Family Lines — September, 2013

Posted by on August 30, 2013 under Bulletins, Front Page Announcements, Uncategorized

Family Lines — September 1, 2013

Family Lines — September 8, 2013

Family Lines — September 15, 2013

Family Lines — September 22, 2013

Family Lines — September 29, 2013


Back to School Blessing

Posted by on August 18, 2013 under Front Page Posts, Sermons

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Blessing 1

Sermon for August 18, 2013 by Chris Benjamin

Blessing 1 — Prayer for Kindergarten – 12th grade led by Ted Knight

Blessing 2 — Prayer for teachers and school workers led by Larry Todd and

Prayer for college students and college faculty led by Dave Cogswell

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Blessing 2

Sermon for August 11, 2013

Posted by on August 11, 2013 under Front Page Posts, Sermons

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Sermon for August 11, 2013 by Chris Benjamin

Blue Jeans Sunday — 2,095 pairs!

Posted by on August 9, 2013 under Front Page Announcements

Update October 4, 2013 — 2,095 pairs of blue jeans were given!  Thank you to the Mulberry, Dayton and 9th Street congregations who also contributed, making this an area-wide effort. 

To God be the glory!

Wear a pair.  Share a pair.

Some of us wear blue jeans to worship every Sunday.  Some of us wear them only on a few occasions.  Some wear them just on this day, and some wear them never.  It’s all good.

Regardless of your choice of attire for worship, please let’s all bring a pair of jeans (or more) to donate to the Hope Chest.  Blue jeans – especially men’s and children’s jeans – are an important item in the Hope Chest’s ministry.  The Hope Chest specializes in giving clothing to those in need.  No item is as needed or as useful as blue jeans.

We will announce a goal for the number of jeans needed.  In the meantime, start gathering all the jeans you can find.


What Does It Mean to Have a King?

Posted by on August 4, 2013 under Front Page Posts, Sermons

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KingSermon for August 4, 2013 by Chris Benjamin

Our worship is loaded with royal language.  We sing of thrones and majesty.  We pray to the Lord.  We speak of sovereignty.  We bow our heads in reverence.

But what does it mean to have a king?

For most Americans, having a king means watching the Windsor family of the U.K. as if they were another reality show.

"Windsor Dynasty"

“Windsor Dynasty”

They are a pleasant but sometimes troubled bunch who are quite mannerly and high class (except when they misbehave).  They wear fancy uniforms and big hats but they do not have any real authority – which seems to make them all the more endearing to most Americans.

It is amazing that we continue to be fascinated by this single set of royals.  The new baby is named George and it was his ancestor named George that burned us on the whole notion of kings over 200 years ago.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweeden and Daniel

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel

Why aren’t we more diverse in our appreciation of royal families?  For example, Princess Victoria of Sweden married her personal trainer, Daniel.  You have to appreciate the fact that this “non-royal” man married a princess and he didn’t have to slay a dragon to earn the opportunity.


Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain

Our nation has as many ties with Spain as it does Britain.  So why aren’t we paying attention to the Spanish Royals.  Prince Felipe has a beard that makes him resemble a pirate or “The World’s Most Interesting Man.”  His new bride was a news anchorwoman.  She also wears strange hats.

As long as we are going to take an interest in royals, let’s take an interest in those with actual political power.

King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarch.  It’s good to be the king! But I suppose we think of him as a political leader rather the impressive yet harmless royals with whom our supermarket papers are obsessed.

Are we obsessed with the British royalty because the Queen has had such a long reign?  Before anyone tells me that Queen Elizabeth II has been around for a long time, let me say that the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, has reigned since 1946.  He was king for six years before Elizabeth II was crowned.  He is the world’s longest-reigning current monarch.  We should give him some credit.  The King and his wife, Queen Sirikit, are incredibly popular and loved by the people of Thailand.  He even hung out with Elvis Presley and seemed to enjoy it.  The King of Thailand and the King of Rock!

The King meets The King

The King meets The King

Why does any of this matter?  It matters because it demonstrates that Americans do not know what it means to have a king.  A colleague from South Africa in graduate school pointed that out to me years ago.  I believe he is right.  Our understanding of royal concepts in Scripture and worship are hindered by our National Inquirer relationship with one royal family.  We do not get it when we speak of the Lord of Lords.  I believe we treat the title Lord as nothing more than a show of respect like saying “Sir and Ma’am.”  What we should grasp is that having a king means much more than respect.

What does it mean to have a king?  It means we know that one person has true authority.  Jesus said it himself, “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18).  That authority hasn’t been given to anyone else since then.  Jesus needs no heir since he is eternal.  Church leadership is one thing.  We have many gifts of leadership in the church, but authority rests solely with the King – that is, Jesus Christ.  Church government is not a difficult concept to understand.  Regardless of how one positions elders, pastors, deacons, apostles, bishops or any other office, church government is an absolutely monarchy with Jesus Christ as king and everyone else as subject.  End of discussion.

What does it mean to have a king? It means we know the lasting significance of the gospel.  The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus are about three-fourths of the early church’s confession of the gospel.  The remaining fourth was the testimony that the risen Christ is exalted to rule as God’s King.  (see Phil. 2:9-11)  God has exalted Christ and given him a name above all names.  Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord.  It is not an option, just a matter of when.  Americans may not understand this because our history is unique, but even with our unique government we do have a King.  No, it’s not the royalty of any nation on earth.  It is the King over the Kingdom of God.

What does it mean to have a king?  It means we have someone to follow.  That means we bow down.  We do not elect a king.  We do not crown him king.  We do not make him King.  God has done that.  We bow down.  Which means we worship.  Our worship is a political act of reverence to the true power in heaven and earth.  This is why empires and governments get nervous about the Christian faith at times.  Faithful Christians recognize one lasting authority.  Sure, we may be respectful of other governments and even serve them when they are not opposed to the way of the King, but our allegiance and obedience is reserved solely for the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  All of our other commitments are an outgrowth of that single allegiance.

Without a king, we find ourselves in the sad situation described in Judges 17, 18, 19, and 21 – “In those days Israel had no king and everyone did what seemed right in their own eyes.”  The king is the defender and standard of what is right and just.  We look to the king for the standard of what is right.  Otherwise everyone is right, which means no one is.

What does it mean to have a king?  It means that we must choose a side.  There is no where on earth where Christ is not king.  There’s no such thing as a Christian nation because there’s no such thing as a non-Christian nation.  Those are concepts left over from Christendom and they assume that a government may opt-in to the Kingdom of God.  A reading of Scripture indicates that it doesn’t work like that.  Christ is king everywhere and in everything.  His rule is complete.  Some choose to accept it, whereas others reject it.  Rejecting the authority does not nullify it.  All the world may resist and war against Christ and his followers  but the Lamb of God will triumph because God has made him Lord of Lords and King of Kings. (see Rev. 17:14)


Family Lines — August, 2013

Posted by on August 2, 2013 under Bulletins, Front Page Announcements

Family Lines — August 4, 2013

Family Lines — August 11, 2013

Family Lines — August 18, 2013

Family Lines — August 25, 2013