A community of disciples proclaiming the lordship of Jesus the Messiah

healing, restoration, and transformation at the foot of the cross

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Sermon Highlights
Jesus is Lord
Jesus is Lord

Leonard Windham • April 26, 2022

From Sunday’s readings Psalm 118:22 speaks of Jesus as “the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.” Revelation 1:5 identifies Jesus Christ as ‘the ruler of the kings of the earth.” With these verses in mind, we recognize that Jesus is Lord over all creation. His Lordship is not established upon nor dependent upon our acknowledgement. He IS Lord. He is Lord because the Father has declared it to be so. He is the one to whom all obedience belongs. Jesus is Lord. The resurrected one is our King.

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Lent Day 12 - Will You Follow Him?
Lent Day 12 - Will You Follow Him?

Leonard Windham • March 15, 2022

He is described as a blind beggar sitting beside the road. When he heard that Jesus was passing by, he called out "have mercy on me, Son of David!" Can you imagine the persistence and intensity with which he called? Can you feel his desperation? Despite the rebukes of his countrymen, he cried out even more. Have you ever been in such desperate need that you would lose all dignity pleading your cause?

Rest assured he hears and sympathizes with your circumstances.

Mark 10:51-52 reads, “And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.”


Instead of “going on his way,” Bartimaeus followed after Jesus. What is your response to Christ’s intervention in your life? From Rebecca Van Noord and Jessi Strong, eds., 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).


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Lent Day 8 - He Taught Them
Lent Day 8 - He Taught Them

Leonard Windham • March 10, 2022

Concerning Jesus, Mark 10:1 reads “And again, as was his custom, he taught them.”

This passage is so full of meaning. Wherever Jesus was to be found, he was teaching. Again and again, he was teaching. To walk with him, was to be taught by him. To dine with him, was to be taught by him. To recline with him, was to be taught by him. To observe him, was to be taught by him.

In so many of the recorded moments of Jesus’ life and ministry, he was teaching. From the time that he stood up in the synagogue in Nazareth and read from the prophet Isaiah, to the feeding of multitudes, to his raising of the dead, to his healing the woman with the flow of blood, to his commanding unclean spirits to depart from those they tormented, to his early morning prayers, to his calming of the sea, to the cleansing of the temple, to his arrest in Gethsemane, until giving up his breath on the cross, he taught them.

As the Word of God Jesus' teaching made clear what God has always spoken. During this important season, we are encouraged to make time to dwell in the scriptures so we may be taught by him.


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Lent Day 6 - Goodness of God
Lent Day 6 - Goodness of God

Leonard Windham • March 08, 2022

The steadfast love of God is a reminder that God has always loved and is always love.

Psalm 25:8 reads, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs the sinners in the way.” God’s goodness is demonstrated by His instructing sinners in His ways. His love beckons us to turn from our sin. It is because of His love that He instructs us in His way which is good.

This prayer of praise is that because God is good and upright, He instructs us. Rather than leave us to the end of our sin, He lays out the path away from sin. Rather than affirming sin, He teaches us the ways of righteousness.

Some say Jesus came to reveal God’s love as if before he came, the love of God was not evident. I suggest that as we look more closely the love of God has always been plain to see.

Jesus came to fulfill the Law. By his teaching and way of life he upheld the Law of the loving God who gave the Law. By his caring for the poor, he condemned greed. By his upholding of justice, he condemned partiality. In living to serve others, he condemned selfish ambition.

As the time for his crucifixion and death approached, he still focused on serving others. By word and example he upheld the goodness of God.

Jesus in forgiving the sinners of their sin, brought them freedom from their sins and invited them to enter into fellowship with God. Believe and be saved. Will you accept the invitation?

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Lent Day 3 - A Pure Heart
Lent Day 3 - A Pure Heart

Leonard Windham • March 04, 2022

David’s prayer in Psalm 51 included a request that God create a clean heart and a new spirit of steadfastness. Aware of the struggle against sin, David requested that which would enable him to persevere and overcome – a new heart created by God.

Have you ever had a day where you wished you could start over? Or perhaps even gone through a season of life where the weight of past mistakes and decisions have overwhelmed you?

