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November 26, 2019, 11:08 AM

November 27, 2019


"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

What words do you use to describe Christmas? Many words swirl around during the Christmas season but do they really describe Christmas? Be honest, what first comes to your mind when you hear the word Christmas? Is it the commercial Christmas of the world or the Biblical account of the Savior's coming?
 
While we have been busy edifying Santa Claus, we have failed to really present the Christmas story. Please do not get me wrong, I am not against Santa! However, as Christians, we have joined in the rhetoric that commercializes Christmas. As a result, many are unfamiliar with the advent of Christ and what He came to accomplish. What do we teach children about Santa? Listen to these words: ?he knows when you are sleeping, he knows if you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake?. Ever heard those words? What if we shared with children (as well as adults) the real consequences of never knowing the Savior? What if the same amount of time was spent seeking Jesus as seeking Santa's knee? For the most part, we know the real Christmas story, but the Santa story just seems more exciting!
 
As you can tell, I tend to get disappointed by so much commercialization at Christmas. I am reminded of the Bible verse we often share; ?He was in the world, and though the world was made by Him, the world did not recognize Him? (John 1:10). Regardless of the world's attitude or celebration, let us be sure to recognize Him during the season. Let us celebrate and worship the One who came to forgive us and to give us everlasting life. It is the season of Christmas! With all the festivities around us, let us never forget the real reason for our celebration.
 
May you have a blessed week as you share with others the Good News of Jesus. Please remember our church family and friends who are continually battling sickness and those who are alone and sad during this special season.
 
We love you,
Brad and Virginia



November 12, 2019, 11:10 AM

November 13, 2019


"So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth."                                                                                                                                                         Revelation 3:16
 
     Those are very harsh words, but they reveal the way Jesus feels about mediocrity in Christianity. If you were to describe the Church, what words would you use today? Satan is doing everything he can to stifle the message that Christians need to be sharing. Satan really knows how to lure us away from the things of God. He will use our so called ?friends? to get us interested in things outside of church. They convince us that it doesn't really matter if you miss a Sunday here and there. Before we know it, we have drifted from the very foundation that was laid for us in the beginning.
     Then, there are the distractions. What is it that satan uses in your life to try to coerce you away from God's will? We learned Sunday morning that one of satan's greatest weapons is fear. He plants worries and fears into our minds to scare us from complete surrender to God who loves us immensely. Another distraction to serving God wholeheartedly is money. For some reason, we believe that if we attain a certain amount of money or a certain income, we will be free from the problems of life. If that is your pursuit, you'll never have enough. Often, the more money a person has, the more they become consumed by pleasures. There is nothing wrong with having and enjoying things. However, those things should not affect your time with God or your service for Him. It is very easy for stuff to become idols that compete with God's place in our life.
     It is sad that many Christians live miserable lives with little meaning. Why? Mostly because they are allowing the enemy to steal their joy which causes them to focus on the wrong things. God has made an incredible world and allows us to find fulfillment in it. However, we must live with the understanding that all we have or hope to attain is to be used to glorify Him. Could your life be described as one of glorifying God? Whatever you have and whatever you can accomplish, always remember none of that could be possible without God giving you the means of fulfillment which only comes in Jesus. God has called us to a great task. Let us not be lulled into becoming lukewarm but strive every day to serve God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Praying you are having a great week!
 
                                                                                                                                                   We love you,
                                                                                                                                                   Brad and Virginia



October 29, 2019, 10:00 AM

October 30, 2019


“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Psalm 63:3-5

 

Do you take time to look through old photographs? What things come to mind when you look through the old pictures? How are things in your life different now than back then? It does us all good to reminisce from time to time. Looking back helps us recognize the simple things in life and be grateful for them. What simple things do we often overlook while wishing for something newer, faster and more convenient? Is it possible to miss many good things in life because we are so focused on something else?

