Thursday, November 1, 2018

Focus November '18 - Thank God for People

Hi Friends!

Listen carefully and you will hear the world crying out from brokenness and dysfunction - which is all the more reason to celebrate this Thanksgiving Season by counting our blessings - and none more so than the gift of God's Son Jesus who speaks and shows us that ALL people are eternally valuable to God.

Continue to be blessed by God's goodness and to be a blessing by sharing His goodness with everyone - focus your thoughts and prayers and attitudes and actions on Praising God for People of every race and every nation and every neighborhood - let the love of Jesus be the unifying and healing gift for all relationships and let it begin with His Church. AMEN?

God's Peace and My Prayers,

Jeff

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Focus Fall '18 - Called to Follow


Hi Friends!

Most of us use phones for everything but talking these days but all of us have answered the "call" to follow someone and our current sermon series explores why the smartest decision ANYONE can make is to follow JESUS!

Mark 1:14-20 New International Version (NIV)

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.


Following Jesus is about experiencing the best life now and the best life to come when life on earth comes to an end. Statistically speaking the probability that life will come to an end on earth for everyone is great which makes planning for the next life wise for all.

Jesus invites you to participate in His plan and to bring others with you to the place He has prepared for those who follow Him. Others make similar invitations but no one can deliver on the promise of perfect eternal peace in heaven save Jesus alone which is a great reason to follow Him. Amen?

God's Peace and my prayers,
Jeff

Monday, June 25, 2018

FOCUS '18 - June - July - Unmovable

Hi Friends!

Staying tuned-in to a Christian worldview can be challenging in a world filled with loud, competing noise - our current sermon series is filled with practical applications that will not only help you filter the beat of popular culture with Biblical rhythm but you can expect measurable outcomes that will enhance your hearing and transform your heart and life - remember that "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).

God's Peace and my prayers,
Jeff

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Focus '18 - Pray Continually - May

Hi Friends!

Our current sermon series is focused on remaining stable in the midst of storms - our study is from the book of Daniel which speaks much and provides great insights into successfully managing many contemporary challenges that are common to most - I encourage you to read the book of Daniel and actively participate in all opportunities for fellowship, prayer, small groups, worship and service.

We will also be doing a deep-dive into "The Daniel Plan" - the tenets of this best-selling series is to encourage one another in a life fitness plan that is powered by faith and centered in good nutrition and exercise - the Bible assures us that the physical body is a gift from God to live a spirit-led life and we want to be sure we are aligned with God's will in all things.

The more we tap into God the more stable our lives will be in the storms!

God's Peace and my prayers,

Jeff

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Focus '18 - Pray Continually - April

Hi Friends!

The above verses were written in the ancient past by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian Church but are applicable for the Church today - I think most in the world would agree that some things are more important than other things - yet deciding what is of first importance in the world is a different matter.

Not so with the Church - the thing of first importance that everyone in the Church of the past, present, and future agrees about is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures - Christ unifies His Church with life.

As Spring Flowers blossom and Easter Lilies sprout keep in mind that the One who brought life from death is worthy of your first fruits - worthy of your best time, best talents, and best treasures - by giving of your best to Jesus the world will know that He is of first importance to you and His Church.

We've been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus - be careful to live to be a blessing by sharing your victorious, abundant life in Christ Jesus with all in your sphere of influence - many things are important but nothing is more important than salvation in Christ.

God's Peace and my prayers,
Jeff

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Focus '18 - Pray Continually- March

Hi Friends!

The month of March leads us to springtime and the life giving assurance of Easter which fills our hearts with gratitude for the indescribable gift of Jesus!

The death of Jesus for our sins and His victorious resurrection from the grave not only standardizes all calendars for eternity but marks all life journeys with a choice.

  • One choice is a broad road with little resistance, but many potholes that lead to hopelessness, heartache, and destruction.
  • Another choice is a narrow road with lots of resistance, but with guidance from Jesus that leads to peace that is beyond human comprehension.

What we are talking about is a taste of heaven on earth that leaves us awestruck in anticipation of heaven.

Said another way, a personal relationship with Jesus on earth is so good now, one can only imagine what being with Him in heaven will be like later.

That's our focus leading up to Easter - inspired by a song and the story of the lead singer of the group Mercy Me - I Can Only Imagine is a destination maker of your choosing.

  • Heaven or Hell?
  • Hope or Hopelessness?
  • Healing or Heartache?

