Is Following Jesus Helping or Hurting You?

Some folks revel in their relationship with Jesus.   Others find it tedious.    So which is it for you?   Do you find following Jesus a joy, or is it a chore?  Be honest… this is just between us!

You might be surprised how many people would say: “a chore”.  Especially so in private company.

For some, the act of worship (or prayer, or reading the Bible) is an absolute drudgery.   You can see it in their faces on Sunday morning.   You can tell by the way they walk into the sanctuary.   They honestly love Jesus… but following Him is a daily chore.

If you feel like Jesus is a chore (like church is more about saying and doing everything you’re expected to say and do, rather than about celebrating), you’re not alone.

People living in first century Rome thought the same thing.    They thought that making Jesus happy was all about how well they behaved.  What’s more, they thought that going over their lives with a fine toothed comb on a daily basis was the only way to stay on God’s good side.

All of which I suspect generally made them a bit miserable to be around, I suspect!

If your relationship with Jesus has become a bit of a drudgery… then this Sunday’s message from the Apostle Paul is for you.   Read ahead if you’d like… I don’t mind spoilers!

See you in worship!

– Pastor Mac

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Godspell” then you probably remember that fantastic scene where a modern day ‘John the Baptist’ sings “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord” while standing in a city fountain. People come running from all around, tossing off their shoes and jumping into the water, frolicking with joy over the news that God will soon be in their midst. You can’t help but be caught up in that moment of joyous celebration.

What does it all mean? How do we prepare?

Come and see this Sunday!

~ Pastor Mac

I am Groot, Who is Jesus

Last Sunday afternoon as Diane and I were buzzing down 295 on the scooter we spotted a shiny new car with this license plate: IMGROOT.

We both laughed out loud!   That plate told us something about the driver.   He was obviously a movie fan (click here if you’re really confused), and apparently possessed a great sense of humor as well!

Understanding a driver simply by reading their license plate is fun.

But understanding who Jesus is through his own words is more than just trivia… it’s vitally important to our faith, both present and future.

Don’t get me wrong: It’s great that we’ve spent this month learning his teachings on discipleship, prayer, and even on Hell.   Jesus was a great teacher.     But who is He, really?   What are his credentials?  What did he say about himself?  And how does that change US?

Jesus’ true identity, revealed.   It’s all on for (you guessed it) this Sunday at 10am.

See you in church!  ~ Mac

Be Brilliant!  Read ahead in Matthew 14:22-33

Now I lay me down to sleep… pray to the Lord my soul to keep.

Many of us treasure that simple childhood prayer.  It does have a few weaknesses though.   For one thing, it’s centered almost completely on our ‘to-do’ list for God.     “Here’s what I need done this night.  Take care of this for me, won’t you?”

I guess that’s ok for kids.   Life really is all about you when you’re seven!

But God has a lot more in store for us when we come to him in prayer.   Something deeper & richer by far than simply passing him a list of needs and wants.

Thankfully, Matthew wrote down Jesus’ advice on prayer.   It’s pretty powerful stuff.    If your prayer life feels a bit tread-worn — or maybe you just don’t get around to praying as often as you’d like — this message is especially for you!

Come this week as we continue our series “Jesus Said It” with a look at Jesus’ advice for (and example of) a rich prayer life.  Sunday at 10am.

See you in church!  ~ Mac

Be Brilliant!  Read ahead in Matthew 6:5-8

Discover the difference between being a ‘Christian’ and being a ‘Disciple’!

‘Disciple’ and ‘Christian’ are words that get tossed around quite a bit.    For years now the church (meaning the entire church… all churches everywhere) has used those words pretty much interchangeably.

Some say that we’ve gotten way off track.   They say the church has messed up by spending the last 50 years making Christians, but not Disciples.      What’s more, there’s an effort underfoot to turn that trend around.

Is it true?   Are we making Christians, when Jesus said we should be making disciples?  What’s the difference?   Why does it matter?  Maybe more to the point:  Which one am I?

Come this Sunday as we jump into the third segment of our series ‘Jesus Said It’ and discover the difference between being a ‘Christian’ and being a ‘Disciple’.   It’s going to be deep stuff!

