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We believe real life only happens in a relationship with Jesus.  

 

The best decision we ever made was to follow Jesus.  We’re regular people moved by God’s extraordinary grace.  

We are a church eager to experience passionate worship, authentic connection, and to grow in our love of God.  

We love our local community and want to help every person take a NEXT STEP with Jesus.

 
 
 
 
 
our PURPOSE
 
 
WORSHIP GOD
We are made for this!
When so much competes for our attention, worshiping God
refocuses us.
Renewed, we’re ready for a
NEXT STEP with Jesus.
 
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
Life is better together.
Where life separates and isolates, Christ connects. Life change happens best in relationship.
We take our
NEXT STEP with Jesus.
 
SERVE TOGETHER
Our world is bigger than just us. Love listens and acts.
ServeTeams partner with local and global ministries
to love and take a
NEXT STEP with Jesus.
 
REACH OUR WORLD
We have amazing news to share. Jesus opened the door to relationship with God. We were made for this! We can’t wait to
help others take a
NEXT STEP with Jesus.
 
 
 
new SERIES
 
 
 
 
ENDGAME: The Cost of Victory
 
 Victory always comes at a cost. Jesus had one mission. God’s favorite creation, humanity, was held captive by death and the Evil One. Victory could come only one way. Death wanted its prize. Jesus knew the endgame, and God would do anything to rescue us! Jesus takes on death and the resurrection proves his victory! Join us as we follow Jesus towards his ENDGAME, the quest to save us all!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
weekly BLOG
 

“Chicken and Waffles: When Love is Really Hard”

Message 3: When Love Is REALLY Hard
 
Key Points:
-We are created to be better together.
-We get better together when giving our best to others.
-We get better together when loving those who deserve it the least.
 
They Hate you – You give them your best
They Curse you – You celebrate their best
They Hurt you – You pray for their best
 
-Understanding God’s love for me amplifies my love for others.
-Us loving those who least deserve it is God’s plan to restore & love us.
 
Further Conversation
1. Some foods are dangerous unless prepared correctly. Have you ever gotten sick from poorly prepared food? What happened?
2. Read Luke 6:27-36 Jesus starts out saying “but to you willing to listen.” Why do you think loving our enemies is a sore subject?
3. Hate, Curse, & Hurt: How does our culture tell us to respond to these? How does Jesus say we respond to these wrongs?
4. How are you like your parents? How does God want us to resemble Him? How would you rate your family resemblance?
5. Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-19 How does God see & love you? How does God want us to see & love others?
6. Who is someone who is very hard for you to love? How could you begin to love them with your best for their best this week?
7. God’s plan for the world requires you! How does it feel knowing God is counting on you? What next step do you need to take?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – Matthew 5:38-48
How am I different because I follow Jesus? This is a huge question we need to ask. Is our life different because Jesus loves and forgives me and the Holy Spirit lives in me? What is different between my life and the life of someone who doesn’t know God’s grace and forgiveness? Jesus puts a huge authenticity test before us. He says that our love for those who hate us, curse us, and hurt us will be the indicator of the authenticity of our faith. People who don’t know Jesus love others who love them. But it takes something supernatural (the indwelling Holy Spirit) to love those who hate you. If loving your enemies is the indicator of an authentic, life-changing faith in Jesus, how are you doing? Who do you know that is very difficult to love? How are you giving them your best?
Pray: Heavenly Father, you loved me when I was you enemy. For your grace in my life, I now turn to love all people, even my enemies.
 
Tuesday – 2 Corinthians 5:16-19
Lots of changes happen in a young boy’s life as he becomes a teenager. One is that suddenly how they view girls changes. Out go the “No Girls Allowed” signs and they quickly strategized how to meet more and more girls! In a similar way, our sight changes when we follow Jesus. We no longer see people from an earthly perspective but instead we see all people from an eternal perspective. Will the people in front of us experience the resurrection? Will they experience torment & hell? Do they know Jesus? God wants us to see people differently, eternally. He wants us to plead with them to experience His grace. This is love, that I even want those who have hurt me to know God’s grace. How do you see people around you? Do you have an eternal perspective?
Pray: LORD Jesus, people once saw you only as a person, but you defeated death. Help me see people the way you do, eternally.
 