Tune-in, drill-down, saddle-up, and come along - you will receive more than you could ever ask, think, or imagine - simply by choosing Jesus this Easter and every day on your eternal calendar.

"For God so loved the world that He gave you the indescribable gift of His Son Jesus, so that by believing in Him you might be saved from sin and death, and experience eternal life and peace starting on earth now and continuing in heaven forever." (John 3:16 paraphrase by jhill).

God's Peace and my prayers,
Jeff

Monday, January 1, 2018

Focus '18 - Pray Continually- January

Hi Friends!

Many people I know transition their calendar's from one year to the next with varying degrees of exhaustion. Admittedly, I speak to this point from some past personal experience myself, which is what inspires me in-part to partner in the 40 days of Prayer Campaign with Rick Warren and the Saddleback Church in California.

The mandate to "Pray Continually" ultimately originates from the Bible (I Thessalonians 5:17) and this campaign reminds us of the power that comes to us when we consistently engage in God's provision of continual communication with Him. In a very real way, the Bible teaches that whatever you place on your calendar through prayer, is always up for review in prayer.

Proverbs 16:3 says: 
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plan."

My conviction is to be certain that whatever I do in 2018 is continually being committed to the Lord in prayer. I am looking to be certain that my faith, fitness, and family are empowered through prayer for God's Glory. I am looking to refuel, retool, and relax in relationship with God and others in tangible and measurable ways.

If you would like to transition your daily calendar with decreasing exhaustion and increasing power and purpose, then I encourage you to participate in this 40 days of prayer campaign which will provide multiple insights and opportunities to Pray Continually, and to do life with an abundance of individual and collective energy in the Spirit of our Lord Jesus!!

Here are a few opportunities for your prayer calendar

  • Family Prayer Walks...Daily @ 6 PM
  • Family Prayers and Movies...Wednesday's @ 7 PM
  • Women's Prayer Groups and Bible Reflections...1st Thursday's @ 7 PM
  • Men's Prayer Groups and Bible Reflections...Saturday's @ 9 AM
  • Family Prayer Groups and Bible Reflections...Sunday's @ 9:15 AM
  • Children's Prayer Groups and Worship Services...Sunday's @ 10:30 AM
  • Adult Prayer Groups and Worship Services....Sunday's @ 10:30 AM

Our 2018 plan as Connections Christian Church is to fulfill the great commission of our Savior and Lord Jesus who instructs His Church to go into all parts of the world and make disciples of all people in all neighborhoods and all nations. We are committed to pray-out any and all distractions to that plan and to pray-in all the power of God into His plan for His Church.

I am pumped about opportunities to refuel, retool, and relax in the Lord and that's why I encourage everyone to be a part of empowering your faith, fitness, and family through continual prayer and by sharing in the 40 days of Prayer Campaign. No fees to pay or resolutions to break...just a life of prayer to be enjoyed!!

I am convinced that when each step we take is one in continual prayer, that our calendars and lives are 100% guaranteed by God's Word, to become far less exhaustive and increasingly more energized by God for His Glory...and so this is my continual prayer for Connections Christian Church and for all people in all neighborhoods and all nations in the New Year!!

God's Peace,
Jeff



Friday, December 1, 2017

Focus '17 - Momentum - Entry #10

Hi Friends!

I am grateful for this season set-apart to celebrate the birth of Jesus and my hope is this will be "A December to Remember" through the ministry of Connections Christian Church.

Each week we will look to forgo three meals (fast) and use those opportunities to focus on the humanity, glory, grace and truth of our Savior.

With each of those opportunities we will look to individually and collectively leverage 12 ways of Christmas into our communities and throughout the world.

See our "upcoming events" page for seasonal themed times of worship and service as we look forward to hosting your families, friends, and guests.

Jesus made His dwelling among us in the flesh, glorifying God in His Spirit, exemplified by the fullness of His grace and truth.

We hope to model Jesus' ministry and make this "A December to Remember" with 12 ways of Christmas promoting peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind.

God's Peace and Merry Christmas,
Jeff

Monday, October 23, 2017

Focus '17 - Momentum - Entry # 9

Hi Friends!

Fall is in full-bloom with fields ripe for the harvest, even as challenges to civility continue to compound daily, in a culture of relativism. So think of this for a moment if you would?

Imagine a world in which a kaleidoscope of  neighborhoods and nations, blended as naturally as the variable foliage of a diverse forest, splashed with rays of sunlight by day and moonlight by night.

