Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Seven Paths: Envy – Why Can’t I Have That? Sure Wish I Had That!

We are currently in the message series: Seven Paths leading to darkness, Seven Paths leading to life. 

Seven Paths: Envy – Why Can’t I Have That? Sure Wish I Had That!

1 Samuel 18:5-16

I thoroughly enjoyed Sunday’s service with guest potter, Emilie Parker.  It was wonderful to experience scripture through the eyes of a potter.  We are special creations – each one of us unique.  God has created us with intention and marvelous design.  And as pots, pitchers, cups and bowls, he calls us to special purpose and service.  

It was humbling to hear words of God wondering about our questioning of what God has made.  Who are we to say to the POTTER, ‘What is this you have made?’  We are to live into our calling, our created design.  That while broken, he restores.  That while leaking, he fills the gaps and cracks.  More than these, God is ‘hands on’ with us in caring for us.  He is continually holding and molding us, shaping and filling us.  

This Sunday, March 8th, we return to our message series with number three of seven pathways that lead to darkness and light, by zeroing in on ENVY.  “Why can’t I have that? Sure wish I had that!”  Our hearts are prone to desire the things of others… whether its houses, cars, jobs, spouses… you name it!  If its a person or thing, it can be envied. 

Envy is important to recognize.  If left unchecked or undealt with, it quickly leads down a slippery slope to darkness.  Envy can lead to discontentment, unhappiness, and even lead to action with sorrowful consequences.  

God has a much better plan for us.  God calls us to the pathway of contentment and gratitude.  This is where the Spirit of God dwells.  This is the path that Jesus walks and calls us to follow.  It is the path that God blesses.  

We will look at the story of King Saul and David as a springboard into the topic of Envy. (1 Samuel 18:5-16). Looking forward to worship together and a deep dive into God’s Word.  

See you Sunday if not before,
Pastor Mark    

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Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Give Thanks! How to Work Through A Tryptophan Hangover!

How do you get over a tryptophan ‘hangover’?  GIVE THANKS!  Its a bit ironic that we will be having a Thanksgiving celebration the Sunday after thanksgiving, yet, that is exactly what we are going to do.

When it comes to ‘Thanks – – giving’, what is your story?  Out text for Sunday will come from Psalm 107 and Psalm 136.  Over the past two years we have heard the word hesed spoken in different contexts of worship.  Hesed is a Hebrew word to describe God’s love.  Its very hard to translate into one word in English.  Combine love, mercy, kindness, and grace and you have the definition of hesed.

Psalm 107 and 136 recount God’s love for his people.  There is special mention of those who ‘have wandered the wastelands hungry and thirsty’, who ‘are in prison of darkness and suffering’, who ‘are suffering because of their sin’, who ‘are blown and tossed about by the wind and waves,’ who ‘experience plenty and abundance and then the bottom drops out in famine, drought, and sickness.’  In each circumstance God calls on his people to give thanks.  “Give thanks to the God of heaven.”

Sunday, November 25th, we are going to give thanks together as a community for the stories that God has given us.  As you read Psalm 107 and 136, reflect on how God’s hesedintersects with your story.  Maybe you will be led to share something about this in worship Sunday as a witness of and testimony to the great love of God at work in your life.

See you Sunday and before then, have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Rocks of Remembrance


eingedismSpecial Service this Sunday, February 5th, 9:30am: Gratitude – What’s Your Story?  

Come ready to participate through listening and sharing together in what God has done for you, what he has brought you through in 2016, and your prayers for the new year 2017.  We are planning spaces for open mic time Sunday for sharing about what God is doing in your life.  Maybe there is a Scripture verse, or a short story of a struggle, a praise, a word of gratitude, a prayer that you would like to share of God’s leading in your life.

As we share these things in our worship together, we will be building a cairn of sorts of remembrance – a visual expression that represents our prayers and stories of hope and gratitude.  So whether you participate by verbally sharing or not verbally sharing, we invite you to participate in building a pile of standing stones as we support and celebrate God’s faithfulness to us as a community of faith.

The picture above is a picture of Ein Gedi.  It is an natural spring oasis in a sheltered cliff valley near Qumran and Masada in the country of Israel.  It was a place where David would find shelter from his enemies.  Probably a key place where he and his fighting men would find rest and safety.  I wonder if he wrote some of the Psalms in Scripture from this very place.

In the desert, the spring of Ein Gedi is a place of refuge.  May this space of worship Sunday, be for us a Ein Gedi, a place of refuge – as we recount together the journey that God has for each of us individually and as a community.

Deone and I will forever remember our experience of Ein Gedi.  Below is a picture of Deone and I at Ein Gedi in 2009, as we jumped into the refreshing waters of its springs.

Pastor Markengedicouplesm