Death is Swallowed

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Death is Swallowed Up


54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,a] this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:54 NLT)

            Read the above verse slowly and consider its meaning carefully. The first two words are adverbs. The first adverb is then. The word then is used to designate a time, a time when something is to happen. When is also an adverb. It designates a time that an event happened. So, we could start the verse: “At that time, as our bodies are being transformed, then the scripture will be fulfilled.”

            I can’t help it, but I must ask: “when is then.” Then, is when our dead and decaying bodies are transformed into living and never aging bodies. When that occurs then the scripture is fulfilled. The scripture that will be fulfilled is Isaiah 25:8, which reads: He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The Lord has spoken! (NLT)

            If there ever was a scripture, I want to see fulfilled it is Isaiah 25:8. What, I particularly would like to see is God swallowing up death. God is going to one day swallow up death the great devourer who is relentlessly swallowing life. Everywhere we look we see death gobbling up people, towns, crops, animals, and resources. Death and its henchmen, disease, disasters, accidents, wars, poverty, and famine swallow life as locust swallow the crops. Death has an insatiable appetite. Death is a monster who pursues the young and the old; women, children, and men; it purses the strong and the feeble. Death wants to swallow life. It makes me angry to see the monster we call death initiate pandemics and epidemics.

BUT ONE DAY that all comes to a halt. The end of Isaiah 25:8 ends with the declaration “the LORD has spoken. What has he spoken? He has announced that when he breathes life into all that those death swallowed up; that at that moment, in one gulp, He will swallow death. It is not that death is beaten, broken, and left lying dazed along the side of the road in disgrace. No! death is swallowed. God extinguishes death. There is nothing left. All of death’s henchmen and comrades are annihilated. There is nothing left of any of them.

This is possible because God has raised Jesus from the dead. The message of Easter is that Jesus has risen. But that is only half the story. Because God raised Jesus, he will raise us. There is the whole story of Easter. Because He lives, we can live. Death has been swallowed up. It is annihilated. That is an idea worth celebrating.


If Christ Is Still Dead…Then

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If Christ Is Still Dead


Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you— (1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NLT)


12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. (1 Corinthians 15:12-13 NLT)


14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:14-15 NLT)


            The purpose of these Lenten meditations is same as the Apostle Paul’s reason for writing 1 Corinthians 15. Paul wanted to remind his readers of the importance of what he called the Good News. This news is important because the Corinthians had welcomed it. They had accepted it. They had embraced it as one might a long-lost friend. Not only had the Corinthians welcomed the Good News, but they are standing firm in it. This standing firm means they are pledging allegiance to the message contained in the Good News. Next Paul makes a bold declaration about this Good News; it is important because it saves you.

            Catch the next word. This Good News saves you…if. Here is why Paul wants to remind them of the Good News he had preached, and they had welcomed. There is a condition, they must continue to believe the message they discovered in his preaching. What was this Good News? It is found in verses 3-4 and simply states that Christ died, Christ was buried, and on the third day he rose from the dead. That third statement is the sticking point and the reason that Paul is writing. He wants them to remember the importance of believing in the resurrection of the dead.

            Don’t read that last statement too fast and miss the point Paul is making. Paul is writing to underscore, emphasize, and to accentuate the importance of continuing to believe in the resurrection of the dead. Paul is defending the idea that Jesus rose from the dead. But he is also underscoring the importance of standing fast and pledging allegiance to our own resurrection from the dead. In verses 12-13 Paul is wondering out loud with his readers why, if he preached that Christ arose from the dead, then why are some of them saying there is no resurrection from the dead. The Corinthians were not abandoning the idea that Jesus arose. They were dismissing the idea that they would rise from the dead some day in the future. Why is this important? He says in verse 13, if there is no resurrection from the dead, then Christ has not been raised either.

            Read slowly and think deeply about the following. Paul is saying that Christ’s resurrection from the dead cannot be separated from the fact that God will one raise us physically from the dead. The central point of the Good News is the resurrection; the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of those who have welcomed the Good News. Both are linked. They are inseparable. One happens, the other happens. If one does not happen, then neither does the other. If there is no resurrection, then verse 14 says that message which Paul had preached to them was useless. If his preaching is useless then their faith is useless.

            Don’t skim this next statement. Read it word-for-word and carefully consider what these words are saying. Our faith in God, our faith in Jesus, rests on the fact that God will one day raise us from the dead. If God does not raise us, then there was no reason to have raised Jesus from the dead. If God was going to let us die and then leave us to decay to become part of the circle of life, then there was no reason to send Jesus to die. Why? It would have all been useless. Look above at verse 15. Not only would his preaching have been useless, and their faith been useless, but Paul says that he and the apostles would have been lying about God. They would have been lying because their preaching was centered on the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead. But if no one rises then neither does Jesus and the Good News is just a lie.

            Being prepared for Easter means that we fully understand that Easter is about resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection makes our resurrection possible. Our resurrection is the Good News of the gospel message that Jesus died for our sins, was buried for our sins, and was raised to defeat the penalty and power of our sins. Resurrection negates the power of sin. Resurrection silences the charges against us. Resurrection is the evidence that God loves us and desires us.

            Don’t come to Easter just to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Come and celebrate your coming resurrection.