God has opened an even better way. We can make David’s prayer our own and request God to create in us a clean heart. David’s words align with those of the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah where God promised to bring a newness of life to what was stone cold dead and lifeless. Through the work of our risen Savior we can experience a re-creation of sorts, a new birth which brings us a clean heart from which we can joyfully fellowship with the Father, moved by Holy Spirit.

We acknowledge our sinfulness, and we accept the transformative power of the Spirit to no longer be burdened by the weight of the past and enjoy a new life.

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Lent - Day 2- Take up the Cross
Lent - Day 2- Take up the Cross

Leonard Windham • March 03, 2022

Today we are reminded of how often Jesus spoke to his disciples about the cross that awaited Him. And in speaking of this course for himself, he also invited each of us to join him in the same journey. As written in Mark 8:34, “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

To discuss the depth of meaning in taking up the life of the cross will take innumerable pages. During this Lenten season each of us may set aside time to reflect on how we can begin and its meaning in our personal lives. There have been many who have walked before us who provide examples. The scriptures are also filled with the acts of the saints who battled sin and selfishness to take up the cross. To take up the cross is to die to self, to put our interests to rest to follow Christ. This world in which we live needs a full dose of the life of the cross to overcome all that is tearing it apart. From the individual, to the family, to the churches, and on into our institutions of public life.

I conclude with this reflection from today’s devotional writing. When you gaze upon the sun, it makes everything else dark; when you taste honey, it makes everything else tasteless; so when your soul feeds on Jesus, it takes away the sweetness of all earthly things—praise, pleasure, and fleshly lusts all lose their sweetness. Keep a continued gaze. Run, looking unto Jesus. Look, till the way of salvation by Jesus fills up the whole horizon, so glorious and peace-speaking. Then will the world be crucified to you, and you unto the world.

Rebecca Van Noord and Jessi Strong, eds., 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

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Lent - Day 1
Lent - Day 1

Leonard Windham • March 02, 2022

Today we enter the season of Lent and consider the ancient tradition where believers turn their attention towards the events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection. This season stretches to Easter Sunday. During this time many choose to fast and enter a period of reflection upon the faith and the sufferings of our Lord. We acknowledge our need for redemption and salvation. We seek to remind ourselves of our utter helplessness and walk the path of dependence upon God in all things.


This is a mindset of which we need to be often reminded. Christ’s path was one of self-sacrifice and suffering. He put the interests of others ahead of his own. And He called us to this path. Often, he spoke to his disciples about his approaching suffering. According to Mark 8:31, “he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.””


Now, today, is a perfect time to dwell on this exchange between Jesus and Peter. How can we set our minds on the things of God, rather than the things of man?


Psalm 51 leads us forward as we plead to God to have mercy on us according to his love and for our transgressions to be blotted out. We ask God to wash us thoroughly from our iniquity and cleanse us from our sins. When we think about God’s abundant mercy, these words do not weigh us down, but liberate and refresh us to know there is a way out of our burdens and God’s love is steadfast towards those who draw near to Him.

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In Difficult Times
In Difficult Times

Leonard Windham • January 12, 2022

When we experience challenging times its quite easy to wonder “why me” or exclaim “not again.” And unless you have been living under a rock, the recent past has presented plenty of causes for anxiety. You might even be wearied out from life’s happenings.

 

I have often observed that it does not take much effort to walk through life when times are easy, and everything seems to go your way. So, what do we do when life is the opposite of what we expect or desire? We definitely need more than cliché sayings or positive self-talk to get through these difficult times.

 

Followers of Christ will find peace and comfort in the knowledge that God is aware of and in control at all times. We should also remember the cosmic reality that our lives are mostly likely going to marked with times of difficulty and suffering. This week I read a quote which offered a faith-strengthening perspective.

 

It was found in the notes of Andrew Murray, written during a time of painful difficulty.


First, He brought me here; it is by His will I am in the strait place; in that fact I will rest.

Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.

Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.

Last, in His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows. Let me say I am here,


(1) By God’s appointment.

(2) In His keeping.

(3) Under His training

(4) For His time.

 

Consider the graphic above this article. It reflects the response we can hold in times of difficulty. We can place roots down to nourish ourselves in the grace of God, or we can turn upward and away in bitterness over the tough time, depriving ourselves of the power of His grace. Recall that even our Lord Jesus suffered, and the scripture tells us he learned from it. Should we expect any less or respond any differently?

