Uncategorized, Pastor Mark's Weekly Email

Jesus is Lord! Authority: From Teaching to the Demonic, Sickness, and Nature

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.

We are back on track with Matthews account of Jesus life and teachings this Sunday.  We will be taking a look at Chapter 8 of Matthew.  The Sermon on the Mount ends in chapter 7 with the words, “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”

This is an important point Matthew is trying to make.  Jesus has authority.  There were certain things that the Jewish community was looking for to be demonstrated by the promised Messiah.  The Messiah was one who would come with authority.  And Matthew will now give several accounts of Jesus demonstration of authority in Chapter 8.

Read Chapter 8 in preparation for Sunday’s message: What areas does Jesus demonstrate authority in this series of episodes recorded by Matthew?  On Sunday, I will reveal the three areas of authority the Jewish understanding of the Messiah was to demonstrate.  Read Chapter 8 and you can’t miss them.  Matthew is making the strong case for Jesus as Messiah and LORD.
See you Sunday! 

Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

The Power of One

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.
Been burning the candle this week it seems.  Here is the weekly Email bright and early.

We have officially kicked off the fall ministry year at Crestview Church with a pancake breakfast blowout, a Profession of Faith celebration, and an outdoor service, even had a bouncy castle for the kids.  I’ve had this feeling all week, “Well… what now?”

Its similar to the feeling I get when anticipating a vacation, having the vacation, and then waking up on Monday morning to clock into work.  It’s similar to training for a big race, actually racing, and then 2-4 days later getting on the bike and saying to myself, “What am I doing this for?”  Its similar to celebrating a birthday and thinking, “Is anything really any different?”

This Sunday is self-proclaimed mission/vision Sunday.  Every fall (September) and every New Year (January) we will have a message at Crestview that reorients us to purpose.  It helps us answer the questions, “Why do we exist and what is Crestview all about?”  “Why follow Jesus and what does it mean and look like?”

I would like to take a week to address the answer to these questions by taking a closer look at discipleship.  In our study of Matthew, Jesus is calling disciples to himself – people who will follow him.  He is calling people to live for and live in the Kingdom of God.  For us today, what does that mean?

I want to get a little bit more specific on Sunday to answer these questions in the context of Crestview Church.  How does discipleship and following Jesus take on real meaning and tangible participation at Crestview church?

The Power of One.  I’m going to invite you and challenge you in one worship, one ‘going deeper’, one service, and one engagement in ‘neighboring’.  We will be celebrating communion this Sunday as a family of faith as well.
See you Sunday! 

Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

The Whole Enchilada!

Our fall kickoff is this Sunday, September 10th!  We are starting early at 8:45am with a pancake, sausage and fruit breakfast with coffee, chai, and orange juice too!  Everything will be provided for you.

We will ease into a morning outdoor worship service at 9:30am with neighboring stories, a Profession of Faith by Jonathon Lawson, and a reenactment of the Sermon on the Mount.  There will be further fellowship time after the service with games and a bouncy castle too!  Be there or be square!

What to Bring? Yourself!  Your family!  Your neighbors!  And a blanket if you want to relax on the lawn.  Chairs will be available for those who prefer some more back support.

How can you help?  Come early at 7:30am to help with needed setup of tables, sound equipment, stage, chairs, or help flip some pancakes and roll some sausage.  If you can come early, contact Debbie Ash and let us know, we’ve got a job for you: 303-939-9053.

See you Sunday! 

Pastor Mark

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Labor Day: The Labor of Love – Duty or Delight or Both?

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.


Its almost Labor Day!  No way!  Time flies.  This holiday is always an interesting one to me: “a celebration of working people… dedicated to the social and economic achievements that workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.”  It appears that a great way to celebrate the achievements of working people is to take a day off!

This has an echo of Biblical quality.  “In six days God created… and on the seventh, he rested…”  God may have celebrated his achievements by taking a day off. Actually, God never ‘sleeps’ but is continually upholding the universe.

I have heard the phrase ‘labor of love’ used many times by people in conversation.  For example, “This project was a ‘labor of love.'”  It speaks a truth about love – sometimes it can be labor.

