Posts by Brent Clark

Posts by Brent Clark

Coming Soon! Ashworth Learning Center

A few weeks ago, we announced that as part of an effort to be more intentional about meeting the needs in our community, we established the Ashworth Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit with the express intent of providing programs, offering services, and engaging in other activities that promote and support low and medium-income individuals in West Des Moines. To listen to a conversation between Pastor Brent and Pastor Ryan on this, click here. Our first initiative is the Ashworth Learning…
bible

03.16.21 Feed

THE B-I-B-L-E, YES, THAT’S THE BOOK FOR ME If you grew up in church, it is likely you sang this song many times. Often, we find ourselves in a love/hate relationship with the Bible. At times we read it and feel encouraged as if the words were jumping off the page at us and guiding our steps as we live. And at other times, we feel the guilt of not picking it up because it just doesn’t seem to resonate…
prayer

A Prayer of Confession

Abba Father, Forgive us, we pray. We have sought power in politics and not in surrender and service to you and to one another. We have looked to politicians and judges for salvation and been willing to overlook and even make excuses for blatant behavior that reveals a heart far from the character of Christ. We have looked the other way so that we can grab and hold on to power. We have put down and desecrated others who have…

A Response to the Injustice and Racism in our Nation

Too often, when things happen around us that we do not understand or that make us uncomfortable, our immediate response is, “Yes, but…” “Yes, George Floyd died, but he might have had a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill.” “Yes, black lives matter, but all lives matter, too.” “Yes, there are some bad cops, but we still have the greatest justice system in the world.” And while these statements may technically be true, the “Yes, but…” response is an attempt to shift the…

Quarantined: Extra – Incarnation

Sacramental Life: Encountering the invisible God in the visible world The Incarnational Tradition focuses on the relationship between the invisible spirit and physical reality, helping us to see God’s divine presence in the material world in which we live. God manifests himself in his creation, even in the midst of mundane activities, whenever and wherever we acknowledge God. “Far from being evil, the physical is meant to be inhabited by the spiritual.” Richard Foster in Streams of Living Water copied…

Quarantined: Day 29

Jesus said of himself, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) He came into the world to pierce the darkness and shine the way to life for all humanity. He went on to say, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead…

Quarantined: Day 26

Congratulations on making it to the last week of the “Quarantined: Using a Season of Solitude to Connect with God.” We began this journey together five weeks ago, not knowing what the state of the world would be when we reached the final week. Would things be back to normal? Would the virus be under control? Would we feel safe venturing out and be able to worship together face to face? We now know the answer to all these questions…

Quarantined: Extra – Word-Centered

Word-Centered Life: Living the life-giving message The Evangelical Tradition encompasses much more than simply converting people. The evangel – the “good news” – is God’s great message to humanity: that all can be redeemed and restored to its intended design. This is the message embodied in Jesus himself, rooted in the word of God, and ultimately expressed through the lives of those who follow Christ. It is a living tale of grace spoken in and through word and action. “This…

Quarantined: Day 25

Almighty God, When there was nothing good within me, you loved me and gave yourself for me. You have set me apart and called me to know and follow you. This calling is not to a set of rules and regulations or even a new religion but to you. To seek you. To follow you. To allow you to shape and form my heart into a pattern that looks more and more like Jesus every day. Shine your light in…

Quarantined: Extra – Compassion

Social Justice continues to be a buzz word in our culture. How does the compassion of Christ fit in with a social justice society? Compassionate Life: Extending compassion in every sphere of lifeThe Social Justice Tradition expresses the themes of justice, compassion, and peace. It emphasizes wisdom and lovingkindness to bring relationships into harmony, unity, and balance, even within our relationship to nature. Compassionate Life takes place in all arenas of life, from personal to social to global. As with…