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Showing posts from 2013

Prayer Power-Day 12

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Hope in grace

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)

Jesus, Be the Center

This is our prayer that Jesus would be the center of all: our lives, our church, our world.  The song is a little long and repetitive, but a great reminder to keep Jesus central.


Searching for something you already have in Christ?

Below is another quote from Tullian Tchividjian from One Way Love:
Unfortunately, this (story about looking for keys that are in our pockets) is the way so many of us Christians live: searching high and low for something we already have, trying to earn something we've already been given, forgetting that everything we need, we already possess in Christ. Or perhaps it's not that we forget, perhaps it's that we prefer having the "elf on the shelf" keeping track of our every move. It makes us feel safer. We would rather work under duress than live under freedom. Yet this is precisely why we need to hear, each and every week, the basic good news that because Jesus' finished work, we already have all of the justification, approval, significance, security, freedom, validation, love, righteousness, and rescue for which we desperately long--and look for in a thousand things that are infinitely smaller than Jesus.

Prayer Power-Day 11

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Grace before ages began

8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, (2 Timothy 1:8-9)

Merry Christmas from the Martins!

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Wishing you a great Christmas! Celebrate the season as you remember Immanuel, God With Us!


Remember the Light of the World

Tonight is one of my favorite times of worship at Hesston MB.  And many other churches around the world have this tradition as well. We gather as a church family with many extended families joining us too.  We sing carols and hear the Word preached.  We conclude by singing "Silent Night" and lighting candles.  Hear God's Word today with the reason behind this tradition.

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5) But then we are sent out to the world to share this light.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so thatthey may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.(…

God Is Able

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I started reading God Is Able by Priscilla Shirer this month.   

Here is a quote from the introduction:

"In fact, I'm more and more convinced that when He chooses to perform physical miracles in our lives--when He does what we consider supernatural and extraordinary--His chief intention even then is not to blow our minds but to cause our hearts to become more inclined toward Him and aligned with His."

Cornerstone

My hope is built. . . Christ alone.  Be reminded of our Savior.


Slow Driving, K-State Basketball, & A Blessing

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Today, as you may know, K-State played Gonzaga at Intrust Bank Arena.  Mitchell received tickets as an early Christmas present.  My brother-in-law and dad were going to meet us at the game.  However, the weather did not cooperate.  
Mitchell and I left Hesston a little after 12:30 and it was only sprinkling.  By the time, we left Newton it had just started to sleet.  Roads were still fine.  However, that all changed around Sedgwick when the roads became slick and an accident on the other side of the highway slowed everything down.  I prayed and prayed and drove slowly.  We were thankful to make it to Wichita before the roads became too bad.
I tried to find someone before leaving Hesston to use the other two tickets that were available now.  By the time we reached Wichita, I had given up on that thought since I was not going to stand around outside in the cold to try and sell the tickets.  As we approached the entrance, I told Mitchell I needed to go to "Will Call" to get extra…

Spiritual Warfare

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This might not be a typical post during the Christmas season. However, I am preparing to preach from Ephesians 6:10-18 on January 5th and so I was loaned this book.   Prince has a great style of writing and most of his books are easy to read within a few hours. 

Here are a few quotes to consider regarding  the Sword of the Spirit during spiritual warfare:

First, neither Jesus nor Satan even questioned the authority of Scripture.

Second, the basis of every temptation against Jesus was a temptation to doubt. Every time Satan began with the word "if", he called something into doubt.

Third, as I have already indicated, Jesus did not vary His method of dealing with Satan, but always used the same weapon of the Word of God against him. It is written. . .It is written. . .It is also written.



Prayer Power-Day 10

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Lord, I Need You

Here is another song to remind you of our great God and our need of Him.


Sin and God's love

The quote below has helped me understand Scriptures related to sin and God's love.  Tchividjian in One Way Love writes,
"The reason we fight sin, then, is not because our sin blocks God's love for us, but because our sin blocks our love for God and others."

