Archives For 4cs

…by Larry Walker

When I was asked to provide some thoughts on Jared’s sermon, I could not have
been happier.  Connecting where truth meets life is such a huge part of my
life.  I can remember coming to Suncrest with my lovely wife Sandie back in 2004
and realizing immediately we had found our family a church home.  Our story is
similar to so many others where we walked in and just knew right away.  We grew
our faith here, were baptized here, and started to bring God into our daily
life.  One problem though….

We were both looking desperately to share
in this great new thing we called faith.  And we were finding that it was
still easy to push Him over to the side when things got a little rough.  Sandie
was able to join Morning Grace and I was able to begin Men’s Fraternity.  It was
great!  We’d come home feeling uplifted and connected with our peers.  We now
had new friends that we could share things with and hold each other accountable

After a couple of years, Sandie and I made the choice to grow
together and began leading a Couples Small Group.  I wish I could convey the
enormous impact this group has had on our marriage.  For those of you not yet in
a group, picture a band of brothers and sisters that shares your joys and
comforts your sorrows.  Guys… ever had a group of buddies that you can tell
anything to and can finally get past the guy code of “Hey wassup. you good?”
“Yeah. You?”  “Yeah.” “Cool.”  But instead, a group of guys that can be
authentic.  Ladies… how about gaining the added perspective that you are not
alone in the things that moms and wives go through.

My family would never
have known these blessings we now call our best friends.  I’m not saying joining
a small group will change your life by bringing you to where truth meets life…
I wouldn’t have to say it.  Jesus is!

Anyone who’d like to know more
on this, please feel free to stop me before or after the services.  I could go
on for hours! (I’ll keep it to minutes though.)

…Randy Parish

Caring about people far from God is a big task.  There are so many of them.  An overwhelming task.  You can get caught up in the mindset of wondering where to start such a big task and then do nothing.  Do I care for someone living in another country and whose name I cannot pronounce?  Even if I never visit their country or actually meet them?  Do I care for the down and out person in my own community that I really do not want to have any contact with? Do I care for the person that is just, well, different from me?  I guess the easy answer is yes, you do.  So, where do you begin? Starting on a smaller scale may stop you from the paralysis of inactivity.  We may feel awkward trying to have a conversation with people we know, much less talking to a total stranger in conversation.  The message on Sunday talked about having the faith conversation with people you live your life with.  It can be as simple as how we live our daily lives and how we treat others.  We can make some of the stress go away knowing we do not have to walk up to a total stranger and start a faith conversation.  Not all of us are wired to approach a stranger in the Target parking lot, yet we can cultivate the faith conversation with people we know.  We can get to know the neighbors in the 8 houses that surround us.  We can talk to the co-workers we go out to lunch with every Friday. 

The funny thing is, some of the most awkward conversations I have experienced turned out to be with people who were Christ followers too.  Who would have thought that?  You work yourself up to the point of bringing up faith, only to find out the other person just had not brought it up first.

Every time we have a chance to have an interaction with another person, it is a chance to build a relationship.  Does your neighbor always see you racing down the street in a hurry or do they see you volunteering to help them with some small task?  Do you hold the door open for someone or do you just plunge in ahead of them?  Every interaction makes an impression.  Every one leads to an opportunity to speak into someone else’s life.

Part of the 10/10/10 challenge was to indentify one person in the next 10 hours, so you should have a name and face in your mind.  Now the next step is to build that relationship in the next 10 weeks.  I hope you have started the building process.

…by Bobby Jackson

Cultivating my relationship with God has always had its ups and downs.  As I’ve grown older it feels like it’s more
difficult to grow into healthier places.

I remember when Beka and I were first getting to know each other.  Things were exciting and fun all the time.  We had so much to talk about.  Our relationship was easy, if I can say it that way.  Everything seemed to fall into place.  Fifteen years and five kids later, it’s still fun but not all the time. I find myself working on the relationship instead of just letting it happen.  And sometimes the work is hard.  I love it and its work.

It shouldn’t be a big surprise then, that my relationship with God mirrors that.  As I’ve grown older it feels like it’s more
difficult to grow into healthier places. I’ve had to work at it.

But it’s not really that hard to better a relationship, is it?  With Beka, as I plan one date, that leads to a thankfulness in her which leads to a good conversation which builds a good memory, etc.

Andy showed us a few quick easy things that can make a difference in our relationship with God.  Simply setting our phone’s alarm each hour reminds us to set aside our agenda and stop, pray and be mindful of God.  That good choice can lead to another – maybe doing what He prompts us to do, or meditating on a Scripture [i.e. serve one another] as we continue to work, etc.

What will start a good chain reaction for you this week?


…by Jeff Sanford

As followers of Christ, I think we all share a vision of a future where our
relationship with God is flourishing…where we’re consistently hearing from God
and where we’re being used by God in big ways.
Nobody wants to look back in ten years and find themselves in the same
place where they started or even having drifted away from God.  But as Greg taught in the first week of the
series, good intentions are one thing; however, our actions will actually
determine what our relationship with Christ looks like ten years from now.

That’s why I appreciate this message series walking us through what it really looks
like to be a follower of Christ.

At Suncrest, we call these the four C’s:

  • Cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Connect in relationships where truth meets life.
  • Contribute by serving.
  • Care about people far from God.

At the Hobart Campus, Greg’s message focused on contributing by serving.  I think it’s wild and awesome that God, after redeeming us, calls us to go and be used by Him to restore this world that is broken by sin.  Serving in the local
church, offering a hand at the homeless shelter, mentoring a young boy or girl, maintaining a home for the elderly, or repairing a car for a single mom all sound like awesome ways that we can serve our community.  However, we’re all guilty of making our good intentions known yet finding excuses why we are too busy or unqualified to
serve others.  The problem is that good intentions don’t restore anything.  But Jesus calls us to action…to a life that is marked by serving others.  Most likely, that will require us to reprioritize our time and the direction of our lives.  But faith without action is dead, and that’s not the kind of faith that any of us desire.

So let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy making a difference in our world…and in ten years, we’ll be able to look back and thank God for all the ways that He used our lives to restore others.