Skip Navigation
Pastor's Corner -  march 24th

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). It's pretty easy to lose our way in life. Just one wrong turn and suddenly we have no idea how to get back to where we belong.  Like prodigal children we are all looking for our way home. So where do you turn when you are lost? Some people flip through Ikea catalogs to find their best life. There’s a line in the movie, Fight Club that perfectly captures this charade: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy [stuff] we don't need.” So where do we go next when materialism leads down a path of dissatisfaction and disappointment? Many pursue achievements in their search for meaning. Some turn to addiction in their pursuit of happiness. With all the wrong paths to choose from it is no wonder so many are lost. 

But in Luke 15, Jesus provides a way back home in his parable about the lost sheep. He reminds us that we have a shepherd who actually drops everything to come find us. Others may leave us to our own device, but our shepherd goes over the mountains and down through the valleys to bring us home. Like a good shepherd, Jesus provides protection from the elements and sustenance on the journey. I love the way the prophet Isaiah describes our shepherd in Isaiah 40:10-11: 

He tends his flock like a shepherd:

He gathers the lambs in his arms

and carries them close to his heart;

he gently leads those that have young.

Maybe you feel a little lost this week. Perhaps you feel a longing in your heart for home. The human predicament is this: we are all lost until God finds us. Believe me when I say that it is no small wonder that we can call upon our shepherd by name. In the moments when we can’t tell which way to go, may we discover that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

 Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris Allen

 

 

 

Previous Pastor Corner Blogs

Life to the Full

March 17, 2019
By Pastor Chris Allen

Life to the full. That’s what Jesus promised in John 10. Jesus was offering his followers a life like no other. It actually drove the religious establishment crazy that Jesus couldn’t be put in a box or controlled by their status quo. He often drew outside the lines and called his followers to do likewise. His disciples were never meant to follow the pattern of this world. We are so much more than demographics and population numbers. We are unique. How do we know? Our shepherd knows us by name.  

So shrug the labels and think less about how others estimate your worth. History is filled with saints who resisted the status quo and experienced what it truly means to follow the way, the truth and the life. We don’t follow the world, we follow the Word! Christianity was the meant to the vanguard of the creative and flourishing life. Isn’t it ironic that so many people think the Christian life is lukewarm and bland? When in reality this place is stale, unsatisfying and dead. Thankfully we have resurrection power in our vessels. We rise above this. 

We don’t have to live as cogs in the machine. Jesus came to set the captives free and this is our exodus. So break free and pursue a God who offers you immeasurably more than you could ever ask for our imagine. It’s time we ask God to break the world’s mold and free us to live as free as humanly possible. Let’s fast from the bad habits that weigh us down and cast aside the idols of this age to experience the dawning of something new. Let’s turn the world right-side up with our love and truth. Let's have life to the full.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris Allen

I Find it Frustrating...

March 10, 2019
By Pastor Chris Allen
I find it frustrating when Christians are portrayed in movies and tv shows as dull killjoys. Unfortunately the church has not done enough to shake this reputation. In 1928, our denomination made an official declaration regarding what they referred to as "worldly amusements". They warned church members against going to the theater, dancing, and playing card games. To put it simply: "No fun for you!" 
 
But Christians were never intended to be the "frozen chosen".  Christian philosopher, Thomas Aquinas argues, "Humanity was created to play because it was created out of God's playfulness." It is a shame when we lose that playful spirit. It is no wonder the Lord actually mandates his people to party in his Law. As we look at his divinely appointed calendar in Leviticus 23 it almost seems like the people of God were living from one party to the next! Clearly feasting and celebration were part and parcel to being in community with the Lord.  This truth becomes even more evident with the many prophecies revealing a great banquet that awaits us all in the kingdom come. Where are we going when we die? We are on our way to party!
 
It might surprise you to learn that Jesus spent a lot of time at parties. Jesus was often the guest of honor because he was so refreshing. Everyone wanted him at their next gathering. Which begs the question, does the Jesus you portray seem like someone your neighbor would want to invite to their BBQ? 
 
The Lord of the party actually wants us to enjoy life to the fullest.  Let's "kick off the Sunday shoes and get footloose" Let's start celebrating like the kingdom's come! As the unfrozen chosen dance and play, may others come to see that Jesus is the life of the party

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris Alle

Caught in the Middle of a Storm

March 03, 2019
By Pastor Chris Allen

Jesus' disciples are caught in an incredible storm that threatens to overwhelm their boat (Mark 4:35-41). Because of several geographic factors, squalls could rise up without warning on the sea of Galilee. Which is why there were countless stories of fishermen being lost forever at sea. Its no wonder the disciples believed they were facing certain death. They considered all lost at the sight of the wind and the waves slamming against their boat. But Jesus (who is asleep in the stern) awakens and calms the storm with his mere words. The disciples are simply awestruck. “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”  Their reaction makes even more sense within their historical/cultural context. In the ancient Mesopotamia, wind and water were considered primal forces of chaos. Nothing could contain or subdue these forces of nature!

Many of us have faced our fair share of uncontrollable factors and chaotic situations in our lives. The writer of Proverbs perfectly illustrates this inevitable struggle: “When the storms of life come…”(Proverbs 10:25). Notice the writer doesn’t say “if” but “when the storms of life come”. Everyone endures “storms” in his or her life. Your “storms” might be a dire prognosis, or a mountain of relentless bills, or the loss of a loved one or a marriage crisis etc. These are the moments when it feels like everything is falling apart at the seams and there is no hope on the horizon. All seems lost. 

But thankfully the one “who even the wind and the waves obey” remains by our side in the thick of it. When others jump ship, Jesus doesn’t leave us high and dry. Christ is there to tow his weathered and weary people through the worst of times. In these moments we remember that Jesus is Our Lord and Savior.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris Allen

 

Jesus' Plan to "Rule the World"

February 24, 2019
By Pastor Chris Allen

Jesus’ plan to “rule the world” began with a rather unusual objective: be a Rabbi and make disciples. "Rabbi" is a Hebrew title reserved for a very special kind of teacher.  Rabbis taught people how to live in stride with God's Word. In the first century, Rabbis called their most gifted students into discipleship.  The goal of a discipleship was to to live, speak, pray, serve and love like their Rabbi. Disciples endeavored to become living reflections of the one who called them. 

But Jesus was rather unconventional in his approach to discipleship. He actually calls fishermen to follow in his footsteps. Most rabbis would have completely overlooked these folks for discipleship. But Jesus bids these blue-collar fishermen with, “Leave your nets, for I will make you fishers of men and women.” Jesus sees more potential in them than they could ever even imagine. NT Wright likens this unexpected exchange to a famous sports coach calling fans from the stands into his starting lineup. Wright says, “This is the strange thing. When God came back at last, coming to establish his rule of heaven here on earth, that seems to be exactly how he went about it. Lots of people thought they were just spectators suddenly found themselves summoned onto the field of play.”

Surprisingly Jesus actually makes this same approach to you and me. He doesn’t want us to be “Christians by name only”. He casts a new vision upon our lives. We aren’t meant to rest on our laurels or watch safely from a distance. Jesus actually wants us on his team!  He wants us to be disciples who follow him with every thought, word and deed. This is why I say: Jesus is my rabbi. 

-Pastor Chris

Recent Posts

3/17/19 - By Pastor Chris Allen
3/10/19 - By Pastor Chris Allen
3/3/19 - By Pastor Chris Allen
2/24/19 - By Pastor Chris Allen
2/17/19 - By Pastor Chris Allen

Archives

Upcoming Events