2nd look

Jesus Sends the Disciples and Loses His Cousin, Mark 6:7-30

Hello and welcome to the 2nd Look.
For this week I want to share one of our main points from Sunday’s sermon:

 

If you are a follower of Jesus, you will be SENT!

 

Yea, I know Ryan.

 

No seriously. You. WILL. BE. SENT!

Seriously???

 

I think we hear a line like this and we nod our heads in approval but deep inside we don’t really buy it.

 

Well, maybe somebody else will be sent, but not me. And if I’m to be sent, then where, cause I’m not that go-over-the-seas type of guy…

 

We think maybe this being “sent” is for someone else. But the reality is, we will all be sent.

We need to ACCEPT AND EXPECT this!

We might be sent across the street to our neighbors, sent across town, or across the county. We may be sent across the country or the world. But the reality is this:

as followers of JESUS- WE WILL BE SENT!

 

Here are 2 verses I’m sharing with you to support this idea.

John 14:12

Luke 4:18

 

I invite you to read these verses and see if you can figure out how they support the main point I’m making that you will be sent.

 

And here’s the cool thing! When we are “sent”, and we actually go in obedience to God- these are the moments we see Him move and we get to work in partnership with Him, under his guidance and empowering. It is SO Cool; and this is what makes the Christian faith an adventure. When we don’t go with God as He invites us- we miss out on a huge joy of the Christian life.  

 

One last question for you to consider: “Lord; how might you be wanting to send me?”

 

Have a great week everyone!!!

 

Pastor Ryan



Sunland/Tujunga Fire 2017

Howdy SNC brothers and sisters!

 

This past weekend was definitely one we will remember for quite some time. I know when I drive the 210 freeway, I will see those hills that were once green with shrubs, trees and grasses, then lament over how in just a matter of days, it burned before our eyes. It reminds me of how so many things we take for granted, simply aren’t guaranteed to us. This weekend a song kept running through my head off of Switchfoot’s newest album.

  

Seriously? Again? Ryan are you trying to make me a fan of Switchfoot?

 

Why yes… yes I am!

Hahaha, but in all seriousness, they wrote a song titled: “If the House Burns own Tonight.” It’s an amazing song with a profound message. Below, I’ve given you the lyrics to the song. I’ve also given you a YouTube link if you want to listen to it.

 

The main question of the song is: what are the things we really hold on to? What are the things that really matter? That if I lost everything else, I’d still be ok because I have this?

 

I invite you this week, in the aftermath of the fires of 2017, to consider with Switchfoot and myself, the questions this song asks.

 

Also, please note my favorite line in the song:

“Holding you and the wheel it occurs to me

We’re driving down the edge of eternity

And if the house burns down tonight

I’ve got everything I need when I got you by my side…”

 

We’re driving down the edge of eternity my friends. We have eternal life because of Jesus!

 

Have a great week my friends. And please enjoy the song!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS7jlWG5Dlw

 

[Intro]
Ashes from the flames
The truth is what remains
The truth is what you save
From the fire
And you fight for what you love
Don’t matter if it hurts
You find out what it’s worth
And you let the rest burn

[Verse 1]
The sunset burns like gasoline
Touch me and make sure that I’m not dreaming
I see her face and my heart skips beats
But I still get the feeling that we’re half asleep and

There’s a spark in the corner of my baby’s eye
Like a distant star that won’t burn quiet
And I might not know what I want from this life
But I know I want more than the starting line

So give me the fire

[Chorus 1]
I can hear the motor running down the interstate
And all the distractions fade away
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need with you by my side

I see the smoke piling up in the rear view mirror
Yeah but I ain’t ever seen it any clearer
If the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need when I got you by my side
And let the rest burn
And let the rest burn

And let the rest burn

ADVERTISING

[Verse 2]
I’ve given too much of my heart away
My soul’s holding on like a house divided
Like a match it burns down like a masquerade
And I had to let it go when the fire ignited

