The Monday Funnies – Last Day on Earth

Calvin & Hobbes - Saturday last day on earth

If you knew today was your last day on Earth, how would you live differently?

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2014 Bill Waterson.

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It’s a New Season: Surviving Life’s Storms – #Sermon of the Week

IT’S A NEW SEASON: SURVIVING LIFE’S STORMS

(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

New Season

OPENING TEXT: “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NKJV).

  • It’s a New Season! God wants us to forget the past and move into the future!
  • “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” (Phil. 3:13-14, NLT).

THE BIG IDEA: Jesus never promised us a life without storms. However, He did promise to be our peace in the midst of those storms.

1.  JESUS IS IN OUR BOAT:

“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” (Mark 4:35).

  • As Christians on the journey of life, it’s helpful to remember that Jesus is in our boat.
  • The disciples were in this particular boat being obedient to the command of Jesus.
    • Sometimes we think we only get into trouble when we’re being disobedient.

2.  STORMS ARE INEVITABLE:

“Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow…” (Mark 4:36-38a).

  • “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have PEACE. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
    • We need to realize that storms will come – they are inevitable!
    • However, if you have Jesus in your boat, you can have peace in those storms.
  • What storm are you facing in your life?
    • Relationship storm? Financial storm? Health storm? Emotional storm (no peace)?
    • Whatever your storm, don’t forget who’s in the boat with you – Jesus!
  • Where was Jesus in the storm? He was so at-peace that He was sleeping!

3.  WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A STORM – GO TO JESUS:

 

“And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing? Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:38b-39).

  • Don’t we normally say the same thing when trouble comes in our lives?
  • Just because we’re in a storm doesn’t mean God doesn’t care about us

4.  AFTER THE STORM WE RECEIVE A NEW REVELATION OF JESUS:

 

“But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:40-41).

  • After Jesus calmed the storm, the disciples had a new revelation of the Prince of Peace.
  • Jesus will visit us in our storms and troubles, too!

 

HOW CAN WE EXPERIENCE THE PRINCE OF PEACE?

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6, NLT).

  • How can we experience His peace in our lives?

 

  1. DON’T WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING:

25 “So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. 28 “And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith! 31 “So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. 32 Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, 33 and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:25-34, NLT).

2.  PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING:

  • What did the disciples do in their storm? They went to Jesus. This is wisdom!
  • Peter writes: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).
    • If you give your cares to God, then who has them? Leave them with Him!
    • Illustration: Put your prayer requests in a bag by the top of your door.

3.  THANK GOD FOR ALL HE HAS DONE:

 

  • We usually start to worry when we focus on our problems and not on God.
  • Take the time to write out a Blessing List of all the good things God has done for you.

 

4.  PURSUE PEACE IN ALL OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:

  • God cares a lot about peace in our relationships – and it doesn’t happen by accident!
    • Romans 14:19: “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace.”

 

WHEN WE DO THESE THINGS, WHAT IS THE RESULT?

“If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7, NLT).

Storms will come, but they don’t have to overcome you.

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The Weekend Funnies – What’s Important in Life

Calvin & Hobbes - life

What’s really important in life?

Tonight, I sat down to watch a football movie with the family called The Fifth Quarter, the inspirational true story of a young teenage boy named Luke Abbate who was in a car accident. It was a very moving story that reminded me of the terrible car accident my son Caleb and his football friends were in one year ago this month.

And so I want to challenge you with this question again:

What’s really important in life?

If you need a hint, it’s really simple:

Relationships.

Your family.

Your friends.

Don’t waste one more day being too busy and distracted.

Spend time with them.

Draw close to them.

Love them.

Hug them.

Connect deeply with them.

Forgive them when they make mistakes.

Remember, life is precious!

The Fifth Quarter

(Calvin and Hobbes (c) 2014 Bill Waterson).

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Jesus: Friend of Sinners; Peter: Friend of Jesus – #Sermon of the Week

JESUS: FRIEND OF SINNERS; PETER: FRIEND OF JESUS

(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

Friend of Sinners

INTRO TO SPEAKER: Discuss our road trip to BC and rained-out camping trip with my family.

