Everything listed under: the house that stands

  • Dessert, Dessert and More Dessert

    I'm Just Here For The Dessert

    (follow up devotion to Sunday's message: "The House That Stands: The Kitchen")


    Ever walked into a restraurant and decided you're just getting dessert? Me too! And here and there it's not big deal, but you can't keep up those eating habits forever.


    The thing about desserts is that they're sweet; they generally taste better than everything else so we're drawn to them. But miss too many meals in favor of desserts and you're body will let you know it's unhappy...(and there's a large chance your signficant will too!).


    Sometimes, what's easy going down is not always what's best for you. The same is true of our spiritual lives. One of the mistakes we can make is missing "meals" in favor of "desserts". Often we as Christians love to hear words that are sweet to the ears but bristle a bit at the tough stuff, and this can be a problem.


    God says what He says for a reason. His word is a balanced "diet".


    "I love you...but I also discipline."


    "I have mercy for you...but I also judge."


    "I am happy to give you Christ's sacrifice...but the cost is your own life."


    When we only eat the "desserts" of God's words we limit God to being that Guy that can only say nice things, only talk to us if He is going to say something we want to hear. We effectively make Him into our personal "yes man" entourage.


    We'll not only miss a lot of what God is saying like that, but often the very answers to our prayers (which are not magical but often require our cooperation) and the benefits of much of God's intended work in our lives.


    Don't be that guy (or girl). Choke down some "vegetables" here and there. Start taking in a balanced diet  and see what that does for your intimacy with God.  The Gospel is "good news" even if it doesn't always taste like it.


    By Michael Holmes,

    Lead Pastor

  • Filling up On The Finger Foods

    Fillin Up On Finger Foods

    (follow up to"The House That Stands: The Kitchen") 



    Do you find your faith unsatisfying? Like maybe it's not really adding anything helpful to your life, or you simply find yourself without energy when life's storms hit? You may be filling up on the finger foods.


    Finger foods are good, but they aren't meant to be the meal. The same is true of religion and our religious traditions and functions.


    In this series we're relating our lives to a house and trying to picture what our lives would look like as houses.


    When building a metaphorical "house that stands" the kitchen's important and what we stock it with is even more important.


    One of the mistakes Christians often make is filling up on the finger foods. God invites us to "taste and see that the LORD is good" but for many of us, that's all we take, just a taste. That's like filling up on the chips and salsa before the enchiladas arrive. As good as the salsa is it wasn't meant to fill you.


    Religion is like that. As good as it is and as much as we may enjoy the traditions and rituals of our faith, they are meant as an hor dourve, a finger food that precedes a meal, not the meal itself.


    If you were trying to live on chips and salsa eventually your body would find ways to let you know it's not doing well, that it needed more. Our spirit is like that too. Often we think "religion" is not working for us but the truth is many times we're simply not using it right.


    If after years of walking with God "religion" is all you have, you may be filling up on the finger foods and missing the meal. It may be time to stock the fridge with something a little more substantial.


    by Michael Holmes

    Lead Pastor