Sunday Scripture

It was wonderful to be back with my church family on this beautiful sunny and cool Sunday morning in Homestead Florida. (Last Sunday I was 3 hours away over in Fort Myers and Estero. Read all about it on my blog post from this past Thursday.)

Praise & Worship was awesome as always – led by our Worship Pastor Ben. One of my favorite songs that we sing to God is “Victor’s Crown”. I love this part:

Hallelujah
You have overcome
You have overcome
Hallelujah
Jesus You have overcome the world

Our Lead Pastor Bob continued his Noah message series, and I learned 3 new terms today – “Kaphar”, “Kopher”, and “Pitch”.

Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar – inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. (Genesis 6:14 NLT)

The large boat was the ark. Inside the ark was the only way to survive – with redemption and salvation.

“Kaphar” means to cover over – to atone for. “Kopher” is the price of a life. “Pitch” is the tar or the blood covering.

Jesus Christ covered over all of our sins – past, present, and future – with His blood, so that we may survive – so that we may live eternally with God.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Southwest Florida Road-Trip

This past U.S. holiday weekend I enjoyed a 3-day / 3-county / 360-mile Florida road-trip to and from Fort Myers. It was my first visit to the region since last July. I always enjoy visiting Southwest Florida (Collier and Lee County). Usually I venture over there to see a concert at the Hertz Arena, and this trip was no exception.

My first stop though after crossing the Everglades via the Tamiami Trail was the flagship branch of the multi-site Collier County Museum in East Naples. It was my first visit since June 2012. Back then I thought it was my first visit ever – until I saw some of the exhibits outside – and then I realized that I had been there years earlier.

At the end of my 90-minute visit I picked-up a brochure for a nearby place that I never knew existed – the Naples Museum Of Military History – at the main terminal of the Naples Airport. So I went there, and I immersed myself in all of the awesome displays there. They were overflowing at the seams in the two rooms that they occupy there. They need more space, and hopefully they get it.

After that I took a ride out to the country and into the woods for another first-time visit ever – the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. What a wonderful and beautiful place this was – especially on a sunny and coolish day. I’m sure that it would be a miserable place to be during our 9-month bug season and especially our 5-month rainy season, but that was truly a great day to be outdoors strolling the 2.25-mile elevated boardwalk absorbing nature’s beauty – created by my Almighty God.

By the way all of the above was Day 1 of my road-trip !  Day 2 started in Fort Myers at probably their # 1 tourist attraction – the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. It was my first visit since April 2011. I love this place. I could work and have fun at this place after I retire from my military / civil service career. I took the 1-hour and 15-minute guided tour which was a lot of fun (even though I had done it before). I’d do it again !

On Sunday night I went to the Hertz Arena to see Franklin Graham conclude his recent tour of Florida. He led us in prayer for our nation and our leaders, and then he preached a classic Billy Graham Crusade sermon on Repentance & Salvation. That’s a topic that I’m quite familiar with, as many of my sermons are about the same. Jeremy Camp opened and closed for Franklin, as he performed 7 of his greatest hits. I’ll be seeing Jeremy Camp perform again at this very same arena in 6 weeks, as he opens for MercyMe.

Day 3 of 3 started back in East Naples at the Naples Botanical Garden – yet another first-time visit. I walked well over 3 miles for 2 hours at this fun place on a chilly and overcast morning.

I’ve got over 80 photos of this fun road-trip to and from Southwest Florida – also known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. At least 60 of those 80 photos will probably be uploaded and captioned on my Flickr site over the next few weeks. But I’ll close this blog post with a sneak-peek. It’s a photo of the chalkboard at the start of the boardwalk at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary where visitors can write-down what they’ve seen along their walk on the boardwalk. A little less than 90 minutes later – there were more sightings documented on the chalkboard.

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All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Sunday Scripture

I recently completed my sermon titled “Church & State” which I hope to preach to my church body in a few weeks. I’ve also started writing my next sermon on the prophet Malachi.

Here’s an excerpt from my sermon on “Church & State”:

… You know I keep saying the word “church”, and when I say “church” – I’m generally not referring to the building. I’m speaking of the people who are meeting corporately to learn more about our God – to get closer to Him.

You see no matter where church is done – we must always remember that church is not the building that we’re in. Church is the body of current and future (remember that – future) believers and followers of Christ. We are the church. You and I. We are the church – in here. We are the church – out there. We are the church – at the grocery stores. We are the church – in the restaurants. We are the church – in our homes. We are the church in everything we do – and in everywhere we go. When we are the church – we honor our God. This is His church. You and I. We belong to God.

I’m not a fan of the phrase “go to church” – because – if you “go to church” – then that means that you’re apparently coming from somewhere else – which physically you are, but spiritually – you are too. What I’m saying – is that you’re not being the church in everything you do – and in everywhere you go. If you “go to church” on Sunday mornings at 10 or 10:30 – then you’re not the church before that. You’re the world before that.

When we are the church – we are learning more about our God, and we are getting closer to Him – in here – and out there – on all days – at all times – not just for 90 minutes in here on Sunday mornings.

So we must always be the church, and on Sunday mornings we must bring the church in here – because this is where we meet. Each and every one of us represents God’s church – in and out of our homes. So we must bring God’s church with us on Sunday mornings …

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another – especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Sunday Scripture

Today we had another near full house with my Living Waters church body, as we came together corporately to praise, worship, and celebrate our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.

