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:
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!
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.
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.
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!
Marriage, 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.
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.
Another 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.
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.”
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.”
Most 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
In no particular order . . .
1. Some of our teenage boys are getting together on their own to study the Bible. These guys are getting it!
2. We’re taking two adult mission trips this year – Costa Rica and Appalachia (eastern Kentucky).
3. We had a record night last Wednesday in Awana! So glad children are being discipled.
4. We are learning to pray. Between our weekly prayer meetings, and monthly House of Prayer gatherings, prayer is becoming more of a priority.
5. The Wednesday night class I’m teaching on theology has enthusiasm and great insight from the participants. We are loving it!
6. The worship team has a renewed spiritual focus.
7. 242 Groups have been well attended, with Christian community lived out.
8. We installed new projectors in the sanctuary, that make the media much clearer.
9. HELP Mother’s Day out continues to remain at full capacity, and is a great resource to our community.
10. On the first day of the month we send checks to 31 missionaries or ministries.