Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

This is Living: In Conclusion…, Philippians

The end of the Philippians letter already?  It’s hard to believe that we have been in the book of Philippians for 9 weeks!  That also is a clue that our summer is moving right along.

This Sunday, July 22nd, we will wrap up our summer series on the book of Philippians with a flourish and some relish.  Flourish – a bit of bold fanfare.  I will give you a message on the entire book, highlighting the nuggets of all 9 messages.  Relish – enjoy and make pleasant to the taste.  We will then have some open mic time to allow for you to share your reflections on our summer reading of Philippians: What struck you?  What did you learn?  How does Paul’s teaching to the Philippians impact your life?

Come ready to feast on God’s word, enjoy the fellowship of believers, and grow in the knowledge and love of God.  See you Sunday!

Sunday afternoon we are sending Laura Westrate off with an open house hosted by George and Beverly Peters at their home from 3-6pm.  Come and send her off to Western Michigan with love.

See you Sunday!! 

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

This is Living: Who is Your Mentor?

We have all probably heard the call of Jesus to his disciples, “Come, follow me.”  In our text for this coming Sunday (Philippians 3:15-4:3), the Apostle Paul essentially says the same thing, “Come, follow me.”  He goes on to say, “Just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.”  This is a direct call for each of us to have a mentor or mentors in our life to whom we can look to and follow.

I remember as a kid playing the game of follow the leader.  It was fun to follow someone and imitate everything they did.  It was really fun to be the leader and make those who followed do all kinds of crazy things as they tried to imitate me.  Paul is encouraging the same kind of thing for us in our living of life.  

The question is: Who will we follow?  Who are we going to imitate?  This is an important question for us to discern as we think of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.  There are all kinds of ‘models’ out there to follow: some good and some bad.  When it comes to faith and following Jesus, who do we keep our eyes on and who do we imitate?

Do you have a living, breathing someone who is a mentor to you in the faith?  We all should.  Let’s explore this idea together.

See you Sunday,

Pastor Mark

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This is Living: Take Hold of it! Put no Confidence in the Flesh – Press On!


This is the day, like every day, that the Lord has made!  Let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24)  Sounds like Philippians to me!  As you give thanks for our independence and freedoms, make sure to direct your thanks to our great God for all of his benefits.  And in your comings and goings of the holiday week, bless others along the way.

Don’t forget to pray for our country and our leaders as it grapples and they grapple with complicated issues and major decisions.  May they have wisdom that comes from God.  May they look to the interests of others as they serve in their elected roles of governing.  May they govern well.

This coming Sunday we dive into Philippians 3:1-14 together.  As you read the text in preparation for Sunday, notice that Paul gives us a ‘resume of sorts.’  No one is more qualified in ‘right’-eousness when it comes to having ‘confidence in the flesh.’  Yet, he says that he considers it ‘garbage/dung’ compared to knowing, gaining, and being found in Christ.  What does he mean?  Sunday we continue in our series: This is Living!  Take Hold of It!  Put no Confidence in the Flesh!  Press on!  Nothing compares… 

Be safe in your celebrations and be grateful (no complaining! Ph 2:14)!  Take time to read through the Book of Philippians in one sitting and pray for your country and its leaders,

The Lord bless you,

Pastor Mark

 

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Shining Like Stars in the Universe: No Grumbling!

What a fantastic day!  Nothing better than writing a sermon message and also having a nagging internet receptivity problem solved for the family household.  Happy family means happy Mark!

This Sunday worship service, heading into July 4th Holiday week, promises to be worth the price of admission – and that’s something since you can come anytime for free.  It will only cost you some God given time and a willful desire to grow.

Philippians 2:12-18 is a truckload of treasure for living.  “Do everything without grumbling” Paul says.  That’s a tall order when grumbling has become a national pastime.  Grumble in the morning, grumble in the evening, grumble the whole day through…  sounds like a song I used to know.

In light of Paul’s message and our 4th of July holiday, I’ve penned some new lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner.  Come Sunday and here it performed.  Come Sunday ready to grow in the call of God to humility, hospitality, and honesty. Read the text in preparation for Sunday and ask (and answer): How am I doing with this issue of grumbling?

