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Dec 1, 2019
Place of Promise
Series: Bethlehem
Promises are powerful. They provide a sense of assurance when circumstances tempt us to worry. Promises provide hope when all around screams despair. The story of Bethlehem is a story of God's promise of redemption, reconciliation, home-coming, God's "Welcome home!" Have you tasted this deep, full, welcoming-home-love? Believing in God is one thing. Believing that God is at work for good is one thing. Experiencing the rich depth of God's love and acceptance is much different. It is life healing and life transforming. Bethlehem is a place of promise. A promise worth waiting for. A promise worth pursuing.
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  • Dec 1, 2019Place of Promise
    Dec 1, 2019
    Place of Promise
    Series: Bethlehem
    Promises are powerful. They provide a sense of assurance when circumstances tempt us to worry. Promises provide hope when all around screams despair. The story of Bethlehem is a story of God's promise of redemption, reconciliation, home-coming, God's "Welcome home!" Have you tasted this deep, full, welcoming-home-love? Believing in God is one thing. Believing that God is at work for good is one thing. Experiencing the rich depth of God's love and acceptance is much different. It is life healing and life transforming. Bethlehem is a place of promise. A promise worth waiting for. A promise worth pursuing.
  • Nov 24, 2019The Means of Grace
    Nov 24, 2019
    The Means of Grace
    Series: Transformed
  • Nov 17, 2019Companions
    Nov 17, 2019
    Companions
    Series: Transformed
    "One another" used throughout the NT is a call to a new community...the People of God. Our relationship and walk with Jesus is not intended to be a solitary one. We are to live in a thriving community marked by welcome, honor/valuing, forgiveness, compassion, encouragement, confession and healing. Such a community provides essential and rich soil in which our lives can be transformed.
  • Nov 10, 2019Intentionality
    Nov 10, 2019
    Intentionality
    Series: Transformed
    Intentionality. That's the word that describes the pathway to abiding with Jesus. Which means, abiding doesn't just happen on a wish or whim. God doesn't just drop abiding in our laps. No, intentionality, which means longing, looking, hoping expectantly, desiring relationship with Christ. And here is the question, "Do we/you long for deepening relationship with Jesus? Do we/you long to move in deeper into the chambers of God's love?" Intentionality requires the creation of pregnant space in our lives. Pregnant space is the expanding space amidst our schedules where we intentionally align ourselves with Jesus in ways that allow Jesus-life to be conceived, develop and be birthed within us. When this is happening, our lives, our character, our thinking, our priorities shift. They are transformed and we look and sound and smell (fragrance) more like Jesus. Darkness is pushed out, the light of God's Kingdom comes and others are blessed. May we pray, "Your Kingdom come, your will be done in my life today as it is in heaven. Amen."
  • Nov 3, 2019In The Zone–Guest Speaker Scott Scheuler
    Nov 3, 2019
    In The Zone–Guest Speaker Scott Scheuler
  • Oct 27, 2019Transforming
    Oct 27, 2019
    Transforming
    God desires to transform our lives, to fashion us in his image...a holy character. Holiness is not sour and dour. Holiness can be filled with laughter and dance. Holiness is the good, the fullness of life God created each person to live into and out of. When holiness begins to define our character others are blessed. They see and experience the high quality goodness within God's people. As this holy goodness spills over and blesses others, they are drawn to God's people and to the God who is forming us in his image.
    So how is holiness formed in me? John 15:4,5 calls us to ABIDE, to rest and remain in Jesus. Abiding is the cultivation of a love relationship, to experience Jesus' lavish love for us and to allow that love to form a fullness of devotion to Jesus as the very epicenter of our lives and relationships.
    The simple question on Sunday was, "Do you love Jesus?" Invite the Holy Spirit to form a deepening hunger for more of Jesus, for deeper love and devotion. This is the work of the Holy Spirit within a Jesus-follower's life. May you ABIDE in his presence and love this week.
  • Oct 20, 2019Holy
    Oct 20, 2019
    Holy
    "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, early in the morning our song will rise to Thee." This beautiful hymn is made more beautiful when we understand that God's holiness/purity is beautifully expressed in his Agape/love which desires the best for us and God's Pathos/wrath which directed against anything that harms or hinders us from becoming all that God has created us to be. We were asked to chew on this question: If God's love were to "burn" or "consume" something out of your life that is holding you back, what would it be?
  • Oct 6, 2019Love
    Oct 6, 2019
    Love
     On Sunday we reflected on the story of the prodigal son. 3 quick take-aways to shape our thinking and living in relationship with God, ourselves and others: 1. God welcomes sinners...just think about that and marvel! 2. God is the prodigal. The word means extravagantly excessive and that's exactly how the father responds to the younger son who has made his way home. 3. I am the older brother. Many of us "stayed home" in regards to God. We lived the churchy life, and that's great. But the older son, the good boy if you will, viewed himself as a servant and not a son. He had done his duty as a servant but did not experience the joy of being loved and welcomed as a son. Both boys lived in a type of tragic life. God's desire is for both to come home.
  • Sep 29, 2019Generous
    Sep 29, 2019
    Generous
    On Sunday, we sang and heard about the generosity of God. God does not respond to us as if we have deserved or merited anything from him. God generously pours out, lavishes his grace, love, mercy, kindness upon us. But here's the thing, we often operate out of an "earn it" mentality. If I have not earned it, why would God give me anything...especially his love? The parable of the workers in the vineyard challenges us to see and joyously embrace the incredible divine love, welcome and acceptance which God offers us freely in and through Jesus. As we sang on Sunday, our response is, "Beautiful One I love you. Beautiful One I adore. Beautiful One my soul must sing!"
  • Sep 22, 2019Trustworthy–Guest Speaker Jenn Strobl
    Sep 22, 2019
    Trustworthy–Guest Speaker Jenn Strobl
    Because we tend to compartmentalize our lives, Sunday worship does little to form our lives in the coming week. So can I ask, "Are you pursuing God's trustworthiness?" It's easy to fall into the mold of putting everything on ourselves. "I've got to take care of this. I"ve got to make it happen." And while initiative and hard work are commendable, even desirable, this perspective can easily eliminate the presence, power and love of our heavenly Father. God's desire is to give "good gifts" to his children. The metaphor is both beautiful and hard. How do I lean into trusting God? What does that look like while I'm planning and acting in response to life? Perhaps we can start by resting in God's presence. And in these intentional quiet moments acknowledge God's presence, goodness and trustworthiness. Give thanks for these realities and invite God into your circumstances, planning and implementing. Ask the Holy Spirit to walk with and guide you so that, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." We can begin this practice and value it because God is trustworthy.
  • Sep 15, 2019Good
    Sep 15, 2019
    Good
    On Sunday we focused on the goodness of God. Tragedies in life are not the judgement of God on you or others. Tragedies happen in a broken creation. But the response of God to such things is compassion motivated by loving goodness. Jesus' response to the man born blind challenges any narrative of a smiting, angry God who balances the accounts. Instead Jesus shows us that God's very nature is good. In his goodness God moves to bring flourishing through liberation, forgiveness, and empowerment. So while I hope your week is going well, if something bad has happened, please know that God is not punishing you. God is audaciously in love with you.
  • Sep 8, 2019Available
    Sep 8, 2019
    Available
    On Sunday, we looked at the story of Jesus, God in the flesh, who invites us to "Come and see." He invites us to walk with him, hang with him, be with him in life. In this context Jesus tells us the true story of God and of ourselves. The challenge is, will we believe and embrace Jesus' story of God and us? The way to being fully human and fully alive is indeed to embrace these truthful and life-giving stories of Jesus.