Mill City Church: the rest of the story

Over the course of the last two years God has been stirring and whispering into Jossie's and my heart about planting Mill City Church. I love to share what God has done and how the Mill City journey has developed, but don't always get the chance to share the details.  I recently gave a talk at New Life Church in Colorado Springs describing some of the ways God has been unfolding this story. You might enjoy hearing different parts that you may have missed. To hear the talk click here.

(Scroll down to 'Other Recent Sermons' and click on the message titled 'Follow Me')


ANNOUNCEMENT: Mill City Church First Service

The time has finally come and we are excited to announce that the first weekly Mill City Church Sunday morning service will be:

February 26th, 2012 at 9:30AM at the University Center for the Arts.

Some might be more familiar with this building as the “old Fort Collins high school”. It is located one block north of Prospect and one block east of College at the corner of Remington and Pitkin. The address is 1400 Remington Street, Ft. Collins, CO 80524.

The facility is beautiful both inside and out and though we are grateful for a nice venue we are most excited about the opportunity to gather as the people of God to lift up the name of Jesus.

*Children’s ministry will be available for birth to 5th grade. Check-in will begin at 9am.

*Parking is available on all sides of the building.

We hope you will join us, invite your friends and family, and celebrate this next step in the Mill City journey.

For His fame,



Mill City Weddings: Brandon and Tkale

Brandon + Tkale Ribble


Congratulations to Brandon and Tkale.  They will go down in history as the first Mill City Church wedding!

They have been a part of the LIFT Team since the beginning. Brandon leads the Load-in team and Tkale serves in Mill City Kids. Thank you for your faithful service.

We are so excited for the two of you! As your community we are with you and for you, cheering you on, and excited to see what the future holds. We pray God's richest blessings on you both, that you may grow as one as you grow in Him.


The Bible: approach is paramount

I recently read through The Jesus Storybook Bible with my four boys and loved it! Not only do I deem it required reading for parents with small children; I consider it a must read for all ages.  The message isn’t only for the 4-7 year old audience but one that needs to be grasped by young and old.

I think it is so valuable because it emphasizes the macro-story of the Bible over the details and micro-stories within.  Don’t get me wrong.  The micro-stories are important but I am thrilled that my boys will know that the Bible is one massive story of love, rescue and redemption as they learn the individual stories.

Reading this book reminded me of the beauty of the Bible and I thought about the different ways that the Bible is often approached.  The approach is key.  If we approach something from the wrong premise then everything that follows is going to be off.  For example, if I approach playing football like it is a basketball game then it will not matter how well I pay basketball; I am going to miss all that comes with playing football.

So if the right approach to the Bible is the macro-story of God, what are some of the other ways we approach the Bible? Or to ask the question another way - What is the Bible not?

The Bible is not a book of disconnected stories. All of the stories within Scripture point to God.  They reveal a God with a master plan and ultimately point to Jesus.  Take the stories of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22), Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 45), the healing of Naaman (II Kings 5), or Jonah at Nineveh (Jonah 4). They are great stories on their own but they all foreshadow the way in which Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice, the rescuer of His people, requires a surrendered heart and the extravagance of His compassion.

The Bible is not a book of rules.  God is not primarily interested in rules.  There were some amazing rule keepers in the Gospels – they were the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.  These were the guys with whom Jesus was most harsh.  He was pushing against the notion that rule keeping is the bottom line.  Life with God isn’t founded on rules but relationship. Relationship is the basis of a life with God and out of that will come a desire to embrace and obey the ways of God and reflect our membership in His family (I John 5:2-3).

The Bible is not a book of heroes.  We sometimes think the Bible is a collection of stories laced with flawless Biblical superheroes.  Take a closer look though and you won’t find any.  You will find people like David the adulterer and murderer, Noah the drunkard, Jacob the liar and Rahab the prostitute.  Are these the people after whom we are to try to model our lives? Maybe we are actually supposed to see ourselves in them and again realize how much we need Jesus!

The Bible is not a book of principles. One of the statements that grates on me is, “I used [insert verse here] to get [insert desire, need or dream here]”.  Are there promises in the Bible? Yes.  Is the Bible a book of promises that amount to guarantees that we hold God to? No. To approach it as such is to say the Bible is a self-help manual with some cool stories wrapped around some sweet if/then principles. Our American culture loves to turn everything into a product.  The Bible isn’t a product to be “used” but an invitation into a cosmic redemption story.

The Bible is not about you.  The Bible is about God.  Obviously it has profound impact on us but it is not primarily about us. We are quick to make life all about us.  Isn’t that the American way? Actually it is the human nature way.  To center life around ourselves.  Actually all of life including the redemptive work of Christ begins with, is sustained by and ends with God. (Romans 11:36, Colossians 1:16-17).

At Mill City we see the Bible as the timeless, cosmic story of God’s redemption, rescue and selfless love.  When this is how we approach the Bible then our goal is determining how we fit into this story.  I think that is beautiful!



Fasting: love it and hate it

At Mill City Church we desire to be a community marked by a hunger for God.  This looks like attentiveness to His presence and activity; a longing for our lives to be shaped by Him.  One of the ways we establish that is to cultivate a lifestyle of fasting.

By going without food for a period of time we are doing more than starving ourselves, we are:

*Being obedient (Matthew 6:16, 9:14-15)

*Imitating Jesus (Luke 4)

*Cultivating humility (Psalm 35:13)

*Orienting our hearts around what God wants.

The difficulty with this reorientation process is that our human nature and our culture cultivate a life that revolves around our wants and desires.  I Peter 4:1-2 (Message) indicates that it is through suffering that we are able to strangle our selfishness.

Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.

So, in a society where we have so much, suffering isn’t always apparent.  Fasting is a way to embrace suffering in our lives.  I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the idea of fasting but I HATE the practice of fasting. The main reasons are that I don’t like being hungry and I love food!

It doesn’t take long for my stomach to growl, my mind to kick into justifications-for-breaking-my-fast mode, and opportunities to eat arise. But let’s not let these powerful temptations overshadow the value of going without what we want. When we can say no to food this translates to the ability to say no to other desires.  Not all our wants are good for us, so it is important that we are able to say no. This isn’t just a self-discipline “no”, this is a grace-filled, God-inspired “no”. In Titus, the apostle Paul talks about how God is at work in this process.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. (Titus 2:11-12)

So when we fast, something bigger is going on. We are physically demonstrating a spiritual reality. We are saying, “Our greatest hunger in life is God.”