Grace is sufficient

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Prayer Power-Day 9

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Pictures from Hesston MB Christmas Program 2013

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Obedience from grace instead of law

We have come to believe that the law is what makes us obey.  According to Tchividjian in One Way Love, that is not how it worked for Zacchaeus or his life and even yours. 
So the Law serves us by showing us how to love God and others. But we fail to this every day. And when we fail, it is the Gospel that brings comfort by reminding us that God's infinite approval of us doesn't depend on our keeping of the Law but on Christ's keeping of the Law for us. And guess what? This makes me want to obey him more, not less!

Grace abounds in our works

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Prayer Power-Day 8

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Power of the Cross

Here is another song that reminds me of the power of what Jesus did on the cross.  Listen to what it teaches about who God is.




In Jesus' name

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I finished reading through the devotion, Hidden in Christ by James Bryan Smith yesterday.  I loved it!  I would recommend it to all of you.  It is a great reminder of who God is and who we are in Christ.  It is based on Colossians 3:1-17.  It has 30 entries based on words from this passage. 

One of my favorite parts of the 30 entries is the affirmation at the end. Here is the affirmation at the end of the book based on praying "in Jesus' name."
"I am privileged to act, to pray, to minister and to do all that I do in Jesus' name. I do not act alone; I operate with the power and presence of Jesus in all that I do." May we all love others today in the power and presence of Jesus!

Law & grace from Valjean

One of the illustrations that Tchividjian uses in his book, One Way Love comes from the novel, Les Miserables.  Below is a quote from that part of the book.

If the Law is the first word, Grace is the last. Listen closely: The Law exposes Valjean (and us), while Grace exonerates him. The Law diagnoses, but Grace delivers. The Law accuses, Grace acquits. The Law condemns the best of us, while Grace saves the worst of us. The Law says "cursed", Grace says "blessed." The Law says "slave, Grace says "son." The Law says "guilty", Grace says "forgiven." The Law can break a hard heart, but only Grace can heal one.

I can't be the father of a 14 year old!

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Well, actually today, I am.  My son, Mitchell turns 14 today.  Happy Birthday, Mitchell!

From the beginning, he has been keeping us on our toes.  With his early and quick birth to his new games or languages to loving and making videos to being very passionate about sports and his activities, I am proud to call him my son. 



 Have a great 14th birthday, Mitchell!


We are under grace, not the law

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!(Romans 6:14-15)

Perspectives Class Coming to Hesston

Do you wonder what God's plan is for the nations and the world?  Are you part of that plan?  These and many more questions will be discussed as part of a Perspectives Class offered at Hesston Mennonite Church beginning in January.  As a pastor, I would encourage you to participate in this excellent class.  You will hear from a variety of great speakers. 

For more details, go here

Prayer Power-Day 7

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Same Power

Do you realize that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you as the Holy Spirit? As Christians, let's use this power today to point people to Jesus and for His glory.


Crushed by Law

Below you find another quote from One Way Love by Tchividjian.  The purpose of the Law is to point us to Jesus.  Once we realize we cannot measure up to the Law and it has crushed us, we can rest in grace of God.
"But then, once we are recrushed by the Law, we need to be reminded . . .We need to be old over and over that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, that nothing can separate us from God's love, and that Christians live their lives under a banner that reads, "It is finished." "The Gospel declares that Jesus came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. Jesus met all of God's holy conditions so that our relationship with God could be wholly unconditional. The demand maker became a demand keeper and died for me--a demand breaker.

Grace abounds more than sin

20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, (Romans 5:20)

Prayer Power-Day 6

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We Will Remember

Listen to who God is and what He has done!


Worship Fully

Below are notes from my sermon today at Hesston MB Church. 


