Encouragement


11
Dec 2017
Belonging to Love, Joy, Peace & Hope

Yesterday during worship, I asked our church family to consider how Christmas is about belonging. Immanuel – God With Us – is a message of belonging. As I said in a blog article last week, Immanuel is a phrase that connects God and us through the little word with (im in Hebrew). To summarize, the Hebrew word im can mean: Being by or beside someone (approaching) Dwelling in a place or with someone (inhabiting), or Being together with someone (belonging). This third meaning is all about belonging. And when we look at Immanuel......

Read More


05
Dec 2017
Preparing for Christmas

Are you prepared for change? So many people don’t like change. Others enjoy it – or at least tolerate it – but never really prepare for it. But here’s the truth: we should always be prepared for change! And here’s another truth: Christmas is all about change! We change our homes by adorning it with decorations. We change our budget – setting aside money for gifts and travel and parties and special foods. We change our radio stations to the “All Christmas All The Time” stations. We change our eating habits as......

Read More


22
Nov 2017
Bless Your Heart (and I really mean that)

“Count your blessings” “A blessing in disguise” “Bless you” (after you have sneezed) “Bless your heart” These are just a few of the ways we use the word bless or blessing in our everyday conversations. I have a minister friend that served as a mentor to me in high school.  Jokingly, he shared a piece of advice with me one day that I will never forget.  He reminded me that in the south we have overused the phrase “Bless your heart” . We have sometimes gotten in a habit of saying it or sometimes we......

Read More


20
Nov 2017
Bridesmaids and Talents

On Sunday, I encouraged you to reflect on the characters in the Parables of the Bridesmaids and the Talents. They are real life, real world characters. They all have flaws. None are perfect. There is some right and wrong in each of them. And because the characters in these parables are real life characters, they offer us an opportunity to see ourselves in them. That is, you and I have sometimes struggled with the things they struggle with in these stories. We have faced similar situations, decisions and consequences. So, as a......

Read More


15
Nov 2017
Home

What is home to you? Better yet, who is home to you? You are probably thinking about a house, a city, a neighborhood, family members or maybe even a roommate or really good friend. Listen to how Israel answers the question in Psalm 90 through Eugene Petersen’s translation called The Message: God, it seems you’ve been our home forever; long before the mountains were born, long before you brought earth itself to birth, from “once upon a time” to “kingdom come”—you are God. (v1-2) God is their home. God has been their home for......

Read More


14
Nov 2017
Patterns

Life is full of patterns. Sometimes we follow them. Sometimes we break them. But what does it look like for a pattern to be both followed and broken?  What message might God want to share with us through stories in scripture that break some patterns and follow others? The book of Judges displays a pattern of leadership.  The pattern is this: People of Israel sin and turn against God.  God gives the Israelites over to hands of their enemies The Israelites suffer and call out to God for help. God raises a......

Read More


13
Nov 2017
Passing Judgement

Have you ever seen one of those signs – “Repent! The end is near!” Makes you feel good, right? (Can you hear my sarcasm?) In truth, signs like this and people who espouse such views have already passed judgement on you before they even know you. They have decided for you that you are in error. It’s interesting to me how when many Christians speak of “the end” (or the “day of the Lord” or “the return of Christ”) they often jump quickly to judgementalism. Now, there are places in scripture that......

Read More


26
Oct 2017
It's Your Story!

If you missed Sunday’s Sermon Read or listen to  Freedom – Rescued To Be A Rescuer (Freeway, Week 7) Devotion 3 Take a moment and look at your hand.  Now focus on what your hand can do to help and serve others!   List the types of people who would be helped by knowing your story and what you learned during tough times.  __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Name some of your friends who need FREEDOM just like you. __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Our wounded heart and our deepest pain is always the starting......

Read More


25
Oct 2017
Choose Joy!

If you missed Sunday’s Sermon Read or listen to  Freedom – Rescued To Be A Rescuer (Freeway, Week 7) Devotion 2 What brings you joy?     What activities replenish you?     God’s Words for This Week Isaiah 61:1-3 – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners… (NIV, v.1) John 4:4-29 – Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will......

Read More


23
Oct 2017
What's Your Vision?

If you missed Sunday’s Sermon Read or listen to  Freedom – Rescued To Be A Rescuer (Freeway, Week 7) Devotion 1 Every tear you cried and every desperate prayer you prayed has been for this moment.  God promises us that nothing is wasted. Seriously–nothing.  Everything you have faced has brought you to this moment to embrace your profound mission: to love the loveless & help God patch up the broken hearts. And instead of regretting where we’ve been, we now give thanks for where we’re going. . . All that you thought was......

Read More


Page 1 of 612345...Last »