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Showing posts from March, 2015

Come Witness This Gospel To Me

Here is the final song off of the new album by Zac Hicks and Coral Ridge Worship. We did not sing this song at Liberate 2015, but I appreciated the words and explanation of the song at Zac Hicks blog. Be reminded of the good news as you read these lyrics or listen to the song.

Listen here

Come Witness This Gospel to Me
Words & Music: Zac Hicks, 2014
©2014 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)

1. O Holy Spirit, O One who was there
To witness the anger that God didn't spare
To witness a verdict both just and unfair
O Holy Spirit, O One who was there

2. You saw on His face all the judgment of hell
My story of shame that I cannot untell
How heavy my burden of blame when it fell!
You saw on His face all the judgment of hell

Come witness this gospel to me
Remembrancer, this is my plea:
Preach Christ till He's all that I see
Come witness this gospel to me

3. You saw in His dying the death of my sin
The Son's bleeding body, I'm hidden therein
Where all of my poison H…

Wonderful Exchange

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When I preached last week, I closed the sermon by talking about what Martin Luther called "The Wonderful Exchange." As you go into Easter Week, think about the wonderful exchange that occurred on our behalf by Christ's life, death, and resurrection.  Below is a picture of the quote I shared.

Palm Sunday Pictures

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Here are a few pictures I took today during Palm Sunday activities. I was a little busy so I didn't take many. More will be posted on Hesston MB Facebook page soon. 


Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday.  It is the day when we remember Jesus coming into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.  Our tradition at Hesston MB is to have a live donkey as we tell the story to the kids during Children's Church.  Check back later today for pictures from today!

Quotes from Sacred Parenting Seminar by Gary Thomas

Today at Hesston High School, Garden Community Church is hosting a "Sacred Parenting" Seminar by Gary Thomas. He has written several books on marriage and parenting.  Below are some of my favorite quotes from the day:

I discovered there were hundreds of books on the "hows" of parenting, but only a few verses in the Bible on how to parent.
What is motivating me in parenting? (fear, pride, anger)
God changed my attitude (grace, love, hope)
The Law is not going to change these families. I needto send the Messiah. (God)
You can't parent to be appreciated by your kids.
Our children are God's children first. God loves them morethan we can know.
A son broke 5 family rules to get his dad milk & cookies. Does God look at the rules that are broken or at the heart?
Before major calls in the Bible, God says "do not be afraid." There is no explanation of how. 
I (JL) would comment that we don't know the HOW, but we do know WHO. The focus is on who God is and wh…

Happy Birthday, Mackenzie!

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Today my daughter Mackenzie turns 13. It is hard to believe that I now have two teenagers and one more close behind.  As you have heard before (if you have not heard the story, click , Mackenzie was born at 35 weeks and had to spend two weeks in the NICU.  Looking back, we see God's faithfulness during this difficult time in our life as parents.  We are grateful and thankful for the gift of Mackenzie and how God is working in her life. She is a beautiful young woman inside and out.  Below is a picture at birth and a recent picture. 

Happy 13th Birthday, Mackenzie. I love you!





New Book Friday

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This book is written by a friend of mine that I met at Liberate 2015 and I follow on Twitter.  It is her story and as the cover suggests it is about "One Woman's Journey from Fundamentalism to Failure to Faith."

Palm Sunday and Easter

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I love this time of year.  It is when we remember Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.  We in the church celebrate his entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey on Palm Sunday (this year, March 29) and Easter (day Christ raised from the dead) the following Sunday.

Our tradition at Hesston MB for our kids is to bring in a live donkey during Children's Church and to process into the worship service with palm branches on Palm Sunday.

On Easter, we have an Easter Egg hunt for the kids during Children's Church and then share what Easter is all about.  Below are a few pictures.

If you live in the Hesston area, join us on March 29 & April 5th at 10:10 a.m. for these special activities for children.








Celebrating "It Is Finished"

Tonight as part of our Hide N Seek (mid-week Children's Ministry) we were talking about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Our focus the last two weeks included a memory game with what Jesus accomplished on the cross (forgive sin, defeat Satan, defeat death, reconcile us to God, justify us, etc.) This week, we read story of the resurrection and celebrated these things by giving each other high fives or doing a touchdown dance.  It was a fun way to reinforce for our first graders how to understand the good news of the gospel and what Jesus accomplished on the cross because He loves them.

Promises of God from Habakkuk

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (1:13). “See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright—but the righteous will live by his faith” (2:4).
“The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (2:14).
 “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (2:20).
“I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (3:18-19).






You Are Not Condemned

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1)

Christ Surrendered All by Zac Hicks

Below you will find another song from Liberate 2015. In this song, Zac Hicks writes different words to a beloved hymn. Can he do that? Be reminded about how Christ has surrendered all for us!

Listen here

Christ Surrendered All
Words: Zac Hicks, 2014; adapted from Judson W. VanDeVenter, 1896
Music: Winfield S. Weeden, 1896
©2014 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)

1. All, Lord Jesus, You surrendered
All to me You freely gave
All my sin You bravely shouldered
All for me, my life to save

Christ surrendered all
Christ surrendered all
All for me and my salvation
Christ surrendered all

2. All, Lord Jesus, You surrendered
All your rights You left behind
Trading might for humble weakness
For the good of all mankind

3. All, Lord Jesus, You surrendered
All for me, your enemy
Worldly pleasures I was seeking
Still, Lord, You were seeking me

4. All Your life is all my merit
All Your death my ransom paid
Now I feel no condemnation
Just a love that cannot fade
credits …

Sermon-To Tell The Truth-John 18:28-40

Below are my notes from the sermon I preached today at Hesston MB. It was based on John 18:28-40 and was entitled, "To Tell the Truth."