Would you agree, that nothing on earth would be more beautiful than the brilliant diversity of all humanity, united harmoniously in absolute civility?

If so, consider again or perhaps for some anew, that Christ died for the sins of all people so that all people may live together with Him.  

Christ is absolute civility.

I recently saw a corporate ad centered around The Golden Rule, yet it is Christ who said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Luke 6:31). 

Christ is the person who wrote The Golden Rule perfectly, writing it in red for all humanity.

Christ shed His crimson blood on the cross of Calvary, to allow brilliantly colored people in all neighborhoods and nations to be saved from the penalty of sin, which is eternal death.

Christ is the only person who gives eternal life to all people.

Join me in giving thanks to Christ for sharing His vision, mission, and values with all humanity. Purpose to bring absolute civility to culture with Christ's brilliantly diverse family portrait in mind.

God's Peace and My Prayers,
Jeff

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Focus '17 - Momentum - Entry # 8

Hi Friends!

Our new sermon series centers around taking the teachings of the Bible and turning them loose in the daily circumstances of our lives - for the word of God is alive and active - the Bible not only allows us to survive in the storms of life but thrive in all seasons of life as well.

The generosity of CCC to assist people in need through partnership with Life Forward, Hands Against Hunger, Matthew 25 Ministries, and City Gospel Mission is compelling - living to love and bless others in the name of Jesus is a high calling - thank you for answering the call.

Continue to pray for people with physical and emotional and spiritual needs - pray to be salt and light and to continue to love others unconditionally by sharing the truth of Jesus inclusively with all people - remembering it is truly a greater blessing to give than to receive.

Thanks be to God for the indescribable gift of Jesus - a great gift to receive and a greater gift to give!

God's Peace,
Jeff



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Focus 17' - Momentum - Entry # 7



Hi Friends!

Imagine a work day where every colleague cared for one another with unconditional love? Imagine if every work day was fueled by compassion for one another? Imagine a week where the first concerns of all were for the welfare of others?

OK, pinch yourself and wake-up! Some people in the world actually live to advance their personal agenda at the expense of anyone in their path. Some people are only concerned with self-gain at all costs, even the cost of personal relationships.

But GOD! Yes GOD is greater than all our sins and His love never fails because at least ONE, God's only begotten Son,  never failed to have any debt but love. Question is will you be another? Will you be like Jesus and bring the unimaginable into reality?

Will you be one who loves even should others despise your integrity, mock your character, and look to cause you personal harm? That's a snapshot of what Jesus did on the cross for us and that is what He calls us to do for others.

Will you be one who loves your neighbors and co-workers as Jesus does?

God's Peace,
Jeff


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Focus ' 17 Momentum - Entry # 6

Hi Friends!

With Summer in full season I want to thank the leadership of the church for a sabbatical of refreshing and renewal with the preaching ministry of the church! While my engagement in ministry continues to be filled with moments of service and praise, the opportunity to soak in some sermons from guest ministers and missionaries is a blessing for all!

It is amazing how the Lord works through the church to bring PEACE to All People in the world who choose to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord! The Bible describes this PEACE to be beyond our human understanding and that it is only available in the Person of Christ Jesus! It is a PEACE that reconciles All People with God and with one another!

  • Read Philippians 4 and "Rejoice in Jesus Always"
  • I'll say it again "Rejoice in Jesus Always"
  • And pray for our Guest Speakers to continue to bring PEACE to All People in Jesus

God's Peace and My Prayers,

Jeff

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Focus '17 - Momentum - Entry # 5


1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Hi Friends!

One of the things I prepare for each day is my daily-to-do-list and I often revise it two to three times to better prioritize the possibilities of each day. I look to check items off the list and often have some sense of accomplishment as I do believing that most of those things make some kind of positive difference for others as well as myself. As I look to turn the page on a new month I also do a monthly review of goals and time-lines and opportunities and the like.
 
In reflecting upon the above verses earlier this morning I reviewed my to-do-list an extra-time today and revised it yet again. I took another pass at the month of June as well. Admittedly I realized anew that in light of the Lord’s pending return that some things on my daily-to-do-list and monthly-to-do-list are much more important than others. I even added a couple items to the “top 10” things to do on my list.
 
That exercise made me wonder how different the world might be if I were more faithful to use the filter of the Lord’s pending return to better prioritize each of my thoughts and my actions of each and every one of my days? And what might the church look like in the world if every member of the church took a moment to review and possibly rewrite their daily-to-do-list and monthly-to-do-list using the Lord’s pending return as their priority filter?
 
