Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hope comes from God. Clay Pettefer's last days...then JESUS!

My daddy passed away last Friday.  The Friday before that I spent the day in his hospital room.  It was great!

I felt like sharing, so I grabbed my camera and Bible, and that few minutes is on the video above.

The Memorial Service for Clay is tomorrow night, Thursday, at 7.  Visitation is from 4-7.  All at Trinity Baptist Church, 1800 Country Club Rd.  We'd love to see you there.

We'll share a great picture video of Clay's life, hear a couple stories about Dad, and I'll share.

Hope is here because JesusIsAlive!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Worst day...could be the 1 that changes everything

It's in songs, poetry, conversations, tears...and photographs.

Some days are dark.  Hard.  Sad.  Unfair.

It's Friday, the day we honor the death of Jesus, around 2,000 years ago.  And when the religious leaders of His day partnered with the government leaders to conduct a sham trial and a brutal was a dark day.

Jesus hadn't committed any crimes.  He'd never even sinned.  People spoke lies about Him as cover for the haters.  But Jesus didn't even defend Himself.  He saw the bigger picture.  He understood the timeline of God's Kingdom, and how God's incredible Love Story includes really hard days, like Crucification Friday.

When Jesus was crucified, all His friends, the ones He'd spent three years living with and training as His disciples, they all deserted Him.  He was alone, mocked, beaten, humiliated and brutalized.  But He saw a bigger picture than that moment, awful as it was.

You've probably been around people when they have had one of these terrible days.  I have too.  Maybe you are in the middle of that day now.  Often, the worst day is the one that changes everything.  When you see that destructive and selfish lifestyle has got to change.  When you see that relying on yourself for strength, pushing away from God, will not work.  When you reach the end of yourself...and turn to God.

The most unfair day in history, when God's Innocent, Holy, Perfect Son was put to's not the end.  It leads to the day that changed everything.

It's Friday.  But Sunday's Coming.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Role Models

The student newspaper at McNeese, theContraband, interviewed us last week at

This is Ryan and Rachel on the cover of the paper today.  To which I say...GoJesus!

I'm going to pick up a copy today.

When we love on people and give of our lives to benefit people, it matters.  And people will notice.

The kids @ Homework Night are great, and the relationships forming as a result matter.

It's how a city gets different, because Jesus is Alive!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

theGospel: Hope pushing back hopelessness

I love how God made us all different, and the same.

When we get a new bookshelf at the Pettefer house, I get the hammer, drill and screwdriver, and April sits nearby with the instruction manual, and we put it together...together.

I like images and drawings.  They help me remember and remind me how to tell someone else what I learned.  So when we're building the shelf, I look at the drawings, April reads the instructions, and before long, we have a great looking piece of furniture assembled and ready to use!

I've been thinking lately about how God's Kingdom is at work right here, right now.  A friend used a 4 Circle drawing to share the big picture of God's story and I thought it was really helpful.  (I'll share it soon.)

The last part of that drawing is depicting the movement of God's kingdom that started when Jesus came out of the grave, and will be completed when He comes back.  When He does return, He will make everything right.  Until then, the earth has so much that is not right...  The evidence of the fall of man is all around: family destruction, self-destruction...and the pain of it is overwhelming.

So what is God doing now, using the people who have been made alive in Jesus?

He's about bringing Hope; bringing it to where hopelessness has set up camp and is pushing the accelerator speeding the downward spiral of death and decay.

Hope arrives in Jesus.  It enters people who turn to the Lord and see His rescue plan...and put their trust in God's grace in Jesus.  Then Hope steps out to touch people, people who without Jesus are feeling hopeless.  (Oh, I know that we put on masks and keep ourselves busy, trying to pretend it's not there.  But eventually, everybody gets to the point where we see the death sentence that comes from our rebellion from God, and the need for a rescue.)

Hope in Jesus is carried in the people who have been made alive by Him into every corner of the world, to shine His light and push back the hopelessness of a fleeting life apart from God.

I'm rejoicing that God is the One at work, using Jesus' body left on the earth, the Church, to move His kingdom forward.  Hopelessness doesn't stand a chance when  Jesus shows up.

Believing that theCityWillBeDifferent, paul