Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lent: Become a full,cooperative partner in the community of God's people.

empty tomb

Tomorrow is the day; we officially celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. The last 46 days, have been well spent in preparing to fully celebrate the fact that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. Let your focus be on the resurrection and all that the resurrection of Christ accomplished.

Lent activity:

Become a full, cooperative partner in the community of God's people that you are in. This includes, but is not limited to, giving a full tithe (10% of money that comes into your life), faith promise giving for missions (over and beyond the tithe), alms giving (secret giving to someone in need), and many forms of offerings for the support of Christ's ministry. Give your gifts, talents, wisdom, and one's entire self to the work of God. Give all your burdens, sins, and sicknesses and receive forgiveness, healing, blessings, and innumerable manifestations of God's grace. You have given, and you shall also receive.  

Your partner in sharing the gospel,

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lent: Tune into Christ's Suffering

Today is the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus on a day, many have named, "Good Friday".   

In 2004 Mel Gibson directed and produced "The Passion of the Christ." I had recently been diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer and went to see the movie, desiring to remember the enactment of Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24. Isaiah says, "by his wounds we are healed," and Peter says, "by his wounds you have been healed."  I watched with fresh eyes, seeing it differently now that I desperately needed to be reminded that the cancer I was diagnosed with was placed upon Jesus and "by his wounds" I "have been healed". The movie remains a controversial film, but for me, I think the wounds of Jesus were even worse than what was contained in the film. Just one disease, cancer, causes so much grief, pains, and sorrows with financial, emotional, and physical loss. If all of every disease's sorrows, pains, grief's were placed upon Jesus to bear, then there is no possible way to depict that level of pain.  

Let us remember that Jesus bore all our sins, sorrows, and sicknesses. He cares about us fully - spiritually and physically.

This is a Good Friday, to pause and remember Jesus.

Lent activity:

Get in tune with Christ's suffering and caring for physical needs.  Fast a meal or a portion of a meal and give the money to a local mission such as Stop Hunger Now. (Example, drink water instead of soda, abstain from dessert, split a meal, and/or miss a meal or series of meals such as from after Sunday lunch until dinner on Monday.)  

Your partner in sharing the gospel,

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lent: Pray and give to missions

crown of thorns

While our thoughts are focused on Easter Sunday and all the extra activities this very special day brings, there are cross-cultural missionaries serving in countries where the leaders are imprisoning followers of Jesus Christ. In addition to leaving their home country, their families, their culture, they have followed Jesus to places that are VERY hostile to Christ followers. If you can or could wear last year's Easter outfits, you would free up a little money to give to these heroes' of the gospel. Prepare to pray and to give a missions faith promise so that these cross-cultural missionaries can share the good news of Jesus.

Lent activity:

Give a financial faith promise and pray for missionaries engaged in cross-cultural missionary work. Remember that God is sending people into very dangerous and hostile countries. By God's grace, we can be a sender.

Your partner in sharing the gospel,

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lent: April Fool's Day. Do something to create a real belly laugh for a church administrative asst.

Today is day in which many practical jokes will be played on one another. April Fools Day is a fun way to step out of a comfort zone and have fun with one another. One of the most important positions in any congregation is the Administrative Assistant, or Church Secretary. Each church has its own job description, and each Administrative Assistant bring their own gifts, talents, personalities and humor to the ministry position. This week most every Administrative Assistant will have more work than they can accomplish. Why not send them some flowers, do a practical joke that makes them laugh, or really shock them and volunteer to help them. 

Lent activity:

Volunteer to assist the administrative assistant in preparing for Sunday Services or something personal. Optional: Do something that will create a real belly laugh for a church Administrative Assistant.

Your partner in sharing the gospel,