A Brother Who Smuggled a Book

20170622_120853Yesterday was the first official day of summer and because of that I felt led to write this blog. It’s about a brother who smuggled a book. And I hope what you read inspires you to reach new heights on your spiritual journey between now and Labor Day.

The brother that this blog is about??? A man named Brother Andrew. He is often called “God’s Smuggler” as well as “God’s Secret Agent.” He is one of those modern day heroes of the faith that I have heard of but, in reality, didn’t really know much about. So I picked up his biography simply titled Brother Andrew: God’s Secret Agent (part of the awesome Christian Heroes: Then and Now series) and was blown away at what I read.

In a nutshell, Brother Andrew felt God gave him a lifelong mission to get the Bible into the hands of Christians in Communist countries where it was illegal. And he risked his life over and over to do exactly that as he traveled across eastern Europe, the U.S.S.R., and China.

While his courage was inspirational, what really rocked me was how the Christians who lived “behind the Iron Curtain” reacted when they saw what Brother Andrew had in his backpack.

For example, here is what happened when Brother Andrew gave a Bible to a group of Christians in Bulgaria: “The members of the church would gasp when they saw it, and as they passed it from one to the other to examine it, tears would run down their cheeks.” (p.183). Imagine being emotionally moved like that when you picked up your Bible!

Later on in his life, Brother Andrew focused his efforts on getting Bibles behind the “Bamboo Curtain” of Communist China. In underground churches in China, Bibles “were in such short supply that a Bible would be cut apart and sections of it handed around so that people could memorize it” (p.210). Imagine only having one page of God’s Word in your possession and treasuring it to that degree!

As I read story after story in that biography, I felt like the Holy Spirit brought a healthy conviction on me. Not guilt, but conviction, and there is a world of difference between the two. 🙂

The conviction? Read, study, reflect on, and memorize the Bible like never before.

The timing of reading the book about Brother Andrew was not coincidental. When it came to my personal Bible reading, I have been in a valley as of late. I still have been reading it regularly but not as much as before and far from the level of passion that I have read it in the past. So the biography put the wind in my sails that I needed.

All that to say, I knew what I wanted for Father’s Day: a new Study Bible! Granted I already own an NIV Study Bible but I decided to take the advice I have given to many folks at my church: when you aren’t reading the Bible as much as you’d like, sometimes “just what the doctor ordered” is to buy a new translation which will allow you to read the Bible with fresh eyes.

So Kellie and the kiddos took a trip to the new LifeWay Christian Store near Lakeside Mall (where the old Family Christian used to be located) and got me the brand new CSB Study Bible. And… I… love… it!

I had been reading the CSB translation (which is a cross between the NIV and ESV when it comes to readability) for a couple months now, but the Study Bible version of it — with it’s 16,000 study notes!! — just got published. And I am thankful it did.

With July 4th right around the corner, a day when we celebrate our country’s birthday, let me say this… I am thankful I live in a country where you can drive to a store to buy a Bible… and where there are dozens of versions to choose from… and there is no fear of arrest or imprisonment for owning a copy of it.

May you — and I — not take for granted the privilege it truly is to own a Bible. And may we not be content only reading it here and there. May we become like Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 3:3) and consume the sacred text. Not so we can win a Bible trivia contest, but so we can better follow our Rabbi as His disciples.

P.S. #1. To help you put this blog into practice, attached is a Bible Reading Plan that I created for our church family. It’s a 13-page document with a day-by-day plan as well as other hints and tips in how to get the most out of God’s Word. Click HERE for your free copy.

P.S. #2. If you live in my local area, go support the new LifeWay store. They are having a Grand Opening sale this week and giving out 40% off coupons. So you could buy a new Study Bible at a very affordable price!

