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24
Apr
2014

Thoughts on leadership

Written by Pastor Mike Ramsdell  |  Found in: Pastor's Blog

Today I am sending out the synopsis of a leadership presentation I did for the Chamber of Commerce a few weeks ago. Some people asked for it, and I hope it can be useful to others as well.

16
Apr
2014

Preaching of the resurrection

Written by Pastor Mike Ramsdell  |  Found in: Pastor's Blog

Easter: The first Easter began in a then familiar way — Mary and the other Mary going to the tomb where Jesus’ body was. They had been twice before because up until the fourth day mourners went each day to anoint the body with expensive ointments and spices (to hold off the smell and allow grieving to continue at the grave as long as possible). Typically by the fourth day the smell had begun, and one could no longer go to a tomb to mourn. When they arrived, the stone had been rolled away, and an angel told them, “He is not here, he is risen just as he said. Come see where he had been laid.” Jesus appeared to at least 500, including the 11 surviving apostles after this event, telling them to “go and make disciples of all the world.” Then, as Acts records, he ascended into heaven.

15
Apr
2014

Why I Volunteer at VBC

Written by Erin Steed  |  Found in: Church News Blog

This summer will be my fifth year to teach a VBC class. I started when my daughter was in first grade, and this year, as she moves up to youth helper, I will volunteer and go through the next years with my new first grader!

10
Apr
2014

The Consumer Church

Written by Pastor Mike Ramsdell  |  Found in: Pastor's Blog

The last two years I have been a leader in the Healthy Church Initiative, serving as a church coach, on a consultation team and most recently as a lead consultant. Here is one of the key ideas of HCI and something I presented at Staff Chapel on Tuesday morning.

03
Apr
2014

Thoughts on the future of the Christian faith

Written by Pastor Mike Ramsdell  |  Found in: Pastor's Blog

Think with me about how the ministry of Jesus began, especially as recorded in the book of Matthew. The first thing he did was go down to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. This was his first public moment. John said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” We now know what he came to do. Then the Holy Spirit fills him in the form of a dove. We now know where his power and authority come from. Then the voice of God speaks from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” We now know who he is

27
Mar
2014

Sometimes the simplest ways are the best

Written by Pastor Mike Ramsdell  |  Found in: Pastor's Blog

We live in a very complex, confused world. There are few concrete guidelines for living, no central, universally accepted values and overwhelming political, moral and religious chaos. This makes it an easy world to become a Christian in but a very difficult world in which to live out that faith. There is no solid framework that the culture offers for us to live in. It’s like living in a hurricane with no shelter. We may be used to it, but the wind is still blowing.

20
Mar
2014

Building our life around the community

Written by Pastor Mike Ramsdell  |  Found in: Pastor's Blog

Jesus was baptized at the Jordan River. I was there just a few weeks ago at a very inspirational time when we remembered the baptisms of dozens of people in this amazing place. God said, “This is my Son.” John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God.” The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus like a dove, and it all began.

13
Mar
2014

Life can make the most sense at a funeral

Written by Pastor Mike Ramsdell  |  Found in: Pastor's Blog

One of the things I often do is funerals, walking with a family through the loss of a loved one. It is one of the things I have always believed God called me specifically to do. For me, it has always been and still is a great balancer in my life. In a culture that often seeks to isolate, sanitize and even marginalize death as much as possible, pastors find themselves in the thick of it on an almost daily basis. Many have asked me how I do it. Again, sharing in these times brings a balance into my life.

06
Mar
2014

Thoughts on being a "finisher"

Written by Pastor Mike Ramsdell  |  Found in: Pastor's Blog

First Methodist just completed a series entitled Finisher with a central theme, “It’s not those who begin, but those who finish.” In fact, everyone else in and out of the church builds their lives on those who are finishers. In our lives, we depend on those kinds of people.