Sunday Summary – April 24, 2022

The Sunday after Easter is unique as an inevitable correction to the swell of Easter attenders. However, Christianity is still in Eastertide, so the celebration continues despite the many who have moved on. I preached on one of my favorite subjects – Provision. I know the story from 2 Kings 4:1-7 is an encouragement to those in overwhelming debt that God cares and has provision for them.

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Third Thursday Pastor’s Gathering

Since 2010, an important part of my monthly rhythm has been the Third Thursday pastors gathering in Nashville. Each month, Jeremy Rose, the senior pastor of Axis Church, hosts pastors, church planters, and ministry leaders who need camaraderie and helpful insight.

As the group has developed, Jeremy has allowed me to serve as part of the leadership of this group. A few times each year I teach, and on the other months, I love to receive insight from another pastor. I am so grateful for this opportunity and benefit from the blessing of long-term relationships.

Lessons from the Mask

I hope that the era of the mask debate has ended in the United States. I appreciate people who choose to wear a mask out of concern for the potential spread of disease. I find it helpful when others use the mask as a physical symbol they are ill, and it may be good to continue these practices voluntarily.

However, it is not the government’s role constitutionally to require medical intervention or preventative acts. I hope the government mandates we experienced in 2020-2022 become a short-term learning experience of what not to do. The government can encourage, promote, urge, and provide medical masks. Our tax dollars pay for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the research and recommendations they offer, but it is not in their authority to create requirements.

Should you wear a medical mask in the future? Maybe, but it should be up to you.

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Picture description: A passenger prepares to board a flight departing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on March 15.
John Moore/Getty Images North America

Easter 2022 – Three Opportunities!

For Easter, we will offer three opportunities to worship!
 
                 Easter Services #1 – Saturday, April 16 at 6 PM
                 Easter Service #2 – Sunday, April 17 at 9 AM
                 Easter Service #3 – Sunday, April 17 at 10:45 AM
 
Easter at CIL includes excellent music with the CIL Worship Team and award-winning vocalist Angela Primm. The Saturday option (6 PM) allows families to worship together, providing childcare through age four. The two Sunday services (9 AM and 10:45 AM) have an Easter Egg Hunt for all kids while parents receive ministry. We will celebrate because He’s alive!

Sunday Summary – April 10, 2022

What a great Palm Sunday at CIL Church!

We installed Mauricio Barahona as the newest CIL pastor, as he joins our staff as the full-time Student Pastor. Mauricio is 31 years old, married to Renee, and they have two girls, ages 4 and 2. Mauricio has over ten years of youth ministry experience, and he desires to have a long career in student ministry. Mauricio and Renee come to us from Pennsylvania but are originally from Miami. It was great to welcome them to our spiritual family!

My close friend and mentor Dan Scott preached a fantastic message! Dan is such a gift to the body of Christ! 

You can experience the service by clicking here!

Good news for America

For those who dare accept it, I have positive news. I recognize that media outlets and religious leaders are stoking fear, distrust, and hidden conspiracies. While that is one lens to see the world, there is another perspective I want to suggest. Good things are happening during our lifetime!

  • Diseases are being cured.
  • Life expectancy is increasing.
  • Roe vs. Wade is on the verge of being overturned.
  • Unemployment is at a record low.
  • Religious liberty has been widely upheld in the courts. 
  • The federal government supported churches and religious institutions with the PPP of 2020 and 2021. 
  • Home values are increasing.
  • Mass gatherings are occurring without required masks. 
  • So far, America is not being drawn into foreign wars. 

Now, there are many things I am concerned about – medical ethics, inflation, the value of the dollar, a porous southern border, affordable housing, health care access, the misuse of executive orders, and federal overreach – to name a few. There is much concern, but there are also reasons to give thanks.

The world is falling apart. The world is advancing. 

You can choose either tune to be the soundtrack of your life. Scripture teaches us that sin and evil are present in this world and increasing in many. Yet, Scripture teaches God’s victory over sin, and He is redeeming the world for His purposes through the church.  

Try positivity – you may like it! 

Prayers for the busy during Lent

I am so disappointed at the busyness of March, especially since it is the middle of Lent. My rhythms have been thrown off entirely between my responsibilities, travel, car troubles, and other necessities to support the kids.

Busyness really is violence upon the soul. I feel the bruises on my soul from the aggressive onslaught of busyness. The roaring rapids of activity shakes spiritual confidence, dulls the mind, and produces restless emotions.

Here are a couple of prayers that are good for me and anyone else out of spiritual rhythm:

  • God, help my soul find rest in you. May my appetite for your Scripture bring soul nourishment instead of the destruction I crave. May I allow your presence to settle in my spirit.
  • “You made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it finds its place of rest in You.” – St. Augustine