Check out this totally unrehearsed Sunday morning jam of What a Friend We Have in Jesus from the Old Stone Church and surprise, impromptu clarinet solo from Davey “Gravy” Kasper. The Old Stone Church: Cleveland’s Original Rock since 1820!

Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

In America, where individual interests are often lifted up over and above a more wholistic understanding of the common good, it can be difficult for the church to grasp messages of hope from our God who so often speaks to us in the plural. God doesn’t speak just to you or just to me; more often than not, God speaks to us.

Through the young prophet, Jeremiah, God has a message of promise for individuals, for sure, but ultimately it is a message for the entire house of Israel, and for every faith community – every synagogue, church, or congregation that has longed to be made whole in God. Maybe it’s time we started listening as one.

 

 

The Mighty Mustard Seed Church

Posted: September 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

THE AWESOME THING ABOUT THE MUSTARD WEED ISN’T THAT IT GROWS UP, BUT THAT IT GROWS OUTThe gospel church isn’t a mighty cedar of Lebanon, but a weedy movement that goes out to those who need rest and shelter from the challenges of our times.

While some folks might be looking for a mighty cedar of Lebanon kind of church, high and mighty, the one that Jesus calls us to grow starts as a tiny seed and becomes a place where the birds of the air might find shelter and rest from the hard winds of our day and generation. Mark 4:30-34

Not so long ago in a galaxy not so far away, there was battle for the planet earth. They called it … Straw Wars!

Engage in this powerful message concerning the path of Christian humility that lifts us above the kind of divisive political and social vitriol of our day and age. Christ’s way of humility moves the Christian church toward unity in diversity, empowers it to be a model for others, and allows others he enter the faith community to know that they are seen and known by God.

 

 

surprise 3

I found this great message about God’s grace on a friends Facebook page.
It’s a great reminder not to judge others, and it’s worth sharing!

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The Garden Club Gossips, the thieves
The liars and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said,
‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.

Blessings of Peace,
Mark

For me, forgiveness isn’t condoning wrongdoing, it’s naming it. It’s not forgetting wrongdoing, it’s learning from it. Forgiveness isn’t done in isolation, it often takes a friend, a church, or other community to support you in it. It’s not a one time moment, it’s often a long term process. Like shampoo, you have to rinse and repeat! Forgiveness isn’t surrender, it’s the difficult path that leads to liberation, and ultimately peace in God … for you and the wrong doer.

What’s the hardest thing you ever had to forgive?

Forgiveness isn’t just a spiritual practice that Jesus encouraged the disciples to do; after he was raised from the dead, it was the very first thing. Forgiveness opens us and the world to freedom in God, and the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

Blessings of Peace and healing,
Mark

PUTTING FOOD ON THE TABLE or keeping a roof over your kid’s heads is big, but being a father is so much more. Just about any adult male can father a child, but it takes a loving and faithful one to be a dad!