featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church

Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: Test assumptions

1 Thessalonians 5:21 But test everything; hold fast what is good.

Growing up in a university professor’s home was quite an adventure. Most every experience was a learning adventure. We were trained to ask why and to figure out how things worked. I was there watching my dad working on the car, taking apart the toaster, and learning how a pilot light works in the heater of our trailer. I was taught to experiment, to try all kinds of options, testing which assumptions moved from being just a guess to an educated choice. Sure, some of those experiments were risky, like the time I learned how to steer a toboggan type sled. Now, I was young and figured I could learn it on my own. So, I borrowed a friend’s sled and went to the steepest hill in our neighborhood. We lived in Alaska at the time. It was snowing and about 10 below zero, which was not as cold as the usual 30 below! Anyway, I got all situated at the top of the hill and set my sled pointing at the 10-foot gap between two huge trees. I took a running dive and landed perfectly in place. However, my momentum had veered me off course, heading directly towards the tree on the left. I was not worried because my assumption was that I just needed to turn the top of the sled with my hands and the sled would steer accordingly. Well, I kept careening now very fast toward the center of the tree on the left. My assumption was not working for me. Not having much time to think through all my options, I quickly began to lean right…and that’s all I remember! I woke up on the sled being brought back to my house by a couple of cross-country skiers. I also made a trip to the hospital to sew-up my torn ear. Evidently, I did learn the technique of leaning to turn, but not quick enough, for I grazed the tree to where I hit my head hard enough to tear my left ear and knock me unconscious! It was a miracle I was found, but that’s another story of God’s protection. From that time on I learned the art and joy of sledding!

The problem with assumptions is that if not tested they can be hurtful and harmful. Like in relationships, we might guess someone does not like us, but until we test what we have pre-judged to be true, we don’t really know. It can be the same with Jesus. Many people have made assumptions and pre-judged Him, yet when we get to know Him from the truth of the Bible, wow! He is amazing. I love the new movement called “He Get’s Us.” You may have seen their short videos on YouTube or on TV. I hear some will air during the Super Bowl. Assumptions tend to shape our choices and behaviors. Maybe we should rethink some of our assumptions. It could have a great effect on relationships, faith, church, work, parenting, volunteering, and much more.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

I know for me, I have found seeking God and His way of life not only shapes my assumptions, but helps me move from guessing to trusting in God’s will and way.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

God’s ‘kingdom’ is a life set where Jesus is King, Lord, Leader and ‘His righteousness’ is God’s way of life as laid out in the Bible.

I get there are a lot of assumptions about church, but church can be a great place to learn about God and His wisdom for life. If you do not already have a church you attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a fun, welcoming church that loves God and seeks to live life His way. Each Sunday we study the Bible and have a great time together. We would love for you to join us. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Testing assumptions along with you,

Mike McKay, Lead Pastor, Neighborhood Church