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Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

Why did Jesus have to die?

why did jesus have to die

Week 4 of Christianity Explored cuts to the heart of the Gospel – the reason for the death of Jesus Christ.  It is here that the justice of God meets the mercy of God through the willing sacrifice of Jesus.  What is your response to that, asks teacher Rico Tice?

Come join us at Christianity Explored – we meet at 9:00 or 10:45 in Room D-126 on Sundays at Christ Community Church.

Unconvinced About Jesus ends on a bang this Sunday!

week 6 question

Yup.  Peter gets the ultimate smack down by Jesus himself.  Right after an absolutely brilliant answer to the simple question from Jesus to the Disciples… ” Hey guys, who do people say that I am?”

This week concludes our study in UNCONVINCED  about Jesus and his skeptics.  Lots of stuff you’d never expect comes out surrounding Peter – Jesus’ most passionate disciple.  Peter rebukes Jesus, denies Jesus, ignores Jesus.  Yet in the end, he’s restored in spite of his impulsive abandonment.  If Peter himself… “the Rock on which Jesus built his Church” can crumble with doubt and denial – it can happen to the best of us.  Yet our doubts and our worst faith failures aren’t the end of the story.

Week 6 Handout

Week 6 Peter Passages

Come jump in on the last of our 6 week series.  Don’t be shy.  But bring your questions and your friends.  We’ve had a great time over the course of the past 6 weeks.  This week won’t be an exception!  We meet in Room D-126 at Christ Community on Sundays at 10:45.

I was very angry!

As a child, we rarely went to church.  After I married, I suddenly had an unexplained urge to attend church again.  Simultaneously, God surrounded me with Christians.  One in particular confronted me and told me that I needed to ask God for forgiveness.  I didn’t think that any of my sins needed forgiving.  I was a good person, so of course I was going to heaven.  I was very angry, but that anger triggered me to join my first bible study and find out the truth for myself.  Through Christ I finally found the hope and peace I was looking for.  That hope has guided me through many difficult trials over the last 15 years.


Religion or Relationship

I grew up in the church.  I knew of Christ and the commandments.  In the early 1980’s my family had a series of challenges.   During this time we moved a couple of times.  That lead to meeting new friends.  One of those new friends invited me to a youth group and it was in this youth group that I learned of relationship and that it was possible to have a relationship with Jesus!  I started to understand that forgiveness was more than words and that there is no way to keep the law perfectly.  One Wednesday night I responded to an alter call and gave my life to Jesus.  I still struggle with fear, worry, doubt and trials from time to time, but Jesus is always there just a whisper away.


Game Changer (And Exposing some Shame as a Husker Fan)


In the 90’s, the Nebraska Cornhuskers dominated the college football landscape. This was never more true than the 1995 season, in which they were the focal point for all things good and bad with college football. Arguably the best team in college football history, they are also known for Lawrence Phillips.

Early in the 1995 season, Phillips was establishing himself as the best college football player in the country. After his best collegiate performance, a game at Michigan State, he assaulted his ex-girlfriend, Kate McEwen.

The details of the assault were disgusting. Phillips scaled the outside of the apartment complex to get into the apartment she was. (The apartment was that of teammate Scott Frost, future starting quarterback for the Huskers.) Phillips dragged McEwen by the hair down three flights of stairs, and also slammed her head into a wall. (more…)

Game Changer


This Saturday, we are blessed to have Derek and Kathy Redmond Brown sharing at Gathering: Game Changer. Derek is a former running back for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and Kathy (his wife) is a graduate of the school. When Kathy was a student at Nebraska, she was raped by one of Derek’s teammates. Kathy and Derek will be sharing their stories of forgiveness and reconciliation.

For more on Derek and Kathy, click here to read this New York Times piece about them.

Gathering: Game Changer will be this Saturday, in the Student Center, starting at 7 PM. It will also be live streamed to the Online Campus.

Forgiving my Grandfather, a Pedophile

This could be another stream of consciousness post, so please bear with me. I am also going to be general, purposefully, with some of this. I’d been meaning to write this for awhile, but the sexual abuse scandal enveloping Penn State implored me to do so finally.

I first heard about the scandal on Twitter while watching the Nebraska vs Northwestern game. I read the story and immediately I could not focus on the game. All I could think of were the children who had their lives (allegedly, although indicted by a grand jury) shattered by Jerry Sandusky. I was also upset by the apparent negligence shown by various leaders at Penn State University. Upset is not a strong enough word, I was enraged. There was a reason I was feeling enraged.

This past spring, my grandfather passed away on my mom’s side of the family. This might be a surprise to many of you since I didn’t talk about his death, let alone ever mention my grandfather. A standard line of mine was that I grew up without grandfathers. In one sense, this is true. Both my grandfathers’ lives impacted mine deeply. This is a post about the grandfather that affected my life more adversely.

What I believe to be my earliest memory is me pretending to be asleep. I’m in my bedroom at the house I grew up in on Chicago St, here in Omaha. I had been napping. There is commotion in my room, and for some reason I keep my eyes shut. My grandfather is in the room, as well as some of my cousins from that side of the family. How long had they been in there? Who was in there first? No idea. I just pretended to sleep as they then tried to rouse me awake. They all left the room, and I waited for the quiet. Once it was still, I got up and left the room to join everyone else downstairs. (more…)

Great Problem, Wrong Solution

Purgatory featured large in last week’s launch of our newest Gathering series The Seven Deadly Sins. We let 14th century poet Dante Alighierie be our tour guide as we “worked our way up through Purgatory”. According to popular Christian spirituality in the middle ages one was never sure about going directly to heaven after death. You could avoid hell through the ordinance of last rights. But there was never complete assurance that among the following mortal sins, a worshiper would be free enough on the occasion of his death to ascend to heaven without first purging his soul:

  1. Lust
  2. Gluttony
  3. Greed (avarice)
  4. Sloth (acedia, discouragement)
  5. Wrath
  6. Envy
  7. Pride

So to advance to heaven-worthiness, one would have to complete a circuit of purifying exercises that may take up to hundreds of years to complete.

Pictured above is the penalty for the lowest level of purgatory (pride). In order to sufficiently humiliate the proud soul one must ascend this phase of purgatory with a large boulder on his head. You can only imagine the other 6 levels and their corresponding penalties.

IF you had the good fortune of thoughtful relatives who survive you, though, you could have your time in purgatory cut short. Thousands of years could be shaved from your sentence for the mere price of an indulgence.

Dante’s depictions are gripping! Especially if you can get a hold of some Gustav Dore art! Sin is indeed dangerous and graphic in damning effects. There’s only one slight problem. Theologians of the middle ages allowed church praxis to slide into an entirely unbiblical and ineffective mentality of payment for sin.

Come join us this week as we try to set the Seven Deadly sins straight with some biblical insight. Sin is toxic. But the cure is more potent still. Make your way to Gathering and catch Week Two as we invite pastor Walt Hooker to join us and help us see WHY all sin (not just the seven deadly ones) is bad and what the cure really points us toward.