Pastor's Blog
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December 18, 2016, 1:58 PM

From the Pastor - December 18, 2016


Dear Friends,

There are two times each year that unchurched people think about church. Easter is one, and Christmas is the other.

I am begging you to turn your spiritual radar up to ten and pray that God would show you those who are hurting, alone and in need of a word of hope.

Reach out to them. Talk to them. Invite them.

Yes, I said invite them. Invite them to church next Saturday night. Or Sunday morning. Invite them to come and see the reason for the season for themselves.

Be ready…ready to give a ride, ready to change your seat. Be ready…ready to wait a minute if they are late. Be ready…ready to hang out and talk if they have questions. Be ready…ready for the God who broke into the world in the form of a baby over 2000 years ago to do something amazing with your willingness to risk something. Be ready.

In God's Grip,
Mark Andrews

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December 11, 2016, 11:14 AM

From the Pastor - December 11, 2016


Dear Friends,
I hope that no one is feeling skeptical about me calling you friends.  I have been pushing everyone lately, and I know that it can create an uncomfortable feeling.  I promise you though, one of the reasons I am being so insistent about God's calling us to action is that I do care for all of you.  I care too much to allow apathy or inaction to be seen as "normal Christian living".

The firemen I spoke of on Sunday, the law enforcement officers from all departments and all of the branches of the United States military all have one thing in common; they work, train and prepare for action they hope will never happen.  Those who have walked into danger, faced it down and lived to tell about it all long for days of peace and inaction.  The problem is that they know that trouble is going to come again.

Most Christians seem to do the opposite.  We read scripture, we attend classes, we study books and online articles, and we secretly hope that we will never be put into action.  Some misguided congregations have even built their model around bringing every problem and every seeking person to the pastor who will "fix everything."

I believe that the Bible teaches us something different.  We are told in 1 Peter 3:15 "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."  We are to expect action.  We are to expect questions.  In short, we are supposed to work while we wait!

A Navy seal said that when people are faced with extreme situations, "they never rise to the occasion, they sink to the level of your training."  That is why the Seals train so hard, and that is why Christians need to train even harder.  This is bigger than life and death, this is about eternity.  So, lets get to work.

In God's Grip,
Pastor Mark

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December 4, 2016, 1:45 PM

From the Pastor - December 4, 2016


Dear Friends,

How has the past week been for you?  As the stores and shops push us to buy more and more, have you been able to resist that push and think about Jesus’ coming?  His first and His second?  It’s serene and calm to ponder that first Christmas. It conjures up images of motherhood, a quiet stable setting, the imminent arrival of both shepherds and Magi.  The images of the second coming seem to put us on edge a bit more.  The second coming imagery is both scary and powerful.  It paints a picture that includes one world ending and a new word beginning.  The creator of the universe is breaking into the timeline of history and making things right.

What’s interesting is that the FIRST coming, the FIRST Christmas story was also a revolutionary, ground shaking, earth quaking moment.  The idea that God would intervene in the history of His creation in such an amazing way was not something that anyone had been expecting.  When God decided to reshape history into His Story, the world actually changed.

As people of the cross, it can be easy to tell and retell the Easter story.  It’s the moment when salvation was secured and death was defeated once and for all.  The Easter story couldn't be told unless the Christmas story had taken place.  Without the baby in the manger you cannot have the Man of Sorrows on the cross.  Without the event that set shepherds and kings in motion, the resurrection story that set the rest of the world in motion would not exist.

Without both stories, we could not wait in joy and expectation for the return of our King.  Come Lord Jesus, Come.

In God’s Grip,
Pastor Mark

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November 27, 2016, 12:37 PM

From the Pastor - November 27, 2016


Dear Friends,

Believe it or not, I'm very glad that I am still your pastor. Last week I told you the only way I was going to stop challenging you was for you to fire me, and I'm glad that you didn't take me up on my challenge. However, that does lead me to continue to challenge you, moving all of us forward, closer to the place where Jesus is calling us to reach.

This morning I want to raise the bar and ask you all a difficult question: What ministry are you involved in? Before anyone answers, let me share a few thoughts with you. Anything that has as its primary purpose toward building up your faith or strengthening you is probably not a ministry. Anything that primarily builds up someone else and brings to them the good news of Jesus Christ probably is a ministry.

The beauty of our walk with God is that many many times when we are actively engaged in doing ministry to and for others, we ourselves end up blessed and uplifted. The difference lies in our motives and purposes for being involved.

As we enter into our Advent series, "Hope is Coming," I urge all of you to think and pray about what you can be doing, in the name of Jesus, for others. Ask God where He wants you to be involved and be ready for some amazing answers. No one is too young or too old, too unprepared or too busy. All who have been saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ are called to active duty as long as we have breath in our lungs.

Our world is a hurting and broken place, but the good news is that Hope is Coming!

In God's Grip,
Pastor Mark

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November 20, 2016, 6:00 PM

From the Pastor - November 20, 2016


Dear friends,

Choosing the important over the urgent? How has that looked for you this past week? Of course I can only speak for myself, but I found that I looked differently at many of the choices that I had to make. I've discovered that many of the things that I thought were important were really urgent.

I hope that was your experience over the past four weeks, making different choices because the word of God is taking root in your heart and in your lives. I know the choices are not always easy, but that is what separates a disciple of Jesus Christ from an observer of Christian regulations.

If these past four sermons were helpful for you, or if you had some breakthroughs in the way you approach your Christian faith based on the different ways we make choices, I ask you to share some of those stories with me.

As we kick off our holiday season with Thanksgiving this coming week, many of us enter into a very busy season of life. Let your newfound choices guide you as you make sure that we celebrate the real reason for this coming season, the birth of Jesus Christ. Remove the distractions and make great choices. 

In God's Grip,
Pastor Mark


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