Tag Archives: Hope

(May 3, 2020) “Stronger: Remember Who You Are”

from Philippians 3:1-14

While seasons of struggle are challenging for a number of reasons, perhaps the thing that makes them most uncomfortable, most unnerving…the thing that makes us want to be on the other side of those challenges, is that they challenge our understanding of who we are in ways that we are often unprepared for.

What if instead of fearing what is revealed about our identity in those difficult seasons, we saw it as an opportunity to examine that upon which we have built our lives? What if we saw it as an opportunity to consider that the fullness of life can only truly be found in Jesus?

w/ Vern Collins and Jeff McClain

(4.26.2020) “Stronger:Thriving in the Midst of Change”

from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Isaiah 43:1-3, 18-19, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

How might you walk through seasons of challenge differently if you knew that you were not alone? How might you do so if you knew that God was with you? What if the challenge of this season is not meant for discouragement, but for hope…hope that God is not done with you…hope that God is doing a new thing?!

May you fix your eyes in Him in this season of challenge.

w/ Lory Beth Huffman and Laura Byrch

(April 19, 2020) “Stronger Through the Struggle”

from 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 and 1 Corinthians 9:34-27

While we have this tendency to try to avoid struggle…to avoid suffering at all costs, one of the things that we see consistently in Scripture is that God not only meets us in our place of struggle, but God is able to use our struggle to not only do amazing things IN us, but also amazing things THROUGH us.

As we begin this 6 week series between Easter and Lent, consider we invite you to imagine what God might be able to do if you are willing to be honest about your weakness and create space for Him to meet you there.

w/ Vern Collins and Jeff McClain

(April 12, 2020 Easter) “Trusting God’s Resurrection”

from Matthew 28:1-10

The story of Jesus’ resurrection is familiar to so many, but if we allow the story to become to familiar, we run the risk of no longer expecting that we can be surprised by Jesus…we run the risk of losing sight of the fact that Jesus might just be showing up right where we are.

May the hope of the resurrection meet you in a very real way this Easter season.

w/ Lory Beth Huffman and Vern Collins

(April 5, 2020) “Trusting God’s Plan”

from Matthew’s Gospel account of the final week of Jesus’ life as well as a look at Matthew 26:36-46

For Palm Sunday we listen to the last week of Jesus’ life told from beginning to end and close with a brief message looking at Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. What might we learn from Jesus’ vulnerability? What might it tell us about Jesus? How might it draw us in to Holy Week?

w/ Vern Collins (message) and Lory Beth Huffman, Jeff McClain, Laura Byrch, and Ben Fitzgerald (readers)

(March 29, 2020) “Trusting God’s Way”

from Matthew 4:1-11

In a time of testing, what is the way you choose to cope…to be comfortable…to get through to the other side of the testing? Is it the path that seems easier, or is it the way God would have you walk in order that you might experience more of Who He is in your life?

w/ Vern Collins and Lory Beth Huffman

(March 22, 2020) “Trusting God’s Silence”

from Psalm 89:38-52 and Jeremiah 29:1-14

There is a difference between seeking to discern God’s voice in your life, and feeling like God has gone silent.

Silence from God, if we’re not careful, can affect our relationship with God in incredibly difficult ways. We might begin to question God’s love for us, we might begin to question God’s faithfulness, or whether or not God even cares what we are walking through. Too often, these feelings or questions, left un death with, can lead us to no longer seeking God…

And yet, what we find in our passages from Psalm 89 and Jeremiah 29, are both the permission to be honest with God about how His silence hits us, and direction from God in the midst of those seasons of unknown.

May we approach Him with boldness, and dig in deeply in the place where He has us.

w/ Vern Collins, Jeff McClain, and Ben Fitzgerald

(March 8, 2020) “Trusting God’s Provision”

from Genesis 22:1-19

Sometimes it seems that one of the most difficult areas in which to trust God, is in whether or not we will be provided for. If I surrender my life to him, will I truly have all I need? Will I have the kind of income I want, the kind of house I want…what about relationship? So often, when we think of provision, we find our thoughts wrapped up in material possessions, but what if what God promises to provide goes deeper than the material?

Can we truly trust that God will provide all that we need? What if the trials and the challenges in our lack, is not God ignoring our plea, what if it is God teaching us to walk in faith?

w/ Vern Collins

(February 23, 2020) “God’s Healing Touch”

from James 5:13-16, Psalm 103:1-5

At any given point in our lives, we feel the brokenness of this world in which we live…a brokenness that not only affects the world around us, but affects us as well. Some of our brokenness is easily seen, other wounds we keep hidden, but whatever the case, God longs to bring healing and wholeness.

