Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. The term “maundy” comes from the Latin word “command.” On this night, we remember Jesus’ new command:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

At a Maundy Thursday service a few years ago, these words hit me with power and conviction. This Scripture has been my life verse since then. I do not always live this Scripture, but it is my standard of spirituality.

On Maundy Thursday, we recognize that Jesus established Holy Communion as our way to remember and connect with Him. We also remember that Jesus washed His disciple’s feet on this day, so we should also serve each other.

The observance of Maundy Thursday is important preparation for Good Friday and the Easter celebration.

Blessed is Jesus!

As we are in Holy Week, my heart is alive with this Scripture today:

Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt
.” – John 12:15 (CSB)

Jesus is coming! He comes in unexpected ways.

Let us be among those who say of Jesus …

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Parable Church by Mike Burnette

I am so excited about Mike Burnette’s new book, Parable Church.

Mike is an incredible leader, pastor, and scholar. Mike is one of my best friends, and I can assure you he lives what he teaches. The concepts from this book will help you love Jesus and the church better. Experience a fresh perspective through Parable Church.

#ParableChurch

https://www.zondervan.com/9780310113010/parable-church/

Despite sound system troubles, He was there!

Today, CIL Church had a technology meltdown with a major component of our sound system failing. The extraordinary work of Aubrey McGowan, Steve Hertzler, and their team adapted to a portable soundboard, and we were able to have live worship for campus church and digital church.

We’ll be back to normal next week, but for those of us who were part of the early morning surprise, we’ll never forget today. The important part of this story, the presence of God was among us despite these challenges. When we have His presence, we have all we need.

We need covenant relationships

We instinctively long for covenant relationships. What is this? It’s a sacred agreement between two parties. This covenant takes away the fear of abandonment. I wish I would have learned this principle earlier in life. It would have saved me from sin, mistakes, and the destruction of meaningful relationships.

An example of this is Jacob and his father-in-law, Laban. Their poor relationship turned into a covenant relationship.

Genesis 31:44 (CSB)
“Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I. Let it be a witness between the two of us.”

Genesis 31:49 (CSB)
… “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are out of each other’s sight.”

Covenant requires trust. Both the Lord and the covenant watch over the two parties when they are apart. None of us have been perfect in this, but we can live with this understanding and aspiration from this point forward.

To listen or watch my sermon on this, watch here:

No In-Person Services on February 21

What a week!  

It has been a few years since we experienced winter storms like the ones we just endured. Our area just does not have the equipment to clear all the roads and parking lots in a timely manner. I have visited the church property three times in the last 16 hours, and the CIL parking lot is still in terrible shape

After consulting several people who looked at CIL’s parking lot with me, I have decided to have an online service only tomorrow (February 21) at 10:45 AM. We will not offer 242 Childcare and 242 Students on February 21.  

Stay safe, and I’ll see you online!

Prayers for those Impacted by Weather

Well, this is an unusual week for those impacted by the weather. It is a reminder we are mortal, and our plans have to yield to nature. My heart goes out to all the Texans and others around the country who have struggled this week. Tennessee has experienced challenges, but most of us have energy for our homes.

Each power outage, busted pipe, and stranded car is an emotional gut-punch for the affected person. I am so sorry for those of you going through disruptions. May God strengthen those who suffer, and may better days come.

Spring is before us.

Happy Valentines, Beth

We were fortunate to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday night when we took this picture. We had a great night!

A year ago, we had a peaceful Valentine’s dinner, not realizing 2020 would be the most challenging year of leadership our generation has ever known.

I could get through the last 12 months because SHE HAS BEEN THERE FOR ME. The song I chose for our wedding was James Taylor’s “Something In the Way She Moves.” The lyrics state:

I feel fine anytime she’s around me now
She’s around me now
Almost all the time

That song is a reality all these years later, and I am grateful.

I LOVE YOU, Beth, and I am so glad YOU ARE MINE. Happy Valentine’s forever!

Unity asks – “Can I love you?”

The biggest question about preserving unity we often overlook is, “Can I love you?”

I love you when we disagree.
I love you when you tick me off.
I love you if you are deceived.
I love you if you are immature.
I love you if you understand something I won’t comprehend for years.
I love you if you have had experiences and hold a worldview I’ll never be able to comprehend.
I love you no matter who you voted for.
I love you despite your sin.
I will be friends with you.
I will talk to you before I write you off.
I will give you another chance.
I will turn the other cheek.
I will restore you with gentleness.
I will choose love over the offense.

That is a hard way to live, and I do not always live to this standard. This perspective is Jesus-style living and a goal of our faith.