INTRO TO TOPIC: I wrestled all week with a topic for this morning’s message. When I woke up this morning, I asked the Lord, “What do you want me to tell your people?” I felt like he said, “Tell them about my friend Peter.”

THE BIG IDEA: The life of the disciple Peter teaches us much about the amazing, unconditional love that Jesus has for us as sinners that can transform our lives.

1. Jesus Called Peter to Follow Him: Matthew 4:17-20

 

“From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

2. Peter Walked on Water with Jesus: Matthew 14:23-31

 

23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

  • Peter was reckless, but Jesus was always there to catch him when he fell.
  • This is the second time Jesus said to Peter: “Do not be afraid.”
  • You don’t have to be afraid when you know that the Good Shepherd is with you!

3. Peter Declared that Jesus is the Christ: Matthew 16:16-17:

 

“Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”

 

4. Peter Rebuked Jesus for Talking about the Cross: Matthew 16:21-23

 

“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.””

5. Peter Always Asked Jesus Lots of Questions: Matthew 18:21-22

 

“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

 

6. Peter Was Proud and Confident in His Own Abilities: Luke 22:31-34

 

“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

 

7. Peter Fell Asleep While He was Supposed to be Praying: Mark 14:37

 

“Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?”

 

8. Peter had Unresolved Anger Issues: John 18:20

 

“Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.”

 

9. Peter Denied Jesus Three Times: Luke 22:54-62

 

54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.” 57 But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”

 

10. Jesus Called Peter a Second Time and Restored him: John 21:15-17

 

  • After Jesus died on the cross, Peter had gone back to fishing
  • After Jesus was raised from the dead, He came looking for Peter.

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”

PERSONAL TESTIMONY: I’m not Superman, you know!

  • I used to think I could do it on my own, but like Peter I realize I can’t.
  • Last Thursday I went to an Overcomer’s Outreach 12 step program.
  • It’s not just for people who struggle with drugs and alcohol.
  • People there struggled with gambling, pornography, suicide and depression.
  • They were on step #1 of the 12 step program:
  • “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.” (Substitute alcohol with any sin).
  • “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.” (Romans 7:15-17, NLT).

SUMMARY OF PETER’S LESSONS:

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13).

CHALLENGE:

Do you want to change? Do you want help and hope, peace and joy, and strength in your life?

Do you realize that you are powerless over sin and that your life is unmanageable?

  • Come to Jesus in prayer. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
  • Spend time in His Word. It’s the truth that will make you free (John 8:31).
  • Be committed to open and honest relationships with other Christians. As we confess our sins to one another and pray for one another, we can be healed.

PRAYER

Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca

Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: http://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/

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The Weekend Funnies – On Kindness and Unconditional Friendships

May God bless your life with many friends who will shower you with kindness and love you unconditionally!

Calvin & Hobbes - Sunday friends

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32).

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2014 Bill Waterson.

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Encouragement from the Psalms for YOU Today

Beloved – whatever you’re going through today, I pray that the words of this Psalm would encourage your heart…

Psalm 32 7

“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7, NKJV).

Here is the entire Psalm, in the New Living Translation:

1 A psalm of David. Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! 3 When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude 5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude

6 Therefore, let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. 7 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude 8 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” 10 Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD. 11 So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure! ” (Psalm 32).

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The Ragamuffin Gospel – 25 Years of Walking with Jesus – #Sermon of the Week

THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL: 25 YEARS OF WALKING WITH JESUS

(August 2014 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

INTRO TO SPEAKER: This month, I am celebrating 25 years of walking with Jesus! It was August 1989, in a farmhouse outside of Lacombe, Alberta, where I first met Jesus… This message shares one of the most powerful, profound truths I have learned about God – His amazing grace and unconditional love.

OPENING TEXT:

“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” So He spoke this parable to them, saying…” (Luke 15:1-3, NKJV).

THE DRAMATIZED STORY OF THE PRODIGAL SON: (Based on Luke 15:11-32).

