Church

  • pencils drawing of Jesus on vintage paper. with ornament on clothing. Old sepia structure paper. Eye contact. Spiritual concept
    The Day of Confrontation (Tuesday) The Day of Confrontation (Tuesday)

    The Day of Confrontation (Tuesday)

The Day of Confrontation (Tuesday)

After spending Monday night in Bethany, according to Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus returned to Jerusalem. He stopped along the side of the road by a fig tree for breakfast but found the tree to be fruitless. He cursed the fig tree in front of his disciples to teach them another lesson about prayer. Upon arrival in the city, the temple leadership confronted him for what he did the previous day. The commotion he caused in his rebuke and cleansing of the temple had not gone unnoticed. They questioned his authority and purpose while Jesus used the parables of the two sons, vineyard, and wedding banquet to teach the people. Later, Jesus will also thwart an attempt by the Pharisees to trap him in a question about paying taxes. Confrontation is a part of life for everyone, but personal confrontation can be the most painful and difficult kind to absorb. Through Jesus’s example on this day, we learn several things. First, we need not fear confrontation, or try to avoid it. Instead, with God’s help, we should boldly face whatever confrontation comes our way. Second, we clearly see in his example that it is possible to take the high road even in the most savage of confrontations. Despite being harassed, embarrassed, and personally challenged in many ways, Jesus’s responses were always thoughtful, sincere, level headed, and productive. Pray today that God will give you the wisdom to handle confrontation in your life like Jesus did in his. Ask God to show you past confrontations that were left unresolved. Maybe there is someone you recently had a confrontation with that you need to ask for or give forgiveness if you handled that confrontation wrong. Take action […]

  • painting of Jesus with a lion, on beautiful colorful background with hint of space feeling, lion profile portrait
    The Day Of Zeal (Monday) The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

    The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

It’s Monday, just three short days until Jesus’s crucifixion. What happened on this day in the life of Christ, and what can we learn from it? According to Matthew 21, Mark 11, and Luke 19, Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the cheers and excitement of the entire city on Palm Sunday. The following day, upon his return, he visited the Temple area. This was a place that was suppose to be dedicated to God. A place that was suppose to be holy, pure, and a shining example of what the Kingdom of God is like. Instead, it had become full of worldly, deceitful, greedy, and power hungry people. Jesus was not impressed Matthew 21:12–13 (HCSB) —12Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves!” Jesus is zealous for his people and his church. After causing a real commotion in the temple, Matthew records that “the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple complex, and He healed them.”  The children in the temple area praised Jesus  shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” causing the chief priests and scribes to become more indignant. And when the time came, Jesus returned to the town of Bethany (about a two-mile walk over the Mount of Olives).  He most likely spent the night in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. So what can we learn from this day in the life of Christ? We see […]

  • Businessman with cardboard box on his head showing a crying sad expression concept for headache, depression, sadness, heartache or frustration
    God Expects Less God Expects Less

    God Expects Less

God Expects Less

1 Timothy 3:1 (HCSB) —1This saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.” Ministry has always been tough. Just ask the Apostle Paul, Timothy, Barnabas, Moses or Jesus. However, modern day ministers are under what I call “the expectation assault.” Over my almost two decades in ministry I have made many great friends who share my calling to serve God’s people.  My observation over these years has been that “the expectation assault” devastates our ranks. Part of the issue is the internet. Thanks to the World Wide Web, Christians today have unlimited access to great teachers, leaders, authors, preachers, and theologians. The result is that believers today expect much more from their local ministers. Below I have composed a list that sums up the expectations many ministers feel compelled to meet daily. 1)   Great Preacher 2)   Great Friend 3)   Great Father or Mother 4)   Great Theologian 5)   Great Thinker 6)   Great Leader 7)   Great Administrator 8)   Great Fund Raiser 9)   Great Comforter 10)  Great Therapist 11)  Great Mediator 12)  Great Role Model 13)  Great Community Organizer 14)  Great Teacher 15)  Compassionate Caregiver 16)  Great Scholar 17)  Great Author 18)  Great Blogger 19)  Great Counselor 20)  Great Website Developer 21)  Great Evangelist 22)  Dynamic 23)  Engaging 24)  Funny 25)  Firm 26)  Loving 27)  Available 24/7 28)  Generous to the point of poverty 29)  Sacrificial to the point of death 30)  Mission Leader 31)  Meeting Moderator 32)  Technical Specialist 33)  Carpenter/Handyman 34)  Groundskeeper 35)  Janitor 36)  Great Psychologist 37)  Expert on World Religions 38)  Master of Apologetics 39)  Master of Languages, especially the easy ones like Greek and Hebrew 40)  Special Event Coordinator 41)  Child Development Expert 42)  Mind Reader/Mentalist […]

