Showing items filed under “Dan Borchers”

Experiencing Joy at a Joy Luncheon

Aptly named, our seniors’ Joy Luncheon at Severn Run is truly a joy to be part of.

Primarily geared toward seniors, Severn Run’s monthly Joy Luncheon provides an excellent way for members of the congregation to get together, share experiences, and have a good time while enjoying a potluck meal. (Trust me, there’s always plenty of food.)

My own experiences (in June and August) were memorable. For those of you who may be more skittish or shy, let me put your hearts at ease. Everyone was friendly and welcoming to newcomers. Some approached me and my wife, Eileen, eagerly engaging us in conversation.

Two different people recognized Eileen’s Scottish accent and immediately introduced us to Marie, who has a lovely Irish brogue. War did not break out between the two. Far from it.

Hank and Jessie have been attending Severn Run since 1971. Like many who come, Hank had stories to tell of the origins and growth of this fellowship.

Hank gave an interesting presentation on Flag Day. His wife, Jessie, creates lovely table settings each month and her June setting perfectly fit his theme.

Shirley and Ed have lived in this area for decades. Ed remembers when the Baltimore and Washington beltways were being built. 

Gwen Hubbard organizes each event and acts as emcee. She offers opening and closing prayers, greets newcomers, and gives announcements. Other church staff assist and attend, often with members of their family. It is a delight to see multiple generations share themselves and their experiences with one another.

Young Joe’s ever-smiling face was the very first one I saw when I arrived in June. He assisted in setting up each luncheon and was attentive to everyone’s needs. As it turns out, Joe participated in missions overseas and is now heading off to Hawaii to train other missionaries for overseas missions.

The staff strives to improve upon this successful activity. Suggestions for future luncheons include having a variety of themes, guest speakers, devotions, games, or topics of interest to seniors and adults. (Please provide your suggestions to Gwen.) 

If you’ve never experienced this wonderful way of connecting with other Severn Run members, you have something to look forward to. Never dull, always friendly, ever positive – the Joy Luncheon lives up to its name. 


You are invited to lunch at the Joy Luncheon (usually the second Monday of each month) Feel free to call the church office at (410) 551-6654 for more information.

Take Jesus to the World

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The last two months have been tough for America; we were horrified by the Orlando massacre and the Dallas assassinations. We sense evil amongst us and we can easily fall into despair.
 
What will happen next? How do we stop the carnage?
 
When senseless horrors like these occur, we are confronted with the reality that we live in a very imperfect world.

 
“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

(John 16:33)

We are all broken people living in a broken world where every community, every profession, and every human system is broken.
 
But there is a solution to all of the chaos and healing for the brokenness.
 
That solution does not rely upon fallible human beings. It relies on our infallible Creator.

How do we mend a human heart? (We don’t. God does.)
 
No man-made laws (however well-intentioned) can change the human heart. Only Jesus Christ can change our hearts.
 
Jesus proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
 
Jesus has overcome the world and he is, moment by moment, person by person, changing hearts and transforming lives.
 
Even now, Jesus is fixing our broken world by fixing broken hearts one by one. As people are adopted into his kingdom, healing will spring forth into changed hearts, which in turn, will change the world.

Senseless violence will cease to exist when the whole world realizes the truth of who Jesus is and what he can accomplish.
 
Let us take Jesus to the world for healing and restoration. We can rely on him. He is, after all, the Savior of the world

Find Freedom in Jesus

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Find Freedom in Jesus 

“Then one was brought to him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.” (Matthew 12:22)

Isn’t it remarkable? Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute. Jesus freed him from his imprisonment to demons and darkness.

Jesus can free us, too. 

In many ways, we all live inside our own prisons. Some prisons may be of our own making, through sin, addictions and wrong decisions.

Every bad choice we’ve made locks us up in some form of prison. It can be relational, emotional, financial or something else. As a result, we may experience despair and loss of freedom.

The difference between confinement and freedom is found in our answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?”

The Pharisees claimed Jesus was a charlatan doing the work of the devil. Others realized that he is the Son of God.

Our answer and response to that question – Who is Jesus? – is the most important decision we will ever make

Simply put, only Jesus can free us from our prisons and give us eternal life in paradise.

