Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Spiritual Discernment, Part 2

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

Jesus teaches us how to pray and what we ought to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer.  Yet, prayer can be a complicated matter.  Is prayer really complicated or do we make it complicated?

We engage in spiritual and rational gymnastics when it comes to prayer all the time.  We wonder, if God knows everything, then why pray?  If he knows what we need, why ask?  If God is all knowing and all powerful, then why the seeking?

Sunday, Jesus opens the door again for prayer and relationship with our heavenly Father that is very freeing.  He invites us to ask, seek, and knock.  And its not a one time happening.  All three of these verbs are present participles.  Meaning, the asking, seeking, and knocking are continual.

The understanding in English would be this, “Ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on  knocking…”  This is hard for us to understand and to practice.  We see things in the present, in light of the past, with no certainty of the future.  We also like to have our prayers (asking, seeking, knocking) answered immediately.

We all know what its like to pray, ask, seek, and knock and not have an ‘answer.’  Ever knock on a door and not have it opened?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers about closed doors.  Yet Jesus makes it clear that the love of God for us is deep and God is engaged in the everyday of our lives.  

The text for Sunday is Matthew 7:7-12.  Thanks to Roger who accepted the challenge to bring the message to us last week.  Thank you to Eileen who will be bringing us the message this coming week.

See you soon,

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Come and Worship!

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Trusting that your 4th of July was a good time for friends and family to get together!  This coming Sunday, July 9th, we will be having a special worship service as we worship through the Lord’s Prayer in a spirit of prayer.  Join us as we spend time reflecting on the prayer Jesus taught us as we walk (worship) through the beautiful prayer.

This Sunday we welcome (install) our new deacons Tom Needy and Laura Westrate.  Thanks to Pam Chappell and Eric Erickson for their wonderful service over the past three years in this role here at Crestview Church.  And welcome aboard to Tom and Laura.

Second offering on Sunday will be taken for Jason Stryd.

Thank you God for the country you have given to us.  May we glorify your name as we participate in your unfolding plan for your world, our country, our city, and our local neighborhoods.  For the freedoms we enjoy in this great nation, we thank you.  We remember today, your faithfulness, your grace and love for us.  Sharpen our resolve Lord to love one another.  Keep us in humility and give us desire and skill in the ways of your kindness.

In you God, we trust.

Pastor Mark 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Give Us This Day

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Yes!!

This week we kick off our June activities – plenty of opportunity to make connections with your neighbors and with your friends, and church brothers and sisters.  Three opportunities for fun, food, and fellowship.

Wednesday June 14th6:00pm Kickoff BBQ with some creek cleanup in partnership with Wellman Condo Community just across Wellman Ditch.  Come for a potluck meal to kick off the evening and some community creek cleanup.

Friday June 16th, join us at the Brewing Market in Lafayette at Espresso Vino, near Arapahoe and 95th as the Pearl Street Prophets roll out some more music.  Last time they worked the the first time kinks and jitters, now they are ready to roll!  The music starts at 6:30pm and will go ’til 9:00pm.  Food and drinks will be available in abundance.  Bring your family, friends and neighbors for a fun evening out on the town.  Be there to kick it off in style at 6:30pm and stay as long as you like.

Sunday June 18ththe Freedom Tour pedals through town.  This ride has become a tradition of raising awareness and funds for an important cause in our state and community.  This year the Freedom Tour is highlighting the tragedy of Human Trafficking and ways to combat this horrible practice in our community.  Join the team of 15 riders who are biking from North to South border of Colorado for this cause.  We will share a meal together at 5:30pm followed by a presentation.

Further details for all these events are below.

This Sunday in corporate worship, we continue our journey through the teaching of Jesus on how to pray.  Our focus will be Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  Every word in this phrase gives insight into the power of this prayer.  Read it several times and put an emphasis on a different word.  For example, Give us this day our daily bread.  And again, Give us this day our daily bread.  Reflect on the understanding that comes from the varied emphasis on different words in the phrase.  What insights do you experience?

Can’t wait to unpack this one with you on Sunday – May God fill you will everything and anything that need for this day.  No need to worry about tomorrow either, God is already there too.

This Saturday, there is a cleanup scheduled at Maya Rogers home, see details below.

This Sunday we will be having a congregational meeting immediately after the worship service for electing our new deacons, report on our ministry goals for this coming summer and year, and a review/approval of the recommended budget for the new fiscal year.

See you Sunday!! 

Pastor Mark     

Check out this entry in Mark’s weekly blog on the
Crestview website, here!

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Teach Us How To Pray… You! You! You!

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Sunday is Pentecost Sunday!  This is the day we remember the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the early church in Jerusalem.  Some amazing things happened that day.  Read all about it in the Book of Acts chapter 2.  As you read this text, what do you notice?  What were some of the signs of the Holy Spirit moving among the people?  Don’t forget the things mentioned in 2:42-47!  The movement of the Holy Spirit takes on some very tangible, practical, beautiful forms.

This week, on Pentecost Sunday, we will continue with our series on the Lord’s Prayer with special emphasis on 6:9-10.  Teach Us How To Pray: You, You, You!  Jesus always encourages authenticity – in words and in actions.  In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus’ teaching on ‘how to pray’, he focuses on authenticity.  God is not interested in our playing games or any such manipulative devotional practices.  He desires real relationship.

From the opening words, ‘Our heavenly Father’, we are encouraged to address God as ‘Abba’.  This is an endearing Aramaic name for God.  Jesus invites us into a relationship with our loving heavenly Father.

As we learned last week together, Jesus teaching on prayer steers our focus from ourselves to God.  As a heavenly Father, we are adopted into a new family, the family of God.  As our heavenly Father, we are invited into a loving relationship with God and one another as brothers and sisters of Christ and sons and daughters of God.

This is where Jesus begins: A loving Father who is holy.  Out of this established and trusted relationship of love (personal posture and relational position) flows prayers for God’s kingdom come and will be done. Out of this established and trusted relationship flows prayers for provision, forgiveness, protection, and empowerment.

Since this is a prayer that Jesus taught his followers to pray, lets commit this prayer to memory together.  Let’s together explore its beauty and meaning over the summer.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”  For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.  AMEN.”

See you Sunday,
Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Teach us How To Pray: TLP (The Lord’s Prayer) with TLC (Tender Loving Care)

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Prayer warriors unite!

This week has been packed with prayers for Jake, Marty, our city and our world!  And that’s probably the tip of the iceberg.

Sunday, we are expanding our focus on prayer as Jesus teaches us how to pray.  We begin with an overview of the Lord’s Prayer with the text’s context within the Sermon on the Mount: TLP (The Lord’s Prayer) with TLC (Tender Loving care).  Jesus reorients our attitudes and motivations on prayer.  Prayer is an intimate connection with our loving God.  To say it another way, prayer is listening conversation in an intimate relationship with God.

When the disciples ask Jesus, ‘Teach us how to pray,” he responds with a prayer that shapes their hearts motivations and desires.  He leads them in a direction of prayer focused on God, and ‘His image’ in them, rather than prayer that is shaped and directed by ‘self image.’  The entire prayer taught by Jesus comes from a posture of gratitude, trust, and dependence.

In the weeks that follow, we will unpack the petitions of the prayer in more depth.  To conclude this series on the Lord’s Prayer, we will have a special service of worshipping together through the Lord’s Prayer.  Looking forward!

Pastor Mark