"BREATHE" Easter 2017 Spoken Word

Breathe

"BREATHE" Easter 2017 Spoken Word 
Written by Hannah Martin
 
 

(The fall)
The fall of humanity, is when the fog began
Our desire to be God almighty, instead of human
Degenerate by disobedience, we chose a living death
We try and fight against it from our first cry to our last breath
The suffocating fog, is the result of our sin
It holds and keeps us captive unable to breath in
Powerless to escape it, we stay in our darkened cells
With chains of addiction and loneliness, this is our living hell
Our pain becomes our normal, our sin becomes our friend
As we sit in our distorted comfort believing there will not be an end
Our souls cried out for a rescue, begging for someone to come
Is there no one who can save us from the prisons of the evil one?

(Jesus’ LIfe and death)
The heartbeat of heaven descended on the Earth
He breathed the same air, he walked the same dirt
He was God in the flesh living here among us,
The creator in the creation sent to redeem us
Leaving his title, He stepped down from his throne
He wrapped on our flesh, made this planet his home
He brought sight to the blind and brought steps to the lame
Healing the lives of the very souls that he’d made
The love he had for you outweighed the pain of the cross
He knew what laid before him, he’d counted the cost
All the flesh that was torn, all the blood that was shed
He decided, it was worth it so you could live instead
We can’t imagine his suffering, we cannot measure his pain
As he hung there, his body bearing all the weight of our shame
The prince of heaven surrendering to death’s snare
The armies of heaven awaited orders for the father to send them there
But God slowly turned his head, took his eyes off of His son
The Son cried out to his father, it is finished, it is done
His body still and lifeless, no pulse, no breath
The creator of the heavens and earth hung silenced by death
Please don’t miss this next point, every word of it is true
As he passed from life to death all he thought about was YOU
The darkness was rejoicing, declaring they had won,
Evil was victorious, for in hell’s arms laid heavens son


(Victory)
But as the dawn began to break on day 3 of hell’s victory
Christ opened his eyes, and took a breath, his heart began to beat
A thunderous quake of glory shattering death’s stronghold
He stood and shook death off like nothing, as the giant stone was rolled
The evil of hell was no match for him, he’d conquered death and grave
The darkness left defenseless, leaving no man satan’s slave
Our God cannot be conquered, He has no match, He has no equal
Did satan really think he could separate God from his people
The curse that was upon us has been lifted in Jesus’ name
For now we are no longer slaves, our ransom has been paid
Sinners rejoice! Your fate has changed, for you have been set free
Your chains of sin fell off of you when he opened his eyes and BREATHED!

Don’t tell me He’s not enough for you, he took on hell and won
The resurrection is our promise in life we can overcome
The fog has now been lifted! The darkness has been exposed
The suffocating hold was broken when the Son of God arose!
There’s no situation, no circumstance that he cannot redeem
Give him all, even the deadest parts, new life in them He’ll BREATHE

 

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I'm a New Believer - Now What?!

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So you are a new believer! Welcome to the family! You're excited to begin your walk and wondering… What's next? 

You may also be asking things like…

  • How do I become a part of the church?
  • How do I grow in my prayer life?
  • Should I get baptized?

Here's a good place to begin answering some of those questions.

 Grow In Your Personal Relationship with God

Just as we would develop our relationship with a spouse by spending time with them and being in constant communication, we need to develop a relationship with God by spending time with him and being in constant contact.

We communicate with God through prayer throughout each day as we seek guidance and assistance. It is also important to make “quiet time” a priority. A “quiet time” is a time we set aside each day to focus on discussing with God our triumphs, our failures, and our struggles. Many people also read personal Bible studies or devotionals during their quiet time. There are many great resources for these studies online.

You don’t even have to follow a plan to grow your relationship with God. You can simply read a few chapters in your Bible (the books of John or Matthew are a good place to start), and after you read, pray and ask God what he wants you to know from what you read. This kind of daily communication with God will help you grow in your faith and learn how to communicate with and listen to God.

Baptism

Baptism is an important symbol of our decision to declare Jesus as Lord of our lives. There is nothing magical about the personal experience, but baptism brings attention to what God is doing in our lives and that is what makes it such a critical step in a new believer's walk. We have a huge celebration when a new believer rises out of the water, and there is an even bigger celebration in heaven.

Join the Severn Run community

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them. (Matthew 18:19-20)

Throughout the bible, we are encouraged to connect with other believers. An easy way to begin connecting is to join the church. This simply requires attending a Membership Matters class one Sunday afternoon, where we discuss the passions of the Church at Severn Run and hear about all of the places where we can play our parts within the church.

A common saying at Severn Run is that “life is better connected”. This sums up the idea behind Connect Groups, where a group of believers share real-life together. There are Connect Groups covering all stages of life, often with multiple times to fit different schedules. Connect Groups give us the opportunity to grow into real and honest relationship with others. This happens through shared life experiences, friendship and encouragement during our walk with Christ.

Serve

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1)

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10)

The final passion of our church is to serve others. There is a limitless number of ways to serve, but what is important is that we find our gift. We find our gift(s) by prayerfully looking for different opportunities to serve and being willing to say “yes” to God when those opportunities arise. This may require us to step outside our comfort zone, but when we have faith, that is when God can really take over in our lives and do wonderful things.

Finally, finding a friend to help you walk through your new faith journey will help you tremendously. The Church at Severn Run is eager to walk beside you as you learn about God’s love for you. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need any help. You can call the office at 410-551-6654. You can email us at

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Our Hearts and Minds are on the Western District

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In the middle of what was supposed to be a restful night’s sleep, Bob Ogle heard from Jesus. It was 3 AM and He had a response for something Bob had been pondering.

