This Sunday we will be examining a passage from Luke as we continue our Neighbors series. Luke 8:40-48 begins as Jesus is returning to Galilee. The Galileans rush to greet him. As Jesus is welcomed, two main events take place within this passage. The first person Luke wants the reader to recognize is Jairus and the second is a woman. Luke gives us no name for the woman, but the names are not what Luke intends for us to take away
This Sunday we are going to focus on a famous passage from Luke’s Gospel. The passage is about the Good Samaritan and it is found in Like 10:30-37. As we approach this text I want you to prepare yourself for hearing a fresh message from this famous parable. In fact I want you to intentionally set aside most of the information that you have gathered from this text and I want you to listen from a new perspective. We have all heard sermons from Luke 10:30-37 that promote social justice, kindness to the poor, and even an emphasis on racial reconciliation. Those are good reminders but honestly they fall short of the intended purpose behind this story.
This Sunday we are starting a new series called Neighbors. The timing of this series is perfect for our church. We just finished a series on Generosity so honestly I think these two two are a fantastic match as we officially enter summer. This past Sunday we were reminded from Ephesians 1:3-6 that we represent Christ when we express gospel generosity by sacrificing for the needs of those around us. He is more than just the perfect model, He is the perfect sacrifice who gave himself to the needs of others. This is the gospel!
This week we are starting a new sermon series called Living Generously. Over the next few weeks I want to invite you on an adventure. It is an adventure that is filled with great joy and endless stories of the goodness of God? It is an adventure that is never ending and always inspiring! It is hidden within the very heartbeat of Heaven for broken humanity. It is a call issued by God to live generously! John 3:16 reveals it perfectly: “For God so loved the world that He GAVE.” The English author and puritan preacher John Bunyan wrote many years ago, “you have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
This past Sunday we had the opportunity to work through Psalm 85 together. The question we considered from this text hits at the heart for many in our congregation: how do I move forward in faith when there is no joy? Several have expressed that the current season of life is one of lament. My prayer is that you were encouraged as you witnessed the model of the sons of Korah looking to God and asking for His help in times of trouble. Verse 6 of Psalm 85 is the central focus of the chapter.
The author of Psalm 85 was writing to a group of people who never thought that their nation would be defeated. However they faced the difficulty of being uprooted from their homes, farms and business, and eventually they were taken into exile. Tragedy transformed their world while they lived in despair. During these horrific events their hope was crushed.
This summer is going to be packed with opportunities for you to share your faith with others. This Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. we will start a core seminar focused on Evangelism. The seminar will take place on May 20 and June 3. I want to encourage you to make plans to attend. My prayer is that this evangelism class will serve to remind us that we are all missionaries serving to advance the gospel to the next generation
It is hard to imagine but one year ago on April 30, I was presented with the opportunity to serve as the pastor at New Life. Can you believe it, we have made it through our first year together! There is a sweet fellowship at our church and I am honored to serve as the Lead Pastor. Thank you for making this past year an amazing experience. I am blown away by the support and encouragement that you guys offer.
In 1991 Tom Corchane wrote the song Life is A Highway and in 2006 Rascal Flatts brought the song back to life when it became a hit song on the Walt Disney soundtrack for the movie Cars. At this point in my life my wife and were celebrating 15 years of marriage. Our kids were 9, 11, and 13. Reflecting over the years, there are two observations I have about life; life is a highway and it is extremely difficult!
Here is a simple reality that we have all know to be true; when belief and behavior do not align, we experience psychological tension. The scope of this tension is dependent on the level of disconnect between belief and behavior. Obviously greater disconnect produces even greater tension. Psychologist have created the term cognitive dissonance to describe the psychological discomfort a person encounters when belief and behavior are inconsistent. Often this inconsistency between belief and behavior results in anger, guilt, frustration and even embarrassment. Whereas much of the emphasis of modern psychology is to create harmony in self, the focus of Christianity and the biblical narrative is to establish harmony between God the creator and His creation.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) also contribute to the New Life blog.