Holy Week day 5

I've always been a bit uncomfortable calling it 'Good Friday.' Let's be honest, the disciples and followers of Jesus were devastated the day Jesus died. It was not a 'good' Friday. It was dark for them. So I've always referred to it as 'Black Friday.' And I believe entering into that devastation and suffering allows us to better understand what God was willing to do on our behalf.

Mighty to Save, Hillsong

(from Colossians) We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God's side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don't walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.


Holy Week day 4

This song has quickly become a favorite of many. It is a powerful declaration of our God. I can't wait to sing this with you on Sunday.

How Great Is Our God, Chris Tomlin

1 The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
2 in readiness for God from day one.

3 Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.

4 What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.

5 The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.
6 There once was a man, his name John, sent by God7 to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in.8 John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.

9 The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
he brings into Light.

10 He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice.

11 He came to his own people,
but they didn’t want him.

12 But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.

13 These are the God-begotten,
not blood-begotten,
not flesh-begotten,
not sex-begotten.

14 The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.


Holy Week day 3

Many say this was the earliest 'creed' of the church, something that people began to repeat again and again. Paul recorded it for us in Philippians:
1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.4 Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slaves
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal's death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

This is a new song to me. But I love the message. What do you think about it?
True Love, Phil Wickham


Holy Week day 2

Made Alive with Christ

1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.s He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God's anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!)6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

I love that passage of Scripture from Ephesians, chapter 2. Read it three or four times slowly, and try to concentrate on each sentence. After doing that, what phrases jumped out at you? What were the phrases that seem to stand out? Why do you think that is?

Here's another song we'll be singing on Sunday. I love this one too.
Salvation Is Here, by Hillsong United


Holy Week Day 1

This week, we are going to post some of the songs we will be singing on Easter Sunday and some scripture to chew on as we prepare to celebrate Easter. Can't wait to sing on Easter. What about you? And who are you bringing with you?

Song 1: My Savior Lives - New Life Worship

I know that my Redeemer lives
And now I stand on what He did
My Savior my Savior lives
Ev'ry day a brand new chance to say
Jesus You are the Only Way
My Savior my Savior lives

Our God will reign forever
And all the world will know His Name
Ev'ryone together
Sing the song of the redeemed

The King has come from heaven
And darkness trembles at His Name
Victory forever
Is the song of the redeemed

Scripture: Ephesians 1
Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.5 Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!)6 He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.7 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!8 He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need,9 letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ,10 a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.11 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living,12 part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.13 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit.14 This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.15 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus,16 I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks.17 But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally,18 your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers,19 oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!20 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven,21 in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever.22 He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church.

23 The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.


lamb selection...

Today was Palm Sunday. At MMCC, we went a bit different than the traditional BIG route. We stripped everything back and went acoustic. I thought it was a great morning...

  • Palm Sunday was 'lamb selection day' for the Jews who had traveled to Jerusalem for Passover.
  • Roman officers would have entered town on distinguished animals. Jesus entered on a donkey.
  • The palm branch was a sign of nationalistic pride. It was the Jews' way of saying that they wanted their nation back and wanted the Romans out.
  • Hosanna meant 'save us.' But not in the way we sing it today. They were looking for political freedom from the Romans.
  • I preached in the dark today. I've never done that. Jesus said He was the light of the world. I wanted to magnify the idea that we are surrounded by darkness and need Jesus to follow, to expose our 'stuff' and for hope.
  • We are also called to be the light. So we hid a bunch of flashlights under chairs in the theater. When all of those flashlights were on, the darkness was pushed aside. Hmmmmmmm....hope that picture/idea stuck.
  • Spent the afternoon watching a little bball. Wanted Baylor to pull it out. At least the Spartans pushed through.

Looking forward to a great Holy Week. Always good to slow down and reflect on who Jesus was, why He died and what He accomplished by overcoming that death.