Baptism – 6.11.17


When John the Baptist appears he is baptizing people as an act of repentance seeking forgiveness from God.
Matthew 3:11
Mark 1:4
1 Peter 3:21

Then Jesus leads us deeper to the idea of a new birth
John 3:5

And now baptism also points back to His death & resurrection
Romans 6:3-8

The reason we are directed to be baptized is we are identifying with Jesus, and His church!
Mt 28:19-20; Acts 2:38-41; 1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:4-6


BLOCKBUSTER – 13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why you should go on a mission trip

1. To expand the kingdom of Jesus – Matthew 28:19-20

2. See there is more to the world than strip malls, cell phones, reality tv, etc. You’ll put less emphasis on material things – Matthew 6:25-33

3. To see that American Christianity is the exception, not the norm

4. And the American dream is not the only dream, maybe not the best dream

5. You need to understand how blessed you really are – many families you encounter on a mission trip have no understanding of A/C, beds or bedrooms, indoor plumbing, running water, or even clean water!

6. You’ll witness true generosity, from people who have maybe a tenth of what you have but insist on feeding you first – Mark 12:41-44

7. To remember that being a Christian isn’t just cleaning up for Sunday but also getting your hands dirty when you see a need – Luke 10:30-37

8. To see that Christians come in all shapes, sizes, colors and speak many different languages – Galatians 3:26-28

9. For the potential opportunity to witness pure Christianity – James 1:27

10. To get outside your comfort zone, into a place that requires risk – Matthew 16:24-27

11. It reminds us this Christianity thing is bigger than our own personal theology! – Acts 11:1-18

12. You will come home wanting to do something to change someone else’s life, be more likely to give to missions and to the mission Jesus gave us to reach the “whole world”! – 2 Corinthians 8:1-4

13. You will see the heart of Jesus – Matthew 19:13-15

13 Reasons Why we do series, like Blockbuster

1. Something different, exciting, fresh, renew your passion for listening to sermons

2. Encourages creativity and a fresh approach in sermon preparation

3. Relational

4. Relevance to our everyday lives, making the sermon come alive

5. Promote more word of mouth, the most effective form of advertising

6. Because we are called to reach others, to invite others not just enjoy church ourselves

7. Connecting the community with you instead of the pastor

8. Momentum of anticipation

9. Momentum as sermons build on each other more effectively

10. Momentum in promotion, not changing gears every week

11. More leverage than a solo sermon, able to go wider into the whole message and council of God, and deeper into the message, not just hitting the high points

12. Greater balance, better idea development with less info overload

13. Continuity, better focus, not changing styles and themes every week

+1. An easy excuse to invite, it equips you to reach your family, friends and neighbors

13 Reasons Why you need to build a strong family

1. A strong family is like a fortress

2. A spiritually strong family is a spiritual fortress

3. Fathers are important

4. We don’t get do-overs

5. Your family is under attack, and the enemy will keep coming back

6. Teens still need guidance – maybe even more!

For example, 13 Reasons Why. Do you have any idea why it has a TV-MA rating? Have you discussed it with your teen? It has a TV-MA rating because it is deemed not suitable for minors. There is a graphic scene of Hannah committing suicide then bleeding out in a bathtub, there are multiple rapes, there is nudity, teens are drinking, there is bullying, drug use, other violence and very strong language.

7. Show your kids how to just keep swimming

8. So everyone can learn where they belong

9. The new drug: Porn. Even secular researchers finally agree that we know what porn does to kids!
Now We Know What Porn Does To Kids
Researchers Are Finally Blowing the Whistel on Porn

10. The Number of Teens & Kids Admitted to Hospitals Due to Suicide Attempts Doubled in last 10 Years!

11. Leave nothing to chance – Joshua 24:14-15

12. Leave a legacy of Godliness – 1 Samuel 2:12-13

13. To point your family to the source of real strength, to give them Jesus!

13 Reasons Why you need 29:11 teens

1. Negative peer pressure

2. Alcohol and drugs

3. The prevalence of unrestrained sexual immorality

4. Suicide

5. You need reality, which you won’t get from movies, music and social media
Things You Need to Know About 13 Reasons Why by Kevin Carson

6. Positive peer pressure, other teens who love God!

7. Positive role models

8. It’s a spiritual atmosphere geared to your age and needs

9. To remind you the world does not revolve around you

10. The opportunity to serve others

11. To challenge you to be your best

12. Teach you what won’t learn elsewhere & tell you what you won’t hear elsewhere

13. You need theology, an understanding of who God says He is, and the opportunity to explore God with adults who will take time to answer your questions

13 Final Reasons Why

Ephesians 4:11-15

Other resources

Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ gets more trigger warnings. Critics say it glamorizes teen suicide.

