The Crucial Importance Of Forgiveness In Covenant

Pastor Evan Brown continues his teaching on the importance of cementing covenantal relationships with others through their shared experiences. He focuses on the responsibilities of followers of Jesus in their relationships with fellow believers. He points to Matthew 12:46-50, where Jesus states that we are to interact with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the same way we are to interact with our own family members. He reiterates that covenant is not easy, citing David’s experiences with his friend Jonathan and his mighty men as examples of possible risks of (1 Samuel 18:1-4, 20:17-17) and sacrifices in (2 Samuel 23: 8-12, 15-17) honoring a covenantal relationship. 

Jesus’s commandment to His disciples to love one another as He has loved them so that people will know that they are His disciples by their love for one another (John 13:34-35) might encourage us to ask ourselves the following questions:

Do I love loving others? 

Would I risk my life to meet someone else’s need? 

How much will I sacrifice for others? 

What am I willing to do (Am I willing to be inconvenienced, to go out of my way?) to help others feel secure, loved, safe?

Why would I not want to help those who need help? 

Am I being an example to others that would draw them to want to follow Jesus?

Covenant With God's Family

Pastor Evan Brown continues his teaching on the importance of cementing covenantal relationships with others through their shared experiences. He focuses on the responsibilities of followers of Jesus in their relationshops with fellow believers. He points to Matthew 12:46-50, where Jesus states that we are to interact with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the same way we are to interact with our own family members. He reiterates that covenant is not easy, citing David’s experiences with his friend Jonathan and his mighty men as examples of possible risks of (1 Samuel 18:1-4, 20:17-17) and sacrifices in (2 Samuel 23: 8-12, 15-17) honoring a covenantal relationship.

Jesus’s commandment to His disciples to love one another as He has loved them so that people will know that they are His disciples by their love for one another (John 3:34-35) might encourage us to ask ourselves the following questions:

Do I love loving others?

Would I risk my life to meet someone else’s need?

How much will I sacrifice for others?

What am I willing to do (Am I willing to be inconvenienced, to go out of my way?) to help others feel secure, loved, safe?

Why would I not want to help those who need help?

Am I being an example to others that would draw them to want to follow Jesus?

Covenant: Establishing Intimacy

Pastor Evan Brown continues his study on Covenant. God’s original design was for humankind to live in harmonious relationship with God and with others.  Although sin brings separation and brokenness into our relationships, God has provided a way to help bring our relationships back into healthy alignment but it requires that we work on it. This week’s study examines one essential element of godly covenant, which is having shared history.  Shared history requires that we share experiences, focus our efforts, be vulnerable, give our time, and offer forgiveness. When we live outside God’s ways giving ourselves to ungodly desires, we rob ourselves from experiencing the fullness of life and relationship that God intended for us. Pastor Brown shares from his personal journey for establishing healthy covenant within his own marriage and family.

Scriptures: Genesis 2:18-3:12

A Name Means More Than You Think

In continuation of the series on "Covenant," Pastor Evan Brown expands on the first element of "Covenant": the exchanging of names. This morning we studied the name changes of Abram ("Exalted Father") to Abraham ("Father of a multitude") and the revelation of God's name (I AM WHO I AM) to Moses. Through personal stories Pastor Evan shows that there is much significance in: the name(s) we call ourselves; the name(s) others call us; the names we call the people we are in covenant relationship with--and in our corresponding actions and attitudes.

And remember: Gods Name (I AM WHO I AM) is the same as His identity, which is the same as what He does! The name the Lord gives each of us will have the same characteristic: it will give us a clue of who He made us to be and what we are supposed to do. What is the evolving name the Lord is giving or has given you?

Genesis 16:16-17:5
Exodus 3:2-7 and 11-15

We Are Named

Last week in his study on covenant, Pastor Evan Brown introduced us to the four essential elements of covenant—exchanging names, shared history, making vows, and accepting consequences—and discussed the importance of our need to understand how these elements impact our lives. This week he examines the first of these four elements—exchanging names. Using scriptural examples, he discusses the meanings of some biblical names and points out how the power of names establishes one’s identity, whether in positive or negative ways. He concludes that names (not just our birth names but also the names that others—for example, parents, siblings, peers, teachers—might put on us throughout our lifetime) can greatly influence both our relationship with God (depending on what we believe about who He is and how He sees us) and our relationships with those around us. This teaching might prompt you to ask yourself, Am I known? Am I loved? Does God love me? Do I belong? Am I good enough? Do I matter?

