Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pouring Concrete - Part #4 - 9.9.2011

Pouring Concrete - Part #3 - 9.9.2011

Pouring Concrete - Part #2 - 9.9.2011

Pouring Concrete - Part #1 - 9.9.2011

Commissioning of New Church in Durham

“If there are good things that happen at Durham Resurrection Community, Warren's Grove gets the credit.” This was said by Pastor Ryan Quanstrom on Sunday, September 11th, 2011. He said this while preaching at Warren's Grove United Methodist Church here in Roxboro. This was to be Quanstrom's last Sunday with Warren's Grove, for he will be starting a church in Durham called Durham Resurrection Community, a Church of the Nazarene.

Two and a-half years ago Ryan Quanstrom was assigned to Warren's Grove as their Student Associate Minister. During that time Quanstrom learned what it meant to be a pastor and to be in ministry through a local church. In his sermon he described his experience with Warren's Grove this way: “Warren's Grove has embraced me and loved on me. You have been a church that has helped me to live into the calling the Lord has placed on my life.”

During Quanstrom's time serving Warren's Grove he has preached numerous times, visited the sick, lead a Sunday School class, helped with a mission trip to Outdoor Mission Camp, spoke at WikiWorship, started a young adult ministry, and many more things. Pastor Philip Chryst said this about Quanstrom: “Ryan has truly been a blessing to Warren's Grove. It is sad to see him go — while at the same time we are so proud of Ryan. We are excited to see the Holy Spirit use him to reach out to the community of Durham with love and compassion.”

In his sermon Quanstrom described why he is starting a new church in Durham. He said: “There are a great number of people in pain and people that are suffering in Durham. Durham is a community where tons of young people are lonely and need the love of Jesus, and it seems as if the church is not present in that pain and in that suffering. So we are going to be a community of faith that embodies radical hospitality.”

Later in the service the congregation of Warren's Grove came to the altar and laid hands on Ryan Quanstrom and members of his church that were in attendance. Many people in the congregation prayed for Durham Resurrection Community. They then commissioned the church to go and be in mission to the city of Durham. To go and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

The pattern of commissioning comes from the book of Acts chapter 13. In that chapter it says: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.' Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”

Since Durham Resurrection Community is starting from scratch, the people of Warren's Grove took up a love offering to bless the church. They collected over $1,200. This will help to get the church started with the basic necessities like office supplies.

If you would like to find out more about Durham Resurrection Community you can find them on Facebook and Twitter.

In his sermon, Quanstrom concluded by saying: “We are going to refuse to buy into that fear that dictates so many peoples' lives. Instead, we will have courage. For we hope to be a sign and foretaste of the coming Kingdom of God.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Psalm 105.1-6 & 37-45

This coming Sunday we will be focusing on Psalm 105.1-6 & 37-45. In this passage the Psalmist is reminding us that we serve a God of covenant. That God has made a promise to us and will see it to completion. The Lord set the people of Israel free from the bondage of Egypt and set Israel free from the captivity of Babylon. It is vitally important for us to remember that this is the God we serve. And that is why the Psalmist recounts the story of Israel's captivity turning into freedom. And then it reads in v43: "So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing." The proper way to remember the Lord's redemptive work in the world is by singing and making a joyful noise. Today, carve out time in your day to make a joyful noise as you recount the great works that God has done in your life. For we serve a God who takes pleasure in his people. What are ways that you take joy in what the Lord has done?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Burlap to Cashmere

I just got the new CD from Burlap to Cashmere. It has a folk and latin feel to it. The song "Build a Wall" is one of those dance songs that get your body moving. The chorus for "Build a Wall" goes:
"Shade the light, down the song, close the shades, lock the door,
Burn the pages, of your life, as your body, hits the floor
And as you weep, you can hear, there's a an echo, of a call,
Through the valley, of the night, Nehemiah builds the wall."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Psalm 149

This coming Sunday we will be focusing on Psalm 149. This is the beginning of a sermon series on the book of Psalms. I have been surprised at how seldom to I hear a sermon (or preach a sermon) on the book of Psalms. It is almost as if we just have our eyes go right past it when we are preparing sermons for Sunday mornings. It is in the lectionary each week ---- but rarely do I hear any preaching on the book of Psalms. But, the book of Psalms is probably one of the most popular books in the bible. Probably more people can quote from Psalms then any other book of the bible. As a result of this conviction we will be starting out with Psalm 149. This is a psalm that starts out with the call: "Praise the Lord!" In this praise we are to sing a new song and to be glad in our Maker. And then the psalmist says: "For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory." We must always remember that the God we serve takes pleasure in his faithful ones. But what does that mean for God to take pleasure? Do we serve an emotional God?