Dear Good Shepherd,
Holy Week starts this Sunday. I'm reprinting the Holy Week Schedule here on the blogsite later today and I'll be publishing them in the bulletin this Sunday. Be sure to come set aside time to worship this week and invite your friends.
Baptisms this Sunday: This Sunday Matthias Boeker will be baptized at the 10:30am service. Matthias has been a believer for three years and is now ready to take this important step of faith and obedience. Be sure to be here to celebrate this great day with him. There will be a reception afterwards.
Love and Christian Marriage: Marriage can be difficult, especially in a culture like ours. Everywhere we are encouraged to follow our hearts and our feelings. What do you do twenty years into a marriage when your feelings for each other are not what they were and, to make matters worse, you have "feelings" for someone else? This is why it is so important to understand the love that is at the heart of a Christian marriage. A Christian wife does not need her husband to fulfill her. Her needs are met in Christ and likewise for the Christian husband. Because Christ is the one who ultimately meets the needs of both marriage partners, neither "needs" the other to fill some empty space or to satisfy some deep inner longing. Nor do they need to look elsewhere, beyond the marriage, when feelings and emotions ebb. Personal fulfillment is not why believers get married and it is not why they stay married. Marriage is a God-given arena in which each partner is sanctified by self-sacrifice and each partner grows in Christ and in his or her capacity to love--not to "feel" love--but to express love through selfless action and servanthood.
Men's Breakfast and Bible Study: Lee Bronson will be cooking for the Men's Breakfast and Bible Study. It starts at 6:30am every Friday morning. Hope to see you there.
Bible Study: There will be Thursday Evening Bible Study tonight at 6:30pm after the Shepherd's Bowl at the Conklin Avenue Baptist Church.
Last week's sermon: Standing in a Strong Current based on 1st John 2:12-17 is available here:
This week's sermon: for Palm Sunday, we'll take a break from 1st John to talk about the last week before Jesus' crucifixion.
Was it Cerenthius?: A few weeks ago were wondering about the type of false teaching that John addresses in 1st John. It's definitely an early sort of gnosticism, but some believe they know the name of the man who was leading people away from the church to which John writes. Here's my take.
Advice for New Christians: If you are new to Christianity, Dr. JI Packer, theologian, author, and elder statesman of Anglican evangelicalism has some great advice. Watch it here.
The Glory of the Cross: I was asked to speak last week at Conklin Avenue Baptist's lenten luncheon series on the Glory of the Cross of Christ. Here's the text of my talk.
Sunday School: As we grow, the Sunday School programs for elementary - highschool aged students is going to become more and more important. Incoming parents will want to know that their children have a quality Sunday school program. One of the biggest things holding us back right now is space. The church is alot bigger than our old one but we seem to have less space for Sunday school. We'll be working this out over time but please bear with us and pray for us as we try to figure out where to put everyone.
Christian Education: For Christian Education this week, we'll finish our discussion of Luther and the "paradoxical" model of Christian engagement with the world and move on to the final model: Christ the Transformer of Culture.
Prayer Report: Thank you to everyone who prayed this week. Things went very very well. Hopefully, we'll have some information to pass along very soon.
is on a regular schedule this Sunday. Since I will be gone this , Ife will be running youth group. Junior High will be having a game day on its usual time (1-3), and Senior High will have a regular meeting (6-8). Please remember to continue to invite friends!
Youth Tip #6 (from Micah): Often there is no better mirror of your personality than children who hang around you. Children, especially young ones, sponge up the habits of those around them. If you see attitudes in kids that upset you, don't always assume they learned it from somebody else. This is a bit like hearing a convicting passage of scripture and thinking "I know just the person who needs to hear that!" Instead, give a hard look at yourself. Maybe they learned it from you.