***Americans are people of action, aren’t we? So we love it when God gives us marching orders to “go” and “do.” But what about when God says, “Wait?” What do we do when God presses the pause button? Well, that is exactly what happened in Acts 1 between the Ascension of Jesus and the Day of Pentecost. Jesus told His followers to “wait.” But as they waited, they didn’t sit around and do nothing. Instead they pressed into three critical areas that prepared them for what was right around the corner. And we need to learn from them and do the same! Please join us at The Eastside Vineyard Church on June 25th at 10:30am at our new location at Wiley Elementary School (near 21 Mile & Van Dyke at 47240 Shelby Rd. in Utica)! More info at tevchurch.org***

Posted in Uncategorized

Surprising Words From Billy Graham About the Holy Spirit

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 2.00.04 PM.pngWe are a few days removed from celebrating the day of Pentecost (it fell on June 4th this year) and because of that, I want to share a couple quotes with you. A heads up that the SECOND quote is from Billy Graham, but as you read this first quote I want you to guess who said it. Here goes:

I am convinced that to be filled with the Spirit is not an option, but a necessity. It is indispensable for the abundant life and for fruitful service. The Spirit-filled life is not abnormal; it is the normal Christian life. Anything less is subnormal; it is less than what God wants and provides for His children. Therefore, to be filled with the Spirit should never be thought of as an unusual or unique experience for, or known by, only a select few. It is intended for all, needed by all, and available to all. That is why the Scripture commands all of us, ‘be filled with the Spirit.’

If you had to guess who said those words, I bet most of you would say they came from a Pentecostal preacher that held tent revivals back in the day or an overly Charismatic Christian.

But the truth is, that quote came from none other than… Billy Graham! And in case you are wondering, this is not one of those urban legend quotes that you read on the internet, where words are put in the mouth of someone who never actually said them. (Side note: here is my favorite one of those: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” – Abrahma Lincoln 🙂 )

That quote from Billy Graham appears on page 127 of his book: The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power In Your Life.

And I bet it surprised you that those words come from Billy Graham. I know I was surprised — even shocked — when I first read them.

But if those words don’t surprise you, these will. They are found on page 112-113 of the same book: “I think it proper to say that anyone who is not Spirit-filled is a defective Christian. Paul’s command to the Ephesians Christians, “Be filled with the Spirit,” is binding on all of us Christians everywhere in every age. There are no exceptions. We must conclude that since we are ordered to be filled with the Spirit, we are sinning if we are not filled.

I wanted to share those quotes from Billy Graham because it shows us that being filled (a.k.a., baptized) with the Holy Spirit is NOT just a doctrine or a belief for charismatic Christians or Pentecostals. This is for ALL of us!

And that is what I will be teaching on this coming Sunday as we continue our series called Acts 29. My sermon is titled “Baptized with the Holy Spirit” and if you like this blog I hope you join us!

But between now and Sunday I want to ask you this question, a question that comes right from what Billy Graham said: Are you living a normal or abnormal Christian life?

According to the first quote I shared, Billy Graham says that the Spirit-filled life is NORMAL while not being filled with the Spirit is ABNORMAL. So are you living a normal or abnormal Christian life?

My hope is that everyone reading this blog would press into the forgotten member of the Trinity — the Holy Spirit — and begin to live the NORMAL Christian life… which means that we would be filled with the Spirit.

***Please join us on June 11th at 10:30am at The Eastside Vineyard Church. My sermon is titled “Baptized With the Holy Spirit.” We will be meeting for the FINAL TIME inside of Shelby Jr. High (51700 Van Dyke // 2 blocks north of 23 Mile). More info at tevchurch.org***

Posted in Uncategorized

The Holiday of Pentecost

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 11.54.13 AMWe can’t imagine treating December 25th like any other day and then waking up on December 26th and thinking, “Wasn’t Christmas around this time of year?” 🙂

But I am guessing that is exactly what is going to happen to millions of Christians living in America over the next week. Not when it comes to Christmas but to another major holiday on the church calendar: the day of Pentecost which is celebrated on June 4th this year.

That is what this blog is all about. And to set the stage for it, I need to talk a bit about cars and a bit about shapes as well. 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 11.55.06 AM

My dad at one of the plants he worked at as an electrician at Chrysler

Back when I was growing up in the suburbs of the Motor City, there was the Big 3 in the automotive industry: GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

And we were a Chrysler family. Because that’s where my dad worked and that is where he retired. So we were loyal to Chrysler. And that is a huge reason why I drive my PT Cruiser. 🙂

So there was The Big 3 when it came to the automotive industry AND there was a Big 3 when it came to church as well.

I grew up going to church and I always thought there were just the Big 3 when it came to the major Christian holidays: Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter.

