2nd look

Passion Week

2nd look
Howdy everyone
This is passion week!  Wait… This is what?
This year in honor of our dearly departed brother Billy Graham, I have decided to use a beautiful devotional guide to the Passion Week that his organization has put together.
I invite you to join me as we work our way through this wonderful week and prepare our hearts for Resurrection SUNDAY!!!
If you would like the prettier version of this guide you can sign up for one and get it here at this link: https://lp.billygraham.org/easter/?SOURCE=BY133ENNG&gclid=Cj0KCQjwtOLVBRCZARIsADPLtJ0wr_6tD-c46U9oIUR_vnsl8xXgovTwq_0YlGr4mTXrudc67rhe61gaAvWeEALw_wcB
But, if not, here is the guide printed below for you.
As we gaze on a confused and frustrated world, this Scripture comes to mind: “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached
to save those who believe
” (1 Corinthians 1:21). The idea of our world being saved by Christ on the cross was foolishness to the proud and boastful Corinthians of the Apostle Paul’s time, who thought that the wisdom of the world was vested in them. And there are many people like them today. But how different it is for those of us who in simple faith know Christ and Him crucified. For us, as the apostle wrote, the cross of Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
We have been saved by His grace and mercy. We do not deserve it, we did not pay for it, we did not work for it. It has been given to us as a gift. It is by the work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross—and by His resurrection—that we can claim any right to the great Kingdom that is yet to come.
When others look at you, do they see the hope that you have in Christ, both for this life and for eternity?
Who looks forward to turning on the news these days? All we seem to hear about are problems. People are losing jobs and savings. A person can get depressed listening
to it all, and many people are fearful. If you are facing hardship during these tough times, my heart goes out to you. Life isn’t always fair or easy. You may feel you do not know where to turn. But one of the Bible’s greatest truths is this: God never abandons us when life becomes difficult. He is always with us and wants to help us, even when things seem to be going wrong. He does not guarantee to reverse every misfortune, but if Christ lives in our hearts, we have His promise that nothing “in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). What a guarantee! Instead of being fearful about the future, this Easter we can trust and believe that God is working a purpose in our lives. We can have hope!
Despite troubles and bad news, are you able to rejoice in the Gospel—the Good News of your salvation in Christ Jesus?
 When the devil tempted Jesus, it was a real temptation. He tempted Him to turn stones into bread and feed all the hungry people (see Matthew 4:1–4). Jesus could have done it, but He was here to take people to Heaven, to give them eternal life. And He could do that only by going to the cross and taking their judgment and their Hell. From the cross He was saying, “I love you. I love you, whoever you are.” He would have died on that cross if you had been the only person in the whole world. He loves you. You are important to Him.
Outside the influence of the cross there is bitterness, intolerance, ill will, prejudice, hatred, crime, and war. That is why—if the world does not turn to Christ, and Him crucified and raised from the dead—we could see the judgment of God falling upon our world.
Have you met Christ at the foot of the cross, turned from your sins, and put your life completely under His control?
As we approach the celebration of Good Friday, I’m reminded of the seven sayings of Jesus from the cross and the glory and the power in each saying.
Jesus was alone. He had come to His own, and His own did not receive Him. When He was being arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, we are told that “all the disciples deserted him and fled” (Matthew 26:56). The crowds who had so recently shouted, “Hosanna!” would soon shout, “Crucify him! … Crucify him!” (Matthew 21:9; 27:22–23). Now even His loyal Twelve had left. And at last we hear Him cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Not only had He been forsaken by His human companions, but
now in that desperate and lonely hour, He— because He was bearing our sins in His own body on the cross—had been forsaken by God. Jesus was enduring the suffering and judgment of Hell for you and for me.
How can you show your gratitude to God for allowing His Son to endure the shame and suffering of the cross?

