Author: Mark Johnson

Holy Handwashing

I have been pretty good about hygiene habits, but the current pandemic is making me step up my habits. This includes things like using the paper towel to turn off the water faucet and open the doors in public places.

It also includes washing my hands for twenty seconds. I have done a pretty good of washing my hands, but that twenty seconds seems like a long time. When I obtained a food handlers permit several years ago in the state of Washington for our Family Camp, they taught us to sing one of the short children’s songs to sing while hand washing to wash our hands for a long enough period.

There is a better help for God’s people to wash our hands for twenty seconds. One brother suggested that we wash our hearts while we wash our hands! Why not use handwashing time to memorize and rehearse passages of Scripture?

The following passages can be memorized, and they take about twenty seconds to recite.

Matthew 6:9-13. This text is Jesus’ instruction to the crowds and the disciples (Matthew 5:1; 7:29) about praying to the Father. The prayer covers five primary areas of life. Give your prayer life a boost while washing your hands.

Galatians 5:22-23. As we wash our hands, we can be reminded of the character that the Spirit is active in cultivating in God’s people.

2 Peter 1:5-8. Peter wrote about the development of one’s faith toward spiritual maturity. Reciting this passage can help remind us of the attributes we need to have in our lives.

Philippians 4:6-8. An excellent text to turn our anxieties over to God.

If you are really dedicated and want to have super clean hands, you may want to take on a little longer texts while washing your hands.

Psalm 23:1-6. This well known and dearly loved text is a beautiful reminder of the Lord during hand washing.

Galatians 5:19-21. This text about the “works of the flesh” is a good one to remind one of the attitudes and actions to weed out of our lives.

Let’s keep both our hands and hearts clean!

Worship Service for March 29

The worship service for Sunday, March 29, 2020 will be at 10:00 AM and available in three ways.
  1. Facebook Live – go the Columbine church of Christ Facebook page at 10:00 AM. I do not have a link to just click (like last week) since the feed is originating with Zoom.
  2. Zoom, see below:
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Mar 29, 2020 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Columbine Worship
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
  1. Phone, see below:
Or iPhone one-tap :
    US: +16699009128,,224730217#  or +13462487799,,224730217#
Or Telephone:
    Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        US: +1 669 900 9128  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 646 558 8656  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799
    Webinar ID: 224 730 217
Choose one of the phone numbers and then you will be asked to enter the Webinar ID number followed by the # sign.

Message From The Columbine Shepherds

Dear Columbine members,

Here is the current plan for the Columbine church of Christ during the Coronavirus Pandemic (as of 3/27/20):

We will discontinue meeting at the church building for all activities until the stay-at-home order is lifted (currently April 19th for Jefferson County).

If you know any members who do not have email, please let them know about this announcement.

The worship service will be live-streamed on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. (as best we can). Our current plan is to use Facebook Livestream for the members (on the Columbine church of Christ Facebook page) with ZOOM for those leading the worship.

The collection of the saints: electronic contributions can now be made using Zelle or through the mail. The church’s Zelle account is attached to our email,  columbinechurchofchrist@outlook.com. Please see below or contact Dave if you need help setting up a Zelle transfer. Thank you.

Columbine church of Christ

7543 South Zephyr Ct

Littleton, CO 80128

 

Mat 5:6  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Mat 5:7  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

 

In Christ,

The Columbine elders

Notes: CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

 

Columbine is now set up to receive via Zelle.

Here’s a list of the banks that are participating in Zelle:

  • Ally Bank
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of the West
  • BB&T
  • BECU
  • Capital One
  • Citi
  • Citizens Bank
  • Comerica Bank
  • ConnectOne Bank
  • Dollar Bank
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • FirstBank
  • First Tech Federal Credit Union
  • First National Bank
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • KeyBank
  • M&T Bank
  • Morgan Stanley
  • PNC Bank
  • SunTrust Bank
  • TD Bank
  • USAA
  • S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Updated Information From The Elders

The current plan for the Columbine church of Christ during the Coronavirus Pandemic (as of 3/20/20):

Due to concerns about the Coronavirus, the elders ask every member to use their own good judgment relative to attending worship at Columbine. We have decided to only meet for worship on Sundays (keep reading). We will discontinue the 9:00 a.m. Bible class and Wednesday night classes until further notice.

