Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Pastor's Most Revealing Easter Message

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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Pastor’s Most Revealing Easter Message

“While blessing them, He was carried up to heaven.  After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem bursting with joy.  They were
continually in the Temple praising God.”

Luke 24:50-53

There is no event in human history of greater consequence than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As Paul said, “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then our worship and faith are in vain…ridiculous…just another silly religion.”

The corollary being, “The resurrection of Jesus is the most important fact in human history.”

Because Jesus beat death, we can say with absolute certainty and calm anticipation, “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus!”

Because Jesus beat death and promised the same for us by His grace through faith in Him, we know heaven is a nano-second away from the last breath.

Because Jesus beat death, we are indestructibly happy, whole, joyful, and eternally secure.

“Bursting with joy” and “continually praising God” describe how it’s been for believers since that first Easter morning.

Well, counting multiple Sunday worship services for over four decades, I figure I’ve preached about 100 Easter Day sermons.

It’s daunting.

It’s hard to rise to the occasion.

Get it/Him?

Really.

Still, I come to Easter Day 2019 with more excitement, energy, enthusiasm, and freshness than ever before; feeling like shouting as loudly as I can with the apostle, “I love Jesus!  I am not ashamed of Jesus!  He rose from the dead!  He is the power for existential and eternal salvation for anyone and everyone who invites Him into the head, heart, and gut as Lord and Savior.”

God knows I’ve approached so many Easter Days with the same apologetic or evidence to prove Jesus rose from the dead: (1) The Church has consistently focused on and referred to the resurrection of Jesus as the keystone of its praise and practice since A.D. 32; (2) The worship calendar shifted for Christians from the Jewish Sabbath (7th day of the week) to Sunday (1st day of the week) because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday (see Mark 16); (3) The New Testament consists of 27 testimonies to our Lord’s resurrection; and (4) The disciples were transformed from cowards into bravehearted gospelers willing to face the tests of torture and martyrdom because of Jesus’ resurrection.

Pero the most convincing proof that Jesus rose from the dead, reigns with Father God, and remains as Holy Spirit is His life in the heads, hearts, and guts of believers: “He lives!  He lives!  Christ Jesus lives today! You ask me how I know He lives?  He lives within my heart!”

When Jesus is alive in us, it’s impossible to be as miserable as the rest of the world.

God knows we know God knows people are always trying to pull us down into their miseries.

It’s pathetically true.

Misery loves company.

Gloriously, that can’t happen to believers.

They don’t have enough strength to pull us down into their torments because up from the grave He arose!

Oh, they try!

Annnnnnnd there are times when it seems that we want to join them to make them feel some kinda sick something.

We can’t.

We can’t be as miserable as they are without Jesus in the head, heart, and gut because He’s in our heads, hearts, and guts.

It’s impossible to be really, really, really all-the-time sad when we’re saved.
It’s impossible to stay down when He lifts us up with Him by the power of His resurrection.

Everyone who knows Him has the same testimony in four simple sentences.

Before Jesus came into my head, heart, and gut as Lord and Savior, I was miserable.

Jesus came into my head, heart, and gut as Lord and Savior when I let Him in.

Now that Jesus is in my head, heart, and gut, I’m no longer miserable.

If I could leave you with one thing, it would be to urge you with my whole being to let Jesus into your head, heart, and gut as Lord and Savior so you can live happily ever after…unless, of course, you want to stay as miserable as everybody else.

Christians who are always getting closer to God know they’ve never been happier in their lives.

Christians who are always getting closer to God know they’ll be happier tomorrow than they were yesterday or are today.

Christians can’t wipe the smile off their faces because it generates and regenerates and radiates from their souls.

Christians can’t stop loving and laughing and living zestfully because they’ve got the power of His resurrection in their heads, hearts, and guts.

Outward, undaunted, undeterred, undetoured, unrelenting, irrepressible, indestructible, redundant joy is the greatest proof that Jesus rose from the dead, reigns, and remains.

Bursting with joy!

