Corrective Vision

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 10:15 (NLT)

But the voice spoke again: Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.

Walt Disney was a dreamer. His crowning vision was EPCOT; Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. He envisioned the perfect city of 20,000 using all of the most modern advances technology. One problem, Walt Disney died before his cream was ever realized. His dream was so big and complex and outside the box that no one else in the Disney company ever caught the dream and had no idea what to do after Walt was gone. What Walt Disney intended as a living breathing perfect city turned out only to be a entertainment center. Disney’s world would only become a place to visit.

Jesus left a blueprint for His church so vast, so marvelous, and so innovative for it to become a living breathing expanding organism that would permeate and transform the whole world.

The problem is, that as time went on, His followers lost the vision and couldn’t’ wrap their minds around such a magnificent plan. Rather than a community of loving, passionate follower of Christ dedicated to demonstrating the power of the Christ-transformed life in a dark world, they began to do what they knew best, build buildings and run organizations and develop entertainment centers that would hopefully draw the crowds to hear the story but miss the transforming power of Christ.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Stoking The Flames

Indians Game

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 8:29 (NLT)
29  The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”

In many Christian circles the Holy Spirit is neglected, forgotten, or misunderstood.  The One given to unite the body of Christ is the center of controversy.  So often Christian work is so rigidly programmed that it seems we need no longer depend on Him–yet Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” The late Dr. A. W. Tozer, author and pastor, said, “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference” (The Holy Spirit: Missing, Citation: Alan Redpath in “Christian Life” magazine. Christianity Today, Vol. 29, no. 18). One of the things that I really love about the current television series AD is that it illustrates what the Holy Spirit did in the life of the New Testament church. Furthermore it illustrates that the early church accomplished what they only through the Spirit’s power. Think about it, a bunch of rag tag, uneducated (excluding Paul), blue-collar workers changed the world. The things that they were able to accomplish, even by today’s standards, are astounding! Now look at the church today, with all of our technological and transportation advantages, we are not only not having as big of an impact, but rather we are losing our influence. It saddens me to see so many churches, especially in the U.S, neglecting to utilize the power of the Holy Spirit to reach a lost and dying world. Yes, there are some signs of change in this regard, like the Southern Baptist recent acceptance of Spirit-Filled missionaries. But what has taken so long for this to happen? Why must we quench the Holy Spirit’s fire? When will we wake up and say, “Come Holy Spirit and fill us with your fire?” If ever there was a time when we needed the Holy Spirit’s power it is today. Let’s be like our bothers and sisters in Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America who are embracing the Holy Spirit! Let us echo the words of the Prophet Zechariah, “It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies” (Zechariah 4:6, NLT).

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Do Miracles Still Exist?

Indians Game

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 9:34-35 (NLT)
34  Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. 35  Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.

It is no surprise that people in our society doubt the existence of miraculous healing today. In fact, there are probably more than a fair share of Christians who don’t believe that God still heals. However, this is one person that is convinced it still happens. In fact, I found a website that lists testimonies of people’s miraculous healings. One person said, “Fifteen years ago the doctors gave me 3 months to live. I had cancer of the lymph glands. I was healed in a prayer meeting where six people where healed out of six people attending (100% batting average for the Holy Spirit).”–Raynald D. Another person had this to say, “Twelve years ago the doctors gave me three weeks to live. I had ovarian cancer. God has better plans for my life. I give Him all the praise and glory. I received a miracle so don’t ever give up. God is still doing miracles. I am proof.”–Sharon H. Made up stories you say? Well I have a few of my own. In my 8 years at New Life I have experienced two miraculous healings among my congregation. One woman named Charlotte was healed of C.O.P.D., and recently a woman named Carol was healed of cancer. Make no mistake about it, we serve a God who still heals and does miracles. As Jesus said, “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes” (Mark 9:23, NLT). Stop doubting and believe!

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Hamming It Up

Indians Game

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 9:20 (NLT)
20  And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”

Mordecai Ham emerged as an evangelist from Kentucky at the turn of the century. He had a background in business and the study of law. From the very beginning his approach was zealous and blunt. Rather than sit and talk with Christians at revival sites, Ham insisted on being taken to the worst sinners in the community. On one occasion a non-believer hid in a cornfield, but Ham tracked him down. The man asked what his intentions were, and the evangelist said he was going to pray for God to kill him. When the man protested, Ham told him he shouldn’t be bothered, since he didn’t believe in God, anyway. But if there were a God, then death would be appropriate for a man who had poisoned his family’s spiritual prospects. The lost man begged him not to pray for his death, so Ham relented and prayed for his salvation. At the final meeting Ham baptized the man and his family. How many people hide from you?

In Christ,

Pastor Mark