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            As an old man, who is not yet elderly, I was ruminating over the fact that my grandchildren will probably not develop an appreciation for the 1960 hit song by Sam Cooke called Wonderful World. You remember it. Don’t you?

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took.

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this would be.

I have several reasons for liking the song but chief among them is that it is a great illustration of the power of an “if…then…” statement. I remember sitting a high school geometry class moaning over not being able to fully grasp the concept of theorems. But I remember the teacher illustrating the concept of if…then in geometry. A if…then statement in math is known as a conditional statement.

            Mathematicians and scientists like conditional statements because they can link two events into a relational understanding. If “A” happens then “B” will follow. Conditional statements are important because they are reliable predictors. Sam Cooke in his song declares the surety of his love and then says “I know that if you love me too, then what a wonderful world it would be. Mr. Nelson, my geometry teacher, finally helped me understand a math concept. I saw the if…then conditional statement in a way I could understand.

            No doubt you are wondering what this has to do with Lent and being prepared for Resurrection Sunday. There is an important “if…then” statement in 1 Corinthians 15:17:  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Why does the Apostle Paul make this statement? He makes it to address the belief that was emerging in the Corinthian church that belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus was not a big deal. Understand, that the Corinthians were not against the concept of resurrection, per se. They were questioning that a dead body could come back from the dead. The soul could rise from a dead body, and many were thinking that was all that was really needed. They were thinking that the body was the problem. Get rid of the body and you get rid of sin. The physical was the problem, and a spiritual resurrection was the cure.

            To that way of thinking Paul addresses his if…then statement. If Christ has not been raised (then) your faith is futile. Why is it futile? Paul continues: (because) you are still in your sins. Our life experience instructs us of the importance of escaping sin. Sin gets us into trouble with people close to us. Sin gets us in trouble with the larger world of community and culture. Sin complicates our lives. The Corinthians knew that being rid of sin was important. You know this as well. We have looked at 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 that declares that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures. Makes sense, doesn’t it. Sin is bad. Sin complicates life and relationships. Let’s get rid of sin. We know that is why Jesus came into the world. John the Baptist said as much in John 1:29, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

            But here is Paul saying, that if Christ is not raised from the dead and he means if Christ did not raise physically, then our faith in the idea that are sins are taken away is futile (pointless, fruitless, ineffective, or wasted).  Why is this the case? Because we are still in our sins.

            Here is why, in our journey toward Easter, it is important to look back on where we have been in our journey and what we have learned. Week 1 we looked at 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 where Paul says, “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word, I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” In the last two posts  we looked at 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures… In those post we examined the idea that Jesus died, was buried, and rose on the third day as an idea of “first importance.” We said it was of first importance because it is more than a historical statement. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection goes beyond just interesting historical facts. They are things that happened according to scripture, making them of first importance. Next, we examined the idea that these events, death, burial, and resurrection are physical and why that is important.

            Now, Paul says if Christ did not rise physically then our faith in the statement of first importance is mush. Mush cannot support you in the complexities created by sin. Mush cannot provide hope that the problems created by sin will be alleviated. Mush cannot deliver on the idea that one day we will inhabit a new earth, in new bodies that are free from the curse and consequences of sin. In your meditation consider how important it is to you that your sins have been forgiven and that God has removed the guilt and consequences of those sins.

            If that is important to you, that you are no longer chained by your sins, then consider carefully how important it is that Jesus Christ physically rose from death and the grave. We will explore this idea further next week. It is indeed an idea of first importance, and we want a faith that is more than mush.


Father, help us to grasp in confidence that our sins have been taken away. Help us to see that if Jesus has been raised physically from the grave, then we are full of hope and joy. Father, help us understand and appreciate what you the death, burial, and resurrection has accomplished. Amen


Let’s Get Physical

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Let’s Get Physical

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV).

            No doubt you are reading the title and wondering what its got to with Lent or Easter.  The answer has to with the message that Paul described as “of first importance.” Consider the content of the message. The message has three parts. First, Christ died—that’s a physical reality. Second, Christ was buried—that is another physical reality. Finally, on the third day Christ arose from the dead—is that physical or something else. Determining if the resurrection is a physical reality is indeed something that is of first importance. The fact is that Paul considered it of such importance that he used a great deal of ink explaining its importance in what we refer to as 1 Corinthians 15.

This is important enough for you to explore. Paul stated that Christ died. That is easy to grasp. Jesus had been alive. There was no question he was a physical being. They had seen him with their own eyes. They had heard him preach and teach. They had touched him and had been touched by him. They had sufficient evidence that he was physical and not a ghost or a specter. What Paul is stressing is that this physical Jesus had died. Jesus’ body was dead—all who saw him knew he was dead. They had heard his final cry. They had seen his bodily fluids drain as the soldier pierced his side. They knew there was no life in his physical body.

Those who had watched Jesus physically die did what people do with dead bodies. They buried him. Consider the perspective of those who witnessed the life drain from Jesus’ body. They are seeing a dead body and when this now dead body, had been alive they had hoped that he was the promised hope of Israel. But now all they see is a dead body. In their grief they did not abandon his body. They took it off the cross and lovingly prepared it for burial and placed in a tomb. Jesus died physically. Jesus’ physical remains were buried.

