Posts Tagged "Father"

Where Does Jesus Come From? – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Where Does Jesus Come From? – Pastor Matt

Where does Jesus come from?  This may sound like an odd question, but in actuality, the truth of the gospel hinges upon its answer.   The prof of its importance can be found in John chapter 7.  The religious leaders and the Jews are arguing and debating the place from which Jesus comes.  Their argument is logical: the prophets say the Messiah will come from a place no one knows.  If Jesus comes from galilee (a place many people know), than Jesus cannot be the Messiah.

Jesus rebukes them and cries out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from.  I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true.  You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.” 

Jesus does something amazing here.  He validates the truth of the prophets, and simultaneously shows that the religious leaders are misunderstanding the prophets. Jesus says they do not know his origins, not because they don’t know his hometown, but because they don’t know the one from whom he was sent: In other words, they don’t know God.

Our human hearts are laid bare in this scripture.  We become staunch in our own understanding rather than our relationship with God.   We want to have God, but on our own terms.  We want to know Jesus, but only based upon the knowledge we already possess.  It’s like falling in love and not expecting anything to be different.  The contrary is true.  Falling in love, by definition, is a falling away from our old selves into something new, leaving us different people.

And Jesus rightly says that they don’t know where he comes from because they don’t know the Father.  In other words, true knowledge is dependent upon knowing the Father.   If you don’t know the Father, you will not know the place from which Jesus comes.   Likewise, if we know the father, we don’t find comfort in what we know but in whom we know.

Read More

One Thing – Pastor Mark

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

One Thing – Pastor Mark

When I realized this was my week to write the blog and it was right before Father’s Day I thought, “I’m going to check through my old files and come up with some good material to work with.”  Imagine my disappointment when I found my “Parenting” file and discovered that it was filled with articles that I had obviously been impressed with at one time but now “not so much.”

Maybe I’m at the same stage as the guy who said that he used to go around the country teaching about “10 Rules for Successful Parenting.”  That’s when he was 30 and his kids were 5 and under.  By the time he was 40 and his kids were 15 and under he had changed the title to “5 Suggestions for Good Parenting.”  When he turned 50 and his kids were young adults he had changed the title again – “The One Thing that Matters Most.”

Personally, the one thing that I do most often these days as a father is pray.  When they were young I tried to give my daughters everything that they needed and much of what they wanted.  The days of being a Dad with my kids at home were some of the favorite days of my life.  As a family we were able to travel together, laugh together, work together…really, just live life, together.  And it was great!  But now they’re living on their own so I don’t get to fix them chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast or hear what their day at school was like.  Instead of “everyday” connection like we had for years, now it’s more like “every other week.”

But during those times when we are together I often sit and watch them drinking coffee and telling each other, and their Mom and me, about their lives.  I remember when they were little and realize again just how much of a miracle both of them truly are.  I realize how strong and talented they are and at the same time how fragile.  I recommit myself to pray for them.  I remember my mistakes and wish I could redo some things but realizing that I can’t I let them know again that I love them and I think they’re beautiful and that God loves them too.  And I find comfort in knowing that even though I can’t be there for them 24/7 they have a  Heavenly Father who can be…and is.

– Pastor Mark

Read More

Birds – Pastor Mark

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Birds – Pastor Mark

Birds are fascinating to me; their colors, their songs, their mannerisms … are fascinating.  And for a “birdwatcher” the month of May is the best.  The orioles are back gobbling up the grape jelly.  The goldfinches are dotting the woods with splashes of yellow.  The migrating birds show up at the feeders and we scramble for our bird books.  “What kind of a bird is THAT?”

Jesus referenced the birds in several of his teachings.

On one occasion he was talking about the futility of “worry.”  He said to his audience, ‘Don’t worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food, drink and clothes…Look at the birds; they don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them.   And you are far more valuable to him that they are.  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  Of course not!”

(Matthew 6:25-27)

I’ve never seen a bird driving a tractor or planting a field – and I never will.  They aren’t made for that.  They are made to sing and fly and grace our world with their uniqueness.  So does that mean WE aren’t supposed to WORK?  NO…. But it DOES mean that we aren’t supposed to WORRY!

