It only took a few short steps but the significance of this walk will stick with me for long, long time.As I was standing by the back door greeting people at one of our Easter weekend services, I saw an older couple walking slowly toward the doors. They were some of the last people to make their way out of the auditorium. As I moved forward to meet them and hear their story, I was amazed. This husband and wife from Syracuse, both in their 70s, had just made a decision to follow Jesus!
Do you ever think back about your life and wonder, “If I only knew then…what I know now?”That may explain why stories about time travel keep coming back in movies, TV and books. There’s something in us that wishes we could get another shot, a do-over, or that we could somehow send a message back to the younger version of ourselves.
I felt like I was drowning, but I was drowning in His grace.Watching the love and respect her parents shared for one another, Ashley had high expectations for marriage and raising a family. But after spending several years in an abusive marriage, she found herself in place of incredible pain as she decided to moved her and her three boys home with her parents. In the middle of her anger and confusion Ashley visited Milestone for the very first time and encountered God’s love in a powerful way.
This past weekend we shared Lori’s story during our weekend services. Like so many others, she’s going through a difficult season in her life. When she and her kids came to our Easter outreach event, God did something amazing…He gave her hope. Hope that she wouldn’t be alone, and hope that she could actually find a community that loved and supported her.
There’s always a sense of excitement and anticipation as we approach Easter Sunday. However before we get to Sunday, we pause to remember the events that happened on that Friday nearly 2000 years ago. Many of us may feel confused about how to approach Good Friday in light of the excitement surrounding Easter Sunday. What exactly is Good Friday and what makes it all that “good” anyway?
In part one, I explained the incredibly simple and somewhat shocking assessment Jesus uses to evaluate our spirituality: Have you been born again?God isn’t impressed by our righteous deeds, our acts of sacrifice, or our intellectual understanding. What moves His heart is our willingness to put all of our hope and trust in His perfect Son as the sole basis for our spiritual life. Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good – He came to make dead people alive to God!
Our culture loves assessment tests.· What kind of personality do I have? Take the DISC profile.· How intelligent am I? Take an IQ test.· What are my unique themes/talents/strengths? Take the Strengthsfinder.We even have assessments for your spirit animal and which character on Friends you most resemble. (I took the first three…not the last two.)
What began as cynicism and skepticism as a teenager, led Jake to a place where he fully believed and said “there is no god.” When he first came to Milestone, he was spiritually dead but somehow knew that he couldn’t continue to live feeling as lonely as he did. This is his story of realizing that there was no intellectual book on atheism that could make him feel the love he felt from Jesus.
I loved recess.For those few moments every day, my teacher stopped telling me to quiet down. I got a break from being squeezed into those little half desks you had to turn sideways to cram yourself into.One of our favorite games on the playground didn’t really have a name. A group of guys gathered together until a ball appeared and one guy took off running. Everybody else chased him and tried to knock him down, smash him, and pretty much pound on him until he dropped the ball.