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Archive for October, 2007

Today our nation celebrates Halloween – the second most lucrative holiday of our economy. Dr. Albert Mohler comments on how we should think about Halloween here.

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Sunday Morning – James 4:1-10
As we prepare our hearts for our Lord’s day worship gathering, I want to encourage you to beware of worldliness! This is the phrase that keeps coming to mind, and the warning that we must continually heed.

James reminds us of the effects of worldliness, but more than that, he tells us that worldliness pits us against God Himself, for you cannot love the world and love God at the same time.

Are you worldly? Try the following and see what answer you receive:
1. Write out your weekly and monthly schedule – every little detail; don’t leave anything out. Once you’ve done that, ask yourself – “Where do I spend my time?”

2. Write out your monthly budget-every little detail. Also, look at your check register, bank and credit card statements, cash-flow, etc. Once you’ve done that, ask yourself – “Where do I spend my money?”

I believe that where we spend our time and our money will tell us what we most love, desire, for where your treasure is there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21).

Where is your heart?

Sunday PM – Q & A with Pastor Juan
This Sunday evening we will have a question and answer session before our members’ meeting. Feel free to ask questions regarding High Pointe, theology, culture, etc. After our q & a time, we will move into our members’ meeting.

May you have a blessed weekend!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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Dr. Tom Eliff from the International Mission Board was with us this weekend to assist us in our World Impact Festival-our annual missions conference.

We had a wonderful week of hearing missionary testimonies and challenges, as well as hearing Dr. Eliff encourage us in being personally involved in missions and evangelism.

I pray that God would raise up in our midst a generation of world-wide Christians who willingly and cheerfully invest their lives and monies in heaven for the spread of the gospel from Austin to the ends of the world.

To learn more about some of our most recent missions emphases at High Pointe, please click here.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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My wife Jeanine, emailed me the following conversation she had with our seven year old at bedtime while I was away. I had to laugh out loud:

Bedtime conversation with Zoe. ………Mommy prays for the lost. Then starts singing bedtime songs.

Zoe: Pray for Lillie. She’s not a Christian.
I pray for Lillie.

Zoe: Mommy, is (so and so) a Christian?

Mommy: No, Zoe.

Zoe: Why not?

Mommy: Because she doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus.

Zoe: Then who does she have a relationship with?

Mommy: well, Zoe, with no one. She doesn’t think it’s important to know Jesus. She doesn’t go to church, or care about learning about God.

Zoe: What do you mean Mommy?

Mommy: She doesn’t worship God Zoe.

Zoe: Well then who does she worship?

M: She worships herself and the world.

Z: What about me Mommy? Am I a Christian? I believe in God and Jesus.

M: Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross?

Z: Yes.

M: Do you believe that God created the whole world and everything in it?

Z: Oh yes, especially that one Mommy.

M: Do you believe that Adam sinned against God?

Z: Who’s Adam?

M: The first human that God created. Do you believe He sinned and now we are all born sinful?

Z: Yes.

M: Zoe, when we sin, it has to be dealt with because when we die, we can’t enter the presence of the holy God because of our sin. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sin so that we can be righteous in the presence of God.

Z: What does righteous mean?

M: It means a right standing with God-to be holy.

Z: Mommy, can you just get back to singing.

M: Yes, Zoe.

What a precious time!

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World Impact Festival
This Sunday we are taking part in our World Impact Festival – our annual missions conference. We have had a wonderful time already this week meeting with missionaries in our small groups, and Saturday, the men will meet for breakfast at the church at 8 a.m., while the ladies meet for brunch around noon.

Then on Saturday evening at 6 p.m., we will meet at Copperfield Elementary School for our international meal. Our guest speaker for Saturday night and all day Sunday will be Dr. Tom Eliff from the International Mission Board.

Please be in prayer for this weekend and make every effort to join us.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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Oct
16

Monday's Reflections on Sunday

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What a great day of corporate worship! Praise be to our God!

Sunday Morning
This Sunday morning the Lord graced us by allowing us to introduce eleven new members into the High Pointe fellowship. God has been so good to us in continually bringing us people who long to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

In our preaching, we looked at the glorious truth of the restoration of the kingdom of God in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the witness to the gospel from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:6-8). We were reminded that we are to be witnesses to Jesus Christ and His gospel of the kingdom in the power of the Holy Spirit to the ends of the earth until the end of the age.

My prayer is that we would all be faithful witnesses beginning right here in Austin until the ends of the earth. Please pray for your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers who do not know Christ. Fast for them; plead with God for their souls; and pray for a harvest of souls.

Sunday Evening
Last night we looked at Lamentations-that small book between Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Though Lamentations reflects the despair that came about after the fall of Jerusalem in 587/6 B.C., we saw that the author was able to hope in God in spite of affliction. Lamentations helps us to see the goodness of God in His wrath and discipline and in His mercies.

When we find ourselves in the discipline of the Lord, we are to examine our ways, confess our sins, repent and turn back to God, for He is always faithful to His covenant promises. Great is His faithfulness!

