Catalyst Vineyard Church


To settle is to choose what is safe or easy over what is risky or costly. When we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic like the one we are experiencing it is particularly tempting to settle while we wish for a return to our old normal. But perhaps we should view this time of crisis in which our old normal has been disrupted by the COVID-19 virus and the cries and protests for racial justice to a new normal. Our traditions will return, but how will we change?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1: 2-4 NIV

(1) pain without gain: sunday, july 19th

A new normal has come. For many of us, there’s some things we all wish we’d been doing all along to prepare for what is happening now. If we’re wise, we’ll reflect on what we are learning and determine what we want to carry forward. In fact, whatever the lessons we are learning are, now is the time to start putting them into practice. Now is the time to start exercising self-control financially, relationally and personally. After all, pain without any gain is a shame. How can we be better for what we are experiencing right now?

“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” -Proverbs 25: 28 NIV

Pain Without Gain Message Notes

(2) reacting vs. responding: Sunday, july 26th

While we don’t always choose our circumstances, we do have the ability to choose our responses. But the catalytic response that has the potential to reverse the natural course of things in our lives isn’t natural at all. It requires that we choose not to react but to use our superpower to reverse the course of our lives during times of crisis. The superpower is to use a faith-filled response rather then reacting to our circumstances. We should never underestimate the power of a measured response in times of crisis and adversity. We should ask ourselves, “How would someone in my circumstances respond if they were confident God was with them?”

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
-Genesis 50: 20 NIV

Reacting vs. Responding Message Notes

(3) anger vs forgiveness: sunday, august 2nd

There is more to your circumstances than meets the eye. Your current circumstances are a chapter. They are not the full story of your life. The circumstances that you are experiencing now, or have experienced in the past may explain your anger and resentment, but they do not justify it. We don’t have to allow our pasts to control our futures. The remedy for the anger of “You owe me,” chapters in our lives is forgiveness. How long are you going to allow the people who have hurt you in th chapters of your life continue to control your story?

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” -Ephesians 4: 31-32 NIV

Anger vs. Forgiveness Message Notes

(4) autonomy: sunday, august 9th

Autonomy looks appealing on the surface. After all, having the freedom to do what you want to do is viewed as living successfully in our current culture. Most of us think that being “self-governing” is a must have. We think that once we can call our own shots, we will call all the right shots. When we finally realize that we aren’t “there” yet and that we aren’t happy, we feel lost. The truth is the quest for autonomy is a thirst for power that can not be quenched or satisfied. It is a myth, a trap, and an unworthy goal for your life. We were all made for something better than autonomy in the quest for success and satisfaction in our lives. We were not created for autonomy. We were create for community!

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” -Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 NIV

Autonomy Message Notes

(5) all lives matter: sunday, august 16th

Perhaps nothing characterized the life of Jesus more than his pursuit of people whose lives and lifestyles did not look like his. If we fail to listen to people who don’t experience the world the way we do, we will never carry their burden. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever effects one directly, affects all indirectly.” And for those of us who have decided to follow Jesus, we are accountable to another law of justice, a law that calls us to carry one another’s burdens – The Law of Christ. The point of the statement “Black Lives Matter”, is not that all lives don’t matter, it’s that until Black lives matter, all lives can not matter. We should all ask ourselves, “How do the people who don’t look like me experience me?” and “How should they experience me?”

“Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6: 2 NIV

All Lives Matter Message Notes

(6) christian: Sunday, august 23rd

Becoming a Christian is easy. It won’t cost you anything. But Jesus never invited anyone to become a Christian. He invites us to follow. It’s easy to claim Christian, but not so easy to claim “Jesus follower.” Following Jesus will cost you something and the men and women that it costs the most make the most difference. If you don’t chose to follow Jesus you will be content to simply “believe”. You will be content to know but not to do. And you will not act on what you claim to believe when it actually costs you something. You will also not react when you see people treated unjustly or unfairly. Jesus saw this coming when he addressed those who would be content to know what to do but not actually do it.

“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them to practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” -Matthew 7: 26 NIV

Christian Message Notes