Cool Picture!

As you may recall from Easter Sunday, I showed a picture at the end that is one of my favorites.  As Rochelle was leaving the empty tomb I could not help but think of the women on that day we talk about every Easter as they left the tomb.  Leaving behind the dark, damp, colorless cave to walk into the fresh garden with the early morning light streaming in.  It is a beautiful picture of a soul coming to Christ.  Whenever I see this picture I will think of that analogy of stepping out of death and into life because of Jesus!

Easter Sunday Praise

When we have a good day at church (which happens often) I want to stay around and linger in the wonder and glory of the day just a little longer.  Easter Sunday was like that for me and many folks I spoke with.  I don’t dread Monday’s, I just want to make Sunday last a little longer though we all leave the buildings tired but fulfilled.  Here are just a few of the things I felt were big praises from Easter weekend:

1) The special Good Friday service.  If you were there nothing more needs to be said.  The men’s song “In the Shadow of the Cross” was powerful with the chorus of male voices.  The quartet sang one of my favorite songs, “Calvary’s Invitation” and Amanda sang with sincerity “The Look.” It was all great!  The narratives interspersed made it so much more impacting thinking about Barrabus, the Roman soldier, and Mary Magdalene.  I was stirred anew leading the congregation to the foot of Calvary through Powerpoint slides and Scripture. 

2) The effort on Great Commission Saturday is something I want to praise God for.  I really liked having ten different homes that folks could sign up for in their community areas.  We were at the Huber’s home and really enjoyed meeting with folks ahead of time for encouragement and then heading out to invite.  You could not ask for better weather and folks responses were cordial and appreciative.  There were people in church Sunday who were invited on Saturday by our folks.

3) Easter Sunday is a big praise!  Wow, I was so encouraged! There was a tremendous spirit among our folks and I sensed an atmosphere of heart for ministry.  There were a lot of visitors.  The most I have seen on an Easter Sunday since coming as pastor.  I had an enjoyable time all day meeting folks, preaching, and weaving in slides from Israel to help tell the greatest story of all in the Resurrection.  We praise God for the great weekend and hope of the Resurrection!

After The Resurrection

ad_2009_blog_monday_wrapupAs I write this entry, it is the afternoon following a great Easter Sunday at Bethel.  There was such a good spirit in both services.  Reflecting on yesterday, my mind has been thrown back to the days and weeks immediately following the Lord’s resurrection.  There must have been some real highs and lows during that time.  The rush of exhilaration when the angel said, “He is not here, for He is risen,” and then the doubts of wondering if it were really so.  The uncertainties of whether the news was reliable and then hearing Him say, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands…be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27). Then there is that scene when the disciples were gathered in a room together with the door shut “for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19).  So many questions, so much fear, and so much overwhelming proof that He was alive.

We are not much different.  His Word is filled with so many “exceeding great and precious promises,” yet we wonder privately if God could use our lives like our heroes in the Bible.  I am so thankful to have the hope found in the resurrection.  The hope that He is alive and is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.”  The hope that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  I want to encourage you to let last Sunday linger long in your mind.  It was so encouraging yesterday to see so many guests here–guests that folks in our church invited to come.  What a privilege to present the Gospel to people in need.  What a blessing to “Consider His Victory” and to think of all the riches we have been given in Christ.  As we look forward to our revival meetings coming up soon, and in light of Easter Sunday, let’s hold on to Paul’s words and make them our own, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10a).

Watch or listen to this week’s sermon.

Consider Him

ppt_2009_good_friday_title“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3). Christ unflinchingly–willingly–faced the horrors of the cross. While we mourn His suffering and the sin that brought it upon Him, we find courage from the fact that Christ endured. He could have walked away, but He endured. Watch this video from Striving Together Publications and “consider him.”