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Showing posts from July, 2018

Spiritual Gifts: Who Gets The Gifts? - Acts 2:14-21

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During the French Revolution, there were three Christians who were sentenced to die by the guillotine.  One Christian had the gift of faith, the other had the gift of prophecy, the other had the gift of helps. The Christian with the gift of faith was to be executed first.  He was asked if he wanted to wear a hood over his head.  He declined and said he was not afraid to die.  "I have faith that God will deliver me!" he shouted bravely.  His head was positioned under the guillotine, with his neck on the chopping block.  He looked up at the sharp blade, said a short prayer and waited confidently.  The rope was pulled, but nothing happened.His executioners were amazed and, believing that this must have been an act of God, they freed the man. The Christian with the gift of prophecy was next.  His head was positioned under the guillotine blade and he too was asked if he wanted the hood. "No," he said, "I am not afraid to die.  However, I predict that God will deliver …

Jesus Fruit: Complete an ARK or Commit a RAK - 2nd Samuel 9 (Wednesday Night Reflection)

He was elected on a campaign theme of change.With little to no political experience, he hit Washington DC.No, I am not talking about any of our current leaders, I am talking about Evan Baxter…fictional Buffalo news anchor turned United States Congressman on a campaign theme of “Change the World.”After he and his family move to their new home outside Washington, his wife comes and tells him of the prayers of his children…He ends up on his knees praying that he may “change the world.”He learns quickly to be careful what he prays for…for the next morning a shipment arrives at his home—a container filled with ark building equipment and directions.He is commissioned by God to build an ark.Evan Baxter is confronted with it early on, but learns completely by the end of the movie the answer to the question, “How do we change the world?”

For Evan Baxter it was an ARK:  “One Act, of, Random Kindness (ARK) at a time,”for others it is a RAK.What is a RAK?It is the same thing as an ARK in a differe…

Spiritual Gifts: What Are They? - 1st Corinthians 12:1-11

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It’s your birthday…or maybe your anniversary…or maybe even Christmas.Sitting in front of you is a beautifully wrapped gift.Maybe it is from one of your young children (meaning they had help in wrapping it).Maybe it is from your grown kids.Maybe it is from your parents or grandparents.Maybe it is from your great aunt Betty Sue, you know the one who has always been a little off…excuse me, I mean a little eccentric. Maybe it is from your spouse.Regardless of who it is from, you begin to unwrap the present. Maybe you are like some of my family members, and you carefully lift each piece of tape, slowly unwrapping the paper, either trying to prolong the excitement, or maybe hoping to reuse the paper.Maybe you’re like one of the kids, quickly ripping the paper off and tossing it about, excited to see what is covered up.Have you ever gone through all of that only to unwrap and reveal a gift that left you sitting there wondering, or even asking out loud, “What is this?” This kind of “What is th…

Jesus Fruit: I Want It...Whenever - James 5:7-11 (Wednesday Night Reflection)

A child psychoanalyst relates the story of a young girl.The little girl was banging her teaspoon while ceaselessly and shrilly demanding dessert. Annoyed by the noise, her mother, on her way into the basement to get her some ice cream from the freezer, said irritably, "Have a little patience." On her return from the basement, the child’s mother found her little girl in what seemed to be the middle of a convulsion. Her face was bright red, her body was rigid, her fists were clenched, her eyes were fixed in a stare, in addition to which she didn't appear to be breathing. Letting the ice cream drop from her hands and screaming, "What's the matter?" the mother ran to her daughter's side; whereupon, the little girl unclenched her fists, stopped holding her breath, and replied, "I'm having patience." In a different community, a man observed a woman in the grocery store with trying to shop with her children. As they passed the cookie section, her …

Baptism: God's Gift of a New Kind of Living - Ephesians 4:17-24

I’m not going to ask for a show of hands on this one, mainly because it is not something that many of us would want to admit to in a forum like this, especially sitting so close to someone else.However, even though I am not going to ask for anyone to identify themselves to us, I would suggest that many, if not most, or even all of us have done this.We have an important event in which we want to look our best, maybe it is a job interview, maybe it is a date, maybe it is time to meet the future in-laws, or maybe it was even getting ready for church this morning.We jump in the shower, because, of course, we want to be clean and make a good first impression.We wash our hair, soap our body, and rinse off.We get out of the shower, brush our teeth, put on deodorant, and start getting dressed.Halfway through getting dressed, we stop.Where is that shirt?It is the shirt that we had planned to wear for all week long.We look in the closet, it should be hanging up!Maybe we folded it without thinki…

Jesus Fruit: Let Peace Begin With Us - Romans 12:14-21 (Wednesday Night Reflection)

What do you do? What do you do when you are coming home from town and as the two lanes merge into one you have someone come flying in and force their way in front of you? What do you do when the waitress in the restaurant takes 15 minutes to come take your order, while you clearly see her talking the whole time with another waitress? What do you do when a neighbor continually brings their dog into your yard to do their business? What do you do when you find yourself confronted by the neighborhood bully? What do you do when someone begins verbally assaulting you because your beliefs are different from their own? What do you do if someone tries to steal from you? Play video We’ve been on this journey for some time now…we’ve been considering what it means to bear Jesus Fruit.We’ve seemingly been away from our series for a couple of weeks now, so let’s refresh our minds about this idea of Jesus Fruit.Jesus had said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear mu…