Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

God’s Will/My Will: Anxious vs Non-Anxious Presence: Cutting off the Head of the Monster of our Day

Message
God’s Will/My Will: Anxious vs Non-Anxious Presence: Cutting off the head of the Monster of our Day
Philippians 4:4-9, Romans 11:33-12:2

Boulder Faithful at Crestview Church, 

I’ve been reflecting on Philippians 4:4-9 this week.  It came to mind early in this week’s message prep and has stuck with me throughout.  “Let your gentleness be evident to all.”  I’ve noticed the roads are becoming an ‘impatient’ place to drive these days.  “The Lord is near.”  I’ve noticed in conversations that any reference to ‘The Lord’ is scarce. “Do not be anxious about anything.”  Now there’s a whopper of a statement.  Really?  Paul has no clue what I deal with every day.  “Rather, in everything, in a spirit of thanksgiving, bring your requests before God in prayer.”  OK, that sounds inviting – I’ll give it a try, test God in this, and see what happens.  After all, gratitude focuses the attitude in good and pleasing ways.

I’ve always been a realist.  What you see is what you get and what you see is how it is.  It comes from my upbringing as the son of an immigrant raised mother.  I believe I was also born with that disposition, it’s how God made me.  So one of my gifts (or curses) to the world and the people around me is I can see the real and achievable possibilities of everyday life.  I can deal with what is, make a decision, and move forward.  What’s practical and ‘can be done’ is quickly picked out of a list of ‘to do’s’, or picked out of a myriad of possibilities or ideas, and what is achievable and can be accomplished is acted upon.  Combine this with another truth that I move forward at faster speeds than the average bear… and you’ve got a recipe, a high probability for conflicting and competing interests with God’s word and God’s will outlined in Philippians 4…

What happens when what’s needed and most important to be done seems unachievable?  Would I choose the easy and achievable to the lack of what’s most important and most needed? And what if I don’t feel like being grateful? 


Everyday we are faced with situations, scenarios and circumstances that we often cannot control.  However, we do have something important that is within our control or within our grasp of control. 
Our response.


Enough about me, what about you?  Everyday we are faced with situations, scenarios and circumstances that we often cannot control.  However, we do have something important that is within our control or within our grasp of control.  Our response.  And this brings me back to some central questions.  Who is it that controls my heart and mind?  What animates my daily decisions, directions, and responses to life’s hurdles and waves, trials and trails?  

When it comes to anxieties and fears, what is to be our response?  What direction should we take with them?  How can we discern God’s will?  How might our will be getting in the way?  Can you identify something our culture is anxious and fearful about?  Something you are personally anxious and fearful about?        

This Sunday, we address this need once again.  We will identify some of our anxieties and fears and take a look at a way forward, a way through, a better way.  In preparation, review once again these two texts of Romans 12:33-12:2 and Philippians 4:4-9.  Pick out a phrase and meditate on it coming into Sunday worship.  

See you Sunday,
   Pastor Mark   

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

God’s Will/My Will: Anxious vs Non-Anxious Presence: What, Why, How

Message
God’s Will/My Will: Anxious vs Non-Anxious Presence: What, Why, How
Romans 11:33-12:2

Crestview Family,

So glad to be ‘back in the saddle’!  This week, we begin a series on exploring together the holy/human weave of God’s will and our will.  How do these two truths come together?  We know we have been created by God and made in his image.  We also know that Jesus is the Lord of our lives.  We also know that God created us with a free will to act and be and choose as we exercise our will.  So how do these things come together? Not only in understanding, but in the everyday rhythms of daily living?  

On one hand, the answer is easy and simple to embrace, embody, and engage.  On the other hand, it’s extremely complex and far reaching.  Where do we begin to understand the convergence and concurrence of these two powerful truths – God’s will and our will?  And why does it matter anyway?


Where do we begin to understand the convergence and concurrence of these two powerful truths – God’s will and our will?  And why does it matter anyway?


Eugene Peterson says this is the ‘essential’ question of our lives to understand.  Not a religious question, it’s the ‘essential’ question of life as we know it.  I’d like to begin with focusing for two weeks on the need rather than the ‘theology’ of it all.  

Why is it so important for us to gain knowledge and understanding of who God is and who we are? It has something to do with Glory (of God), Fear (of the Lord), and Wisdom (of God).  We begin this week with need.  And then peel back the layers in going deeper.

Our text for the next 7 weeks will be from Romans 11:33-12:2 (a familiar text of the quarter from a few years ago).  Let’s solidify this text into our memory over the next 7 weeks.  So much to devour and take in with these few verses.  As you read it, memorize it, let it seep into your heart and mind, do you see any clues as to how God’s will and our will comes together in a beautiful ‘holy/human weave?’

See you Sunday,
  Mark 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Sabbatical Review/ Thank you!

