Selfie: #livingchanged

When the temps drop down to the single digits we have to get serious about appropriate winter attire. To be out in that kind of cold for even a short time means that we have to put on a warm hat; get our big, heavy gloves out; and dig the long, super warm coat out of that back of the closet. Conversely, when the summer temps climb into the upper 80’s and 90’s and the sun is out, you need to don lightweight color and fabrics, wear a hat, and even wear sunscreen. Being a follower of Jesus requires its own kind of "wardrobe." But not a wardrobe that only gets worn for a season, on Sundays, or for special occasions. Life as a follower of Jesus requires us to clean out our closets, get rid of all the things we wore in our life before Jesus, and keep only those garments that God has chosen for us. It may mean getting rid of some of our favorite things. But when we choose to keep and wear what God picks out for us, we can be sure that it will always fit, is always in style, and is always perfect for the occasion. #livechanged. Worship Link:

Who doesn't like to be liked? Being liked feels good. Being liked by someone can be the start of a deep and meaningful relationship with that person. And affirmation and positive input from the people around us helps us learn what is socially acceptable and how to get along with others. But we live in a society that is consumed with approval and affirmation... a world that idolizes one's ability to fit in, be popular, and conform to the latest trends and styles. But life is not about how many "Likes" you get or how well you've imitated the popular people or trending styles you find on social media. God doesn't call us to conform to the ways of the world, but to be transformed by God's influence in our lives. To be liked by others feels good, but to be made more like God is the goal of a follower of Jesus. Worship Link:

It is the job of marketers to convince you that you have some flaw, shortcoming, or need that only their product can fix. Your 'ugly' bathroom needs a facelift.... your dreary life would benefit from a vacation to an exotic and exciting destination.... your limp hair needs the benefits of a new shampoo. And even if we've learned the way of commercial marketers and can resist their perception of who we are and what we need, the world still gives us many expectations to live up to. Images of the perfect home and family; successful career and accomplished children; and healthy, happy, beautiful selves flood our culture and social media feeds. It's tempting to chase after these things. They promise happiness, health, and prosperity. But they seldom deliver. As hard as we try, we won't find contentment and fulfillment in imitating others. We're made in the likeness of God and seeking to imitate God’s 'selfie' is the only image worth pursuing. Worship Link:


Today's Worship Experience: Selfie Since the beginning of time, we have struggled with the tension between who we really are and who we pretend to be. How can we make God first in our me-first social media society? It’s only when we come to God as we really are that we can experience the identity that we all long for. Worship link:

Something Beautiful

Today's Worship Experience: Something Beautiful The arts and crafts industry is booming, and DIY-ers are putting a strain on home improvement supplies. With more people at home, and many with extra time on their hands through the pandemic, these industries seem to be at a high point. Stores like Michael's, JoAnn's, and Lowes provide everything from the raw materials to pre-designed projects to completed, inspirational pieces. Facebook pages like "Repurpose + Upcycle = Inspiration" have thousands of followers. A quick search on Pinterest gives ideas for crafting jewelry, home decor, gifts, fashion, and more. We are born with the desire to enhance our lives and environments with beautiful things. Some of us are wired to especially enjoy the creative process. Creativity and beauty are characteristics of the one Creator, the God who created all that is, the God that continues to re-create. Feeling a little blah and bland after a year of pandemic? Join God in the creative process and let God make something new and beautiful in you. Worship Link:

Better Together

Better Together: Today's Worship Experience The word “church” holds different meanings for different people. Some would finish the sentence, "Church is...," with descriptions of a building or an organization. Some would talk about the services and programs that a congregation provides. Some would talk about worship, or about the feelings, they associate with the 'church.' And some would nostalgically recall the faith experiences of their childhood. When the Bible talks about the 'church,' it usually uses the phrase the "body of Christ" suggesting that the church is not just a place, an activity, or a feeling, but is in fact something that is vibrant, alive, growing, moving, and impacting its members and the world at large. In a physical body, each part is important. And so it is in the church, the body of Christ. Without you, the church is less than God designed it to be. With you, the body has all it needs to be Christ present in the world. We truly are... better together. Worship Link:


The pressure is real. Marketers present images of perfect bodies, perfect homes, and perfect families. Our social media feeds give us a constant stream of our friends' cute kids, picture perfect vacations, and heart-warming moments with loved ones. And just a few quick errands on Saturday afternoon can lead you to compare your car with others in the grocery parking lot; your children's behavior with those of the apparently perfect family in the next aisle; and your day-off, comfy clothes with those of every other person your age. The world seems perfect, and we generally seem so not perfect. But it's OK. God didn't create us to be perfect. He didn't make us to be perfect partners or spouses, parents or friends, moms or dads. We were created in love, for love, and to love by a perfect and loving God. And even on our most imperfect days, that's enough. Worship Link:

Fork in the Road

On every great adventure there comes at least one moment of decision… Do we go left or right? Is the trail ahead safe or do we go back? Maybe the treasure will never be found... do we keep looking or give up and save our resources for another day? Discerning next steps can be as treacherous as the adventure itself. Scripture admonishes us to both carefully consider and count the cost before striking out on some new venture (Luke 14:28-30), and to not look back once we have set out (Luke 9:62). When we don’t have certainty about where we are going, we can at least find clarity about where we are. And where we are is with God. When we don’t know what’s next, God does. And we can be abundantly certain that God goes before us, God goes with us, and God will bring us safely into God’s future. Worship link:

Winning or Learning

On any given adventure, we might have some fun; it’s certainly going to be exciting; and it will likely be scary at moments. But always, we will have the opportunity to explore new things, try something unfamiliar, and discover various ways of doing things. Whether we are exploring a part of town new to us or blazing a new trail through an unexplored part of a jungle, opportunities abound for experimenting and learning when we are on an adventure. True adventurers love this part of the adventure - striking out into the unknown to see what new things await. Some are less enthusiastic about new things and new ways of doing things. But the good news is that when you adventure, explore, and experiment with God as your guide, there’s really no risk - only learning, growing, and blessing! Worship link:


You are not truly on an adventure if you don’t encounter unexpected obstacles and challenges that you didn’t anticipate. Some of us try to compensate for the uncertainty by packing carefully - and generously. Some of us try to train our way to being ready. God has a much easier - lighter - plan. Just stay close to God. God has everything we need to overcome whatever gets in our way as we journey and adventure with God! Worship Link:

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