Ponderings for April 25 2017

A rainy Tuesday after a beautiful Monday…There’s a lesson somewhere in that.

Last night I went and watched the film, A Case for Christ. Many teens from The Mill (Trinity’s youth group) practically filled the theater. A very enjoyable evening out.

A Case for Christ was a good movie depicting the true story of a Chicago journalist’s search for the truth in the Christ story. I must admit, movie snob that I am, I entered the theater somewhat skeptical. But instead of finding bad acting, a shallow story-line and general low-budget mediocrity (I told you I was a movie nob), we all watched a compelling and quality film. You ought to go see it. Better yet, go with a friend or co-worker who does not yet trust in Christ. The book from which the movie is based, is a must for all Christ-followers to have and give away.

A Case for Christ is a readable “apologetic” on the reasonableness and facts of our faith. The Lord has used Lee Strobel’s book (and the friend who gave it away) to bring many people to faith! The story in the movie also showed the importance of prayer and love and patience and friendship in the journey toward faith in Christ.

Thanks teens for letting me tag along last night.

 Shifting gears now…

This Sunday, my message will focus on answering a number of the questions that many have raised in the New Testament reading of our Community Bible Experience. You can ask any question you or your group encountered. You can submit your question here: www.trinitymentor.com/cbequestions. Please have those questions into us by the end of the day on Wednesday. I will organize the questions into categories and themes so as to cover them as best as I can.

Fifth Sunday is here again! This is a special time where our body comes together to join our voices and hearts in prayer in creative and meaningful ways from 5 to 6 PM. We will be praying for those whom we know and love that don’t yet know Christ. We will also be praying specifically for one another. Please submit your prayer requests and needs to us by the end of Wednesday. You can submit your prayers here: www.trinitymentor.com/prayers. There will also be time to be prayed for specifically and individually by our elders. Thanks for making Sunday at 5PM a high priority.

Enjoy dodging the raindrops. I’ll see you around the corner.
Pastor Paul


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Ponderings for April 21 2017

Happy Friday Trinity family and friends.

Some random thoughts and ideas as we close out the week and head toward Sunday…

Easter was a grand celebration! A real joy. How nice to see so many celebrating the resurrected Christ. Thanks to many of you who worshiped in the overflow room. Not optimum, but necessary as we had so many guests. Next year the plan is to offer three Easter worship services.

Speaking of guests. By now you may have noticed our guest parking signs. Our hope is that our guest parking area will not be enough to accommodate the many guests that come our way. Beginning on Mother’s Day, I will start a message series on marriage. My prayer is that this will be helpful and encouraging to many at Trinity as well as to guests that we all can invite to such a practical series.

Speaking of prayer; we will be having our “Fifth Sunday” prayer experience next Sunday evening (April 30th at 5:00pm). Along with a time of prayerful worship and repentance, we will be praying together for Trinity and the needs of the body. Thanks for making this a special time together. Let us pray for you too.

 In conjunction with our Community Bible Experience reading, this Sunday I will be speaking on three areas of responsibility for us to live out the peace of Christ. From Colossians 3, we will be addressing marriage, family and the workplace. Next week my message will be addressing many of the questions that have been raised throughout our CBE reading. I’ll explain more on Sunday.

Hope to see you this weekend.

Pastor Paul

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Ponderings for April 13 2017

Tomorrow is Friday…An outstanding Friday that Christians for 2000 years have soberly observed…Trinity will too.

Of Jesus’ death on that Friday one author writes:
“The plunge from God towards the void which man in his revolt had begun, Christ undertook in love. Knowingly, voluntarily, he experienced it with all the sensitiveness of his divinely human heart. The greater the victim, the more terrible the blow that fells him.  No one ever died as Jesus died, who was life itself.  No one was ever punished for sin as he was, the Sinless One. No one ever experienced the plunge down the vacuum of evil as did God’s Son –even to the excruciating agony behind the words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Tomorrow is Friday and at Trinity we will be experiencing the “Stations of Love.” This will be a spiritual and “sensory” experience. A time to reflect on the specifics and emotions of the story of Christ’s passion and crucifixion.

