I talk too much and do too much. I don't listen and rest like I should. Anyone else have the same disease?
God has blessed us with super-clear direction in our search for a part-time Children's Ministry Coordinator . . . we welcome Jerry Campagna into this role on HOPE Staff! We've all felt the need for a servant-leader to provide direction for HCC Kids. Our HOPE Elder Team couldn't be more thrilled to see God lead Jerry into this right now.
I recently came across a perspective-changing illustration of what it will be like for believers in Jesus to stand before Him one day and give account of their lives. I shared it this past Sunday and have been reflecting on it since then. It is so good, so helpful, that I thought it would be good for us all to have here. This causes us to realize our bad brain programming and the need for our minds and hearts to be blown open wider with God's amazing grace. Helping believers in Jesus better understand what it will be like to give account to God one day, John Piper, in A Godward Life, writes: "Picture it like this. God has a file on every person (Rev. 20:12). All you've ever done or said is . . .
Much of Moorestown experienced a power outage on Sunday. HOPE, not to be deterred, had its first ever, no electricity, acoustic, unplugged, unheated worship service. Overall, a pretty cool adventure to be forced to experience together! Many commented on what a good, different opportunity it was. Pastor Chris delivered a fantastic message under these conditions that I believe God used powerfully for many of us. It was a perfect next step coming out of . . .
This past week at HOPE we had a memorable time together clinging to God’s promises. One after another, we were vividly reminded how God always keeps His promises. He is completely trustworthy. That is no small statement when you consider one of the best studies of promises recorded in the Bible lists about . . .
I think we’re all familiar with losing strength. That feeling of being drained or reaching places of depletion. Some describe it as “running on E” . . . for empty. I’ve felt this way far too many times in my life, and I’ll bet you know exactly what I’m talking about from having experienced it in your life, too. Maybe you even feel like this right now – like you’re in a season of physical, emotional, or spiritual weakness.
One hit after another. Life feels so much like that, doesn't it? Loss shows up in a myriad of ways. When I asked our HOPE Elder team their thoughts for what preaching series would be helpful to our church, the theme of "loss" rose to the top. We need the comfort, direction, and truth of God's heart through God's Word for how to personally deal with life's losses. But more than that, to grasp God's deep healing above and beyond it all.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." (Romans 12:9) Love is such a living, breathing, flexing foundation of life. It is cuddly, warm, and tender. Then it's sacrificial, enduring, and patient. And then it's passionate, devoted, and committed. And then it's tearful, absorbing, and quiet. And then it's fierce, protective, and strong.
Our culture has made a god (as in idol-god) out of the tolerance concept in effort to make everything equally valid, promote the belief that it doesn't matter what one believes, and disapprove of one way ever being solely correct. Don't get me wrong; I deeply believe in respect, understanding, and love between people, and am so grateful for this great nation where we have the freedom to worship as we choose. I do not want that freedom ever changed. Yet, while I agree understanding between people is needed, I would drive us to check our spiritual thinking when tolerance is made king.
I wrote some words to encourage someone at HOPE last week that I believe need to be heard by more people. From my experience, it is common to struggle with feelings like we don't measure up in God's eyes, that He is displeased with our Christian performance, or that God is mad because we're not close with Him.