Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Why the Cross? Why the Resurrection?

This past Sunday I had shared on the 7 last sayings of Jesus from the Cross and why the Cross was important. The death of Jesus was our atonement in which Christ died and took our place and basically was our perfect Sacrificial Lamb.

But we can't leave Jesus on the Cross ...much less leave Jesus as the babe at Christmas. the Resurrection is important and fundamental to our faith.

There are several skeptic objections to the Resurrection including:

1. Jesus a mythological figure. There are 39 ancient sources outside the NT that refer to Jesus.

Source: Rose Publishing Evidence for the Resurrection pamphlet 2004

2. Jesus was just a man. If just a man either liar or lunatic and not Lord. Evidence supports Jesus was who claimed to be with the fulfillment of prophecy. The probability of just 8 prophecies overwhelming.
Source: Peter Stoner Science speaks, Moody Press, 1969.

3. Jesus' followers made it up and were unreliable. In 1 Cor. 15:6 with over 500 people having seen the risen Jesus. Thus no hallucination nor deception. They were willing to die for their faith.

4. The Resurrection isn't important to Christianity. far from true. In 1 Corinthians 15 the Apostle Paul talks about if Christ had not risen - we'd be still in our sins. Because He has risen ...we have hope, and are no longer in our sins.

So with all the evidence, apologetics ....still people like to deny.

With resources like Evidences that Demand a Verdict. The Case for Christ. Apologetics and archaeology tend to confirm what we believe that Christ did indeed rise from the dead.

Interesting to note that the skeptics still have theories that have been debunked:

1.. Witnesses hallucinated. 2. Jesus not die 3. Jesus body stolen. Each of which been refuted.

And now currently is the latest in which some "Claim" to have found the tomb of Jesus. Being married, and relatives etc. (The old box of brother of James which several scholars have denied but recently brought up in the media again)

Thus people wanting to disclaim Jesus was who he said he was.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Church Shouldn't Suck the life out of you.

I had just read this book ...still taking it in.

Walking on Water.

There is a passage in Mark 6 that gives Jesus walking on water. I had recently given a short devotional thought this morning at Piedmont Christian School. (#yrs olds to High School)

Here are my thoughts:

I. We need to pray more. Pray like Jesus.

II. We don't need to be afraid. We don't need to be afraid of Jesus especially.

III. We do need to be astonished more. Our job is to point to well, Jesus.

Sometimes it is just a matter of knowing WHO is in control.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mulan- I'll make a man out of you (with lyrics) (HD)

Teaching the Word. What books are you teaching?

Sunday Mornings I've been preaching through the book of Galatians.

Wednesday nights we just started Nehemiah. And my Thursday Morning Small Group we are looking at Ecclesiastes.

So what books of the Bible are you reading and teaching from?

Books I am Reading. Winter 2015

So with the cold weather there has been time to catch up on some books on my to read list.

I finished some of these books recently:

I. Be Real.

II. Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley (a book I am going to keep nearby and revisit its thoughts - good practical advice on reaching out to the unchurched)

III. Preachers I have Heard. (an older book from an author from the UK and first published in the 1940s some preachers include William Booth)

Upcoming to read:

I. Good Leaders Ask Great Questions. - Maxwell. (Follow up from an earlier seminar of the same title)

II. Growing in Christ. 40 days to a deeper faith. (Looking at it as a future resource)

III. The Relational Soul - Plass.

Also on my to read is a book called: Church shouldn't suck the life out of you.

So what are you reading?

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Writer's Block

Neglecting my blog I've sort of had writer's block. Working hard during the holidays .... sermons, lessons, visiting, family, and other priorities .... My hope for 2015 is to do better with what God's given me. How about you? So if you don't see me blog it isn't because I don't like communicating its because there is so much to do. Let's get busy doing the life of living for Jesus.

New Sermon Series starts this Sunday

Monday, November 17, 2014

30 Things I am thankful for ...

My friend, Mike Lynn, is posting everyday in November ...things he is thankful for.

