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May 9, 2017, 11:16 AM

May 10, 2017

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”  Proverbs 31: 28-31

     Moms are special!  The meaning of being a mother is virtually endless.  A mother is a protector, disciplinarian and friend.  A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of her wants and needs for the wants and needs of her children.  A mother works hard to make sure her children are equipped with the knowledge, wisdom, skill, and abilities to make decisions in a difficult world.  Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most demanding yet the most rewarding job a woman will ever experience.  However, the greatest responsibility of a mother is to “train up” their children to be followers of Jesus!

     “Make sure to call mama on Mother’s Day, her birthday and the rest.  You know she’s sitting by the phone wishing you all the best.  She doesn’t want to bother you so she waits for YOU to phone.  She has so much time now, most of it spent alone.  She knows you are very busy now, with work and kids and wife.  She helps you out whenever she can, she is the one who gave you life.  The years go by, so fast they fly; the years just never stop.  She has joined the local church and at local thrift stores she shops.  Luckily you have an organized wife who sends the cards you sign.  You moved away for job prospects not because you wanted to leave her behind.  She quietly lives her life puttering around the yard, thinking of ways she could help you and cherishing your beautiful cards.  Whenever you think of her, please listen and take the time, because I would give everything I have for just five minutes with mine!”  Debbie Leads

     People may not remember many of the things you do in life.  However, when you are the mother God called you to be, your children will never forget the impact you’ve had on them.  Let us pray for our mothers.  Father, thank-you for the millions of mothers who are never in the limelight but raise their children the way you have instructed them.  Thank-you for the mothers who love you and are faithful and true.  You know them and will reward them.  Amen.  Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and to those who have been like a mom to others. 

                                                                                                We love and appreciate you,                                                                                                                          Brad and Virginia

May 2, 2017, 11:21 AM

May 3, 2017

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.  In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”  Titus 2:7-8

     “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians:  who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyles.  That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”   Brennan Manning

     What do we say to an unbelieving world?  What does our lifestyle say about our relationship with God?  What does our lifestyle say about our belief in the Bible?  We do not like to hear it, but we are trying so hard to intertwine the world’s standards into our Christian standards.  It simply will not work!   Peter reminds us (1 Peter 2:15) to be holy in all that we do.  The world has such a grasp and uses this hold to challenge Christians to compromise their beliefs.  As Christians, we live under grace but grace does not give us the right to join in all the ways of the world.  In fact, because of grace, we recognize God and what He has done for us.  As we recognize God’s mercy toward us we should strive to please Him in every way.  Think about our lives for just a minute.  Does my speech honor God?  Does my appearance honor God?  Do the decisions I make honor God?  What does my life really show to a lost world?

     Now, a very important question?  Does living the Christian life mean that we never give in to temptation?  Absolutely not!  However, when we do sin, do we acknowledge that sin for what it is, or do we overlook our actions with the famous excuse that “everybody does it”?  God has called us to live the abundant life.  The abundant life does not consist of a little bit of God mixed in with a little bit of the world.  Remember the Christian balance from Sunday morning?  The balance in the Christian’s life is this: one hundred percent of my cooperation and willingness to say yes to God and one hundred percent of God’s power and presence in my life.  Are we consciously and consistently presenting our lives to Jesus daily?

     There are lost people all around us.  They are looking for the abundant life that Jesus describes in John 10:10. Their problem is that they are looking in all the wrong places.  We have the answer, but do we exemplify the lifestyle that will encourage them to seek Jesus?  May we examine our life, repent, and ask forgiveness for those things we’ve done against God and live in a way that honors Him.  Only then will we have an impact on those around us and be an example for them so that they will want to seek God for the abundant life.

                                                                                                                     We love you,

                                                                                                                     Brad and Virginia

April 25, 2017, 11:08 AM

April 26, 2017

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”  Psalm 37:7

Is your first priority in life to obey God?  In order to be obedient, we must first learn to listen.    Our culture finds it increasingly difficult to listen to God because listening oftentimes requires a period of waiting.  All it takes is a quick glance around us to understand that we have no clue about waiting.  We are so accustomed to having our way and getting what we want that we rarely take time to seek God’s counsel.  In many ways, God has become very distant to us.  We have example after example throughout Scripture of the same thing happening with Israel.  We mentioned the church at Ephesus Sunday morning.  Jesus’ response to them was this: “You have forsaken the love you had at first”.  In other words, their love for God had grown cold and the relationship with Him had become very distant.  Are we there?

