FRL NOW 3-31-17 : He has made us competent

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

Do you know the story of the Marshall Thundering Herd football program? On November 13, 1970, the team boarded Southern Airways flight 932 in Kinston, North Carolina, after a tough loss at the hands of the East Carolina Pirates. At 7:36 that evening, as the plane was descending through the fog and rain, it collided with the tops of trees and then crashed into the side of a hill just short of the Huntington airport. All 75 people on board were killed.

The Marshall football program was wiped out that day. The tragedy left many wondering if Marshall would ever field a football team again.

Marshall was determined to come back. The university hired Jack Lengyel as the new head coach to resurrect the program. No one was sure if he (or anyone else) could do it.
Finding players was one of his toughest tasks. He recruited players from the baseball and basketball teams, and he opened the doors to walk-ons. The first season after the crash, Marshall won one game, a come-from-behind thriller against Xavier.

Lengyel had done his job. He breathed new life into the Marshall football program.

In 2006, Hollywood told the story on-screen in We Are Marshall. Matthew McConaughey played Jack Lengyel. It is one of my favorite sports movies. The story is deeply moving and inspirational. In one scene, the board of regents is deliberating the future of the program. Students gather outside the building and begin to chant, “We are Marshall!” This was the turning point. It galvanized the university, the students, and the community in support of the program. I’ll admit, the movie really tugged at my heartstrings because of the connection I saw with the new covenant life we’ve been called to live.

“We are Marshall” was much more than a chant. It was a bold declaration of purpose. The football program was here to stay, and there was no turning back.

Are you ready to make a declaration? God in his grace and mercy delivered you into the New Covenant. That is where he wants you to be, and that’s where you are. Think about this: You will never be outside God’s favor. You are in his favor, and there is no turning back.

It’s time to fully embrace God’s perfect plan and will for you. It’s time to say, “I am a new-covenant believer.”

If you need encouragement, follow Paul’s lead. “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).  (by Bob Christopher)

Friday Night Ride 3/31/17 TONIGHT WE RIDE! Meet at Kohl’s parking lot, 98th & Indiana Ave. at 6pm. At 6:30 we will take a fun ride to a fun place for fun food! Don’t miss out!

“We are New Covenant!”
Tony

FRL NOW 3-24-17 : Jesus gives us the wind of the Holy Spirit

Many of you know that I sometimes spend the night in my travel trailer up in Amarillo. Last night, as the wind gusted to near 70 mph, I laid awake praying, “Lord, please keep me parked in the same spot I’ve paid for, I don’t care to pay for another one.” As always, my prayers were answered.

I’ll admit that my faith got week a few times. I was certain I would need ruby slippers to get back home once the sun rose. At the least, I was expecting to find my sewer hose blowing across the park and contaminating the neighbor’s RV space. At one point, I thought about going outside and checking on it. Then I realized if it were loose I would never catch it. It would be like chasing the wind.

“Chasing the wind” is mentioned 5 times in chapters 1&2 of Ecclesiastes. Solomon, who in all his wisdom at the end of his life, begins the book by telling us life is meaningless. Well that was the news I wanted to start my day with! Meaningless – vanity, transitory, empty and fleeting. He has tried it all. Excuses… that make us blush. Good enterprises… that went awry. Education… as the “Renaissance Man” he was. Yet, he writes, “Meaningless, meaningless…” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

But back to “Chasing the wind”, all five of them:
I can imagine one of our granddaughters outside, chasing a leaf blown in the wind, to no avail. Or even me chasing the sewer hose. No, the granddaughter and the leaf is a prettier picture.  Either way, to no avail. Trying to catch the wind is ultimate futility.

You can’t catch the wind. It will drive you crazy trying. Like the silent movie, Lillian Gish’s “The Wind”. The unyielding wind of the Texas prairie drives her literally insane. Images of her tiny body facing into the unrelenting wind, trying to keep the intrusive dust out of her log house, are ones I’ll never forget.

Eventhough I was concerned about being in an RV last night, I was sheltered. Like knowing Jesus, who keeps us safe and secure. Tunneling near to the heart of God… finding shelter from life’s windy blasts… Without the stability of God’s love anchoring us to safety and shelter, life would be little more than meaningless “chasing after the wind.”

Jesus gives us the wind of the Holy Spirit. He’s a gentle breeze that feels good and clean. The Holy Spirit is the dependable reason for whatever season we find ourselves in. Comfort and council, all from God’s Holy Spirit, make for certain riches to our daily grind. Even old Solomon would say “amen” to that!

Friday Night Dinner Ride 3-24-17 We’ll skip the windy ride and meet at Rib Crib at 6:30pm for fellowship and great food. Don’t miss it!

Find safe lodging in Him!
Tony

FRL NOW 3-17-17 : Worship Service

Jesus invited ten men to a worship service. They didn’t have to drive or get a ride - Jesus just showed up where they were. Imagine that! Being in the physical presence of our Savior. And this wasn’t just any worship service. Ten men were invited, all ten were suffering from a debilitating illness, and all ten men were healed. Wow! Wouldn’t you want to be there?
 
But sadly, only one experienced true worship. Only one fell at the feet of Jesus and then rose to dance with joy. Ten left, thrilled to be healed, but only one returned to experience deeper levels of being in the presence of Jesus Christ. What brought him back? Gratitude. He came back to say thank you to God, the Creator, the Healer, the Giver of all good gifts. Jesus’ response is amazement at how few received the totality of His offer.
 
One of them, when he realized that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.” Luke 17:15–20
 
Worship always begins by faith. And becomes a life-changing force in every area and moment of our lives through thanksgiving. My friends, nothing will change our attitudes, our relationships, or our response to circumstances like thanksgiving. Gratitude is when you respond in humility for all you have received, for all that Christ has already done, and is the very best way to approach the whole of our lives. (more…)

FRL NOW 3-3-17 : Is it OK to drop OMG’s?

It is not uncommon to hear people toss around God’s name as the exclamation point of their frustration. Their angst or excitement is not usually directed at God but nevertheless his name seems to find its way into our canned responses (even in texts with “OMG”). In the last year I have heard an uptick of Christians engaging in the same routine. So here is the question, “Is it OK to drop OMG’s (Oh, my God!)?”

Answer: No (with some qualification).

The obvious Scripture here is the 3rd of the 10 Commandments:

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7)

There is a command and a consequence. The command is don’t take God’s name in vain and the consequence is judgment. This should get our attention.

But what does it mean? The word translated “vain” means worthless, empty, inconsequential or false. It means that the object is lacking in value. God says don’t take my name and empty it of value by making it another common, inconsequential word. (more…)