Monday, April 27, 2015

Sharing Jesus As A Grace Driven Church

We're walking through a series of messages that examine the purposes of the Church through the lens of grace. Today, we looked at evangelism. When I laid out the series,I felt that this would be the hardest to deal with. Now after I have delivered it, I still think that's the case.

We need to live out our love for Jesus in such a way that even those who oppose our worldview admire the way we live it. It means holding those beliefs tightly, but opening our hands and hearts to be good neighbors, regardless of whether those neighbors agree with us on a number of areas.

It means seeking the common ground that the apostle Paul wrote about.

My prayer is that we at New Hope would be people of grace, always ready to give an answer to the question of why we love God, love each other, and love others. And that we give that answer gently, gracefully, with respect for the person who asks.

Here's the You Tube link.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Taking It Personally

1 Thes. 5:11 (Msg)
So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.

One day a young boy came home from school with a note. It suggested that his parents take him out of school. Partially deaf, the boy was having problems keeping up with the other students. But rather than help him, they sent him away. The note said that the boy was "too stupid to learn." 

When the boy's mother read the note, she said, "My son Tom isn't 'too stupid to learn.' I'll teach him myself." When Tom, then known as Thomas, oh and Edison was his last name - died many years later, the people of our nation paid tribute to him by turning off the nation's lights. which he had invented, for one full minute. Thomas Edison invented not only the light bulb we read by, but also motion pictures and the rec­ord player. He has over one thousand patents to his credit. You might very well have known all that. 

But you wouldn't have if Thomas Edison's mother, Nancy, hadn't taken that offense personally and set out to prove the school system wrong. Edison himself later said of her, "My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had some one to live for, some one I must not disappoint." 

Everyone needs someone like that. And many of you are that "someone" to others around you. You are making a difference, most of the time going unnoticed and unappreciated. That's why I'm writing this. 

I'm writing today to thank all of you who have heard society tell you that teenagers won't amount to anything - then set out personally to prove the critics wrong by investing your lives into those of countless boys and girls. 

I'm writing today to thank all of you who hear all the time about how churches don't make a difference any more - and have dedicated your lives to proving them wrong by serving your communities in countless ways, sometimes at great cost. 

I'm writing today to thank all of you who have been told that your church was dying - and took it personally - telling the devil and all his henchmen - "Not on my watch" - and are doing the hard work of loving people and inviting them to come and meet God in worship. Heart by heart, you are building God's church. 

And I'm writing today to all of you who see the wrongs and try to right them, who see the hurts and try to heal them, and who never hear one word of praise. That aggravates me. You could say I take it personally. 

Thank you for what you do. It matters. May God bless your efforts. Keep on doing it. 


David Wilson 


Come, ye disconsolate, where'er you languish,
Come at the shrine of God fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish—
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.
~Thomas Moore, c.1813, published in Sacred Songs, 1816

It's been thirteen years today.

Countless moments have passed. Our love of Ana has never ceased.

Heaven is healing. Heaven will ultimately heal completely.

And one day, we will meet our granddaughter.

Until then, we will love our family fiercely. We will seek every opportunity to live this all so precious life with them. 

So if you're reading this, Wilson clan, know that you are loved more deeply than words could ever express. ALL of you - sons by birth, daughters by marriage - ALL of you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Plan B Is A Blessing

Well, we at New Hope sure had to be this weekend, as an electrical problem caused us to lose the use of our sanctuary's air conditioners - and we're in Florida - so we need to know we can call on them. That meant we had to move to the fellowship hall for worship. Very different but we pulled it off. Plan B only changed the location, not the object of our worship - Jesus.

Here's the YouVersion link for this week - YouVersion

And thanks to Jonathan McGee, here's a very rare (but hopefully not so rare from now on) video of me delivering the message.

Hopefully we'll be back in the sanctuary come Sunday, but if not, we'll not lose anything in the sweet fellowship, warm worship, and the presence of the Holy Spirit with us.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Cost of Freedom and Forgiveness

The Cost

So this was the cost
the price you had to pay for me
to be with me
to save me
to redeem me

You laid down here for me
Hung here for me
Died here for me

You laid down here for me
As they laughed at you
And said who’s hitting you
You laid down here for me
As they nailed you
Impaled you
You laid here as nails cut you, pierced you, ripped you
You laid down here for me

You hung here for me as they mocked you
Jew King, here’s your crown so come down and be king
You hung here for me as your breath wouldn’t come
And the blood wouldn’t stop
and nails or no nails you still are God
and could have come down
and made the pain stop and made the laughs stop
but you hung here for me

You died here for me
As you said
it is finished
And now there is nothing left,
But the horror of this place
And I want to turn away, to walk away, to run away
To just forget without regret
All the horror of this place
Of the blood on your face
And the pain of the nails and the hole in your side
But I can’t turn away cause I need to be saved

And if this is what it takes for me to know you
To be with you
to find you
if this is what it takes for you to save me
Then I can’t look away
Cause I need you to save
this soul that cries out for you,
dies for you,
reaches for you
If this is what it takes then I all I can say is
Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!
Cause I need to be saved
And I...

I can’t pay the cost