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Combating Self-Will December 19, 2014

Many of us spend a lot of time arranging our lives and trying to “put it together.” Especially within the church, there is the temptation to put on our happy faces and ignore our shortcomings. The endless pursuit of perfection can actually drive us away from God and into ourselves. Within the world, we look to powerful and self-reliant people as models of success. How much of our day is spent trying to control the outcome of things as we…

The Christmas Generosity Challenge November 30, 2014

We’ve all heard the saying, “It is more blessed to give than receive,” (Acts 20:35) but how many of us believe it? Fewer still, how many of us live it? Jesus makes it pretty clear that the only way to combat the temptation of materialism is to give things away: Matthew 19:21-22 (The Message): “If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be…

The Trouble with “Self” Control and Habitual Sin November 16, 2014

Our society loves the concept of self-mastery. As Americans we are encouraged to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. In my own spiritual life, this slowly evolved into some misguided perceptions about God. I first believed that the burden to do better meant that I simply had to try harder, pray longer, and “really mean it this time” when I swear it off. We all have a certain “flavor” of sin that we like. For some, it’s food, with…

Baptism October 10, 2014

I got baptized when I was 18 in a very cold lake in Estes Park, Colorado. It was the last day of Bible school, so it was already a meaningful day. My parents and a few siblings were there, as well as the students I had lived with for a year. We sang a few songs, I waded into the water and my principal dunked me. I came out of the water to wild applause – such a special day!…

God Is Not Interested In Religion September 19, 2014

When I tell someone I am a Pastor, it kills the conversation. All of a sudden I find people literally backing away as if they might catch a religious disease. Others start to tell me about their grandmother who goes to church, so I know they are covered and I do not have to “preach” at them. Religion scares people. Frankly, religion scares me and really offends God. Our culture has reduced the concept of the Christian faith to a…

“Packing For Change” September 12, 2014

How much can we fit into a suitcase? Not much! Judy and I have started to think about what we will take to Belize. In other words, what do we need and what is really important to us? This is a sobering question, when it is not a theoretical, discussion question in a Bible study group. This time it is for keeps. Airlines have gone wild with baggage fees. Our first suitcase will be free. The second is $40, third…

Staff Blog (Allegra)- “Things Are Going To Change” September 3, 2014

We’ve had a lot of change already this summer: a new building for Connections, a new pastor for Canyon Ridge, a new set of faces for everyone. But that won’t be the end of it. The nature of life dictates that things will change again. Exciting, right? Well… This season of transition has been a challenge for many of us, myself included. Anytime a family is blended together there are sensitivities that arise. But that’s good! It truly is an…

Staff Blog (Dennis): Why Belize? August 29, 2014

Why Belize? Why now? Why at all? Twelve months ago, Belize was not on my radar. I could have shown you where it was on a map, but it was only a distant land Judy had described to me. She had spent a couple of weeks in the jungle training elementary teachers, but move there? No. This was until last August, when I joined Judy in the jungle… what a handsome, culturally diverse people… what a country of needs… what…

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