Faith Builds Dreams

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.” – 1 Corinthians 3:10 We’ve all had dreams for our future, whether it’s regarding our businesses, careers, ministry, and of course our families. But the question is, how can you build these God-given dreams and aspirations? Faith opens our whole life, much like a hand opens to embrace a friend. Similarly, faith opens our hearts to the Kingdom of God to pursue our dreams, and to love and serve our neighbors. How can you have an idea that’s bigger than you if you don’t have faith?  Our dreams give us a reason to wake up in the morning and also something to live for. I know there is something you can picture in your mind that if you were able to

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Gathering of the People

“…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said.“ – Acts 14:22 Experience within church congregations is as unique and varied as God’s creation. Whether our involvement has been during childhood, as an adult, or perhaps seeking a church to call home, our reflections will vary. The word church comes from a Greek word translated ecclesia; it means a gathering. And specifically the gathering of the people. If those assembled are in Christ, the main experience or focal point should be receiving encouragement —  which means giving hope, courage, and confidence. We also encounter prayer, song, and most of all, agape or unconditional love.  As you connect with a church family, you can say to yourself, “I’m not alone in this world. I have my church.” Whenever the body of believers gather, be

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Being Jesus on the Job

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17 Did you ever watch the show “The Office?” Although it ended in 2013, it became one of the most successful shows in American television history. I believe it’s because of one simple thing: It portrayed the types of relationships that all of us wish we had at work. It’s easy to fantasize about a perfect workplace and think that if you only worked for Google or maybe for Apple, things would be great. Magically, you would have fun on the job and you would be innovating all day long. You would have meaningful relationships with coworkers that would just spontaneously develop. However, I want you to know that there is no magic formula specific to these environments that makes this possible. The reality is that good working relationships can happen anywhere, and they might just start with you. 

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God Loves Gatherings

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20 Yesterday, we talked about the amazing truth that Jesus chooses to make His home in us, His followers. Thus, when two or more of us gather together, we experience His presence and see new facets of His love through others. In fact, as I write this, I can’t help but remember the wonderful get-togethers at my Grandpa and Grandma Schuller’s house as I was growing up. Though ours was a big family and we didn’t all see each other often, when we gathered at Christmas and Easter, there was a wonderful sense of warmth and worship (my Grandma even had an organ built in the dining room so we could sing together at meals). I dealt with a lot coming from a divorced household and going back and forth between two parents, but

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Perfection Not Required

“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” – Mark 2:17 It’s probably unorthodox for a pastor to say this, but I want to have a church filled with sinners. There are plenty of congregations filled with saints and people pretending to be perfect, but I don’t believe that’s what the Body of Christ is supposed to look like. The church is not meant to be a country club of righteous friends who meet to pat each other on the back, but rather a gathering of thirsty, weary souls yearning for His Living Water. As disciples of Jesus, we’re broken people who want to be better, and we strive toward sanctification, righteousness, and Godliness. But most importantly, we receive the Lord’s love so we can love each other, especially

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Welcoming Samaritans

“The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)” – John 4:9 Yesterday, we talked about lepers, the first of four kinds of “untouchables” whom Jesus willingly touched. Today, I want to look at the second set of outcasts He welcomed to His midst, and those were Samaritans. Many of us who grew up studying the Bible, especially the story of the Good Samaritan, know that this particular group of people was hated by the Jews, but we may not understand why. The reason they were especially despised by the Hebrew people is because they were considered “half breeds.” They held certain Jewish traditions, but they had their own Torah and their own synagogue. In essence, they believed that their religion was the “true” form of Judaism —

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A Diverse Culture

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” – Romans 12:4-6 We need only to look at the many different kinds of plants, animals, and people in Creation to understand that we serve a God who loves variety. He is not a one-size-fits-all kind of Lord, and while He asks us to uphold certain absolute truths, the manner in which we reflect His glory to the world is as special as we are. Our Savior delights in our distinct personalities, and He’s given us all abilities and talents that are unique to us. As His children, we each have a part to play in bringing His

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The Blessing in Unity

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” – Psalm 133:1,3 I don’t think anyone would disagree when I say that we are in a politically and socially divided season, especially in the United States. This state of affairs is unfortunate all-around, but as a pastor, my greatest concern is the manner in which it impacts the church. Right now, millions of Christians feel fervently about the rightness of their side, and this is affecting how they treat each other. Yet the truth remains that unity is a foundational value for the people of God. In fact, the Bible says that there’s a blessing in oneness, and as the Bride of Christ, we should always strive to obtain it. Unfortunately, many are

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Generations will know…

“…in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. -Philippians 2:3b-4 God reveals himself to the world through you. You may be the only Jesus your neighbor will ever see. And if you say, “No,” they will never see him. And if you say, “Yes,” you could change the world one person at a time. And when one person comes to know Jesus, very often his or her spouse, and their kids, and their grandkids, and generations of people will know the Lord that wouldn’t have just because you lived by the Holy Spirit, and you prayed for someone. Pray for someone today, and then find out what he or she needs and help him or her with it. Be “God with skin on” in their lives. Prayer: Dear Lord, how humbling it is to know that sharing your

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