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50 Ways The Bible Can Change Your Life (Continued)

The Bible is still the best-selling book of all time.  Reading the Bible can change your life in so many ways… at least 50 but there are many more ways.  How can it change your life? “Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  God is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort.  God comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share this same comfort with others in trouble.”  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)      37:  Comfort Those Who Grieve –  God understands all too well why we mourn and ache after we lose someone close to us.  That’s why he promises to do something about it.  “God blesses those people who grieve.  They will find comfort!”  (Matthew 5:4) Sometimes words aren’t necessary at all.  Sometimes simply being there for another person – as a sounding board for the person’s thoughts and feelings or as a silent partner in grieving – is enough.      36:  Give God the Credit – God chooses to work through humble people because when God’s done, they will make sure God gets the glory.  They won’t claim undue credit for themselves.  ... Read More »

“3 Things Churches Love That KILL Outreach”

(Continued from September) It is October and soon FUMC will be having its Charge Conference.  It is time when churches charge into the new year and plan and prepare for that.  We look at the past year and then see what has worked and what has not.  It is always an exciting time with much discussion.  One of the sayings that the staff here uses is CANEI:  Constant And Never Ending Improvement!  In other words, how did we do on something and how can we improve.  With this in mind, we need to ask ourselves how we are doing as a church.   The following was written by Ed Stetzer of Lifeway Research. All churches love certain things.  Some love fellowship, some worship, some prayer.  Those are good loves.  Some are neutral loves.  Some are not.  Other churches love their building, their history or their strategy. Those can be good or bad, depending on what we mean by love and how we value those things.  But some things that churches love hurt their mission and hinder their call.  Here are three I’ve observed from my work with thousands of churches.  Too ... Read More »

“3 Things Churches Love That KILL Outreach”

It is September and soon FUMC will be having its Charge Conference.  It is time when churches charge into the new year and plan and prepare for that.  We look at the past year and then see what has worked and what has not.  It is always an exciting time with much discussion.  One of the sayings that the staff here uses is CANEI:  Constant And Never Ending Improvement!  In other words, how did we do on something and how can we improve.  With this in mind, we need to ask ourselves how we are doing as a church.  Are we on the same page?  The following was written by Ed Stetzer of Lifeway Research. All churches love certain things.  Some love fellowship, some worship, some prayer.  Those are good loves.  Some are neutral loves.  Some are not.  Other churches love their building, their history or their strategy. Those can be good or bad, depending on what we mean by love and how we value those things.  But some things that churches love hurt their mission and hinder their call.  Here are three I’ve observed from my work with thousands ... Read More »

During my 1st year of Ministry here at FUMC

Thank you so much for your support of Jesus Christ’s call to Fennimore UMC: through fellowship with each other, through helping each other grow spiritually, through serving each other, through financial giving, through telling others about Christ in our community and beyond, and through worshiping our God together each Sunday. Thus far in 2016 we have been blessed in so many ways. Some of those ways are: We have had two successful sermon series We have had 8 new members, plus 10 Confirmation students join the church We have had a successful Vacation Bible School We have had 4 well attended and received connectional groups, with more kicking off in October We have had steady attendance throughout the summer In the near future, we also have a Sermon Series, Half Truths, starting August 7. Christian Education will be continuing in September and in October another Sermon Series and exciting connectional groups. Again I would like to say thank you for giving sacrificially of your time, talents and resources. The ministries of this church would not and could not happen without you. Thank you for being faithful and taking part in ... Read More »

“Who Do You Say I Am?” (continued from June)

    Since the movie “God’s Not Dead 2”, I have been asked numerous questions about some of the themes and discussions in the movie.  Questions such as:  was that just movie jargon about other sources, what other writings and what is the historical Jesus?  The interest has been so exciting and I will try to answer those questions.       First of all, yes, Jesus really existed.  This is often referred to as the historical Jesus or Jesus as a man who walked this earth.  Evidence also comes from those who walked with Jesus and shared his life:  the apostles.  Peter says in his message to the first Gentile believers:  “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.  They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.  He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen – by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”  (Acts 10:39-41)     Many of the apostles ... Read More »

