Mark Watney’s Connection From Mars (And what that has to do with our connection to Heaven)

Jesus is the way to heaven

And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:51

The Martian And Mark Watney’s Connection

I just finished reading the book The Martian by Andy Weir. And if you’ve already read the book or seen the movie you know that Mark Watney, a mechanical engineer and botanist, is left stranded alone on mars–for a very very long time.

He’s alone but he’s alone in a way no one has been alone before. He’s the only living creature on the entire red sand desert, unbreathable atmosphered, super frigid temperatured planet. Mark Watney spends every day on that planet just trying to figure out how to survive. But there’s one place in the book where he talks about this great connection he has that makes all the difference. His connection is with a team of scientists in Houston. Watney says, Continue reading

Things I Heard In Church: “Some Kind Of Wild Cougar Type Creature…”

While listening to the story of Joseph and his brothers:

“They have his technicolor dream coat, and they’ve got it ripped up, and there’s animal blood on it, and they’re like, ‘I don’t know what happened. Some kind of wild cougar type creature must have gotten your son.'”

Then later…

When Joseph is Potiphar’s servant, working as the master of his house, Potiphar’s wife takes notice of Joseph. And Joseph’s good looks lead to “a very intense moment where he’s attacked by another wild cougar type creature, who comes along and says, ‘Will you sleep with me?'” (Matt Bowen)

References and Resources:
Genesis Chapter 39

Matt Bowen, 10/18/15, Sunday, Breaking the Power of the Past

It Is Finished: 7 Stops In The Quest For Rest by Peter-John Courson (A Book Review)

Peter-John Courson book It Is Finished(Peter’s book is available on Amazon. Just click on the link: It Is Finished by Peter-John Courson)

Why Peter-John Courson Wrote This Book

The first sentence of the book reads: “When I was twenty years old I lost my life.” Peter goes on to describe how Continue reading

Things I Heard In Church: This amazing quote about Joseph’s brothers’ brutal cruelty

Things I Heard In Church:

This amazing quote about the way Joseph responded to the brutal cruelty shown to him by his brothers. Continue reading

When Christians Are Wrong

When Christians Are Wrong Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”

Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”

Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:44-49)

How Philip Was Wrong (And Nathanael Was Right)

Have you ever considered Nathanael and Philip’s words in this passage? Philip gets it wrong on Continue reading

Finding Your Identity (and what that has to do with Jesus)

find my identity

He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” John 1:42-43

Nate Larkin, Samson And The Pirate Monks

I recently heard a man speak by the name of Nate Larkin. Nate wrote a book called Samson and the Pirate Monksand in his book and during his talk he spoke of the different personas he developed as he navigated life. For church and when he was in the presence of God there was Saint Nate. Saint Nate was good (at least on the outside), he memorized scripture, and he said all the right things. He polished that persona to perfection. Nate was great at looking bright and shiny to other Christians. But later, in high school, he found girls weren’t attracted to Saint Nate, so he developed another persona he calls Date Nate. Date Nate was smooth and fun and cool. And you know what? It worked. He could find dates when he took on the Date Nate persona. Then he met the girl of his dreams. But the only problem was, she didn’t like Date Nate. So he invented yet another persona he calls Mate Nate. And that worked too. The girl of his dreams married Mate Nate. Awhile later Nate entered the ministry. But he did so while carrying a dark secret: he was a sex addict, addicted to porn since his teens. After a few years working for a church, Nate noticed several high profile Continue reading

Please Pray For Peter-John Courson

I recently learned a friend underwent surgery because he had 18-20 abscesses on his brain–one was the size of an egg. His name is Peter-John Courson. He was my neighbor for eleven years. He married my son and daughter-in-law. He prayed for me when I was in the hospital. He has a wife and four young daughters. He’s a great brother and a man of God. His surgery was Monday and as of Wednesday he’s still not yet alert and oriented.

He’s battled severe Crohn’s disease for years but brain surgery was completely unexpected by the family. The next few days are critical.

It would mean alot to me if you would pray for him.

If you want to learn more, you can check out his dad’s Bible study. The part about Peter starts around seven minutes in.

Roseburg Shooting

I know it might sound a little strange, but, when you’re praying for the families of the slain, the family of the shooter, the firefighters, police, medical personnel, dispatchers, and all the others–please don’t forget to pray for my friend Fred Saada and all the other chaplains serving there in Roseburg.

“God give them strength, and fill them with the Spirit of Jesus.”

Here’s a recent Facebook post from Fred about the current situation there:

Long two days in Roseburg and it is just the beginning of picking up the pieces that evil has strewn all over the region and beyond. Several of us Chaplains are serving the torn, the weary, the brokenhearted and those who are mourning this senseless and evil act. But evil will not prevail. Jesus, the Light of the World, has overcome the world and its evil.

John 16:33
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

–Fred Saada

The Flip Side Of Envy

Envy ChristianHe said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. (John 1:39-42a)

One Day With Jesus

So last post from the book of John we saw how John the Baptist was with two of his disciples when Jesus walked by. “Behold the Lamb of God,” John the Baptist said. And these two disciples of John the Baptist, they immediately left him and followed Jesus.

When Jesus saw them following, he asked, “What do you want?”

And the two responded, “Where are you staying?”

And Jesus said, “Come and see.”

So they did. They followed Jesus to where he was staying. And they spent the day with him.

Imagine what you would ask if you spent the day with the Messiah. These two former disciples of John the Baptist, now Jesus’ first two disciples, probably spent the day asking the same questions. Whatever the discussion, we know from what happens next that they were deeply and profoundly impacted, because one of them, Andrew (the other isn’t named) leaves Jesus to tell his brother who they found.

Peter’s Brother

“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother,” that’s how Andrew is referred to in our text. That’s how Andrew is usually referred to throughout scripture, as Simon Peter’s brother. One imagines that it was that way for Andrew, for a long time. We can imagine Andrew growing up hearing himself referred to in this way: “You know who I’m talking about, Simon’s brother.” Do you know someone like Andrew? Someone who is always referred to as “so and so’s brother?” If you do, you know it can be a point of contention. Envy can creep in. And when envy creeps in, that person who’s referred to as “so and so’s brother” begins to wish for, hope for, and even enjoy the defeats and failures of the person who is the object of their envy. That’s just how envy works.

You might think that Andrew, having lived in his brother’s shadow all these years, would have looked at his new relationship with the Messiah as an opportunity: an opportunity to escape his brother’s shadow, an opportunity for Andrew to shine for himself.

“I’m Andrew, the very one who found the Messiah (with a little help from John the Baptist). Maybe now they’ll call Simon, ‘Andrew’s brother.'”

But to Andrew’s great credit, he didn’t let envy or anything else get in his way. After spending one day with Jesus, he felt compelled to find his brother Simon and to tell Simon all about who he, Andrew, just found: the Messiah, the Christ.

The Flip Side Of Envy

But there’s another side of envy that we rarely hear discussed. The flip side of envy is Continue reading

The One Thing That Changed Everything For Me As A Christian

Why don't I feel joy
Read John 1:35-39.

“What are you seeking?” (John 1:38)

Why Don’t I Feel Joy?

So you’re a Christian. And you’re wondering why you feel the way you do. I mean, you read about, and hear about joy, and fulfillment, and an abundant rich life in Christ, but, that’s not what you feel. That simply has not been your experience. Maybe you feel anxiety, frustration, or even depression, and you’re wondering why.

This blog post answers that question, and offers you a chance to change everything. Continue reading