Collin Brown, our worship leader, starts a new series he and Evan will be co-teaching on Worship. While God is all powerful, He gave us freewill and doesn’t not force us to worship Him. Worship is more thana time of singing together - it is a lifestyle. Collin shares what he has learned during his time of leading worship for over 17 years and what he is freshly hearing from the Lord about worship as the way to invite the power and blessing of the Lord into our personal lives and our congregation.
In Ezekiel 40-42, the prophet relates a vision from God in which He describes in great detail the precise measurements and unique characteristics of the temple. Pastor Evan Brown mines the depths of what could otherwise seem an extensive (and boring) list of specs in order to extract key discipleship principles. Principle one: the design of the temple in all its precision, intricacy & beauty is analogous to each follower of Jesus. God has created us with great purpose and has uniquely capacitated us to purposefully influence others. God gave the vision to one (Ezekiel), in order to share it with his many hearers. Principle two: Discipleship includes helping people see sin in their lives they are blind to. When we allow God’s Spirit to bring us conviction, and choose to walk in repentance, God reveals more of who/how He designed us to be. Principle three: As God’s Spirit filled His temple, so too does He fill us; we are temples of the Holy Spirit. The more we surrender ourselves to this process of being filled in order to influence others, the more we will experience rivers of living water flowing from us.
On the 28th of May, 2017 we had our yearly church congregational report. The service/report won't be online (youtube or our website). Thank you for understanding!
Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."
Do you look at yourself say, "I don't see many rivers"? Don Miller, filling in for Evan who was traveling this weekend, explores Jesus' encounter with 'the woman by the well' in John 4. Threading Old and New Testament scriptures together Don paints a vivid picture of what Jesus offers every believer, and how to lay hold if it. God gives His Spirit freely to us, to flow to others, and beckons us to come and drink!
“I will most gladly expended and be expended for your souls” (2 Corinthians 12:15). Paul understood the calling on his life. In this week’s sermon, Pastor Evan reminds us that Jesus has called us to the same brand of influencing work as Paul describes, modeled best by Jesus Himself. God’s mission for us in this life is to minister tirelessly to the needs of others. Often that involves patient and persistent listening and a willingness to extend our arms to others again and again: “Here for this third time, I am ready to come to you.” Sometimes, the very ones for whom we expend ourselves don’t want what we have to offer, and may even reject us--but we’re exhorted to continue to pursue them with relentless love anyway. As we do so, God meets our needs, for “he who waters will himself be watered.”
As Pastor Evan Brown explains from 2 Corinthians 12:1-13, boasting about our accomplishments diverts attention to us and away from the Lord. The Apostle Paul concluded that he would rather boast about his weaknesses than about anything else, because a place of weakness works like a mirror: it reflects the power of God into other people's lives. The things that we feel are too difficult and we want to disengage from, are the very things the Lord is eager to use to make His power manifest and known. The question for us is: Where am I weak and how wants the Lord to use me?
As Pastor Evan explains from 2 Corinthians 11:16-32, the pseudo/false apostles have led the people of Corinth astray in believing that drawing attention to themselves and what they have done or accomplished is true spirituality. Paul's response is to give them a list of his own "accomplishments": suffering and hardship in order to further the Gospel, because that is what it takes to be a spiritual person or have spiritual authority.
There are two paths we can choose, again and again . Our path and God's. God's ways are not our ways. God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts and always lead us into relationship with Him. Our ways....? Not so much. When God speaks, it accomplishes what it is supposed to. Jesus, the Word of God was sent into the world to accomplish what God set out to do - to have relationship with us now and forever. In this year's Easter message, Pastor Evan explores Isaiah 55:6-16 and invites us to to lay down our ways and thoughts and adopt the ways and thoughts God has for each of us.
In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul continues to distinguish between God’s pathways to spiritual greatness and fleshly motives rooted in self-promotion and outward appearances. In his study this week, Pastor Evan Brown exhorts us to apply Paul’s statement, “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ,” as a litmus test for our own (and others’) motives and actions. If in the name of ministry we deviate from the simple, pure message of the Gospel, we miss a defining characteristic of God’s purposes for us. In this chapter we discover that some of Paul’s readers had become “devoted” to mindsets that seemed right to them, but missed the heart of the Gospel message--and led them to harbor malice in their hearts towards Paul. In spite of this, Paul continues to appeal to and serve the very people who question and criticize him.