Tag Archives: Life

Easter “Hope Beyond Fridays” (April 1, 2018)

from John 20:1-18

We have a great tendency to hope for things that will not last.  Sure, like the end of the week, they may bring relief or rest for a brief period of time, but ultimately they are as fleeting as Fridays.

What if, instead of hoping for temporary newness, and the wrong kind of resurrection…you dare to believe that Jesus brings lasting hope and a new life that will not spoil or fade?

Imagine the possibility.

Jesus is RISEN!

w/ Vern Collins

“Life Giving Rhythms” (April 23, 2017)

from Daniel 6:10

What if rather than working in order to be able to rest, you began resting in order to work?  For many of us that would be a seismic shift in our way of life…and yet, not only is it not outside the realm of possibility, it is actually the rhythm you were CREATED for.

A rhythm in relationship with Jesus that feeds your soul, changes your heart for others, and transforms your perspective on those things God has placed before you to do.

From Daniel’s life, guest preacher, Reverend Ken Shigematsu invites us into a rhythm of relationship with Jesus that doesn’t feel burdensome, rather it actually lifts us and supports us in the things we are navigating day in and day out in this life.

w/ Reverend Ken Shigematsu

“As For You: Grace” (October 2, 2016)

from Ephesians 2:1-10

We have somehow allowed the life of a Christ follower to be boiled down to doing more of the right things and less of the wrong things in hopes of looking like one is at least moderately connected to Jesus.  We make plans and ask God to bless them, and we go on living our lives keeping Jesus just close enough so that He is accessible in times of trouble.

What if, life were less about what you can get out of it and what you can accomplish and more about embracing the weight of the grace by which our small lives were saved?  Then perhaps it would be less about achieving your 5 year plan and more about realizing you have something to live for no matter where you land.

w/ Vern Collins

“You Asked For It: How Do I Deal With Fear?” (September 4, 2016)

from 1 John 4:7-21

There is plenty to be afraid of in our world today…perhaps it is the headlines recounting terrorist attacks, or it is racially driven hate crimes in our own communities…regardless, it seems that the world is more on edge than ever before.

And if those aren’t the things you are afraid of, then perhaps it’s the recent report from a doctor visit or worry about the future, or concern over the lives of your children…or maybe you’re just afraid of spiders…

While fear is not always a bad thing (it can keep us safe in some instances), at times it can feel crippling, and yet we are told in John’s letter that perfect love drives out fear.  This can feel like a trite Christian pat on the back that doesn’t really address what you may be dealing with.

What if John is not saying, DON’T have fear, instead suggesting that once you come face to face with the depths of God’s love for you, there is simply no longer room for fear to take up residence in your life?  Perhaps your outlook would change, and your desire for others to know the same freedom would move you to share that love with those around you…

w/ Vern Collins

“New Life: Fragile” (April 17, 2016)

from John 15:1-11

A mark of maturity is independence.  Whether it is making decisions on your own, setting your own curfew, paying rent, buying a car, owning a home, attaining a job, trying something new, or starting a career, the ability to think, act, care for oneself shows independence…which translates to this world as a sign of maturity.

The problem comes when that thinking or that value system begins to affect our understanding of life with Jesus.  No matter how much we accomplish, we are all fragile people living fragile lives.

What if, your maturity in Christ weren’t about exercising your independence, but becoming more deeply dependent on Jesus?  In John 15, Jesus calls that, “remaining,” or, “abiding,” in Him.

What would it look like for you to embrace your fragility, rather than try and cover it up with all that you are chasing or accomplishing?

w/ Vern Collins

“Foundations: Connect” (November 8, 2015)

from John 15:1-17

How is it that we’ve boiled Christianity, that is, what it means to be a follower of Jesus, down to NOT doing the things we shouldn’t do, and being sure to do the things we should?

The invitation of Jesus is to life…a full life to be more specific.  Yet, we have somehow bought in to this idea that life with Christ is little more than behavior modification.

