Live Love Outloud

Thanks for putting up with my weird sorta sermon.  I suppose I could have just preached on love without giving you all the RC Chapman stuff, but I want to give credit where credit is do.  I’ve learned about love from this great old grandpa man.  His life has “rocked” me time and again.  I recommend giving him a good read, you won’t regret it.

Robert Chapman: A Biography by Robert L. Peterson (1995)  Amazon.com – $10.39

Brother Indeed by Frank Holmes (1956) Free online at  http://plymouthbrethren.wordpress.com/2007/07/07/brother-indeed-robert-chapman/

Agape Leadership: Lessons in Spiritual Leadership from the life of R.C. Chapman by Robert L. Peterson and Alexander Strauch (1991) Amazon.com – $5.99

May God use each of us to Live Love Outloud this year for His Glory!

Pastor Mark

An Unchanging God Who Brings Change

Yes, we moved from Sunny Southern California to Snowy Northeast Ohio.  Yes, we love So Cal.  Yes, we love NE OH.  Why?  How can that be?  Because it’s only weather!  It’s different, it’s a change … and those things are good.  Some people despise change, want everything to remain the same, not me, I like change!  I like new things, new adventures, new friends, new ministry opportunities.  I like finding new routines in the midst of new experiences.  I like watching God work in me and grow me as I find myself in new situations.  I suppose the weather just reminds me that change is a good thing, it points to cycles of growth and seasons of learning.  I guess I enjoy change because I am confident of the one thing that is unchanging – My Great God!  With that truth as my foundation, bring on the snow, bring on the new, bring on the change, GROW me God, and USE me for your Glory!  

Learning to Shovel,

Pastor Mark

Advent Anticipation

Preaching is a pretty amazing thing.  The way God uses His Word with the preacher’s words rushing forward on the Spirit’s power to penetrate the souls of men.  I’m never really sure what that penetrating looks like in the lives of those I’m preaching to, it’s always different, but I do know what it looks like in my life.  The message lingers with me, seeks me out, even haunts me at times (which is kinda weird when you’re the one who preached it).  I’ve been haunted by the 1st Advent message of a week ago – Effective Anticipation.  At the end of the morning, I thought to myself, “well, it wasn’t one of my best sermons … ”  Funny how that matters little when the Spirit wants to push it deeper into my soul.  I’ve heard my words echo back to me, “Do you think things just go on as usual?  Nothing really changes that much, or do you live in the place of Expectation, waking up eager for God to do something?”  I’m too often guilty of thinking things will just go forward as usual, or move as we work hard at them, but to believe, anticipate, and expect God to show up and transform, well, I don’t always live there … and I really want to!  Advent is a season of anticipation … for tomorrow, for December 25th, and for the return of Christ.  AND for a God who sill works, still changes people, and still accomplishes some pretty amazing things through pretty ordinary people (e.g. Mary and Joseph).  I want the eyes of a child on Christmas morning to be my eyes of faith every morning as I put my hope once again in the God who is there, is alive, and is not distant.  Pray it for me church!

Living in the Expectant parking space,

Pastor Mark