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February 18, 2020, 1:49 PM

February 19, 2020


“I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

Life has a way of seemingly closing in around us. There are so many things we need to accomplish and wonder how we can get everything done. We experience heartache and wonder how we will ever get through such trying times. We observe the world conditions around us and wonder how we can share the message of Jesus as we face opposition daily. When we take these things together, it is easy to become distressed and fall prey to the plan of the enemy. We must always remember that God is in control and He watches over us. Where does your help and strength come from? Our help comes from the Lord, the maker of all things.

What does the phrase “the maker of all things” reveal to you? It should help us understand that God has power and authority over all things. It should help us understand that with His strength we can accomplish all He has given us to do. In reading through various resources this week, I came across something that we all need to hear. Listen carefully to these words: “Said the sparrow to the robin, I would really like to know, why anxious humans rush about and worry so. Said the robin to the sparrow, I think it must be, that they have no Heavenly Father such as cares for you and me.” We are all often guilty of rushing through our daily activities while trying to accomplish everything by our own strength. We become very anxious, fretful and frustrated as we move ever closer to giving up. Yet, God calls us to persevere even under the most adverse conditions because He is with us and will sustain us by His power.

Let me share the remainder of Psalm 121. “He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you, the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm, He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” What a loving and merciful Father we serve! May we learn a valuable lesson from the robin and the sparrow; God certainly cares for you and me.

                                                                                                                     We love you,

                                                                                                                     Brad and Virginia




February 11, 2020, 11:00 AM

February 12, 2020


“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace but now it is hidden from your eyes’.” Luke 19:41-42

We live in a world that constantly seeks peace yet continually reverberates with violence. The world strangely defines peace as being able to get along because you agree with our ideas. We see many in our world who fail to stand for real values because they are inundated with threats from those who call themselves true peace seekers. Peace is not some attainable utopia found in the far reaches of the human mind. Peace comes when a life is transformed by Jesus Christ. Peace could be attainable, even in this world, but it could only come through relationship and obedience to Almighty God by faith in Jesus.

Real and lasting peace is God-given. The very sad part of the verse above is that Jesus told the people that the real understanding of peace was now hidden from their eyes. We are now some two thousand years since Jesus spoke those words and yet the understanding of true peace seems to be even more hidden than ever before. People are duped into thinking that mankind can somehow become civilized enough to share peace among themselves. The world says, “Somewhere out there must be a magic formula or process that would bring peace among all people”. There must be some way to get people to accept each other and the world’s ways. So, there is a constant push to bring peace to an otherwise violent world. The peace efforts of the world always fail because they are focused on the ways of man rather than God. There will always be some group or groups that will oppose every human effort for peace.

However, there is coming a day (we believe soon) when the world will attain its desire. The Book of the Revelation tells us of the Antichrist who will one day usher in a seemingly peaceful utopia. Then, after three and a half years, that utopia will end abruptly, and severe persecution will follow. Satan has been blinding the eyes of people from the beginning and will continue to do so until the very end. Our own nation is in such turmoil today because the author of real peace has been hidden from so many people. We know that it is only in Jesus that we can understand and experience real peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives”. May you find peace in every area of your life as you surrender to the only One who gives peace abundantly!

 

          We love you,

          Brad and Virginia




February 4, 2020, 12:00 PM

February 5, 2019


"He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, 'What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him'!" Matthew 8:27
 
Spring fever is starting to affect a lot of people, especially me. Winters just seem to become longer every year even when the weather is relatively mild. However, during February, we usually start seeing some very nice days scattered throughout the month. There are still some cold days, but you know that just around the corner are the beautiful days of spring. Also, the days are ever so slightly getting longer and gives us an opportunity to spend a little more time outside. There seems to be a positive correlation between longer days and feeling better.

As wonderful as spring can be, there is one part of the season that is dreaded by most people. We dread the potential for severe storms which seem ever so prevalent this time of the year. Just as storms are very unpredictable during the spring season, so are the spiritual storms that play havoc in our lives. However, as we prepare for the storms of spring, we can also prepare for the storms of life. We learn to prepare for these storms by growing daily in our walk with God. We grow as we spend time in study, prayer and worship. Physical and spiritual storms are an inevitable part of life, but we know the One who calms them all.
 
