Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another Year Gone By, But Never Too Late

“It is too late! Ah, nothing is too late—
Cato learned Greek at eighty;
Wrote his grand “Oedipus,” and Simonides
Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers
When each had numbered more than fourscore years;
And Theophrastus, at fourscore and ten,
Had begun his “Characters of Men.”
Chaucer, at Woodstock, with his nightingales,
At sixty wrote the “Canterbury Tales.”
Goethe, at Weimar, toiling to the last,
Completed “Faust” when eighty years were past.
What then? Shall we sit idly down and say,
“The night has come; it is no longer day”?
For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress.
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
It is never too late to start doing what is right.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hatred less than Murder

Some sins seem bigger then others because of their obvious consequences are much more serious. Murder, for example, seems to us to be worse then hatred, and adultery seems worse then lust. But this does not mean that because we do lesser sins we deserve eternal life. All sin makes us sinners, and all sin cuts us off from our holy God. All sin, therefore, leads to death (because it disqualifies us from living with God), regardless of how great or small it seems. Don’t minimize “little” sins or overrate “big” sin. They all separate us from God, but all can be forgiven.

King David was guilty of terrible sins- adultery, murder, and lying- and yet he experienced the joy of forgiveness. We too can have this joy when we (1) quit denying our guilt and recognize that we have sinned, (2) admit our guilt to God and ask for His forgiveness, and (3) let go of our guilt and believe that God has forgiven us.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holes in Ceilings

 This past Sunday, November 25th, in RiverKidz (Rocky River Church's Kids Ministry) we talked about Luke 5:17-26 (NIV) and here is the passage:

17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

I have thought about this passage a lot for about 2 weeks and yesterday it really hit me. These 4 friends really believed what Jesus was doing. They really believed that Jesus could heal their friend and change his life. What would it be like if every person who goes to church on a regular basis or every person who says they are a follower of Christ, had the same faith and commitment as these 4 friends did? How packed would our churches be, how many holes would be in ceilings and how many lives would be changed?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

...Evil for Evil...

Romans 12:17-21
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I am the first to admit that these verses are hard for me to do. To be completely honest with you, I am someone who wants to pay evil with evil. I have to always to be on guard with my thinking and my actions about this. These verses summarize the core of Christian living. If I love someone by the way Christ loves me, then I should be willing to forgive. If we have experienced God’s grace, then we should be will to pass it on to others. And remember, grace is undeserved favor. By giving an enemy a drink, we’re not excusing their misdeed. We’re recognizing him, forgiving him, and loving him in spite of his misgivings- just as Christ did for me. 

We live in a day of constant lawsuits and incessant demands for legal rights, Paul’s command sounds almost impossible. When someone hurts me deeply, instead of giving that person what they deserve, Paul says to befriend them. Why does Paul say for me to forgive someone who is my enemy, who does me wrong? 1- Forgiveness breaks the cycle of retaliation and leads to reconciliation. 2- Repaying evil for evil hurts not just your enemy but you as well.  Even if my enemy never changes, forgiving them will free me from the heavy load of bitterness. 

Forgiveness involves both attitude and actions. If I find it difficult to feel forgiveness toward someone who has hurt me, then I try respond with kind actions. If appropriate, tell this person that you would like to heal the relationship. Lend a helping hand. Smile at them and right actions will lead to right feelings.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I want to encourage everyone to attend Rocky River Church THIS SUNDAY (November 11) to hear the faith story of Sampson Parker (of Harrisburg) and how God gave him an incredible courage to do what most think would be impossible. If you are struggling to overcome an impossible situation in your life be sure to be at one of our three identical services on Sunday at 9am, 10:30am or 12pm. And bring someone with you! For directions from your doorstep to ours, click here See you Sunday!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Grace (more then a meal blessing)

Do you think it is easier for God to love you when you’re good? Do you secretly suspect that God chose you because you deserved it? Do you think some people’s behavior is so bad that God couldn’t possibly save them? If you ever think this way, you don’t entirely understand that salvation is by grace, a free gift. It cannot be earned, in whole or in part; it can only be accepted with thankfulness and praise (Romans 11:6)

Salvation is as close as your own mouth and heart. People think it must be a complicated process, but it is not. If we believe in our hearts and say with our mouths that Christ is the risen Lord, we will be saved (Romans 10:8-12).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloweenie Roast and Trunk-O-Treat

Halloweenie Roast and Trunk-O-Treat information.

I am very excited about this year’s Halloweenie Roast and Trunk-O-Treat. We are praying for 1,000 people so we can invite them to our Sunday Services. Here is some information about the event.

The event is this Sunday, October 28th starting at 5:00pm until 8:00pm.

The Parking Team needs to be at the church at 4:00pm and park in the designated area.