But he did not lie dead long. He died on Friday (day 1). He lied buried on Saturday (day 2). On Sunday (day 3) this dead body burst from the tomb full of life. This is important. The man and his body had died. He had died for all the sins of humanity. This included those who had ever lived, were living then, and who ever will live. This same man and his same body are seen by his disciples, a crowd of 500, James the brother of Jesus and Paul says he too say the risen Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:5-8).

Meditate on this as you prepare for Easter. The one who had walked among the people of Palestine, who had been seen, heard, and touched had died. They had seen his death. The one they saw die and saw removed from the cross to be buried, now stood in their presence, scars, and all. How much more physical could it be? What was the result? Hope was rekindled. The lost confidence that he might be the one is now a secure confidence that he is the One. Doubt was erased. Courage replaced fear. The death of an obscure man in an obscure part of the world becomes the most important death of all time. The obscure man became the most important man in all of history. How did this happen? A physical body died, a physical body was buried, and the same physical body that had died and was buried stood alive and fully physical. It was not a different man. It was the same man who had died, been buried that is physically alive. He breathes the same air. He walks on the same roads. He eats the same food. He who had died and was buried is now living and interacting with people.

Now you understand the title and the importance of getting physical. Explore this idea as you prepare for Easter.


An Idea Worth Considering

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An Idea Worth Considering

A Lenten Reflection      

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance (1 Corinthians 15:3)

       Take a moment and read the statement again slowly and discover for yourself what the Apostle Paul is saying. Paul is saying that he has an idea that he wants to share. He wants his readers to know that this idea does not originate with him. He says he received this idea from others. But it is an idea that he does not want to keep to himself. He says he is passing it on to those of us who are reading what he wrote. Why does Paul introduce this idea in this manner? He wants his readers to understand that this idea is important. If Paul was alive today, he might tell us that this idea is not just another data point among the 2.5 quintillion bits of data that humans generated every day in 2021 (

         Paul is saying that among the thousands of images we are exposed to each day, all of which are trying to advance an idea, the idea he is sharing with us is of first importance, it is a priority. He is saying pay attention to what I am saying. Why would he say this? It is correct to say that embedded in the thousands of images and the hundreds of thousand words we encounter every day there are ideas that are important and should be noted by us. The Apostle Paul would not argue against this point, yet he would insist that among all these ideas there are few that qualify as being of first importance. This idea that he received and which he wants us to be aware is at the top of the list of important ideas.

            What idea has Paul received and passed on that is of first importance. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 continues:

that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

The idea that Paul received and passed along as having first importance is twofold. First, Christ died for our sins and second, he was buried and was raised on the third day. We understand that Paul is talking about the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. These ideas are not three separate ideas; 1) Christ died; 2) Christ was buried; and 3) Christ was raised on the third day. They are one idea linked together by the qualifying phrase that these things happened according to the Scriptures. It is this phrase that moves the idea from an ordinary and maybe interesting idea to an idea of first importance. Consider the following with me.

      The idea that Jesus lived and died is not controversial. There are few people who would deny that there was a man by the name of Jesus who lived in the early part of the first century. There is no controversy about the fact that he died. The fact that Jesus lived in Palestine and died there is a historical idea and though some of us might find it interesting it would not be an idea of first importance. When you say Christ died and add that he died according to the Scriptures you create an idea of first importance. Why? Because it moves the idea out of the purely historical realm that all are comfortable with into the realm of a religious doctrine. People rarely make important decisions based on historical facts. However when we move the idea from mere history to saying it also part of a religious reality, now something significant is being said. The statement about Christ’s death is more significant that a statement about the death of a historical person. His death was more than giving up the ghost, taking his last breath, and succumbing to the ravages of nature. Jesus died but he died for our sins, and he did so according to the scriptures, and this elevates this statement or idea to being of first importance.

      It is of first importance because it has a noble dimension, and it does not merely happen at a particular time and in a particular place. The addition of the phrase according to the scriptures interjects a divine being and a divine source into the idea. It is of first importance because it involves an exceptional reason and an extraordinary supporting source. This catapults the discussion from the mundane to the incomparable.

       As you journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday consider what it means to you that Christ died, was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures. How does the phrase according to the scriptures propel the information contained in Paul’s statement to a statement of first importance. Don’t just read these familiar words. Ponder them. Consider them. Decide what the implications are. If you do then you have started to prepare yourself for a great Easter celebration.


It Has Begun

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Join us each week as we journey to Easter. Each week you will find a new Lenten reflection to help you prepare for a grand and hope-filled celebration of the greatest day in history. the day that the angels declared “He is Risen!”

It Has Begun:

A Lenten Reflection

           That’s right. It has begun. What has begun? What has begun is the annual 40-day journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. The journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter is a journey that countless of Christians have made for nearly 2,000 years. It is a journey that Christians use to reflect on the teaching and life of Jesus. This period of reflection is used to prepare the church to appreciate and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

           The resurrection of Jesus is a foundational belief at Northpark that unites us and serves as a compass to guide us in our ministry. This is why you are invited to return here for a weekly Lenten reflection. Our desire as a church is that a journey like this will allow you to experience the love of God by hearing the good news that Jesus is alive. Northpark also believes this journey will be a means by which God shows his love to you through us as we discover together the wonder and majesty of the resurrection of Jesus the King. Our journey begins with this from the Apostle Paul’s found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

            There are four key ideas in this passage that serve to guide our journey. The first idea is that the gospel or good news is the same gospel, the same good news that Paul preached, and we have received. This gospel has been described as the old, old story. Indeed, though it may be an old story it is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when Paul preached it to the Corinthians in the mid-first century A.D. Paul might say to us that this gospel he preached, and we have received needs nothing added. He would tell us that the gospel we heard and received is a solid foundation on which to stand.