The passage above describes the feeling of the disciples after Jesus completely calmed a physical storm. They were amazed that the winds and the waves obeyed Him. What about the storms you are facing? He is in control of all things and desires to lead you through the storms you face. What did Jesus say to His disciples just before He calmed the storm? He said, ?You of little faith, why are you so afraid?? Do you ever feel that way? It is not always God's plan to remove the storms from your life but to increase your faith as He walks through them with you. Have you asked Him to walk with you through your storms? We pray that you are having a great week while trusting God to handle every storm you may face.
 
                                                                                                                                   We love you,
                                                                                                                                   Brad and Virginia



January 28, 2020, 2:25 PM

January 29, 2020


“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

 

Are you good at making plans? There are some people who have a real gift for planning. Others tend to put off planning and take things as they come which may not be a very good idea. However, it is easy to get so involved in our plans that we are not willing to make any adjustments to them. We make meticulous plans and desire to accomplish our goals exactly. Yet, sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) our plans are not exactly in line with what God has for us. It is great to be a good planner but it is more important that we make sure that our plans center around God’s direction. Have you ever made really good plans only to find out that the outcome was far different from the plan? In fact, we’ve all faced situations when our best made plan resulted in a very different outcome, even failure.

However, we probably learn much more from failure than we do from success. God works through both success and failure to move us to the place He desires. The passage above helps us understand that regardless of the plans we’ve made or the time spent in preparation, our best made plans are always subject to God’s authority. Does that mean that God will never allow us to make plans and decisions that are not what He desires for us? No, it means that God can make out of our plans, even bad plans, whatever He needs to move us in the direction of His choice. How much time do we spend seeking God’s guidance about the plans we make? Do we take the time to pray and earnestly ask for God’s direction? That should be the most important step in our planning. Yet, far too often, we make our plans and set our goals then expect God to follow along with us.

God is not a follower. He establishes a path for our lives and expects us to follow His leadership. We may make plans, set goals and strive to accomplish them but God is the One in control. There is nothing wrong with being a good planner. In fact, life can be much more fulfilling through good planning. However, never forget that our plans can certainly fail, and probably will, without God’s daily guidance. Also, never forget that our plans are always subject to God’s authority. We pray that you have a blessed week as you stay in tune with God and allow Him to make your plans succeed.

                                                                                                                                    We love you,

                                                                                                                                    Brad and Virginia




January 21, 2020, 5:36 PM

January 22, 2020


“But the Lord said to me, ‘Tell them, do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies’.” Deuteronomy 1: 42

God has a specific purpose and plan for each of us. However, do we follow His plan or our own? We hate to admit it, but we often neglect God’s plan to pursue our own. Then, we find ourselves in trouble. It is great to have lofty dreams and desires but do those line up with the purpose and plan God has for us? Israel had to learn a very expensive lesson about following God’s direction. They acted as though God would be there for them even after they had disobeyed His plan. They became very arrogant and chose to follow God only out of necessity when their own plan failed. Sound familiar? God told them to go up and take possession of the land that He was giving to them. Instead of following God’s perfect plan, they decided it best to send spies to “check out” the land. That seemed like a good idea, but God had already “spied out” the land.

Israel found out what happens when a person or nation is disobedient to God’s direction and timing. They failed to go into the land at the proper time and quickly discovered that God’s perfect timing had passed. Look carefully at the entire passage in Deuteronomy 1. They were sorry they did not go in at God’s direction and thought they could “make it up” to God by changing their attitude. Yet, it was too late for them to accomplish the plan God had to annihilate the enemy. They were routed and chased away by the inhabitants of the land.

The lesson is still a very real one for us today. God calls us for an exact purpose. He calls us at the appropriate time, when He has prepared us, when He has prepared our surroundings and when He has prepared our enemies so that His will is accomplished. Israel spent a long, long time wandering in the desert because of their disobedience. We have all been guilty of disobeying God to follow our own plan and purpose. We desire to serve God but only when it conveniently fits into our schedule. We must be very careful when we think like that because we may very well find ourselves wandering in our own desert. Let us be diligent about seeking and following God’s direction and timing. Apart from Him, we are nothing. May you each have a great week as you seek God and are intent on following His perfect plan!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             We love you,

                                                                                                                 Brad and Virginia


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