The High Dive

Have you ever gone off of the high dive? It is a long ways up and it feels further than it is. I remember the scared butterflies that seem to suddenly inhabit my innards when I put my hand on the rail and began to climb up. I remember that my brain was screaming at me about how stupid this was. But once you started up there was no real turning back. There was usually a line, going backwards was just not an option. When you got to the top and it was your turn, that was the moment when it all came to a head…..would you jump?

There are any number of moments in your life that come down to a moment of decision but the greatest of them are the ones you make regarding your spiritual life. The decision to follow Jesus and be baptized was a moment like that, but it certainly wasn’t the only one. Some might be a commitment to serve or lead. Others may involve a decision to give. What do you do when you approach such moments?

We as a church are coming up on such a moment. Will we be able to step up and go forward? Will we jump and experience the thrill that only comes when we trust and spring forward? Will we stand there on the edge of the diving board, looking around?   Are you ready to fly?

See you at church.

Pastor Chris

“Whoa” Moments

Do you ever have those “whoa” moments. You know the shock and awe, wide eyed and mystified, freak-out-because-something-is-so-amazing kind of moments. Sometimes they are simple sometimes they have more gravity. Ahah! Eureka! You discovered the answer that you were looking for! The puzzle starts making sense! I love those.

I love the feeling of having my brain expanded with new understanding. I love seeing the ripples that move through, as you understand a new thing and it effects all the other things around it. Sometimes they can be small and only have minor changes to your life. Like when someone asks you “Have ever eaten cow lips?” and you answer a disgusted “NO!” and then politely ask for the catsup for your hotdog reading the definition of “beef trimmings”. Others have much more dramatic impacts like when you realize the Earthshaking significance of what Jesus has done.

This week we are going to look at John 2 where Jesus turned the water into wine. More than a cool party trick, this was the beginning of the “signs through which he revealed his glory” and the impact on his disciples was


That should be the impact it has on us as well. 
Come discover the implications of this mind-blowing miracle.

See you at church.

Pastor Chris

Going Fishing!

It has been a great summer so far. I hope you are enjoying it. I know I am! As you well know fishing is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. I have come to particularly enjoy catching kokanee (a land locked sockeye salmon) which are abundant and are very tasty. In fact, my eye doctor suggested that I was to eat fish two times a week, so I am doing my best to make sure I have the fish to accomplish that! Not only do I enjoy fishing but isn’t interesting that fishing is often used as either a symbol or analogy for some lesson that God is trying to teach us.

One expression that is of particular note is what Jesus said to a group of fishermen as he called them into discipleship; “ I will make you fishers of men.” The application of that goes beyond just those disciples he said it to. It has direct application to us. We are called by Christ not only to follow him but we recognize we are being called into a lifestyle of fishing.

Unlike recreational fishing or even modern day commercial fishing, being fishers of men is a whole different ball game. Rather than relaxing and recreational it can be difficult and stressful. Rather than some commercial venture, there are no financial motivations. Instead the spiritual results are what is important. At the end you do not get a tasty meal or big paycheck as the Northwestern offloads it tons of King crab, the results are a life saved, an eternity secured.

This week we will talk about fishing for men, our motivation, our technique, and even the results.

See you at church,

Pastor Chris

What’s New?

What’s new?

Have you ever had anyone ask you that? You catch up with cousins, your kids, or friend you haven’t seen for a while, and let them tell you what is new in their life. Thing is even if you have one of the most boring lives around, if you think real hard, there is probably something new. Life very seldom stays static in any significant way. Always something is changing, growing, shrinking, or adjusting.   Life just doesn’t hold still.

There is no better place to see that than with little ones. I get to see some more than others, but week by week, as little ones come to church they have some new skill, some new way of doing things. One week they just lay there and the next week they are scooting around. One week their language is unintelligible (to anyone but them or possibly a twin) the next week they start saying words. But no matter what every week they are different.

