2nd look

The “Safety Maker”

2nd Look- 6.7.16

“God put you in my path… I had no choice”

This week we looked at what makes us a safe presence to others and one of the biggest contributing factors is Radical Hospitality.

What is this?

Radical Hospitality seeks to show people:

  • They are valuable because they are human- that they are not a lost cause, or not worth our time. Every person is valuable simply because they exist, not based on what they do, their successes or failures, their appearance, their status or wealth, their age, gender, or ethnicity; but simply because they are a human being.
  • They are wonderfully made by God- talented with something great to offer.
  • They are important and loved by God.

This is the path of Jesus in what he did; what he said and what he taught. Everywhere Jesus went- we see him doing these things.

I love the line we opened this article with. I think it would be amazing for us to arrive at a place where we had eyes to see things this way; that God puts people in our path and there is a great blessing for us should we engage and seek to show Radical Hospitality. Such great blessing that we would come to see that there really is no choice.
 
So who has God placed in your path? This week, I’d like to invite you to think about that and to ask the Lord to give you eyes to see whom he is directing you to. Think this week about with whom you can practice Radical Hospitality with.

May God’s peace settle in your hearts this week!

Pastor Ryan



The “Game Changer”

2nd Look 5.31.16

Hello everybody.

For this week I’d like to invite you to take some time with this song.

As we finished the sermon this past week we were reminded that as the BELOVED of God we are called to BE LOVE. That’s the main point of this song by a band called Decemberadio. The song is called: “Least of These”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51FNdl82OWw

I wan to invite you to listen to this song a few times this week. Below are the lyrics. Have a great week everybody and may God grant you his wondrous and incomparable peace!

 

Be love to me… Be hope to me
Cause I’m the least of these… (4x)
Be love, be love

Be grace to me… Be peace to me
Cause I’m the least of these (4x)

My heart is crying out… My hands are reaching out (2x)

Be love, be love to me
Be love

 
I’m the child without a home… I’m the widow left alone
So be love, be love to me

Cause I’m the least of these…. I’m the least of these (4x)

My heart is crying out… My hands are reaching out (2x)

Cause I’m the least of these… (4x)

Be love, be love


The Struggle Is Real

2nd Look
Got The Skills Part 1
Divine Anticipation
 
Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s 2nd look.

This past Sunday we began a new series looking at life skills we can develop that make our faith magnetic to others. The first skill is Divine anticipation. What is this? Divine anticipation is living with the trust that God is near and He is able; that He wants to work through us, and that when we follow Him; He will move.

After sharing this- we looked at three ways for us to build divine anticipation in our lives. I invite you to join me with one of those things this week.

Counting your blessings.

Take time each day to count your blessings. You might want to make a list in a journal. It doesn’t have to be a long time. You can do this for a few minutes each day. It’s really quite simple though. Just take some time- to consider all the ways God has blessed you. No blessing is too big or too small to count. It’s amazing that as you do this- you may find your list growing longer and longer.

Why do this? Because as we begin to count our blessings we are once again made aware of God’s presence. This is one of the big challenges for us as Christians. We often forget God is near, and that He is for us! He is in our corner. He is on our side. He wants what is best for us.

Let’s be reminded this week of God’s presence! Join me in counting your blessings.

Have a great week everybody!

Pastor Ryan



Filling the Void

2nd Look 5.9.16
Hello everyone.
This week please look at the definition of each of the 8 traits:
faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, Godliness, brotherly kindness and Agape love.
Think about where you are in your journey with each step and what practical steps you can take (what can change in your life) in order to grow and mature in these traits.
You may also want to take a look at the attitudes listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and what those should look like in your life.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Have a great week.
DeRon


Giving Away the Awakening

2nd Look 5.2.16

Hello my friends and welcome to this week’s 2nd look. You may recall that this week’s sermon was our final in the “Breaking Free” series. For this week, my invitation to you is simple. I’d like you to set aside some time each day to reflect on your journey of Breaking Free. Here are some questions you can reflect upon with the Lord:
  • Has there been something you’ve needed to break free from?
  • Why is this thing so powerful in your life? What need does it fill for you?
  • Have you found something to fill this need instead of the destructive thing in your life?
  • How has that process been going for you? What has been working for you? What has made it difficult for you?
  • Who can help you in this process? Are you letting them?
  • Lastly- who can you help?

