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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Prayer request

please pray for James Salazars grandma. She fell today. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent Devotional for today - from the perspective of the shepherd

A promised gift

Some gifts are unexpected. Some gifts surprise us.

I am a small man, with small thoughts. Simple thoughts. I don't have big plans. I don't get a thrill out of power or money or stuff. I just try to live a simple life. I work hard. I pay my bills. I do my best to lend a hand to those who need a little help. I do my best to stay out of trouble. I don't go looking for the spotlight, and I certainly don't consider myself to be elite by anyones measurement. I am just a simple guy.

That is what makes it so crazy. So unbelievable. Why would angels come to me. Why would God send his Heavenly host to talk to a bunch of shepherds. To announce to me the birth of His son. The birth of the messiah.

Certainly the messengers were supposed to go to Jerusalem. Perhaps they got lost. There is no way they mistook us for royalty. We were in a field, not a palace. And we were watching sheep, not tending to the affairs of government. You really can't make this stuff up. Imagine what it was like for me. What were you doing for most of this week? Maybe sitting in a office. Or Perhaps you were running errands, or getting in that last minute shopping. Imagine, if this last Wendesday night, as you walk out of store, with your dog food in the cart, and all of a sudden the sky opens up and in front of you is an Angel of the Lord proclaiming to you that there is a new King, just born, in a garage in Lakewood. And as soon as that Angel stops, an entire army of Angels start singing. It was the craziest thing.

Why would God choose us. Why would he send word to us. To be honest, I did not have much time to think about why. You see when someone comes from Heaven to tell you to go somewhere and see something, you go and you look. And that is what we did.

We went, and low and behold, there was the baby just the way the Angel's said it would be. But not at all as you would expect. I guess as I reflect on how God works, it lines up with my own life. So many promises of God have been fulfilled, and yet fulfilled in the most unlikely fashion. God promises he will care for us. He promises that he we protect us, and watch over us, and lead us and guide us, and He does! He does! But if were to script it, would you expect Noah to float to safety, with a pair of every animal onboard? Would you expect Old man Abraham to have a son? Would you expect Joseph to go from rotting in jail, to chief of staff in the Pharaoh administration? Would you expect the stuttering Mo-mo-mo-moses to demand the release of an entire race of slaves? How about the battle plan given to Joshua - march and sing, march and sing, blow trumpets on three, 1, 2, 3! And the walls came tumbling down. That is how is was. All my doubts. All my questions. All my thoughts of how crazy those old stories sounded. Those walls between me and God came tumbling down. As I looked in that manger, and I saw that baby, I knew it was true. I knew the whole thing was true. We all long for that. We all long for a moment of clarity. And once we get it, it changes everything. If God is real. If his promised gift is real. Then God has given us his very best. And as the joy wells up in our hearts, what can we give in return? What will we do? The very best thing we can do is to give Him our hearts. I know this is hard. Our hearts take a pounding in this world. We trust in people, only to be let down. We "put ourselves out there," only to be hurt, abused, forgotten or ignored. So when I say that you should love God, that you should trust God, that you should live a life of complete abandonment, following God, loving Him with all your heart and mind and soul. I know you may have doubts. I know you may think it too good to be true. I was just like you, till I walked into a barn, and saw God's promised gift. Trust me, its true, and if you give him your heart, he will never, ever break a promise.

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Joy! Sermon for Dec 18 2011

Joy to the world

In the Old Testament, in the Prophet Zephaniah we read.

Zephaniah 3:14-17 New International Version 1984 (NIV1984) 14 Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. 16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. 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.”

This paragraph is found at the end of a book that is for the most part not nearly this upbeat. Listen to chapter 1

10 “On that day,” declares the LORD, “a cry will go up from the Fish Gate, wailing from the New Quarter, and a loud crash from the hills.11 Wail, you who live in the market district[d]; all your merchants will be wiped out, all who trade with[e] silver will be ruined.12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs,who think, ‘The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.’
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!

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Sermon from last week

My thoughts on Story of the Rich Young Ruler

My thoughts on Story of the Rich Young Ruler
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 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

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Friday, November 25, 2011

A salute to MN from Jeff Foxworthy...

Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Minnesotans: If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you may live in Minnesota. ... If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Minnesota ... If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Minnesota ... If you measure distance in, you may live in Minnesota .... If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Minnesota .... If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again, you may live in Minnesota ... If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you may live in Minnesota ... If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you may live in Minnesota ... If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Minnesota ... If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you may live in Minnesota ... If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you may live in Minnesota ... If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you may live in Minnesota ... If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you may live in Minnesota ... If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you may live in Minnesota .... If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly', you may live in Minnesota ... (If you actually understand these jokes, and share them to your entire Minnesotan friends & others, you definitely live in Minnesota!)

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Come listen to the sermon from Oct 30 - my second best sermon ever.

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:

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Family reunion - We will miss you Gordy

I got this email this morning.

What a great family heritage I have.  I am humbled and grateful for those who have gone before. 
I have no doubt that my dad's Uncle Gordy will be welcomed with a "well done, good and faithful servant."

See the email below


Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, 6am

Greeting to all.  

Just to let you know a Peterson family reunion began last night when dad received his promotion to join the ranks of saints.  I spent the day and night with him and was with him when he transferred residency to heaven.  It was a beautiful time together.  We are in the process of arranging a service, possibly next week.  I'll keep you posted as to when that will be.

Thanks for your continued prayer support and love to all of us.

Love, Gwen

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Good morning


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A case for re-electing Obama?

 – Twitter   Oct 18, 2011

: I have not yet had the chance to watch a GOP debate. Who should I vote for?

 – Obama :-)   Oct 19, 2011

Mark Kraakevik – Haha - yes, of course. So make your case. Why should I vote for Obama? I love his speeches, I am not quite as thrilled by some of his policies. And, in general, the country is not doing so great under his watch.   Oct 19, 2011

Holly – I understand the frustration folks have about how we are doing. So why are we still in this funk and how did we get here? 

Of course, the answers are not simple, but extremely complicated. Anyone who says it is one person's fault (even if they say it's GW's, my favorite villain) is just plain wrong. 

Nonetheless, I do believe the policies promoted during the Bush years were hurtful. I was not in support of the war in Iraq, but even if it had been a "good war", it was short-sighted to not make a plan to pay for it. Bush added an amazing amount to our national debt through the war and through tax cuts that went primarily to the better off (thus, those who don't need to spend it immediately and so it didn't go back into the economy as quickly as it would have otherwise). 

But of course, Bush didn't come up with all this by himself. De-regulation began with Reagan, I believe, and that contributed greatly to the economic crisis we are now in. The idea pushed for so long (and certainly for Libertarians still is core) was that an unfettered economy would naturally lead to growth and everyone would benefit. Trickle down. Float all boats. Accordingly, we just needed to cut down on (or better, cut out) all these regulations, and Capitalism would prove its merits. This idea was applied to the financial markets as well, and so innovation thrived unhindered, including those mortgage-backed securities that led to the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis which has become a global problem, making it extremely difficult to get out of this mess quickly. 

-- On a lighter note, I just love the Onion article of November 5, 2008: Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job (,6439/). --

These are just a few of the ways we got to this position. Clinton isn't blameless either. As I understand it, his administration pushed for every American family to own a home and that policy became the goal rather than a policy that promoted ownership only when it was the best financial decision. Home ownership isn't best in all situations, but facts get in the way of policy sometimes.

Since countries around the world are facing financial crises and we are in a global economy now, no longer insulated as much as we were, I don't see how we can bounce back quickly. What I am looking for is someone who will lead us forward through the storm with policies and plans that support the least among us, for they are certainly the ones who get hit the hardest no matter what kind of storm it is. That seems a lot more Christ-like than making sure the well-off can keep the money in the family after they die or seeing that taxes are low. Jesus made it clear 2000 years ago that he is not interested in tax policy but in people living their lives for God, doing what he says (Mark 12:13-17). And since God has said a whole lot about caring for the poor, that seems to me to be one of his stronger priorities. 

