But when the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses—in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world. (Acts 1:8 NCV)
The words in the verse above are the last recorded words of Jesus here on earth before He went back to heaven. They must be pretty important. Of course, all of Jesus’ words are important. All the words in the Bible are important. But when the last thing the Savior of the world says is, “Go,” then I think all of us had better pay attention.
At Cross Culture we paraphrase that verse and say: You will be my witnesses – here, there, and everywhere. Put simply, followers of Jesus are to make a global impact. Believe it or not, I started writing this article the Friday I left for China. Our flight didn’t leave until Friday night, so I thought I’d get something written before I left town. Too many last minute things to do kept me from finishing the article. We got back yesterday, about twenty-four hours later than we were supposed to, but grateful to be home. This morning, in one of my devotionals I read this:
Join Me in singing My song. Together we will draw others out of darkness into My marvelous Light. (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling)
As you can probably tell, the devotional is written from the perspective that Jesus is talking to you personally. I’m sure you’ll hear more about it this Sunday, and in the weeks ahead, but there were parts of our trip that were frustrating, parts that were humorous, parts that were educational, parts that were inspirational, and I can’t lie, parts that were just plain weird. I mean come on, why would any sane person eat chicken feet?
To be sure international mission trips are adventurous, and I’ve seen God do some amazing things in various parts of the world, but truthfully, I don’t really like going. Cindi will tell you, I like being home. I like my bed, my pillow, my routine, my kind of food. I miss my family. I miss my Cross Culture family. (By the way, that’s really how I think of you.) I’m uncomfortable with strange foods, strange languages, strange smells, and strange customs.
But, back to that devotional: Join Me in singing My song. Together we will draw others out of darkness into My marvelous Light. As I read those words this morning I thought, “That’s why we go. That’s why we give. That’s why we share.” The Good News isn’t a “canned” presentation. It isn’t just reciting certain Bible verses. The message of God’s love is like a song that we sing; His song that we sing.
Have you ever heard someone singing a song and then you caught yourself singing that same song? That’s evangelism! That’s missions! Enjoying the life God intended for us, living in His peace, experiencing His presence, letting His love flow out of us. It’s like a song that catches the attention of those around us, and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, draws people, here, there, and everywhere, to that same song.
The result is more people singing His song, more people singing His praises. The result is more people in the family of God. We may not all speak the same language, but we can all sing the same song!
So I’m going to keep singing, in this community, in this country, and around the world. I pray you will join me in singing His song about His marvelous Light, because darkness has to be cast out of people’s lives here, there, and everywhere.
Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, and I will sing praises to Your name. (Psalm 18:49)
Somebody has said, “Confession is good for the soul.” Well, I have a confession to make. Last Sunday evening, after the ice cream get together time was over, I was really bummed at how few people showed up. I was grateful for each person who made the effort to be there, but it was really only a small percentage of our Cross Culture family.
I thought, “Is there really that little interest in community? Have I failed to help Cross Culture understand the importance of loving on each other, being with each other, being a family? Am I only fooling myself in thinking I’m leading people into a deeper walk with Christ, and a deeper level of commitment? I can’t even get them to follow me to eat ice cream, what makes me think I can get them to follow me in a charge on the gates of Hell?”
“Geez Clay, aren’t you being a bit of a drama queen. It’s only ice cream.” Maybe it is, but I’m just confessing how I felt. For some people, “Church is just a place I go once a week. I see some people, maybe work with them, but then I’ve got my life to get back to, my family to worry about.”
But I’m convinced that’s not what God had in mind when He sent His Son to die, not only so we could be forgiven, but so we could be family, part of His family; a family that can’t wait to see each other, be with each other, minister to each other, even eat ice cream with each other.
So I was feeling bummed, and then I got an email from Whitney Bailey Sunday night with a testimony about the Cross Culture family, and a simple way they displayed love to the family, and how God can use that to make His name famous to those outside the family. I invite you to read it, and be encouraged to remember that family is something very special.