Continually praising God!

That’s Easter Day!

That’s Sunday!

That’s Christianity!


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Blessings and Love!

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Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!



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Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Truth


Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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“Truth”


“I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one
comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 14

We include these words at the end of our Sunday morning worship services on the corner of Lincoln and Main: “The answer to every question is Jesus!”

Jesus is the answer to the who and what of Christianity.

Who is Christianity all about?

Jesus!

What is Christianity all about?

Jesus!

We point people that want to know who and what Christianity is all about to the red letters of the New Testament.

  Many Bibles have the words of Jesus in red letters and we recommend those Bibles or urge people without red-letter editions to get a red highlighter and go for it!

Reading all of the red letters to learn who and what Christianity is all about takes only a few sittings and a lifetime of prayer and revelation enabled by the Holy Spirit.

The short course on the who and what of Christianity is Matthew 5-7.

That takes maybe an hour or two and a lifetime of prayer and revelation enabled by the Holy Spirit.

The initial conclusions after reading the red letters that will be deepened over a lifetime of prayer and revelation enabled by the Holy Spirit are Jesus is Lord and Savior and following Him means loving Him by loving like Him with a life punctuated by grace, mercy, and forgiveness wrapped in agape.

In short, Christianity is all about Jesus as the foundation of faith and the Church, focus of a Christian’s or Christ-believer-follower’s head and heart and hands and guts, and filter for everything that Christians through the Church think, say, and do.

Parenthetically, there’s a lot of talk about what’s wrong with churches these days.

Sadly, churches in America are becoming like churches in Europe – an afterthought except for baptisms, weddings, and funerals with those rites becoming less and less and less important to people.

Like so-called Christians and their churches in Europe, worship, the primary activity of Christians by the book, has become an afterthought, optional, important as convenient, and not really a calendar priority.

C’mon, let’s be real about how real Jesus and His body the Church are to America in these last days.

Not speaking as a theological dispensationalist, it is clear that the “church age” is over in America.

It peaked right after WWII through the mid-60s and it’s been declining ever since with the most notable acceleration to cultural irrelevance being a by-product of anti-social networking, Facebook, Twittering, texting, Alexa, Siri, selfies, and everything else lost in cyberspace and orchestrated by satanos.

Again, if you want to know what’s wrong with today’s churches, just read the red letters; especially Revelation 2-3.

The truth is Christianity isn’t that complicated if we begin with Founder Jesus as revealed in the red letters of Holy Scripture.

Of course, if we go to the secondary sources about Jesus – books about Jesus rather than those red letters as the primary source of information about who He is and what He expects from those who claim Him as Lord and Savior – we may gain some knowledge about Him without ever really knowing Him in His own words.

Just as I’m always amazed to hear what I’ve said from people who have never talked to me or read anything that I’ve written – which isn’t rare - it’s always better to get to know a person rather than relying on opinions about the person.

There is often a big difference between the real and reported.

Again, that’s why those red letters are so important.

Churches always get into trouble when they confuse Jesus as revealed in Holy Scripture and Jesus as reported apart from Holy Scripture, imagined, re-imagined, auto-suggested, and the like.

God knows theology has been corrupted over the years by darkly inspired people who have invented God through human filters: “So man created God.  In the image of man, man created God.”

That may be more palatable to the corruptible human spirit but it is not salvific to the soul cognizant of Jesus and Jesus alone being the way to God, the truth about God, and the sure way to life through God.

With faith in Jesus by the book as Lord and Savior, blessings flow from Him into the lives of the faithful.

Apart from faith in Jesus by the book as Lord and Savior, blessings are forfeited; or as He said over and over and over again and confirmed throughout the other letters in Holy Scripture: “If you have faith, you will experience the miraculous…Nothing is impossible through faith…mountains will move…lives will be changed and redeemed…souls will be saved.”

Matthew reported what doesn’t happen apart from faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior: “He did not do many mighty works there among them because of their unbelief.”

Some people make bad choices.

