Pastor's Note

July 12, 2020

I’m writing this pastors note in-between two funerals this weekend. Truth is, when I found out I’d be coming to our church last year, it was the funerals that intimidated me more than anything else. Not only did it seem depressing, but I was worried about making mistakes in the midst of a family’s grief. No one needs an amateur pastor when they’ve just lost a loved one! 
 
But to my surprise, I’ve actually come to cherish these moments. There’s something beautiful about sitting down with the family and friends of a person, of hearing stories of their life and how much of an impact they made, and helping capture their spirit for a simple service. Even in the face of a family’s grief and loss, it can be some of the most authentic and meaningful parts of being a pastor. 
 
These moments also make me see my own life through a different lens. The conflicts I have seem more trivial. The grudges, easier to let go of. The stresses I carry suddenly seem lighter, and my relationships more important. Solomon actually writes in the book of Ecclesiastes that it’s better to go to a funeral than a party… and I think this is why. Every time I experience these moments, I become more intentional with my own life. 
 
Which is also why our sermon series is so important. Assuming you don’t get to plan funerals on a regular basis, you probably don’t get the advantage of seeing the end of people’s lives often, and you also probably don’t get the constant reminder that the things we so often fight about… aren’t as important at the end of our lives. Now imagine if you could handle your current conflicts with that mindset. Your life would most likely look different than it currently does!
 
But good news, you don’t have to grow old or become a pastor to get that perspective! Join us this weekend as we dive into Jacob’s story and learn from his life about How to Fight. This week’s topic? The father-in-law… You might just be surprised at the family conflict Jacob gets himself into… again. 
 
Much love!
 
Chris
 
P.S. Have you had a chance to sign up for our Zoom Bible study? It’s just 3 weeks and begins Tuesday! Hope you’ll join us!
 
P.P.S. School might look different this year, but that’s not stopping us from collecting supplies for kids in need. Consider dropping off some school supplies tomorrow morning from 9am-12! (Details below)
Posted by Chris Abel

July 2, 2020

Dear Friends,
 
I’m so blessed to be in Blue Springs with y’all! I have never experienced the warmth, openness, and kindness that I have the first week of being here. Tara and I have talked multiple times about how thoughtful and giving everyone has been from reaching out through emails, welcoming us on Facebook, and even offering us furniture while we waited for our moving truck to arrive. We are so lucky to be welcomed with open arms. We want to give everyone a big… Thank You! 
 
I know I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting everyone yet, and because of the craziness and unknown of Covid, it may be difficult for me to meet everyone in person for a while. However, I am excited to get to know everyone and walk alongside you in this journey called life. 
 
Looking back over the last couple months, I have had a lot of change in my life. Everything from getting engaged, learning to deal with shelter in place, and moving 9 hours away has led me to start thinking about change and how many transitions we have in our lives. Have you ever experienced a big transition in your life? Whether that be from changing jobs, moving into a new house, going to college, or dealing with the new norm, I believe we have all had to deal with a transition in our life. 
 
This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though. Change can be a great opportunity for us to learn and grow into the person that God wants us to be. It’s all about our mindset going into the change. Let’s look at one of the first stories in the Bible that illustrates how scary and rewarding change can be. 
 
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives, And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
-Genesis 12:1-3
Abram (he also changes his name to Abraham later in the story, so he knows a thing or two about transitions) leaves his own house, friends, family, and way of life to follow God’s call and be a blessing to others. That takes some bold faith to step out and follow God like that. Was it easy? If you read the rest of his story in Genesis, certainly not. However, God led him to become the father of a great nation that has been a blessing to the earth. 
 
So what about you? What big change have you experienced in your life? How have you handled transitioning from one phase of life to another? If you have a change happening in your life, I hope that you look for the positives and how God can use you in this new season of life. You never know what might happen. You might find yourself as a pastor at an amazing, welcoming church who offers you a card table until your furniture arrives! 
 
The change doesn’t have to be scary, and I would love to learn about what change is happening in your life. Please reach out any time. 
 
I’m so excited and honored to call Blue Springs home. I’m looking forward to see how God will move and change our lives together. 
 
Blessings, 
Pastor Andrew 

April 17, 2020

I share about Beth fairly often in my sermons, but one fact about her you may not know is that she played Division 1 basketball in college! That’s right, and for Fordham University in New York City! Can you imagine that 20 year old Kansas gal stepping onto the streets of the Bronx? It makes me laugh every time I think about it.
 
Well after two years of playing ball, she graduated and... threw her basketball shoes in the trash as she left the dorm. And it wasn’t just because of their losing season. She had been playing basketball since 4th grade, and the path had run out. There was no more basketball in front of her. And for someone who ate, breathed, and lived ball, that wasn’t just a pair of shoes lost... it was a whole new world: A world where she didn’t know what to do next. 
 
I share this because it feels like the perfect example of those moments in life where we have NO IDEA what comes next. 
 
* How do I live without them? 
* How do I find another job?
* What am I supposed to do with this diagnosis?
* How do I take care of a baby?
* When is this pandemic ending?
 
We all have experienced moments where the path just... ends. And we have no idea what comes next. 
 
But neither did the disciples. See, they thought Jesus was here to stay—even after the resurrection. They thought they knew what they had signed up for and what was coming next. But then Jesus LEFT. And with very few directions for them! 
 
Sometimes we think the disciples were ready to create the church. But the reality is... that was the last thing they wanted or expected. What came after the resurrection was a group of people who had to push through the reality of ambiguity, confusion, and fear. But none of those things kept them from partnering with God and changing the world. 
 
So join us this weekend as we learn from the first Christians about how to make a path when there ISN’T ONE. I can’t wait to share the predicaments they get themselves into...
 
 
Chris
 
P.S... Oh and I proposed to that Div 1 athlete! See the photos below :)
 
Posted by Chris Abel

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