Wednesday – Exodus 23:4-5
Jesus perfected “loving our enemies” but he didn’t invent it. Jesus lived it perfectly, but the Old Testament had long taught it. Here in Exodus, the Israelites are instructed to help their enemy if he is in need. God wanted his chosen people to be different than the rest of the world around them. God wanted them to shine brightly. How brightly is your love shining? Where do you see a need? How can you extend a hand to help? Its always been God’s plan!
Pray: God of love, the world needs to see you. And your plan to show them your love is thru me. Help my love shine for all to see.
 
Thursday – Proverbs 25:21-22
My grandma used to encourage me to “kill’em with kindness.” That’s not the most politically correct thing to say today, but the truth stands none the less. Leaning on this proverbs, Paul says essentially the same thing in Romans 12. Nothing agitates someone aiming to harm you than to be grateful and kind toward them. Hate burns though every emotion but love. Hate can not exhaust love. So when we show kindness to those who hate us, we exhibit a power they can not overcome. Love is the one weapon we have that always works. Who is seeking to bring harm to you? How can you love them today?
Pray: Holy Spirit, it seems so hard to love those who aim to harm me. Renew my strength that I can love all people not matter what.
 
Friday – Romans 12:9-16
Have you ever experienced “pretend” love? Salespeople will be your best friend to get you to buy something from them. They don’t love you, they love their sale. Christians can be guilty of this too. Some people try to sell Jesus, pretending to love others hoping to get a salvation “sale.” But few things sting like the betrayal of pretend love. Paul challenges believers to not simply pretend to love others, but REALLY love them. Don’t simply speak kind words, but back it what action. Be patient with others. Practice hospitality. Bless those who curse you and harm you. Mourn with the hurting. Rejoice with the happy. Be real and show love no matter the consequences. We “pretend” love mostly because we are afraid to be real. Being real requires vulnerability. Being real might get you hurt. But imagine a church and community where people take the risk to love for real. Wow, wouldn’t that be an incredible place to be. Let’s take a first step in that direction this week. Let’s love everyone for real!
Pray: Jesus, you showed us real love as you gave your best, your life, for our best. Help us follow your lead and love others with your love.
 
Saturday – 1 John 3:11-17
How has your week gone? How have you been treated? Many of us carry the pain and anger of past hurts. We want justice. We want compassion. We want our pain healed. God is so quick and eager to give justice, compassion, and healing. But the challenge is that the path to God’s grace for you requires your grace for others. God’s justice is through Christ, not revenge. God’s compassion grows as we show it to others. True healing comes as we forgive. This is the life God wants for us. When we live into this truth, people around us can and will notice. They will see God.
Pray: Loving God, help our church be so full of love for you and love for others that our town takes notice. We want to glorify you!

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“Chicken and Waffles: Love Ain’t Fair”

Love Ain’t Fair
 
Key Points:
-We are created to be better together.
-We get better together when giving our best to others.
 
Three Greek words of Love in the Bible:
Eros (sensual or erotic) – You for me. Phileo (friendship or brotherly) – You with me. Agape (sacrifical) – Me for you
I’m most blessed when I give my best to the guest.
Its easy to give my best when I know God’s got my back.
 
Further Conversation
1. What is your favorite food pairing or combo, such as PB&J? Why?
2. Read John 13:34-35 Why do we so often try to convince people about Jesus with our words when Jesus said love is the proof?
3. How would you define Eros, Phileo, and Agape love? Share where you most commonly experience each type?
4. Read 1 John 4:16 & Ephesians 5:1-2 What does it mean to you that John says God is “agape” love? How can we imitate that?
5. Read Philippians 2:5-11 How did Jesus empty himself for us? What are some ways we “empty ourselves” for others?
6. When does it get hard for you to give “agape” love? What do you want in return for your love? What does God wants for his love?
7. Give the best to the guest. Where are you tempted to keep the best? Where is it hard to trust God’s got our back? Who needs you to give your best for them today? How will you do it?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – Philippians 2:1-11
Its hard to believe Jesus did what he did. He willingly went from King of Kings to criminal on cross. When everyone should have served him, he served everyone else. He emptied himself for our sake, giving his life for our benefit. Jesus says “my commandment is for you to love others like I loved you” Jesus set the bar high and defined love by how we give, not what we get. Paul challenges us to really follow Jesus’ footsteps and his example. Our unity, our better together, hinges on this sacrificial, giving not getting, attitude and action of love. How would you grade your love toward others? How Jesus-like are you? Its hard to trust God and love sacrificially. Look at how God took care of Jesus. Let that be your guide, trusting that if you empty yourself for others, God will fill (Just like Jesus).
Pray: Heavenly Father, its hard to sacrificially love, to give and give without regard to getting. Help me trust you and love like Jesus.
 
