Do you have a favorite meal? I'm generally an equal opportunity eater, but there are a few things that top my list. I love Chicago deep dish pizza (Giordano's or Lou Malnati's are my top favorites). I've got a thing for Popeye's fried chicken and their red beans and rice. And Tami makes wonderful breaded pork chops and rice!
I'm probably better off that the deep dish pizza and Popeye's chicken isn't readily available to me. The things I crave aren't always good for me. That goes beyond food, too. I'm a big football fan (as I'm sure you know by now) and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with that. But what if my enjoyment became an obsession to the point of becoming a god in my life? What if my "appetites" keep me from pursuing what God's best is for me?
This Sunday, January 21st, we'll be considering our heart's Dining Room. What kind of Extreme Makeover might Jesus desire to do to our appetites and priorities? Are we willing to consider that He knows what will be most beneficial and satisfying for us? I hope you'll be able to join us.
Pastor Jeff off to Chicago this week
This next week I will be joining hundreds of other Covenant pastors for the annual Midwinter Conference. This time is is an opportunity to connect with colleagues in ministry, to share interests and ideas, to encourage and be encouraged, to reflect and be inspired, and to laugh and have fun.
I will be traveling Sunday afternoon and returning to the valley on Friday evening. Since I won't have time for sermon prep, I'm thankful that Steve Ludeman has agreed to preach for me on Sunday, January 28th. Steve will continue in our Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition series by addressing "The Living Room".
If you are interested, here is a link with which you can view the main sessions of Midwinter in Chicago. You might even see me (if I decide to run across the stage or something crazy like that). http://midwinter.covchurch.org/
Like many people, I have a number of books on my shelf that I'm intending to read. In a few weeks I'll be going to the Covenant Midwinter Pastor's conference where I will get another 5 or so books to add to those. Of course that doesn't count the magazines I subscribe to ... and then there are the online blogs and articles ... and the links passed on to me via email and Facebook posts ...
How about the things I watch? TV, movies, video posts online... And I can't forget the music and radio I listen to. All tolled, that's a whole lot of information and entertainment vying for a spot in my skull! I wonder how it all influences the way I think and live?
This Sunday, January 14th, we'll continue our series "Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition" as we welcome Jesus into the Library of our heart. What will he find? What kind of makeover might he want to do? How willing will I be to cooperate? I hope you'll be able to join us. In the meantime, I want to encourage you to take 10 minutes and read the booklet I'm using as the basis for this series: "My Heart Christ's Home" by Robert Munger. You can read it here.
You've probably read the title and immediately responded, "Who's there?" And when someone physically knocks on your front door, you also respond in a similar way or simply open the door to them (unless you're trying to avoid a door-to-door salesman).
Before you can experience the friendship that develops from spending time with a person in your home, you first need to open the door and welcome them in. Then, after they've entered your home, you can enjoy all that they have to offer in the way of conversation, laughter, and relationship.
Jesus said in Revelation 3:20
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
And once Jesus enters our lives at Salvation, he's ready to get to work improving the place. That's when we can begin to experience the abundant life he promises.
This Sunday, January 7th, we'll begin the new year with a new sermon series we're calling "Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition". I hope you'll be able to join us as we welcome in God's complete heart transformation!
Congregational Meeting the Sunday
Immediately after our morning Worship Celebration on January 7th, we will hold a brief congregational meeting to approve the purchase of an upgrade piano for our sanctuary. If you are a church member, we ask that you stick around for the presentation and vote for this expenditure.
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church