Saturday, December 7, 2019

2019 # 8 - The Best of Christmas

Hi Friends!

Our focus this Holiday Season is on The Best of Christmas and in a word we believe The Best of Christmas is JESUS!

As you Celebrate Christmas I encourage you to speak the words "Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15) into all of your circumstances! And let's cut to core if we could?

Let's admit that our emotions can readily swing from high-to-low and back-and-forth many times over. And if we're totally transparent, let's also admit that this emotional roller coaster can pick up speed during the Christmas season.

Think about it: we all have peaks, and pits, and lots of in-between points in the ebb-and-flow of any given day. What Christmas promises is that JESUS came to walk us through everything on our earthly journeys in a way that brings us personal peace and glorifies our Father in heaven.

We'll be studying a single Scripture passage (Isaiah 9:6-7) throughout December. My hope is that we'll unpack the power in Jesus' name and in His nature, and that we'll tap deeply into the peace that Jesus brings in all circumstances, as we praise God for His indescrible gift of grace!

I encourage you to join us and share in our worship services and to participate in our many festive ministry opportunities. Invite your family and friends to experience The Best of Christmas at Connections Christian Church. And have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

For unto us a Child is born,Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.


God's Peace and my Prayers,
Jeff

Saturday, September 28, 2019

2019 #7 - Pick-me-Ups for Get-me-Downs

Hi Friends,

Recently I have taken a Sabbatical from writing or posting - the Daily Word that I normally write about THE WORD and send by email to many has been more of a Weekly Word of late as well - all this to say that the opportunity to soak-in without deadlines to press-out has served to refresh my Spirit and so thank you...I am most grateful :)

That brings me to that which the Lord laid on my heart and brought into my mind while taking a rest from writing - it's called "Pick-me-Ups" for "Get-me-Downs" and the essence of it is that we all must acknowledge sin before we can be healed by our Savior - now there's nothing extra-profound in that acute revelation of this age old truth save this: have we become increasingly confused about sin?

My conviction from Sabbatical rest is that in general - our culture and perhaps even the church at large has increasingly wandered far away from the standard of righteousness which is Jesus and found ourselves compromising truth with situational ethics - and so while that may not sound terribly exciting in our entertainment culture it's my ground-zero for ministry in culture by the church.

"Pick-me-Ups" for "Get-me-Downs" is about looking at the life of Jesus and following Him - it's about trusting Him and His ways over trusting other standards that change based on situations and thus are constantly changing - whereas Jesus is the same, yesterday, and forever and because of His perfect integrity the standard by which we measure life and success never changes.

So, yea, that's pretty much it - nothing that is going to win the Pulitzer Prize on this blog but one thing that will give you victory over sin and death and His name is Jesus and He is the standard by which life is lived to the full - the standard by which the Eternal Prize is received by any who trust Him and follow Him and allow Him to be their "Pick-me-Up" for their "Get-me-Downs".

Isaiah 2:11 says, “A day is coming when human pride will be ended, and human arrogance destroyed. Then the LORD alone will be exalted.” I encourage you to live each day with that day in mind: focus on the standard of Jesus and allow Him to shape the ethics of your situation rather than allowing your situation to shape your ethics.

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time. Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you” (I Peter 5:6-7). That plan is trustworthy for every situation in the world: focus on it, thank God for it, trust it when you can't see the next step the same way you can trust it when you can see for miles.

God is faithful: He made you, He knows you, and He loves and He won't ever forsake you in any situation...ask Him and He will pick-you-up now and He will continue to do it forever...just trust Him.

God's Peace and my Prayers,
Jeff

Monday, July 1, 2019

2019 # 6 - Commissioned in a Hurting World

Hi Friends,

In Philippians 1:21, the Apostle Paul penned a profound sentence that should give everyone pause in a very positive way: he said, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

Everyone lives for something and everyone dies for something and so to me what Paul is saying could also be said this way: "If you are living for anything but Christ, to die is loss."

I believe to have the best life anytime is only possible through living for Christ always: that requires dying to some things (sins) in order to consistently and selflessly love God and others.

