Abide in and with love

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he aides in them.
-I John 3.23-24a


On Sunday, October 20, 2013, we began a three week World Hunger campaign through World Renew. To learn more and to find resources, visit the World Hunger site.

Pastor Chelsey shared a message from I John 3.11-24 about abiding in God’s love. To hear “World Hunger Campaign Part I” visit our church’s current series website (or search the archives.)

The word “abide” means to have a memory or feeling that lasts– that doesn’t fade away. Take the time to read “Dad loves Ellie” and reflect on how God’s love abides and spreads.

What about ways to show love and that you abide in Christ? Take a cue from the “5 Love Languages of Leviticus.”

Continue to reflect with, “What Does Fruitful Look Like?”


This post is a follow-up to a sermon preached by Rev. Chelsey Harmon at Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, BC. It shares teachings and ideas about God’s love, service and aid.

Sunday Follow-Up: Silence and Receiving Grace

SilenceOn Sunday, September 22, 2013, Pastor Chelsey shared a message from Ephesians 2.1-10 as part of a series entitled “In Christ.” You can listen to the sermon on our current series’ website (or in the archives). We talked about how grace is given to us by God, never earned or “got,” and about how we open ourselves to receive God’s presence, grace, and transformation more than we ought to focus on working to put ourselves in a ‘good position’ for God. Most importantly, we came to the realization that we need Jesus to rescue us everyday.

What is grace exactly?  Read on.

During the message, Pastor Chelsey shared a story about a friend who was learning this truth about receiving rather than working towards God’s grace. Here’s another example of someone who sees God’s grace as the bigger story- rather than what she was able to accomplish: “Eating, Body Image, and the Gospel.”

Finally, one of the ways that we can be open to receiving from God is by practicing the spiritual discipline of silence. Pete Scazzero offers rationale and tips, as well as a video of his worshiping community practicing the discipline, on his blog.

This post talks about grace, the spiritual discipline of silence, and being open to God. It is a follow-up to a sermon preached by Rev. Chelsey L. Harmon at Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, BC.

Photo by Sean MacEntee. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

The heavens declare the glory of the LORD

On Sunday, July 7th, a group of people gathered to discuss an article from our denominational magazine, The Banner, called “Tomorrow’s Theology.” Because the article argues for some things that go against the tradition and historical teachings of the Christian Reformed Church, we thought it was important to get together and talk. For those interested in continuing to learn about the interplay of Science and Faith, or the Reformed Confessions, the following links should prove as a worthwhile starting point.

Science and Faith links

The Ministry Theorem from Calvin Seminary

Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution and Intelligent Design by Deborah Haarsma and Loren Haarsma (formerly titled: Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design & Evolution). This site provides information about the book as well as links to further reading for each chapter.

Two other articles from The Banner: “Reformed Matters: Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?” and “Speaking of Evolution”

Reformed Confessions links

You can read the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dort online by going to the Christian Reformed Church’s “Beliefs” page.

The Winter 2013 Calvin Seminary Forum features articles on the history of each of the Confessions.

Articles from The Banner: “The Belgic Confession: A Good Teacher”“Reformed Matters: A Confession to Celebrate” and “Don’t Know Much about the Catechism”

Body & Soul: Reclaiming the Heidelberg Catechism by M. Craig Barnes. Also available is a small group discussion guide and DVD.

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

On Sunday, February 17, 2012, Pastor Chelsey shared another of the biblical images of God. You can hear “As a Father Carries His Son” from Deuteronomy 1.19-2.1a on our Church website.

“I Will Not Let You Go” is the true story of a father loving, struggling, disciplining and learning about carrying his son– all the while falling more in love with the Heavenly Father.

What are the images of God that sustain and encourage you?

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

Sunday Follow-Up: Inspiration for Prayer

Yesterday’s message by Pastor Chelsey, “God’s Comfort,” sort of answered the “why bother to pray” question. We say sort of because the real intent was to get at what Paul was teaching about God in prayer, and the first byproduct of that discussion is why prayer matters…

Pastor Chelsey offers some further reflections on Paul’s experience of God’s comfort through prayer on her blog.

Tim Challies responds to a reader’s question about why he should continue to pray and intercede when answers don’t seem to be coming. Read it to be encouraged in the many ways prayer works at our spiritual formation.

And take a moment to reflect on an excerpt and short video from Brennan Manning’s book, All is Grace. Prayer has taken on a whole new level of real in his life.

This post is a follow-up to a sermon preached at Christ Community Church on January 20, 2013. It provides inspiration for prayer.