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August 20, 2019, 1:11 PM

August 21, 2019


"And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it'  Luke 14: 27-28
 
     Do people really count the cost of becoming a follower of Christ? It is expensive because it will cost us some things that are important to us. The passage above reminds us that Jesus warned people to count the cost of following Him before making a commitment. Following Jesus is a life-long commitment that doesn't necessarily mean long life, health or wealth. What would happen if it became illegal to live the Christian life in this country? What if we were told that professing a Christian lifestyle would lead to a prison term or worse? What if we were told that we could no longer meet together as a family of believers? Would we desire even more to be known as God's children or would we shrink back so that others may not find out? Hebrews 10:39 says, "But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved".
     One of the key elements missing among Christians today is commitment. We should be in for the long-term regardless of the circumstances. Sometimes we have the inclination to quickly give up before a task is completed. We have the tendency to quit when we become bored, frustrated or hurt. We often quit just on the brink of something spectacular that God is about to do. However, we live in times when we cannot afford to quit if the task is still before us. There should be a sense of urgency among us. The devil will use anything and everything to get us to quit and become unproductive Christians. We know that the cost of Christianity is extremely high, but we also know that we have been given the responsibility to share the message of Jesus with the world even in difficult circumstances.
     One of the commitments we made as a church family a few years ago was to support AWANA in every way possible. Sometimes it is tempting to give up because it may become frustrating or difficult. Please be in prayer about this extremely important ministry and how you can become involved. Even if we become bored, frustrated or hurt, we must persevere because it is such a critical time. Our children need us! We are looking forward with such anticipation to what God is about to do in this new year. We encourage you to get involved as we all commit to seeing our children come to know Christ personally and become His life-long disciple-makers. Please spend time encouraging them to follow through as they see us willing to totally commit ourselves to the full life of Christianity. May you each have a blessed and prosperous week as you live a life of commitment.
                                                                                                                        We love you,
                                                                                                                        Brad and Virginia



August 13, 2019, 4:00 PM

August 14, 219


"Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other." Romans 12:4-5
 
This week is a devotion by Greg Laurie that I thought very informative.
 
"If you want to get the most out of church, then stop thinking like a consumer and start thinking like a communer. A consumer goes to church with an attitude that says, 'It's all about me. Do what I want to do'. A communer, on the other hand, goes to church with the realization that it's all about us, and more importantly, it's all about Him. A communer asks, 'How can I be a blessing to someone else today'?
 
If you become self-absorbed, then you will find that you're a very unhappy Christian.
 
God has given every Christian a spiritual gift or gifts. And those gifts need to be used. We read in 1 Corinthians 12:7 that 'a spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other'. And Romans 12:4-5 says, 'Just as our bodies have many parts and each has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other'. These aren't talents but spiritual gifts that come to us as believers. They're not given because we deserve them, because none of us deserve any of these gifts. Rather, God graciously bestows them upon us.

How do we discover our spiritual gifts? Go out and serve the Lord. Volunteer wherever you can, wherever there is a need. You'll know in time whether that is the gift God has called you to use. You'll discover through prayer and the process of elimination what your gifts are (and what they are not). Serving with fellow believers is not only important to those you serve, but it's also important to you. This is how to get the most out of church. When you bless others, you will be blessed yourself.'
 
Hope you enjoyed the article and praying you each have a great week!
                                                                                                                             We love you,
                                                                                                                             Brad and Virginia 



August 6, 2019, 11:36 AM

August 7, 2019


"He has saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace." 2 Timothy 1:9
 
God has a special purpose for your life! The enemy deceives and blinds people every day so that we cannot fully decipher the purpose God has for us. As we look at our culture, the distractions become evident all around us. The message Sunday morning described some of these distractions in detail. The distractions not only blind us to the truth but also cause us to miss out on the purpose for which God has called us. The four distractions we mentioned Sunday were fear, despair, disappointment and stress.
 
In reading another article this week, the author pointed out several other distractions in our culture. It is important that we know these distractions so that we can know the devil's schemes. First is what is called the comparison trap. The comparison trap occurs when we look at what others are doing and use that as a model for our own life. Probably, the largest comparison trap today is social media. We see what everyone else believes, the stuff they possess, and the reason their life seems so happy. When we compare to others, our life often seems so mundane and boring. How could someone so mundane serve God effectively?
 
