Have you ever read Revelation 12 in contrast to the traditional scirptural account of the Christmas season? When you read the Revelation, Luke and Matthew passages you are struck with a stark contrast of the two Christmas stories. One (Revelation) that is very dark and troubling, and the other that appears to be more soft and sweet in its tones. In Philip Yancey’s book, The Jesus I Never Knew, he references this contrast and provides the following observation.
Revelation is a strange book by any measure, and readers must understand its style to make sense of this extraordinary spectacle. In daily life two parallel histories occur simultaneously, one on earth and one in heaven. Revelation, however, views them together, allowing a quick look behind the scenes. On earth a baby was born, a king got wind of it, a chase ensued. In heaven the Great Invasion had begun, a daring raid by the ruler of the forces of good into the universe’s seat of evil… Continue reading
On Sunday, right after our North Campus worship time, I had the pleasure to lead out in a really unique way. A few families here at FBC have begun a ministry called Early Angels for those couples that have endured miscarriages. Though these tragic events are fairly common in today’s society, what is not common is the knowledge about when/if they do happen. This tends to be the case in the church when families and young children typically roam the range with great volume!
Both campuses held an “Infant Loss Remembrance Service” on Sunday. At North we had a simple, but intimate, time with a few of our families that wanted to celebrate the lives of those babies that never lived to see their very own parents’ faces. I was really nervous because Trish and I have never had to endure this severe heart break in our marriage, and I was at a loss as to what to say to couples that have.
Fortunately we have the Bible and its accounts of how Christ endured pain and heartache. Thru my own tears of compassion for my fellow Christ-followers and friends, all I could muster up were the following passages in Psalms and in John. The passage in Psalms is really validated by what Christ does in the account found in John. We can’t answer why these losses occur, but I do know that Christ understands better than anyone. I left them with a statement that I have heard my pastor use over and over in funeral settings… “As much as you loved your baby, Jesus Christ loved them more. So much more, that he felt it best to call them home early.”
The reality is that I am absolutely blessed to be a dad, but I am scared to death to raise LT and his soon-to-be little brother in a world full of strife and ugliness. It would be the hardest thing for me to face, the death of a child, but I do have hope that heaven is a much better place for anyone – including children… born or unborn.
There are moments along the way in the life of an organization that can make or break it. We don’t know yet if the North Campus Summer Splash was one of those, but it was definitely a defining moment! There is something powerful about a bunch of people coming together simply for the sake of ‘community.’ Of course the biggest moment of the afternoon/evening was the baptism portion.
On Sunday evening we were able to celebrate 6 lives that have been changed by God over the course of their respective lives. As a pastor, it doesn’t get any better than to have an active part in helping people celebrate and communicate their desire for God and his plan for their life through baptism. It was an awesome (in the truest since of the word) perspective to stand in a pool with each of the candidates while looking up to see over 200 beaming believers cheering on these changed individuals! Continue reading