Practices to Cultivate New Patterns in Our Lives

January 7, 2018

January 6 & 7, 2018
Practices to Cultivate New Patterns in Our Lives
CrossFit – Part 1

The start of a new year often brings with it the desire for this year to be different than the last. Many of us set lofty goals driven by the desire to get in shape physically and spiritually. We often start out strong as we enter into the new year, but as the months go by our motivation and discipline begin to fade leaving us defeated. 
 
I believe strongly that the Lord wants to shape something new in each of us this year, as individuals and as a church. I’m encouraged by this truth each time I read Isaiah 43:18-19 which states, “Remember not the former things nor consider things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
 
For some, the lives we lead spiritually are that desert place discussed in the passage. We have a genuine desire for things to change, but if we are honest we don’t really know how or where to begin. We’ve tried reading our Bible, we’ve tried prayer, but we’ve never truly developed a discipline to cultivate new patterns in our lives that would allow for sustainable change.

If this is you, you are not alone. In fact, we are devoting the next eight weeks as a church to learn about the various spiritual disciplines so that we may grow through the revelation of God’s Word and the leading of the Spirit together.
 
This weekend we begin our series, “CrossFit.” The purpose of this series is simple. We are embracing new practices and structures in our lives which provide the space for us to more fully experience God’s grace and presence. I don’t know about you, but I need that this year. And as we seek to invest in these disciplines personally and communally, I’m excited to witness the transformation that will take place in our midst.
 
God Bless You,
Pastor Nathan

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Hope for the New Year

January 1, 2018

December 30 & 31, 2017

Hope for the New Year

Most of us spend December anticipating Christmas. But the week that follows finds us in a no man’s land of sorts, poised between what was and what will become. Too often we find ourselves stuck, holding on to the past and afraid of the future, both working to steal our joy in the present! This weekend we will learn to enjoy His presence in the present, while looking back in gratitude for what God has done in our lives and looking forward with hope. Happy New Year!

- Pastor Chris

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Invisible Dad

December 30, 2017

December 23 & 24, 2017

Invisible Dad
What Child is This?  - Part 4
 

What Child is this, who laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping? 

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
 
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here,
The silent Word is pleading.
 
Nails, spears shall pierce Him through,
The cross He bore for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
 
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king, to own Him.
The King of Kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
 
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary. 

These lyrics of the famous Christmas carol, “What Child Is This?” were written in 1865 by Englishman William Chatterton Dix. Throughout the various stanzas, the song poses an important question, well worth our pondering: who is this baby in the Bethlehem manger?
 
It is interesting to note the characters mentioned overtly such as the Christ child, His mother, Mary, shepherds, angels and even two forms of feeding livestock. While not specifically named, the recognizable actions of the wise men are referenced as the ones who brought their well-known gifts of incense, gold, and myrrh. All the characters normally present in a Nativity are accounted for and in place, except one.
 
Do you notice who is missing from the stable scene roll call, either by name or by referenced action?
 
In this message we learn about the invisible dad, Joseph, and his role in Jesus’ story.

- Pastor Chris

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Pondering the Advent

December 20, 2017

December 16 & 17, 2017

Pondering the Advent
What Child is This?  - Part 3
 

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Luke 2:34-35

What makes Mary a model of faith is not only her willing submission to God's will, but the way she treasured and pondered the revelations about Jesus.  Mary’s ponderings serve as a model for us; we desperately need to consider the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. Mary’s life was not easy before or after her encounter with an angel. She would have many more opportunities for questioning and pondering the life of Jesus. Yet, in her encounter with God’s announcement, Mary found favor with God. Like her, we find favor with God when we respond with searching questions, deep ponderings, and obedient submission.

- Pastor John

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Heaven Revealed

December 12, 2017

December 9 & 10, 2017
Heaven Revealed
What Child is This? - Part 2

 
Ever since His birth, men and women have been seeking the answer to life’s greatest question, “What Child Is This?” We could undertake no greater journey than the one that leads us to the answer. The wise men of old followed a star on their journey, and allowed the answer to change them. We may not have a star to follow this Christmas, but maybe we can learn something from their perspective. 

- Pastor Chris

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Heaven Revealed

December 5, 2017

December 2 & 3, 2017
Heaven Revealed
What Child is This?  - Part 1

This weekend we enter the season of Advent with a series called What Child is This?  The term advent is a version of the Latin word meaning "coming." Many Christian churches take the month of December to focus and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Many of us grew up thinking the story of Advent began in a manger.  But the story began in a Garden.  Amid the darkness, God spoke a word of hope: a Savior would come, born of a woman, to defeat the enemy and deliver God’s people (Genesis 3:15).  This is a great time for us to consider the greatest question ever asked…what child is this?  It’s a question asked by kings, magi, shepherds, and Roman rulers long ago.  It’s a question we must answer as well.  Let’s turn to the pages of Scripture to discover what heaven revealed long ago about His long awaited birth; truths so amazing our lives can be transformed for time and eternity.

Pastor John

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Stewarding the Gift of Grace

November 29, 2017

November 25 & 26, 2017
Stewarding the Gift of Grace
The Ghost, Part 4

As we transition from a season of thanksgiving and into a season of gifts it seems only fitting that we would conclude our series on the Holy Spirit by talking about the gifts the Spirit entrusts to us to share in together as a church family.

This weekend we turn to 1 Peter 4:10-11 and 1 Corinthians 12 to view our gifts through the lens of grace and stewardship. The Spirit has given each of us a gift to contribute to the common good of the body and each of these gifts point others to the glory of the Lord we serve.

Let us not neglect what the Lord has instilled in each of us, and let us learn what it means to steward these gifts by His grace.

God Bless,
Nathan

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Keep in Step!

November 20, 2017

November 18 & 19, 2017
Keep in Step!
The Ghost, Part 3

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Since every genuine believer has the Holy Spirit, we must understand what it means to walk by the Holy Spirit. God wants us to know that through the Holy Spirit’s guidance & empowerment, we can live a life pleasing to God, we can avoid the pitfalls of sin, we can experience a life truly blessed!  Who wouldn’t want these things?  Yet, many of us fail to recognize the importance of walking by the Spirit; some may not understand what this means. To “walk by the Spirit” means we live each day, from waking in the morning til our head hits the pillow, by the enabling power of the Spirit.  How is this accomplished, practically speaking? How do we “walk by the Spirit”? In this message we attempt to answer these questions in our continuing series on the Holy Spirit.  
  
Pastor John

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Fill ‘Er Up!

November 13, 2017

November 11 & 12, 2017
Fill ‘Er Up!
The Ghost, Part 2

The phrase is familiar to most of us, we find it throughout both the Old and New Testament. But what does it really mean to be “filled with the Holy Spirit”? How does it happen? What difference does it make? And how are our lives impacted?

We’re returning to our study on the Holy Spirit this week, in which we look at what God’s Word has to say about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit and how we respond to that filling in our daily lives.
 
 - Pastor Chris

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

November 6, 2017

November 4 & 5, 2017
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Refugee Weekend

“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, would you be mine? Won’t you be mine?” We all remember the familiar lyrics, but what does it really mean to be a neighbor? We’re taking a break from our series on the Holy Spirit this week to look closely, along with hundreds of other churches across the country, at the refugee crisis that is impacting our world. What does God’s Word have to say about what it means to be a neighbor and how we might make a difference, right here in our own community, for those trying to build a new life in this place that we call home?
 
 - Pastor Chris

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