Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

The Only Comfort and Three Things I Must Know

New Message Series: Feasting on the Heidelberger!


Message
Only Comfort and Three Things I Must Know

Lord’s Day (LD) 1

Today, in our society, there seems to be much free floating anxiety.  In general, people seem to be more angry and frustrated with life and with one another.  Combine this with the fact that people are more disconnected from one another than at any time in recent history and many people lack a grounding worldview in their lives that can ‘make sense’ of their reality and you have a recipe for all kinds of negative outcomes. 

As human beings, we each have a deep need for a grounding worldview for living life well.  A grounding worldview gives us purpose – reducing our anxiety, guiding our behavior, and connecting us with others. 


Do you have a worldview that makes sense of the reality in which you live and guides how you live on a daily basis?


If you do, what are the guiding principles and beliefs that determine it?  If you do not, you need one.  

The Heidelberg Catechism functions like a guiding worldview that makes sense of the reality of God’s world and helps us find our purpose and place in it.  It takes the truth of God’s Word and organizes the guiding principles of the Christian faith, painting a worldview that makes sense of our reality.  

The Heidelberg Catechism was formed during a tumultuous time in history, the 16th century.  The passions of the early Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli were in full swing.  Certain practices and teachings of the prominent Roman Catholic Church were being protested at a ‘fever pitch.’  This caused much anxiety, frustration, anger, etc.  But that’s not all, the fledgling Protestant faith was already splintered into several different factions.  And often, out of specific events or struggles in the church and society, confessions of faith emerge.  The Heidelberg Catechism was formed in such a context.  Confessions, creeds and catechisms attempt to identify and solidify what really matters in living life well.  They become a source of strength and encouragement, and provide a sense of purpose, calling, and belonging.

As we dive into this faith shaping Biblical worldview document, it is my prayer that it brings about a unity of purpose, reduces life’s anxieties, brings about connection in community, and provides answers to life’s biggest and most important questions: What holds life together?  How do we know God?  What is expected of a life well lived?  And what will relieve us of our anxieties? 

We begin Sunday with the opening of the catechism with Q&A#1: What is your only comfort in life and in death?  I’d like to know the answer to that!  See you Sunday!  

Pastoring by the grace of God,
Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Radical Hospitality

New Message Series: Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing

Message
Radical Hospitality

The Bible!

Four weeks: Keeping the Main Thing the Main ThingChrist Centered, Biblically Grounded, and Engaged in Authentic Community and Radical Hospitality.  This Sunday, September 19th, 2021, we complete this four week series with the theme of Radical Hospitality.  

Hospitality is found in the heart of God.  Who created all things, animate and inanimate, out of his goodness and heart of hospitality.  As the Biblical story unfolds, the ongoing revelation of God’s heart for hospitality grows even more radical, poignantly displayed in Jesus Christ.  

When stepping back from the narrow picture of everyday life to seeing the bigger picture of history, the radical nature and character of God’s hospitality can be better seen and understood – a constant and ever present faithfulness.  Yet, it doesn’t seem right to limit God’s hospitality to the bigger picture and neglect to see God’s hospitality everyday, as God’s good gifts, astounding mercy, and superior love flow to us every moment of every day. 

God’s Radical Hospitality brings us back to Christ Centeredness and Biblical Groundedness, and forms the foundation for Authentic Community… and provides great inspiration for extending God’s love and hospitality to others – God’s love is RADICAL.  

Our Mission/Vision at Crestview Church is to Glorify God, Become Like Christ, and join God in the Building of his Kingdom.  Thus, we are a Christ Centered, Biblically Grounded, engaged in Authentic Community and Radical Hospitality kind of place.  

Sunday, we worship outdoors again – weather permitting, Lord willing.  Weather looks good today for Sunday, if any change in plans to move indoors, we will alert everyone Saturday.  We will also celebrate the Lord’s Supper, communion, together!  Special offering this month: The Niebur’s.  

See you Sunday,
   Pastor Mark  

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Authentic Community

New Message Series: Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing


Message
Authentic Community

The Bible!

Hey everybody, we are heading outdoors for worship this week.  The Fall-like weather is perfect to squeeze in a few outdoor services before we are ushered back indoors with colder weather.  Good excuse (or no excuse not) to enjoy some worship together on the church lawn.  See you all on Sunday!

We’ve been looking at some core characteristics at the center of what it means to be God’s people.  What is the church?  What does a group of God worshippers, Jesus followers, and Holy Spirit filled persons look like? 

We’ve been looking at 4 particular things: Christ Centered, Biblically Grounded, Engaged in Authentic Community and Radical Hospitality.  Sunday, we take a look at Authentic Community.  From what you know about Jesus and what the Bible says about this, what would you say an authentic Christian community looks like?

Sunday is a comin’.  In fact, it comes around with amazing regularity, and that’s a good thing,
    Pastor Mark      

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Biblically Grounded

New Message Series: Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing

Message
Biblically Grounded

The Bible!

Christ Centered and Biblically Grounded, Engaged in Authentic Community and Radical Hospitality – good ways to be the church!  This Sunday we look at another foundational characteristic of the church – Biblically Grounded!  

People have all sorts of ideas about what the Bible is and is not.  Everything ranging from “It’s a nice book” to “It’s the authoritative Word of God for faith and life.”  

The Bible is clear in it’s main message about Jesus.  Yet, that doesn’t mean the Bible is easy to understand.  

Understanding the Bible’s message, it’s purpose, relevance and meaning, is a lifelong journey of reading, study, exploration, meditation, and reflecting.  And what exactly is its place in the everyday life of followers of Jesus?  What authority does it have over our living?  And how does it’s truth and teaching lead to faith, spiritual growth, obedience to God’s will for our lives, and transformation in becoming more and more like Jesus?

It has everything to do with everything.  If you want to see what Scripture says about Scripture, take a look at these passages in reflection for Sunday: Psalm 19, Psalm 119, Hebrews 4:12-14, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  

See ya Sunday in the Crestview ‘hood, 

Pastor Mark