The Bible is first about a person; Jesus. It is a story that leads up to one story in Jesus, and that story reveals the very face of God on planet earth. The story rose on the third day and the story lives in this day for you and I to choose not to live small overwhelmed lives about us...
Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Do you handle other peoples reputations gently? Do you handle their failures gently or are you quick to point...
Can you imagine for yourself anything more that where you are now? Can you imagine anything else more than the addiction? Can you imagine anything else more than your unhappiness? Can you imagine anything else more than searching for that next empty person to try to fill your heart? Can you...
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3 Blessed refers to a deep joy of the soul; it overwhelms all of the darkness, all of the loss, all of the grieving and all of the woundedness. Scripture says to be...
Repentance is an invitation of hope to begin again; to start over and to not let anything keep you from becoming who God has called you to be. Matthew 4:16 says, “…the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a...
Saved people, serve people - Real disciples are passionate about serving, about helping others in humility for Jesus' sake; pride and ego are out the window. I am so proud of so many of you as you serve the Kingdom here through the church on Sunday morning and in so many other ways. Every...
Satan will always have this one lie underneath whatever other lies he's whispering into your life. The one lie he has is "I have the power to destroy you if…" and then you fill in the blank. A part of our breaking free from overwhelmed is that we stop believing lies! We stop...
We could be a church of 5,000. Not for the glory of man, but because that would be 4,000 more people who are living Jesus' story! Imagine a group of believers who were struggling through life but so free of themselves that they were able to be filled with the spirit of God and to reach...
When I meet people, I gotta say my heart goes out to them, because when I meet somebody, I see in their face, I see in your face, somebody that Jesus is passionate about!For He chose in advance each of us. You are not abandoned, you are not an orphan, you are not an afterthought, or an...
If you can imagine jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, that is the picture of the world when sin separated us from God. From that moment forward to the time when the world ends, and God begins it over, the world is in a total free fall!While it feels like everything is falling apart...
Pastor Chris gave us four nuggets to believe to help you finish your race:
1. Believe that whatever adversity comes your way, God has determined and prepared for you to be able to handle it!
2. Believe that you are not the only person in your situation, others have been there before and they've survived it!
3. Believe that with God's help and with the help of other Christ followers who are situated around you, you can defeat the enemy in the power of the Spirit!
3. Believe that the God who sent His son to die on the cross for your sins, is the same God who loves you right now through your struggle!
And when the naysayers come to remind you and call you out of your name, remember this - It's not what people call you, it's what you answer to!
Throw off all hindrances, God wants you to know that you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who are cheering you on, so stop listening to the wrong voices and finish your race!
This summer, the Church at Severn Run was SUBMERGED! The entire campus was flooded. Don’t worry! It wasn’t with water, but with Jesus and kids and a whole lot of laughter!
I felt God pushing me to volunteer. I am in school, a mommy, and recently transitioned from working 60+ hours as a restaurant assistant manager…I was tired. With finals in two classes and an additional two just beginning, I was busy.
At least those were my excuses.
I thought that I had missed the deadline. Then one Sunday, while I was sitting in the service, they announced they still needed and were accepting volunteers. Once again, I felt Jesus nudging me. So I did exactly what He told me to do.
I didn’t know where they would have me helping out, but then I got the email from Pastor Steve. I was assigned to the 10 year old group. Monday morning rolls around, and I drag my three year old out of the bed at 6 a.m. He, like his mommy, is not a morning person. So we head to the church, still not completely excited about the idea of being there.
By the end of day one, I was amazed at the change in my heart. I was so excited for the next day! I began praying not only for God to work in their hearts, but also in my own.
I can definitely say, “If you want to have fun, all you have to do is ask a room full of 10 yr. olds what questions they have for Jesus.”
Our lesson was on Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night. At the end of the lesson, we asked, "What are the questions you have for Jesus?"
I was not prepared for what would follow. We got many, many questions. In fact, so many that we had to skip game time at the end to finish asking questions. These questions included:
- What is Jesus’ favorite color? (This I expected.)
- Do animals go to Heaven?
- Does God really care about me?
- So what happens if someone hears about Jesus and says maybe later, but they die before they can pray?
- What happens if a baby dies and can’t get saved? (Broke my mommy heart!)
- Why was Jesus born?
- Why did God create Satan?
- So God created everything… so he has magic? Like Harry Potter? (NO! Jesus is not Harry Potter. PLEASE do not go home and tell your parents Jesus is Harry Potter!)
- If God created everything, who created Him?
- If God is God, and there’s only one God, then how did He send His SON? (Wow! You kids are good.)
In complete honesty, there were about 50 more questions that Miss Jess and I had to address. At the end, we handed out little cards that asked the children to choose an answer:
- I have already accepted Jesus into my heart as my Savior and Lord.
- No, I am not ready to talk about Jesus.
- I want to know more about Jesus.
- YES! I am ready now to accept Jesus as my Savior and Lord.
Two little boys, handed in cards saying “YES! I am ready now.” In the rally that day, I stood there as little guys prayed and accepted Jesus as their Savior. I took a picture with them and told them how VERY happy I was for them.
I came home and told my husband that I was “falling in love Jesus-style.” I spent three days with these kids and my world was flipped upside down! I saw their hearts.
The motto for this week was “Jesus knows. Jesus sees. Jesus saves.” Boy, was it true!!!! These eleven 10-yr olds snuck their little way into my heart in less than a week. Jesus really does know, see, and save. He used these little children to completely change my heart! I will forever be grateful for the days I could spend with these children!
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Despite how we may feel at times, we all have extraordinary stories to tell. Our lives are all uniquely different, and our stories are not something that we should shy away from. Jesus told stories in order to convey important truths in a way that people would understand. We can all relate to stories. The religious leaders of Jesus' time only wanted people to follow the rules. Rules try to enforce only one interpretation, and attempt to write the ending before the ending has even been written!
Jesus knew that following these so called “rules” would only keep people away from the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus wants us to live our lives together, unbound by rules, sharing in each other’s stories.
Make peace with your story, do not be afraid to tell it!
Your story will always be open ended, only in heaven will you find out the end of your story! Your story will go on to impact those you have loved and cared for and those you have passed it on to!
The last two months have been tough for America; we were horrified by the Orlando massacre and the Dallas assassinations. We sense evil amongst us and we can easily fall into despair.
What will happen next? How do we stop the carnage?
When senseless horrors like these occur, we are confronted with the reality that we live in a very imperfect world.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
We are all broken people living in a broken world where every community, every profession, and every human system is broken.
But there is a solution to all of the chaos and healing for the brokenness.
That solution does not rely upon fallible human beings. It relies on our infallible Creator.
How do we mend a human heart? (We don’t. God does.)
No man-made laws (however well-intentioned) can change the human heart. Only Jesus Christ can change our hearts.
Jesus proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus has overcome the world and he is, moment by moment, person by person, changing hearts and transforming lives.
Even now, Jesus is fixing our broken world by fixing broken hearts one by one. As people are adopted into his kingdom, healing will spring forth into changed hearts, which in turn, will change the world.
Senseless violence will cease to exist when the whole world realizes the truth of who Jesus is and what he can accomplish.
Let us take Jesus to the world for healing and restoration. We can rely on him. He is, after all, the Savior of the world
Worship time on Sunday mornings is filled with much authentic praise through different worship songs. Many of the songs we sing are original, written by members of the Worship Tribe.
We asked Hannah Martin, a song writer, musician, and member of the Severn Run Worship Tribe, what it is like to write a song. Here is what she had to say:
It always starts with the same question…”What do You want to say?”
I ask God this question every time I sit at my piano, or hold my guitar.
Before I ever play a note, or write a word, I want it to be from HIM.
Sometimes He says nothing.
But sometimes He speaks, and when He speaks the message is louder, clearer, with more impact than I ever could have on my own.
The words start pouring out, truths that He reveals in His word put to music.
The music starts flowing, rhythms and melodies start to form.
Piece by piece it’s weaved together.
My pen can’t write fast enough as He lavishes His thoughts into my mind.
These songs are different. People can’t really explain it, they say things like “that song really touched me” or “that song gave me goosebumps” and the reason is because it was from God.
I was just a glove that He decided to use.
These songs bring me to my knees at the thought that God would choose me. His heart is so kind, His mercy is so great. The thought that he would want me to relay His love to His people is overwhelming.
God picks people to say what He wants His people to hear. And if we listen, if we’re patient and willing enough...we will hear them, and there will be an impact.
If you would like to continue to be impacted by the songs from our Worship Tribe, their album, Fill the Room, is available on iTunes or from the Gear Shop on Sunday mornings.