Now when it comes to Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter, I have heard various pastors and Christian authors argue about which of those events associated with the life of Jesus is most important. And I have heard arguments about how each one of those trumps the other two.

To me, that is like trying to argue which side of a triangle is the most important.

Obviously when it comes to a triangle you need all 3 sides in order for the shape to be a triangle. And when it comes to our spiritual journey, all of those events of Jesus’ life are “must haves”: His birth AND His death AND His resurrection… AND, by the way, His ascension.

After all, when Jesus rose from the dead, He didn’t keep walking the earth for the rest of His existence. Instead, He rose from the dead and then He ascended to Heaven 40 days later.

You might wonder, what’s the big deal about that? Here is the answer straight from the mouth of Jesus:

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me . . . in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.” – John 16:5,7 (NLT).

The “Advocate” is another name for the Holy Spirit. So Jesus was saying He needed to leave earth and ascend to Heaven SO THAT the Holy Spirit would come.

In fact, Jesus said it was BETTER that He left earth instead of sticking around.

Think about that for a moment.

According to our Lord and Savior, if you had to pick between two options: EITHER an “in the flesh” Jesus remaining on earth for the past 2,000 years OR sending the Holy Spirit… Jesus chooses option B.

So the fact that the Holy Spirit was going to come was a big, big deal. A game changer.

And the way God sovereignly orchestrated things was to have the Holy Spirit come to earth on one particular day: Pentecost.

The day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2 is the day everything changed. It’s the day the Holy Spirit came in power. It’s the day the Holy Spirit filled believers. In fact, it’s considered the birthday of the church!

So in reality, we should not think of the major Christian holidays as the Big 3, but the Big 4 with Pentecost being the 4th holiday.

So if you are thinking in terms of shapes when it comes to major Christian holidays… it’s not a triangle but a square. And just like we need all four sides of a square, we need all four holidays. We need Christmas AND Good Friday AND Easter Sunday AND the day of Pentecost.

So I have a crazy dream I am praying about…

I pray that the day of Pentecost (celebrated on June 4th this year) would be viewed by Christians at OUR church and by Christians across the country as being as big of a deal as Christmas and Good Friday and Easter. That this Sunday would be a “can’t miss” day to go to church. That this Sunday would be a day where we reflect on the role the Holy Sprit has in our lives. That this Sunday would be a day when we read our Bibles about what happened back in the days of the early church and we passionately pray that those things would happen again in our day. That not a single Christian across the country would wake up on June 5th and wonder, “Wasn’t Pentecost around this time of year?”

And by the way, if you are reading this blog and you live in southeastern Michigan I’d love to have you celebrate the day of Pentecost with us! But instead of doing one sermon about the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 and then going back to “business as usual” we are going to spend the entire summer in the first few chapters of the book of Acts in a series we are calling Acts 29.

***Please join us on June 4th at 10:30am at The Eastside Vineyard Church as we celebrate the holiday of Pentecost. We gather (for now!) inside of Shelby Jr. High (51700 Van Dyke // 2 blocks north of 23 Mile). More info at tevchurch.org***

Posted in Uncategorized

Don’t “Jump Ahead” to Easter Sunday

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 6.38.09 AMI am writing this on the Wednesday of what is known as Holy Week. So we are 48 hours away from Good Friday and 4 days away from Easter Sunday.

As a Christian living in America, it’s very easy to blow right past Good Friday and focus on Easter Sunday. After all, Easter is the day of the big party over grandma’s house. It’s the day you give your kids a basket of goodies. It’s the day everybody dresses up. After all, there is no such thing as “Good Friday” bonnet, is there? 🙂

So I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to write this blog to encourage you to take Holy Week one day at a time. Tomorrow is known as “Maundy Thursday” (and just how it got that name is a topic for another blog!) which is when Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. Then you have Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and finally Easter Sunday.

So here are some things to think about to help you slow down and focus on Good Friday…

For the joy set before Jesus, He endured the cross… (Hebrews 12:2). The joy set before Him was you and me. The joy set before Him was our freedom from sin. The joy set before Him was making it possible for us to become children of God.

And the Cross was the ONLY WAY to make those things happen.