What if you took your longing for healing before the Lord, and trusted His healing touch? What if you could walk in wholeness?

w/ Vern Collins

(January 12, 2020) “A Simple Message”

from Matthew 3:1-12

The call to repent is at the heart of the Gospel invitation…and yet, for so many it has left a bad taste in the mouth of those who hear it. What we stopped hearing the call to repent at the end of a pointing finger, and instead heard it as a hope-filled invitation to something new?

John’s is a simple message full of opportunity.

Perhaps you might hear it again for the first time…

w/ Vern Collins

(December 15, 2019) “Looking for Light: Walking in the Light”

3rd Sunday of Advent

from Titus 2:11-14

“If only I had __________, then my life would be different.”

How would you fill in that blank? The things we hope for are often the things that shape our lives…how we spend our time and energy, how we spend our resources, the things we pursue…and so often, those are the same things that leave us frustrated.

What might be different if we had something to hope in that was more than just a fleeting desire. What if our hope could be rooted in something eternal, something that would transform us…SOMEONE Who came to find us? Imagine how life could change if we lived life built on the foundation of hope made possible by Jesus.

w/ Vern Collins

(December 8, 2019) “Looking for Light: Jesus is the Light”

2nd Sunday of Advent

from Isaiah 9:1-7

After establishing the relationship we tend to have with darkness…that is, that we long to see it done away with in the world around us and yet at times, learn to make friends with it within us…once we come to terms with the darkness we must allow ourselves to ask, “Who is this One Who was born into the darkness?”

In his first letter, when speaking about God, John says, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:6) How is it that the One in Whom there is no darkness, would willingly enter into the darkness of this world…into our darkness?

Isaiah paints a picture for us of the manner in which Jesus comes…one that is inviting, one that is meek, yet powerful; King, yet humble. What if the power of this Light to dispel darkness is wrapped up in the manner in which this Light comes?

w/ Vern Collins

(December 1, 2019) “Looking for Light: The World Jesus is Born Into”

1st Sunday of Advent

from Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 and John 3:19-20

Advent is meant to be a season of hope. Hope that God has not left us alone. Hope that things can change. Hope that this is not all there is…

Throughout Scripture the work of God, the presence of God, the coming of Christ are all associated with Light. We mark the season of Advent with the lighting of candles to remind us of this Light that has come and is coming…but can we truly appreciate this Light unless we are willing to understand the darkness into which it has dawned?

w/ Vern Collins

(November 24, 2019) “Glimpses of Jesus: Running”

from Luke 15:11-32

What is your understanding of God’s love for you? Is it something you simply know about, or is it something you have experienced for yourself?

In this story Jesus tells in Luke’s Gospel, our understanding of the love of God our Father might just be challenged…in life-changing ways…regardless of where you find yourself in relation to Him right now.

What if you knew God was calling you home to Him? What if you knew God was running toward you in the Person of Jesus? What if you allowed yourself to experience that embrace? What about your life might just change?

w/ Vern Collins

(November 17, 2019) “Glimpses of Jesus: Healing”

from Mark 5:21-43

In this week’s glimpse of Jesus, we find two similar yet very different encounters with Jesus. Both people who come to Jesus are seeking healing, and both experience healing in very different ways.

Perhaps you have longed to see healing in your life or in the life of someone you love. Perhaps you have sought God for that, praying that healing would indeed come. Maybe it did…maybe God answered those prayers in the way you hoped…praise God for that.

But what if it didn’t? What if healing didn’t come in the way you hoped for or expected? Is it possible that Jesus is working to bring healing in your life in places deeper than an injury or an illness? Is it possible that Jesus wants to heal completely…even if it means you may still bear the pain of injury or illness?

What if you sought that kind of healing? What if you trusted Jesus enough to heal in the way you or those you love need most?

w/ Lory Beth Huffman

(November 10, 2019) “glimpses of Jesus: Calming”

from Mark 4:35-41

That there will be challenges in life is unavoidable. The question becomes not, “what if?” but “when?” When you find yourself faced with one of life’s storms, something that is out of your control…where do you turn? Do you seek the expertise of others? Do you rely on your own wisdom or ability or pure determination to weather the storm? Or might you be willing to turn to the One Who is Lord over the storm?

The One Who is in the midst of the storm with you!

What if God doesn’t just have in mind to rescue you FROM the storm, but to deliver you THROUGH the storm? How might your faith…how might your life be transformed as a result?

Who would you know God to be on the other side?

w/ Vern Collins

(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

“Letters to the Church: In Laodicean-The Lukewarm Church” (July 21, 2019)

from Revelation 3:14-21

In the final week of our “Letters to the Church” series, we look at Jesus’ letter to the church in Laodicea. While it is the harshest in its assessment of the church, it is also one of the most hopeful.

How might your life begin to look different if every desire and passion you had was ordered by an overriding passion for Jesus? How might the church begin to look different?

w/ Vern Collins