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February 11, 2020, 11:00 AM

February 12, 2020


“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace but now it is hidden from your eyes’.” Luke 19:41-42

We live in a world that constantly seeks peace yet continually reverberates with violence. The world strangely defines peace as being able to get along because you agree with our ideas. We see many in our world who fail to stand for real values because they are inundated with threats from those who call themselves true peace seekers. Peace is not some attainable utopia found in the far reaches of the human mind. Peace comes when a life is transformed by Jesus Christ. Peace could be attainable, even in this world, but it could only come through relationship and obedience to Almighty God by faith in Jesus.

Real and lasting peace is God-given. The very sad part of the verse above is that Jesus told the people that the real understanding of peace was now hidden from their eyes. We are now some two thousand years since Jesus spoke those words and yet the understanding of true peace seems to be even more hidden than ever before. People are duped into thinking that mankind can somehow become civilized enough to share peace among themselves. The world says, “Somewhere out there must be a magic formula or process that would bring peace among all people”. There must be some way to get people to accept each other and the world’s ways. So, there is a constant push to bring peace to an otherwise violent world. The peace efforts of the world always fail because they are focused on the ways of man rather than God. There will always be some group or groups that will oppose every human effort for peace.

However, there is coming a day (we believe soon) when the world will attain its desire. The Book of the Revelation tells us of the Antichrist who will one day usher in a seemingly peaceful utopia. Then, after three and a half years, that utopia will end abruptly, and severe persecution will follow. Satan has been blinding the eyes of people from the beginning and will continue to do so until the very end. Our own nation is in such turmoil today because the author of real peace has been hidden from so many people. We know that it is only in Jesus that we can understand and experience real peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives”. May you find peace in every area of your life as you surrender to the only One who gives peace abundantly!

 

          We love you,

          Brad and Virginia




February 4, 2020, 12:00 PM

February 5, 2019


"He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, 'What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him'!" Matthew 8:27
 
Spring fever is starting to affect a lot of people, especially me. Winters just seem to become longer every year even when the weather is relatively mild. However, during February, we usually start seeing some very nice days scattered throughout the month. There are still some cold days, but you know that just around the corner are the beautiful days of spring. Also, the days are ever so slightly getting longer and gives us an opportunity to spend a little more time outside. There seems to be a positive correlation between longer days and feeling better.

As wonderful as spring can be, there is one part of the season that is dreaded by most people. We dread the potential for severe storms which seem ever so prevalent this time of the year. Just as storms are very unpredictable during the spring season, so are the spiritual storms that play havoc in our lives. However, as we prepare for the storms of spring, we can also prepare for the storms of life. We learn to prepare for these storms by growing daily in our walk with God. We grow as we spend time in study, prayer and worship. Physical and spiritual storms are an inevitable part of life, but we know the One who calms them all.
 
The passage above describes the feeling of the disciples after Jesus completely calmed a physical storm. They were amazed that the winds and the waves obeyed Him. What about the storms you are facing? He is in control of all things and desires to lead you through the storms you face. What did Jesus say to His disciples just before He calmed the storm? He said, ?You of little faith, why are you so afraid?? Do you ever feel that way? It is not always God's plan to remove the storms from your life but to increase your faith as He walks through them with you. Have you asked Him to walk with you through your storms? We pray that you are having a great week while trusting God to handle every storm you may face.
 
                                                                                                                                   We love you,
                                                                                                                                   Brad and Virginia



January 28, 2020, 2:25 PM

January 29, 2020


“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

 

Are you good at making plans? There are some people who have a real gift for planning. Others tend to put off planning and take things as they come which may not be a very good idea. However, it is easy to get so involved in our plans that we are not willing to make any adjustments to them. We make meticulous plans and desire to accomplish our goals exactly. Yet, sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) our plans are not exactly in line with what God has for us. It is great to be a good planner but it is more important that we make sure that our plans center around God’s direction. Have you ever made really good plans only to find out that the outcome was far different from the plan? In fact, we’ve all faced situations when our best made plan resulted in a very different outcome, even failure.

However, we probably learn much more from failure than we do from success. God works through both success and failure to move us to the place He desires. The passage above helps us understand that regardless of the plans we’ve made or the time spent in preparation, our best made plans are always subject to God’s authority. Does that mean that God will never allow us to make plans and decisions that are not what He desires for us? No, it means that God can make out of our plans, even bad plans, whatever He needs to move us in the direction of His choice. How much time do we spend seeking God’s guidance about the plans we make? Do we take the time to pray and earnestly ask for God’s direction? That should be the most important step in our planning. Yet, far too often, we make our plans and set our goals then expect God to follow along with us.

God is not a follower. He establishes a path for our lives and expects us to follow His leadership. We may make plans, set goals and strive to accomplish them but God is the One in control. There is nothing wrong with being a good planner. In fact, life can be much more fulfilling through good planning. However, never forget that our plans can certainly fail, and probably will, without God’s daily guidance. Also, never forget that our plans are always subject to God’s authority. We pray that you have a blessed week as you stay in tune with God and allow Him to make your plans succeed.

                                                                                                                                    We love you,

                                                                                                                                    Brad and Virginia




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


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