Obama is not the savior we so wanted him to be 2008. No one on Earth could single-handedly get us out of this position. He is not pleasing anyone very much. But that is because he is much more moderate than those who enthusiastically supported him in the 2008 election and, I think, demonized by vocal groups on the right. The middle moderates tend not to speak out much nor are they as inclined to vote. So, along with the fact that those in power (extremists more than not) work to stay in power (e.g. redistricting, resisting or changing bills for election reform), we are trapped in a political culture that honors those who draw a line in the sand and refuse to compromise or negotiate. This means little or nothing gets done. Our system is set up with checks and balances which prevent any one branch from running away with power. It also just slows us down at times like this. 

Back to your original question: whom to vote for. Looking at all the candidates, I see no one who will lead us out of this mess quickly. The Republicans are offering mostly people who are eagerly courting the Tea Party voters: way too far right (and promoted by Libertarian corporations, e.g. Koch). The Republican candidates are much further to the right than Obama is to the left. Of course, that is not the way the political operators want us to see it, but I think the actions and words clearly bear it out. They have tried to denounce Obama as a Socialist, but his record doesn't bear this out. Mitt Romney might be along the closest to a traditional Republican conservative and therefore more palatable to me than his fellow Republicans, but not better than Obama from what I can see. 

I know you are a thoughtful person, open to learning from a variety of opinions. I love that. We may or may not vote the same way, but I am so grateful that you are who you are and that you listen to others, trying to understand a different perspective. It's refreshing. 

Give Heidi my love and a big hug!   Oct 20, 2011

Mark Kraakevik – I love that you took the time to write this out. This is very insightful. Thank you. I want to copy it and post it on my blog, so others can see it. I am guessing it will not get the attention it deserves here. Would that be ok?   Oct 20, 2011

Holly – Sure. Thanks for the confidence booster!   Oct 20, 2011

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sermon from The EDGE Co - Matt 5:17-20 - The Perfect Law

This next part of the Sermon on the Mount is all about God's law.  

Jesus here reminds us that He has a very high view of God Law.  

He says He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.  

This is an interesting statement.  A quick read of the gospels might lead you to believe otherwise.  Jesus eats food with his disciples on the sabbath.  Jesus touches lepers.  He stops religious leaders from stoning a woman caught in adultery.  He says, "Neither to I condemn you, go and sin no more."  

Some of us when we hear this, forget everything else we know about Jesus, and take this to mean that while Jesus may seem like a friend to sinners, he is in fact "keeping score" and if that is true, we are all in big trouble.  The next phrase, rather than alleviating our fears, only makes it worse.  

Jesus illustrates the eternality of God's law with a popular story line from contemporary Jewish teachers (5:18). Jesus' smallest letter (NIV), or "jot" (KJV), undoubtedly refers to the Hebrew letter yod, which Jewish teachers said would not pass from the law. They said that when Sarai's name was changed to Sarah, the yod removed from her name cried out from one generation to another, protesting its removal from Scripture, until finally, when Moses changed Oshea's name to Joshua, the yod was returned to Scripture. "So you see," the teachers would say, "not even this smallest letter can pass from the Bible." Jesus makes the same point from this tradition that later rabbis did: even the smallest details of God's law are essential.

Live it or teach it poorly, and you will be called the least in the Kingdom

Live it and teach it well, and you will be called the greatest.

Here we should remember the significance "greatness" has in Jesus' day.  We read that the disciples were constantly fighting.  And that their ongoing fight was "who is the greatest disciple?"  "Which one gets to sit at his right and on his left?  

And on several occasions Jesus is quizzed on what he believes to be the "greatest commandment."

To be called great is the World Series MVP award.  

Last night, the TExas Rangers won the American League Penant.  Nelson Cruz was selected ALCS MVP after his postseason-record sixth home run of the series, and he also had a record 13 RBIs. Young hit a pair of two-run doubles in a nine-run third inning that sent the Rangers on their way to becoming the AL’s first consecutive pennant winner since the New York Yankees won four in a row from 1998-01.  Cruz is a great hitter.  

Unless your righteousness surpasses the lay leaders and seminary professors - 

Can you imagine someone saying, unless you can play baseball better than the Texas Rangers, you will not make it into the kingdom of heaven.  What is Jesus taking about?

I would hope that all of us could agree that what Jesus means by this is that we must have genuine heart change.  What does that look like?