Think of it like this: when asked, Jesus said about His return “Watch and be ready.” 

My thought is that using the filter of the Lord’s pending return more faithfully in putting together our daily-to-do-lists is something that would serve to grow the church in the world? At a minimum I found that it caused me to grow in the Lord today and as such I hope if you participate in the same exercise it might do much the same for each of you and more than we can ask, think, or imagine in the world as His church.

Final thought - something that is on my list and will stay on my list as a result of reflecting upon this is to remember to  honor daily those who sacrificially have and do provide the freedom for us to even have and prioritize to-do-lists - one being our Savior and Lord Jesus who died on the cross for our sins to give us the freedom to live eternally in Him and others being the men and women in our armed services who guard and protect that freedom as their daily priority.
 
God’s Peace,
Jeff

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Focus ' 17 - Momentum - Entry # 4

Hi Friends!

Imagine a world where The Rhythm of Life is Mercy? 

The Bible tells us the Lord's mercies are new each day (Lamentations 3:23) and that those who are merciful will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7). 

That's the focus of our current sermon series at Connections Christian Church. 

I encourage you to pray about that, check out the video message below, and commit or re-commit yourself to The Rhythm of Mercy.

God's Peace and My Prayers,

Jeff


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Focus '17 - Momentum - Entry # 3

Hi Friends!

It's been said that we live in "a dog eat dog world" - but the Bible assures us there is a healthy alternative to participating in grumbling and growling with one another - the Bible says we can choose to be "patient" with one another (see James 5:7-12).

Job is referenced in the above passage as a man who exemplified "patience" even in the face of adversity and significant life challenges - most people are familiar to some degree with Job's story and the axiom "he or she has the patience of Job" - which leads to my thoughts below.

Job 23: 10-11

10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps;
    I have kept to his way without turning aside.


Job is one who suffered immensely for righteousness sake - but consistently told the truth and seldom lost his "patience" and never lost his way with God - we would be wise to pray for and aim for the same in our relationships with one another, Amen?

Here's a concluding thought - the name Job and the job you are tasked to do each day are spelled the same way - look to make "patience" a pillar of your work life and look to bring "patience" home much like your paycheck and share it abundantly to strengthen your family.

God’s Peace and My Prayers,

Jeff

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Focus ' 17 - Momentum - Entry # 2

Psalm 33:4-5
4 For the word of the Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.
5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of his unfailing love.

The above verses say so much about our LORD and HIS WORD - as I read and reflect and respond to them I am most grateful that on the last day of January 2017, a month in which we celebrate the Sanctity of Life - that we were blessed with a Supreme Court Nominee in our nation who historically has honored GOD and HIS WORD by advocating and advancing that which is faithful, right, and true.

I pray the church is rejoicing with humble and grateful hearts as the earth is full of GOD’S unfailing love for that which HIS WORD tells us HE loves...righteousness and justice for all human beings.

Lord, I thank you,
In Jesus Name I thank you,
Amen.

God’s Peace,
Jeff

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Focus '17 - MOMENTUM - Guaranteed Steps to Sieze IT and Keep IT

Hi Friends!

With each New Year comes New Resolutions - but as experience has taught me and I am thinking some of you as well - sometimes our best intentions quickly become burdens of frustration littered by a trail of shattered dreams and broken promises.

So what's a person to do? Read another book, attend another webinar, perhaps join another accountability group? Any or all of the above may help you? But what if there was a step that would guarantee your success?

This year I am challenging myself to take a step that admittedly is easier to read than to respond to - that said I guarantee it is the only step anyone needs to take - in order to align all your other steps to fulfill your dreams and keep your promises in the New Year.

So what is it? What step can a person take that will allow you to Seize and Keep MOMENTUM in the New Year? Is it a revolutionary and revitalizing diet? Is it an on-line course that teaches how to mend relationships or start a new career with less hours and an abundance of cash?

No it's none of those things and I'm not saying all of those things are wrong or inappropriate...

This step is so simple - that if or when you might miss it you can instantly recalibrate the cracks in your dreams and compromises in your promises simply by retaking it - to take the step is simply a matter of prioritizing your life to make it your first step with each new day.

James 1:22 says "Do not merely listen to the word (of God), and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." Can you believe it? That's all a person with faith in Jesus Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit needs to do to Seize and Keep MOMENTUM in the New Year?

