Sermon Series


UnStuck – Finding Your Way Through Grief

The cards and letters have stopped coming.  Everyone else has moved on.  They are able to laugh at the jokes in the movie.  They enjoy their rainy days as much as the sunny ones. But not you.  Every morUnstuckGrievingSmallning you wake up and it still hurts, just like it did months or even years ago.  The holidays only seem to make it more difficult.

How can they move on?  Don’t they understand how hard this loss was?  Am I the only one who feels this way?

Grieving is one of those unique things that hits almost every person in a different way.  We’ve been given stages of grief like shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  But not everyone experiences all of these stages, and there’s no “time-table” to overcoming our deep losses and hurts.

So how do we move through grief if we don’t know exactly what stages to expect, or how long it will last?  This is where the Gospel can step in.  The gospel does not tell us to ignore the pain or try to spiritualize it away.  But it does tell us that we can grieve differently.

 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  –1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

We all get stuck for a lot of different reasons, but over an over again I’m finding that the solution to moving again is found in properly grieving our losses.  Grieving with hope.  What does that mean?

There’s a lot to this, but here are a few things to consider as you deal with great loss or help those who are dealing with great loss.

  1. Give yourself “space” to grieve.    There’s no specific recipe to grief recovery.   It amazing how everyone handles grief in different ways.  You may be tempted to try and force yourself to move on, when in reality you need to take time to reflect, cry, and share.  Sometimes when looking from the outside in, we think someone should be “done” with grieving and pressure them to get over it, when what they really need is the space to hurt even in our presence.  Which leads directly to the next truth…
  2. Grieving is not done in isolation.  I think I’m most amazed when people are willing to come and share their hurts with their church family even when everything within them is telling them to isolate.  Just sitting in your room by yourself over and over will not help you work through your grief.  God built us for relationship and that’s part of the point in the Thessalonians passage.  We don’t grieve alone.  If you’re the one grieving, find a group where you can be accepted even in the midst of your hurt and just show up.  As you’re able to share your stories, you’ll find healing beginning to make it’s way back into your life.
  3. Grieving is best done through an eternal perspective.  Did you catch that above?  Jesus died and rose again.  This is why we can grieve differently.  The gospel reminds us that the kingdom is here and now, and the kingdom is coming.  God is recreating and redeeming.  He is making all things new.  Yes, you’ve lost, but God can work that loss to His glory and even your good.   It’s not over – it’s only just beginning.  Our Lord is alive and He has conquered death and the grave!   Don’t go quoting Romans 8:28 to someone who has just suffered a great loss, but through your living help remind them that we have so much to look forward to.
  4. You are not alone.  There are so many people on the planet who have worked through grief and are working through grief.  You aren’t alone.  Even more – God gave His only son for you.  He suffered that you might gain.  Our Lord understands.  Even Jesus himself expressed his hurts.  But the wonderful truth of the gospel is this – He cares for you.

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priestwho is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  — Hebrews 4:12-14

 

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Come join us for our unStuck series on Sundays and Wednesdays in January and February as we work at moving forward again.


UnStuck – New Series

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Tired at failing on the same resolutions year after year? Exhausted from trying to be stronger than you feel? It’s time to stop trying harder. Let the Gospel heal the deeper wounds. It’s time to get unStuck so you can move forward again.

Join us Sunday mornings at 10:30 in January and February as we focus on healing those deep wounds. We’ll have special speakers and studies that will get you moving again.  We’ll also be going through the book Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn on Wednesday evenings.

We’ll also be sharing helpful blog articles over the next two months about dealing with the process of getting unStuck.  Here are some of the things we’ll be covering:

 

Bring in this unstuck coupon to get a free Life Recovery Bible or a copy of Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn.

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Mighty to Save – Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego

Date: January 18th, 2015

Scripture: Daniel 3

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

For more resources please visit crosslifechurch.org


Love, Marriage & the Gospel

Wrecked.

That’s what God is doing to me while preparing for this upcoming series.  When I’ve been reading You and Me Forever or watching the videos, I can hear the Lord trying to get through.  There’s so many things distracting me about marriage.  So many things that tell you “Focus on yourself.” or “Focus on now.”

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But I can hear the still small voice trying to break through all of my selfishness and my cultural norms.  The voice that says, “There’s more two life than two Hondas, a dog and an open concept home.”   Do we really believe the word of God?  Do we really believe in the WORD of God, Jesus?  Are we willing to change our lives and have them changed because of what we He has done?

I’m so thankful for people like Francis and Lisa Chan who so clearly remind us, that this ain’t it.  Eternity awaits. We have an opportunity to lay up treasure in heaven now, but will we do it?

Tonight I watched this video and it almost did me in.  It’s 13 minutes long.  But you’ve got to watch it to the end – and I mean to the very end.  Are you living for selfish pleasure or living to find your pleasure in seeking the Kingdom?


My Devotions today were from Matthew 25.  I’ve read that passage a hundred times.  But it never stops convicting me and encouraging me to passionately pursue what’s important.   If you get the opportunity to read the book or attend our series, I hope that you will let the Lord speak.  That for just a little bit you’ll set aside yourself and ask God to change your heart.

Who knows, maybe, just maybe, He will.

 

Come join us on Sunday Mornings at 10:30!

 


Finding God’s Will – If I Only Had a Sign

Date: October 26th, 2014

Scripture: Judges 6:36-40

36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

For more resources please visit crosslifechurch.org


Finding God’s Will

Our fall series is under way.  Ever wondered how to determine God’s Will?  The scriptures give some very clear direction when it comes to discerning the will of God.  We hope you will join us in October and November as we take a closer look at decision making for the believer.

Click on the blog or Podcast to check out the latest messages

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Glorious Unfolding By Steven Curtis Chapman

This song has really been a blessing to me in recent weeks.  It’s a great reminder that God is inviting us to be a part of HIS story.  We can’t always see how he’s working it out, but our responsibility is simply to surrender.  It is amazing what God will do with a surrendered life.

If you haven’t checked it out before, take a look at Steven Curtis Chapman’s story concerning the loss of his daughter.

“Right after the accident, I started just running because I just didn’t know what else to do,” Will said, referring to what he did after making sure other family members were responding to Maria. “I just wanted to run and just be away — as far away from the site of the accident as possible — and just started running and was planning on just running as far as I could.

“And then Caleb, not too long after that, just kind of ran and tackled me and just kind of jumped on me,” he said of his 18-year-old brother. “… And it was just like, ‘You can’t leave, you can’t leave,’ and just — was just on top of me saying, ‘Everything’s going to be OK. We love you. You can’t leave.’ And just — it was just that — that was super important.”

It is so powerful.

Then see if you can spot Maria’s word “SEE” in the following video.  I hope it encourages you as it has encouraged me.


Signs of Life Preview

Things are coming back to life around CrossLife Church.  We are excited about all that God is doing in and through us.  Starting September 7th we are going to take an in-depth look at the signs of life for the believer.  We’ll be covering some of these questions…

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  • Can I know for sure that I am a Christian? SignsofLife HD copy copy
  • Can I be confident that I will go to Heaven?
  • What are the signs that my life has been changed?
  • Why would God use me?
  • Why should I be baptized?

Please come and join us any Sunday in September at 10:30 am for Morning Worship or 9:30 am for Sunday School.

How has God been working in your life?