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God's Richest Blessings in Christ to You.

Written by Pastor Steve Cole on .

Sterling-pass-oak-creek-canyon-azAfter several weeks of not being able to hike, it was good to do our annual Sterling Pass hike to Vultee Arch in Oak Creek Canyon last Monday. As you can see, there are still some pretty maple trees along the way.

This week we pick up again with John 13:1-11 , the first part of the well-known incident where Jesus washes the disciples' feet. The story weaves together three themes: Christ's love for those who are unworthy of it (that's all of us, in case you didn't know!); Christ's example of humble service; and our need to have Christ cleanse our sins. I trust that each of these is a reality in your life!

Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks

Written by Pastor Steve Cole on .

Inner-basin-gloryLast week we were able to take a final hike into the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks with our daughter and her family, along with her good friend, before they left (this morning) to return to Central Asia. There is a lonely spot in our hearts and a house that seems very quiet after four months with our two wonderful granddaughters.

But we pray that some who have yet to hear the good news will do so through their labors in a very difficult place. The aspens were in their full glory (as you can see above), which is always a reminder of God's glory in His creation. If the fallen creation is this beautiful, what will the new heavens and earth look like?

Grand Kids and Canyon

Written by Pastor Steve Cole on .

grand-canyon-hermit-pack-muleOur two granddaughters who live in Central Asia will be returning there next week. They really wanted to go to the Grand Canyon before they return. So on Monday Marla and I took them down the Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge. There were two highlights for them: first, seeing the mule pack train coming up the trail by us, and second, seeing an elk getting a drink of water out of the spigot when we got back to the top. But I could only include one picture here, so I picked the pack train. It shows how steep the trail is near the top.

Our text this week shows why people do not believe in Jesus. You would think that the Jews, especially the Jewish leaders, would have recognized from their knowledge of the Old Testament that Jesus is their Messiah. But they had a wrong expectation of what the Messiah would be like and Jesus didn't fit their expectation. So in spite of His many miracles, they refused to believe in Him. But then John adds that not only did they not believe; also, they could not believe because God blinded their eyes. If that thought gives you any grief, then you need to read this message.

Here is the link to this week's sermon: Why People Do Not Believe in Jesus

By the way, a missionary friend of mine in Turkey took my Philippians sermons and put them in book form. He's now working on James. You can get the Philippians series in either paperback or Kindle from Disclaimer: They are available for free on the church web site. But, if you'd like the book, it is pretty affordable on Amazon. Here's the link: Philippians: Enduring Joy

In His grace,

Steve Cole

Hermit Creek Adventure from Marla Cole

Written by Marla Cole on .

hermet-creek-photo-steven-marla-coleWe started our hike on the rough unmaintained Hermit trail on a Friday morning. It was a three-day, two–night hike with 6 family members - myself, my husband, two of our children and their mates. We knew that a major rain storm was predicted, with possible flooding, starting sometime Friday night and possibly lasting through Saturday night – but we had a permit for this weekend, obtaining it 5 months before, through a lottery system. Time had been taken off of work, a lot of preparation had gone into the trip, so we didn't want to cancel because of the storm. And, maybe it wouldn't be as bad as predicted, or maybe not rain in the canyon at all.

We made it down to the campsite after a hard down-hill hike. There was a lot of lightning in the distance but only a little rain that first night. The temperature was even too hot to sleep well. The plan for Saturday was to hike the mile and a half down to the CO River at Hermit rapid, following the Hermit creek bed, a beautiful gorge, with a gentle perennial creek. Three of us had done this before, the other three had never hiked this trail, so again, we didn't want to change this plan even though the clouds up on both rims looked threatening.

Hermit Creek Adventure

Written by Pastor Steve Cole on .

hermit-creek-signI'm back in the office after surviving a flash flood in Hermit Creek on our backpack trip last weekend. We hiked down Hermit Creek to the Colorado River under threatening, but dry, skies. Then the downpour began. We should have immediately headed back up stream, but we hunkered down and ate our lunch, hoping that the downpour would subside. That delay meant that the creek had risen to a raging, uncrossable stage by the time we had to make the last stream crossing to get back to our campsite. So we sat on a high ledge, wet and cold, and watched the raging waters below. Thankfully, the waters began to subside (even though it was still raining), allowing us to get across and back to our campsite before dinner. For a while, we thought we might be spending the night on the ledge, where hypothermia would have been an issue. So we had quite an adventure!

Sermon Outline of Romans

Written by Pastor Steve Cole on .

Below is the outline of sermons by Pastor Steven J. Cole prepared in July of 2010.
You can see the sermons by clicking here.

Outline of Romans

1. Introduction and Theme: The gospel of God and His righteousness (1:1-17):

A. 1:1-7: Introduction: "Paul, ... set apart for the gospel of God."

B. 1:8-15: Paul desired to visit Rome and preach the gospel to them.

C. 1:16-17: The theme stated: "I am not ashamed of the gospel ...."