That's really all there is to IT (no small print) - this single step is guaranteed to align your will and ways to the Word of God which endures forever - I hope you will join me and millions in the church throughout the world that are looking to take that step daily in the New Year.

God's Peace and Momentum,

Jeff

Friday, December 2, 2016

Focus '16 - Life on Mission - Entry #11

Hi Friends!

As we Celebrate the Birth of Jesus my spirit is into a simple but hopefully profound approach to Christmas - I want to encourage everyone to receive the gift of Jesus, rejoice in the gift of Jesus, and regift Jesus to others - because "the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus" (Romans 6:23 b).

Receive Jesus...

                  Rejoice in Jesus...

                                     Regift Jesus...

                                                 For the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus...

God's Peace and Merry Christmas,

Jeff




Sunday, November 13, 2016

Focus '16 Life on Mission - Entry # 10

Hi Friends!

Leading through Thanksgiving and into Christmas can be a very special time - it's a time when the competing worldviews of Christianity and secular humanism can collide in a very positive way - it's a time when most regardless of their worldview can count their blessings and share sacrificially and often generously with others with a spirit of joy.

It's in the spirit of these seasons that I want to encourage people to "Reboot Now for Next Year" - to use these seasons not as a time to stress secondary to seasonal demands but to refresh with readiness for your next steps heading into a new year - I'm not asking you to make resolutions in November or December but to prayerfully plan your participation in your life journey heading into January 2017.

Here's what I have in mind -

Week one - an invitation to explore personal Christianity

Week two - an invitation to engage potential Opportunities

Week three - an invitation to empower past Barriers

Week four - an invitation to expand peripheral Vision

I hope these seasons and this sermon series will serve to bless you as you bless others - I hope this is a time you can Reboot your relationship with Jesus and in doing so share His light and love with those you meet with a different worldview - I hope this is a time that leaves you with a resolute plan to explore, engage, empower, and expand your personal worldview now for next year.

"May God bless you all. Yes, I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will give each of you his fullest blessings, and his peace in your hearts and lives" (Philippians 1:2 LB).

God's Peace,

Jeff

Friday, October 21, 2016

Focus '16 - Life on Mission - Entry # 9

Psalm 33:12  New International Version (NIV)

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord...

Hi Friends!

The word blessed literally translated means to be very happy or realistically translated means to be very fortunate - our church is blessed or literally very happy and realistically most fortunate - because our Lord and God is Christ Jesus.

The mission of Christ Jesus - is for our lives, homes, communities, nation and world to literally and to realistically be blessed through His church - this is at the heart of our current lesson series as we look to Christ Jesus to reconcile relationships to God and among all people through His church.

A couple of prayers I am asking you to pray were offered by Daniel (Chapter 9) and David (Psalm 51) - each prayer reminds us to 1) Confirm God's Mercy 2) Confess Our Sins and 3) Compel God's Forgiveness - I also ask you to reflect on the passage below believing the continued blessings of our spiritual heritage require us to continue to put our hope in the unfailing love of our Lord.

Psalm 33:16-22  New International Version (NIV)

16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
    no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
    despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
    on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
    and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

Friends, my deep desire is for you to continue to be blessed and to continue to be a blessing by continuing to put your hope in the unfailing love of our Lord - never forget that the mission of the church is reconciling all people to God and each other in Christ Jesus - and because of that we are very happy and most fortunate!

God's Peace,

Jeff

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Focus '16 - Life on Mission - Entry # 8

Hi Friends!

The Bible says "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18). So rather than make excuses and reflect upon historical references as to why peace is not always possible, I want to encourage each of you to focus on you.

As much as it depends upon you I want to encourage each of  you to do whatever you possibly can to let all people know that all people matter to our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. My conviction is there will never be a better time than now to restore unity in our nation.

Let your light shine -
Let your love flow-
Let your life bless-

Be the church, be the peace of Jesus that passes all human understanding, the peace that can guard all hearts and all minds, the peace that can unite one nation under the one true God into one people that matter not only to God, but that all matter to one another.

Pray for revival -
Pray for revival again -
Pray for revival again and again and again and always -

Spiritual Revival in our nation is the one thing that can displace the division that comes with talk of black and blue with the reality that all people of all colors matter to God - you matter, your neighbors matter, and every neighborhood in every nation matters to God.

