Posts Tagged "christ"

Rooted in Christ – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Rooted in Christ – Pastor Matt

This past Sunday we talked about our being; namely, our being is in Christ.  Our being has to be somewhere, whether we are aware of it or not.  If our being is not in Christ than our being is somewhere always inferior.

One of our problems is that we struggle to believe that our being is actually in Christ.  When trials and temptations come along we topple like a tree with shallow roots.

Colossians 2:7 talks about being rooted in Christ.  Trees and their strong roots are a great image for us.  For not only do the roots feed the tree, but they firmly plant the tree to the earth like and incredible anchor.  When the strong winds blow, trees are able to withstand the storm.

There’s another reason why trees and their roots are an important illustration.  When a tree grows the roots grow.  A tree does not first grow roots and then grow above ground.   No, as the tree grows it needs further anchoring: the higher the leaves the deeper the roots.

That goes for our lives as well.  The more we know Christ, the more we recognize our incredible need for him.  That is why being rooted in Christ is so necessary.  The more we grow in our faith the deeper and deeper our roots anchor into Christ Jesus.

When was the last time you acted or reacted to a situation that made you feel you were not rooted in Christ?

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More than Thank You – Cassi Piper

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

More than Thank You – Cassi Piper

I must be honest and admit that this particular blog entry did not come easily to me. Being that yesterday was Memorial Day I felt as though this entry should center on the sacrifice given by those who have lost their lives in order that we could enjoy unprecedented freedoms in this country.

My struggle is that though I am deeply, deeply appreciative of those brave men and women who voluntarily place their lives at risk on my behalf, as someone who has thus far been spared the personal pain of war, I feel horribly ill equipped to comprehend the true depth of their sacrifice. I do not know what it feels like to say good bye to a loved one not knowing if they will return. I have not spent sleepless nights praying, willing my loved one home to me. I have never had to look my child in the eyes through blinding tears and try to explain why daddy is not here to hold him. I have never buried a son or daughter or comforted a military widow or widower through their loss. To someone who has experienced such things I feel “Thank You”, though a start is simply not enough.

As Christians we are especially blessed by our freedom in this country to worship God without threat of physical persecution. We are free to live out our faith fully and openly. I submit that beyond thanking our veterans and their families that we further honor their sacrifice by not taking for granted our ability to live freely for Christ. Now more than ever our nation and this world need Christians who exemplify Christ. Christ should be in our manner, in our attitudes, in our conversation, in the going about our daily lives.

As a church we also need to tangibly reach out to the military families in our midst and help meet their spiritual and physical needs. It is my sincere hope and prayer that as we remember those soldiers who have fallen, as well as those currently active here and abroad, that the church honors them by serving their loved ones back home. Though one may not agree with the politics or rational behind any particular military conflict, we as Christians should be praying for the safety and redemption of our men and women in the armed services and for their families that they have left behind. May our lives show them the power and majesty and everlasting love and comfort of our God.

To those reading this blog who have lost a loved one in uniform, have one currently serving, or who have served in the armed forces themselves THANK YOU. May God bless you and keep you and may you know that Christ’s church is here to serve you and your families in honor of theirs and your sacrifice.

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The Bride of Christ – Pastor Matt

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The Bride of Christ – Pastor Matt

Something very interesting happens when a group of Christians get together.  Inevitably someone gets around to discussing the church; or better, some one starts complaining about the church.   It usually sounds something like this, “the church is too entertainment driven,” or “the church doesn’t look any different than the culture,” or my favorite “the church is filled with hypocritical people.”  It often sounds as though the church is a hurdle rather than the solution.

Do we have a high enough view of the church?  Do we respect the church in the way it should be respected?  Ephesians 5 talks about how the church will one day present herself to Christ as a pure and spotless bride, holy and blameless.  If that is true, the church will marry Christ as a bride her bridegroom.  Is salvation only for individuals but for the church also?

