Sunday, April 30, 2006

Beyond - Part 2 - Judgment: Day of Reckoning

Great job, Pastor Steve! I'm not sure how he makes some of the toughest concepts so clear...even when he says, "I don't know." I appreciate his honesty and willingness to take on these topics.

Here's Steve's study guide for this week:

Monday: Zephaniah 1:1-18. The prophets often talk about “the day of the LORD [Yahweh] (vs. 7, 14), predicting great destruction. Though Zephaniah prophesied during the reign of the last godly ruler of Judah, King Josiah (v. 1), all is not well. There is idolatry and wickedness (v. 3), e.g., priests worshiping Baal gods (v. 4) and people bowing to the stars and other gods, while attempting to also worship the LORD (v. 5). They are devoted to superstitions, such as leaping over the threshold (v. 9; see 1 Samuel 5:1-5). “The day of the LORD” came in 587 BC when Babylon conquered Jerusalem and took its people into exile. Language like this was later used to talk about the final judgment (v. 17-18).

Tuesday: Malachi 4:1-6. In the last chapter of the Hebrew scriptures, we again read about the “great and dreadful day of the LORD” (v. 5). Note the contrast between the fate of the evil and those who revere the LORD’s name. The final two verses speak of Elijah’s return “before” that day comes (not necessarily immediately before) turning the hearts of children and parents to each other. See Luke 1:17, Zechariah’s prophecy concerning his yet unborn son, John the Baptizer.

Wednesday: Matthew 10:14-15; 11:20-24; 12:36-37. Four times Jesus mentions “the day of judgment.” In Matthew 10, he sends the Twelve to proclaim the Kingdom, as they heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy and drive out demons. But if they go to a town and find no hospitality for their message and miracles, those who reject them can expect an unbearable outcome on the day of judgment. Jesus makes a similar pronouncement in chapter 11, implying that we are accountable for the opportunities we’ve been given to know Jesus and see God’s grace at work. Chapter 12 reminds us that God knows every word we say; nothing is “off the record,” which is a frightening prospect. That fear is meant to draw us to God’s grace.

Thursday: Matthew 25:31-46. The stage is set with the Son of Man coming at the close of history “in his glory, and all the angels with him” (v. 1, see Daniel 7:13-14). The nations will be gathered, judged and divided. The righteous will receive the kingdom prepared since creation. Others will be cursed and sent into the “eternal fire” prepared for “the devil and his angels” (v. 41). Even if this is not literal fire, it is still “eternal punishment” (v. 46). The difference in the two groups is in how they treated the King even when they didn’t recognize him. This implies, I believe, that some will be saved even if they did not know the name of Jesus. They responded to him in “the least of these” (v. 40). This is not salvation by works; they exhibited faith and grace with what limited knowledge they had and thereby are also receivers of grace.

Friday: John 5:24-29. Jesus says that by hearing his word and believing in him, we will not “come under judgment” (v. 24). Jesus will be the Judge of all the earth (v. 27). “Doing good” (v. 29) is tied to believing (v. 24), resulting in eternal, resurrected life. “Doing evil” (v. 29) correlates with not paying attention to Jesus’ word and not believing (v. 24).

Memory verse for the week: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive what is due them for the things done in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10, TNIV).

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Weekend Drill Down

We are looking forward to the night out at Edge64...hope to see lots of Horizons people partaking of coffee and enjoying Jamie & Co. at 8 p.m. It's $2. Cheap date. (We're making up for that with rib eye steaks for dinner.)

Tomorrow is Steve's second part of the Beyond series with "Judgment: Day of Reckoning." I saw an ABC preview for "Lost" this week, the episode name is "Reckoning." As my great-aunt Beverly would say, "that's gotta mean something."

Also tomorrow (both services) is Bible presentation day for the 3rd grade kids. If you're presenting your kiddo with a Bible, you may want to show up a few minutes early.

By Monday, Steve's study guide for the week will be posted. Can't wait to hear his message.


Friday, April 28, 2006

No softball tonight!

Parks and Rec has canceled all games for tonight.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Satellite Telecast event for Moms! May 13

Calling all's an event just for you and just in time for Mother's Day. On Saturday, May 13, the day before Mother's Day, Horizons will be a host site for a CCN satellite simulcast of "MOMSense: Dare to reach your mothering potential," a 2-hour break for moms that is sure to inspire, encourage, refresh and entertain!

