Tag Archives: Transformation

“The Power of the Spirit to…” (Pentecost Sunday June 9, 2019)

from Acts 2

We tend to land in one of two places when it comes to the Holy Spirit…either you crave the “signs and wonders,” above other expressions of the move of God, or the idea of a Holy Spirit that is present and active just plain makes you nervous.

Acts 2 offers us, perhaps a new understanding of just what the role and work of the Spirit of God is in this world, and how we might be a part of that work by creating space for the Holy Spirit to move.

w/ Vern Collins

“Encounters With Jesus: Damascus Road (In the Redirecting)” (May 26, 2019)

from Acts 9:1-20

The final resurrection encounter we look at as we wrap up this series is perhaps one of the most well known in all of the New Testament. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the world has been impacted with the Gospel over thousands of years in large part of the encounter that this one man had with Jesus.

Not only is this encounter so well known, but it challenges us in ways that many of us need to be challenged…it forces us to wrestle with the question in our own lives: “Am I living life WITH God…or am I living life FOR God?”

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

“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

“God Is: Already and Not Yet” (February 4, 2018)

from Revelation 21:1-7

Many of us have a difficult time waiting…for anything.  In this world of immediacy, we have grown impatient and feel like waiting is a waste of time…

And yet, for far too many followers of Christ, faith is little more than waiting for some promise that is going to come at the end, when the reality is that promise of a future hope is meant to have bearing on the “already,” that is the life you are living right now.

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: Love” (September 17, 2017)

from Galatians 5:1, 13-25

This week begins an 8 week series looking at the Fruit of the Spirit Paul points to in his letter to the church in Galatia.

Living in the freedom that Christ offers is meant to look like something…the question is, are you living free or are you bound by things that have taken control in your life.  To live freely means that God is able to bring things from you that are produced by the Life that is in you…imagine how different things could be!

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

“Pray Like Jesus: Our Father” (January 1, 2017)

from Matthew 6:7-9

If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated by prayer, if the mystery that surrounds prayer, the fact that it seems like prayers too often go unanswered or aren’t answered the way you’d like…if you’re not even sure what or how to pray most of the time, then you’re in good company.  Even the Apostle Paul wrote that when we don’t know how to pray or what to pray, the Holy Spirit would be faithful to lead us.

That’s good news, but many of still feel unsure as to where or how we begin.

Jesus’ disciples longed for more in their prayer life too, and so they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11).  While Jesus didn’t answer every question they asked, or respond to everything they desired to see happen, He felt this request important enough to respond to…and so He gave them what we have come to call, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

As we work through this series, beginning with “Our Father,” may your heart for prayer be rekindled, may you encounter the power that are in these words, and may you be transformed.

w/ Vern Collins

“Paul: Driven by the Gospel” (May 29, 2016)

from Romans 1:1-17

What drives you?  That question is best answered with the question, “what day is it?”  Simply put-what drives us is often determined by the season in life, the predicament, or the circumstance in which we find ourselves. It is determined by the life we seek for ourselves or the goals we have in front of us.

What if all of those things were filtered through a central driving force?  What if your life were driven by the Gospel of Christ?  What if it informed and determined everything else that drives you?

Week 2 in our series on Paul considers a life “set apart for the Gospel of Christ.”

w/ Vern Collins

“New Life: Things Have Changed” (April 10, 2016)

from Luke 24:36-53

Paul promises in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians that if anyone is in Christ then they are a new creation…he goes on to say that the old has gone and the new has come (from 2nd Corinthians 5).

That is quite a promise for those desperate for change.  It is a promise that is full of hope that things don’t have to continue to be as they are…that the struggles we currently have we might just be able to lay down, right?  Well, yes…sort of.

What if the change that is promised does not have anything to do with your circumstances, but you within them…or your perspective about them?

We tend to get frustrated when we don’t see the change we long for as followers of Christ, but perhaps we are looking for change in the wrong place.

What if the reality were you were just  few adjustments away from experiencing the change you long for in Jesus…change that sets you loose on this world as one who can shape it for God’s Kingdom?

Things change when things have changed.

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

“Revelation: Worship” (Christmas Eve 2015 6:00pm service)

from Luke 2:1-20

Order.  We spend a great deal of time and energy in our lives seeking to achieve and maintain some sort of order.  And yet, all it takes is a phone call, a meeting at work, a notice in the mail, a visit to the doctor to realize that at any given moment we are a breath away from chaos breaking in and disrupting our safe, calculated lives.

The good news is, as a census was being taken in the Roman Empire…as order was being set…Jesus was entering the world…not in the midst of order, but on the fringe of it…on the edge of chaos.

In unexpected ways to unlikely people the birth of Jesus and news of His birth came…with a proclamation that through Christ, God is coming to make peace in the midst of the chaos…

w/ Vern Collins

“Expectations: Things Will Change” (December 6, 2015)

from Zephaniah 3:14-20/Luke 1:46-55

Advent is about expectation…the expectation that God will continue to fulfill His promises.  And if God is still fulfilling His promises then isn’t God still acting…and if God is acting, then things will change?  Right?

Right.  The problem is we don’t often see it.  We look for change in our lives, but don’t see it, we expect our circumstances to improve, but aren’t seeing any thing different…so if God is acting, why aren’t things changing?  The question, perhaps, is not whether or not things are changing, but, “are you looking for change in the right place?”

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