As much as it depends upon you - be the peace of Jesus to all people because all people matter to the one true God - may there be Spiritual Revival in our nation that facilitates peace and unity for all people and it may it begin with you, the church of Jesus Christ.

This is my prayer for you, for the church, to be peace in the world in Jesus name. Amen

Jeff

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Focus '16 - Life on Mission - Entry # 7

Hi Friends!

Jesus teaches that all human relations can be reconciled by loving God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (said another way: with your entire being) and by loving your neighbor as you love yourself.

Look around and ask yourself if the world could use those expressions of love from all people right now? My answer to that question is yes and my prayer for Connections Christian Church is that we will express that love and show all people that God is love and loves all people.

Our current lesson series is about living in "New Times" by learning and following the "Old Testimonies" of God's Word - we believe people who embrace Biblical truth and values from centuries past - will be blessings to one another and to our communities, nation and world today.

We believe what the world needs now is love for God and all people!

How 'bout you?

God's Peace,

Jeff

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Focus ' 16 - LIFE ON MISSION - Entry # 5

Hi Friends!

Our Summer Sermon Series is "1 Big Happy Family" - the goal is not to guilt people out for their shortcomings - but to pump people up for possibilities for improving relationships in Christ!

Said another way - the idea is to identify practical Biblical ways to celebrate family life that will weather whatever challenges come - we won't turn a blind-eye but will look to focus on family fun!

Jesus prayed the above prayer for you - this is what Jesus desires for your family - He desires for all people to enjoy unity in faith, hope, and love!

That's the fun that's before us - I pray you will enjoy the journey this Summer as we celebrate family unity in Christ - and the greatest of these is love!

God's Peace,
Jeff


Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Hi Friends!

Each Lord's Day we gather to commune and remember the sacrifice of our Savior and Lord Jesus - Memorial Day is a National Holiday to remember the sacrifice of those who have protected that freedom - and many other freedoms that we continue to enjoy.

Memorial Day is also called Decoration Day - which reminds us to decorate the graves and remember the lives of those who have gone before us - these virtues are also honorable and pure and find their origin in Scripture where we are encouraged to remember not only Jesus but the faithful lives of His followers.

Sunday's 10:30 AM Worship Service at Connections Christian Church will center around these themes - remembering Jesus and honoring the lives of His faithful followers - we will honor many who have gone before us and several living among us and all who protect the freedom we enjoy to worship in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
I also encourage you to participate in the Memorial Walk in Madeira on Monday - may all be especially blessed and be a special blessing this Memorial Day Weekend - with our deepest gratitude for all those past, present, and future who protect the freedoms we enjoy in America!

God's Peace,

Jeff

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Focus '16 - LIFE ON MISSION - Entry # 4

Hi Friends,

When I update this blog I am reminded that it is written with bias - I write from a Christian worldview - I believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one can have a right relationship with His Father apart from Him - I believe this because Jesus said so in John 14:6.

If I know the only way for a child to cross the street safely - is for the child to walk in the crosswalk when the traffic light  for oncoming traffic is red and the hand on the walk light is white - I'm not intolerant but loving for teaching a child to walk this way.

We make decisions daily that one way is the right way to live safely - I love people enough to tell them that Jesus is the right way to live safely with God - I believe Jesus when He said no one leaves earth to go to heaven and be with God apart from Him.

Look around and we see multiple flashing signs promising peace - truth is Jesus is like no other because He alone provides peace with God that guards our hearts and minds for eternity - to that end I post a prayer for people I minister with and to in my daily path.

Sincerely,

Jeff







Monday, February 22, 2016

Focus '16 - LIFE ON MISSION - Entry # 3


"God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, 
so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." 

2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV

Hi Friends!

With Spring on the horizon and Easter Celebrations fast approaching - our focus at Connections Christian Church is on Jesus who as deity became human like us - with the mission of bringing us back into a right relationship with God.

We will be discussing how Jesus came into our world of sin and death in order to give us a way out of it with a life of peace for eternity - our discussion will be theology to be lived not shelved - with the next chapters being the ones Jesus writes through those who choose to follow Him.

Don't be fooled by competing worldviews - Jesus is like no other - historically there are many great people, prophets, teachers, and leaders but none who transformed a crucifix from an instrument of horrific death to holistic life...save Jesus.

Jesus lives to be your friend like no other - He is always faithful and His love never ever fails  - be careful to connect with Him this Spring and Easter Season by reading His gospels and discussing Him with others.

