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Showing posts from November, 2015

Posting at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Today

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Today I am posting over at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting on the topic of being a husband.  Check it out here

Joy to the World

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It is the first Sunday in Advent so it's time for some Christmas music.  One of my favorite Christmas albums is by Pentatonix .  Here is there version of Joy to the World.

Grace in our churches, workplaces and in messy relationships

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I recently finished reading Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson. The adult class I teach will be going through the book in the Spring of 2016.  Below are some thoughts on church, work, and those difficult people in our lives from Thompson:
The truth of our belovedness is what sanctifies. The truth of the wonderful story of redemption is what sanctifies...In your struggle against sin, in your struggle to be a more "sanctified Christian," remember the truth of God's love for you in Christ...Our sanctification is completely about him and his work in our lives, his completed work, his ongoing work. Instead of fixing each other's broken parts, what if we started bearing with each other's broken parts?  So we are humble with one another, not thinking we are better than others. We are gentle with each other, instead of beating each other over the head with a long list of "you-should." A. W. Tozier writes, "one of the greatest hindrances to internal peace wh…

Favorite Book Friday

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Martins

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Martins! We have much to be thankful for.  Thank you God for the many blessings we have received.  Enjoy time with family and friends today.

Promises of God from 1 John, Part 2

Here are selected promises of God from 1 John compiled by Kenneth Boa:

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!And that is what we are!” (3:1). “Now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (3:2). “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (4:9-10). “There is no fear in love.But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.The man who fears is not made perfect in love” (4:18). “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (5:11-12). “This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything ac…

You are Free

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

God is Father

God is Father
Pray then like this: “OurFather in heaven, hallowed be your name. (Matthew 6:9)  Grace to you and peace from GodourFather and the Lord Jesus Christ.                        (1 Corinthians 1:3)  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6)  therefore we are His children
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become childrenofGod (John 1:12)16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16-17)  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called childrenofGod; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)

Henderson, Nebraska, here we come

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This afternoon, Bethany and I are headed to Henderson, Nebraska to host a book table for Faith and Life Bookstore.  I have enjoyed going along to help Bethany specifically with the heavy lifting.  Maybe she will take a picture of me flexing? It is also a good time to spend together and we usually sneak a date night in one of the evenings we are gone.

Thank you Grammie for watching the kids for a couple of days!

Promises of God from 1 John, Part 1

Here are selected promises of God from 1 John:

“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1:5). “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin” (1:7). “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1:9). If we sin, “we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (2:1-2). “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (2:17).

Favorite Book Friday

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You Are Forgiven

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darknessand brought us into the kingdomof the Son he loves,14 in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)

Thanks for your help!

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Thank you to all who participated in Operation Christmas Child Night at Hesston MB tonight! We had a great meal, great fun and helped a great cause. Because of your generosity, we filled 165 boxes. A few pictures are below:

OCC Night Tonight!

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Below you will see a few pictures from last year's OCC Night.  We hope you will join us tonight for a great evening of food, fun, learning and filling Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Here is a schedule for the evening:

6:30-Meal
7:15-Fun/Learning
7:30-Fill Shoeboxes

Hope to see you tonight.  Remember this is for all ages and is open to the community.












God is Holy

God is Holy
 “There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)  Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our Godisholy! (Psalm 99:9)  “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8)
therefore we are made holy by Him
 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love5 he predestined usfor adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:3-5) Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, (Co…

Are you a hypocrite?

