Friday
Apr252014

This Week at Bristol . . . Jesus Gives Us a New Name

Upon reading the Bible, you find a variety of names in the Old and New Testaments the Lord gives or specifically calls those who follow Him. Such as: Christians, Sons, Disciples, Jewels (or Treasured Possession), Ambassadors, Friends, Servants, Stewards, Saints and Witnesses.

It is the last name we will examine more closely during our worship this Sunday. One of the places where this word stands out is Acts 1:8. Jesus’ last words to His followers, before His ascension to heaven, was to charge them with the task of taking the Gospel everywhere. As we read in our key verse that includes: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the whole world.

That task of taking the Gospel everywhere could only be accomplished if His followers were willing to do as He said and “Go.” They went and the result was astounding. In the Book of Acts you find words like “multiplied” (Acts 6:1, 7), and “added” (Acts 2:41, 47, 5:14, and 11:24) that refer to the outcome of their witnessing. People everywhere heard the Good News and followed Jesus.

The exponential growth that we read about in the early church happened because of the witness of the people - their undeniable obedience to the Lord. Following the formula in Acts 1:8 always works.

The lesson this week is a prelude to our “Mission Focus Sunday” next week when Jack and Alysia Kinney and family will be joining us. They will share their journey of following the Lord wholeheartedly as His witnesses.

I look forward to this Sunday. We had a GREAT day on Easter Sunday and we will have a great day this Sunday too.

You are loved,

Pastor Terry

Thursday
Apr172014

EASTER SUNDAY Information

I wanted to bring everyone up-to-date regarding information for the activities on Easter Sunday:

EASTER SUNDAY SCHEDULE . . .

8:45 - Easter Breakfast

9:45 - Easter Egg Hunt

10:10 - “The Resurrection Egg Story” (in the sanctuary)

10:30 - Easter Worship

When you arrive, I would encourage you to park in the lower level parking area. This would free up the main level parking for our guests. If you have walking issues, then please park on the main level.

Also, there will be a number of guests with us on Easter. I would ask you to meet and greet as many “new” faces as possible. There will be time during the breakfast, the Easter Egg Hunt, and prior to and following worship to introduce yourself. Your friendly and genuine smile tells a story!

See you tomorrow evening for the Good Friday service at 6:30 p.m. and Easter Sunday!

Many, many blessings,

Pastor Terry

Friday
Apr112014

This Week at Bristol - What do the Palms Tell Us?

We are aware of the palms in the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem that began the last few days of His life. The palms were cut off the trees and waved as the people shouted, “Hosanna, to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest heaven.” This was a way of acknowledging Jesus as King.
 
But the palms from the trees are not the significant palms we should consider. Rather we should reflect on the palms of Jesus - His physical palms.
 
It was with Jesus’ palms that He held the cup during His final meal with the disciples (knowing the cup contained the sin of all mankind). It was with Jesus’ palms that He, perhaps, cradled His head during that agonizing time in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was Jesus’ palms that the Romans drove spikes through on a hill outside Jerusalem to secure Him to a cross. It was Jesus’ palms that were shown to His followers after His triumphal resurrection to alleviate their fear.
 
The palms of Jesus tell a story and this Sunday morning we will reflect on those palms.
 
When I consider the palms of Jesus, I better understand the enormous sacrifice He made on my behalf. Without His palms I would not know forgiveness. Paul says that, He (Jesus) became sin for us who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
 
I hope you join me and others as we consider the palms of Jesus this Sunday as seen through the eyes of Matthew (Matthew 26:36-56).
 
I look forward to learning and growing with you.
 
You are deeply loved and appreciated!
 
Pastor Terry

 

Friday
Mar282014

This Week at Bristol - Philip, Just Call Him Available

It is amazing how the Lord uses people and things to accomplish His work. 

For instance in the Bible we read how . . . It took a young shepherd boy defeating a giant to teach the Israeli army the power of God . . . It took a whale to swallow a prophet before Jonah would go to Nineveh and preach the truth . . . It took a boy’s small lunch to teach the disciples the Lord’s compassion . . . It took a prostitute wife married to Hosea to teach an important lesson of faithfulness to the nation of Israel . . . It took a lost lamb, a coin, and a boy to teach value . . . It took the early church being available to change a world.
 
That leads us into our lesson for this Sunday. Available and ready for duty is a great way to describe Philip.
 
He started out as a layman in the church. But God had different plans for him. As the church grew, so did it’s needs to help. A new office was established called “deacon.” Philip was one of seven selected and confirmed to serve this way.
 
Then the time came for the church to go beyond the boundaries of Jerusalem and God used persecution to scatter the people. This was God’s way of getting the salt (Matthew 5:13) out of the saltshaker. Philip became an itinerant preacher who visited a Samaritan city where revival broke out and there was “great joy in the city.” (Acts 8:8).
 
God was not done with Philip. The Lord needed someone to go the Gaza area and talk with one confused and searching man. Philip went and another soul was added to the Kingdom.
 
God then sent Philip up the coast of the Mediterranean Sea where he preached in the towns until he arrived at Caesarea. When we come to Acts 21:8, Philip is now a commissioned evangelist. No one knows how many people became followers of Jesus because of this man’s availability.
 
You have heard it before, God uses available people. He certainly used Philip and He certainly will use us too. That is what we will discover this Sunday as we continue this current series, “WON by ONE,” as we take a careful look at the qualities of this man Philip.
 
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday! The Lord has something to teach us, so let’s listen carefully.
 
You are very much loved and appreciated!
Pastor Terry

 

Friday
Mar212014

This Week at Bristol - A Witness for the Generations

Any study of Bible characters who impacted the lives of others would be incomplete without a careful look at the Apostle Paul. You guessed it. Our lesson this week places Paul in the spotlight. We will use Acts 26:1-29 as our text (why not take a few minutes and read these verses in preparation for Sunday’s message).

Paul is just one of many in the Bible who was used by the Lord to make a positive difference. We are first introduced to him at beginning of Acts 8. He was a watchful observer as Stephen was being stoned to death for his faith. Acts 9 gives us the account on Paul’s spiritual life change.

There are at least seven times in the New Testaments that he gives a testimony of his personal Christian journey that started with his conversion outside the city of Damascus. From that point forward, his desire was to help others find what it means to live for Christ.

Whether Paul was speaking to one person (Acts 16) or many (Acts 17 and 21), whether he was in the synagogue (Acts 13), down at the river (Acts 16), in jail (Acts 16), standing in the marketplace (Acts 17), going from house-to-house (Acts 20), before rulers (Acts 24, 25, and 26), under house arrest (Acts 28) or in the palace (Philippians 1), he is a faithful witness. 

What made Paul a true and effective witness for the Lord? That is our subject for this Sunday. You might say, “I am not Paul.” You are correct, but no one is and that is good. God uses all of us with our uniqueness to lift Jesus high. Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself.” (John 12:32)

This Sunday we study Paul - another colorful character - whom the Lord used to build and extend His Kingdom. Our current teaching series, “WON by ONE,” is about learning to effectively build bridges. What a bridge-builder Paul was, just like Andrew, the Woman at the Well, and Peter and his associates. We can learn lessons from those who have gone before us that will help us to be difference-makers too.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we worship and fellowship together.

You are greatly loved!

Pastor Terry