            Second, Paul would have us understand this gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is a secure place on which to stand. This gospel, that contains the good news of what Jesus did, furnishes us the indispensable condition that makes it possible for us to stand resolutely during the storms created by evil and its comrade chaos.

            The third key idea is linked to the previous idea. The cross and the tomb provide a place to stand steadfastly. Both the cross and the tomb give us our standing before God. Our standing is the product of what Jesus accomplished. It is our belief in what Jesus accomplished at the cross and through the empty tomb that gives us our standing with God. This standing is that we are at peace with God (Rom. 5:1). Our standing before God is secure because we stand on the solid rock of the salvation made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. What is salvation? Salvation results in our forgiveness; God’s acceptance of us; God’s favor; a lasting peace with God; a transformation from sinfulness to righteousness; and a new heart guided by loyalty and allegiance to one who made this all possible.

            Finally, the last key idea is found in the declaration that we are saved if we hold firmly to what Paul preached and we have received, believed, and accepted as God’s truth. Holding firmly steadies us in the storm. Tenaciously holding on means holding onto what Jesus accomplished and being established in and by the salvation that the gospel offers. Holding on is not grasping desperately onto a wish or unspecified hope. Holding on hold means we allow the salvation Jesus provided to hold us securely in its transformative power as we link hands with our Savior King.

            Start your journey to Resurrection Sunday focusing on these ideas. Next Wednesday you will find a new Lenten reflection to help you prepare your heart and mind for a grand and hope-filled Easter.


Prayer Tent Ministry

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Prayer Tent Ministry
PPreach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.”- St. Francis.

The idea of having a prayer tent is nothing new. The idea of setting it up in a different venue began with a conversation between Pastor Lonnie Anderson and myself. We prayed over it, knowing that God would lead us in the right direction. We were granted permission from The Livable Forest to open a prayer tent in the middle of their Town Center.

Pastor Lonnie and I have a desire to take the Power of God out into the community in the fulfillment of the Great Commission:

Matthew 28: 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

 Since we began in October of 2021, we have met various types of people and have prayed for numerous people from all over. We have yet to hear anything negative regarding our presence there. Quite the opposite, many shared their thanks for our presence, praise reports, compliments, and we have even heard testimonies from many people and we are still in our infancy stages. We continue to pray that God uses us more in reaching the lost.

The most rewarding part of being able to pray for people is being able to share the love of God with our community. We play games with them; we laugh with them; and most importantly, we get to pray with them. To those who belong to churches we are still able to show them the Love that God has blessed us with. For those that do not attend church, we are able to plant the seeds of God into their hearts. We hope to see them in our church, but if not, with the Love of God we will still love on them

1 Corinthians 3: I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

We are a para-church ministry, meaning we are an extension of Northpark Christian Church’s Monday Night Intercessory group, as well as our Outreach Ministries. We are a small group of prayer warriors who have been doing this for 2 years and we believe we are making a difference in our community. We can feel our spiritual walk growing. If you care to join us, you can email me or ask any church leader to point you in the right direction. We hope to see you, if for no other reason than to pray and share God’s love with you.


It’s Here: Ready or Not?

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It’s Here: Ready or Not?

Bob Monts

I’m sure you have noticed and may have even groused about it. The outdoor Christmas decorations are popping up around town. Reformation Day is here today (Nov. 1). That means that the breaks are off, and everyone is now running headlong into the Holiday season. Thanksgiving is knocking at the door and Christmas is about 50 days away.

Here at Northpark it means we are ramping up to serve people in the Montgomery County area, the community of Kingwood, and children around the world. The months of November and December give us as a church an opportunity to allow God to love others through us.

It all starts this coming Saturday (Nov. 5th) as we gather to fill shoe boxes with gifts and various hygiene supplies for kids around the world. We partner every year with Samaritan’s Purse in a project called Operation Christmas Child. Through this project we are packing up 200 shoe boxes to be sent to kids who otherwise might not have a merry Christmas.

Next, on November 14th we are headed to Kingwood Middle School, our educational partner, to provide the faculty and staff there a Thanksgiving meal to celebrate their educational contribution to our community. Each month we do something for the school to demonstrate that God loves them through our service and support.

Then on Nov 15th we head to Mission Northeast, one of our mission partners, to participate in making the supplies for Thanksgiving meals possible. We gather supplies every month that the Mission gives to those who are struggling.


Yes, we are a small church, though we want to grow. We don’t let our size limit us in our mission. We are jumping into service this Holiday season with gusto and abandon. Are you looking for a church that recognizes it is not all about itself? Do you want to be part of a church that shows this through service and making a difference in the community? Then join us for a service. Meet us and Pastor Lonnie and see how easy it is to get connected here.


