In God We Trust?

August 1, 2019

As I finished delivering the message from Matthew 6:19-24 last Sunday about money, I felt a number of things.

First, a bit warm, so thank you to everyone who hung in with me! You are rock stars amidst the blazing summer heat of Chico and our very large building’s challenges with cooling down.

More importantly though, there was a huge sense of what I would call gravitas, a Latin word that means serious or solemn. The gravitas I felt is my belief that when it comes to our relationship with our finances, it is critical for us to really go after Jesus - and now is the time. Whether you have a lot or are struggling to make ends meet, being enslaved to the “master” of money is a really hard way to live. Money is a fickle master. A tyrant. And a distraction to the life we are called to live as followers of Jesus.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could live your life in complete peace and trust in the area of finances?

Not worried about your future, Not enslaved to the balance in your bank account. Not panicking every time the unexpected bill comes because you know you are in His hands.

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Hearing Gods Voice

July 25, 2019

A.B. Simpson is the founder of our movement called the Christian and Missionary Alliance.  As an immigrant from Canada, Simpson served as a Presbyterian pastor in Louisville, Kentucky.

His wife Maggie was a key part of Albert’s ministry throughout their lives together, but as you read this briefing you will see they didn’t always see eye to eye.

Simpson had a dream that He discerned as a divine message that seemed to be a call to the Chinese people. 

The year was 1878, and Simpson’s heart was drawn to be a missionary to China, as his wife gave birth to their fourth child.  He applied, though his wife told him that he was free to go to China alone but that she and their children would not be going.  The mission board turned down Simpson, saying he was too old at the age of 35, too unhealthy and had too many kids. 

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God's Wisdom In The Law

July 11, 2019

This week’s briefing jumps off from the message this past Sunday. If you missed it, you can watch the video or listen to the audio here. 

I want to share more about the beauty of the Torah. This was a topic I had to cut due to time constraints, but which I think can help our church better appreciate the wisdom, justice, and beauty of the Torah.

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Blessed Are The Merciful

June 27, 2019

What does a man of mercy really look like? 

I have been pondering this question for the last few weeks. This question first came to mind when my son, Michael, played the part of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.   

Valjean is a thief who runs from the law and breaks his parole.  He takes on a different name and starts a brand new life.  Through the kindness and mercy of a priest, he vows to live differently. He is tested several times to see if he will show mercy to others.

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Tend to the Garden of Your Heart

June 19, 2019

Planting seeds

Revenge has become something attractive these days.

It seems like every time I turn on the TV or go to a movie, revenge is one of the main plot lines.  There have been 39 major motion pictures in theaters with revenge as the major plot line in the last three years.  There was even a show on TV called “Revenge” for four seasons that was the most popular show in it’s time slot for years, and now the re-runs keep it alive on Netflix and cable channels. 

Is this 'infatuation' society has with revenge a reflection of the status of our hearts?

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Post- Christian

June 13, 2019

America is becoming more “post-Christian.”

In cities across the nation, a growing secularism is widening the divide between Christians and those who don’t believe in Jesus. 

The results of a survey published this month by Barna, Chico/Redding areas rank the 19th highest “post-Christian” city in America.  To qualify as “post-Christian,” individuals had to meet nine or more of the following factors. “Highly post-Christian” individuals meet 13 or more of the factors (out of these 16 criteria).

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Perga Moments

May 30, 2019

When I was a kid I would wait in line for the high dive at the public pool.  I would climb up to the top, look down from the edge, and more than once I backtracked and climbed back down to afraid to jump. 

Have you ever come right up to an important moment but were too afraid to move ahead?
Did you intend to ask someone on a date? Fail to drop off your resume for a job opening? Did you have every good intention of having that really hard conversation? 

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Death Defeated

May 23, 2019

Jesus came to destroy death!

This is what we read in 2 Timothy 1:10.

But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 

Jesus came to bring life and immortality to light through the gospel.  In order to do that, Jesus had to defeat death”.

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The Winning Team

May 16, 2019

I love playing on a winning team that works together well and plays for each other more than ego driven selfish gain. 

As we watch the Golden State Warriors go after their fourth championship in five years, the thing I have enjoyed the most about what they do on the court is their teamwork.  Their coach has said that one of their core values is joy, and relationship drives this group of young men to work together more than a lot of other teams in the league. 

Jesus exemplified selflessness that was not false humility.

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He Is Always With Us

May 9, 2019

When I heard the bride recently say to her groom, “You will be my forever person, who won’t leave me” I immediately thought of those in my life who are the same way. 

After thinking of Linda, my bride of 26 years, I thought of Jesus, who promised he would never leave us or forsake us. 

When I think about Jesus being my “Good Shepherd” as promised in John 10, I think of Him as my forever person who won’t leave me.  The larger analogy of God being our shepherd who will protect us from wolves and thieves and those who would try to hurt us is beautiful.  Jesus isn’t taking a day off or coming late to work to walk with us – he is always there.  He is the same today as He was back in the first century and we can count on Him not changing tomorrow.  Like a Shepherd who is willing to lay down His life for the sheep, He is totally committed to staying with us. 

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