Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Radical Hospitality

New Message Series: Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing

Message
Radical Hospitality

The Bible!

Four weeks: Keeping the Main Thing the Main ThingChrist Centered, Biblically Grounded, and Engaged in Authentic Community and Radical Hospitality.  This Sunday, September 19th, 2021, we complete this four week series with the theme of Radical Hospitality.  

Hospitality is found in the heart of God.  Who created all things, animate and inanimate, out of his goodness and heart of hospitality.  As the Biblical story unfolds, the ongoing revelation of God’s heart for hospitality grows even more radical, poignantly displayed in Jesus Christ.  

When stepping back from the narrow picture of everyday life to seeing the bigger picture of history, the radical nature and character of God’s hospitality can be better seen and understood – a constant and ever present faithfulness.  Yet, it doesn’t seem right to limit God’s hospitality to the bigger picture and neglect to see God’s hospitality everyday, as God’s good gifts, astounding mercy, and superior love flow to us every moment of every day. 

God’s Radical Hospitality brings us back to Christ Centeredness and Biblical Groundedness, and forms the foundation for Authentic Community… and provides great inspiration for extending God’s love and hospitality to others – God’s love is RADICAL.  

Our Mission/Vision at Crestview Church is to Glorify God, Become Like Christ, and join God in the Building of his Kingdom.  Thus, we are a Christ Centered, Biblically Grounded, engaged in Authentic Community and Radical Hospitality kind of place.  

Sunday, we worship outdoors again – weather permitting, Lord willing.  Weather looks good today for Sunday, if any change in plans to move indoors, we will alert everyone Saturday.  We will also celebrate the Lord’s Supper, communion, together!  Special offering this month: The Niebur’s.  

See you Sunday,
   Pastor Mark  

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Authentic Community

New Message Series: Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing


Message
Authentic Community

The Bible!

Hey everybody, we are heading outdoors for worship this week.  The Fall-like weather is perfect to squeeze in a few outdoor services before we are ushered back indoors with colder weather.  Good excuse (or no excuse not) to enjoy some worship together on the church lawn.  See you all on Sunday!

We’ve been looking at some core characteristics at the center of what it means to be God’s people.  What is the church?  What does a group of God worshippers, Jesus followers, and Holy Spirit filled persons look like? 

We’ve been looking at 4 particular things: Christ Centered, Biblically Grounded, Engaged in Authentic Community and Radical Hospitality.  Sunday, we take a look at Authentic Community.  From what you know about Jesus and what the Bible says about this, what would you say an authentic Christian community looks like?

Sunday is a comin’.  In fact, it comes around with amazing regularity, and that’s a good thing,
    Pastor Mark      

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Biblically Grounded

New Message Series: Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing

Message
Biblically Grounded

The Bible!

Christ Centered and Biblically Grounded, Engaged in Authentic Community and Radical Hospitality – good ways to be the church!  This Sunday we look at another foundational characteristic of the church – Biblically Grounded!  

People have all sorts of ideas about what the Bible is and is not.  Everything ranging from “It’s a nice book” to “It’s the authoritative Word of God for faith and life.”  

The Bible is clear in it’s main message about Jesus.  Yet, that doesn’t mean the Bible is easy to understand.  

Understanding the Bible’s message, it’s purpose, relevance and meaning, is a lifelong journey of reading, study, exploration, meditation, and reflecting.  And what exactly is its place in the everyday life of followers of Jesus?  What authority does it have over our living?  And how does it’s truth and teaching lead to faith, spiritual growth, obedience to God’s will for our lives, and transformation in becoming more and more like Jesus?

It has everything to do with everything.  If you want to see what Scripture says about Scripture, take a look at these passages in reflection for Sunday: Psalm 19, Psalm 119, Hebrews 4:12-14, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  

See ya Sunday in the Crestview ‘hood, 

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

What Matters? Christ Centered!

New Message Series: Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing


Message
Christ Centered

The Bible!

Students have moved onto their campuses.  Classes for all ages are now, or soon to be in session. Professors and teachers are cueing up their lesson plans.  Every year, the school education schedule is like a gate – once we enter through it, we find ourselves in a new space.    I find this gate to be true for church life as well.  Labor Day is like gateway opening to a new schedule. Summer is waning and Fall is waxing.  As temperatures cool month by month, the pace of life may actually ‘heat up.’  
It’s a perfect time to discern, what should my commitments be?  How can I manage my time to engage the things that matter and lead to growth and to good balance?  Where do priorities match up with activities?  

I would like to encourage everyone to consider, where does faith and spiritual maturity and growth fit into your current priorities?  For you, your family, your significant relationships.  Where does Jesus fit?  How about spiritual growth disciplines such as prayer and scripture leading to spiritual vitality work into your schedule?  How about the church community?  The practice of hospitality and the many ways of service?  

Every September, I engage in a 2-4 week kickoff series on a mission/vision theme.  This year, I’ve reflected on the essential nature of God’s church and what are its most important characteristics.  For 20 years of ministry life in the pastoral role, I have wondered what it would be like to plant a new church.  What would be the main thing to gather a faith community around?  What is most important?  And how would this faith community function?  What would it look like?  This four week series defines an answer to these questions: Christ Centered and Biblically Grounded, Engaged in Authentic Community and Radical Hospitality.  (4 weeks: Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing – August 29th – September 19th) 

Sunday, we begin with Christ Centered.  In past ‘Texts of the Quarter’, this characteristic of the church and the community of God’s people rings true.  Simply review some of them: Philippians 3:7-11, Ephesians 3:16-21, Philippians 4:4-9, Hebrews 12:2, Revelation 1:5, 8, 17-18, 3:20… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  

Looking forward to Sunday: What is one of the main things that makes the church the church?  CHRIST CENTERED!  And living into it is everything.    

In Him,
   Pastor Mark  

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Major Message of the Minor Prophets – It’s a Wrap!

Current Message Series: Minor Prophets

Message
The Major Message of the Minor Prophets – That’s a Wrap!

Books of the Minor Prophets

From Mother’s Day in May to today, we have been on a journey through the minor prophets – 12!  Week to week we have focused on a specific minor prophet.  How was God’s message communicated?  Why was it communicated? And what was its impact for God’s people then, and now, for us today?   

Sunday, we will finish our minor prophet series with a big picture view.  What is the main message of the minor prophets when viewed together?  We have the advantage of being able to look back over history and revelation to see what was spoken then, see what God has done in Jesus Christ, and see history from then all the way to the present day.  

I have not had an experience in some time where I sat down to read, study, and reflect on a message – and then when sitting down to write, it flowed in one uninterrupted, free flowing message.  It happened this week.  As I sat down to write and reflect on the major message of the minor prophets, THE WORDS JUST FLOWED.  It was a wonderful experience.  

So this Sunday, we will let it flow, and may God be glorified, God’s Son exalted, and God the Holy Spirit move freely among us.

In Jesus name,
    Pastor Mark