Please take some time this week and consider these questions. They can be very helpful for you to think very intentionally about where you are at in the journey of breaking free.

Have a wonderful week everybody!

Pastor Ryan



“Everyone. Please Proceed To the Nearest Exit.”

2nd Look 4.25.16

 

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s 2nd
look!

This past Sunday we talked about how God provides us an exit when we are in the battle of temptation. But what is an exit?

 

If you remember- I pointed to an exit being three things:

  • Something that helps us say no to temptation;
  • Something that is guilt/shame free;
  • Something that enriches our life.

 

This week I want to invite you to create an exit plan. What are “exits” for you that give you an effective, healthy and life giving option.

 

Remember A True exit is life giving not shame inducing.

 

A true exit can change your life.

Do you have an exit strategy?

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

Pastor Ryan



My Own Prison

2nd look- 4.18.16
Hi everybody and welcome to the 2nd look!

I wanted to start this 2nd look by showing you a recent news editorial I found to be quite inspiring. It’s a story of forgiveness.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/on-the-road-innocent-michigan-man-ends-up-working-alongside-crooked-cop-that-locked-him/

As you consider this story and our sermon this past weekend, I’d like to add some quick practical things to keep in mind when it comes to forgiveness.

  • Forgiveness is a process… It may take time- sometimes you will need to forgive over and over again. That is normal. The biggest thing is when our hearts want to resume the resentment (and who knows why this happens but sometimes it takes a while to let things go), we need to be reminded we cancelled the debt this person owes us- we have wiped the slate clean- they are forgiven… It can take awhile for some things, but this process is worth it in the long run.
  • Following God’s example is truly helpful… When wondering how to forgive- God’s example we looked at in yesterday’s sermon is truly helpful. Spend time in Ephesians 2:1-10 this week to be reminded of this. Here’s a quick recap of God’s approach for forgiveness:
  • God embraces the truth of what has happened. God doesn’t ignore that he’s been sinned against, or pretend it never happened. This isn’t forgiveness. He embraces the truth.
  • He has a larger vision. God has a larger vision. Sometimes we need to have a larger vision than just what has happened. Maybe we need to see the person who hurt us the way God sees them- or see His vision for all of us; or maybe see that the hurt that has happened fits within a grander purpose that will ultimately result in God’s glory- or maybe we can hold hope that in the end; this painful thing will be long forgotten- that we can let go of it. Our ability to forgive can be hugely impacted by our ability to see a larger vision.
  • He Cancels the Debt. God cancels the debt. He doesn’t expect justice- and is not plotting revenge. He has cancelled the debt. This is really a beautiful picture of what forgiveness really is. It’s not us trying to pretend like nothing ever happened, or having to be best friends with someone who hurt us. That can happen sometimes- but this is not the truest aim of forgiveness- the true aim is to cancel the debt.
  • He wishes and seeks the best for the person who has hurt Him. This probably challenges me more than anything else. It’s easy sometimes for me to cancel the debt- but for me to pray and hope for God’s will to be done in their lives; that they would see God glorified in and through them. This is sometimes tough; but it’s undeniable that this is how God forgives!

 

 

I invite you to go to the Lord with this question this week:

Is there someone you need to forgive? A family member? Co-worker? Friend? Yourself?

 

Have a wonderful week everybody.

May God grant you his peace that surpasses all understanding!

Pastor Ryan



What Lurks Beneath

2nd Look- March 11th, 2016

 

Bring it into the light!

 

Sunday we talked about how there is something that often lurks beneath the surface with us and this thing often drives the destructive junk that we can’t seem to leave behind. We spoke about how the best way to deal with this thing that lurks in us; is to understand what it is and then to bring it into the light!

