Monday, March 30, 2009

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday has always been something of a mystery to me. The day commemorates what is often called the "Triumphal Entry" where Jesus entered Jerusalem to the welcoming accolades of the crowd - the same crowd that, just a few days later, would be calling for his crucifixion. What happened? What caused this extraordinary reversal in their opinion of Jesus?

I only wonder long enough to look at my own life and realize I’ve done exactly the same thing every time I know what Jesus wants me to do and then I do the exact opposite. When I take time to think about it, I am reminded of the truth of Romans 3:23 - All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I sure have and I sure do.

That is the extraordinary message of the Passion Week of Christ. Jesus came into Jerusalem that day in full knowledge that the crowd laying palm branches at his feet would soon be hammering nails in his hand. He came knowing that I would call him Lord and still repeatedly fail him. He came anyway. He came to die for them, and for me, and for you, to meet an unpayable debt for all of us (Romans 6:23).

Then he rose again! That is why we worship him. Join us at NHBC for unforgettable celebrations of Jesus’ Resurrection Sunday evening, April 5, at 6:00 p.m. for the musical presentation of Look to the Lamb and Sunday morning, April 12, in all our morning worship services for special Easter celebrations.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Will You Take Our 30 Day Challenge?

Have you read your Bible today?

I am sorry to jump out at you with such a personal question. I guess I could have started with something lighter like the weather or your plans for the weekend, but I only have a moment of your attention, and honestly, I can't think if anything more important to discuss than the amount of time you are spending reading God's Word.

The Bible is so much more than just a good book.

Hebrews 4:12 says, " For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any doubled-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

This is no ordinary book! It a living book. It is the very word of our great God. What's more, it is our lifeline to Him.

Even so, I have to be honest and tell you that I don't read the Bible as faithfully as I'd like to. In fact, there are days, and weeks when I don't open my Bible at all.

But, I'm working on that.

In fact, I've recently made the commitment to read my Bible every day for at least 30 days. And I'm not the only one. Many of the students and adults involved in the Volume student youth group are smack dab in the middle of a commitment to read our Bible's every day for 30 days. Together we are learning to love and serve God better simply by reading His Word faithfully. You can read the testimonies of many of the challenge participants on our youth group blog

I want you to join us. I want you to know God better simply by reading His Word more often. I want you to connect to this living and active book in ways you never have before.Will you? Will you take our 30 day challenge? Will you commit to read your Bible, even if it's just a passage or two, every day for the next 30 days?

I hope so.

I can't wait to hear how God uses your commitment to draw you closer to Him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

One of my favorite places to visit growing up was my grandma’s house. We happened to live right next door and so I was a frequent visitor. I never doubted at any time that I would not be welcome in that home. It didn’t matter what she was doing when I came to visit, she would stop and spend time with me. We had many a lengthy visit on her back porch as we both sat in the swing and sipped on a drink. On more than one occasion I would pour out my woes and confessions to her. She always made me feel important and safe and would never condemn me. It was a blessing and comfort during my growing up years to know that not only did my home provide a safe place to land, but so did my grandparent’s house. Even though she passed away in Sept. 2007 and the visits with her have ceased, it’s so vivid in my memories that I can still smell the aroma from her kitchen and hear her voice inviting me in when I knock on her back door. I’m very thankful for the time she spent with me and have been fortunate to see my own parents spend time with my children and pass on the special bond that only a grandparent can give to a grandchild. As an adult while attending a parenting class at church I heard the speaker say that “parents are the law-givers in a child’s life and grandparents are the grace-givers.” This kind of grace is a rare & precious thing among people and yet we have always had it offered to us by a loving God. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.”

Monday, March 9, 2009

Where's My Hour?

Daylight-saving time started Sunday. Ugh! I’ve heard that Benjamin Franklin had a hand in establishing that event. He must have gotten a little more jolt from that kite-key-lightning experience than was realized. Why else would any sane person pass a law to lose an hour of sleep? The truth is, we don’t lose an hour. The earth rotated in the same twenty-four hours Sunday that it did every day last week. Actually, according to the helpful people at, the earth completes one rotation every 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.091 seconds, which means every year we lose roughly a day, rotation-wise. If that’s right, I’m short 1152 hours (quick - grab the calculator to find out how old this geezer is).

The truth is, measuring how much time we have is not nearly as important as how we use the time we have. That’s why the scripture encourages us: Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV). I don’t know how many days God will give me, but I do know I will only have this day once. I better make it count. The best way I can spend my time is to give glory to the One who created the days (and evenings, and mornings). So let’s get to it, or, as John Wayne told the Cowboys, "we’re burnin’ daylight."