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Welcome to our blog! Here you'll find a collection of past newsletters, upcoming events and other news about The Net Church of Huntsville, Alabama. If you would like to receive our email newsletter, you can easily subscribe here for our weekly update.
Have you ever felt out of place? Were you too dressed up or too dressed down? Did you show up without a gift or a dish to a party and you were embarrassed that you were the only one? Is there something that outwardly causes you shame? Are there inward wounds or scars that make you want to hide from all the “normal” people? If so, you are in good company. Jesus said, “If you’ve done it to the least of these, you’ve done it to me."

He is saying that He not only identifies with those who we would consider to be the least, but He is present with them. He is so close to the least, that an act of kindness performed for the one of them is a kindness shown to Him also. Jesus can identify. He was the only one of His kind in the world. No one identified with Him. How could they? He was all alone and away from home.

He knows what it’s like to be out of place and He welcomes all the misfits in the world to join Him at His table. He offers us all a place to call home, a place where there is unconditional love, help and healing from the pain of being ashamed. We can hold our heads up with confidence that even though we don’t deserve the grace God offers, we most certainly have it.

That is our focus this week as we take a look at the blockbuster movie, “The Greatest Showman.” I’m not a fan of musicals but I’m a fan of this one. While it’s not a one hundred percent accurate representation of the real story of PT Barnum, it is certainly a great story of the power of family. It shows what can happen when love is given a chance. Hope, joy and kindness spring forth in the atmosphere of love.
We were completely out of control! We shouldn’t have even gone down the river that day. The water was too high the rapids were too dangerous. It was less than two minutes into the rafting trip when the guide was thrown out of our raft. Two teenage girls from my youth group were also thrown out of the boat. I was the only one who still had a paddle and I was trying desperately to paddle to shore. I managed to get close enough to the bank to grab a limb but I couldn’t hold on. As the current continued to pull us downstream, I could see the rescue crew running down beside us on the bank. A well-trained young man threw me a rope. It was a lifeline - the exact thing needed at that moment to rescue me and four teenagers.

The rope was not the rescuer. It was the instrument that my rescuer used to save us that day. Have you ever been the instrument of someone’s rescue? Jesus is our Savior, but we are His instruments, His body, and hands that pull someone back from the brink. Maybe you’ve never thought about it, but you are the instrument that God will use in a certain place at a certain time to rescue someone.

I would definitely not be here and it’s possible that I wouldn't even be alive if God hadn’t sent a person to hold out the hand of salvation to me. My heart was broken. My life was in peril and it was as if God had scheduled my rescue on that certain day. A person walked into my life and I was saved!

God has never ceased to save me since. He saves me from all things large and small that threaten my soul. He saves me every year, every month and almost every day. He saved me today. I was discouraged and frustrated, and I allowed it to influence the way I dealt with one of my boys. Lynnae said, “I know you are frustrated, but we need to turn this ship around.” God was speaking to me. “Turn it around Rob. This is not the direction I’m leading you.” I apologized and once again, God saved me.

We are a family of lifelines. Sometimes we bring life to someone else and sometimes someone brings life to us. It’s a beautiful thing!
Can you picture in your mind an old fashion weighing scale with pans suspended by chains on each side? They are connected to an arm that is balanced on a fulcrum in the middle. On one side the pan contains the sins that you still hold against your neighbor and on the other all the sins that you have ever committed. The side that contains your sin is weighted all the way down to the table. The fact is, you are in debt. It's a debt you cannot pay. The cost is measured in currency you don't have. The result for you is first prison and then death.

Sorry to start with such a sobering reality. But here's the good part! Now envision that same scale but this time the pan that contained your neighbor's sin against you is empty. Your eyes move to the other side and you see that the pan containing your sin is also empty. What a relief! No more prison, no more death! The scales are level. There is balance in your life. There is no weight, there is no guilt, there is no hatred. You are free to love as if there is no sin in this world.

This is how God so desperately wants us to live. He wants us to be free from the sins we have committed and free from the sins of others. I remember 30 years ago asking a godly man, "Do you think it's true that God refuses to forgive our sins if we refuse to forgive others?" He thought for a moment and then simply replied, " That's what Jesus said". That is what He said. If we forgive the small debt of others, God forgives the great debt that we owe.

The problem for us is that it's hard for us to see the truth. We look at the scales and see them tipped in the other direction. We don't understand that unforgiveness is also a sin doubling our burden. But some of us have been victims of horrific sin. I'm so sorry if that is the case for you. But there is hope and there is a way for even you to be free. Freedom is our focus this week! Do you long for freedom? I do. I want it so bad, that I'm willing to do whatever it takes. How about you?
Love without condition. Moms know what it is to love without condition. That’s the great connection that moms share with God. Moms love when no one is looking. Their love is acted out behind the scenes, when everyone else is asleep, when no one is paying attention, when the focus is on the object of their affection, not on them. That’s when the invisible heart of a mother is most beautiful. The untold stories of their quiet, humble and unconditional love could fill the pages of every book in the world and then some! But this world will never know. These are the stories that are only written down in heaven. And you better believe they are written down in heaven.

No act of this magnitude escapes the One who sees the selflessness, who hears the thoughts, prayers and cries of a mother for her children. God, who yearns to call every one of us His child, finds at least one thing among the human race that is good, honorable, beautiful and amazing. It’s something He most certainly understands. It’s love without condition. If you’re a mom, you understand it too.

This week, my wife Lynnae Hall who most definitely understands this love and who is preparing for the graduation of our oldest son Hampton, will bring the message. She shared the message with me earlier today and all I can say is Wow! It’s going to be so good! We will also have a couple of surprises to honor our mothers! Don’t miss it!
When your world is turned upside-down, when you are worried and anxious and your plans are disrupted, when you need a blessing, that’s when you should look up! Because God has a truck load of blessings for you. That may seem like a pie in the sky dream. It may seem like just something that prosperity preachers say to hook you in but it is true.

I’m certainly no prosperity preacher but I know the goodness of God. To know God at all is to know His goodness. It’s inescapable. When you see God, you will see love, kindness, compassion, grace and forgiveness. Jesus is goodness personified. The reason I love Him is because He is good!

The rich young ruler said to Jesus, “Good Master”. Jesus said, “why do you call me good? There is no one good but God.” Jesus was right. The young man didn’t know Jesus. He tried flattery but Jesus called him on it. If he had known Jesus, his reply would have been, “You are God therefore, You are good”. To know Him is to know that He is good. Do you know Him? Do you know His goodness?

This week, we begin our new series called “Blessings”! If you want to experience the goodness of God, if you need Him to bless you, if you long for the creator to hold out the hand of goodness to you, then join us. Our message will be surprising and we will also share in the Lord’s Supper. What a blessing it will be just to be with each other!
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