Introduction: Do you remember the game show “To Tell the Truth”? Premiered in 1956 & ended in 2001 & the purpose was for celebrities to guess which of the contestants was telling the truth about an occupation or experience. This morning, I am the contestant of “To Tell the Truth”. I have put three statements on a slide. You are to guess which one is the lie.
A.Attended Michael Jackson “Thriller” Tour
B.Valedictorian of My High School Class
C.Have Most Speeding Tickets of all HMBC pastors
We naturally are seekers of truth.We want to know whether what we are told in the media, by teachers, bosses, families are true. Today, our passage focuses on truth in a conversation between Pilate & Jesus.
Who’s Who?
·Jews-In the NT, ‘Jews’ is used of members of the Jewish faith or their representative leaders[1]
·Caiaphas-High priest during the life an…

The Naked Gospel

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I am continuing to read The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley.  Here are some quotes from some final chapters:

"We're invited to depend on the onetime sacrifice as the means to lifelong forgiveness, without any strings attached"

"The Son of God has finished his work. He is risen and is now seated in heavenly places. There's only one appropriate response. All eyes on him!"

"As believers, our forgiveness and cleansing aren't dependent on our memory, our confession, or our asking. Our forgiveness and cleansing are solely because of the finished work of Jesus Christ."

"If we sin against someone, we may experience difficult circumstances an dour own disappointment with our choice. But we shouldn't mistake these earthly consequences for moving out of fellowship with God. Our fellowship is stable and certain. God's face is always toward us."

"Too many Christians succumb to the Accuser while wrongly attributing these attacks to the …

New Book Friday

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Promises of God from Nahum

“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; he will not leave the guilty unpunished.His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet” (1:2-3). “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.He cares for those who trust in him” (1:7). “Whatever they plot against the Lord he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time” (1:9). “Although they are unscathed and numerous, they will be cut down and pass away.Although I have afflicted you, O Judah, I will afflict you no more.Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away” (1:12-13).

You Are Victorious

“But thanks be to God!He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Gospel Doxology

I grew up singing the Doxology in church.  So, when I heard this new song by Zac Hicks at Liberate 2015, it brought back memories, but created new ones with extra verses that teach the gospel.  Enjoy this song as you listen & read the lyrics.

Listen here

Law Gospel Doxology
Words: Zac Hicks & Julie Anne Osterhus, 2014
Music: Traditional
©2014 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP), Julie Anne Osterhus

Your perfect law exposes me
I feel my sin and desperate need
My best good works are powerless
To satisfy Your righteousness

But there is One who lived for me
His life, my only victory
His death forever sealed in time
That I am His and He is mine

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

Promises of God from Micah

Here are selected promises of God from Micah compiled by Kenneth Boa:

“He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (4:3). “Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever” (4:4-5). “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (5:2). “He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.And he wil…

Let the Holy Spirit Lead

There always seems to be a debate when the topic of the Holy Spirit is discussed.  Some want to focus on the experience we have with the Holy Spirit.  Others want to make sure we keep things "orderly."  Both of these are misguided.  The Holy Spirit is personal and powerful.  You cannot keep Him under control and He will never go against what God's Word says.

Today, I want to share several verses from the gospel of John related to the Holy Spirit.  Read these and let your theology be shaped by God's Word not extremes or what others would say.  God's Word is true and alive.

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,to be with you forever,17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will bein you. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, w…

You Are Gifted

“We have different gifts,according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:6)

New Book Friday

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Are you saved?

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How would you answer that question? Many people have made a decision to follow Christ but struggle with the assurance of their salvation.  They continue to sin & wonder if maybe they are not really saved because they conclude if they were, they would not struggle with sin or disobedience. J.D. Greear has a great little book entitled, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart which deals with this subject.  Here are some helpful quotes from the book:
"Repentance and faith are heart postures you take toward the finished work of Christ." "Salvation comes not because you prayed a prayer correctly, but because you have leaned the hopes of your soul on the finished work of Christ."

"Until you know that you are His and He is yours, your obedience will be limited."

"You will never have the strength to say "no" to sin until you realize the unconditional "yes" that God has given to you in Christ...That's what true obedience is--beyond merel…

Galatians 3 Smack in the Face

This past week, I have been discussing with several people via Twitter justification and sanctification. I have always understood justification as something that Jesus did for me. Sanctification, on the other hand, seemed to be about what I do.

One of the verses that was shared was from Galatians 3.  Here is that Scripture:

2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by[a] the flesh?4 Did you suffer[b] so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? (Galatians 3:2-6 ESV)
We know we are saved by grace through faith not through the law.  The Law clearly exposes our need for a Savior. And this is not of ourselves but a gift from God.

But what about after salva…

It is Finished

Here is another new song we learned at Liberate by Zac Hicks.  Lyrics are below along with link to listen to the song.  A great reminder about the finished work of Christ and what that accomplished for us.

Listen here

It is Finished
Words & Music: Zac Hicks & Julie Anne Vargas, 2014
©2014 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP), Julie Anne Vargas

1. I am weary, worn out
Who will deliver me?
I am heavy, burdened
Who will deliver me?

Though I sink in guilt and shame: grace flows deeper
Though I run against your will: grace runs faster
Though I hide away from You: grace comes nearer
Spirit help me know:

It is finished, It is finished
No more running, no more hiding
Now my weary soul can rest
It is finished, It is finished
No more striving, no more taking
All in Christ I now possess
It is finished

2. I am failing, unable,
Who will deliver me?
I am fearful, faithless
Who will deliver me?

Bridge:
No condemnation
No guilty shame
No past to haunt me
None in Christ, None …