Our Lead Pastor Bob continued his message series titled “The Days Of Noah Have Come” – based mostly on Scripture from Genesis 6, 7, and 8. He continued his ongoing theme on types and shadows as well – a theme that our Worship Pastor Ben introduced to us in a sermon last June (which I continued in a few of my sermons since then).

I never heard of types and shadows before last June, and now I’ve been studying them almost nonstop since then.

The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
(Genesis 8:3-4 NIV)

So Noah is a type of Jesus Christ. The ark is a type of church. The single door of the ark is a type of Jesus Christ (“I am the door.”). The 17TH day of the 7TH month (Nisan) is a type of a Glorious day !  (It’s also the day that Christ is risen.)

Yesterday (my day of rest) I spent much of the day in God’s Word sitting in front of my desktop computer finishing the manuscript of my next sermon that I hope to preach titled “Church & State”. It’s all about the importance of being a part of – and playing an active role in – a church body. I’ll share a portion of my sermon on my next “Sunday Scripture”.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Sunday Scripture

On this 1ST Sunday of the new year, the new decade, and the new season our Living Waters church body came together corporately to praise, worship, and celebrate our living Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. It was one of our biggest attended services in recent memory, and 2020 looks like a brighter year for the expansion of God’s Kingdom in Homestead Florida.

Our Lead Pastor Bob kicked-off a new message series today about Noah, the ark, the raven, the dove, and the olive tree. We are descendants of Noah, the ark represents the church, the raven represents death, destruction, and Satan, the dove represents life, love, and God, and the olive tree represents peace. Pastor Bob said that we’ll explore the story of Noah from mostly Genesis 7 and 8 over the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to it. I loved today’s clear and concise introductory message. It’s actually inspired a few future sermons of my own.

After another forty days – Noah opened the window he had made in the boat, and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up. He also released a dove to see if the water had receded, and it could find dry ground. But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. After waiting another seven days – Noah released the dove again. This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone. He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back. (Genesis 8:6-12 NLT)

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Sunday Scripture

On this 522ND and final Sunday of the 2010s I did what I’ve done for about 475 of those 522 Sundays, and that is to praise, worship, and celebrate our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ with my brothers and sisters of my church family.

I opened the service with God’s Word from First Thessalonians Chapter 5 (9 to 11):

For God decided to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ – not to pour out His anger on us. He died for us so that we can live with Him forever – whether we are dead or alive at the time of His return. So encourage each other and build each other up – just as you are already doing.

We had an unusually well-attended Sunday morning service for the final Sunday of the year – during the peak of holiday vacation time. In fact it was actually one of our biggest crowds of the year !

Today I led with my 30TH sermon over the past 3 years and 3 months. It was a groundbreaking sermon for me personally, and one that I was most nervous about. It’s the first time I went unscripted. I essentially had no idea what I was going to say until I actually said it. I used Internet memes to tell the story of how great our God is.

Earlier this year I began saving, collecting, and organizing Internet memes – mostly from Facebook. I then came up with the idea of preaching an entire sermon based solely on memes. Then I decided that it was a silly idea – perhaps even corny. Then I kept thinking about it, and praying about the best way to have a few dozen memes tell the story that I wanted to tell without the usual full manuscript that I write, edit, rewrite, enhance, finalize, rehearse, and print for each of my typical sermons.

I preached “Ways & Memes” today. It lasted a little over 45 minutes, and I think that it went fairly well considering I was out of my comfort zone at the pulpit. It can be rather risky giving me a wireless mic and 45 minutes to preach without a script, but I managed to do so without saying anything controversial.

Here’s 1 of the 30 memes that told the story of God’s Way:

Jesus Is

My next sermon is already half-written, and it’s titled “Church & State”. I hope to preach it to my church family in January or February. Meanwhile the saving, collecting, and organizing of Internet memes continues on. I’ll start compiling a new batch for “Ways & Memes 2” later in 2020.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Merry Christmas

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On this Thursday before Christmas (next Wednesday) I take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you following me and reading my blog a very Merry Christmas.

My traditional family “Christmas” actually occurred 3 weeks ago today on Thanksgiving Day. For the past dozen years or so my family has enjoyed a hearty home-cooked Breakfast, and then shortly after that we’ve opened all of the presents underneath the Christmas tree. Once they are all opened it’s time to watch the Macy’s Parade, and then football for the rest of the day and into the night – pausing for about an hour to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner at around three in the afternoon.

On the day after Thanksgiving (“Black Friday”) Christmas is done and over for me. Well – sort of. For the first 3 weeks of December I get to observe and celebrate bits and pieces of Christmas here and there by putting up the Christmas tree and decorations in the church sanctuary, listening to Christmas music on the radio, watching Christmas shows on television, writing and sending out Christmas cards to friends from afar, and enjoying several Christmas luncheons with friends and coworkers.

We all celebrate Christmas in our own unique and traditional ways. May you spend this season with your loved ones. Make and share good memories that will last a lifetime. Honor each other. Love one another.

And may we remember why we celebrate Christmas.

And she will have a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21 NLT)

The LORD saves.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

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