If you are Volunteering we need you at the church at 4:00pm and park in the designated area.

If you are decorating a Trunk you need to be at the church at 4:30pm to get set up. The Parking Team will direct you where to go. You will need to bring your own candy to pass out and please DO NOT begin to give out candy until instructed.

Everyone is encouraged to dress up and have fun!

If you have any questions you can email Donnie at

Monday, October 22, 2012

Am I really a Christian?

Have you ever worried about whether or not you are really a Christian? A Christian is anyone who has the spirit of God living in him or her. If you sincerely trusted Christ in your salvation and acknowledge Him as Lord, then the Holy Spirit has come into your life, and you are a Christian. You won’t know the Holy Spirit has come if you are waiting for a certain feeling: you will know he has come because Jesus has promised he would come. 

When the Holy Spirit is working within you, you will believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son and that eternal life comes through him (1 John  5:5) ; you will begin to act as Christ directs (Romans 8:5; Galatians 5:22,23); you will find help in your daily problems and in your praying (Romans 8:26,27); you will be empowered to serve God and do his will (Acts 1:8; Romans 12:6); and you will become part of God’s plan to build up his church (Ephesians 4:12,13).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Servant vs. Volunteer

I have been going through this thought for a while now about the difference between being a "Servant" and being a "Volunteer." There is a difference and below are a summary that does a great job of explaining my thoughts.  

 Rory Noland in his book, Heart of the Artist, (Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-22471-3) discusses the difference between those who volunteer out of obligation to serve in the church and those who feel called by God to serve.  Noland says “that there is a deeper level of commitment, joy, and reward with those who know their calling is from God.”  He then lists differences between volunteers and those called of God:

1.  Volunteers see their involvement at church as community service, but people called of God see it as ministry.

2.  Volunteers whine about what it’s going to cost to serve, but people called are committed to serving.

3.  Volunteers shrink back from resolving relational conflict, but people called of God seek to resolve relational conflict for the sake of unity in the church.

4.  Volunteers look upon rehearsal/practice/meetings as another commitment they’re obligated to fulfill, but people called of God look forward to rehearsal/practice/meetings as another opportunity to be used by God.

5.  Volunteers do no outside practicing or preparation, but people who are called of God come ready to serve and a performance as prepared as possible.

6.  Volunteers are not open to constructive criticism; they get defensive about it.  But people called of God are grateful for feedback because they want to be the best they can be.

7.  Volunteers feel threatened by the talent of others, but people called of God praise Him for distributing gifts and talents as He chooses.

8.  Volunteers want to quit at the first sign of adversity or discouragement, but people called of God dig in and persevere.

9.  Volunteers find their main source of fulfillment in their talents and abilities, but people called of God know that being used of God is the most fulfilling thing you can do with your life.

10.  Volunteers can’t handle being put in situations in which they’re going to be stretched, but people called of God respond to God’s call with humble dependence on Him.

Noland summarizes by saying that the difference between volunteering and being called of God is that “someone who has that sense of calling from God is more ministry minded. God never intended ministry to be the responsibility of the chosen few who do ‘full-time Christian work.’  God has equipped all believers to do the work of ministry.”  (Ephesians 4:11-12)  (taken from The Heart of the Artist, 70-74)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Open Letter from Pastor Jimmy

Hey Rocky River Church - do you know why we exist? Rocky River Church exists to give people the best opportunity possible to become fully committed, growing followers of Christ. This is why we started Rocky River Church 13 years ago. It is our hope that through our events people will come on Sundays to learn about Jesus and use their abilities to serve Him.

We have been doing the Halloweenie Roast and Trunk-o-Treat for many years now, and it is one of our largest outreaches. This event is about more than just candy, costumes and hotdogs. We want to reach as many people as we can to expose families to our church and then invite them to a Sunday morning service. In fact, we have a BIG Sunday planned for November 11, 2012. Everyone who comes to the Halloweenie Roast will receive an invitation to join us on the Big Day where they will hear one of our members share his story on how God saved him from a near death experience.

Your involvement is key to making the Halloweenie Roast a big success! We are praying for 1,000 people during this event on Sunday, Oct. 28th. We your need help in several areas: volunteers, event food (hotdogs, ketchup, mustard, buns), tons and tons of pre-wrapped candy and lots of decorated car trunks. If you can help in any way, email Donnie at

Here is what you can pray about for the event: 1,000 people, full funding for the event and great weather the day of the event and several days before the event.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Almost a Year

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I have last had a blog post. So many things have changed and I feel as though I am always to busy to blog or I feel guilty to blog because I have so many things to do. I do however Twitter and I really enjoy that but there are time I wish I could express more then in 180 characters.

Over the next several weeks I am going to make more of an effort to post my thoughts, leadership stuff and other things in this blog.