  • Rear view of young businessman looking at faith door
    No Limits Faith No Limits Faith

    No Limits Faith

No Limits Faith

You do not have to look far to know that we live in a world defined by limitations. We have speed limits, physical limits, relational limits, and emotional limits that shape our lives. This reality causes many to create self imposed spiritual limits as well. One of the areas we wrongly create spiritual limits is within our faith. Have you ever said, “I just don’t have enough faith”? Is there really any limit to the amount of faith we can possess? Hebrews 11:1 says —1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. The only limits placed on our faith are the limits we impose ourselves. I want to encourage you to be a person of total faith this week. Remove the limits! Here are three different ways faith can play a part in our lives: Focused Faith removes our distractions. When your faith is laser focused little else matters in life. In Philippians 4:8 Paul says —8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Focus your faith on these kinds of things and you will notice anything of lesser importance fades away. When our faith is not focused, we embrace distractions that limit the potential of our faith. Crucible Faith renews or ruins our commitment to God. Everyone’s faith will be tested at many points in life. I call this the crucible of faith. How you react during those difficult times will determine if your faith is renewed or ruined. Some choose to run to God; others choose to run away from […]

  • February 29 is the Leap Day that occurs every fourth year
    What will you do with your extra day? What will you do with your extra day?

    What will you do with your extra day?

What will you do with your extra day?

“O LORD, help me understand my mortality and the brevity of life! Let me realize how quickly my life will pass!   Psalm 39:4 (NET) Have you ever wished for more time? Have you ever said “if I only had an extra day I would…” Well 2016 is a leap year and today February 29th is the leap day, so what will you do with it? For those who may not know, a leap year happens every four years to keep the calendar we use coordinated with the astronomical calendar. So you get an extra day this year, instead of 365 days you get 366 days in 2016. So what will you do with your extra day? The average person will only get about seventeen extra days like this over the course of a lifetime. So, shouldn’t we make the most of it? Here are some ideas I have about what could be done with this extra day… 1. Forgive that person you have been meaning to forgive. 2. Write that note you have been meaning to write. 3. Make that phone call you have been meaning to make. 4. Take that nap you have been meaning to take. 5. Share the gospel with that person you have been meaning to share with. 6. Go see that movie you have been meaning to see. 7. Start that book you have been meaning to start. 8. Clean that room you have been meaning to clean. 9. Go see that friend you have been meaning to see. 10. Take that day off you have been meaning to take. 11. Say those words you have been meaning to say. 12. Start chasing that dream you have been meaning to […]

  • Save The Date Rings And Gay Paper
    Christian Myths about Gay Marriage Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

    Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

For the first time in the history of the United States of America, two persons of the same sex can now legally obtain a marriage license in all fifty states. The reaction to this ruling from the Supreme Court has been extreme and divisive on both sides of the argument. Some are overjoyed, many are sympathetically supportive, and others are outraged. Personally, my heart is heavy. Primarily because there are so many false narratives being advanced by people who claim to be disciples of Christ. Because I know the attacks are going to come let me start by saying a few things that I sincerely believe to be true. While I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and as such, I share the biblical view on homosexuality, I am not aggressively attacking those who have chosen this lifestyle. I do love you, pray for you, and deeply desire to hear you, know you, eat with you, and understand you. Furthermore, I would like to ask for forgiveness from those of you who have been shamed, slandered, slurred, and humiliated by my brothers and sisters of the faith. Finally, if my comments below and in subsequent posts share this unholy  spirit in your mind or heart I humbly ask that you would contact me so I can seek forgiveness from you as well. My goal in these posts is simply to present what I consider truth on this issue based on my current understanding of culture, church, and ultimately scripture. Christian Myths about Gay Marriage             Over the past few days, I have been monitoring the news, web, and social media closely. One of the most astonishing revelations for me has been the lack of biblical […]