Scriptures—Genesis 2:20, 23; 3:20; Revelation 2:17; Isaiah 56:3-8; 62:1-5




Covenant And Relationships: An Introduction

Today’s teaching is the first in a series of a study on covenant (God’s plan for our relationships both with God and with others). Pastor Evan Brown has invited us to join him on his personal journey with regards to understanding covenant and how it affects us and our families. This series begins with a definition of the word, an explanation of the foundation of covenantal relationships, and an outline of the essential elements of covenant and its various aspects that impact our and others’ lives, including the consequences of keeping and breaking covenant.

Scriptures: Proverbs 1:1-7, Psalm 34:8, and Psalm 27:13

This Is You

In His sermon on the mount, Jesus calls His followers to be salt and light to people (Matthew 5:13-16).  In today’s teaching, Pastor Steve Shober outlines the various attributes of salt and light and explains how they apply to us as followers of Jesus. He then challenges each of us to self-examination: How does my life affect others through my words and actions? Do my words enhance the lives of others (Matthew 5:13, Galatians 4:6)? Am I careful to watch my words (Mark 9:50)? Does my light shine in a dark world (Matthew 5:14-16, Ephesians 5:8-9)?  Do I take advantage of opportunities to be salt and light to others (Galatians 6:10)? Am I on the lookout for new experiences with God that will glorify Him (Matthew 5:16)?                                      




VBS Sunday

This service was a wrap up of the week of VBS (Vacation Bible School) at the Coastlands. It included two testimonies, each person sharing their experience leading up to and during the week, a video showing clips of special events, team time, assemblies and more, and in conclusion, kids who had attended VBS sang songs they had learned throughout the week.

153 Fish

Guest speaker Daniel Brown bases today’s teaching around what he has been learning about discipleship through his extensive worldwide travels over the past many many many many many years (decades!!) during which he has met and established relationships with other people. Discipleship simply requires our living for the sake of others. Am I doing this? Am I obedient to Jesus’ direction to us to make disciples? Using Peter as an example (John 21:15-19), Pastor Daniel offers some clues as to how each of us can each measure our devotion to God and our level of spiritual growth in Him. Our answers to a few questions can help us to determine our spiritual maturity. Is what I say I believe about who Jesus is and how He cares for me reflected in my love for others and how I care for them? Can I gauge my love for Jesus on how I treat others? Does my love for Jesus show up in how I feed His lambs? Is my love for Jesus obvious in the way I tend His sheep? Am I moving forward toward Him and the people He has placed in my care? Does my life give glory to God?

Be Weak in Christ

Have you ever felt that your weakness disqualifies you from being all God meant for you to be? No matter what our circumstances, we are never cast aside by God.   He has an important purpose and plan for each of us.  Paul the Apostle did not let the thorn in his flesh stop him from doing what God called him to do.  In the same way, when we feel weak or that we’re not enough, that is when God‘s power is made strong through us.  Scripture references are from 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10.

Walking in His Inheritance ; Peru Mission - Part 2

This Sunday, Kevin Kammermann, of the pastoral team at The Coastlands, shared about his 13-day mission trip to Peru with three other team members. During a period of continued sleeplessness and feeling completely empty leading up to the trip, Kevin was reminded during a prayer time that he would be relying on the Holy Spirit, not his energy level or even his memory, to give him the right words for each situation. That became the theme of the trip as the team visited all 9 of the Foursquare churches there. The team experienced God's provision, from speaking to the youth at one church about the hope and the future God has for them to praying for each individual church member at another to seeing the amazing dedication the Foursquare Peruvians have, sometimes in significant poverty. God makes life small sometimes, so that He can show how big his Spirit is and can bring us further into the riches of our inheritance. 

