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#Revelation#FeastonHim

Thursday, January 19th, 2023

Someone has said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It is certainly hard to argue with that. I think we might all admit to forming an impression of someone before we were totally informed of who they are or what they do or the circumstances in their life.  When Jo and I first met, she couldn’t stand me. I was a hot-shot basketball player (or so I thought) and arrogance oozed out of my pores.  We hung around with a group of other college students and did a lot of outings together. But she still couldn’t stand me. I’d like to think my lovable charm, my dashing good looks, and my over-the-top humor won her over. But truthfully, I’m not sure what did. 🙂 Maybe I began to grow up??

What do you know about Jesus? What is your impression of Him? How would you picture Him? A handsome man with blonde hair and blue eyes. (You would be wrong). Somewhat meek and mild and sort of like a milquetoast? (You would be wrong again).

John’s vision of Jesus is disturbing. Well, it was to him. It was nothing like he remembered from their 3 years together as Rabbi and disciple. John takes us into that vision in this week’s sermon from Revelation 1: 9-20. I guarantee it will wake a few folks up.

Join us won’t you? We meet in person and via live stream at 9 and 10:45.

 

#UnexpectedDawn

Thursday, December 29th, 2022

Every seven years it happens.  Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sunday. So…let me be the first to wish you a Happy 2023.

I started a week later than planned on my Christmas series because I was doing a series on the Feasts of the OT and had to wait a week due to having a guest speaker. So that put me behind for the 4-week series I had planned. Rather than cut it short, I decided to run it into the new year and simply take up the first Sunday with the final one. I’ve called it The Unexpected Dawn as part of my Expect the Unexpected series.

What will 2023 bring? Of course, no one really knows. Only God does and He isn’t telling!!  🙂  There are certain things I am sure of though.

God is Present.

God is Sovereign.

God is Omniscient.

God is the One who is ultimately in control. 

We often hear people going into a new year making all sorts of resolutions. I stopped doing that years ago. I know me. I know I will break them quickly and then feel shame. So I stopped making resolutions and started asking God what He wants me to do for Him this coming year.  One way that has helped me is it has given me an “eye” for is seeing God work in ways I never dreamed of. It has also helped me to realize that “tomorrow will be a better day.”

The dawn of the coming of Messiah was something prophets predicted and people waited for.  That day finally came and sadly, many were not looking, ready for it, or denying it was here. There was a group of people who didn’t have that feeling. They saw a star and chose to follow it. We know them as the magi or wise men.  The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh were a glimpse ahead of who and what this child would become.

He would usher in a new period, a new age, a new identity, a new message of good news for all people. 2023  lies ahead of us. What message will we carry?  Please join us at 9 and 10:45, either in person or via live stream, to hear the final sermon for 2022 as we consider the Unexpected Dawn which the Savior will usher in.

Happy New Year 2023!!!

#UnexpectedNews

Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

Talk about unexpected news! How about good unexpected news!

The weather event that was supposed to come starting last night (Wednesday) and affect us through the whole week is not materializing (at this point). The cold temps (single digits)? Yes. The blanket (more like a heavy comforter) of snow? No. I’m okay with that!!

We will be offering both a Christmas Eve and a Christmas morning worship to our folks. The CE service is from 6-7:00 and the Christmas morning service is from 10-11. Both will have common elements. The only difference will be the songs which will be sung and how they will happen.  And if you are unable to attend or would simply like to join in, the Sunday morning service ONLY will be live streamed.

My topic will continue the 4-week series I’m preaching with this being the 3rd one: The Unexpected News. The Gospel is for all people-rich, poor, clean, unclean, whole, blind, deaf, prostitutes, immoral- you name it.  I will be looking at the very familiar Scripture (to most) in Luke 2: 1-17 where the angel announces the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, then he is joined by a whole chorus.

It is hard to believe next Sunday brings us to the end of 2022. My last sermon in this current series will on January 1. Then I start a series on Revelation. Now that ought to be interesting……Hmmmmm.

Join us this weekend if you are able to. If not, join us on line Sunday morning. You can go to the church’s website for information on directly connecting to the live stream.