The biggest of the bad choices is distancing from God.

Some people make excellent choices.

The best of the excellent choices is choosing increasing intimacy with God through Jesus by the book as best nurtured by the Holy Spirit in worship.

Again, here’s the truth.

If you want to be happy, whole, joyful, and eternally secure with a life punctuated by strong calm sanity expressing yourself through grace, mercy, and forgiveness wrapped in agape, you’ve got to stay close to Jesus; and the closer you get to Jesus, the more of the more happiness, wholeness, joy, eternal security, strong calm sanity, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and agape will punctuate your life.

Anyone who advocates anything less than Him is a liar seduced and serving the father of lies who steals souls and ruins lives.

Paul explains the consequences of not staying close to Jesus and advocating “other paths to the top of the mountain” as seduced by satanos: “For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all Godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them…As a result, people are without excuse.  For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude.”

Jesus warned people who ignore the truth, suppress the truth, seduce others from the truth, and deny the truth: “Let the children, everyone, come to Me…Anyone who causes any of my children to stumble is in deep trouble with Me in the judgment…Whoever causes the downfall of one of my children who believe in Me, well, it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea!”

Lily Tomlin’s 5 ½ years old Edith Ann comes to mind as she sat in her oversized rocking chair, talked about life, and always concluded, “And that’s the truth.”

The truth is Jesus by the book.

Again, let Him speak for Himself in what He offers so freely by grace through faith, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

The truth is Jesus by the book.

Anyone who doesn’t embrace and express the truth is a…



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Blessings and Love!

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Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!



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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms - 48


Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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Scratching the Surface of the Psalms


#48

“Strong Calm Sanity”

While having no doubts about God’s providence in my life, I have some regrets; and my greatest regret is having spent too much time reading books about the Bible than spending most of my time reading the Bible.

Since October 2011 and my time with Jan and Eugene Peterson, Chuck Legvold, Jeff Borgerson, and Ken Ritchie near Flathead Lake in Montana, I have tried to make up for that.

It’s impossible to articulate fully what happened.

I felt almost like Wesley and I’ve never been the same.

My heart was strangely warmed during those days and the Holy Spirit opened Holy Scripture to me in ways never known before.

Anger evaporated and was replaced by a heart for grace, mercy, and forgiveness enveloped in agape along with an unquenchable hunger and thirst to read and wrap my head, heart, and gut around Holy Scripture.

While I’m just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus by the book, I’ve concluded since without hesitation or reservation or equivocation that I would’ve been a much better man, husband, father, son, brother, friend, pastor, and presbyter if I had spent more time in the Bible than in books about the Bible.

If I had spent more time with Jesus by the book, I would’ve known the “strong calm sanity” that Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost for His Highest is God’s intention and invitation to everyone: “It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to step more intimately with Him…When once we get intimate with Jesus, we are never lonely, we never need sympathy, we can pour out all the time without being pathetic…The only impression left by such a life is that of the strong calm sanity that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.”

Intimacy is accessible to everyone through worship founded upon, focused on, and filtered through Jesus by the book.

Or as David revealed, “God inhabits the praises of His people.”

That’s why I never express anger toward people who do not worship God regularly.

How can I be angry with people who are only hurting themselves?

Miracles occur in the heads, hearts, and guts of regular worshippers.

Regular worshippers don’t need pills and pastors and other band-aids to feel good and be healthy; for worship connects believers to the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

The more intimate that we become with Father God, Savior Jesus, and Sustaining Holy Spirit, the more happy, healthy, whole, joyful, and eternally secure that we will be.

Psalm 48 is David’s song of praise to God for such confident living generated by the assurance of eternal life.

Like the rest of his psalms and most of Holy Scripture, Psalm 48 refers to an existential moment with eternal parallels.

Turning again to the late President of Emmaus Bible College William MacDonald, the connection is clear: “A foreign invader had come up to the very gates of Jerusalem…the people were expecting the agonies of a long siege…the prospects were bleak.  Then the Lord worked a miracle.  The enemy saw something that threw them into utter panic.  They retreated in terror.  Jerusalem was preserved from destruction, and a great wave of praise went up to God.”