Another area that can cause major distractions is control. Some have a real issue with wanting everything to go their way. When we are desiring to serve God, our thoughts must be totally focused on Him. Any thoughts about what we want or how we want to accomplish a task can become a real distraction and keep us from God's purpose.
 
A third distraction occurs when we fail to offer forgiveness to others. How can we legitimately carry out God's purpose if we are unwilling to forgive others? The entirety of God's message to mankind is about His forgiveness of sins through Jesus. Our unforgiveness can become one of the biggest distractions and hinderances to following God's purpose. Our desire is that you are made very aware of satan's tactics as he desires to distract all of us from God's real purpose.
                                                                                                                              We love you,
                                                                                                                              Brad and Virginia



July 31, 2019, 3:21 PM

July 31, 2019


“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8

 

Are you satisfied? I mean, are you really satisfied? I would venture to say that most people in our nation are not really satisfied. People today are more educated, make more money and have more material possessions than ever before yet most people in our nation are probably not satisfied. Why? We tend to associate satisfaction with what we want to achieve or accumulate rather than a sense of gratefulness for what we have already. Read carefully the passage above.

Satisfaction really begins with our thankfulness to God for the ways He has blessed us. We face monumental problems in our country. We can easily see that the problems we face are the direct result of leaving God out of decisions that are so vital to each of us. Consider the blessings God has lavished upon our nation. We have truly been blessed beyond measure, but we expend so much effort looking for ways to have more. We have become as spoiled children with the demand to have more and better at the expense of others. We have become so far removed from the Christian lifestyle described throughout the New Testament. God has blessed us that we, in turn, may bless and serve others. However, we use our resources exclusively on ourselves with no thought or regard for those around us who are struggling. We are as ravenous lions with an unending appetite for more stuff.

There is only one who satisfies. His name is Jesus! Have you exchanged your life for His? You see, without Him you will constantly be looking for something more to bring contentment. But, in order to be completely satisfied, you must desire to go deeper in your fellowship with Him. That requires total surrender which we sometimes have a hard time accomplishing. I pray this week that you desire for your satisfaction to be totally in Jesus; to know Him, love Him and serve Him more than ever. May you truly experience contentment this week as you express your love to God and give Him thanks for what He has already provided for you.

                                                                                                                             We love you,

                                                                                                                             Brad and Virginia




July 23, 2019, 12:30 PM

July 24, 2019


"I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

What comes to mind when you think of addition? Probably the first thing you think about is mathematics. You think of adding something to get a desired result. When you are cooking, do you ever experiment by adding different ingredients? Addition can be a very good thing. In fact, when we have the addition of new members to our fellowship, we get very excited. However, the excitement should not stop there. We should continue the excitement as we disciple those new members until they become disciple-makers. That is the mandate Jesus gave us in the Great Commission. That is the concept of multiplication in the Kingdom and it is better than addition. Sure, we get excited about adding to the Kingdom, but we should get even more excited about making disciples.

There is another thought about addition that we should discuss. Many have the attitude in our culture that we just add Jesus to our already hectic schedule and somehow things will improve. They have the misconception that knowing Jesus is just one of the many parts to our lives and one of several paths we take in life. However, for us as Christians, our relationship with God by faith in Jesus is our life. Jesus is not someone we just add to see if our lives will then take a better direction. Many people desire to approach Christianity in those terms. They figure that it is possible to add Jesus as one would add a hobby or an exercise program. They feel they can try Him for a while to see if He really fits into their lifestyle. The sad fact is that those people are lost.

Remember Jesus’ parable about the Gospel message and soil types? Christianity is not about adding Christ to our already busy schedule. Christianity is exchanging our life for the life of Christ. Look carefully at the passage above. The passage is very clear that we “no longer live”. Our relationship with God is not about addition but about total surrender. It is not about adding Christ for a season but about allowing Him to change us completely forever. Let us be thankful to God that He loves us and has given Himself for us. Let us rejoice that Christianity is so much more than addition. It is multiplication as we make disciples together. May you have a blessed and prosperous week as you are determined to be a multiplier in the Kingdom.

                                                                                                                                     We love you,

                                                                                                                                     Brad and Virginia


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