Pastor's Blog
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   Entries 26-30 of 44
February 26, 2017, 2:38 PM

From the Pastor - February 26, 2017

Dear Friends,

I was raised in a loosely practicing Irish Catholic home. Even at young age, I was able to figure out the rhythms of our life of faith. For example, in my childhood home you had to “give up” something for Lent. The year I tried to give up doing the dishes it was clearly explained to me you had to give up something you liked! 

The idea was that if you gave up pizza, then whenever you thought about pizza you were supposed to take that moment and think about God, or pray, or ponder what Jesus wanted you to do. In all honesty, it never worked for me. All it did was make me crave pizza, candy, soda or TV more than I ever normally had. That’s because it’s really hard to NOT think about something. If I ask you to not think about a pink elephant, you end up thinking about a pink elephant!

Instead of giving up something good in the vague hope that God will use our denial of self in some way, let’s give up some bad things together as a community of believers.

Our Sunday sermon series during Lent will be “Giving Up!” We will look at giving up some big things, and I think we will all be better for it.

Giving up Control
Giving up Expectations
Giving up Superiority
Giving up Enemies
Giving up Our Lives
Giving up Popularity
Giving up Death

Let’s all give up, together!

In God’s grip, Pastor Mark

Post a Comment

February 26, 2017, 2:37 PM

From the Pastor - February 19, 2017

Dear Friends,

I want to add some thoughts to the idea about being right or being in relationship.  To start, I am not saying that we should break off relationships because we perceive that someone else is wrong or we are right.  Rather I am saying that by insisting that we are right, (especially in small petty things) and making our rightness a big deal in the relationship, we are slowly destroying the relationship.  The point isn’t to somehow have moral justification to end a relationship, especially a marriage.  The point is to stregthen and improve all of our relationships, especially our marriages.

This is not easy, and without intentional work we will not move in the right direction.  If we are apathetic, if we are lazy, or if we simply continue to make time for everything except those we love our relationships will get worse.  The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”  This is the work of the redeemed.  It is the work of those whom God has saved through His Son.  But it is not and will not be easy.

Escaping the trap of selfish ambition and vain conceit is difficult.  Humility is difficult.  Considering others as better than ourselves is difficult.  Nothing that is good, noble or Godly is ever easy, but it is always worth it.  Let’s do the difficult work together.

In God’s Grip,
Pastor Mark

Post a Comment

February 26, 2017, 2:36 PM

From the Pastor - February 12, 2017

Dear Friends,

Some may ask "why spend an entire month talking about love?" The short answer is that it is possibly the strongest of human emotions.

The longer answer is that love plays a huge role in our relationship with God.

In Matthew 22:37, we read "Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” which is a restating of an old testament idea.  In John 15:9, Jesus reminds us “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”  In Romans 5:8, Paul tells us "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Love is inescapable. It is all around us emanating from our Heavenly father and hopefully flowing through us to a world that is lost and hurting.

I leave you with these important words from 1 John, chapter 4: "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

In God’s Grip,
Pastor Mark

Post a Comment

February 5, 2017, 10:08 PM

From the Pastor - February 5, 2017

Dear Friends,

One of the things that God taught me at the Midwinter Conference was just how many things have changed here at our little church and in such a short amount of time.  As I prayed, thought and even discussed this idea with other leaders, I realized a few things I wanted to share with all of you.

  1. I need to apologize to some of you.  I have a VERY high capacity for change.  Because change rarely bothers me, I may not have appreciated how difficult some changes may have been for some of us.  I still know, in my heart, that I have done what God has asked me to do and when He has asked me to do it.  BUT I may not have seen or foreseen how it could have impacted some of us.  So... I am sorry if I have caused any hurt or missed any signals about what the change has meant to some of us.  My door is and always has been open to all of you, and if anyone needs to speak to me I want to assure you I will listen.
  2. There has been change, and there will inevitably be more to come.  If we grow (and I pray that we do), new people are a change.  As our kids and youth get older, there will be changes in how we serve them and encourage them in their faith.  A new praise song that was written a week ago or an ancient hymn that we rediscover can mean a sense of change in how our worship feels.
    I can promise you two things about whatever change my occur. First, I will do my best to talk about it in advance and fully explain what is happening and honestly listen to your reactions. Second, God will be with us each and every step of the way.
  3. I see Lake Union entering some really new and exciting territory.  In the past, when the church had a part-time minister, it seems like things were in "maintenance" mode.  You all fixed things when they broke, and reacted when things needed attention, but truth be told there may not have been a lot of looking ahead.  Things have been building and growing since I was called to serve here, and I am excited to say I see God leading us into becoming a more "missional" church.  What does that mean? I can't fully explain in such a short space, but know that I am praying and writing a great series that I am calling, "M3: Moving from Maintenance to Missional".  I really am seeing great visions from God about what Lake Union can do and how we can all get there, together.  Look for more on M3 in the weeks to come!

    In God's Grip,
    Mark Andrews

Post a Comment

January 29, 2017, 5:11 PM

From the Pastor - January 29, 2017

Dear Friends,

I truly hope I don’t explode with excitement this morning!  There are some, many great things going on: I am back after being sick, we are having our annual meeting, we are having a party afterward, and we are electing new leaders to serve here at Lake Union! Wow!

It’s always good to be back after missing a week, even more so when it was unexpected and because I was sick.  Even better is the meeting we are having today.  Together we are exercising our congregational freedom and doing so in a way that Christian believers in China, Iran and other persecuted people around the world can only dream about.  We need to be excited about our freedom in the glory of God, and we are blessed beyond our ability to comprehend it.  We received the following prayer request from our friend who works with persecuted Christians all over the world.

(Content of prayer omitted for the safety of those involved.  Thank you for your understanding.)

Just think about that, someone needs prayer just to try and bring Christian materials into a country, not build a church and certainly not gather publicly AS the church.  We get to do all of that not only free from government interference but protected against any form of harassment from our government or any other group! God is so good to us, and we need to celebrate what He is doing!  We also need to pray for the persecuted.

On top of all that, we are electing new leaders for various roles in our congregation.  We need to pray for these men and women as they serve and assist them as we are able.

It is so good to be doing this together!
Pastor Mark

Post a Comment

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   Entries 26-30 of 44