A while back I was with some friends & someone asked me, "Hey do you remember Bill?". I replied yes, vaguely, "Whatever happened to him?" I asked. My friend reminded me that it was over a coke at a McDonald's one weekday afternoon we shared Jesus with Bill. We asked him if he would like to trust Jesus Christ there at a corner booth in a fast food place & Bill responded very much so. We prayed together and that day he began his journey with Jesus.
Fast forward, Bill is now married and nearing 50. With a great family and couple kids, one of whom is preparing to be trained in ministry. All over a coke in a restaurant. You know, Jesus spent a lot of time with people eating and drinking. So much so, he was criticized for it. He was called a "Friend" of sinners because he kept hanging out & eating with the wrong types of people.
This Sunday I'm excited to begin a 5 part study through Luke on the number of times Jesus ate with people and the dramatic differences that occurred as a result.
One neat thins about eating with others & talking about the Kingdom of Jesus is people tend to be much more relaxed drinking or eating together. There are 10 times in Luke where he describes in detail Jesus conversations over dinner. Maybe we can learn a thing of two from Jesus?
TABLE TALK- Using Your Table to Talk about Jesus begins Sunday. I hope you can join me at 9:33am in person or online! Invite a friend to sit next to you. You'll both be glad you did!
PS - Register for our Mother's Day breakfast - we're going to eat and learn about Jesus!!
When Jesus met with Peter and the disciples on the beach for breakfast, He pulled Peter aside and asked him a thought provoking question. One each of us must answer if we are determined to get our life back on track after a poor choice.
Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" See the passage here Did Jesus mean, Peter do you love me more than you love your friends? Or maybe He meant, Peter, do you love me more than you love to fish? Or possibly, Peter, do you love me more than you love your former way of living? Any of these are possible, but at the root here's what Jesus is asking Peter, and you and I?
What will be most important to you as you attempt to move forward? Will we love Jesus more than the poor choice that got us in our difficulty? Will we love Jesus more than we love our family or friends, or hobbies or money or any myriad of other things....
When we make poor decisions or choose bad habits and want to see change we have to decide what it is that really matters to us?
Recently in a game i officiated, a player was more interested in making his feelings& thoughts known than in playing in the game. As a result he was ejected and finished the rest of the contest on the bench. There come times when we all must ask ourselves what it is that we really want? And will our current choices help us accomplish this? Or will we find ourselves dejected and ejected sitting on the sidelines?
This Sunday I hope you'll join me as we answer the question "What if I've Blown it?" Fortunately for us we serve the God of the 2nd Chance. I'll see you Sunday at 9:33am or online!
Yesterday, we celebrated Pastor's Wife Appreciation and reminded Patti how much we appreciate what she does for Stonebridge. Thank you, Patti! We love you!
It seems like being known as "Doubting Thomas" is a bad rap? But what if it's ok to doubt? There's a difference between wanting to know if something is true or right and being so stubborn that you don't care what the truth is you're not gonna believe, you're not interested.
What If I Doubt? will be a Biblical look at the causes/circumstances that cause us pause in our beliefs and how we can move past those times to a greater trust in God or in others.
What are reasons you have doubted? Or maybe you currently have questions that cause you to put your relationship with God or someone on hold.
I've found it's common to pause things when you feel like you've been lied to. Maybe you trusted someone and they let you down. What you expected from them didn't happen. So now you doubt what they tell you they will do in the future.
It's also common for people to doubt God after something hurtful has happened in life. How can they trust God when this terrible thing has happened?
One thing for sure is this, people who are willing to honestly question and wrestle through their doubts come out much stronger on the other side. Is that you? Do you struggle with questions and doubts? Welcome to the club that includes John the Baptist, Abraham & Sarah, Thomas and Peter to name a few.
One thing I've found helpful if you struggle today with doubt is to be willing to admit and identify the issue for you. Then invite people you trust to enter into your questions and be there with you!
What If you Doubt? Well you're not alone. God doesn't intend you to stay there. See ya Sunday!
PS- Thank you for praying and joining us on Sunday. We had right around 200 worship our Risen King this past week. Many friends and family joining in. God is at work!
I read this week that Lifeway Research found 66% of American Adults believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Only 20% disagree with the balance unsure what to think.
What if Jesus is really alive? What difference would this make to our everyday life? Would it make life easier? Would there be less pain? What practical difference would you see?
Paul addressed these questions and others, so let me provide you with a couple things to ponder:
* If Jesus is alive then this life we now life has meaning and purpose. It's not an accident.
* If Jesus is alive then He is able to provide us with hope and help in times of need.
* Finally, if Jesus is alive then the love we share with one another is real and possible because we know that Love is of God and real love is possible as Jesus taught.
I hope you and your family will be able to join me and mine this Sunday, Easter Sunday at either 9:33 or 10:50 am. Either service will be an hour in length with meaningful worship and the practical teaching of God's Word, Jesus is Risen!.
Be praying for God to work in the lives of people. Invite someone to come sit with you.
See You Sunday!