Our 2022 Fall Kick Off

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Taste of Northpark:

A Soup and Empanada Extravaganza

Our church is excited about this coming Sunday (Oct. 23rd). The reason is that it is our Fall Open House that we are calling A Taste of Northpark. We are inviting our community to join us for 25 varieties of soup, empanadas, deserts, popcorn, and cotton candy. In addition to the food, we are having a carnival, with games for all ages, along with face painting and balloon sculptures. There will be large bounce house and a 60-foot inflatable obstacle course for kids of all ages. But that is not all. We also have live music by the Back Porch Band.

The purpose of the event is related to our mission as a church “To Let God loves us and let God love others through us.” Our church strives to be a welcoming community so that people can be confident that Christian love is real, and its source is God.

So if you are a visitor to our website and you don’t know much about our church or any church, please accept our invitation and join us on the 23rd from 1-3 pm. There will be plenty of tasty treats, games, music, and prizes. Come meet our family. We are eager to meet yours.

Don’t worry about money because it is all free. All we want is your name and an email address. In exchange we will provide your family a couple of hours of fun, food, and live music. Learn more about our church on the Who Are We Page.


Mission, Message, and Methods

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Mission & Message: The Same

Methods: Flexible


How do you understand the title of this particular blog? What does it have to do with Life at Northpark? The truth is that it says a great deal about our church. It says that we have a single mission. Our mission is: Let God love us and let God love others through us. How does mission impact Life at Northpark? It keeps us focused on the main thing. Every time someone comes to visit our church, our goal is that they see our church as a place where the love of God is present and that they feel loved by God as our church family expresses his love. What does this have to do with the title? We have one mission. It does not change week-to-week. It is our goal to live out this mission as consistently as possible. We want to be a place whose mission offers our current attenders and our future attenders, a sense of stability and security.

But what about message? Our message is the same message as the message which dominates the pages of the Bible. That message is expressed in the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:

3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.

It is this message that informs our mission. It is this message that we seek to communicate, in our worship each Sunday, through our singing, our participation in the Lord’s Supper, and in our preaching. It is the first message that was preached. It was this message that led to the formation of the first church 2,000 years ago and it has not changed. Thus, we have one message that was passed on to us and is consistent with the Scriptures: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again.

It is a message that clearly demonstrates God loves all of us and it is the message we want you to experience in your interaction with our church. One mission and one message and both are the same and something from which we will not deviate.

So what about methods? The message is rooted in past. Our mission is an expression of this ancient message. But both are still relevant in our moment of history. Thus, our methods for expressing the message and our mission are flexible and open to change. We are a contemporary church using modern methods to express an ancient message. We are ordinary people who are defined by an extraordinary message that spans the centuries. This message has staying power because it meets the greatest need we have. It is a message that communicates we are not alone, nor insignificant. We are loved are by one who seeks to transform us.

Please visit us and see how message, mission, and methods define Life at Northpark.


God Desires Dedication Not Declaration

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God Seeks Dedication Not Declaration
by Steve Keyes

God doesn’t want to hear declarations.  He wants to see your dedication.

He doesn’t want to hear hollow promises of what you will do, but rather He wants to see what you ARE doing.  He wants to see the benefits that a life dedicated to Him will bring to a community of your fellow man.

The Creator of the universe doesn’t need to hear that you intend to do this thing or that you want to do that thing.  He’s not interest in protestations of “I’ll do better just as soon as _______”.

The first chapter of Isaiah records God’s lament regarding the Israelites: “For what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices … Bring no more vain offerings”

Similarly, the prophet Hosea (6:6) records God’s words saying, “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

Jesus’ half-brother James teaches, “But a man may say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’  Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”  (James 2:18)

It’s easy to see that the action He desires from us is to love him above all else, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40).  The Creator doesn’t need empty promises of production or sacrifice.  He is the Creator.  He created all we can see or know or do.  It is within His power to accomplish anything He desires.

The bottom line is this:  if you believe in an all-powerful Creator, then you must believe in an all-powerful Creator.  He lacks for nothing.  Nothing is outside his control. 

Northpark Christian Church is a bible-believing church.  We take God at his word.  We are commanded to worship Him, to have faith in Him, and to have love and compassion for our fellow man.  These are our goals.  Our members, discipled in God’s word and enriched by His awesome power and love, are committed to reaching out to our community.  We engage in activities of evangelism, teaching, compassion, and assistance through multiple programs geared to bring the love of Christ to our corner of the universe.

Won’t you join us this Sunday and experience for yourself how totally and completely awesome is the Creator.  We look forward to worshiping with you.


Operation Christmas Child

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Our guest blogger this week is Karen Ferris. Karen is  part of the Children’s Ministry Team and is the leader of a special project that is part of Life at NorthparkRead on as Karen shares about Operation Christmas Child. This project is an integral part of how our church fulfills its mission to let God love us and let God love others through us.


