For Whom Christ Died

Brad comes to the Presbytery of de Cristo from First Presbyterian Church of Pueblo, CO where he served as senior pastor for 12 years. Brad also has served as an associate pastor and solo pastor at churches in Texas. Brad studied for his Bachelor’s degree at Claremont McKenna College before getting his Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Brad grew up in San Clemente, CA but has lived in the South, Northeast, Midwest as well as the aforementioned Republic of Texas. Brad has been married to Laura for 24 years, and they have two young adult children, a daughter, Chris, and a son, Matt.

Brad believes that presbyteries exist to serve congregations, which are the worshiping, missional arm of the church. Therefore, the primary job of a presbytery is to serve congregations through encouraging collegiality, accountability and support among its pastors and churches. Presbyteries resource congregations by serving as a connecting point between one pastor/congregation and another as well as between a pastor/congregation and resources at the Synod and General Assembly. Finally, presbytery serves as the place where conversations can take place across the theological divide, which is a particular passion for Brad: “Winsome engagement with one another, even in our differences, provokes a common heart for Jesus Christ and a compassionate mind that affirms God alone is Lord of the conscience.”

 

Fueled by the Holy Spirit

SERMON NOTES 
May 17, 2015
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Acts 1:1-7

The Power of Anticipation

FUELED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT 

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The triune God exist as three persons, but one being. We have God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus describes in Acts 1 that as He goes away they will not be alone. Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the “paraclete” from the Greek work “parakletos” …which translates to helper, guide, or comforter. It is the person of the Godhead that dwells among us.

Theme: In our waiting we must be fueled by the Holy Spirit.

I am seeing a huge awakening in the church towards a newfound hunger for a deeper dependence and reliance on the Spirit. As our church is in time of transition more than ever do we need to be fueled by the Holy Spirit.

What would it take for you and me to live in such a way that others would experience our kindness, our compassion, our care and righteousness, and because of our lives, join their lives with ours in love and praise to God?

What would it take to live in such a way that the people around us would love God more?

It will take a daily, regular dependence on the Holy Spirit in our lives, the person of the Godhead that dwells among us, our Comforter, Guide, and Helper.

In our waiting we must be fueled by the Holy Spirit.

 

The Blessing of Christ-Centered Community

SERMON NOTES
May 10, 2015
Rev. Carla Williams
Philippians 1:3-11
The Power of Anticipation

 The Blessing of Christ-Centered Community

Although seasons of transition often kindle emotions of fear and anxiety even for Christ-followers, these seasons are also an opportunity to keep praying and thanking God for His abundant grace and abiding presence.

 Paul writes his letter to the believers in Philippi while imprisoned in Rome, unsure that he will ever see his beloved friends again. While the letter as a whole conveys important information, verses 3-11 represent a two part prayer through which Paul conveys his joy, his gratitude, his confidence, his affection, and his longing for their continuing future.

  • Paul opens his prayer with thanksgiving directed to God, for the faithful church in Philippi.
  • Then Paul prays for them, that the believers’ lives would grow into the fullness and practice of both love and discernment.

 Carla’s Final Thoughts: Thank you, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, for reflecting the kind of congregation that has caused my heart to soar with joy and gratitude and with confidence and affection. Like the apostle Paul, I will continue to pray for your future. Keep your eyes on Jesus – the author and perfecter of faith – all for the glory of God and the Kingdom that is coming on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

Joy and Purpose

SERMON NOTES  
May 3, 2015
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
John 21
The Power of Anticipation

Joy and Purpose

For the next four weeks our sermon series is looking at the waiting period of the disciples right after the Resurrection in John 20, 21, and Acts 1. There are approximately 50 days between the Resurrection and Pentecost. Jesus told his disciples to stay and wait during this period. Often we can find ourselves in seasons of waiting or transition.

Theme: On the other side of waiting or transition there is often joy and a new sense of purpose.

  • On the other side of waiting or transition there is often Joy
  • On the other side of waiting or transition there is often a new sense of purpose

In Scripture, following waiting periods, our Biblical Heroes have a new sense of purpose. Moses was almost eighty when he was called from Shepherd to being the deliverer of the Israelites. David went from a waiting period of running for his life to becoming King. Paul went from being persecutor to missionary following almost a decade of waiting and preparing.

Trust creates Purpose and Joy.

You probably have figured out by now the overarching theme of this sermon on anticipating and waiting is that in our waiting we discover the greatest gift of all, Trust.

It is in our trusting that God germinates and creates who we are called to be.

 

When in Doubt

SERMON NOTES  
April 26, 2015
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
John 20:24-29
The Power of Anticipation

When in Doubt

For the next four weeks our sermon series is looking at the waiting period of the disciple’s right after the Resurrection in John 20, 21 and Acts 1. There are approximately 50 days between the Resurrection and Pentecost. Jesus told his disciples to stay and wait during this period. Often we can find ourselves in seasons of waiting or transition.

What do we do with our doubt in a waiting or transitional season?

All of us at times in our lives will face doubt. The temptation during these times is to feel guilty about our doubt or to even resist it. But the key to doubt is to walk through it.

Theme: I want to argue that in our wrestling we encounter God

There are two things we learn from Thomas about doubt in this passage.

When in doubt seek truth.

When in doubt do not walk through it alone.

Be curious, wrestle, seek and allow others to be a voice of hope in time of unknown. After Thomas doubted he sought truth and eventually uttered the words “My Lord and my God!” I am convinced no matter what circumstances you are facing, if you are willing to wrestle, you will encounter God.

 

On the Threshold

SERMON NOTES
April 19, 2015
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
John 20:19-23
The Power of Anticipation

On The Threshold

Most of us go through seasons in our lives where we are waiting, a pregnant season of transition that can either cause us to be filled with fear or be filled with anticipation.

Liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold"[1]) The liminal state is characterized by ambiguity, openness, is a period of transition where one's sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation.

Theme: In times of waiting or in times of the in-between we are on the threshold of God’s giving us a new sense of purpose.

Often we cannot see what is around the corner. Often we do not anticipate what God is going to do with us. Rather, we huddle in fear, but God breathes new life in the very places that we declare are dead. Through the power of the Holy Spirit in our waiting we are on the cusp of a great new chapter.

Luke 24:36-49. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

That is Jesus’ profound advice for his disciples, stay and wait. That is Jesus’ profound key for all of our transitions, stay and wait.

So if you are in transition, in-between or if you find yourself waiting, I encourage you to...
trust…pray…stay…lean into God’s promises and anticipate that God is up to something