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Wednesday: Women’s Story Night

June 26th, 2017

Chris Morton

The summer is upon us and that means Story Nights!

Our first Women’s Story Night is Wednesday at 6:30pm, at the home of Melissa Summers. (For address and information, email us at

We’ll do two things at Women’s Story Night:

  1. Eat Food
  2. Listen to each other

How Story Night Works

Story Night is a chance for one person to share a story, and for the rest of us to practice listening. This is a sacred space where we grow closer, and where we learn to hear the guidance of God’s Spirit. 

Two storytellers are needed to share about a recent or powerful moment in their lives that they are still processing. You can read a one page description of how the storytelling works herePlease email us and let us know if you’d like to participate.

Matthew 7:21-29 (Sermon 2017.06.25)

June 26th, 2017


Shane Blackshear shares from Matthew 7:21-29 and discusses faith, doubt, and how the body of the church can and should help us establish the rock that we build our house on.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Matthew 6:24-34 (Sermon 2017.06.18)

June 22nd, 2017


This past Sunday, Ashley Blackwell led us through Matthew 6:24-34.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount

  • “Trust involves the juxtaposition of people’s loftiest hopes and aspirations with their deepest worries and fears.” Jeffry A. Simpson
  • “The way we relate to people, situations, and even God is determined, to a significant degree, by the nature of our relationship with our parents when we were very young. This doesn’t mean that what happened when we were little children is totally determinative and we are locked into roles and perceptions for the rest of our lives, nor does it mean that sinful behavior is excusable and should be blamed on your parents. What it does mean is that we do need a clear understanding of the hills some of us have yet to climb along the highway of both emotional and spiritual maturity.” Tim Clinton and Joshua Straub, The God Attachment
  • “In the face of many of the things I interpreted as a kid as being a negative commentary on my self-worth, the Lord showed me that I am loveable and infinitely precious in His eyes. And he caused me to experience this. In the face of the abandonment I experienced, the Lord said to me, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’…My question still remains, but Christ has won my trust in Him by showing me His beauty – the beauty of a love, a grace, a tenderness, a gentle strength which no mere human could ever match. He won my love and trust through the healing compassion of His eyes and the warm understanding of His embrace. He provided an understanding in the heart which the mind could never grasp.” Greg and Edward Boyd, Letters from a Skeptic

Wednesday: Men’s Story Night

June 13th, 2017

Chris Morton

The summer is upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Our first Men’s Story Night is Wednesday at 6:30pm, at the home of Kevin Baker (details here_).

We’ll do two things at Men’s Story Night:

  1. Grill Food
  2. Listen to each other

About Grilling

Kevin will have the grill fired up, but we need to bring the fajita makings! Please email Chris and let us know what you can bring. We need:

  • Protein (Mushrooms, Beans, Chicken, Steak or Surprise Us)
  • Vegetables
  • Buns
  • Sides
  • Drinks (for all ages)
  • Chips
  • Salsa/Guacamole/Queso
  • Dessert

About Story Night

Story Night is a chance for one person to share a story, and for the rest of us to practice listening. This is a sacred space where we grow closer, and where we learn to hear the guidance of God’s Spirit. 

Two storytellers are needed to share about a recent or powerful moment in their lives that they are still processing. You can read a one page description of how the storytelling works herePlease let Chris know if you’d like to participate.

Trinity Sunday (2017.06.11 Sermon)

June 12th, 2017


Chris Morton discusses Matthew 28:16-20


Story Night: 3 Reasons You Do NOT Want to Come

June 12th, 2017

Chris Morton

Every Summer at Austin Mustard Seed, we gather in groups of all men and all women, for the purpose of telling stories. The goal is that by telling stories, you’ll learn what God is calling you to do, and how you might do that.

We’ve done this now for four summers. It is consistently a sacred space where we encounter God and discover more about our vocation.

But it’s hard—and it’s not for everyone.

Here are three reasons you should NOT come to Story Night this Summer.

You Don’t Like Eating

At Story Nights, we always share a potluck meal. Sometimes we grill mounds of meat and vegetables. Other times we make fancy brunches of sous vide eggs, french toast, and breakfast tacos.

If you hate eating good food, you might not like Story Nights. If you aren’t a fan of relaxed times to build relationships while sitting together and having a tasty beverage, then you should not come.

You Hate Listening

At Story Night, we ask two people to share a story from their lives. Afterward, we try to discern what that person can learn. The way we do that is by asking open-ended, non-directive questions. During this time, no one can share their personal opinion—just listen.

Listening is so hard that most of us never do it. You can get better at listening by coming to Story Night and practicing. If the hard work of learning to listen is too much for you, then you might want to stay home.

