“do you want to be made well?” -Jesus 

This story from John 5 is such a simple story, repeated throughout the Gospels. A person is sick, encounters Jesus, and Jesus heals them. But this story is all about the question. ‘Do you want to be made well?’ The assumption is that you don’t even need to ask, everyone wants to be made well, right? That’s what we’ll be thinking about this Sunday as we continue the sermon series, Breakthrough. Does everyone want to be made well? Do we want to be healed of everything in us that needs healing? Do we even want to know all the areas of our life that need healing? Are we ready for the changes that come when we receive healing from Jesus? So many questions! 

-Pastor Travis Norton

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So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” Acts 11:1-18

I wonder how often we get in God’s way?  I know that as we go about our daily lives and routines, we likely don’t pause as often as we should to either ask what God is doing or see what the Holy Spirit is up to in our lives.  We may not have visions like Peter did but surely God is at work in all that we do.  Where are the places that you can be open to what God is doing in your life and in the lives of those around us.  Peter needed to be convinced three times on several separate occasions that God was working with him, sometimes we might need that convincing too.  Look to those around you, and to God’s still, small voice, or booming call to see what’s next for you in this world, and remember it is for the sake of the gospel.  

P.S. Let’s stop getting in God’s way and do the work together!

-Pastor Carrie Baylis

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” John 21:16 

Three times the same question is asked of Peter. ‘Do you love me?’ Put yourself in his shoes. If you were asked over and over again by Jesus if you loved him, how would you respond. It reminds me of that scene in Good Will Hunting where the psychologist played by Robin Williams keeps telling Will over and over again ‘it’s not your fault.’ By repeating the statement he gets through to his client. Is Jesus doing the same thing for Peter? Trying to get through to his heart. Trying to get to an answer that isn’t just off the cuff, but is deeply considered. If Jesus asked you, and you fully understood the ramifications, would you declare your love for him? What do you think it looks like to love Jesus? 

-Pastor Travis Norton

Looking for last weeks worship? You can find it here!

What does it take for God to get your attention?  Is it when you hear the Word and it speaks so directly to what you are experiencing that you know it’s God?  Is it when your life circumstances don’t seem to fit anything that you planned for and surely it must be God stepping in?  Is it an experience of God so vivid in its’ closeness to you that it just had to be God?  Is it a still small voice, that only you can hear that is questioning, encouraging, and inviting you to live into the fullness of God in your life?

Saul’s had a conversion experience that woke him to new life in Christ leading him to serve.  Where are the places that we might find a conversion moment in our day to day life?  What is God seeking from you and how will you hear that call and live into it?  What are your breakthrough moments going to be?

-Pastor Carrie

“But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25 

Would you believe? Do you believe? I love how the gospel writers take us through the reactions of the disciples. So often the reaction is doubt. Nobody jumps immediately to belief. It takes time for each of them to get there. Thomas is perhaps the most honest about his doubt. But Jesus works with each one of the disciples to breakthrough their doubt so they may come to believe. Doesn’t Jesus do the same for us? 

-Pastor Travis Norton

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“Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.” Luke 24:10-11 

Can you imagine being one of these women? You’ve just witnessed the most amazing thing in the world, the resurrection of Jesus, and you can’t get the other disciples to believe you. You come running with the best news the world has ever heard and they think you’re making it up. “These words seemed to them an idle tale.” Why is it so hard to believe good news? Oof, that’s the question isn’t it, even for today. We are so used to bad news. We are so used to miracles not happening. Can we even allow for something like the resurrection to change our minds? But these women never stopped telling their story. And Jesus backed them up so that the lives to the disciples were changed. The story keeps changing lives. Our lives have been changed by the miracles of the resurrection. Now it’s our turn to be like the women and tell the world of the miracle so they might come to believe too.

-Pastor Travis Norton

Looking for last weeks worship? You can find it here!

“go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find there a colt that has never been ridden.” Luke 19:30 

This is intentional. This entrance into Jerusalem is carefully crafted and thought through. Think of how a candidate introduces themselves when they launch a campaign. The background, the city, the music, all of it is carefully selected to project a very intentional image. Look at Luke 19, how much time is spent on the instructions and execution of getting the colt. Jesus intends to come into Jerusalem in the same way as a conquering king would after defeating the enemy. And the people welcome him as a king. But what kind of King will Jesus be?

-Pastor Travis Norton

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John 12:1-8

I love all the different things that this passage brings to the table.  We know that Lazarus is joining Jesus at the table, Martha is still serving, Mary anoints Jesus with expensive perfume using her hair, Judas is there and upset at what he seems to view as a waste of expensive perfume.  Everyone is gathered around the table with Jesus, only six days before the Passover that would be Jesus’ last supper and I wonder what each of them might have been thinking.  Did they know this might be the last chance for them to be with Jesus, would that change how they behaved at the table?  Maybe this was literally their “come to Jesus” moment where they needed to reconcile themselves or their expectations and experiences of Jesus with him right there in the moment.  They had all had previous interactions with Jesus where he had given of himself for them, now in this time what did they want to say or do for him? 

Jesus is always for us and with us.  Our faith is a response to Jesus, to Jesus who loves us no matter what.  What would you say to Jesus if you were sitting at the dinner table with him, what do you say to Jesus now as you worship with him and pray to him?  Where do you need to find release and find your way to Jesus in this Lenten season?

-Pastor Carrie

Pastor Travis Norton

“Jesus entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death.” Luke 7:1-2

Capernaum, centurion, slave, these are three words that make this healing story so interesting. Capernaum was a trade city on the sea of Galilee, making it a crossroads for different kinds of people. The centurion was a gentile, a roman officer. And a slave, cared for by the Centurion, but owned nonetheless. There were many reasons for Jesus to refuse this request to heal the slave by the Centurion. Many reasons to be prejudiced against him. But as was his custom, Jesus crosses all the lines and boundaries of difference to offer the healing and salvation of God. The slave is released from his deathly illness and the faith of the centurion is lifted up as an example to Jesus’ own people releasing them from the prejudice that a roman officer couldn’t have great faith. Consider all the assumptions we make about people different than ourselves. How might Jesus release us from our prejudice against them? 

-Pastor Travis Norton

Looking for last weeks worship? You can find it here!

Jesus was not going to live into anyone’s expectations of him except for God.  He would live as his father had directed, often as had already been told by the prophets when he recalls the words of Isaiah:

 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
        to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
        to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Jesus clarity in mission wasn’t always a favorite among those he visited. People were seeking to have their needs met through the one who had healed and saved before, they had false expectations of what they believed Jesus should do for them too.  Jesus does indeed work for us, and guide us, but we also need to work for him and let him lead us.  Our false expectations of what a Savior should or could do might be best met by a people who will meet him where he is and join in His mission for the sake of the world.

-Pastor Carrie

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