How Can We Prepare Our Children to Engage Pop Media’s Cultural Values by Pastor Kevin


au·then·tic –  ôˈTHen(t)ik/
adjective –  1. of undisputed origin; genuine.  synonyms: genuine, real, bona fide, true, veritable

The church should be a safe haven to be real instead of a place of pressure to be perfect.

Authentic Christianity is marked by thankfulness and prayer.

Colossians 1:12
Colossians 3:15
Colossians 4:2
Colossians 4:12 

Authentic Christians understand the gospel of Jesus.

In an interview about his latest book, Vanishing Grace, Yancey said: “In short, the West is becoming increasingly post-Christian, and we need to adjust our approach because the Good News no longer sounds like good news.”

Romans 4:5

To understand that good news, we first must understand the bad news: we all have sinned and deserve God’s righteous judgment. We stand before God guilty and condemned and we cannot save ourselves. That’s why we need a Savior.

Authentic Christians are marked with love.

Ephesians 1:15
1 Thessalonians 4:6

Jesus called us to be salt and light to a dying world. We can’t do that faking it. In order to change our world and our culture, we have to be authentic.

Eshet Chayil

Proverbs 31:10-31

This is the only place chayil is translated “virtuous.”

Over 170 times it is translated in more militant terms: valiant, valor, power, forces, army!

Chayil is used of Gideon when an angel calls him “you mighty man of valor” and it is used of David’s “mighty men of valor/courage”

Chayil is traditionally sung on Friday nights at the beginning of Sabbath in many Jewish homes.

Eshet Chayil is often used as a greeting, meaning “woman of valor”


Let’s look at the story of one Eshet Chayil, the Shunammite Woman

2 Kings 4:8-37

The problem came out of nowhere! There has perhaps never been a time in history where there have been so many attacks coming out of nowhere, without warning, against families,especially children.

She carried him to the room she had prepared.

She went to the man of God, to Mt Carmel, about 20 miles, and not by limousine! Like Naaman we’ll pay but will we obey? We’ll pay but will we pray?

She reminds Elisha that this son was not just her wish. This was something divinely given to her!

Romans 11:29

She has watched her son die, been told to wait, was interrupted, given the brush-off and the next answer she hears is “No.”

But she was determined. She built, she blessed, she prayed, she worked, she carried, she went as far and as long as it took and that’s why she could say with confidence, “It is well!”

I Want To Believe But… Some Things Are Beyond Belief.

2Kings 7:1-2

Life is full of miracles. It’s crazy the ones we struggle with! If there is a Supreme Being, then why would we question whether He can rise again, bring abundance, heal, deliver, answer us, change our situation, produce financial miracles, etc?!


If God wants to do something, however He wants to do it, that’s His prerogative.


The story of Naaman
Why dip in a river? Symbolism, obedience, humility, simplicity, etc.


“Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservations—a trust in a God who has shown himself worthy of that trust.
Certainty isn’t the heart of faith—trust is.”
– Atheist-turned-Christian, Alister McGrath
For more, check out the article at


Why would Naaman go, even though he wasn’t sure?
He wanted to believe! He needed to believe!


“All this doubt and questioning, all this searching and discarding, all this angst – this is normal. This is important and good and part of it.
Here is my best advice: Listen to the longing.”

– Addie Zierman


Check out the full article!


The Existence of God
   The chemical properties of water
   The earth, the sun, the moon
   The uniform laws of nature


“Why nature is mathematical is a mystery…The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle.”
– Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics


   Chaos is the absence of order.
   Darkness is the absence of light.
   Cold is the absence of heat.
   Evil is the absence of good.


   More in depth resources on the Bible, creation, God, etc. are in last week’s notes.

I Want to Believe But… all this suffering in the world!

  • If God is all-knowing and all-loving why does He allow people to suffer?
  • Why does God allow pain?
  • Why does God heal some people and not others?
  • Why does God allow children to suffer?
  • What about terminal illness?
  • How do you reconcile the idea of the temple of God being sick?
  • Why would God create someone He knew would suffer?
  • How can you have joy in your salvation when daily life is such a struggle?
  • What about people who are disabled?
DISABLED? – a disability is “a restriction”

Helen Keller

Author of 12 published books and countless articles
1st deaf-blind person to earn Bachelor of Arts degree
International speaker and lecturer
Presidential Medal of Freedom
National Women’s Hall of Fame
That’s the picture of a person who was ENABLED!
The bumps are what you climb on.
– Warren Wiersbe
We often ask the wrong questions because we have a limited, tunnel-vision perspective.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Perhaps God chooses what’s “normal.”


