The Lewiston’s Final Day

Wow! The end of a brief but very significant era in Cornerstone Church WInchendon’s history has come. Yesterday was the Pastors Lewiston’s last day. It was a seventeen hour day for me (hence the reason for my lack of posting), but it was one I shall not soon forget.

Here is Pastor Dan and Jen’s final service with us at Cornerstone.

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Now we move as a church into that space called transition!

Sermon Quotes: You Are Not Forgotten

Our Next Gen Pastor ( whose name just happens to be Pastor Jen) preached the Mother’s Day Message today.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and on stage

Here are some powerful quotes from the sermon entitled “Forgotten”

Not everyone gets to see the miracle. Lack of faith can cut us out of the room where the

miracle happens.- Jen Lewiston

When we refuse to read the Bible we make a God of our own creation.- Jen Lewiston

If we  serving Jesus, we will walk in freedom.- Jen Lewiston

We are Jesus’ inheritance. He will never let us go.- Jen Lewiston

Stop Panicking. God will not fail you!- Jen Lewiston

Do My White Socks Offend You Pt. 6

Do My White Socks

Today is the last segment of this sermon series from Palm Sunday. It has been a long time in coming but we are at last at the finish. I hope it has spoke to you.

If you would like to hear the sermon in its entirety you can find it HERE AT NOTES FROM THE VICARAGE.

Here is out final segment:

We are called to draw our lines in the sand with meekness and love and one more thing. Jesus drew His line in the sand at the triumphal entry with worship. Let’s look back at the Scripture:

“The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

‘Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!’

‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’[c]

‘Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!’.” Ma. 21

Now please understand me Jesus line was not about music. It was not about any song. Worship is not music. It is the act of putting God first and obeying what He tells you to do. It is about suspending your wants and desires because you know what God wants, what God  desires and you are going to do that instead.

 Can I just say you can come to church every Sunday and sing songs with us and still never worship God. Your song does not become worship until it is directed from a heart that is focused solely on loving God and obeying His will for your life.

Jesus worshiped the Father when he rode into Jerusalem that day. Do you know why what he did was worship? It was worship because in the chapter right before Jesus Triumphal entry Matthew records another event.

 “Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18 ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!’.” Matthew 20:17-19

We know from His prayer in Gethsemane that Jesus did not want to die, but he had suspended his wants and desires in order to worship His Father.

Your line in the sand is going to require that you suspend your wants and desires in order to fulfill God’s purposes. You are going to have to go against your own flesh in this because your flesh does not want to honor God. It will raise up any reason it can find to keep you from doing honoring your Lord.

We are all coming to our line in the sand moments. Do my white socks offend you? Well hold on because my white socks are nothing in comparison to the choices I…we are about to make for the kingdom of God. The lines in the sand are good things. It is only beyond these lines in the sand that the miracles our lives were always meant to be are found…but there is a cost. In order to draw our lines in the sand we have to say good bye to the status quo and we have to follow  the advice of our lead Pastor’s wife, Pastor Jen, to be “All In”. God has called each and everyone of us to this place we are in for this season of our life and the life of our community. God is asking, “What will you do with this moment?”.

 

Do My White Socks Offend You Pt. 5

Do My White Socks

It is time for another installment of “Do My White Socks Offend You”. This is a sermon I recently preached.

If you want to view the service in its entirety you can check it out HERE.

Here is today’s installment.

When we draw our lines in the sand we have now learned we have to do it meekly but more than that we also need to draw those lines in the sand with a loving spirit. Jesus entered Jerusalem and drew His line in the sand declaring himself king of the world with love as his governing motive. He did not come to Jerusalem thinking of himself he came thinking primarily of others. How do we know this?

John chapter 13 gives us a glimpse into his heart when John writes,

“Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.”

You see while Jesus’ disciples and followers looked at his triumphal entry as his declaration of power over Rome and the Sanhedrin, Jesus understood that the week he was about to face was not about his power but about his sacrifice. He didn’t ride into Jerusalem thinking about becoming king of the world. He came into Jerusalem with the mindset of loving the world and sacrificing Himself for it. His kingship meant little to Him at that moment. What mattered was His relationship to the people of the world He was about to die for. 

You need to understand that your line in the sand must be drawn with love. If it is going to matter for eternity your line in the sand must not be about what is good for you. It must be about what is good for the people you are sent to: the people of your family, your neighborhood, your workplace, your community.

Your line in the sand if it is drawn with love erases the question “What’s in it for me?”

It causes you to ask this question instead “What will help them?”

When that becomes the real question of your life then no price is too high to pay in money, work or reputation. Nothing matters except loving others as Jesus did!

 

Do My White Socks Offend You Pt. 4

Do My White Socks

Here is Pt. 4 of Cornerstone’s Palm Sunday service, “Do My White Socks Offend You.”