I want to share a small testimony. It’s a dumb, small, almost unnoticeable thing, but today it spoke at top volume. Today, Lauren had auditions for the dance company at her studio that meets about a block down the road from our church, the Carolina Dance Center. It was so important to her to try out for the company despite the fact that she’s the youngest age allowed to audition, and there are only 5 spots available. She’s been talking about it for a year!
Part of the dress code for this audition was a “stage quality bun” hairstyle. I am terrible at doing hair. I mean… terrible. So obviously I asked Kristi Arriaga to help me with my child’s hair before her audition! A large part of Lauren’s desire to join the company has been Emily Arriaga’s influence. Emily is in her studio’s dance company, and exhibits the grace, maturity, and elegance that any little girl would want to emulate.
But today I didn’t just get Kristi’s help with hair. What I got was Kristi and Rosanne Powell jumping in to gel, pin, spray, encourage and PRAY over my child before she went to dance. A dumb, small, thing, right? That’s what we do, we’re a community!
But when Lauren went to her audition she walked in with her head held high and announced to everyone: “My teachers at church did my hair.” “My coaches at my church did my hair so I would be ready.” “My teachers told me I would do a great job when they did my hair.”
Everyone in that studio knew that her church loved her so much that they would do her hair before a dance audition. And more than a few moms asked (almost incredulous) “Where do you go to church?” I got to sit with several anxious mothers and tell them about our church. (A block down the road!) About the love, grace, and peace that our God has shown to me. About the relationship with Christ I’ve watched my child develop in the last year. That’s not a conversation easily started during a Wednesday night dance class!
I don’t know if Lauren will make the Company, but I know that the conversations one “stage quality bun” just opened up, will last me until September! Today two women at our church spoke Godly love over a child in her “worldly” pursuit and so she was not afraid to tell HER world about that love. It just so happens that her world currently speaks a language punctuated by bobby pins, hair gel, and buns.
When I read stories like Whitney and Lauren’s I’m encouraged, and reminded that the love and concern displayed by Kristi and Rosanne in this story is displayed in many people’s lives at Cross Culture, serving, giving, ministering in a variety of ways, many of which most of us probably never even know about.
So, maybe we really do love each other. Maybe Cross Culture really is making a difference in lives. Maybe I am being overly dramatic. Maybe, we just don’t love ice cream. But, I still love being your pastor.
We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith flourishes more and more and the love of each one of you all for one another is ever greater. (2 Thessalonians 1:3 NET)
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ (Romans 8:15)
Do you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia? While that may sound like a condition on one of those pharmaceutical commercials, it’s not. Paraskevidekatriaphobia comes from the Greek word Paraskeví, meaning “Friday,” and dekatreís, meaning “thirteen.” It is the fear of Friday the thirteenth.
In the United States alone, it is estimated that between 17 and 21 million people dread that date to the extent that it can be officially classified as a phobia. I read an article that stated that some businesses, especially airlines, suffer huge losses on that day. But why? What’s the big deal about Friday the thirteenth?
Well, apparently nobody really knows. Some historians believe that the superstitions surrounding it arose in the late 19th century. The first documented mention of the day can be found in a biography of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th. A book published in 1907 entitled, Friday the Thirteenth, by American businessman Thomas Lawson, may have further perpetuated the superstition.
Some people even blame Jesus! It is noted that there were thirteen people in attendance at the Last Supper the night before Jesus was crucified on a Friday. But the Bible says: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. (1 John 4:18)
As followers of Jesus we have no need to fear what happens on Friday the thirteenth, or any other day for that matter. Because of what Jesus did for us on a Friday, we can live every day in the assurance of the victory that was won. This Sunday, with the Lord’s Supper, we’ll be commemorating the Friday that fear was kicked to the curb. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
In my time with the Lord this morning, in some of my devotional material, I came across a reminder of just how great, and wonderful, and unfathomable is our God. Whenever you are tempted to think your problems are too big, be reminded: Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? (Jeremiah 32:27)
The largest known cooperative community of mammals spend their summers together inside Bracken Cave near San Antonio, Texas. During the day 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats raise their 20 million pups, while each night they gulp down an estimated 150 tons of insects! The bats winter in Mexico and mate in the spring. Then, for a reason unknown to scientists, only the females fly to Texas.
During their migration, the bats fly at 40 mph at an altitude of eight to ten thousand feet. Once settled in at Bracken Cave, they become pregnant from the sperm of male bats which they have carried on the journey with them! Four months later each has a single pup. Although the caves one-room nursery has 20 million noisy pups, a mother bat released anywhere within the cave can find her own baby in as little as 12 seconds. (Letting God Create Your Day)
How marvelous is our God who created such wonders!
God does wonders that cannot be understood; He does so many miracles they cannot be counted. (Job 5:9 NCV)
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it. (Psalm 139:6)
According to Wikipedia.com, The etymology of the term “good” in the context of Good Friday is contested. Some sources claim ‘good’ to simply mean pious or holy, while others contend that it is a corruption of “God Friday”. The Oxford English Dictionary supports the first etymology, giving “of a day or season observed as holy by the church”…In German-speaking countries, Good Friday is generally referred to as Karfreitag (Kar from Old High German kara‚ “bewail”, “grieve”‚ “mourn”, Freitag for “Friday”): Mourning Friday. The Kar prefix is an ancestor of the English word care in the sense of cares and woes; it meant mourning.
It must seem puzzling to those outside of a relationship to Christ that we would refer to this day our Savior died as “good.” I’m sure, to them, it seems quite irrational to consider the death of the one a belief system is based on as “good.” The day Muhammad died is not called “good” by Muslims. The day Buddha died is not called “good” by Buddhist. Why does the Christian world consider the day Jesus died, in such a horrible, terrible way, why would we possibly call it “good?”
The difference, of course, is found in the fact that in those other belief systems the followers of that belief system gained nothing by the death of its founder. Muslims gained nothing from the death of Muhammad. Buddhist gained nothing from the death of Buddha. The followers of all other religions gained nothing from the death of the one on which it is based.
Followers of Jesus, on the other hand, gained everything from His death! As the Apostle Paul put it: For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT)
One of my favorite Chris Tomlin songs that we sing is entitled: At The Cross (Love Ran Red) I think it does a pretty good job of explaining what makes the day Jesus Christ died “good.” The first verse and chorus go like this:
There’s a place where mercy reigns and never dies
There’s a place where streams of grace flow deep and wide
Where all the love I’ve ever found, comes like a flood, comes flowing down
At the cross, at the cross I surrender my life
I’m in awe of You, I’m in awe of You
Where Your love ran red, and my sin washed white
I owe all to You, I owe all to You Jesus
Of course, if the story had ended with His death it would have been a different story. (Something we’ll be talking about this Sunday!) But the story didn’t end at the cross. The empty tomb is our proof that Jesus’ mission was successful, and our sin-debt was paid.
Now since we preached that Christ was raised from the dead, why do some of you say that people will not be raised from the dead? If no one is ever raised from the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is worth nothing, and your faith is worth nothing. And also, we are guilty of lying about God, because we testified of him that he raised Christ from the dead. But if people are not raised from the dead, then God never raised Christ. If the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith has nothing to it; you are still guilty of your sins. And those in Christ who have already died are lost. If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone else in the world. But Christ has truly been raised from the dead—the first one and proof that those who sleep in death will also be raised. (1 Corinthians 15:12-20 NCV)
Without the empty tomb it might be more appropriate to refer to Friday as ‘Mourning Friday.’ But Sunday morning changed Friday’s mourning to shouts of joyful adoration and praise for the One who laid down His life, so that we could take up eternal life in Him. Now that’s good!
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. (1 Peter 3:15 NLT)
Have you ever had one of those divine appointment moments? You know, an encounter you have with someone that you just know God has set it up. I had one of those yesterday. We are having some work done on our home and a gentleman came to do some work. Of course I could have just focused on what I had to do. There’s an old joke that I have used many times, “You know a pastor only works one day a week.” But, I really did have plenty to do, and could have just stayed focused on my work.
