Why Does God Allow Christians to Die for Jesus?

January 25, 2012

 

It is estimated that 70 million Christians have died for Jesus.  And of those, more than half were martyred in the last 100 years.

Is God asleep at the wheel?  Is God unconcerned?  Is God willing to do something, but thwarted in some attempts to save his followers from violence?

Why does God allow Christians to die for Jesus?

The key to understanding how a Sovereign God could allow his followers to face intense struggles in pursuit of a Christian life is found in the pages of the Bible.  It can be summed up in this simple announcement:  “You are already dead.  Your life is hid in Christ”.

This is the conversion that makes Christians so dangerous.

Join us at 10 AM on Sunday as we meet at the Truesdale Home and share a message called “Why Does God Allow Christians to Die for Jesus?” based on Acts 12:1-5.

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Peter is Challenged

November 20, 2011

Don’t you love looking back on challenges of the past with the benefit of the information that we have today?  The story of Peter’s calling to share the Gospel with Cornelius’ household makes perfect sense to us today.  But at the time, it was one of the most challenging things that Peter was asked to do.

Cornelius was an officer in an occupational army.  His only reason for being in the land was to extend the iron hand of Roman force of rule to Israel.   And yet, because of his readiness to hear the Gospel, an angel appeared to him and instructed him to send for Peter.

At the same time, Peter was praying on a rooftop and was instructed three times that he needed a new paradigm.  That whatever God called acceptable should be considered acceptable to Peter as well. 

Peter goes with the men and the entire household accepted his message and they were all filled with the glory of God.

But that wasn’t the end of Peter’s challenge.

Next, he had to come back and explain himself to the rest of the disciples.  Fortunately, they accepted the reality that God had chosen to send the good news to non-Jewish folks.  And not just to non-Jewish folks, but to officers of the political enemy’s army.

In retrospect, we see much more clearly why that made sense.  But in the moment, it was quite a challenge!

Join us at 5 PM on Sunday as we meet in shared space at 5413 Blue Ridge Cutoff and share a message called “Peter is Challenged” based on Acts 11:1-18.


What is a “Good Pastor”?

April 20, 2010

In the modern American church, we tend to lump together a variety of roles under the title of “pastor”.  Oftentimes we find it convenient to use that title for church staff who focus on adminstering, leading, teaching, and preaching, among other responsibilities.

Over the next two weeks, we will be looking at the spiritual gift of pastoring, and considering the parallels between the roles of a shepherd and a pastor.  We will be answering these questions and more:

  • How can I overcome wounds caused by pastors who did not meet my expectations and needs?
  • What does the Bible say about this spiritual gift?
  • Is the pastoral ministry limited to church staff, or can anyone exercise pastoral gifts?
  • Where can these gifts be developed? In a family? Small Group? Congregational setting?

Come and join us on Sunday at 5 PM as we CONNECT in shared space at 5413 Blue Ridge Cutoff, and bring a message on  “Pastoring: Feeding God’s People”.

Feel free to take a “sneak peak” at the Scripture passage.

Feel free to answer this question below: “What do you look for in a good pastor?”


Praying for the Spiritual Gift of Preaching

February 4, 2010

How do you feel about the spiritual gift of preaching?  Is that honestly one of the gifts that people both outside and inside the church find em·bar·rass·ing, or at least choose not to call by name? 

What do you think of when you hear the word “preaching”?  A lone angry voice over a megaphone on a crowded street intersection?  A sweaty palm pounding a pulpit and conjuring up eternal billows of fire and damnation?

In churches all across the United States this Sunday, a spiritual leader will stand up and present a meditation that may relate to the Bible, and that may be provided as an invitation to modify an attitude or a behavior.  What do you call that activity?  Presenting a message?  Teaching?  Sharing?  Is there a difference between those activities and preaching?

What questions do you have about preaching?  Next Sunday, we will answer these and more:

  • What in the world is preaching? 
  • What does the Bible say about it? 
  • Is it possible that preaching was given for Bible days, but its value for today has somehow ceased?
  • What is the difference between “good preaching” and “bad preaching”?
  • What is the difference between “preaching” and other methods of communicating the truth of the Gospel?

Come and join us on Sunday at 5 PM as we CONNECT in shared space at 5413 Blue Ridge Cutoff, and bring a message on “Praying for Spiritual Gifts–Preaching:  Multiplying God’s Glory”.

Feel free to take a “sneak peak” at the Scripture for the message at:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Timothy%204:1-8&version=NLT


Praying for the Spiritual Gift of Teaching

January 31, 2010

This week, we have a real treat coming as Laurie Ducatte brings the next message in our series on “Praying for Spiritual Gifts”.  As a career nurse, Laurie has had the opportunity to learn and teach nursing skills in several different contexts, including:

  • Classroom instruction
  • Teaching “hands-on” clinical skills
  • Modeling 

We can learn a lot about how God may be calling us to teach others how to follow Jesus by considering how He has used each of these diverse methods to teach us. 

We know that God has already gifted our church community with many skilled at teaching, such as Laurie!  And tonight we look forward to inviting God to stir up the spiritual gift of teaching in our congregation, in our community, and in the Body of Christ worldwide.

Come and join us tonight at 5 PM as we CONNECT in shared space at 5413 Blue Ridge Cutoff, and bring a message on “Praying for Spiritual Gifts–Teaching:  Sharing God’s Truth”.