The Horizons event is free and open to all. It will begin with check-in and continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. The simulcast runs from 9-11 a.m. There will be a brief discussion and wrap-up after the program and the event will end at 11:30 a.m.

How to register: There will be a sign up form on the Horizons Web site, you can write "momsense" on your communication card Sunday, you can e-mail Candie at the office ( or call her for information (420.6600). Pre-registration is not necessary but it would be helpful to have an idea of how many women plan to attend.

Note: There will be no childcare available.

For more information, visit the CCN programming site:

Here is a list of speakers and their topics:

Lisa Whelchel: No Perfect Parent Learn how to get over the guilt you feel for not being "the perfect parent" and surrender your parenting role to God. Yield to God when you are at the end of yourself by discovering how to pray for yourself and your kids.

Julie Barnhill: Help with Anger Anger is a God-given emotion. Learn how it is possible to deal with your anger by allowing God's grace to overcome your weaknesses. In the process, discover just how much God delights in you as a mother.

Kevin Leman: Healthy Authority Dr. Leman will take a humorous and practical approach, giving moms the day-to-day parenting skills needed to have a healthy authority in a child's life.

Elisa Morgan: Trusting God Discover how to trust God with your role as a mother. Learn the daily process of how to put all of who you are into God's hands and pray for his guidance and protection over your children.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Breaking news...Web fund-raising is d-o-n-e

In case you were wondering what that shrill "yahoo" was heard reverberating throughout the city of Lincoln this afternoon, no worries, it was just me finding out that we've reached our goal of raising $2,500 to fund the design and build phases of our new and groovy Web site.


What does this mean? Now we enter the design phase. At a certain point, we'll be delivered some preliminary ideas we can look at and choose the direction we want to take. There will be lots of opportunities for everyone interested to weigh in with suggestions and help with writing all the content that will be needed.

If you've been thinking about joining the eTeam, this is a good time to contact me. We'll be looking at lots of church and corporate Web sites, reviewing "best practices" of the industry and working to make our site worthy of our Creator. That means excellence all the way around.

This is going to be a journey that will last approximately five months. If you're ready for adventure, shoot me an email:


Jamie Brown @ Edge64...8 p.m. Saturday

Last week there was some confusion about the time of Jamie Brown's performance at Edge64. The time is 8 p.m., it's $2 at the door and the location is 6400 Cornhusker Highway, at the east "edge" of the Back to the Bible building.

I've been to Edge64 for lunch and a latte. Both excellent and I'm a coffee snob.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Journal Star Saturday ad

Here's the black box ad that ran in last Saturday's Lincoln Journal Star (Values section)as a preview to the first week of Steve's Beyond series.

The ad changes each week. Sometimes they correspond to Steve's message, sometimes not. So far, the reaction from Horizons has been either hot or cold. People either like them a lot or don't care for it at all. However, even the people who have said they just don't like them still say they look for them each week just to see what it'll say.

I won't be ruining any suspense here. But go ahead and leave a comment about where you stand on the new Saturday ad theme.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Beyond - Part 1 - Heaven: Paradise Restored

Steve's first week of the "Beyond" series was a great beginning to the four-week set.

Here is Steve's study guide for this week:

Monday: Genesis 2:4-25. Here we find the original paradise. Eden (v. 8) means pleasure or delight and can also mean fertility, signifying the garden’s abundant vegetation. The man and the woman possess a holy innocence; they are naked and unashamed (v. 25). In verse 9 we find the two significant trees, the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil from which Adam and Eve would eat (3:6), defying God’s command. Banished from the Garden, Adam and Eve are denied access to the tree of life (3:22-24).

Tuesday: Isaiah 11:1-9. Isaiah gives the people of Judah a picture of God’s ultimate vision. The shoot from the stump of Jesse (v.1) refers to a coming Messiah, a king like David (whose father was Jesse). The family tree will be cut down leaving only a stump, but a shoot will spring forth, a new branch. After describing this ruler, it illustrates the Messiah’s ultimate reign. In his kingdom there will be no more predator or prey, the animals symbolic of human behavior, but perhaps not just symbolic, recalling the Garden of Eden. That these animals are pictured being led by a child points to the values of Jesus; the least shall be the greatest.