In this week’s foundation of Connecting, we consider that what we DO for God is simply not as important as how we are WITH God through our connection in our relationship with Jesus.  Perhaps the fruit, or what we “do” comes as a byproduct of abiding in Christ as He calls us to do in John 15.  Not only in relationship with Jesus, but in relationship with one another do we find that God is able to bear fruit in and through our lives that is beautiful in His sight.

Rather than focusing on, “doing and achieving,” what if your focus became, “abiding, and being?”

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Life”

from 1 Timothy 6:11-19

Time, Relationships, Headlines, Money…these are just SOME of the things in life that overwhelm us.  For the past four weeks, we’ve considered what it looks like to navigate those times when you feel overwhelmed by one or any number of these things.

What if the key was not just to navigate the overwhelming things, what if the goal was not just to get through them…what if the goal was to live an overwhelmed life?

A life overwhelmed by the reality of the goodness, and faithfulness, and love of God…present right in the midst of the rest that you are carrying.

Perhaps then you would find as Paul says, “the life that is truly life.”

w/ Vern Collins

“Dreamers: Dreams Deferred” (September 13, 2015)

from Deuteronomy 34:1-12

How do you deal with disappointment?  Do you dwell on it, or move past it?  Does it make you angry or do you numb yourself to it just to keep functioning?  You’ve worked toward something, planned for something, dreamt for a long time of doing something…only to be let down?  How do you deal with the disappointment?
What about when it seems to be God Who is the One leaving you disappointed?  What happens when it is God Who is the reason for your dreams being dashed or deferred?
Rather than allowing it to shake the foundation of your faith, what if you took a bigger view of your life…and a bigger view of the work that God can do in and through it?
w/ Vern Collins

“Transitions: Bread for the Journey” (August 2, 2015)

from John 6:24-35

The journey through this life is full of transitions…transition between jobs, transition in relationship, transition in faith, transition in family, transition in seasons of life…we’ve talked about what it means to navigate those transitions, but the questions remains: what anchors you in those transitions?  Do you have what you need for the journey?
In our passage this morning from John’s Gospel, we find Jesus promising a bread that will last…what is this meal He is offering?  Is it still available today?  If so, where do we find it, and how could it be so lasting?
Come to the Table, and see…
w/ Vern Collins

“Transitions: Rooted and Sent” (July 26, 2015)

from Ephesians 3:14-21

For many the idea of committing one’s life to Christ is committing to a life full of rule-following and void of freedom.  In Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus, he prays that they would be rooted and established…but he is not praying that they would be rooted and established in RULES, rather in LOVE.
Perhaps it is not about a loss of freedom that Paul is after for followers of Christ, but that they may know what freedom truly is.  A freedom from fitting the mold the world tries to force you in to, so that you are open to inviting the world into a life grounded in the One Thing that doesn’t change.  God’s love for humanity and His desire that they may know the fullness of life only found in Him.
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: Who Are We to Withhold Water?” (May 24, 2015)

from Acts 10:44-48

In our final week of our “Questions” series, we wrestle with perhaps one of the most piercing questions yet.
Have you experienced the love of God?  Do you share it with others, or do you find yourself being choosey with whom you decide to share it?  Have you experienced the grace of God?  Do you freely offer grace to both your friends and your enemies?  Have you experienced new life in Christ?  Do you share that new life with the world around you, or is it something you keep to yourself?
In this week’s passage, we find in Peter a willingness to trust the end without seeing it, a willingness to go to the fringes, and a willingness to offer the hope of Christ to the most unlikely people…
Are you willing to do the same?
w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: What Will it Profit?” (May 3, 2015)

from Mark 8:31-38

What does a new perspective of Jesus mean for any who seek Him?  It means a deeper understanding of why He came and what life with Him is meant to be.
In this week’s passage, the Disciples come face to face with some shocking news that means everything for them is about to change…perhaps more should change for us as well.
Is the life you are pursuing with Christ truly a life WITH Him, or is it a life that seeks only to fit Him in to the places that are safe…the places in your life where He will do the least amount of damage?
Jesus is calling you to more.
w/ Vern Collins