I am excited to witness the next chapters Jesus writes through your lives - continue to be blessed in Him and be a blessing to those you know, meet, and serve in His name and remember HE LIVES for all people to have a right relationship with God - don't be fooled...Jesus is a friend like no other!

God's Peace,
Jeff

Monday, February 1, 2016

Focus ' 16 - LIFE ON MISSION - Entry # 2

Hi Friends!

So we are about a month into LIFE ON MISSION at Connections Christian Church and the question basically boils down to this - does the old, old story of God's love for humanity inspire us to love others as He does? Whether you read it in the original Greek or the latest translation - the story of Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for the fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God" (Jesus as recorded in John 3: 16-21).

LIFE ON MISSION is inspired by the truth - by the old, old story of Jesus who did not come to condemn but to save people from darkness and hatred with His light and love. When anyone puts their faith in Jesus - it will be plainly seen by all that what is being done is being done by God.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Jesus as recorded in Matthew 5:14-16).

The link below reminds me of many people I know - people who are walking in the truth and touching others with the light and love of life. The greater our faith in Jesus - the brighter our light and stronger our love for others. To that end I ask you to join me in offering this continual prayer to God our Heavenly Father - "Increase our faith in your one and only Son Jesus."

https://vimeo.com/16301164

God's Peace,
Jeff










Friday, January 1, 2016

Focus '16 - LIFE ON MISSION - Entry #1

Hi Friends!

The 2016 focus of Connections Christian Church is to live the best life possible - and to help others to live the best life possible - we believe that the best life possible is lived in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You might be homeless or You might be the most successful business person in your city?

You might be single or You might be married or You might be divorced?

You might be a teen or You might be a senior?

You might be this race or that race or You might be a kaleidoscope of races?

Whatever your nationality and whatever your circumstances - however good or however challenging your life has been or is in the moment - our conviction is that the best available life today and in the future is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you are looking for light and life to trump darkness and death - I encourage you to connect with others and check-out LIFE ON MISSION - the life God has for you in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is better than you can even imagine!!

May God's Peace be Yours in 2016 and Always,

Jeff








Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Hi Friends!

Each year I look to give some Christmas gifts that I hope people will remember for years to come - sometimes I will receive a couple of gifts like this as well - gifts that for lack of a better term I started calling several years back...Classic Christmas Gifts!

But here's the thing - I believe THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS GIFT was born of a virgin centuries ago and is named Immanuel - the name alone means more than any other gift I could possibly give or receive - this gift literally defines classic for all humanity.

The reality of "God with us" in the person of His Son Jesus is a life-changer - receiving this gift reroutes our destiny from hell to heaven - it is a gift we will not just remember for a couple of years but for eternity.

My thought this Christmas is that I need to come up with a new word for all other gifts but Jesus - if Jesus by definition is THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS GIFT - then my best efforts of home-made and store-bought gifts might be better called wanna-be's.

But the more I thought about it I came up with this - hopefully whatever wanna-be's that I give or receive this Christmas will allow others to see "God with us"- in that spirit all gifts this Christmas can be classics after-all.

A meal made and delivered to a widow...

A toy train bought and shipped to an orphanage...

A pair of wool socks in a stocking for my spouse...

A movie with our children in the warmth of our home...

A list too long to print with the increasing spirit of Immanuel...

Jesus says "it is more blessed to give than to receive" - so as good as it is to have "God with us" it is even better to re-gift Him - to that end if you have received Him and then give Him away your Christmas will be classic...at least by my definition.

Matthew 1: 22-23 says - All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said through the prophet: ''the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Immanuel" - which means - "God with us" - JESUS IS THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS GIFT!

Receive Him and Re-gift Him and have a Merry Christmas!

God's Peace,
Jeff

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Focus '15 - Be Ready - Entry # 13

Hi Friends,

I Thessalonians 5:18 was written to the church and says, "Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Notice two things if you would: 1) Christians are told to give thanks in all circumstances not for all circumstances and 2) Christians are told to give thanks in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 5:17 was written to the church and says, "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to the Father through (in) him."

Several times each day I greet others and others greet me - often times I ask them or they ask me an introductory question - many times the question is "how are you doing"?

When you hear that question this holiday season - look to answer it by saying "I am thankful" - or "I am thankful in all things in Christ Jesus."

That is my prayer for the church - for us to show and tell one another and for us to show and tell the world - that we are thankful in all things in Christ Jesus.

God's Peace,
Jeff