Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jasper Speaks:

This week at Reality Check we started a new series called: I'm Lovin' It: A Look at Philippians.

Here is the outline I used:

I’m Lovin’ It
A Look at Philippians

Week One: I’ve Got JOY

Paul wrote Philippians from PRISON

The theme of Philippians is JOY in life

There is a difference between HAPPINESS and JOY

Three Things To Be Lovin’

1. Lovin’ that God is working on YOU

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you; always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:3-6

2. Lovin’ LIFE

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Philippians 1:21-24

3. Lovin’ to SUFFER
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. Philippians 1:27-30

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

I think it went well. I had a talk with one student afterwards who has been having a hard time. The message seemed to help.

It is one of those weight of the world times in my ministry. So much hurt in people's lives. I have a situation I have to confront that I don't want to. Sin complicates everything. I am starting down the confrontational path tomorrow. It could get very ugly before it is all done. That makes me sad and concerned. I am trying to pray about how GOd would have me deal with this. I would appreciate your prayers too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Jasper Speaks:

So, last week was a short one in the office. We had Good Friday off and that was very nice. Kendra's mom came in for a short visit. That was nice as well.

Reality Check went well on Wednesday. The message was UP: AN EASTER TALE. Here is the outline:

Slide 2
This is more than just a STORY.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.1 Corinthians 1:18

The Details:

John 19:1-28

Luke 23

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' Then they remembered his words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. Luke 24:1-12

When Jesus rose UP it CHANGED the world.
But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order. When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:7-15

Since Jesus Rose UP From The Grave:

UP comes the promise that your past is FORGIVEN

He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:14

Up comes the promise that you have a REASON to LIVE
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:10

Up comes the promise that there is a place in HEAVEN for you
Don't let this throw you. You trust God, don't you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I'm taking." John 14:1-2

Up comes the promise that your life will be DIFFERENT

For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

A Prayer for a personal relationship with Jesus:

Dear God,

I know I am a sinner. I am sorry for my sins. I believe that Jesus came and died on the cross for me and that he rose again. I want you to be the leader of my life. I want you to forgive my past, show me the reason to live and prepare a place for me in Heaven. I want my life to be different. Help me to put my full trust in you.

In Jesus name Amen.

We didn't see anyone come to Christ that night, which bummed me out a bit. Still, I had a good conversation with one of the non-Christian kids who has been coming. We also had a first time guest whose mother wrote me a very encouraging email about her daughter's visit and how the message had spoken to her.

That night I also got a disturbing set of text messages from a former student. It is sad when Satan has such a hold on someone. My spirit grieved and the carnal Jasper was hurt and angry. I am better now. I pray that the Lord would keep his hand on this student.

Easter was good. We ahd nice services at Parkway. It was such a relaxing weekend. This is Senior Week for us as we have a concert for one of our seniors on Tuesday that all the seniors who can will attend. On Friday night we will have a formal dinner at our house for the Seniors. Then Saturday we have a day trip to Navu, Illinois, just for seniors. It is a Moromonism Informational trip. Then our Graduate Celebration lunch is on Sunday. IT should be a busy time.

God is good.