Sunday, January 27, 2019


A few introductory questions.  Who are your people? Who brings the best out in you? Who makes you feel at home?  Who makes you feel safe?  Who has your back?*

Everyone needs someone he can run to when in a tough spot.

Our need to be in a relationship with others is innate, built into our genes.

Continuing in Acts chapter two.  The Holy Spirit takes a very diverse group of people and brings them together in unity.  The Holy Spirit gave each listener the ability to understand the message regardless of their native language, Peter preached Christ and 3000 people joined the Church!

Verse 46:  They devoted themselves to fellowship.  What does it mean to be fully devoted?
     1.  Commitment to God
     2.  Pursuing God
     3.  Faithful to God
     4.  Listening to God
     5.  Waiting on God.

What does it truly mean to be in fellowship with Jesus Christ?

Fellowship in this passage is the translation for the Greek "koinonia," a word for which there is no equivalent English word.  In other Bible passages koinonia is variously translated "sharing," "communion," "participation."

God's people are our people.  We are all different and serve in different roles but we all have Jesus Christ in common!

Koinonia requires
     1.  Unity.  It does not require sameness.  On the contrary, it demands diversity.
     2.  Proximity.  We have communion with those we are close to.
     3, 4.  Vulnerability, Transparency.  We have to be real, what you see is what I am.
     5.  Generosity.  Generosity does imply giving of time, talent, and resources.  But generosity also requires receiving.  Too often we are bad at accepting, receiving gifts from others, and from God.  Because all gifts are ultimately from God, to hoard or practice stinginess is transgression. (Pastor didn't actually say that last line, but I got it.)

*Pastor talked a bit about our desire to be around people that make us feel good about ourselves, people who validate us, which reminded me of a line from the cartoon "Zits" in which Pierce tells Jeremy, "Dude, it sucks to be you."

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Music, Music, Music

Two second story men were at the club Saturday night where they met two young ladies who operated a child care center.  They hit it off and soon discovered that music was a passion for each of them.  They got together a few days later to jam.  They laid down some amazing harmonies.  They decided to cut a record and see where it would lead them.  They called their group "Crooks and Nannies."

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Backstage Pass

What goes on backstage at a performance?  What does the artist expect before the act goes on?

 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 

 All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor f all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. 
--Acts 2:41-47  (NIV)

Characteristics of disciples of Jesus Christ
1.  Regularly practicing spiritual discipline
     Am I regularly reading the Bible?  Am I praying regularly?
2.  Obeying God
     Am I listening and obeying what I hear?
     When was the last time your life actually changed in response to the voice of God?
3.  Being transparent.
     Am I real?  Do I have someone in my life to whom I can confess?  Scripture says confess your
     sins one to another.
4.  Building relationships
     Who are my people?  Do you have a community of like minded people who are helping you become the person you are meant to be?
5   Giving time, talents and resources
     Am I blessing people with the gifts God has given me?  Am I content with what I have?
     Am I using what I have to further advance the Kingdom of God?
6.  Serving others
    How often do I put my faith into action?  Do I have a heart of compassion driving me to take steps
    of action?
7.  Exercising faith
     Am I taking new and exciting steps in my walk with Jesus?
     Am I taking steps to become the disciple Christ wants me to be?

All of these characteristics can be seen in the scripture lesson.
Over the next few weeks we will look behind the scenes to see how God prepares us for discipleship. We will have a backstage pass!
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning