You are what you love. Pastor Preston introduces our new sermon series So Ride On. The series is about exploring our four main values at Lake Ridge and this week he explored our value of "Story." Jesus wanted the story to get into our lives and our hearts. Pastor Preston uses Matthew 11:27 to share the story where Jesus discussed with his disciples the story of God and his willingness to share of all it with them and us. We are included in the story of God. Your story is part of this story - you are not just an onlooker - you are a participant. Reading the story of God and trusting the story teller himself to step into the world is what fuels us.
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Paul writes the letter that’s surprising to them. It’s maybe as surprising to them as it is to us now. He talks into about grace and love. He then goes into a complex family situation. Why does he do that? Pastor Preston shares quotes on what he learned as he spent the week reflecting. We need to be covered by God's kindness. Only love remains above all else. Paul goes from love to a controversial statement around how we are to act. Paul is actually opening a door for Jesus to enter into our lives. Jesus is changing our lives about the most core areas of our lives.
Pastor Evan explores the next part of the letter from Paul to the people of Colossae. This week Paul addresses some individual challenges that some individuals are facing. Previously Paul was addressing the church and what does it look like to ask yourself is Jesus enough for you? What does that life actually look like? Paul begins to give a vision for change in your life and specific behaviors. Paul is not saying don't do these things because God won't love you, what he is saying is God has always loved you. Now that you are discovering that love you can put to death some destructive behaviors in your life. We mix that order up. We when we think about behavior we say change your behavior and then come to Christ. That is a lie. You are not what you do. You are who Jesus says you are. Part of discovering who you are is about discovering who God made you to be.
Pastor Evan kicks off our sermon series for Lent titled Love to Life. During the season of Lent we are reflecting on how the story of Jesus's love leads to life. From vices to virtues, this story changes the landscape of our lives. Pastor Evan shared on pride and the journey to the virtue of humility is wisdom. Pride has a tendency to give us the impression that all things revolve around you. The difficult thing about pride is that we start to the stories and all the things happening around us through our lens. In pridefulness our soul essentially turns away from our Father in heaven and to ourselves. And the antidote to pride is true wisdom. It lives in the middle of pride and humility. True wisdom comes as we seek to understand who you are and who's your are.
Pastor Evan kicks off the year with our new sermon series on Ambition. Why ambition? it's challenging each other to bring out the best in each other. To fully live into what it means to be ambitious - and being authentic about that. We do not see our faith or our relationship with God as a one dimensional thing, we believe this God and this faith we have that it bleeds out into the different categories or life.
It's important to think about the definition of ambition and your perspective on it. Motive then becomes this defining word we use to understand if our ambitions our healthy or unhealthy. Pastor Evan unpacks the story of Peter walking on water to help us understand having an ambitious faith and the motive behind it.
Pastor Preston explores the Christmas story from the perspective of vulnerable joy and the story of the Shepherd's. It's a story of shepherd's and all that is welcoming, unexpected and warm.
Pastor Evan explores how peace is experienced in choosing to trust that God has included us in this great, big, grand story. We look at Joesph's life and story and walk through the tension he must have felt in how to handle the news Mary had shared. It's not a fame and fortune story. The characters in it are choosing to believe and have faith in the larger story of God. It was a choice. Joesph chose to believe in his dream. Chose to believe in this crazy story. Will we chose to believe we are a part of the story of God, when it's not popular? Will we choose to do our best to pay attention to when God is inviting us to do something specific?
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.
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 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.
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.