All The Rage

Hello Everyone,
For the last couple weeks we’ve been talking about how we are to live life together as the body of Christ. How are we to treat each other? What things do we seek to avoid? What do we cling to?
This week we looked at the problem of anger. The direction we get from God in Ephesians 4:26 is that we are to not delay but deal and work through our anger. This isn’t always easy.
One thing I alluded to in the sermon was that our anger is often a spotlight on the things we really hold dear. If we look at the things we get angry about, often times we’ll see, underneath it all – that something we hold dear is threatened. It can be our comfort; a loved one; our safety; our desire to succeed. Sometimes things hurt and we get angry. Sometimes we are frightened and we don’t like to feel that way which induces anger in us.
Think back to the most recent time you’ve been angry. What was it that you were angry about? What happened?
Now think about this….. What did this situation threaten in you? Let me give you an example. My son and I recently had conflict. I got upset with him because he didn’t want to clean his room. Sounds pretty normal. What kid wants to clean their room? He was complaining and I got really upset. Let him have it. I needed to stop and think through what happened. My inner conversation went something like this:

– “Well Ryan, that wasn’t the best response. Why are you so mad?”
– He should be willing to clean his room without making this some big dramatic event! I’m sick of it. It’s not like we are asking him to do something unfair, or unheard of!
– Do you like cleaning your room? Or cleaning anything for that matter?
– No.
– Then why should you think he would love it? After all – he’s just like you.
– I know, I just, don’t want to deal with this right now…
– Why?
– It’s inconvenient, it’s Saturday morning, I just want it to get done so we could go to the orthodontist and then get on with the rest of our very full day.
– So you’re mad because William is acting in a way that is inconvenient to you?
– Are you suggesting that his behavior should be allowed?
– No. But I’m suggesting there may be a more constructive way to help him see that he needs to choose a different behavior. Because you yelling at him isn’t going to get it done – but if you choose a more constructive method – it means you’ll need to be inconvenienced. We both know yelling at William doesn’t get through to him the way sitting with him, asking him questions and reasoning through this does… And we both know that in the end, It usually takes him two to three times as long to get done what you want him to when you are yelling.
– sigh.. you’re right again… thank you inner Ryan
– you’re welcome outer Ryan. 🙂

That’s just a quick example of how our inner conversation can look – it doesn’t have to look that way for you – but there are several things going on in that conversation:
Admitting what really made me angry – (I’m frustrated with Will’s resistance to cleaning willingly)
Admitting what was threatened (My desire for comfort and efficiency)
Admitting William is a child and has every right to hate cleaning as much as I do (Which is trying to see things through his eyes)
Looking at alternatives for my behavior to constructively work through my anger with my son. (Calmly choosing how to direct my anger)
This can all happen in a very short time, or it may take some time to sit down and think this through. I know when my wife and I have conflict that sometimes we need to take a moment to move away from each other – to pray and think through these 4 things I listed above, then we can come back together and work through our conflict. It’s not always easy! Incidentally – I went to William and apologized for the way I expressed my anger then sat down and calmly tried to express what frustrated me. I also asked him this question:

“Will – do you think I enjoy cleaning?”
He said: “I don’t know..”
I said – “I don’t… I hate cleaning. I’d rather do anything in the world than clean. Do you feel the same way?”
“Yes”
“William can you see that if I hate cleaning as much as you do – how it would be frustrating for me to clean up your stuff? I don’t like even cleaning my own stuff!”
“Yea.”

We began to build a connection here and we had a very productive conversation. I wish every conversation went that way! 🙂

My point in all of this is to give you a picture of how I’ve been wrestling with this concept and to maybe give some of you who wrestle with anger – a picture that might be helpful.

Anger has big time destructive potential but it can also be a powerful catalyst for change and good. I pray that it might move us into deeper self understanding; and stronger community – rather than hurt and division.

This week my invitation to you is to consider if you are carrying anger. Maybe you’ve held anger for years. It might be time to consider what was threatened when you were angered and what has kept you holding it for all this time. This may need to be something you discuss with a counselor – or with some good friends whom you know you can trust. I am also happy to meet with you if you need a listening ear to think through some of these things. I’m not a licensed therapist – but I am listening ear, and am here for you.
The truth is, we need to be a community that roots out anger and doesn’t allow it to direct us. I pray for the Lord’s blessing on you this week!

