Mesa Church Blog

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Living Resurrected

When we first start work no one wants to hire us because we don’t have experience.  We work whatever job we can get just to prove that we can show up on time, be nice to others and accomplish what we were assigned to do. We do one job to get to the next place. That may seem like a simple thing that we would need to prove to someone that we can actually work. It isn’t that work is complicated, it is that we are unprepared to do one thing in order to accomplish something else. No one starts at the top. We must do the lower jobs before we will be trusted with being a leader.

In the first hours before dawn on the day Jesus was resurrected, they had no clue what changes that day would bring. Sabbath was over and they could get back to the business of life. What would they do now that Jesus had died and was buried? It must have seemed like it was all over. What had the last three and a half years of training prepared them to do?  They had been hearing about the new kingdom but were they ready to part of this new kingdom of God?
They were not prepared unless they had passed out fish and bread to a huge crowd of people. Pentecost was no problem compared to trying to clean up after feeding so many. They had been caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee together. They had faced down demons and cast them out. They had seen the worst of disease and how bad leprosy can devastate a body and they had healed it. They had preached news of a coming kingdom that they knew little about. They had talked to people about the worst mistakes and sins of their life and seen them repent. They had guided people to a new relationship with God because of their words. Now their words would explain a new kingdom that would share the grace of God with the world. They had to believe that with twelve men they could change the world.  Now they were ready to be leaders in a church.
What are the beginning steps for us to be an active part of the new kingdom or church Jesus built? We must first have put to death our sins and desires to be able to live resurrected. We do it by the grace and redemption of God. We can’t live resurrected if we are not forgiven and are able to forgive others who sin against us. Relationships with God and others are key in this new kingdom. We must have faith that would let us wither a fig tree, move a mountain or walk on water. While it is not required to have done those, we must believe they are possible if the need arises. It is a way we see the world. We live resurrected in a lost world as we get ready for heavenly glory.
Friday, April 21, 2019


How Will You End Up?

We consider where we started to be normal. We adjust our understanding of the rest of the world based on what we had when we began. Normal temperatures, normal relationships and even our expectations are compared to a point in our past. Whether we take care of things, or whether we use and toss, are all based on what we adopted as normal. When we are selfish and just out to have fun, we can make life difficult for everyone.
Some grew up going to church and that is, “normal” for a Sunday. If they don’t go to church on Sunday, the whole day seems off and it just isn’t right. For others who didn’t grow up going to church they can’t imagine going every week. They really can’t imagine going more than once a week. Relationships are often based on love but if we have not had loving relationships then we don’t even understand how to have them. If first relationships were based on selfishness, we think it is all about us and others should do everything for us. If we saw anger as a means of getting what we want, we will often resort to angry outbursts. If we watched people manipulate others, we will think that is perfectly fine to get someone to do something for us whether they wanted to give it or not. With so many different beginnings it is easy to see why we have difficulty in our relationships.
Jesus birth was not normal either. He already had trouble with government officials who tried to kill him by killing all children his age. His parents were godly people, but he didn’t have a normal home growing up. He was born in a stable and then had to travel to Egypt when he was about two. His parents still were afraid but came back and lived in Nazareth rather than Bethlehem where his family lived. It was not reported to be a good place where great men lived. Jesus was raised to believe in God and worship him because his family took him to temple every year and he had the custom of being in synagogue. Despite his humble beginnings and the violence around him, he was to bring peace for all of us.
He taught we live by what we believe rather than what has been done to us. We may have experienced many hard things, but we can act and speak about how we believe the world could be. We can be people of love because God loves us. We can believe and trust in God and follow him. Not just doing what the law said but allowing him to be the only guide in our life. We are not swayed by wants or desires but by how we understand God. When we live for someone outside of ourselves, we change the whole nature of our life. We can find peace, joy and love because we believe in a God who creates a world where those things exist. Jesus is the one who makes the world a better place.
Friday, April 12, 2019


The Tenth Year

What does God expect of us? Jesus comes to present the gospel. The good news about the kingdom of God is his main focus. We are to get ourselves to God personally by repentance and submission to him. We are also to be part of his kingdom that has now come. If we are part of his kingdom now, we will also be part of his kingdom after this life. But all of that seems so separate from where we live. We are connected with other Christians through church. Jesus promised to build his church, but many people don’t really understand the connection between what we do every week and what God wants.

