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What’s the Dress Code?Generally, we like to say we’re “Central Oregon casual”, but at Easter all bets are off. You will definitely see plenty of jeans and t-shirts, but you will also see children in giant, floppy hats who have never before donned a giant, floppy hat. You just never know what you’re going to get at Easter.

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South Campus in 2016 Over 5 years ago we launched our South Campus with a heart to be stretched outside of our one campus model and with a passion to extend the love of Jesus to the South side of our city. Both of those things have definitely happened and are still happening. As we approached 2016, the leadership team and I felt like God was leading us towards a transition.

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      My favorite toy growing up was this little, well-made, hard plastic Superman. He was small enough to fit in my hand, to fly him around my house, and, with him, to create imaginary adventures. As Pastor Bo shared last weekend, “We want a superhero that fits in our hand, that we can control and manipulate. We like the baby Jesus in the nativity set where he will stay where we put him.

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Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. It is filled with my favorite smells of snow and pine trees, glistening lights, and laughter always fills my parent’s house when my family reunites. There is something special about this season that also brings out the artist in me.

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When Silence Bears a Promise Malachi 4:5-6 “Keep watch. I am sending Elijah the prophet to you before the arrival of the great and terrible day of the Eternal One, and he will return parents hearts to their children and children’s hearts to their parents, or else I will come and strike the land of promise with a curse of annihilation.” Luke 1:13-14 “‘Zacharias, your prayers have been heard. Your wife is going to have a son, and you will name him John.

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I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬ It is easy to look at all that is happening around the world and wonder why God doesn’t do something. As I shared a few weeks ago, we have taken God out of our lives and our conversations and then we have the audacity to wonder where he is when things go bad.

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Recently at lunch my friend, Marc, taught me this game called, “What are the odds?” It’s a silly, stupid, and wonderful game. Basically, it’s “truth or dare” with all dares. One person will think of a dare like, “Hey Casey, what are the odds you will stand up on your chair in the middle of this restaurant and loudly sing Jingle Bells?” The dare could be anything like, “What are the odds you’d eat that worm out of your garden?” or “What are the odds you’d do the chicken dance at your st…

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Three verses in the Christmas story are ringing bells for me today. Matthew 1:20 But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife… Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zachariah, because your petition was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you must call his name John. Luke 1:30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for yo…

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And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, because He has looked with favor on the humble condition of His slave.  Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and His name is holy.  Luke 2:46 I’ve read this story so many times, but I’m freshly amazed today, watching young Mary take her place on history’s stage.   It’s impossible to understand the s…

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Isaiah 9:7 “The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”  “The intense passion of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will carry this to completion.” A child is born, a son is given and the broken, messed up government of our lives sets perfectly on His strong and sovereign shoulders. The prophetic passage of Isaiah 9 echoes of God’s redemptive, victorious plan. God wins.

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“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” Luke 2: 8-9 Life is full of rhythms, wrapped in seasons and set to a cadence so familiar we hardly notice anymore. The ordinary of life and expectations of our culture can distract and pull us away from what our hearts know is the real center of this season.

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 Though I hate to admit it, the holidays far too often shine a sparkly light on the places in our families and relationships where things are disjointed, broken and in need of peace. It is easy to let hope-filled expectations of holidays filled with cheer be dashed in a moment leaving us hurting and disillusioned. I am learning this season wha…

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  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 2: 38 Have you ever noticed that God’s ways aren’t our ways or His thoughts our thoughts?

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“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 How often do you slow your pace of life in this 90 mile per hour world? As the flurries of the holidays and cheer invade our everyday lives, how do we make room for rest and reflection, or do we? Amidst the splendor and simplicity of Jesus come to earth the angels rejoiced in a glorious display.

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I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. ‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NLT‬‬ Remember arguing with your friends about whose Dad was the strongest?

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Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’ Matthew‬ ‭1:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬ Imagine how much faith and trust Mary, Joseph, and Jesus had to have to walk out the first Christmas. A pregnant, unmarried, young Mary risked being killed for fornication.

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After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham! ”“Here I am,” he answered. “Take your son,” He said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac.

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________________________________  “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing…he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:1, 3‬ ‭NIV‬‬ “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

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Everything you have is a gift from God. He’s generous, and he wants you to be generous, too. The Bible says, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25 NIV).

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  Whenever friends show up at a restaurant you’ll always make room and pull up a chair. We are making room at the West Campus with a brand new service time for our Acoustic Cafe venue at 10:45am. This service will feature live acoustic worship from Max Clark (and others), interactive hosts, coffee, and a relaxed environment for friends and family.

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“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.” Psalm 40:3 Westside has always been known for our music ministry. Long before I pastored the worship here, I used to attend “Saturday Night Alive” with my high school friends.

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Here at Westside, we aspire to be a movement of believers, sinners and dreamers who are extending the Life and Love of Jesus to everyone we meet. We are on mission everywhere we go. We are a part of a movement of grace.

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