How do you understand the nature of love?  Is it labor?  Or is it joy?  Is it duty?  Or is it delight?  When God loves is it duty or delight?  When God calls us to love him and to love others is it duty or delight?

We will explore this on Sunday together for our Labor Day worship and message.  Read Psalm 63:1-8.  Does love sound like something that is born our of duty or delight?  Read Hebrews 12:1-3.  When Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us, did he love out of duty or delight?  Read Micah 6:8.  Does God call to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God a call to duty or delight?

Lets talk it over Sunday,

Pastor Mark

Get ready – September 10th is our fall kickoff.  It begins with a pancake breakfast followed by outdoor worship and Profession of Faith by Jonathon Lawson.

 

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2-2-2 Part 2: Gates, Roads, Prophets, Trees, and Houses

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.

This week we hit the finish line of the Sermon on the Mount!  Jesus sums it up with a comparison between two houses: one built on the rock and the other built on sand.  The difference between the two is the foundation they are built on.  One house can withstand the storms of life, the other house cannot.

You may ask, “What distinguishes a firm foundation from a shaky one?”  Jesus sums it up this way, “Anyone who hears these words of mine and put them into practice is building his house (life) on a firm foundation (the rock).  Anyone who hears these words of mine and does not put the into practice is building his house(life) on a shaky foundation (the sand).”

This is wisdom.  Jesus is giving us a reality check at the end of all that he has said.  Jesus teachings, if followed, lead us to life.  If not followed… well… you get the picture.

Hearing and doing go hand in hand.  Faith and obedience go hand in hand.  They complete each other.  It reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom would ask (tell) me, “Mark, today is the day you clean your room.  Get to it.”  “Yes Mom,” was my reply.  A couple of hours later, “Mark, did you clean your room?”  “NO.”  “Did you hear me?”

Hearing is made complete in doing.  To do – is to hear.  This is at the heart of discipleship.

In Him,
Pastor Mark

Get ready – September 10th is our fall kickoff.  It begins with a pancake breakfast followed by outdoor worship and Profession of Faith by Jonathon Lawson.

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

2-2-2 Part 1: Gates, Roads, Prophets, Trees, and Houses

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.

I can almost see the finish line!  Well… kinda.  We are nearing the end of our series on the Sermon on the Mount – probably the most well known of Jesus teachings.  But really, the finish line of the Sermon on the Mount is a starting line.

Jesus lays it on the line for us by presenting a challenge and calling for a choice of commitment.  Its decision time.  Which gate will we enter?  Which road will we travel?  Which prophet will we follow?  What kind of tree will we be?  What kind of fruit will we bear?  What type of disciple will we be?  And what foundation will we build our house (life) upon?

Nothing super warm and fuzzy about the ending.  Its a call to the starting line.  All that has been said to this point is pre-race pep talk and guidance for making it to the actual finish line.

This week we will look at Chapter 7:13-23, Two Gates, Two Roads, Two Prophets, Two Trees and Two Kinds of Fruit, Two Kinds of Disciples and Two Houses Built on Two Different Foundations: Which will you be?  What will you choose?

In today’s world, the voices and pathways, teachings and temptations are varied and many that point the way to fulfillment and happiness.  Jesus challenge to us is a very real one.  It is a choice between life or destruction.

When it comes to your life, which will it be?  What will you choose?  

See you Sunday,

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Spiritual Discernment, Part 2

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.

Jesus teaches us how to pray and what we ought to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer.  Yet, prayer can be a complicated matter.  Is prayer really complicated or do we make it complicated?

We engage in spiritual and rational gymnastics when it comes to prayer all the time.  We wonder, if God knows everything, then why pray?  If he knows what we need, why ask?  If God is all knowing and all powerful, then why the seeking?

Sunday, Jesus opens the door again for prayer and relationship with our heavenly Father that is very freeing.  He invites us to ask, seek, and knock.  And its not a one time happening.  All three of these verbs are present participles.  Meaning, the asking, seeking, and knocking are continual.

The understanding in English would be this, “Ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on  knocking…”  This is hard for us to understand and to practice.  We see things in the present, in light of the past, with no certainty of the future.  We also like to have our prayers (asking, seeking, knocking) answered immediately.

