Don’t Be Mr. In Between Pt. 1

My lead Pastor started home from Canada this weekend; so yesterday I got to take the pulpit and address the congregation at Cornerstone Church one last time. The title of the message was “Don’t Be Mr. In Between.” Here for discussion is pt. 1

Today our study together from the Word of God is taken from the Book of James Chapter 4. Let’s begin in Verse 1

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

You adulterers![a] Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.[b] And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

Today we are talking about friendship with the world and what it does to us.

In 1944 Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen wrote a song that went like this:

As Johnny says, I feel a sermon comin’ on.

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Pastor Wrinkles Sunday Quotes & Quips

Hey there folks! Here is a new challenge for all my Sunday readers. Every Sunday I will post one quip or quote that struck me during the week. You can join along in the quipping and quoting. Here is what to do.

Publish a post of your own using one quip or quote that grabbed you during the week. You can add a picture to it if you like or even photograph the quote from it’s source.

Link back to my post

You can include the Pastor Wrinkle’s Q& Q photo in your post if you think my mug worthy of your blog.

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Here is my quip for the week. I found it on a church sign near my home.
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The Everyday and the Mundane: Photo Challenge

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “(Extra)ordinary.”

There is a song I love to sing, by Matt Redman, called “Your Grace Finds Me”

The second verse says,

It’s there on the mountaintop
There in the everyday and the mundane
There in the sorrow and the dancing
Your great grace, Oh such grace.

His grace can be seen in every little thing if we just take the time to look.

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His grace can be found: In the unflagging loyalty of man’s best friend;

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In the blessing of color that comes from a simple cold snap mixed with a plain green leaf;

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In an ordinary meal shared amongst friends;

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And in one single very out of the way life that changed everything.

Jealousy Demanding As the Grave Pt. 4

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We have been discussing the nature of God’s love for us in this series.

If you have missed any part of the conversation you can pick it up

HERE

HERE

AND HERE

Today we are discussing the JEALOUS NATURE of God.

God loves you. God is crazy for you and that makes Him jealous for you.

God is not jealous of you. He is jealous for you. He wants to be first and only in your life. He wants the final word on everything: He wants the final word on what church you go to; He wants the final word on how much time you spend in private prayer; He wants the final word on what ministry you participate in; He wants the final word on whom you date and on whom you marry or even if you marry; He wants the final word on where you work and the final word on what you do with your free time; When you don’t give Him the final word He gets jealous.

If God were a human we would probably call him a control freak or maybe even a stalker; But God is not human. He is the creator of the Universe. We were made for Him and He has given all of Himself to us. Only when we let Him be God can our lives truly begin to click.

When we don’t let God call the shots we are practicing idolatry. God knows idolatry will destroy us. It will wreck our lives. He is jealous for us because He knows that He is what is best for us. Hear me, if we can come to the place where every decision is put before Him, the place where we willingly submit to His plan, then our lives will be truly full, meaningful and all that they should be.

Do you know God loves you? Do you know that He is protecting you. Do you know that HE is thinking about you? Do you know that He is jealous for you because He wants to see you become everything you can be and not be held back by distractions and idols that will destroy you?

So what should our response be to this kind of love?

Jesus loved us so much He died for us so that we might have eternal life. In light of that we should receive His gift of love. We should live for Him. And we should prioritize His kingdom.

Three responses to His love.

Receive His gift. Receive Him. In prayer let Him know  that His love is free to invade you and you won’t fight it.

Live for Him. Every single one of us has an area of personal holiness that the Spirit is talking to us about. Living for Him means to start obeying Him.

Finally prioritize His kingdom. He loved us enough to include us in the Kingdom. He expects us to be part of building it. When the Jews rebuilt Jerusalem under their governor Nehemiah no one got to sit down and watch while the rest worked. Every man and every woman for that matter in the city had a part in building the part of the wall that was nearest to their house.

Your responsibility as one of God’s loved ones is to build the part of the Kingdom that is near you. Support what God is doing in your area. God is crazy in love with us and we should desire to show Him crazy love back by receiving His gift, by living for Him and by prioritizing His kingdom.

Where have you seen the love of God active in your life this week?

Share Your World 2015 Week #41

Sharing time again folks!

Our hostess Cee from Oregon posts five questions we answer them and voila the world is shared.

In fact why don’t you check out answers from around the world by clicking on this link right here.

BUT FIRST HERE ARE MY ANSWERS!

What genre of music do you like?

I like classical, country and jazz but what I listen to most is Indie worship on Spotify. I love me some Brian and Katie Torwalt

What is the worst thing you ate this last week?

Last week was a week of what I would call functional eating. Which means I ate to live and keep running the engine but honestly I don’t remember any meal from last week which probably means I ate a lot of pop tarts and peanut butter toast. This week promises to be about the same. I see a lot of ramen in my future.

Would you like to be famous?  In what way?

Not really. I am Okay with my current level of fame. There is a price that comes with popularity and it is truly a fickle thing.

