The Game of Chess & a Chalmers Center Benevolence Tune Up

"If you want to learn how to play chess, you should start by removing your own queen. Once you’ve mastered the game without the most powerful piece, then put the queen back in and see how good you are! For the church, the Sunday service is our queen. We’ve been relying on it too much. Now that the queen has been taken off the board it’s time to rediscover what all the other pieces can do" - Alan Hirsch As the students learn how to use all the pieces on the board, they become stronger players, smarter players, and better players. They actually learn the whole game, and have a new love for the game! For some, they finally learn that the game was never about the queen, but always about the Kin

Food for Churches

Brothers and Sisters in Jesus, This week we have just celebrated the single most important event in history. The incarnation of Jesus, his death and resurrection. He has changed everything. He is Risen! In light of this good news, we wanted to invite you to share in ministry with the Mission. The Church has always been on the forefront of responding to hurting people. Are you aware of people in need in your community? God has opened our eyes to the growing needs across the area, and to a heavier than normal inventory level on some key food items in our distribution center. We would like to provide food for you to distribute to those in your church or community who are in great need. As we se

Resurrection Sunday

Easter is an honest holiday. It offers no false hopes or Pollyanna promises that nothing bad will ever happen to us. In fact, the prerequisite for Easter is the suffering and death of Jesus on Good Friday. We all love a comeback story. That's why there are so many movies made about underdogs who come back from defeat to win a great victory. The problem is that to have a comeback story you have to have a story of defeat. Similarly the problem with resurrection is that it requires a crucifixion. But it's because of its honesty that I trust Easter hope. If when I am going through a hard time someone says to me, "it'll be all right" it's not very comforting because, of course, it may not be all

Silent Saturday - In the Midst

There’s a day between grief and hope where the silence can be eerie and the questions remain, “Will God come through? Did I hear Him right? Is there still hope for me?” This is where Jesus’ followers found themselves on Silent Saturday – the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday – between broken dreams and new life. In between times we’re all too familiar with in our own lives. Times where we’re left alone with the thoughts in our head and tempted to get busy to dull the screaming voices and pain inside. But extreme busyness wasn’t possible for the Jews that Saturday because it was the Sabbath – a day of rest. And it usually isn’t all that helpful for us either. I’ve always been struck b

Good Friday - The 6 (Not 2 or 3) Unjust Trials of Maundy Thursday & Good Friday

Jesus the Christ gave His life for all of mankind on a cross according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3). Basic Christian theology teaches that Jesus substitutionary death provided the “only” atoning sacrifice that was able to satisfy/appease the deserved wrath of our Holy God. What’s the theological term for this aforementioned expression of love: Propitiation! On the Christian Holy Day known as Good Friday (observed the Friday before Resurrection Sunday) Christians commemorate the passion and horrific death of Jesus Christ on a Roman cross. Here are the 6 trials in chronological order: 3 JEWISH / RELIGIOUS TRIALS (Not One). Trial - 1: Before Annas Annas occupied the office of High Pri

Maundy Thursday - How Quickly Things Can Change

The next day is Holy Thursday. The day believers celebrate the last supper. In one day Jesus went from washing his disciples feet, to sharing the Passover meal, to sharing with His disciples that one of them would deny knowing Him three time before the next dawn, to praying so hard that He sweat blood, to being betrayed with a kiss by a dear friend. This is what one might describe as a bad day! Just a few days earlier the people had welcomed Jesus into the city with Palms and shouts of praise. How quickly things can change. We are all dealing with the pain of humanity changing in a matter of weeks. The Corona virus has turned the world upside down and left us all knowing how little control w

Spy Wednesday - Undercover Christian

You are in the Christian life, sort of... ...but for all the wrong reasons. ...just to hedge your bets. ...mainly, to work an angle for some benefit ...primarily, for appearances. ...only for the good feeling. ...because it is the happening thing. Judas was a disciple for some of the same reasons. The miracles were exciting to be around. Feeding 5000 or more with two little dried fish and five small loaves of bread was heady stuff. Not to mention the financial support coming in and he had volunteered to be the treasurer. (He was good with numbers...especially other people’s numbers). Judas had sticky fingers - another of his problems. He was a chameleo

Holy Tuesday - Overcoming All Obstacles

Holy week reminds us to seek Jesus, trust Jesus, imitate Jesus, and glorify Jesus. How do we abide with the Lord in a world of selfishness, distractions, evil, weakness, sin, and despair? There is tension as we follow Jesus together in our daily lives. On Tuesday of that most significant week, Judas negotiated with the religious leaders as he planned to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16). Jesus led the disciples to the Mount of Olives as He taught and encouraged their souls through parables, realities about judgment and the end times, as well as promises of His return and final victories. It was a lot to take in and probably overwhelming on many levels for Christians at that time. Are you sensi

Holy Monday

On Monday, Jesus enters the temple and we see a much different side of Jesus than we witnessed the day before when he rode humbly into Jerusalem. On this day, we see the righteous anger of Christ, as he overturns tables and shouts “My house will be a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of robbers (Mark 11:17).” There are two brief points I want to draw from this. First, Jesus is claiming that the temple belongs to him. He makes it clear that this is “my house,” and if true, his actions are completely justified. Can you imagine if someone walked into your house, began rearranging your furniture, and doing whatever they wanted? How incensed would you be? For centuries,

Palm Sunday - Triumphal Entry

In 1997, I sat on the Mount of Olives reading through the passage in Matthew 23:37 and juxtaposing it with the scene in Matthew 21:1-11 when Jesus rides into town on a colt. I was a college sophomore on an exchange program for a semester in Israel, nearly two years in Christ and witnessing daily to Jews that saw no need for a Messiah. I was disgusted by the immorality and unbelief on display among my peers at Ben Gurion University, yet fascinated that the God of the Scriptures longed for the redemption of the children of Jacob. “The way a hen gathers her chicks under her wing” is how God wanted to care for those that were lost in Jacob’s line. The heart of the Lord has always been to restore

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