This is the story of a collection of people who follow Jesus. We live in Littleton. We encounter people in the name of Jesus, we allow Jesus to turn us into disciples, we gather often, and we equip people to love and serve other people better.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
If we were to take the time to read the whole book (all three chapters) one gets the idea that something odd is happening here. God is proclaiming judgment and blessing at the same time. Do you remember the story of Paul and Silas Acts 16 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” Praying and singing hymns to God.
Perhaps they were singing Zeph 3:17 17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” I was rereading some of one of my favorite books. Desiring God, by Dr. John Piper. And in it he explains some things that greatly impacted me early in life.
1) Passion is not bad, it is good and is to be encouraged.2) Christians should not avoid pleasure, or to put it another way most Christians do not live the life they were created to live because the spend so much time trying to diminish their God given desires.
3) We were created to desire, to delight, and to find joy in God. And only in God does our heart find satisfaction.
4) Thus the subtitle of the book, "meditations on Christian Hedonism." These are really powerful ideas, and as we journey together as a church, I expect we will dig deeper into these truths, but today, I want us to consider what implications this might have for our Christmas celebration this week. The older I get the harder it is for me to find joy in Christmas. Is this true for you as well? Perhaps it is just the time of life I am in. The pace of life speeds up to an impossible speed. The tension between buying the perfect gift, and the lack of funds in the checking account creates stress. Pretty soon that jail cell that Paul and Silas were in starts to sound kind of inviting. Its quiet. There are no cell phones, or email, or Christmas letters to write. And yet we find in Zephaniah the direct imperative: Be glad and rejoice with all your heart!!! Be glad? Can we order our emotions? Is God unaware of my circumstances? Does he not see how hard life is? And suddenly something clicks. Suddenly, Ebonezer Scrooge wakes up. Suddenly, the Grinches heart begins to grow 3 sizes. Perhaps the joy is not to be found in the circumstances. Perhaps the Joy is to be found in God, who freely gives joy to all who seek him. What is the object of our delight?
This is the light bulb. This is the key. God is the source and object of our joy. To the extent that we make proper use of the things and events in our life to see God, we will find joy. We find this truth right in Zeph. "The LORD is mighty to save." Do we have a clear picture of who God is? "He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." You might ask, "Why does God take delight in me?" When you give a present on Christmas morning, and the gift you give lights up the eyes of the one receiving the gift - we, the gift giver, experience delight." It is the same for God. He delights in us, as we delight in him. It is not something we muster, as sometime we must at Christmas. We think of clever things to say if we receive a gift we do not want. a) Now there is a gift!
b) That will look great in my basement
c) I have been looking for a picture for my laundry room
d) I really don't deserve this But the great thing is, when God gives us himself, he gives the very best. And our joyful response, while it is commanded, is hard wired into our created being. two applications: 1) Have you, like me, taken your eye off of Jesus, and allowed your circumstances to dictate your disposition? Stop it. 2) This Christmas, do not expect to find joy in the things and the experiences, but in the creator of the things and the experiences, JOY TO THE WORLD...THE LORD HAS COME!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Matt 19:16 1) The rich guy wants eternal life, he does not mention "a relationship with God."
2) Jesus points to the "Holy One" - a person, and that if you want life, live in right relationship with Him (obedience).
3) Which rules must I obey?
4) Lets start with a few of the Big 10...
5) Oh I am all over those...
6) How about selling your possessions. (This is an odd request in light of the culture. Riches = Blessed, Good people get good things, bad people have nothing). To be poor is to step away from the Blessing...
7) Man walked away sad, he had great wealth.
8) Jesus says, " Such a shame that guy is so far away from entering the Kingdom."
9) Disciples blown away, laughing at Jesus' analogy, and a bit puzzled..."Who can be saved?'
10) With man this is impossible, but with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE
11) Peter says, we have left everything to follow you...
12) Then Jesus says, When everything gets renewed, and I sit down on my glorious throne, you who have followed me will sit on your own thrones and judge the 12 tribes. And everyone who has left stuff will get 100 times as much and inherit eternal life.
13) the first will be last and the last will be first (Disciples first - poor Jesus followers. Rich man last - rich rule follower) ---------------- Advent lessons: In a world dark with weight of law (and all of us law breakers), Jesus came
Jesus left all of his possessions and came to earth as a baby born in a manger
This act of love puts on display God's love. Jesus also models for us what is required to follow him. We must become like him.
