Month: March 2013

Forgiveness

This is the most viewed post I’ve ever written… It originally was a post called De-FriendedI – Last time it was posted I titled it forgiveness… Today we keep the later title. Why post again? I felt like it was needed for some reason… so here you go…

cant forgive

 

I think sometimes forgiveness is hard.

In fact it is easier to want it than give it.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean a blank slate and its not forgetting. Things that happen are there, they are done… part of the past. God doesn’t forget those things and neither do we.

Forgiveness is not forgetting, but it is about not holding something against someone.

In fact it is easier to hold a grudge than it is to forgive.

Forgiveness is not avoiding conversations about what has happened and it’s results. Forgiveness opens the door to handle the wrong that has occurred. It allows us to deal with things without hurting each other… again. It allows conviction to take hold and opens the door for heart change.

Forgiveness is not the same thing as trust. Trust takes time to rebuild. Forgiveness sets up boundaries that enable that to happen.

I have never de-friended anyone on Facebook… never. But sometimes people get upset when it comes to the Bible and its instructions on how to live. Forgiveness is saying I am still your friend, can’t support what you are doing but still friends.

Forgiveness prevents us from looking down on the person that isn’t living right. Forgiveness is a reminder that you an I do not live right all the time. We need forgiveness just as much as the next person.

It is easier to de-freind someone than it is to deal with the issue.

Forgiveness opens the door to freedom… the freedom that happens when some one says “I was wrong”… this is a freedom that is seldom experienced but is always available.

There are some that will never deal with the issues they have created in their lives. I’ve been a pastor long enough to know that. If someone will not change… forgiveness sets up boundaries until they do. People that refuse to repent are dangerous to be around. Forgiveness is not the absence of protection. You do not have to be buddy buddy with the people you have forgiven. Forgiveness is remembering what has happened without holding it against the person. It allows us to use wisdom concerning how we will approach them in the future. There are some people that are poison… forgiveness responds to that.

Jesus opened the door of forgiveness to everyone, but not everyone took Him up on His offer. Some even fought Him after His resurrection. The comments above are rooted in the life He lived for us. The resurrection was proceeded by people who were friends with Him at the beginning of the week and three days later de-freinded Him and put Him on the cross. Even with that He forgave them, though He did not condone what they were doing, and He left the door of forgiveness open to them so they would have a way to make things right… to say they were wrong…

He does the same for us… because He loves us.

He loves us.

After all…

Forgiveness is rooted in love… and love never fails.

Community Week of Prayer Guide

cross-background

Day 1 – March 24th – Have a conversation with a family member in which you share about one of the most difficult times in your life and how Jesus helped you through it. Pray for them before and after you do this.

Day 2 – March 25th – Pray the Lord’s prayer today @ 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm. Watch the 6 o’clock news as a family and pray together about what you saw.

Day 3 – March 26th – Choose three people that need Christ and pray for them 3 times today.

Day 4 – March 27th – Call your city hall or neighborhood association and ask what the most pressing needs are in the community, then pray for those needs.

Day 5 – March 28th – Spend 10 minutes in silence remembering Jesus’ death.

Day 6 – March 29th – Go for a walk in your neighborhood, pray for everyone you see and for our worship service this Sunday.

Day 7 – March 30th – Pray for the people you have invited to the Easter Coffee Shop and Easter Service tomorrow.

 

Day 8 – March 31st – Thank God for Jesus, the risen Savior! Pray that people will be touched by the message today. Pray that lukewarm hearts will be reignited for Christ and that lost people will place their trust in Jesus and begin a relationship with Him!

 

Easter Events 2013

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Community Week of Prayer

March 24th – March 31st

This week has been set apart as a time to pray specifically for our community. Let’s ask God to put lives back together, restore marriages, liberate people from addictions, strengthen relationships, and draw people into a personal relationship with Him. Let’s pray that God will use our church as a tool to show His love to the community. (See the “Community Prayer Guide” Post)

Floating Communion

Thursday, march 28th, 6:30-8pm

Drop by the church anytime between 6:30 and 8 pm to spend some time in prayer and take communion. This is an opportunity for personal worship and communion as you privately reflect on His sacrifice for YOU. The floating nature of this communion enables you to remember Christ’s death at your own pace. (Childcare will be provided)

Easter Egg Hunt 

Saturday, March 30th, 10am – 12pm

Bring your children (Preschool—5th grade), baskets, friends, and families for an Easter Egg Hunt here at the church. (Lunch is provided)

Extreme Easter Egg Hunt 

Saturday, March 30th, 9:30am – 2pm

It’s extreme, in a cow pasture, and for the Youth.  What is it?  It’s an egg hunt!  Just extreme.  Your teenager will start the day by helping with the Easter Egg Hunt for the kids (details to the right). Once the teens are done serving in the Children’s Ministry they will load up and leave for the Miller’s farm for their egg hunt of an extreme nature. Permission forms are needed.

Free Coffee Shop

     invite your friends to come

Easter Sunday, March 31st, 9:30 – 10:45am

What better way to get to know your neighbors than to enjoy a cup of coffee together? Join us Easter Morning for our Community Coffee Shop just prior to our Resurrection Celebration. Come for the coffee, stay for the fellowship, sit with those you brought with you and celebrate the Savior!

Easter Worship Service

Easter Sunday, March 31st, 11am

The is moment we look forward to every year at Easter.  The Worship Service. Come and celebrate the Risen Savior and sit with your friends you have invited to come.

Luke 24:1-2

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,  but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.  And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen.”

