It was the beginning of the end. Jesus was nearing the end of a long and arduous journey that would reach its apex of pain and agony on a rugged cross the very next day. To be more precise, it was Thursday, Jesus and His disciples gathered for their observance of Passover in what we call “The Last Supper.” The end was near and Jesus wanted to share His most important lessons with those who had followed Him most closely during the past three years. What would He do? Which lesson, out of all of the lessons He had taught, would He share? How would He deliver the message so that they would never forget it? Let’s take a look at John 13:1-5 and see what Jesus taught. Continue reading “In The Garden
This message of the Gospel shall be preached to all nations – then the end will come (Matt. 24:17).
It’s pretty incredible to think, that in our day and age, with so much “connectivity”, so much social interaction, and with the availability of information at our fingertips, there still exists people who have
There’s an interesting story in Mark’s Gospel that I’ve been spending time with this week following the tornadoes that came through our city. Jesus, at the beginning of Mark 4, is beside the Sea of Galilee, teaching the people who’ve huddled up around Him to listen to His parables. The sun was shining. There was a gentle breeze. The birds were singing. The people were as calm as the sea as they hung on every word spoken by Jesus.
When evening arrived Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “Let us go over to the other side.” The crowd was still there. They would have stayed and listened to Him as long as He taught, but Jesus said, “It’s time to go.” Let’s pick up the story at this point, in Mark 4:35.
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41 NIV)
Continue reading “Is God Asleep When Tragedy Comes?
This past week we have been hosting a ton of kids for our Vacation Bible School. It has been so much fun and the adults and teenagers who have been working with us have been such a blessing to the little ones. Kids have such an enthusiasm, they are so full of life, and they aren?t afraid to offer their answers if you will only ask them the questions. Here are some things I?ve learned from hanging out with kids through the years.
? Noah?s wife was Joan of Ark.
? The fifth commandment is ?Humor thy father and mother.?
? Lot?s wife was a pillar of salt by day and ball of fire by night.
? When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus she sang the Magna Carta.
? Christians have only one wife and that is called, ?monotony.?
? The patron saint of travelers is Saint Francis of Seasick.
? It is often difficult to hear in church because the agnostics are so terrible.
Who said that our kids are not learning the Bible? We have some real Bible scholars in our midst and we didn?t even know it. Children are so much fun, and their faith is so inspiring to me. Our society is becoming more and more fixated on hard scientific evidence for every realm of life, rather than trusting in God like a child. This is one of the reasons why children inspire me.
Continue reading “Heaven is for Kids
We?ve had a wonderful week in Vacation Bible School. I want to thank Dana Stevenson and her wonderful crew of volunteers who have made this week so special for so many kids. Our theme this week has been ?God?s Big Back Yard,? and throughout the week the kids have learned about serving.
There are many things that our kids are being taught today and many who are willing to teach them. The list of folks who are teaching young people today are legion. There are parents who spend time with their kids teaching them what is important to their family. Teachers spend time with our kids each day in their schools. There are influences, both positive and negative, in our kid?s neighborhoods that spend time teaching them what?s important to them. Coaches teach our kids about how to play their particular sport. There are also men and women in churches all across this city that have a desire to teach kids about God?s love and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. If you and I were to compile a list of the top ten lessons that our kids are learning I would dare say that being a ?servant? would not be on the list.
Continue reading “Teach Them To Serve
The tsunami that hit 12 different countries on Sunday, December 26 has left so much devastation in its path. Every day we see new pictures and video of the massive power and widespread devastation caused by the tsunami. 24 hour news networks are chronicling the stories of lives lost, villages and tiny islands that have been decimated, and families that have forever been changed. Just this past week a man was discovered out at sea who had been adrift for 15 days after having been washed out to sea by the tsunami. The agonizing sorrow and widespread heartache are almost too much to bear?even for those of us who are so far removed.
Continue reading “Can He Calm The Storms?
The past two weeks have been a tragic time of upheaval, uncertainty, and
insanity in the lives of our young people. When the news came forth about
the shooting in Littleton, Colorado we were all stunned by the news of two
students carrying out their plan of unleashing death and destruction upon
their fellow classmates and a teacher. We have been overwhelmed by the
pictures and video that we have seen on television and in newspapers. We
are amazed that these boys, so young, could coldly calculate a plan and then
execute it in such a devastating manner. We are horrified when we found out
that the killers chose their victims because they were athletes, one young
man because he was black, and others because they believed in God. More
than one person asked out loud, “How could such monsters exist in a
Continue reading “Is There Any Hope For Our Kids?
A long time ago in a land far away there was a church. The church had been founded by a handful of men and women who wanted nothing more out of life than to make a difference in their community for the Kingdom of God. They had read the Word of God and been gripped by the simple, yet profound message of grace that raced throughout its pages. They had been captured by the heart of God and by God’s call to establish a house of worship where all people could come to find healing, hope, salvation, biblical counsel, and the encouragement they needed to begin to catch a vision of God’s plan for their life. These committed men and women made a covenant together that the church God had birthed through their prayers would forever remain in their neighborhood as a sign of God’s love for all of the people in that community.
Continue reading “Going Out To Bring Them In