I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to talk about Operation Christmas Child. If you did not know, Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse that distributes shoeboxes filled with goodies to children all over the globe. Orphans in Guatemala, children in West Africa, and even kids in remote islands in the South Pacific. Packing small gifts in a shoebox is just the beginning that awaits these precious little ones. Each child that receives a box will have the Gospel message taught to them in their own language! How awesome is it that we have the amazing opportunity to spread the love of Christ to kids around the world. I remember listening to a young woman tell her story of receiving a shoebox. She lived in an orphanage in Central America and had never been taught about who God or Jesus was. As a child, she was ecstatic about receiving a doll and her very own toothbrush, but even more heartwarming was hearing for the first time that she was loved. Being the hands and feet of God is vitally important, so much so that Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. (Mark 16:15)”

So, I count it an honor and a privilege to serve the youth of the world by putting together shoeboxes with everyone in the church. My heart gets excited thinking about the smiling faces that will receive their gifts offered to them in love.

Please consider donating to Operation Christmas Child. You can pick up a list of things that are needed at the table set up in the entryway or make a cash donation. Collections will be taken until the first week in November.


The Heart of Our Mission

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The Heart of our Mission

Life at Northpark is driven by our mission to let God love us and let God love others through us. Our mission represents the hands and feet of our church. Our mission guides us in what we do to be a beneficial part of the community. Our mission says we want to let God love us. We want Life at Northpark to be clear evidence that God loves people. We are not a big church, but we recognize that God has a big heart, and we want Life at Northpark to clearly show that to be true. The second half our mission directly shows that our church understands that God has a desire to love others through us. We are not resting on God’s love. Rather, we are actively sharing God’s love.

Our mission serves as the hands and feet of our church because it tells us what we are to do; let God love us and let God love others through us. We know we cannot, nor do we need to hoard God’s love for ourselves. God’s love is so vast that it encompasses the world. We believe and try and act in a way that shows that God so loved the world, that he gave us one and only son so that we can have eternal life (John 3:16).

If you have been reading closely you may be anticipating what’s next. What’s next is to understand what serves as the heart of our mission. The heart provides our mission with energy and passion. What is the heart of our mission? The heart of our mission is our sense of purpose. Purpose speaks to our understanding of why our church exists. Our mission to let God love us and love others through us comes from an understanding that the church is to honor God and reflect God’s glory in all we say and do. We believe that the whole duty of humankind is to love God and to follow his commands (Ecclesiastes 12:13). This is our purpose; our reason for being as a church.

Our purpose to love to God and keep his commands defines what Life at Northpark is all about. Our purpose is the heart that energizes us and provides passion for all we do. If you are looking for a church that understands why it exists and then seeks to have what it does reflect that understanding, we encourage you to visit us. We are not a perfect church. But we are a church whose purpose is to love God and our mission is to let God’s love flow through us to our community.


A Member Talks about Our Mission

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Editor’s note:
Our guest editor this week is Steve Keyes. In this post Steve talks about the importance of our church’s mission to let God love us and let God love others through us. He has a unique perspective. Read on and discover just how important it is for a church to have a mission statement and live up to it. In this blog you will discover that Steve has found the mission to be a vital part of Life at Northpark.
I felt my chair shake – more a vibration really. For the briefest of moments, the geologist in me kicked in. Earthquake? Felt like it, but Houston and southeastern Texas lack tectonic activity. Then the obvious came to mind. The cat. She was doing her thing, bumping my chair to get my attention, then winding around the
legs until I scratched her back.
My dog took a different approach. Lying in full view at my feet, she appeared to be sleeping. But just let me make the slightest move and those eyes would pop open to see if I was OK or if I was about to stand and walk away.
These animals – our pets – they show us so much love. Undeserved, unconditional love. Are they gods? Certainly not! We worship the Creator not the created.
But our pets DO reveal the love of God. They are like little mirrors, reflecting His agape character and reminding us daily that He wants to spend time with us. That He never grows tired of us. That He has charged us with the responsibility of caring for parts of His Creation and so has given us purpose.
Northpark Christian Church has been a similar blessing to me. I’ve never been part of a congregation so focused on outreach programs that help others. As such, our relationship to the world is in some ways like our pet’s relationship to us. By investing time, volunteer effort, and financial support in multiple mission fields, the church embodies the spirit of God’s love. It is the cat bumping the chair or the faithful dog demonstrating her unconditional devotion. Northpark reflects God’s love to those we share our time with.
And speaking from personal experience, the light of love we shine on those folks in need is recognized and appreciated. Their genuine smiles and sincere, heart-felt words of gratitude tell the story of just how much they need the love of our Savior. WE are the mirrors reflecting His love to a world in need. And I can’t help feeling
that when we help our fellow man, it makes God smile!


Our Mission-Value Driven

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Life at Northpark: Value Driven

Northpark’s mission statement is: Letting God love us and love others through us. Last week we introduced our mission and how the mission defines Life at Northpark. Our mission statement explains who we are and what we seek to accomplish.

Our mission is built on a vision for being a church that is characterized by growth. Our vision seeks growth that is balanced between qualitative and quantitative. Our vision focuses on God’s love as the means of helping us grow in the ability to receive, appreciate, and express God’s love. Our church seeks to help people recognize the love God has for humanity. Our vision is to be nurtured and empowered by God’s love. This means we want to grow in greater awareness of the multiple ways that God expresses his love.

Our desire for quantitative growth expresses our vision that God’s love is readily available to all and that we can share God’s love with others by using our lips and lives. Our vision is to grow as God’s children sustained by his love so that we can authentically let God love others through us. We have a vision for being an active partner with God in expressing His love to those in the community of Kingwood and to those who call Northpark their Christian family.