 

If you are in need of encouragement or assistance in prayer or wish to learn more about life as a disciple of Jesus Christ, contact us here at Assembly of The King.

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Every Spiritual Blessing
Every Spiritual Blessing

Leonard Windham • January 02, 2022

Today’s reading brought to mind the extent to which the Father has blessed his children. Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”

This is a weighty statement the apostle wrote to the church. In Christ, we have every spiritual blessing.


Have you ever had the experience of trying to choose a gift for someone who has been in your life for a very long time? Often it becomes a difficult task because that person likely has “everything.” We cannot think of a single thing they need and either we give up or just hand them some cash.


In Christ, we have everything we could ever want. This is a truth worth meditating upon to appreciate its depth. We are in a position where every possible need and desire is met. What difference would it make in our lives if we actually lived from that reality.


The consumer culture can affect us by creating in us a spirit of lack and scarcity and keeps us hooked by only offering temporary and empty solutions. Fully embracing this mindset could lead to minimizing or forgetting the blessings already attained for us in Christ.


This is part of the inheritance of every believer. To understand we have every spiritual blessing in Christ. John, in his gospel, at John 1:12 writes ‘to all who did receive him [Christ], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born of God.” Those who have believed in the name of Jesus, in his person, or in his position; have as their possession a place of a child of God. What an amazing gift. And one that God has purposed from the beginning of time. This blessing is no afterthought.


As time and circumstances unfold in the days ahead, choose to rest in the reality of your spiritual blessings. This reality pushes into and transcends all physical things.


Join us every Sunday at 11:00am Eastern time for more discussion on our place in God’s purposes.

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Normal Has Changed
Normal Has Changed

Leonard Windham • July 24, 2021

“I just want things to go back to normal.” These words were uttered by one of the characters in an episode of the CBS TV series Blue Bloods. In the scene, the DA and ADA were trying to get a teen who witnessed the murder of her boyfriend to testify in court. She was struggling between her desire to see her boyfriend’s killer punished and the possibility of suffering gang retaliation for testifying. As she turned it all over in her mind, she just dropped her head into her hands, broke down in tears and said “I just want things to go back to normal.”

 

Likely most of us have said these words either out loud or silently over the past few years. If you are living in the United States in the recent past you have experienced the public life affected by vigorous debates about what the public schools should teach about the country’s history, the spread of SARS COV-2, policies about becoming vaccinated against SARS COV-2, the effectiveness of the SARS COV-2 vaccine, claims of fraud in the election process, whether the January 6 assault on the US Capitol was incited by President Trump, and whether or not police agencies are corrupt and racist. There are many more that can be added to this list. Masks anyone?

 

To the degree that your daily life has been changed over the past 2 years, to that extent you likely are experiencing the effects of what many are calling a new normal. What is normal? Normal may be defined as that which is usual, typical, or expected. It references that which is consistent or common in the life of the individual and society.

 

Now if you have lived for a few decades or more, you probably can look back over your life and acknowledge that what was once normal is no longer the case. Between changed family circumstances, employment, physical location, or maybe the state of your health, change is normal as is often said. As these changes occur, we reflect, we adjust and for the most part move on. And in most of these cases we feel some measure of control and even responsibility in how these changes occur. So, in part we initiate and manage the circumstances of our change.

 

In the case of widespread societal changes, many of us may have little if any change or control to what is happening around us.

 

An interesting thing happens to us humans when things begin to change. We assess. One of the things we do is assess whether the situation is a threat to our being, our survival. And when something is perceived as a threat, a reaction is triggered called fight or flight. In some situations, this happens instantaneously, like when you accidentally step into the path of an oncoming vehicle. You don’t think about it, your body reacts for you, and you get out of the way. In other circumstances we may be able to take the time to react and assess the situation. This is especially crucial in situations where a situation that is perceived to be an emergency, is not truly an emergency and a situational assessment is more advantageous than an immediate reaction.

 

It is also interesting to consider what happens physiologically during the fight or flight response. The body releases several hormones and chemicals which induce a heightened state of alertness. Basically, it is a stress response. There is a danger though. If we remain in this heightened state of alert, we then become anxious and overwhelmed. Let that sit with you for a moment. Constantly living in a heightened state of alert, anxious and overwhelmed. Perhaps you have seen one of those nature shows where a prey animal is aware it is being stalked by a predator and walks haltingly, eyes constantly darting about. This is not the way our Creator designed us to live. Proverbs 14:30 reads “a tranquil heart is life to the body.” Tranquility in this sense is a state of wholeness or peace.