Here is my list:

I thankful for:

1. My wife, Valerie, ... 17 plus years of putting up with my antics and through the UPs and DOWNs of life ... we get to go through this journey together.

2. My daughter, Kendra. Your compassionate and loving spirit is catchy. Never give up.

3. My daughter, Nicole. You inspire me knowing you are trying new things and amaze me by your walk with Jesus.

4. My son, Brian. You amaze me. From your imagination and willingness to learn. Always be a life long learner.

5. My Family in Canada. The impact of family, values, and staying together through thick and thin. Not perfect but willing to lend a hand. Darryl, Mike, and Dwayne "Andrew" been brothers in it all. Lorie has been an inspiration of the sister I never had.

6. My parents ... you taught me to be myself.

7. My Home Church: Selkirk Christian Chapel. You taught me Jesus. You gave me hope. You were there in the midst of loss. People like the Sherks, Sevenpipers, Donovans, Burkes, Daleys, Hoovers, Kindys, CWF class .... Tanners ... people who accepted me and yet molded me.(Cowans, Touesnards, Blake) The elders there trusting in me. (checking in on me etc) and even the summer youth ministers we had in the 80s/90s. And anyone else who was part of the body there.

8. OCA - Ontario Christian Assembly. You gave me the eyes and opportunity to start being like Jesus. From Camp songs to serving as a camper, staff - etc. Camp was my home away from home and mission field in helping me examine the call.

9. Camp Selkirk - Salvation Army Camp. The staff and friends there helped me be compassionate and the reason why there needs to be youth ministry. Thanks.

10. C.S.S. Cayuga Seconday School- sure High school is hard and boy was I the nerdy kid trying to fit in. But the friendships and people from CSS helped me find my identity and put up with me that pushed me to be the man of God I needed to be.

11. MACU - Mid Atlantic Christian University aka RBC(Roanoke Bible College) sure you changed your name and probably wondered what in the world when I was on campus. You took a chance on a struggling young man and gave hope. The professors and students together showed what it was suppose to be like to be the Body of Christ. The lessons and values I learned are forever in my debt. To that I say thanks.

12. Water Street Rescue Mission. (Lancaster, PA) for one summer I saw what it meant to work with the inner city youth. Staying at the Rescue Mission was both humbling and an honor. Thanks for the lesson of humility and servanthood.

13. Fairview Christian Church (NC) my first part time youth ministry. You taught me patience, priorities, and planning. Lewis Styons was a great encourager and mentor. Dr. Eubanks visiting during one of my sermons was one of encouragement.

14. Teen Haven Camp (Brogue, PA) - one summer camp. One long struggle of what my calling was. Thanks for the memories, opportunity to serve and learn from others.

15. Sterling Park Christian Church. (Sterling, VA) An internship during the summer of which was near Valerie's home and I had much to learn. Thanks to the Wismers, Cunninghams, Butts families and more ... for a summer of teaching, preaching, , roller hockey and more.

16. Corner House Christian Church. My first full time youth ministry. You took a chance on an inexperienced fresh out of Bible School student that wanted to change the world. The elders there were understanding, the staff patient, and the people persisting. Great elders, and friendships. People who I still hold dear like the Christys, Dripps, Coxsons.

17. My Indiana friends. From Anderson University to Ovid to learning things the hard way. I learned that God was bigger than anyone congregation. The friendship and encouragement I got from my friend, Dr. Guthrie Veech, to not give up spoke volumes. The inbetween ministries and working at a Toy Store taught me perspective and empathy. Very humbling. Travis Trueblood was a true friend.

18. Liberty Christian Church (Mechanicsville, VA) I thank you for the opportunity to serve. Working with ministers like Mike Lynn and Dave Snyder. Working with the Christian School. It felt like a first ministry. A new opportunity. Great friends .... like Rick, Penny, Rhett. Great sponsors. Elders : Gene, John and Harry. Letting me be Jesus' hands and feet. Forgiving and loving. A good family.