The cornerstone of our mission statement is the value we place on God’s transforming love for humanity. Our mission statement stresses that we value the love of God. Our church seeks to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love is (Eph 3:18). We value God’s love because without God’s love humanity finds itself with hope and meaning in the world.

We value God’s love and thus we seek to create opportunities for people to encounter, explore, and express their appreciation for the expansiveness of God’s love. We also seek to create opportunities to encounter God’s love through the ministries of our church. Letting God love others through us demonstrates that as a church we are concerned about the well-being of people. We value your soul, we value your mind, we value your heart, and we value your strength. Northpark values people enough to seek to let what we do as a church build up our community and empower our community to let God love our neighborhoods and then love others within those neighborhoods.

We seek others to join us in our mission. We seek those who have a vision to grow because they value the transforming love of God. Join us as we let God love us and let God love others through us.



Our Mission and Vision

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Life at Northpark: Mission Focused

Northpark’s mission statement is: Letting God love us and love others through us. The purpose of a mission statement is to create a climate that defines life within an organization. A mission statement answers the question of what the reason for an organization’s existence is. A mission also guides an organization as to what it ought to do. The foundation for a mission statement is comprised of the vision that the organization has for what it desires to be. The cornerstone for building a foundation that supports the mission is its values; having a strong sense of what is truly important.

Our mission is built on a vision for being a church that is characterized by growth. Our vision seeks growth that is primarily qualitative and secondarily quantitative. Our vision focuses on God’s love as the means of helping us grow in the ability to receive, appreciate, and express God’s love. Our vision is to be nurtured and empowered by God’s love. This means we want to grow in greater awareness of the multiple ways that God expresses his love.

Our desire for quantitative growth expresses our vision that God’s love is readily available to all and that we can share God’s love with others by using our lips and lives. Our vision is to grow as God’s children sustained by his love so that we can authentically let God love others through us. We have a vision for being an active partner with God in expressing His love to those in the community of Kingwood and to those who call Northpark their Christian family.

You are encouraged to visit our Mission’s Page to better understand our active participation within the community, the state of Texas, the United States, and the world. Please visit our Community Outreach page as well to see what we are doing to fulfill our vision and mission.

The next several weeks our blog will explore various ways that our mission shapes Life at Northpark. Come back next week and learn about the values that serve as the cornerstone of our mission.


Children’s Ministry at Northpark

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Life at Northpark:

The Children’s Ministry
by shari anderson

(Editor’s Note) Northpark Christian is not a megachurch. We are not a large church. But Life at Northpark demonstrates that we are committed to do the best we can with the resources we have available. We are committed to letting God love us and letting God love others through us. This means we are committed to letting God love kids through our children’s ministry. Shari Anderson leads our children’s ministry. Below she shares her love for kids and what she desires Life at Northpark be like for our kids.


Kid’s Ministry at Northpark has three main focuses:

1 – We want kids to love coming to church!  At Northpark we work hard to help children feel welcomed, loved, and safe.  Church is a place you are always welcome, no matter if you have been to church all your life or if it is your first time in our church building.  We work on creating an atmosphere where all children feel loved and important!  

2 – We want kids to know that the Bible is true, and it has lifelong benefits and principles that apply to them and their families!  We have Bible lessons, games and activities that bring the Bible to a level that children can understand.  Teaching is presented in a multi-sensory format with multiple ages learning together.  We want to help kids to grow in their faith and learn to love God’s word.  If your child needs a Bible, please let us know and we will make sure they receive one!     

3 – We want children to know who Jesus is and that He is crazy about them!  Our ultimate goal is to be part of their journey that leads them to a lifelong Relationship with Jesus Christ. 

What to do when you come to church:  Please sign your child up for Children’s church at our Welcome Kiosk, either by scanning our QR code or manually on our sign-in sheet.  Children will sit with their parents for the first part of worship and be prayed over and dismissed to class right before the sermon. 

You can be confident that your kids are being cared for by caring, experienced, and vetted volunteers. Our children’s volunteers have passed a rigorous background check.  Our volunteers have many years of teaching experience in both the church and in the public schools.

We are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday! 



Community at Northpark

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Community at Northpark


The cultural milieu of our time has a love/hate relationship with the concept of community. Community is often defined as a group of people with a common characteristic or interest interacting together to forge a sense of connection or bond. People by nature desire a connection and a bond. They desire to be part of something that gives them a sense of purpose and direction. People love a community that provides the bond they seek.

There is the other side of the love/hate connection that needs to be considered. More often than not what we experience are communities rather than a community. Yes, humans have lived in multiple communities and not a single community throughout history. The fact that there are communities of different types is to be expected considering the diversity that we live with every day. The result is that the complexity of diversity creates multiple communities. The result is communities experience a degree of tension. Each of these various communities create barriers, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally to those outside the particular community and tension boils up.
it raises the question can a diverse humanity find a community that can embrace various communities while acknowledging and valuing diversity. Can there be a connection or bond between people who are different? What would such a community look like?

