Ready or Not……

Do you remember the giddy feeling you had when you heard those words?  Your spot was all planned out.  You had squished in behind the couch and pulled the blanket over, you knew you would never be found, and then you heard those words,  …” Ready or not here I come!”  You knew the searcher was coming, but you  never quite knew when she would show up.  When you think of the return of Christ is that the feeling you get?  Is it eager anticipation?  You know He is coming back but you are not quite sure when that will be.

Gallop’s latest religion poll is telling us that those who consider themselves agnostic or atheists are growing larger and larger as a group.  These are folks who do not anticipate Christ’s return.  In fact, they have pretty much rejected the whole idea as ludicrous.    In contrast, I was raised in Christian home.  I never experienced a time in my life where I did not anticipate Christ’s return.  In between these two perspectives are those who have heard of the idea of Christ returning but they don’t really pay attention to it.  It holds the place of some future far off event that we can’t do anything about, so why let it consume our brain?  

The answer is because Jesus dis not want us to be of the sort who were surprised.  God wants us to know.  Not to the exact moment, year or day.  We can’t start a dooms day clock that is ticking away and just check on it once and a while, or somehow solve a mystical mathematical code so that we can sell our houses and dawn white sheets and head up to the top of the hill. But neither did He leave us blind, so that it could show up at any moment.   He told us about signs that would be obvious (for those keeping watch) to know when the time is close. 

What are the signs and events that will precede the return of Christ?  What did Christ tell us? What did the apostles understand and tell us?  What will His return be like?  That is the topic for this weeks sermon.  

Come be encouraged as we watch!

Pastor Chris 

Believable III

 The proclamation of Jesus Christ is a proclamation of the gospel of God.  It is not just a proclamation about a baby that was miraculously conceived.  It is not just the proclamation of a wise and moral teacher who has come to show us what God had in mind all along.  It is not only the proclamation of the Son of Man who was with God, from God, but came to be God with us.  It was not only a surprising proclamation about a Suffering Servant who would take on the sins of the world and pay our ransomed. It is not just the proclamation of a resurrected Jesus who went back to Father in glory.  While all of those are true, there is even more.

The proclamation of Jesus Christ is a proclamation about a kingdom and its King.  He is the King of King, and the Lord of Lords.  Yet as we look around it is difficult to see his reign.  His enemies seem to be increasing not decreasing.  Christianity seems to be in decline and defeat?  Chaos is growing, and how can this be if indeed the King has come?  How can we believe this?  Because He told us in advance that this would come.

In Believable III we will look at final proclamation about Jesus.  It is how it all ends up.  It is a proclamation about the future of God, the future of man, and the completed plan for restoring creation so we can enter into the age to come.  While there is great diversity of opinion regarding the events that are on the way, that should not cause us to shy away from proclaiming it.  In fact, just as in all things where there is diversity in Christian understanding, we discover the source of that diversity is the decision one makes on just a few key scriptures.  This week we will begin to look at some of those very scriptures and how they help reveal our King who was and is and is yet to come.

Hope to see you at church.

Pastor Chris

Youth Invasion!

Hi Everyone, 

I am excited for today and all the great things that are happening. The youth are doing the sermon so I can’t really tell you what it is about or even get you thinking about what it will be about. I will be surprised along with you. But I can tell you I am excited to be a part of it. What a great opportunity for the youth to invade and take over the service. Youth are an integral part of our church. They are not just some future church, they are the church right now! I hope you can come and be a part of what they will bring to us! 

I am also excited for our Annual Special Offering. I know that you will give what the Lord has laid on your heart to give. I don’t need to cajole you are push on you. I mention it because I wouldn’t want you to forget that it is tomorrow, but I am confident that you will give from your heart! I look forward to what we as a church can do with it and the exciting new tools that will enable us to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ! 

Finally what a great opportunity to also celebrate a 35 wedding anniversary of Buddy and Theresa! All of this and potluck! Looking forward to a great day! 

Pastor Chris

Mixed Messages

It is a confusing time to be a mom. Probably no other time in the history of humanity has made it so challenging for moms.   The expectations are incredibly high with most moms having to work full time outside of the home, yet often the unrealistic commercials of the 1950’s with the perfect house is also being thrown into the mix. On one hand motherhood is honored, yet on another hand it is often denigrated as being somehow a copout by the radical feminists of the late 60’s.   Then there is the recent “Mother of the Year” nominee who was filmed in her explicative laden smack down of her 14 year old son who was throwing rocks at the police in Baltimore. While I recognize there are times when every mother of a 14 year old man child might be tempted to also try for a nomination,…… really? It is very difficult to discern the message in that one.

