Pastor's Perspective

For many years I wrestled with Jesus’ first miracle as recorded in John 2:1–11.  It just did not make sense to me that His very first miracle would be turning water into wine in an out-of-the-way village like Cana of Galilee.  Wouldn’t it have been far better to start with a dazzling miracle like opening the eyes of the blind, or healing the lame, or feeding the 5,000?  But water into wine at a wedding reception…really?  This miracle got under my skin so much that I could not preach on it!

I recently ministered in Brazil where there was a significant language barrier. Our team understood almost nothing of their Portuguese. However, we quickly found common linguistic ground when one of our ladies took out her camera, pulled one Brazilian lady close to her, taking a joint photo. The Brazilian woman said, “Selfie!” Though they could not understand, “May I have some water please?” they understood selfie.

How important is it to go to church? That depends on how you define “going to church”. If by going to church you mean attending some ecclesiastical entity that is mostly caught up in its own agenda, its own promotion, and man pleasing entertainment; if by going to church you mean having a place to promote personal reputation, power, position/titles for personal glory; if by going to church you mean going someplace trying to be a good Christian through self-righteous living; if by going to church you mean trying to worship and serve God without the power of Holy Spirit; if by attending church you mean gathering together in a place where the whole council of God’s Word isn’t fully taught, then I say attending church isn’t important at all. Any attendance of church where God isn’t worshipped in spirit and truth; where the Lordship of Christ isn’t recognized; where His glory isn’t taken seriously; where His love isn’t prioritized, and where His grace and truth is compromised is an act of vanity resulting in ”Churchianity” (church done in human power). May those kinds of churches repent or be seen for the empty forms they are.

There’s no doubt the culture we live in throughout the United States and our River Region has and is changing rapidly.  We must ask ourselves, “Is the change positive or negative?”

Psalm 90:1 Moses states,“throughout all generations you (God), have been our home.”

One of the reasons why my wife, Christina, and I love Easter is that she gets to end her Lenten Facebook fast, and we get to see all of our friends and their children looking happy and good in their new Easter clothes. It makes us smile. If you are hesitant to post your family Easter pic to Facebook, don’t be. Everybody loves it.

Rev. Roger Olsen is the pastor of Cedarwood Community Church in Wetumpka, Alabama.  Rev. Olsen is also the Resource Development Coordinator for the Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling. March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month and we took the opportunity to sit down with the Pastor for a conversation.

It’s been noted that “a lot of people have great weddings, but not everyone has a great marriage.”

The Apostle Paul tells us that in Christ we are new creatures and everything has become new (2 Cor. 5:17). Revelation tells us that God’s ultimate plan is to make “all things new” (Rev. 21:5). God’s love for renewal is seen even in Isaiah as we are told God is about to do a “new thing” (43:19). The good news for us beginning a new year is that our creator loves to make things new! No matter what happened in 2014, not matter where we may find ourselves as we wake up in 2015, God is ready and prepared to make all things new.

Thursday, 04 December 2014 07:51

More Than Meets the Eye

Written by Buddy Bell, Landmark Church

An older couple walked into the office of the President of Harvard University.  They were not well dressed and their appearance was haggard.  The President’s secretary greeted them.  The man said, “We would like to see the President.”  The secretary explained he was very busy and not available and offered to help. “We’ll wait,” he replied. They waited all day.  Finally, late in the afternoon the secretary went to the President and begged him to see the couple, “to get them out of our hair.”  He walked out of his office and asked what they wanted.  They said, “Our son came to Harvard and loved it.  He was killed in a terrible accident.  We would like to build a memorial, a building, in his honor.”  The President looked at them and shook his head and said, “You don’t know what you are getting into.  We have over 7.5 million dollars of physical plant here at Harvard! I’m sorry, but I don’t think you can help.”  The couple walked out of the building.  The husband looked at his wife and said, “Is that all it takes to start a University?  Let’s start one of our own.” He headed back to Palo Alto, California and established a university in honor of the son Harvard never cared about--Leland Stanford University.  This story teaches a simple rule in life- there always is more than meets the eye!

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