Mark 8:34 (NRSV)
34 … “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Why would a person take up a cross? It is a short walk to a certain and torturous death. Jesus spoke these words knowing that his time was growing short. For him, inevitably, there was a cross. He could not live as he chose to live and avoid it. He could not be who he believed himself to be and side step it. Jesus was heading toward a confrontation between himself and the social and political powers of the world around him. He disagreed with the piety of the priest, the teaching of the Pharisees, the money of Herod, and many of the religious affections of the masses. Therefore he did not want people to be surprised that something had to give.
John 11:50 (NRSV)
50 You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.”
Jesus carried the cross not because it was how he chose to die –not because he had a death wish. The cross was placed upon him because of how he chose to live. The question to us is not what are we willing to die for, but what are we living for? Aare we willing to live as Christ lived knowing what happened to him? Do our chooses in this life causes us more sacrifice or worldly gain? Do we live just for self or for something more? is there a cross in chooses? If there is, just remember, where there is a cross for the sake of Christ there is also a resurrection.
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This Lenten season we are dwelling upon the book of Jonah; using worship and Bible study materials from Dr. Reed Lessing.
Jonah … for Lent? Sounds fishy, but it’s a natural fit. When the Jews asked Jesus for
a sign, he said, “I will give you only the sign of Jonah.” After three days in the belly of
the earth, Jesus rose with news of God’s prodigal grace. This series of special services
explores the meaning of “The Sign of Jonah” as we follow Jonah on his journey … and
Jesus on his way to the cross. Written by seminary professor Dr. Reed Lessing.
Come and share with us! I think you will find our Lenten study thoughtful and interesting. There is something more to this story than what we might realize.
Come experience a Christmas like never before —
Come experience a Christmas like you’ve always dreamed of…
So come Christmas morning, you haven’t missed Him.
So come Christmas morning — you’ve unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for —
more of Him.
This Advent we are sharing in the devotional readings of Ann Voskamp and her book “The Greatest Gift.”
Our Advent Study will begin Tuesday, November 22 at 9:30 AM. Everyone is invited to attend. We will be using a 4 part video that goes along with the book. You may wish to purchase the book “The Greatest Gift,” from Amazon.com (CLICK HERE.)
We will meet through out Advent November 22 through December 20; skipping December 6th. We will not meet on the 6th.
Hope to see you there!
“You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.”
There are six keys to this principle:
Look under our worship tab to access the sermons dealing with the Treasure Principle! Or ask us for an invitation to RightNow Media to view the teaching videos by the author, Randy Alcorn! Learn how God wants you to be rich in the right way.
Recently we are talking about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and the significance of Spiritual gifts. This Sunday I will be speaking about the Spiritual Gifts that direct a Christian’s life outwardly to others in acts of compassion and service. I have post this coming Sunday’s Sermon online. Also if you are interested in learning more I am leading our Tuesday Morning Bible Study, using video lessons titled, “Your Divine Design.” This study is to help us to discern what our spiritual gifts are and how to use them.
I am hoping that our members will take the time to work through the joys and questions of knowing their spiritual gifts and share this information with me as we are looking toward filling our leadership roster for the coming year.
I have also emailed a short survey and spiritual assessment form out to people to help us with this work. If you would like a copy of this email sent to please let me know by contacting me at email@example.com
Knowing where we stand before God and how God has blessed us is one of the avenues for becoming who God wants us to be. Your Spiritual Gifts are part of the answer in making our church a growing and living body.
God Bless you well, and remember you are a spiritually blessed person!
On Sunday we will be discussing an article titled,
“African Methodists worry about the church that brought them Christianity.”
This article is an account of some of the topics discussed at our past general conference and looks at these questions from the perspective of the African Methodist Church. Come and join us for a short discussion at 10 AM on Sundays.
This is our text for this Sunday!
Romans 5:3-5 (NRSV)
3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
I could post a picture of myself running a 20 K long distance race up and down the hills of Wheeling West Virginia, but you might not recognize me.
The Elby’s Distance Race was a big thing in its day; back in the 1980’s or so..
Just imagine me toward the back of the pack. I might even actually be in this picture. I was not in the running for winning. The winners ran a 5 to a sub 5 minute mile. The course record was 1 hour and 56 seconds for the 12.4 miles (20 k) For me, I considered just finishing the race a win.
I thing that I learned about running a long distance race is that if a person is going to run a 20 K race, then a person needs to practice running such a distance. Running over 12 miles is not easy, but practice strengthens the body and increases one’s aerobic capacity. If one listens well enough to their body, the pain of practice produces strength and the ability to finish the race. We find the ability to accomplish the goal of finishing the race by putting ourselves to the task.
I think life is a little like a race. The question is, are we living so as to complete the race? Despite the effort and even the pain, what do you need to practice more at? What makes us a person ready to cross the finish line?
Paul tells us that it is Christ who makes us able, but sometimes the course is difficult and certainly not without effort or pain. None-the-less even the pains we suffer in life bring forth a divine blessing. Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us. It does not disappoint us because God love is made more present and real to us. We become a people focused on that which does not fail. Perhaps sometimes the road can be long and the movement from suffering to hope is not a direct path, but God does not abandon us within the race. Therefore whatever your situation is keep running. You will cross the finish line.
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I guess that there are a lot of good reasons to worry about things in this life; although, I have found that usually we worry about things that never happen. I think sometimes we are just good worriers and sometimes we find it hard to trust in God’s love and presence within our lives, but if we look back on most situations we come to realize that we have indeed made it through. Over the bumps, and sharp falls we have not been forgotten, and even in the midst of true difficulties and tragedies if we persevere often in life the greatest losses can bring about the greatest gains. I tend to think that this is the work of God. When we are able to see the highest heights from the lowest points I think that it is God who is raising our vision and lifting us up.
If this is true and God is with us, then we all should be warriors and not worries! How can we serve the one who so empowers life?
Here is a story worth watching. It might not speak directly about God, but I believe that I see God’s hand within the tale:
This Sunday we are thinking about Jesus as the good shepherd. In this parable the image of Jesus followers is that as being the sheep.
I can’t say that I know too much about what sheep are like. Sheep and shepherds were a universal experiences for the people of Jesus day. At least at every Passover one of the main dishes was a lamb and lambs were often used in sacrifices. The demand for lambs was likely great, but for most of us if we haven’t been in 4-H or grew up in a rural area, we probably have no idea what raising sheep is like.
Therefore it is a little hard to connect with this image. Still when we try , we may discover that it is difficult to see the idea of being a sheep as a positive image. It turns out that sheep aren’t the smartest critters. So what does it mean to be a sheep? How can that image be helpful or even encouraging.
There in lies the thought for my sermon.
It is probably worth listening to Ken Davis’ take on this question:
Scientifically, over time the body replenishes its cellular make up. Most of the cells that now make up your body were not a part of you when you were born. The materials for these new cells came from what you have eaten. Therefore, you are what you eat, but what constitutes our spiritual nature? What have you used to renew and construct your inner being? How do we build a healthy spiritual life?