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Happy Good Friday?

Happy Good Friday? How can we describe as “Happy” a day that was so very sad?

Alsocalled Black Friday, Holy Friday, and Great Friday, we celebrate this day on the Friday before Easter.  The Scriptures tell us that on this day, nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus was arrested, accused, condemned, and killed. If anyone was there to be Hisadvocate, we do not know of it.  There is no report of such advocacy in the Biblical accounts.

Butin this account of this day we read of darkness having its way. Everything that could “go wrong” did. Or did it? As Bob Goff says, “Darkness fell. His friends scattered. All hope seemed lost. But then heaven just started counting to three.”

Lookingat this story from the end backwards, we know what the disciples and those who killed Him did not - that He would indeed rise again!  How canwe then look at this story with a freshness our world desperately needs?

We can receive that freshness by becoming desperate.

When I realize the depravity within me, I become desperate f…

The Image

Have you checked the mirror this morning?

I ask you this not to have you look over your shoulder or remember the guy that was following too closely behind you in traffic this morning. No, as you prepared for the day this morning and looked in the mirror, you probably lookedclosely at your own face.  Take a moment and remember through your mind’s eye: what face held your gaze as you looked in the mirror?  

Now, before you are overly critical (or overly admiring) about the face you remember, read this:
So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27You may want to sit down as you read this next, often overlooked, incredible truth:
You bear the image of Almighty God.Have you pondered that lately? Last weekend, I had the opportunity to consider this anew: each of us bear the image of the Almighty God, creator of the universe - the One who loved enough to die for us so that we would have eternal life with Him.

Whoa!

As if that …

Farewell, Jack!

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Over the years, I have had the privilege of a nearly 30-year relationship with a dear friend of our family who Sherry and I met early on in our marriage.  Jack White, and his wife Nadine, spiritually adopted us as their kids soon after we married and moved to San Jose, California. Jack owned a business that provided industrial sandpaper and other abrasives. The business was aptly named Abrasive Supply with it’s motto: “It’s a rough old world without Abrasive Supply”.

We met Jack and Nadine at the church we began attending, Valley Community Church. Jack was the lay-leader of the congregation along with the choir director, worship leader, and Sunday School teacher.  He and Nadine often invited us over to their home for dinner or movies or just hanging out by their pool. Their kids were older than us and had started families. But of course, they also welcomed us as part of the family.
Even though we lived in San Jose for just less than two years, that time was all it took for us to continu…

Take Action!

By now, most if not all of us have heard or read of the violence that has gripped this country and this world.Men and women destroyed – some because of the color of their skin or their faith or lack of faith.Others lost their lives because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time - at the whim of evil men.

The media fuels the furor with non-stop coverage while division reigns as people take sides and demand justice.And, maybe you’re feeling what I’m feeling: we want to take action.We want to do something!
What can we do?What does God ask of His people?
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Notice the requirement: to act!Emerson said: "What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say." Actions speak louder than words!
Do you want to do something? Then, be purposeful about ‎acting justly. In other words, seek justice on behalf of the lives of OTHER…

Remembering to Pray

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On Sunday morning, we awoke to the ongoing coverage of a national tragedy. As of this writing, 49 families lost a loved one, killed in cold blood.53 other families are still waiting for their loved ones to heal and recover from life-threatening wounds.Still others are wondering how they made it out alive.All affected by this tragedy will never be the same.
And a nation mourns.
Now is the time to pray. Pray for recovery – both physically and emotionally – and that all would feel the healing and comfort of Christ Himself.
Now is not the time for blame. Now is not the time for hidden (and not so hidden) agendas to take priority over the care required for the hurting.Now is not the time to presume upon God whatever motive suits us. And, now is not the time to score political points for our preferred politicians.
There will be time for remedial action but in the near term, we have a healing role to play in our families, communities, and the world.Christ-followers are to be ambassadors of …

Sponsor a Child Today!

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--> In addition to having our children, my bride and I have enjoyed the privilege of sponsoring children internationally.
But, what does it mean to "sponsor a child"? 
Through the Church of God's Children of Promise ministry (www.echildrenofpromise.org), you and I have the opportunity to literally change lives through financial and spiritual means. For just $32 per month (about a tank of gas in the US), you can sponsor a child and immediately affect his or her life through schooling, clothing, food, and spiritual nourishment.


And, this is not just for the child but also his or her family, too. When a child is sponsored the ripple effect is dramatic.
In addition, sponsoring a child means establishing and developing a real relationship.Through emails, letters, gifts, prayers, and personal visits on mission trips, sponsors can play an invested role in a child's life that is so very fulfilling.
We have sponsors in our church who are individuals, couples, families, …

Merry Christmas!

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…Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:12b-13
Merry Christmas!
What do you want to accomplish this Christmas? Give the right gifts? Get the right gifts?Just make it through the season?
Here’s an idea! Let’s just be different this year.

How different?Consider the quality of…
Compassion.Let’s open our eyes and ears to those struggling among us.By helping in whatever way we can, we show…
Kindness: putting others’ needs ahead of our own. Whether in listening more closely, smiling more often, or providing warm meals, kindness requires us to seek…
Humility. There is so much of “self” in the world, “self-serve” has a whole new meaning! And, when we’re humble, we show…
Gentleness: “Power under control”. Speaking words that lift up, not tear down. Taking actions carefully, not rashly, and for the sake of others.All of these qual…