Sunday Follow up: The Wilderness

On Sunday we talked about the wilderness as a place that no one wants to go to. We followed the Israelites in Exodus 16 and Jesus in Mark 1 and thought about the ways in which God sustains us and shows himself in the times of our suffering.

If you listened to the sermon, available on our church’s website (launch the media player) you may want to use Seeing God’s Glory in the Wilderness to reflect upon your own wilderness experiences with God.

We need not be afraid of the wilderness because God is present there:

Kara shared her journey faithfully to the end. May she inspire you to “be not afraid” of even dying in the wilderness.

And if you really want to practice the discipline of finding God in the wilderness, check out Leaving Egypt by Chuck DeGroat.

Sunday follow up

On Sunday, we thought about the immense ability of God to understand everything about us and our situations– including our suffering; we spent time with Psalm 139 in particular, and took hope from Romans 8. Due to technical difficulties, there is no recording of the message.

For us, our reflection on the Scriptures raised questions about an awful modern event: the martyrdom of 21 Christian brothers in Libya by ISIS militants.

As we continue to reflect on such things, here are two pieces from the same blog, The Twelve to get you thinking: “The Pastor’s Quandary” about praying and teaching about enemies, forgiveness, and justice. And “Outrage over ISIS: Five Appropriate Christian Responses.”

In Your Grief and Suffering, You are not Alone

Suffering and grief are real, so is the journey through it.

Though we may want to know why bad things happen, this excerpt from Glorious Ruin helps us come to terms that “We may never get an Explanation.”

Here’s encouragement and guidance for people in mourning, put together by a funeral Director: “The Mourner’s Bill of Rights.” Those who want to comfort someone in mourning will learn a few things as well.

Finally, here’s some encouragement from Scripture.


Stories of Suffering, Stories of God

The never ending question of “why?”

Our links today won’t answer that question, but they will help you seek God.

This week, Philip Yancey’s book, The Question that Never Goes Away, has been a free Kindle download.

Looking at Romans 8.28, Stephen speaks the bittersweet truth that “Jesus Hates Your Suffering.”

When you suffer, run to Jesus. He too experienced pain, rejection, sorrow, grief, and temptation. Because Jesus suffered, he knows exactly how to comfort, strengthen, encourage, and even deliver you.
Randy shares about learning “The Hardest Lesson:” what God provides to those who suffer.
In suffering and trials of all kinds, globally, locally, or in the inner sanctum of your soul, we pray:
May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Rom 15.13


This post is about suffering.

Stations of the Cross

At Christ Community Church, we spent this week following the true story of Jesus’ suffering. We gathered crosses from our Church building and from families in our community to design each station. Then, we added some items for reflection and spent time in prayer after reading the biblical text. For many, it was a powerful experience and Spirit-filled time.

We thought we’d share the experience with all of you. Download the booklet, Stations of the Cross 2013, and if you’d like, use the pictures of each station below.

P1010286 P1010287 P1010288 P1010289 P1010290 P1010291 P1010292 P1010293 P1010294 P1010295 P1010296 P1010298 P1010299P1010285

This post is the final in a series of Holy Week reflections.

Sunday Follow Up

On March 24, 2013 Pastor Chelsey shared a message from Exodus 15 entitled, “The Lord is a Warrior.” She challenged us to think about God as a Warrior against sin and evil as we headed into Holy Week. Hear that message on our Church sermon website (or in the archives).

This week on the blog, we hope to share multiple stories and reflections from around the web as you remember the last week of Jesus’ time on earth in the flesh. The first one comes from Redemption Pictures and it offers a very different picture of our Good God Warrior: “The God Who Bleeds.”


This post is a follow up to a message preached at Christ Community Church. It provides a challenging reflection to the picture of Jesus we make for ourselves and is a resource for Holy Week and Good Friday.

Sunday Follow-up

At Christ Community Church on February 3, 2013, Pastor Chelsey took us on a journey through the book of Job as we were reminded to “Remember Who You’re Talking To” when we pray.

As a follow-up to that message, you’re invited to read this short excerpt from a book on suffering, prayer, and trying to understand it all.

God’s gift of faith is meant to be grounded in him- not our circumstances or conditions.


This post is a follow-up to a message preached at Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, BC.

Praying Through it All

Christ Community Church is closing its series– but not its practice– on prayer this Sunday. What encouragement do we have to continue to be people of prayer? In other posts, we have shared ways to make prayer natural, reasons to pray, even ways to pray. Today, we look at stories and experiences of praying through everything that life and death brings. “Two similar stories. Two different Endings. God is Glorified in Both” share in the experience of life and death for two families who tell their story through video. Their posture before God will leave a mark.

Adam Holz shares some honest reflections in his piece, “Just Keep Talking… to God.”

When I’m consumed with anxiety — and, honestly, I often am — sometimes I simply forget that God doesn’t want me to carry that burden on my own.

If those words ring any note of truth for you, read the rest here.

Here’s a review of Mary Lou Quinlan’s The God Box. Even just the review gives you a pretty cool idea for practicing prayer.

This post is about prayer and provides inspiration, challenge and resources to enrich your individual practice, attitude and lifestyle.

Photo by Ramanan V. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

So you discerned, and things didn’t work out…

You thought you got it right. You know you were doing the right thing. And yet… you feel like God’s pulled the rug out from under you. Ed Welch’s piece encourages you to not jump to the wrong conclusions.

Keep looking. God is up to something.


This post is for adults and it challenges them to continue to discern God’s activity in their lives.