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I love our 100-word stories! We have a few new ones – here are two. 

When I was ten my mother gathered us kids together to tell us our father had cancer and didn't have long to live. She informed us we would be getting back into church because we needed God.  That changed my life.  I became active in youth group and grew as a believer, but stepped away during college. I got back involved after getting married in an attempt to save the marriage. It failed.  After divorce, I met my wonderful wife at church and married a second time. I’m growing and searching for my place in the body of Christ. My name is John James, and Jesus is greater than my past. 

I was in a low place. I had attempted suicide and was in the hospital. I faked my way out by acting happy. I asked God for a purpose, and to show me any female who truly cared about me. If these requests weren’t met within the month I planned to permanently leave this life. I went to the youth retreat. I was knighted. I was given a purpose, a way to live - and seven girls who showed they genuinely cared about me presented knighthood to me. I told the youth leaders I wanted to grow closer to God - and I have. My name is Kevin Howell, and Jesus is greater than my past. 

See you Sunday, Dan

Is life a crapshoot? Is control an illusion?

A friend lives right, eats right, exercises and expects to be healthy, but dies young. Someone else lives a messed-up life, exercises nightly by eating Oreos with bacon, and lives to be 100. We not only expected them to die young, we almost wanted it!

God has a plan we call "The Upper Story." He can see the past and the future with the present. He knows what He is doing. We're stuck down in "The Lower Story" under the floor-mat of the car without a clue. All we can see is a few decades, and we want to know why the lazy jerk lived so long when the disciplined friend died so young.

I think we all have questions we'd like to ask God about what happens down here in The Lower Story. When we see Him we may not have the nerve, but right now, we'd like to ask!

This Sunday we will go deeper into God's Plan for us - what it is and how to follow it. Meanwhile, I hope this verse is helpful.

The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. I Peter 5:10 (MSG)


Some of you have been asking for the list of God's Promises we were praying through on Sunday. Here they are!

  1. God > my desires. He [God] has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires. 2 Peter 1:4 (NLT)
  2. God's plans > my plans. I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
  3. God > my burdens. Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
  4. God > my weakness. He [God] gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. 30 Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. 31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29 (NLT)
  5. God > my needs. This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
  6. God > my sin. The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. . . If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 6:23, 10:9 (NLT)
  7. God >my death. The love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children's children. Psalms 103:17 (NLT)
  8. God > my fear. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NLT) Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Psalms 23:4 (NLT) "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (NLT)
  9. God > my slavery to sin. If the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36 (NLT)
  10. God > my weakness. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
  11. God > my past. Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
  12. God's love > all. Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37 (NLT)

See you Sunday for Aaron's Ordination!

Why doesn’t God work like He did in the old days?

In the old days God split the Red Sea to save the Israelites from Pharaoh, shut the mouths of lions to save Daniel from Nebuchadnezzar, and brought Jesus back from the dead and freaked out the Pharisees. Now we sing songs.

Jesus said “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” John 5:17niv. If God is still working, He is still making enemies. If God is still working, He is still working through His people.

God is still working, and He wants to work through you. Come Sunday to find out how.

Every time-travel movie from "Back to the Future" to "Star Trek" teaches us the same lesson, the things we do in the past affect what happens to us in the future. Go back far enough and stepping on a beetle can insure you were never born! This idea has crept into the real world as well. Everywhere I turn I see people's pasts very much alive in their present. The things they have done and the mistakes they have made still haunt their steps and cloud their minds. The story of Esther teaches us that our past doesn't have to define our future. God can and does use us regardless of what mistakes we made in the past! Find out more this Sunday!