Monday, March 31, 2014

Prayer request

Debbie Whigham's grandson, Jeremiah Hicks, is being transferred to Egleston Children's Hospital for treatment of an appendicitis. She has asked for prayer for him as they are all very concerned. That's all the details we have at this time. Please take a moment to say a prayer for this young man and his family.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Coming Up THIS SUNDAY (3/30/14)

Our James study marches on!

We were very blessed to have our good friend, Lee Reese, deliver the message last Sunday.  He's a great friend, a great minister, and a great thinker.  His message was timely, exciting, and well-spoken!

This week we are getting into chapter 4.  My idea is to do the first 12 verses of chapter 4, but I don't know how far we'll get.  I've gone back and forth on how much we can do--but I don't know if I can separate them.

So, let's plan on doing James 4:1-12 and if we can't get through it all, we won't.

What is James doing in this passage?  He's addressing a major problem in the church--their in-fighting and selfishness.  James boils all that down to "friendship with the world."   He addresses:
  • Fighting and coveting in the church
  • Pride
  • Assuming we can follow Jesus and be worldly!
  • Slander against one another in the church
I think we're going to find that this Sunday is very helpful to us!

Now for the James challenge.  If you're still doing it, check this version out:

See you Sunday!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cross Walk Coming Up!

Hello everyone,

Just a reminder that Good Friday is April 18 this year!  We still have a little time.

This year I've been thinking about a slightly different direction for us.  A few weeks ago, Roger discussed some serious reflection about the meaning of Jesus' cross.  I am thinking that, rather than our usual focus for cross-walk, I would like to tie in the message on April 13 and on April 27.  I want to take a break from James to discuss the meaning of the cross, the resurrection, and the ascension of Jesus!

So, this is what the calendar will look like:

Sunday, April 13--A message on the Cross of Christ entitled, "Why Did Jesus Die?"

Friday, April 18--the Cross Walk Event at the normal time!

Sunday, April 20--A message on the Resurrection of Christ entitled, "Why Did Jesus Raise?"

Sunday, April 27--A message on the Ascension of Christ entitled, "Why Did Jesus Ascend?"

I think a lot of what we talk about in these messages will be review of stuff we studied in Matthew and in Acts.  But, I think it will be helpful for us to reaffirm some important teaching on what these things mean!

Oh, and one more thing: a couple of people have asked about getting new cross walk t-shirts.  Vangie and I are going to look into having some printed.  I think we may be able to do it fairly inexpensively, but we'll have to have everyone pay for their own upfront.  We'll let you know ASAP!

Later this week I will post information about the message for this coming Sunday from James!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Coming Up THIS SUNDAY (3/23/14)

Hello everyone!

I'm really looking forward to this Sunday because my children will be here!  YES!!

I am also looking forward to this Sunday because my friend Lee Reese is coming (with his family) to speak to us on the next passage in James (James 3:13-18).  That passage is below:

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

This is a very timely passage for us!

I also am looking forward to this Sunday because it is our intent to spend some time in prayer for our brothers and sisters at First Christian Church.  That church has suffered a terrible blow this week.  It is our intent to be in solidarity with them as they pursue peace and healing.  I have asked some members of the church to lead us in prayer during our normal prayer time. 

So, I hope everyone can come this Sunday for a very important morning of worship, study, and prayer.

Don't forget, the James challenge!  This week, let's read (or listen) to James in the NASB:
James (read OR listen)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Coming Up THIS SUNDAY (3/16/14)!

Hello everyone,

We're returning to our study of James after a great jaunt into church history with the movie Luther!  I think all of us who were there on Sunday benefited from his story and learned a lot about the church.  Of course, our primary goal was to learn why the last passage we studied in James about faith and works is considered so controversial in the church.

This Sunday we're moving to a new passage: James 3:1-11.  This passage is an especially fun one and I anticipate a lot of interaction this Sunday!  In this passage James will make some big claims:
  1. The responsibility of teachers to build up, rather than tear down
  2. How we use our tongues has massive consequences (we'll want to explore why it is)
So, come ready to learn about this important passage!

Now, the James challenge.  This week, I'm returning to the NIV:


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Coming up THIS SUNDAY (3/9/14)

Hello everyone!

At Castle Christian last week we studied James' teaching in James 2:14-26 that it is, indeed, our works that save us.  Our faith isn't really faith if it isn't acted out.  In this very important message, we discussed the reason this is such a controversial doctrine today and why "saved by grace through faith alone" is misunderstood to imply that what we do has no bearing on our salvation.

The doctrine of "faith only" (as it is often understood) is a product of the Reformation and a reaction to a very legalistic and corrupt time in the Roman Catholic church.  We spent a lot of time talking about Martin Luther and his response to the Catholic church.

If you didn't hear that sermon, you probably should.  You can download the message by searching for Castle Christian Church in the iTunes store, or you can click here to listen to the sermon on your computer: Faith or Faithfulness.

For that reason, we are going to do something very different this coming Sunday.  We are going to watch a film on Martin Luther's life and ministry.  This is a full-length film, so we're going to need to get started right at 10:00.  Obviously, there will be food and we'll celebrate communion together.  But the rest of the morning will be committed to watching this film and stopping it at certain moments to talk about it.

I think this is going to be a great Sunday and one which will help us understand a lot about the development of our faith!

Now, for the James Challenge!  This week I'm posting the text of James from a translation called The Voice.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Marge Bieler

Hey everyone,

I received a message from Trish and Mike last night that Marge Bieler was in a bicycle accident and broke her nose!  However, during her triage they found a problem that required major surgery.

As I understand, she is doing much better now!

We will update as we know more!  Please remember to pray for her.