We want everyone to be safe during this time. If you know any members who do not have email, we encourage you to let them know about this announcement.

Mark is working on streaming his sermons on line. We’ll keep you updated as progress is made on this so that we, as the Columbine body, can keep some continuity.

——————————– – – –

The Columbine elders encourage, praise, and support the following measures:

· Pray to God that He will curtail the impact of the Coronavirus.

· If you are sick or do not feel well, please stay home.

· If you or members of your household are elderly or have any high risk factor, please stay home.

· If you have a conviction about not participating in gatherings during the pandemic, please stay home.

· If you are among those that intend to meet for worship, please select one worship time to attend (10 am or 1 pm) and notify Dave at 720-841-4922 or , indicating the service time you plan to attend. If the number attending one service is excessive, we may ask you to be flexible and attend at the other time.

——————————– – – –

Taking communion and the collection will be handled as follows:

(members do not pass trays or baskets)

Servers wash their hands before worship.

Keep every other pew empty.

Servers will pass down the empty pews to serve communion so members do not have to touch the trays or baskets.

——————————– – – –

The collection of the saints: The elders recognize that members’ financial situations may be uncertain or severely impacted during this time. However, the church’s expenses continue regardless of whether we meet at the building. The Lord asks us to give cheerfully as we have prospered. If you are able, please mail a check into the church office. Also, we are investigating ways to contribute electronically. Thank you.

Columbine church of Christ

7543 South Zephyr Ct

Littleton, CO 80128

Love God And Neighbor

Most of us are aware that the great command is to “love God” with all one’s heart, soul, and might. We are probably most familiar with this command from Matthew 22:37-38And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment (or one of the parallel accounts – Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27).

We are probably also well aware of this directive to love God with all of one’s being from Deuteronomy 6:5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Are we aware that this precept is given at least five more times in Deuteronomy (Deut. 10:12; 11;1, 13; 13:3; 30:6) and twice in the book of Joshua (Josh. 22:5; 23:11)?

According to Jesus, “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). This command is initially found in God’s covenant with Israel (Leviticus 19:18, you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD). It also occurs two more times in Matthew’s Gospel (Mt. 5:43; 19:19), twice in Paul’s writings (Romans 13:9-10; Galatians 5:14) and James 2:8. In other words, loving one’s neighbors is a significant biblical teaching.

As medical and governmental officials call on people to practice “social distancing” and banning various size groups, a primary theological consideration for the people of God is the love of neighbor. Care for others should be determining many of our responses.

This consideration of loving others is changing the way we interact. Thom Rainer wrote this, “Social distancing will change permanently some of the traditions in many churches. Stand and greet is gone and will not return in most churches. Church huggers will no longer be tolerated. Even handshakes will be minimized.” The “holy handshake” being replaced by the “holy wave” or “holy elbow bump.” People may continue to look for more space between them on others in the auditorium even after the crisis is passed (the 200 capacity worship center may reach its social distancing capacity at 120).

We need to practice the things during this time that protect the most susceptible people to the virus.

One positive thing from all of this for me is that it is pushing me (and others) more into the digital age. I am attempting to learn how to produce on-line streaming, video blogs, etc. I hope to have some things up and running in a couple of weeks, including streaming our worship assembly and having a study available with new content each week.

What should the Columbine church of Christ do concerning the Corona Virus?

Due to the concerns about the Corona Virus, please use your good judgment relative to attending services at Columbine. We want everyone to be safe during this flu season. If you know anyone who does not get email, we encourage you to let them know about this announcement.

Note: Since the high school that Highlands Ranch meets at is closed, some (12 plus or minus) of their members will likely attend worship with us, perhaps for the next month.

——————————- – – –

The Columbine elders strongly encourage taking the following precautionary measures:

Pray to God that He will shorten this flu season.

Follow common sense advice as can be seen on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

The elders prefer the CDC website over what is on television and radio news.

Practice good hygiene. Minimize touching one another.

If you or your children are not feeling well or you feel you are at risk then stay home …. God will understand.

For those who are well and do attend services praise God for your faith and good courage.

——————————- – – –

Taking communion and the collection will be handled as follows:

(members do not pass trays or baskets)

Servers wash their hands before worship.

Keep every other pew empty.

Servers will pass down the empty pews to serve communion so members do not have to touch the trays or baskets.