 

What does it mean to “Bring it into the light?” It means that we need to acknowledge it before God and men. We’ve got to get known!

 

Nothing has been more healing for me and countless others who have walked the road to freedom, then this principle of getting the hidden stuff into the light. The Bible has a simple term for this process: “Confession.” If you break down the Greek word that we translate as confession- it basically means: “To say the same thing” or “to agree.” So when we confess- we are acknowledging or agreeing that something is true.

 

The scriptures tell us in 1 John 1:9 that confession before God is crucial to being forgiven and healed… in James 5:16 we see the instruction to confess to one another; and that this is crucial for healing.

 

The picture being painted here is- confession is important. We need to bring it into the light.

 

The question I’d like to invite you to consider this week: Is there something you need to bring into the light? And who might you bring it into the light with? With this second question- you don’t need to be hasty with whom you bring things into the light with. It might behoove you to be wise in whom you choose. With anything, the first step is confession to God; and then ask Him whom you might bring things into the light with. You might be surprised at how God will help you in this.

 

Have a great week everybody!

 

Pastor Ryan



Sinless Delight

2nd
Look 4.04.16

Hi folks- for this week’s second look I’d like to direct you to a passage in scripture: John 8:1-11. I want to invite you to read it this week. Try to picture the scene playing out in your mind. I love how at the end of this story there are two things Jesus says:

  • I don’t condemn you
  • Go leave your life of sin…

I love this- He doesn’t say it the other way around: “Go leave your life of sin and then I won’t condemn you…”

This is powerful to me. My process of leaving the sin in my life is to begin with the fact that I am forgiven and not condemned by God. But rather I am chosen, holy and dearly loved… When I live in this reality- I begin the long road to freedom!

I’d also like to invite you to take some time this week and listen to this song. We sang it on Sunday during communion. Have a great week everybody!!

Here’s the link to the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HELQyZNnR-g

Here are the lyrics:

Come out of sadness… From wherever you’ve been

Come broken hearted… Let rescue begin

Come find your mercy… Oh sinner come kneel

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t heal

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t heal

 

So lay down your burdens… Lay down your shame

All who are broken… Lift up your face

Oh wanderer come home… You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt… Lay down your heart

Come as you are

 

There’s hope for the hopeless… And all those who’ve strayed

Come sit at the table… Come taste the grace

There’s rest for the weary… Rest that endures

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t cure

 

So lay down your burdens… Lay down your shame

All who are broken… Lift up your face

Oh wanderer come home… You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt… Lay down your heart

Come as you are

 

Come as you are

Fall in his arms

Come as you are

 

There’s joy for the morning… Oh sinner be still

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t heal

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t heal

 

So lay down your burdens… Lay down your shame

All who are broken… Lift up your face

Oh wanderer come home… You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt… Lay down your heart

Come as you are

Come as you are

Come as you are



The Highest Power

2nd
Look 3.28.16

 

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the 2nd look for this week.

Since last week was Easter, I’d like to follow this up with a wonderful scripture that we need to be reminded of. It’s power packed- full of hope. Recently, a dear friend of mine who has been battling brain cancer has seen all known possible treatments fail. He has decided to enter hospice care to manage his pain and symptoms in his final days of life. It is terribly sad; we are all grieving greatly for him and for his wife and three beautiful young girls. Please pray for them in the days ahead. The reason I bring this up is that in moments like these I am reminded of this wonderful hope we’ve been given in Christ. It sometimes is the only thing we can cling to as we grapple with this awful loss. But as we know our dear friend is in the hands of God- that he is a deeply passionate man who loves Jesus Christ- we grieve as people who have hope; that we will see him someday again. We have this hope because of verses like the one I’m about to share with you. Check it out- you can see the wonderful promise God makes to us…

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you!

Romans 8: 9-11

What wonderful hope we have today. Sunday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. It can be so awesome to be reminded again that this resurrection didn’t just mean something to Jesus but it ushers in; it opens the door; to a “new and living hope”… FOR US!!!!!

Have a wonderful week my dear friends and may God bless you richly with His peace.

Pastor Ryan