Pastor Ryan



True-Faced

Hello SNC Friends!
This past week we began looking at God’s calling to us in regards to how we are to live together. What things are we meant to emphasize as a family of believers? What are we supposed to battle for; to fight for; to place as a priority in our relationships?

This week we looked at how we are called to be people who live in Truth. Paul in Ephesians 4:25 challenges us to put off falsehood and to speak truth. We need to be people of truth! We looked at how we can often lie not only with what we say – but also what we portray. Do we speak lies – do we live lies? This is a deep question for us to ask. How do we battle to live in truth in a day and age where so often we are pulled towards lies?

One of the big questions I asked is something I’d like to invite you to think about… Who really knows you? Are there people here who know the real you? This can be something that requires bravery – but are we willing to have a group of people at church with whom we can be real? My hope is that our church would be a place where people can be real about the truth of their lives. Do you struggle? I know there are things in my life I struggle with. The temptation is to hide this. The path to healing and victory – is to get this in the light. To get known.

So I want to ask you once again. Who really knows you? Men – are there other men here at this church that really know you? You need them and they need you. Ladies – do you have other ladies who really know you?

As a church we need to risk for truth – battle for truth – keep truth at the center of things!!! There is a great deal of life and freedom found in truth. Today may be the day to take some risks and let some people in…

Have a great week everybody!
Pastor Ryan



How would you describe someone who is “Powerfully Alive”

Hello SNC brothers and sisters!
This is our very first 2nd Look of the year as we begin our new sermon series on the book of Ephesians.

How would you describe someone who is “Powerfully Alive?

That is the question that has haunted me for some time. If you know anything about me you know I’m not satisfied with merely being alive; I want something else. I’m inspired by people who have that “something else” about them. Ephesians paints a picture of individual and church life that is powerfully alive. This is the kind of living that brings life; healing and inspires a world around us to sit up and take notice.

How would you describe someone who is “Powerfully Alive?

 Below I’ve written a list of some things that come to mind when I hear the phrase powerfully alive:

  • Transformation-personal and community (Christianity can be exciting when we look at how we are changed in light of knowing Christ. A church that encounters Christ and follows His leading can find that they not only are changed personally-but they are a big force for change in their community.)
  • We see more and more evidence of the fruits of God’s Spirit in our lives and in our church: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.
  • We see God empowering us to serve in awesome and exciting ways!
  • More freedom from the sin that so easily entangles.
  • Our relationships find more healing and more substance to them.
  • Living with eternal purpose and meaning.

These are just some of the things that seem to be evidence of being powerfully alive. I’m sure I missed some-but what’s interesting is how many of these things Ephesians addresses in one way or another. The first part of the book really deals with Who Jesus is and our identity IN HIM! So much begins with our identity in Christ.

So…How would you describe someone who is “powerfully alive?” Take some time this week and think about this. Maybe God wants you to discover more of this powerful living as you discover life in Him.

I pray your new year will be full of great adventures and discoveries. You are loved by God and by me. Have a wonderful week!
Pastor Ryan



Ephesians: Powerfully Alive

Hello Everyone,
The New Year is about to begin and that means a new sermon series for us. What will be studying on Sunday mornings?
Our next series is:
Ephesians: Powerfully Alive
Have you ever met someone who just had something about them? Something that felt life giving? They have an area in their lives where there is life. I’ve met people like this through my life’s journey, and one thing I can say is – in one way or another they inspire me. I’m inspired by creative people who have found freedom to reach; stretch and dream. I’m inspired by leader type people who know how to create a vision and get people to join them; I’m inspired by contemplative people who have found a way to live life that cultivates a deep and powerful relationship with God. I’m inspired by marriages that are marked by mutual trust; respect and passion; that there feels like life is there. I’m inspired by life.

Ephesians is a book about where we find real life; and what it looks like to live it. It’s also about what it looks like to be a church that is powerfully alive. A church like this can inspire; protect; heal and build the kingdom of God in amazing ways. When I read the book of Ephesians, I’m often inspired. No book in the Bible has more profoundly impacted my life. It has been a huge blessing for me and I’m excited to see the ways it will bless us all . . .

So starting this upcoming Sunday, we will begin our new sermon series in Ephesians. See you there!

Pastor Ryan