——————————- – – –

I Tim. 3:5  …  in an effort to take care of the church of God.

 

In Christian love,

The Columbine elders

P.S. We will continue to re-evaluate as more information becomes available and update the congregation with any needed changes to services.

Dead Center

People often get used to variation and expect to fall short of perfection. I am sure that most of us were content with an “A” on our schoolwork (sometimes we were just thankful for a “B” or a “C”). However, that “A” did not typically represent 100%, but as long as it was an “A,” we were happy. I have yet to see a target that just has the “bulls-eye” (no rings around the bulls-eye). Being comfortable with imperfection pervades the spiritual and ethical thinking and practice of the West today. Claiming that there is only one path that leads to God seems too constricting and suffocating in our current, less than ideal, spiritual environment. Yet, is it beneficial and productive to be content with just being on a path (no matter where the way leads)?

The fourth chapter of Proverbs contains the words of a father urging his sons to embrace the way of wisdom. In this context, the direction of wisdom is what this father had learned from his father (Proverbs 4:3-9). Handing down wisdom to the next generation is what God instructed the people of Israel to do (Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Psalm 78:5-8). The same attitude toward the value of wisdom surfaces again at Proverbs 23:23, when the author wrote, “Buy truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom and instruction and understanding.” Truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding are supremely valuable and should be the things that we seek to acquire.

Yet, it is not enough to hoard wisdom. Wisdom must be practiced; it must be lived.  Staying on the path of wisdom is what the father urges the sons to do in Proverbs 4:10-19. Living by wisdom is a lifetime commitment and requires reaffirmation and rededication. Staying on the path of wisdom is not an easy task; it means being focused on using wisdom to navigate through life in the right way. “Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.  Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil (Proverbs 4:25-27). To walk wisdom’s path, one must keep one’s eyes fixed ahead and not be distracted. The warning to not veer to the right or the left, but to stay “dead center” is a common idea in the Bible (for example Deuteronomy 5:32-33; 17:11, 18-20; 28:13-14; Joshua 1:7; 23:6; 2 Kings 22:1-2; 2 Chronicles 34:1-2). One must focus all of one’s energies on staying on the path of wisdom, thus avoiding the evil way.

Taking one’s eyes off of the goal will cause one to veer off of the path. To deviate from “dead center” is to start on another track. The only option to the path of wisdom is the path of evil (Proverbs 4:14, 27). The path of wisdom reminds one of the “two-path theology” of the Bible. Jesus taught the “two path theology” when He said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

We can set the course of our lives.  We can act responsibly. What path are you attempting to walk? How “dead center” are you on that path? Does your life demonstrate an extreme commitment to the right path and radical separation from the wrong way? Or are you content with veering off the road of righteousness and not being “dead center”?

MEDITATION ON GOD’S WORD

Joshua 1:8  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success

Psalm 1:1-2  Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night

Most of us probably assume that “meditate” means something like, “get in a quiet place and think about the Word.” But is that precisely what the Hebrew word translated “meditate” means? Please consider the following:

  • The Hebrew word translated as “meditate” (הגה) can also be translated: coo, growl, mutter, muse, imagine, read in an undertone, speak, proclaim.

 

  • “Meditation may be characterized as deep, reflective thought, often occurring in a repetitive or enduring fashion. This is linked with adverbial phrases such as “day and night” (Josh 1:8; Ps 1:2) . . . It seems that the righteous meditate not only for the purpose of encouragement, but also that their life may actually conform to the object of such meditation.” The “most articulate use of the vb. הָגָה may be translated as declare, mutter, or utter” as in Psalm 35:28 “My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long” (New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 1007–1008).

 

  • Positive use of this word relates to meditating upon the Word of God, which “goes on day and night (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:2). Perhaps the Scripture was read half out loud in the process of meditation” (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 205).

 

  • There is a parallelism in Joshua 1:8 between “not depart from your mouth” and “meditate on it.” “Not depart” is the negative command. “Meditate on it” is the same command restated as a positive command.

 

  • The Holman Christian Standard Version translates Joshua 1:8 as, “This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite, it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.” The CSB translators understand הגה to mean “recite.”

 

  • Is it possible that “meditating” on God’s Word includes both reflecting on God’s Word and talking about Scripture?