Complete this sentence:  This sandwich could really use some …

mayonnaise. Most everything is better with mayonnaise except of course peanut butter and cookies and pudding and well…. Most sandwiches are better with mayonnaise. 😉

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful that I got to preach again last week at Cornerstone church. This week I am looking forward to our 5th annual C.cada art show. My sister and I are performing on Friday night.

Jealousy Demanding As the Grave Pt. 3

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Much can be said about the love of God, more than we have room for here. Still, we have begun speaking of it and so we must continue until our meager powers fail, though the depth of love never will.

If you have missed our conversation on God’s radical love up to this point, you can catch up

HERE

AND HERE

Now let’s continue with our discussion about God’s love…

God is crazy about you! He wants what is best for you! He sees what is best better than you do! Everything God does is motivated out of love for you and what is best for you. when you fight against it you are fighting against true love and your own blessing.

You see, God knows what is best for you because…He thinks about you constantly. In fact He cannot get you off of His mind Psalm 139:17-18

How precious are your thoughts about me,b O God.

They cannot be numbered!

18I can’t even count them;

they outnumber the grains of sand!

The truth is, He has been thinking about you since before the foundations of the earth. In fact,He had your life all planned out and was thinking about how to be involved in it before you were even born Psalm 139 goes on to say,

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16

God loves you. He knew every trial you would face. He knew every difficulty you would walk through and some of you have been through life threatening difficulties. He was there with you in them. You survived because of Him and He has a plan to redeem even the most evil of circumstances. He is going to give you back what you have lost. He is going to restore you to better than you were. He is going to heal the wound that Satan put in your body and in your spirit. He is going to save you unto eternal life because He loves you desperately. Remember, if you give Him an inch He’ll take a mile (see pt. 2) .  All you have to do to experience that redemption, that deliverance, that healing, that restoration is let Him in and then follow where He leads.

How is your life leading you to God’s restoration right now?

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Murals

We are in the second week of Cee’s “MANMADE CHALLENGE” and this week she has asked us to show her murals.

C.cada is the artist’s ministry of our church. A few months ago I asked our artists a question, “What is your God project?”

Several of our artists took up the challenge and donated their time and talents to refurbish the playroom in our local pediatrics ward.

Here are the results
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Artist Lisa Johnson and her section.
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Artist Elijah Haas at his post.
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Ken Knowlton and his train.
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The bridge that Charlotte Dorais built.
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Wendy Brouillet the brick maker.

Jealousy Demanding As the Grave Pt. 2

Yesterday we started a discussion on the love of God. If you missed it you can find the conversation…

HERE

Oh the deep deep love of Jesus!

Oh the deep deep love of Jesus!

Now on to today’s topic…

Do you understand God loves you?  Because God loves you He is trying to save your eternal life.

To save your eternal life God continually works to draw you away from sin and into righteousness. He actively works to get sin out of your life. He is trying to rescue you from danger. Sin is dangerous. The truth is though,many of us don’t hold a biblical worldview of sin. We don’t really think sin is all that dangerous. In fact much of the time we consider sin just another form of fun!

And we are not wrong in that.

In Hebrews 11:25 we are taught that there is a pleasure to sin that lasts for a season. This is the part of sin that is fun. It is the part of sin that makes us think that God is trying to withhold something good from us when He tries to get us away from sin. Truth be told, It is pleasurable to sin.

But the Bible tells us that sin is a double-edged sword.

In Hebrews chapter 10 we are warned, “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.”

You see, God loves you enough to protect you from that which will ultimately destroy you.

Here is something else I know about God. If you give Him and inch He is going to take a mile. This is something that many of you didn’t get when you invited Jesus to be Lord of your life. Jesus is absolutely crazy about you. Because He loves you, He is not content with just a tiny little bit of you. That being said, many of us joined the faith thinking we were just going to get forgiven of our sins by Jesus. We thought we would have this passing acquaintance with Him. You know what I mean. We planned to visit Jesus for special events. We planned to check in with Him when it was convenient. We thought we might do stuff for him if it wasn’t too inconvenient. Nothing serious. Easy Peasy.

The only problem is that is not how God thought about it on the day you approached Him for forgiveness. On that day, He moved in and set up residence. He started trying to take over. Now you find God is messing with your life and you don’t like it. You want to be forgiven. God wants you to be Holy. You want to go out and party on a Friday night after work and God shows up in your heart and starts making you feel all guilty about that drink in your hand or the girl at your hip. He just won’t leave you alone.

You feel like David in Psalm 139 when he said

I can never escape from your Spirit!

I can never get away from your presence!

8If I go up to heaven, you are there;

if I go down to the grave,a you are there.

9If I ride the wings of the morning,

if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

10even there your hand will guide me,

and your strength will support me.

11I could ask the darkness to hide me

and the light around me to become night—

12but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day.

Do you ever feel like you cannot get away from God but you wish you could?