Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Advent Series: The Gift of Childlikeness

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

Christmas is coming!  Ready or not?!  How is it going for you in making space in your life for the King?  Just as he came to earth through a miraculous conception through the incarnation, he is continually at the door of our hearts desiring to come in.  “God incarnate here (the human heart personally and our world cosmically) to dwell!”   

God is patient with us in this: He stands at the ready, waiting for our focus and attention to be on Him, His kingdom, and His plan for us.  The mystery of the incarnation of God in Jesus reveals the deep mystery of the holy/human weave.  Certainly the holy/human weave is revealed to us pointedly in Jesus.  But it goes beyond Jesus to us in the reality that Jesus comes to dwell in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.  The holy/human weave continues in God’s working and indwelling of our person.

Are we open to God’s presence and working in our life?  Or are we resisting it?  Again, God is incredibly patient with us and he honors our free will and autonomy in deciding for or against Him.  So what will it be?  Faith or non-faith? (Belief in someone or something greater than ourselves… or not?)  Transparency or non-transparency? (Open our lives to God’s will and plan or hide from it and follow our own?) 

So far in this Advent season we have witnessed the gift of God in faith and transparency.  This Sunday we look at the gift of childlikeness.  Jesus invites us over and over in Matthew to become ‘like a child.’   What does he mean by this?  Here are a few texts in prep for Sunday: Mt 18:1-9, 19:14, 21:14-16, and 9:25.  How does becoming like a child look like?

Can’t wait ’til Sunday!  I’m full of anticipation to worship the King with you!
By the way – come and Carol with us this Sunday on Pearl Street 4:00pm!  Meet us in front of the courthouse between 12th/11th street.  Come one, come all!  

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email

Advent Series: The Gift of Transparency

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

Christmas is a time for giving gifts.  I’ve been thinking about some of the best gifts that be given: friendship, love, and presence.  That’s right – presence, not presents.
I’ve been trying to be more intentional with the gift of presence.  In the relational chaos that we are experiencing in our culture and world today, the gift of presence is needed.
The command of God to love one another requires being present.  I’m not talking about being present physically and spatially (that’s important of course), but more importantly seeing and hearing another.
One of the best gifts that God gives to us is his gift of presence, continual presence through the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Experiencing God’s presence with us can be difficult to experience as well because it requires us to be present with God in return.
What will it require for us to be present with God and with others this holiday season?  Slow down.  Be aware of the false narratives that swirl around you wanting to suck you into its vortex.  A popular one is finding your value in busyness and doing more and more things.  Be more intentional to create space and margin to simply be with others and be with God.  After all, we are called human beings not human doings.  So be human and be present with others and with God this holiday season.
Our Advent series continues Sunday with the gifts of Christmas: The Gift of Transparency from Matthew 17:1-13.  Have you ever thought about this, that God made himself transparent to us through the person of Jesus Christ?  Ponder that one for awhile.
Anticipating with you Jesus coming to make all things new,
Pastor Mark
We will be having a congregational meeting immediately following the worship service this Sunday to pass on information on safety education and increased safety measures we are taking as Crestview Leadership.  There will be a time of Q&A to follow.  After our safety meeting, Choir practice will commence!   
Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Advent Series: The Gift of Faith

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

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, we have so much to be thankful for!  Check out this fun you tube video.
God give us a gratitude attitude!  This past week Deone and I were given the gift of time with our girls. I was able to be on the receiving end of a sermon and a great worship experience.  The pastor spoke on gratitude.  As I sat there my head and heart collided with emotion.  Looking down the row, I was overwhelmed by the goodness of God to me in the gift of my wife Deone and our three girls, and blessed with a wonderful son in law.And this is only the beginning of what God has done for me.  His gifts are amazing and abundant from salvation to Dentist’s (needed some emergency attention last week) to friendship to bicycles.  How about you?  What are you thankful for and how is your heart’s gratitude attitude?The level of negativity and angst in our culture is high.  We are going to continue to focus our hearts and eyes on Jesus during this Advent season.  God has given us amazing gifts through Jesus Christ our Lord.  This Sunday, we will focus on the gift of faith (Nov 26).  In the coming weeks we will focus on the gift of transparency (Dec 3), childlikeness (Dec 10), invitation and grace (Dec 17).

Sunday we will focus on the gift of faith.  On our AB line RTD ride to DIA this past week our bus was packed with millennial’s.  College students were fleeing town for family Thanksgiving celebrations.  In the middle of one of our conversations I was asked “How do you define faith?”  I paused before answering… and out came this reply, “Faith is believing in something and someone bigger than yourself.”

On the plane trip to Michigan, a message for this Sunday was written, The Gift of Faith.  We will look at several stories in the Gospel of Matthew (8:5-13, 8:23-27, 9:18-26, 15:21-28, 16:5-12).  In all of these stories faith is directly addressed.  If someone were to ask you the question, “What is faith?”  How would you answer?

See you Sunday, come with an attitude of gratitude, anticipating and expecting to worship and meet with God.

See you Sunday,

Pastor Mark