We have always struggled with the physical practical way we do things being an expression of the faith in Jesus and his gospel. What does sitting in church have to do with going to heaven? Is there a minimum requirement for going to heaven? Does that mean we are just marking time here and we are just waiting for some future event which looks like if will be death. Many times it may seem like that as we try to ignore the people talking around us or struggle to get our child to sit still. It seems like anything but spiritual or heavenly.
We struggle with feeling the love in a marriage after the honeymoon has been over for a few years. We wonder what happened to that promise to love and cherish when it looks like breakfast dishes, laundry and crazy schedules. That feeling of belonging and love are because we began the relationship in a vacuum. We were always put together every time we saw each other, and our place was always clean. We didn’t know how it happened, but the other person always looked perfect… until after the wedding.
The new job was perfect until we found out what all the work that was required. The new friends were perfect until we finally saw their flaws. Church is what you would do in the tenth year of marriage, friendship or a job. When we can say this is the practical and it is worth it. All those ideas of comfort, healing, understanding of other relationships functions even when life is messy. We should look at all our relationships and see they are going. We ask ourselves if we are the kind of person who finds love in the breakfast dishes, confidence in the one thousandth day of a job or as we sit in the middle of distractions and find a spiritual connection with God on a heavenly level.
Friday, March 31, 2019


Proclaiming What Isn’t Yet

We are sold things by people guessing what will be coming out next. We don’t even have a promise from the company, but we believe the hype and the rumors. We look forward to what is going to be next. There is so much effort put into discovering clues of what will be coming. It isn’t here, it isn’t real, and no one has seen it yet, but people are writing reviews of products that don’t exist. We believe they will come, and we have our cards ready to make a purchase as soon as the product becomes available.

We believe in a product that doesn’t exist more than we do in a God that does exist. Both are unseen and yet we know the story. We have rumors and reports of people who are supposed to know the details. God has shown us his creation and yet many struggle to believe. They will believe more in a phone or a service they have not seen than in a God that is real. Both are invisible for the moment, but both will be revealed. No date is announced for the revealing, but we will still believe more in the new phone than we will in God who created everything. We cannot see the internet; an email or texts go from one place to another, yet we depend on it being there. We hold people responsible for getting the message in this unseen way and yet we struggle with concept that God has spoken to us and we have his word. When a phone doesn’t live up to what was promised we may be disappointed, but we still have a phone. When we feel God disappointed us, we declare he doesn’t exist.
What makes something real today? There is a proven track record of an event that happened before. Even if it is not announced if it occurs at the same time every year people will believe it is about to happen. We believe what people are excited about. In our time articles have a comment section underneath where people can agree or disagree, they will at least engage in the concept. They may never take initiative to write or proclaim anything, but they will give their comment.
Jesus taught and proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom for all people to hear. He was not just a comment but was the idea itself. He trained disciples to be the example of what he was teaching. He didn’t write a book because we don’t always believe what we read. We do believe someone who is living the life. We believe the blessing of God when someone tells about it. We believe the grace of God when someone lives above the guilt of the past and shows freedom from the past. It doesn’t happen immediately, but when we look at our own life and compare it to someone who has overcome because of what they believe, we all want that life.


Friday, March 22, 2019


Getting Away with It

We know what is right to do and we know it is best for us. But we see a way that we might get ahead. We can gain advantage with some not so honest method that will just make it easier for us. Should we take it? Sometimes we do. And then things fall apart. We knew better, but now other things fall apart and we can’t go back. Why do we try to take short cuts and get away with things when we know what we should do? We think we will be the exception and we can get away with it.

Sometimes we do get away with it. We do carry a certain amount of guilt knowing we got away. We may also not have people trust us quite as much because they are suspicious of how it happened. We will be watched more closely now and not trusted as much. We don’t realize how much we lost. When we don’t trust people, or they don’t trust us we lose the relationship. They are no longer confident they can depend on us.
Following the core values and commands of God is critical to our relationship with God and others. When we decide to steal a little bit, nothing big, we compromise relationships. When we don’t honor family or have a few questionable morals we lose relationship. Even if we got away with the little bit of cheating, we have lost something so much more important. We have lost respect from our self and others. Relationships will not develop.

