2nd look

We Are Family, 1 John 3:11-18

Howdy, everyone!

For this week’s 2nd Look- and for the next few weeks, I invite you to join with us in prayer not only for our church but for the churches of Sunland, Tujunga, Burbank and beyond.
 
For this week please pray:
– …..Praise to God for His great and glorious power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead and will raise us with Him.
– …..Thanksgiving for this great power that is FOR us who believe! Thank God He has granted us this great power. Power to transform us into the likeness of Christ, the power to overcome sin more and more, the power to follow Him, the power to minister! None of this comes from us- only Him.
– …..A request that God would help us to more and more deeply understand not just in our heads but with our hearts- this great and glorious power of God! Please pray this not just for our church, but for all the churches around us!
– ….A final request that God would move in a mighty way- bringing salvation to the lost in Sunland, igniting a hunger and thirst for Him in all of our hearts, both inside and outside our churches, bringing transformation of body, soul, and mind to our town through the wonderful power of his kingdom and the glorious hope of the Gospel!!!  Pray for God to move mightily to bring glory to His name in us and through us!
 
Thanks, everyone!
May God grant you his wonderful peace and joy this week!!!
 
Pastor Ryan


We Are Children of the King, 1 John 2:29-3:10

The passage DeRon spoke on this week was 1 John 2:29-3:10. I invite you to do a Lectio Divina of this passage with your group.

 

Once you’ve completed the Lectio please discuss these questions.

1) What is something God spoke to you about as we read this passage?

2) What was this like for you?

3) How might you respond to what He showed you?

 

Lectio Divina

A Quick Guide for Next Step Groups

 

The following is an ancient practice used throughout different branches of the church. It is basically translated as “Divine Reading.” Lectio Divina is an approach to reading the bible prayerfully. It draws you to listen to God as you read the Bible in a very fresh and sometimes challenging way. Below we will outline the simple process of Lectio Divina!

 

Part 1: “Silencio”- As you begin, take a few moments to quietly prepare your heart. Take a moment to realize you are in God’s presence, slow down, relax, and quiet the busyness or chaos of your day. Simply take 1-2 minutes to do this. Then at the end, invite the Holy Spirit to lead your time of reflection upon the Word.

 

Part 2: “Lectio”Read a biblical passage together, slowly, clearly. As one member of the group reads, everyone needs to listen to the verse. If there is a word or phrase from the verse that stands out to you- catches your attention- just pay attention to it. You don’t need to figure it out. Simply note that this stood out to you. And ask the Lord to lead you in this. Take 1 minute to reflect

 

Part 3: “Meditatio” – Have a different member of the group read the same passage again. This time as you listen to the words think about what made these words significant to you. What makes these words stand out? What do you think these words might be saying? What is the Lord’s invitation for you to understand in these words? Take 1 Minute to meditate.

 

Part 4: “Oratio” – Have a different person read the same passage again. This time as they read it slowly and clearly use that time to pray. What feelings do these words bring up? Is there anything in you that wants to push back against this? Is there some invitation here that you see calls you into a deeper relationship with God? Talk to God about these things. Take 1 minute to pray.

 

Part 5: Contemplatio – Take 1 minute to contemplate, rest and sit with the Lord. Let these words continue to sink into your soul. Pray and recognize you are surrendering your will to God.



Seeing Ultimate Reality Everyday, 1 John 2:12-28

Welcome to this week’s 2nd Look.

Sunday’s sermon looked at 3 ways the “world” works its influence in your life.

The Lust of the Flesh- Pursuing all you desire in destructive ways. Setting all you desire as the chief aim of your life.  
The Lust of the Eyes- All you see in front of, and around you, is all that matters. You have not set your mind on things above, but on the things down here.
The Pride Of Life- You have all you need and you don’t need anything or anyone else.

How do these things often show up in your life and in the lives of those around you? John says the world and all its desires are fading away- but he who does the Lord’s will lives forever. The question you need to wrestle with is: Do you believe John? Are there any ways you are living that point to a part of you that doesn’t believe John?

Take some time to work through these questions with the Lord, and please read Psalm 139 as you do so.

Have a great week everyone,
Pastor Ryan



God Is Light: Where Real Living Starts, 1 John 1:5-7

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s 2nd Look.

 
On Sunday I quoted John Piper on the definition of Christian joy:
“Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.”

I want to give you two other quotes from Mr. Piper for you to ruminate on this week:

“God will not turn away from doing you good. He will keep on doing good. He doesn’t do good to His children sometimes and bad to them other times. He keeps on doing good and He never will stop doing good for ten thousand ages of ages.”
 
“Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God.”

John Piper

What thoughts and feelings come up for you as you read these? In what ways do these quotes encourage you, what ways to they challenge you?

Have a great week everyone!!!!
Pastor Ryan



The Journey of Complete Joy, 1 John 1:1-4

Hello folks, welcome to the first 2nd Look of the year.
I invite you to listen to this song, every day this week, with me!
Center (Live)

May God grant you His glorious peace as you walk with Him!
Pastor Ryan

1 John 1:1-4

Here is Sunday’s Sermon for you to listen to again, or if you missed it on Sunday.



Christmas Is God’s Song Of Precious Estimation

“Epic Christmas 2019” Advent Guide
 
Hello everyone, and welcome to this year’s Advent Guide. In the weeks to come, we will be looking forward to the day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
 
Simply put, Advent is a season of time, 4 weeks to be exact. It happens during the 4 weeks that lead up to Christmas. The word Advent is actually formed from a Latin word that means: “Coming” or “Arrival.”
 
There are many ways to approach Advent but what I want to do is give you a chance to reflect on some simple Scriptures and thoughts each week. Each Monday I will release a new Advent Reflection Guide for that particular week and it will go along with the theme from the previous Sunday’s sermon. 
 
Some practical suggestions:

  • Find a quiet place where you will not be distracted.
  • Set aside technology if you can. I’d suggest using a literal bible rather than your phone, as this device can be quite a distraction.
  • Open your time with prayer, inviting the Holy Spirit to open your heart and lead you as you study and pray.
  • Read the Advent Guide portion for the day. Each day will have a brief selection or activity for you. 
  • Give yourself 10-20 minutes to reflect. If you want to go longer you can. If you miss a day, do not get down, Jesus still loves you! I don’t want this to be an exercise in shame. This is meant to be helpful- things happen and sometimes we forget or have to choose something else. This guide is here to help you reflect upon the Lord.
  • My hope is that this guide will help you take some time, maybe 10-20 minutes out of your day, to simply reflect upon the beauty and glory of Christmas.

 
An Intro to this Advent series: Epic Christmas
What is this series about? Many of us know the Christmas story, or at least we think we do. There is a part of the story that is not so well known, a perspective on how things went down that we don’t often recognize. When we see this perspective, Christmas begins to take on new meaning and purpose. It becomes a much more gripping tale of struggle, danger and dramatic suspense. In a word, it becomes EPIC! This Advent season, I want us to look at Christmas from a different vantage point, with the hope that we will see Christmas not merely as some silent peaceful night but rather as the beginning of the greatest love story. And the most daring rescue story the world has ever seen!
 
Join us Sunday mornings here at SNC for an Epic Christmas!

 Epic Christmas Advent Guide Week #4
Christmas Is God’s Song Of Precious Estimation
 
Monday: Opening Reflection
Read the Christmas story one last time. Luke 1:1-2:21
 
As you read, picture the story in your mind as if you are watching a movie or as if you were someone standing there watching it all happen. Can you imagine how it felt for everyone involved? Can you imagine the smells, the sensations? What really captured you during your time of reading and imagination?
 
Tuesday: Oh Holy Night
As this is Christmas Eve listen to Oh Holy Night one last time.
Here is one version you can listen to, although any version will do:
 
Lyrics:
O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appears and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees; O hear the Angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O Holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is Peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us Praise His Holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim
 
 
Wednesday: Merry Christmas!!!



Christmas is a Razor’s Edge Perambulation

“Epic Christmas 2019” Advent Guide

 

Hello everyone, and welcome to this year’s Advent Guide. In the weeks to come, we will be looking forward to the day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Simply put, Advent is a season of time, 4 weeks to be exact. It happens during the 4 weeks that lead up to Christmas. The word Advent is actually formed from a Latin word that means: “Coming” or “Arrival.”

 

There are many ways to approach Advent but what I want to do is give you a chance to reflect on some simple Scriptures and thoughts each week. Each Monday I will release a new Advent Reflection Guide for that particular week and it will go along with the theme from the previous Sunday’s sermon.

 

Some practical suggestions:

  • Find a quiet place where you will not be distracted.
  • Set aside technology if you can. I’d suggest using a literal bible rather than your phone, as this device can be quite a distraction.
  • Open your time with prayer, inviting the Holy Spirit to open your heart and lead you as you study and pray.
  • Read the Advent Guide portion for the day. Each day will have a brief selection or activity for you.
  • Give yourself 10-20 minutes to reflect. If you want to go longer you can. If you miss a day, do not get down, Jesus still loves you! I don’t want this to be an exercise in shame. This is meant to be helpful- things happen and sometimes we forget or have to choose something else. This guide is here to help you reflect upon the Lord.

