JCC Blogs

Breaking Bread

Posted onApril 10, 2016 | by: Kimberly Lancaster | 0 comments

I've been thinking a lot about the Acts Church of late. How they broke bread together. How they sold what they possessed and gave to one another as anyone had need. How they assembled often to learn of the teachings of Jesus Christ. How they loved each other. How they were filled with the Holy Spirit. I began composition of this post on January 21. I added a bit to it on January 29. And I have done nothing else but ponder it since then. But when considering the Acts Church, doesn't it just make you hunger and thirst for righteousness in the same way? Doesn't it just make you want to spend time breaking bread with God's sons and daughters? Doesn't it just make you want to do good for others? When my mother died in early January, I was taken aback by my resultant loneliness. Yes, I was relieved that my mother was called home to be with her God. But a great void consumed my days and weeks following her death. When people would ask how I was feeling, I was surprised in my reply: That I was lonely. Profoundly lonely. That I wanted to be with people. Needed to be with people. That I wanted people to visit me at my house. Wanted to visit people at their houses. I think that, after having served my mother in so dedicated a manner for five months, I felt the need to continue service. To others. To continue giving. To others. To continue breaking bread. With others. Just like the Acts Church. Jesus Christ said in John 13:35 that "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Friends, love is eternal. And the Acts Church loved and served selflessly. Methinks that when we seek to serve and love others, break bread with them, and talk of Jesus Christ and the wonders of His grace, we are demonstrating qualities of the Acts Church. And of our Good and Gracious Father. Friends, let us strive to be more and more like the Acts Church. And, of course, more like Jesus Christ. Kimberly Lancaster January 21, 2016...Keep Reading

Sustained Warmth of Desire

Posted onApril 7, 2016 | by: Kimberly Lancaster | 0 comments

I read something that St. Augustine composed those many years ago. He wrote "...to spend a long time in prayer isn't, as some think, the same thing as praying 'with much speaking.' Multiplied words are one thing, but the sustained warmth of desire is another...to prolong prayer is to have our hearts throb with continual pious emotions toward the One we pray to. In most cases, prayer consists more of groaning than of speaking, of tears rather than words. He sees our tears. Our groaning isn't hidden from Him. For He made everything by a word and doesn't need human words." The "praying with much speaking" St. Augustine referred to reminds us of Jesus Christ's cautions about babbling on in prayers as though doing so ensures attention (Matthew 6:7). I have heard some distinctive prayers in my lifetime. Sophisticated prayers. Eloquent prayers. And none of them uttered from my own lips. However, I have laid that aforementioned sustained warmth of desire at the foot of Jesus Christ's cross. I have groaned rather than spoken. And I have shed tears rather than utter words. I was struck the other day when I read that part about groaning and shedding tears because when that occurs, it is, for me, an inexplicable communion with my Lord. It is an intimate surrender to His will. It is a fervent ridding-myself-of-me and filling-myself-with-Him. Friend, Jesus Christ so much desires to know us and be known by us. And as He is omniscient, He understands us when we simply weep. Groan. Shudder. In awe of Him and His power, love, forgiveness, might, redemption, and grace. There is not a single person I love more than my God, my Rock, and my Redeemer. And if I am only capable of demonstrating that reverence for Him through groaning and the shedding of tears, then so shall it be. Because I crave sustained warmth of desire for Him, the only worthy and righteous One. Kimberly Lancaster April 6, 2016 ...Keep Reading

The Music Argument

Posted onMarch 31, 2016 | by: Kimberly Lancaster | 0 comments

Hymns or choruses? Traditional or contemporary music? One does not have to exclude the other. Both can be used to uplift Christ and create an atmosphere for transformation. Much depends on the target audience......Keep Reading

Unrighteous Anger

Posted onMarch 25, 2016 | by: Kimberly Lancaster | 0 comments

Unrighteous anger can be destructive. Scripture commands us not to "fly off the handle" and lose control. It can destroy us as well as others. We are admonished not "to let the sun go down on our wrath."...Keep Reading

Copying Scripture

Posted onMarch 21, 2016 | by: Kimberly Lancaster | 0 comments

God's word is transformational. It changes our thinking so that we can get God's perspective. His word has the power to free us from sin....Keep Reading

Every Hour I Need Thee

Posted onFebruary 27, 2016 | by: Kimberly Lancaster | 0 comments

Why, oh WHY, do I always try to do it on my own? How IS it that I think so WELL of myself? When will I EVER take to heart the verse that talks of my imperative to decrease and His imperative to increase (John 3:30)? Whew. I am FATIGUED of failing. I talked with a friend today and with tears told her that I had forgotten to approach Jesus Christ with some of my concerns. She looked at me and confirmed that we both had forgotten that we need to pray to the One Who knows all. We both resolved to approach the throne of grace and beseech the Holy One's aid and peace with respect to that which concerns us. Have you ever forgotten that God is here for you? Right beside you? And that He never leaves you nor forsakes you? I do. All the time. And I am heartily ashamed of myself for it. I am currently reading the book of I Samuel, having recently read Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, and I love how the people of Israel talked of God going before them. Fighting their battles. And that the battle was the Lord's. Oh, that I could be like Israel when they were in a season of fearing the Lord and doing His will. Oh, that I could believe with my whole heart that God is going before me, fighting my battles, and claiming victory because my battles are His. Friend, God IS with us. He never leaves us nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6). One of my problems is that I do not realize that when I am weak, then am I strong (II Corinthians 12:10). Another of my faults is that I do not allow Him to demonstrate His abundant and amazing grace. Paul said God's power is perfected in our weakness (II Corinthians 12:9), and Friend, I am weak. Would you join me in approaching God with all concerns? Not just the ones we THINK He can handle. Not just the ones with which we are WILLING to part. All. And I mean ALL. There is an old hymn written by Annie Hawks and Robert Lowry that asserts "I need Thee. Every hour I need Thee. Oh, bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee." Well, I do need Him. And I need for God to humble me so that I surrender to Him all of my concerns. Without reservation. Kimberly Lancaster February 26, 2016...Keep Reading