Don’t miss the train on our journey this summer through Philippians.  One time a week, Philippians reading in its entirety, in one sitting.  And commit to head and heart memory Philippians 1:9-11, “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”

Pastor Mark

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A Good Investment?

Hello Crestview Family,

This weekend is Crestview Camping Weekend!  For those in the mountains at Golden Gate State Park we are looking for a good time together with good weather, good company, and good outdoor fun!

At Crestview this year we will be having our regular worship service on Sunday at 9:30am with guest speaker Joy Engelsman.  Joy will continue our series in Philippians with a message on 2:19-30.  Here is what Joy has for you to think on in preparation for this week:

“Some verses in the Bible are so obviously inspired and inspirational…like the opening verses of Philippians 2 which Pastor Mark preached on last week.  Have the same mind as Christ!  But then there are some verses that seem to be little more than a letter home from camp–like our text for this week.  If you are one of those people who highlight in your Bible, open to the text for this week:  Philippians 2:19-30 and see what you’ve written. I’m betting that these verses don’t have any highlights because in short, they seem to say…

Dear friends in Philippi, 
I’m still in jail, but wanted to let you know the travel plans of Timothy and Epaphrodites who, by the way, was really sick when he was here.  Not sure when their flight gets in–but look for them to be coming back to you.  
Love,
Paul

But there’s way more going on in these verses than what it seems at first glance.  Let’s get together on Sunday morning and explore what these words have to teach us.  See you there!”

Wish I were here with you to explore this with you and Joy!  I will be at The Journey church in Longmont Sunday preaching for Pastor Rick Ebbers who has just begun his summer sabbatical.  See you on Wednesday the 27th for our Bike to Work, Freedom Ride hosting, Boulder neighboring cookout!  Don’t miss this one,

For the Kingdom and the Glory of God,

Pastor Mark

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This Is Living!: Imitating Christ

Philippians is rocking my world.  In the third week of reading through Philippians in its entirety in one sitting, here is what is striking me.  Paul repeats a theme throughout the book by saying the same thing in different ways: I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  (3:10)  Check out these verses too: 1:6, 1:28, 2:1, 2:13, 3:10, and 3:16.

The concept of ‘taking hold of the salvation we have received’ fascinates me.  I love this teaching by Paul because it confirms and affirms our created and called purpose in salvation to bring glory to God.

The big question for this Sunday is to answer the question: What does ‘working out your salvation’ look like?  How does ‘grabbing hold of heaven and pulling’ take on real meaning in our words and actions?

Paul reveals a powerful first way to live this out in Philippians 2:1-11.  Read it and ask yourself What is the main way I can grab hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me?  Clue: it rhymes with ‘you millipede.’  🙂

See you Sunday,
Happy Father’s Day early!

Pastor Mark

 

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This Is Living!: A Worthy Life

For a couple weeks now we have talked about created purpose and calling.  In Paul’s letter to the Philippian church he repeatedly calls them to a life ‘worthy of the gospel’.   The salvation we receive from God is a gift of grace.  And we respond to God’s salvation in gratitude by living a life ‘worthy of the gospel.’  Paul says in our text for Sunday, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel.” (1:27)

This life ‘worthy of the gospel’ is for anytime and in anyplace under any circumstance.  It’s never too late to embrace and engage God’s salvation in Jesus Christ and live the life of the Spirit.  You could say God makes us worthy to live a worthy life.

There is a song by an artist I like with great lyrics: Wandering the road of desperate life.
Aimlessly beneath a barren sky…  So afraid that you will not be found.  It won’t be long before your sun goes down…  A troubled mind and a doubter’s heart.  You wonder how you ever got this far… Vultures of darkness ate the crumbs you left.  You got no way to retrace your steps…  Just leave it to me – I’ll lead you home… Hear me calling
This life ‘worthy of the gospel’ is for anytime (the time is now) and in anyplace (this is the place) under any circumstance (matters not where you find yourself.) God is calling us to his created purpose.
What does a life worthy of the gospel look like?  Let’s take a look at it together as we study the book of Philippians this summer.  See you Sunday!  We will be participating in communion together. Summer BBQ’s kickoff this next Wed!

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

This Is Living: In Chains and It’s Good


Here we go!  Summer Scripture and Neighboring Challenge!

