Signs of Life

I went over to the church this afternoon, and as I pulled back into the neighborhood, for the first time this year, I saw the unmistakable signs of life.  Trees and shrubs everywhere with those ever so small red tips.  There is life there.  It’s coming.  What has been dormant is now springing back. 

new-buds.jpgI feel that way about life many times.  I’ve been through numerous patches of dormant seasons where nothing feels right…where very little flows effortlessly.  But when new life arrives, it feels wonderful.  Happily, I feel like I’m entering one of those seasons now….where life is returning…where energy is renewed….where hope is plentiful….and anything is possible. 

How about you?  Ever been there?  There now? 

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To End All Wars

I just finished watching “To End All Wars”, a movie retelling the true story of POWs who endure horrible treatment from their Japanese captors during WW II while being forced to build a railroad through the Burmese jungle.  They find freedom through forgiveness.  It is based on the true story of Ernest Gordon. 

As with any POW-based movie it is often difficult to watch.  What makes it all the more difficult to watch is knowing that it is true, not a figment of someones story-telling imagination.  But while it may be difficult to watch, there are themes and lessons that are too powerful to describe…they simply must be seen and felt.   This movie is deeply moving and just may affect your life. 

Here’s a 10 minute documentary on the film featuring Keifer Sutherland and others connected to the movie. 

Expelled

Ben Stein!  You know him as a writer and a savvy businessman worth millions.  What you may not know is that he is taking on Darwinism and the theory of evolution in a new movie coming out on April 18th, called “Expelled”. 

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I have added an entire page that gives you links to go explore the movie, what it’s all about, watch trailers, win free tickets, and gather resources that you may find helpful.  Click on the “Expelled” tab at the top of the page and dive in.   

If you have a few minutes, watch the super trailer.  If time is short, watch the teaser trailer.  Either way, you’ll get an idea of what this movie is up against and what he’s taking on. 

Sunday Night Lights

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I absolutely L.O.V.E. Easter….and all that it stands for.  Easter is the reason we even exist as a church and as a ministry.  Without Easter, it would all be pointless.  But Jesus Christ overcame sin, death, and the grave and we can stand in his victory as more than conquerors. 

  • Our service today touched on the “Rescue” element of LOST.  In life, just like the TV show, when rescue is being offered, a voice (Ben from the TV show) calls out that the rescue is risky and dangerous….that accepting “rescue” would be a mistake. 
  • That voice today comes from the sworn enemy of mankind, Satan himself.  And he warns you that accepting the offer of Jesus rescue is too costly..the price is too high… you can make it on your own. 
  • We celebrated the specialness of the day by observing The Lord’s Supper at the conclusion of the service. 
  • Our music was “spot on” for the message content
  • Hannah Huebner returned from her mission trip to France and was in the service this morning.  She was tired…but radiating.
  • Paul and Paula Scott are headed to Dallas to investigate a mission ministry “Shoes for Orphan Souls”
  • We had Scott Campbell, a missionary to the eastern Canadian provinces in the service this morning.  Scott and his family have done marvelous work for the kingdom in Canada.  He is now coordinating church planting efforts there and pastoring/coaching the planters.  What a wonderful ministry.  Thanks Scott for honoring us and worshiping with us this morning.  (Click here to see the churches under his care)
  • We had a larger than expected crowd today and the spirit was good.
  • We had at least one person indicate they invited Christ into their life as Lord.
  • We are unofficially opening a “satellite campus” in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  We had more people leave for there this afternoon….which brings the count for the month up to almost 15 Grovers in Gulf Shores.  I guess we’ll just start renting space. 🙂
  • Lesley hooked us up with an awesome ham and hashbrown casserole for Easter lunch.  Mmmm, Mmmmm good!
  • We had a couple of visits to the blog today from Israel…. which is kinda cool on Easter Sunday. 
  • It’s a good thing Jesus wasn’t crucified in Peoria in 2008…. he would have arisen to snow.  😦    (is that a sign of spring here?)

I hope and pray that your Easter was fulfilling…. and full of power of Jesus Christ. 

Easter Morning

empty-tomb.jpgIt is hard for me to imagine what it must have been like on that day of days for Mary and Mary.  Matthew 28 tells the story of that early morning arrival of the two women before dawn.  In all likelihood, they were still mourning…still shaken that Jesus, this man they had placed so much faith in, had been so brutally beaten and murdered. 

Isn’t it amazing how quickly mourning can turn to dancing?  In short order they learned that Jesus was no longer a prisoner of death and the grave.  He had arisen.  It is his crowning achievment that death could not hold him.  Today he is ALIVE…and is forevermore.  Our savior lives!

I pray that you may find a community of worship in which to celebrate his resurrection on this special day.