We often don't celebrate vulnerability too much in our culture. During Advent we are exploring the main characters of the Christmas story from a lens of vulnerability. Pastor Preston shares on the story of Mary in Luke 1. We're introduced to families and some specific women in her story. This season of advent is about hope for God. Hope reminds us that our story is not over. That God is in control, and we are not adding Him to our story, but in fact it's the other way around. Join us on our journey this advent season of exploring the theme of vulnerability.
Pastor Evan wraps up the sermon series on the Church as a Movement on what it's like to be a part of the movement of God. It's not always easy to communicate how you're doing in your faith. It's actually important to communicate that to each other because we are the people of God. And sometimes there are moments when your faith is just your faith. And sometimes it's a little harder to experience Jesus. We can assume being a part of the movement of God is like a connect the dots activity from 1-2-3. When really the history of the church demonstrates it never seems to be sequential in the way that God works out the movement. It can create a sense of confusion and unsettledness that's like, "is God really doing something here in my life?" Yet, what we need to remind ourselves of is that God is drawing a great picture.
Conversations almost exclusively come alive around a meal. In sitting around together there is a huge vocabulary we have to discuss faith. The church is built on conversation and Jesus modelled this. Jesus comes on the scene to show us how to have a relationship with God and talk to him and relate to him. Jesus broke the boundaries of conversation to show us the shaping way conversations influence and open our hearts.
Pastor Preston discusses affinity bias, which basically means we all want to be with people who are like us. Sometimes this happens in the church, we work to make sure that we make sure everyone who comes into our church is the same. It's tempting, but an issue for our community. Learning in affection for other people creates growth within us and we become the humans God intended us to be.
God is shaping the spirit in you and you are being transformed. God continues to do this shaping work in us. Pastor Evan explores the story in Romans of Paul's teachings on the activity of following Jesus at that time. For them, even the name of the church was describing a moving thing: they were people of the way. The movement of the church is about the people of God caring for each other and caring for our world. How can we be the kind of place that creates a safe environment where vulnerability is allowed?
Dr. Manno is a good friend of Lake Ridge Community and the main person in Haiti who helps to guide our larger body of churches in their support of projects in Haiti. He was here in Canada for a few weeks sharing stories on the projects we support, but also helping us to learn more about the lives of our Haitian friends. Listen as Pastor Evan interviews Dr. Manno on his life and work in Haiti. You might be surprised on what you learn.
The last message in our sermon series Eat this Book Pastor Preston shares the story in Luke 15 about how we come to every story in the bible with a particular set of views. People did this in Jesus' day too. Did you know that? But Jesus offers some views that are a bit different from that. The son in the story believes the notion of less love. That there was a love that an up and down flow and he lives that way. We worry sometimes we will love others too much, give too much and somehow deplete ourselves. In reality we are missing out on the depth of love that exists.
We continue in our sermon series of Eat this Book with Pastor Evan sharing the story in John 9. He discusses the way we make our way through change. The goal of this story is to realize where are the places that God is in this story and in our story. It is in the context of your story that God is shaping and changing you. What if the chaos and fears in change are the beginning of God building something new?
The authors that wrote scripture wrote them with a purpose and were writing to someone. It's valuable to know the history and the time. Pastor Evan explores the stories of John that reveal to us John's ability to notice and reveal God. It takes time and reflection, and studying to notice God working in your everyday life. John had spent time to practice this. We want to become the kind of people who notice God in our community.
Sometimes we are more comfortable with the black and white or the "this, then, that" box. When we read the bible sometimes we read it with this lens on. Pastor Preston explores the choice how when life gets complex and messy do we chose simple or face something real.
We're digging into reading the New Testament this fall. Pastor Preston continues to share in our new sermon series "Eat this book" as we consume this book together. The theme this week is about surprise - the bible and God's word is surprising. Why read it? Because of the beauty of being captured by this book and God surprising you with his spirit and love for you.
Pastor Preston explores story in Micah 7:18-20 and the practice of forgiveness. The techniques of forgiveness do not always get us where we want to be. He looks at the mask or the show we put on instead of the authenticity of who we are. Forgiveness breaks down walls, restores families and brings out the best in us. Listen as Pastor Preston explores what it's like to live out forgiveness and unmask who you are.
Pastor Evan explores the story in Matthew 20 1:16 and encourages a discussion and questions as we read through the story. The story is meant to make you wonder about what's happening here. The story is meant for us to see the situation from the compassionate landowner's perspective. His compassion for the unemployed leads him to return to the marketplace through out the day. Pastor Evan reminds us that when God looks down at us whether we are 5 or 75 he sees value in us. The kingdom of God has everything to do with it's owner. Your value is not placed on what you do, or your work in Gods eye is not measured on what you produce, but on who He is, not who you are. You are a child of God. Listen to hear the whole story.
Pastor Preston explores what is means to pray boldly in this week's sermon. We are all called to pray. We pray for things in our lives to go well, like our relationships or our jobs, but we are also called to be bold prayers. The approach was similar in Jesus' time. Listen as Pastor Preston shares as we learn what it means to come, pray boldly and learn the story that's your story, and let others in our community remind us of God's faithfulness.
Pastor Evan explores the story about the wise and foolish builders. This story is a metaphor that likely takes place at the end of the sermon on the mountain. Pastor Evan asks a couple important questions for reflection. Who is God and what beliefs have you built your life on? It's important to do that because you will live that out. Listen as we reflect on the story and discuss the metaphor Jesus shared.
We continue our journey of the short stories Jesus told in our summer sermon series. Pastor Preston shares the story by Jesus of the lost sheep, coin and the son. Both stories are found in Luke Chapter 15. Pastor Preston takes us through this story that Jesus told.
Who do people say that I am? And who do you say that I am? Jesus asked his disciples these very important questions. Even today, we have to ask ourselves who is Jesus to you? Pastor Evan kicks Lake Ridge off in a new sermon series titled Short stories by Jesus. He shares more of the context of the story and the surroundings of where it took place. You might be surprised the impact the surroundings have on the story and what it means for us to look beyond the facts and figures of each story in the bible. Join us as we journey through short stories by Jesus this summer.
Pastor Preston continues in the sermon series of the Good News. What is the good news of Jesus and how do we share it? He continues going through the book of Romans to discuss the good news. The good news of Jesus is for all parts of your life. Pastor Preston shares the good news and the vision of what the good news looks like in is in 1, 3 and 30 words.
Pastor Preston continues in the sermon series The Good News by sharing on disturbing the peace. He introduces us to this phrase, "Sin is culpable disturbance of shalom." As he shares the story of Paul in the book of Romans he breaks down each part of the phrase to help us better understand how the good news of Jesus is transformational and comes as a gift - not a transaction. Our job is to say "yes" to receive the gift.