Pictures from Thanksgiving

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Here are a few pictures from our time in Yates Center over Thanksgiving:





Prayer Power-Day 5

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Christmas Resources for Your Family

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This Sunday, December 1st is the beginning of Advent.  During this Christmas season, many families are looking for resources to help focus on Jesus.  Below, I have listed some of my favorite resources to use with families at Christmastime.  These are available at your local Christian bookstore.


A new resource we are using this Christmas is called The Donkey in the Living Room by Sarah Cunningham.  I met Sarah this past year at the D6 Conference in Louisville.  Unfortunately, it is only available as an ebook this year, but hopefully will be in print for Christmas 2014.   







Adornaments by Family Life












The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel 








What God Wants for Christmas by Family Life





http://truthinthetinsel.com/
http://www.aholyexperience.com/2011/11/free-jesse-tree-advent-family-devotional/

Quote from One Way Love

"The law offends us because it tells us what to do--and most of the time, we hate anyone telling us what to do. But ironically, grace offends us even more, because it tells us that there is nothing we can do, that everything has already been done. And if there is something we hate more than being told what to do, it's being told that we can't do anything, that we can't earn anything--that we are helpless, weak, and needy.

However much we hate the law, we are more afraid of grace."

Stronger

Remember that Jesus is stronger. I am thankful for this promise!  Happy Thanksgiving.


Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wishing you a great Thanksgiving today from the Martin's!

We are celebrating in Yates Center with my family today and then with Bethany's family on Saturday night.  I am looking forward to lots of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and the desserts.  How about you?

Thankful Tree

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Pictured here is a thankful tree made by Richelle Arrasmith and her family.  They were decorations during our Operation Christmas Child Night at Hesston MB last Wednesday. 

The purpose behind the tree is to write on the leaves things you are thankful for.  As you celebrate Thanksgiving today, tomorrow or this weekend, make a thankful tree and remember to thank God for the many blessings in your life. 

34 "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!" (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Prayer Power-Day 4

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Testify to Grace

24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

Overcome

Jesus has won the victory.  Be reminded of what Jesus did on the cross.


Definition of grace by Paul Zahl

In One Way Love, Tchividjian quotes Paul Zahl for a definition of grace.  As you read the definition, be reminded of the grace given for you by Jesus.
"Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unlovable. . . The cliche definition of grace is "unconditional love." It is a true cliche, for it is a good description of the thing. . . Let's go a little further, though. Grace is a love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover. Grace is irrational in the sense that it has nothing to do with weights and measures. It has nothing to do with my intrinsic qualities or so-called "gifts" (whatever they may be). It reflects a decision on the part of the giver, the one who loves, in relation to the receiver, the one who is loved, that negates any qualifications the receiver may personally hold.…

Grace overflows

14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:14)

Prayer Power-Day 3

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More pictures from OCC Night

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Here are some pictures of my family at OCC Night. Check out Hesston MB Facebook page for tons more pictures. Thanks Deb Buhrman!




Whom Shall I Fear?

Here is another song that reminds me of the power of God and His relationship with us. "The One who reigns forever is a friend of mine."  Be reminded that we have no one or nothing to fear.


All Church OCC Night

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We had a great evening at Hesston MB for our first all church OCC Night. The highlight for me were the different generations present. It was fun to have many ages represented. We had a great meal cooked by Richelle & Melinda. My goal for shoeboxes was 100 & we ended up with 165. We hoped for 200 people & exceeded that number as well. To God Be The Glory! Below are a few pictures after we were set up.



Book Review of "One Way Love"

I finished reading One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian a week ago.  I have looked forward to this book and it did not disappoint.  I will be attending the Liberate Conference in February to hear from various speakers on this topic of God's One Way Love for us.

Because of the many great thoughts throughout this book, I have decided to post some longer passages for reflection over the next several weeks. 

Now, to the review.

If you read this blog, you know that Tchividjian is quoted often.  I have been stretched and blessed by his writing and videos.  One Way Love focuses on God's one way love towards us.  Tchividjian speaks about law and grace.  He concludes, and I agree, that the church understands that grace gets us saved, but then we believe it is up to us (our willpower, strength) to keep us saved. 

