Monthly Archives: December 2010

Top 10 Predictions for 2011

Every year around this time all kinds of email forwards start floating around the internet.  I think I have seen this one for the past several years but can’t be certain.  However it is true, and good to think about I hope you enjoy.  This was sent to me by a church member last week… Top 10 Predictions for 2011       1. The Bible will still have all the answers.      2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth..      3. The Holy Spirit will still move.      4. God will still honor the praises of His people.      5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.      6. There will still be singing of praise to God.      7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.      8. There will still be room at the Cross.      9. Jesus will still love you.    10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him. 

Look for God’s Plan in the New Year Acts 9:10-15

 I try to read different blogs from others each week.  One of my seminary professors (Bill Bryan) writes a weekly message for his church and I thought it would be good to share it with you all as well.  Bill is going to be one of the speakers at BOOST 2011 as well.  Boost will be on April 8-9 2011 so mark your calanders.  More Boost news to come soon! Look for God’s Plan in the New Year Acts 9:10-15 Ananias is an often overlooked and underappreciated character in the Book of Acts. In Acts 9 where he plays an important role in the conversion of Saul. On the Damascus Road Saul had a miraculous encounter with the risen Christ that left him temporarily blind. This is where we pick up Ananias’ story in Acts 9:10-15, “10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ 11 So the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his13 Then Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.’ 15 But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. . . .’” The […]

I read a news story today about the top ten christian news stories of 2010.  I was shocked to see that at least 7 of the 10 were negative stories. A storng case could be made that 8 of the ten are negative.  Everything from Episcopal Church ordains first lesbian bishop, Pastor Terry Jones threatens to burn Quran, and Crystal Cathedral files Chapter 11 were in this top ten list. This made me ask 2 questions, what does this say about our world, and what does it say about us?First what does it say about our world?  I believe Christians live in an ever increasing hostile world.  The news media craves all kinds of negative news, but negative news about Christians or the church seem to be the crown jewel for many these days. The world at large is not rooting for us but rather against us.  for most of history this has been the case, however in the past 200 years Americans in particular have not faced this kind of religious opposition.  However with church attendance falling across the board in America and with the rise of post-modern thought, and an ever increasing focus on materialism and ourselves, I expect that this problem will only continue to get worse.  The end game for our enemy is to strip God out of all meaningful areas of our lives.  This maybe prayer in school, in God we trust in our court rooms and on our money, or your front yard Christmas nativity scene, they want it gone.  The world at large is becoming increasingly negative about all things spiritual, in part due to the obsession with negative Christian news.  But the larger question for me is what […]

The Nobodies of Christmas

The Nobodies of Christmasby: Ray Hollenbach When important people come to town, everyone one knows it. NBA stadiums sell out months before LaBron or Kobe show up for game time. When Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson do a personal appearance, hundreds of screaming fans will show up hours ahead of time. When the President visits your city, you can be sure the mayor will meet him at the airport, and schoolchildren will be there to give the First Lady flowers. The Christmas story shows us that God does things differently. You might even call His way sneaky. The most important person in the history of the world snuck into town late one night and definitely did not stay in a five-star hotel. Actually, Jesus was smuggled into Bethlehem through the womb of a teenage girl, who gave birth in a barn. That’s different. We all know the story of Christmas: the baby, the barn, the shepherds, and magi. Hidden inside that familiar story is the surprising revelation that God’s way is to ignore the bigshots and use nobodies instead. Just count the nobodies: Mary was a teenage girl from a small town. In Bible times, women were not important people, and teenagers were even lower on the scale. Mix in her pre-martial pregnancy, and you’ve got a real nobody on your hands. Mary was God’s choice. She conceived the baby Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. God considered her somebody important and gave her a pretty tough assignment! Joseph was a nobody, too. He was just a working man. He was faced with a choice between trusting God or protecting his small-town reputation. But reputations belong to important people, and most of the […]

Reaching Out to Unbelievers at Christmas

Reaching Out to Unbelievers at ChristmasBy: Dr. R. Larry Moyer Many times as I travel this time of year, people ask the question, “How can I use Christmas to reach out to unbelievers?” The answer I give them is simpler than they are probably expecting. I believe the answer is in two words—think non-Christians. In other words, it doesn’t begin with what you do, but it begins with the way you think. We have an expression today that goes, “Out of sight—out of mind.” I think it’s also possible to say, “Out of mind—out of sight.” If you do not have them on your mind, you won’t have them within view over the holidays. Regardless of what you do and what you participate in, think non-Christians. Once you do that, you’ll be surprised how many ideas come to your mind.For example, cards are often sent to family and friends, most of whom are believers because of relationships at church, etc. But why not think of five to ten non-Christians you may not be that close to but who would appreciate a card from you? If appropriate, you can include a tract, but I believe there are also times when it’s not appropriate. A warm personal handwritten greeting simply lets them know you care. That warm greeting may open up a door for the gospel later. In each situation, you have to ascertain what’s best. A tract may be enclosed in one card where it may not be in another.If you’re going to the mall, why not take an unbeliever with you and even offer to buy their lunch? That kind of giving spirit over the holidays is different than just getting a package from beneath […]

