A personal Palm Sunday

Some 2000 years ago, Jesus rode into Jerusalem, on the back of a donkey.  He did that intentionally. Kings, and Roman military leaders, rode horses – a symbol of worldly power and authority. Jesus’ power and presence is NOT of this world.

Jesus came to serve, heal, encourage, teach, and lead the people of our world, into a new way of living; a new way of being in relationship together, based on the foundation of “the greatest commandments”:  Love God. And Love each other, the way you love yourself!

There’s nothing wrong with loving yourself… as long as it’s a healthy, strengthening and encouraging love, led and empowered by the presence and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit at work in and through your life. With that level of “love of self”, you’re empowered to repent when you find you’ve made an error, seek forgiveness from God, self and others, choose to undo the damage of your errors, and enjoy the blessings of a fresh, new start.

This “foundation” allows us to grow beyond our past, to be freed from the burdens of our past, and to learn to “love” the person that God created us to become.  That love then, empowers us to love others in the same healing, forgiving way. Loving others demonstrates the Love that comes from God, generously poured out on each of us.

We cannot earn that love; we cannot deserve it.  It is available to us as a generous gift, available merely by accepting the gift! Jesus rode into Jerusalem with a new message of Love.  He arrived as a servant, not as a conquering king.

Today, Jesus asks to ride into YOUR heart and life, in a new way.  He brings the same message of Love, healing, hope, encouragement, and a new future.  That future is offered to you as a gift, unconditionally, through God’s Love.

Tomorrow does NOT have to be a repeat of yesterday! Jesus is not entering as a “conqueror” into your life, but rather as a servant/friend, inviting you onto a new journey, a new direction, with a new partner & guide.

As we approach Palm Sunday 2015 tomorrow, open the “gates” of your life… welcome Jesus with joy, celebration, and invitation.  Allow Him to show himself to you in new ways, through the community gathered in His name: Community of Christ.

You can find a welcoming, inviting, safe Community of Christ congregation near you.  We’re found in over 60 nations of the world.  Local congregations can be located here: http://www.cofchrist.org/find-a-congregation

Allow yourself to begin to experience the presence and ministry of the living Jesus on this Palm Sunday.  Let Him change your life in ways you’ve never imagined.  You’ll be amazed!

Come, and journey with Community of Christ, as we work together to change today’s world into God’s Kingdom on Earth, one life at a time!

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Hope for a Hopeless Church by Zac Harmon-McLaughlin

Wonderful perspective on a kingdom-focused church, rather than a “building”, “event” or “program” based church! Thanks Zac!

Missional Conversations

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Every time I log onto Facebook or Twitter or any social media outlet, my news feed will undoubtedly show an article or two. I get articles such as, “10 Reasons Millennials Are Leaving Your Church” or “Why I Left Church” or “Brunch is My New Worship.” Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you experienced this?

If this weren’t enough reason to cause fear or anxiety about the state of faith, many churches are struggling financially. This includes my own, Community of Christ. I know that for most of us declining numbers cause fear and concern about our future. When we see a decline of people in the pews and a decline of contributors, somehow we think the “church” is dying.

I want to tell you why this is not true. I want to tell you how I am seeing faith explode in the everyday. I want to tell…

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Mission is … Disruptive

It is SO tempting to focus on MY list, MY schedule, MY comfort. Here we’re reminded of our stewardship of relationships too… being there FOR God in the lives of others!

Young Adult Ministries

disruptive

Reblogged from:Missional Conversations

Philip was walking down the road (Acts 8: 26 – 39). David was tending sheep (1 Samuel 16: 5 – 13). Mary, a young teenager, was minding her own business (Luke 1: 26 – 36). Peter and Andrew were fishing (Matthew 4: 18 – 22). In the midst of our lives, we are confronted with the call and invitation of the Holy Spirit. It intrudes upon our routines. It throws off our norms and unsettles our logic. Through the witness of scripture and the ongoing story of the church, we find one example after another, story after story, lives and backgrounds and skills as different as we can imagine, being disrupted by the missio Dei, the mission of God. Engaging in Christ’s mission means opening ourselves up to the probability of change, both within us, and on our plans and actions.

The other day I…

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God – End of Rope – God

Daily Bread

Wednesday, October 8

10-8By Lu Mountenay of Independence, Missouri, USA

Nevertheless, I have heard your prayers when you have cried out to me, and I have been with you in the places where you occupy. I am aware of your desires to serve me and my assurance is that as you go forth, your offerings of faith and service are acceptable to me.

—Doctrine and Covenants 157:16b

One day I found myself struggling. I didn’t have enough time, energy, or money to finish a project in which I had invested myself. I imagined how I wanted it to look, and it just wasn’t happening. In my frustration…

I gave up.

I threw in the towel.

I came to the end of my rope.

I literally closed the door on the project, so I wouldn’t have to see the “failure.” I went to the patio and sat down to think. I…

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Blessed to be a Blessing – Emily & Andrew’s Peace Corps Adventures

Young Adult Ministries

handsby Emily Allen Nilsen
Re-blogged from: May We Suggest

Blessing.

This word has meant different things to me over the course of my  life thus far. It once brought to mind the image of an all-powerful God who was moving pieces of my life around like a life-sized game of muggle-chess (yes, that is a Harry Potter reference). I used to believe blessings came from God and you were lucky if He chose to bless you.  I no longer see it that way.

As I got older, theological questions began to cloud my once clear picture and understanding of God. Why would God choose to bless me and NOT bless others? If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all loving, how can extremely terrible things like natural disasters or genocide happen? Was God too busy “blessing” little ole me to do anything about those BIG issues. These questions and more plagued my heart…

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Heard No Bells, but Saw a Star

Peace can be a reality on earth! We don’t have to wait until some “heaven” after we’re dead. God is calling forth a people, committed to helping co-create God’s peaceable kingdom on earth today. Will you be one? Imagine… Peace and Hope for every person, every family, every relationship! It can happen. it WILL happen. I’ll do MY part! Will you?

Daily Bread

Thursday, October 2

10-2By John Bonney of Springfield, Oregon, USA

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

—Jeremiah 29:11 NRSV

Peace on Earth and goodwill is not just for Christmas. I often ponder on the third verse of the hymn, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” The poet bows his head in despair and says, “There is no peace on earth…For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth…” Then Henry Longfellow continues by writing how the bells rang out, and the sound restored his hope.

I didn’t hear any bells, but something else happened to me on a predawn fall morning. I saw a star. The temperature on our patio was 22 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s cold for my part of the world. An inch-deep…

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Four Videos about Christ’s vision for the church

Four short videos offer us a new perspectives about our faith journey, and response to the invitation of Jesus Christ in our lives, and how we respond as individuals and as congregations.  I invite you to watch, “step back”, and consider how you hear the Spirit’s call, and how God wants YOU to respond!

Retreat Four Videos.

Please respond to my survey about these videos: