“He replied, it is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.” Acts 1:7

Oh man, I wish Jesus hadn’t said that. He was talking about the time when he would restore the kingdom. His disciples asked and he said it’s on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know. How many of us are comfortable with not knowing? I want all the information so I can make decisions about the future. But I hear Jesus reminding me to trust instead of know. Trust instead of know. There’s so much we want to know right now and so much that we don’t know. When will we get a vaccine, when will the coronavirus be defeated. It’s not for you to know. When will Jesus come back and restore this world to what God intended from the beginning? It’s not for you to know. Our job is to trust God’s knowledge and perspective and do what He has asked us to do. We don’t even need to know how our acts of kindness and self-sacrifice fit into the big picture. Our job is to trust and leave it to the Father to know.

-Pastor Travis

“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” Acts 17:16

I’ll be preaching on Acts 17 this week, and while our passage starts with verse 22, I can’t help but think about this verse that really starts the passage. Paul will address the Athenians and try to persuade them as best he can of the good news of salvation given through Jesus. But it starts with this distress at the idols. I think of the Acropolis full of ruins of the temples to gods made of stone. Why would this distress Paul so much? I think it comes from a love for people and desire that they would know the truth of God’s love and salvation. Here they are following the dead end path of worshipping gods that aren’t gods at all when they could know the God who raised Jesus from the dead and have a loving relationship with their creator. I wonder if we share Paul’s distress for those who don’t know God today? Are we motivated to share the good news and appeal to our family and friends to turn away from false idols and turn to the God who loves them? Oh, that all people would know their creator and experience His love. May our love for people and our love for God motivate all that we do.

-Pastor Travis

-Pastor Travis

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”- John 14: 8

When I read through the gospel reading for Sunday verse 8 jumped out at me immediately. We use this reading quite often for a memorial service but I don’t know that I’ve ever paid much attention to this particular verse before. Today when I read it I almost responded out loud thinking “Philip is lying!” To even suggest that we might be satisfied if Jesus would just show us the Lord seems absurd, it’s just like a few weeks ago when Thomas said, I need to see him, to see the scars to know that he is real. I think it strikes me more deeply during this time, because I know that even though I may not see the Father, I know that he is with us in the dawning of each new day and close of the night, in the trees and the flowers that are coming back to life, in the hope that I feel deep within knowing that we are promised new life through the death and resurrection of Christ. Jesus was with his disciples that day and he told them that he was the way, the truth, and the life. They had to decide if they would trust in who Jesus was and claimed to be, they had to decide if they would do the works that he did, they had to decide that Jesus was for them and the Father was with and for all of them. I think that Jesus did a pretty good job of giving them assurances (maybe after a little bit of chiding…) for in the final verse he tells them, “If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” And on the cross and then by the sight of the empty tomb, he proved it. I hope they were satisfied.

-Pastor Carrie

Prayer Practice Fridays – May 1, 2020

Exercise

Now that the weather seems to really be turning into Spring it seemed like a good time to share exercise as a prayer practice. Exercise might seem pretty pedestrian to some in terms of prayer and ideal to others. It can be a time to ourselves, where we get to choose what to focus on, what to think about, perhaps to rewire our minds a little bit and to take a break from all the things that we have to think about or do. Some exercise admittedly requires full attention on what you’re doing, but the aftereffects of having exercised can provide a good head space and sense of clarity for prayer. Other exercise offers time for thought and prayer while you are in the midst of it.

When using the time of exercising to also offer prayer it can take many forms. It might be pausing before you begin and being conscious of inviting God into that space with you. Perhaps if you’re at the gym or out pounding the pavement it’s the meditation that comes with regulating your breathing or listening to your steps. However you choose to listen to God in this time it’s important to be intentional in your awareness and invitation to God in that time.

If you find it difficult to be intentional in prayer and reflection while you exercise it could be a better option to engage following your exercise. You might find that you have more clarity or calm afterwards and it is a good moment to capture those thoughts on paper or in conversation with God. Take a moment to notice where your thoughts and your body are directing you; maybe into contemplation of a relationship, a specific part of your work or family life, new ideas for things that you want to accomplish or goals you want to set. This might not be a time for answers, but could be a part of the path to get you there. Vision can come in these moments of clarity and exercise is often a great way to get you there!

Pastor Carrie

Adopt a High School Senior!

Lets shower our high school seniors with extra love! They continue to have so many disappointments this year, no senior breakfast, prom, yearbook signing day, last day of school out in the parking lot, graduation, parties, just to mention a few. We can do a lot to cheer them up!

Fill out the form here if you’d like to ‘adopt’ one or even two of them. You will be provided a name, short bio, and address and the rest is up to you. You can send cards, gifts, lunch, etc. Please make sure you include some words of wisdom to pass on to this amazing group of kids!

“He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3

This Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday, when we read several scriptures about the imagery of sheep and shepherd. The shepherd is an image that scripture often uses to refer to leadership, especially the leadership God provides. Jesus declares himself the good shepherd. The part I resonate most with in John 10 is this line that the shepherd knows the name of the sheep. Just think about what Jesus is saying. He knows our name. Not just our name but he knows us, everything about us. Jesus is our leader and he cares for us. I hope we can dwell on that good news this week. Our leader knows us and loves us. It’s easy to follow someone when you know they care about you. Jesus is the good shepherd who leads us through the valley of the shadow of death. We can follow him through scary times because we trust in his love for us.

-Pastor Travis

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