Who can be saved? - - - no one, BUT WITH GOD...you and I can be saved because of Christmas (and Easter)
Peter says, we left it all
Jesus says, one day you will have it all
Friday, December 09, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
My new episode "Sermon - 4th Birthday Party - I Cor. 13", has finished processing is now live on PodOmatic.To view this episode, follow the link below:
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Mark can be reached at 720-308-4051
Mark's blog can be found at www.markkraakevik.posterous.com
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
- Move by Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson
- Radical, David Platt @@@
- Church Unique (Will Mancini) @@@
- On the Verge by Alan Hirsch
- Replenish -- Lance Witt
- Sticky Church, Osborne @@@
- Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne
- Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership, Barton
- Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard (Heath + Heath)
- The Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Community, by Matt Smay & Hugh Halter @@@
- The Truth About Leadership -- Kouzes, Posner
- 360 Degree Leader -- John Maxwell @@@
- Ask Without Fear, Mark Pitman
- Bearing Fruit by Tom Berlin and Lovett Weems
- Breaking Intimidation by John Bevere
- Breakout- Mark Stibbe & Andrew Williams
- Building Below the Waterline by Gordon MacDonald
- Change Anything (Kerry Patterson)
- Chasing Daylight by Erwin Mcmanus @@@
- Chuck Swindoll: Moses
- Church 3.0: Upgrades for the future of the church, Neil Cole
- Clutch, Paul Sullivan
- Communicating for a Change
- Constants in Context, Stephen Bevans
- Counterfeit Gods - Tim Keller @@@
- Cracking Your Church's Culture Code (Sam Chand)
- Creating a Healthier Pastor, Robert Richardson
- Cross Cultural Partnerships (Leiderleitner)
- Crucial Conversations (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler)
- Dallas Willard: The Divine Conspiracy
- Developing The Leader Within You by John Maxwell
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Discipleship @@@
- Does Your Bag Have Holes? by Cameron C. Taylor
- Drive, Daniel Pink
- Eucharistic Communion and the World, John Zizioulas
- Exiles by Michael Frost @@@
- From Good to Great- Jim Collins @@@
- God According To God Schroeder
- Good News about Injustice, Gary Haugen
- Governing the Tongue by Jane Kamensky
- Half the Church - Carolyn Custis James
- Half the Sky - Nicolas Kristoff, Wu-Dunn
- Humilitas by John Dickson
- How then should we live
- If the Church Were Christian by Philip Gulley
- If You Bite & Devour One Another by Alexander Strauch
- Ignatian Pathway, Paul Coutinho
- Jesus Driven Ministry, Ajith Fernando
- Know What You Don't Know by Michael Roberts
- Leadership Coaching (Stoltzfus)
- Leadership Essentials by Greg Ogden
- Leadership Jazz, Max De Pree @@@
- Leading from the Second Chair by Mike Bonem & Roger Patterson
- Leanne Payne: Crisis in Masculinity
- Life Together by Dietrich Bonnoffer @@@
- Linchpin: Godin
- Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You, The Life Model
- Love wins Rob Bell
- Maximize, Nelson Searcy
- Monday Morning Choices, David Cottrell
- More than Conquerors- Simon Guillebaud
- Multipliers, Liz Wiseman
- Muslims, Christians and Jesus, by Carl Medearis
- Mystically Wired (Ken Wilson)
- Necessary Endings, Cloud
- Not Your Parents Offering Plate by J. Clif Christopher
- Nothing To Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the 100 days that created modern American, Adam Cohen
- Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell) @@@
- Peacemaking Women by Judy Dabler & Tara Barthel
- Practice Resurrection by Eugene Petersen
- Principle of the Path, Stanley
- Prophetic Dialogue, Stephen Bevans
- Reviewing Leadership by Robert Banks & Bernice Ledbetter
- Right Here, Right Now: Everyday Mission for Everyday People by Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford
- Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Chambers @@@
- Starfish and the Spider @@@
- T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution by Steve Smith & Ying Kai
- The Bible as Improve, Ron Martoia
- The Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
- The Christian Atheist, Groeschel
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Application - What will it mean to live with God as our anchor this week? 1) Our world has changed, and continues to change (Stock market roller coaster, Price of copper, Huge drought in Africa)
2) Your personal world is in a constant state of change
(Kids are going back to school/college, stock market instability, relationships change)
3) In the midst of it all, God calls you to "build your house on a rock."
(Romans 1:16 - I am not ashamed of the gospel) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
~ Rena Treadaway Morgan Forgive YOURSELF, too! It's a great way to practice forgiveness with the dual aim of also becoming proficient at forgiving others. Below are some relevant sayings harvested from Warren Aldrich, my New Hampshire pal, and others: Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. I mean do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage. How are we to be patient in dealing with our neighbors faults if we are impatient in dealing with our own? He who is fretted with his own failings will not correct them. All profitable correction comes from a calm, peaceful mind. Do not lose courage in considering your our imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin anew. ~ St. Francis de Sales "[Ragamuffins] are not saints, but they seek spiritual growth. They accept counsel and constructive criticism with ease. They stumble often, but they do not spend endless hours in self-recrimination. They quickly repent, offering the broken moment to the Lord. Their past has been crucified with Christ and no longer exists, except in the deep recesses of eternity.” ~ Brennan Manning When You Don't Forgive...
...It's like wearing dark sunglasses that distort everything you see. You also want everyone else to see through these glasses. Forgiveness is taking those glasses off. Not forgiving is like carrying heavy suitcases full of books through an airport. Forgiving is putting the suitcases down and walking away without them. It is lightening up. It is being able to enjoy your life, laugh again, and see the beauty in others. When you cannot forgive yourself, you cannot forgive others. When you cannot forgive others, you cannot forgive yourself. The dynamic of forgiveness is the same in both cases. When You Forgive...
...You lighten your load. Not forgiving is like wearing dark sunglasses that gruesomely distort all that you see, and you want others to see through the same glasses. When you forgive, it is like leaving behind a heavy weight. Imagine that you are trying to walk through an airport while carrying a heavy suitcase in each hand with another strapped over your shoulder and another on your back like a backpack. It is difficult and painful work to go anywhere. Forgiving is putting down all of your baggage and leaving it behind. You travel lightly. It has nothing to do with worthiness—yours or others'. You and they are both worthy. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you wish to continue to carry your baggage. ~ Gary Zukav Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. ~ Max Ehrmann