Pastor Travis Norton

“Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of god has come near to you.” Luke 10:8-9 

Evangelism has always been about the combination of being in community with people, doing good works for them and telling them good news from God. I think if you remove any one of those elements your ministry becomes unbalanced and ineffective. If you just tell people the good news but don’t show love or live in community then they might receive the gospel as just another product. If you share community and do good but fail to tell people the gospel then they may like you but they won’t grow closer to God. If you are in community and share the good news but fail to do good then the gospel is just words and ideas that are no earthly good. I think we as a church and as individuals would do well to evaluate our own evangelism against this standard.  

-Pastor Travis Norton

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

“I will follow you wherever you go.” -Luke 9: 57

The text for this week is the story of Jesus passing through a village of Samaritans when they won’t prepare a place for him and moving ahead where then he will encounter others who want to follow him but want to do what they need to do first. Jesus instructs them to not look back.
I find it ironic that Jesus is looking back each time as he instructs people not to look back.  In a world where we find ourselves rejected, as Jesus was, what keeps us on a forward path?  How do we overcome what was, so that we might live into what is meant to be?
 
No matter what it is that we have faced in the past, Jesus calls us to look ahead, to look towards Him and what His message for the world is.  It seems cruel to not to let people take care of the matters that are close to them before they are to move on in their faith and call to serve Jesus.  But living in what was, might just keep us from the hope that Jesus knows lies ahead.  Where do you find yourself stumbling through the past, holding you up from experiencing God in your midst today?

-Pastor Carrie

Pastor Travis Norton

 “Therefore, I tell you, her sins which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. but the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Luke 7:47 

She showed her love for Jesus by kissing his feet and anointing them with expensive oil. Her love embarrassed the pharisees and others at the house. But it didn’t embarrass Jesus. Jesus thought it was the Pharisees who ought to have been embarrassed for their lack of love. I wonder if we fully understand how much Jesus has done for us. If we did, would our behavior be more like the woman’s?

-Pastor Travis Norton

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

 “Therefore, I tell you, her sins which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. but the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Luke 7:47 

She showed her love for Jesus by kissing his feet and anointing them with expensive oil. Her love embarrassed the pharisees and others at the house. But it didn’t embarrass Jesus. Jesus thought it was the Pharisees who ought to have been embarrassed for their lack of love. I wonder if we fully understand how much Jesus has done for us. If we did, would our behavior be more like the woman’s?

-Pastor Travis Norton

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

 “So therefore, none of you can become my disciples if you do not give up all your possessions” Luke 14:33 

Go ahead and read that verse again. Think about it. Jesus said it. Are you ready to be a disciple? Did he mean it literally? It certainly seems that way. Remember the story of the Rich young ruler who couldn’t part with his possessions and so turned away from becoming a disciple of Jesus? But what does it mean for us? Does Jesus want us to become poor? Does Jesus want us to sell everything and live on the streets? I don’t think so. Peter had a house and probably a boat too, that he returned to after three years on the road with Jesus. I think it’s probably as much about our attachment to our wealth and all things material that Jesus wants to loosen. The more attached we are to the stuff we’ve acquired the less nimble and agile we become to follow the call of Jesus. I think that’s true for individuals as well as the whole church. We may be asked to give something valuable away and we should be ready to do so. We’ll talk more about this on Sunday. 

-Pastor Travis Norton

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

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13: 8

When I opened the bible to read this text it begins with the title “Concluding Exhortations”.  It made me laugh a little, like Paul is really going to bring it home in this final portion, more than he had in the earlier in this sermon to the Hebrews.  Paul is nothing if not clear about how it is that we are to live among God’s faithful people, what our response to God’s faithfulness should be, and that we should offer praise to God in the community of faith that gathers.  So I wonder, where do you find yourself living into this sermon and where can we strive to do better?  Verse 8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”, what does that mean to you, knowing that you have a Savior who is unwavering in love and grace for you, and in turn how does that manifest itself in your relationships today (with God, self and others)?

-Pastor Carrie

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire.” -Hebrews 12:28-29 

A kingdom that cannot be shaken, doesn’t that sound like good news? I’m tired of all the shaking going on in our world right now. It seems just when I think things have settled down another event troubles the water and we have to wait through the shaking until things achieve some semblance of calm again. I’m not just talking about world events-covid, war, politics, new diseases, inflation etc. But also those things in our personal lives that throw us off balance. I am glad for this promise that we are receiving a kingdom that doesn’t shake, that doesn’t get off kilter, that is stable and strong and enduring. That sounds like good news that we need right now. We’ll talk more about it this Sunday. 

-Pastor Travis Norton

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

“…who for the sake of the joy that was set before him, endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:2 

As we continue this look at the famous “Faith” chapter in Hebrews 11 one has to wonder why anyone would be a person of faith. The people lifted up faced great opposition and hardship. Yet they endured and were obedient to God’s call even when they didn’t get to reap the reward of their faith. They followed the example of Jesus, who endured the cross for the sake of the joy set before him. This Sunday we’ll talk about the perspective needed to be a person of faith. Perspective changes everything. 

-Pastor Travis Norton

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

Hebrews 11:1-10

What is it that makes life worth living?  Is it the big things that we see or is it the ongoing day to day activities that go by unnoticed?  Hebrews asks the question of faith; a faith that carries through all generations.  Hebrews invited us to examine a faith that we cannot see yet gives us a firm foundation in all that we do.  As we begin this sermon series it’s a chance to explore where our faith holds us up and carries us in ways unseen yet surely held in God’s promises and faithfulness.

-Pastor Carrie

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” -Romans 12: 2 (The Message)

This verse in Romans is one that invites us to examine how we live out our faith in the world.  Do we live through a lens of faith in all that we do, or have we given in to the ways of the world?  When we can embrace, recognize and celebrate all that God does for us, we can in turn do the same for others.  Where are the places in your life that are calling to be changed by the love of God for the sake of the community that we live in?  

Paul’s writing in this chapter is a beautiful reminder and call to live in the goodness of God.  To be cheerful and to keep trying even (and especially) when things get hard.  Together we are the body of Christ, remember that always and we will indeed be changed from the inside out.
 
Blessings,
Pastor Carrie
 
PS…I really love the translation of the this from The Message.  You can read the who chapter here.

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