Archive for April, 2013

Five Thoughts for Monday

Here is a short collection of thoughts to share for Monday.  I hope these encourage and challenge.

1. Challenge is a part of life.

Please don’t expect the easy road.  There just isn’t one.  Anytime you desire spiritual growth in your life or in anyone else’s life, there will be challenge.  Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.  He turns the challenge into immense joy.  Please trust Him to do that today.

2. Know your weaknesses.

It’s a good thing to know where Satan will attack you.  We all have weaknesses he loves to exploit.  We should be open with another believer about these weaknesses and look to God for help staying focused.  Overcoming weaknesses is possible. We should know them first.

3. Growth doesn’t happen without commitment to others.

I have never met a Christian who is able to grow without commitment to others.  Never.  Please chew on that if you’re reading this and ask yourself: 1) what can I do to further my own commitment to others? 2) what can I do to encourage others to further their commitment?

4. Communion is spectacular.

What a re-ordering of mind and priority on a monthly basis.  To stop and think about the death of Jesus is truly a way to re-orient our thinking about life, God, and what’s important.  I praise Jesus that he gave up His body and blood for men to have an avenue to salvation.

5. Invest in your family.

You will have one family.  Others in your life may come and go, but your legacy will be lived mostly through your family.  Please think about the example you are setting.  Those in your care will form opinions about what you think is important.  Remember that you are in control of those thoughts.  Show them they’re important, and most importantly, that Jesus is important!

Hope you have a great Monday.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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4-28-13 Mark 14:22-31 NIV

God’s Promises, Our Failures

I.   Give Thanks?

A.  The change in covenant was coming

B.  The body would endure.

C.  The blood would flow.

D.  And, He gave thanks.

II.  Rock Solid Promises

A.  Remember the unknown in this passage.

B.  See Jesus explain the truth.

C.  Embrace the FACT that God’s promises are not going to fail.

III. God’s Promises Reveal Our Failure

A.  We are no better than Peter.

B.  Planning to fail mocks Jesus.

C.  Our resolutions should be humble.

D.  The self is unknown.  Jesus’ love is not.

Challenge

As we take communion today, does the thankfulness of Jesus bring deeper trust in his promises?

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How do you know God is real?

If someone were to ask you, “How do you know God is real?” how would you respond?  This is often a question that gets asked by teenagers who are struggling to believe.  I’ve thought about this question a bit this morning, and thought of 4 quick ways that I would respond.

1) God’s Word.  The Bible is a miraculous book.  It is incredible how authors who wrote books and letters thousands of years apart all wrote in a consistent theme.  We have overwhelming evidence that the New Testament that we read today is the same as the original writings.  I believe the Bible is true, therefore God must exist!

2) The miracle of life.  At this current chapter of my life, I am daily amazed at the miracle of pregnancy.  Seriously, you should learn what happens in the womb.  Science can explain most of what happens but not how or why.  What happens between one cell and a child being born (who is able to think, reason, and have emotions) is nothing short of a miracle.  It is clear evidence of God to me.

3) The miracle of vegetation.  In much the same way, I am amazed at the miracles that happen in our backyards and gardens.  A seed, when given nutrients, air, and light turns into a plant which produces food.  It really is an incredible thing.  How does something that is dead produce life? (See any symbolism there?)  I’m afraid we have too often overlooked the evidence of God found in the world around us – even the grass in our yards.

4) He has not failed me yet.  I have believed in God since I was very young.  I have grown up in the faith and have decided that my life is going to be about serving God.  Through my journey, I can honestly say that He has not failed me yet.  There have been difficulties and things that I do not understand, but I have not encountered anything that has caused me to say that there is no God.  In fact, the opposite has happened.  The more I have experienced life, the more assured I have become in my faith.

If asked today, this is how I would respond. 

How would you respond if asked?

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4-21-13 Mark 14:12-21 NIV

Would you follow?

I.   A Foundation of Faith

A.  Unleavened bread laced with meaning.

B.  A simple question: Where?

C.  “Go”, “follow”, and “say” screamed unknown.

II.  Grave Unknown

A.  Betrayal is truth.

B. Betrayal was written.

C.  Woe to that man.

III. Knowing and Following

A.  Lack of knowledge didn’t change the truth.

B.  The presence of evil didn’t change the truth.

C.  Trusting AND following flow from maturing faith.

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10 Good Things About Summit County

If you pay attention to the news, you will not have to look far to find negative things about Summit County.  Troubles in education, economy, and violence sell newspapers and keep the news on the air.  As part of our Summit Ablaze week, our regular Wednesday prayer group begin by praising God for 10 good things about Summit County.  In no particular order, here they are.

1. Access to medical care.

2. Metro parks.

3. Strong Body of Christ.

4. Friendly people.

5. Variety of living options.

6. Relatively low cost of living.

7. Many attractions and events (both in the county and close by).

8. Change in seasons.

9. Faithful care and protection in police, fire, and education.

10. Cultural diversity.

Now, if you want to be negative, you could poke holes or find something wrong with each of these.  If you’d like to be miserable all day long, I cannot stop you from exercising that right.  Instead I would challenge you to think about your slice of the world as a Summit County resident and praise God for the various good things you enjoy.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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4-14-13 James 4:7-10

Prayer and Desire

I.     Submit

A.  Grace fuels submission or prayer is fake.

B.  Submission doesn’t mean still doing and thinking what we want.

C.  Submit to God.

II.    Humility Brings Power

A.  It means we’re IN God’s will.

B.  Thinking you can’t is the best place to be.

C.  Please be proactive.

III.   Drawing Near

A.  His love reveals our dirt.  We need to be clean.

B.  His love affects our emotions.

C.  His love brings unimaginable closeness?

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It’s So Much Easier To Criticize!

For my blog post this week, I am going to link to an article that is timely for me to read. 

It is titled “It’s So Much Easier To Criticize!

“Criticism is easy. Anyone can do it. It takes special grace to be an encourager.”

A great reminder for me, and I trust it will be for you as well.

Blessings,

Josh

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