No matter how deep your affliction, know that God is always good and trustworthy. Let us hope in Him and wait upon Him.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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Yesterday Jeanine stayed home with Maxey our 4 year old because she was sick. Jeanine and the girls hate missing church, but thankfully our media team broadcasts our services live on the web for free.

While they were waiting for our service to be broadcast, Jeanine was surfing through the channels that we get through our antenna (we don’t have cable, or Dish, or anything like that-just good old rabbit ears). As they paused to listen to several preachers, Maxey would ask, “Mommy, is that true? Is what he’s saying true?” Jeanine helped her discern the true from the false.

One of the preachers they listened to was Joel Osteen. Jeanine found herself explaining to Maxey how much of what he was saying was not biblical. It seems that Maxey caught on. Thankfully, when Maxey watched her dad preached, she said, “Mommy, that true isn’t it? Daddy’s telling the truth.”

Thank God for 4 year old theologians!

By the way, Denny Burk has a great post in response to the 60 Minutes interview with Joel Osteen. It is worth your time to check it out here.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan

Acts 20:24
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Rami Ayyad, a cousin to one of our church members, was martyred for his faith in Christ on October 6. Please pray for Rami’s family, their church and our Palestinian brothers and sisters who endure persecution as they live out their faith in a hostile environment.

You can read the Baptist Press story here.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Juan
Acts 20:24

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Sunday Morning – Acts 1:8
Message title: The Powerful Witness of God’s People to the Ends of the Earth until the End of the Age

What a great joy and privilege it is to share the gospel of the kingdom with those who don’t know Christ. This Sunday morning we will look at Acts 1:8, and several other passages in Acts to see how Jesus is restoring the kingdom (Acts 1:6).

Often times we think of evangelism strictly on the personal level – let us win as many people to Christ as possible in the time we have. Though it is important to broadcast the seed of the gospel everywhere indiscriminately and with great urgency, sometimes we loose sight of the fact that evangelism takes place for the glory of God. God glorifies Himself by gathering a multi-ethnic people for Himself.

As you read through Acts 1:1-8, be sure to read also Isaiah 43; 46. Also read the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; and Luke 24:45-49.

Ask yourself the following questions:
1. If I am called to be a witness, am I being faithful?

2. If I have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a witness, am I fearful?

3. If I have been commissioned by Christ to be a witness beginning where I live unto the ends of the earth and until the end of the age, am I being obedient?

Sunday Evening – Lamentations
Sunday night we will look at Lamentations. I have had a delightful time this week meditating upon Lamentations. Rather than becoming depressed by reading the laments of Israel, I have been encouraged, for God is faithful!

Be sure to read through Lamentations; it is only five chapters.

As you read, consider how you grieve. What can you learn from the Bible’s laments that may help you in your grief?

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Sunday Morning
The Lord was kind to us again this Sunday as we studied James 3:13-18. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, James helped us to see the difference between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God. He placed both types of wisdom side by side and showed us the fruits of each.

If your life is characterized by chaos, disorder and every evil thing, then it is likely that you have embraced the wisdom of the world. If your life is characterized by righteousness that flows out of peaceful relationships, then you are showing your good deeds in the meekness of wisdom-the wisdom that is from God.

Ask yourself:
1. What is my marriage characterized by? My parenting? My church relationships? My work relationships?

2. Do I seek to make peace in the pursuit of the unity of the fellowship? Or am I characterized by causing dissension?

3. Do you understand that you cannot change your life in your own power? If you desire wisdom then you must look to Christ, who is our wisdom, and ask God for wisdom in faith (James 1:5)?

Sunday Evening
Sunday night we looked at the book of Job and tried to answer one question from the perspective of the different characters:

How can a just God allow His righteous ones to suffer?

Satan: God does not allow the righteous to suffer; He protects them, and that is why they are righteous. Surely if God removed His protection, the righteous would curse Him.

Job: Job negated Satan’s answer by worshiping and serving God in both prosperity and calamity; however, Job failed to answer the question. He saw the wicked prospering while the righteous suffered and considered it unfair.

Job’s Friends: Job’s friends had no category in their theology for righteous suffering, so they pro0posed that Job was suffering because he had sinned and that Job was wicked because he was suffering.

Elihu: Elihu said that Job’s friends were wrong and that Job was wrong. Job’s friends were wrong and failed to give him an answer. Job was wrong because he was trying to condemn God in order to justify himself.

God: God confronted Job and asked Job if he was going to condemn Him in order to justify himself. God asked him some 72 questions or so, and Job repented. God made clear that Job’s friends were wrong; He said nothing condemnatory regarding Elihu’s theology; and He restored to Job his possessions two-fold.

We learned from Job’s friends how NOT to comfort those in grief; from Job we learned how to handle grief and suffering; from Elihu we learned that God does not waste our suffering; and from God, we learned that He is always faithful to His people even when we do not understand His ways.

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