The Daily: Wednesday April 16, 2014

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How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: John 15-16  (NRSV, The Message)

When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control…  John 16:8-10 (The Message)

Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”      John 16:31-33 (The Message)

I could camp out forever in these chapters – the last discourse attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, the last encouragement and instructions from Jesus to his disciples. Of course, these words weren’t transcribed for the benefit of the original 12 disciples. They were long-gone by the time they were written down. They were written for later followers – including you and me.

In John 16, Jesus is promising the “Friend,” the advocate, the Holy Spirit. The promise that we are never alone. The promise, if we choose to receive it, that truth will be revealed to us – truth from above, truth beyond the control of those that believe they know everything about right and wrong, good and evil.

Like Jesus, we are never abandoned!

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in assisted living facility; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia, Christopher Lepard – physical and spiritual healing, Linda Dion – God’s will for her life, Paul Bennett – surgery

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Tuesday April 15, 2014

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How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: John 14-15  (NRSV, The Message)

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.           John 14:1 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”   John 14:6-7 (The Message)

The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.        John 14:12-14 (The Message)

Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.  John 15-4-6 (The Message)

Jesus is beginning his final discourse to the disciples. Wow, it is dense with spiritual teaching. It is hard to not just post the whole section here – but I will let you dig into it yourself. The essence is our relationship with Jesus which, as Jesus reveals here, is a relationship with God. The result? Our ability to carry out the same work as Jesus. Pretty powerful stuff!

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in assisted living facility; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia, Christopher Lepard – physical and spiritual healing, Linda Dion – God’s will for her life, Paul Bennett – surgery

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Wednesday April 9, 2014

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How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: John 1-2  (NRSV, The Message)

Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.

“So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”         John 3:5-8  (The Message)

it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.               John 3:15 (The Message)

But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”  John 4:23-24 (The Message)

John 3 and 4 contain two of the most profound encounters in scripture: Jesus’ interactions with Nicodemus and the woman at the well. One is a religious insider, the other a religious outsider. Jesus’ message to both is similar: this is all about something we can’t see, this is spirit. Jesus’ message is the same today: it’s not about who you are, where you worship, the rules you follow. Jesus invites us into relationship with God, “sheer being itself–Spirit.” And our path is simple – looking upon Jesus, the Son of Man.

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in assisted living facility; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia, Christopher Lepard – physical and spiritual healing, Linda Dion – God’s will for her life, Paul Bennett – surgery

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Tuesday April 8, 2014

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How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: John 1-2  (NRSV, The Message)

But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.       John 1:12 (The Message)

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.     John 1:14 (The Message)

 

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in assisted living facility; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia, Christopher Lepard – physical and spiritual healing, Linda Dion – God’s will for her life

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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Surveying the Cross

You can see the bulletin here.

You can see the sermon notes here.

Jesus, the Liberator

Find the sermon notes here.

The Daily: Monday March 30, 2014

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How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: Luke 8-9  (NRSV, The Message)

 

 

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in Avante nursing home; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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Easter Sunday Worship

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Join us at 10:30 as we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ – with inspiring music, experiential worship, and practical teaching from Pastor Jason. We’ll also have plenty of coffee and donuts!

The Daily: Saturday March 29, 2014

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How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: Luke 7  (NRSV, The Message)

When he finished speaking to the people, he entered Capernaum. A Roman captain there had a servant who was on his deathbed. He prized him highly and didn’t want to lose him. When he heard Jesus was back, he sent leaders from the Jewish community asking him to come and heal his servant. They came to Jesus and urged him to do it, saying, “He deserves this. He loves our people. He even built our meeting place.”          

Jesus went with them. When he was still quite far from the house, the captain sent friends to tell him, “Master, you don’t have to go to all this trouble. I’m not that good a person, you know. I’d be embarrassed for you to come to my house, even embarrassed to come to you in person. Just give the order and my servant will get well. I’m a man under orders; I also give orders. I tell one soldier, ‘Go,’ and he goes; another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

Taken aback, Jesus addressed the accompanying crowd: “I’ve yet to come across this kind of simple trust anywhere in Israel, the very people who are supposed to know about God and how he works.” When the messengers got back home, they found the servant up and well.              Luke 7:1-10 (The Message)

We engage scripture out of our circumstances. This morning, I am reading Luke 7, the reported actions of Jesus my Lord, through the lenses of the kirfuffle that took place this week around World Vision’s policy change and reversion.

To be clear, Jesus was silent on homosexuality (and actually a strong case can be made that scripture is silent on homosexuality as we understand it today). Jesus was anything but silent on how we treat the other, the one that is different than me. When the Roman soldier needed help, Jesus responded. The Roman was the “enemy,” Jesus and many of those who followed him would be killed and persecuted (real persecution) at the hands of soldiers just like these. And yet Jesus was “taken aback” and said that he had encountered no greater faith in all of Israel.

A great reminder, I believe, for all of us who would condemn another with whom we disagree.

 

 

 

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in Avante nursing home; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Thursday March 20, 2014

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How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: Mark 4-5 (NRSV, The Message)

Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”

While he was still talking, some people came from the leader’s house and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?”

Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.” Mark 5:34-36

Is it faith that heals or liberates or is it God? Yes. There is always a “risk of faith.” Many times nothing can be done, even by God, if I am not willing to budge a bit, to step out and give God the opportunity to work. Jesus says, “Trust me.”

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in Avante nursing home; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – JFK Hospital with pneumonia

Stephen Stanford – Mark’s brother, died Tuesday

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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