Tag Archives: Grace

“Belonging: in Transition” (February 3, 2019)

from Romans 12:3-8

When you say yes to the gift of life made possible by Jesus on the cross, when you walk in salvation, when you are adopted into the family of God…you are NOT meant to be an only child! And yet far too many of us attempt to walk this journey of faith and life in isolation from those we are meant to walk alongside.

In this first week of our “Belonging” series, we consider why belonging in the midst of life’s transitions is not only good…it is vital to our remaining rooted in who we are in Christ and remaining connected in relationship to God and what God is doing in this world.

w/ Vern Collins

“New Year Resolution: God’s Perfection” (January 27, 2019)

from Philippians 2:12-13, 3:10-14

In the final week of our “New Year Resolution” series, we wrestle with the question, “now what?” Perhaps you’ve embraced the hopeful truth that God’s grace exists for you before you are even aware of it…perhaps you’ve said “yes” to your need for the sacrifice that Jesus so willingly gave on the cross that you might live a new life…but what does it mean to live into that new life? How are you transformed? How do you become the “new creation” that Paul talks about?

While God’s grace is always at work, the exciting thing about the life ahead of you is that YOU are called to be a part of it…to be a part of what God is doing in making you new!

w/ Vern Collins

“New Year Resolution: Saying ‘Yes'” (January 20, 2019)

from Romans 5:1-11, Romans 3:20-26, John 4:1-18

The idea that God’s grace exists for us before we have done anything to earn it, that “Jesus Knows,” and that Jesus seeks us out is comforting. That kind of grace, that prevenient grace begins to get us on the track toward believing something about God’s love for us…but what happens when we are brought face to face with the extend God is willing to go in order bring that grace to work in our lives?

What do we do when the cross forces us to come face to face with our brokenness that necessitated such a sacrifice?

What if we simply started where we are? What if we simply said, “yes?”

w/ Vern Collins

“New Year Resolution: Broken Already (Jesus Knows)” (January 13, 2019)

from Ephesians 1:5-10 and John 4:1-18

Many of us see the turn of the calendar year as an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to make some changes, to improve some things about who we are. We enter a new year with a sense of hope and possibility.

What happens when we fall short of those things we want to see change?

What happens when this seems to be the pattern not only in our resolutions and goals, but more importantly in our walk with Jesus? How do you navigate the feeling of falling short once again? Is there guilt? Shame? Weariness? How does it affect your relationship with God? With others?

How might things begin to look different if you approached those disappointments with the understanding that…Jesus knows…and loves you anyway?

w/ Vern Collins

“Healing Connections: Forgiveness” (October 28, 2018)

from John 8:1-11

Often times we can know that God loves us and calls us to love those around us…to be LIKE JESUS to the world around us.  We can know that God loves us so much that He gave His Son as a payment for our sin.

If we know those things, what keeps us from feeling like we are living the new life that Jesus promises?  Why do we feel “stuck” somewhere between where we were and where God is calling us?  For many of us, it can be boiled down to one word: FORGIVENESS.

Too many of us carry the stones of condemnation or anger or frustration or hurt around, hindering our walk in the freedom of grace that God offers us in Jesus.  Maybe it’s our inability to forgive someone who has hurt us, or maybe it’s our inability to forgive ourselves…regardless, the invitation is to out those stones down and walk in freedom!

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: Nicodemus” (June 3, 2018)

from John 3:1-18

Have you considered what coming face to face with the Good News of the Gospel of Christ might truly mean for your life?

It has the power to shape the way you view your life, understand your purpose.  It has the power to change the way you view others.  It has the power to define who you are.

In this, Pastor David Hockett’s last Sunday with us, he proclaims a powerful, hopeful, and inviting message that is at the core of who we are invited to be as individuals, and who we are called to be as the church.

w/ David Hockett

“Life Together: Confession and Communion” (May 13, 2018)

from Psalm 51:1-17

Paul writes in his letter to the church in Galatia that, “it is for freedom that you have been set free,” and challenges the believers there to no longer be yoked by slavery…and yet, many of us walk around bound by the weight of our failures and our sin.

We bear it to the point that we become experts at hiding it…

But what if freedom is found, not in hiding it…but by being willing to be honest about those times when we miss the mark?

What if in choosing freedom, we are also choosing to look more like the church Jesus imagined?