But what if someone asked the same question of your life in Christ? What would you say then? What new thing is God showing you? What new place is He taking you? What new insight has been revealed or fruit born of application is showing up in your life? All to often I fear that there is no new thing at all. Having all we want or need, we are merely full, stuffed, satisfied, and sedentary. That is not the way it should be.  Jesus wants to do something new in your life all the time.

This weeks sermon we will be looking at the new thing God wants to do in you.

See you at church,

Pastor Chris

Radical Trust

Radical Trust

What does it mean to trust? Not just a little trust or an occasional “I trust you” but the radical trust that includes dependence and vulnerability. The kind of trust that says “Wherever this takes me I am with you”.   It seems to me that such trust is not merely granted but earned.

When Moses first got on the scene after his appointment with the burning shrubbery, all he did was make life harder. But after seeing the miracles, and experiencing the power of God demonstrated, they trusted him enough to follow him into the desert.   They never really fully trusted him though. The disciples trusted up to a point. But still they were amazed that they could cast out demons and heal the sick after Jesus sent them out. Eventually they would be willing to die for Him and many did just that.

There is no greater place of trust than in the midst of tragedy. When everything goes wrong, when someone is taken, or when life is suddenly in the balance do you trust? Do you trust God to see you through it or will you go through it on your own? Will you trust him to hold you up or will your relationship with Him be shaken by bitterness, fear, and hopelessness?

Is it possible to be unshakable in the face even of tragedy?

Come and see.

See you at church,

Pastor Chris

It’s a Lifequake!

Have you ever been in a significant earthquake? I have experienced a couple of little ones where you wondered if it really was an earthquake. You notice the chandelier moving a bit so you turn on the TV, and sure enough it was an earthquake. But I have also been in a fairly big one. The Nisqually quake of 2001 was a 6.8 and got my attention. I was in the office and suddenly it sounded like someone was banging on the door. It was sudden and I was the only one in the building so I my brain was trying to make sense of who would be messing with me trying to scare my by banging on the door. When it kept going my brain put it together with the other things I was experiencing, but by the time I got it all figured out, it was over. Other than a broken decoration or two we didn’t really experience any damage. But they tell us that we should be prepared for “The Big One.”

Earthquakes are relatively rare (unless you are unfortunate enough to live in a fracking area), but something that can be even more devastating is all too common; a lifequake. Lifequakes are those events whether they are from inner struggles or external circumstances like a death or a crime, which shake your whole life up. They are the kind of thing that you don’t walk away from unchanged in some way. They happen to all walks of life, and are fairly unpredictable, other than the realization that we will probably at one point or another experience one.

All sorts of things are done to prepare for earthquakes but seldom do people prepare for lifequakes. What can you do when they just seem to come out of nowhere? The writer of Hebrews suggests that the heavens and earth will be shaken and all that will remain will be what is eternal. Maybe there are some things that can be done after all?! Maybe in our preparation we can indeed be ready for the Big One, and become unshakable.

This week we start a new sermon series “Unshakable” and we will be talking about the encouragements that we find in scripture that help us become unshakable. The Big One is coming, are you ready?

See you at church!

Pastor Chris

What’s it to you?

What do you think about when you think about scripture? Is it obligation and duty mixed with a little guilt because you know you weren’t in it enough this week? Is it something that Pastor Chris talks about a lot but you have never really gotten into? Is it a book of do’s and don’t and if you are honest you haven’t really read it? Maybe it is just a mysterious book that you don’t really get or maybe it is really important to you.

I think on this one particular issue a lot of people feel differently than they do.   They feel like scripture is important and some would even say vital. But those feeling don’t really translate into any kind of particular action. In fact, I wonder if the NSA were to release the spy camera video they have of your life, how much of it would include scripture in a meaningful way? It is convicting to think about. Thankfully no matter where we are we can always change that, we can always make it better.

This week we are going to talk about Climbing: Saturated in Scripture. I hope to remind you of what scripture is to you, or at least what it should be. I hope to inspire you to a greater faithfulness and a greater reliance on the Word of God in your life. So before we get there tomorrow, consider: What is it to you?

