Can We Talk?
"Anything Is Possible"
November 26, 2017 • Pastor Barry Jones
The great poet Sting wrote "I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle” in the song Message in a Bottle. I love that song. I don’t know about you, but I always wondered what was the message? What was inside that bottle? I kind of get the same feeling when I get a package from FedEx. I see the box and that’s cool, but what I really want to know is what’s inside? I mean isn’t it true, that what’s inside is what really matters? So many times what we see on the outside isn’t what’s on the inside and we miss the best part. This Sunday as we continue our series “Can We Talk”, I want to talk about what’s inside God's word. Sometimes we hear the story but we miss the message or the miracle. Sometimes we do the same thing in our lives. We live our lives, but we miss the best part. We miss what’s right in front of us. We miss what God has for us. Let’s talk about what you may be missing that’s right in front of you. Can’t wait to see you Sunday! Hmmm... I wonder if the band will play that song?
"What's In It?"
Holidays are coming up fast! With all the food and gifts that will be tasted and given, one of the biggest unknowns will be this question, “what’s in it”? There are different motives for this question, whether a health conscious adult about a casserole or a child in awe of a huge wrapped box. Wouldn’t it be awesome if life would show us inside of the things we have questions about? Imagine seeing yourself from a different perspective, looking from the outside in like separating ingredients in a dish you love. Let’s take a look at our recipe and make sure we know who the chef is.
"Who Are We"
November 12, 2017 • Lead Pastor Randall Owens
The Who asked the question “Who are you?”. Roger Daltrey screams my sentiments, “I really want to know!” It really sounds a bit silly, but when it comes to who the church is, it may not be as easy (or correct) as you may at first think. You may even have yourself figured out a little, but collectively, who are we to be, what should we be doing, and why do so many churches do “it” different?
"Your Gambling Habit"
November 5, 2017 • Lead Pastor Randall Owens
Maybe you don't go to Atlantic City or Las Vegas to try your "luck", but you may still be a gambler. You may even be too cheap to play the lottery, knowing the odds are not in your favor, but you could still have a "gambling habit." "Gambling" is a pretty vague term, and some people may even want to argue that the stock market is a gamble. And I'll give you that one if you want to say that wherever we manage risk, we are "gambling". But just like me, you run into people all the time (and you may even be this person) who are risking their eternal consequences based on faulty info. People of all kinds, make assumptions and plans, eternal plans, and don't lose a wink of sleep because they don't know they have bad intel to begin with. The foundation to their plan is broken. The one thing they "bet the farm" on is wrong. You see, a lot of us have a gambling habit that will cost us more than we know and later is too late to find this out! Can we talk about it this Sunday?
"Take a Knee, Take a Side, or Take a Seat"
October 29, 2017 • Lead Pastor Randall Owens
“Take a Knee, Take a Side, or Take a Seat” Racism. Racism is such an ugly word. It is used often in the world we live. The word is used so often that we get use to hearing it and we get use to using it, but what are we doing about it? Racism, by definition, means “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.” I hear “racism” most often when the conversation is about two different colors of human skin. And why do we even make it about skin color? Maybe its because racism has come to be represented to us in this manner the most frequently. Regardless of a smaller conversation, racism seems to be what prejudice becomes when left unattended, but to me, it seems that “prejudice” is a more accurate word. Prejudice seems to become racism if not dealt with. “Prejudice” may not have the bite or sting this ugly sin may need, but this attitude that we hold reveals something wrong in us that we must deal with continuously. We see racism in its historical roots and it goes back much further than our current conversation. Obviously, I will not cover it completely in a single 30 minute conversation, but I do want to begin a continuing conversation that turns into action that changes me first, then changes the world I live in. Too big of a task? I don’t think so. We will not solve prejudice and racism in our world if the church doesn’t first address it in our family.
"Living My Life to the Fullest"
October 22, 2017 • Lead Pastor Randall Owens
“Living My Life to the Fullest” Imagine for a moment, living a life that was balanced and properly prioritized. You appropriated just the right amount of time and resources to all the important people in your life. Your marriage was right, your parenting was right, or your singleness was stellar, your vocation seemed like your life calling, your future was bright and full of opportunity, and your health was being well managed. Life is good! Well, that imaginary bubble that I hate to pop, but must, is really a juggling act that at the end of the day, you hope that all your precious relationships survive you. You don’t always get it right, and “getting it right” seems to move around because what you thought was fine, they thought was failing. You would love to hit the target, but can’t seem to aim well enough according to your employer, spouse, and kids. You are under-educated for your job and that glass ceiling wasn’t just for women. That full life you wanted has a leak in it and I mean a BIG leak. What happened? What is the plan now? What was ever the plan? Living life to the fullest has turned into a chaotic cesspool of calendar events that run me ragged. This isn’t fun anymore. This isn’t fulfilling anymore. The thrill is gone and I don’t know where to look for it. Here it is, 2017, with 2018 right around the corner. Could someone please make sense of my life? Could someone please make sense of God and His plan? By the way, what is His plan? What is His plan for me? Is it possible to live my life to its fullest? Yes.
"The Curse of 'D' Word"
October 15, 2017 • Lead Pastor Randall Owens
“The Curse of ‘D’ Words” Do you remember the last time you experienced disappointment? Disagreement? Discontentment? Dissatisfaction? Most of us have experienced all of these awful emotional siblings at some point in our lives. Question: What was your response to their arrival? If handled incorrectly, we give this “D family” CPR and keep it alive. We live in an age of venting our opinions, feelings, and complaints! We used to vent face to face or by the written word, but now, social media has elevated venting to an all-time low. Now, its not Facebook or Twitter’s fault; they are just a couple of new platforms for malcontents. It is us! Anywhere there are people, it seems, there is complaining. I began thinking of where this comes from and it didn’t take long to discover complaining isn’t new and it isn’t isolated. It’s universal, but not a trait any of us want to be known for. Complaining may be common, but it’s not correct!