#UnexpectedChild

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

There are a lot of truths which make us feel Christian doctrine is confounding. The Trinity for one. Who of you totally understands it? Certainly not me! He is three-in-one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To understand it is hard enough; to explain it so it can be understood? Above my pay grade. 🙂

God made flesh is one which boggles the mind and has us grasping for answers to understand how God could come to earth in fleshly form. ‘Course it is easy to say, “God can do whatever He wants to do,” but that still does not help us understand it any better.

There are more I can add but I’m guessing none is more difficult to understand, and to wrap our mind around than the two I want to deal with this Sunday. “God made flesh” is one; He was one person with two natures is the other.  He was born of a virgin and He was fully God and fully man.

They might appear to be heavy topics for a Christmas message (and they are), but they are absolutely essential, not only to our Christian faith, but to truly realizing the meaning behind this holiday.  It will not be an easy topic to preach on or to listen to, but one that is essential.

Join me please in person if possible. If not, join us at 9 & 10:45 as we live stream both services. Meanwhile, may I ask you to pray for me, for us? Thanks.

#Feasts#Passover

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

One of the understandings that I believe many NT followers of Jesus lack is that of the importance and purpose of the OT feasts. We hear they are in the OT and we turn our antenna off. And to make it even more drastic, we know that we need to read the OT to hear about them and what their purpose was.

Read the Old Testament? Read Leviticus? Are you kidding me? For many, that is a recipe for sleep mode. I confess…I have had that attitude in the past. But I decided to stop snoring publicly when I talk about the OT. I decided to stop downplaying its importance.  There were several reasons for doing that. 1) It was making a mockery of God’s inspired, written Word. 2) I began to really come to grips that Jesus is throughout the Bible. I mean, I knew that, but I finally allowed it to sink in. I began to read some books about it. Jesus on Every Page. The Unfolding Mystery. Christ from Beginning to End were just some of them.

And then…and then…I decided I would do something I had never done before. I would focus on the feasts in the OT as they relate to Thanksgiving and, of course, to NT followers of Jesus. I begin that 4-week series this Sunday. My title is God Redeems His People. I’ll be looking at the Passover and this is the only sermon in which I will focus on only one feast. But how can I not? This is possibly the most important feast/meal the Jews were to observe and there is absolutely no doubt it relates to us.

I invite you to join us we all work our way through a new subject for me and most likely for all who are there. We have two services at 9 and 10:45 and live stream both as well.

#BloodofJesus

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

After preaching on The Cross is Still the Cross this past Sunday, and knowing this is “Holy Week” i.e. the last week of Jesus on earth before His crucifixion, I was struck by the words to an old hymn.  Honestly, I am not into many hymns because much of what I sang as a youngster fit more in the Spiritual songs genre. But there are some hymns which are real diamonds…diamonds we ought to mine and never forget. Here is one of them:

“What can wash away by sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus/What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus/

Chorus:

O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow/No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon this I see, Nothing but the blood of Jesus/ For my cleansing, this my plea, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone, Nothing but the blood of Jesus/Naught of good that I have done, Nothing but the blood of Jesus/

This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus/This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus/

O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow/No other found I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Words and music Robert Lowry

A blast from the past. But what a punch! Remember this truth as you celebrate the death of Jesus this week.

#Jesus#StillJesus

Friday, March 25th, 2022

In Matthew 16 Jesus asks His disciples who people say He is. Some say He is Elijah. Some say He is Jeremiah. Some say He is John the Baptist.  Others say He is one of the prophets. Then Jesus turns the page and asks them who they think He is. Peter answers for all of them (of course) and says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

That question: “Who do you say I am?” is a really good one to ask. For some it is easy to answer. Ask me and I will tell you what Peter said. Ask a Progressive and he will hedge and hem-haw around.  The doctrine of who Jesus is tends to be up for grabs.  It is always open for reinterpretation.  There are no sacred cows for them and at the top of the list is Jesus. They want to remake Him in their image.  Unless you have studied the Progressive movement (and become a little jaded in the process), who they think Jesus is would floor you. I’ll be covering some of those ideas during Sunday’s message.

More importantly, I will be talking about who Jesus is and how the Bible describes Him.  I like what C.S. Lewis once said, “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something else.” There is more to that famous quote, but Jesus is what Lewis stated here: the Son of God.

My sermon this Sunday entitled Jesus is Still Jesus continues my series on Truth Decay. I would love to have you join me on Sunday morning in person or via live stream.  We meet and broadcast at 9 and 10:45. As always, your prayers are appreciated.