You Have All the Tools You Need

One goal of Story Night is to equip us to have important conversations throughout the week at Austin Mustard Seed. You’ll leave with a new skill for helping your friends answer the question “what is God calling me to do?”

Perhaps you don’t want any new tools for helping others. If you are already great at this—don’t waste your time by coming.

If You Have to Come

If you absolutely have to come to Story Night, here’s what you need to know:

The next Men’s Story Night is June 14 6:30pm, at the home of Kevin Baker. You can bring a grillable to share.

The next Women’s Story Night is June 28 6:30pm, at the home of Melissa Summers.

See you throughout the week (if you want…)

This Sunday: Walking Meditation

June 7th, 2017

Chris Morton

In Matthew 28, Jesus says “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

That means that everywhere we go Jesus is up to something—and we get to join him!

Unfortunately, we don’t always know how to notice what is happening all around us.

This Sunday we’ll order lunch from Chipotle and practice a “walking meditation” in the neighborhood. The goal is to help us start prayerfully looking for where Jesus is already up to something, so that we can join him.

This is Who We Are: Madelynn Marlow

May 30th, 2017

Chris Morton

This is Who We Are is an interview series where the women and men of Austin Mustard Seed introduce themselves. If you’d like to participate, send an email to Chris Morton.

This week we have the pleasure of introducing you to Madelynn Marlow.

Madelynn is currently spending the summer in Turkey. You can follow her adventures HERE.

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled?

Definitely Kenya. The people were the sweetest, and the nature was so beautiful, from the Savannah to the mountains.

What is the most influential book you have ever read?

This is my favorite but hardest question to answer- probably East of Eden or To Kill a Mockingbird.

Who are some of your heroes and why?

My great-grandmother, because she was a strong woman who tirelessly loved everyone she encountered. She was like a Texan Mother Teresa (another one of my heroes, for the same reason), but more feisty.

Why do you follow Jesus?

Because Jesus embodies love. He is approachable, relational, and the truest thing I know. I also love that he meets us where we are, we don’t have to work hard or be polished to sit in his presence.

What is your favorite story or verse in scripture?

The story of the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50). It kinda goes back to what I said about why I follow Jesus- I feel like this story really shows his radical, countercultural love.

Who has had the greatest influence in your life?

My mom- she taught me how to be strong, laugh, and enjoy life. She is my best friend and my favorite travel buddy. She’s the best.

What is one thing you love about Austin Mustard Seed?

I love that I can bring friends to our Liturgy who have never been in a church and that they walk away saying, “Wow, that felt like a family.”

The Ascension (2017.05.28)

May 29th, 2017


Mason Parva brings us a message about Jesus’ ascension to heaven and how we may have gotten it wrong concerning heavens relationship with earth.

  • “Part of the difficulty that we have is not in what we are saying about Jesus, but in the mental furniture that we have about heaven and earth. Because we assume — our culture being so steeped still in Greek thought, rather than Jewish thought — we assume that heaven and earth are and are completely ontologically disparate — that they are just different kinds of thing, place, space, whatever. So that that which is normal on earth, e.g. physicality, would be totally abnormal — indeed unthinkable — in heaven. It’s a failure of imagination; our imagination has been stuck in this Western world view that says heaven into earth won’t go and earth into heaven shouldn’t, can’t, and never will go. And the entire Biblical world view, from Genesis to Revelation, is predicated on the assumption that heaven and earth are the overlapping and interlocking spheres of God’s good creation.

    …Heaven and earth were made for one another. Heaven is present to us — when we pray, when we read Scripture, when we share in the sacraments, when we minister to the poor in Jesus’ name. We are right on the edge of heaven, looking into it acting into it, receiving from it.”

    – N.T. Wright, Lecture on Acts

  • We do not detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached from ourselves in order to see and use all things in and for God. There is no evil in anything created by God, nor can anything of His become an obstacle to our union with Him. The obstacle is in our “self,” that is to say in the tenacious need to maintain our separate, external, egotistical will.
    It is when we refer all things to this outward and false “self” that we alienate ourselves from reality and from God. It is then the false self that is our god, and we love everything for the sake of this self. We use all things, so to speak, for the worship of this idol which is our imaginary self.

    In doing so we pervert and corrupt things, or rather we turn our relationship to them into a corrupt and sinful relationship. We do not thereby make them evil, but we use them to increase our attachment to our illusory self.

    …The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls. In His love we possess all things and enjoy fruition of them, finding Him in them all. And thus as we go about the world, everything we meet and everything we see and hear and touch, far from defiling, purifies us and plants in us something more of contemplation and of heaven.”

    Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation


Rest & Sabbath

May 22nd, 2017


Christine Sine joins us and teach about resting in God’s presence.


  • What does it mean to rest?
  • What comes to mind when you hear the word rest?
    What scriptures do you think of?