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2020-03-22 Message- Social Distancing, Mud, and Spiritual Connections

By Intersections, Sermons

How are you doing? No one will remain unaffected by this pandemic. Covid-19 presents an unprecedented global health crisis that increasingly threatens lives and our quality of life closer and closer to home. Travel bans. School closures. Fear, uncertainty, and anxiety are among our responses while social distancing is necessarily becoming our default behavior along with thorough hand-washing. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel fear. Listen again to last week’s message and the admonition from 1 John 5:4: Faith overcomes fear as we let God’s word hold us, not fear. We live by faith.

Social distancing is not a modern invention. In the message this week from John 9, we will meet a man who experienced social distancing; from his family, from his neighborhood, from his religious community, too. No one wanted him close. Except Jesus. Let’s not confuse social distancing with spiritual distancing. Remember that Jesus is as close as a friend, offering living water that satisfies our deepest thirst, and connects us to the presence of God, opening our eyes to see!

Plan to join us on Cold Spring Worship Online at 10:30 AM on Sundays. Read the scripture readings, the Lenten devotional, and the digital worship worship guide. We can practice spiritual closeness and social distancing at the same time!

How will you safely practice social distancing but stay spiritually close to others who need you? To others you need?

What has God done for you? With whom will you share that through a phone call or email this week?

Think about a time when Jesus corrected an incomplete understanding and brought healing?

Could this health crisis be an occasion for more radical care, greater compassion, and wider inclusion, or will we miss the opportunity to show the love of God to those most in need of it?

Get connected this week. Pray. Give thanks. Thank you for supporting our mission to energize spirits and transform lives in new ways! Be safe as you live by faith.

2020-03-15 Message Ahh, Yes! Living Water for All

By Intersections, Sermons

Who’s thirsty? You know when your body is parched. Without skipping a beat, you reach for water. “Ahhh… Yes!,” you say. Water is the most important resource in the world. Did you know that in one year, the average American residence uses over 100,000 gallons? Wow! But sadly, unsafe water kills 200 children every hour. In some countries, less than half the population has access to clean water.

In recognition of World Water Day (March 22), we will be introduced to Living Waters for the World, a ministry of the Presbyterian Church to help share clean water and the love of Christ around the world. Volunteers have installed 1,000 clean water systems in 26 countries. Look for information in our bulletin this week about Living Waters for the World that continues to train and support volunteer teams from churches like ours. If you’re interested in joining a team, or forming one, please let us know!

Pastor Kevin’s Lenten message this week transports us to a foreign country  where Jesus meets a woman who had come to a well to drink. But it was her spiritual thirst that was quenched with living water. You can quench your spiritual thirst this week, too, as we discover that no where and no one is off limits for his transformative love, his living water, or his salvation. Come and see!

2020-03-08 Message- From Night to Light

By Intersections, Sermons

On Monday night, March 9, our Jewish friends and neighbors begin celebrating the fun festival of Purim. It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from evil Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,” as recorded in the book of Esther. Haman is the villain in the story. God brings the light of deliverance through the hero, Queen Esther!

Whatever villain you name, that villain will likely be living in some way in the dark. From history, we recall the darkness around Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Saddam Hussein. We know of characters like Dracula, The Joker (of Batman lore), The Phantom of the Opera, Voldemort (of Harry Potter fame), Gollum (of JJR Tolkien’s fantasies) and The White Witch (of C. S Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles).

None of these villains can successfully live in the light of day, due to the darkness of his or her soul. The metaphor of darkness echoes the state of one’s inner being.

This week, come to the Light at Cold Spring Church as we visit a man named Nicodemus diwho, while in the darkness, meets the Light of the World in Pastor Kevin’s message, From Night…To Light. Just a step into the light is all that’s needed. Just step closer, and your fear, doubt, and shame will be no more.

Here are your Micro-Steps in Faith for this week:

  1. When have you been forced to let go of control? What did you discover as a result?
  2. Think of a villain. Did that villain finally see the light? How did that happen? And if not, why not?
  3. How did you come to know Jesus? How has your understanding changed over time?
  4. Look at the other passages in the Bible where Nicodemus appears: John 7:50-51 and John 19:38-39. What do you learn about Nicodemus when you read these additional passages? Did he find the Light?

