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Beginning to Live – ||40days|| completion

Jesus died but that was not the end. The apparent end was the beginning of new life. This day we celebrate the wonder of the resurrection.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

This weekend at Eastbrook Church I gave a message entitled “Beginning to Live” about how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus opens a new way to live our lives. It is a way of purpose, freedom, and joy.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2013 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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||40days|| week seven: Jesus Was Still

When a person dies, there is a sudden and unsettling stillness that settles into their body. It feels and looks unnatural because there is an utter stillness. Unlike sleep, where the rhythm of breathing usually conveys a peaceful and restorative rest, the stillness of death seems harsh.

Jesus died on the cross. His brutalized body hung limp and bent at awkward angles; suspended by nails that tore the skin. His side was pierced and watery blood flowed out.

Two secret followers worked hard to remove His body from that instrument of cruel torture. They expended the effort to bury Him with dignity. It was likely a messy experience. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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||40days|| week seven: Jesus Died

Jesus walked into Jerusalem hailed as a king. Within a few days, the crowd was calling for His execution: “Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!” (John 19:15).

A thorny crown fiercely adorned His kingly head (19:2). Purple robes signaled His royalty as soldiers spit on Him, slapped Him and mocked Him (19:3). But the only throne given to this King was a rough and brutal wooden cross (19:18). They raised Him up on it for all the world to see. A sign saying “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” displayed His identity in mocking irony (19:19).

Weak and pitiful, naked and bloody, thirsty and Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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Voices at the Cross: A Good Friday Message

My message from this past Good Friday, “Voices at the Cross,” has now been posted online so that you can listen to it here.

When Jesus began His journey to the Cross, He was surrounded by voices.

There were the fickle voices of the crowd.

There were the betraying and denying voices of the disciples.

There were the accusing voices of the chief priests.

There were the self-willed voices of Pontius Pilate and King Herod.

There were the mocking voices of the those watching the crucifixion.

There was the stinging voice of the Evil One.

But there was a deeper and stronger voice.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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Corinth: Explosion of Life

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I continued our series “Light for the City” by exploring the theme of resurrection found in 1 Corinthians 15.

I found this to be one of the most interesting messages that I have prepared for recently largely because it is not something we talk about often in the church, other than at Easter or in funerals. But for the Apostle Paul, resurrection is central to the gospel and, in fact, makes our faith hold together.

Here are two questions that I sought to answer in my message:

  1. Why is it that the Apostle Paul’s hope is not in heaven but in the resurrection?
  2. Why is resurrection so important for us today?

I structure the message around six main movements:

  1. We must remember the resurrection (1 Cor 15:1-11)
  2. We need to hold onto the resurrection (1 Cor 15:12-19)
  3. We should hope in the resurrection (1 Cor 15:20-28)
  4. We need to understand the resurrection (1 Cor 15:35-49)
  5. We must live in light of the resurrection (1 Cor 15:29-34, 58; 6:19-20)
  6. We should celebrate the resurrection (1 Cor 15:50-57)

You can listen to my message and access the bulletin outline for it at the Eastbrook web-site here. You could subscribe to the Eastbrook podcast here.

 

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2010 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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The Resurrection: what does it mean to you?

I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die. Do you believe this? – Jesus (John 11:25-26)

The concept of resurrection is central to faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of God. We say that Jesus lived, taught God’s truth, died on the cross, and rose to life in victory over sin and death before ascending to the Father. Paul points out that just as Jesus was raised to life from death, all who believe in Him will also be raised to life after death (1 Corinthians 15:12-32). In another place, he writes that we all long “to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:4).

I’d like to hear from folks on what resurrection means to you.

  • do you believe in the resurrection or not? why?
  • how does Jesus’ resurrection from the dead change the way you live now and how you view death?
  • if there was no resurrection, what would it mean?

Talk amongst yourselves…

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2010 in Ministry Reflections

 

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You Can’t Take It With You…Can You?

Human beings, despite their wealth, do not endure;
They are like the beasts that perish.
Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
When the splendor of their houses increases;
For they will take nothing with them when they die,
Their splendor will not descend with them
Psalm 49:12, 16-17

The Sons of Korah, who penned this psalm, offer pointed words of wisdom about wealth, possessions, and human life. Looking around, it is all too easy to envy the wealth of others; to wish that I had what they had or could do what they can do. In the economic system of our society, which is built upon the principles of consumerism and buying-power, one’s identity and status is so often equated with what you have or can do based on wealth.

But in Psalm 49, a number of helpful reminders are offered. First off, wealth does not change the reality that we will die just like any other animal. While this may seem insulting or even rude, the statement made in verse 12 is ultimately true. We will die. Don’t ignore it or trick yourself into believing otherwise. Whether you are rich or poor, wise or foolish, our bodies will fail us and we will exhale a final breath some day.

A second reminder we find here in Psalm 49 is that wealth cannot be brought with us into the grave. Not only are we all going to die, but the wealth – or poverty, for that matter – that we accumulate on this side of the grave cannot come into the grave with us. Now, we all know stories of people who cram endless possessions or unique items into their caskets with them. We find it amusing and laugh because of the novelty of it, but also because we know it is a vain attempt at keeping the treasures of this life with us in death. The only help extra baggage in a coffin offers to a dead body is giving it a little extra weight to help bring it into the ground faster.

I’m reminded of Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler, who struggled with following Christ because of his wealth. Jesus told His disciples: “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God” (Mark 10:23).

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2010 in Ministry Reflections

 

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