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.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Birthday meal with mom at our favorite Chinese restaurant


Good times with the family.  We made birthday cards, drank tea, and talked politics  :-)  

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Today's sermon -

Sunday October 07, 2012 written in

five things happen today

1) At the beginning of this series we stop and acknowledge that God has brought us safe
thus far, that He is worthy of praise and honor and Glory now and forever more
2) I want to introduce you to the ideas we will be spending the next 8 weeks on.  We will
be unwrapping a strategy for discipleship that actually changes lives.
3) We have 2 key terms that must be defined: emotional health and contemplative
4) We will briefly hit on the top ten signs of emotionally unhealthy spirituality
5) We need to talk a bit about the tools we will use to move us closer to a new "way of

Step one and step two - God has brought us here.  Late last spring, Brian and I looked to
the fall and began to dream about what we should do.  We had finished the Sermon on
the Mount, we were entering into the book of Nehemiah, and the question was...what
next.  As we talked and prayed over the summer, God lead us to this book:  Emotionally
Healthy Spirituality.  And so today we begin our journey into this material, prepared by a
pastor in New York, named Peter Scazzero.  Peter started a church in 1985.  Ten years
later, his wife "quit the church" and they began counseling.  Ten years after that they
wrote this book that describes the things they discovered about God, and discipleship,
and understanding their own emotions.

About the same time Peter was writing this book, Heidi and I were making the decision to
start The EDGE.  God had done some pretty profound things in our lives, and as we were
exposed to the "ugly underbelly" of the suburban church, we felt strongly called to do
something different.  To create a new church, or perhaps an old church, depending on
how you look at it.

This new/old church would not require people to "lie."  I know that sounds harsh, and I
think I may need to explain.  The "Christianity" that has developed in the American
suburbs sets the bar very high.  Lives are expected to transform from good to great.  
It is expected that the people that come through our doors, and take the classes, and learn
to read their Bibles, and fill their heads with the right answers will have "healthy lives."

The problem is... this way of doing church doesn't make sense of the whole person.  Thus
the church destroys as many lives as fixes.  Thus a church can exist in a community, and
have little or no effect on that same community.  People walk in and out of the doors
without ever experiencing life change.

As our vision for the EDGE began to take shape, we put words to what we wanted to
have happen.  

i) We wanted people to Encounter Christ!  We knew both from personal
experience, and from even a simple reading of the Gospels, that once someone truly
sees Christ, their life is never the same.  

ii) We wanted people to Experience Community.
This is where the church as we had experienced it so far in our lives had either worked
or not worked.  If true community was not created, life spun out of control.  If true
community was created, then life worked.  And this would lead naturally to our third

iii) That people Engage Culture.  By this we meant that our world would be
different.  That we would become salt and light, and that the Kingdom would be
proclaimed and expanded.

This book helps us understand why this is true, and even more importantly, gives us a
road map for the way ahead.
The reason this book helps - it starts where we need to start and it ends where we need
to go next.

Step three: two terms that must be explained:
Emotional Health -
Emotional health is concerned with such things as:'
• naming, recognizing, and managing our own feelings;
• identifying with and having active compassion for others;
• initiating and maintaining close and meaningful relationships;
• breaking free from self-destructive patterns;
• being aware of how our past impacts our present;
• developing the capacity to express our thoughts and feelings clearly,both verbally and
• respecting and loving others without having to change them;• asking for what we need, want, or prefer clearly, directly, and respectfully;
• accurately self-assessing our strengths, limits, and weaknesses and freely sharing them
with others;
• learning the capacity to resolve conflict maturely and negotiate solutions that consider
the perspectives of others;
• distinguishing and appropriately expressing our sexuality and sensuality; and
• grieving well.

Contemplative Spirituality
Contemplative spirituality, on the other hand, focuses on classic practices and concerns
such as:'
• awakening and surrendering to God's love in any and every situation;
• positioning ourselves to hear God and remember his presence in all we do;
• communing with God, allowing him to fully indwell the depth of our being; practicing
silence, solitude, and a life of unceasing prayer;
• resting attentively in the presence of God;
• understanding our earthly life as a journey of transformation toward ever-increasing
union with God;
• finding the true essence of who we are in God;
• loving others out of a life of love for God;
• developing a balanced, harmonious rhythm of life that enables us to be aware of the
sacred in all of life;
• adapting historic practices of spirituality that are applicable today;
• allowing our Christian lives to be shaped by the rhythms of the Christian calendar
rather than the culture; and
• living in committed community that passionately loves Jesus above all else.
Peter Scazzero. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash A Revolution In Your  Life in
Christ (Kindle Locations 465-476). Kindle Edition.

4) We will briefly hit on the top ten signs of emotionally unhealthy spirituality - in the
workbook - pg. 11, 12

5) We need to talk a bit about the tools we will use to move us closer to a new "way of
Everyone needs to be in a small groupEveryone needs a workbook to work through the topics
Everyone needs the book "Daily Office" which will be used twice a day to develop a
"contemplative" way of life (we will talk more about this in week six).
Peter suggests that you get the book "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality"  It is not
necessary for what we are doing, but it is an excellent book, and would be an option if
you choose to get it.

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 05, 2012



Sent from my Verizon Wireless Droid

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Monday, October 01, 2012

juggling 5 balls in the air

If you are looking for me, I am on the back porch reading "Leading on Empty"


Mark Kraakevik
The EDGE Colorado - live the message

We all have demons, don't face your alone***
"Faith is our relationship to and with God. And it is given life and meaning in our relationship to and with each other."

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik