Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Shield of Fatih

New Message Series: Suit Up! The Armor of God, Ephesians 6

The Armor of God: Shield of Faith
Ephesians 6:16

As families continue to sort through the shock of losing your home and the deep grief and displacement that brings, our prayers continue to rise for all impacted.  There is now a page on our website for ways of engagement.  This page will be updated with other opportunities to engage as further connections are made with other churches and agencies.  Currently we are in contact with World Renew, Volunteers in Action, other churches and local organizations.   

In about 8 weeks, most of the state and national emergency response groups will be withdrawing, and the longer recovery phase will kick in and continue for an estimated 1-2 years.  May God give the endurance, perseverance, and resilience to all families, businesses, and city governments affected as these transitions unfold.  

We have been experiencing the truth of God in the armor of God.  The readings this week in the Read Through the Bible in 3 years brought out a theme of the Armor of God – FAITH.  

  • Genesis 12-18: Faith of Abraham and God covenanting to be his ‘shield.’
  • John 6: “I am the bread of life, the one who believes has eternal life.”
  • Proverbs 3 speaks of wisdom.  Yet, it sounds synonymous with faith, “Trust in the Lord… long life in her right hand… a tree of life to all who take hold of her.”
  • And the Psalm for the week: 37, “Hope in the Lord and you will inherit the land… God is our stronghold in the time of trouble for all who take refuge in him.”

This all sounds like a holy-human weave of FAITH.  

This sounds like a holy-human weave of FAITH.

 So, I am calling an audible.  The iron is hot, this week’s Spirit directed theme of the armor of God is going to be The Shield of Faith – Extinguishing the Flaming Arrows of the evil one from Ephesians 6:10-20.  

Sunday we will celebrate communion,
      Pastor Mark 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Breastplate of Righteousness

New Message Series: Suit Up! The Armor of God, Ephesians 6

The Armor of God: The Breastplate of Righteousness
Ephesians 6:14

Crestview family,
As a new calendar year unfolds, we begin in Ephesians 6:10-20, The Armor of God, and a renewed call to be in the WORD with regularity and faithfulness.  It’s good to be reminded that we live in a world of physicality and spirituality.  And Jesus is the LORD of both.  And Jesus brings them together in perfect wholeness.  For the follower of Christ, ‘putting on Christ’ in the ways of God’s Word, Spirit, Truth, Righteousness, Faithfulness, and Gospel readiness is to be a daily engagement – the pathway of our life.  

‘Putting on Christ’ in the ways of God’s Word is the pathway of our life.

  Been reflecting on the rich interwoven truth of God from New Testament to Old Testament, to the New again.  Captured particularly this week by the phrase from Psalm 29, the Psalm of the week, “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood… gives strength to his people; blesses his people with peace.”  In light of the recent fire, at the beginning of a new calendar year, this gives hope and strengthens trust in God.  It’s fascinating to be reading this week in the Read Through the Bible schedule (3 years), the connections between Psalm 24, John 4 (Samaritan woman at the well), and the flood narrative of Genesis 6-9.  Makes these verses from Proverbs 2:20-3:6 for this week more poignant: “You will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.  For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.  My child, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and others.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”   

More Armor of God for Sunday… When it comes to putting on the ‘breastplate of righteousness’, what does this mean?  How does this look? Who is righteous and how is righteousness defined?  Where can it be found?  How can I get this piece of armor that protects my heart and wear it?      

Good news… see you Sunday,  Ephesians 6:10-20.  

In Jesus,
   Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Belt of Truth

New Message Series: Suit Up! The Armor of God, Ephesians 6

The Armor of God: The Belt of Truth
Ephesians 6: 10-14

Crestview Family,

God’s peace, grace, power, and strength be given to you!  As we look to a new year, the 3 year Read through the Bible has been a rich experience.  The parallel relationship between the early chapters of Genesis and the early verses of John have been beautiful to see.  The wisdom of Solomon’s Proverbs give powerful revelation and insight into the human condition, sin’s devastation, our needs for God’s salvation and Spirit’s leading, and reveals early on in it’s introductory chapters, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  And having a Psalm (24) of focus for the week brings God’s truth home with a daily heartbeat: The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it… Who can stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.  He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior.  Such is the generation of those who seek Him.  Wisdom, salvation, goodness, calling – all come together. 

Before we get too far into this 3 Year Read Through The Bible plan, will you join us?  Still time to easily catch up, only 1 week into the readings so far.  I plan to engage this reading plan in our weekly worship experiences as we journey through Scripture with readings and reflections.  As we begin our kickoff message series of 2022, Suit Up!  Put On The Armor of God, the Apostle Paul gives us wisdom in living a full life in the Holy Spirit.  God calls us to daily put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, to take up the sword of the Spirit.  

In a world where spiritual darkness and light war with one another, God calls us to be set apart, prepared, ready for engagement and engaged – whether entering God’s rest, resisting temptation, or engaging in battle.  God calls us to suit up!  

God calls us to suit up!

Text for the next 6 weeks will focus on Ephesians 6:10-20.   

In Jesus name,
     Pastor Mark           

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Give Thanks! Bowing Down in Worship

Christmas Eve: Giving Thanks! Bowing Down in Worship

Psalm 95

Good Morning Crestview family,

Anticipation.  Years of anticipation, hundreds of years.  God’s people seeking SHALOM.  Longing for it.  Striving for it.  

As Christmas 2022 is arriving soon, may the God of all peace, lift your heart toward heaven.  

As Christmas 2022 is arriving soon, may the God of all peace, lift your heart toward heaven.

May the Creator and Bringer of SHALOM, give you peace.  

When prayers for ‘peace on earth and good will toward others’ seem to hit a brick wall, Jesus came.  Was born, lived, died, and rose again.  He brings peace and undeserved good will.  And we are invited to receive Him and his peace.  

Looking forward to our worship together on Christmas Eve.  See you Friday, at 4:00pm, as anticipation gives way to Jesus coming.  The Lord, our God, be with you, and the peace of God be upon you and his light fills you and causes you to shine.  Come ready to share your favorite sentence from the Book of Isaiah

Also, you are invited to join Deone and I, in a Read Through the Bible in 3 years!  Attached is the link to the reading schedule.  It begins December 26th!  Peace!  

In Him, so be it, ‘AMEN!’

Pastor Mark  

PS – No corporate worship on Sunday, December 26th.  See you in the New Year, January 2nd!  We will begin the New Year in Ephesians 6, The Armor of God.