Tag Archives: Jesus

“Encountering Jesus: On the Beach (in the Ordinary)” (May 19, 2019)

from John 21:1-17

Have you ever stopped to consider how our entertainment, experience, pursuit-of-satisfaction driven culture affects our expectations of what encountering the Lord ought to look like…ought to feel like?

While there are certainly times when an encounter with God evokes a physical and emotional response…while there are times when those encounters are fantastical…what about those times seeks to encounter us in the ordinary…in the familiar?

What if you began to look for God in the familiar? In the every day? Imagine how things might begin to be different…how different following Jesus might begin to look.

w/ Vern Collins

“Encountering Jesus: Behind Locked Doors” (May 12, 2019)

from John 20:24-29

Have you ever considered what the “locked doors” in your life might be when it comes to encountering Jesus? What are those things (either of your own making or as a result of your circumstances) that feel like a barrier between you and God? Those things that keep you from experiencing the power of the resurrection?

Have you ever considered that Jesus is willing to walk right in to that space…right in to your fear and your doubt and your disappointment…and once again, offer all of Who He is to you?

What if that were true? What if there was no amount of hiding that could keep Jesus away? Imagine the possibility.

w/ Vern Collins

“Encountering Jesus: On The Journey” (April 28, 2019)

from Luke 24:13-35

Without encounters with the Risen Christ, the empty tomb would be nothing more than the place where Jesus WAS…instead, as Luke and the other Gospel writers attest and as the early church bore witness to…the reality was Jesus was on the loose!

Does it feel that way in your life? Is Jesus on the loose, free to shake things up, free to redirect, free to reorient, and inspire, and challenge, and love, and meet you where you are…? Or has Jesus simply gone missing?

As we begin our new series, “Encountering Jesus,” we invite you open yourself up to the places that Jesus might just be showing up in your life…the place where He might already be at work.

w/ Vern Collins

“Resurrection Repair” (April 21, 2019) Easter Sunday

from Luke 24:1-12

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

So often we think of what the Cross of Christ means we are saved FROM, but how often do you consider the empty tomb of Christ and ask the question, “what am I saved FOR?”

Why do we look for life in dead places? What if the resurrection isn’t just something that happened 2,000 years ago…what if the resurrection can happen in your life NOW?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our View of God” (April 14, 2019)-Palm Sunday

from Mark 11:1-10

We spend a great deal of energy in our lives managing our expectations of the people around us. Whether your spouse, your children, a roommate, a significant other, or co-worker, or someone in leadership…there are expectations we place on people. Consider what happens, though, when those expectations aren’t met…we are left to adjust…to manage what we thought ought to be expected.

Have you ever considered that perhaps you do the same thing with God? There might be things you want from God, or things you expect God should do on your behalf? What happens when God doesn’t answer prayer the way you want, or when it feels like God isn’t coming through the way you hoped? What if the problem isn’t so much in Who God is, but who you expect God to be for you?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our View of Money” (April 7, 2019)

from Luke 12:13-21

We have a tendency to equate things like security, peace, worth, and identity with the accumulation of money or possessions. Or even more simply, maybe there’s just this one thing you feel like you have to have, and if you can somehow have that thing…

The question you must wrestle with is: While more wealth or more square footage or more possessions might change your circumstances, will they transform your heart?

We have from the beginning felt the tension of feeling like we need more…but what is it we really need more OF?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our Time”

from Luke 21:25-36

If you knew how something would end, would it change the way you give yourself to being a part of it?

While, we might tend to think of such a question as it relates to a business opportunity, saying yes to a relationship, or a financial decision and the potential risks or rewards associated with any of the above…what if instead of decisions that are made based on how we think life should go, we make those decisions based on how the story of God at work in this world ends?

One of the ways we see sin create brokenness in our lives is in the way we view and use time. We worry that there isn’t enough. We waste the time we have. We don’t honor the time of others.

What if we stopped being so short-sighted and started taking a long view of the way we see God’s time and timing? What if that could change the way we live right now with the time we have?

w/ Luke Edwards

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our View of Others” (March 24, 2019)

from Ephesians 2:11-22

By nature we have a tendency to form teams. We gravitate to or surround ourselves with people who share things like our ideals, our values, and our view of morality. While this is not inherently wrong, what happens when our forming teams becomes choosing sides and choosing sides sets us at odds with those who aren’t like us or don’t agree with us…those who are outside of our circle? When this happens in the church, how does the way we treat those who are “outside” have any hope of looking like the Gospel?

