Posted by: Aaron Allison | April 19, 2014

It’s Love That Believes the Resurrection

 

 

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Here is an article I wrote for the Hendersonville Standard in their Tuesday, April 15 Edition:

This Sunday the world will celebrate our most splendid spring holiday in Easter. Like every holiday, various cultures, families and individuals will express Easter uniquely. Despite a myriad of traditions, Easter is a distinctly Christian expression. Those of us who are Christians understand that the Easter story contains our deepest held belief, which is the resurrection of Jesus. Without the Easter story, the death of Christ is just another historical occurrence of an execution. With the Easter story, everything changes.

The apostle Paul, one of the greatest voices for the Christian faith stated, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless (1 Corinthians 15:17).” So, why does the resurrection mean so much to Christians? The resurrection is the great differential in the identity of Jesus. It is reasonable to accept Jesus as a great teacher, leader or philosopher. However, to believe that he was resurrected is to believe Jesus was more than a man, but that he was also God. The followers of Jesus believed this, and spread the story of his resurrection throughout the Roman Empire. The story has been spreading ever since. Legend tells us that the original disciples held to this story to their deaths, and countless Christians since have also willingly died to uphold this story.

While there is evidence of Jesus’ existence, and a great historical case for his resurrection, this cannot be unequivocally proven. So what makes over two billion current Christians around the globe believe the resurrection? Obligation? Yes, I suppose there are many who feel obligated culturally to believe. However, belief out of obligation is no true belief in the end.

It is love that believes the resurrection.” These words by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) were quoted in theologian N.T. Wright’s recent book Surprised By Hope (2008). This quote summarizes why I believe the Easter story. Like you, I have been through personal challenges. Through the early death of my father, a difficult illness with my infant child and walking with people in my congregation through deep times of sorrow, I have experienced love from God. This love would not be real if there was no real resurrection. As you enjoy this Easter weekend, take time to reflect on how the claim of Jesus’ resurrection has impacted the world. Also, I encourage you to search for the love of God that has made me believe the resurrection. “It is love that believes the resurrection.”

 

Posted by: Aaron Allison | April 11, 2014

Favorite baseball line-up

In honor of a new baseball season, I am going to post a frivilous blog. I am a moderate baseball fan, but the older I get the more I appreciate the game’s slower pace.  My earliest memories of baseball start in the early 1980′s.  If I was putting a team together of players I remember, this would be my team:

imagesC – Pudge Rodriguez
1B – George Brett
2B – Ryne Sandburg
SS – Derek Jeter
3B – Mike Schmidt
RF – Bo Jackson
CF –  Mike Trout
LF – Kirk Gibson

White Sox Rangers Baseball FightStarting Pitchers
Nolan Ryan
Greg Maddux
Justin Verlander
Jack Morris
Andy Pettit
Closer – Mariano Rivera (of course)

Posted by: Aaron Allison | April 10, 2014

Jesus Changes Everything

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I am currently preaching a series called Jesus Changes Everything, as we look at historical impact of Jesus on society.  I love reading about the teachings, miracles and heart of Jesus in the gospels. Jesus said himself,

I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do.  And he will do even greater works than these.” – John 14:12 (HCSB)

This Scripture has always been hard for me to accept, because no one is higher than Jesus.  Yet, when you examine the historical impact that followers of Jesus have made upon society, Jesus is still at work through His people!

In categories such as medicine, science, art, education, and government – the followers of Jesus have changed the world!   Greater works have happened through the long-term application of Jesus’ teaching and heart.  He is the one doing the work, and we are honored as Christians to be His instruments.

Join me this Sunday at either 9:00 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. as I preach a message called Jesus Introduces Humility.  It will be Palm Sunday, and I want you to worship with me.

It’s a joy and honor to be your pastor!

Aaron

 

Posted by: Aaron Allison | March 28, 2014

Matthew’s Table

Most people in Berlin are not interested in attending church. John and Gayle Butrin understand this, so they started a ministry called Matthew’s Table. The Butrins open their beautiful home to show the gift of hospitality for those who would never attend a traditional church setting. After decades of serving the American church in contexts we are all familiar with, this couple is reaching out to unreached individuals in a nonthreatening, Jesus way. In Matthew 9:9-12, we discover that Jesus had dinner with Matthew’s friends, even when these friends had negative reputations among the religious elite. This ministry reminds me that the gift of hospitality is one of the most important ways we can share the love of Jesus. We had an incredible night of fellowship with this couple, and were inspired to reach our friends through their example.

