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Many came out of their graves and walked into Jerusalem and showed themselves to many people! Seriously? Can you imagine a crowd of previously dead people still wearing their grave clothes, walking into Jerusalem and showing themselves alive to many people? What a glorious and frightening experience that must have been for the people who had known them and for their loved ones! How could this have happened?

It’s because the resurrection of Jesus is not just a spiritual thing. It is very much a physical thing as well. "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” (Matt 27:51-53) When Jesus gave up His spirit, the physical world we live in changed. These things that happened were not invisible, they were very much tangible and visible.

Hebrews says that He will do it again! “Once more I will shake heaven and earth.” (Hebrews 2:6) He intends to shake your world and mine. The power of Jesus shed blood and death created an earthquake and mass resurrections in the world and He intends to do the same thing today in your life. Why do we think that we can keep the power of His resurrection quietly tucked away in our hearts? Why do we think it’s just a spiritual thing? What makes us think that our physical world can remain unchanged by a Savior who carries a real cross, is crucified with real nails, dies a real death and shakes the earth breaking open rocks and graves and raising real dead people to life again?

His resurrection is not quiet! His resurrection is not invisible! Our salvation and transformation is not figurative. It’s real! Are you ready?
Why are there so few legitimate miracles these days? Some say that miracles died out with the Apostles and that is close to the truth but not the whole truth. Miracles continued to happen after the Apostles died but they very quickly diminished in frequency after the Apostles were gone. Although much fewer in number, miracles continued to happen after the Apostles left this earth and still continue to happen today. What changed?

I’m not an authority on miracles although I have witnessed many of what I would call small miracles and one that I would categorize as major. The common theme among miracles of old and also in our modern culture is faith in God. This is not the infantile belief that simply says, "God can do anything" but a singular mindset that believes with every thought, feeling and emotion that Jesus is here AND He is speaking to us and through us. This faith believes that His words on our lips are as powerful as the words that said: “Let There Be Light!”

How do we get there? Jesus said about the casting out of demons, that such things require much prayer and fasting. I don’t think He was talking about a regimented absence of food and inclusion of more prayer that we engage in a few times a year. I think He was talking about a way of life, turning every thought toward God, offering our time, our resources and our very selves to the one whose joy is to come and work in us and through us to do His work in our world. Philippians 2:13

I believe there is only one real way to truly know the savior and that is to work with him. Many think that learning about Him is sufficient. It’s certainly easier to learn about Him than to do His will and His work. But Jesus said this to the Pharisees, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come me to have life.” John 5:39,40 Our resurrection story this week is about the singular focus of the saints and the God-sized power that naturally comes from a life spent with God!
As Jesus was on His way to heal a little girl, a messenger came to meet the little girl’s father and said “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?” Jesus said, “don’t worry, just believe.” Think of a time when you almost gave up but God came through. You were ready to accept defeat but God was still working in the situation. I have plenty of stories of being ready to throw in the towel only to be amazed by God. Now, after so many years of walking with a God who never fails, I seldom give up. I find myself expecting victory in the very face of defeat.

It’s true that many battles may seem to be lost here on earth but are won in heaven. Those are the battles that require faith in order to experience the victory. But that same faith is also required to experience victory here on earth. We must discipline ourselves to refuse the verdict of our enemy and grasp the powerful and creative words of Christ and hold on for dear life. Many times, I have had people who were smarter, wiser and much more experienced tell me that something was impossible. But in those times, I have learned to walk away and talk to someone else.

When Lynnae was pregnant with our oldest son Hampton, her due date was close to my birthday and we had the bright idea that we should ask the doctor to induce her on my birthday. We were so excited. We went to see the doctor. After his examination, he said, "I’m sorry, I know how much you want this to happen tomorrow but it’s too soon.” Lynnae’s due date was a week later. That night, after Lynnae had gone to bed, I talked to someone else. I said, “Lord I know the doctor said this can’t happen tomorrow and I know it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t but would you bless us by allowing this baby to be born on my birthday?” Then I went to bed.

Five hours later, I awoke to the sound of Lynnae calling my name from the other room. “Rob! I think my water just broke!” As I leapt out of bed, I said, “Thank you Lord!” That afternoon, Hampton was born! What a gift and Hampton is the gift that keeps on giving!

Always remember that no matter who says that something is impossible, there is always someone else you can talk to. Jesus said, “With God all things are possible!” He is for you and if He is for you, who can be against you? Join us Sunday for another Resurrection Story! 10:30am, 2620 Clinton Ave., The Stone Center, Campus 805.
"Resurrection Stories" is the title of our new message series. There are tremendous stories of resurrections found in scripture and there are also modern stories of resurrection life happening all around us. There are several right here in our own church! Some are even literal death and heaven experiences. This week we will share what happened when God spoke to one of our young men in a most unusual and extraordinary way. It changed everything for Him.

God has a specific path to resurrection for you! He is calling your name right now. He is saying to you as He said to Lazarus, "Come Forth." Whether you are already a believer and have heard His call before, or you have never even considered it, He is calling your name and encouraging you to "Come Forth." Come forth and move into the life-giving way He has prepared for you today. Most of us miss it because of all the noise around us. You have to focus, sometimes you have to earnestly ask as I have this week, "Lord show me the way forward." I desperately prayed that prayer Monday and by Tuesday, God had answered my prayer by putting a specific person in my path who had answers for me. I love it when that happens.

I am grateful for the times when I become aware of my desperation for God. I'm so blessed to have even a partial understanding of that. I'm sorry for those who are so self-sufficient that they are oblivious to their need for Jesus. They don't feel lost (even though they are) so they don't feel the need for a Savior. They have a false sense of security and that sense is leading them further and further away from their salvation. How sad. But the opposite is also true. For those of us who know that we need Jesus every day, every hour and for every breath, He is our salvation! He makes a way where there is no way, He leads us in the path of righteousness, He cleanses us, comforts us, heals us, and He cares for us. How encouraging!

There is only one kind of life that awaits us. It's Resurrection Life! We are dead in our trespasses and sins until we hear our Lord call our name. He calls us out of the places of sin and death and sets us on a resurrected coarse. I absolutely love that direction and you will too!

Join us for our "Resurrection Stories" series beginning this week! 10:30 am 2620 Clinton Ave., The Stone Center, Campus 805.
It has been 25 years since the Matthew Film. Two weeks ago, I found myself in a Mall corridor waiting for the man who played the role of Jesus in the one film that most impacted my life. As I waited, I wondered what he would be like. I knew he was older and certainly would not have the beard and robe so I was prepared for that. I wondered how he would act. I've met a few famous actors and musicians over the years and there is a professional presence that most of these people have in common. I completely understand it. There is a certain distance, large or small, that well-known people tend to keep between themselves and their fans. I can see the wisdom in that.

As he walked toward me down a long, wide hall, I began to recognize him. He was still thirty feet away when I said, "Bruce, I'm Rob Hall from Huntsville". He held his arms open and said, "Rob! I'm so glad to see you!" I was not prepared for his greeting! It was a barrage of hugs, hand shakes, joyful greetings and genuine excitement to meet me. He turned the tables on me. He made me feel like the important person. Over the next hour, as we talked and did a video interview which is attached to this email, I was truly impressed by the way he treated every person around him. Then, during the interview, he spilled his secret. He had learned to play Jesus as the God who formed each person in their mother's womb. Each person is so special. Each of us carries the spark of the Almighty. John 1 says He lights every man that comes into the world.

Wow! Bruce was looking for that spark in everyone that day and treating all of us with the love and respect he has for Jesus. What if we could see Jesus in everyone? A very special older lady who is now in heaven, once told me, "I look for Jesus behind every person's eyes." We say we want to see Him. I wonder if we really do or do we just want to see Him the way we think He ought to look. He doesn't look like we think He should. John said that now we see as through a dark or dirty glass but then face to face. I believe like my friend that God Himself is standing just on the other side of the glass, the windows of our souls. Behind every eye, He waits for us. It's hard to see Him. We must look carefully. We must trust that He is there. We must love Him, honor Him and treat Him with respect. And in the process, the person in front of us gets to see themselves through the eyes of God. Now that's a Resurrection Story!!

This Easter Sunday, Bruce Marchiano who has played Jesus in more films than any other actor in history will be with us sharing the Jesus that he has come to know through his amazing experience.

Don't miss Easter at The Net! 10:30, 2620 Clinton Ave., The Stone Center, Campus 805. See you there!!
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