Todd Hunter’s newest book – Deep Peace

I just eagerly ordered the book Deep Peace, the newest release by Todd Hunter. Todd has been at the forefront of several Christian movements in American for the last 40 years, so his insights into our faith today are proven and needed. Todd desires this book to “make a real difference in the conflict and anxiety that permeate Church and society.”

Since Todd has moved to the Nashville area from California, he has been gracious to me. I am enthusiastic about his ministry and what this book can mean to people.

Thomas McKenzie – A Significant Loss

I am sorry this blog has recently had so many death notices. It is an unusual time. However, I want to acknowledge and inform you of this impactful death.

Thomas McKenzie was a strategic and important voice in Nashville and America. I am so sad to learn of his sudden and tragic death on August 23. My prayers and love for The Church of the Redeemer, and all who are mourning this loss. He was special and needed.

Click for full article

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.

The Three Streams Chart

We had such a powerful worship experience last night. We took that evening to lean into the “Spirit stream” and found refreshing in the Lord.

Last Sunday, I started our vision series CIL Forward and shared our identity as a Three Streams church. Here is the chart that we shared during the sermon about the Biblical-basis for a Three Streams identity. Pastor Dan Scott introduced this chart to me a few years ago, and it has been a great way to put in words how God has formed us.

Devotional and Prayer on Holy Saturday

I commend the Hendersonville Standard for printing and posting an Easter devotional I wrote. I hope these words give hope and strength to people. We can’t get enough positive messages these days!

One note about the article, our church is now known as CIL Church, which is an acronym for Christ is Love Church.

https://www.hendersonvillestandard.com/opinion/columnists/the-face-of-god-in-uncertain-times/article_af15fd2a-7b4c-11ea-994d-833d711d2d87.html

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The Collect (collective prayer) from the Book of Common Prayer on this Holy Saturday:
 
O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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.  

AdventBibleReadin-2019

A prayer for mercy instead of violence

I was honored to pray at the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce today, representing both Union University and CIL. Here is a portion of the prayer which speaks to the national conversation occurring in light of last week’s expressions of evil:
 
“Almighty God,
We take this moment to pause and acknowledge your greatness, power, and love.
 
Our nation is currently mourning the senseless loss of life manifested in mass killings.
We pray for comfort, strength, and wisdom to the communities of
 
Gilroy, California.
El Paso, Texas.
Dayton, Ohio.
We pray for protection over Hendersonville, Tennessee.
 
Root out the evil that lurks.
The evil in the shadows of our city.
And the evil in the shadows of our hearts.
 
We thank you that you are a God who loves all people.
We pray that we follow your example, Christ;
so, that prejudice and racism will eradicate from our culture.
 
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

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)