It is that time of year again, Vision Sunday! I love it when we can all stop and consider what God has done through the Quest and how we will join him in the new year. It is a good day and we have a great service planned for us all to enjoy.
There is a remarkable thing happening in Novato. We are on a wave that is moving through our community, and helping our friends and neighbors to awaken to a way to have a life with God. Many people are seeing a way to God that seemed impossible in the past by road blocks erected by misunderstandings of who God was, and what a life with God may look like.
Our friends and neighbors are beginning to see and hear. This will be a remarkable year and we seem to be in a place where we can help more people than ever before to realize what many of us have already realized.
We have a lot of work to do, and we have some sacrifices to make, but there will be fruit if we stay in the fray and do what we can do. That is all that God ever asks, ‘Do what you can do.’ Remember the story of when Jesus fed 5,000 people with a loaf of bread and a few fishes that were given him to a young boy? The beauty of the story is that God can take what we have and make it enough. You see, we don’t have to have enough to meet the needs that we see, we just must be willing to give what we have. The ‘enough’ part is God’s job. That is a beautiful thing.
We will talk about it this weekend. You will hear from the staff in a unique way. We will enjoy some great music, and we will take a great step into the future together. Please plan on being with us. We need you to do your part and become more of an ‘owner’ of the Quest and our vision together.
I hope that all is well with you and I do hope to see you this weekend. We really do need your help and your voice will make a difference. Thank you for being a part of what is happening in our community. It is such an honor to be in this with you.
Peace to you my friends,
January 5, 2017
So, after nearly a week, how is the New Year unfolding for you? I really enjoy this time of year because everything seems to move a bit slower. We have not yet built up a full head of steam to push into the future and, so we are more inclined to live in the present. That is a good thing. Part of the work is to build the practices into our lives that are necessary to keep us in the present all year. That brings me to the new teaching series.
“Unleashing the Beauty Within” will be a simple four or five-part series for the next several Sundays. Each of us has a latent beauty deep within us. There are times that we see it, feel it, and live from it, but for many of us, these times seem few and far between. The purpose of this new sermon series is to understand and engage in four practices that will make these flashes of beauty become more of a constant beam shining from our soul. By unpacking the practices of acceptance, consideration, responsiveness and contentment, we will uncover the latent beauty deep within. We will talk about how to engage with God in a way that allows us to simply become what we already are.
I hope that you can join us and move into this new year with a fresh perspective on what is important and how to live in a way that brings life to you and those around you.
Some things that I would like to ask you to pray/continue to pray for and about. The DePhillipis family lost their teenage son Ben to a tragic accident and so please pray for them, that grace and peace would fill their home. Also, the Quest Staff and Leadership Team begin a 24-hour retreat today at 4:00. We will be meeting to talk about where we see God at work in our midst, and how to more fully join God in what he is doing in Novato and Marin and the world. Please pray that we would all bring our best selves to the time together, and that we would hear from God as a group. Also, continue to pray for young Colton Hillsinger (Steve and Judi Cole’s grandson). He is currently home from the hospital, but life is a struggle for him. Pray that he would be able to be pain free and that his family would know how to best care for him. And, prayers for Kandi Blomquist recovering from her mastectomy – “for the power and grace for her to keep leaning in”.
I love the idea that we can pray for one another. I don’t claim to understand it, how it works, how it changes an outcome, how it impacts the mind of God. I don’t know these answers, but I do know that when we pray, things happen and change and, so we pray. Thank you for being that kind of a community.
I hope to see you soon, for sure on Sunday. Grace and Peace to you my friends.
This week marks the second week of Advent, the week where we celebrate Love! I’m looking forward to celebrating love with you this weekend at the Quest. Sunday is a day when we remember what the absence of love brings into our world and, so we must all double down in caring for everyone around us. Not only increasing our capacity to love, but also increasing the way that we love, everyone.
With December comes the opportunity for year end giving and it is my great hope that you will be very generous this year with your giving to the Quest. We need your financial help to finish our year well.