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: Imagine the Kingdom” (Marcy 4, 2018)

from Luke 17:20-21

We often speak of life with Christ as being a “journey,” but inherent in a journey is that at some point there is an end…a finish line.  What does the finish line with Christ look like?  How do we know when we’ve arrived?

On the 3rd Sunday of Lent, you’re invited to consider what Jesus means when He talks about this Kingdom that is coming or that is near…

Where exactly is this Kingdom breaking in?  Around us…or inside us? And if it’s inside you…imagine what that means for your life!

w/ Vern Collins

“Falling Into Goodness: Live From Your True Self”

from Psalm 42 and Ephesians 3:16-19

What if you longed for God, simply for Who God is, rather than longing for the things God can do for you?

In our second week in Lent, you’re invited to consider how life might begin to look different if you live from your true self, from your true nature as one created to be deeply connected to God.

w/ Vern Collins

“God Is: Compassionate and Just” (January 28, 2018)

from Matthew 18:21-35

week 3 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: 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: Peace” (October 1, 2017)

from John 14:22-31

What keeps you awake at night?  What makes you nervous or anxious?  Is it a relationship, concern for a loved one?  Is it the state of the world right now, or our country?

How do you navigate that anxiety or unrest?  Where do you turn?  Do you just hope to survive it, or are you willing to believe that God is present in it?  Imagine how things might begin to change if you believed that not only was God present in your worry, but offers you peace in the midst of it.

w/ Vern Collins

“Church: Outside the Walls” (September 10, 2017)

from Matthew 28:16-20

In our final week of our “Church” series, we are challenged with the work that the church was tasked with: making disciples.

What if making disciples weren’t the terrifying thing we believe it to be?  What if making disciples wasn’t about forcing something on people?  What if making disciples was not about what you do, but about who you become?  What if making disciples was simply rooted in relationship?

It can be.  And God can do amazing things in and through you simply by a willingness to say, “yes.”

w/ Vern Collins

“They’ll Know We are Christians: Out of Order” (May 14, 2017)

from Luke 7:36-50

Do we have any hope of reclaiming the adage, “They’ll Know We are Christians…by our LOVE?”

Christians are known for a number of things today…is love…the love that Christ offers us, the love that Christ modeled for us, and the love that Christ calls us to one of them?  Or are we known for our hypocrisy?  Are we known for our self-centeredness?  Are we known for our exclusivity, or our neglect of those not like us?

What if the church came to be known as a place for those no one else wanted?  What if all of the, “wrong people,” showed up?  How beautiful it might just become.

But how is that possible?

Only by allowing Jesus to re-order our lives…

w/ Vern Collins

“Easter: Not the End” (April 16, 2017)

from Mark 16:1-8

In each of the Gospels we are given an account of the resurrection of Jesus…that moment, that event which took place on the third morning when Jesus walked out of the tomb.  The event that changed everything.  The hope of the church, and the world hangs on that one event.  The one that says death and sin DO NOT have the final say.

We hear that story each year on Easter morning…hear that hope proclaimed.  But how do you make more than just the retelling of an account of something that happened 2,000 years ago?  How do you, like Peter for example, EXPERIENCE the resurrection…the LIVING HOPE of the resurrection…the hope that affects your life NOW right where you are?

Mark’s Gospel gives us an idea of how we might go from hearing an account to be transformed by this Savior!

w/ Vern Collins

“Life Together: Redeemed” (February 26, 2017)

from 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

The foundation for our call to relationship with others is found in the relationship made possible by God’s willingness to look at our broken relationship with Him and move to make things right.  Not because God had somehow wronged us, but because God is gracious to we who have wronged Him.

We are called to take up the cause of bringing the world around us to reconciliation with God…but in order to do that we have to be willing to step outside of our small worldview and live lives in response to the grace offered by God to us through Jesus.

When we view that sacrifice for what it is and what it accomplished, then our view of the world around us begins to change.

w/ Vern Collins

“Life Together: Loving Well” (February 19, 2017)

from Romans 12

Loving well is not like sleep well.  IF things go smoothly during the night, if there are no worries, if kids don’t wake you up, if there are no nightmares then maybe you will sleep well.

But loving well should not be left up to such chance.  God is not a God of luck, God is a God of intentionality…in the way He loves us and in the way He calls us to love others.

Paul gives us a model for how we are to achieve the kind of love that is a reflection of the relationship from which we were created…the relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It begins with grace.

w/ Vern Collins