2nd look

2nd Look 2.12.13

exodus1.jpegHi Everyone!
This week’s second look is a reminder of the questions I closed with on Sunday.  Here they are:
1. Is there something that stands in the way between you and a deeper connection with God; as in your relationship with Him; and His calling on your life?2. Who can you tell about this so that they can walk with you; pray for you and help you?3. What is the plan to move beyond this barrier?
If you remember – on Sunday we looked at how Moses was on the right path – was heading out to embark upon the mission God had given him and yet he was disobedient in some key areas.  That he was “Almost” in; “Almost” there – but there were still key areas of disobedience; and this made a huge difference.  God was unwilling to allow Moses to get away with this.
In many ways God is unwilling to let us get away with this too; and yet we can so often be content to live in the “almost” like Moses; to have little things – hidden things – areas of disobedience that we hold on to – that keep us from growing deeper with Him; going further in the mission He has given us; and basically becoming the people He has called us to be.  We also see this type of “almost” living in our churches.  Do we say we buy in to things like prayer; or living as missionaries in a culture that is not Christian; and yet there are things; hidden or not; that keep us in the “almost” state of living.  We say we believe in prayer and we value it – but in reality we actually almost believe and value it.  
For us the journey is to get honest about these “almost” places in our life – with God, ourselves and others.  Then we need to start taking prayerful and intentional steps to follow God and make changes to these areas.  You’ve often heard it said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results.” This is a very apropos statement.  Too true!  Things like this require us to take a different approach – to take things to the next level – to “wage war”- to “go big”- to do what is necessary to see this change occur in our lives.
Let me close with this…


2nd Look 1.29.13 But Then God…

exodus1.jpeg“We should fix ourselves firmly in the presence of God by conversing all the time with Him…we should feed our soul with a lofty conception of God and from that derive great joy in being His.  We should put life in our faith. We should give ourselves utterly to God in pure abandonment, in temporal and spiritual matters alike, and find contentment in the doing of His will, whether He takes us through sufferings or consolations.”  — Brother Lawrence

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Welcome to 2nd Look!  This week we studied Exodus 2:23-3:10.  There is a lot going on in this passage and if you do further study I’m sure you can glean a great deal from these verses and be challenged in a variety of ways.  As I studied for this sermon – God repeatedly impressed upon me that He was turning the tables – He had entered the picture!  This was something we could not miss.  God was now beginning a new work – and with this suddenly the tone of the book became more hopeful.  Top the Israelites all hope was lost – they had been slaves for hundreds of years with no end in sight. They had suffered terribly with no ability to free themselves from it. They were trapped with no hope of escape BUT THEN GOD came into the picture. He HEARD them! He REMEMBERED His covenant to them. He KNEW their pain. He revealed HIMSELF to Moses. He revealed His PLAN to Moses!


Freedom Begins With Failure – 2nd Look

Hello SNC Family,

This week’s 2nd Look is hopefully going to be short and sweet!

I titled last week’s sermon: Freedom Begins With Failure.

My hope was to point at the fact that our failures are not what define us in God’s eyes.  Our weaknesses, our mistakes; our snafus and painful limitations are all part of the larger story that God is weaving in our lives – and He is able to redeem any mistake and failure. This is the God we serve – powerful and redemptive. You may have experienced failure in your life – and yet these are precisely the things God uses to make us more and more the people we need to be. Do you remember the statement I made in the sermon? “God is not as concerned with what we do, or how well we do it; but rather who we are and who we are becoming.”

My hope for you this week is that you will feel the hope of God in your life – to know He can redeem any failure any pain to make you more and more the person you need to be. I’d like to invite you to click on this YouTube link. It’s to a song by Laura Story titled “Blessings.” Very powerful. May you have a wonderful week safe in the presence and the love of God.

Pastor Ryan

Exodus 2:1-10 2nd Look

exodus1.jpegHave you ever seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?  There is a powerful scene in the movie that illustrates the Biblical concept of faith.  I want to thank Bob Bowker for reminding me of it, and I’m a little disappointed with myself-a huge Indiana Jones fan-that I didn’t think of it myself. 🙂

Nevertheless, in this scene; Indiana is trying to find the holy grail.  His mission is complicated by the fact that his enemy-who is also seeking-has shot his father and he knows the only way to save him is to find the grail and let his father drink from it (the grail has healing powers). They are in a cave and there are several challenges Indiana must pass-each one dangerous and deadly…In this scene Indiana comes before a terrifying challenge.

This scene beautifully illustrates faith as we see it in the Bible.  It’s taking one step, trusting God is with us-will catch us-or in Indie’s case; that even though he doesn’t see any possible way he could be saved-that the information he has is true and correct; and that he needed to take a leap of faith.

Faith doesn’t become real until we take the step. Until that point, we may believe in something; we may pay it lip service; but it is not faith.And this is the dividing point for many Christians in the world today.  We may have a ton of belief but we don’t take the next step; and it is precisely this step that makes all the difference in the world. We may not understand; it may seem there is no way across the chasm; that it makes no sense; and yet we know God has called us in that direction.  Faith requires this step. . .


God is Present – An exploration of the Book of Exodus

exodus1.jpegCongratulations!  It is a season of New Year's resolutions and new beginnings.  What a perfect time to begin a new Sunday morning sermon series!  What will we be looking at?
The book of Exodus!
Ahem… The book of Exodus?
Yes!  The book of Exodus!
Well… that sounds interesting…. Why Exodus?