That's the focus of our current lesson series at Connections and we're fleshing that out in some tangible ways: namely pray, Bible study, worship and service.

The Christian life is not driven by a formula but by the Spirit of Christ and we are blessed with tons of joy as He leads: challenges are sure to come but greater character is sure to be built.

Pray and consider your personal engagement in our Vacation Bible School Ministry, Hispanic Ministry, Team Expansion Ministry (Joe and Ashley Derry), Bread Ministry, Food Pantry Ministry, Free Store Ministry, Mid-India Christian Ministry (Jay Henry), Hands Against Hunger Ministry (A Child's Hope International), Life Forward Ministry, Matthew 25 Ministry, Olivia's Basket Ministry, and Community Engagement Ministries.

Our focus as Connections Christian Church is to be faithful in loving up (God) and loving out (others) in the Spirit of Christ: it's the best life now and when we die in Christ it will be even better in the future...and that's something to live for today, tomorrow, and forever.

In Philippians 4:13, the Apostle Paul says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." And we can too: Amen?

God's Peace with prayers for all to have an extra-blessed Summer,
Jeff




Sunday, May 26, 2019

2019 # 5 - Commissioned in a Hurting World

Hi Friends!

Stress is often a catch-much word and sometimes purposefully-applied test to benchmark measurable, standardized, parameters of wellness.

Our hope this Summer as Connections Christian Church is to identify root causes of stress and tap into root cures for stress.

In other words: our goal is not just to live a balanced life as a church, but to fully experience abundant life in Jesus Christ.

In John 10:10, Jesus identifies a challenger to abundant life whose deliberate agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy our personal and family health and wellness.

I hope you'll join us as we take on that challenger: you'll receive a T-Shirt (Just Say Yes) and Back-Pack (Thriver Supplies) that will put pep in your step and joy in your spirit!

We will revisit proven ways to improve and facilitate physical, emotional, and spiritual Family Health: if that's something that resonates with you then I encourage you to connect with us!

Have a blessed Summer everyone!

God's Peace and my Prayers,
Jeff


Saturday, April 20, 2019

2019 # 4 - Commissioned in a Hurting World

Hi Friends,

Our lesson series leading up to Easter has been from the New Testament book of Romans and our key verse for Easter Sunday is Romans 8:1 "There is therefore (see Romans 7) now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." 

With that in mind I'm re-posting my blog entry from 03/01/19 and wish you all a very blessed Easter as we celebrate the victory over sin and death that ONLY JESUS gives to anyone who puts their faith and trust in Him.

Thank God that as Michael Card penned years ago: "Love Crucified Arose!"

God's Peace and my Prayers,
Jeff

Easter awakens everyone in the world to the possibility of personal regeneration in Jesus.

Many will accept His absolute truth and His amazing grace and experience a miraculous and magnificent transformation in the quality of their lives.

Others will reject Him and experience less than the best God provides for their lives now as well as miss the opportunity of eternal joy and peace.
  • ONLY JESUS can provide best outcomes for everyone in the world.
  • You either believe that or you don't?
The message is not difficult to understand because truth is by the grace of God only Jesus can save us from sin and death and give us abundant life.

The Bible assures us there is no other name under heaven whereby mankind can be saved except the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).

To that end I hope all who read this blog this Easter season will choose to believe that only Jesus provides the best outcomes today, tomorrow, and forever.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Hi Friends!

Easter awakens everyone in the world to the possibility of personal regeneration in Jesus.

Many will accept His absolute truth and His amazing grace and experience a miraculous and magnificent transformation in the quality of their lives.

Others will reject Him and experience less than the best God provides for their lives now as well as miss the opportunity of eternal joy and peace.

  • ONLY JESUS can provide best outcomes for everyone in the world. 
  • You either believe that or you don't?

The message is not difficult to understand because truth is by the grace of God only Jesus can save us from sin and death and give us abundant life.

The Bible assures us there is no other name under heaven whereby mankind can be saved except the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).

To that end I hope all who read this blog this Easter season will choose to believe that only Jesus provides the best outcomes today, tomorrow, and forever.