See you at church,

Pastor Chris Henderson


Today across the globe Christianity marks the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. It is sobering to consider the events that took place. The middle of the night arrest, the inquiries and mocking, the phony trials, the torture, the rejection, and finally the crucifixion.

When you read the account it is always important to try and see it through the eyes of the different characters. To the common Jew it must have been confusing. Here was the man who had finally taught something with authority and done all kinds of miracles and now they wanted to kill him?! To the religious authorities it must have felt like vindication and resolution. Finally they would be rid of this troublemaker. To the Romans it must have been one more smack down in a military deployment in one more backwater of the empire. To the disciples it must have been a nightmare.

Our brains have a funny little trick when we are having a nightmare; they paralyze us. We are actually pretty thankful God built this in. If it were not the case we would hurt our selves or our spouses when we dream. As it is usually the most we can do is twitch. With the disciples in this waking nightmare this is about all they could do as well. Peter (evidently the ninja of the group) was ready to go when they came for Him, but Jesus knew this was not the way to victory. In fact, Jesus offered no resistance at all.   The disciples scattered and were left with nothing to do but watch.

Watching is the worst when you know there is nothing you can do, and there was nothing the disciples could do. Today and tonight contemplate these events. Contemplate what happened and what Jesus did. Contemplate what it must have been like to be left watching. But there is good news coming.

See you tomorrow.

Pastor Chris

What We Need to Learn

Good teachers don’t teach you what you already know but rather what you need to know. This may seem like an obvious statement but you can’t believe the number of times that students ask of teachers, “How will we ever use this in

real life?” Usually this is in relationship to what is considered an obscure math skill or a particularly boring piece of history. Fortunately when I was a teacher I taught science, which everyone knows is only populated with essential knowledge not the other kind. However, later in life I now realize that even the skills I learned in math were actually essential. Surprisingly they were not really about math. They were about thinking.

The relevant skills in mathematics become obvious when you are trying to make change at your garage sale and someone hands you $4.17 paying for the $3.75Power Ranger suit which has suddenly come back into style. (If you really want to entertain yourself always add in 17 cents to what ever you are paying for and watch the confusion) But more illusive are the reasons you need to be able solve equations with multiple variables or even how to combine equations.   Students might think that they will never ever use that particular skill. They might be right but what that skill did to their brains in learning how to solve it is where the real application takes place. The ability to manipulate variables in the abstract allows one to tease through some of the most challenging and complicated of life’s problems such as the assembly instructions on anything from Ikea.

 Keep this in mind when you begin to think about what Jesus taught. He didn’t teach the particulars of a moral code or what things were sin or not. He didn’t spend much time at all in teaching head knowledge. God had already revealed all those kind of things in the OT so there was no reason to reteach them. Instead of teaching what they already knew, he taught what they needed to know.  

 This week we will focus on Jesus as our teacher and discover what that was. Are you ready to learn?


See you at church,

Pastor Chris

Who is He to you?

 “Who is that?” is always a very subjective question. It is not subjective in the factual sense of a persons particular identity. With the new biometric data such as your fingerprints, retina scan, DNA, and Facebook facial recognition, we can pretty much establish your factual identity. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NSA has even assigned you a number (I wonder what mine is?). Rather it is subjective based on who is answering, and usually that is the much more important answer.

For instance if someone were to ask who I was, it would depend on who was responding that would determine the answer (trophy husband, dad, grandpa, pastor, neighbor, stranger etc.). There are many possibilities. Ultimately when you answer the question “ Who is that?” You are actually answering the question “Who is that to you?” And we almost always lead with the most intimate response. Susan never introduces me as her pastor or the guy who mows the lawn.

So how do you or would you respond if someone asked you “Who is Jesus?”. Would you spend your time talking about his biometric data? He was born a long time ago, in Bethlehem; you might have seen the display in a Gig Harbor park? (or maybe not). Or would you introduce him differently? Would you introduce him because he is famous? Or would you introduce him based on who he is to you? Which begs the question, “Who is he to you?”

We are entering the season where we focus in on Jesus. We will not only focus in on what he did, but who he is to us because of it. I hope you come worship and answer the question.

See you at church.

Pastor Chris