Lenten Blog – 2/22/2018

 

As I was watching the news this morning I heard the news that Billy Graham had died.  Some of you may know I do have a Greek and Hebrew degree from Wheaton College, where he also went to school.  This is part of the email Wheaton sent out this morning.   

 

Billy Graham preached the gospel to 215 million people in live audiences in 185 countries and territories at more than 400 crusades, missions, and evangelistic rallies. His influence for the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ is beyond human measure. He provided spiritual counsel to every president from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama and was sought out by countless other political and religious leaders around the world spanning several generations. Renowned for his humility, transparency, simplicity and integrity, Billy Graham proved faithful to the end as a “prophet with honor.”

I met him twice: once in a meet and greet; and another time I was invited to sit up on the platform behind him during a crusade he was doing in Buffalo in 1988.  His messages were never too complicated.  He always said we are all sinners but God has made a way to get right with Him by the blood and the grace of Jesus, so you can know the peace that only Jesus can bring.   His contact with all of the presidents brought him fame.  The episode that he was a part of in “The Crown” series on Netflix was outstanding in dealing with the challenges of forgiveness.  He made a major impact with Queen Elizabeth.  Even more, he spoke to 215 million people.

For Confirmation instruction this week we are talking about Paul, the Billy Graham of the early church.  More miles, more people, more countries than anyone else of his day. Yet it is always the same Jesus who forgives in Rome in 59, in Buffalo in 1988, and in Tampa in 2018.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:7)

In Christ’s Service, 

Pastor Dave

About Our Worship Services

worship-services

Welcome to Family of Christ

What are our worship services like?

 

Clear and Understandable Worship:
Family of Christ main campus has 3 weekly English Services as well as a weekly Spanish service and a bi-weekly service in Tamil, an Asian Indian dialect. As Jesus, the Son of God came into this world to speak to those in a way they were most comfortable and able to understand, we believe the church should be done in a way that is understandable and clear.

The Importance of God’s Word:
4543060842_e4fdb33047_bAs Lutherans, we have always stressed a Word and Sacrament Ministry. In each service there are usually three scripture readings: an Old Testament; an Epistle reading; and a Gospel reading. We try to bring the whole picture of God as revealed in Holy Scripture. The Sermon each week is centered on one of these readings or on a combination of two or three of them. The Church is not a self help organization but a gathering of people celebrating the grace and love of God we have been given in Jesus. He is always our hope and promise of God’s grace. We know and love God because He has revealed Himself in the person of His Son Jesus. Lutherans are very Christo-centric, which means that we center our faith in the person and message and life and death of Jesus.

Communion:
Lutherans also have a Sacramental understanding of God and his grace reaching out to us each week. We have a weekly celebration of Holy Communion. In this part of the service Jesus bids us to do this to receive His grace and forgiveness in a powerful and unique way. Lutherans believe that we receive in a supernatural way the real presence of Jesus in, with, and under the bread and wine that we have at Communion. If you have any questions about this one of our Pastors will speak in further detail.

Music:
As God speaks to us in varied ways so we speak to God in worship in both prayer and music. Music is very different and we recognize the differing musical ways to sing God’s praises. The Psalms talk of worship with drums and cymbals and the lyre. Our Traditional services use an organ and Piano. Our Contemporary service will most often have guitars, drums and keyboards. Either way we sing and speak from our heart to the One who gives life in this world and eternal life to all who believe. We welcome you to come to any one of our worship services.

We hope you will come and worship with us this weekend.

My Sheep Hear My Voice – Sermon Follow Up

2993207507_743c5f110e_zMy sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
-John 10:27-28

Yesterday was Good Shepherd Sunday.  The Shepherd metaphor in the Bible was absolutely perfect for the people who were the original audience, but today shepherding isn’t so common and we can easily miss some of the meaning of certain aspects of the shepherd metaphor.  At the North Campus we examined Psalm 23 yesterday, digging deep into what each section meant, while also learning a lot about shepherding.

One thing that is amazing about shepherds and their sheep is the relationship that forms between them, at least when they are a good shepherd.  The shepherd watches out for the sheep. He provides for them.  He treats injuries and disease.  He guides them away from danger, even when the sheep seems intent on getting into danger.  He protects them, even with his own life.  A shepherd knows his sheep and they know him.  They trust him and they are completely reliant on their shepherd. [Read more…]

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