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A Note from The General

Jane and I recently had the opportunity to watch the filming of an episode of “The Chosen” (Season Five) at an impressive outdoor studio complex in Goshen, Utah.  We watched the scene of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey with his disciples by his side.  Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus in the series, rode into the narrow streets of Jerusalem on a donkey named “Thunderstruck” with over 700 extras waving palm branches and shouting Hosanna.  Under the careful direction of Dallas Jenkins, Roumie’s face remained stoically focused straight ahead, signaling purpose, intentionality, and determination. Even though it was a movie set, I was amazed at the emotional strength of the moment.  Jesus’ time on the earth, as portrayed in this scene, was drawing to a close yet he was about the work given to him by His Father.

As I reflect back on the past twelve months, our NCS community has been buffeted by the loss of several key servant leaders who were faithful to the work and purpose given to them by our Father.  We said goodbye to Stu Epperson, Sr. (July 17th), Stan Senft (November 24th), and Bill McClain (February 11th).  These men faithfully showed up every week, encouraging and serving both the men of NCS and many in the community.  Our loss of these faithful leaders and mentors - Stu, Stan, and Bill - would be an overwhelming emotional blow and leadership void to our NCS Community were it not for the faithful resolve of Jesus, who rode a donkey into the city which was known for killing prophets in order to reconcile us to the Father through his death on a cross. Through the grace and mercy of Jesus, we will be reunited with Stu, Stan, and Bill one day, along with many other family members, friends, and saints.  Until then, we have the opportunity to follow in their example of resolve by serving and encouraging others and sharing the Gospel of Jesus.  May we do so with purpose, intentionality, and determination!

I would like to share one further travel note which touches on the amazing grace and reconciliation procured by Jesus’ faithful resolve.  Jane and I attended church services this morning (4/28/2024) at King’s Church in Edinburgh, Scotland.  We are in the UK to attend the Alpha Global Leadership Conference.  We immediately felt at home at King’s Church when the praise band led us in worship with a song written by our good NCS friend Paul Baloche (“Our God Saves”).

Pastor Luke spoke about our “pre-life” on this side of heaven, which is transient, in contrast to our “eternal life” offered to those who believe in Jesus as Lord.  He observed that we should not diminish the promised eternal life as an “add-on” after life.  The miracle achieved by Jesus’ resolve presents itself in the equation “now (this life) < THEN (our eternal life).”  We have so much to look forward to when we move beyond our earthly life, notwithstanding the joy of sharing the kindness and love of Jesus with others in this life.

Hear the joyful sound of our offering

As Your saints bow down, as Your people sing

We will rise with You, lifted on Your wings

And the world will see that

Our God saves, our God saves

There is hope in Your name

Our God saves, our God saves

There is hope in Your name

-Paul Baloche, 2014


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