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“Jim & Casper Go To Church”

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“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Cor, 9:22)

At a recent workshop with pastors and various church leaders, we discussed the book “Jim and Casper Go To Church.”by Jim Henderson & Matt Casper

 

 

In the book, Casper, an atheist, shares his experiences visiting a dozen or so different Christian churches for the first time.  Casper notices a pattern of greeting, preaching, singing, prayer and collecting.  Casper has much to say about how welcomed he feels, and how judgmental, hypocritical and selfish Christians are.  While we may feel justified in our behavior, that’s not the real question.  The real question is what can we do to reach these people who have these impressions of Christians.  Regardless of whether we agree with the assessment or not, people HAVE these opinions.  May we take to heart the words of Paul, “I have become all things to all men so that by all means possible I might save some.”  May we never be an obstacle to someone receiving Christ!

Why Are We Afraid?

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“Why Are We Afraid?” This is the first question in our current 6 week message series at Saving Grace.   It’s also the question Jesus asked his disciples in the boat that afternoon that the furious storm arose on the lake: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matt 8:26)  Considering that the storm was more like an earthquake (the word Matthew used is “seismos” in the Greek, from which we get the English word “seismograph” which is an instrument used to measure the intensity of earthquakes), it doesn’t seem unreasonable that they would be afraid!

Much like the storms on the lake tossed about the boat that the disciples were in, so too the storms of life shake us up and frighten us.  In such situations, we can be tempted to become frantic with fear, or worse, to doubt the Lord’s love for us and His power over the forces in the world which assail us.  None of these are appropriate responses for a person of faith and a child of God.

Contemporary Christian artist Scott Krippayne has written a song that speaks well to this topic of fear in the storms of life.  You can see both the plight of the disciples and also the situations of life that we face today in these song lyrics.  The important thing is not to give up hope when the Lord allows the storms to rage on.  Rather than doubt God’s love and faithfulness, ask Him to give you strength and to calm your fears.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we’re shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet peaceful place

You can hear a sample of the song from Scott Krippayne’s website by clicking below:
Flash Audio (If your browser doesn’t support flash, use this link: http://scottkrippayne.com/audio/SometimesHeCalms.mp3)

You can download the MP3 of the song at Amazon.com by clicking here.

You can hear my sermon on the topic by clicking here.

Please consider joining us at Saving Grace for the remainder of the series:

4/4 Why Are We Afraid?
4/11 Fear of Not Mattering
4/18 Fear of Disappointing God
4/25 Fear of Life’s Final Moments
5/2 Fear of Global Calamity
5/9 Fear of God Getting Out of My Box

Whatever storms you are going through in your life, God’s PEACE be with you!
PA