At Northpark we believe that there is such a community that offers diverse people a bond, a connection, and purpose that embraces diversity. That is the community we love and the community Northpark desires to be. Life at Northpark seeks to be a place of community. A place where we let God love us and let God love others through us. Our community recognizes that God loves all people and desires that all would come into his family. Our desire for community is rooted in the description of community found in the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures. We seek community that is found in the recognition that we live in a world of discord created by sin. But in Jesus Christ we can find unity and communion in the forgiveness offered by Jesus, which in turn breaks down walls of hostility between communities and creates a true bond. 

Northpark is an imperfect community made up of imperfect people who are seeking to find their identity in God who is greater than our imperfect humanity. Thus, we struggle to find community in the world as it is and the world that the Old and New Testaments say can be. We seek to be caring and tender toward people who struggle to find community. If you desire community, we may be what you are looking for. Pastor Lonnie reminded us that people are not our enemy. Rather, our enemy is the unseen one who stands behind and influences our culture. We believe community is found in a loving God who constantly seeks to gather the hurting and disenfranchised into a community who have been transformed by his LOVE.

We seek to build community by letting God love us and let God love others through us. We would love the opportunity to help you find community at Northpark.


Lord’s Supper at Northpark

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Lord’s Supper


            The purpose of this blog is to give visitors to our website an opportunity to discover what life at Northpark is like. The blog is trying to give readers a clear picture of our priorities as a church. One of the clear priorities of our church is the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Our church celebrates the Lord’s Supper each Sunday as remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a very special part of the service.

            Our service begins each week with a moment of silence as a church family. In this moment of silence, we acknowledge that God is on in his throne in heaven and is at the same time among us as prepare our hearts to worship him. After a time of worship which is designed to bring us to the cross, we then engage in a devotional thought to remind us of the importance of the Lord’s Supper to our daily walk with Jesus. After this thought people are invited to go to various tables spread around the sanctuary and partake of the elements at the tables or return to their seats and partake.

            This past Sunday (July 3rd) one of the men of the congregation led us in the devotional thought. He began that thought reminding us that though this was the 4th of July weekend, and the focus of the weekend was a celebration of independence that he was glad for the opportunity through the Lord’s Supper to declare his dependence on God. It is exactly this that makes the Lord’s Supper such a vital part of Life at Northpark.

            You are invited to join us for this aspect of life at Northpark. We observe an open table. This means that if you are a believer of Jesus and the work, he accomplished on the cross you are invited to join us in the Lord’s Supper. You do not need to be a member of our church. Come join us any Sunday and see how we acknowledge the importance of the Lord’s Supper as a vital and necessary part of Life at Northpark.


Lessons From the Garden

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Lessons From the Garden

By Steve Keyes

I spend a lot of time quietly observing the micro universe that is my backyard vegetable garden.  I’ve come to recognize that in some ways, it is a picture of how God interacted with His garden and its inhabitants.

Take the red wasps.  Ordinarily, seeing them would prompt a person to start swatting and hopping around, ducking and diving to get out of their way.  Safely removed, they might even reach for a can of Raid to end the wasps’ existence in the kingdom of the living.

But in my garden, I watch as the wasps hover, inspecting a leaf.  Then they move to the next and begin inspecting it, their tireless wings operating in ‘station-keeping’ mode.  Ceaselessly, they make their way around the garden in search of aphids or other bugs and insects that might be feasting on the life energy of my plants.

The wasps and I have a friendly interaction. By their mere presence looking for food, they do me a favor, and I don’t bother them in their pursuits.  As I slowly make my way down the rows, picking peas or plucking tomatoes, they slowly relocate out of my way.  I never feel obligated to use harsh chemicals to remove them.  In all the years I’ve had gardens, I haven’t been stung a single time!

In some ways, I think this must have been how God felt about His garden.  Leisurely strolling through it, he observed all He had created.  He saw that it was good.  Sin hadn’t entered the world yet and His interactions with it and its inhabitants were peaceful and beneficial to all.

But this symbiosis changed when sin came.  Sin was the harsh chemical that upset the beautiful relationship between the Master and His Creation.  Just as spraying Raid kills good and bad bugs alike and necessitates special precautions when harvesting the produce, sin forever changed God’s world and His relationship with it.  The beauty of Creation had been irreparably marred.

Thankfully, He is not a vengeful God. He only wants what’s best for me. Just like me and my wasps. Sin has entered the Garden and the original harmony has been damaged. But rather than destroy the garden or its inhabitants God exercised love and offered a way of transformation. This transformation allows us to fulfill our original purpose.

This transformational message is emphasized at Northpark Christian Church.  Pastor Lonnie works hard to illustrate for us how God’s love is a continuous shower, nourishing us and washing us of our sin. 

Imagining the full extent and meaning of love is beyond what man’s finite mind can comprehend.  We may not fully comprehend the meaning and depth of this love but at Northpark we are encouraged to let God love us and love others through us.  You can see it in the warmth of greeting you receive when you walk through the door.  It is in evidence in the many outreach and missionary programs NCC actively supports.  Members of the church drop what they are doing without hesitation to help a brother or sister in need.  Learning of God and His plan for us is the central theme in several classes and discussion groups offered through our church.

Northpark is a happy, welcoming church engaged in saving souls and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.  It is a church family you will be welcomed into no matter what has happened in the past.  I encourage you to come for a visit and experience God’s love.  Join us and share in learning of His wisdom.  See and feel for yourself what a blessing our church is as you are guided into a more God-centered life.