Good Friday—
(By the way- Good Friday service at our church 7pm!)
Good Friday celebrates the day our Lord died for our sins on the cross. I have often sat by the hour and tried to imagine the agony and suffering He went through because of our sins. At one point He said from the cross, It is finished (John 19:30). He meant that God had accepted His work on the cross as the penalty for our sins. Christ’s death on our behalf is the reason God can forgive us and still be just. And His death teaches us the depth and breadth that there should be in our forgiveness of one
another. While that holy Friday was tremendous, it was only a prelude to Sunday morning when He was raised from the
dead. Godly women had come to see His tomb, but angels made
the glorious announcement, “He has risen!” (Luke 24:6). His resurrection guaranteed that we, too, will be raised, if we are believers and obeyers
of His Word.
As you celebrate the truth that Jesus came from Heaven to redeem you, are you re ecting His likeness to those around you?
From Genesis to Revelation, we are warned that “it is later than you think.” Paul writes to Christians in Romans 13:11–12: “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we rst believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
There are millions of people around the world who do not have peace at this moment because they have never found the secret of peace. Some of them may have riches today as a result of greed and covetousness; but their souls are lean, their hearts are cold toward God, their consciences are dulled, and their minds are blinded. They need to know that there is a God of marvelous love who sent His Son Jesus Christ to this world. And as a demonstration of His mercy, Christ—who
is the Prince of Peace—went to the cross
to make a way for peace between God
and mankind.
Are you living in the reality of Jesus’ victory over death? In what tangible ways can you share that victory with others so that they, too, can have life?
Resurrection Sunday
Easter is a season of great gladness for those who know Christ. But for those who are without “the light of the knowledge of God’s glory” (2 Corinthians 4:6), there is nothing to rejoice over.
Jesus left us with the great hope and certainty that He is going to return to bring a new Heaven and a new earth where, we are told, there will be no more sorrow, trouble, or death for those who have believed and followed Him. There will be trouble, sorrow, and suffering for those who have neglected or rejected Him. As Christians, our great task is to obey the command to tell the whole world about Christ crucified, buried, yet risen again. My prayer for you during this season of the year, when we meditate on our Savior’s great sacrifice for us on the cross, is that you will be filled with great peace and hope, because “He is risen!” That is the Good News.
As you follow Christ, are you obeying His command to tell others that He is risen indeed? 

Jesus Isn’t Enough For Some People, Mark 8:1-21

Lectio Divina— Mark 8:11-21
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 I 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, try to 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; 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.

Part 3: “Meditatio” – Read the 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” – Read the same passage again. This time, 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. Maybe pray and recognize you are surrendering your will to God. 

Jesus and the Mystery of Faith, Mark 7:24-30

Hello everyone and welcome to 2nd look.


I closed the sermon this week with this idea:


Jesus’ Compassion


   We don’t just live in it…

       Someday we’ll be led to live it!


What do you think about when you see this statement?

Sit with this over the next few days. Maybe at the beginning of every day you can simply read this statement and pay attention to what stands out to you.


What does it mean to you that you live IN Jesus’ compassion? What about the idea that someday God will develop this compassion in you? In what ways have you already seen him do it?


Have a great week everyone!


Pastor Ryan

Jesus Gets At the Heart of the Matter, Mark 7:1-23

Hello everyone and welcome to 2nd look.

There are some seemingly paradoxical thoughts I want to invite you to chew upon with me this week:

The more we embrace the fact that our hearts are where the main problem is, the more we can rest.

It is our unwillingness to accept that we are broken that is precisely the reason we remain so.

Cleanliness is not next to godliness, brokenness is.

Think about these ideas this week. Do you see them in scripture? Are these just pithy statements that have nothing to do with what Jesus teaches? Or could they actually be true?

I pray for God’s leading over you this week and that He may grant you His wonderful and profound peace!!!

Pastor Ryan

What I Do With My Neighbor

Howdy folks!

This is our final 2nd look of the series: What I Do With What I Got.


We looked at how God’s 2nd great commandment is for us to love our neighbors.

We asked the question: Who is my neighbor?


This week I invite you to spend some time in Luke 10:25-37.

What do you notice in this story about who Jesus says is our neighbor and what it looks like to actually be a neighbor to someone?


Let’s take some time to consider this as our week progresses and may you have a fantastic week living in God’s grace and mercy!


Pastor Ryan


From Debt Fueled Slavery to Living Free

Hey folks! Yesterday Mike and I spoke on steps we can take to move towards financial freedom and living soundly with our finances. I received some feedback yesterday that is worth discussing.


Some of you may have been in there thinking: “There’s no way for us to do what you are saying. What if I need a new car, and I need it to be reliable, and gas efficient, because I’m a heavy commuter? Is it ok to get a car loan to buy a more reliable car than take a risk on a $2000 clunker? What if I’m only making $500 or a $1,000 a month and my company doesn’t give me a 401k or health insurance, and I barely have enough to pay rent? And sometimes I go over and have to use a credit card, is that ok? What if I have so much debt that the interest is killing me and I’m drowning in it? What if I’m in my senior years, on a fixed income and some of the things you are saying are just not relevant to me? Isn’t it good to have a credit card so that you can have a credit score?”


These are great questions. Our hope was to teach sound financial principles. Only you can decide what works for you but we truly believe living by a budget is the best, most sound way to do things. We believe that taking out loans and going into debt is something we should try to avoid. If you have to take on debt, you do, but this doesn’t make it the best or first choice we should take. If you have a credit card, and use it, then pay it off at the end of the month, then that works for you. Great! For my wife and I, that technique only invites destruction; but for some of you it works. Great keep it up!


Aly and I have had to make tough decisions and we have many more to make. No matter how much I may hem and haw, I cannot avoid these principles. How YOU apply them may be different than I do- but I still believe in them.


In the end- you have to ask yourself: Does this work for me? Does it actually work or am I falling into deeper slavery to debt?


Here are 3 great online resources for you to check out regarding sound financial practices.


This has a great budgeting resource and other great advice:



This is a great resource for those who are beginning their financial journey:



This is an amazing website with tons of articles and resources. When I read this site, I thought, man this guy is just like me:

This is a great article on spending habits and how to get them under control:



Also if you have further questions you can email me. I am not a guru, but I’d be happy to talk with you and help you explore some answers.

Have a great week everybody!!

Amazing Generosity

Hello SNC!

Here is a quick summary of the main points from Sunday’s sermon.


5 Blessings of Living Generously


  1. We get to join God in what He is doing
  • When we live generously, we get to join God in blessing the world.
  1. The promise of eternal reward
  • God promises us that when we are generous we build up treasures in heaven!
  1. Real life benefits
  • Scripture points to generosity as a foundation for true life- and scientific studies are finding this to be true.
  1. We break free… from wealth’s tyranny
  • When we are generous we shift the allegiances of our hearts. We choose to follow God and serve him rather than our wealth.
  1. We get to see God provide!
  • When we step out and risk with God, we get to see him provide!!!


Here’s a quick question for you. How do you view generosity? Do you view it a blessing not just for others but also for yourself? Here are a few scriptures to read this week.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Matthew 6:19-20 and 1 Timothy 6:17-19


What might God be leading you to do in light of what we know to be true of generosity?


Have a great week everyone!!!


Pastor Ryan


Money and Possessions

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


Read this passage a few times this week and every time, reflect upon the following questions. Let’s see how the Holy Spirit may direct you.


Please remember, this is not meant to be an exercise where you beat yourself up; but rather to simply embrace or admit what is true and give it to the Lord asking Him to direct your heart, mind and life because he is gracious and patient with you!


1 Timothy 6:17-19


1) Is my wealth a source of my pride and personal worth?

2) Is my wealth, or is God, the thing I put my hope in for my comfort, enjoyment and future?

3) Am I willing to be generous when called to?  



May God’s peace be with you this week!!!


Pastor Ryan

What I Do With Me

This week I want to discuss with you what we believe is the blueprint for growing as a Christian! As a matter of fact, we believe that if you are growing in these three ways, you will thrive as a Christian throughout your journey with God. This doesn’t mean things will always be easy or peachy keen- but you will deepen and grow with the Lord.


What does it look like to grow as a Christian?

We need to grow in three ways…


First, we need to KNOW the Gospel.

KNOWing the Gospel is about the development of our minds. It means we grow to think more and more like Jesus. We learn from His teaching and we grow to know them so well that they change the way we view everything.


Second, we need to LIVE the Gospel.

LIVEing the Gospel is about having a relationship with God’s church and most importantly, having a friendship with God Himself. This is what the Gospel teaches: because of Jesus we can now have a relationship with God! So as Christians we need to emphasize these relationships in our life.


Third, we need to SHARE the Gospel.

SHAREing the Gospel is about getting out there and SHAREing the love of Christ with our neighbors, our co-workers, our family members and more. As Christians, we receive the love of God and it is meant to pour through us onto others.


Why do I share this with you? Well, this Sunday we discussed making intentional choices to benefit our body, our mind and our soul. We talked about how these things are gifts to us from God. As you can see, our three ways of growth involve us making intentional choices to care for our bodies, minds and souls. It’s all about being INTENTIONAL!


What is a small beneficial change you can bring into your life to be good to your body, your mind, and soul? Let this be a matter of prayer for you this week.


May God’s peace rule your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!!!


Pastor Ryan

What I Do With Time

Hello and welcome to this week’s 2nd look.


For this week I invite you to just take an extra 30 seconds.


It’s pretty simple: at certain points throughout the day take an extra 30 seconds while doing something and during that time, simply enjoy it. View it as a gift from God and enjoy. If your child hugs you, take an extra 30 seconds. If you are eating a fantastic meal, slow down, take an extra 30 seconds. If you’re looking at a beautiful sunset, take an extra 30. See what I’m saying? Give yourself some time this week to enjoy the fact that God has blessed you with this moment.


God is an amazing Creator and when you take the time to enjoy what He has created, you begin to see everything with new eyes. He is such a brilliant artist! Oh, how lovely it is to see all the different hues and colors in this world. The fearsome and ferocious nature of the ocean and yet it’s stark and wondrous glory. The fantastic tastes and smells that are available to us. None of it was necessary. God made it that way. It wasn’t an accident. God is a brilliant yet playful and generous artist. Let’s take time to enjoy that!


Have a great week and may God grant you His wondrous peace!


Pastor Ryan