Pastor Jon for Website Messages Words by Which to Live ~ Pastor Jon Anderson

 Acts 9:1-61Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the        synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3Now as      he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice 

 saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are

 persecuting. 6But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 

 Suppose you were looking for a pastor for your church, and you got a resume' from a candidate who wrote, "You know, I hate the church and everything it stands for, and I want  to do everything I can to destroy it."  Would you interview, let alone call, such a person?  Would you want such a person to even visit your church, let alone serve as its pastor?  And yet, strangely, this is what the Bible tells us happened in the case of one Saul, who would later be known as Paul.  Saul saw Christians as a threat to his Jewish faith, and he asked the high priest for the authority to have Christians arrested.  But while he was on the way to do what he could to destroy the church, he had an unexpected encounter with Jesus.  Jesus asked him why he was doing what he was doing.  Saul didn't see Jesus-he only saw flashing lights and heard His voice, but when he asked who it was, Jesus identified Himself, and told him to go on to the city but instead of doing what he intended, to do what Jesus' followers would tell him to do.  Saul was later known as Paul, and went on to  found several churches and to write much of the New Testament.  Although he was so opposed to the church that he wanted to destroy it, Jesus saw something in him-something that would make him one of the great leaders of the church.  One thing that becomes very clear as you read the Bible is that all the people that God has called to be leaders, to be prophets-all of them, with the sole exception of Jesus, have been less than perfect.  Many of them argued with God when given instructions.  Peter not only argued with Jesus, but denied three times that he even knew Him.  The Bible proves over and over that you don't have to be perfect to serve in God's church.  I suspect that if most of the great leaders of God's people from the past were to apply for positions in the church today, most would be turned down-but God sees potential in us that others may not see, and can and does use us for service in the Kingdom.  May God help us to see all people as God sees them, and may God's peace be with us.  

 

 

 

 

Ordination with Bishop for Webpage

Words of Faith ~ Pastor Kim Frederking

     It has now been a number of days since the resurrection of Jesus the  Christ.  In Chapter 21 of the Gospel of John, we find that those disciples who were fishermen are back to pursuing their previous occupation.  Jesus has appeared on the shore of the sea of Tiberius.  He offers the fishermen direction in casting their nets in that place fish were easy to spot from the shore.  Their catch is noted as reaping in 153 fish.  The Bible is filled with hidden meaning meant for those who are able to "see" the message veiled in familiar language.  It is so in the identification of 153 fish caught.  According to Jerome, the number 153 acknowledges that the Sea of Tiberias held 153 different species of fish.  The fishermen disciples netted one of each in their net and it did not break.  

     Such understanding of this reading from John 21:1-8, opens our hearts and minds to the post resurrection message; the kingdom of God is for ALL peoples of ALL nations, the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for all. It is the desire of God to be reconciled to all God has created; all men and all that is, seen and unseen, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.  This certainly draws our thoughts to the Church universal and the holy catholic Church.  The net is cast wide across the world, and all peoples are gathered into one in the name of the risen Christ.  Jesus stands on the shore inviting you to cast your net; to be a fisher of people.  It is the work of the Church and yourselves.  The question is whether or not you possess the courage and the confidence in Jesus' direction to do so.  

 




  

   

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