 

I imagine individuals who serve in combat zones, prisoners, emergency services personnel, individuals living in abusive relationships all experience life in this way to some extent.

 

Now remember what we shared at the outset. Consider some of the issues in the center of the public conversation. All these things in some way or another have upset the public perception of what is normal. Questioning how to teach the country’s history is an idea that many would rather not even consider. Discussions about the origins of SARS COV-2 can cause stress. Is the solution offered by the pharmaceutical industry a safe solution? For the most part, until the January 6th storming of the US Capitol, this country has seen a peaceful transfer of power. Things like that only happened in other countries and appeared on YouTube videos. Also with the ubiquity of personal video devices it is evident that some law enforcement officers are unethical, commit crimes and abuse their power in the exercise of their duties. What was deemed to be unusual has now become normal.

 

Consider that these few things have all become condensed into a relatively short period of time. And for many of our neighbors they are stressful. And for some of our neighbors, these conditions which some perceive as recent changes have been their normal for many more years than some of us realize.

 

So now we have a proliferation of helps arising to help us make sense of this new normal. Organizations are discussing how to help their members develop coping skills. The term “post-pandemic” has become a part of our vocabulary as we seek to navigate life under new circumstances with new threats. Threats trigger stress.

 

If you have stayed with me this far, perhaps you can agree that no facet of our personal lives have been spared the impact of this ongoing stress.

 

Do you feel equipped to manage assess and manage life circumstances so that you are not constantly living in a heightened state of alertness?

 

Over the past few years, I have begun to appreciate how much more we need to the church, the body of Christ, the household of God to fulfill its purpose as a place of refuge. Sadly in some circumstances, the church has become as a contributor to the stress rather than a salve for healing. We need to ask of one another “how are you doing,” and then listen. We need to take more time to think deeply on the impact of our words and positions. We need to understand that the Gospel transcends the national conversation. We are not rule makers, we are to shine the light of Christ into all corners of our community.

 

When I think of all that God promises to be to His people; protector, provider, place of refuge, shepherd – that He is one who accompanies us even in dark times, it is clear we can do better.

 

Jesus is God, who came to dwell with us as a man to show us how to live with one another with his life. He brought calm to those whose hearts were yearning for relief from their burdens, where oftentimes condemnation was offered. He acknowledged the fears and weaknesses of humanity while inviting those he encountered to walk into the way and the life that would lead to a divine communion that sustains through all adversity until the full consummation of the kingdom of God.

 

In the years following Christ’s ascension to glory, the new church community faced many challenges. What was normal underwent radical change. The standard or routine of life evolved. Read the letters to the churches, read the book of Acts and it is clear that they were constantly making adjustments and dealing with some intense issues involving many of the same cultural and societal forces at work today. Personally, I believe that those who prospered where those who kept their eyes on the risen Lord and remained open to his direction. They were not isolated from nor immune to the difficulties of life and the burdens common to men. This too is another reality the church must face as it navigates the times. We were not promised a rose garden. We are assured of victory. We were not assured a life free of difficulty or opposition.

 

However, we have been warned of where the battlefront exists and even how to overcome the enemy. When we view our brother, our neighbor, someone of a different ethnicity, or someone who has a different opinion on the economy, or the political flavor of the day as the enemy, we only increase stress and uncertainty. For if, refuge cannot be found in the household of God, where can it be found!

 

In the life of the believer, what is normal is that no matter whether things change or remain the same, we are in Christ and God is faithful to His word to sustain us through all things. We overcome in faithfulness. We endure to the end.

 

We invite you to join us in a journey to rediscover the caring and supportive life found in the household of God. We meet on Sundays at 11am to enjoy community life. Together we will work through life’s challenges so that no one walks in constant stress.

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Events
May 18
Faith & Scripture Discussion Assembly of The King - via Zoom Conferencing
Wednesday, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
May 25
Faith & Scripture Discussion Assembly of The King - via Zoom Conferencing
Wednesday, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Jun 1
Faith & Scripture Discussion Assembly of The King - via Zoom Conferencing
Wednesday, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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