 

Many people today are afraid to surrender to God because they feel their lives will become too complex. They believe God will have them do things that are very uncomfortable or uncertain. It is true that some things are uncomfortable to accomplish, not because God does not prepare us, but because we’ve never done it before. When we take on something new, there is a certain amount of apprehension because most of us do not like for things to change. We often find that God works among the simple things in our lives to accomplish the miraculous. It is the attitude of mankind that has complicated the real-life God intends. He knows us infinitely more than we can ever know ourselves.

 

The things God will have us do will usually line up with how He created us. He will use our gifts and talents for His purpose and provide whatever is necessary to carry out the task for which He has called us. We all fail from time to time because we try to accomplish God’s plan based on our own effort and attitude. Take a look this week through some old photographs and think about how God has carried you through life. Spend time thanking Him and asking Him to help you be more aware of the simple things around you. As dark as this world is becoming, there is so much to enjoy around us as we seek to surrender to our Father who knows even the very hairs on our head. May you have a blessed week as you seek to enjoy the simple in a world that has become so complicated.

                                                                                                                                           We love you,

                                                                                                                                           Brad and Virginia




October 22, 2019, 12:00 PM

October 23, 2019


“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7

Our life at times seems like a puzzle where all the pieces are scattered in numerous directions. Yet, if we allow Him, God will put all the pieces together in the order that pleases Him to create a beautiful picture. Many people live a continual life of shambles because they are depending on themselves to put the pieces together. Living that way is and will continue to be a miserable life. But God is constantly there, whispering your name and calling you into a deeper life. A life characterized by putting God first and leaving the love of this world behind.

So, amid the pieces, what does it mean to live a deeper life? John clearly shares (1 John 2:15) that “if anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in them”. Our life, every part, must be lived in Christ. There can be no separation between our secular activities and our spiritual activities. In fact, that doesn’t really make sense. God must be the center of our life in every activity. That is one of the failures of the Church today. We desire to compartmentalize the different areas of our life. Until we learn to be free from the earthly loves and passions that so hinder us, we will not understand the deeper life in Christ.

Are we cultivating a fellowship of love with God? Are we striving for the deeper life? When we look back over our life, have we left our first love? Have we become so busy in the activities of Christianity that we have been neglecting God? The Scripture above says, “continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him”. How do we accomplish that? We allow the love of God to burn in us until it consumes everything keeping us from growing in Him. Is there something in your life that you would fight God if He were to take it away? Ask yourself, “can God have it”? When we can give it all to Him, we will know that we are cultivating a deeper life.

                                                                                                                       We love you,

                                                                                                                       Brad and Virginia




October 15, 2019, 3:55 PM

October 16, 2019


“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1

 

We live in a world of difficulties, pain and questions. We are thrown into the midst of spiritual warfare on a constant basis. However, the Bible warns us very plainly and shares the only real way to fight the battles. The situation sometimes seems insurmountable. The enemy casts doubt about our belief that God will navigate us through the circumstance. The devil, who is our enemy, continually whispers things like; you can’t, it’s not possible or you’ll never get out of this. He wants you to give up on God because that makes you powerless to carry out your real purpose. He knows we do not accomplish very much when we are sitting idle on the sidelines.

The truth about fighting battles has become very evident to all of us over the years. You will never be able to adequately fight your battles until you are fighting them on your knees before God in prayer. God doesn’t always remove us from difficult circumstances right away. He sometimes allows us to remain there for a while because He knows it will develop perseverance, character and faith as we learn to completely depend on Him for the answers. Have you surrendered your situation totally to God? Are you allowing Him to provide the best solution?

The Bible makes it clear that we must hold on to what we know to be the truth. There is a constant danger of drifting away. We have all seen it play out in the lives of people over and over. They become careless in key areas of their lives. They begin drifting in Bible study, prayer, fellowship with other believers and the very standards of God. The more a person drifts from the standards of God, the more foolish their lives become. The more foolish their lives become, the less likely they are to make wise decisions. That is when difficult battles can really destroy us. Therefore, we encourage you to stay in close fellowship with God, hold on to the teaching you know to be the truth, and stay around other Christians who will hold you accountable.

 

                                                                                                        We love you,

                                                                                                        Brad and Virginia


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