The Cutting Board – The Answer to Our Greatest Need

In a sermon good things often have to be cut from it.  Yesterday, I mentioned Orion in the sermon enough to give a glimpse of what that constellation meant to Job and what God designed it to mean.  Below is the full version of the notes that will explain it in more detail. The post is not written very smoothly…

after all… it is a cutting board situation….

orion

Long before astrology “signs of the Zodiac” and before Greek Mythology took the constellations and made stories out of them. God created them and named them.  Adam was given the job of naming the creatures (animals) and God named the stars… something only He could do.

As He made and named them He revealed His plan for mankind.  The book of Job (the oldest book in the Bible written before Genesis) mentions several constellations,  let’s dive into one example from that book and then take a look at one of the constellations that is mentioned in those verses.

Job 38:31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or lose the cords of Orion?”

Orion means “the coming light.” (Greek – used for sunrise or dawn)  – (John 8:12, John 1:4-5; Isaiah 9:2)

His right foot is over a constellation called Eridanus meaning “river of the judge” and has always been seen as a river of fire – representing judgement for those who choose not to follow the coming light. His left foot is over a constellation called Lepus which was a snake in old times. Orion’s heel is crushing its head.  Lepus means “The enemy trodden underfoot” (later it (the snake) was attached to a constellation to complete the image of a rabbit)

He holds in his right hand a lion skin (which represents Satan – in scripture a lion seeking those he may devour) Here the lion skin shows his defeat.  In Orion’s left hand is a club, for the enemy has been beaten.

In front of Him is the constellation Taurus “the Judge” but Orion is not fighting him (as some of the stories go) – Taurus is not a bull, it is a wild ox of long ago, a fierce, mighty and untamable creature (Job 39:9-10) Pleiades that is mentioned in Job is part of the Taurus constellation. Both Taurus and Orion are symbols of the coming Messiah (more on Orion in a moment) Taurus with His head lowered is in the act of charging the enemy. Taurus portrays the power and glory of Christ coming as the Judge (Deut. 33:17; John 5:26-27)

But back to Orion and the stars that make up His constellation.

The brilliant star in His right shoulder is Betelgeuse and means The Coming Branch (Isaiah 11:1; Jer. 23:5). The star in his left shoulder is Bellatrix and means swiftly coming or suddenly destroying (Rev. 22:7). Rigel, the star in his raised foot means the foot that crusheth (Psalm 91:13-15; Romans. 16:20). A star in his belt means The Wounded One (Isaiah 53:5). Saiph, in his leg, means Bruised (Isaiah 53:5).

Orion is a symbol of the suffering Messiah that defeats Satan (lion skin) by His death. This is the first coming of Christ. Taurus portrays  Jesus’ Return to this earth… His second coming.

This all before men created a different story….

It took me a while to dig all this up.  I knew if they are mentioned in scripture and God was using them to show that through them we should see Him better ( listen to the sermon from yesterday “The Answer to Our Greatest Need”) they must have a different purpose than what man has created for them.

Here are some resources I used for this information. Please know I have not read all that is in these sources. Just enough to find what was needed for the message from yesterday.

  1. Fleming, Kenneth C., God’s Voice in the Stars: Zodiac Signs and Bible Truth, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, New Jersey, 1981.
  2. Capt, Raymond, E., The Glory of the Stars: A Study of the Zodiac, Artisan Sales, Thousand Oaks, California, 1976.
  3. Seiss, Joseph A., The Gospel in the Stars, Kregal Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1972.
  4. Bullinger, E. W., The Witness of the Stars, Kregal Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1967.
  5. Bauvan, Robert and Gilbert, Adrian, The Orion Mystery, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, 1994, p. 215.

People are Friends Not Food


The fish that swallowed Jonah was not part of God’s punishment. It was the thing God used as a tool for Jonah’s rescue.

“God appointed a fish” 1:17

The prayer of Jonah (chapter 2) backs this up. It is not a prayer for help, though it testifies… that before God sent the fish, Jonah prayed a “help me” prayer (Jonah 2:2-3.6). Instead it is a prayer of thanksgiving for a God who had delivered Jonah. Being swallowed by the fish was God’s way of delivering Jonah from death. (listen to the sermon from this past sunday (Go figure – This changes Things @ http://www.farmingtonbc.org )

Maybe you have cried out to God in your time of trouble and not even an hour after you prayed your situation got worse. In fact it “felt” like it swallowed you whole. And you wondered if God had heard your prayer…

Well, He did.

That was your fish.

That was your answer from God.

He was saving you. He was on the scene, doing what He does best… rescuing, answering your prayer. It looked like things had gotten worse but they hadn’t. It was the tool He was using for your deliverance.

It is not the way we would have come to someones rescue.

But God is not us….

and Salvation belongs to Him (Jonah 2:9)

My Last Day

funeral churchyard

What if this was my last day to live?

My last sun set

My last supper

My last tucking the kids into bed

What if this was my last day to live?

Would it make the day more valuable?

Would life become more precious?

Would I live this day differently…

different in a moral way

different in a thanksgiving way

different in preparations?

What if these were my final hours?

If this was it for me

We are not promised we will have a tomorrow by God but we are assured that the day we are in is one He has made for us to live in.

It’s special not because it could be our last…

but because we have been entrusted with it

By God

What if everyday was seen as a Gift?

A Gift from God.

Would it make the day more valuable?

Would life become more precious?

Would I live this day differently…

different in a moral way

different in a thanksgiving way

different in preparations?

I should…

even more so than if it were my last.