Morning Musing: Hebrews 10:23-25

“Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been really excited about second place? Have you been totally thrilled to be the next-to-best? That’s kind of an awkward question. I mean, on the one hand, second place may feel like a huge victory. But, on the other hand, if you were striving to win, second place can feel like a total letdown. Why am I thinking about this today? Because right now the church is living in second place and we are realizing just how important winning really is. Let me explain.

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So What Is a Baptist Church Anyway?

This past Sunday we spent some time talking about who we are as a church. What does it mean that we are a Baptist church? What is it that sets Baptist churches apart from others? Keep reading to find out.

So What Is a Baptist Church Anyway?

Have you ever stood in line for something without really knowing what the line was for?  You just saw a bunch of people standing in line and figured it was the right place to be?  Maybe you were at a theme park somewhere and thought the line was for a particular ride, but you weren’t totally sure.  Did you ever get to the front of the line only to discover that you really meant to be somewhere else?  One time Lisa and I went to a concert and did this.  We arrived, saw a line, and promptly jumped in it.  As it turned out it was the will call line and we already had our tickets.  Fortunately, a nice staff member came out and sent everybody over to the correct line before we had waited very long. 

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Connecting Like Jesus

This week we kicked off a brand new series taking a fresh look at who God has designed us to be as a church. The message is focused on our church, but the ideas apply to every church and every follower of Jesus. Who did God make you to be and how can you become more that person? It starts with connecting with people. Jesus was a master at that. Learn more here about how He did it and how we can join Him in it.

Connecting like Jesus – John 4:1-26

Our culture is a maze of contradictions.  Think about it: We have never been more connected in terms of technology and social media than we are right now and the webs are getting tighter and tighter all the time.  Movies like Enemy of the State with Will Smith and Gene Hackman that envisioned a slightly futuristic reality in which the government can track every single movement we make is now not only completely true in terms of what they can do, it’s actually even more true now than it was then.  Social media and other tech giants are working on algorithms that not only know where you’ve been, but attempt to predict where you’ll go next in order to allow advertisers to even more closely and personally target their efforts. 

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 10:24-25

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to an auto parts store makes you a mechanic.”  Ever heard something along those lines?  “I can worship just fine when I’m on my own, so I don’t need to be in church all the time.”  How about that one?  Or maybe this: “I connect with God better out in the woods than I do in a roomful of people.”  Or perhaps this: “The church is full of hypocrites; it’s better for my faith to not be around all those people very often.”  You know what?  There’s at least a little bit of truth to every one of these. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Revelation 7:9-10

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is really an incredible picture, and a challenging one for the modern church.  John hears the sound of the famed 144,000, but when he turns he sees a great multitude of people from every nation, tribe, people, and language gathered before the throne of God and giving Him praise.  What John sees here is a picture of the church universal gathered for worship. Read the rest…