Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving & Christmas Season

The Thanksgiving and Christmas season is by far my favorite time of year.  Not only is a wonderful time to connect with family and friends, it’s the perfect time to connect with God in a deeper way as one year ends and a new year begins.

At Christian Life we want to help you in the connection process.  I want to share a number of very special events coming to Christian Life over the next several weeks.  These are outstanding opportunities to be blessed and invite family, friends, and neighbors to church.

Upcoming Special Events
  • 12/5 - WYLL Movie Night "Christmas with a Capital C" - 7PM
  • 12/7 - ignite Christmas Party - 7PM
  • 12/8 - Women’s Christmas Candlelight Tea - 7PM
  • 12/11 - Christmas Play... “A Christmas with CS Lewis” - 6PM
  • 12/12 SAGE Christmas Party - 9:30AM
  • 12/18 - Children’s Happy Birthday Jesus - 9:30AM
  • 12/18 - Christmas Choir Presentation, “Christmas Hope!” - 9:30AM
  • 12/18 - Community Groups Christmas Parties - 4PM-6PM
  • 12/24 - Christmas Eve Service - 6PM
  • 12/25 - Christmas Day Service - 9:30AM

These are just a few of the church-wide events along with various special ministry activities throughout November and December.

Be blessed and be a blessing this season of the year.  Mark your family calendars, pick up some flyers for these events, and then invite everyone you know to these incredible events. 

For more information about any events at Christian Life please visit

Words in Red (4)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"
Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Mark 1:35-39

Jesus begins a busy day with prayer.  He was intentional about his prayer time.  Early, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left, and went to a solitary place to pray.  Jesus’ prayer time got Him in tune with the Father and prepared him for His calling that day.  If Jesus exemplified the primacy of prayer in His life, even the most busy, significant person today should take time to be alone with God.

Jesus’ “words in red” reflect His calling as Messiah.  At this early point of His ministry Jesus is preaching and healing.  The cross reference for these words in red is found in Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”  Matthew Henry said it best, “Wherever Christ comes, He comes to do good.”

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Words in Red (3)

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" 
"Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him!" 
The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching--and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee. 
Mark 1:21-28

Jesus’ third statement in the Gospel of Mark was addressed to an evil spirit.  This evil spirit had recognized Jesus and gave testimony to Jesus’ identity.  Jesus would not accept the witness of this demon.  Jesus came to confront and defeat the enemy, so he told the spirit to be quiet and then commanded the spirit to leave the man. 

Whenever God is at work, the enemy is running opposition.  Jesus battled the enemy throughout His ministry and it is important to note that Jesus ALWAYS won. Whether it be overcoming a temptation or casting out a demon, Jesus was always victorious! The crowds marveled at His power.  These incidents are just a foreshadowing Jesus ultimate triumph over Satan and sin.  While believers still battle the enemy today, always remember the good news that Christ’s victory is our victory!

Each Thursday at 7PM I am teaching The Life of Christ class in the sanctuary at Christian Life Church.  Nursery and children's ministry is available.  All are welcome to attend.  In fact, why don’t you invite someone to come to class with you?

Words in Red (2)

The second “words in red” in the Gospel of Mark are these found in Mark 1:17, "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people."  There are two necessary things we learn from Jesus in these words in red.

First, Jesus’ call in the Gospels is found in a simple two word invitation... “Follow me.”  Sometimes we can get overwhelmed when we look at the Great Commandment, Great Commission, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), coupled with all of the teachings, commands, and parables of Jesus.  Where do we start?  Is it even possible to do everything Jesus wants us to do?  Ultimately, Jesus’ call is a simple one, “Follow me.”  He doesn’t say, “Follow me perfectly.”  He knows we can’t.  That’s what His grace is for.  But Jesus does call us to do is follow.  And you will never go wrong when you submit and follow Him.

Second, Jesus invites us into a spiritual calling. Peter and Andrew were good fisherman.  It’s what they did for a living.  No doubt they continued to fish even after following Jesus to help provide for their families.  But Jesus had more for them than just a lifetime of fishing.  Their obedience to Jesus’ call allowed these simple fishermen to change the world.  Jesus has more than just survival in mind for you.  The abundant life He’s given you is meant to make an impact for eternity.

Each Thursday at 7PM I am teaching The Life of Christ class in the sanctuary at Christian Life Church.  Nursery and children's ministry is available.  All are welcome to attend.  In fact, why don’t you invite someone to come to class with you?