We can all do that, right? We can put our noses down, so to speak, and focus on the task at hand. But, you and I have a bigger job, a greater task, that all followers of Jesus are to be engaged in, and that is to share the love of Jesus Christ with those around us.
Sometimes divine appointments just fall into our laps, but other times we may have to “work” a little bit and see what happens. That’s how it was yesterday. As the man was doing his work I just began to ask him some questions about his work. Questions like: “How long have you been doing this?” “Do you enjoy the work?” “What’s the hardest part of what you do?” Those types of questions often open the door for other questions: “Are you married?” “Do you have any children?” “Where are you from?”
Asking questions shows people that you are genuinely interested in their lives. It gives them the opportunity to talk about their lives, something most people want to do. And, it helps to build the bridge to a relationship where they are open to talking about other things, spiritual things.
It would take too long to write everything about our encounter, but he noticed my guitars in my office and began to ask me some questions about them. As we were talking about them I mentioned that I have used them in church some. That opened the door to ask him about church: “Do you go to church?” “Did you grow up in church?” “Do you ever give much thought to church?”
As we talked a sort of strange look came over him. He suddenly asked me, “You wouldn’t happen to be the pastor of Cross Culture Church, would you?” I was surprised but said, “Yes, I am. How did you know that?” He said that as we were talking he suddenly realized that he had seen me before. It turns out one of you had invited him to Cross Culture a couple of years ago, and he came. He said he really enjoyed the whole thing. He specifically mentioned the way he felt welcomed by all the people.
When I asked him why he never came back he said, “I don’t know, just the busyness of life I guess?” The conversation progressed to the point that he began to share with me some serious struggles he and his family were going through right now. I asked him if I could pray for them, and his reaction was almost like a thirsty man reaching for a drink of water.
As we prayed I could hear the man sobbing. When we finished he wiped the tears from his face and thanked me. I encouraged him to come be with us again at Cross Culture, and I also told him that everything he and his family needed will only be found in a close relationship with Jesus Christ.
When he got ready to leave he hugged us both and told us that when he came in our door that morning, and Cindi greeted him, he said he just felt the joy and peace in this home. (He should have been around the last time I told Cindi I got another guitar!) But the point is we don’t have to be perfect to be used by God, we just have to be available. We just have to be willing to look up from our hectic lives and busy schedules and see those around us. We just have to say to God, “Father, please use me to impact others lives. Please use me to grow Your Kingdom.”
Divine appointments may not happen everyday, but everyday we can look for them, and be ready for them when they do come.
Have you gone into the store-houses of the snow? Have you seen the store-houses of the hail, which I have kept for the time of trouble, for the day of war and battle? (Job 38:22-23 NLV)
Okay, so we got snowed out of worship today, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pause to reflect on the goodness and greatness of our God, and give thanks for who He is. If you are familiar with the story of Job in the Old Testament then you know he went through some terrible, tragic, trials. Job went through stuff that, quite frankly, we probably wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy.
The reason for Job’s trials was because he was a man of righteousness. He was striving to live for the Lord everyday. God was being glorified through Job’s decision to live everyday in a way that honored God. Satan can’t stand that; a life lived to honor God that is.
Ironically, Job’s “friends” thought just the opposite. They thought Job was suffering because he had sinned. To them it made no sense that God would allow a man who was trying to live good to go through bad circumstances. So, they came to the conclusion that Job must have done something wrong, and they weren’t shy about telling Job so.
Of course Job knew that he hadn’t. Job wasn’t sinless, but he was trying to honor the Lord with his whole life, his health, his wealth, and his family. In the blink of an eye all of that was taken from Job, and still he honored God with his response: I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord! (Job 1:21 NLT)
Eventually, the continual accusation of Job’s so called friends caused him to begin to want answers from God for his sufferings. Asking why is natural. Learning to be okay with not knowing takes faith.
God’s response to Job’s questions was both lengthy and humbling for Job. Included in God’s response was the verse at the beginning of this article. Job went looking for answers from God. God responded with questions for Job. In the end Job found faith, not in the answers he wanted, but in the questions God gave him.
