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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!!
The Apostle Paul said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). He also said, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

The ironic thing about God's crown is that it is only reserved for those who set their own crown aside in this life. I am learning through my own suffering that my crown is absolutely worthless. I am choosing to set it aside. Little by little it's being dismantled. Everything it represents in my life is becoming reprehensible to me. I find myself not caring about my reputation. Wanting my own way has proven to be exhausting. This crown is too heavy. I'm tired of holding on to it. The crown of my pride is a dirty, rotten, loathsome thing that is better off discarded and forgotten.

What I want instead is to feel what Jesus feels about people. Beyond the dirt, beyond the smell and disgust of our sinfulness, God sees something beautiful. He remembers that divine something which was placed there when He formed us in our mother's womb. It's His DNA. It's the potential to become the incredible Sons and Daughters of God that He envisioned us to be long before we ever knew Him. It's real, it's authentic, it's unmasked godliness. God is calling us to lay down our tarnished crowns and embrace humanity – ours and everyone else’s.

Isn't that what Jesus did? Isn't that what Paul did? Didn't they embrace humanity with all its unsightly flaws and imperfections? And with every word, every touch and every opportunity did they not share the life that God so powerfully placed in them? I want the rest of my years to be devoted to bringing the spark of the almighty to broken and empty people. I want to show them what God is showing me, that He fashioned us with great care, infusing our souls with amazing power and purpose! I want everyone to know that there is something hidden in the heart of every man, women and child that when breathed on by the Spirit of God, one day will receive a crown.

Join us this Sunday as we continue to change our City one heart at a time.
Have you ever been aware of the curse that hangs over the whole world? The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:10 “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.” If any of us fails even once to obey everything written in the law, we are cursed. But Galatians continues in verse 13, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”

Jesus broke the curse. If we have Him, the curse is broken in us. This is called grace. Grace is refusing to give the punishment that is deserved. When our oldest son Hampton was a child, we would often respond to some act of disobedience that he was guilty of but was sorry for by “giving him grace.” He learned to ask for it occasionally. When he was truly sorry, he asked, “Would you give me grace." He didn’t ask for it very often but when he did, I found it almost impossible to say no. I wanted him to know what grace feels like. I think he does.

It wasn’t that easy for God. A price had to be paid and He was willing to pay it. He wants you to know what grace feels like. Jesus took our sins upon Himself and with them removed the curse that those sins brought to us. What a Savior! The Apostle Paul was humbled by this kind of love! He took our sin, shame and guilt and destroyed them by destroying himself on the cross. That’s our God! That’s why I love Him.
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