Will You Be Baptized in February?

If you missed Sunday, I preached a message on water baptism that lifted the value of this sacrament.  If you did not hear it, take a listen at www.indianlake.sermon.net.

In the sermon and 242 Small Groups, we discussed the opportunity for those who were baptize as a child to be baptized as an adult.  While it may not be a necessity for those baptized as child to experience baptism again, it is still a good step to consider.  While a child’s baptism is an important part of our journey, there may be greater significance for you when you take this step as an adult.  Our next scheduled water baptism is on Sunday, February 25th.

If you want to participate in water baptism on that day, fill out this online form.

If you want to talk about it some more, one of our pastors would love to have that conversation with you.  Just let me know!This Sunday, I will be preaching a message called Resting in His Call from Psalm 62:5-12.  It has been a good season of prayer, so I believe God has a fresh word for you.  Pray with me that He will be glorified through this message, and all the other aspects of worship in which we will participate. Invite someone you know to CIL this Sunday.  Your invitation could lead to a changed life!

MLK Day 2018

MLK-PennStateImageOn MLK Day, let us remember that the Civil Rights movement started in local churches, led by local pastors. The movement still continues today.
 
You are part of the solution of racism when you resist racist jokes, and refuse to perpetuate old racial stereotypes that live on whispers and innuendos. Living in a multi-cultural society takes curiosity, maturity, and understanding. Sounds like the perfect description of a Jesus-kind of people!
 
As a Christian and minister of the gospel, I welcome and hope for more Haitians, Africans, Arabs, Asians, South Americans, and any other ethnic group to contribute to our community. Let’s do “life together” with all people.
 
“Let freedom ring!”

Celebrating 500 Years of Reformation

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On this 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s spark that ignited the Reformation (October 31, 1517), I am so thankful for the courage of reformers like Luther (Germany), John Wycliffe (England) and John Hus (Czech Republic), who stood for access to Scripture and a faith-based salvation.

While I am proud to be a Protestant, I am also thankful for new cooperation between Protestants and Roman Catholics in the 21st Century. We who believe that Jesus is God, need one another.

At CIL, we are neighbors with Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Community. This parish has been so gracious to us, and we love to see them prosper as they lift up the name of Jesus to our community.

Believers are in a perpetual need of reformation. We need the power of the gospel to reform our hearts, habits, and harmful traditions. God help us all to keep thinking, growing and courageously implementing changes led by your Word and Holy Spirit.

Reflections on the Afghanistan War

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I still remember the vivid emotions I felt leaving a church service in 2001, when I heard the United States invaded Afghanistan.  An alarmed friend asked out loud, “What does this mean?”  Her husband soberly responded, “We are at war, honey.”   In that moment, I felt like life as I knew it would permanently change.  But, it did not.

For the last 16 years our soldiers have died in Afghanistan (and Iraq), and my life has proceeded in comfort.  During the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, I do not remember meaningful public discussion on the validity of fighting a two-front war overseas while so many were hurting domestically.

Barak Obama campaigned on the position of pulling out of Afghanistan. Donald Trump was more ambiguous on his plans, but there was hope that he would end our longest war (and he may still). I believe both wanted to end the war, but obviously there is more information received as president that changed both of their intentions.  We discovered on August 21, 2017, that the Afghanistan War will continue with a new strategy.

With my limited knowledge in this area, I have concluded a few things:

  • This war has been so long because the average American does not feel the impact of the war on their lifestyle.
  • When a nation topples a government, that country must be prepared to keep military personal their 100 years. That is something to consider before the next military invasion to uproot a government. This is a concern for Iran, North Korea and Syria. Yet, the United States and allies may have no other choice when it comes to those troubled regimes.
  • For democracy to succeed, a revolution of values has to occur in people’s hearts. We cannot export our values as easily as we had hoped after the Cold War ended. It may take many decades for an idea to germinate in a culture before a people group rises up in defiance for lasting change. It is not enough to win freedom; it is a continual struggle to maintain freedom.  The United State has 241 years of history that proves this struggle is necessary.
  • The fallen soldiers and disabled veterans, and their families, deserve for the Afghanistan War to reach resolution.

My prayer is for our soldiers to come home soon, and for Afghanistan to thrive as a place of freedom and security. I do not know if both are possible, so I will support my country in the path it chooses militarily, as much as my conscious allows me to.

Though good men and women participate in them, war is a manifestation of evil.  Through the future rule of Jesus, there will come a day when all war ends!  Praise be to His name!