I’m amazed at how many people were talking about the prediction that the world was going to end May 21, 2011 just because one man said so. All of the news channels were covering it. Maybe even more amazing was how many of his followers not only believed this prophecy but spent thousands of dollars of their own money trying to get the message out to others. Well, as we all know by now, May 21 has come and gone and nothing happened. The prophecy of ‘the end of the world as we know it’ has now been set for Oct 21, 2011, and, as the song goes, “I feel fine.”

Of course it is unsettling to think of our life being turned upside down, to have all of our security taken away and to be put in judgment before God. I understand why this is unnerving. I noticed a certain unsettledness with my own children and thought it might be a good opportunity to share with them why I was certain this “doomsday prophecy” wasn’t going to happen. Continue Reading…

Our news has been filled lately with natural disaster followed by natural disaster. Just yesterday, we heard that over 126 people died from a tornado that hit the town of Joplin, Missouri. This happened less than a month after over 300 people perished in Alabama from a similar disaster. Earthquakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, not to mention other tragedies people face… Is there something God is trying to teach us or say to us through all of these events? Some have suggested that these events are a judgment upon humankind by God. The rational is that, for one reason or another, God is angry with us and therefore these things occur as wrath or judgment. Others suggested it has no bearing on that at all and that these events occur simply because of the sin which came into the world at ‘The Fall’. In this way then, these tragedies all happen as part of the price of being human in a fallen world; it’s just part of life.

I’m not sure how qualified I am to give anyone a definitive answer to such a deep, profound and human question. I’ve seen these events, and the devastation they produce, at a distance in that this type of tragedy has never affected my private property or family. However, as a pastor, this is one of those questions that gets asked a lot, both by those who observe tragedy and those who go through it themselves. Over the years I have wrestled with this question like so many other people and have embraced an answer I think most answers the dilemma of tragedy in our lives. The heart of this answer is found in an answer Jesus gave to a disaster that Continue Reading…

Being Radical

Online Campus Blog Team —  March 18, 2011

The term ‘radical’ is not one that we associate with good character qualities as much as we once did. Growing up, ‘radical’ meant something was the best, coolest, and most awesome it could be. However, over the years we have seen this word used more and more used to describe much darker characteristics. We have seen the rise of ‘radical’ fundamentalism where people calling themselves Christians have done great harm in the name of Christianity and ‘radical’ Muslims where, in the name of Islam, thousands have been killed like we saw on 9/11. In both cases, the very darkest use of this word ‘radical’ is being expressed, and these are only a couple of the bad examples of ‘radical’ we could name. Therefore, the word ‘radical’ today often conveys a   negative, and even frightening, message. Continue Reading…

Love Is….

Online Campus Blog Team —  February 16, 2011

Ahhh, here we are again in February, the month of Love.  I must admit I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day!  It probably has something to do with the fact that it feels to me like another commercially produced holiday that’s only interested in getting into my wallet. I think the other reason is because I have no idea why we are celebrating. I mean I understand Christmas, Easter, and even the Fourth of July.  But where does Valentine’s Day come from?  A few years ago I spent some time looking up the origin of Valentine’s Day. What I found was that there wasn’t any one agreed upon way that it came to be. It might even be a remembrance of a guy who performed marriages when marriages were outlawed and was beheaded. Maybe a holiday we don’t understand is really appropriate to celebrate an abstract term we also don’t seem to understand well. Continue Reading…

Continuing in the REALationships series at Fellowship Bible Church is a message on your relationship with your parents given by Mark Henry. One of the things that is distinctive about this message is that it relates to everyone as we all have parents.

What might strike you right from the beginning is the emphasis Mark puts on the connection between our attitude toward our parents and our attitude toward God. Scripture is very clear about this point for every stage of our lives and it has served as a reminder wake-up call punch in the gut about some of the ways I’ve treated my mom over the years.

What’s more, as a parent to two young kids, it helps me connect my faith with the ways I am raising them and building their character. I am able to help them understand the link between their behavior, my words and Scripture – both in the positive and negative. Continue Reading…

I knew when we started this venture of an online campus church that this question was going to be asked. I think the idea of a ‘virtual’ congregation seems to some like blasphemy.  At first, I too was a little concerned. How do people who come together for Church over the internet connect in a real, genuine, life transforming kind of way? I will admit that this medium may make those kinds of connections harder, yet isn’t the purpose of real, genuine, and intimate connection to touch the heart in a way that causes transformation? If it is, then let’s face it, a lot of us have had plenty of physical contact with people yet likely have very few that have touched our hearts in a meaningful way. Continue Reading…

Ready. Set. ___

Jon Dodson —  January 11, 2011

Gentlemen. Start your___
The train has left the ___
Ready. Set. ___

All systems green and we’ve launched.
The engines have been started, the tires are warm and the green flag has dropped.
The little engine that could has declared that it can and the hill has been conquered.

And we are on Go. Continue Reading…

Breathe Deeply and Be Free

Jon Dodson —  January 3, 2011

In the book of Romans, chapter 8, God lays out the most significant truths in all of Scripture. I say this because it is here where we learn just how much God loves us and what that should mean to us.

Notice that I said “should” because we all too often don’t live in light of God’s love. Guilt and shame over our bad choices – both internally and externally voiced – get in the way of the freedom offered. We allow others to keep records of our wrongs that add to our own list; compounding the desire to hide from God and others.

That’s not what God wants for us. Romans 8:37-39 explains that we are “more than conquerors” and that nothing can diminish God’s love for us. Continue Reading…