Message
Sabbatical Review/Thank You! The Gift you gave enriched my Relationship with God and with Deone
Communion 1021

Crestview Faith Family,

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a weekly email and I’m looking forward to seeing you!  Sunday will be our first worship service of the fall season and we will kick it off with a fellowship meal after worship (potluck sharing), a fellowship meal during the service (The Lord’s Supper), and we get to meet with God together.  So come ready to worship, feast and fellowship.  

My desire in the coming months is to explore together the intersection of God’s will and our will.  When it comes to God’s will and our will, Eugene Peterson says, “The intersection of God’s Will and my will is the center of everything.  How do they intersect?  It’s the central question of everything.  Not a special religious question, it’s the question.”  Our discovery of insights and answers to this question inform our lives in the most significant ways that life’s gift can embrace, embody, and engage.  When we understand better the intersection of God’s will and our will, we will begin to worship well, love well, care for others and the world well. Not to mention finding joy and peace while engaging in a life of deep meaning and purpose.   

This will take us to the heart of God’s Word, turning our gaze to creation and redemption, bringing us to purposeful response and engagement…  and many more places… looking forward to Sunday for feasting and fellowship.

Filled up!  
Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Letting Scripture Take Root

Guest Speaker Pastor Paul Jorden: Letting Scripture Take Root

Message

Letting Scripture Take Root

Luke 8:4-14

As our summer series on Sabbatical Rest draws to a close, how can we resist the temptation to allow BUSYNESS to (once again?) consume us? How can we find spiritual replenishment even as our fall schedules again get filled with activities? What spiritual practices can we establish that will allow us to maintain a posture of calm even in a chaotic world?

Jesus answers that question by telling a story. A story about the importance of preparing the soil for the seed of God’s Word. What can this well-known parable tell us about keeping our hearts open and soft and receptive to his work in our lives?

Join us on Sunday to find out.

Blessing!

Paul

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Lead Something?

Guest Speaker Pastor Doug Kennedy: Lead Something?

Message

Lead Something?
Judges 9:7-15

Do you have a feeling in your gut that something needs change?  Do you often daydream about what God might be asking you to do?  If so, then Judges 9 is for you.  This great leadership parable will help us navigate those feelings of needing and wanting something more. Come and learn how you might be like a tree from this ancient text. 

Doug Kennedy

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Pursuing Justice

Guest Speaker Pastor Doug Kennedy: Pursuing Justice

Message

Pursuing Justice
Luke 18:1-8

How can we have justice on earth?   This parable of the persistent widow gives us some clues.  This is often seen as a passage about prayer and it is, but it has much to say about making the world around us just.  There is a power in a life of faith that plugs away at what is right.

Doug Kennedy

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Enjoying God

Guest Speaker Pastor Rick Ebbers: Enjoying God

Message

Enjoying God
Exodus 20:1-3, Psalm 16:8-11, & John 10:10

Rest is rooted in trust.  If you are in a place where risk is high and trust is low, you cannot rest.  So if you find that you can’t rest, it might be because you’re trusting the wrong god.  

For most of us, our primary counterfeit god is ourselves.  And we require things from ourselves that God simply does not.  In fact, what God desires for us is to enjoy him and the life he died and rose to grant us. God invites us to enjoy him, which creates an environment that allows us to rest well.

Rick 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Trusting God’s Goodness Like Christ

Guest Speaker Pastor Jacci Busch: Trusting God’s Goodness Like Christ

Message

Trusting God’s Goodness Like Christ
HCLD 1, Romans 14:7-12

Discouragement and disillusionment come when we forget who we are and who’s we are. It’s easy as we live life and experience disappointments to wonder why we have to suffer if God is so good and so powerful. What are we missing?

In the sermon, I hope to encourage us to look to the truths of how we belong to Christ. How good it is to belong to the Lord. Our identity as his children means that we can risk anything and trust that no matter how we may fail, he will catch us. In fact, “not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven.” God is good and loving and his will prevails. 

If we can keep a kingdom perspective we can hope for our redemption in Christ. This perspective helps us overcome our discouragement because it enables us to trust in God and hope for what is unseen. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb. 11.1). God does have a plan. He is Good and He is in control. So we have hope.

Finally, we can suffer with Christ while we live in this broken world. If we see our sufferings as a way to identify with Christ we can be kind to ourselves and to others. We can soothe our suffering and have compassion for ourselves and others if we name our feelings, see those feelings in the context of our community, and be kind to ourselves by asking for what we need.

See you all on Sunday!  Thanks again for the opportunity to bring a message!

Sincerely,
Jacci Busch 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

A Disciple’s Life

Guest Speaker Pastor Don Orange: A Disciple’s Life

Message

A Disciple’s Life
Mark 8:27-35

Many of us experience discouragement when it comes to our spiritual lives—we think we should be further along.  This discouragement is due in part to a faulty understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and how we grow in becoming his disciples.

Jesus describes the disciple’s life as one of dying (taking up a cross).  This “dying” takes place daily in our lives and provides the key ingredient for spiritual growth—the recognition that I’ve got nothing and am totally dependent on God to help me.  Growing in our faith is a continual dying and a growing awareness of our sinfulness and helplessness.

Don