What if God is calling you into relationship with those not like you so that God can work in you…and God can work in those relationships?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Self” (March 10, 2019)

from Isaiah 30:8-18

As we begin this season of Lent and our new series, “Broken,” you are invited to come to terms with, to name the brokenness in your life. Sin is the great equalizer…not of are exempt from its effects, and yet in Christ we find that not only does God know something about our brokenness, but is willing to enter in to it.

Over the next several weeks we are going to consider how our sin creates brokenness in different areas of our lives…beginning with how it affects your relationship with God. While you are being invited to come to terms with your brokenness, know that God longs to bring healing…that God longs to and promises to take that which is broken and redeem it, turning it into something beautiful.

w/ Vern Collins

“Sent” (March 3, 2019)

from John 20:19-22

From hearing from some of our missionaries, to a powerful message on Jesus’ commission of His disciples from John’s Gospel, to an important invitation following our denomination’s called General Conference vote, this is a powerful Sunday.

Even in the midst of our every day, busy, running from here to there lives…even in the midst of our doubt and our hurt and our own woundedness, we are invited to remember that Jesus not only walks into that with us, but calls us to follow Him in becoming partners in His work of healing brokenness and redeeming this world.

w/ Laura Byrch, Mason Heistand, Caitlin McVay, and Vern Collins

“Belonging: Offering Accepted” (February 17, 2019)

from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

It is difficult to feel a sense of belonging when you don’t feel like you have anything to contribute to thing to which you have given yourself to belong. Even for those who would just as soon fly under the radar and are content with doing next to nothing, eventually the chasm of disconnect created is too much to navigate, and you are left feeling like there is no place for you.

In God’s Kingdom, in the Body of Christ…in the church, no gift offered is too small. In fact, Paul suggests that those who feel the least significant are perhaps the greatest gift to the church, and to what the church is called to be in this world.

What if your belonging included your willingness to use the gifts God has given you…no matter how small they may seem…to use the gifts God has given you in and through the church to transform the world?

w/ Vern Collins

“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: 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

“Losing Jesus” (December 30, 2018)

from Luke 2:41-52

While we might give Mary and Jospeh a hard time for losing track of young Jesus…we must deal with the question, “when have you taken your eyes off of Jesus…when have you lost sight of Jesus in your life?”

w/ Vern Collins

“Manger and Mystery: Recovering the Stable” (December 2, 2018) w/ Vern Collins

First Sunday in Advent

from Isaiah 9:1-7

As we begin the season of Advent, the march toward Christmas we must acknowledge that there is much that is familiar about this time of year.  There are traditions we uphold, customs, gatherings that happen every year, people we expect to see, even food we expect to eat…it is part of what makes this time of year so special…being able to enjoy things that we don’t always get to.

What if in the familiar, we have lost sight of that which is foundational to our reason for celebrating?  Has the birth of Christ simply become for us another familiar tradition rather then the foundation of our hope and the expectation of our future?

w/ Vern Collins

“What Kind of King?” (November 25, 2018)

from John 18:33-37

Who or what are the little kings you have set up on the thrones of your life to serve and protect the kingdoms of your desires, your pursuits, your opinions, your comfort or your convenience?  How are those little kings serving you?  Have they proven weak yet?

What happens when your little kings and kingdoms begin to collide with the kings and kingdoms of those around you?  We tend to live in this perpetual state of conflict with the world around us and feelings of being unfulfilled with our own life.  Surely this can’t be all that Jesus had in mind.

What if instead of fighting against the reign of Christ in your life, you lived a life submitted to Jesus as King.  What if by losing yourself you found what life is meant to be?

w/ Vern Collins

“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

“A Stewardship Journey: Most Important” (November 4, 2018)

from Mark 12:28-34

What does stewardship mean to you?  Often times we cringe at those words in church…here comes the ask, right?  More money.  More time.  More serving.

What if stewardship weren’t about what you GIVE, but about Who you understand God to be, and how you lived your life in response to that?

As we start this series inviting you to consider a new way of thinking about stewardship, what if you thought about the journey of stewardship as a journey?  When starting a journey, what is most important to have…in order to sustain a journey…what is most important to have?

w/ Vern Collins