In Acts chapter 8, there is an interesting account told about a follower of Jesus by the name of Philip. He was told by an angel to head south down a road from Jerusalem toward Gaza. Most of us would here the word Gaza and consider the constant tension that exists on the Gaza strip to this day. Phil made his way there, although there were no other instructions as to what to do when he was on the road or where his next destination would be. While he was on the road, he saw a chariot with an Ethiopian man reading and God told him to go stand near the chariot. Once again, no further instructions, other than where he should stand.  The man in the chariot happened to be reading a passage from the Old Testament that made absolutely no sense to him.  What transpired was that Phil not only explained the passage but connected it to Jesus. The result was the man coming to know Jesus and he was baptized that day. 

How do we listen to the direction of God's Spirit each day?  What if we sense God wants us to do something or go somewhere but we are not sure what we will do once we get there?  As in this account with Philip, God often only directs us as far as we can see regarding the next few steps ahead. Why does this matter?  Imagine if God told you and me what the next 5 years would hold. I don't know about you, but I would probably charge out with the plan and check back in with God in 5 years time for my next instructions. I believe the Lord cares more about our relationship with Him than He does the tasks. The more important part is staying connected so that we might listen and obey on the daily journey and not get lost on the road. I hope you have an amazing week connecting with God as we read Acts chapters 6 - 9.


Do you ever feel I'll equipped to make a significant impact with regard to your faith?  If so, you are not alone.  While we may walk through life imagining the first disciples to be spiritual giants, the truth is that they were ordinary people just like us.  What made them extraordinary, was when they relied on God's Spirit and trusted Him for the direction of their lives.  

If you are reading along with us this week (Acts chapters 3 - 5), then I am sure you saw verse 13 in chapter 4 that says, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." Ordinary people who were willing to simply trust God completely saw extraordinary things take place, because they had been with Jesus.  That same Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) is available to all who are willing to trust Him, even if we feel rather ordinary. What a tremendous hope He is!


I hope that everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend celebrating with family.  I know that it is also an important time to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy each day.  One of our liberties that is all too easy to take for granted is the freedom of religion.  As we have been studying the Gospel of Luke, we are able to take time each day to open the Bible and consider the life of Jesus.  A freedom that some are not able to enjoy as we do. 

This week is our final week in the book of Luke.  Please take some time to read chapters 22 - 24.  As two men were walking along the road full of discouragement, Jesus showed up and encouraged them through the Scriptures.  They did not even realize that it was Jesus until He broke bread with them.  At that point, their spirits were lifted and they ran to tell the others.  I am not sure if you are wrestling with discouragement or a lack of hope, but I do know that Jesus is present walking beside us all the time and just like these men, it is possible to be unaware.  Just realizing His presence should offer hope. Let's connect with Him this week, as we are free to do so.


Have you ever felt over looked or insignificant?  If so, you are not alone.  As we carry on this week with our study of Luke, chapter 19 gives us a snapshot of a man determined to see Jesus.  He was even willing to climb a tree just to catch a glimpse of Him.  What must have caught him off guard, was when Jesus spotted him up there and called him by name.  More than that, he spent the evening with this little man, having dinner and meeting his friends.  

What an amazing picture of the way God feels about every single human!  He loves us and knows us, no matter how insignificant or alone we may feel.  Jesus waits for us to cry out to Him as He is always near.  Let's connect with Him this week as we continue reading in Luke - chapters 19 - 21.


As we carry on in our study of Luke's Gospel, this week we are reading along in chapters 16 - 18. In chapter 18, Jesus is confronted by a young wealthy man who asks Him what is necessary to receive eternal life.  In the midst of answering this man's question, Jesus let this man know that he was lacking in one area.  He then challenged the man to surrender that area and to follow Him whole-heartedly.  The man walked away with his head hung low, deciding instead to carry on in life without a willingness to trust Jesus with his life.  Let's continue to read through the Book of Luke and to ask ourselves some of the same difficult questions regarding our personal commitment to Jesus. 


For some reason, every time someone mentions the name "Luke", I think of Skywalker, and not the famous doctor, who was responsible for more of the New Testament material than any other single author (27.5%). The recent advertisements for the long awaited Star Wars sequel is not helping the matter.  

If you missed our first week exploring the first portion of Luke's Gospel, it's not too late to play catch up and take the "Luke Challenge."  We are asking that everyone simply take time to read along and explore the chapters for the week. Last week was chapters 1-4, and this coming week is 5-7. So if you are just starting the challenge, simply read the first 7 chapters before Sunday.  Why not keep some paper and a pen close at hand and invite God's Spirit to speak to you as you read along; after all, He is the co-author. Hope you can join us this Sunday at 5pm as we continue to consider the life of Jesus from this physician/reporter's perspective!

Christ-centered Life: GROWING SPIRITUALLY

Due to the change of venue and Easter Sunday, we put off the conclusion of the Christ-Centered Life Series until this Sunday.  Whether you have grown spiritually when facing a major life storm, when spending time getting to know God through the Bible, in community, during worship or while engaged in spiritual exercises (like prayer or fasting), there are a wide variety of tools God can use to help us mature.  This week, we will consider what part service and outreach play as a catalyst toward our spiritual development. Join us this Sunday to hear about exciting opportunities for service and outreach and don't miss the display tables in the foyer immediately following our Sunday service! (Mark 10:45)


I have had the privilege of visiting Israel on two occasions.  While there is some disagreement about which of the two tomb locations were where they believe Jesus' dead body was laid, there is no dispute concerning the fact that no one could find his body three days after his burial.  What is more convincing to note is that more than 500 witnesses saw Jesus after his resurrection (1 Cor. 15:6).  Join us this Sunday, as we celebrate the fact that Jesus is alive!  Hope you can join us at 5PM at our new location.

Christ-centered Life: Sticking Together: The Value of Community

Is anyone out there feeling a bit stir crazy when cooped up with snow, ice, wind and frigid temperatures?  After the 3-5 inch forecast last week became more than a foot of snow, most local churches kept their doors closed for safety sake. It was refreshing to join a number of familiar J10 faces at Manhattan's Pizzeria on Sunday afternoon.  Why is community so important?  What is it about our relationships together that has the power for life change and makes "community" one of the 6 catalysts, when it comes to growing in faith? Brave the cold this Sunday, as we carry on that discussion at the Embassy Suites in Ashburn @ 10AM.  If you are able, join us for lunch at Moe's next door, following the service!