2nd look

Is your Christianity showing?

And they’ll know we are Christians by our:
Political Views?
Umm… no…
And they’ll know we are Christians by:
the hour and a half we go to a building together on Sundays?
No, not that either.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our:
power to coerce the society around us to do what we want them to?
Not quite…
And they’ll know we are Christians by our:
temper tantrums fueled by Youtube and media talking heads?
not!
And they’ll know we are Christians by our:
coolness and relevance to our culture. Yea baby!
No, thank God for that cuz who knows what cool and relevant even is anymore? all i know is… I aint it! (Oh what a relief)
And they’ll know we are Christians by our: Love.
Don’t know what love is?
Read 1 corinthians 13.
Then seek to do this when you are with others.
i’m speaking to Christians right now.
You have brothers and sisters in the faith who disagree with you.
before you lambaste them, question their salvation, see them as being willfully ignorant, or simply assume they are in sin because they do not hold your viewpoint; read 1 Corinthians 13 before you type your response to your Christian brothers very “false” view point, because their post will be forgotten in a day or two, but your unlovingness and unkindness all in the name of defending your perspective will stick with them.
Christians… if we cannot love one another, when we disagree, then what kind of love do we have? worthless love. You cannot tolerate someone you agree with. You tolerate someone you disagree with, that’s the nature of tolerance. love is a choice through the good and bad times, through the agreements and disagreements.
one last point: 1 corinthians 13 is not about marriage, I don’t care how many weddings you’ve been to. It’s about how we as the church are meant to be together. How are we meant to love one another? what does it look like? read 1 corinthians 13, the go do likewise.
Sorry if I’m sounding harsh here but I’m getting pretty sick and tired of seeing and hearing about Christians attacking other Christians. This attitude that says- I know i’ve heard from God and because you disagree with me, it’s clear you havent or you are ignoring Him. That is not helpful. i’m watching a church in the united states divide over disagreeing very disagreeably and honestly… This is what an unbelieving world finds simply un-believeable. Ok I’m done ranting.
Pastor Ryan


Vibrantly Alive, 1 John 5:1-13

Welcome to this week’s 2nd Look.
Recently I read an article, and I’ve heard several people say, they have never seen anything like what is currently happening in their lifetime. I would have to agree with them. We can discuss whether it’s the pandemonium that is deserved or not, but the reality is we are brought to super social distancing whether we want it or not.

NOW, you may or may not know this about me but I’m not a huge fan of social media. I think it’s often a way to artificially build community and it creates this illusion of being known well, by others, when in reality we are only known in sound bites, or we create pictures of ourselves online that are only a snapshot of the whole story. Social media leaves us feeling like being known in snapshots is enough for us, when in reality it is far from enough.

Ok enough of my diatribe against social media. While I see it’s drawbacks, right now social media is actually a great resource! We can use it to connect with one another. We can use it to share our hearts. We can use it to make needs known.

Here’s my invitation to you:
Consider reaching out to someone this week through email or social media outlets like Facebook. You cannot catch or give Coronavirus through a text or an email, but you can give a blessing. Ask for a prayer request, and share a blessing with them. Ask if they have needs.
    Some of our beloved brothers and sisters have been ordered by our governor to stay home. Maybe they have needs that we can help meet. If you are a family that has been quarantined and you have needs like toilet paper, paper towels, food, other things… perhaps you might consider making this need known so we can help.

Folks… how do we use this opportunity to make social media work for us? We don’t have to go through this alone. We have an opportunity to actively seek to bless others in whatever way we can. Let’s blow each others’ phones and Facebook accounts up!!!
Reach out with blessing and let’s take this opportunity to pray for each other!!!

May God bless you in Quarantine this week!!!!
Pastor Ryan

 



They Will Know We Are Christians By Our… What Is It?, 1 John 4:7-21

“In Essentials: Unity
 In Non-essentials: Liberty
 In all things: Charity”

The words above are often called the “watchword of Christian peacemakers.” It was a phrase coined by 17th-century German theologian Rupertus Meldenius. What do you think it means?
If you’d like to read more here’s a great article.
Essentials Unity Non-essentials Liberty All Things

I invite you to consider what this statement above means for you.
What is it inviting you to?
Do you believe it is true?
In what areas is it hard for you to love this statement with others?

Have a great week everyone!
Pastor Ryan

 

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



Confidence, 1 John 3:19-24

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.

Ephesians 1:17-18:

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…

For this week please pray:- Father, thank you for giving us your Holy Spirit, to live in our hearts and to open our eyes to your greatness.

– Holy Spirit, open not just our eyes, but the eyes of every church in our town to your greatness. Remove those things that keep our hearts hardened towards you. Show us when we have hardened our hearts by sin and let us be courageous enough to let you lead us again.

Thanks, everyone!
May God grant you his wonderful peace and joy this week!!!
 

Pastor Ryan
 


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!!!