Tag Archives: Lent

“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 Our Relationships” (March 17, 2019)

from Matthew 5:21-26

We are meant to be a reflection of God for the world around us. One of the things that is true about God is the relationship in which God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, why are relationships one of the most difficult places for us to reflect Who God is? What if we began to allow God to bring healing to the brokenness that exists in our relationships with those around us?

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

“Falling Into Goodness: Follow Jesus” (March 25, 2018-Palm Sunday)

from Matthew 21:1-11

What is the statement you are making with your life?

Is it one of security, or of uneasiness?  Is it a statement of confidence, or are you seeking identity in people and possessions?

Everything we do or say makes a deeper statement about who we are and what we believe…everything we do even makes a statement about Who we believe Jesus to be.

What if this Palm Sunday, you didn’t merely watch Jesus “pass by” on the road into Jerusalem amid shouts of “Hosanna!” but you chose to turn and follow Him?

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: Choose the Humble Path” (March 11, 2018)

from Matthew 5:1-3

As we continue our series through the season of Lent, we are invited to consider one of Jesus’ keys to the kingdom we have been talking about in recent weeks…

Humility.

What if, instead of the way we tend to think of humility, as what we stand to lose by choosing the humble path, we dare to consider that humility is instead about what we might gain?

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

“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

“Disordered Love: Pride” (April 9, 2017)

from Matthew 21:1-11

Pride affects not only our relationships with others, but our relationship with God.  It divides and pits us against the One Who came to meet us at that very point of our weakness…at the point of our need to be at the center…that our lives and our love might become rightly ordered.

w/ Vern Collins

“Disordered Love: Greed” (March 12, 2017)

from Luke 12:13-21

Is enough enough?

It seems like a simple enough question…perhaps even a bit ridiculous, but when you consider what you really need for this life…is enough enough?

On top of that, when you consider what you have been so freely given in the sacrifice of Jesus so that you might have life…what more do you need?

When does abundance become greed?  When does blessing become excess?  In Jesus’ parable in Luke’s Gospel, he challenges our tendency to want to “store away” for a future…a future that God has already secured.

w/ Vern Collins

“Disordered Love: Gluttony” (March 5, 2017)

from Matthew 6:25-33

As we enter the season of Lent, we begin by considering St. Augustine’s idea that one of the marks of a Christ-honoring life is that our love is properly ordered….God first, other, even enemies, as well as self.  While this seems good and right, the truth is, we spend much of our life loving in a way that is disordered…and at the core, the result is sin.

What happens when we love the things of God more than God?  What happens when we use the things God has given us as a substitute for God, or when we turn to those things as a way of escape?  When we worry about having, not just what we need, but what we want…and enough of what we want, then we have allowed our love to disorder our understanding of what is necessary in this life.

What if the goal was not all?  What if the goal was not even enough?  What if the goal was God?  What if rather than covering your weakness with excess, you took this season of Lent to rest in your brokenness and frailty and allowed God to meet you in that place?

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: God’s Symphony” Easter Sunday (March 27, 2016)

from Luke 24:1-12

Whether you’ve grown up in church or not, the story of the Resurrection is at least mildly familiar.  Each year the church looks to an empty tomb and proclaims the Hope that walked out of it…but by the end of the week is the hope still a reality, or have we allowed life to dull the song of salvation and cloud the light of a new dawn?

How is it 2,000 years later the Resurrection might still have the power to transform, the power to call us to life, the power to break the chains that bind us, and the power to send us into the world?

Perhaps it is time, like the first disciples, to allow ourselves to be surprised…maybe even confused by the Resurrection again.  Perhaps it is time to stop stopping short at an empty tomb and look for the One Who walked out of it.

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Worship” (March 20, 2016-Palm Sunday)

from Matthew 21:1-11

It has been said that your doctrine determines your doxology…that is, what you believe about God or Who you believe God to be dictates your worship of God.  While there is truth to this, it places an awful lot of ownership on you to keep God at the center of your life in order that your worship might flow in the direction it needs to.

Perhaps worship is not only meant to be a response, but a means of focusing our attention and affection on God, that God might continue to reveal Himself to us through His Son Jesus.

What if worship weren’t just your response, but it also dictated the direction of your focus?

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Generosity” (March 13, 2016)

from 1 John 3:16-18

Ad campaigns that promise more with the purchase of a product only to leave us wanting more, political campaigns that promise something new is coming only to see things remain the same.

In a world full of empty promises talk has become cheap.

Has the Good News of the Gospel of Christ and the hope of new life found in Him suffered the same fate?  Has the claim lost its power?  Has the promise been diluted to simply another option for a different kind of life?

You have something to say about it.  The church has something to say about it.  A life lived poured out on behalf of the world around it points to something worth living for and invites the world to encounter Jesus…the hope of something new.

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Scripture” (March 6, 2016)

from Matthew 4:1-4 and 2 Timothy 3:10-17

You know the saying, “You are what you eat.”  The idea being, what you eat affects your health and your life in general.

In Jesus’ temptation to turn stones to bread, He responds by saying that it is not bread alone that we need to survive…rather it is God’s Word that truly sustains us and gives us life…the question is, are we consuming God’s Word the way Jesus suggests?

Imagine what might change in your life if God’s voice began to overpower the voices that tend to vie for your attention…

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Prayer” (February 28, 2016)

from Matthew 6:5-15

While prayer is one of the highest and holiest works to which we can strive, it is at the same time so simple a child can do it.

And yet it can be one of the most frustrating aspects of our journey with Christ.  We know it is something we should do, we know it is vital to our growth, our connection with God and with this world…but why is it so frustrating?  Why does it seem so difficult?

Jesus invites us, right where we are, into a deeper connection with the Lord…His concern is less with how we pray and more about what God is able to do in our hearts when we do.

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Fasting” (February 21, 2016)

from Matthew 6:16-18

In God’s economy things tend to work backwards.  Things seem counterintuitive to the way the world works…which is probably exactly why we need to consider it!

In week 2 of our series we consider how emptying yourself might just be the thing that allows you to be filled.

w/ Jeff McClain