 

My hope is that this guide will help you take some time, maybe 10-20 minutes out of your day, to simply reflect upon the beauty and glory of Christmas.

 

An Intro to this Advent series: Epic Christmas

What is this series about? Many of us know the Christmas story, or at least we think we do. There is a part of the story that is not so well known, a perspective on how things went down that we don’t often recognize. When we see this perspective, Christmas begins to take on new meaning and purpose. It becomes a much more gripping tale of struggle, danger and dramatic suspense. In a word, it becomes EPIC! This Advent season, I want us to look at Christmas from a different vantage point, with the hope that we will see Christmas not merely as some silent peaceful night but rather as the beginning of the greatest love story. And the most daring rescue story the world has ever seen!

 

Join us Sunday mornings here at SNC for an Epic Christmas!

 

 

 

Epic Christmas Advent Guide Week #3

Christmas Is A Razor’s Edge Perambulation

 

Monday: Opening Reflection

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:26-33

 

The mission was set. There were no questions. A virgin will impossibly conceive a child and this boy will grow to be the King of Kings and his reign will never end. Into a broken and dying world- hope is born. So much could’ve gone wrong. Think about it for a second.

  • Mary could have miscarried. Every child being birthed is a miracle in its own way. God orchestrated a healthy pregnancy.
  • Joseph could’ve divorced Mary but God intervened.
  • The kingdom of darkness sought to destroy Jesus again and again- but God snatched him away, protecting Him again and again.
  • A king hunted Jesus, but God orchestrated a midnight escape.

 

Every turn, was danger and challenge, and every turn God answers. His plan would not be thwarted. The adventure of Christmas was like walking on the edge of a razor, you stray just a little bit to the right or left, and you fall. So much could’ve gone wrong and yet, God had it in the bag! He was taking a leisurely stroll, on the razor’s edge, making a mockery of the enemy, and bringing His plan to fruition. Consider God’s power to make all this happen.

 

Question to reflect upon: Lord how does Christmas show me your power?

 

 

Tuesday: Luke 2:1-19

Read this scripture several times.

What is something jumping out to you from these verses?

 

Wednesday: Reflect Upon a Song

Here’s a YouTube link to the song: “He Shall Reign,” by Chris Tomlin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5UXgs6nvGM

 

Consider the words, asking the Lord to speak to your heart regarding what the lyrics are saying.

 

 

Thursday: Matthew 2:1-18

Read this scripture a few times.

Ask yourself: Lord how did you protect Jesus in this time?

What all could’ve gone wrong and yet you made it all work?

 

 

Friday: Celebration Project

On this day, how might you celebrate the greatness of Jesus?

Take some time to ask Holy Spirit:

“Lord, Is there a small way I can celebrate your greatness today?”

 

What does Celebration involve?

Acknowledgment– It involves turning your attention to something. Recognizing its importance, remembering how it has blessed you.

Sacrifice- Giving up of your time or resources to this particular thing to prioritize or value it.

What is a way I can celebrate God’s greatness and goodness today?



Christmas Is A D-Day Invasion



Christmas Is A Longing In Devestation

“Epic Christmas 2019” Advent Guide

 

Hello everyone, and welcome to this year’s Advent Guide. In the weeks to come, we will be looking forward to the day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Simply put, Advent is a season of time, 4 weeks to be exact. It happens during the 4 weeks that lead up to Christmas. The word Advent is actually formed from a Latin word that means: “Coming” or “Arrival.”

 

There are many ways to approach Advent but what I want to do is give you a chance to reflect on some simple Scriptures and thoughts each week. Each Monday I will release a new Advent Reflection Guide for that particular week and it will go along with the theme from the previous Sunday’s sermon.

 

Some practical suggestions:

  • Find a quiet place where you will not be distracted.
  • Set aside technology if you can. I’d suggest using a literal bible rather than your phone, as this device can be quite a distraction.
  • Open your time with prayer, inviting the Holy Spirit to open your heart and lead you as you study and pray.
  • Read the Advent Guide portion for the day. Each day will have a brief selection or activity for you.
  • Give yourself 10-20 minutes to reflect. If you want to go longer you can. If you miss a day, do not get down, Jesus still loves you! I don’t want this to be an exercise in shame. This is meant to be helpful- things happen and sometimes we forget or have to choose something else. This guide is here to help you reflect upon the Lord.