One heart, two hands, your life is all you hold
(your life is all you hold)
To hold, hold tight and let the bitter go
Yeah let it go, and give me the fire

[Chorus 2]
The smoke tries choking the pacific sun
We rocket down the road like we’re shot out of guns
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need with you by my side
Holding you and the wheel and it occurs to me
We’re driving down the edge of eternity
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need when I got you by my side

And let the rest burn
And let the rest burn

[Bridge]
Put your hand in mine and
Put your heart in driving
We got everything we need yeah
We got everything we need yeah
Left it all behind us
What we need will find us

We got everything we need yeah
We got everything we need yeah

Can you hear that motor running
Can you hear that motor running
There ain’t no stopping us now
There ain’t no slowing us down

Can you hear that motor running
Can you hear that motor run, run, run

[Chorus 3]
And all those lies that mattered most to me
Were draining me dry making a ghost of me
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need, everything I need
There’s a fire coming that we all will go through
You possess your possessions or they possess you
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need when I got you by my side

And let the rest burn

[Outro]

Ashes from the flames, the truth is what remains


Jesus Meets a Rock He Cannot Move, Mark 6:1-6

Howdy folks,

Welcome to the 2nd look.

 

This week, consider 3 Core Belief’s we need to combat the growth of pride in our lives. These were shared during our sermon on Sunday.

 

1)   I am loved even though I am a mess.

Some of us have trouble believing we are loved. Some of us have trouble believing we are each a mess. The truth is we are both and we need to be reminded of it often.

 

2)   No matter how well I get to know Jesus, there will always be something He can teach me.

We are never finished products, until we are fully home with the Lord. This means we need to realize there is always something we can learn, there are always ways we can keep growing. We have weaknesses. We make mistakes.  We can learn from them. It’s humbling to admit this- but it is truly healthy.

 

3)   The most important question I can ask is: “God, what are you doing in my life?”

This is a question that assumes God is always at work, in and around us. Our job is to become aware of what He is doing and to join Him. What’s most important is what HE is doing.

 

My invitation to you is to think of these 3 Beliefs. To let them sink into your mind. Pride is one of the most destructive things in our world and it can creep into us without us barely even noticing. But no matter what- we must fight against it with every fiber of our being.

 

Have a great week everybody.

And may God grant you His peace as a person who is mess but completely loved!

Pastor Ryan    



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

I want to remind you of the lessons of powerful faith we learned from the story in this week’s sermon. I’m going to rephrase them a bit.

 

  • Powerful faith begins with desperation and dependence.

It all begins with us knowing we are completely powerless without Christ.

We are truly dependent upon Him.

  • Powerful faith is active.

It’s not just sitting there thinking about it. We begin exercising faith when we actually take a step- when we actually follow.

  • Powerful faith is persistent in overcoming obstacles.

If we know there is no better place to be than by Jesus’ side, faith says: “I will stop at nothing to get close to Jesus!”

  • Powerful faith somehow played a role in the miracle.

Think about this. Jesus told the woman: “Your faith has made you well.” Well, we’d actually be more inclined to say: “God made her well,” or “Jesus healed her.” But somehow- some way- this woman’s faith, and Jairus’ faith, played a role. The true nature of just how faith impacts God’s movement is a mystery. I wish I could give you a clear explanation but I cannot. The reality is… It’s a mystery. All we can do is simply know- that my faith, somehow- makes a difference. Think about that. God has taken us- those who were His enemies, radically saved us through Jesus, and then given us a role to play in the kingdom! How amazing is His love for us!!!!

 

Folks, my invitation to you this week is to consider these powerful faith lessons and ask yourself what the state of your faith is.

 

Have a wonderful week everybody.

If you like music here is a great song about faith.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNwt7LQiYck

 

May God’s peace be with you all!