When we are forgiven by God and follow everything God said we are to cleanse out the sin and begin again. We also realize it is still us and the habits and tendencies are still going to be a struggle for us. Addiction is a horrible thing and we don’t get rid of the want simply by being forgiven. God gives grace to forgive and the Holy Spirit to allow us to battle the place we have put ourselves. The power is when we rely completely on God. No tricks, no shortcuts, we do what he wants and become pleasing to him. That is such a long way from feeling like we got away with something because no one knows. To gain the real power of God we ourselves and our ways to find the power of an indestructible life. (Heb. 7:16)

Friday, March 15, 2019


Wanting What They Have

When advertisers try to sell us something, they show us a picture of a family or friends using their product and having fun. If you buy this, you will not be alone and you will have fun. When we see other people having fun we want one. If looks like fun because they are having fun. We want to buy the fun and the friendship,  so we get the product and wonder why it doesn’t look like the advertisement.
It is easy to want what someone else has if they are having fun. We want the experience they are having. We want the attention and to feel like they do in that moment. We don’t think of the preparation it takes to get to that point. Relationships should not be based on what we own or how much we have. Happiness doesn’t come from owning more toys so people will play with you.
For some reason we always think someone else has it better than we do. They look like they are having more fun and we feel left out. We wish we could have fun like them. We can. All we have to do is decide what to do, make a plan, make the preparation they did and take pictures as we do it. Everyone will think we had a great time and wish they could do things like that. It is simply making the decision and putting in the time.
When people saw Jesus, they wanted what he had. Had a relationship with God that everyone could have. He told them to follow and they could have that relationship with God, but they must also do all the things that Jesus did. They must do the preparation and make the plan. The must learn to love God and obey his will. We can find happiness in a relationship with God. It will only be when we follow Jesus and become like him. That is the secret to being satisfied and finding fulfillment.
Friday, March 8, 2019


Balancing Relationships

In the beginning of mankind Adam realized that Eve was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. She was literally taken out of him. She shared his DNA. It formed a close bond between them. We don’t read of any arguments and they are together when the temptation with the fruit comes. The both share in that temptation, sin and punishment. When they have children, we see their children have competition and approval issues. Something as simple as worshiping God brings about such fierce anger that the first murder occurs. There have been many more murders since then.
One of the primary things about relationship is how we treat each other.  What do we expect in the relationship and is that expectation met? We may be asking more than the other person is willing to give. We may be giving more than the other person even wants. We cannot force someone to be closer than they want to be. Availability may also be constantly adjusted just by the demands of the day.
We don’t have a relationship outside of other influences. Relationships are always about what is going on in our lives and the world around us. We don’t have just one relationship but many that must all weave together. Child, parent, grandparent, employee, friend and Christian may all be relationships we have at the same time. We balance all of those by who is most important and what is needed at the time. None of those gets all the time. Everyone knows that they must share the person to have any relationship at all.
God expects us to put our relationship with him first, but he is not asking for it to be exclusive. We put him first by bringing those other people into the relationship we have with God. We love our spouse and children because we love God first. Our worship to God can include all those other relationships. When we live like God wants all our relationships can blend together in harmony. We look at the world and wonder why so many people have such broken relationships. It is because they didn’t put the right one first and allow all others to balance around that one.
Friday, March 1, 2019


Trust Me

  Trust is very hard for us to give. We seem to be misled by thinking we are getting one thing when it turns out to be something else. When we ordered online it looked like a great doll for our daughter, but it turned out to be only three inches tall. We thought we were getting a great bat and ball for our son, but both are plastic and didn’t last very long. We feel like we must be careful because most companies and people try to misrepresent themselves. When is the last time you bought anything and were surprised by the quality and realized it was better than what you had though? Just a simple look at the picture of the food at a fast food restaurant that we ordered and what we get is enough to develop trust issues. We accept it. No one sends back their sandwich and says they will only accept one that looks like the picture.
How do we get someone to trust us? Why would they trust us any more than anyone else? Even though we have never misled them they are still cautious about trusting us. The simple answer is always tell the truth and do what we say. In fact, if someone trusts us it is one of the greatest compliments they can give. It is rare when we can develop relationships where we can trust completely. If we are the person that others can trust, we have a chance at that relationship. If we are less than trustable with anyone it seems to become known and others are cautious. We cannot be trustable to one person and not to the next.
Because of the trust issues with the world around us we don’t trust God. We hear stories in the news of what has happened in churches and how people are not what they seem. We bring our fears in with us and anything less than complete honesty is suspicious. When God makes a promise from scripture and it is not fulfilled immediately, or prayers are slow to be answered we think we can’t trust God. We don’t consider that our answer may not be the best answer. God is doing what is best and working all situations together. When we look back at what God has done, we can see clearly how we should have trusted him all along. The times when we were off course were because we didn’t believe his answer and did what we thought was best. God sees from an infinite place and he knows us better than we know ourselves. We sometimes tell ourselves things that are deceptions because we want it to be that way. If there were ever someone we could trust it would be God. His word and actions have been proven since the beginning of time. The real question is, “Are we able to trust?”
Friday, February 22, 2019


Attraction, Intimacy and Commitment

God is the one who created all things. He created us and understands the way we work. God also created to a certain extent the chemical reaction in us that determines fight or flight. This response may not be logical reaction to our situation, it comes from our perception. When we feel threatened by something we run away even if it is just a dark room with irregular shapes. When something scares us, we may run or we may fight just as a unplanned response. God also gave us attraction. Attraction may not be logical, and we find ourselves attracted to some people when we don’t know why. This attraction makes life very confusing at times.
God’s way of making sense of this attraction is to say we can have what we want the most. We can decide what we love with all the emotion and conviction and we can make a commitment to the person of our dreams. We can form a God blessed relationship that will allow deep personal intimacy. We call it marriage. We take on the role of being husband or wife in this committed relationship that allows our greatest love and personal desires to be fulfilled. Since this has such great personal intimacy it is a once in a life experience. We make one commitment in our life and promise to honor that commitment. Only when we make such a commitment and promise in a covenant of marriage can we feel safe enough to share so much. This is God’s design for balancing the intense attraction and desire he created in us with the vulnerability of intimacy that allows such depth.
When we violate that covenant and trust we have developed with each other, we violate what God created. God allowed us to be responsible enough to make the choice and keep it. It is the one time in our life that we can make that choice. Some choices are made for the rest of our life because of what they allow as blessing or what they destroy. To be given the responsibility to make one great choice that fulfills all our desires shows how much God trusts us. To look at the number of divorces and problems in marriage shows that maybe he shouldn’t trust us. But God stands behind his promise because he wants us to realize the great relationship we can have with him. That is why he says love him first. If we can realize such a great love on earth, maybe we can realize the great relationship we are able to have with God. We have trouble connecting with an invisible God. Love is invisible also and God is love. It is when we can make such commitments and promises that we can realize the greatest relationships of heaven and earth.
Friday, February 8, 2019


Killers Among Us

There are several ways to destroy people. We hear about the gunmen in the news that take lives in a huge way. They kill multiple people knowing they will be ending their own life also. The loss affects many more people than the ones who were shot. The families and friends are also affected by the loss. There is also what has happened to the gunman who has such anger and hatred because of what has happened to him that he lashes out. It may be because he thought he deserved more privilege. There must also have been tremendous damage done for him to act that way. With all of the entitlement felt and abuse done to people are we producing our own killers?

When the woman comes into Simon’s house to see Jesus, she comes knowing what people think of her. Simon knows who she is and her reputation around the city. She still comes to Jesus and shows her repentance in front of everyone with her tears and wipes his feet with her hair. How horrible she must have felt about herself. She didn’t kill anyone in retaliation, but others had destroyed her. Simon’s only response is to think that any physical contact with her is repulsive and could result in transferring some of her sin to Jesus. Her spirit had been killed long ago, but she sees hope in the grace Jesus brings.
The Bible talks about treating others the way we want to be treated. We should not be angry with our brother or call him names. (Matt 5:22) We should treat people with respect, and honor many of the people who are made fun of today. People were thought sinful who had some form of disease. Those with leprosy were outcasts and not allowed to be around anyone. They had to warn people approaching them that they were, “unclean”.  There was no sense of entitlement because of their condition.
Paul talks about putting on compassionate hearts of kindness. (Col. 3:12-17) He talks about bearing with one another and forgiving each other as we have been forgiven. We must put on love that binds us together and let peace rule our hearts. The great sins of the past are no longer the problem of our life because we have found redemption. We have been treated with love that is as deep as death. The hatred that killed Jesus and his conquering death makes him able to heal us. Jesus does not come for sinners’ rights. He comes to make sinful people holy and give them all the privilege of a child of God.
Friday, February 8, 2019


Sign Your Name

The assurance of our name when we wanted to do banking or any legal transaction was our signature. Print your name but your signature was unique and considered secure. Now we go online and put in our email but rather than a signature, we have a password. Our password makes our identity secure. We can use that to sign in to many different accounts such as email or creating documents. We sign in or log on to our life. Where we used to work and live was all on paper and in the mail. Now it is all digital. It is basically the same thing with a different system.
Who are we? We can create an identity in several different ways. It used to by the people that know us but now we can do that digitally also. With Facebook, Instagram, and other hashtag formats we can create what we want the world to know about us. Of course, we only show the good pictures we want people to see. We are safe behind our screen and we can make comments about anyone or anything. If we want our feelings to be known, we can even leave and emoji. It is all a superficial picture of someone who isn’t real.
Jesus gave something better than a signature or a password. He lived what he believed. He let his actions and words show who he was. He lived on the initiative of God and did the things pleasing to God. He showed what faith was like even in the hard times. He showed faith when people are constantly coming and life is way to busy. He did not live by his culture or the urgent, but by the principles of God.
When we live on purpose, we know who we are and what we believe. We live those things out in daily life as we encounter different situations. When Jesus spoke, he would always do what he said. He did not exaggerate or over-promise. When he told others what to do it was something he was already doing. He shared what worked for him as followed God. Our signature or password to identity is an authentic life. We do what we teach. We live what we think. Put up or shut up. We are the illustration of what it means to be people of faith. That gives the greatest witness to God. Sign your name to what you believe.
Thursday, January 18, 2019


Don’t Accept the Knockoff

When we can’t afford the real thing, we can sometimes buy a cheaper version called a knockoff. It looks like the real thing, but it isn’t the same quality as the original. It was made to keep the price down but give the appearance that it is expensive. The problem is, it is not as good as the original. Why would anyone buy something that doesn’t work as well? We don’t want to invest that much in it.
God is perfectly good and will not tolerate wickedness among his people. Sometimes people are looking for a god that doesn’t require as much. They want a god who will let them do what they want. That god isn’t as good about loving and caring for them. He doesn’t heal or comfort, but he lets them get away with things. His commands become suggestions that they can keep or ignore as the situation allows. They don’t have to invest that much time or commitment and they can still fill that basic need of worship if they want.
Why would anyone want a god that is powerless and ineffective? We feel the need to answer the question of meaning and existence, but we are satisfied with a substitute god who has no plan. He allows us to do what we want until we get ourselves in trouble and call on him. Kind of like a neighborhood watch instead of the police. They can’t arrest anyone, but we feel safer if someone is watching. We feel his presence in a distant way so he is not in our business.  We can still feel good about a higher power but most of the power we recognize is about technology.
We make God too small. We settle for a god barely able to help in this life because we have a hard time imagining a God so far beyond us. Creator of all things. A god who conquers death. A God who loves even enemies. A God who plans over thousands of years with billions of people and he gives the possibility for every one of them to be save regardless of how good or bad they are. It is all about how good he is. He could tell everyone of us how to live a better life if we would listen. From creation to eternity he knows and is in every thing, event and shapes the future so that every last person alive today has the chance to be in heaven with him. If our God isn’t even big enough to tell us what to do, then how is he big enough to handle the plan for eternity, space, time, love, grace, justice and relationship?
Thursday, January 11, 2019