 

My hope is that this guide will help you take some time, maybe 10-20 minutes out of your day, to simply reflect upon the beauty and glory of Christmas.

 

An Intro to this Advent series: Epic Christmas

What is this series about? Many of us know the Christmas story, or at least we think we do. There is a part of the story that is not so well known, a perspective on how things went down that we don’t often recognize. When we see this perspective, Christmas begins to take on new meaning and purpose. It becomes a much more gripping tale of struggle, danger and dramatic suspense. In a word, it becomes EPIC! This Advent season, I want us to look at Christmas from a different vantage point, with the hope that we will see Christmas not merely as some silent peaceful night but rather as the beginning of the greatest love story. And the most daring rescue story the world has ever seen!

 

Join us Sunday mornings here at SNC for an Epic Christmas!

 

Epic Christmas Advent Guide Week #1

Christmas Is A Longing In Devastation

 

An invitation!

During the Advent season, it is powerful to fast something. This means we cease some sort of activity during Advent to communicate our love and devotion to God and to free us up to hear from Him. One thing that is really powerful is that every time you long for this thing that you have given up you let it be a reminder to you of the longing mankind once felt for the arrival of a savior, and our longing now for the return of Jesus.

Some things people give up:

  • Television
  • Social media
  • Video games
  • Soda
  • Sugar
  • Caffeine
  • A certain type of food

*Please know that if you decide to fast food entirely you should consult with your doctor and research the best ways to go about this.

 

The point of fasting is not to make God like you more. The point of fasting is to communicate your love to God and to put yourself in a place to be more likely to hear Him. If you do not do it, that’s fine, but consider giving it a shot. Fasting would start on Sunday, December 1st and end on Christmas Eve.

 

Monday: Opening Reflection

The world was once a bright and safe place, full of hope and promise. Death, sickness, rebellion, and brokenness were not even a reality. There was God and there was man, closest of friends, in a good and beautiful world. But this friendship would not be robotic. God would not allow this. He would have man’s love and devotion but only if man would freely choose it; otherwise these things wouldn’t be genuine. So God gave man a choice.   Will you obey? If you do, there is life and peace and wonderful prosperity, but if you don’t, death will enter the scene and along with it all manners of brokenness.

 

Man and woman chose to rebel and the entire world was broken, plunged headfirst into darkness. Sin entered the scene. Death was now a reality. Rebellion, shame, pride, discord, sickness, and suffering all became a part of our human existence that was never meant to be there.

 

All was lost.

But God made a promise. Someday he would restore all that has been lost. For much of the Bible, leading up to the story of Jesus in the gospels, we see a world waiting in the midst of this devastation, longing for God’s promise to be realized. Ever since the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the world has been waiting for His return to vanquish sin and death once and for all.

 

So long ago- that baby in a manger, was the answer to our longing in devastation. He is the realization of God’s great promise to restore all that has been taken. Today, for the remainder of this time of reflection consider this question:

How does Jesus answer my deepest longings in the midst of a world in devastation?

 

Tuesday: Genesis 3:13-15; Luke 19:10

Read these scriptures several times.

Even after the fall, after all had been destroyed and darkness had fallen, right there at the beginning of the dark night God was making a promise that He would send a Savior to crush the enemy’s head and to restore what had been lost.

What is jumping out to you from these verses?

 

Wednesday: Reflect upon a song

Here’s a YouTube link to a version of the song: “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZnuzNTxV9M

Take a listen to it.

Here’s a link to some lyrics:

https://genius.com/Christmas-songs-o-come-o-come-emmanuel-lyrics

Consider the words and ask the Lord to speak to your heart regarding what the lyrics are saying.

 

Thursday: Isaiah 9:1-7

Read this scripture a few times.

What caught your eye during your readings of the scriptures?

 

Friday: Longing Exercise

Have you ever taken time to imagine what it might be like when Jesus restores all things? Take time to consider this. What are you excited to see Jesus restore? Jesus said in Revelation 2:15: “Behold I am making all things new.” What are you excited about what He will do?



#9: Eyes To See

Hello everyone and welcome to the last 2nd Look of our Battle Ready series. I preached the final sermon of the series on Sunday and I have received a great deal of feedback from different people telling me what God has done with them during this series. Thank you!

I’m going to simplify things this week and invite you to consider these questions…

What did God show you during this series?
How did God encourage you or challenge you?
What might be your response to His work in your life?

Next week we begin our Advent series.   
All praise to Jesus!
Pastor Ryan