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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




January 13, 2020, 3:58 PM

January 15, 2020


“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31

We are a nation of conveniences. Remember a time when you had to get out of your chair or off the couch to change the television channels? I can remember 3 network channels, a couple of other channels and a PBS station. I also remember when channels signed off each night with the national anthem. Yet, some of you can remember no television at all. How things have changed! We have more channels than we can reasonably watch and a continual craving for more. Even though there are more channels, there seems to be a much lower quality of programming. Television is just one of the thousands of conveniences we share as Americans.

There is another convenience in our society that reveals our moral condition. This convenience is recognized by a very familiar name, abortion. Although the abortion rate has dropped during the last decade, even one abortion is too many. The last statistic I read listed approximately 1,000 abortions every day in the United States. There are, of course, some abortions performed for medical reasons, but the overwhelming majority are performed because of convenience.

Every life is unique and created by God in His image. That alone should be the overwhelming reason human life is so valuable. There was a time when human life was of utmost importance and valued above all else. Now, its sad to say, human life seems to be as disposable as so many other conveniences we share. People seem determined to disprove God in order to live according to their own terms and follow their own desires. The nation of Israel experienced a time of killing their children as well. They were killing their children as an offering to the Canaanite god Molech. The killing of children is a very real indication of a nation without the standards and morals of a holy, righteous God. The next step has historically been judgment and destruction.

We realize there are many living with the guilt of abortion. Please understand that abortion is forgivable just as any other sin. God, in His great mercy, is willing and able to forgive us when we ask with a repentant heart. The only sin that God cannot forgive is the rejection of His Son, Jesus. As in all sin, there are consequences but you can be assured of God’s forgiveness through repentance. We serve a great and merciful God! We hope your week is going great and you are taking advantage of every opportunity to serve God.

                                                                                                                                          We love you,

                                                                                                                                          Brad and Virginia




December 17, 2019, 12:03 PM

December 18, 2019


“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn.”

                                                                                                                                                     Luke 2: 1-7

 

God is constantly working in us to make the pieces of our life fit together perfectly. However, one of our greatest problems is not completely yielding our life to Him. We often find ourselves making a real puzzle of our lives because we proceed in our own way. Do you know the feeling?

Jesus, our Savior, was born at the perfect time and in the exact place to fulfill God’s divine plan of redemption. The passage for this week is very familiar to us and is part of the Christmas story. The prophets foretold that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, yet Mary and Joseph were living in Nazareth. How would Jesus be born in Bethlehem? We know very well that God is always putting the pieces together so that they fit perfectly. Because of God’s sovereignty, He worked through the life of a Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, to make all the details fit perfectly so that Mary would give birth to Jesus in Bethlehem. Therefore, God made sure that the prophetic announcement turned out exactly as He had planned. He always does that!

Now, what about the puzzle that is our life? Why is it that we continuously try to fit our own puzzle together when we really have no clue how it should look? Have you ever tried to put a jigsaw puzzle together without looking at the box to get some idea of the finished product? Basically, that is what we do when we desire to control our own life. God knows how it all fits together! It is hard for us to admit, but God knows us so much better than we know ourselves. As we are moving through life, at seemingly the speed of light, let us remember that we serve a mighty God who knows our life and the path He has for us in the future. His ways are always perfect! As God was working in Mary and Joseph’s life to bring about His perfect plan, He also desires to work in your life to accomplish similar objectives. Will you allow Him to give you purpose and meaning to your life? May you have a very blessed week as you surrender your life to the One who knows exactly how it all fits together.

 

Merry Christmas!

                                                                                                                   Brad and Virginia




December 10, 2019, 3:31 PM

December 11, 2019


“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brough us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

When we consider all the Christmas gifts that will be exchanged and the love that is represented by them, let us not forget God’s love for us. God, in His mercy and grace, has given us the greatest gift: Jesus! Yet, even though Jesus is our greatest gift, how much time do we spend thanking Him? Do you remember your Christmas gifts as a child? We would carefully look through catalogs, store windows and advertisements to make a list of the items we just had to have for Christmas. Then, Christmas would finally arrive and we would diligently play with our new toys. Do you remember what typically would happen next? We would eventually become bored with the Christmas toys and move on to the next occasion for new gifts. Regardless of age, we can all probably identify with that scenario.

Have times changed? Have people changed? Not really. Many people still celebrate Christmas that same way. Think with me about God’s gift to us: A gift so magnificent, so perfect, so extreme, and yet so personal. God desires for each of us to have a love relationship with Him. He has provided everything necessary for that relationship because we could never approach God on our own. The relationship is through His Son, Jesus and He is the gift of life! The Bible clearly says that we are “dead in our transgressions and sins” without Christ. God offers new life to every person through the gift of His Son. However, the term “offers” is so important. God doesn’t force His gift on anyone. Yet, for whosoever will, His gift is the only way fallen man has to eternal life!

You know what is sad? Through the ages, people have despised and rejected God’s greatest gift. Many people today are still rejecting Jesus and making varied excuses for the rejection. There are many today who have lost the excitement of God’s gift. Much like the toys at Christmas, many have seemingly become bored with Jesus. This attitude has been infecting our churches and as a result has affected our nation. Many today would have to describe their relationship with God as stagnant or without excitement. Why? Because they have given in to the selfishness of our culture. Yet, is that even a description of someone who has been saved? The key to an exciting relationship with God is the desire to share His love. If you really want to experience the meaning of this season, share God’s love with others. Our relationship with Jesus should be anything but boring. Make yourself available to Him and share His love with others. The more we share Jesus, the more excited we become about Him! May you have a very blessed Christmas season as you celebrate the only reason!

                                                                                                                                                                        We love you,

                                                                                                                                                                        Brad and Virginia




December 3, 2019, 10:35 AM

December 4, 2019


“In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5: 3-4

As Christians, we should be the example of God’s love in a dark world. How do we show others that we love them? Words are cheap. It usually takes more than words to really share with others the love we have for them. In our materialistic society, we have grown to equate love for someone with buying something for them. Many parents today have replaced real love with the idea of lavishing upon their children the “toys” of the world. Yet, it should be easy to understand that toys and things can never be a substitute for parenting. How many times have we seen interviews with people who say they would have quickly traded presents for their parents’ presence?

Is our love for God any different? How do we show our love for Him? Many have the idea that if we attend church a few times or give a little money it will be enough to let God know that we love Him. But, how do we demonstrate to God in a tangible way that we love Him? From the scripture above, the Bible is very clear about how we show God that we love Him. Obedience is much more than talk, a little money or church attendance. Obedience to God means that because we know Him, we desire to walk with Him daily and do what He says. How can we be truly obedient to God without spending time with Him? It is through our daily walk and fellowship with God that we understand His plans and obey them.

As we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate God’s demonstration of His love for us. He doesn’t just use words to convey His love for us. He demonstrates it! In Romans 5:8 we read, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. God cares about your walk with Him today. How do we demonstrate to God our love for Him? Daily obedience! May you be abundantly blessed this week as you spend time with God, listen to Him and demonstrate your love for Him through obedience.

                                                                                                                 We love you,

                                                                                                                 Brad and Virginia


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