04-29-12 Sunday Morning

Freedom from/Freedom to: Freed to Love V.mp3

Stir it up!PDF

Why I don’t lovePDF

Key Texts:

  • Deut. 30:6
  • II Thess. 3:5
  • I Jn. 4

 Other Scriptures concerning God’s love:

  • Jer. 31:1-14
  • Isa. 43:1-13
  • Rom. 8:31-39

God’s all pervading love is at once comforting & unsettling!

King David, arguably the most love-struck patriarch (other than perhaps John the beloved) in all of scripture, waxes poetic about the love of God and its necessity for a fulfilled and satisfied existence. He valued hearing God speaking of His unfailing love for David to the point that he said it was better than life itself.

Knowing God’s love is a reason for:

  • Trust – Ps. 36:7; Ps. 143:8
  • Confidence – Ps. 42:8; Ps. 103:4
  • Forgiveness – Ps. 51:1
  • Praise Ps. 63:3
  • Contemplation for revelation – Ps. 107:43

One would think that someone so taken by his encounters with the God Who IS Love, would never seek to hide himself from it, but run to it – arms flung wide every moment of every day. Love within those “being redeemed” however, is never quite that straight forward! Even though we know we cannot hide from His gaze, we still try. Like the proverbial ostrich, we stick our heads in the sand as though our inability to see God, somehow blinds Him to the 95% of our awkward body protruding out of the ground. We ARE Adam…we ARE Eve with out fig leaves covering our nakeness as though God would be startled or somehow offended by what is  behind. Our brother David, becomes transparent for us in the 139th Psalm revealing this inward struggle of the heart before the eyes of a God Who sees and knows all.

Again, this week we have explored our self-imposed need to protect ourselves from the God Who IS Love. We have discovered afresh that the only way to be the people of I Jn. 4:19 is to know and believe the love He has given. I encourage you to use Ps. 139 and the handout sheet (provided above) to aid you in your wrestling match with God concerning His love for you. Remember, it is God Who is pursuing you – the only right and feminine response if to allow yourself to be caught by the Lover of your soul.

A great video from Jason Gray about why we have no reason to hide…

~ P. Mark

 

 

 

 

Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

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As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued aid.
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As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

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By 2009 I’d been Pastoring for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

One Comment

  1. I love this site. Please put Oh How He Loves Me on here too. Thanks! Va

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