Today we may know more than Job as to what causes snow and hail to form, but the lesson to learn is still the same. Whether it is a meteorological system, or an ecological system, or a cosmological system, God is the One who makes it all work. God is the One in control. And, God is the One we must trust.
No, we didn’t get to meet today, but we can look forward with great joy to the next time we can gather together and worship our Savior and God. In the meantime, as the snow melts away, give praise to the One who spoke it all into existence, the One who really is the answer to all of our questions.
Driving down 440 yesterday I noticed the big billboard showing the current Powerballjackpot – $40 million. It seemed so small. Compared to last week’s $1.6 billion it was, but how revealing it is of our nature’s tendency to never be satisfied.
A while back lottery officials increased the number of numbers you can pick from when playing the Powerball, thus making it statistically harder to win, which in turn made for bigger jackpots. Now, if you think about it rationally it would seem that having less of a chance to win would decrease ticket sales, but it actually had exactly the opposite affect. It drove ticket sales up, as jackpot’s got larger. Even though people have a decreased chance of winning, the larger the number gets the more their desire to win increases. Honestly, it was a pretty clever move by lottery officials to generate more income for them.
Look, the man who would not make God his safe place, but trusted in his many riches and was strong in his sinful desire. But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the loving-kindness of God forever and ever. I will give You thanks forever because of what You have done. And I will hope in Your name, for it is good to be where those who belong to You are. (Psalm 52:7-9 NLV)
I’ve said many times that wealth is not in itself a bad thing, and people aren’t bad for having wealth. You can find numerous places in scripture where God blessed people with wealth, sometimes extraordinary wealth. No, having wealth isn’t wrong. The problem we run into is when wealth begins to have us. And here’s the thing, you don’t have to have wealth for wealth to have you.
In other words, the desire for wealth can consume the poor person just as much as the rich person. No matter what our economic status, or income level, it is our nature to want more. The 19th century industrialist and founder of Standard Oil, John D Rockefeller, easily the richest man in the world in his day, was once asked, “How much is enough?” His famous response, “Just a little bit more.”
Of course, as followers of Jesus we understand that money and wealth will have no value in eternity: Riches are of no use in the day of God’s anger, but being right with God saves from death. (Proverbs 11:4 NLV)
Still, we know what that pull feels like, don’t we? We think about how financial freedom would remove so many problems for us, alleviate so much stress, take away some of our fears, and give us some of the material things we would like to have.
But the truth is we already have access to all of those things! If, as follower of Jesus Christ, I am a faithful manager of the finances God entrusts to me, then I can have absolute financial freedom. God promises to provide every single thing I need, and more. If that’s not freedom I don’t know what is.
Bring to the storehouse a full tenth of what you earn so there will be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord All-Powerful. I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need. (Malachi 3:10 NCV)
It’s kind of exciting to think that you don’t have to win the Powerball to have financial freedom. All we have to have is the faith to be obedient. That’s the difference between the two paths to financial freedom; one path requires faith, and the other doesn’t. Winning the lottery is purely by luck. Trusting God is purely by faith.
The lure of riches will always be there, but walking by faith means being content with God, and what He gives to us, and being obedient to give back what He asks. So, maybe our best prayer to God, when it comes to our finances, should be something like this: …don’t make me either rich or poor; just give me enough food for each day. (Proverbs 30:8b NCV)
Thursday I received a brace for my bad leg. It’s supposed to help me walk better, more normal. After multiple surgeries and a year of pretty intense physical therapy it became obvious that the bones have mended, but my ankle is still broken. What I mean is it simply won’t move as much as it is supposed to move. It can’t really do what it was meant to do. So, the brace helps me to walk more normally because it does what my ankle can’t do.
One of the arguments I’ve heard presented by Atheists is that “Christianity is just a crutch for weak-minded people that need some sort of emotional and psychological help and support.” Whether I am weak-minded or not may be open for debate, but to the charge of needing support I can honestly say, “Amen. Guilty as charged!”
The truth is we are all broken. It’s not hard to look around at the world we live in and see that people are in need of some help. Prescription drug use for anxiety, depression, and sleep issues is a multi-billion dollar industry. Alcohol and other drugs are used by millions of people to self-medicate. Atheist may accuse Christianity of being a crutch, but the reality is everybody is looking to lean on something or someone.
We are broken. First and primarily we are broken in a spiritual sense. The Bible reminds us: For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23 NLT) Our sin separates us from a right relationship with God. And, like my ankle and physical therapy, all the work, effort, and energy we can produce won’t fix it. We were created for relationship with God, and our sin broke that.
Also, we are broken in a physical sense. Because of our sin the world and everything in it is subject to the sin curse. Science calls it the Law of Entropy, or the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but it is the realization that everything in our universe is devolving; cars rust, buildings crumble, food spoils, and our bodies, well, our bodies are dying. God’s word is clear: You get what is coming to you when you sin. It is death! (Romans 6:23a NLV)
We can go to the gym and workout constantly, we can take every vitamin we can get our hands on, we can eat all the organically grown food in the garden, but we are still going to die. With all of the advancements in science, medicine, and health the death rate is still 100%. We were created to live forever with God, and our sin broke that.
And, whether people are willing to admit it or not, we are broken emotionally and psychologically. I’ve already made reference to it, but people take something when they’re down, and then take something else to help them come down when they can’t wind down. Philosophers, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and Oprah’s life class, have been searching for the meaning of life and the means to happiness since the beginning of time, and mankind is more stressed, stretched, and strained than anytime since the beginning of time. We were created for fellowship with God, and our sin broke that.
The truth is Christianity isn’t a crutch we need to lean on. Christianity is a cross we need to fall before. Like my ankle, we simply can’t do what we were meant to do because we are broken. The great news is this: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
Even with my brace I’ll never be 100% again, in this life anyway, but because of Jesus Christ we can be made completely whole again. As the Apostle Peter put it: And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24) He really is the Great Physician!
Happy Thanksgiving! If you don’t read this until after Thursday then belated Happy Thanksgiving! A bit of a history lesson here: George Washington, our first president, in 1789 called for an official celebratory “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” While Congress overwhelmingly agreed to Washington’s suggestion, the holiday did not officially become an annual event.
In a speech delivered October 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln, expressing gratitude for a pivotal Union Army victory at Gettysburg, announced that the nation would celebrate a day of Thanksgiving on November 26, 1863. And, the fourth Thursday of every November thereafter would be considered an official U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving.
While Lincoln’s motivation for a holiday in 1863 may not have sat well with southerners at the time, if we go back to Washington’s original intent in 1789 we find what today should be about for all of us. By calling for a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” Washington was acknowledging the divine blessings poured out on this nation, and the need to continue to seek God’s favor.
Let’s be clear, God doesn’t love America more than other nations. He loves the people of Rwanda, Indonesia, France, and everywhere else just as much. But despite historical revisionists attempts to write God out of our nation’s history, we are a nation founded by men who understood that the concepts of liberty, and freedom, and justice for all are God-given, not man-made.
Because our forefathers understood that, and founded this nation on those truths, God has blessed this nation in a remarkable way. Those of us who recognize that truth not only have much to be thankful for, we know Whom we should thank.
For most people what they are most thankful for is that tomorrow is Black Friday and they can get up before the sun and go save a hundred bucks on a TV, or whatever all else we can buy. Thanksgiving has gotten lost somewhere between the stuffing on our tables and the stuff on our shopping list.
Come to think of it though that’s a great reason to be thankful. I’m not referring to the madness of America’s Black Friday, but to the greatness of the world’s Black Friday. You see, two thousand years ago on hill called Calvary the Savior of the world died on the original Black Friday. It was both literally and figuratively black. The sky turned dark as midnight as the Father turned away as the Son paid the sin-debt for the entire world. And the disciples thought all hope was lost. It truly was Black Friday.
But the disciples were wrong. Hope wasn’t lost in the blackness of that Friday. Hope was actually born for all of us. They’d have to wait three days to realize it, but it was worth the wait. Now there’s a reason to be thankful.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. (Psalm 100:4)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.