There’s no place like home. And I’m talking about The Branch! I can’t convey how thrilled I am to be back with you this coming weekend. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during my sabbatical in July. I’m renewed and refreshed in many ways, and eager to see you all.
I want to thank Tim Ketchersid, Ryan Rainey, Tim Scott, Ish Arteaga, and Eddy Ketchersid for bringing the Word with conviction and excellence over the last several weeks. There is so much that has been happening in the life of The Branch this summer – from GO Week, to VBS, to teams of Branch members engaged in mission efforts in Kenya and Honduras, to BSM camp and gatherings, and finally to Spotlight happening this very week. I have loved hearing the reports and testimonies as they’ve been rolling in!
A LOOK AHEAD
This coming weekend, I’ll launch a short series with you called “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” I’m going to take you on a broad-sketch tour of the story of Christianity, from after the first century until now. How in the world did we get to where we are with so many divisions, denominations, and differences? I’ve been asked that question a lot during my time at The Branch, and I’m going to attempt to tell you the story in a condensed way.
Why is this important? There are “good, bad, and ugly” things about the story of Christianity over the last 2000 years. You’ll learn about some heroes in the Christian faith that maybe you’ve never heard of, and yet their lives, sacrifices, and contributions have shaped the world we live in for the better. Another reason I’m doing this with you is to help us have an appreciation for how God has used imperfect people and religious “tribes” and “denominations” for His glory. Finally, I’m hoping this series will be helpful when it comes to our future at The Branch. If we don’t learn from the past, it’s likely we’ll repeat it.
There are things to be learned for the road ahead in the life of The Branch. I’ll be exploring what it will mean for us to follow Jesus and proclaim Him in a way that transcends denominations, division, and the tendency of believers to “strain a gnat and swallow a camel” (as Jesus put it).
After “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly,” we’ll dive into the gospel of Mark in September, and journey through it together this Fall. It won’t just be a journey on the weekends either! This summer, I wrote a 74-day devotional guide that will take us through every story in the gospel of Mark, and will supplement the messages on the weekends and in our small groups. Right now, it’s entering into the final stages of production. The heart behind this series is for all of us to see Jesus more clearly, follow Him more boldly, and share Him more freely. Will you be praying right now for who you’ll bring with you to The Branch this Fall?
Some things in life are too important not to share.
See you this weekend!
Grace and Peace,
Posted on Mon, August 4, 2014
by Chris Seidman