Pastor Ryan



Jesus and the Demoniac, Mark 5:1-20

Howdy everyone!!!

 

I had several conversations after church yesterday and some interesting thoughts came up. Some things I didn’t mention.

 

Here’s a question that has been rattling around in my brain.

  • Why did Jesus allow these demons to go into these pigs? Does he hate pigs that much? Jeez Louise!
  • Jesus’ actions result in catastrophic economic loss for someone – it seems rather careless on His part – or just plain callous!
  • And why does Jesus allow these demons to remain in the area? Why not just annihilate those guys??

 

These questions made me wonder “Why Jesus?”

But Mark doesn’t really tell us. He doesn’t feel the need to explain Jesus’ actions. If Jesus wants to send a bunch of demons into a bunch of pigs then that’s his prerogative.

 

But, I wonder if one of the reasons may emerge in how Jesus deals with the demoniac.

 

Ok – let me back up a bit… give you some basic thoughts that might lead to an answer:

  • This was clearly a gentile area. We know that Jews didn’t eat pigs. They wouldn’t even touch them. This was not a Jewish area. They likely worshipped Roman or Greek gods and goddesses.
  • Jesus travelling through this area is another powerful indicator of God’s heart for those who aren’t Jewish (AKA “Gentiles”). The kingdom of God is for ALL people.
  • But these people have no respect for Jehovah and they do not understand Jesus at all. They don’t have any frame of reference for Him. Their minds cannot even grasp what Jesus is bringing to them.
  • So Jesus heals this man and when the man asks to go with him – Jesus says “No, go back to your people and tell them what God has done for you. Tell them of His mercy…”

 

And here’s where the pigs possibly come in…

 

When you tell them of what God has done for you – they will notice you are different – but then they may also say, “Wait a second – that huge pig incident was about you? You’re the guy with the pigs? You’re the pig guy? That was you??”

 

If this were a possible explanation for why Jesus would allow mass porcine genocide it paints a picture of a very intentional thought and plan on Jesus part. “Yea, I’ll let these demons remain and they will serve a purpose: to loudly announce the kingdom of God to a group of people that have no idea what the kingdom is. This will serve to begin to open their eyes and then they will look at the man who announces to them that God has done such great things for him!”

 

Maybe Jesus wasn’t a huge pig hater! Maybe Jesus wasn’t making a foolish mistake sending the demons out. Maybe Jesus had a plan behind everything He was doing and that plan involved using the destruction of these demons for His own redemptive purposes! Once again, what does this confirm to me? Jesus is the baddest dude in the room!!!!!

 

   If He’s that powerful perhaps He’s worthy of our trust! Just something to think about this week.

 

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

Pastor Ryan



Jesus and the Storm, Mark 4:35-41

“When faith is M.I.A.,
fear is not far away.”

 
Good morning SNC brothers and sisters.
It’s 2nd look time!
 
This week I invite you to consider the question I left you wit on Sunday.
 
The question went something like this:
Think about something you are nervous, worried or scared about in your life. Something that may feel like a storm coming against your “boat.” Now think about how you view Jesus in the midst of that storm? Does He seem distant, aloof, uncaring, or the opposite? In your mind is He the one with the solution or do you feel tempted to look elsewhere? Who is Jesus for you in the midst of this storm?
 
Bring this to God in prayer this week and consider Mark 4:35-41 again as you pray.  We mustn’t forget who Jesus is and just what He is capable of! 
 
Have a great week everybody and may God strengthen you in the grace of Jesus Christ!
 
Pastor Ryan



Jesus’ Kingdom Parable Part 2: , Mark 4:21-34

“God is always more profoundly moving than we think He is; even when it seems like He is doing nothing at all.”

 

This is perhaps the center point of the sermon from this past weekend. When we realize this, we come to see that our task is to find where He is at work- to find what He is doing and then to join Him in the harvest!

