Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Minor Prophet? Micah: God’s Justice and Righteousness

Message Series: Minor Prophets

Message
Minor Prophet? Micah: God’s Justice and Righteousness

The Book of Micah

Service on Sundays will be held Indoors until further notice

The Book of Micah is known for its focus on Micah 6:8, “Live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” to address anything and everything to do with justice.  Micah is made up of 20 judgment and salvation prophecies.  The judgments consist of two essential motifs: accusation and judicial sentence/verdict.  The salvations are based on God’s promise to bring salvation.  What is the point of Micah’s judgment and salvation prophecies?  To lead people to repentance.

Repentance is a misunderstood word.  Most of the time it is narrowly understood.  The Biblical understanding of repentance involves recognition and acknowledgment of wrongdoing or guilt, a confession, and a turning away and heading in a new direction.  It involves thought, feeling, and behavior.  Most of the time, we exercise one aspect of repentance, if any at all, and call it good.  In quoting Micah 6:8, many like to emphasize one of the three calls of God on how to live to the neglect of the other two.  God sees all three working together: do justice, exercise love, and walk in humility.      

When it comes to repentance, best to keep it simple – admit, submit, commit – embracing both the wrong and the good.  When it comes to living justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God, best to keep it simple as well.  I like Eugene Peterson’s take on this verse: “Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in love, and don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.”

See you Sunday,
    Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Johan: God’s Concern for All People

Message Series: Minor Prophets

Message
Jonah: God’s Concern for All People

The Book of Jonah

Service This Sunday will be held Outdoors

After 1/3 of our way through the minor prophets, we dive into the next 1/3 with Jonah, Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk.  In preparation for Sunday, I encourage you to read the Book of Jonah in one sitting (4 short chapters).  And ask yourself, who is the main character?  Is it Jonah? The sailors?  The great fish?  The King of Nineveh?  The fig tree?  

And what is the central message of Jonah anyway?  In a book of the Bible filled with irony, a serious message is lurking.  In a book that some have dismissed as a children’s fairytale lies a profound message for lovers of God.  When tempted to laugh at Jonah as a bumbling, selfish prophet of God, we see ourselves.  When the message seems to be about the judgment of God, we find a more powerful reality – the relenting/unrelenting love of God.  

I’m looking forward to Sunday as we gather together for the purpose of worshipping God, revealed in Jonah as YHWH, the relational God, who is ‘Lord over heaven and earth’ and gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love.’ 

As Marci and Santi are grieving over the loss of her sister/his Aunt, we grieve with them.  As many are traveling this summer and away from Crestview (perhaps more than any year in recent history as people are feeling free to move about), God’s traveling mercies go with us.  As our world seeks answers to the biggest questions of our lives together, the purpose of our very existence, may all come to know our gracious and loving God, from whom all blessings flow.  Praying that God gives us love and courage to live, speak, and embody His truth and love in all of our relationships.       

Jonah: The Relenting/Unrelenting Love of God!  See you Sunday,

In Jesus name,  
    Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Just A Stone’s Throw Away

Welcome Our Guest Speaker for this Sunday, Andy De Jong

Retired Pastor Andy De Jong with his wife, Jinny

Just A Stone’s Throw Away

John 8:1-11

Service This Sunday will be held Indoors!

Besides serving in various capacities in ministry, including campus ministry, church planting and senior pastorates, Andy has had experience serving in places like Honduras, Uganda and Kenya.  He enjoys hiking, having done a goodly number of Colorados 14ers, and a few years back summited Mount Kilimanjaro.  He and Jinny have two adult children who both live in Fort Collins – Joel, a teacher at an alternative High School in Loveland and Joy, as a Dr. of Neuro-Psychology.  They have one grandson, Mason, who they can’t spend enough time with.

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Obadiah: God’s Humbling of the Proud and Lifting Up of the Humble

Series: Minor Prophets

Minor Prophet? Obadiah 
God’s Humbling of the Proud and Lifting Up of the Humble


The Book of ObadiahObadiah, the shortest book of the minor prophets, only 21 verses in it’s one and only chapter.  Big things come in small packages.  Obadiah brings a message from God to Edom specifically, and to God’s people of all time, generally.  Edom is the nation of descendents from Esau, the twin brother of Jacob.  And Jacob’s descendents became known as the nation of Israel, of both Judah and Israel as time went on.  Jacob and Esau wrestled with one another their entire lives.  It was a sibling rivalry like none other.  These two nations of people, descended from Jacob and Esau were near neighbors and never got along. 

They would gloat when the other experienced hardship.  In many ways they were indifferent to each other’s failings, successes, or troubles.  So when the Jacob’s descendents in both the northern kingdom (Assyria 721 BC) and the southern kingdom (Babylon 586 BC) were taken into captivity/exile, Edom (Esau’s descendents) stood by and watched and did nothing to aid their brothers and sisters descended from the same father and mother.  They displayed everything from gloating to indifference.  Obadiah’s message is a strong message to Edom.  

Sure, Israel’s judgment was deserved.  And Obadiah’s message to Edom is about a coming judgment of them, again, deserved.  Yet, there is a way out, a better way forward, by way of repentance.  

In today’s world, where division seems to spring from the ground at every relationship turn, we would do well to hear God’s word through Obadiah, and respond accordingly.  Humanity, born of the same father and mother, is waging war against one another in a myriad ways today with intention to separate.  

Robert Mulholland quotes a wise person from his life in his book The Deeper Journey – The Spirituality of Discovering Your True Self, “Repentance is not being sorry for the things you have done, but being sorry you are the kind of person who does such things.”  It would seem that the biggest barrier to overcoming our divisions is our pride.  We think we are better than.  We see another’s misfortune as deserved.  We do not think we ourselves are capable of hate, violence, evil, wrongdoing.  This sets us up for a humbling by God.  For God does humble the proud and he lifts up the humble.  This is who God is and this is what God does.

Yet still, God’s last word is found in Jesus.  The door to blessing is through Him and through repentance.  Not just being sorry for the things we have done, but being sorry that we are the kind of people who can do such things.  

Sunday, Obadi-ya.  Hope to see ya, hate to miss ya, God’s blessing on ya, 

Pastor Mark 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Minor Prophet?: Joel: God’s Judgement and Hope

Series: Minor Prophets

Minor Prophet? Amos: God’s Judgement and Hope


The Book of AmosSunday we plan to take it outdoors – bringing our worship to the lawn, and by unintended consequence, to our neighbors as well.  We celebrate twin sacraments this Sunday with the Lord’s Supper during our worship time followed by the baptism of Alexandria Alais Hamilton, daughter of Sybil and Randolph.  We will witness as a community Sybil’s affirmation of faith and God’s promises to us and to Alexandria.  

The message for Sunday continues our series through the Minor Prophets with Amos.  Amos is known for a message of championing the poor.  Speaking of unintended consequences, sometimes our ‘best intended good’ can result in ‘not so good’ results.  And then there are the intended ‘not so good’ intentions that have intended consequences.  What does that have to do with Amos and a championing of the poor?  Well… let’s sit at Jesus’ feet as we hear the Word of the Lord through God’s prophet Amos… see where the Spirit takes us.

See you Sunday, for a feast prepared for us (communion, baptism, and Word),

Pastor Mark