Did you see this yet?
Israeli archaeologists announced this week the discovery of dozens of Dead Sea Scroll fragments bearing a biblical text found in a desert cave. "The fragments of parchment bear lines of Greek text from the books of Zechariah and Nahum and have been dated around the first century based on the writing style," the Associated Press reported. The scrolls are the first ones found in archaeological excavations in the desert south of Jerusalem in 60 years. When found between 1947 and 1956, the Dead Sea Scrolls were 1,000 years older than what had previously been considered the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible.
God specializes in bringing life to dead things and dead people! We will celebrate that on Easter Sunday, April 4.
Easter is going to be powerful this year! Start praying and inviting this week! Our theme is Graves & Gardens, and it will be a 'life-giving' experience - both in-person and online.
Be sure to register for the service you'd like to attend (8:30am, 10am or 11:30am). Right now the 10am is filling up fast, so if you haven't selected one yet, let me encourage you to attend at 8:30am or 11:30am.
Reminder: Harbortown KIDS is only open at the 10am and 11:30am services.
With so many attending - some for the first time ever since COVID began one year ago - we need some willing servants in critical areas, so our guests have the best experience possible. Consider attending one service and serving at another. We have two key opportunities to serve:
You can join our Guest Experience team in making Whitewater feel like home to all who come - sign up here
You can give hope to all the kids coming by serving in Harbortown KIDS - sign up here
We are also inviting anyone who has not yet been immersed in baptism to go All-In on Easter Sunday. I know several who have already told us they are planning on going All-In that day!
Sam Houston went All-In. He was a hero of the Texas war for independence and the President of the Republic of Texas. He became a Christian late in life. Rufus Burleson was a minister and president of Baylor University. Houston walked down the aisle, shook Burleson's hand and said "I give you my hand and with it, I give my heart to the Lord." Houston was baptized November 19, 1854. Texans came from throughout the countryside to see the baptism of the victor over Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto. Burleson, after baptizing Houston, said, "Now Sam, your sins are all washed away." Houston replied, "God help all the fishes!"
We won't have to worry about the fishes. We'll be using our regular baptistry with a special 'fast track' from the floor to the changing area. The water will be heated and we'll be ready for ya! Our prayer is that many will follow the example of Sam Houston and, more importantly, those in Acts 2:38 and go from spiritual death to spiritual life this Easter - from Graves to Gardens!
For more info on baptism, (or to let us know you're going All-In) click the button below.
Note: We want to be ready if the Spirit leads many to come, so we're looking for some gently used sweatpants and shirts of all sizes (kids and adults), for people to wear into the water. Just bring them with you and drop off at the Info Desk this Sunday.
Info on Baptism
Pure in heart
Last Sunday in my message, I talked about being 'pure in heart' and shared two ways to gain and maintain purity.
The first is what I just described. Being baptized is what we read about in Hebrews 10:22, which says, "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."
The second way is to have your mind washed daily by the written Word of God. Psalm 119 says that a young man keeps his way pure by "living according to your Word." I know some of you may have no idea where to start or even how to read the Bible. If so, let me recommend a tool many of us on staff use regularly - the YouVersion Bible App. Once you have it downloaded, you'll have the opportunity to read the Bible and find devotions to help you engage further with the Scriptures. If you're new to all of this, I recommend starting with "How to Start Reading the Bible."
So you get pure by being baptized. You stay pure by a Bible and a buddy that can keep you accountable! These things will keep your faith 'alive' instead of dead.
See you this Sunday for our next Beatitude of Blessing.
P.S. As springtime approaches, many of us will be doing "spring cleaning" and taking our "stuff" to trusted organizations to disperse to those in greater need. Let me take this opportunity, especially if you haven't been on campus recently, to tell you that through our partnership with a trusted organization, we now have a clothes bin from Matthew 25 Ministries in our parking lot outside of Door 1.
Please feel free at any time to drop clothes off for that ministry - both for people in need in the area, as well as around the world! In doing so, you are helping to Solve at least one of the 7 greatest needs of our community and world.