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Posted by: Aaron Allison | March 27, 2014

Two Berlins

On Wednesday, we enjoyed beautiful architecture as we discovered more of Berlin. It was very haunting to visit sites from two unique eras of German history: the Nazi rule, and the division of East Berlin and West Berlin (and the country). The “Topography of Terror” museum reminded us of the evil that resides within mankind. The remnants of the Berlin wall reminded us of the strength of the human spirit, which is a gift from God.

During the day, we had a long lunch with ministry leaders in Berlin, and it was such a rich time of learning and fellowship.

The evening ended with a ministry called Matthew’s Table. More about that in tomorrow’s article.

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Posted by: Aaron Allison | March 26, 2014

Berlin

I’m on a trip in Berlin, Germany, to visit our missionary Aaron Alexander. John McKinzie and Aubrey McGowan of Hope Fellowship in Frisco, Texas; and Mike Burnette of Life Point Church in Clarksville, and are also on the trip.

Due to a plane cancellation, Mike and I did not arrive until Tuesday morning (a day late). We immediately went to a private tour of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s last home before his arrest and execution. Bonhoeffer is one of my historical heroes, so this visit was a true privilege. We then participated in an insightful driving tour of the city.

That evening, we ministered at an event for college students called Chai Alpha. I was so impressed with the love the students had for one another, as this group is impacting a campus. Great conversations occurred and Christ was glorified. So encouraging!

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Posted by: Aaron Allison | February 21, 2014

Traditional Marriage

CIL_MARRIAGE_v01Marriage, as we have known it for centuries, is rapidly changing in western culture.  The United States government has always recognized the union of a man and woman as marriage partners.  Now, the expansion of traditional marriage for same gender individuals is being determined from state to state, and federal policy is supporting this expanded definition.

How are we to respond to this as Christians?
Is this change progress, or an abandonment of Biblical values?

This Sunday (February 23), I will give a message called The Case for Traditional Marriage.  I desire to lovingly share the Scripture, and to gain collective wisdom from above on this sensitive issue.  Please join me for this important message.

Posted by: Aaron Allison | February 18, 2014

Recommended Marriage Books

Keller book coverHere are two of the books that I have used in my teaching on marriage, that I recommend to you.

My favorite is The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller.  This intellectual presentation on marriage is coupled with practical wisdom from a seasoned pastor, who has lead a church in Manhattan for many years.  I have so many great quotes underlined in my Kindle for this book.  This is one of the few books I need to read every year.

Driscoll bookAnother helpful book is Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll.   Mark Driscoll has been one of the most popular Christian speakers the last decade, and he and his wife give the gift of transparency to help marriages improve.  I don’t agree with every aspect of this book, but I do agree with the majority, and respect the courage it took for this couple to open up their lives to the public.  This book can be raw at times, but marriage is such an important subject, it deserves honest communication. Mark Driscoll is a pastor in the Seattle area.

Posted by: Aaron Allison | February 17, 2014

The Meaning of Marriage

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On Sunday, I started a two week series called The Meaning of Marriage. I know that the enemy wants to ruin Christian marriages, but God is calling us to a greater health in our marriages.  God is also calling Christian singles to prepare themselves for the covenant that is simultaneously between two spouses, and God Himself.

We spent some time during Sunday messages emphasizing the difference between covenant and contract.  In our culture, we incorrectly look at marriage as a contract, in which either party can break if expectations are not being met.  God has called our marriages to covenant, which is an agreement that bonds two people together regardless of circumstances. We are people of covenant, not contract.

I’m praying for you existing or future marriage this week.   I also look forward to teaching on Sunday, February 23, 2014, a message called “The Case for Traditional Marriage.”

 

Posted by: Aaron Allison | February 6, 2014

Hendersonville Samaritan Center

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One of the ministries we partner with at CIL is the Hendersonville Samaritan Center (HSA). “The mission of the Hendersonville Samaritan Association is to be neighbors in the tradition of the Good Samaritan, helping families get through a crisis that has disrupted their life-style and assisting them in becoming self-sufficient.”

SouperBowlMost recently, you gave in the “Souper Bowl of Caring.”   This particular offering was designated to help fund HSA’s program that sends backpacks of food home over the weekend for children in Hendersonville who rely upon free school lunches.  We were able to give $626 towards this particular outreach through the Souper Bowl of Caring.

I’m so glad we have an great organization like the HSA, and I hope you take advantage of opportunities with them.  Shop at the Samaritan Thrift Store, 116 Dunn St. in Hendersonville.  The primary source of income for the HSA is the Hendersonville Samaritan Thrift Store, which sells used clothing, household items, furniture, appliances, and etc. (Lots of etc.!)

Drop off your tax-deductible donations during store hours.  To schedule pick up of larger items call 824-5652 during store hours.

Hendersonville Samaritan Thrift Store Hours:
Mon – Fri: 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Sat: 10:00AM – 3:00PM

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