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This morning I encourage you to let scripture read you…

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“I waited patiently for the Lord; God turned to me and heard my cry.

God lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of mud and mire;

God set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

God put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. ” (Psalm 40:1-3)

For Advent this year our Advent Series was entitled “Hope Rising”, because we believe that in the darkest of times whether it be historical, spiritual, emotional, or mental – Hope Rises with the belief that with the Advent of Jesus he brought hope with Him. Hope of a new way to live that leads to the best possible life. This is the final sermon of our series that wraps up the series and introduces our new series for 2008. Click on the link to listen it might take a few seconds please be patient We’ve Only Just Begun

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If you are from the Imperial Valley we are starting a new teaching series at our Seventh-day Adventist churches, in Brawley (Worship Service at 9:30 AM) and El Centro (Worship Service at 11 AM). The series is called “Learning to Live Well” – we will be looking at what it means that Jesus was resurrected, and what it means that we are a “resurrected” c0mmunity. “Learning to Live Well” will go back to the message of Jesus and what it means for us to day.

I found this on “Signs of Emergence” it is really powerful. It reminded me who I am and where I stand in relation to God and to you.

Stones

If we could all
just stop throwing stones,
and stoop, knees bent
and write in the dust,

we’d see that the dust
was once stone –
grand, and hard, and proud, and tough –
now ground and dissolved
in grace and tears.

So… how much better
to be a grain of dirt
on that kind prophet’s hands
than a stone
in the cold, accusing Temple
of the pure.

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I came across the Electric Angel blog a few days ago and found this project this group of graphic designers just finished working on. It’s called the Mount Project. They designed seven typographic posters based on the Sermon on the Mount. Each poster is a “re-phrasing” or interpretation of a key passage from the sermon. These posters are simple yet they are powerful.

Finding these when I did was perfect timing. In the fall we are starting a sermon series on the what it means to experience life as a resurrected community.  Along with the sermon series we are also putting together ways that we can engage our community.  And I thought the sermon on the mount would be a good starting point. You can download these posters in pdf from their site. We are thinking of getting these printed in postcard size and handing them out to everyone that comes to our gatherings every weekend to remind them of the words of Jesus. I can use any ideas and suggestions anyone might have.

SEX GOD.

I don’t know about you but growing up in what was a fairly conservative home, those two words(SEX, GOD) were not used in the same sentence, EVER! Unless of course the sentence read,

“God says, DON’T HAVE SEX!”

Some of you might know exactly what I mean. A few weeks ago I was invited to share a few words of encouragement for a high School Baccalaureate, in which the speakers preceding me, made it a point to tell the graduates, among other things to NOT HAVE SEX (until they were married of course). I won’t say whether I agree or disagree with the speakers, even though I do agree.

But I will say that I don’t know that I would have used

the method

they did

to get

the point across.

I don’t think that you can tell someone not to do something, without giving them something to do(Look at Ephesians 4:48). For too long the Christianity which i have been associated with(and gathering from the Baccalaureate) and the other mainline Christians life has become a stark ‘black and white’ contrast when it comes to sexuality. If you do it you are bad, if you don’t do it you are good. I know that statement is overly simplistic but that is how the message came across, and at times still does.

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Rob Bell’s newest book SEX GOD: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality talks about just those things. He gets into the gray between the black and white, which then becomes even clearer than the Black and White guidelines. I will post some more about the book later.