To explain why the Cross was the only way, let me take you back to a fascinating verse of events that took place the day before Jesus was going to die. The Last Supper has just taken place and Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane:

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39).

This is an absolutely fascinating verse! After all, Jesus was predestined to go to the Cross. Theologians like to say Jesus was born to die.

So the Cross was the culmination of God’s plan of salvation.

But less than 24 hours before the first nail was driven into Jesus’ hand, the Son asks the Father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”

In other words, Jesus is saying: Is there any other way we can do this? Is there any other way we can accomplish what we need to accomplish? I know this has always been the plan. But can we pull an audible at the last minute? Is there any other way to defeat the devil, sin, and death?

Now don’t miss this…God is a good good Father. And a good Father would not have had His Son go to the Cross IF there was any other way to accomplish the same goal.

Therefore, Jesus HAD to go to the Cross. There was NO other option.

God the Father did not want Jesus to be crucified because He was a mean dad. And Jesus didn’t choose to be crucified because He enjoyed pain.

For the past month, we have been in a series at our church called Reconsidering the Meaning of the Cross. As Christians living in America we need to re-think what we assume about the Cross. We need to re-think things to fully grasp what the Cross accomplished and oftentimes our church background gets in the way of that. Familiarity with the Cross has led to unfamiliarity!

We need to realize that the Cross was the only way to defeat the devil and defeat sin and defeat death. And this makes sense when we begin to wake up to the fact. That we are in war zone.

We need to view the Cross as an an instrument of war and Jesus’ death as an act of war in what is known as spiritual warfare… to defeat Satan and his works, including sin and death.

So because of that… because of the Cross… may you and I not “jump ahead” to Easter Sunday. May we take Holy Week one day at a time. And here are three practical ways to do that:

  1. Between now and Easter Sunday follow a special Bible reading plan. Click HERE. It’s a blog I wrote a few years ago that contains a harmonization of all 4 gospels that contains a list of passages to read, focused on the final 24 hours of Jesus’ life from the Last Supper to the Tomb.
  2. Treat Good Friday as the unique day that it is. Don’t spend those 24 hours like you do any other day of the year. Because it’s not any other day. It’s Good Friday. So here are some suggestions: Turn off the radio when you drive to work and pray instead. Fast from food. Keep the TV off. Spend extra time in the Bible that day. Serve at a soup kitchen.
  3. Go to church on Good Friday. Hopefully this blog will re-wire your thinking so that going to church on Good Friday isn’t an obligation that you “ought” to do but something you are compelled to do. And if you live in southeastern Michigan we’d love to have you come to our service! Info is below.

***We’d love to see everyone twice this weekend at The Eastside Vineyard Church. We are having a service on Good Friday at 7:00pm and Easter Sunday at 10:30am. My sermons are titled “Good Good Friday” and “Life AFTER Death… and Life BEFORE Death.” More details about both services can be found at tevchurch.org***

Posted in Uncategorized

Stumbling Toward Easter

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 8.13.40 AMI woke up this morning and turned the calendar on our fridge to a new month (Yes, we are “old school” at the Kopp house!).

Can you believe it’s already April?

Because it’s April 1st that means we are just two weeks away from Good Friday and Easter. So here’s a question for you… how prepared are you for those two days? I’m not talking about whether or not you bought your ham yet or if you started to clean your house for the big party. I’m talking about how spiritually prepared you are.

The reason I felt compelled to write this blog is because I have been stumbling my way through Lent so far. Back when Lent began, I had grand ideas of how laser focused I was going to be on Jesus from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. But busyness and distractions have ruled the day instead.

So this past Monday I got out my journal and wrote how I wanted to do a spiritual reboot. Even though this season of Lent has been far from a spiritual mountain experience for me up to this point, I realized that I still had a few weeks left and I was going to press in instead of throw in the towel.

So here are some changes I made as well as some things that have been going right. I write these not to puff myself up but to offer them as suggestions for you to consider:

Bible – The Bible reading plan I have been trying to follow just hasn’t been working for me. So I decided to go “old school” and begin reading through the gospels, a few chapters a day. I started John on Monday and I am through chapter 16 as I write this. If you are 100% happy with how much you have been “in” your Bible, keep on doing it! But if not, try a new approach. Click HERE for two reading plans you may want to follow (It’s the green-colored link in the middle of the page that says “Download our Experiencing Lent Handout.”)

