Fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Romans 12:2 MSG

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Walking On Water (not on ice)

The words found in the 14th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew tell a story of Jesus walking on the water and commanding Peter to do the same. As Peter tries that defying task, he is successful for but a moment before sinking. Of course Jesus reaches down to save him and restore him to a place of safety, the boat. We can muse over the audacity of Peter to think he could do such a thing, the crazy talk of Jesus in encouraging someone to do such a thing, the other disciples for not trying themselves and for letting Peter attempt what seemed impossible by himself, and the sheer grace and power of Jesus and his ability to do what seems so incredible and against all odds. As our minds wander between these thoughts and questions, the one vision is clear. Jesus believes that Peter can do this, and because Jesus believes in him, it can be not just probable, but God-inspired possible. The ancient saying rings true, “With God all things are possible.” 

I have often mused over this story in trying to figure out all that Jesus is teaching us. At this point in the life of this congregation and with the momentum for missional living that I see taking place, four words come to mind in light of this text. Those words are: Poise, Power, Passion, and Perspective. 

When Jesus believes in us, our Poise can be strengthened. I am not talking about physical ability, but rather the poise that comes when our faith and confidence in something beyond ourselves is imagined and held onto. Certainly, without Jesus, Peter would not have come to the conclusion that he could walk on water, but with Jesus, the idea ushered forth from him was possible. The poise of faith that I have seen grow in people when serving others is nothing short of God-inspired. Thank you to those who step up and out to serve! 

When Jesus believes in us, our Power can be increased. I’m not talking about muscle, might, sheer brute strength, but rather the power that comes from the inside out. A spiritual power that is greater than one, and exponentially increased with each Christ-like relationship. Our power comes from God, our power comes from the living Christ, our power is generated by the fiery Holy Spirit. I see this in Peter in his first steps, and I have seen this in the active participation of so many in the acts of love that provide life. Power is grown in all and for all.

When Jesus believes in us, our Passion can be multiplied. I am not talking about passion as love for football or your favorite pair of jeans or for more stuff, but a passion that multiplies and grows with each passing day as we live out our faith callings. Peter was called to walk on the water. What are we all called to be about in our world? What is the voice of Jesus crying out to us? Does love, hopefulness, joy, need an increasing place in our world? I believe they do. We are the ones in whom this passion can be witnessed and through us living out passionate faith-filled lives we can bring that passion to bear in all things. I have been witness to an ever increasing passion within those who find themselves investing in their faith lives and others' faith journeys.

When Jesus believes in us, our Perspective can be clearer. When Jesus first called out to Peter, he squinted into the storm. So he asked again. Only then in hearing His voice could he take those first steps. The same is true for us. We need a Jesus perspective. We need his lens, his viewpoint, his desire, his vision, to be ours. Jesus seeks to give that to us. It is why he empowers us with each passing moment in his life. It is why God continues to come and dwell among us today. With a Jesus perspective, we can cast off that which holds us back or down, and we can be free to step out in faith and really live. 

We all are invited into a faith-filled journey of growing ourselves and this entire community in a discipleship faith. You cannot do that on the sideline. You cannot do that by yourselves. You cannot do that by staying the same. We do this together. We, like Peter, are invited to step out in trust and watch what God will do. I can say with confidence that you will be blessed with a strengthening poise, an increasing power, a multiplying passion, and a clearer perspective. What a gift that will be!

Step out…...Step up…...Step forward…...and trust Jesus to do the leading.
Pastor Chad

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Living Testimony

So many questions. The world is filled with them. It seems the more we know the less we know. 
Of utmost importance, when it comes to Jesus, what do we say and how do we respond to the following: 
I love you Lord because…
I need you Lord because…
I praise you Lord because…
I obey you Lord because…
I thank you Lord because…
I hope in you Lord because…
I trust in you Lord because…
I find joy in you Lord because…
I find peace in you Lord because…
We are made to be in relationship with Jesus and one another. How we articulate that relationship to others is very important. 
One key piece of every wedding that I am invited to preside over is to invite the couple to write a love letter to each other. I share snippets of those love letters during the wedding ceremony. In the love letter I invite them to address the following, “Why do you love each other so much? What are your hopes and dreams for your marriage relationship? What made it possible for you to give your lives to each other?” While challenging to do, the couples later express the meaning this brought to their wedding day. 
You have heard the phrase, “Keep the main thing the main thing!” Jesus is the main thing. Agape love is the main thing. Relationship is the main thing. 
God give us the words to express our love for you and the purpose you have for our lives.
Peace and Hope ,
Pastor Chad

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Whole World 1-16-18

Jesus sends us into the world – the cosmos – the entire universe – to love and serve. There is no place that we will go to that God is not already there. And yet, we are called to be there…to go there. Where will God inspire you to love and serve this year? How will the Spirit stir you up for life and service in God’s world? Think Glocal (local and global) and share with others your spirit's stirrings. 
This week, a team of ten are serving with Mission Jamaica. Please hold that ministry in your hearts and prayers as lives are being impacted and forever changed. 
We the church sing a song of familiarity for many…… 

“He’s got the whole world in his hands,
he’s got the whole world in his hands,
he’s got the whole world in his hands,
he’s got the whole world in his hands!"

Then you and me sister, you and me brother, you and me neighbor, etc. 
How are we challenged by this song knowing full well that the world is messy and broken? Is God with us? Does God care? Why do some have so much and others so little? What does it mean when we can’t fix or clean up the mess? 
When you look out at our world…what do you see? 
What is your greatest hope for the world?
Where do you see God most active?
Peace and Hope,
Pastor Chad

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


This time of year we hear a whole lot about New Year’s resolutions. What changes will we make? How will we be better? What do we hope to accomplish? Resolutions aren’t bad.  However, they are rarely accomplished. I remember my health club in Colorado. Eleven months out of the year there was a good flow of folks in and out of the club. But come January the place was packed. New running shoes, new workout outfits, and new members with ambition to get healthy. That lasted about 30 days. After January it was back to the regulars with just a few more new commits. Those who were staying after it were doing so because they had partners, a community, others around them cheer-leading them on. 

This week we read from Matthew the story of the wise men who brought their gifts to Jesus. They too had resolve. They brought those gifts on behalf of Herod. After meeting Jesus they went home by the way of another road. Why? They had resolved to follow Jesus. They had a new king. They could not go back to Herod and his henchmen and pledge their loyalty to him. They had been changed. They were made new. They would no longer be ruled by fear but instead they would live by faith. 

What resolutions do you have when it comes to following Jesus in 2018? What gifts will you bring? How will your life be different, better, more whole, because of this new born king? 

When we live in the Jesus community, sharing our hurts and hopes, offering love and support, we are able to stand in there together with resolve and accomplish whatever it is that God has put before us. We are not made to do life alone, but together. The three wise men had each other. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus had each other. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have each other. We the church have each other. 

May 2018 be more than we could ask for or imagine!

Happy New Year Church.
Pastor Chad