“Who Do You Say I Am?” (continued from May)

Since the movie “God’s Not Dead 2”, I have been asked numerous questions about some of the themes and discussions in the movie. Questions such as: was that just movie jargon about other sources, what other writings and what is the historical Jesus? The interest has been so exciting and I will try to answer those questions. First of all, yes, Jesus really existed. This is often referred to as the historical Jesus or Jesus as a man who walked this earth. Many do not know that there is historical evidence for the life of Jesus outside the Bible. Michael Gleghorn (Bible.org) writes: “although there is overwhelming evidence that the New Testament is an accurate and trustworthy historical document, many people are still reluctant to believe what it says unless there is also some independent, non-biblical testimony that corroborates its statements.” Fortunately, there is such evidence. Last month I mentioned Tacitus, a senator and historian of the Roman Empire, and Pliny the Younger, the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. There are others, such as Lucian of Samosta, a second century Greek satirist. In one of his works, he ... Read More »

Good Questions

Since the movie “God’s Not Dead 2”, I have been asked numerous questions about some of the themes and discussions in the movie.  Questions such as:  was that just movie jargon about other sources, what other writings and what is the historical Jesus?  The interest has been so exciting and I will try to answer those questions.  First of all, yes, Jesus really existed.  This is often referred to as the historical Jesus or Jesus as a man who walked this earth.  Many do not know that there is historical evidence for the life of Jesus outside the Bible.  Michael Gleghorn (Bible.org) writes:  “although there is overwhelming evidence that the New Testament is an accurate and trustworthy historical document, many people are still reluctant to believe what it says unless there is also some independent, non-biblical testimony that corroborates its statements.”  Fortunately, there is such evidence. First of all, there is Tacitus, a senator and historian of the Roman Empire.  Historian Edwin Yamauchi calls this Tacitus passage “probably the most important reference to Jesus outside the New Testament.” (Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ, p. 86) Nero fastened the guilt ... Read More »

The Black Dot

The following was shared at a Team Meeting recently and it was just too good not to pass on.  I just wanted to give you something to think about.      One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test.  They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin.  The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual.  Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers.  To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions – just a black dot in the center of the sheet of paper.                                          • The professor told them the following “I want you to write about what you see there”.  The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task.  At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams and started reading each of them out loud.  All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of ... Read More »

“What Is Our Place in God’s Plans?”

I read this during my meditation time and wanted to pass it on.  It is from A Hobbit Devotional by Ed Strauss.  “A little over a month after leaving Rivendell, Bilbo once again walked through the Shire, the land he loved and knew so well.  He eagerly anticipated seeing his beloved hobbit hole again.  He arrived and settled back into his comfortable hobbit hole … and relaxed.      Seven years later, Bilbo’s friends Gandalf and Balin showed up at his door.  They told him the news from the north, and Bilbo was happy to learn that prosperity had returned to Laketown.  New songs were being sung, in fact, celebrating the fact that the rivers were now running with gold.  When Bilbo expressed surprise that the prophecies had actually come true, Gandalf asked why it amazed him.  Was it because he helped bring them about and couldn’t believe he’d been part of something so big?  Or was he so focused on himself that he still hadn’t seen the larger picture?      The truth was, as Gandalf pointed out, there had been far more than personal “good luck” at work repeatedly saving ... Read More »

“God’s Freely Given Love”

February is upon us and I am asking what happened to January?  Yes, it is still cold outside but our hearts should be warm as we think of love – you know, Valentine’s Day!  Valentine’s Day can be heart breaking for some, lonely for some – but there is a love that will always be there for us.  That love is… God’s Love! Sing to the Lord with thanks; sing praises to our God with a lyre! God covers the skies with clouds; God makes rain for the earth; God makes the mountains sprout green grass. God gives food to the animals – even to the baby ravens when they cry out. God doesn’t prize the strength of a horse; God doesn’t treasure the legs of a runner. No.  The Lord treasures the people who honor him, the people who wait for His faithful love.  – Psalm 147:7-11 All of us have known relationships that seemed to have dried up.  Often one of the signs and causes of such a breakup is the failure to express heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the other.  In other words, taking the other for granted.  ... Read More »

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