The ecstatic praise for that moment in history is captured in Psalm 48; and the praise moves from the existential to the eternal.

David addressed the existential salvation of God: “Look!  The kings of the earth have assembled against us…[but]…they looked and saw God on our side, froze with fear, and fled…With God on our side, they trembled like a woman in labor.”

David addressed the eternal salvation of God: “This God, our God forever and ever will lead us eternally…You can tell the next generation detail by detail the story of God…God is our God forever and guides us til the end of time and beyond.”

Again, MacDonald: “It will be a wonderful story to share…how God supernaturally preserved Jerusalem…God who did this is ‘our God forever and ever.  He will be our guide even to death’…This God is our God from eternity to eternity.  He will be our guide even unto death, over death, and beyond death.”

In short, God takes us from here to eternity.

Knowing that - knowing Him - yields strong calm sanity in the meantime as preface to paradise after time.

I think of my many last visits to our beloved organist and saint on the corner of Lincoln and Main – Mona Sorensen.

There is so much that I want to say about her.

She is a gem amid the fiberglass.

Please notice the present tense because Mona is eternal ergo moving from life in time to life in heaven by grace through faith in Jesus.

When I arrived to be undershepherd to the Good Shepherd for our family of faith aka as First Presbyterian Church, she along with Karen, Jeremy, and Murph were the only staff members who were kind and welcoming to me.

Long before those last days in prayer and among the most gentle, warm, calming, and breathtakingly loving conversations in my lengthening life and ministry, we often talked about Mona and people like me – give or take 30 years – being a dying breed.

We talked about an American church that reached its peak between the end of WWII and the mid-60s with a noticeable and increasing decline ever since.

We talked about the Korean and WWII generations being the backbone of the church’s worship attendance, financial backing, and volunteer support.

We talked about being a dying breed that will never again be resurrected as we approach the return of Jesus sometime during or after these increasingly tribulating times.

I confessed, like the apostle, my jealousy that she was going to heaven.

Really, who would rather be on earth than heaven?

Answer: only those who don’t believe in heaven as paradise in the explicit terms of Revelation 21.

Only a non-believer prefers the present over paradise.

Read Philippians 1:21ff.

Yes, life is good by God’s design – read those opening verses of Genesis again – if we don’t mess it up; yet heaven is pure and perfect in every way and can never be messed up forever.

So in those last days in time together, I would say in parting, “Mona, I’ll see you tomorrow; and if I don’t see you tomorrow, I’ll see you later.  I’m glad you’ll be part of the kind and welcoming family of faith once again and forever.”

That’s the saving knowledge in time that endures, overcomes, and goes on and on and on world without end.

Amen!

No wonder the intimate with God have such strong calm sanity.



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Blessings and Love!

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Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!


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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Faking Breaking News 9

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


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Hot Off the Wired from KD FBN
Back Porch
Belvidere, Illinois

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Everything’s true between the lines.

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“Infusing levity into the insanity perpetuated
by the navel-gazing left, right, and
religious nutballs in America.”