Throughout the book, Tchividjian explains the purpose of law and grace.  He has a great explanation of what each one accomplishes.  His use of Scripture and personal stories he…

Prayer Power-Day 2

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Grace Greater Than All Our Sin

The song for today ties in with Scriptures about grace as well as the power of God.  Think about this marvelous grace today.


Prayer Power-Day 1

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He gives more grace

6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

Prayer Power by LaVern Loewens

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I was given this resource recently and began reading through the cards today.  I want to share them with you.  Check back throughout the week for these encouraging reminders about prayer.

They were written by LaVern Loewens who is the grandfather of Richelle Arrasmith, Renae Sams, and Rachel Burkholder.  He is Rosemary Prieb's father.  He has given me permission to share with you. 

I hope your prayers will be transformed!

In Christ Alone

As you listen to this song, be reminded of what Christ alone has done for you!


Grace to help in time of need

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

For by grace you have been saved

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Grace extends to more

15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15)

Struggling financially?

Today's song is a kid's song that is a good reminder for all of us.  Over the years, we have struggled financially and wondered how we would pay all of our bills.  But one thing is certain: God provided.  Sometimes we did not like to wait or we rushed ahead, but the truth from the song is true for all of us.  Do you need God to provide today?  Listen to the song and then ask God for His provision.


Justified by grace

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (Romans 3: 21-24)

Our God

One of my favorite Chris Tomlin songs is "Our God."  This is a great reminder of who God is and I love the bridge that reminds us, "God is for us, not against us."  Be reminded about our great God today.


Grace upon grace

16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  (John 1:16-17)















What is grace?

I am going to continue sharing songs that remind me of God's great love and power.  Check back for those twice a week.  But I am also want to start sharing verses about grace because many were encouraged by the identity in Christ verses that I shared for several weeks.

I don't intend to define grace as I begin sharing various Scriptures including the word grace. My hope is that as you read God's Word that you will better understand the amazing grace of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Check back on Friday for the first Scripture.

Recent quotes from Hidden in Christ

I am about halfway through Hidden in Christ by James Bryan Smith.  I thought I would share a few qutoes from the last few chapters I have read.

Making the adjustment from the ways of the world to the ways of the kingdom is hard. But guilt is a poor motivator. Being an apprentice of Jesus is not about rules and laws, it is about identity and place.  The Christian life is not an if-then obligation ("If I do this, then God will do that.") It is a because-therefore opportunity ("Because I am one in whom Christ dwells, therefore I will . . .") The better way to encourage change is to remind people who they are now in contrast to who they once were. God gave us mouths and tongues to comfort and encourage one another.

Book List from #d62013

Have you ever returned from a conference and tried to remember a book you saw at the book table?  I decided to share with you a list of books that were featured at D6 2013 in Louisville.  I hope this helps you find the book you are looking for.


SPEAKERTITLETommy SandersI'm Counting On You Manual OnlyJim BurnsCreating an Intimate MarriageJim BurnsCloser: 52 DevotionsJim BurnsHow God Makes BabiesMichael & Hayley DiMarcoObsessed: Breaking Free From the Things That Consume YouMichael & Hayley DiMarcoThe Brave: Conquering the Fears That Hold You BackRon DealThe Remarriage CheckupRon DealThe Smart StepdadJames DobsonBuilding Confidence in Your ChildJim BurnsThe Purity CodeMichael & Hayley DiMarcoThe God Girl JourneyMichael & Hayley DiMarcoTrue PurityRon DealThe Smart StepmomBeth GuckenbergerReckless FaithEd StetzerTransformational ChurchEd StetzerLost & Found: The Younger Unchurched & the Churches that Reach ThemKurt BrunerTribal Church: Lead Small, Impact BigRi…