A Call to Protect

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s second look.

For this week I invite you to read the story of Joseph in Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 2:1-12. Read it several times this week. Close your eyes and picture the scene in your mind, or even try to put yourself in the shepherd’s and the Magi’s shoes. What thoughts, emotions do you feel in this passage? What things to do notice or observe? On Sunday we will get into this story and my hope is for you to spend some time with it this week!

We are in the home stretch- Christmas is this upcoming Sunday! May God bless you and your loved ones in this final week! Merry Christmas!!!!

Pastor Ryan



Tithing As Worship

2nd Look 11.15.16

 

Hi folks,

Welcome to this week’s second look.

For this week I’d simply like to invite you to take time each day to read and reflect on 2 Corinthians 9:1-15. As the week progresses what seems to emerge to you from this passage? This passage has been a great comfort and encouragement to me this past week as I was preparing for Sunday’s sermon. I truly hope it will encourage you as well.

 

Have a great week everyone and may the peace of God be upon you all!

Pastor Ryan



What’s the Big Deal About Music?

2nd Look 10.31.16

 

Howdy everyone!

Today is Halloween… We have a wonderful opportunity to serve our community tonight through our annual “Trunk R Treat” event. Please be in prayer for this event that God would bless it.

This week I want to basically give you a song to consider with me. I want to invite you to let this song minister to you as you progress through this week.

I have loved this song for quite some time. It’s a song written from the perspective of God talking to us. Where do we find our strength; courage and hope?

My hope is this song will bless you. Attached below is the link to the song on YouTube. I’ve also included the song lyrics for you to read as you listen.

Have a great day everyone and make sure you eat as much candy as humanly possible!!!! Haha- just kidding. But may God’s peace be with you all this week!

Pastor Ryan

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3Jqn_9PQK0

 

Believe me now

By Steven Curtis Chapman

 

I watch you looking out across the raging water
So sure your only hope lies on the other side
You hear the enemy that’s closing in around you
And I know that you don’t have the strength to fight

But do you have the faith to stand

And believe me now, believe me here
Remember all the times I’ve told you loud and clear
I am with you and I am for you
So believe me now, believe me now

I am the one who waved my hand and split the ocean
I am the one who spoke the words and raised the dead
I’ve loved you long before I set the world in motion
I know all the fears you’re feeling now

But do you remember who I am?

Will you believe me now, believe me here
Remember all the times I’ve told you loud and clear

I am with you and I am for you

So believe me now, believe it’s true
I never have, I never will abandon you
And the God that I have always been

I will forever be, so believe me now

I am the God who never wastes a single hurt that you endure
My words are true and all my promises are sure

So believe me now, oh believe me now

So believe me now, believe me here
Remember all the times I’ve told you loud and clear

I am with you and I am for you

So believe me now, believe it’s true
I never have I never will abandon you
And the God that I have always been
I will forever be, so believe me now

Believe me now, believe me now


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



Who Is The Holy Spirit?

Hello SNC friends and family,

Last week we looked at 4 simple but major truths about who the Holy Spirit is.

This week- as you continue to consider the person and the presence of the Holy Spirit- I’d like to leave you the quote I shared from RA Torrey. Take some time to read this everyday this week. Let your mind just marinate in this short article. This quote has continually ministered to me over the years. Have a great week everybody!

 

“Before one can correctly understand the work of the Holy Spirit, he must first know the Spirit himself. A frequent source of error and fanaticism about the work of the Holy Spirit is the attempt to study and understand His work without first of all coming to know Him as a Person.

            It is of the highest importance from the standpoint of worship that we decide whether the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, worthy to receive our adoration, our faith, our love, and our entire surrender to Himself, or whether it is simply an influence emanating from God or a power or an illumination that God imparts to us. If the Holy Spirit is a person and a Divine Person, and we do not know Him as such, then we are robbing a divine Being of the worship and the faith and the love and the surrender to Himself which are His due…..

It is also of the highest importance from the practical standpoint that we decide whether the holy Spirit is merely some mysterious and wonderful power that we in our weakness and ignorance are somehow to get a hold of and use, or whether the holy Spirit is a real Person, infinitely holy, infinitely wise, infinitely mighty and infinitely tender who is to get a hold of and use us. The former conception is utterly heathenish, not essentially different from the thought of the African fetich worshipper who has his god whom he uses. The latter conception is sublime and Christian. If we think of the Holy Spirit as so many do as merely a power or influence, our constant thought will be, “How can I get more of the Holy Spirit,” but if we think of him in the biblical way as a Divine Person, our thought will rather be, “How can the Holy Spirit have more of me?” The conception of the Holy Spirit as a divine influencer or power that we are somehow to get hold of and use, leads to self exaltation and self sufficiency. One who so thinks of the holy Spirit and who at the same time imagines that he has received the Holy Spirit will almost inevitably be full of spiritual pride and strut about as if he belonged to some superior order of Christians. One frequently hears such persons say: ‘I am a Holy Ghost man’, or ‘ I am a holy Ghost woman.’ But if we once grasp the thought that the holy Spirit is a Divine Person of infinite majesty, glory and holiness and power, who in marvelous condescension has come into our hearts to make his abode there and take possession of our lives and make use of them, it will put us in the dust and keep us in the dust. I can think of no thought more humbling or overwhelming than the thought that a person of Divine majesty and glory dwells in my heart and is ready to use even me.

It is of highest importance from the standpoint of experience that we know the holy Spirit as a person……



Happy New Year!

Hello Everybody.

This week’s 2nd look is blissfully and blessedly short. I’d like to invite you to take some time to reflect on How God has been good to you this year, and how you might want to respond to Him. I want to invite you to think about something you might want to try this year that would help you grow closer to God. What is that thing? How will you know when you’ve done this thing? Who can help you do this thing?

