Sunday, December 27, 2015

All the Power and the Glory

Today is the start of the 12 days of Christmas and around the world the lowest church attendance.

Greg Armstrong
Was on a trip to the tropics. Rough it out in Palm Springs to help parents shut down the condo. Age and sickness causes us to lose power. Jesus is the Power we need. Less of me more of Jesus.
Power shift to kingdom power.
Let's seek the true power of Jesus. Take time to be still to enjoy God and his Gift.
The poor you will always have with you.
Let's work for restorative justice around the world. First we must repent of our sIns and become less and learn to rest in God's lavish and ridiculous love.
We rejoice in what God has sent. Do we see beyond the story and have a personal relationship.
Jesus loved John the most. He loves me and you the most.
God is with us now. John the Baptist testified about Jesus. Are we willing?
Jesus turns water to high quality wine prepared by the servants. They were the first ones to witness the miracle. Jesus turned things upside down.
After this Jesus went out to baptize and the disciples started to argue.
Then Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. Jesus spent some time with them there, baptizing people. At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. A debate broke out between John's disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. So John's disciples came to him and said, "Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us." John replied, "No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, 'I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.' It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
Communion. Behold who you are become what "I Am"
Proclaim The Lord's death until He comes.
Jesus Jesus Jesus there is something about that name.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

God with us. Unspeakable Joy
Christmas Eve services
Wednesday December 23 6:30pm
Thursday December 24 5:00pm
Thursday December 24 6:30pm
Sunday December 27 10:30 church service and communion
Logan is going to Thailand to work with MB missIons

Of the characters involved in the Christmas story do you most identify with?
In a survey most people identify with the shepherds.

Delbert Enns
I was asked to be a shepherd and told to act like a palm tree.
Who knows the nativity story?
John 3.16 God sent his only son into the world.

Ravi Zacharias:
"During this Christmas season I think often of that extraordinary verse in Isaiah 9:6, "For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given." Let us be sure of what is being said here. The Son is not born; the SON eternally existed and is GIVEN. The CHILD is BORN and entered our time.

He who dwells in the realm of eternity entered time. He understands our times. And so it is that eternity breaks into time to give us a glimpse of what always was and is and will be. God in that divine moment revealed Himself as He had never been revealed before, through His Son. That is what the Christmas message is all about."

Who gets the birth announcements in this day of social media? The grandparents before the friends?

Shepherds were the most zero of all people. No help was to be given to heathen or shepherds.
They were labeled isolated likely and forgotten.
They were brash and bold. They were considered unreliable.
We play the game of our labels. Shepherds were story tellers. Not reliable.

Why did God choose the shepherds to hear the birth announcement? Jesus said he came for the underdogs. Not the self righteous.
We are all lost and unreliable. Like the shepherds and tax collectors. Luke 19 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. "Zacchaeus!" he said. "Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today." Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. "He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner," they grumbled. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!" Jesus responded, "Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost."

Have you ever been audited? That makes you feel a millimeter high.
Tax collectors were hated and despised. Labeled as crooks. The chief tax collector had others working for him ripping off the people.
He runs. Rich guys don't. He climbed a tree. Rich guys don't. Jesus called him by name. A zero becomes SOMEBODY known by name.
Jesus knows your name even if you are sitting in a tree. Jesus says get out of the tree because I want to dine with you.
Jesus brings faith into our lives.
You can't Find Jesus. He finds you.
Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost.

Zacchaeus is overcome with exuberant joy and stood before the Lord and said, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!"
4X is amazing.
God gave His one and only son to us. He gave us everything.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

God with us Peace

Music group Hamms and Neufelds
Go tell it on the mountain
Dave Ens
3rd Advent welcome
PEACE. Christmas. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Hallmark says everyone at the manger is smiling and at peace.
What does peace look like? Not fighting?
Is peace God's idea? Is peace the same as peacefulness? Getting along?
God's notion of Peace is Shalom. Harmony everywhere between nature and people. Beautiful harmony. Doesn't always happen. Nails on chalkboard. Grin and bear it would be the peaceful thing to do. Shalom stops the disharmony and brings back beautiful harmony.
Luke 2.8-14 Isaiah 11 Ephesians 2

The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you today, in David's city, a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord.
Why did the shepherds get the message? The nobodies rather than the king.
Deep seated contentment. What if that is peace? They were ready to go. They found God was giving them his peace.
People that grasp for power trying to control people around them will have trouble finding peace. Harod found no peace.

Are we living like we are trying to take charge of everything? Can we leave the saving to the Messiah? He will save the people from their sIns. Jesus means God saves. Go be where Jesus is and God will take it from there. We do that here and in small groups. Spent time with God.

Righteousness will be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his waist.  The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf together; and a little child will lead them.  The cow and the bear will graze. Their young ones will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the ox.  The nursing child will play near a cobra's hole, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.  They will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Our visions of Peace excludes people. I won't lie down here unless the wolf leaves.
The Romans violently removed all opposition. Then they had peace.
If God brings peace he brings it for everyone including my enemies.
I have to forgive to have peace.
Is there anything harder than forgiveness? We love to get even to get revenge. Has revenge ever brought peace? An eye for eye is the old testament rule. Not eye and ear for an eye.
God says forgive. Active reconciliation.

But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Messiah. For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in his flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility thereby. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and to those who were near. For through him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones, and of the household of God, being built on the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, Messiah Yeshua himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.

Jesus brought peace through sacrifice. Giving up my agenda. Becoming a peace maker not a peace lover. Becoming active in bringing peace.

What does peace look like for you?

Sunday, December 06, 2015

God with us Fearless Hope

Dave Ens
Waiting is hard. It means being patient. It is hard waiting. Oma could not wait for her presents and wanted them before Christmas.

Advent was what the church established thousands of years. The church calendar started with the first Sunday of Advent. The New Year of the calendar starts with patiently waiting. How to hope and orient ourselves to the new hope.

It's important to learn to wait. We want patience. God, give it to me NOW!

We have a default conversation. Are you ready for Christmas? Got your shopping done yet?

What are you hoping for? When our hope is in the right place we have patience. Rom 12.12 rejoice in hope be patient in suffering

The prophets are talking to their generation and speaking hope into a future  during their dark days. Suffering.

Isaiah 7  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  He shall eat butter and honey when he knows to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

You are set free and set right with God.
The Old is gone and the new has come.

Sometimes we don't feel it but God has Done it already wether it feels like it or not. Sometimes we come to church feeling defeated or sad or alone. ... We come even though we have not figured it out. How I feel is not what it's about. God help us to focus on the life God has given us.

Rejoice in hope be patient in suffering. God is present in our suffering. At Christmas God brings us hope.

God brings relief to those who are in the most darkness. When your hope is in the right place you will come alongside those who live in darkness.
Isaiah 9.2 the people have seen a great light. A child has been born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on David's throne, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.

God is right there to set things right. We wait with patience. Hope. Patience. Prayer. That God's will be done on earth as in heaven.

The routines we have are all good. Is the predominant routine a routine of prayer? May that be true of you.