Archive for November, 2010

Advent Challenge 2010!

Yesterday we were confronted with the reality that Advent can be a selfish time if we’re not careful. I don’t remember the exact numbers (Josh put the quiz together), but we as Americans spend $450 billion every year on Christmas and it only takes $10 Billion to secure fresh water for the entire world? Wow.

So what do we do? Can we fix the world’s water problems? Realistically, no. This challenge isn’t about being overwhelmed. It’s about letting your light shine, in a specific way, perhaps into a specific person.

Ideas abound regarding how to share our joy this Christmas. We mentioned a few yesterday and we are anxious to see where the Holy Spirit will lead individuals in our congregation over the next several weeks.

Don’t wait for someone else to be first – share your faith, share your money, bless someone freely, encourage people with Scripture…then write your story out, let us know what you did, and we’ll compile them and share them as the season draws to a close.

Pray that we as a church will be used to influence and bless people’s lives this December – for the glory of Christ, not just to say we did something.

Have a great Monday everyone – I am praying for our church!

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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11-21-10 I Corinthians 7:25-40

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What makes sense?

For those of you who didn’t make it to Sunday evening service last night, you missed a good one.  No, this is not a shameless plug to up the Sunday night attendance.  Instead, I just wanted to share a few thoughts from our breeze through on Hebrews 11:

So many of the Old(er) Testament heroes were commended. They are on the Biblical record and they deserve it.  They just did things because they had faith.  They didn’t know what was going to happen, then didn’t know how or when.  Sometimes, they sinned because they didn’t have sight and got rushed into things getting ahead of God.

But most of them lived – boldy.  And we made the comparison to their faith that New Testament Christians should have.  Yes, we have something to look forward to.  We believe that Christ will return to this earth.  Do we live with fearless boldness knowing it will happen?

We looked at several things that stop us from living like eternity is most important.  On our short list were comfort, others’ opinions, convenience, etc.  These are good things to think through and challenge ourselves with.  What things keep you from pursuing eternal values?

In the end, it is one idea in a conversation I had following the service that stuck with me most.  None of the people lifted up as heroes in Hebrews 11 did anything that made sense.  You can read the chapter yourself for a list of things they endured – and none of it makes sense.  Our human nature seeks stability, comfort, possessions, entertainment, etc.  Those sold out to passionately follow God? People should look at our lives and think:

It doesn’t make sense.

More to come on this topic as the Advent season is upon us.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Having everything, but possessing nothing

Thousands of years ago, God made a promise to a man named Abraham.  That promise was that his wife would bear a son, and he would be the father of an entire nation.  A nation so large that it would equal the stars in the sky.  After years of doubt, frustration and sin, Sarah finally gave birth to Isaac in her old age (of about 90 years old).

I’m sure many of you know this story.

After years of waiting for this one son from God, Abraham was asked to kill him.  God asked him to kill him – to sacrifice him as a burnt offering.  Umm.. Excuse me?

The insane part of this story to me is that he plans to do it.  He packs up his things, gets his servants, makes sure he has enough wood, and heads off to kill his only child.  I can’t help but wonder what Abraham is thinking and feeling at this point in the story.  Also, what in the world does Isaac think about this?  (I can imagine him years later bringing this up in a counseling session…)

If you know the story, you know that as soon as Abraham completes building the altar, binds up Isaac and is getting ready to slit his throat, God stops him.  God found out that Abraham fears Him because he didn’t withhold his own son from Him.

Abraham had everything, but possessed nothing.  Abraham had a wife, servants, a son, cattle, sheep, camels, herds, goods, land, and certainly had earthly wealth!  But he possessed none of it.  All that he had was God’s – even his own son.

I wonder how many times a day we talk or think about the things, people, and places around us and use the word ‘my’ to describe them.  My lunch.  My laptop.  My clothes.  My wife.  My kids.  My house.  What makes them ours?

What if we truly had the attitude that everything that is ‘ours’ is actually God’s?

This Thanksgiving season, may we all be thankful for the blessings around us, but possess none of them.

Blessings,

Josh

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Delayed Adulthood

For your Wednesday article reading pleasure, here’s a short piece that will get you thinking about the dynamics of being a young person today.  Yes, it’s different than it was even ten years ago, and this brief articles lets you get your feet wet with some of the reasons why.

http://fulleryouthinstitute.org/2010/11/the-rise-of-emerging-adulthood/

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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11-14-10 I Corinthians 7:1-24

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The Power of Labels

We read this book with our kids.  Max Lucado wrote it and the title of it slips me.  But it has to do with people in this town who go around all day putting labels on each other.  And the nice looking people get stars and fancy stickers, and the others get a bunch of blah.

Well in the story there is a Creator figure.  You can always go to this character and He will cheer you up.  He will remind you that the labels people put on you don’t matter.  He is the one who created the people in the story.  And the moral of the story is . . .

The only label anyone wears that matters is what their Creator wanted.

We got into this a bit in yesterday’s sermon.  It is our identity in Christ that anchors us.  No question.  I pray that the idea that we are saved by Jesus’ blood will revolutionize our relationships, the way we treat people, and give us the strength to endure difficult circumstances.  I pray that all of our relationships will be truly Gospel Centered – because the center of our lives and our life change has been the Gospel itself.

Praise Jesus for his death and resurrection.  Praise Jesus today for the forgiveness offered and the hope of the resurrection.  May these truths always shape and guide us more and more.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

 

 

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