What’s More, Part One (and a reflection upon Las Vegas)

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I woke up yesterday morning to the news of the horrendous attack in Las Vegas. I felt many things as I am sure all of you did. I’m tired of waking up to the news. I am absolutely exhausted of waking up to the breaking news – whether it be a mass casualty shooting; terrorism – foreign or domestic; rallies, marches, and protests utilizing violence or aggression. I, for one, am done! I’m burned out on the hatred on display in America and throughout our world! I’m just plain tired of it all; and, you should be, too! And, if you are not tired of it, then wake upbecause you are already asleep! 

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A Community of Encouragement

Are you unable to attend a church service this morning? Here is a link to the message, A Community of Encouragement!

The local church strives to be several things. Above all, it should strive to glorify God by serving the will of God in the name of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit!

A local church, or any community of faith, should also strive to be a community of encouragement!

The message, A Community of Encouragement, explores Paul’s instruction to Titus in the second chapter of his letter to the younger missionary

That’s right… I’m talking about Titus 2 and all of its patriarchal language…

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source: tenor.com

But, the message employs a sensitive reading of this antiquated language and teaching  to consider how the instruction of Paul might challenge our communities of faith to strive to be communities of encouragement in a broken, chaotic, and discouraging world!!!

If you have a moment, you can listen to the message by following this link.

Eclipse

Slide3I know, the eclipse is old news by now, but our message from a couple weeks ago leaned upon the (then upcoming) solar eclipse to consider how we might be a source of obstruction.

The message challenges us to remove ourselves from “the shadow of darkness cast upon us” to contemplate how we might be the obstruction to the light!

Essentially, our message is about the influence every single one us has on other people; and, the message challenges us to acknowledge the effect our influence had upon others – Does the true light shine through you? Or, are you obstructing the true light causing a shadow of darkness to be cast upon others?

The key verse leading our message comes from Matthew 15:14 – “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” The message explores the context in which this statement of Jesus is made and how it might be applied to conversation about our influence and its effect…

If you have a moment, have listen to the full message!

Communion Set – 8/2

IMG_1801I’ve seen a lot of pictures of segmented bowls, goblets, plates, and other turned pieces and I have been insterested in the process creating a “laminated” or “segmented” piece.

I was presented with the opportunity to experiment with lamination last night. After getting the boys to bed, I went outside to work on an idea for a communion set.

My sister had given me a piece of 2.5″ x 2.5″ Sapele, which I have been able to use for a smaller chalice, but I was not sure how I could use the same wood to create a paten to turn a complete set.

I decided to cut a piece of the Sapele in half and glue Spruce between the two pieces of Sapele to create a larger diameter for the paten. I must say, I was incredibly surprised to see how strong the glue held the pieces together!

I was encouraged with the results as I ultimately would like to be able to work on more communion sets. This experimentation with lamination will certainly create the possibility for different designs.

 

Together

TogetherHave you ever wondered what a cucumber plant could teach us about the Christian community?

Well, take a moment and listen to this past week’s message, Together, and learn how intertwining our life can help us grow to a greater exposure of the Son.

On the Road to the Cross – Simon of Cyrene

9781501822643The fourth message in the series On the Road to the Cross introduces us to Simon of Cyrene.

Simon of Cyrene was entering the city of Jerusalem just as Jesus and the other criminals to be crucified were led out of the city.

Simon had his own reason for entering the city on that day.

But, as he approached the city gate, a man carrying a cross fell before him. The soldier dragooned him to place the man’s cross on his back and follow the man to Golgatha.

Simon consented. He dropped whatever burden or possibility he was carrying into the city that day so that he could pick up the cross of Jesus. He turned and left in the opposite direction  as he followed Jesus to Golgotha.

Simon encountered Jesus…in need. Unlike any other person, Simon would be able to offer strength to Jesus when Jesus was at his weakest. He let go of his plans, gave away his possibilities, and forgot about his problems. By following Jesus with the cross on his back, Simon received a new direction that would carry him into a newness of life.

If you have a moment, have a listen to the full message!

Note – This sermon series is influenced by Rob Burkhart’s recent publication, On the Road to the Cross: Experience Easter with Those who were There. The book is a great read during the Season of Lent. I fully recommend you add this book to your library!!

On the Road to the Cross – The High Priest’s Servant

9781501822643The disciple of Jesus is called to bear the cross of Christ. Rather than bear his cross, the disciple of Jesus carries a hidden sword.

What about you?

Are you carrying a hidden sword when you should be bearing the cross?

Are you prepared for a fight?

Are you ready to retaliate?

Does your posture of defense lead you to react rather than respond with grace, truth, mercy, and love?

The second message in the seriesOn the Road to the Cross, considers the arrest of Jesus from the perspective of the high priest’s servant, who has his ear cut off by the sword of the disciples. (What’s the disciple doing with a sword, anyways?…). 

The reactive retaliation of the disciple encourages all us of to consider how we might be carrying a hidden sword when we are called to bear the cross of Christ.

If you have a moment, check out the message…and, also, hear the bizarre story of what happened the last time I went to Pizza Hut!!!

Note – This sermon series is influenced by Rob Burkhart’s recent publication, On the Road to the Cross: Experience Easter with Those who were ThereThe book is a great read during the Season of Lent. I fully recommend you add this book to your library!!