…if you’re not even sure what or how to pray most of the time, then you’re in good company.  Even the Apostle Paul wrote that when we don’t know how to pray or what to pray, the Holy Spirit would be faithful to lead us.

That’s good news, but many of still feel unsure as to where or how we begin.

Jesus’ disciples longed for more in their prayer life too, and so they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11).  While Jesus didn’t answer every question they asked, or respond to everything they desired to see happen, He felt this request important enough to respond to…and so He gave them what we have come to call, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

As we work through this series, beginning with “Our Father,” may your heart for prayer be rekindled, may you encounter the power that are in these words, and may you be transformed.

w/ Vern Collins

“As For You: Identity and Purpose” (September 18, 2016)

from Ephesians 1:1-14

At any given point in life you may feel like you are in the midst of an identity crisis…if, “crisis,” feels too strong, then we could call it an, “identity challenge.”  From the moment you become self-aware, you also become conscious of how that self fits into the world around you, and whether or not others’, “selfs,” like what they see in yours…

And it’s not just a constant evaluation of self that you have to worry about…as you get older, you then begin to ask what your purpose in this world is.  That combined with the worry over identity and we are often left not sure if we like who we are because we’re not sure we know what we are supposed to do.

We begin our series through Ephesians by starting with these two basic struggles and find that in Christ we are offered the answer to both…

w/ Vern Collins

“You Asked For It: How Do I Read Scripture?” (August 28, 2016)

from Hebrews 4:12-16

It is one of the most enduring works in all of history…and yet can be one of the most frustrating.

It is held as being central to the Christian faith…and yet can be one some of the most frustrating words with which to engage.

If you’ve ever become frustrated or fed up or confused and simply put the Bible down and walked away…you’re invited to take a new perspective.  What if your expectation of God’s Word shifted?  Instead of asking what God has for you in His Word, what if you began approaching it asking how your life might fit in to it?

w/ Vern Collins

“More to the Story: David” (July 24, 2016)

from 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Have you ever struggled under the weight of wondering whether or not you measure up?  Have you ever struggled with feeling like you just don’t have what it takes?  Have you given yourself over to people or things in order to try and be seen as worthy, or acceptable?

If any of things are or ever have been true, then know that God does not measure you by the standards the world measures, and God is not looking for the same things in you the world is demanding.

God looks beyond the measurable and looks to the heart…and when you begin to embrace that truth, not only does it change the way you approach God, but it changes the way you approach challenges and the world around you.

w/ Vern Collins

“More to the Story: Ruth” (July 17, 2016)

from Ruth 4:13-22

Almost as an intermission between the story of Israel’s judges and the beginning of the time of her kings is the brief account of a woman named Ruth.

While this may not only seem like a strange placement for such a story, but also a curious addition to what we hold as Scripture, it is one of the most beautiful pictures of faithfulness we have in all of the Bible.

Not only does Ruth paint for us a picture of what undying faithfulness looks like, but challenges in the attention and compassion we give to those around us.

In the midst of your every day coming and going, triumphs and even struggles, are you paying attention to the lives of the hurting around you…and are you willing to enter in to them?

w/ Vern Collins

“More to the Story: Noah” (July 3, 2016)

from Genesis 6:5-22

In week 3 of our “More to the Story” series, we look at one of the most well known stories in all of Scripture…the story of Noah.  While there are any number of questions surrounding this account of Noah’s building of the ark and God’s bringing of the flood, we find that there is a questions posed to us…

In this world where we might say (save for a promise and a rainbow) we’re probably due for another wiping of the slate…what if in looking back at the account of Noah, we begin to see it, not as an issue of morality, but one of theology…does creation still allow God to be God?  Does humanity still allow God to be God?  Are you, in your life, allowing God to be God?

w/ Vern Collins

“New Beginnings: Old News” (January 24, 2016)

from Luke 4:14-21

Often when we think of new beginnings, we look forward to what is coming in hopes of forgetting what is behind.

In a culture of the next new thing, what do you expect from the Lord?  What do you expect when you gather with the church in worship?  What do you expect to hear?  What do you expect the church to be about?

Something new?  Something fresh?  Something flashy and engaging?

What if what you heard was the same old news?  Would it be enough?

What if when you sought the Lord all you got was the same old news?  Would it be enough?

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

“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” (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