Think about this thing, pray about it and ask God to reveal this to you. Remember we do this thing – not to make God love us more – He already could not love us more than He does – but God does want to see us grow and thrive as Christians. What is one way we can grow?

Have a great week!

Pastor Ryan



Advent Week 3

Hello Everybody!

Welcome to this week’s 2nd look!

 

As you may recall we are in our third week of the advent season. Last Sunday we talked about how when Jesus appears- a doorway has opened to God’s wisdom being available to us. God’s wisdom.. What is that? Do you remember how we looked at God’s wisdom being Redemption; righteousness and holiness? These things are available to us in Jesus Christ. This week, I’d like to invite you to read a passage everyday to consider how Jesus has become for us wisdom from God. Take five minutes a day, and read the verse and simply reflect on it. What feelings or thoughts does it bring to mind?

 

Here are the Bible verses for this week:

 

Monday: Colossians 1:24-29

Tuesday: 1 Peter 1:8-16

Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (emphasize verse 18)

Thursday: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Friday: James 3:13-18

Saturday: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

 

Have a great week everybody!

 

Pastor Ryan



Just. Love. Jesus.

Hello Everyone,
As we close this book of Ephesians, we are left with a powerful reminder.
Just. Love. Jesus.
This love grows from God’s great agape love for us.
A love that moves Him to action.
A love that moves Him   To pursue us
                                        To identify with us
                                         To Sacrifice for us
                                          To live with us
                                           To forgive us
                                            To be for us.
This week I’d like to invite you to read Ephesians 1:3-14 again and look for the ways God has loved you. It’s pretty amazing.
Have a great week everybody!
Pastor Ryan


What’s The Deal With Church?

As a Christian, you are meant to be in close relationship with the church. When you became a Christian, one of the first things to happen was you were placed in the church. The church, in its original design, is meant to be a family, a lifeline, a place of healing, of challenge; and of growth for you. It is also a place for you to connect with God’s mission for your life.
With all these things in mind – how do we deepen our connection with the church? I want to give you two quick suggestions.

  1. Get Involved.

Sometimes we think that the bulk of our Christian growth will occur when we come to church on Sunday mornings. This is actually not true. Sure Sunday mornings are great and can help us grow – the reality is – much of our transformation with God happens Sunday afternoon to Saturday night. It happens in the context of relationships. Getting involved at church gives us opportunities to keep learning – to get to know other believers and let them in to our lives – and to use the gifts God has given us! So how do I get involved?

  • Small groups.  I highly suggest getting into a small group.  This is where the church is actually MOST powerful. You learn, you get known, you get challenged. Small groups are amazing. At the beginning of next year we are beginning a new small group approach called: “Next Step Groups.” I will tell you more about it in the weeks to come – but these groups have potential to be Very powerful!  Maybe you could be a part of a small group – or host one?
  • Volunteer. Did you know that church volunteerism is at an all time low all over the country? This is a shame for two reasons – 1) The church needs help and 2) If we don’t volunteer we don’t use our spiritual giftedness and we miss out on a huge blessed part of being a Christian. As a church we have many areas of need – children’s, youth, worship, maintenance, sound team, prayer warriors, visitation experts, and much more.  The question is this?

What interests and passions has God put upon my heart? 
How do I use these things to bless the church?

Those gifts, those passions weren’t placed there on accident. God has wired you this way for a specific purpose. Volunteer and see how He uses you to do eternal things!

  • Other events and outreaches…. Many times at church, we have events to build community – to do outreaches, or to simply help us grow as Christians. Consider coming to some of this stuff. It really helps you get to know people and can enrich your experience.

2. Get Open.
I think often times the church is simply not able to be THE CHURCH because it’s a closed space. We try to protect ourselves because we’ve been hurt – but in the end we protect ourselves from the very thing that heals us – others. In the church – we are experts at being together but alone. I want to suggest two questions that you can ask each other that can change the way we do life together… These are questions that are key to healing and transformation – and yet we rarely ask them. I think we as a church need to get these questions into our rotation. Are you ready?  Here they are:

  1. What is God showing you….? What is God doing in your life? Where is He leading you?
  2. ….And what are you going to do about it? What’s the next step. Now you see God doing some stuff in you, what are you going to do in response?

These two questions can literally change the way we relate to each other and they can ultimately be a source of deep community and healing for each other. This is real stuff here. These questions help open us up. But they are risky. We need to be willing to go deep. If we do open up – the church can become a place unlike anywhere else in the world. It can become…The Kingdom of God coming to life in our midst!
I’d like to invite you to consider these things with me this week. May you be blessed to see, be reminded, and experience God’s love and mercy freely given to you every moment of every day!

Pastor Ryan



God Is Our Heavenly Father

God is our heavenly Father.
For some of us that is difficult to understand because our fathers made many mistakes and hurt us. We struggle to understand and see God as our heavenly father apart from how we view our earthly fathers. Make no mistake – God is our heavenly father and the reality is: He is unlike any earthly father we’ve known.
Did you know God is still parenting you? How? I’d like you to take some time this week to read this passage and consider that this is a description of how God loves and parents you….
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails…..

This is a beautiful picture of how I believe God parents us. He is patient. He is kind. He does not envy nor does He boast. He doesn’t dishonor us, isn’t self seeking…  You see what I mean?
Isn’t it wonderful to know that God is unlike our earthly fathers? That He loves us perfectly, and it is that love that makes it possible for us to love like He does?
May you experience the grace and peace of Christ today!

Pastor Ryan