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VIOLENT GRACE PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, April 29 2018 00:00

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  2. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  3. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.  4. Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  5. I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  6. If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  7. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  8. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.”  John 15:1-8 ESV

The kingdom of God is a violent realm, requiring as Michael Card writes, “a Violent Grace.”  For Jesus, this reality was stark!  Its cost . . . severe!

Much to our enemies delight, we as disciples, seldom frame our faith in this light – nor characterize our state of being, in these terms.  However, Jesus’ figurative language in John 15 begs to differ.

• If we are disciples, then we are His!

• If His, then we are to bear fruit.

• If for some reason we do not perform this natural act . . . we are removed.

To prove we belong, says Jesus, then we must perform.  Why?  Because with His Spirit dwelling within us, we can do nothing less.  Those who prove otherwise, that they are not of the vine, are tossed as refuse into the fire!

Dainty as we have become, this is unsettling, unnerving, causing most of mankind to search for alternatives.  But for those who know, they understand that the Kingdom – from the Garden forward – is a violent place!

– Dale

 
OUR IDENTITY PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, April 22 2018 00:00

Our identity as God’s beloved children embraces both who we are and who we are becoming. 

We are infinitely loved!

We are, with all our vastly varied gifts, being renewed in the divine image, and we bear this image back into the world.  We each do this in our own way – a thousand different ways, indeed a million ways and infinitely more.

Our core identity comes with particular gifts.  Unique gifts and graces are an expression of God’s personal love for us, a confirmation of our
belovedness.  No two of us act, think, or serve alike.  And God’s love sets each one of us wholly free, free to be ourselves and free to be for others the image of the loving God.
— “The Way of Discernment”


I have personally observed and experienced in the past week, church families whose love and compassion seemed to be without limit!

To them, I would like to say thank you for allowing God’s love to flow freely and abundantly without hesitation!

God bless you!

– Dale

 
ARE YOU PARCHED? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, April 08 2018 00:00

Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.'" Ezekiel 37:11 (ESV)

"And the well runs dry. 
It's one of the most common experiences in the spiritual life.  A practice that we have cherished, a habit that has deepened us and drawn us closer to God, a discipline that we perhaps have engaged in for years, no longer seems to work.  Gradually, over time or overnight with no warning, it's familiar contours turn foreign, dull, perhaps even painful.  Pondering the questions that lie at the bottom of a dry well offers a journey of its own.  What I know is this: to find the answers, we have to pay attention to the dryness.  This is a desert place.  As uncomfortable as it may be, there is no substitute for these desert places in the spiritual life.  They offer a wisdom that we cannot get any other way."  – Jan L. Richardson

From the dry dust God collects and connects mankind.  He intricately fashions and forms and then finally fills him with everything necessary for the journey.  If you are parched and parted from your passion – plead for the Creator's outpouring today!

We are looking for a Director for our Sunday Morning Bible Study ministry.  Please see Bro. Dale if you are interested or would like more info.

– Dale

 
PERFECT? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, April 15 2018 00:00

“Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!  Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in His ways!”  Psalm  119:1-3 (ESV)

Simply put this person does not exist.  Not in the sense that the Psalmist describes.  There is no one who is completely blameless.  Nor could any person at any time . . . keep all of our Lord’s testimonies – it simply wouldn’t be possible.  Where, in this sin-filled, self-absorbed, world could there exist the person who, “does no wrong, but always walks in His ways?”

There is no such person – save our Savior!

This is why when we meet those who strive with all their energy, who struggle to the point of exhaustion, who even strain beyond human reason, to live in this vein . . . they strike us as odd.  I have met a few of these oddballs, only a few.  Whose walk is marked with humility, whose life is laced with love, and who possess a quiet strength beyond themselves.

Perfect?  No!  But close.

These, near-walkers, these who carry with them Christ’s aroma, they all seem to hold something in common?  They love to lean.  They find their joy in leaning in, and leaning on.  Consistently straining to listen, to hear God’s voice – through prayer, through His word.  Always listening.  Then having received, these modern-day cross-bearers, simply do.  Leaning upon that divine command to be like Christ.

Perfect?  No!  But close.

May we strive, today . . . this very day . . . for this type of near perfection!

– Dale

Last Updated on Friday, April 13 2018 09:48
 
EASTER - LIFE HAS CHANGED PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, April 01 2018 00:00

If there is no death, then God’s got nothing to do on Easter.  But if there is a death, then Easter morning is a ferocious moment when life triumphs over death, and what God did on Easter for Jesus and for us is the most radical and important truth that any of us can know or believe.

Carlyle Marney, in one of his greatest sermons, says of Judas that the ultimate tragedy of his life was not his betrayal of Jesus but that he did not hold on until Sunday to see what God would do with his betrayal and despair.  What a tragedy that Judas wasn't at the tomb on Sunday to see that there is forgiveness even for his sin and relief even from his deep despair.  He then would have known that we are not on our own, not in this life alone.  He would have known what Mary was discovering, that there is One who is with us in death and in life.  – K. C. Ptomey

Life has changed, everything has become new!  This divine moment in time changes all time – Christ conquers the grave, destroys death’s grip . . . and in that "ferocious" moment, feasts upon fear itself – ending it's reign!

Our God makes a way where there is no way and invites us to join Him in life!

– Dale

Last Updated on Thursday, March 29 2018 15:47
 
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Newsflash

COMITE CHURCH OFFICE:

225-275-3382

COMITE CHILD DEV. CTR.:

225-273-2699


Sunday Morning Bible Study

at 9:30 a.m. We offer classes for all ages.  There is something for everyone!

 

Sunday Morning Worship

10:45 a.m.

All are welcome!

 

CHECK THIS OUT:

Adult Wednesday

Bible Study

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Come join us Wednesday evenings as we open the Word of God and discover the treasure inside.   We will worship, pray and study from 6:00-7:00 p.m. each Wednesday in the Comite cafeteria.  Bring a friend!   (There are youth and children’s activities also.)

 

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