Sanctification is not a spectator sport. We are called to get off the bench and pursue transformation. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit does the heavy lifting as we are increasingly changed into the image of Christ. Check out God Changing Us (Part 1) in our WHO IS HE? series to see how the Holy Spirit transforms us. You might be surprised! Part 2 is 5/26.
Archive for the ‘the gospel’ Category
Between the ditches of dead intellectualism & empty emotionalism is an authentic experience of knowing AND feeling God’s love for us in the Gospel. Check out this message if you want to know how the Holy Spirit positionally and personally drenches us with the Father’s love through Jesus. You’ll also hear about the incredible union the Spirit creates across ethnic lines, providing a real time picture of the future, in the gritty here and now, through the Church.
Sunday we also had the joy of announcing our first summer intern at Restore Church, Nick Lee. Nick is a student at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston and will be arriving June 12.
Please pray for Pastor Clete as he preaches Thursday the funeral of a father (of a young man in our church) who lost his life last week. And please carry this grieving family to the throne of grace!
It was a blast kicking off our new series on the Holy Spirit yesterday! In this message I give four reasons why we need this series. To avoid unbiblical extremes of strange fire & no fire. To be biblical – reformed & always being reformed. To pursue gospel-centrality – being Jesus-centered versus Spirit-led is a false dichotomy. The Holy Spirit is the gift of the Gospel poured out by Jesus according to the promise of the Father. Because being on mission makes us desperate. A church that discovers it’s all about Jesus (salvation & sanctification) makes the Devil say, “Oh no, now they are going to grow in the gospel.” A church that discovers that Jesus gives His people the Spirit makes the devil quake, “Oh no, now they are going to go with the gospel!.” We began the series by looking at how the Holy Spirit is not a sanctified purple haze but a Powerful Person of the Godhead. He is a Workhorse, a Beast (urban dictionary definition – check out the message for details;). We are on an exciting journey & invite you along! Next Sunday we will be dialing in on how the Holy Spirit indwells Christians. How does that happen? What does it mean? Strong stuff!
I spend the first 12 minutes before the sermon talking about the church putting violent crime in our area on blast. I discuss how both crime investigation & media coverage of violent crimes vary according to race. Please pray for us and provide input on how we can make a difference! The sermon actually begins at about the 11:50 mark of the audio. (The video does not include that discussion.)
Blown away. That’s how we feel about what God is doing by His grace for His glory at Restore Church in our community. Though we forgot to announce it (imagine that!), yesterday marked our one year anniversary of weekly worship services. No doubt due to the Easter surge, it was nonetheless fun, exciting & encouraging to have over 140 pack the PO. The need for more worship space is driving a revision of our building layout, that’s for sure. Please pray for that that as we move deeper into renovations. Saturday we also had the privilege of helping Mosaic Church canvass Ypsilanti for their Easter Egg Hunt. We are thankful for a deepening relationship with Mosaic Church!
Here are a few other prayer points as well:
• For our Dgroups as they create plans for showing & telling Jesus on the block as we move toward the summer.
• For Clete as he preaches at Restore on Sunday & for me as I preach at the Unplugged Conference in Baltimore.
• For clarity with the gospel and conversion in several people we are walking with.
We concluded our WEEK series with a look at the Empty Tomb from Mark 16. The resurrection calls us to 4 specific responses. You can hear what these are below.
Nooses for chandeliers…you’ll have to listen to the intro to understand this line. Mark 15:21-39 is the shocking story of an execution that has a surprising ending. The video is only 30 minutes long, not because I set a personal record for brevity but because of technical difficulties. If you can read my chicken scratch notes you can fill in the rest.
We had a blast Saturday with our Easter Egg Hunt and had some new visitors Sunday because of it, as well as more people wanting to check out Dgroups. Great job Wadsworth! Saturday 1PM in Ypsilanti we have the privilege of helping Mosaic Church canvass for their Sunday Easter Egg Hunt. Come help us serve a church who has served us so well!
As we grow it’s been so encouraging to see gifted people step up to the plate to serve the church & our community. Please pray for our teen ministry leaders John & Emily Decker, for our financial adminisrator Jason Vinson, and for our Children’s Summer Children’s Program Director Annie Kopena.