Jesus came to set us free.

Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18).

With his sacrifice, Jesus declared us “Not guilty!” and opened our jail cells.

Will we accept the freedom that Jesus offers and walk through those open doors into his open arms? Or will we remain imprisoned by our sins, our addictions and our wrong behaviors?

God has given us freedom to choose. Let us choose wisely.

The Essentials of Communion

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For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup,
you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

(
1 Corinthians 11:26)

Most people have heard of communion, but many are unfamiliar with either its meaning or significance.

 Communion symbolizes and celebrates the most important doctrines of the church and the very essence of the gospel message. Communion is at the heart of what it means to be a Christian.

 Jesus instituted communion during the Last Supper, the night before he was crucified. At that time, Jesus explained its meaning. His simply spoken explanation is deeply profound:

Take, eat; this is my body…Drink, for this is my blood of the new covenant…

 Several aspects of communion have deep significance for Christians, and, indeed, all of mankind. 

Communion is all about our relationship with God.

Jesus expressed his deep desire for a relationship with us on that unforgettable night. Jesus said, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15)

Why? Because he is eager to enter into the lives of his disciples and he wants to share his life with us. 

We have a relationship with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

 In Matthew’s account of the Last Supper, we read:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)

The “blood of the new covenant” – Jesus’ blood – was shed “for the remission of sins.” Our sins. 

Unless we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus, we have no life. It is through identifying with Jesus’ sacrifice that we enter into a relationship with him. Jesus referred to this as a “covenant.” (A covenant is a binding agreement.)

At the time, the disciples did not grasp the enormity of what had just transpired. Jesus replaced the old covenant of works and obedience with a new covenant of grace and faith. (See Hebrews chapter 8 regarding why the new covenant is a better covenant built on better promises.)

We have a relationship with God through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

In Luke’s record of the Last Supper, we read:

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) 

Jesus wants us to remember – to both commemorate and celebrate – his sacrifice for us. It is through his sacrifice that we can approach the throne of God. We do that by coming (figuratively) to the foot of the cross. It is at the cross that we apprehend the body and blood of Christ.

Jesus referred to himself as the “door” (John 10:9) and “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). That door – that pathway to God – is the cross. We need to walk through that Door.

 Jesus offers us a never-ending relationship with him.

Remember Jesus’ fervent desire “to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”? Jesus’ next words point to our final destination in Paradise.

Jesus continued, “…for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:16)

Until what is fulfilled? The salvation of all those who accept the blood of Jesus as atonement for their sins.

Jesus offers each of us eternal life with him in heaven. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus gives us an invitation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.”

Through communion, Jesus offers us the opportunity to dine with him; to partake of the bread and the wine, which symbolize his broken body and shed blood. The time of communion invites us to commemorate Jesus' sacrifice and to remember that our relationship with God is made possible only because of what Jesus did. 

 

 

What The Cross Means to a Believer

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The Cross--an instrument of cruel death--was used by God to bring life to all

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Jesus fulfills those words at the cross. There, he paid the penalty for all of our sins.

Here is what the Bible says about Jesus on the cross:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. (1 Peter 3:18)

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Romans 6:8)

So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28)

And it is there where we find him to receive the gift of everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

It is a free gift when we repent in faith.

Jesus actually predicted the manner of his death in the words preceding his great promise. In John 3:14-15, we read: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Notice that verses 15 and 16 end with almost identical words. Why? Jesus was drawing a parallel between a spectacular Old Testament event with his coming sacrifice on the cross.

As recorded in Numbers 21:4-9, the ancient Israelites rebelled against God in the wilderness. God punished them with “fiery serpents” who bit them, killing many. After the people repented, God provided a means of salvation:

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.’ So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”

In similar fashion, whenever anyone who has sinned looks at Jesus in repentance and faith, they shall live

Speaking to the crowd, Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself” (John 12:32). The next verse expressly states, “This he said, signifying by what death he would die.”

Just as Moses lifted up a bronze serpent on a pole to save all those who looked at it, God lifted up Jesus on a cross to save all those who put their faith in Him.

Let us all turn to Jesus, who beckons us with arms wide open.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

 

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