2nd look

“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



Defeating the Junk That Destroys Us

2nd Look 3.21.16

 

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the 2nd look for this week. This week is very special as it is the week leading up to Easter. So I’m going to depart from typical 2nd look modus operandi and simply invite you to immerse yourself in the Easter story this week. Take some time daily to read the passion story. I have copied over a reading plan for you to use as you progress through the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion. In a way, you will walk this week with Him. I pray the Lord blesses you and your loved ones.

-Pastor Ryan

 

Day 1 (Palm Sunday): Read Matthew 21:1-11

(for more reading: Luke 19:29-44 Mark 11:1-11, John 12:12-50) 

Day 2: Read Matthew 21:12-20 and John 12:1-14

(for more reading: Mark 11:11-33) 

Day 3: Read Matthew 21:20-27

(for more reading: Matthew 21:28-23:39, Mark 11:20-12:44) 

Day 4: Read Luke 22:1-6 and Mark 14:1-11

(for more reading: Matthew 24-25, Matthew 26:17-30) 

Day 5 (Last Supper): Read John 19:1-16 and Isaiah 54:7

(for more reading: Luke 22:7-52, John 13-17, 1 Corinthians 11:23-25, Mark 14:12-72) 

Day 6 (Good Friday): Read Mark 14:53-15:41, Isaiah 53:5-6, and 1 Peter 1:18-21

(for more reading: Luke 22:47-53, Luke 23:39-43, John 19:1-37) 

Day 7: Read John 19:38-42 and Romans 6:22-23

(for more reading: Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-66) 

Day 8 (The Resurrection): Read Mark 16:1-7 and Matthew 28:1-20

(for more reading: John 20:1-21:31, Acts 1:9)

 



God why won’t you let me do this?

2nd Look 3.15.16

“God why won’t you let me do this?”
This is a question I have asked often. After all there are lots of things out there I would love to do and yet it seems from the scriptures that God has asked us not to do them. Why? Why would He be such a cosmic killjoy?
Let’s put on our “Philosopher” hats for a second.

Here’s our original question: “Why would God give us a list of things we can’t do – when all those things seem so enjoyable and many who do them are happy?”

There are several possible answers to this question:

  1. God is mean, and a jerk. He takes joy in making us suffer – in robbing us of things that are fun and pleasurable.
  2. God is foolish. He tells us to avoid things and make a big deal out of things that aren’t really a big deal because He’s actually misguided in his prudish notions. He’s making mountains out of molehills because he is foolish.
  3. God is uptight. Maybe that’s simply the case; God likes things the way He likes them – he’s inflexible- uptight – a cosmic snob.
  4. God is wise and has a great reason. This is the one I want to develop a little bit.
Ok – so if any of the first three options are true – then there is reason to distrust God and the picture of the life He calls us to. BUT – to be honest – if there is an all powerful God who has told us to do something or we’ll be crushed like a bug – do we really have an option to go against Him?  We do so to our peril. For any of the first three answers – it doesn’t matter what God’s intentions are because we are simply his creations at his disposal and whim.
But this is not the picture we see painted in the scriptures. The picture; or the claim; the scriptures make, is that God is good; benevolent; loving; and all wise. If this teaching is true then our answer to the initially proposed question is this:

Question: Why does God ask us to avoid things that seem to be so pleasurable and fun?
Answer:
God exists and created all things.
God is all wise and loving.
If these two statements are true – then it is logical to assume.
The loving, all wise, God who created all things would have a good reason.
The ask us to avoid certain things.
Because He knows the best way to live – and that these things ultimately hurt us.

I think we see this thought in 1 Corinthians 6:12. I want to invite you to take some time the remainder of this week with this verse. Read it – reflect on it. In the end – we might need to avoid destructive things because – that is exactly what they are – destructive. Here’s the verse. Have a great week everybody:

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.

1 Corinthians 6:12


Gifts

Hi everybody!

For this week’s 2nd look I’d like to invite you to spend some time in the Scriptures.

Take a few minutes every day this week and read the following Scriptures. As you do – what thoughts come to mind?  What do you notice? What do these passages teach you about the spiritual gifts? 

I’d also like to ask you to take a few moments and pray asking God what your spiritual gifts are. Here is a reading order for you…

Monday: 1 Corinthians 12

Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 13

Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 14

Thursday: Ephesians 4

Friday: Romans 12:3-8

Have a great week everybody and may God bless you!

Pastor Ryan



Your Fruits Depend On Your Roots

Hello SNC Friends!

For this week’s second look I’d like to remind you of our sermons major statement.

 

“Your Fruits Depend On Your Roots”

 

This week I want to invite you to ask these questions with me. Take at least 5 minutes a day and simply sit with these questions. There’s no need to force things or come up with some huge epiphany – simply sit in the quiet with God – ask these questions and see what comes up. Let me warn you though – these are some very powerful questions that can be quite life altering. Here they are:

 

Lord – what’s going on between us?

 

Is there anything in my life that pulls me from you – that puts a wall up between us?

 

Is there something you’re trying to teach me?

 

Is there something that hinders me from hearing you and being closer to you?

 

May God bless you guys- have a great week!

 

Pastor Ryan

 

 



Rhythms of Grace

Hello SNC friends and family and welcome to this week’s second look. For this week I’d like to direct you to click here listen to this beautiful song titled “Rhythms of Grace” by Hillsong United. 

 

These are the lyrics of the song. Take some time – sit down and consider the lyrics of this song. Let it be a prayer for you this week.

 

Have a wonderful Week everybody!

 

Rhythms of Grace

 

My life is a life for your cause

My will laid aside for your call

And reserved all the depth of my heart

Only for You

 

I’m caught in the rhythms of grace

They overcome all of my ways

We align in each step that we take

To live for Your glory

 

There’s none beside You, God

There’s none beside You, God

 

You’re there in dark of the night

While holding the sun and its light

Through the triumph and trials alike

There’s no one beside You

 

Your voice calls the stars by their name

You whisper them all to their place

To testify of Your wonder and praise

Both now and forever

 

There’s none beside You, God

There’s none beside You, God

I live my life to shine Your light

‘Cause there is none beside You, God, oh

 

No eye has seen, no ear has heard

The depths of Your love, Lord

No mind can fathom the love You deserve

How great You are