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“To be a person is to have a story to tell.” – Isak Dinesen “I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths, Stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother’s knee. We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation—God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous

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 Psalms is a compilation of a millennia’s worth of worship, worry, wonder and wisdom. Spanning the depths of sorrow to the heights of joy, this beautiful collection contains truth that will challenge and change us as we let it seep into our right-here, right-now lives. Here are some resources to help you dive deeper into the treasure chest that is the book of Psalms. Psalms Reading Plan This plan is designed to take the reader through the entire Book of Psalms during the summer o…

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Our whole life should bear witness to God’s love for the world.  Marriage and friendship are the first place for us to practice covenant-love relationships.  These relationships become our loudest Gospel proclamations.

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The emotional healthy life requires seeing ourselves for who we really are, so that the Holy Spirit can reveal our true identity in Christ. “Your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen. This includes keeping on top of how you tend to respond to specific situations and certain people.” Here are some resources to dig deeper into the your own emotional health.Scazzero’s Books – Can be purchased at the Westside Bookstore or with…

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Thank you Westside for your extreme generosity 365 days a year. Last year through I Heart 365 texting, you generously gave $7055.00 worth of items which included clothes, furniture, diapers and baby items, household items, and gift cards. We provided practical help for people from various walks of life that needed a reminder that they are seen and deeply loved. Read this story below to find out how your giving through our community partner, Pregnancy Resource Center, has transformed a despe…

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The sun was rising over the desert as a caravan of vehicles and trailers spewed dirt around corners in the small town of Tecate, Mexico. The cars were stuffed with families who decided to spend their Spring Break in an unusual way. Rather than vacationing poolside in a sunny spot with friends, these 39 people made up of adults, teens, and wiggly children were here to build houses.

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Kelly was stirred. Looking for opportunities to get involved at her local church she saw a chance to combine her love for kids with God’s heart for the overlooked and undervalued. Her first time serving at a youth camp for foster teens completely changed her.

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Isaiah 53:3-9  The Voice (VOICE) So he was despised and forsaken by men,this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend.As if he was a person to avoid, we looked the other way;he was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of him.Yet it was our suffering he carried,our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness.We just figured that God had rejected him,that God was the reason he hurt so badly.But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so.Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him.H…

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When her mother fled for her life from an abusive marriage, Julie was six years old and became a mothering child. Julie and her three brothers were left behind with their struggling father. Her father was full of anger and resentment at the circumstances around him and took it out on others.

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The finishing touches were complete inside this tiny, concrete church in the heart of the Yucatan. The room was filled with vibrant colors representing a myriad of carnival games, crafts ready for little hands and prizes around every corner. The Mexico missions team had been preparing for this day for months with multiple trips to the Dollar Store and suitcases carefully packed with fishing games, a bean bag toss, soccer chase, and coloring pages with crayons.

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Have you ever felt God ask you to do something that seemed ridiculous or terrifying or both? When Heather Morehouse heard just such a call, her courageous, “Yes,” aligned her with God’s amazing work in a dark place across the globe. Heather works at St.

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We've received some inquiries on what resources Pastor Steve has been mentioning over the past couples weekends during the Walking in the Dark series. A Grief Observed by C.S Lewis The Case for Christianity by C.S. Lewis A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser Trusting God by Jerry Bridges  Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning The Reason for God Chapter 2 by Timothy Keller Prayer by Timothy Keller Heaven by Randy Alcorn If God, Why Evil? By Norman Geisler Ravi Zacharias blog Trust Ass…

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This questionnaire is designed to help you assess your trusting level with God and discover areas where you may want to take a step toward Him. The orientation is your trust in God. It is built upon two overarching categories of trust: Trustworthiness and Trust Readiness.Individual and God Assessment

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Read.Gather insight by highlighting and underlining. Write a paragraph about what applies to your life from the reading. Pray that the truth you’ve read will sink deep into your heart. January 1:  I Samuel 1-2January 2:  I Samuel 3-4January 3:  I Samuel 5-6January 4:  I Samuel 7-8January 5:  I Samuel 9-10January 6:  I Samuel 11-12 January 7:  I Samuel 13-14 January 8:  I Samuel 15-16&nb…

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A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. – Proverbs 29:11For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. – James 1:20 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

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Christianity is not cut and dry. There are contradictions. There are mysteries. When we come to Christianity we’re inundated with so many answers; big answers to questions like why are we here, what is my purpose, does anyone care, is there something greater to live for?

