Connecting Through Prayer – It’s Essential

We’ve been experimenting with prayer at KCRC – trying to stop regularly (like, say, every hour) to check in with God and see if he’s got something for us to notice, someone for us to connect with, or a word for us. Sometimes you have to stop and wonder – is it REALLY worth all the effort? Is it THAT important?

The June 16 podcast digs into John 6, where we see a bunch of disciples abandon Jesus. Causing him to turn to his 12 closest friends and challenge them – “Are you leaving, too?”
We’ll think about their answer, as well as the experiences of two people who took their words seriously – Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach.
May their experiences and challenges be an inspiration to your spiritual journey!

We’re glad you’ve joined us for this podcast. Hope you can dig in with us for the remainder of the series, “Praying With Jesus” – we’ll be exploring the famous words of the Lord’s Prayer in coming weeks.

Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

Here’s the podcast…….. Connecting With God – It’s Essential
And here’s the study guide…….. It’s Essential – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

What Happens When God Speaks To Us: A True Story

We’ve been experimenting with prayer at KCRC – trying to stop regularly (like, say, every hour) to check in with God and see if he’s got something for us to notice, someone for us to connect with, or a word for us. Does it work? And what might happen when/if God actually responds?

Join us for our latest podcast, from June 9, where Janne Ritskes, founder of Tabitha Ministries in Cambodia, shares her personal account of how this played out, real time, in her life over the last 50 years.
Be ready to be challenged, and encouraged to keep exploring your own prayer life and walk of obedient response to God’s promptings. Janne drew from Galatians 5:14 and Isaiah 61:1-5.
Thanks for joining us on the journey!
Hope you can track with us – not just for Janne’s story, but for our entire current teaching series, “Praying With Jesus.”

Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

Here’s the podcast……..

What Happens When God Speaks To Us

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

Praying With Jesus – Where God Directs Us

Do you believe this stuff really happens? That God actually communicates with us….. really?
If you do, where does he direct us? What’s he calling us toward?

That’s the question from the June 2 podcast – the latest in our series, “Praying With Jesus.”
We’ve heard back from a bunch of you who are doing the 60:60 experiment.
And you’re sharing some common themes of where God seems to be focusing your attention as, hour on the hour, you pause to ask, “Dear God – Is there somewhere you want me to focus? Someone you want me to connect with? A word that you have for me?”
Our bible passage for the podcast is 1 Peter 4:7-11.
Thanks for joining us on the journey!
Hope you can track with us – not just for this teaching, but for the entire series. So, go grab a bible. Find John 15. Then download the podcast and the study guide – and let’s dig in together.

Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

Here’s the podcast……..

Praying With Jesus – Where God Directs Us

And here’s the study guide…….
Where God Directs Us – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

Praying With Jesus – How God Connects With Us

Does God really speak to people? Some people might tell you to go see a doctor if you claim to hear from God. Others suggest it is wishful thinking. And some say, “Oh, but it IS real. God DOES talk to people.”
What do YOU think?

Welcome to KCRC’s summer series, “Praying With Jesus.”
And in this podcast we’re considering questions like:
– So, if God speaks to people, how does that happen?
– What’s it look and feel like?
– How do you know if it’s real?
– What if you think it’s God, but you are wrong?
As always, we’re leaning into the Bible and what it has to say about all this.
Our base passage is Acts 10:1-23.

Hope you can track with us – not just for this teaching, but for the entire series. So, go grab a bible. Find John 15. Then download the podcast and the study guide – and join the conversation.

Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

Here’s the podcast……..

Praying With Jesus – How God Connects With Us

And here’s the study guide…….
How God Connects With Us – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

Praying With Jesus – Why God Connects With Us

“What does it take to grow in effectively living life as Jesus would live it if he were walking in our shoes today?” – that’s our key question for 2019 here at KCRC. Part of the answer, at least, revolves around the theme of prayer.

And that’s why we are taking time to explore praying. Which assumes, of course, that we are praying people. Or, at least, people interested in praying.
Is that so?
Hopefully, yes. But reality is that most of us have some struggles in praying well, or maybe in praying at all. We wish it would be better – but aren’t really sure how to get from present reality to that zone of being able to pray well.
And that’s why we’ve reached back into the “toolkit” and pulled out the “60:60 EXPERIMENT.”
A bunch of you have asked that we do it again, so – voila!

We’re going to explore a few misconceptions about God and prayer, and then try to get to the truth of who God is, and just why he might want to connect with us, anyway. Our launching point is John 15:1-17.

Hope you can track with us – not just for this teaching, but for the entire series. So, go grab a bible. Find John 15. Then download the podcast and the study guide – and join the conversation.

Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

Here’s the podcast……..

Praying With Jesus – Why God Connects With Us

And here’s the study guide…….
Why God Connects With Us – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

Praying With Jesus – Getting Started

Here at KCRC 2019 is a year of exploring what Spiritual Apprenticeship is all about. At the heart of it we want to ask the question – “What does it take to grow in effectiveness living life as Jesus would live if he were walking in our shoes today?

So…What’s it take to do that well? As we watch the life of Jesus, it’s pretty clear that prayer is a key part of what he does and how he does it. Meaning – perhaps prayer ought be a key part of what we do, and how we do it….. don’t you agree?

We’re going to spend the next while exploring what prayer is all about. And we’re going to keep Jesus, and his prayer role model, always in our sights.

This week we explored a couple of “DON’T-go-here-if-you-want-to-pray-effectively-and-deeply” statements by Jesus. Our key bible passage is Matthew 6:5-8.