Together we will remember and relive 13 “stations” depicting the events surrounding the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus. Through readings and video and song and artwork you will journey from the anguish of Gethsemane to the pain of Golgotha. All the while remembering the price of God’s love for us.

It will be at 6:30pm. There will be childcare from ages birth to 6 years old.

Though we have referred to this as a “walk” –it will be a mental and visual journey—from our seats. No literal walking required.

It will be an appropriate preparation for Resurrection Sunday.

See you tomorrow. Invite someone…This is a Friday intended for everyone.
Pastor Paul

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Ponderings for April 6 2017

“Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”  (Luke 8:18).

 What’s up Trinity Nation? How is your week proceeding? Not that any of us are sports fans, but wow! The Indians have gotten off to a great start. And maybe the Cavs have their mojo back! 

 So good to see so many women registering for the April retreat! We are prayerfully eager for our Good Friday service (“Stations of Love”). And Easter Sunday with the celebration of Christ’s resurrection and the observance of baptism. It will be a day full of life!

 And the unity and buzz around all of us reading the New Testament together in the Community Bible Experience is very positive!

 So I got to thinking, with us reading the Scriptures during the week, how can the Trinity family also best “hear” God’s Word on Sunday morning? To reiterate Jesus’ words: “

take care then how you hear…”

 Three suggestions for “taking care how we hear” on Sunday morning.

 1.  Come personally prepared for Sunday

Think of it this way: if we are truly worshiping and hearing from the God of the universe then what happens on Sunday morning is more important than a final exam or job interview. Think of it this way: corporate worship begins on Saturday evening. Getting enough sleep on Saturday; not staying out  too late; doing all the things to prepare mentally, physically and spiritually to hear from God are key here. Just as they would be to prepare for an exam or an interview.  

 “Take care then how you hear…”

 2.  Come relationally prepared for Sunday

Hear these words from the Psalms: “They grumbled in their hearts; they did not listen to the voice of the Lord.”  Nothing ruins worship and blocks the hearing of God’s voice than for a couple or a family to be fighting or grumbling. That goes for fellow Christ-followers too: “leave your gift at the altar.” 

 “Take care then how you hear…”

 3.  Begin worship spiritually attuned to the Lord

That’s why at times we do a gathering song before the services begin: that we may collect our thoughts and “center down” on the One whom we are exalting and listening to.  

“Be still and know that I am God.”  

 See you Sunday as we all will be taking care how we hear our Father…

 Pastor Paul


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Ponderings for March 29 2017

Hello Trinity friends. How is your week going thus far? 
 
So, how is the reading going? The Community Bible Experience is underway full bore! Is the Gospel of Luke challenging you? Not just the somewhat challenging number of pages, but the content and the stories in the text?
 
We can do this. And be bettered in the doing. Both the content on the pages (of course) and the discipline of the daily reading are good for us. 
 
And so as to not make this just something to check off a to-do list, but make it a meaningful spiritual experience; it is good to pray as you begin. Try this: “Lord, may this reading today be a lamp unto my feet and light to my path.” 
 
The discipline of regular and prayerful Scripture reading is like working to stay fit in the days of winter. The benefit of exercising, eating well and working out in the cold months is fully seen in the summer. And its neglect is also apparent when the coats come off and outdoor physical activity commences. 
 
In our Luke readings this week, Jesus contrasts the wise and foolish ones as those who hear his words and either do them or don’t. When the storms of life beat down, the one who has been strengthened by God’s Word will persevere. 
 
Whether we are basking in the joyous sun or hunkering down in one of life’s storms, having the Scriptures coursing through our veins and enlivening our souls gives us the perspective and power to live life well. 
 
See you around the bend. 
Pastor Paul

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