Posts by Ryan Lenerz

Posts by Ryan Lenerz

06.15.21 Feed

IT’S OK TO BE SALTY Recent slang has turned the word salty into a negative, but a couple millenia ago, being salty referred to the preserving, enriching qualities of salt. That’s why Jesus taught his disciples that rather than hiding off in a corner to hide from the evils of culture that they were supposed to be out and about in society seasoning, preserving, and enriching the world all around them, just like salt. That same instruction holds true for…

06.08.21 Feed

EVEN THE LOSERS Oftentimes the Beatitudes, the beginning of the famous Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7, are viewed as how Christians ought to live. But this then implies that Christians are supposed to be poor and mournful. Perhaps there is a different way to view this important passage of scripture. What if, instead of being the way those in the Kingdom should live, it is saying that EVEN THESE types of people are invited in? This is…

06.01.21 Feed

MORE THAN A BUILDING We don’t use the word temple often, but the truth is, we can unwittingly treat our church buildings like mini-temples if we don’t understand what a temple is. This past Sunday, Pastor Brent explained how the temple is the space where heaven meets earth. The space where that happened most perfectly was in the person of Jesus. And as a result of his life, death, and resurrection – we now have the Spirit of God inside…

05.25.21 Feed

WELCOME TO THE PRIESTHOOD Many people like to draw a line between the people (laity) and the priest or pastor (clergy). They imagine the church leader must be super sanctified and have a special relationship with God. And in the Old Testament of the Bible, that was true. If a commoner went into the Holy of Holies, he would die. But in the New Testament, we are told that we are now a holy priesthood – that is not just…
Ashworth Church in West Des Moines

05.18.21 Feed

ONCE AND FOR ALL Everything must come to an end at some point. Seniors have to (get to) leave high school knowing they never have to go back. When people retire, they often look forward to that final day that marks never again having to get up for work at 6 AM. And as Christians, we remember the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, thereby ending the sacrificial system so we don’t have to splatter blood around the walls of…

05.11.21 Feed

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW Most people like new things. New car, new couches in the living room, new kitchen remodel. But at other times, we remain nostalgic, hanging on to the way things used to be. Sometimes as followers of Jesus, we end up hanging on to the way things really used to be – like pre-Jesus times! Even though we live in a New Covenant defined by the grace and love of Jesus, we live…

05.04.21 Feed

WORK IT We spend too much of our lives at our jobs for it to be a meaningless passage of time with no redeemable purpose. Conversely, while your job has significance, it is not your identity or your calling. Like we discussed on Sunday in the message Beyond Work, we need to find a middle ground. If you’re struggling with the job you work, recognize that God has wired you for a special purpose and look for the ways in…

04.27.21 Feed

YOU’RE #2! We live in a world where most people are looking out for #1 – themselves! We want to fight to protect our rights, our money, our way of life. But Jesus tells us to deny ourselves and follow him. And sometimes our agenda and his overlap. But other times they are at odds with one another. The question then becomes, who will you follow? Your own heart and desires? Or Jesus? Choosing who to follow is much easier…

04.20.21 Feed

BE. OUR. GUEST. BE OUR GUEST, PUT OUR SERVICE TO THE TEST I hope you now have that famous song from Beauty and the Beast in mind. That scene from the movie fully encapsulates how most people envision hospitality. But as we discussed in our message Sunday, hospitality is more than sharing a meal, it is sharing a life. God has swung the doors of his home wide open and Jesus has invited us inside to join him for a…

04.13.21 Feed

FOLLOW THE LEADER Do you remember the simple children’s game Follow the Leader where one person was the leader and everyone just imitated whatever that person was doing? It was like Simon says for beginners. In the same way, Jesus made evangelism for beginners just like Follow the Leader. We follow Jesus. We encourage others to follow us. Everyone should be imitating the faith-filled life of somebody further ahead on the faith journey and hopefully has somebody behind them who…

04.06.21 Feed

DON’T BECOME COMPLACENT In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, much ink has been spent warning about a 4th wave if we become complacent and let our guard down on all the COVID protocols. But I’m not here to write about masks, actually I’m talking about the days after Easter. You see, our Christian tradition is to put all our focus on Lent, Holy Week, Good Friday, and the crescendo of it all – Easter Sunday. But then come’s Monday,…

03.30.21 Feed

GET THE WORD OUT It’s important for Christians to focus on their inward life with Jesus. But we can never stop there. This past Sunday, we looked at how we have to go BEYOND an individual faith of just me and Jesus and invite others to experience the banquet God is preparing for us all. And there’s no better time to be talking with people than now. With Easter this Sunday, most people are more receptive to talk about Jesus…