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Mic Check: Why We Sing.


Have you ever wondered why Christians sing in church? That’s just what you do at church, right? But if you think about it, there’s a lot of places you go where groups of people don’t just break out in singing. When you go to school, you don’t carry a hymnbook to class and then sing a couple of songs before learning about U.S. History, do you? There aren’t usually choirs serenading in the supermarket, are there? No worship leader at Walmart, right? So what’s the deal with church? Why do people meet every Sunday morning in churches all around the word and sing? What’s the big deal?

Those are great questions — with even greater answers, answers that just might change your life. And we’re going to tackle them this Wednesday night in the YouthRoom. Be there at 7pm and find out why the Church’s singing puts American Idol to shame…

Grace and Peace,

‘Hank



“Treasuring Him” sermon jam


An awesome video of a sermon jam from the ministry of John Piper…



strangers & aliens…no more.


The book of Ephesians, chapter 2 is one of those chapters in Scripture that pierces your heart, and then binds you up all at the same time. The Apostle Paul does this kind of thing will many of his letters. First he wants us to see the brokenness of ourselves and our sins, because only then can we truly see the perfection and perfect gift of a Savior in Jesus Christ. Here’s the kind of thing I’m talking about. Oh man, so good…

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands– remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:1-22)

On that note, here’s a little free flow, free verse for your free time in honor of the free gift of everlasting life in Christ Jesus our freedom fighter.

===

what it is?
i’ll tell you what it is.
it’s rough stuff guys.
we’re in it deep, and we’re as dead as can be.
all that service of sin has yielded its wages, and its a payment we’d rather not receive.
go ahead and call us all Lazarus, cause we died a long time ago.
our king was ourselves, and our sin.
our prince, yeah – he’s known as the power of the air.
our status: children of wrath, sons of disobedience.
our hope: no hope and without God in the world.

what it do?
wrong question.
Who it do? that’s better.
what it is, has been changed by Who it do.
the Who, is Him. the God who said this is what it is “but”
but what? but who?
But a rich God of mercy.
But a gracious gift of God.
But a hostility breaker.
But a de-alienator.
But an atonement maker.
But a justifier.
But a sacrificer.
But the Who it is, changed the what it is, by the what He did.

now we –
brought near, blood stained and smiling
jew-ing and gentile-ling
our Savior reconciling
atoning for our defiling
by Spirit-ually applying
His dying
to my dead soul.

now that’s what it is.
and Christ is Who it do.
you feel me?

(W.Hank Balch (c) Nov 2007)



The 7 Mile Truth


You see a lot of stuff on television about what people “really” think happened to Jesus when he was crucified. For people who haven’t been made right with God by the forgiveness of their sins through Jesus’ blood, believing that a man named Jesus Christ could really rise up out of the dead 3 days after he was nailed to a cross sounds crazy. But there’s a few big problems: THERE REALLY WAS A MAN NAMED JESUS CHRIST, AND HE REALLY WAS CRUCIFIED FOR OUR SIN, AND HE REALLY DID RISE UP FROM THE GRAVE 3 DAYS LATER. Not even the History Channel could make this up…

Check out this clip from a sermon given by an awesome preacher named Matt Chandler about the 7 Mile Truth:



What It Means When You Don’t Pray


If you know you are needy and believe that God helps the needy, you will pray. Conversely, if we seldom pray, the problem goes much deeper than a lack of organization and follow through. The heart that never talks to God is the heart that trusts in itself and not in the power of God.  Prayerlessness is unbelief.

Prayerfulness, on the other hand, is an evidence of humility and faith, which is why God loves it when we pray.” – Kevin DeYoung, Prayerlessness is Unbelief



The Achillies’ Heel of the Next Generation




Awesome (FREE) Bible Software


Would you like to have the Bible on your computer so you can check it out anytime and any place? What would you say if I told you that there’s a program that not only gives you the Bible on your computer, but also allows you to download commentaries, Bible dictionaries, maps, and a host of other things?

So what’s the coolest thing since sliced bread? That would be E-Sword.

It’s awesome (because it’s the Word of God). And it’s free!

Check it out.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...” – Col 3:16

‘BH



what God uses!


“It is not great talents God blesses as much as likeness to Christ. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.”   -Charles Spurgeon



Did You Know?: Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool


Did you know that when the Bible talks about “fools”, especially in the book of Proverbs, it is not talking about people who are dumb?

Today, it’s easy to think that when someone is called a fool that’s just another way to say that they’re not the brightest pumpkin in the patch.

But when the Bible says that someone is a fool, it has a lot more to do with a person’s ability to recognize good from evil, and know the difference between godliness and worldliness.  God says that even supposedly smart people can actually be “fools” in reality. And even people who don’t have a lot of knowledge can really be “wise” when it comes to living a life that pleases God.

The good news for you is that faith in  Jesus Christ can make  you “wise unto salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15). We’ll talk more about what this looks like soon!

Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.
” – Proverbs 16:22

‘BH


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