God's Peace and my Prayers,
Jeff







Friday, February 1, 2019

2019 - Post #2 - Commissioned in a Hurting World

Hi Friends!

Jesus Christ instructs His followers to lead others to follow Him - in other words: with the privilege of being called Christian comes the personal and collective responsibility of the Church to go and make disciples of Christ in all nations - we are commissioned as Christ followers to seek and save souls in a hurting world (see Matthew 28:18-20).

The translation of the word "go" reads more accurately "as you are going" - the significance of the actual tense is huge: the idea is not that we pack our bags once for a day trip but that we continually unpack them as part of our daily journey - everyone we meet, greet, and know should know that we are Christians by our love (see John 13:35).

The Bible validates many virtues but confirms that the most excellent way is unconditional compassion for God and for all people (see I Corinthians 13:1-13) - said another way the most excellent virtue is Jesus - because the healing needed for every heart in a hurting world is only found in His love for God and for others.

Truth is the Bible asks and answers the question of help in a hurting world (see Psalm 121) - it tells us to look up to hills not because the hills hold the hope but because the Maker of the hills gives hope to all people on Golgotha: a hill called Calvary (see Matthew 27: 35-44) - this is where the journey begins for any that would follow Jesus.

And there is no higher calling in the world than to follow Jesus - no higher commission in the world than to share the hope, to share the faith, and to share the love that lasts forever - and the greatest of these is love because "love crucified arose" (Michael Card) and covers the multitude of sins in the world and the stench of death in the world (see Romans 6: 1-23).

I encourage you to follow the link below to a music video by King and Country - you may want to watch the video several times and reflect on the images at different points throughout the day, or week, or beyond - the video does not camouflage the hurt people experience in the world but rather confirms that the best help for the hurt in the world is Jesus (mature content).

We'll be renewing our focus on being commissioned in many of our future worship and study times at Connections - we want to be careful to continue to keep our eyes on Calvary, on the cross, on the hill where we find our help, our hope, our faith, our love - we don't want to just talk about helping people in a hurting world but to tangibly touch people with Jesus (love) as we daily "go" into the world.

God's Peace and my Prayers,
Jeff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfiYWaeAcRw



Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 - Post # 1 - New YOU for a NEW YEAR

Hi Friends,

Welcoming 2019 knowing the world and our lives will be filled with opportunities as well as challenges that Christ alone can meet with compassion, assurance, hope, and good will - I encourage you to wrap your mind around the promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17 - the old is gone and the new is here in Christ: the new is here for You in the New Year in Christ!

Key components to an exceptional 2019 from my perspective - 1) Continual Prayer 2) Daily Bible Study 3) Communion with Christ 4) Fellowship with the Church 5) and an unwavering Commitment to nurturing your family in the faith that will move mountains - faith in Christ alone to continually create new life in all things: believing nothing is impossible with God!

  • Dream Big: make a list of things that seem impossible to you
  • Trust More: put those things in the hand of the One who makes all things new
  • Serve All: people everywhere need Jesus to be their Savior and Lord

God's Peace and my prayers,
Jeff

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Focus December '18 - Be the LIGHT of CHRISTMAS

Hi Friends!

I can't remember a Christmas in my lifetime where "the light of the world" is in greater demand as the darkness in the world is supplied in so many forms and at such a furious pace - truth is each one of us has been drawn into darkness to varying degrees and lived in darkness to varying degrees as well - and reality is that one degree of darkness separates us from "the light of life" in whom there is no darkness at all.

The Good News is that all humanity is on equal ground in need of Christ and that is why I am always excited about Christmas - Christmas answers prejudice and pride with peace and purpose "for unto us a Savior is born and He is Christ the Lord" - the Christ of Christmas is the person who was born to save all people from sin and guide all people to right relationship with God and one another - anyone who accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord is positioned to "Be the Light of Christmas."

Receive "the light of Christmas" and "be the light of Christmas" to all you know and meet!

Merry Christmas and God's Peace,
Jeff


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