Posts By: Marshall Sandoval

Called to Generosity

I can easily envision people from Awakening grappling with the challenge to be generous. I imagine young families that feel financially maxed out. It can be taxing enough trying to make ends meet in the Bay Area, without being asked to send kids to school in Haiti. The Christmas season adds kids asking for presents… Read more »

Blueprints and Canvases

In this sermon series about Gideon we’ve talked a lot about “the life you’re made to live.” This notion is really helpful in some ways, but it can be complicated too. What do we mean by the life you’re made to live? Does God have an exact blueprint of how you’re supposed to live out… Read more »

Leaving Jesus

This teaching series through Mark has helped me understand the revolutionary difficulty of Jesus’ teachings. I’m struck, over and over, by the people who leave Jesus sad or angry in Mark’s Gospel. Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians try to trick Jesus with political and religious questions and leave angry time and time again. The chief… Read more »

Distracted to Focused

My family has a joke taken from the Pixar film Up. Dogs in Up have a device which lets them speak in human language; what they don’t have is a long attention span. The dogs often stop mid-sentence to yell “Squirrel!” when they smell or see anything that might be one. So when someone in… Read more »

Dragging the Withered Branch

In our current series on John 15, Ryan has been talking about the idea that connectedness to God is more important to our thriving than our circumstances. It’s an encouraging reality to embrace. Jesus tells us, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me… Read more »

The Blessedness of Waiting

The blessedness of waiting is lost on those who cannot wait, and the fulfillment of promise is never theirs. They want quick answers to the deepest questions of life and miss the value of those times of anxious waiting, seeking with patient uncertainties until the answers come. They lose the moment when the answers are… Read more »

When Sex Left the Garden

I have struggled and continue to struggle deeply with habitual sexual sin.  I can say that now, but I wasn’t always able to admit it to myself, to others, or to God for a long, long time.  It is a difficult thing to own your brokenness.  To name and hold up to the light the… Read more »

When I Was A Lion

One time at church I wore a lion costume. Not like a flimsy little lion mask, but a ridiculous full-body lion costume: mane, tail, gloves, all the details. This was last spring when Betsey was running the kids ministry at Awakening Church, and regularly she’d offer to loan us all kinds of crazy things from… Read more »

In Prayer, I Remember

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. -Søren Kierkegaard- I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me. -Shadowlands… Read more »

Local Church Love

A video by Marshall Sandoval about the ways other churches in our city have loved, blessed, and supported Awakening Church in our first year.

Navigating the Crisis of Faith

“The man that feareth, Lord to doubt, In that fear doubteth thee.” -George MacDonald, The Disciple “But as we are on this mission, we will no doubt need to face hard questions that we can no longer hide from or ignore.” -Dan Kimball, Foreword to Questions to All Your Answers “A faith without some doubts is like a… Read more »

Fasting and Fast Food

I turn on my blinker and prepare to make the left turn from Hedding onto Bascom Avenue.  As I make the turn, I pass the newly remodeled gas station on my left, which has its own small Subway. The last part of Awakening Church’s Lenten fast, which starts this coming Sunday, is eating beans and… Read more »