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



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



Jesus Has Authority to Forgive Sin, Mark 2:1-12

Hello SNC brothers and sisters!

For the second look this week let’s focus on a phrase from a verse within the story we looked at on Sunday.

Here is the phrase: “When Jesus saw their faith.”

This is a very interesting phrase that I didn’t have time to dig into during the sermon. What do you think about it? Take some time this week to sit with this phrase. How does it fit within the overall story? What do you notice from this phrase?

It’s amazing how God can so often speak to us from the bible with merely a simple phrase like this. I truly hope God will bless you this week as you consider these words.

Pastor Ryan!



Mary’s Song: A Mother’s Song of Hope and Joy

Hello SNC brothers and sisters and welcome to this week’s 2nd look.
 
I truly hope you had a wonderful holiday with friends and loved ones.
I want to invite you to consider this scripture this week:

“He has shown thee, oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee. But to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God” Micah 6:8

Think about the three things Micah lists here:

  • To do justly.
  • To love mercy.
  • To walk humbly with God.

Take some time this week to consider what these three things are. Obviously one of our big points on Sunday was about walking in humility with God. What do these things mean to you; and how does it intersect with your life?

Have a great week everyone!

Pastor Ryan



Pastor Ryan’s Top 15 Christian Books And Authors

Hi friends!

If you are looking for something great to read- something to challenge, inspire, encourage, or help you, or if you’ve been wondering what books have inspired the thoughts that you hear from Sunday to Sunday -then take a look at these. Each of the books I’ve listed here has shown up in my thinking and preaching; No I didn’t come up with this stuff on my own! I would highly recommend for any and all of you to check them out. They have all been a huge blessing to me and I truly believe they’d be the same for any of you. With each book is a link that will take you directly to Amazon where you can buy it. Some of them, I’d imagine, you can get on audiobook as well. I listed them by title in alphabetical order.

Check them out.
 
 
1) Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning

A Spectacular book about being in the wondrous grace of God

2) The Bible

This is the most obvious choice of all!

3) Desiring God by John Piper

A book that woke me up to the reality that God is someone I’m meant to know and enjoy. Deeply challenged me as a young man.

4) Experiencing God by Richard Blackaby

Helped me understand how to see God moving in and around me and then to join Him! Try the workbook!

5) Healing Care; Healing Prayer by Terry Wardle

Super impactful book for people who are looking to help others get healing and freedom. This book is one I try to read over and over again

6) Hiding From Love by John Townsend

This is perhaps one of the top three most impactful books to my life. The opening illustration; to me; was worth the buying the book alone. This book has powerfully blessed me.

7) Letters From a Skeptic by Gregory Boyd

In my early twenties I deeply wrestled with my faith. I never saw myself as a deep philosophical thinker- and reading the really deep books was difficult for me. This book was so readable and yet addressed major questions that I often wrestled with. I loved this book. I don’t currently have any because I keep giving them away.
 

8) Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen

A short little book about being God’s beloved. Awesome!
 

9) Men’s Secret Wars by Patrick Means

This has been one of the most important books that has helped me understand the fight with addiction and getting free!
 

10) Mere Christianity by CS Lewis

Huge book… just huge!
 
 
Dr. Fee really challenged me to see the Holy Spirit in a powerful new way!
 

12) Practicing His Presence by Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach

I came across this book in college and years later it still profoundly impacts my life. It really opens our eyes to the importance on living life WITH God!
 

13) The Search for Significance By Robert McGee

You hear me talk about knowing the gospel? Yea- It’s this book’s fault! A wonderful book about finding our identity in Christ.
 

14) Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

I highly suggest you take the test and read this book! Everybody!!!! I don’t suggest you buy it used. Then you cannot take the test.
 

15) Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Very important book for me, on manhood.



Jesus the Compassionate

Hi friends,

This week I want to invite you to spend some time looking at a teaching on compassion and what it means to be a neighbor. Last Sunday we talked about what Kingdom Compassion (KC) looks like. Jesus teaches on this in Luke 10:25-37.

Here’s a question to consider while you read this: What ways is this man showing compassion to his neighbor? What makes it so difficult to show compassion in this way?

Enjoy this teaching and may God grant you his wondrous peace this week!

Pastor Ryan



Choose Life

Hello everyone!
     Bear Grylls, the host of the TV show “Man vs. Wild” and “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” was asked once what were some motivational ideas he lived by. One of Bear’s responses was: “One step more.” Be willing to push yourself one step further beyond where you would normally or comfortably go. Be willing to push yourself one step further than most people. He said this short phrase motivated him and pushed him throughout his life and is a big reason for the success he has enjoyed.

     I remember reading that and finding it to be inspiring. From there, the idea of developing something called a “Next Step” group began to grow in my mind. What are the next steps we can take in life? How can we push further, deeper and so on.

      This past Sunday we talked about making intentional choices to do life-giving things with our minds and lives. We looked at Paul’s instruction to think about noble, pure, excellent, true, praiseworthy and admirable things. Then I asked the question what it might look like to make intentional choices with our minds to think about these things. This week I want to invite you on an experiment.

     Take some time this week to go one step further with your mind, to do something new. To try something that might develop your mind; deepen it; train it. Maybe it involves taking some time to read a book or article on some kind of spiritual topic. Maybe it’s choosing to listen to music this week that uplifts you and challenges you to think about wonderful things. Maybe you choose to watch a YouTube sermon or a podcast this week. There is a variety- but my invitation to you is to take some time this week to intentionally choose to do something enriching with your mind.

     Give it a shot. If you need suggestions shoot me, or one of our Elders an email- we’d be happy to discuss them with you!

 

Ok have a great week everybody!

Next week is our last sermon in the Be@Peace series!

Pastor Ryan



Easter: Resurrected and Resurrecting

Hi SNC Brothers and Sisters!

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday!

Standing up front and hearing many voices singing behind me during worship was truly awesome! I don’t think I compliment you enough on your voices!

Anyway, there is a beautiful song I’d like to invite you to spend some time this week for the 2nd look. It’s called “Resurrecting” by a band called Elevation Worship.

Below I’ve given you the link to watch the song on YouTube! It has the lyrics included with the video!!!

Have a great week living in absolute peace with God!

Pastor Ryan

 

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