The Outcast King
Stryder is a mysterious figure. He is a loner, a wanderer. But, as the story develops, Stryder becomes something much more than just a quirky stranger shrouded in his hooded cloak.  In Tolkien's epic series, The Lord of the Rings, we see that Stryder is really Aragorn the exiled king of Gondor.  The transformation from exile to king is an arduous journey for Aragorn. And, for many who watch his journey, it is filled with hope. If a poor wanderer can rise to such heights, then there is hope for all of us.

Jesus begins his famous "Sermon on the Mount" with a series of blessings for the underdogs, the exiled, the outcasts and the unlucky of society. Jesus enters Jewish society at a time when the text of the Old Testament has been twisted to authorize an oppressive social order.  This social order, seemingly mandated by Holy Writ, has placed the rich, the "well-born", the popular and the powerful in possession of God. (Dallas Willard) Jesus comes along and says it is the poor in spirit, the persecuted, the ones who have suffered great losses, and the meek who will be the most powerful people in His Kingdom.
To our modern ears, this sounds like a good platform for a political campaign, but to the powerful people of Jesus's day, they were fighting words.  He was threatening the foundations of Jewish society and He was threatening the architects who had put them in place.   Though threatening to the powerful, it was revolutionary to those burdened with the unbearable weight of so many laws.  There were laws for staying clean, laws that isolated the sick, laws for eating, laws for speaking, laws for the Sabbath and subcategories under each area only a scholar could keep straight.  The average Jewish citizen was at the mercy of religious leaders, not to mention their Roman oppressors. They were harassed on every side!  

Jesus came with a message of hope for the burdened people of Israel.  His message still goes out to the outcasts of our world today. He promises those on the outside, the hurting, those who don't measure up to societies standards of beauty and power that they will be uniquely blessed in His Kingdom.  Jesus's teaching is still rattling the kingdoms of this world two thousand years later.

Read Matthew 5 to prepare your heart to hear God's message this weekend.  -Kris

There are very real forces of evil working to undermine the advance of God's Kingdom in Lake Worth and beyond. I would ask each of you make a renewed commitment to pray for our church, preschool and city.

Our Alpha Retreat is this Saturday, March 10! 9 am to 1 pm.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided.  Our topic will be the Holy Spirit.

Worship Leader: We have a potential worship leader Elishael Munoz who will be visiting the weekend of March 16-18.  He will lead worship for us that Sunday.  Pray for Elishael, his family and Sunlight as we consider the future!

RAY VANDERLAAN HOLYLAND SERIES: A group of our seniors and winter residents will be getting together on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm to watch the Ray Vanderlaan series of the Holy Land. They are meeting in the Fellowship Hall. All are invited to join them for fun and fellowship!
The selection for March 11 is "Inside the O'Briens" by Lisa Genova.For the April 15th meeting, we'll be reading "When God Doesn't Fix It" by Laura Story.We meet at 7pm at members' homes. Talk to Jean Bosman or Kim Vanderlaan for further information.

FROM EMILY BOM: (Emily will share her heart for this trip this Sunday in church.)
This summer, I will be traveling to Central Asia for six weeks with the Navigators ( . In Central Asia, 98% of the population is Muslim, and less than 1% are Christ-followers. Our group will be spending the majority of our time at a university, discipling, teaching, and be-friending a group of 8-12 Christ-followers and about 30 of their friends who have been in contact with the missionary team there. We will also use this as an opportunity to help teach English.
Ways you can help:
  -Pray for the 5 college students and 4 staff members who will be traveling that our hearts would continue to break for the country
  -That we would be able to express the Gospel clearly and gracefully to Muslims
  -That we would all be fully funded before departing
  -For the 8-12 believers and 30 new friends
Financially: I would greatly appreciate your financial support as I try to hit my goal of being fully funded at $4500. ~ Thank you, Emily Bom
Prayer Concerns

Ed Lythgoe: Pray for Ed as he is home on Hospice care.  He and Marilyn both need our prayers and encouragement.

Harvey and Gail Schans' son, Josh's MRI was last week Friday. The results came back good! The blood work also came back good! Their baby is due soon! Praise God for healing, grace, and new beginnings! 
Diane Brill, Betty Van Kalker, and Wilhelmina Wilson.
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