Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Titus and facing the impossible...

The Island of Crete, just off the coast of Greece.
This week we are diving into the book of Titus.  We rarely deal with this book of the Bible, but it is filled with a lot of wonderful stuff!  According to the book, Titus was a missionary who reached out to the people on the island of Crete.  Crete was a wild place 2000 years ago, and I can only imagine how daunting a task it must have been to be a missionary at that time.  How would Titus connect to the people there?  How could he possibly bring change?  It must have seemed overwhelming for him. 

Is there something in your life that seems impossible for you to overcome?  The obvious challenge that I am facing is parenthood.  My wife could literally have our baby any day now.  We are super excited, but there is so much that I am not prepared for.  Honestly, when I think of infants, I get a little scared.  I mean, I have never changed a diaper before in my life.  I’m used to getting a ton of sleep, and I am terrified that I am going to break this tiny little guy!  Babies seem so fragile and helpless.

With the help of God, the church, and my face mask, I know I
can face any diaper that may await me...

Special thanks to all those people who are preparing
me to be a dad :) 
So, how am I supposed to do this?  Honestly, on my own, I don’t think I could.  However, I am not raising this kid by myself.  I have my wife, I have my family, and I have all the church families that I have been a part of…  No one has seen this little guy before, but there are so many people who already love him! (Pretty Amazing!) As we dive into the Book of Titus in the Bible, I am reminded that Titus couldn't do it all on his own either.  He had help from the greater church, and he had help from God.  That is something we are all called to remember.  We are never alone!  We have a community of love, and we have God’s love everywhere we go.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Adventures in Kingman...

Last weekend, I led worship services at a church in Kingman Arizona.  I love going to other places and supporting colleagues when they need another pastor.  However, when I agreed to preach there, I forgot it was Valentine’s Day…  (Oops!) When I remembered, I knew I had messed up.  First of all, Kira is 8 months pregnant, and she has a hard time traveling anywhere.  Secondly, I had no idea where to make reservations to celebrate – and I worked that evening anyway...  In spite of this, Kira came with me, and we had a great time.  Instead of going out to eat, we had ice cream, and we watched a documentary on genocide. (A little unorthodox, but it worked. J)  We also met a bunch wonderful people, and we went away feeling God’s love… As much as I try to mess things up, it’s great to know God is always there.

This week we are taking a deeper look at the Greek word AgapeAgape is the most powerful word for love in the New Testament.  It describes how deeply God loves us - even when we mess up.  This week, I pray we may know that nothing (No sin, trial, or failure) can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus!



God can take something terrible
and use it to bring Love to all people

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Living with Love

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had some really amazing days.  I explored peaks of the Sheep Mountain Range.  I went on a 70 mile bike ride to the town of Mountain Springs, and I took a couple people scrambling to the top of Frenchman Mountain.  I’ve seen fossils, climbed a sketchy ridgeline, and run over a ton of loose rocks… It’s been a blast! 

It always feels good to accomplish something, but in the end, I don’t believe that’s what life is all about.  For me, the most meaningful moments came from sharing love with others.  Now, I am no romantic.  (My idea of a great date is dragging Kira outside to get sunburnt and scraped up in the mountains.)  However, I know the best adventures simply came from spending time with the people I love. 

In 1 John 4:12, it says:

No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Our lives are fleeting, but each moment we have is a gift.  It is also a chance to share God’s love with others.  I hope this Valentine’s Day is not just about commercialism. I hope this year you can really share the love you have inside of you.  Love is a gift.  It makes us come alive, and it brings us hope.  I pray we would all find ways to share that love and bring life to the world!



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Brotherly Love

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, and excel in showing honor to others.
Romans 12:10

In our sermon series this month we are taking a deeper look at how love is used in the Scriptures.  This week, we will be looking at Brotherly Love.  In Greek, the word is Philadelphia.  (Phileo: means love, and Adelphia: means brother) This is a powerful word used in the Bible to describe the bond that ties all Christians together – regardless of who they are or where they came from. 

Recently, I started to think about all the different kinds of love.  Brotherly love, or love between peers, is very different from romantic love, or the love between a parent and a child.  All are incredibly important, but they are different.  Growing up, my peers could challenge and influence me in a way that no one else could.  It was my friends who made me want to get better grades and take harder classes.  My friends got me up a 5am to go running and work out.  My friends encouraged me to volunteer at church, and later in life, they even encouraged me to become a pastor.  Brotherly love has an incredible amount of power.  However, it can also become problematic.  As we become closer to a group of people, it becomes easy to see all the little things that annoy us.  It’s easy to become competitive and angry.  Now, deep down there is something incredibly powerful that can bind us together…  we just open our eyes and see it.
That’s the thing with brotherly love… It has the power challenge us, make us better, and bring us hope in the darkest situations.  However, as we work closely with others, we are going to get frustrated.  This week, I pray we may be able to share the love that is right in front of us.  We don’t always take the time to appreciate it, but it is always there.