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May 14, 2019, 11:37 AM

May 15, 2019


“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

There is no doubt that the enemy desires to destroy people. Jesus said very plainly, “the enemy comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. Look carefully again at what Jesus said. “The enemy comes only to steal, kill and destroy!” It is the business of the enemy to destroy people, and he has many tools to purposely steer them in the wrong direction. As Peter vividly reminds us, the enemy is constantly looking for someone to devour. Who is the devil looking for? Make no mistake, we are all vulnerable to the devil’s schemes. However, much like predators hunting for prey in the wild, our enemy takes full advantage of the vulnerable. Who are the most vulnerable among us? Those who are without Christ, those who have been brought up in church but have not connected with the truths of God’s Word and Christians who have not been put to the test.

Probably some of the most vulnerable among us are our young people. It is vital that we nurture and encourage them as we have the opportunity because the world’s culture and peer pressure can easily sway them. Satan likes nothing better than to infiltrate the lives of the most vulnerable. There are some ways the devil uses constantly to lead people away from the truth. First, the enemy makes sure the vulnerable person is in constant contact with those who claim to be Christian yet do not live that way. This makes the vulnerable person believe that Christianity is important for a couple of hours on Sunday morning but then fades into the background the rest of the week. Another approach of the enemy is to make the vulnerable person feel secure in “holy acts” pushed by others. They need more than Bible stories and holy “rites of passage”. They need a true relationship with Almighty God by faith in Jesus and examples they can follow from those who walk with Him.

Then, there are those who feel that they are just not as spiritual as others and begin to separate themselves from other Christians. Before long, they have a new set of friends who are leading them down the wrong path. When difficult times come, they are not prepared and question everything they have been taught. They quickly conclude that what they have been taught is just not true and distance themselves from anything Christian. Young people are not the only ones vulnerable and certainly not the only ones the enemy loves to devour. However, our young people are faced with some very difficult challenges and deal with many more issues than previous generations. They are bombarded with issues like political correctness and inclusivism. In the midst of life’s toughest challenges, let us be there for them. Let us be willing to spend time with them, answer some difficult questions and more important than anything else, let them see us as true and trustworthy examples of the Christian life!

We love you,

Brad and Virginia




May 7, 2019, 12:54 PM

May 8, 2019


“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31: 28-31

Moms are special! The meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. A mother is a protector, disciplinarian and friend. A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of her wants and needs for the wants and needs of her children. A mother works hard to make sure her children are equipped with the knowledge, wisdom, skill, and abilities to make decisions in a difficult world. Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most demanding yet most rewarding job a woman will ever experience. However, the greatest responsibility of a mother is to “train up” their children to be followers of Jesus!

“Make sure to call mama on Mother’s Day, her birthday and the rest. You know she’s sitting by the phone wishing you all the best. She doesn’t want to bother you so she waits for YOU to phone. She has so much time now, most of it spent alone. She knows you are very busy now, with work and kids and wife. She helps you out whenever she can, she is the one who gave you life. The years go by, so fast they fly; the years just never stop. She has joined the local church and at local thrift stores she shops. Luckily you have an organized wife who sends the cards you sign. You moved away for job prospects not because you wanted to leave her behind. She quietly lives her life puttering around the yard, thinking of ways she could help you and cherishing your beautiful cards. Whenever you think of her, please listen and take the time, because I would give everything I have for just five minutes with mine!” Debbie Leads

People may not remember many of the things you do in life. However, when you are the mother God called you to be, your children will never forget the impact you’ve had on them. Let us pray for our mothers. Father, thank-you for the millions of mothers who are never in the limelight but raise their children the way you have instructed them. Thank-you for the mothers who love you and are faithful and true. You know them and will reward them. Amen. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and to those who have been like a mom to others.

                                                                                                          We love and appreciate you,

                                                                                                          Brad and Virginia




April 30, 2019, 9:50 AM

May 1, 2019


“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2:7-8

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyles. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Brennan Manning

What examples do we share with an unbelieving world? What does our lifestyle reveal about our relationship with God? What does our lifestyle reveal about our belief in the Bible? We do not like to hear it, but we often try to intertwine the world’s standards into Christian standards. It simply will not work! The world has such a grasp and uses its grip to challenge Christians to compromise their beliefs. As Christians, we live under grace, but grace does not give us the right to join in all the ways of the world. In fact, grace gives us the ability to recognize what God has done for us and should encourage us with the desire to please Him in every way. Think about our lives for just a minute. Does our speech honor God? Does our appearance honor God? Do the decisions we make honor God? Do our lives encourage a lost world to come to Christ?

