when we in the church practice functional atheism

So I’ve been thinking a lot about the attractional church model a lot recently.  Part of this is because I recently started serving in a new annual conference where it…

with Jesus there’s more than enough

Read John 6:1-15. A teacher once asked the students of their class to bring something to school that symbolized their religious faith.  The next day the teacher begins to go…

Easter Sunday April 01 2018 Luke 24

1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled…

Day 40 Saturday March 31 2018 Holy Saturday Luke 23:48-56

48 And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. 49 But all his acquaintances, including…

Day 39 Friday March 30 2018 – Good Friday Luke 22:63 – 23:47

63 Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; 64 they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck…

Day 38 Thursday March 29 2018 Maundy Thursday Luke 22:14-62

14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover…

Day 37 Wednesday March 28 2018 Luke 22:1-13

1 Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. 2 The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to…

Day 37 – A Prayer for The Readers

“The next five days are from the Gospel of Luke, a carefully researched and written history of Christ. Many readers are familiar with these chapters and verses; others may not…

Day 36 Tuesday March 27, 2018 Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations…

Day 35 Monday March 26 2018 Matthew 25:14-30

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15 to one he gave five talents, to another…

 

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.”  Romans 1:8 (NIV)

After worship on January 10, 2016 our leadership had a retreat.  We ate together and shared stories about very special people past and present who helped form our faith.  At the end of our sharing, I asked the leadership what characteristics would describe those precious people.  Many qualities were pooled and words like faithful, humble, loving, compassionate and caring were brought forth.

I shared about my wonderful youth leader and Christian tobacco farmer named Jeff Chipman.  Jeff was a very simple man.  He laughed all the time.  His love for the Lord was so evident.  I have many memories of Jeff.  For example, our youth group went swimming at his pool, which was miraculously made out of a steel silo.  I worked for Jeff in every stage of the tobacco process.  He paid well and was always kind.  He often invited me to have dinner with his family.  Those dinners were very special and I truly saw a fine example of a Christian family.

I praised God for Jeff as I shared his faith story with our church leadership.  At the end of the retreat I challenged our leadership to go and be “Jeff Chipman’s,” to one another, the congregation and the world.

The Apostle Paul gave a very nice compliment to the church he founded in Rome.  He stated, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.”  Wow!  A report about faith going all over the world.  Think for a moment how a TV show is interrupted for a “Special Report.”  It grabs your attention.  It causes your head to pop up and take notice.  Think for a moment how Mt. Healthy and surrounding communities can experience “Special Reports,” coming out of Mt. Healthy UMC?  Wouldn’t that be great?  I truly believe 2016 will be an amazing year in the history of Mt. Healthy United Methodist Church!   How?  All of us committing to take time to be like Jeff Chipman or someone you can name in your mind who touched your life!  The community will get a very special report about God’s amazing love through us!  Is there anything greater than Christians loving all on behalf of Jesus Christ?  I ask you to join our leadership as we live out our faith everywhere!  God bless you and have a great February 2016!

Jonathan