Bob & Rose OglePastor Drew always encourages Severn Runners to serve outside of the walls of our church building. Bob and his Connect Group, Hearts and Minds, had been exploring options for where their group could become involved in Loving Well and Living Jesus in our community. At 3 that morning Bob felt his heart turn toward the men, women and families represented in the Anne Arundel County Western District Police Station.

Hearts and Minds decided they would utilize Valentine’s Day to share “Boxes of Love” that included a donated Chick-Fil-A gift card, a hand-written note, several edible goodies, and a laminated “Policeman’s Prayer” card. They prayed over the boxes and delivered them to the station on February 13th so that the officers coming in at midnight in the wee hours of Valentine’s Day would receive a box at the beginning of their shift.

On Valentine’s Day at 11:30AM, this “unofficial” response came via the Severn Run website:

“I wanted to take a second to thank you all for the Valentine’s Day gifts you brought to us at the Western District. I can’t explain just how much these acts of community service mean to myself and my colleagues, and how appreciative we are when our community reaches out to thank us.

This message is not being sent to you as representative of the police department, but as a fellow citizen and community member who is extremely moved by the gesture your church has made to us as law enforcement officers. I want you all to know that I am thankful to be able to serve you, and that coming in today to the box on my desk helps me to maintain the perspective that despite the troubled times we find ourselves currently facing in our profession, we have the support of our community. Thank you all.”

Signed “Thankful Detective”

Hearts and Minds are continuing to grow their relationship and ministry with the West County department. They performed lawnmower tune-ups for the officers, and recently teamed up with the Moms of Severn Run Group to host a Police Appreciation Breakfast in the Severn Run Atrium.

The Mom's and Hearts and Minds Connect Groups serve breakfast for police. The Mom's and Hearts and Minds Connect Groups serve breakfast for police. The Mom's and Hearts and Minds Connect Groups serve breakfast for police.

“You can really form relationships over a heaping pile of bacon!” Bob mused. “The officers got to see that we are not the ‘caricature of religion’ that Andy Stanley talked about in Go Fish and truly had a good time just getting to know us.”

A Severn Runner gets to try out a police cruiser.The morning was lively and fun as officers let the kids attending the breakfast sit in their cruisers and blast the siren, and warm conversations abounded.

Next, Bob and the Hearts and Minds Group are planning to host a car wash and cook-out for the officers in the coming months.

“Our goal is to never let them forget that there are so many out there who respect them, admire them, and appreciate the sacrifice that they (and their families) make to keep us safe. AND to pray for them daily.”

You too can make and impact like Hearts and Minds! Find a Connect Group that is actively serving in the community or join a ministry that reaches beyond the walls of Severn Run--until Heaven is Full!

Does Easter Really Matter?

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Everyone loves a good party, a celebration that includes gifts, delicious food, joyful music, good friends and family. Add to that a baby. Everyone’s heart softens when a baby is part of the conversation. They are cuddly, cute, and generally smell wonderful. Add a small stable, a mystical star, angels, wise men and a few shepherds and you have one of the greatest and well-known stories in all of history.

Many people celebrate but most miss the point. Although the birth of Christ is a defining moment in history, it took another 33 years before it became meaningful. It took a death and a resurrection to make a birth a momentous occasion.

Without Easter, specifically without the resurrection of Christ, there would be nothing. No Christmas celebration, no New Testament, no early believers, no coming of the Holy Spirit. Basically there would be no Christianity as we have known it to be throughout history. This is a uncomfortable thought.

The  more penetrating thought however is that there would have been no Savior. The curtain would not have been torn, death would not have been overcome, and we would not have the unconditional forgiveness, grace and eternal life now extended to us through Jesus.

This could have been the outcome of that quiet night in Bethlehem. Jesus had options, he could have chosen to end the story in the garden with a plea to his Father. Instead Jesus prays to be obedient, he prays for his disciples, and finally he prays for all believers.

Jesus’s death isn’t the end of his ministry, it was the finale that moved to new beginnings.

It was his glory.

The reason for his birth.

The death turned resurrection is the key to God’s saving grace and an outcome of his love for us.

Paul, writing to the people of the church of Corinth, in I Corinthians 15:3-4, said, “For what I received I passed on you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Paul makes it clear that the resurrection isn’t just important, it is of first importance.

From there Paul goes on to say in verses 13-14, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

It is the resurrection of Easter we remember and celebrate as the key to Christianity. Christ died and was resurrected giving us life. This is the only way life could have been given to us. It was through the love of God we are given what we don’t deserve.

John 3:16 sums it up for us: “For God so loved the world (us), that he gave his one and only son (Jesus) that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

Believe, celebrate, and accept the love gift of eternal life God made available through Jesus to all on that Easter morning so many years ago.

The Death of God

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All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
    the sins of us all.


(Isaiah 53:6) 


We all have the choice to hold the hammer, to pick up a nail and drive it into the hand of the son of God. Every time we choose our way, our sinful desires, our selfish wants, we drive a nail in the hand of the Savior. Every time we say “no” to God and his will for our lives we are the voice in the crowd yelling “crucify him!”

If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that there is something in us that is offended by Jesus. God’s will always will offend our human nature.

But God chose to sacrifice his son on the cross to allow Jesus to be IN US.

Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

“God made him who had no sin to BE sin FOR us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

When we come face to face with the will of God and the sacrifice of his son, we can choose to respond in one of two ways…

Reject his will and purpose for our lives. OR accept that his will and sacrifice is where we find our lives.

Until we are gladly yielding our will to Jesus; we’re actively opposing God’s work in the world.

Are you letting God’s will be louder than yours?

Are you living Jesus GLADLY or  killing off his work in the world?

It’s time for us, his church to BE his work in the world.  

 


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