God's Calling

Randy Reynolds

Founder and Executive Director of Community Renewal, Randy Reynolds came to Arizona from Southern California on a gymnastics scholarship to the University of Arizona in 1968. While at the U of A, he started a Bible study that grew to become a local church called the Vineyard Christian Community. This church focused on the marginalized, hippies, homeless, and others who needed to find the love of Christ. He served there as the pastor until 1985. In 1985, Randall started Renewal Counseling and served as its founder and executive director until October of 2005. During that time he authored and published nine books and workbooks including Common Grace for Relationships and the Recovery Discovery Series workbooks. In 2006, Randall started Community Renewal, with the mission of transforming the city. Community Renewal’s mission is holistic and for the common good in that all needs and all people matter to God. Believers are encouraged to use their gifts and talents to serve God in our community to bring about “the shalom” of the city (Jeremiah 29:7). Randall continues to counsel part-time and he is working on encouraging the body of Christ to bring healing, development, and the Good News to the poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and broken in Tucson. Randy has four children and ten grandchildren.

Bigimba Ngabo

Goshen Ministries is an international organization that seeks to bring Hope to All Peoples. Founded by Pastor Bigimba Ngabo during a time of great unrest in the Central African region, this ministry began in Burundi with a church and orphanage and a great many refugees. Since that time, relocation to the United States has brought a great many of these stories to the Tucson area - and created many opportunities for collaboration in service to children at the orphanage, empowerment of the adults in the African countries and camps, as well as support in the transition to life in the United States. Bigimba and his wife, Aurore, have two children. 

 

Becoming Disciples and Making Disciples

SERMON NOTES
January 4, 2015
Rev. Jennifer Wilcox Cummins

Read Matthew 2:1-12

In verse 2 we read that the Magi had heard of Jesus, the new-born King of the Jews, and they came to pay homage to Him. Why do you suppose the Chief Priests and the Scribes, who were Jewish leaders, were not also eager to go and find Him and worship Him?

When the Magi saw where the star had stopped over Bethlehem they were “overwhelmed with exceedingly great joy…”.and “upon entering the house they saw the child…and knelt down and worshiped him.” (vss. 10-11) Describe a time when you were overwhelmed by the goodness and majesty of God. How did you respond?

The Magi heard about the child who was to be born king of the Jews and thus followed “His star at its rising,” which in turn lead them to Jesus. Who or what in your life has led you to see and know Jesus? Who has been a disciple-maker in your life for you?

The Wise Men “went home a new way.” (vs. 12) We know their story of Jesus because they must have told their story, thus they became disciple-makers. Who in your life are you helping to follow Jesus? If there isn’t anyone right now, is there someone in whom you could be investing time to help them on the journey of following Jesus? What will it take for you to reach out to this person?

Take time to pray about how you might grow in your own faith and who you might ask to be on this journey with you as one who helps you grow. Pray also about who you might help to grow in the Christian faith. End with a prayer of thankfulness for this Christmas gift of our Savior Jesus and commit afresh in this new year to a life of being His disciple!

We Become the Christmas Story

SERMON NOTES
December 28, 2014
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Matthew 25:14-30
Recalibrate Christmas

“We Become the Christmas Story”

Now that Christmas is over we have to live out the Christmas Story.

Theme: As we experience God’s provision and Grace, God wants us as a church and as individuals to share it with others.

Matthew 25:14-25 NRSV  For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, “Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, “Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.”

There is a direct correlation between gratitude and provision. Awareness of God’s provision in our lives causes us to rejoice in the gift of being called out of the darkness into wondrous light.

 

The Humanity of Jesus

SERMON NOTES
12/21/2014
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Mark 14
Recalibrate Christmas

The Humanity of Jesus

Our sermon series, Recalibrate Christmas, is about doing a broad character study of Who Jesus really is.

  • So far we have looked at Jesus as powerful, unpredictable, and good. (Wildness)
  • We also saw how Jesus cares for our needs but often wants to go deeper by changing our hearts.
  • We also realized it is through the power of the Holy Spirit where we can experience Jesus’ power in our lives.