Now, another very important question? Does living the Christian life mean that we are able to look down on everyone else? Absolutely not! None of us are perfect and we all sin. However, when we do sin, do we acknowledge that sin for what it is? Do we sometimes overlook our actions with the famous excuse that “everybody does it”? God has called us to live the abundant life. The abundant life does not consist of a little bit of God mixed in with a little bit of the world. The balance in the Christian’s life is this: one hundred percent of my cooperation and willingness to say yes to God, and one hundred percent of God’s power and presence in my life. Are we consciously and consistently presenting our lives to Jesus daily?

There are lost people all around us. They are looking for the abundant life that Jesus describes in John 10:10. Their problem is that they are looking in all the wrong places. We have the answer but do we exemplify the lifestyle that will encourage them to seek Jesus? May we examine our life, repent, and ask forgiveness for those things we’ve done against God and live in a way that honors Him. Only then will we have an impact on those around us and be the example for them so that they seek God for the abundant life.

                                                                                                                    We love you,

                                                                                                                    Brad and Virginia




April 23, 2019, 3:17 PM

April 24, 2019


“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3

How well are we teaching others? We often speak with others as though they know everything we are saying. Are we aware of the many times that people struggle to understand us? Do we assume people know what we are saying to them because they were brought up in church? It has become amazing to me at how little we have actually taught over the years. The message has been presented but there has been such a lack of comprehension. Often, we must teach from the perspective that people have very little understanding about what we are trying to share with them.

As Christians, we often take for granted that those who worship with us completely understand all that we do. Many of us grew up in church, accepted Christ at an early age and know Him in an ever-growing fellowship. However, there may be those who worship with us who have no idea of the true message of the cross. They hear, and even know certain terms, but really do not understand the message. Have you ever thought about our time of invitation? We know what that is yet there are some who may not really understand what we do during that time.

As we strive to reach out to others, let us be aware that they may not understand anything related to the church. We live in a culture radically different from 50-60 years ago. Then, most people, in the United States at least, had some understanding of worship. There are many in our nation today who have never been to church, never opened a Bible and never attended a worship service. We even have many who have grown up in church and do not know basic Biblical teaching. We cannot assume that people know what a worship service is all about, what we do in Sunday School or what we do in other small groups. That is a real struggle for those of us who have always been in church. As we minister to others this week, let us be mindful that they may not know anything we are talking about. Let us teach in such a way that they can truly comprehend the message.

 

                                        We love you,

                                        Brad and Virginia




April 16, 2019, 11:59 AM

April 17, 2019


“Jesus said, `Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up His clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:34

God demonstrated His love for us at the cross. Easter is all about the completion of God’s perfect plan. It is very easy to say you love someone, but the message is really revealed when you show them that love. The passage above helps us understand the magnitude of ’s love for us. Even in the midst of crucifixion, Jesus shared the indescribable love of . Aren’t you thankful today that God, in His love and mercy, is willing to forgive us and restore us to a relationship with Him? If He was willing to forgive at the cross, what does that say to us about forgiveness? Many carry an unnecessary burden every day because of an unwillingness to forgive.

We have come to the point in our culture of taking Easter far too lightly. Do we realize the love displayed by Jesus coming to earth to be the perfect sacrifice? Do we realize the impact of what Jesus did on the cross? Though perfect, Jesus became the worst sinner of all time. He became the adulterer, the liar, the thief, the drunkard, the racist, the self-righteous, the cheater and the fraud just to name a few. The world system does everything possible to take our eyes and thoughts away from the reality of Easter. Do we understand the magnitude of the empty tomb? When Jesus arose the third day, He conquered Satan, death, sin and the grave. The good news for us is that when Jesus is our Savior, we are more than conquerors too!

Jesus is the only One who could fulfill the righteous demands of a holy God. Jesus willingly chose to go to the cross to be God’s ultimate sacrifice for mankind. Remember, Jesus chose to endure the torture, mockery, cruelty, and betrayal so that we could have the way to the Father. It was not forced upon Him. He did it all in obedience to God.

This is a wonderful time of the year. It is a great time to spend with family and friends; however, please do not let anything interfere with the reason we celebrate Easter. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of a holy and righteous God meaning that by His blood we have been set free from God’s wrath. We must choose Him! Do you know Him? Can you say that you have been with Jesus? Have a wonderful and blessed week as you focus on the reality of Easter and give thanks to God for His indescribable gift.

                                                                                                                                      Happy Easter!

                                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia

 


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