Cast: The Father, The Son Jimmy, The Son Johnny, Three Cool Friends

illustrated sermon

It was a beautiful summer day! The Father was sitting around the dinner table with his sons, Jimmy, and Johnny. The Father said, “My sons!”

Jimmy said, “Yes, Father?”

Johnny ignored his dad. Johnny said, “I’m not listening!”

The Father said, “I want to give you some very important advice. If you want a happy life, don’t waste it partying or drinking whiskey, and most importantly, never eat bacon!”

Jimmy nodded and smiled, “Okay, Father!”

Johnny said, “No way! Father, I want my share of your money now, instead of waiting until you die.”

The Father was shocked, but sadly, he agreed to divide his money between his two sons. A few days later, Johnny packed all his stuff, but before he left the house:

The Father said, “Son, no matter where you go or what you do, I will always love you.”

And so, Johnny ran far away from home, where he wasted all of his money on wild living. He made three cool new friends. The four of them partied. They danced. They drank whiskey. And they ate bacon! However, Johnny’s money soon ran out, and when it did, his three cool new friends run out, too, skipping merrily away, saying, “See you later dude!”

So Johnny was broke: he had no money, no friends, and his Daddy was far away. Then Johnny became really hungry. He asked a farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. Think about it! Johnny wasn’t even supposed to eat bacon, and now he was taking care of pigs. Johnny was so hungry that even the food he was feeding the pigs looked good to him, but no one gave him anything.

When he finally smartened up, he said to himself, “At home even the servants have lots of food, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my Father and say, Father, I have been a really bad boy. Please take me on as a servant.”

So he returned home to The Father. And while Johnny was still a long distance away, The Father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, The Father ran to his son, hugged him, and kissed him. His son said to him, “Father, I have been a really bad sinner! I partied, I drank whiskey… I even ate bacon!”

But The Father said to the servants, “Quick! Bring the best clothes in the house and put them on him. And kill the fat old cow so we can have a BBQ. We must celebrate, for my son was dead and has returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.” So the party began.

MY TESTIMONY:

  • Got saved, went to Surrey, BC to attend Bible College at Christ for the Nations.
  • Talk about experience in the first church I attended while there: You couldn’t be real there. If you struggled with sin, you kept it to yourself.

LIFE-CHANGING BOOK:

  • The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (and All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon).
  • Revolutionized my understanding of Christianity!

QUOTES FROM THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL:

Ragamuffin“(The Ragamuffin Gospel) is not for legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rules than run the risk of living in union with Jesus… (it) was written for the bedraggled, beat-up and burnt-out. It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other. It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it altogether and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace. It is for inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker…

“It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents. It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet on clay. It is for the bent and bruised to feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God. It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags. (It is) for anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the way.”

  • Since I first read this book in 1996, I have read this book over ten times. If I find a really good book, I will sometimes read it a second time. This book is powerful!

POWER QUOTE #1: (Morton Kelsey).

“The church is not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners.”

  • This quote was revolutionary for me!
  • Church is not a place where we come to dress up and pretend our lives are perfect!
  • It’s a place to admit we struggle with sin, and love, accept and forgive one another.

POWER QUOTE #2: (Thomas Merton).

“A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God.”

MORE QUOTES FROM THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL:

“Any church that will not accept that it consists of sinful men and women, and exists for them, implicitly rejects the gospel of grace…

“Often I have been asked, “Brennan, how is it possible that you became an alcoholic after you got saved?” It is possible because I got battered and bruised by loneliness and failure, because I got discouraged, uncertain, guilt-ridden and took my eyes off Jesus. Because the Christ-encounter did not transform me into an angel…

“This is the God of the gospel of grace. A god, who out of love for us, sent the only Son he ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for his milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross and died whispering forgiveness on us all.”

BIBLE TEXT: The basis for the teaching in The Ragamuffin Gospel.

“9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:9-13, NLT).

CLOSING PRAYER:

Encouragement that no matter what you have done, you are loved by God!

Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca

Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: http://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/

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