#Hint#WeWin!!

Friday, February 18th, 2022

I am not a gamer. I don’t play Candy Crush. Halo. Fortnite. Madden. Or any other game. I once found myself staying up way too late playing a game back in the 80s and said, “Never again.” I sold the Atari (remember those?) and never looked back. I had a friend once try to get me to try this game where I was the pilot, but after about 5-10 minutes I said, “I’m done.”  Part of the problem at the time was that I hated to lose and knew my competitive juices would start flowing. I also did not want to waste time playing a game when I could be doing something else.

Now, there is nothing wrong with gaming. Or winning. Sports is based on that premise. But when it becomes an all-consuming passion, it is time retire that desire.  One thing is certain: in every contest there is a winner and a loser. Even in a tie!! Think about it: someone did better than they or anyone thought; someone did worse than they or anyone thought. 🙂

What is the Christ-follower supposed to think about the future? We know there is going to be one. But do we know what is going to happen? Can we know what to expect? Daniel 7 is God’s vision of the future to Daniel, one which totally frightens him.  My sermon this Sunday is entitled Hint: We Win, and while we cannot know all that is going to happen, one thing we do know for sure: we will win.

I would love to have you join me this Sunday, but I know some of you can’t. Least not in person. So I hope you will join us live stream. Preaching on prophecy is a new thing for me so I most definitely will appreciate any prayers you might send up for me. 🙂

#Singing!

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

I posted this on my other blog, Living in the Shadow, and since it is not well read by a lot of people, I thought I would share it here.

I have always been a music person. Ever since I can remember (that might be a day or two) 🙂  I have always been a person who listens to music. I used to tell my folks I could study with music playing. Not true.  I have to admit that when I am studying or reading it has to be quiet or at least with background music I cannot know the lyrics to, i.e. classical.

Christmas is a time for songs, for singing. One of the best parts of this season is the songs-both old and new.  It doesn’t get much better than O Holy Night or Joy to the World.  The angels sang. Children sing. Adults sing. Young folks sing. Old folks sing. We can’t stop singing.

Chris Tomlin has written a (non-Christmas) song with the lyrics: “How can I stop from singing Your praise? How can I ever say enough, how amazing is Your love/How can I keep from shouting Your name. I know I am loved by the king and it makes my heart want to sing.”

This will be a different type of devotion today. I want to share some of my songs with you-those which have been meaningful to me this Christmas season. I hope it will give you something to sing. So here are a few of my favorite “new” Christmas songs. Enjoy.

https://youtu.be/5Vwu-t7QRaE

https://youtu.be/mt_xfOutfSQ

https://youtu.be/182xcb3GyOg

https://youtu.be/qmNDI4f8Wrw

If you want the lyrics (except for the last song which has them), hit CC and the lyrics will come on the screen. Enjoy the songs! May they lift your heart to heaven and put a spring in your step and a song in your heart today…and tomorrow…and the next day…(you get my drift).

#UnexpectedBirth

Friday, November 26th, 2021

So it begins. The slow trudge toward the end of 2021. Actually, I have heard several say they will be glad 2021 will soon be over, and that 2022 has to be better!  I don’t know about that but I am trying to prepare myself for the month of December and Christmas.

For a good part of our 48 years of marriage I have largely been a dunce. That comes as no surprise to some, but I’m not talking mentally. It comes to the use of my hands, i.e. remodeling experiences. I was never afforded the experience as a young boy growing up to watch and learn so the use of my hands with tools is minimal. That isn’t saying I can’t do some things but if I have put forth any effort it has turned out second rate at best. That is why I like to watch shows like Fixer Upper. Big time dreamer I am. 🙂

When it comes to surprises some of the best things in life are surprises.  To know what one is getting for their birthday or Christmas is kind of a balloon deflator (yes I know that is not a word).  The best surprises are those which take us totally by surprise and are no where near what we thought. Could there be any greater surprise than the birth of Jesus? Even though it was foretold, very few knew or were expecting it.  That is my theme for the month of December: Expect the Unexpected.  This Sunday I have entitled my sermon THE UNEXPECTED BIRTH.  The Scripture is from Luke 1:26-35 and 46-55 and I’ll be looking at what came before His birth and what came after.

Please join us as we begin our celebration of Christmas. You can do that in person or online. If you can do neither, then please pray for us.