 

I closed the sermon on Sunday talking about how this idea was true in the life of Joseph. But he wasn’t the only biblical character where this was true. God was working in Moses’ story even when it seemed He wasn’t. God was working in the story of the Israelites even at those moments when He seemed silent. God was active behind the scenes in the story of Esther. God was a force-moving incognito at times in the story of David. The list goes on and on.

 

This week, I invite you to pray with me. “Father, give me eyes to see some of the ways your Holy Spirit is working around me, or in me. Father, give me the courage to join you when you reveal to me what you are doing.”

 

Don’t be surprised if He shows you something this week.

Have a great week everybody! May God grant you his peace beyond all understanding!

 

Pastor Ryan



Jesus, They Think You’re Crazy, Mark 3:20-34

Hello SNC brothers and sisters. 2nd Look is back!

There have been multiple factors that have influenced our “radio silence” for the last month or so, but things look to be getting back on track.

 

Here’s the main idea from this week’s sermon:

“When you have the Kingdom of God moving IN your heart and THROUGH your life, you are bound to be misunderstood, labeled, and at times, flat out rejected.”

 

This was not an easy sermon to prepare for or to preach. It’s basically giving people bad news. I don’t like giving people bad news. And yet, in the midst of all of this is the powerful truth that we serve a kingdom that is triumphant. So while Satan may wish to destroy us and he may throw all kinds of trouble our way- we ultimately serve a King and a kingdom that will not be defeated! (Can I get an “amen”?)

 

It reminds me of a song that we have sung several times in church by Elevation Worship called: Unstoppable God.

 

Below are the lyrics and a link to listen to the song. My invitation to you this week is to listen to this song, contemplate the lyrics…

AND

let yourself sit with the final questions from the sermon:

Do you find that the fear of being misunderstood, labeled or rejected keeps you from taking risks with God?

 

What would it mean for you to simply accept that this will happen and step out in faith?

 

Here are the link and the lyrics for “Unstoppable God”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBY2iZgBfr0

 

“Unstoppable God”

Heaven thundered…..   And the world was born
Life begins and ends…. In the dust You formed
Faith commanded…..     And the mountains moved
Fear is losing ground…. To our hope in You

Unstoppable God…… Let Your glory go on and on
Impossible things…… In Your name they shall be done

Freedom conquered…… All our chains undone
Sin defeated……. Jesus has overcome
Mercy triumphed…..When the third day dawned
Darkness was denied….. When the stone was gone
(oh)

Unstoppable God
Let Your glory go on and on
Impossible things
In Your name they shall be done
[x2]
(oh)

Nothing shall be impossible
Your kingdom reigns unstoppable
We’ll shout Your praise forevermore
Jesus our God unstoppable
[x4]
(oh)

Unstoppable God
Let Your glory go on and on
Impossible things
In Your name they shall be done
[x2]

(oh)


Strength For Dad’s: 5 Things That Strengthen Us For the Journey

Hello Dads!

I truly hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day. I want to give you the list of the power-ups for dads I shared in yesterday’s sermon. Anyone can be blessed to have these things in their lives, and as you look at the list- I invite you to pray and ask the Lord: “Father what would be your invitation to me with these power-ups?”

I truly believe in the restorative, inspiring, strengthening power of each of these things. Check them out and let them be a matter of prayer and conversation between you and God.
Here they are:

 

5 Power-Ups for Dads!

  • Regularly celebrating that first and foremost: I AM God’s Son

This can be a wonderfully freeing, and hopeful truth we so often forget but desperately need to have at the forefront of our minds.

  • The presence of true brothers in my life

A true brother is like-minded with you; walks alongside of you; wants to see you become the best version of who God created you to be; celebrates truth with you; has your back and supports you.

  • The gift of a haven

A haven is a place of refuge, restoration, and rejuvenation. We all need a haven… or several!

