Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Straw that Breaks a Camel's Back

The Straw That Breaks a Camel’s Back
Pastor Scott Seidler, Senior Pastor

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”—Mark 10:25

Life in God’s family requires us to shed the burdens we bear. That said, a camel has an easier time shedding its burdens than human beings do. That’s the message Jesus offers to a rich young man who appeared before him.

Asked how one enters God’s kingdom, His family, Jesus tells the man that he must shuck off the riches and resources he had accumulated. Easier said than done.

What are the riches and resources that have, like barnacles to a ship, suctioned themselves to your life? How prepared are you to lay them down and cast them off? While seemingly impossible from our human point of view, with God all things are possible.

In Christ, we are offered full forgiveness of our sins and assured that the courage and character to move beyond the stuff of this life is possible.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Living Together After Marriage

"Living Together After Marriage"
Pastor Scott Seidler

"It is not good for man to be alone."-Genesis 2:18

For as often as we Christians condemn the notion of living together before marriage, we should mark equally well that speck of our calling to live together after marriage. For as many couples that disobey God by enjoying sexual intimacy outside of marriage, I believe there are an equal number of couples who, though still married, essentially live lives apart from one another. These "as-if-outside-though-contractually-inside" couples fail to provide emotional, spiritual, and relational support to one another in a way that honors the very reason marriage was licensed by God in the first place.

The result is not marriage as an estate, but lifelong relationships between husbands and wives as an essential part of being fully human. Marriage was never about contracts, but about a common consent to provide the most necessary relational foundation a human being requires.

Sin, as per the norm, completely undoes God's good intention-whether you're single or divorced or engaged or married, for better or for worse. Through Christ, the power of our sin is broken, relationships can be restored (at best), and past sins can be forgiven (at least). And, through all of this relational chaos, we can come to that place where we will never experience life alone again for we will be with God forever and ever.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Not Grandpa's Church

This is not your grandfather's church...culturally and practically understood...the technology of communication has changed, the visuality of understanding has changed, the music has changed, the worldview has changed, among many other things...the church must likewise adapt...and yet, may this never fail to be your grandfather's church...confessionally and doctrinally sin is still present awfully...but Christ died sacrificially...Christ rose victoriously...we have been redeemed completely...our hope is secured eternally--these things will never change...were the same for my grandparents and will be the same for my grandchildren...This is (not) my grandfather's church.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

By Pastor Scott Seidler
Numbers 11:5

“We remember the leeks and cucumbers we had in Egypt.”

There is a common sentiment in organizational leadership that simply states, “Vision leaks.”  The notion behind it is that human groups tend progressively toward entropy and chaos as opposed to a sustained unified purpose.

No surprise here.  Our Christian conviction regarding sin and its self-centering power in our lives has held this truth to be self-evident for centuries, from just after time began.  What a group of people commits to initially is always endangered by the personal desires and ambitions of each individual member of it.

What’s astonishing is the often miserable options with which we replace great calls to future group accomplishment.  Take, for instance, the Israelites fleeing Egypt for the (vision) of the promised land.  The road was no doubt hard and the journey no doubt long.  But the cry of their hearty stomachs was tiny onions and cucumbers.  TUBER-ISH VEGETABLES!  How is it possible that for these folks their entire existence could be boiled down to plants?  Honestly.

Mark well, the power of self-centering sin, how deceptive it is.  The power of evil at work in each of us to turn away from the vision of serving more greatly a Great God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ—this power of evil is indeed great.  No wonder Joseph in Genesis regarded the work of God he had been set to do as part of a “great salvation (Genesis 45-50).

For to such as these (as us) who strive and struggle to keep vision clean and clear, God reminds us that we are redeemed and we are still together.  Confessing and collaborating we can continue the journey toward the calling God has given our congregation, our families and ourselves to serve Him and bring glory to His Son.