                When is the last time we experienced God?  Is God real to you in your daily walk?  Do you experience God during the events of a busy day?  Do you experience God during your devotion and quiet time?  Do you experience God as you walk outside in the beauty of nature?  Do you experience God during our “worship” services?  We have such a tendency to become schedule followers rather than God-followers.  We need to (and must) experience a fresh revelation from God!  Experiencing God may be totally different from the way things have been in the past.  Would we even notice if God’s presence was not with us on any given Sunday morning?  We become so entangled in our busy-ness that we have no time to seek God, much less to wait on Him for direction.

                Our society has begun paying the price for our lack of zeal toward God.  Things are certainly not as they once were.  We need revival among us!  I am not talking about a series of a few days listening to a great speaker.  I am talking about a change of heart and a real desire to be obedient to our Father.  May we be reminded of God’s promise to His people found in Deuteronomy 28: “The Lord will establish you as His holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to Him.  Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you.  The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity – in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land He swore to your ancestors to give you”.  Lest we forget, as wonderful as the blessings could be, there were also stiff consequences for disobedience.  Listen to these words, “however, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you”.  May we be careful to seek, listen and obey God as we faithfully serve Him this week!

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

April 18, 2017, 10:30 AM

April 19, 2017

I recently read again an excerpt from Patrick Morley’s book I Surrender.  I would like to share that excerpt with you this week as a reminder to “take time for the moment”.

A quiet teen-ager, David loved reading books and watching ‘Dr. Who’.  Countless volumes of science fiction passed before his eyes.  Birds of prey especially intrigued David, and he earned a college scholarship for his volunteer work repairing the broken wings of eagles.  He loved Christ.

Here are some excerpts from a letter received from his dad:

One evening when I came home I was greeted by a tall, slender, blonde teen-aged girl whom I had never met.  David had struck up a conversation with her in the grocery store and invited her to stay in our home!  Her name was Debbie.  Her parents had beaten her and kicked her out of their home.  She was battered, physically and emotionally.  She lived with us for five weeks, recovered, and now lives with an aunt.  She is now a Christian.  He took time for the moment, and it made a difference.

I scolded David several times for not being home on time in the late afternoons.  He said nothing in his defense for this repeated behavior.  Only much later did I find out where he had been and what he was doing.  One of his friends had an eye disease and was going blind.  He was reading books to her.  He took time for the moment.

One Friday afternoon about 3:45 p.m. I called my wife from work to tell her I loved her and see how her day was going.  She told me that David had stopped by after work for a visit.  He and I talked for a few minutes, arranging a shopping trip to buy his mother’s Christmas present.  We agreed to meet at 6:00 p.m.  I told him I loved him and heard the reply ‘I love you too, dad.  Good-bye.’  David died in an accident fourteen minutes later.

How precious that brief moment on the telephone has become.  How many fathers never hear those words?  How many of us are too busy to take time for the moment?  We are not really in a position to judge if we have time because we do not know what a difference that moment can make in someone’s life.  That moment has caused me to care more, look deeper, search harder, pray longer, and seek understanding.

May we learn to take time for the moment every day.  May God’s blessings be yours in abundance this week as we strive to please Him!

                                                                                                                                                             We love you,                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brad and Virginia

April 11, 2017, 11:10 AM

April 12, 2017

“When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished”.  With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”  John 19:30

     It is finished!  Those three words really say it all.  Have you ever been involved in a project and finally got to the place of being finished?  God’s plan was being carried out from the time of Adam and Eve through the time of Jesus and beyond.  When Jesus uttered the words “it is finished”, He was saying that God’s redemptive work in the lives of mankind was accomplished.  God had accomplished exactly what He desired to do.  The sin of man was now fully and completely atoned for.  Now, through Jesus, man could once again be in a relationship with God.

     We have come to the point in our culture of taking Easter far too lightly.  Do we realize the magnitude of what Jesus did on the cross?  Do we realize the love God demonstrated for us in seeing His Son die upon the cross?  The world system does everything possible to take our eyes and thoughts away from the reality of Easter.  When Jesus arose the third day, He conquered Satan, sin, death and the grave.  The good news is this:  When Jesus is our Savior, we are conquerors too!

     This is an absolutely wonderful time of the year.  Spend some time outside and experience the beauty of God’s creation.  Enjoy the season but be reminded often of God’s love for you and the price that was paid so that you could have eternal life.  It is finished means that Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of a holy and righteous God.  He paid the ultimate price to redeem us from the clutches of death.  That means in Jesus we are secure in His arms!  Have a wonderful and blessed week as we give thanks to God for His indescribable gift!  We look forward to seeing you on “Resurrection Sunday”!

                                                                                                                       We love you,

                                                                                                                       Brad and Virginia

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