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Luke 9:23-25 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

 It’s difficult from our modern perspective to completely understand the discomfort and even offense that the crowds would have felt from Jesus’ words. In our culture the cross is often relegated to being a good luck charm, a stylish piece of jewelry, a cool tattoo, and at best a symbolic piece of art. Even in Christian circles we’ve sanitized our perspective of the cross with pictures of a smooth skinned Jesus with a small trickle of blood.  People from 2000 years ago would be shocked at how we utilize the cross. In their time, it was considered the most painful, gruesome, and shameful way to die. Good Roman citizens were not supposed to talk about it, and the ancient Jewish historian Josephus called it “the most wretched of deaths.” Jewish people had witnessed literally thousands of their countrymen crucified on hillsides, so their picture of the cross was radically different than ours.

 The Romans purpose behind crucifixion was simple: to provide the most painful, gruesome, and publicly shameful death imaginable. The condemned person would be forced to carry the horizontal portion of the cross, weighing about 110 pounds, through the streets in a procession to the place of execution. As the condemned would walk the streets people would scream insults and spit as he walked. Historical Roman accounts have established that rough seven to eight inch nails were driven between the small bones of the wrists, rather than the palms. The soldier would then take the left foot and press it backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, one nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The condemned is now crucified.

 This is the picture they saw as Jesus spoke these words.

 As we let this sink in, we should be assured that our journey was never meant to be easy. Re-read the verse again, and reflect on what it means to you now. How does this change the way you approach following Jesus?

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What:  Monthly Prayer Gathering

When:  Feb 14, 2016 – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Where:  Discovery Center – Auditorium

Why:  God answers the fervent pray of the righteous…and if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.

            I cannot explain synergism – though I know it is true…..powerful….and wonderful.  Thinking back on the time prior to the birth of the Church in Acts 2 — Jesus called all the believers together in the upper room – we believe there were a minimum of 120…..they prayed for 10 days – and the result was 3,000 baptized into Christ and the birth of the church.  Obviously there is something SPECIAL when multiple believers come together and pray as ONE. 

             This principle is the backbone of our Sunday Evening Prayer Gathering.   Sunday is the Lord’s Day – not the Lord’s HOUR – 10:00 AM – 11:AM…..as believers I would hope we could

block out a few minuets at the close of the day – giving it to the Lord and our Church family – to pray for:  marriages….powerful witness daily….church’s financial strength….Eph 6:12…….

Spiritual and numerical growth of our 7 D-Groups…..beacon of Hope and Grace to our neighbors….

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·      Joy Weir as she regains health from a broken hip – and reduction of pain in the process

·      Kirstin Yoder – with the Navy in San Diego

·      Financial blessing for a few families struggling in this area

·      Revival of HEART for those who have lost their first love

·      Great response for the First Sunday Prayer Gathering this Sunday eve.

·      Blessings on all Married Couples this Valentine’s Day

·      Leslie Marshall – chronic pain

·      Sandra Cunningham – recovering from hernia surgery

·      Jackie and the children’s ministry – still praying for 12 under 12.

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            Did you have fun at your Super Bowl party last Sunday eve?   After the game ended and Peyton Manning spoke, one person spoke up saying “Peyton didn’t hear the sermon this morning?……………I apologize to Jerry Noble for misspelling his name in E-News last week………..It was great to see Maryann back with us Saturday evening.  She had been ill for 4 weeks.  They have concluded she is lactose intolerant as well as gluten intolerant…………….  Several know that Annie and I participate in a Preacher’s Dinner – the 2nd Tuesday of each month.  This month we were invited to Jack’s Restaurant – for the kick off of Bro Tom Leuther who is 1) preacher at Family Worship Center – and 2) running for City Councilman of the 3rd Ward.  Our church is in the 3rd Ward.  In his speech he began by saying “do you know the difference between a preacher and a politician?  A preacher knows when he is lying!!!!”  Tom has been my dear friend for years — in fact Tom and his wife Vicki, gave the 1st $1,000 to our building campaign to build our current church………….This week we had a $500.00 expense.  Every 6 months we have preventative maintenance on our 4 furnaces.  One visit is free – the other costs us $500.  The visit this week cost us.  That is a big hit to our budget – and if any of you would love to help with that cost – please add your amount to your church check this weekend.  Thanks so much…………..

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            Our TABOO topic this week is DIVORCE…Every person in the groups I have been in this week have been affected directly by Divorce.  As we speak to the topic this weekend – our text is Matt 19 – and we find Pharisees coming to Jesus asking if a man can divorce his wife for any and every cause…….Instead of answering their question- Jesus sent them back into the Book of Genesis – a verse or two in Ch 1 –and a verse or 2 in Chapter 2.  He said from the beginning it wasn’t this way.

             There were two very important Rabbi’s of the 1st century who packed a lot of weight – one was extremely liberal – while the other was extremely conservative.  We will identify these men as well as their views.  What is so amazing about Jesus in this verbal interchange is that he did not speak about divorce – he spoke about MARRIAGE….which was God’s plan from the beginning. 

             As believers it will be our responsibility to #1 – know biblically what Jesus said about both Divorce/Marriage/Remarriage…..and #2 be sure that at Discovery we NEVER – NEVER – NEVER make those who have had to experience feel like a leper…..It is our job to love them to recovery and restoration with JESUS. 

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TABOO #3

CHRISTAN AND POLITICS

 

Prov 29:2  When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice.   But when the wicked are in power, they groan.

 

Rom 13:1-7  Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

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General Fund               $1161.00

Tech Fund                     $ 300.00

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