Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Is there a difference between "doing church" and "being church"? There are those out there today who are trying to pit these two things against each other. I believe that to be a false dichotomy. We are called to do and to be both.

The norm for many churches today is for church to only happen when people gather in particular places at prescribed times to engage in planned services or programmed activities. And while church definitely does happen in a sanctuary on Sunday morning or in a classroom on Wednesday night, church can also happen wherever and whenever the Spirit chooses the people of God to be. The church is present even where two or three are gathered in Jesus name.

Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide .... These things I command you, that you will love one another.” (John 15:16-17)

Jesus calls us to not only come together on a regular basis to the church building, but also to go out into the world, to leave the places and programs we’re most comfortable with in order to share our faith and spread the Gospel.

To heed this call of Christ takes faith - it calls us to believe and to trust in the fact that He is the One who guides and directs His Church. This is Witness, Mercy, and Life Together at work in the church. Not another stewardship program or evangelism project, but the people of God loving and caring for one another and for the world around them. Listening, loving, forgiving, and proclaiming with the living voice of the Gospel that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. It's the voice of Jesus living in the hearts of His people. Now that is Church!

So when we “do” church this weekend, let’s see it as an opportunity for God to equip His people to “be” the Church everyday. Let us come together to worship Him, sing His praise, hear His Word, receive His forgiveness, and share in the joy of fellowship with one another. Then let us go out into the world to be His people - His Church!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Many of you will be on the road at some point this summer, whether it be for vacation, for business, to see family and friends. As you do so, you may happen to find yourself on the stretch of road known as “Route 66”.

In its glory days Route 66 was known as the “MotherRoad” of American highways. It was 2500 miles long, stretching across 8 states all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles. But Route 66 has decayed with time and for the most part,is a thing of the past. Today’s interstates follow its path, but most of it remains hidden among the relics of Americana.

There is another Route 66, however, that began thousands of years ago and continues to be used to this day. It is a well traveled road that has led millions of people to a new home, and a new way of life. And unlike the asphalt Route 66,  God’s “Route 66” never needs replacing.  The Bible, God’s Route 66, endures forever.  God in His wisdom has given us in His Word as a Road Map, a Guide Book, a Pathway for life, and a Highway to Heaven. It offers us guidance and direction int he midst of this lost world we live in, and it leads us to Jesus and to the Cross, the great intersection between God and man, between heaven and earth.

So let's dust off our map and take the journey together this summer. Let's make God's Word the Main Street of our lives as His people. Hope to see along the way!

Friday, June 1, 2012

ancient jewelry from bible times

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Archaeologists in Israel have discovered a treasure trove of 3,000-year-old jewelry, including a ring and earrings hidden in a ceramic jug near the ancient city of Megiddo.

The jewelry, which dates to around 1100 BC, likely belonged to a Canaanite family.

The trove has been called among the most valuable ever found from the Biblical period. One piece in particular, a gold earring decorated with molded ibexes, or wild goats, is "without parallel."

In this photo taken Wednesday, May 23, 2012 an ancient jewel discovered by Israeli archaeologists is displayed at the Tel Aviv University, Israel. Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a stash of rare