Think of it this way.  Our individual selves are an illustration of the church.  Yes we are individually working out our salvation, and at the same time we make mistakes.  How is the church any different?  The church is working out its salvation until the day of Christ, just as individuals do.  That means perfection isn’t the primary purpose of the church.  Therefore, if the church isn’t perfect, then why do we expect it to be?

I have a sneaking suspicion that when we complain about the church, we are really just frustrated.  We really do care that people find God.  We really do care that the gospel is shared in a healthy and loving way.  We really do want to bring Christ to the world.  When that doesn’t happen (or we don’t particularly like what we see), we want to put the blame somewhere.  And the church is a convenient place.

So can we criticize?  Certainly we can, but we only do so if it is helpful, and only if it’s loving.

The church is the hope of the world.  The church is God’s chosen instrument to bring his message to the lost and to build disciples.  The church will be joined to Christ as a loving bride.

What good things is the church doing today?

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Good Leadership – Pastor Mark

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Good Leadership – Pastor Mark

I have watched many leaders over the course of my life.  I have been fascinated with some who have impressed me with their ability to lead.  I have been angered with some who have used their positions for illegal and unjust gain.  I have been unimpressed with others who have used their ‘few moments in the sun’ to accomplish their own personal agendas.

Personally, I have had the privilege of being trained by good leaders who taught me the importance of listening to the people I lead.  Over and over I heard that my position was not a gift to be used as I saw fit, but a public trust.  I have learned many of my leadership lessons the hard way, by making mistakes.   For example, I have learned that just because my closest friends agree with me about a decision is not an indication this is the direction to go.

I am reminded this week of the point in Israel’s history when the new king Rehoboam was asked by the people to lighten the load that had placed on them by his father, Solomon.  Rehoboam did not give an immediate answer.  He first listened to the elders.  Their advice was, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”  (1 Kings 12:7)

But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young men who had grown up with him.  These advisors said, in essence, “Tell these lazy people they haven’t seen anything yet!”  His choice to go with the advice of foolish advisors led to rebellion and to the ultimate division of the kingdom.

For all leaders it is important to remember that every decision comes with a corresponding consequence.  Whether you are leading a family, a company, a ministry or a state, it is necessary to choose your battles wisely.  It is possible to win a battle but lose the war.

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Everyone Knows Evil – Pastor Matt

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Everyone Knows Evil – Pastor Matt

Everyone knows evil.  We can sense it like the coming of a thunderstorm.  From the avowed religious to the strict materialist, we all know evil is part of our world.

Now our culture has a difficult time in defining what-is-wrong-with-the-world (evil); thus, our definitions of evil range from poor education to nationalism to economics to chauvinism to anything we want.

As Christians we affirm that any one of these isms or societal problems can lend itself to terrible evil; however, focus on any one as the “true” or “source” of evil is to reduce evil to a group or an idea.  The problem with reducing evil to a group or an idea is to absolve oneself from any participation in evil; just because we can see the splinter in someone’s eye, doesn’t mean we don’t have a plank in our own.

Our culture is obsessed with finding evil in the world.  We hear it on the radio and watch it on the TV.  Evil is so often reduced to “that other group that doesn’t agree with us.”

On the other hand, Jesus teaches that evil is found within each of us, not just in ideas or other people.  He teaches that evil can be found in our own hearts; we are broken people who so often choose our own good over the good of others.

Jesus doesn’t stop there.  Evil is also the handiwork of Satan and his demons.  Our culture mocks the idea of a malevolent spiritual force, yet Jesus affirms that Satan exists and will be judged.

The Christian world-view expresses that evil is both the darkness in our own hearts, and the work of Satan and his demons.  This is important because we cannot express how to fix the problem of evil without a true definition of evil.  If the Christian definition of evil is correct, our framework for evil must change.  We no longer battle against people, but against Satan who is the ruler of this age.  We no longer define groups as evil, but rather see them as broken (like us), and in need of the power of Christ’s love.

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