Reviving the Lost Art of Neighboring

Reviving the Lost Art of Neighboring

Reviving the Lost Art of Neighboring. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” When we read in the Bible that we are called to love our neighbor we tend to treat this as a general life principle and not an actual command. Yet, what if Jesus really meant for us to love our physical neighbors? Do we even know our neighbors? Quickly closing garage doors, pulled blinds, and overwhelmed schedules have left us with limited knowledge of those living right next door. So who are our neighbors? How do we get to know them? How can we love them? Isn’t this going to be hard Questions and doubts can quickly overwhelm us but what might our neighborhoods become if they became communities of love and support for the people who live in them? Isn’t a neighborhood like that worth the risk? Join the family of Disciples Church as we discuss the lost “Art of Neighboring” on Wednesday Nights.  ...
God’s Power On His Church

God’s Power On His Church

Yesterday, we concluded chapter 11 of the Acts of the Apostles in our worship gathering. During the aftermath of sizable shake-up of tradition, the Gospel message was continuing to spread throughout the world. This good-news message was breaking cultural bounds, regional borders and now was continuing to show itself powerful even among those “normal” and “every day” believers, now called “Christians”. We read… Acts 11:21 “The power of the Lord was with them, and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord.” Acts 11:23 “When he…saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord.” Instead of the Apostles, or prophets, or missionaries, we read of unnamed people from the church at Antioch speaking God’s rescuing message to their neighbors from outside the faith. We want that for Disciples Church too. We are praying that God’s powerful hand would bless and move among us as our family members share the Good News of Jesus and perhaps people turn to Jesus and find forgiveness and new life in Him. Next Sunday, February 22nd, we celebrate our 1st birthday as a church family. 1 year of God’s message being proclaimed among us, as we head into our neighborhoods and workplaces to demonstrate and talk about God’s power to save. -Pastor...
Change At Any Cost

Change At Any Cost

Last Sunday we examined Acts 10-11. This passage can be uncomfortable as Peter and a Centurion both have God-given “visions”. God was sending a message to the world, starting with the church, using exactly the messengers and the method He wanted. For those who know and follow God AND for those who don’t yet follow Him, God’s message and His methods can be hard to understand and harder to stomach. Why is that? For some, we don’t believe the message. For others, we aren’t convinced of it’s validity. For the rest of us, we simply hate change. Christians, of all people, should be a people who embrace change. Our new lives in Christ begin in the soil of change (2 Cor. 5:17, Rev. 21:5)! After the new change, the rest of our lives, until heaven, involves the Holy Spirit bringing His change into our lives, conforming us into the image of Jesus (1 Pet. 2:2-3, Titus 3:4-7). God’s message for Peter and the early church that day was clear, He wants His church to reach out beyond it’s comfort zones to reach more people for the name of Christ. In spite of whatever tradition they were comfortable with, in spite of what they’ve always known, God wants people from every nation and background to hear the good news that forgiveness of sins is available to them in Jesus alone! Such good news.  It does NOT mean however that Christians are called to re-write the book they way they want on human sexuality, marriage, theft, murder, lying, etc…and just “be ok” with those things. It DOES mean that regardless of the life that someone has come from,...
What If?

What If?

What if you could find rest within the frantic pace of life? (Matt 11:28-30)What if in your weakness you could find strength? (2 Cor 12:9-10) What if in uncertainty you could find hope? (Rom 8:28) What if your failings could be forgotten and you were viewed as perfect?  (Col 1:22) What if in your ordinary life you could to do extraordinary things? (Mark 1:16-17) —> What if all these “what ifs” weren’t “what-ifs” but truth? WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE (Matt 19:26) This is the hope of the Gospel- freedom in...

Encountering the Reality of Jesus

Traffic, taxes, the first day back at work/school after vacation…some things in life we wish we could simply will out of existence. Instead, these realities regularly confront us in ways we can’t ignore, no matter how hard we wish against them. This happened to a man named Saul of Tarsus, too. In Acts 9 this AM, along with Galatians 1, we were reminded about the day and season that Saul encountered Jesus in an undeniable way. Prior to this confrontation, Saul had opposed everything about Jesus, along with His followers, about as vehemently as possible. He had actively persecuted those who followed Jesus. He wished and willed against the reality of Jesus as Messiah…yet… the true God was an unavoidable reality…and Saul surrendered his will and his life to the Lordship of Jesus….and his life was permanently transformed. He went from being a murderer of Christians to being a missionary to the world. That’s what we read in Acts 9 when Saul of Tarsus was converted to the way of Jesus. No one would ever have predicted Saul’s conversion, his heart was hard as a rock. But God broke through and Saul surrendered to the reality. This is a type of Biblical irony. In surrendering, Saul was actually getting victory. In submission, he would be lifted up. In giving up his life to Jesus, his life would be saved. This is what God desires for those who are lost, who haven’t yet surrendered to the reality of Jesus. So keep on praying for those who don’t know Jesus. Keep on sharing the good news with them. Ask God to...
The Curious Cases of the Fortune Cookie & Simon: Misconceptions vs. Truth

The Curious Cases of the Fortune Cookie & Simon: Misconceptions vs. Truth

Do you know where the Chinese fortune cookie comes from?Can you take a wild guess? If you guess, China? You’d be wrong. Japan. It turns out that this well known after dinner treat served in most Chinese food restaurants isn’t actually Chinese, it’s Japanese. The tale about how the fortune cookie made its way from Japan to our American Chinese restaurants is told in Jennifer Lee’s book , The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. In the book she tackles a number of misconceptions on the origin of food. Yet, our culinary wold is not the only place where we find misconceptions. In fact, misconceptions abound all around us. They skew our opinion on life and popular culture. They change the reason and way we interact with people. Misconceptions change the very way we choose to approach God. Just look at the curious case of Simon as told in the book of Acts  8:9-25.Simon practiced magic in Samaria. He posed as a famous man and dazzled all the Samaritans with his wizardry. But when Philip came to town announcing the news of God’s kingdom and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ, they forgot Simon and were baptized. When Simon witnessed the miracles Phillip was performing, he followed along in hopes of understanding more how the miracles being performed.  Astounded by what he saw, he hoped to re-establish his position of notoriety. He offered the apostles money in exchange for his power. Simon had a fundamental misconception about God’s power and blessings. He sought power for his own comfort and success. He sought to purchase the blessing and receive power without putting in the time. Simon is not...