The Garden

Each summer we plant a garden in our backyard. It is one of my favorite parts of the whole year. Starting seedlings, prepping the ground, planting, weeding, fertilizing, watering, watching the growth, and harvesting the fruit of my labor. Caring for creation in this small way helps realign my focus to see how God cares for me. He provides my every need. We get to worship as we are good stewards of that which He has given us, namely His creation. In being good stewards, we, imperfectly, reflect Him. 
As God ministers to me through the garden, He also provides opportunities for ministering through it. Through the garden, we get to teach about God as Creator and Sustainer of everyone and everything[1] Through the garden we get to teach about the fall – the temporary undoing of what God made and declared good.[2]Most significantly, through the garden, we get to share the gospel. The good news that our Creator and Sustainer sees the world’s brokenness, sees our brokenness and sin, and insti…

Front Porch Perspectives

Tonight, we held our second Front Porch Bible Study which is, as the name implies, a Bible study on our front porch. 10 neighborhood teens, 3 of whom have never been to CityView, and a number of Shoreway leaders attended. We discussed what it means to be “living dead” - physically alive people who are spiritually dead apart from Christ’s work in and through the gospel. Following the study, a time of fellowship naturally occurred and included snow cones, PB&J, conversations, card games, and even more teens (thank God for a large parking lot to allow for social distancing).  From my limited and earthly perspective, this evening was a success. It would be easy to walk away and think “We really are doing something right. 10 teens willingly attended a Bible study. We got this!” But this viewpoint wrongly inflates our role and limits the ability to see the fullness of God’s hand at work.  This evening was what it was because God called His church to be generous, they (many of you reading …

An “Us-and-Them” Approach

I started writing this about a year ago. God continues to teach me about this subject. I was hesitant to post these thoughts because the driving question is aggressive, and the application is broad. However, it is an important diagnostic for all believers as we transition into the next season of gospel ministry.

Can we effectively articulate the gospel to someone if we think we’re better than them?
As blunt as it is, the question brings to light an undermining attitude. It’s cringeworthy when you see it.
An “us-and-them” approach condescends in a way Jesus never would. It delineates churched people from targeted ministry groups including youth, the poor, and minorities. It condescends with top-down mentalities and programing. It brags on “doing ministry,” viewing people as props and projects. Often and unwittingly this presents in the language of how we talk to and about such groups with an overuse of delineating pronouns: “them,” “those people,” or “the kids.”
While strong leadership can…

Dear Jesus

This is a new song written by Bernice, a CityView member. Caleb played and produced the music and video. A special thanks to Richard and Pastor Bill who appear in this video. In memory of Bernice's brother, Danny, who wrote the words of the chorus.


A song that Julia'a sister, Kayla, wrote and sang. Caleb played and produced the music.

John 4:13-14
"Jesus said, 'Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again - ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.'"

Trauma-informed Discipleship

A year ago, we knew nothing about trauma. At least, not in the academic or scientific sense. Last August, MetroHealth Hospital provided a training at Youth for Christ titled,
“Trauma/Toxic Stress and Child Development: Implications for Community Members.”

Trauma and toxic stress rewire the brain. Cognitive, emotional, and physical development are potentially impaired by high levels of childhood trauma. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic, childhood events which have a detrimental impact on future health outcomes. Today, physicians and researchers recognize that the higher a child’s ACE score, the more likely they are to exhibit trauma-related behavioral issues, participate in risky behaviors, and experience poor health outcomes throughout life.1The science is rich and well above my ability to understand fully and communicate clearly. Nadine Burke Harris, a physician and leading researcher in this field, explains ACEs and their consequent health impacts in her TED Talk, “H…

Best Friend

This new worship song was written by Bernice AKA Sista Watson, a member of CityView. She has a powerful testimony and was baptized last year. Bernice has also written several spoken word poems which she's shared with our church family: "Biological Father," "Thank You Mama," and "Free."

John 15:13
"No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends."