torch bearer
bringing the light of Jesus to a dark world John 8:12

God of this City: Baptism in the Holy Spirit

4/27/2010 03:56:00 PM

I look at my childhood, and as much as my parents drove me nuts sometimes and I think my dad was so wrong in much of what he did, I still had parents that loved me. They truly wanted the best for me and continued to guide me in what they thought was best. They never abandoned me and made me figure out life on my own. I am so grateful for them for this gift of love they gave me. This empowering they gave me for my future. And now it is my turn to do the same with my kids.

How wonderful it is to know that God, as the perfect Father, has done the same for us. Knowing that we needed a Savior He sent His only Son to die for us. Then, still thinking ahead for us, knowing that we weren't going to make it on our own when Jesus was physically not on earth with us anymore, He left us the Holy Spirit. The very Spirit of Jesus left for us; to guide us and empower us in life.

Jesus tells us that he won't leave us as orphans but will send us a helper.

Jesus' final words on earth were that he wanted us to be his witness in this world and that he would give us the power to do it. To give us the power to live the life that he commanded us to live.

John 15, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, tells us the secret to living this Spirit filled life. Jesus tells us to abide in him and he will abide in us! Oh, yeah! Not only does he want us to live a Spirit filled life, he also gives us the way to do it! Now that's good parenting.

See ya Sunday at 10am for week three in the God of this City series. This week: Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

How have you needed or relied upon the power of the Holy Spirit during your life?

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God of this City: Divine Healing

4/23/2010 01:25:00 PM

We are continuing our 4 week journey through some of the foundations that we must understand about ourselves as the Church and also how that relates to the world around us. As Jesus said in Mark 2:15-17, He didn't come for the righteous or for the well, He came for the unrighteous and the sick. In other words, Jesus didn't come just for the Church to get fat and sassy, He came that the world might know Him. Part of that process is that He wants to partner with us, His Church, and work through us so that the world would come to Him. His manifest power seen in us by this world will change this world forever!

This Sunday we are talking about Divine Healing.

It is interesting how the world tries to respond with its false version of healing. The ancient Eastern religious practices as well as the newer New Age practices are all in direct contradiction to the authority of God. Interestingly enough is how so many of these practices have slid into the church completely unseen or at least uncared about. I think it's time to point some of this out and call false gods false gods!

We are going to see that Jesus was well established as the Healer. How the prophecies of the Old Testament point to Jesus as the healer, and how through His ministry He proves that to be true. And that His healing was not just for then, but for now as well.

Some tough questions always arise when we talk about healing. The "why" questions. Why does God heal some and not others? Why are some healings instant while others take a long time and even need doctors? Why should I keep praying even if God doesn't seem to listen? Why…

We are going to try and answer these questions with a story from my cousin Jennifer and her husband Mark. Mark was diagnosed with MS when he was 9 and has such a great story that needs to be shared. The healing that took place in his life is mind blowing!

We are believing that God is going to do a work in us on Sunday. We are going to come to Jesus for healings. If you are in need of healing (and don't just think physically) or someone you know is needing Jesus to heal them, maybe New Hope is the place to be for you. We aren't going to have a special speaker who is gifted in healings. We aren't going to have special mood music. We aren't going to try and pray the right words. We are just coming to Jesus with faith!

I can't wait for Sunday! See you at 10 am.

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God of this City: Salvation

4/17/2010 01:44:00 PM

We are starting a new series this Sunday, God of this City.

We will be looking at 4 important values to us as a church. Salvation, Divine Healing, Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the Second Coming of Christ.

As important as these are TO the church (universally speaking) these are also important for the world around us. As Jesus spoke in Mark 2:15-17, He said that the healthy, or the righteous, don't need the doctor it's the sick, or the unrighteous that do. These are truths that need to be shared with a world who is desperately seeking truth. Desperately seeking healing. Desperately seeking power. Desperately seeking hope. What Jesus has to offer is not just for the church to feel warm and fuzzy, it is for those who are dying without what we have.

We believe that God is not done here in Northport (or whatever city you may live in). We continue to believe that God is still the God of this city.

This week we are looking at salvation.

I have found that every person falls into one of these 3 categories regarding salvation:

  • Those who should know the truth but don't
  • Those who don't know the truth but should
  • Those who do know the truth and need to grow

Do you have all the Biblical knowledge crammed into your mind, but no revelation of who Jesus truly is?

Have you only heard a little of Jesus, or maybe nothing at all, and are waiting to be presented that truth?

Have you accepted that truth but have just stagnated in blissful assurance of your salvation?

Let's talk about this on Sunday. In fact I would love to hear your thoughts here in the comment section of this blog.

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The Joy of the Mission

4/06/2010 06:50:00 PM

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. – Apostle Paul (1 Cor 15:14-19)

Not being ones that are called to a futile faith, but ones who are called to life and life to the fullest (John 10:10), we as Christ followers often seem confused between the two.

Galatians 5:22-23 talks about the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, what our lives as Christ followers are to look like, and one of those is joy. Cheerfulness as the Greek word truly means. Something that is not determined by external forces or circumstances, but determined by internal forces…the power of the Holy Spirit. Determined by the fact that we have a living God who resides inside us!

With this in mind, we need to respond to the mission of God with joy.

The mission comes out of the joy of Jesus' resurrection, and our joy comes from fulfilling the mission

The mission is to "go and make disciples" and the joy is that we serve a risen savior.

What has your response been to the mission?

Is your joy dependent on external forces?

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Fresh Perspective on Sacrifice

4/02/2010 04:28:00 PM

Just had a facebook conversation with a high school friend of Amy's. He is in Iraq right now. He says it's pretty dull right now, but prayers are still a good thing. I told him that I have a church full of patriots who love to pray, and asked him if he had anything in specific we could pray for. This is what he said, and this is from the heart of a battle-hardened soldier who has had many trips to the East.

Absolutely, I'd say for my family first, my wife, daughters and son, I know my wife's life isn't dull when I'm gone.

Powerful! Not only is he sacrificially battling for us overseas, but he shows his true warriors heart by selflessly asking for prayers for his family. He could have asked for anything, but that's his heart.

He shared with me many stories about how God is using him as His mouth piece while he is deployed. Stories of praying with the children of the area. Stories of his buddies giving him grief about his faith, but then not being able to deny the power of prayer that has saved their lives. Stories of how the Christian church is alive and active even in the middle of an Islam controlled area.

A truly humbling and life changing conversation for me. It gives a new perspective to the sacrifice that Jesus gave to us as we remember Him on this Good Friday.

Please pray for him as well as our other men and women around the world who are fighting for our freedom!

This is his name and information.

Jayson Rivas

I'm with 5th Special Forces, 2nd BN out of Fort Campbell

I'm a medic 18D is my MOS

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Asotin, WA, United States
Follower of Jesus, husband, dad, and called to be His torch bearer to the world.
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