Tag Archives: Grace

(November 3, 2019) “Glimpses of Jesus: Inviting”

from Luke 19:1-10

(*including an invitation to the Lord’s Table, and to consider where we might invite someone to a fellowship meal this week. )

If the promise we have in Jesus through the Holy Spirit is that God is present with us always, then why is it that the hope we should have in that truth can seem so fleeting?

For one, we can point to the fact that we live such distracted lives…that’s it not Jesus Who is absent, it is we who are not paying attention.

For these 4 weeks we are going to look at the ways Jesus might be present with us. In knowing how Jesus longs to meet us in our day to day, we might just find that He is not only with us, He is working within us, while at the same time revealing to us the ways we might be a reflection of Who He is in the lives of people around us.

We begin with a familiar story found in Luke’s Gospel that asks us to consider the inviting nature of Jesus!

w/ Vern Collins

(September 29, 2019) “Ambitious Church: Service”

from Matthew 20:20-28

What is your ambition in life? That thing, or those things that you so desire to see happen, that you are willing to work diligently toward making it a reality…

In that pursuit, do you find that your ambition in competition with the ambition of those around you?

What if the lens through which you saw those around you led you not to think, “I need to be better than that person,” but instead led you to have the ambition of serving them in a way that reflects Jesus?

w/ Vern Collins

(September 15, 2019) “Ambitious church: Relationship”

from Colossians 3:1-15

While we were created for relationship…first with God, and then with one another- in the hopes that those relationships would be a reflection of the fullness of Who God is…while this is part of the means by which we experience the full life that Jesus promises us…the reality is that relationships can be the source of some of our greatest challenges and deepest hurt in life.

In Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae, we get a window in to how we might just be able to live in to having healthier and more Christ-reflecting relationships.

w/ Vern Collins

(August 4, 2019)”Testimony of a Believer: The Woman at the Well”

from John 4:1-42

Have you ever considered the possibility that there is something you have in common with every other person in this world? Sure we could talk about our biological make-up, or the fact that we all call this planet home, but have you ever thought of your wounds as being the common ground you share with all other people?

What if the fact that you have been wounded, that perhaps you even still bear some woundedness…what if that were not only your point of connection with people around, but became a catalyst for the story you have to tell of Who God is in the way He has met you in those wounds and the way He has brought healing and wholeness to the places where you needed it most?

w/ Vern Collins

Testimony by Johnny Carson

“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