Friday, February 03, 2006

Why I Cheer for Seattle & Pittsburg

Before you jump to conclusions, I have been cheering for the Seahawks all year. Shaun Alexander

Mostly because NFL MVP running back Shuan Alexander put me in the win column in my fantasy football league. But that is not the reason I will cheer for both of them on Sunday. In Tuesday’s press conference Shuan Alexander said “We believe life itself with Jesus Christ is more important than what we do on the field… we want to make sure our focus is on more than this game. We have a bigger calling.” Shuan has never been shy about his faith in Christ and has been naming the name of Christ every chance he gets since college at Alabama. Also, Matt Hasselback QB said that while in the tunnel before he runs onto the field he prays “Lord, may we play for an audience of one.” Hasselback told the media Tuesday that most are not aware even though we have many players on this team, “I don’t think people realize how many Christian guys we have on this team and how united we are… we are united in Christ, and the unity you see on this team is very encouraging.

Antwaan Randel ElFor you Steelers fans, Antwaan Randel El stated “People think this game may go down in history, but it’s really only temporary. I thank God that I am here, but I know I have to ask Him for guidance because I don’t know what to expect… I cant let this game get me too high or too low… I have to stay focused on God and stay focused on His Word.” Jeff Hartings said “I’ve been praying every day that I would honor Him and I am praying now that I don’t embarrass Him during this time… I want to give Him Praise all the time and use this time as a platform, not for me, but for Him.”

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Effectual, Fervent, Prayer

When James Wrote about prayer, he told us that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. To often we settle for checking prayer off our to do list or rushing through the list of names that we have accumulated. Last night as we gathered for prayer, something happened that changed the tenor of the "prayer meeting" and brought it back to the raw reality of what prayer was meant to be. Details of what happened are immaterial, but one prayer request that usually would have fallen in the "unspoken" category, was transparently laid out along with the personal grief and pain of the individual involved. God used this to remind us that prayer is more than listing problems and difficulties. It is connecting with the God of the universe in order to lay our burdens at His feet. By the end of the night, we never opened a Bible; the whole service was taken over by real genuine prayer.

In James 5:16, he gives some qualifying statements concerning prayer and what makes them powerful. First, he says that our prayer should be effectual. The word here denotes activity. Another translation could read energetic. Too often our prayers are lacking in power because we are indifferent to the problem we are praying for. However, when we see the hurt in the life of someone we love, our prayer comes alive, it becomes active. Secondly, James tells us that our prayer should be fervent. Our prayers should not be passive requests, but pleading with God to intervene. When was the last time we begged God to do something? To often our prayers are weak because we do not display faith that God could help and the earnest desire for Him to do so. The third qualification for powerful prayer is righteousness. Too often we pray to God with dirty hands and hearts. The first thing we should do when we pray is to confess all known sin. Come - clean. When we strive for righteousness, display faith, and actively pray our prayer will become powerful.

Every Wednesday night we gather as a church for prayer. It is my earnest hope that every time we come together we will see the Spirit of God move as He did last night. No more settling for praying the list, no more settling for "unspoken" requests. Let's open up and let God and His wonder working power into our prayer.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Give It Back!

Today we met with the administrator at Four Corners Charter School to set up our new volunteer program. People from the church will rotate into the 5th grade classes and help students with reading. We are so excited to see the blending of the church and the community on a daily basis. As we serve our community we are able to serve God and for that, I am thankful.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Humpty Dumpty

Britain's Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge , England - a visitor to the museum tripped on his shoelace and fell down a stairway. crashing into three Chinese vases that had been sitting on a window beside the staircase for 40 years before the man's spill knocked them off and shattered them. The vases date from the late 17th or early 18th century. The vases, donated in 1948, were said to hold a "significant value" and were among the best known pieces on display.
I Corinthians 10:12 says "let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." Sometimes in life we fall. Sometimes we fall in a very public and destructive way. It is nearly impossible to know the impact of one's fall. broken families, shattered testimonies, scarred children. All priceless, and nearly impossible to repair. Jude finishes his short New Testament Letter this way.. "Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy..." In truth, God is the only one who can keep us from falling. Let us all hang on to His mighty capable hands.

Record January

January 2006 sets a new high in the growth of our church. After adding staff last summer, and a second service in October, God has continued to bless the faithful steps of the people at Cornerstone with more in attendance each week. Astonishingly, there was a 46% increase in worship attendance from January 2005. With added growth comes added responsibilities. God has given us a greater amount of people that He expects us to minister to. It is therefore imperative that everyone who attends Cornerstone find a place of service. It is only through meeting the needs of those God has sent our way that we will prove ourselves faithful to meet the continuing growth of the church. I for one pray that we will never find a comfortable place to settle as long as there are people who do not attend church. You at Cornerstone have proven by your service that you feel the same way. Let's work together to meet the needs of the people of Four Corners and the Four Corners of the earth.


This Sunday at the 9:30 hour we will be pausing to receive communion. At the Last Supper before He was to be crucified, Jesus did not go to the multitudes to defend his critics, He did not go to the hospitals to heal the last few sick and diseased, He did not go to the Temple to teach the multitudes or even to win converts. It is amazing that in His last few hours he had dinner around a table with His small group. Later He would go to the garden to pray, but even then He sought the support of those in His small Group. I believe that there is a lesson here for those in the church who just come to Sunday Services and miss out on the importance of belonging to a small group of believers that care about you and your spiritual needs. I know that it is awkward for some and early for others. There are many things that we feel we must do on Sundays, but I wonder what kind of church we could be if the people of Cornerstone really caught on to the idea of what Christ already understood about small group.


I enjoy the ABC show Lost. A story of some marooned survivors of an airline crash who are on a mysterious island full of "others" intent on doing them harm. The show has a great deal of spiritual undertones and does a lot to cause introspection. On Tuesday's episode, (Spoiler Warning for those who have not yet seen it) A former drug addict, Charlie has a vision of Claire (another survivor) and his mother telling him to save Claire's baby, Aaron. In the vision he sees a dove desending from heaven, and after talking to a Ecko, a priest on the Island, decides to kidnap the baby and take it to the ocean to be baptized. Obviously the other survivors were outraged by this and he is seen as an outcast. Claire, later goes to the priest and askes him about Baptism. Here is where Hollywood takes over and Holy Word is thrown out. The priest tells Clair about the Baptism of Jesus by John and that after seeing the dove descending from heaven that John realized that he had cleansed this man from his sin. I don't even know where to begin. 1. Jesus did not have any sin that needed to be cleansed. 2. It was Jesus who takes away sin, not baptism. John himself decares that Jesus is the Lamb of God that would take away the sin of the world. Ecko, then goes on to tell Clair that baptism is sort of insurance for the baby so that if something unfortunate should happen, he will go to heaven. Again, there is never any indication in the Bible of a baby being baptized for salvation, or any other reason for that matter. It is clear in the Bible that every example of baptism followed a personal salvation experience. John the Baptist was right. Jesus is The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Anything else is just Hollywood stunts.