Walking in His Inheritance ; Peru Mission - Part 1

This Sunday, Kevin Kammermann, of the pastoral team at The Coastlands, shared about his 13-day mission trip to Peru with three other team members. During a period of continued sleeplessness and feeling completely empty leading up to the trip, Kevin was reminded during a prayer time that he would be relying on the Holy Spirit, not his energy level or even his memory, to give him the right words for each situation. That became the theme of the trip as the team visited all 9 of the Foursquare churches there. The team experienced God's provision, from speaking to the youth at one church about the hope and the future God has for them to praying for each individual church member at another to seeing the amazing dedication the Foursquare Peruvians have, sometimes in significant poverty. God makes life small sometimes, so that He can show how big his Spirit is and can bring us further into the riches of our inheritance. 

Jesus as a Reference : How He Suffered

2 Cor. 1:3-7 & 2 Cor. 4:7-10

Suffering for Christ by Allowing Him to Use You to Benefit Others

Pastor Evan shares personal testimony of how God has asked him to embrace and endure suffering in his own life. Evan communicates that rather than flee from suffering, we can actually pursue it, like Christ--who endured it because He saw the joy set before Him. Suffering on behalf of others, specifically by being willing to share our own past painful experiences, can encourage them to turn toward Jesus as they experience their own. God is able to redeem our suffering in order to bring great blessing to those around us.

Jesus as a Reference : How He Stayed Focused

Jesus’s first followers were confused about who He was, where He came from, why He came, what He was all about, or where He was going. Although they did not understand much of His teaching, many of them continued to follow Him and ask Him questions (John 7). The written Word of God answers these questions for us. We have learned in particular that Jesus is our example of how to live a godly life and demonstrate the love of the Father. We know that the Father sent Jesus to do His will and to accomplish His work (John 4:34; 7:16, 28-29, 32; 9:4). Jesus charges us to carry on the work that He completed while on earth. To do this we need to stay focused and make it our mission to feed the spiritually hungry with the knowledge of God and His love and peace. Our work is to reap that which Jesus originally sowed and to harvest what will become spiritual food for the lost (John 4:35-38). May we all take advantage of opportunities to feed others with the goodness of God.

John 4:31-38; 9:1-5; chapter 7, esp. verses 7:16-18, 26-39

Jesus as a Reference : How He was Thoughtful

During his life on earth, Jesus went about doing good, healing all who were oppressed, because God was with him.  Jesus’ life on earth serves as an example for us to follow.  The same Holy Spirit that rested on Jesus, also lives within us today.  Through the Holy Spirit’s power, we can reach out to the world around us to be a help to others in need. 

Scripture reference is from Acts 10:38.

Jesus as a Reference : Who He Spent Time With

Following the theme of Jesus as the Cornerstone and our ultimate reference point, Evan now talks about what characterized the kind of people Jesus chose to spend His time with. Who did Jesus value? There was Peter, a "salty" sailor so aware of the spiritual chasm between him and Jesus when they first met, that he told Jesus to distance himself. There was Matthew, an extortionist and traitor to his own people. There was a skeptic, a political zealot, two blusterous brothers, the ultimate betrayer and others who we know only by their names. Jesus' attention was on the "unlikely" people, and most often, those who were considered contemptible by more than just the Pharisees. Jesus' motivation was clear: people. To be with people. To love people. He made the example as simple as it could be for us. 

The Puzzle of Life

The Living Stone: Jesus Our Cornerstone

Without the Cornerstone (Jesus), attempting to construct the “puzzle of life” is impossible.  Life gives us so many “pieces” to work with, many of which are incorrect or misshaped.  With Jesus we have the correct dimensions, so all other pieces align to create a more complete version of who God made us to be.  After all we are part of His great design!

Jesus as a Reference : How He Drew Near to People

Why did Jesus come? Though we humans are created in the image of God, we come into this broken world separated from Him, as weak and helpless infants, with no idea as to who we are or who God is or why we are here. By nature, we long to be known and loved by God, but because without God we are clueless as to how to navigate life and by nature we are selfish beings, we go it alone, trying to figure it out on our own, losing our way and ending up exalting ourselves. Jesus, on the other hand (see Philippians 2:3-9), “though he was in the form of God” (verse 6), humbly took on human form ( verse 7). He came into this broken world to reveal Himself,  took on the attitude and action of a servant, showed us the way to become more like Him, and be an example of how we are to live a godly life. Knowing this, we can be better prepared to strengthen our relationship with God, continue to grow in Christ, walk in humility with God, and make a difference in people’s lives.