Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sacrifice--Martin Luther

As we continue our study on sacrifice, we now turn to the life of Martin Luther. He was born in 1483 and died in 1546.
Martin Luther was a theologian & a priest. He was well educated and had a passion for the Scriptures. He climbed the ranks among the Catholic Church and was a well respected teacher of theology.

However, he came to a fork in the road in his life. Those in authority over him, the arch bishops and Pope were participating and encouraging behavior he disagreed with. Would he keep his mouth shut and let it happen to maintain his status and reputation. Would he stay silent in order to keep his life easy and comfortable? The Catholic Church was powerful and had the power and authority to not only have him excommunicated but killed.

He searched his heart and decided his faith in God was more important than anything else. He was willing to sacrifice it all. He disagreed with the selling indulgence's and taught and believed salvation/forgiveness didn't come through works but through faith in Jesus Christ. In other words, you couldn't pay for people to make it to heaven.

When he nailed the 95 thesis he was sacrificing everything. To sum up a long story, he was eventually excommunicated and anyone in society could kill him without legal consequence. He fled and was able to go into hiding where he eventually translation the Bible into the German language so everyone could read the Scriptures not just the priests and Pope.
Theologians not refer to this as the beginning of the "Great Reformation." He had a passion for God and for the Scriptures and wanted to see everyone have the chance to know God and be forgiven by His grace.
As we plant this church in Wyandotte, there will be decisions we eventually make that aren't popular. There will be times where your so called "reputation is on the line." People will try to bargain with us through reason. We will lovingly and boldly stand up and proclaim Jesus is real, alive, active and in control. He is the way the truth and life and is still in the basis of forgiving and changing lives. That is why we are planting this church!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sacrifice--Herman Boone

Herman Boone, born October 28,, 1935, was made famous from the movie "Remember the Titans" (one of my all-time favorites). He is T.C. William's High School's most famous coach. Most people have seen the movie and know what extreme situations he had to face and conquer in order to reach his goals. Let's look at some obstacles he faced even before he got to T.C. Williams.

At E.J.Hayes High School in Williamston, North Carolina he amassed a record of 99 wins and only 8 losses in a 9-year period. They were recognized by the Scholastic Coaches Magazine as the number 1 high school football team in America. However, in 1969 Boone was fired from his position because the Williamston School District said they weren't ready for a black head coach yet.

In 1971 we moved to Alexandria, Virginia where he became the head coach of the newly racial integrated school of T.C. Williams. Prejudice was so strong and hatred among races was so prevalent. Even though they were integrating externally, internally they were still segregated. It also didn't help that he was placed over Coach Yoast who was widely accepted and liked by the city of Alexandria.

Coach Boone faced prejudice, hatred, deception, gossip, slander, verbal abuse, and attacks. He sacrificed security, safety and placed himself in the middle of opposition and turmoil everyday. Why? The entire reason he got into teaching and coaching was to mentor and motivate other youngsters. That was his life mission and he was willing to sacrifice for it.
Well, of course we know the outcome. They won the state championship that year and were ranked 2nd in national polls. Richard Nixon was quoted saying after they won the state championship that "The Titan's saved Alexandria." The team was not only used to bring the players together in unity but the city also came together and saw unprecedented unity among races. Because Coach Boone was willing to sacrifice, he motivated and mentored youngsters but also changed a city and a nation. You and I are even inspired by him today.
When we sacrifice and are willing to go through challenges and pain for the greater cause, we are not only changed but we change the world around us.

As we plant this church in Wyandotte, there will be children 20 years from now that will be thankful for the sacrifices made by those who helped start this church. There will be families that attend that read about those who sacrificed their time, money & talents to serve and reach downriver. We keep our eyes on the goal! It's going to be worth it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sacrifice: William Wilberforce

William a name many people are not familiar with. He lived from 1759 to 1853. He was a politician, a philanthropist and a leader in the movement to abolish the slave trade. His name has recently become more well known do to the movie, "Amazing Grace." (side note: if you haven't seen that movie, I encourage you to do so). After he started his political career, he became a follower of Christ in 1785.

Wilberforce's involvement int he abolition movement was motivated by his desire to put his Christian principles into action & to serve God in public life. His first involvement with abolition movements was in 1787 with the first act brought to Parliament in 1791. Wilberforce ended up dedicating his life to see the slave trade abolished. He poured years into research, dedicated hours to prove the horrific conditions these slaves endured. In spite of all the efforts of Wilberforce and his partners, time and time again, year after year the bill was voted down. After battling ill-health and years of pain, frustration and anger,
the slave trade act was finally passed in 1807, twenty years from his early involvement.

It's easy to make convenience, comfort and the least amount of pain our goal in life. It's easy to take the road of less resistance. However, as we study great men & woman of the Bible & history we see that anything of significance, takes sacrifice. The notion that changing history and making a difference is easy, is a lie.

What are we living for today? Are we living for a cause bigger than ourselves? As we plant this church in Wyandotte, we desire to change the spiritual climate of downriver Detroit. To see thousands come to faith in Jesus Christ. To see families strengthened and healed. To see marriages restored and couples madly in love with each other. To see parents investing in their children and spending quality time together. To see people discovering their gifts and talents and having fun using them to serve their community & church.

Will all of this take a sacrifice? You bet! Will it be worth it all in the end? You bet! Won't you join us!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Sacrifice...not a very popular word! Our society in general actually exists to find the most ease, convenience and comfort possible. Sacrifice is slowly becoming a foreign word.

However, if you study the lives of great men and women throughout history & throughout the Bible you will see one common thread that connects them all...sacrifice.

Nothing of significance comes cheap! If it comes easy and cheap it most likely won't last long and isn't that significant.

Follow my blog over the next few weeks as we study the lives of great men and women who scarified a lot and were able to accomplish a lot.
1 Corinthians 9:25--Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Next Blog: We will look at the life of William Wilberforce!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Since the Beginning

The devil is referred to in Scripture as the Father of lies (John 8:44). Since the beginning of time that is what he speaks because that is his nature.

Genesis 3:4 shows Eve being told by the serpent that God doesn't want her to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if she does, she will become like God.

That desire is truly the root of all our be like God. We desperately want to be in control and call the shots. Somehow if we are in control we think life will go better and our lives will be more fulfilling. That has been Satan's #1 from the beginning.

That is why Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 that if anyone wants to follow me they must deny himself, pick up his cross and follow me. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 16:25 that whoever wants to save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Following Jesus Christ is such a paradox. On the one hand it could be considered simple because Jesus did the hard work. He left heaven, was born in a stable, walked this earth, died on the cross and rose again so we could be set free and forgiven from sin. Yet, it could also considered difficult because to follow Christ means life-long surrender. We surrender our rights....we surrender control to HIM.

Some may say, "why would I do that? I know what's best." Take a few minutes and read Genesis 2 and 3 and see the result of Adam & Eve's sin? Compare it to what God intended and offered? Who knew best? Who still knows best?

Father, we confess that we often try to be god, please forgive us. We surrender control of our hearts and souls once again to you today. We surrender our lives, marriages, families, jobs and hobbies. Take complete control. In Jesus Name!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God!
Its so refreshing to know that as we start 2010 God has always been in control & He still is! With God it will be a great yr