Tuesday – 1 John 4:7-21
The Beatles sang “all you need is love.” They weren’t terribly far off. God is love. And God is all we need! Love is living in God and God living in them. But we must pause a minute and get some clarity on what love means. I can’t speak for the Beatles, but this passage in 1 John clearly defines love as sacrificial, giving not getting, love. Jesus gave and gave, even giving his life. God is sacrificial love. Our better together only happens when we are loving like God. Who do you need to love today without getting anything in return? How and who can you love more like the love God is? Its what we need!
Pray: LORD Jesus, you showed God’s love perfectly as you gave all you are for our benefit. Help me love others the same way!
 
Wednesday – John 13:34-35
The world is always looking for proof of God. Scientists comb the facts, claiming evidence either for or against the existence of God. We find tiny miracles in pieces of toast that kinda look like Jesus. We are convinced we see signs in our culture. We build museums to how God created. But really, Jesus tells us we need only one thing. We need to love like Jesus. There will never be enough evidence to prove God exists. Arguments won’t work. But I can show you God exists by how I love. Jesus says our love will be the proof we are his disciples. Our love is far more convincing than any argument. Who needs to see God…in you?
Pray: God of love, the world needs to see you. The world needs to know you exist. Help me love like you, that they see you in me.
 
Thursday – Ephesians 5:21-6:9
Love is practical to every aspect of our lives. When Paul wrote these words, they would have caused controversy. They still do today. Our culture does not like the idea of ‘women submitting to their husbands.’ In Paul’s day, the challenge would have been ‘men loving wives like Jesus…sacrificially.’ The controversy is the same: no one whats to submit and serve. Paul (and Peter in 1 Peter 3:1-7) give us the secret to a great relationships, whether marriage, parenting or even employment. The secret is submission, placing the needs of others above your own. Instead of fighting for my rights, I submit my desires for your needs. What does love look like? Submission. It will make your marriage, your family, even your office a great place to be.
Pray: Almighty God, submission is such a strange idea in our world today. Help me trust you and submit myself for the benefit of others.
 
Friday – 1 Peter 3:8-12
Life is better together. We were made to live life connected with others in authentic, loving community. It sounds too good to be true, like an unattainable fairytale. We sing songs about love. We preach tolerance. But the world we live in is full of hate, brokenness, and isolation. We have 1000’s of facebook friends but no one really knows us. How is it possible to live life better together? Peter gives us the plan. Love like Jesus. Empathize. Put the needs of others above your own. Forgive. Be gentle and tender-hearted. Do good. The list is simple. Its not rocket science. And honestly, I don’t need someone else for me to obey it myself. I have a choice. Whether you hate and hurt me, I can forgive…I can love…I can empathize. We can have the authentic, loving community God offers. We just have to quit waiting on others to make it happen, and start living it ourselves.
Pray: Holy Spirit, help me choose to love like Jesus, empathize, be kind, and do good…not matter what others do to me. Begin with me.
 
Saturday – Matthew 5:23-24
Sunday worship happens tomorrow. I hope and pray God moves in a powerful way. I long to see the Holy Spirit spark a massive revival where our community changes radically as Christ is received and lived. Wow, would that be awesome if it started tomorrow. We can have great worship, powerful worship, life changing worship. But it begins when we first make it right with others. Jesus challenges us that we need to forgive and ask forgiveness before we can really worship. What is holding you back? Who do you need to make it right with before you can really worship and connect with God?
Pray: Loving God, help our church be so full of love for you and love for others that our town takes notice. We want to glorify you!

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“Chicken and Waffles: Some Things are Better Together”

Some Things Are Better Together
 
What if relationships are not supposed to be easy? Our uniqueness can make it awkward. Our past hurts can create fear. But what if our uniqueness and hurt could actually help us connect?. Could deep connection and authentic community be something we can reach? Is it worth the risk? Some things really are better together!
 
Key Points:
-We are created to be better together.
-We are incomplete as individuals
-Marriage is not required for great community or deep connection.
-Our best fit occurs at our greatest vulnerability
 
Trust God Know Myself Wisely partner with others.
 
Further Conversation
1. Who are some of your best relationship with? How did you meet? Why would you rank these relationships as your best?
2. Read Genesis 2:18-20 Why might people substitute pets or hobbies for human relationships? Why won’t those satisfy us?
3. Read Genesis 2:21-24 Do you think opposites tend to attract? Are we “incomplete as Individuals”? Why or why not?
4. Read Matthew 19:11-12 Can people can have great community outside of being married or being physically intimate? How?
5. Read Genesis 2:25 How does shame complicate relationships?
6. How does our vulnerability connect us with others? When have you experienced vulnerability creating community?
7. Trust God, Know Myself, & Wisely Partner with others. How would you rate your connection and depth with others? What do you need to do next to connect better with others?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Did you know that braiding makes a rope stronger? Fibers bundled together side by side share a load. But if those same fibers are bundled and braided together, the strength is exponentially multiplied. The braid allows the fibers to compress into each other. We humans are not much different. God made us to come together in a woven community. Many of us have acquaintances who might help us some here or there. But real, powerful community is created when our lives twist together. This type of weaving and braiding of people takes time, effort and honest vulnerability. But pity the person who lacks it. How would you rate the depth and power of your community connection? Are you simply standing beside people or have you invested the time and risk to connect?
Pray: Heavenly Father, you made us for community. Help me have the courage to be vulnerable and intentional to connect with others.
 
Tuesday – Hebrews 10:23-25
My workouts are always better when I have a partner. A partner always pushes me just a bit farther than I would go by myself. What I think I can’t do, I find I can with a partner’s encouragement. The same goes for our faith. Sure, we can have individual time in Scripture and prayer, but real faith growth takes partnering with others. We are urged to spur one another on to faith and good works. Who have you partnered with in the church? Who knows you well and you’ve given permission to push you farther in Jesus?
Pray: LORD Jesus, you call me to follow you. Part of following is partnering with others. Help me encourage others and connect.
 
Wednesday – 1 Peter 2:9-10
God doesn’t just call a person. God calls a people. God called the nations of Israel to be a light to the Gentiles. God calls the body of Christ, the Church Universal to be a light to the world. Yes, the nation was made up of individuals, and so is the church. Each individual has unique gifts and even a specific calling from God. Yet we can not understand our unique gifts nor our individual calling from God apart from our role and position within the entire community that is the people of God. We are called together, as a people for a purpose. Are you fighting against your place within the people of God, or leaning into to connect and serve others?
Pray: God of all creation, thank you that I am not alone. I am part of the body of Christ and I have a purpose within this body to serve.
 
Thursday – 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
I’ve got a confession to make. There are times that I just don’t like some people. They rub me the wrong way. I know that sounds awful. When I struggle with someone, I find encouragement and wisdom from Paul’s words. As the Church, we are all part of one body. Just because the eye doesn’t like the perspective of the ear, they need each other. Just because the nose thinks the foot smells bad, they both need each other. Together, we need everyone…even those who rub us the wrong way. The challenge is to consider someone’s gift and benefit to the whole body. See their goodness. Thank God for their presence. Who do you struggle to get along with right now? How might you see their goodness and thank God?
Pray: Almighty God, you made each and everyone one of us. You died for us. Help me see each person as valuable gifts to the body!
 
Friday – Genesis 3:1-13
We all know the blame game. Our politicians are masters of spin, shifting the focus and blame to their political rivals. Siblings point the finger at the other. But where I see the most blame is always in a broken relationship. Never have I had a couples counseling session start with one spouse standing up and saying, “Its really my fault, I’ve failed as a husband. I’m sorry.” No, we always blame. Adam and Eve were no different. They shifted blame. We don’t want to be vulnerable and confess our failures, so we shift the blame. But vulnerability connects. Next time you have conflict, try this instead. Don’t blame the other. Confess your fears and failures. Ask for forgiveness. See if this openness doesn’t heal & restore connection.
Pray: Holy Spirit, I need your help. In the midst of brokenness I want to blame. Help me be open, vulnerable, and seek forgiveness.
 
Saturday – Acts 2:42-48
People took notice! This passage ends stating that every day more and more people committed themselves to Jesus and the Church. What ever the Jesus followers were doing, others wanted in. So what were they doing? They devoted themselves to growing in their faith and their fellowship. They became such an amazing community passionately loving and encouraging one another that outsides were lining up to get in. Its no different today. When people love growing in their faith and love coming together as a community to worship, those churches grow. Where there is passionate love for God and others, people want in. What about you? How can you show a passion for Jesus and others at church? Who could you invite to come with you?
Pray: Loving God, help our church be so full of love for you and love for others that our town takes notice. We want to glorify you!

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