Jesus triumphal entry teaches us how we are to draw our own lines in the sand when the time comes. Here is the first of three takeaways from Jesus’ triumphal entry that will inform how we are to live and enter and draw our own lines in the sand when the time comes.

 We need to draw our lines in the sand with meekness.

Jesus drew his line in the sand at the triumphal entry with meekness or gentleness.

“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[
a]

Jesus had all the power in the world. He had hands that cleansed leprosy with a touch, a voice that controlled demons and raised the dead. He had the power to walk on water and to control the weather. He could make food appear out of thin air, and he had the ability to see the future. He could kill with a word as he had demonstrated with the fig tree, and heal people without even being present. He had the favor of the people at that moment, and you know he could have chosen a Roman war horse to ride in on. Instead Jesus , the king of Kings and Lord of Lords decided to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. He had all kinds of power he could have used and yet he chose to ride in among the people the same way his mother had ridden into  Bethlehem 33 years before, on a donkey.

A week later Jesus said this to his disciple Peter when Peter tried to defend him with violence,

“Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:52-54

If Jesus line drawing was done humbly and gently and non-violently should our line drawing be done in any different attitude?

So many of our brothers and sisters have forgotten that our warfare is not like the world’s warfare. We don’t fight like the world fights any longer. Galatians 5:20-23 tells us we are called to leave behind malice, hatred, quarreling, division, dissension and jealousy and we are called to fight with the weapons of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

More tomorrow:

If you lilked this you can find the whole service by clicking HERE TO GO OVER TO NOTES FROM THE VICARAGE.

Do My White Socks Offend You Pt. 3

Do My White Socks

Today we continue with Part 3 of our Pal Sunday sermon from Cornerstone Church.

If you want to hear the service in its entirety you can click HERE.

TO READ PT. 1 CLICK HERE!

TO READ PT. 2 CLICK HERE!

Now here are today’s thoughts:

 I don’t know about you but for myself I do not mind having people disagree with me about little things like the color of my socks, but on things that are really important I do not want to cause a kerfuffle with the community around me. I want to be seen as nice and wonderful and totally acceptable. When it comes to the important things in life I am more liable to just keep a low profile so as not to make waves. 

Unfortunately, that is not how Jesus works. That is not how Christianity works. Wherever God goes He makes a palpable difference. Even if people do not realize it right up front God always makes a splash, a change, a tectonic shift. His church is no different. God’s church should be an agent of change in a community.

 Here are some of the things people said about Jesus church in the first century:

“A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

28When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29Soon the whole city was in an uproar. ” Acts 19:24-28

In another place it says this:

“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying,“This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.

Assault on Jason’s House

But the Jews [a]who were not persuaded, [b]becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.  Acts 17:1-6

We are about to start drawing lines that matter in the sand. When we do it may very well turn the world upside down because the healing message of Jesus is not a subculture of our current culture. It is a counter culture to our current culture. We preach Christ crucified, risen and coming again to judge the living and the dead and the world says, “There is no God except the ones we make with our own hands and minds and God serves us. We are the real gods.”

Do My White Socks Offend You Pt. 1

Do My White Socks

I had the privilege of preaching the Palm Sunday Message at Cornerstone Church in Winchendon MA last weekend. Below you will find part 1 of the Transcript of the sermon. To see a video of the whole service you can CLICK HERE.

DO MY WHITE SOCKS OFFEND YOU?

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday. That is the day the Christian Church celebrates one of the most controversial moves Jesus made in his entire ministry, the triumphal Entry into the city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. The triumphal entry was bigger than Jesus healing people on Saturdays (for which he almost got stoned). It was bigger than rebuking the Pharisees and Saducees together ( that would be like taking on both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress and telling them they all smoke crack). It was more important than Jesus feeding 5,000 people with two loaves of bread and a few small fish or his walking on water. It was even bigger than His raising of Lazarus from the dead. This one act was more important than the sermon on the Mount, or His teaching about the last days of mankind. This one act was Jesus line in the sand moment where He made a stand about who and what He was.

By this act, He was stating to all the Jews and by extension all the world, “ I am not just a teacher. I am not just a prophet. I am not just a healer. I am the Messiah, the Savior of mankind. I am the One promised to Eve at the beginning of time, the One who has come to crush the serpent, the Devil, the ancient enemy of God and all mankind. I am the One promised to Moses. I am the Son of David the One destined to sit on the throne of the world forever and set all things right. I am the One promised to all the prophets that was coming to take away the sin of the world and bring light to all mankind.”

Oh, Jesus  said that He was the Messiah to small groups of people throughout the course of His three year ministry, but never had He given the nation and the whole world a clear cut sign that He was laying claim the throne of David. That is until this day.

Let’s read it in the Scripture

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[
a]

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Matthew 21:1-11