  • Israelite Wall
    Israel Day 7 Israel Day 7

    Israel Day 7

Israel Day 7

Today was another amazing day in Israel full of adventure. We started this morning by traveling to Hazor. On the way we passed through Cana where Jesus preformed his first miracle at the wedding by turning the water into wine. Hazor is a great archeological cite located in the Upper Galilee, north of the Sea of Galilee, in the southern Hula Valley. Its history starts sometime in the early Bronze Age. The city has been found by name in Egyptian records as well as the biblical account. At one time they believe this city had about 15,000 residents which is amazing. There is an upper and lower city that have been inhabited by many people over the years. The most amazing feature to me is the water source. They dug a hole 45 meters deep, then tunneled another 25 meters outside the city walls to get to the water source. They did this so that the city could have water even when they were under attack or under siege. There is a lookout tower on the far end of the ruins that gives an amazing view and you can really understand why this was such and important and strategic location. According to the Books of Kings, this town, along with Megiddo, and Gezer, was very fortified and expanded by King Solomon.You can read about this city in the Bible in 2 Kings 15:29, 2 Kings 23:8, and Joshua 11:1-12. Next we traveled to Tel Dan which is now a nature reserve and has some biblical ruins as well. This cite is very different from Hazor. Here you find lush green vegetation everywhere because water is so abundant. There is a huge natural spring that is […]

  • Standing on the edge of the precipice
    Israel Day 6 2014 Israel Day 6 2014

    Israel Day 6 2014

Israel Day 6 2014

Today was another amazing, and full day in Israel. We started out this morning with the usual routine of breakfast and then departed our hotel for Mount Precipice. This is likely the place that the events recorded in Luke 4:29–30  took place. The scripture says…29They got up, forced him out of the town, and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.30But he passed through the crowd and went on his way. [1] Standing up on this high spot really brings the situation into perspective. The hill gradually climbs to the precipice where you are surrounded on three sides by a steep and large drop. Being pushed or thrown from here would mean certain death. Seeing these kinds of places really brings the bible to life. While thinking about what happened here on the precipice and considering the scripture was great, the view is really what makes this place worth visiting. From here you can see so much biblical history. Off to my right I saw Mount Tabor. I wrote about some of the things that happened here on Tabor in the journal entry for day 2 when we first arrived in Nazareth. This is a very important biblical site and one that I never realized was so close to the home town of Jesus. Some new information I learned today about Tabor is that at the foot of the city is the city of Debareh where Deborah lived.  She was, an Israelite judge, and played a major role in the war against the Canaanites (Jgs 4:6, 12; 5:1, 12).[2] It all happened in the valley below. Then looking straight […]

  • bigstock-Silhouette-of-helping-hand-bet-35213948
    Friendship Friendship

    Friendship

Friendship

Real authentic friendships are undervalued in our American society and culture today.  It seems to me that people in general have fewer friends than they once did. I have read studies over the past few years that indicate this trend has been a slow but steady one in our culture for sometime.  In fact one article said that 70% of pastors report not having one single person they believe to be a true friend. Friendship is on the decline in America for a verity of reasons in my opinion.  Understanding these friendship killers could be the key to reversing our dangerous course of a friendless life.  Let me share a few of the biggest obstacles to friendship I see in our culture. The decline of the family- My wife is my best friend.  She is not perfect and neither am I.  Therefore our relationship like any other takes a great deal of work and effort.  However having a valued and trusted friend inside of my house enhances all other areas of my life.  Working on your marriage means by definition working on your friendship with your spouse this is a great place to start. People are to busy- Everyone is busy these days and most are to busy for real friendships. Developing and maintaining friendships takes time and our already overcrowded schedules has little if any room left for friends.  Slow down, start de-cluttering your life, make time and room for friends. Lack of forgiveness- Biblical forgiveness is difficult and demanding therefore few practice it.  As a result when we are wounded, or hurt we frequently walk away from the problem instead of moving toward it.  We forsake a great friendship because we are unwilling […]

  • Live-Like-You-Mean-it
    Live Out The Message Live Out The Message

    Live Out The Message

Live Out The Message

 James 1:19–22 (NET) 19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.21So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. How can we be sure we are living out the message?  Living out the message is a difficult task even in the best circumstances.  When life gets tough, the marriage is in trouble, the boss is unhappy with us, or finical issues strike, living out the message can seem impossible.  In my years in ministry I have noticed some common traits in those that are truly  able to live out the message in both the good times and bad.  I decided for this weeks post to mention those things here.  I pray you will consider them as you attempt to live out the message yourself. Know the message- it is hard to live out the message when you don’t know what the message is.  Those who read the word, memorize scripture, and pray continually tend to live out the message more consistently then those who don’t.  If you want to live out the message you need to know what that message is. Know others living out the message- Living out the message is a team sport, God never designed it to be lived out alone.  When you live life with others who are living out the message you are more likely to stay on track yourself.  Certainly it is most helpful to have […]

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