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Pretend you’re in elementary school. You see your friend across the room and call them over to you. Suddenly your breath catches in your throat and your face gets hot and your heart races as you remember that you are in the library and everyone is staring at you because you aren’t supposed to yell in the library.

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By Whitney Parnell Westside Worship PastorI’ve been a student and leader of worship in the church for upwards of 20 years. I’ve wondered many times if music is really necessary in church. Why do we need it?

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In our current series, we are looking at our shadows. Everyone has their own. Anything we try to keep hidden or avoid; the things we try never to speak about.

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Two weeks ago here at the Westside Blog, we talked about resetting your family for the season of Fall and how one might have a structured conversation to do that. Part of this conversation involved asking questions. Questions are powerful.Questions are the driving force in relationships.

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We often talk about how the Bible is a blueprint for our lives. It shows us how to be good people, faithful friends, and the hands and feet of God to the world that He loves. A tall order, really. Let’s take that order and break it down into a bite sized piece: Conflict. If you plan to love the world around you, the first thing you have to be prepared for is conflict.

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Hot Topic: Grounding Your Family Before The Fall SeasonSummer is long and loud and fun and so, so busy. If you have multiple kids in multiple grades, I’m surprised that you’re even reading this right now. Between day camps, overnight camps, conferences, visiting family, family vacations, work trips, lessons, first jobs, summer internships, and play dates, it’s impressive that the average family still remembers what the others look like. This is part of the fun and madness …

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Politics are sticky. In this great country, we the people are blessed to have a part to play and voice to be heard in the process of selecting our leaders; a process that has grown stickier each election. In many ways, your political views have become synonymous with your religious views – which is not all bad. Our relationship with the Lord should permeate every area of our lives and especially our major life decisions, such as, whom we see fit to lead our country. This mingling of Go…

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We recently talked about The Poetry of the Bible and their unique way of ushering us into our deepest places with God. This deep honesty can be difficult and frightening as it forces us out of our clearly defined comfort zones. Comfort zones aren’t all bad, but all of life doesn’t happen in there. It is only at the edge of your comfort zone that the important questions demand to be asked.

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The following notes developed out of my preparation to speak on the Old Testament Books of Prophecy as part of the Story of God series at Westside Church.As I dug into the background of the prophets God sent to the nations of Judah and Israel following the division of the Kingdom, I noticed so many things about the prophets, their prophecies, and the settings in which they were delivered that it simply wouldn’t fit into a single message.I know that some of you would like to dig a little de…

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The glorious islands found in the rough waters of Lake Victoria: Rugged, remote, nearly forgotten and entirely wild. These distant shores, and more importantly their inhabitants, have undoubtedly caught the eye of Jesus. To Him, these hearts are seen plainly and beautifully through the thicket of rough terrain and societal judgements.

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Books: The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor (2010)  Before Happiness, by Shawn Achor (2013)  The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business, By Charles Duhigg (2014) Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown (2014)  The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor (2010) The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg (2014) Before Happiness, Shawn Achor (2013) The Pursuit of God, AW Towzer  God and the Art of Happiness, Ellen Charry (2010) The Bible and the …

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We often look at the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection from 30,000 feet above. When you know a story from the beginning to end, you tend to lose compassion for how the characters are processing their current situation. The result lends itself to thinking Peter is weak for denying or John is fearful for running away.

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Hope is an Anchor is an Easter song. Not in the sense that you can only sing it when peeps and cadbury eggs show up in stores (mmmm…Cadbury eggs), but in the sense that it really is about the resurrection of Jesus, the truest hope of every Christ-follower. There are quite a few worship songs about hope and anchors these days, and I think it’s because Hebrews 6:19 is poetic and powerful and really good song-writin’ material.

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Easter Friday was a powerful, explosive, difficult, terrible day.  As I tried to build a message around it, I wrestled with the heaviness of it all and found myself wishing it was happier or easier to read.  I got up early one morning to work on it, but instead of going back to my notes, I just sunk into the story.  I read it in every gospel and many translations and here’s what I decided: the story is dark and beautiful and I won’t make any apologies for that. It’s the story that…

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