Summer Scripture Challenge: As we study the Book of Philippians through June/July, make this book a part of your summer life.  Read it through, in one sitting, once a week, for the next 9 weeks.  This is not too much, in fact, when you complete this challenge, it may seem too little!  It takes little time (20-30 minutes?) and will bring much blessing to your summer.  Each week I will be taking a few verses from one of the four chapters to bring the weekly message.  The title of our summer series will be: This is Living!

Summer Neighboring Challenge: Summer is a time of changing life rhythms with vacations, no school, day and weekend getaways, outdoor fun, etc.  Don’t let the summer go by without intentionally engaging your neighbors.  Here is your challenge: Plan one intentional neighboring connection once a month.  Be creative, get outdoors, share a meal, host a party, invite someone for a walk/hike, whatever it is – just do something!  Instead of making our summer ‘all about me (us)’, intentionally build a friendship with your neighbor (s).

This Sunday, June 3rd, we dive into our summer message series from Philippians beginning with 1:1-26.  From the opening to the closing of this Scripture book, it reads like a letter.  After the opening greeting (1:1-2) and word of thanksgiving (1:3-8), Paul opens with a powerful prayer (1:9-11).  This prayer is my summer prayer for all of us and is our new TQ (Text of the Quarter) for June/July, “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”

How profound is the love of Christ and how does this love transform our living?  Read on in Philippians… see you Sunday!  “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:24

Summer BBQ kicks off soon, Wednesday, June 13th!

Pastor Mark

 

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Gifts of the Spirit: Equipped For Service

Gearing up for a big weekend in Boulder!   Deone, Morgan and I are participating in the Bolder Boulder this year!  But first, looking forward to Sunday – that comes first!

This Sunday, we introduce our summer series This is Living! from the book of Philippians.  I want to begin with an introduction to the gifting of the Holy Spirit.  God has given to every follower of Christ gifts that are useful for the building of His kingdom and for the building up of His church.  There are many online tests that can be taken to discern and identify what gifts of the Holy Spirit have been given to you.

The beauty of the church is that it is made up of many different people, yet, it is one in Christ.  Just as each part of the body has many different parts with many different functions, yet, all come together to form one body – so too, the church is made of many different people with different gifts, yet, together we form one body, God’s church.  As an introduction to the gifting of the Holy Spirit, I will focus on Ephesians 4:1-16 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-31.  Does every Christian have the same spiritual gifts?  Are all the spiritual gifts the same in value and merit?  What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit anyway?  And how do your gifts fit in the big picture of God growing his church and kingdom through you?

Here is an online Spiritual Gift Inventory Test.  http://giftstest.com/  Have at it!  Discover your gifts!  When you have identified your gifts, lean into them in the way that you love people.  It’s your gift from God to the world and to his church.

Strap on your seatbelt, in June and July we dive into Philippians.  Summer Scripture Challenge: I want to challenge each member of Crestview Church to read the Book of Philippians in one sitting, once a week, through June and July (9 weeks).  Here is my hope: Philippians will be a part of your heart, soul, and mind.  I think it would take 1/2 hour, once a week to do this.  While you read, take note of what strikes you, what you notice, and what captures your attention.

Lets dive into summer together,

Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend, be safe and engage in God’s will for your life!  Thank you God for the blessings you have showered on us of life and freedom,

Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Welcome Adie Johnson!

Welcome Adie Johnson!

Adie continues our series on the Holy Spirit by looking at the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer.  The text of emphasis will be Romans 8:18-30.  This is a powerful text where Paul waxes eloquent about the hope we have in Jesus.

Paul speaks about the reality we live in, here and now – a world where there are signs of bondage and decay while at the same time the redemption of Christ has come and the signs and hope of the renewal of all things are underway.

So what are we to do with the frustrations and hardships we and others experience on a daily basis?  Paul gives us wonderful instruction and encouragement to deal with these things.  Its wrapped up in the gift and work of the Holy Spirit, thank you Jesus!

As you read Romans 8:18-30 in preparation for Sunday, ask yourself, what is the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer?  See you Sunday at Crestview.

As I write this, we just arrived in Michigan for Morgan’s graduation as a registered nurse from Calvin College.  Two down, one to go!  See you all soon,

Pastor Mark