2020-03-01 Message- Spiritual Vetting Process

By Intersections, Sermons

Presidential debates provide an open platform for candidates to engage oneanother and the most important issues of the day. This year, the vetting process itself that determine who qualifies as a candidate has sparked a great deal of debate of its own. Polls are conducted and informal vetting processes, often called invisible primaries, eventually reveal vetted candidates who can appear on the stage.

We are familiar with vetting as a process. A fingerprint or Face ID is required to unlock our phones. Before you hire that contractor, you put them through a vigorous vetting process. Communities screen applicants before conferring an award, background checks are conducted before offering someone a job, fact-checking precedes making any decision. A Visa, passport, or immigration papers are received only after a successful vetting has concluded. Intelligence gathering has become commonplace.

But the vetting process is not a modern invention. This week, Pastor Kevin’s message,
Spiritual Vetting Process, (Being, Not Doing), invites us to join Jesus when the Spirit led him into the wilderness. How he prepared for his vetting process can provide insights for when we face our own temptations. , because his success was found is his preparation. , because  and trials, can be an incredible resource for us when we face our own vetting processes.

This week’s micro-steps:

  1. When you have you been in the wilderness? What tempted you there?
  2. What do you hope to learn over these next 40 days?
  3. Of the three temptations Jesus faced, which one do you find the most difficult to resist? What about temptations faced by our congregation and culture?
  4. How will you discern between being and doing in your daily experience?

2020-02-26 Message- Who’s Walking In Your Shoes?

By Intersections, Sermons

Ever feel like you really needed somebody to walk in your shoes? To truly understand you… for you. Pastor Kevin Yoho’s message, Who’s Walking In Your Shoes?, from John 1:14 will offer assurance that God loves and knows you so well because Jesus walks in your shoes! Knows where you’ve been and where you’re going. The Lenten journey begins as we walk with Jesus where we are. Then we can be empowered to walk in other’s shoes, too, as we serve the neighborhood and make new connections of hope.


2020-02-23 Message- All the Light We Need To Listen

By Intersections, Sermons

Sometimes we need better light light to help us see where we are. But the risk is that the light will reveal what we are afraid of, or what we didn’t know was there. While we can resist the light, remain hunkered down in our own shadows, God loves us too much to stay there with our limited vision. The hope is that true light will reveal a way forward, a new path, opportunities that for too long had been hidden. The disciples of Jesus were stuck in shadows, paying attention only to what was right in front of them. So Jesus invited them to an experience. An dazzling experience like no other.

To learn and grow, spiritually, mentally, and physically, we need to be open to new inputs. But sometimes our biases and prejudices, our attitudes and habits, can get in the way of authentically seeing and hearing what’s in front of us. That’s why Jesus took his friends up the mountain. So just for a moment, and just long enough, can we suspend belief, suspend our “we know it all” positions to truly see and hear and consider truth?

Why did Jesus take the disciple up that mountain that day?
They needed to know something…. Really know it to trust it. Actually, to know the real Jesus, not just the healing Jesus, the miracle worker Jesus, the leader Jesus. But know Jesus in his essence… he is God. And knowing he is really, really God in person, how does that’s truth inform our life?

Like Moses, like Peter, James, and John, we can get an unobscured sense of God’s glory, Jesus’ light, to shine in the face of our failings. And dispel any misunderstandings about who Jesus is and who God is and who others are and who we are. That would be something! That possibility is available for all of us this week as we gather in worship and are transported to a place of realignment, recalibration, refocus, even revelation in Pastor Kevin’s message from Matthew 17, the Light we Need. Could our assumptions be transfigured right along with Jesus?Find out by listening to this message!

2020-02-09 Message- Your Light Matters

By Intersections, Sermons

In his book “You Are What You Love, The Spiritual Power of Habit,” James K. Smith says that we are what we love, and that we all live and long for a social vision of what we think society should look like. Cold Spring Church believes that everyone deserves to experience God’s love firsthand, and when they do, the entire neighborhood can be transformed! What is your social and spiritual vision?

Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it. We proclaim Christ crucified, and that means we preach grace, mercy, forgiveness and sacrificial love, humble service, reconciliation, and redemption. We will never get every aspect of God’s law right. We will fail miserably at following Jesus. We will neglec the social vision God desires and, with the Spirit’s help, the kingdom we crave, too.

This week, Pastor Kevin invites us to put Jesus’ love into action as we pass the salt and turn on the light, each a transformational gesture our neighborhoods desperately needs to truly live. Your Light Matters this week, at Cold Spring Church!

This week’s Actionable’s:

  1. What do you pay attention to day in and day out? What do you ignore? Are there people and issues, places and things, God may be calling you to notice, shine a light on in Christ’s name?
  2. What do you love? What kingdom vision are you working toward?
  3. If you were to describe to someone unfamiliar with the Gospel what it means to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, what would you say?  

2020-01-26 Message- Neighborhood Free For All

By Intersections, Sermons

How much does it cost? We ask that question a lot. Of all the prices to be considered, $10.99, 2 for $5, $30/week, even 1 million dollars, the price that is uniquely preferred to any other is FREE! Everybody likes free!

A lot of the online services you probably use are free. Gmail is free. Facebook is free. Yahoo News is free. Buy one and get one free. Food delivery can be free. But increasingly, companies are trying to figure out how to start charging, at least for some services, some of the time. But once free is the norm, its hard to accept when its not. Researcher Russ Roberts of George Mason University found out how upset WWII vets remain with the Red Cross when they stopped offering donuts for free! Get the rest of the story, find out what free really costs, and how we can bravely follow Jesus in Pastor Kevin’s message from Luke 17:11-19, Neighborhood Free for All. What’s free may be worth everything to you, and certainly to our neighbors!

2020-01-12 Message- Good News Expressions, Soggy or Fresh?

By Intersections, Sermons

How do you like your French fries? Hot and fresh, right? Sure! But you better eat them fast because it only takes a few minutes for those fresh fries to get soggy and absolutely inedible! This week at Cold Spring Church, we will discover that the only thing more challenging than delivering hot, fresh fries is delivering fresh expressions about Jesus (our mission). Pastor Kevin will introduce us to the challenges facing today’s on-demand services like Grubhub and Uber Eats in this week’s message titled: “Expressing the Good News…Soggy or Fresh?” from Acts 10:34-43. We’ll find out what Thomas Jefferson, drive-thru’s, and Grubhub have in common with our mission to deliver fresh expressions of the Gospel so that our neighbors get it’s spiritual nourishment hot and fresh!

In 1802, the first batch of French fries were made in America for Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States. He discovered the French way of deep frying cut, raw, potatoes when he was a diplomat to France years earlier. French fries remained an uncommon chef’s delicacy for a hundred years until drive-ins introduced the easy to handle French fries became a staple of the growing mobile lifestyle in the 1930’s. By the 1950’s perfectly hot, fresh French fries were enjoyed by families dining-in or in their car. Today’s drive-thru’s deliver fries fast enough to gobble down in minutes. Your Grubhub delivery guy may take upwards of 30 minutes to arrive at your house, and by that time, your French fries have morphed from super fresh to soggy! And there’s no more challenging food to deliver hot and fresh than humble French fries.

2020-01-05 Message- Star Words, Following The Jesus Star For Your Brave New Year

By Intersections, Sermons

How many times already this year (or Decade! Wow, can you believe it?!) have you shared good wishes of Happy New Year? Lots of times, I bet. Well, at Cold Spring Church, we are transforming a mere Happy into something amazing! For 2020, let’s embrace a Brave New Year! Why? Because we know that the Light of the World is shining brightly and God invites us into a new future, something much more than the ordinary, in 2020. This Sunday, January 5th, start 2020 with a welcoming, energizing worship.

Pastor Kevin’s message, Star Words, takes us on a journey to connect with Jesus, the Light of the World, as we join a brave team of individuals we refer to as the Three Wise Men. They, like us today, will follow the Jesus Star to inspire our brave new year ahead.

What has God revealed to you in your life in the light of Jesus Christ? Ther are possibilities ahead. New opportunities to grow. Learn. Share. Serve. Star Words this Sunday at Cold Spring Church… where an ordinary Happy New Year is transformed into a spiritual force-filled Brave New Year! (Read more about your Brave New Year- click here!)