  • Embracing the fact that I am human, and so is everyone else

Dads are human beings. We need to embrace the fact hat we are human. This can show up in different ways. For some of us it means we need to give ourselves some grace- yeah we are human and we make mistakes. For some of us as Dads it means that we are only human and therefore we will always have things we can learn. We haven’t arrived. For some of us as dads embracing humanity means we can give grace to our kids or our own parents. Embracing humanity is a huge idea!

  • Holy Spirit empowering

Finally we need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Real transformation as dads doesn’t happen through our own sheer grit and determination- it happens through holding tightly to Jesus- walking with him- enjoying him and then letting God transform us!

 

As this week progresses, let these power-ups be present with you. Let me invite you to simply put these before God and see what He might say to you. What might he have you know or understand? Is there an invitation he is giving you in all of this?

 

Have a great week everybody!

 

Pastor Ryan



Jesus Doesn’t Do It Right, Mark 2:18-22

Hi folks-

Welcome to this week’s 2ndLook!

If you remember, this past Sunday we talked about how Jesus is joyful and so is his Kingdom. We often get this picture of God that He is an austere, overly serious, unhappy, and opposed to joy. Because we think God is all of these things we begin to think we must be these things as well. I have had multiple conversations with people through the years who think it’s actually inappropriate to get excited in church- to be loud, to jump around, to dance. I think in reality Heaven is going to be all of these things and more. We are going to celebrate for the rest of eternity.

 

Think of something you enjoy in life. I don’t know about you but I’ve often caught myself thinking- I enjoy this thing but I’m pretty sure God either feels nothing about the fact that I enjoy this thing or He actually is unhappy that I enjoy this thing. Maybe He thinks I enjoy it too much? But I would rarely think God is actually enjoying the fact that I’m enjoying this.

 

I used to go to the beach to play and ride waves. If you were to ask me if I thought God loved the fact that I enjoyed this I’d probably say that I didn’t think God felt one way or the other about it. But as the years have gone by I’ve begun to realize that God is a heavenly Father who loves His kids and loves to give good gifts to His children. Sure He disciplines us at times but He does this because He delights in us.  I have begun to realize that my enjoyment of His creation is an opportunity to celebrate with Him. Hey, even God saw what He created and said: “It is good!

 

Now one person might say: “What if what you are enjoying is sinful? God wouldn’t possibly enjoy that we are sinning would He?” I don’t think God enjoys us becoming enslaved to things. Certainly, He will call us away from things that are bad or enslave us. And that is where discipline comes in. But so often I’ve found myself thinking God may not even enjoy my laughter or the fact that I’m having fun. No, God only enjoys when we are beating ourselves up, denying ourselves something, reading our Bible and being super Christians doing spiritual disciplines.

 

We hear the phrase “spiritual disciplines” and it freaks us out because we can’t possibly imagine how the disciplines could be a joyful experience. The word “discipline” is such a heavy word. But even the disciplines can be acts of joy.

 

I think we need to add the word “delight” to the list of spiritual disciplines. What would it look like for us to intentionally delight in things and let our delight turn us towards God in gratitude and celebration? If you see a great sunset; delight in it, drink it in, and then proclaim with God that His creation is good. We get a great hug from our spouse, or kiss… delight in it! God made this to be a wonderful thing to us. Delight in it and thank God for it. We eat a great meal; delight in it, celebrate the great gifts God gives us in a simple meal.

 

Everyday there are reasons to be grateful and celebrate all around us. My invitation to you: Let’s delight and celebrate something every day this week. Your celebration can simply be to enjoy and then turn to God with a simple prayer of gratitude. Today I had a great lunch with a friend and during this lunch we spoke about real things close to our hearts. What a sweet time of discussion and being real with one another. I just sat back and enjoyed great food, good laughter, being vulnerable and thanked God for these moments because I think He was very much enjoying that conversation too.

 

The bible tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from our Father above. Let’s enjoy Him enjoying us this week!

 

Have a great week everyone!

Pastor Ryan