John 1:14

John 1:14 ESV   And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. This is indeed an incredible biblical text, it’s one of the most concise descriptions of Christ’s incarnation that we find in Scripture. I love how it begins “and the Word became flesh” how incredible that God himself would come and join humanity as a person? The verse doesn’t end there. Instead it says “he dwelt among us.” For 33 years he walked with humanity on planet Earth. Jesus Christ really did dwell among us. He was God in the flesh, yet he chose to walk a mile in our shoes. The author of the text goes on to express that he was an eyewitness when he says “we have seen his glory.” And even though we have not seen his glory in the same way that the author of this text has, we do continue to see miracles each day of our life. We see his glory and the moon and the stars, and the blue sky, green grass, the birth of a child, or the salvation of one lost soul. His glory still surrounds us to this very day and we have seen it with our own eyes. The author says he is “the ONLY SON FROM THE FATHER” And he is full of grace and truth. This is indeed an incredible passage of Scripture to reflect upon during the Christmas season. This morning as I read this passage from The Living Lamp devotional I could not help but take time to pray and thank God that he became flesh among us, […]

Lucy—The Runaway Dog

Some of you may know that we have a dog in our family named Lucy. She is a miniature white poodle who at times can be a handful but is generally a great dog. Yesterday afternoon at some point she slipped out the front door without anyone noticing and disappeared. Several hours later I received a text from my wife, who had been frantically calling, whistling, and looking for Lucy. It was almost dark and the temperature was dropping and we both knew it was going to be a long cold night for Lucy if she was still on the street. After I got home I spent some time walking through the neighborhood and later driving around the neighborhood continuing the search for our runaway dog. It had become apparent that she was gone and Abby and I both came to grips with the fact that we may never see Lucy again. This morning we woke up and decided to call the local pound to see if anyone had brought Lucy in. Abby was unable to locate a number so she called the police department and they informed us that they would have to get back to us later. About an hour passed before we received a call from the Pleasanton Police Department and discovered that LUCY HAD BEEN FOUND! It turns out she was right down the street just around the corner at an extremely nice gentleman’s house. Phil had seen Lucy the previous evening chasing a cat near his home. Phil had lovingly taken Lucy into his home for the night. But he did more than just take her into his home he had put a new collar on her, he’d given her […]

The Christmas Story

What do you know about the Christmas story? Not the story you heard from your grandmother or your grandfather. Not the story you were told in school, or even the story you heard in Sunday school. What do you know about the Christmas story in the Bible? When was the last time you read it? Personally I’m very familiar with the Christmas story. I’ve read it often over the years from the pages of God’s word. But this year as I dove into the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke I decided that I was going to take my time and focus on some of the aspects of the Christmas story that I  had perhaps overlooked in years past. This Sunday I’ll be sharing a message about the stable that Jesus was born in. As I thought about that stable I was confronted with several different things that I personally have in common with that stable. If you can make it to church this weekend I think this interesting take on the Christmas story will both encourage and inspire you. I want to encourage you to read the Christmas story in the coming days, focus on it, meditate, think about it, let yourself become immersed in the drama that surrounds the birth of our Savior. Take a fresh look, don’t just glance at it and think that you already know the story, instead pretend that you’ve never heard it before and examine it closely from beginning to end. Don’t just do this once, take time to read it every day and focus on it every day. I promise you will be blessed! Pastor Pete

Word From The Pastor

It seems like it was just yesterday when I stared up into the bright blue sky to catch a glimpse of an airplane passing overhead. As I took my eyes off the plane which was quickly moving out of sight, a bright green bud on the ash tree in front of my house caught my eye.  Upon closer inspection there were many more brand new spring leaves being born before my very eyes.  Winter was over, spring had arrived and with it new life.  As I continued to work in my yard that afternoon I pondered some of the amazing aspects of life.  Today as I worked in my yard, rushing to finish several tasks before the sun set and darkness impeded my ability to work, I caught a glimpse of something else out of the corner of my eye.  Naturally I turned my head to find a single leaf falling to the ground.  It was not violent, brutal, or unnatural at all.  Instead that leaf fell to the ground as if it was performing the last graceful dance of its short life.  It was just a few months ago that its bright green glow burst forth from the bark of that ash tree.  Now it lies in my yard waiting to decay and return to the earth from which it came.  Two verses immediately came to mind as I pondered the significance of this natural cycle nature produces. 1Peter 1:24–25 NIV For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. […]

Be Like Jesus Today

This morning I was thinking about one of my memory verses 1 John 2:5–6 NIV But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. What an incredible statement, if we claim to live in him we must walk as Jesus did.  I thought about some areas in my life that still need much refining so that I might be a better reflection of Christ.  There are still things in my walk which are lacking to be sure.  It is my goal today to be more like him, it will be my goal tomorrow, and the next, and the next, until God is finished with me.  I pray that we might all make this our goal and greatest ambition in life, that we would be like Jesus.  Below are some quotes you might consider reading as you think about what it means to be like Christ. If you are in Christ, and Christ is in you, then the world should see nothing else.    Anon. From morning to night keep Jesus in your heart, long for nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing, but to have all that is within you changed into the spirit and temper of the holy Jesus.    William Law If you try to imitate Christ, the world will praise you; if you become like Christ, the world will hate you!    D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones When no mark of the cross appears in our discipleship, we may doubt the ownership. We should be branded for Christ.    Mary S. Wood To be much like Christ, be much with Christ.    Anon.

Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow button