From the Pastor

From the Pastor

We are Standing On Holy Ground

I write this article having just returned from Israel. I am drawn to the Holy Land because of the Biblical stories of telling how God encountered His people in that place. Numerous times as we stood in places where our Savior walked we mentioned, “We are standing on holy ground.” In the second book of Kings, chapter 5, we read about a man named Naaman who was healed of his leprosy by the ministry of the prophet Elisha. After washing…

The Come Back Effect

While I was on vacation in Missouri I attended a church that was in the process of taking their welcome of new guests to a new level. They realized that while they had good children’s and youth ministry, great programming, inspiring worship services and good preaching, there was still something needed to retain the guests who visited their church for the first time. They had studied a book titled, “The Comeback Effect” by Jason Young and Jonathon Malm. This book not…

From the Pastor

Like most churches, Wightman had a great celebration of Easter. We did some things we have traditionally done, like the egg hunt. We did some new things, like Journey to the Holy Land. We also did some traditional things in new places, like sunrise service on the Langford Street property. It was great to see so many people coming together to make these things happen. During one event I overheard a person thank someone for their leadership, the one receiving the complement…

Toward the Resurrection

On the 21st of this month we will join with Christians all over the world to celebrate the risen Lord! Of course, we will be focusing on the resurrection passages in the gospels and looking at what happened at the tomb of Jesus on that first Easter morning. In the gospel of Matthew, the women come to the tomb to finish the job of anointing Jesus’ body for burial. When they get to the tomb they find an angel who tells…

Lent

The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which is March 6 this year. Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter Sunday (not including Sundays) where the church focuses on repentance, fasting and preparation for Easter. It is a time when we focus on the cross—that torturous means of execution employed by the Romans. Why would anyone want to focus on the cross? The cross, of course is the place where Jesus died for the sins of the world…

Lenten Study – The Gospel of John

Christina Walker works for the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. A couple of years ago she took part in a research project studying effective outreach of churches. The findings: The first and most important activity of effectively evangelistic churches is to offer a welcoming, inclusive environment most importantly on a Sunday morning. When I was coaching churches who had taken the Natural Church Development survey, not one church thought they were “unwelcoming” even though the survey, which they filled out, indicated…

Going Deep

In the fifth chapter of Luke Jesus tells the disciples to “put out in deep water.” The disciples are tired, they have fished all day and not caught anything. They really don’t want to spend the effort and energy only to come up empty once again. Yet, because Jesus asks them to, they obey and they experience a catch so miraculous it almost sinks their boats. Simon Peter’s response is to fall at the feet of Jesus. He realizes Jesus’…

Presenting the Gospel Story in a Clear Way

With the coming of December, many people’s thoughts are focused on Christmas. The town of Prosperity has already started decorating, the stores have set out specialty items, parties will be aplenty and “goodwill” towards our brothers and sisters reaches a yearly high. Of course the church is no different. Without Christmas, the coming of God’s Son to earth, our worship of God and our relationship with Him would be quite different. I picked up a book this past week about…

A Season of Thanks

November is the month when our nation takes a day to give thanks for the blessings that we have. We know this is something that we shouldn’t do just one day a year, but should do each and every day because we have so much to be thankful for. I guess there are many reasons why we fail to give thanks, but one of those stems from the false idea that we are not blessed “enough.” What I mean by…

Momentum

It’s football season and if you watch a football game you will definitely hear the announcers talk about which team has the momentum. “Momentum” is a physics concept, when an object has momentum it continues to move in the same direction and the more momentum and more mass behind the object, the harder it is to stop. Think of a locomotive. Something that large is hard to stop even when it appears to be moving slowly. And when it picks…

Restoration: Turning the Old into New

Often on the internet I read about classic cars being “found.” Recently at Shelby Mustang prototype was found deteriorating in a field in Texas. There were only two prototypes made and the other one, which has been completely restored is now valued at over one million dollars. The one they recently found needs a lot of work. The front panels are missing, the interior will need to be redone and there’s no telling how much work it will take to…

To the Ends of the Earth

I recently visited the Holy Land and stood on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea at a place called Caesarea Maritima. As I looked out over the waves coming in, the sea looked endless.
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