Sunday at 10am.

See you in church!  ~ Pastor Mac

So does Hell really exist…

Hell has become a rare word in 21st century churches.   So called ‘Seeker churches’ (those where the music is so loud you can’t hear yourself sing) often avoid subjects that could depress the mood.  Traditional churches (regrettably) don’t do much better with this controversial topic.

And yet… Jesus spoke a great deal about Hell.  Indeed, he spoke more about Hell than any other person in scripture.

So does Hell really exist… or is it (as some say) a creation of the church, designed to keep people faithful for fear of eternal punishment?  What’s more: if Hell is real, how do we stay out of it?

This month we’re working in a series called “Jesus Said It”, examining the master’s teachings about important topics in our faith.   Come find out what Jesus really said about Hell.   This Sunday at 10am.

See you in church!  ~ Pastor Mac

“What’s in Your Wallet?: Jesus on Money”

Someone once said:  “Opinions are like belly buttons… everyone has one.”

That’s true.  My bookshelf is overloaded with books about discipleship, religion, and a host of other topics.   With so many opinions on what it takes to follow Jesus… where should we turn?   To the source, of course!

On Sunday we’ll be kicking off a new series called “Jesus Said It!”   All this month we’ll be going straight to the gospels to get Jesus’ instructions for living the life He wants us to live.    Nobody cuts through the fog of religion like Jesus does!

This Sunday:  “What’s in Your Wallet?:  Jesus on Money”

Did you know that Jesus spoke more often about Money than any other topic, including Love!   How we use our wealth was of great concern to him.  Are you using your wealth in a way that worships God?

Come find out what Jesus really said about money!   This Sunday at 10am.

See you in church!  ~ Pastor Mac

Get more out of Worship…
Read Matthew 6:19-24 before Sunday morning!

When something new comes along do you dive right in, or take it slow?

When something new comes along do you dive right in, or take it slow? And how does that affect your success?

There’s quite a gap between wanting success and achieving it. Everyone wants to be successful in their ventures. But not everyone achieves success. Often times we jump into some new phase in life: a new job, a new relationship… hoping that everything will work out, but with no real plan for success.

How can we improve the odds of success when we tackle something new? Better question: How can we serve Jesus successfully, without getting tangled up and off track?

Jesus had some clear plans for his disciples when he sent them off to serve the Kingdom. He wanted to ensure they were successful in this work. Jesus template for success has implications in your life as well. Come and join us as we unpack “Jesus’ Plans For Success”. This Sunday at 10am.

See you in worship! ~ Pastor Mac

Get more out of church… Read Matthew 10:1-20 before Sunday morning!

Would people say you’re a patient person?

The weatherman says it’ll be 90 degrees on Sunday.  Woohoo!   Bring it on!   I love Summer worship with the windows flung open… the praise pouring out, God’s perfect creation pouring in!

We’re ready for the heat & sunshine.  The rainy weather has really tried our patience as of late.  But it’s not only the weather that can try our patience.   Coworkers, friends, even people we dearly love can sometimes stretch our patience to the limit.

You’re going to have a hard time in this life without patience.   Would people say that you have ‘Godly patience’, or would they say you need a little help in this area of Christian life?

Come this Sunday and find out what God has to say about patience… and how He may be using certain situations in your life to strengthen ‘Godly Patience’.

See you Sunday!

~ Pastor Mac

Good deeds. Bad deeds. Dirty deeds!

Good deeds. Bad deeds. Dirty deeds! In the great scheme of Eternity, do our deeds really matter?

Jesus seemed to think so. He was constantly doing good (extraordinarily good!) deeds as he traveled from town to town. If we’re following Jesus’ example then we probably should be doing some as well.

The question is… where does it end? Is there a point where we can say: “I’ve done enough.”? What does Jesus think of our good deeds? Does doing good works affect our salvation?

That depends on who you ask…

Join us as we untangle this sticky web of ‘doing good deeds’ in worship this Sunday.

In the meantime… you can read what Paul has to say about the importance of good deeds right here in the text.

See you Sunday!

~ Pastor Mac