19. Cary Christian Church (Now the Pointe Church). Thanks for the great staff: Dan, Sandy/Sue, Shari, Ed, Jason, Devon and Sam. Great elders who understood Jesus. Students who willing to be the Church. Cary taught me that change comes and being flexible. Sometimes It was a matter of time. The years at Cary were ones in which Valerie and I just started having our family of 4 to 5 and having young toddlers. Great leaders and people who wanted to change the world.

20. Church of Christ at Hagerstown. The opportunity to be in the preaching ministry. To know what it was to be the "Lead" guy. The surrounding community and learning from area chaplains and ministers in the 4 state area. The people that we still hold dear to our hearts. Our kids started school there and enjoyed the time.

21. Bonnie Brae Church of Christ. Family. The joy of ministry. The elders who check in and are serving Him. The willingness to try to be the Church and Jesus' hands and feet to those that need it. Thanks for allowing my family and I the opportunity to be a part of the family and on the journey here with you.

22. Oak Hill Christian Service Camp. Teaching my kids about Jesus. My daughter, Kendra, just last week mentioned "I can't wait until summer." "Why?," I asked. "Because I get to goto Oak Hill and learn about Jesus and see ...."

23. Lamb's Basket. A food pantry ministry that was taught me servanthood, and being organized and working as a team. Many hands make light work. The coming together for a common goal is a picture of the Body of Christ working together. I am thankful our church gets to partner and serve such a great mission and opportunity to be literally Jesus' hands and feet.

24. My cat, Hope. Animals hold a special place for anyone. Sure we joke about eating "Cat." but deep down I am thankful for my pet for letting me pick on her, and really to know what it means when she thinks she is in "Control."

25. God's creation. I am amazed by nature. Looking for deer out my window to the weather, and the leaves falling.

26. Music. Singing a song. Listening to music ...especially worship music. Something I should never take for granted.

27. Coffee. You and other caffeine drinks (Which shall remain nameless aka Mt.Dew) have saved my sanity at times from long study sessions to Christian coffee houses to fellowship times and before church would start or even the day.

28. Hobbies ... like reading and watching hockey. A release in stressful world.

29. My needs are being met. I have clothes, food and a house. God does provide and for that I am thankful.

30. Thankful for the Lord. His Grace and Mercy. His Word. The gift of His Son. The opportunity to serve and be a preacher. The opportunity and honor to work along side great godly men and women.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pray for the Persecuted Church

The persecuted church or the underground church needs our prayers.

I had a recent disagreement with someone who tried to say the "Churches in Houston" were being persecuted because a mayor asked for their sermons. This is a far cry from what is happening in the church across the world. The persecuted church needs our prayers.

According to Release International (Source The Lookout Nov. 2, 2014 pg. 4 "Prosecuted and Persecuted" Dr. Barry Thornton)

"More Christians have been martyred in the 20th Century than in all previous centuries combined.

About 170 000 Christians are martyred for their faith each year. That's 400 people dying for their faith each day!

Currently more than 100 Million Christians are being persecuted worldwide.

Christians are being persecuted in 131 of the world's 193 countries (Pew Forum Study)"

According to VOM
(Voice of the Martyrs) there are 53 countries in the world and 14 restricted places that the gospel cannot be preached. (I have a banner that cites the places that I display now and then for the church to pray for their brothers and sisters in Christ)

What does this have to do with me?

1. Pray for the church.

2. Don't take your freedom in Christ or freedom of religion for granted.

3. To say someone asking for sermons or certain restrictions are being persecuted does a disservice. Harassed or bullied ...yes. Honor and pray for those taking a stand.

4. Educate yourself what is happening with Missions Around the World. Pray for those missionaries serving in tough areas.

5. Give. Give of your time, talents, treasure to help the Underground Church.

Who is with me?