Pentecost started as a Jewish festival. 50 days after Easter the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised to give---was poured out on Jesus followers. It caused quite a stir in Jerusalem. The 120 who received the Holy Spirit were transformed from fearful doubters into bold witnesses for Christ.
The name---the Man, the Example, the Savior, the Eternal One, God Almighty, Creator,
The Risen One---our Friend. To be a Christian is to accept Him and His forgiveness then
To live in obedience to Him, given the power to do so by His Spirit who comes to live
in us. It's an old story, but it is ever fresh----He is at work in YOUR life and mine right
now.....He is wooing, calling, urging us to become His follower, His worshiper, His
agent of reconciliationi, peace and joy in your job, neighborhood, family.
Jesus---The One to follow and love. Jesus.
So......how is your spiritual life doing? Content to dip your toes in the water? Is Sunday morning an annoying habit you got in to? Do you just sort of sing songs during worship instead of expressing your heart to God? Well.....this is a great time of year to shake off the spiritual cobwebs, dust off that beautiful Bible of yours and re-examine your relationship with God and His people. Lent is a 40 day period that precedes Easter. It begins with Ash Wednesday on February 10th. We will be having a special service that night at 7pm to begin the season. Many people take these 40 days to start over with God---to determine to seek Him, to express our thoughts to Him all day long, to draw near to Him, to listen for thoughts from Him, to forgive any who we have grudges against........to give up some meals, to read the Bible, to getting serious in their faith.
If the Bible is true-----life on earth is short-lived, but eternity is forever---and how we relate to Jesus and show His love to others make all the difference for eternity.
So....let's dive into the deep end of the pool and go after God!
Lost and Found
“Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” Luke 2:48
Have you ever been out in public and lost a child?
I am certain, from the moment we are aware one of our children has gone missing, the emotion of fear is in full control of “head-quarters.” (See the movie, “Inside Out.”)
We lost Victoria when she was three-years-old for about 30 minutes, in our house at mid-night. We honestly thought she had been snatched. I will never forget the blood-curdling screams of her mother. (She was sleeping in her brother’s hamper in their closet, of all places.)
Jesus’ parents “lost” him for three days before he was “found.” From the verse above we can see their emotions were no different than ours.
Searching for something or someone that is lost usually pushes everything else down the priority list. Whether it is our keys, our wallet, our Bible, etc., we try to quickly think and retrace our steps to find whatever of value we have lost.
In Luke 15, Jesus uses three parables of lost items to help us understand the desperation the Father feels when one of us goes missing. God panics to find where you have gone. You are of more valuable to Him than anything else and He wants you home.
Where are you, as we start 2016, in your relationship with God? We are not found of self-evaluation, but the start of New Years seem to help open us to the possibility. So go ahead. Give yourself permission to take a look at where you are with God.
Ask, Seek, Find,
There is so much to be grateful for. Personally, I have just celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary----and it has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. God invented marriage and family and I thank Him for my dear wife and kids.
In the book of Romans there is a reference to God as "Abba"-- a term of endearment to a father----like our papa or daddy. God is the original lover of family, and has an amazing heart for His people---like a groom for the bride. The Jewish marriage tradition includes first a betrothal---then the man goes back to his father's house to add on a room or two to bring his new wife to after the wedding. The husband returns to claim his bride and then take her to their new home.
If you have ever read the book of John---that story should sound familiar---Jesus told us He was going away to prepare a place for us---in His father's house there are many mansions----and He would return to claim His bride and take us to our new home.
We believers are the Bride--and Jesus is our bridegroom.
Thank You Father for your great love for us---Your family!
There's an old bluegrass tune that says "Honey, let me be your salty dog" I am not quite sure what that means, besides sweetheart, but God has called us to be salty people in a tasteless and messy world. Stand for purity, grace, honesty, and all things Bible-----let our saltiness be an influence in everything we do.
Get out there, salty dogs!
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.
There are many plans in a man's heart;
nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Men and women think many things. Sometimes good things, logical things.
But they are temporary, changeable. If they don't match up with God's
thoughts, they are worse than worthless....leading others to be mislead.
Think of all the supporters of abortion, communism, sexual immorality----
they all have reasoned that those practices are good and beneficial. Or, that
there are many ways to God. Or that sin is of no consequence. The fallout
of these human thoughts is devastating, causing untold misery and pain.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. I Cor. 1:25
II Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof,
for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.
Base your life, your way of thinking, living, working, loving-----on the principles
in the Bible--and your life will be blessed, on the road to success here and heaven later.
Jesus---who He is, what He did, and our response to Him---is the key.
II Chronicles 16:9
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself
strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
BLESS Y'all! Real good!
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. I Corinthians 6
Hundreds of thousands are signing on to this declaration. Here is some of it:
"Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we affirm:
As Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, we take seriously the Biblical admonition to respect and obey those in authority. Because we honor justice and the common good, we will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s." www.manhattandeclaration.org
Our church sanctuary remodel is moving forward! Main sanctuary carpet has been installed, and this week the stage will be carpeted in a complementary color. The full worship band will be back in business on Sunday, so bring yourself, a friend, a big voice and let's enjoy His praises in beautiful surroundings!
This blog is being written by James Becker--your humble webmaster. The wife Debbie, is the church secretary and keeps me in the loop so I can keep you all in the loop......