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Yeah, me too.  All of us fall into the hypocrite category because we say one thing and do another. Scott Sauls has an excellent chapter in Jesus Outside the Lines on this topic.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the chapter:
It reminds me that God's relentless grip on me, not my relentless grip on God, keeps me in his love. Shouldn't we evaluate Jesus on his own merits rather than the flaws of his followers? There is something incredibly attractive and inviting about people who stop pointing fingers and posing and pretending to be totally good and totally right, and instead start taking themselves less seriously and openly and freely admit that they are not yet what they should be. The Bible helps us see how: it is the loveliness of Jesus, and only the loveliness of Jesus, that can make hypocrites lovely. Humbled by our own hypocrisy and drawn to how the loveliness of Jesus can transform us, we must preoccupy ourselves less with trying to be like him and more with simpl…

Playing on the Radio

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Feeling down?  Wondering if God can love you based on what you have done?  Be encouraged by this song by Sidewalk Prophets called Prodigal


Its been a long time, since you felt peace
in the valley you made, where you're not meant to be
where the shame throws shadows on you,
but don't you forget.....
that you're headed for more, but you settled for less
don't by the lie, it's as good as it gets
the same feet that left you lost and alone
are the very same feet that'll lead you back home Wherever you are, whatever you did
its a page in your book, but it isn't the end
your father will meet you with arms open wide
this is where your heart belongs... Come running like a prodigal (x2)
 there will be nights, when you hear whispers
of a life you once knew, don't let it linger
cause there's a grace that, falls upon you
don't you forget.... In the places your weak, he is very strong
don't ever believe you don't deserve love
the same God that protects…

Operation Christmas Child Family Night

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This Wednesday, November 18th is our third annual all-church family night.  On this evening, all of the Wednesday night ministries are canceled and everyone gathers at the church.  It is for all ages not just those with kids in Wednesday night ministries.  Our family night includes a meal provided by the church, fun/learning, and filling Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Last year, we filled around 100 boxes.  So, we would like to try to match the number again this year.  Below you will find the suggested items to donate as well as those items that are not allowed.

You can also donate $7/box for shipping costs.

We hope to see you next Wednesday!

SUGGESTED ITEMS: 

► Start with a “WOW” Gift A doll, a soccer ball with pump, soft toys, plush stuffed animals, a musical instrument, an outfit or shoes. 
► Toys Balls, toy cars, skipping rope, marbles, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yo, slinky,  finger puppets, wind up toys, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), puzzles, etc.��…

Favorite Book Friday

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One of my favorite children's book is the Jesus Storybook Bible. It is great because of amazing illustrations and creative ways to teach kids about God. One of the best parts is every story points to Jesus as the cover says, " Every story whispers his name."


Promises of God from 2 Peter

Here are selected promises of God from 2 Peter compiled by Kenneth Boa:
God has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (1:3).We have received God’s great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (1:4). As we grow in faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love, we will make our calling and election sure and will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1:5-11). With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.He is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (3:8-9).

Walter Marshall on Sanctification

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I am slowly reading through The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification by Walter Marshall. It is slow because it is so deep theologically.  Here are some quotes to ponder regarding your sanctification for today:
the word of God and the gospel never require you to change your heart from sin to holiness before you are allowed to receive Christ and his salvation by faith. Jesus loved you in your most disgusting, sinful corruption, and he died for you. When you have faith, you renounce all dependence upon anything you can do to gain Christ or to make yourself acceptable to him. You cannot love God before you understand his love for you. You must perceive his love if you are going to love him. Your soul must come to take pleasure in God and Christ by faith, or else it will just go after fleshly and worldly pleasures. The more you strive against your lusts without faith, the more your lusts will be stirred up--even though you might be able to work hard enough to restrain yourself from fulfilling y…

You Are Crucified

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

I usually don't expound on identity verses but this one needs explanation.  Jesus was crucified for us.  When we become followers of Christ, our flesh is crucified and we now live by faith.  Flesh and Spirit are part of the "already and not yet" of life between salvation and glorification.  Because of Jesus, sin and flesh do not have the power over us. Since we sometimes forget what Christ has DONE, we revert back to living in the flesh. When this happens, we need to be reminded of Christ's death for us because at the cross, He defeated sin, death, sickness, Satan, and the flesh.