Easter Sunday marks the one year anniversary of doing weekly worship services! Hope to see you at the PO!
What. A. failure! I can’t believe I did that again! Loser! If you’ve ever had these thoughts, then this message on Christ’s faithfulness in the face of our failures is for you. While Peter was shamefully denying truth in the courtyard below, Christ was bolding confessing truth in Caiphus’s hall above. Because of the latter, we can be forgiven for the former. After the rooster crowed, grace brought restoration and transformation!
Shout out to Clete for the corner set up we tried in our second service downstairs! We have a revised floor plan coming that will allow us to seat more people in the worship space. Please pray for Saturday’s Easter Egg Hunt – weather, participation, relationships, people meeting & following Jesus!
Thanks Mosaic team for making Sunday’s first worship service downstairs at The PO a reality! (And for a great week and many new relationships!) Worship began with a powerful spoken word on “The Cup” by one of our own, Matt Golden. You can check it out below. Worthwhile! Later we looked at what drinking the cup would mean for Jesus. Wow. Talk about holy ground! Abandonment. Anguish. Love. Out of this we are called to 4 decision points. The truth of Mark 14:32-42 is staggering. Literally.
Your broken life now is your best life, now and forever. So what does the broken life look like? Find out from a woman who gave her costliest for the Lord, because she knew He would give His costliest for her. You can watch below.
In addition to lots of stuff going on during the week as we host a mission team from Mosaic Church Ann Arbor, we have three big events lined up for the coming weekend. EVERYONE IS INVITED!
Friday 6:30 PM - Praise/Pizza/Fowling Party. We are kicking off a long awaited cadence of Friday night parties at The PO for the entire Restore fam & neighborhood.
Saturday noon - neighborhood canvassing for our Easter Egg Hunt. 10,000 cards to hand out. Yep, that’s right, no typo, TEN THOUSAND cards! (Thanks Mosaic!) Bring your friends, their friends, and their friends!
Sunday 11AM - our first worship service downstairs at The PO. In a miracle almost on par with the Red Sea Crossing we started on time Sunday & intend to continue to do so to better serve one another better! We are asking for a second miracle as daylight savings time begins Sunday. To put a carrot out there and provide an opportunity for fellowship, we’ll do coffee and donuts (maybe breakfast) at 10AM Sunday. Perhaps we are looking for a third miracle;)
Finally, in Sunday’s service we also celebrated Matt & Maja Golden moving into the neighborhood. If you want to hear how it all happened, starting at Slow’s BBQ 2 years ago, watch their testimony below.
Angry preacher. I was a little bit of that Sunday. Watch & you will know why. The prosperity gospel hurts people & dishonors God. Oh yeah, and we all have some prosperity gospel in us. There’s suburban versions & urban versions. We have all wanted Jesus for the wrong reasons. That’s why 5 days later, the same lips that shouted “Hosanna!” would cry out “Crucify Him!”. In just days it went from ticker tape parade to the lynch mob. All of us our indicted. Thankfully, there is the true gospel of pure grace for all of us! Meet Jesus weeping on a donkey before you see Him roaring on a warhorse when He comes in His holy Timberlands to stamp out all injustice. And it’s not that God does not want to satisfy us. More than anyone He wants to! He just knows that stuff & circumstances can’t do it – only He can! Sunday we continue our series on the events of the Passion Week from the Gospel of Mark. We will look at the amazing story of a woman who broke her best for God, because she knew he would break His best for her.
If you care about reaching your city, your time will not be wasted in watching this message by Michael Crawford of Freedom Church in Baltimore. If I had a bishop, it would be Mike! I love this brother’s gospel fueled passion for making disciples in the urban core. Something really special went down this weekend! Restore Church looks forward to learning from and walking with Freedom Church as we seek to make disciple making disciples and plant church planting churches. In this message Mike shares 5 recommendations for Restore Church. And perhaps yours.
Please pray for our upcoming series in Mark, our first week long mission team coming in to help prep for building renovation and the far bigger goal of building relationships, and for a massive Easter Egg Hunt we are planning.