David wanted to know that, too!

Psalm 13; 10:1; 35:17; 6:3-6; 22:1-2

Jesus knew to be delivered from His suffering would mean you and I could not be delivered from ours! He couldn’t have it both ways and sometimes that’s the choice we have.


Romans 8:28

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

God has purpose in the pain! I know, I know, we don’t like hearing that. But often our answers are not beyond the pain, but in the midst of it!

James 5:14, 4:2

God isn’t interested in a Q&A session, He wants a relationship with us. So it’s a lot deeper than we can get to in one week. Stay with us a few more weeks. There is more coming to help you answer those lingering doubts, unanswered questions and skeptical moments.

Skeptics Welcome — I Want To Believe, But… Week 1

The general belief about Christians is that they are mindless robots believing what they are told to believe.

God welcomes skeptics and doubters

God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.
– Max Lucado

The Bible is full of skeptics, people that God still used in spite of their doubts!

Why would God welcome all these skeptics?
Isaiah 1:18
Philippians 2:12-13

Jesus spent a lot of time with imperfect people:
Luke 5:29; Luke 19:2-5; Matthew 11:19; Matthew 9:11; Luke 15:2

Today is Easter, the day we remember Jesus’ resurrection on the 3rd day after His death on the cross for our sins! But it was also day for skeptics: Mark 14:50; John 18:26-27; Matthew 26:16; John 20:24-25; Matthew 27:19; John 19:6-12; Luke 23:39-43; Mark 15:39

Don’t let skepticism lead you away from belief. Healthy skepticism will lead you toward truth, whatever it is.

I want to give you 4 invitations:

1st, to check out a new website, where you can ask any question you wish.

2nd, to return the next few Sundays on this journey of seeking answers for your questions and doubts.

3rd, to tell God you’re listening if He has anything to say to you or to show you this week. I dare you!

4th, follow this link and me know if you make a decision, whether to follow Jesus or even to just keep looking.

The Rest of the Story — The Mission is Why

Tasks and mission are two different things.
Complete the tasks but stay focused on the mission.


Genesis 6:18
Some people are always working on the boat, the tasks. They never get the mission.

Noah forgot the mission was about saving his family. He built the boat but forgot to lead his family!


I know David got it because he wanted to bring the ark back Jerusalem – twice! And he wanted to build God a temple.

But there was that one night he forgot the mission. 2 Samuel 11

And don’t forget about Adonijah. 1 Kings 1:5-6

David led an entire nation to God but not his family.

I am convinced our #1 mission field is the family God gives us.

The Mission is about people!


Exodus 16:3 
The reason people complain is they don’t get the mission!


Tasks are about today
Mission is about the future!

Numbers 14:24
Caleb never bellyached over food. In reality he tried to tell Israel they were about to inherit more food than they could eat, if they would just have faith in God.

Joshua 14:6-12
Being on mission with God is a team sport. Living for yourself leaves you all alone when the battles come.

You may not be perfect in tasks or efforts.
But aim for perfection on mission!

The Rest Of The Story — Miriam, Aaron and Me


The oldest of 3 siblings, Exodus 7:7

Watched infant Moses in his basket hiding place, Exodus 2:1-8.

Led the celebration of deliverance from Egyptian army, Exodus 15:1-21

Was part of the leadership sent by God. Micah 6:4

BUT she questioned Moses’ authority. And God answered. Numbers 12

Miriam became distracted by someone else’s calling instead of staying focused on her own.


Was made a prophet by God to assist Moses, Exodus 7:1

Given great honor! Exodus 28:1-3

Stood between the living & dead! Numbers 16:47-48

He was confirmed by God by a miracle, Numbers 17:1-10

BUT Aaron wanted Moses’ place!
Perhaps he grew tired of playing 2nd fiddle to little brother.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

When we are not operating in our calling there is confusion, competition, jealousy, frustration, resentment, and more. Something important doesn’t get done, we work in our own power and ministry doesn’t receive our best.

But when we do operate in our gifts and callings there is fulfillment, peace, teamwork, collaboration and usually success. Amazing things get done, things fit, we work in God’s power and ministry gets our best effort!

We must not forget what we are called and gifted to do and why we are doing it!

If we forget that everything we do is ministry, reaching someone for Jesus, creating places for people to meet with God, encouraging those who struggle, strengthening marriages, discipling kids & teens, then we’re just making coffee, telling Bible stories, giving hugs, playing music & singing songs!

Everyone has something awesome to do for Jesus!

Click here to find a place to serve at 29:11?