God is Righteous

God is Righteous
Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? (Psalm 71:19)  Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteousGod and a Savior; there is none besides me. (Isaiah 45:21) For in it the righteousness of Godis revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) 
we are declared righteous
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be recei…

Playing on the Radio

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I love this new song by Blanca called "Greater Is He."  It reminds us that no matter what we face, we have a God that is with us and greater than all things.  It is another song recently released based on 1 John 4:4 which says "4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."



I face a giant
In over my head
Help me to look up
I take a deep breath
And take the next step
Though I may be weak
I know who is with me

[Chorus:]
And greater is He living in me
Than he who is in the world
Whatever may come, His strength is enough
My heart is at peace, for greater is He

I face an ocean
The waves are raging
Help me to look up
You’ll do what I can’t
And I’ll walk on dry land
I’ll step out on the sea
‘Cause I know who is with me

[Chorus]

And in His name, giants will fall
And in His name, oceans will part
And in His name, there’s nothing we won’t overcome
This is our God, this is our God
This is our…

Thoughts on judgment and compassion from Sauls

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We, as a pastoral staff, are reading through Jesus Outside the Lines by Scott Sauls.   I have appreciated greatly its perspective. I am only halfway through but it might be a book that churches should go through together to help them learn to lovingly disagree with one another.  In his chapter on judgment and accountability, Sauls had some great thoughts:
We run from criticism, even constructive criticism, because we know that a single word of criticism possesses more emotional power over us than a thousand praises. We know that we are not perfect. But there's something in all of us that still wants, even needs, to feel and be seen as perfect. For those who believe in Jesus, the Cross moves their Judgment Day from the future to the past. the compassionate Jesus speaks sharply and loudly about judgment so we will "flee from the wrath to come" as we flee into his merciful arms. The good news is that anyone who fears God will never have any reason to be afraid of God.

Favorite Book Friday

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If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know I have typically posted "New Book Friday". I am out of new books as I wait for new books to arrive for Christmas. I am thankful that my family buys me books for presents.  New Book Friday will return after the New Year.  In the meantime, I will be posting "Favorite Book Friday" until the end of the year.  These are my favorite books I have read over the years.

Promises of God from 1 Peter

Below are selected promises of God from 1st Peter compiled by Kenneth Boa:

We have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood (1:2). In God’s great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade (1:3-4). It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that we were redeemed from the empty way of life we previously knew, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1:18-19).
We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that we may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light (2:9). Christ bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds we have been healed (2:24). Christ died for s…

You Are Chosen

“For he chose usin him before the creation of the world to be holy and blamelessin his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4)

Marriage thoughts from Jessica Thompson

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I am thoroughly enjoying Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson.  It is a great book on relationships that focuses on the gospel rather than "how to fix" things.  Here are some quotes from her chapter on marriage:
And yet, the truth is that I am aware of God's unmatched love for me, of his good and plentiful gifts, and yet every day I run after other loves. Wrath is what you and I deserve...In fact he did have legitimate wrath that needed to be poured out on somebody. Praise him for sending his only Son to bear that wrath on our behalf so that we might forever know his love. Women are not sanctified by what their husbands do or don't do... Men and women are sanctified by believing the gospel. We are made holy by what Jesus did for us, by how he has loved his church.  We are made lovely by his love. Marriage is not one-size-fits-all. Each marriage is unique as each person sins uniquely and has unique strengths. Unrealistic expectations kill grace. The culture of our marria…

God is Love

Because God is love
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 36:7) Whoever does not love does not know God, because Godislove. (1 John 4:8)38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
I am loved
But it was because the Lordloved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:8) The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eterna…

Happy Anniversary!

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Today marks my 7th Anniversary at Hesston MB Church as pastor. I am thankful for the journey that brought us here and look forward to many more years.  As I begin my 8th year, I am seeking the Holy Spirit's lead as we consider how to minister to kids, families, church, community, and world.  Thankful for the calling to Hesston MB and ask for God's grace and empowerment as I continue as pastor for the years ahead.