Then there are the conversations that moms have with themselves. I am not talking about the conversations that occur as a result of the first years sleep deprivation, but rather the internal conversation that moms have about what kind of a mom they are. Are they doing a good job? Is this the right decision? Did I do enough or too much? Do they really respect me? Do they really appreciate everything I am doing? Do they love me? These questions and the answers that they give in their own minds create an interpretive lens for every circumstance that comes along. If their kid is making great decisions they may in their mind say “Well maybe I am not so bad after all?” But if things go poorly then it is interpreted as confirmation of their long suspected inadequacy.

In a confusing world with mixed messages abounding on every front, the church should be communicating a very clear message. In fact, children, husbands, and all the people of God should be encouraging and supporting. We should be leading the parade in honor of moms! Not only on Mother’s day but everyday! This Sabbath as we come together for worship we will focus our attention on honoring moms. Come and learn the three messages that we should be telling these priceless ones we call mom.

See you in Church.

Pastor Chris.

Empowered For What?

Empowered For What?

In every modern super hero movie, some person discovers that somehow they were bestowed with super powers.  Maybe they fell into a vat of toxic waste (like the bus driver on Sky High) or were from another planet, or it was a family heritage, but one thing is always consistent, when they discover this great power of theirs, they have to decide what to do with it.  With great power comes great responsibility, at least according to Uncle Ben (by way of Voltaire and Jesus (Luke 12:48).

 For the last three weeks we have been talking about what it means to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.  We have had to confront the amazing statement by Jesus that we will do even greater things.  We have talked about what it means to be filled, to know how to be filled, and even how we are to keep in step with the Holy Spirit.  But if God is so pleased to pour out the Holy Spirit on all humanity, and the Holy Spirit is indeed coming inside of us and living in us, then what should we be accomplishing?  What mountains should we be moving?  What does it mean if we are not?

 When we read the book of Acts like a highlight film, and look at the apostles as more than ordinary, we are succumbing to a very scary and dangerous lie.  We are succumbing to the idea that somehow, the Holy Spirit is diminished in this the last age or that somehow we are incapable of experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in our life as was promised in scripture.  To believe this is deny not only the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in our life but to make useless the testimony of the early church and the direct words of Jesus Christ Himself!  MAY THAT NEVER BE TRUE IN US!! (X1000) 

 Instead we need to lift up our eyes and discover the amazing life God is calling us to and empowering us to demonstrate to the world.  It is not a life of ease, wealth, pride and possessions, but it is a life of strength and power made obvious by our very weakness.

 Come and be encouraged to discover the life we have been empowered to live!

 See you at church.

Pastor Chris

Youth Group Pizza & Bowl Night

Our Wellspring Fellowship youth group (W.A.Y.) enjoyed a night out together post our worship service Saturday afternoon. What a fun night savored with good friends, pizza and much soda!!  A recipe guaranteed for success!!

We took to the lanes and did our best to break any and all bowling records, however we are reasonably certain we broke a record for having the most fun!! Thanks to all that participated, we have a spirited group as evident from the photos posted.

We meet every Wednesday night from 6:00-8:00pm, which included a home cooked meal along with tons of meaningful fellowship!!

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Keeping In Step

Have you ever seen one of those amazing ballroom dance contests?  I am always so impressed with the fluid motion, grace, and pure unity of the dancers.  It is not like I watch them all the time, or participate in a fantasy ballroom dance league, but I do truly appreciate the art.  They make it look so effortless, but I know different.

Susan and I took a couple of ballroom dance classes.  It was a really fun date night activity and I would highly recommend it. (All you guys can thank me later for throwing you under the bus-lol)  But one of the things I learned is that staying in step was really tough. At first you learn a basic pattern.  Deviation from the pattern almost always leads to complete chaos.  I also learned that one has to lead and the other follow.  The leader has to know how to indicate what is coming next.  The follower has to sense or read the signals as to when to turn and what direction. Unclear leading or unclear reception of the signals also leads to complete chaos.  At first, that is what happened more often than not.  But with more instruction, more practice, more time spent, we learned to how to stay in step. 

Paul says that if we walk by the Spirit (that is being empowered by the Spirit) we should stay in step with the Spirit.  It doesn’t come naturally or instinctually, in fact, just the opposite.  We have to learn to follow, instead of doing what we want.  It  takes instruction, and a lifetime of practice, but the results are amazing.