Zacchaeus is an interesting fellow.  When he climbs town that tree, his life completely changes.  Everything that was important to him - money, personal safety - no longer matter, because Jesus loves him.  He is now free to love others.  

Saul, who becomes Paul, is another guy who experiences a complete life change.  He is a pharisee that is on his way to evict Christians from their homes when he encounters Jesus (who speaks from heaven).  Years later, Paul writes the letter of Galatians.  The Christians in Galatia had decided that in order to really be Christian they had to obey all the Old Testament rules.   In 2:15, he says, "We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ." 

I listened to a sermon by Erwin McManus where he talked about the intersection of Buddism and Christianity.  Erwin had met a Buddist who had just read the whole Bible in a week.  Erwin McManus asked him what he thought, and he said it made him said.  "Why?"  "Because if it is true then I have to die and start all over again."

And a few verses later, Paul says, "19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”[d]

Let me see if I can sum this up.

Here at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, he is laying out some basics for us.  1) The Law is eternal, and the no part of the law will ever be compromised.  2) Living, and teaching the Law correctly determines our greatness in the kingdom of heaven.  3) Unless our righteousness surpasses the religious superstars you know, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  

This final truth could be said this way, "Only perfect people get to go to heaven."  

One begins to understand why sinners like Jesus.  Because he put everyone on the same level.  Basically this teaching says, "Nobody gets to go."  And thus the ones who had made more mistakes no longer felt judged by the ones who had made fewer mistakes.  

But it goes deeper than this.  Jesus begins the part of his sermon saying that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill them.  To complete them.  Jesus came to live the perfect life.  And while the religious leaders thought Jesus was breaking the laws, he was in fact fulfilling the law at a level they could not even understand, let alone practice.  

Then when Jesus dies on a cross, he is able to take upon himself the sins of the world.  He exchanges his perfect life, for our imperfect life, in such a way that who ever believes in Jesus will not perish, but have eternal life.  You might say, "only perfect people get in!"  And I would say, that is why it is crucial that the life we live now is "in Christ."  He declares us righteous, and then gives us the freedom to go and live life in his power.


1) Joy - we are free from the condemnation of the law we could not keep
2) Worship - Jesus died for us, and he alone deserves our worship and adoration
3) Righteousness - what we were previously unable to do, we now can do, because we have the Spirit within us.

Mark Kraakevik

of 8776 West Geddes Place, Littleton, CO 80128
Mark can be reached at 720-308-4051
Mark's blog can be found at

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Friday, October 07, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Rocking youth group


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

D'Evelyn Dash


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Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This one is worth money in about 4 years


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Mark, Cooper and Britta on a beach


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Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Photo still on my phone- seems a long time ago


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Books to read. List from Compiled by STEPHANIE PLAGENS

  • 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

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Multisite Mergers: Being one church in two or more locations

How do we measure success?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sermon Notes 1 Samuel 26 and 27

Sermon Notes 1 Samuel 26 and 27


1) In one story David is clearly trusting God to keep him safe in a very difficult situation. In the next, David is relying on his own plan to keep himself safe. It involves a lot of lying and living under a foreign king.

2) In the first story, David is able to carry himself with integrity and confidence, and even spares Saul's life when it could be snuffed out without anyone even knowing. 3) In the second story, David must say things he does not mean, he must cover up his daily activities, and he is a man without allies (he is playing both sides of the war).

4) When God is first: a) we fear nothing. b) we don't have secrets. c) our lives are marked by mercy and grace.

5) When we put ourselves first: a) we know fear. b) we must "create" reality - lie to ourselves and others. c) our lives become cruel and destructive

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.

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Friday, August 19, 2011



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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Long beach kite festival


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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sunset over Deer Creek Middle


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Walking the dog


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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Forgiveness quotes from a FB wall

This longer post was posted by John N Veronica - I found it was just what I needed this morning. I am including the whole post without edits.

When somebody has hurt you . . .

Don’t curse it

Don’t nurse it

Don’t rehearse it.

Instead, disperse it . . . and God will reverse it!

That means don’t complain about it, don’t think about it over and over, and don’t constantly talk about how hurt you are to other people. When you’re hurt or offended, give it to God and let Him deal with it, and He will.
~ 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

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik