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.

The Victorious Limp

1024x768-0006Years ago I concluded, I never trust a person who doesn’t have a spiritual limp.  You know the type.  The person who never admits a spiritual setback or struggle.

While Christians are called to pursue holiness, that does not make us immune from setbacks or struggles.  In fact, God is in the struggle!  As I spoke on Sunday (August 13) on Jacob wrestling with God (Genesis 32:22-31), it reminded me that God is in the struggles we encounter.  Often, He is the struggle. God can be hard to understand, and sometimes we do not even agree with Him. Yet, He loves us, and we can love Him, in the midst of the struggle.

So, if you are struggling with your faith, don’t despair.  Do not give up.  Keep wrestling with God.  Like Jacob, you may have a limp after the struggle, but it is a victorious limp.

Anticipating Easter

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This Sunday is Easter. CIL leaders have been working on the building and property for quite some time to get ready for this Sunday. We will set out extra chairs, schedule more greeters, and print more Reviews.  When all of us show up on the same Sunday like we do each Easter, it creates quite a buzz.

Many will buy a new outfit, the worship team will practice more than usual, and I will feel a bit more pressure to nail the sermon.  There will be a fresh energy – a delightful mixture of cultural tradition and spiritual practice.  We do all of this because

Jesus is worth it!  Jesus is more than worthy of this tradition, effort, and love.

I look forward to seeing you at either 9am or 10:45am this Resurrection Sunday!

Holy Week points me to Jesus

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We are in Holy Week, leading to Easter Sunday. The death of Jesus, and his resurrection, was the pinnacle of history. Everything changed after these events. Even the modern calendar is based off these occurrences (B.C. / A.D.).
The most important question we answer in life is what our posture is towards Jesus Christ. I have believed that He is the son of God and the expression of God’s love for the world. I have made Jesus the Christ my sovereign. I follow His teachings, leadership and active presence in my life. This has been my greatest decision. My greatest honor.
Eternal life has already begun for me though faith in Jesus. I am so grateful for this fortunate grace on my life. Still, I know that any human being who believes Jesus is God receives this same blessing. Please take time to reflect on what Jesus means to you this week. No consideration is more important.

God of the Wilderness

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If you are in the wilderness, God is going before you to help you. In Exodus 17:6, God told Moses, “I am going to stand there in front of you,” when he led Moses to an unlikely source of provision. CIL prayed this together twice during our Sunday service, and you can pray it with us now. (This is a picture of the Sinai wilderness)
 
God of the wilderness,
You go before and await our coming.
May our desire for you compel us
beyond complaint to conversation,
beyond rejection to relationship.
Pour your love into our hearts,
that, refreshed and renewed,
we may invite others to the living water
given to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.