 This week at church we will talk about what happens in our lives, as we learn to walk in step with the Holy Sprit and the beauty of the fruit it produces.

 Come be encouraged!
Pastor Chris

Being Filled

When you think about filling something up,  what do you think of.  Remember just after the last dinosaur went extinct, there used to be something called a gas station attendant.  (I understand that they still have them in some of the more backwards parts of the country) As the procedure went, you would pull up to the gas station and an attendant would ask you what you wanted.  You would say,  “Filler up” and they would proceed to do what ever necessary things needed to be done to fill your car with fuel.   Of course in order to save money, they now require us to do that ourselves.  (Which is why gas here is so much cheaper than above mentioned “backwards states”…wait a minute why is their gas the same price?!……… but I digress. )   When you think of filling up, you think of something empty being filled with some substance.  But as we talked about last week the Holy Spirit is rightly understood as He not It.  So how do we think of that relationally?

The metaphors used in scripture of our relationship with the Holy Spirit certainly invite us to think of Him in such a way.  Being poured out and being filled certainly speaks to us of our abject emptiness without the Holy Spirit.  But it can also lead us toward an unhealthy approach when we take it to far.  When the Holy Spirit is gas in the gas tank, He becomes a commodity, and impersonal.  People mistakenly move toward manipulation and a magical world view (if we sing the right songs or say the right words emphasizing ….) then we will…..   It can also lead in the direction of creating a litmus test as to whether someone actually has experienced the Holy Spirit.  We impose upon Him expectations and experiential tests as if He can be corralled or controlled.  We can end up chasing after experience rather than relationship.  How sad.

So what does it mean to “be filled with the Spirit”?  How should we think about it staying within the bounds and emphasis of scripture?  How does one become “filled with the Spirit” and are you?  Do you want to be?  Prayerfully consider these things today and come to church with an expectant heart.  

“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. – Acts 2:17

See you at church,

Pastor Chris

Greater Things

Just before Jesus goes to the cross, he is conversing with his disciples and he makes an outrageous claim. The disciples are pretty accustomed to this so no one questions him, but I have to believe the are thinking it. Here is what he says “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12. Do even greater things? What exactly would that encompass? In your wildest imaginations do you think about doing greater things than Jesus?

 Maybe we can assure ourselves that he was only talking to the Disciples. Maybe it was a special deal for them and really not intended to be taken so far as to suggest that the “they” is us. But the problem with that is what Jesus says in front of it, “..whoever believes in me…”. So the nifty escape clause is gone. Jesus certainly had his disciples in mind, but as usual he was gazing upon of multiple horizons. He was yes seeing the disciples in the foreground but beyond them, 2000+ years beyond them, he was looking at you, and he was looking at me.

All of this hinged on the very last clause in the sentience “Because I am going to the Father.” That was the key, and he clarified a little later in John 16: 7 “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”   You see the greater things that those who believe in him, those who are doing the works he was doing, were going to do was not going to be out of their personal efforts. They could be confident that Jesus was not going to leave them powerless. In fact, because of His return to the Father he was going to send the Holy Spirit. All of humanity would experience the presence of God in a new way. Not just an agreement and obedience with something outside of them, not just the teaching and miracles that they could see in the life of Jesus, but an indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. It was by this Spirit who comes not only upon but into us that would change the whole deal.  It is by this Spirit that we are Empowered.

Are you ready to discover what it means to be so empowered? Are you ready to accept the possibility of even greater things?

 See you at church.

Pastor Chris

Sunrise Service Concludes Holy Week

As evening fell, we remembered what it must have been like for the disciples.  They had just seen their Messiah crucified.  He was laid in a tomb.  As the sun went down and the Sabbath began they must have been so discouraged and disillusioned. They would remain that way until the incredible discovery. The discovery that He had indeed been raised from the dead, and that would change everything!

 We gathered our friends and family as we celebrated His resurrection at sunrise service for Wellspring Fellowship of Gig Harbor at the Purdy Spit. We sang worship songs, listened to Pastor Chris Henderson share the Word as we concluded a truly amazing Holy Week.

 The pinnacle to the week came as he baptized Brooks and Brittany Surratt at the end of Sunrise Service. What an inspirational conclusion and beautiful representation of a new life having been sanctified through baptism. What a truly amazing Holy Week.

 Come, be a part of something special and visit us won’t you?? You have no idea what you are missing!!

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