Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Our Choices...

Earlier this week, I had an opportunity to go hiking with a group of kids from the church.  I love getting outside, and I love sharing these experiences with others.  However, planning these events can be stressful.  I’m always worried someone will try to jump off a cliff or fall into a pool of stagnant water.  Besides all that, I was bringing my own child, and that can mean dirty diapers, loud screaming, and an all-around wildman strapped to my back… I guess I was concerned the hike would turn into a sufferfest.  However, it turned out to be an amazing trip!  The kids showed up with enthusiasm and positive attitudes.  My little boy was also fun to watch.  As soon as he saw the mountain, he started jumping up and down with excitement.  He couldn’t wait for us to put him in the backpack.  He spent the rest of his trip singing and talking about the dirt and the rocks he saw…  It was perfect!
Every day we get to choose how we are going to respond to life’s trials.  There will always be difficulties, but we can choose to share compassion and love instead of doubt and fear.  Beyond this, I also think we need each other.  I have seen so many people overcome the trials they’ve faced because of the love they’ve felt from others. 
Today, I hope you can believe in Love.  I know you all have your own burdens, but if we open our hearts, I believe great things will happen! 


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Forgiveness and Sacrifice

It takes a lot of work to be in relationship with someone.  I know that is probably a tactless statement to make so close to Valentine’s Day, but I believe all relationships require sacrifice.  I also believe that this sacrificial love has an incredible amount of power.  When we give of ourselves, for the sake of another, I believe we become a part of something much bigger. 
It’s amazing to watch my own little boy grow up.  It’s exhausting to chase him around every day, but it is incredible to see him respond to our sacrifices with love.  I don’t really think he knows what he is doing, but he is drawn to love.  He shows us his trust and affection and that is working miracles in my life.  I would also argue that it is not just children who have the power to do this.  I think all relationships can bring a glimpse the Kingdom of God.     
This week we are talking about forgiveness.  Forgiveness can be incredibly hard, and sometimes it’s all too easy to walk away instead of making that sacrifice.  Do you believe that we are stronger as a church together?  Today, I hope we are all able to find a love that is worth making sacrifices for.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Love of a Savior

I am not a shepherd, and I don’t know a whole lot about sheep.  However, I heard a story about a shepherd who noticed that one of his lambs had gone missing.  The animal had been traveling through some pretty rough terrain, and any kind of search for it was going to be exhausting and unlikely to bear fruit.  Nevertheless, this shepherd went back, retracing his steps, calling out for the lost sheep.  As the night drew near, his search hastened… and eventually, he heard a faint cry.  The lamb was paralyzed.  Interestingly, there did not appear to be anything physically wrong with the creature.  Instead, it was fear that had caused the animal to seize up.  The shepherd put the lamb on his shoulders and joyfully made his way back to the rest of the flock.  At that point, the animal slowly started moving again… happily reunited with its flock.
I thought this was a beautiful story, and it reminded me of Christ’s Love for us.  Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd.  He knows each one of us by name, and He is calling out to us.  Today, I hope we can take a little time to reflect on God’s Love.  I pray that you will never be ruled by fear or despair...  Instead, may you always listen for the voice of the one who loves you, and may you know Christ will always carry you home.

Pastor Brian 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Bear with one another!

There are certain people in my life that I cannot imagine myself without.  These people shape me, challenge me, and sometime they annoy me… :) However, all of these individuals have made me the person I am today. 
Who are the people that shape you?  Perhaps friends… maybe your family…  However, the Bible says that we need ALL people.  This includes our enemies.  We are all different parts of one body.  Do you believe that?  In our world today, there are so many reasons why people choose to isolate themselves from other viewpoints.  We don’t need to talk to the stranger, and it can be easy to demonize our enemies. 
I am thankful to be a part of a church where people can put aside their differences and come together to worship. I believe we are striving toward something much bigger.  We are the body of Christ, and that is what really matters!  Today the scripture verse that we will be diving into comes from Colossians 3 verse 13:
Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
I hope we can take steps toward this today.  I hope we can ask who our enemies are, and I hope we can consider how God is calling us to reach out to them. 
God’s Peace and Grace be with you!