Temple – Because of our Family on Mission giving campaign at our church, I didn’t go to Planet Fitness a single time since the end of January. My monthly dues have been donations! 🙂 And yes that last sentence was a joke, but I am actually quite mad at myself about that. So I made the decision this past Monday to re-commit to treating my body like the temple of the Holy Spirit that it is (see 1 Cor. 6:19). And I am happy to report I went to the gym five mornings in a row this week. What would it look like for you to “honor your temple” between now and Easter Sunday?

“Leftovers” – Because of the demands the church has been putting on my schedule, Kellie and the kids have been getting my leftovers. And yet, Jesus says the Greatest Commandment is to “love your neighbor” (see Matthew 22:37-39) and your “neighbors” include those living inside your own home! So I went out of my way this week to reject passivity and engage with my family by playing a dozen games of chess with my oldest daughter Faith, among other things. What about you? What would rejecting passivity look like for you?

Hunger – “God make me more hungry for you!” That has been one of the cries of my heart during Lent. And one thing I have done very consistently during Lent is fast from all food one day per week, typically on Tuesdays. And every time my stomach growled, I prayed, asking God to make me as hungry for Him as I am for food. (The Experiencing Lent link I gave you a few paragraphs above has a couple pages of fasting ideas).

Sundays – If your church is like ours, there are four more opportunities to go to church as Lent winds down: this weekend, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter. Draw a line in the sand right now that you are going to be 4 for 4 in church attendance! And when you attend, may you experience the goodness of the Father heart of God.

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are two of the most significant events in the history of the world. And yet, with our overloaded schedules, it’s easy to treat those two days as speed bumps in our hectic lives where we barely slow down as we head toward them.

And if that last paragraph has defined your experience in Lent up to this point… if you have been stumbling toward Easter like I have been doing… today is a new day!

***The Bible teaches that Jesus came to earth to defeat the devil (see 1 John 3:8), which He accomplished through His death of the Cross. But have you ever thought about why Jesus had to die an excruciating death to defeat the devil instead of just wiping Satan out of existence with a puff of His breath? My sermon is titled The Devil is in the Details. Bring your “thinking caps” and please join us on Sunday April 2nd at 10:30am as we continue our series “Reconsidering the Meaning of the Cross.”. The Eastside Vineyard Church gathers inside Shelby Jr. High (51700 Van Dyke // 2 blocks north of 23 Mile). More info at tevchurch.org***

Posted in Uncategorized

Was God a “Good Good Father” When It Came to the Cross?

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 1.27.41 AM.pngUnquestioned assumptions. We all have them. We simply assume certain things to be true and never question those beliefs.

Like the fact that the sky is blue (do you know why?). How gasoline makes a car run. Why so many things taste like chicken? 🙂

Or John 3:16.

It’s the Bible verse you see on a sign in the end zone in NFL games. And one you are bound to see during the March Madness tournament, if you haven’t already. And if you are reading this blog, I am guessing you heard it dozens of times over the years at church:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NIV)

That is arguably the most famous Bible verse of them all. But have you ever thought about what the key verb is saying? What it means when it says the Father “gave” His Son?

One of my favorite worship songs is Good Good Father. It’s simple chorus is actually quite profound. You’re a good good Father… it’s who You are. And I’m loved by You… it’s who I am.

But here is a tough question: was He a good good Father by what He did in John 3:16?

When it says the Father “gave” His Son, that is talking about the Cross. It’s talking about the fact that Jesus was crucified on a day we now call Good Friday.

So here is a question. It’s a TOUGH question. And I want to ask it in strictly human terms. So put your theology on the shelf for a moment.

Would a “good good father” have his son or daughter killed?

Think about it.

If you are a parent, you know the answer to that question. And the answer is NO WAY.

If anything you’d do the opposite, right? If you are a good mom or a good dad and if someone had to die, you would give up your life for your child in a heartbeat, right? I know I’d give up my life for Faith, Evelyn, or Elizabeth if I had to. And so would Kellie.

That’s what good parents do. And we are far from perfect. So shouldn’t a perfect Father do the same?