As we get ready for Christmas in a few days it is important for us to understand the humanity of Jesus. If we are truly going to celebrate Jesus’ birth, the incarnation, then we must look at the depths of what Jesus went through as God incarnate in human flesh.
Jesus hurt and I truly believe he felt the pains of this world. Jesus hungered, thirsted, got tired and lived in the limitations of His humanity.

Theme: Since our God brought His whole self to us we can bring our whole selves to Him as Worship and Celebration.

  • It is when we bring our authentic selves in the presence of Jesus we experience restoration and wholeness.
  • It is when we bring our authentic selves in the presence of Jesus we experience true joy and celebration.

There is a direct correlation between gratitude and provision. Awareness of our own spiritual poverty and ineptitude causes us to rejoice in the gift of being called out of the darkness into wondrous light.

 

New Life

SERMON NOTES
12/14/2014
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
John 14:16-25
Recalibrate Christmas

New Life

Our sermon series for Advent is based on the work of Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost in their book, Re-Jesus. In their opinion there is nothing more important for our church today than to recalibrate Christianity on the person, teachings and impact of Jesus.

Jesus knew that if we truly want to take him seriously in our life we have to take the Holy Spirit seriously as well. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit where we can experience Jesus’ power in our lives.

Theme: The Holy Spirit is the way Jesus brings to us New Life!

I believe there are two words over the ages that have been used to describe the way the Spirit works in our transformative process, illumination and renewal.

  • Illumination - term used throughout theology to describe the work of the Holy Spirit to bring spiritual understanding.
  • Renewal - is to restore to freshness, to make new again, rebirth.

God’s love and grace is not only comforting but through the Holy Spirit has power to transform us.

Illumination brings clarity.
       Renewal brings restoration and healing.
                Together they bring transformation!

 

Beyond the Surface

SERMON NOTES
12/7/2014
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Luke 5:17-26
Recalibrate Christmas

Beyond the Surface

Our sermon series for Advent is based on the work of Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost in their book, Re-Jesus. In their opinion there is nothing more important for our church today than to recalibrate Christianity on the person, teachings and impact of Jesus.

Theme: Jesus looks beyond just our felt needs and wants to go deeper by healing our hearts.

Like the paralyzed man, we often think that if we get just a little bit of help we can save ourselves. But Jesus wants to go deeper. For the paralytic and for us we must realize the main problem in our life is our sin. According to Tim Keller, when the Bible talks about sin it is not just referring to bad things we do. It is not just lying or lust or whatever the case may be - it is ignoring God in the world that God made. Basically sin is taking God for granted.

How do we let Jesus heal our hearts?

If we want our hearts healed we need to follow him. His hand is reaching out to us. Are you going to reach back and follow?

If we are going to let Jesus heal our hearts we need to follow him.

We need to be honest about the state of our heart. We need to realize that we do indeed need a savior. This is the first step. This is how we get our toes wet.

 

Recalibrate Christmas

SERMON NOTES
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
11/30/2014
Luke 8:22-39
Recalibrate Christmas

Our sermon series for Advent is based on the work of Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost in their book, Re-Jesus. In their opinion there is nothing more important for our church today than to recalibrate Christianity on the person, teachings and impact of Jesus.

Images of Jesus through the Centuries – Pelikan

  • The Rabbi - Early New Testament Period
  • The King of Kings – Constantine
  • The Christ Crucified - Middle Ages
  • The Monk - Monasticism
  • The Universal Man - Renaissance Period
  • The Common Sense -   Enlightenment
  • The Liberator -   Both 19th & 20th Centuries
  • Man Who Belongs to the World - 21st Century

 

What is most helpful perhaps is seeing that Jesus is all the above.

During Advent this year, I want to challenge us to deconstruct how we may have domesticated our image of Christ. Our sermon series, Recalibrate Christmas is about doing a broad character study of who Jesus really is.

Theme for Advent: Set Jesus free in your life.

Luke 8:22-25
Luke 8:26-39

Jesus is not tame. Jesus is God incarnate that has power over the natural world and the spiritual world.

What would it look for you this Holiday Season to allow Jesus to do a rebirth in you?

What would it look like for you to build this Holiday season on the foundation of setting Jesus free in your life?