Wednesday: Luke 23:32-43. Jesus is crucified between two criminals. One criminal, fearing God at his execution, reaches out to Jesus, who promises him that “today you will be with me in Paradise” (v. 43). The word paradise is a transliteration from the Greek word “pa-RAHD-i-sos,” meaning a park or garden; here it refers to God’s garden. The word paradise is used in only two other places in the Bible. In 2 Corinthians 12:4 Paul talks (in the third person) about a vision of paradise. In Revelation 2:7 the church in Ephesus is encouraged to repent and return to the love they used to have. By doing so they are promised the right to eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

Thursday: John 14:1-7. Jesus tells his disciples (v. 2) that in his Father’s house there are many rooms, which means that there is plenty of room for everyone. Jesus also promises (v. 3) that while he is absent from his followers, he will prepare a place for them and return, so they can be reunited with him. There is no map or secret route to get there. Jesus himself is the way (v. 6) to the Father’s house. By knowing Jesus, we know the Father (verse 7) and are assured of being with Jesus in that place he is preparing.

Friday: Revelation 21:1-27; 22:1-5. Here again we find “the tree of life” (22:2) from Genesis 2. The paradise of the Garden of Eden is restored. The new heaven and the new earth of chapter 21 are, in the opinion of your pastor, not completely new but the old heaven and earth made new, and our future afterlife is really a heaven on earth. The gates of pearl, jewel-adorned walls, and street of gold signify that it will be glorious and beautiful beyond our ability to imagine this side of death. That the city is a cube (equal in length, width and height) recalls the shape of the Most Holy Place of the Temple where God’s presence was focused before Christ. Here there is no need for a temple (21:22).


I've been to a few funerals the past several years and it's interesting that most of my knowledge of heaven comes from those know how it is, everyone hangs out at the viewing or wake and after the "oh, s/he looks so good," discussions it goes quickly (because no one really does look that good when they're dead) to what the newly deceased is "doing" in heaven.

What the "doers" are doing is either something they particularly enjoyed here on earth (yeah, even drinking or having an all-out party) or something they couldn't do here because of an injury/disability. There does seem to be a general agreement that heaven is pain-free and has unlimited happiness.

After listening to Steve Sunday and reading God's Word, the big screen theater in my mind has a better picture of heaven. One thing that really stuck with me was Steve's comment... "Because Christ is good enough." It's not about me earning my way in by being good. It's not about what I do or who I am, but who Christ is and what he did for me.

Next week -- Judgment: Day of Reckoning

Memory verse of the week: “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13, TNIV).


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Get connected

Worship was awesome today! Pastor Steve's first installment in the "Beyond" series was not-to-be-missed. More on that in another post.

Reading my tan announcement sheet today, I saw there are several very cool events coming up:

  • Good $ense Budget Course/May 11, 18 & 25 from 6-8:30 p.m. in The BOB. Signups will start next week. $7 per person.
  • Fiesta! is this year's Vacation Bible School program. Forget what you ever thought you knew about VBS...this is for the entire family! Signup now to volunteer. Begins July 30.
  • Blood Drive May 12, 8-11:30 a.m. Sign up next Sunday.
  • Horizons Softball begins Friday, April 28. Horizons I plays at 6:15 p.m. - Ballard (66th & Kearney) and Horizons II plays at 9:15 p.m. at Cooper (6th & D). Our Horizons' teams are actually good -- go out and cheer them on!
  • Jamie & Co. @ Edge64, 8 p.m., $2 at the door.

For contact numbers on any of the above events, check out the Web site calendar or call the office, 420.6600. The link to the Horizons Web site is on the right column.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Let's get it started


The time has come for Horizons to get wired. Not just wired for Christ but plugged in to this amazing technology that can give us one more way to experience our God-created world together, build relationships that will make the journey more enjoyable, make connections with others and fulfill our mission: leading seekers and doubters to experience transformation as devoted followers of Christ.

Anyone can comment here, you do not have to be registered with Blogger. It'll help if you type your first name and last initial at the end of your post just so we can keep track of the conversation. The topics will be updated throughout the week...some will pertain to Pastor Steve's series, events happening at Horizons or about a topic in the local or national news.

Here are the ground rules for keeping the blog Christ-centered:

  • Be nice. You don't know who is reading.
  • Be honest. You don't know who is reading.
  • Be real. You don't know who is reading.
  • Be careful. You don't know who is reading.

I'll be moderating the discussions and you may feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions or concerns about a post or comment. My e-mail is:

Now, let's get this started.

Lisa (or LMF)