Go ahead and find a bible, either print version or online or app. Flip to Matthew 6. Then download the podcast and join the conversation.

Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

Here’s the podcast……..

Praying With Jesus – Getting Started

And here’s the study guide…….
Getting Started – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

Meditation – What? Me? How?

Image result for christian meditationThis past Sunday we talked about the importance of prayer and meditation in our journey along the Steps To Wholeness.  Those of you familiar with 12 Step groups may recognize this as Step 11.
And during Q&A one of you asked for some tips and suggestions to get started in meditation.
Thank you so much for asking that!  Important question.  Glad you poked for that!!
So…. here goes –
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD Psalm 104:34
 
Someone wrote that “Christian meditation can be described as a peaceful focus on God.”
It doesn’t have to be hard work.
Neither does it have to follow a set formula.
So don’t get all worried about not getting it right.  Instead, relax, and enjoy the journey and blessings that come with growing closer to your Lord & Saviour through prayer & meditation.
Let me suggest some things about
SETTING
PACE
TOOLS
TECHNIQUE
and then
A WARNING
 
 
SETTING
– A setting that you find peaceful might be totally distracting to me.  Where would be a peaceful place that you could use for regular prayer & meditation? A path in the woods? By your fireplace? At the kitchen table? Coffee shop? Go there.  
 
PACE
Don’t rush.  It’s hard to be intimate with your spouse while saying, “I’ve only got 5 minutes.”  Same here.
TOOLS
– Have a note pad & pen handy.
– Keep your bible open.
Pad & Pen?  You bet! Our spiritual enemy will not be delighted to see us spend time focused on our Lord and Saviour and will try to distract us in all sorts of ways (eg the item that MUST be added to the grocery list RIGHT NOW, the email we should write IMMEDIATELY, the chore that CAN’T wait, etc).  When such an “urgent” item shouts in your mind write it down, so you can deal with it later.  And, by the way, you might well discover that after your quiet time is over, they suddenly don’t seem so compelling any longer.
Bible?  I like to read a Psalm as the beginning of my quiet time; and include a piece from the life of Jesus (the Gospels).  It keeps my thoughts grounded in God’s truth – so critical!
Oh yes, and you might find yourself helped by a book of prayers by a writer that you connect with.
TECHNIQUE
The pattern to follow in meditation will also be very personal.  Perhaps you begin with closing your eyes, paying attention to your breathing to calm down after getting the kids to school, and repeat a simple prayer, or maybe even the name of Jesus – welcoming him.  I suspect most of us will need some way to enter our Quiet Time, putting the rush of daily routine to the side.
There are many patterns to follow – let me suggest one that has been personally helpful.  It involves four steps, based on a daily scripture reading – whatever passage you choose to use – read; meditate; pray; contemplate.
READ – read the passage.  Don’t rush. Don’t skip pieces because you already know the story.  Take your time to let it speak to you – every word of it.
MEDITATE – think about what you just read.  What jumps out at you today? Is there something you didn’t notice before? Wonder – what message are you getting from God’s Word right here, right now?
PRAY – speak to God about what you’ve learned or heard or noticed.
CONTEMPLATE – stop talking, and just BE with the passage and its truth. Be aware that the Spirit of Jesus is right there with you.  This, now, is a bit of time not about content, not about new – just about BEING with your Lord and Saviour.
And then, after that time of four-part reading, a time of prayer.
Based on ACTS – Adoration (praise God), Confession (oops, God I am sorry), Thanksgiving (yes, God, you HAVE heard and answered!), Supplication (i.e. making requests).
 
Finally,
A WARNING…
True Christian meditation is NOT, as some other spiritual traditions might suggest, the emptying of my mind or the goal of losing my identity in order to be united with some cosmic force.
Instead it is me, heart & soul & mind & strength – all of me, inside and out, being open to the Living Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Welcoming the Trinity into my mind, my will, my emotions, my experiences – everything.
To only focus on emptying leaves one, well, empty.  In Luke 11:26 Jesus warns against being spiritually empty inside.  You simply don’t know what sort of “spiritual squatter” will take up residence inside!!
Does that help?
As always, if you want to dig further, feel free to drop me a note.
– Pastor Ken

Steps To Wholeness: Improving The Contact

Image result for ear trumpet“Eh?  What was that?”
Yes, I find myself saying that more often these.  Perhaps too often, suggests my wife in her lovely and gentle way.  Hmmmm.
I wonder if God finds me as hard of hearing as she does?

Welcome to the podcast for the second to last in KCRC’s Fall teaching series, Steps To Wholeness.  We’re wondering about how to ditch some of the rusty and banged up parts of our lives, in order to become people that more clearly resemble our Elder Brother and Saviour, Jesus.

This particular teaching segment wonders about staying connected to him – what and how?  Any simple parts to it?  And, yes there are, declares Step 11 of 12.
Join us as we learn what that step is, and why it matters.  We learned from Psalm 119:9-16 & 145-152.

Download the study guide, and grab a bible.
Then follow along with the message via the online audio player – or download it to your favorite device to catch again later.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

We’d love to have you join with us for the last of the series, this coming Sunday.  Perhaps here from the podcasts.  Or live as we worship each Sunday at 10am.  Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.  And would be glad to have other imperfect people along for the ride, joining us for the journey of following the Steps To Wholeness!

Steps To Wholeness: Improving The Contact

You are also invited to download the study guide…..

Improving The Contact – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.