Thursday, April 13, 2017

What You Lose

Recently, a Norman Rockwell original painting called "Lazybones" was recovered by the FBI. Stolen back in 1976, the painting was recovered when the man in possession of the painting saw an FBI report and realized it was stolen. The FBI returned the painting to the family of its original owner, Robert Grant, who bought the painting for $100. When it was stolen, the insurance company compensated Mr. Grant $15,000. The painting is now worth an estimated $1 million. Mr. Grant passed away several years ago, but his daughter said, "He would be thrilled right now and beyond elated to get it back, because it meant a lot to him and he really enjoyed it and loved it and was proud of it." Get back a $1 million painting that I bought for $100 - I'd be thrilled, too.

Sometimes we don't know what we've lost. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, in part, to remind Corinthian believers of the importance of the Resurrection of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:20-21, we discover what we would lose if the Resurrection was not true, and what we gain because it is. It's news worth celebrating this Easter.

See you Sunday!

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Eyewitness News

With the development of taped (and then digital) video and satellite trucks, local news stations began calling themselves "Eyewitness News." The idea was that, as news happened, their reporters were there, taking video of the event, so that you could witness the crowning of the blue ribbon pie baking contest winner for yourself.

This week, Paul refers to eyewitnesses of the greatest event of all history, a reality that makes the Resurrection of Christ stand out from every other religious teaching (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Join us this week as we celebrate the reality of the Resurrection.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Monday, April 3, 2017

Developing

Some may remember Polaroid cameras. Snap a shot, the paper shoots out....and you wait. The image is there, but it has to develop to completion.

This example was used when discussing that an unborn child is immediately a person made in the image of God; however, not yet seen in entirety because he/she has to develop. Similarly, people all around us (including us) are in different stages of development in our Christian walks. We need to be compassionate, realizing that we ALL are being developed by our Creator. Just because we don't see the finished product, we know God will complete what He began (Philippians 1:6). None of us have arrived, we all are still working to be more like Him. We are all in this together and God intends for us to love each other as He loves us. Now THAT'S a beautiful picture. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Main Ingredient

Most recipes have that singular ingredient that is most important - without it, the recipe falls apart. Without chocolate chips, it's not chocolate chip cookies. Without bananas it's not banana bread. Without steak it's not steak.

Paul identifies a much more significant main ingredient, not just for dinner or dessert, but for our life. This week, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, we learn that without the Resurrection, we have no hope.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why

Every parent has heard it, the question "why." As in "Why do I have to clean my room?" or "Why do I have to be in by midnight?" or "Why do I have to take out the trash?" The easy answer is the all-time favorite parental go-to response of "Because I told you so." That would be enough, but there is obviously more to it than that. For one thing, if you don't clean your room and take out the trash, eventually the room becomes trash. For another thing, nothing positive ever happened to any teenager after midnight.

But ultimately, the answer is: We tell our children things they need to do because we love them. We want the very best for them, so we tell them what we believe will bring the very best into their lives. And absolutely nothing positive ever happened to any teenager after midnight.

Jesus calls us to obey his command. In John 15:15-16 where we will read this Sunday, Jesus gives us the reason why, a reason worth knowing.

See you Sunday!

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Paint By Numbers

I used to love connect-the-dots drawings. Okay, I still love connect-the-dots drawings. And yes, I like to paint by number. It's the only way I can make art that will actually look like anything. When I took art class in middle school, my teacher told me I might want to try debate class. My play dough sculptures looked best right after the dough came out of the can. It was all downhill from there. So, for me, paint by numbers is the way to go.

The disciples were a diverse group ill suited to be evangelists, or at least it would seem that way. Fishermen, a political terrorist, and a tax collector? This did not look like the evangelistic A-team.

But Jesus had the answer. This week, we will see the pattern he established for his disciples (and us) that will change the world (John 15:12-14).

See you Sunday!

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Complete

The other day, I saw a great deal on an e-book - free. It looked like a great devotional book, full of insightful and uplifting ideas, and the price was right. So I downloaded it.

Except I didn't. When I began to read the book, I realized that I had received a promotional excerpt from the book. It was still insightful and uplifting, just incomplete. I could have the complete book for the discounted price of $9.99. Good thing it was discounted. If it was ten bucks, I wouldn't have bought it.

Typically, we want the complete edition, which is the idea of the promotion. The publishers hope the excerpt will whet your appetite enough to want the whole book and shell out a ten spot minus a penny.

Jesus doesn't just provide an excerpt of joy - he makes our joy complete. Find out how your joy can be complete this week as we study Jesus' promise in John 15:9-11.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media