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June 18, 2019, 11:05 AM

June 19, 2019


"Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105

Probably one of the first verses of Scripture we learn as children is Psalm 119:105. However, even though we learn the verse we still struggle to live by it. We would do so much better if we truly allowed God's Word to guide our path daily. The author of Psalm 119 is unknown but most scholars attribute this psalm to King David. There is a tradition that says King David used this psalm to teach the alphabet to his young son Solomon. It was not just the alphabet for writing letters but also the alphabet of spiritual life. What if dads today were careful to do that? Assuredly, this country would be a better place.
 
We have mentioned lately the significance of the old path and the right path. King David came to know very well the significance of following God's path while also understanding the destruction that comes from going in the wrong direction. In verse 104 David says, "I hate every wrong path." We do not understand the detriment of the wrong path unless we know the peace, security, and freedom of the right path. David found out just how quickly life can change when following the wrong path. He spoke frequently in the Psalms about God's law, statutes, and precepts. These are used to point out the right direction and to declare God's power and authority. David realized, often after making wrong decisions - like us, that God's ways are always right. God never leads us in the wrong direction although He will allow us to make unwise decisions to a point. He constantly desires to teach us how much He loves us by providing the best for us. The enemy, on the other hand, waits every day for the opportunity to steer us down the wrong path. That is the reason David says very clearly, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet."
 
Why does it often take us so long to learn that? We need God's lamp to light every step we take. If you walk along a trail at night with a flashlight, you shine the light down on the path. You do not shine the light out in the distance to see where you are going because you may stumble and fall. You shine the light directly on the path so that you can keep your footing and make it to your destination. God desires to shine His light on the path of life to help us find the right way. Sadly, we often try to put the light on everything around us rather than the steps we need for each day. May you make each step count as you use the light of God's Word for clear directions.
 
                                                                                                                                                                   We love you,
                                                                                                                                                                   Brad and Virginia



June 11, 2019, 11:08 AM

June 12, 2019


"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

Are you secure in what you believe? Are you secure in what the Bible says? Do you believe the Bible is truth regardless of current trends? We are living in times when so many people are doubting the truth. Satan has always worked to put doubt in the mind of mankind. He began by asking Eve questions that would cause her to doubt the very words of God. The same is true today as people dare to contemplate the validity of God.

We are living in times when people consider themselves to be God. In fact, many must be convinced that they know better than God because they so often are determined to give a different meaning to what God said. There was a great article in Decision magazine this month focusing on "Progressive Christianity". Alisa Childers gave five signs that a church may be taking on the progressive movement. The five signs are: a lowered view of the Bible, feelings over facts, essential Christian doctrines are open for reinterpretation, historic terms are redefined, and the heart of the Gospel message shifts from sin and redemption to social justice. These issues are ever so surely making there way into many congregations. ?We shouldn't be surprised to find some of these ideas infiltrating our churches. Jesus warned us, 'Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves'."

God's Word never changes and neither does God. His word is the same as it has always been. It never has and never will change because of man's view of the times. We trust that you are constantly aware of the battle we face in these last days. Be prepared because it will only get worse. Our relationship with Jesus will cause us trouble as we wholeheartedly stand for truth. You have probably already had conversations with people who hold to some of the ideas listed above. As Paul told Timothy, ?But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
                                                                                                                          We love you,
                                                                                                                          Brad and Virginia




May 28, 2019, 12:11 PM

May 29, 2019


"I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard; My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit." Isaiah 5: 1-2
     How many of us have planted a garden this year? Even if you do not have a large garden, maybe you still have a few vegetables and flowers around the house in pots or beds. Regardless of the size of the garden, you must make some preparations in order to have flowers or fruit. We must prepare and maintain the garden if we expect to see results. Sometimes, it requires a fence or some other protection to keep other animals from destroying our crops. Have you ever had a time when you did everything you could for certain plants but for whatever reason they just would not produce?
     The Bible frequently describes Israel as a vineyard. The owner of the vineyard (God) did everything to produce a great crop. He prepared the ground, cleared all of the stones, built a watchtower in the midst of it and planted the choicest vines yet, even though He did all of that, the vineyard only produced bad fruit. God chose Israel as the ?apple of His eye?. He loved them graciously, cleared all of their enemies away and carefully watched over them. However, they constantly struggled in their relationship with Him. They desired an earthly king rather than God. They wanted to follow their own ways instead of His and they desired to worship idols while neglecting the One who truly loved them.
     What about us? Have we really been any better? Do we recognize daily the blessings God has bestowed upon us? Do we love Him with all of our heart, serve Him and worship Him above all else. If we are honest, there are probably things in our life that we put ahead of God. Have we become full-time in everything else only to be part-time Christians? As we become involved in our daily routine, let us never forget the ways God provides for us. He has allowed us to be grafted into His vineyard because of His amazing grace and mercy toward us. As with Israel, God desires to take care of us, meet our every need and even clear away our enemies. Do we trust Him to do that or do we, like Israel, look to the world and those around us for comfort and safety? The time is upon us when we must understand that God is really our only refuge. Isn't that what He has always desired? May you have a blessed week as you desire to serve God more efficiently and more effectively this week!

                                                                                                                 We love you,
                                                                                                                 Brad and Virginia




May 21, 2019, 10:40 AM

May 22, 2019


“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Psalm 107:1-2

What is your story? We all have a story to tell. The Psalmist reminds us that the redeemed of the Lord should enjoy telling their story. Sometimes we struggle with telling our story because it does not seem as important or exciting as the testimony of someone else. However, everyone is not affected by stories the same way. You may feel that your story is dull or unimportant when it may be the exact story someone needs in their current situation.

Take a moment to reflect upon God’s blessings (both spiritual and physical) in your life. Remember what God has done for you that you could never accomplish on your own. Where would you be without God’s continual presence in your life? Are these stories worth sharing with others? Certainly! We do not mind talking about the weather, jobs, politics or sports but we find it difficult sometimes to talk about our relationship with Almighty God. We tend to talk about things that are exciting, important, and familiar to us. What might that say about our relationship/fellowship with our Father? One of the first subjects in our conversation with others should be about our walk with Jesus. Our relationship with God is special because it is personal by faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Along with sharing our story, we also need to be serving. It is almost time for our Vacation Bible School. In the next few weeks, we all have one of the greatest opportunities to serve in the Kingdom. VBS is one of the greatest outreach opportunities in which we participate together as a church family. Guess what? We still need workers! You will be blessed as you have the opportunity to be a blessing in the lives of our young people. Please prayerfully consider volunteering in some way to experience the life-changing impact of VBS. Don’t miss out on the fun and privilege to serve. As you go about this week, pray about ways that you can share your story more effectively and about ways you can serve in VBS!

                                                                                                                                               We love and appreciate you,

                                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia




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


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