We all know what its like to pray, ask, seek, and knock and not have an ‘answer.’  Ever knock on a door and not have it opened?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers about closed doors.  Yet Jesus makes it clear that the love of God for us is deep and God is engaged in the everyday of our lives.  

The text for Sunday is Matthew 7:7-12.  Thanks to Roger who accepted the challenge to bring the message to us last week.  Thank you to Eileen who will be bringing us the message this coming week.

See you soon,

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Motes, Beams, and Hypocrites, Mt 7:1-5, Pastor Mark

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Building our lives on a firm and secure foundation – that is what Jesus gives us (a secure foundation) and has been teaching us about (a secure foundation) through the Sermon on the Mount.

After leading us to evaluate our seeking ‘treasures on earth vs treasures in heaven’ and our tendencies to worry, both of which highlight things that pull us away from his design and calling for our life, he highlights another area that can draw us away from serving him well: judging others.

In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus addresses head on our tendency to judge others in ways that hurt others.  We will explore Jesus teaching and the ramifications of it in light of the rest of the Bible.  Why should we use extreme caution when judging others?  Why is lumping people groups together with sweeping judgments wrong?  Can we exercise spiritual discernment in judging?  And if so, what are the conditions for our confronting of others?

Jesus is going to ‘clean our judgment filters’ Sunday.  Praise God!

Pastor Mark

The Cloyds will be with us this Sunday in worship and will lead a special download to share with us there ministry.

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Don’t Worry?, Yeah…Be Happy

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What did Jesus just say? (Mt 6:19-24)  “You cannot serve both God and Mammon.”  Its interesting that this is capitalized in some versions of Scripture.  Its as if Jesus is giving this term godlike power or characteristics.  Jesus doesn’t make a wishy washy statement.  There is a choice to me.  Almost an echo of Joshua 24 where Joshua says to the people before entering the promised land filled with other ‘gods’ to be worshipped, “Choose today whom you will serve!”

Our passage for Sunday continues Jesus train of teaching with a “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life…”  (Matthew 6:25-34)  Now that’s interesting.  Its as if Jesus is saying, “You cannot serve both God and worry/anxiety.”  Talk about a challenge!  Anxiety/worry are powerfully ‘controlling substances.’  It seeks to have us.  Within days or seconds of affirming and knowing God’s ultimate promise of care and love for us, we quickly turn to anxiety and worry.

In our text for Sunday (Matthew 6:25-34) there are at least 8 reasons Jesus uses to counter or worrisome and anxious ways.  8 Reasons in only 10 verses.  Read these words from Jesus and make a list – come ready to dive in on Sunday!  Also, make a list of the things that you fret over, worry about, and become anxious about on a regular basis.  List those as well.  We are going to do something with these worries and anxieties as a community this Sunday in church.

See you at the altar,

Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Where Is Your Treasure? Above or Below?

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After Jesus three fold teaching on giving, prayer, and fasting – he launches into a couple of well known teachings addressing the issues of treasure and worry (Matthew 6:19-34).  Jesus is moving us to examine the center of our devotion and desire.  Jesus teaching raises a pointed question: What is the treasure that we are pursuing in our life?
I finally got around to clearing a nasty bush off of the church property earlier this week.  Its an ‘evergreen’ bush… what a misnomer.  Evergreen is not how I would describe it.  The second you get past the outer green you quickly find the inside is filled with a tangled web of deadness.  Years and years of needles and other collected things within its inner branches.

As I clipped away the outer branches, moving closer to the center of bush, closer to the core of the trunk and getting at the roots of this ‘evergreen’, I found some interesting things.  I’ll bring a bucket full of these things on Sunday to show you.  I thought to myself, what a great picture of Jesus teaching!

Jesus just finished talking about hypocrisy in terms of devotional practices like giving, prayer, and fasting – leading us directly into a teaching about ‘our heart’s treasure.’

Jesus is clear in this teaching: Where your heart is, there your treasure is.  Jesus calls the question, “What’s in your bucket?”  In the inner workings of your heart, “What is your treasure?”

Challenging… Confrontational… Core…

See you Sunday
Pastor Mark

Special Download this Sunday:  Jackie from Global Leadership Summit local Boulder team will be here to highlight the Summit’s coming to Boulder in August.