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Being Faithful to Pray

Pastor Reid Olson of Crossroads Church of Greeley teaches on Matthew 6:25-34.

anxietyJesus tells us not to worry, but to pray. How often do you let worry consume your thinking and paralyze your forward motion? Do you let the little things become big things in your life, and stop you from enjoying God’s process in your life? Do you know how to pray, how to stop worry and how to enjoy the process of maturity? Someone told me they feel like they are sitting in the back seat of God’s station wagon asking, “Are we there, yet?”

 

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Why Are You So Afraid?

Why Are You So Afraid?

New Sermon; MIGHTY COUNSELOR, is online (here) 

Published on Sep 10, 2014

Crossroads of Greeley welcomes guest speaker, Vanna In from Jobs of Hope to share God’s Word with us. Vanna teaches on encountering the storms in your life. Jesus is always with you, and Jesus has a purpose for your storm; it never goes to waste. Join us for real-life application of stormy lives being used of God.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Sermons

 

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Long-term perspective

How far “down the road” do you think, as a leader? 

Sometimes people tell me they “take one day at a time”, or “all I need is grace for today”, which is really quite biblical.

Jesus said it like this, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34)

ImageTruth be told, I think there’s a huge difference between “worry for tomorrow”, and “planning ahead” for tomorrow

Here’s what I mean, I took my son to a movie last night. We had a little father-son time together. We saw the new movie, “Now you see me”. I highly recommend it. It plays with your mind, has a few good twists in it, and makes for an interesting story line.

Without spoiling anything (honestly), there’s an element of “future thinking” at play in the film that could really relate to our leadership skill as pastors, teachers, parents, leaders, … in the corporate world and in the home. That theme concerns itself with future thinking. Five, ten, fifteen or even twenty year planning is good to think about in our lives, and in those we lead.

If you see the movie, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. 

How far down the road are you planning for your vision to play itself out? Are you a person who needs instant gratification, instant results, immediate measures to tell if you’re successful or a failure? Or, are you able to plan ahead, lay some good groundwork for the future, and stick to the plan long enough to see the results you desire? 

A former pastor, leader, friend of mine used to say, “Plan the work, and work the plan.” 

I like that. Especially now in my years of ministry leadership. We just transitioned to a new venue for church gatherings. We meet in a local movie cinema in town, and we’ve seen a dip in church attendance, church offerings, and church ministry involvement. I am not discouraged, however, because I have been given a future thinking plan for the next ten, fifteen, even twenty years for this community church. 

I saw this movie, “Now You See Me”, and came to the refreshing realization that, even though Jesus tells me “Don’t worry about tomorrow”, he doesn’t tell me, “Don’t plan for tomorrow.” 

How are you seeing long-term fruit coming out of your ministry? When have you felt discouraged with “short-term” results in your life and have forgotten that God is working a “long-term” vision for you? 

I’d like to hear about it.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Leadership

 

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Stopping on the Hwy On-Ramp

As I pulled into the Pancake House parking lot, I thought to myself… “What are people going to think of me walking out to this lot near the on ramp of 520?” It must have been a fleeting thought because as soon as I grabbed my camera bag and tripod, locked the hatch of my car and slammed the door, I didn’t care what people might think.

I crossed the street at the crosswalk as busy commuters were traversing home after a long day at their keyboards. I jogged into the field near the on ramp and set my backpack in the grass, unzipped the camera portion and ripped the velcro from the tripod straps and went to work.

These are some of the prettiest batches of poppies I’ve seen in quite some time, and they are artistically smattered by the hand of our Creator God all over this field near the highway. I drive onto this on ramp a few times a week and pass this batch of flowers each time and wonder how God is so consistently gracious to each of us, and reminds us of his beauty with wildflowers once in a while.

Each time a car drove past this field, that day, I thought to myself behind the lens as I kneeled in the dirt, “Are they looking at the flowers, their cell phones, or maybe they’re looking at me taking pictures of God’s art.” What do you think of how people look at you? Did you know that you are more beautiful than the flowers in a field. God cares for you more than he cares for flowers. Not to say that God doesn’t care for his creation, for we know that he does, but God can have relationship with you as a person within which can dwell his Holy Spirit. A flower can’t experience the life changing powerful grace of the Holy Spirit.

As I continue to ponder “trust in God” by not worrying about the future, I am captured by Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 that we are not to worry. “vs.28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” God is really sovereign. He knows what He’s doing and remains in control.

How high or low is your “worry” meter measuring this week?

The sun had set, the lights on cars were beginning to glow and it was time for me to quite trapsing around the poppy flowers, pack up my tripod and re-zip my backpack and go.

I walked back to my car, I noticed that the red stop light, correlated to the red brake lights and the red poppies all over the field. I stopped for a moment on the Hwy on-ramp to take in a moment of God’s creation, in the middle of the bustle of life, managed to pause to hold my breath behind my camera lens and make some photos that remind me of God’s beauty in the makings of our life.

May you come to find that you don’t have to worry. Really, you don’t. Take time to look at your surroundings, even fields of flowers on the on-ramps of life. I’m still learning to trust God for his wonder in my life as I anticipate the next ministry on-ramp after a summer of wonder. Please join me as we pray for God’s call.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2011 in Transition

 

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