Roe vs. Wade is not the end

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On January 22, we recognize the somber anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision to federally legalize abortion in 1973.  Though this is an important and consequential occurrence that should be acknowledged, it is not the linchpin of the pro-life movement like I once believed.

If Roe vs. Wade is overturned, as I hope it will be, abortions will still be legal in many states, and a vast portion of the United States population will yet have the choice to participate in an abortion.  While legal wrangling in our future will continue to go back and forth, one state at a time, it is the hearts of Americans that are in balance.

Abortion must be eliminated one heart at a time.  God, turn our hearts to the children.

Advent: An invitation to connect with Jesus

You may have been like me, not growing up around the concept of Advent.  Advent designates a period before Christmas when Christians prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. If you choose to follow the traditional church calendar like we often do at CIL, Advent started on December 1 and culminates on Christmas Eve. 

This organization of times extends our holiday. Advent prepares us for Christmas, which is celebrated for 12 days by the church, beginning on December 25. Christmas is a time of joy, wonder, awe, and feasting!

So, lean in with the rest of the world-wide church into this heavenly focus. This time is an invitation to connect with Jesus.  At whatever point you want to acknowledge Advent, I think it will be good for your soul.

One way you may benefit from Advent is some additional Bible reading that revolves around Advent themes. Attached is a plan provided by CIL that you may find helpful.  

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“Day of Atonement” Service this Wednesday

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Many years ago, I discovered what respect and appreciation Christians should have towards the Jewish faith. Christianity sprung from Judaism, yet we live out our faith oblivious to that reality.

This irony explains my enthusiasm that Pastor Chris Muti will lead us in a Day of Atonement prayer time on Wednesday, October 9 (12 pm) at CIL.

Yom Kippur is a way to remember our heritage and to glorify Jesus Christ.

I’ll be there, and I hope you will join us!

Walk on the Moon

Apolllo11I’ve been amazed this summer when learning details about the United States sending an astronaut to the moon fifty years ago. It was indeed a remarkable accomplishment of scientific skill, resolve, human cooperation, courage, and love of country.
It is just mind-boggling to consider what NASA accomplished with what we now consider primitive technology. I’m proud of my country!

What is Eastertide?

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Do you wish that Easter wasn’t over? Good news! It is not.
 
When observing the church calendar, Easter starts on Resurrection Sunday and is celebrated for several weeks. This season is also known as Eastertide. It is 50 days of celebration until Pentecost Sunday.
 
If you are interested in learning more about this, take a listen to this informative and enjoyable podcast from Renovare with Nathan Foster interviewing Dr. Lacy Borgo.
 
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The picture is of a stain-glass named Women at the Tomb (circa 1150) in Chartres Cathedral (Chartres, France)

Grieving for Notre-Dame

Iconic buildings do matter.   They are the culmination of culture, history, story, faith, and love.  They are a connecting point for a disjointed society.

Human beings reflect the image of God in many ways, including our creativity and skill in building beautiful structures.  

A centuries-old building lost in an evening brings a sadness we cannot quite reconcile, so we grieve for the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The amazing International Space Station

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A couple of sermons ago, I talked about the International Space Station as an illustration. I forgot to include this thought-provoking quote that impacted me:
 
“Few of us give a thought to the International Space Station, even though, when the future measures our collective contribution to humanity, the ISS will prove the single best thing we did. Less than a century after the Model T was state of the art, we manufactured a kind of galleon in space and have sent men and women from 10 countries to live in it, along with a host of short-term visitors, without recess or mutiny or fatality, for nearly 20 years.” -Chris Jones, Wired Magazine.

Do not skip Sunday night service for the Super Bowl! :-)

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The evangelical church has gone through several phases since the Super Bowl started taking place right in the middle of the traditional Sunday night service.

Phase 1 (1980s): You are a bad Christian if you even think about skipping Sunday night service to watch the Super Bowl.

Phase 2 (early 1990s): We will all watch the Super Bowl at the church. This will include a potluck, youth fundraiser, and technical difficulties.

Phase 3 (late 1990s): Watch the Super Bowl with a group from the church, but you have to turn it off and do a devotional at half time.

Phase 4a (late 2000s): Watch the Super Bowl at home, but don’t enjoy it too much. Don’t get used to skipping church!

Phase 4b (late 2000s): The weekly Sunday night service is eliminated. (See the correlation to Phase 4a)

Phase 5 (early 2010s). Make the Sunday morning worship service to the Almighty God revolve around a Super Bowl theme. 🙂Worship team, buy your favorite NFL jersey to wear on stage.

Phase 6 (late 2010s): Skip church all day, because it’s Super Bowl Sunday.

 

* Disclaimer: I had fun writing this post. It was not meant for pastoral direction or cultural critique.

If you appreciate the Bible, you’ll read it

William Tyndale
Why do Christians love the Bible so much?  There are many answers, but let’s not forget this crucial reason:  individual Christians have not always had the Scripture!

For centuries only spiritual leaders could access the Bible. This arrangement made God’s people vulnerable when leadership did not follow God’s heart. The courage and sacrifices of John Wycliffe (1328-1384), William Tyndale (1494-1536) and their ministry partners left us an incomparable gift – the Scripture in English.  Read their stories some time.

As you pick your Bible to read in 2019, remember that the ability to read Scripture in your native language was very costly.  Whatever we appreciate becomes valuable to us.  Let us approach Scripture reading with deep appreciation.

We get to do this!

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The New Testament Bible Reading plan can be found by clicking here.