October 9th 2017
Obviously gun control is a hot bed topic today with the violence in Las Vegas last week.  It has been interesting, amidst the liberal and conservative shouting's, that no one has asked, "So what does Jesus have to say about the issue?"  So that is what we did today, heard from Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew as his disciples brandished swords to protect themselves as Jesus was arrested. What?  Jesus' disciples had weapons!  What do w
October 5th 2017
Can you imagine the fear and excitement that Zacchaeus the tax collector must have felt when he heard Jesus call him down from the tree? He was just trying to get a glimpse of the man who had said "Blessed are they who do what is right, for they shall be filled".  Zacchaeus was empty.  He had cheated, stolen, and swindled his own people of hard earned tax money that he had collected for the Roman Government.  Can you also imagine the disdain
September 27th 2017
The Prophet Micah answered this question very simply for us.  God desires for us to do what is right, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.  That's it.  So when it comes to loving our neighbor, it's that simple as well.  No special offerings. No sacrifices.  No unrealistic requirements. Just plain loving our neighbor as ourselves; whether that person lives next door to us, borders our country, or shares our planet. The
September 18th 2017
This summer we learned about the importance of loving one another in the Church.  Jesus takes it a step further by challenging us to love our neighbor as we love our selves.  He does that by telling us a story about a man who reached out and loved his enemy when he was in dire straits.  It was through this man's mercy and compassion that he showed that he was a true neighbor.  But loving our neighbor can be costly, messy,
September 10th 2017
Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God."  If that is indeed true, then being at peace with one another is very near to God's heart. But what does it mean to experience the true peace or Shalom of the Bible? Biblical peace is multidimensional.  First it means being at peace with God. Second it means being at peace with each other.  And third it means being at peace with all of creation. 
September 5th 2017
The Apostle Paul encouraged Christians in Rome who were experiencing intense persecution to share with God's people in need.  Be given to hospitality.  We can certainly understand that, but what does it mean to be given to hospitality?  The wording that Paul used means to hunt, pursue, or be devoted to a chase.  Steve Wilkins in his book, Face to Face, Meditations on Friendship and Hospitality, suggests that "Pe
August 29th 2017
Our worship is very important to the heart of God. Today, Paul exhorts us that our worship is to speak to one another through the songs that we sing. At Cascades, we value a diversity of music that gives breadth and depth to our worship services.  It helps us value the familiar, while being to open to a fresh spirit of the Lord through more contemporary means.  Regardless of our preferred styles, we are to worship w
August 22nd 2017
Recently I went hiking in British Columbia with a group of students on a Young Life adventure called Beyond Malibu.  At Beyond Malibu we climbed 6000 ft. mountains, scaled glaciers, and rock climbed 50 ft. rock faces, all with 50lb packs on our backs.  Needless to say, it pushed us beyond our physical limits of what we thought we could do and taught us to trust God in some perilous moments.  Fortunately, we had two Young Life Guides with us who wer
August 15th 2017
Be Kind and Compassionate  Sadly, the news headlines these past several weeks have been filled with examples of hatred and bitterness both within our country and beyond.  Despite how we may feel about certain issues, as God's children we are ALWAYS called to be kind and compassionate to one another. Kindness, or "Chrestos" in Greek, is an adjective which means useful, gentle, pleasant, or kind.  Compassionate, "Yoo
August 10th 2017
We live in a very divisive world. Particularly, Christians a long history of being divisive, over the smallest of issues. In Romans 15:1-13, Paul addresses the need for forbearance. Those who were weak in their faith imposed sets of restrictions, while those who were strong in their faith enjoyed freedom from restriction. Paul called on those who were strong in their faith to bear with the weakness of others. He exhorted those strong in their faith to strive to ple