Jesus says that the birds are ever-present challenges to us to BELIEVE that our Heavenly Father knows what we need and to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.”  And when we do, we discover that just like he promises to take care of the birds, He is committed to taking care of us.  Jesus says, “All these things will be given to YOU as well.” (Matthew 6:33)  So enjoy the birds of spring!  And learn a lesson from them.  God is going to provide for you!

-Pastor Mark

 

Read More

Our Mountain – Cassi Piper

Posted by on Jun 25, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Our Mountain – Cassi Piper

I recently attended a memorial service for my dear friend’s father who passed away. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to hear about a man whom I hadn’t the honor of meeting but had heard so much about. There was laughter and tears and healing as we all heard stories about his life and family.

The most moving part for me was when my friend described her relationship with her father and what it meant to her. When she was young her father seemed to her a towering figure, one that evoked awe and intimidation in her heart. Though an emotionally distant man, he loved the Colorado mountains where my friend’s family spent her early years and her most favorite memories are of hiking and camping with her dad in the foothills.

As she grew older my friend began to make earnest attempts to understand her father, a man who had served in the Vietnam War and whose outlook on life had hardened as a result of what he had experienced there. She appreciated his strong work ethic, something he passed down to her and her siblings and discovered that he loved his family dearly even if at times he struggled to show it. Over time she no longer saw his strength as intimidating, but rather a source of refuge as she faced the many storms of life.

She likened her growing relationship with her father as one gets to know a mountain. At first the mountain looms over you, tall, ominous and seemingly insurmountable. Then you gather the courage to camp at its base and though you still find it mysterious and at times terrifying, you begin to appreciate the breadth of the mountain’s strength and beauty. Eventually you begin taking risks, first hiking the well worn foot trails, and then making paths of your own. With each new step you gain a greater sense of exploration and discovery that after many years finds you at the summit, surrounded by views that take your breath away. It is at that moment that the mountain becomes your mountain.

Towards the end of his life, after many years of investing in their relationship, my friend was grateful to say that her dad had become her mountain. He no longer was a distant man to her but a loving, supportive and generous friend.

It is my hope that as we invest in our relationship with God that one day we too will reach the summit of His love and claim him as our God. That we will be willing to take risks in obedience and faith and venture further into His understanding than we ever have before. That He will become our true source of refuge and strength as we face times of trial. Then one day when we meet Him face to face it will be like getting together with a cherished friend who never left our side.

And to Mandy, in your time of great loss, know that you are one of my mountains and it is an honor to call you friend. You are immensely loved by your Heavenly Father and I know that He is taking special care of your daddy until you meet again.

Read More

Mission from God – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Oct 9, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Mission from God – Pastor Matt

“Hello, my name is Matt.  I am a man sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.”

Would you find it a little odd if I introduced myself this way?  Doesn’t it sound a little presumptuous for me to believe that I have been sent by God?  Granted, I probably wouldn’t have very many friends if this is how I referred to myself.  Yet it still makes me wonder.  Paul—the writer of many New Testament books—introduced himself this way.  Yes, he literally started some of his letters by saying that he has been sent by God and not by man.  In other words, Paul is saying that he is on a mission from God (reminds me of Dan Aykroyd from The Blues Brothers).

“Well, Matt,” you say, “Paul was kind of important.  He can say those kinds of things.”

What strikes me about Paul is that he understands, perhaps better than anyone, what it means to follow Christ.  It means that you are acting on behalf of God; you are on a mission.

Let me ask you a question, have you ever done something God directed you to do?  If your answer is yes, then you can in all honesty, say that you have been sent by God.

Now I probably will never tell a stranger that I am on a mission from God.  But that does not change the fact that I really am on a mission from God.  That’s not boastful; it’s God’s desire for my life.  The same goes for you.  If you are a follower of Christ, you are on a mission from God.

Then there is one question: how is your mission going?

Read More