And yet, that isn’t what John 3:16 says. It says the opposite. It says the Father “gave” His Son. Which means the Father offered His Son to be sacrificed.

Feeling any theological tension right about now? 🙂

And of course you can say, “Yes, the Father did that to Jesus, but He did it because of His love for US!” Well, that doesn’t sound very loving to Jesus, now does it?

When I chose to write this blog, I decided to raise these questions but leave them unanswered… for now. To invite you to think. To encourage you to love God with your mind. To wrestle with assumptions about the Cross you may have never questioned.

And… to invite you to our new series at The Eastside Vineyard!

This Sunday I am launching a sermon series called Reconsidering the Meaning of the Cross. Now thru Easter Sunday we are going to look at the Cross — and the Empty Tomb — in a unique way. Questioning unquestioned assumptions about some of our core beliefs. With the hope that the answers you learn will help you experience the goodness of the Father heart of God in a way you never have before.

So please join us! Everything kicks off March 26th with my sermon titled The “Wrath” of a “Good” God??? The Eastside Vineyard Church gathers at 10:30am inside Shelby Jr. High (51700 Van Dyke // 2 blocks north of 23 Mile). More info at tevchurch.org

I hope to see you Sunday! And be sure to bring your “thinking caps!”

Posted in Uncategorized

The Man Behind the Holiday

20170313_132214Last week during our six-day power outage, Kellie, the kids, and I were killing time at Meijer while enjoying a heated building! 🙂 While we were wandering up and down the aisles, I came across their display of stuff for St. Patrick’s Day (see picture). And it reminded me of a blog I wrote a few years back. Here is an updated version of it. Enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day is an interesting cultural phenomenon in my opinion. Those with even an ounce of Irish blood in their body are sure to be dressed in green today. The Chicago River will be dyed green. Irish pubs will be packed to the rafters with green colored beer as the drink of choice. And it’ll be a huge bar day for the non-Irish as well.

For years I thought the previous paragraph pretty much summed up what St. Patrick’s Day was supposed to be all about. Sure, I knew it was named after some Irish guy named Patrick, but I honestly had no idea what he did to get himself a holiday on our calendars.

Then I did some research and was blown away. And that’s why I am writing this blog. To give you a snapshot of the man behind the holiday.

St. Patrick was born in the 4th century in Scotland (he died on March 17, 461… hence the reason why St. Patrick’s Day is March 17 each year).

He was born into a wealthy home and lived a life of privilege. His family’s money came from the profession of Patrick’s father — he was an officer in the Roman army.

However, when Patrick was 16-years-old, everything changed. Patrick was captured by Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate and he was subsequently transported to Ireland and sold into slavery.

Can you imagine that? Going from a life of privilege to a life of chains.

For the next 6 years, Patrick was a slave in Ireland.

But in his 7th year of captivity, in his memoirs Patrick described how he had a dream where a voice spoke to him — God’s voice — and told him to escape and how to do so. The details are sketchy but somehow he made it back to his homeland. Here is where the story becomes fascinating….

God was not done speaking to Patrick.

While back home safe and sound in Scotland, Patrick had another dream. He felt God told him to return to Ireland as a missionary! And Patrick said YES.

He began his religious training which led to his ordination as a priest and then a bishop. In 432 A.D. Bishop Patrick returned to the land where he was enslaved (imagine that!) to share the love of Jesus Christ with the Irish. God blessed his obedience with a fruitful ministry.

In fact, books have been written including How The Irish Saved Civilization that credit Patrick’s missionary efforts for saving Europe and Western Civilization as we know it from the Huns and other barbarian tribes.

You see, St. Patrick’s Day should be about much more than green beer and clothing. It should be a reminder to all of us that God calls us to radical obedience. It should be a reminder that “Faith” is spelled R-I-S-K. It should be a reminder of Jesus’ words: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

***St. Patrick had no doubt what his mission was. What about you? What’s your purpose in life? And how does it relate to the mission Jesus said He had, a mission He says He actually completed BEFORE He went to the Cross? My sermon is titled “The End of the Beginning.” Please come to church this Sunday March 19, 2017 at 10:30am… and stay for the party! We’ll have catered lunch, entertainment and fun for “children” of all ages including our Family On Mission campaign reveal! More info at tevchurch.org***

Posted in Uncategorized