There are amazing things happening here. We have expanded our online presence and hundreds are benefiting from a little “Morning Joe” each day. The homeless showers are about to go operational in Novato, restoring dignity to our homeless population of over 200. Each Tuesday night REST is feeding and providing amazing opportunities not only for 40 men who need a warm meal and bed, but also for people like you and me to be with them and to love them and to hear their stories. One of our new staff members, Ray Hausler is caring for more teenagers every week in Novato, not to mention the remarkable Pizza Lunch that takes place each Wednesday on the Quest campus. We have impacted Novato through the tragedies that our community has faced this year in remarkable ways. More people are attending on the weekends and are getting what they need to live a life in the Way of Jesus through the week. Matt has been doing great things with our music making Sundays that much more impactful for all who attend. We are expanding and increasing the quality of our broadcast sermons each weekend. These things have increased our expenses this year and we need your continued and increased financial support to continue to expand our voice in Novato and beyond. It feels like we have hit our stride and it is very good.
This Advent we are talking about the incarnational life in more beautiful, Biblical and expansive ways. We are all called to allow the Christ to fill and work through us each week. Christmas is not simply a celebration of history, but a glorious reminder of the way in which the God of the universe works and moves among us all every day. Each week more and more of us are seeing that who we are is who we are in the Father --- as Jesus put it, that is our meaning. We have been called to join the Trinity in their work in our community.
I want to encourage you to make the kinds of choices that will open new space in your heart for the coming of the Christ, not only into our world historically, but into your life more fully right now. Christmas is happening all around us.
I hope to see you soon, friends. Blessings and peace to you all.
I’m very excited to begin our Advent Journey at the Quest this weekend. During Advent, we take the time each year to unpack the four incarnational ideals represented in the birth of Jesus. This weekend, we talk about hope. I have some things to say about hope and how to allow it to fill you to overflowing. I’m afraid that sometimes we think about the incarnation as some historic tenet of Christianity that must have seemed important at some point. The point of the incarnation is not that it happened, but that it continues to happen, but only if we let it.
God is looking for willing participants in the incarnational life. Anytime you begin to live incarnationally you enter the Kingdom of God in a beautiful way. So, how do you live out an incarnationally hopeful life? That is precisely the question that we will ask and begin to answer this weekend. Another way to understand the incarnation is to think about it as ‘giving skin’ to God. That is the eternal dream of God—that people like you and I would allow her to live though us and impact not only us, but everyone we encounter.
Jesus is the prototype and we are the ones who follow in this way of life. We are not talking about a belief system but a lifestyle. The Lifestyle. I’m thrilled to begin to share it with you on Sunday.
On Saturday we will meet to decorate our building to help us to embrace Advent. Please join the party anytime from 1 to 4. It will be work, but fun work.
I know that life will begin to get busy over the next few weeks, but you can live it in a more beautiful way than ever before. I want to encourage you to make the kinds of choices that will open up new space in your heart for the coming of the Christ, not only into our world historically, but into your life more fully right now.
I hope to see you soon friends.
Peace to you.
November 16, 2017
Tonight is the night you have been waiting for! Bowla Thursday. We have the largest group every ready to eat and hang out together this evening. It is such a great opportunity to have a more relaxed conversation with people you may only see at the Quest celebration on Sunday. I’m so glad you will be there. I consider it a Thanksgiving warm up. Kind of like a practice game or a scrimmage to get us in shape for next week’s big day. See you tonight at 6! If you haven’t signed up yet, please call Suzie for details at 415-519-4852.
I’m also looking forward to this weekend and talking about this big idea of Collateral Grace once again. How would you have to change if you were actually the hero in your own adventure story? This question has really helped me get some perspective on both the hard things and the beautiful things that have been a part of life over the last several months. This way of looking at life provides a place for some of the things that I just don’t understand. Last weekend we looked at some of the details of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey paradigm. This weekend we are going to overlay the way that Isaiah talks about the God paradigm for joining Her in this great adventure.
‘As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.’ Isaiah 55:10-12
There is lifestyle rhythm hidden in these words that we need to unpack and lean into. I hope you can join us on Sunday to talk through it together. I hope to see you soon and until then, peace to you my friends.