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KD FBN 9…Overheard in Tehran Sigheh with an unnamed imam who is Congresswoman Omar’s cousin via an unnamed Sigheh crossing other borders, Putin admits colluding with 45 loyalists to defeat 42’s sexual predator enabling wife: “We had a good thing going with 44 but no one trusts her.  She is a known killer.  Her bite is bigger than her bark.  So we went with someone who’s bark is bigger than his bite.”…Asked about 2020, the Russian dictator notoriously suffering from short man’s disease crowed, “We won’t be working to get him elected this time around.  Have you seen those weenies running from the other side?  They scare us about as much as Don, Anderson, and the rest of the emasculated over at CNN.”…Pressed for a preference, he admitted, “If Beto didn’t remind me of a young Adolf, I’d go with him.  But, for now, it looks like any of ‘em will do.  They all seem to hate America and fit right into Nikita’s prediction.”…In an unrelated story, all of the hosts of The View rumored to be taking over for Nutrisystem frontwoman Marie Osmond…Hearing the news, Donny bought stock in Twinkies…DNC looking to Illinois to lead the way in 2020 campaign to contrast GOP’s disdain for personal liberty and the Bill of Rights as JB and the rest of the Madigan mob prohibit anyone under 21 from getting a pack of Marlboros while maintaining the right of 18 year olds to vote for ‘em, die for the country in war, have babies, drive cars, abort the unborn, and, as soon as possible, join their infanticide party mates in New York and Virginia…Baylor Baptists beat Notre Dame RCs for the women’s NCAA national championship but Muffett outdistances Barbie for best dressed head coach…AOC sends congrats to Geno and UConn…45 admits, “I don’t know.  Maybe Joe would have preferred to grind with Kim.  Frankly, I like Guilfoyle.  Oops.”…Virginia topped Texas Tech as Misery movie Me Too forerunner Kathy Bates congratulates Cavs on winning “Mister Man” version of NCAA title…Pandering as usual in his resurrected quest for the biggest political prize, the great white dope gushes, “I’m so happy for Virginia.  Doesn’t it kinda validate their recent efforts to legalize infanticide?  Take that Pence!  I’m with that sweetie from South BentGeez, I feel like punchin’ 45.  Yeah, well, those Cavs.  How about them going from last year’s disaster in the first round and reminding me of those Republicans who fold when it’s anything important or we offer a little, uh, resistance?  When I beat the snot out of 45 next year, I’m going to invite lots more sweaty women to the house so I can…”…Noting the ratings differential between tournaments, AOC snaps, “Just another example of this G D garbage nation.  That’s why I’m thinking of Bernie in 2020.  That old geezer may drool when he speaks but he’s learned a lot from Cuba, Russia, Venezuela and I really like his latest slogan ‘cause it fits into the Green Deal: “Better red than fed.”…

Old unread editions available via www.koppdisclosue.com


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Blessings and Love!

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Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Pastor Taking Hint from Joe Biden


Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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"Guys, dust off the vinyl!  Guess Who's American Woman is your warning!"

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"Now I know why Chicago elected her and the South Bent guy thinks he has a chance at the White Privilege House.  If it weren't for being straight, I'd be gay for sure now.  Did I ever tell you about the Garden of Eden?
Did I ever tell you why brides are smiling in those wedding pics?"

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Anonymous quotes quoted by Adamson

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    If you've got a problem with your watch, don't look at the hands.

    Look deeper!

    Do you really think revelations about the former VP and probable DNC P candidate for 2020 and his inaugural accuser being a Bernie/Beto supporter are just coincidental?

    Do you think the piling on has nothing to do with the lunatics on the left supported by supplications from the right not wanting the great white dope to get the nomination and possible new address?

    If you do, you probably think Congresswoman Omar loves Jews and only spews anti-semitic hate when someone jokes about her babushka.

    Of course, watching those videos of the handsy VP are a little, uh, creepy.

    Moreover, these are times when guys have to be especially careful when, uh, handling women.

    They are increasingly, uh, touchy.

    You know what I mean.

    It's caused me to reconsider my huggy and holy kiss history.

    Parenthetically, the holy kiss is an expression of unity and affection noted in Romans 16:16 and 1 Corinthians 16:20.

    Apparently, some women can no longer tell the difference between a holy kiss and the other kind.

    While I'm not suggesting I know what the VP had/has in mind, I am saying I know what I have in mind when I extend a holy hug and kiss.

    Unfortunately, I don't feel I can do that anymore without prior permission.

    In other words, I ain't askin' and I ain't touchin' anybody and I mean anybody including...unless asked, told, begged, and...

    I've even thought of getting permission slips printed and inserted in...

    I'm still psyched about life and ministry and love and holy stuff; pero the Matthew 10:16 in me has prompted this change.

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Blessings and Love!

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Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!





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