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May 31, 2017, 10:23 AM

May 31, 2017

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Psalm 107:1-2

        We all have a story to tell.  The Psalmist reminds us that the redeemed of the Lord should enjoy telling their story.  Sometimes we struggle with telling our story because it does not seem as important or exciting as the testimony of someone else.  However, everyone is not affected by stories the same way.  You may feel that your story is dull or unimportant when it may be the exact story someone needs in their current situation.

        Take a moment to reflect upon God’s blessings (both spiritual and physical) in your life.  Remember what God has done for you that you could never accomplish on your own.  Where would you be without God’s continual presence in your life?  Are these stories worth sharing with others?  Certainly!  We do not mind talking about the weather, jobs, or politics but we find it difficult sometimes to talk about our relationship with Almighty God.  We tend to talk about things that are exciting, important, and familiar to us.  What might that say about our relationship/fellowship with our Father?  One of the first subjects in our conversation with others should be about our relationship with God.  Our relationship is special because it is personal by faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

        Along with sharing our story, we also need to be serving.  It is almost time for our Vacation Bible School.  In the next few weeks, we all have one of the greatest opportunities to serve in the Kingdom.  VBS is the greatest outreach opportunity in which we participate together as a church family.  Guess what?  We still need workers!  You will be blessed as you have the opportunity to be a blessing in the lives of our young people.  Please prayerfully consider volunteering in some way to experience the life-changing impact of VBS.  Don’t miss it … be there!!  As you go about this week, pray about ways that you can share your story better, share your story more often and serve more effectively.

                                                                                                                 We love and appreciate you,

                                                                                                                 Brad and Virginia

May 23, 2017, 10:19 AM

May 24, 2016

“Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

     There is no doubt that the enemy desires to destroy people.  Jesus said very plainly, “the enemy comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.  Look carefully again at what Jesus said.  “The enemy comes only to steal, kill and destroy!”  It is the business of the enemy to destroy mankind and he has many tools to purposely steer people in the wrong direction.  As Peter vividly reminds us, he is constantly looking for someone to devour.  Who is the devil looking for?  Make no mistake, we are all vulnerable to the devil’s schemes.  However, much like predators hunting for prey in the wild, our enemy takes full advantage of the weak among us.  Who are the weak among us?  Those who have no biblical knowledge at all, those who have been brought up in church but have not connected with the truths of God’s Word and those who have some Biblical knowledge but have not been put to the test.

     Probably some of the most vulnerable among us are our young people.  It is vital that we nurture and encourage them as we have the opportunity because the world’s culture and peer pressure easily sway them.  Satan likes nothing better than to infiltrate the lives of some of the most vulnerable among us.  There are a few ways the devil constantly uses to lead people away from the truth and he works over-time to accomplish his goal.   First, the enemy makes sure the vulnerable person is in constant contact with those who claim to be Christian yet live differently.  This makes the vulnerable person believe that Christianity is important for a couple of hours on Sunday morning but then fades into the background the rest of the week.  Another approach is to make the vulnerable person have questions and doubts about their faith.  They need more than coloring pages and Bible stories.  Sadly, other Christians fail to spend time with those who desperately need a mentor to help encourage them in Biblical truths.

     Then, there are those who feel that they are just not as spiritual as others and begin to separate themselves from other Christians.  Before long, they have a new set of friends who are leading them down the wrong path.  When difficult times come, they are not prepared and question everything they have been taught.  They quickly conclude that what they have been taught is just not true and distance themselves from anything Christian.  Young people are not the only ones vulnerable and certainly not the only ones the enemy loves to devour.  However, our young people are faced with some very difficult challenges.  They are faced with many more obstacles than previous generations.  They are bombarded with issues like political correctness and inclusivism.  In the midst of life’s toughest challenges, let us be there for them.  Let us be willing to spend time with them, answer some difficult questions they may have and, more important than anything else, let them see us as true and trustworthy examples of the Christian life!

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

May 16, 2017, 10:48 AM

May 17, 2017

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

     Are we thoroughly equipped to carry out good works?  How do we prepare ourselves to be a thoroughly equipped Christian?  In many ways, we are being out-argued because we are not taking the time to prepare.  Many Christians are giving in to the current culture because they are ill prepared to discuss issues.  How do we become prepared?  How do we become thoroughly equipped?  We must engage the Bible.  The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to a lost world.  The Bible reveals God’s only plan to save mankind.  The Bible shows us the way to live and influence others with the Good News of Jesus.  The sad truth is that Christians are having little impact on reaching others with the Gospel.

     What if you heard these words from your child or from another Christian: “I just don’t believe what you believe anymore”?  The truth is, we are hearing similar comments from younger generations all the time.  Although many of these grew up in Christian homes, attended church regularly and were very active participants in their youth group, they are now struggling with answers to many cultural issues.  Why?  They have never been fully and thoroughly equipped to be in a real battle.  The passage above reveals to us the importance of knowing the Bible, not just reading it.  The Bible is vital for teaching us the truth about God and His desire for us to live to honor Him.  The Bible is our reference for decisions we make as we live in a very chaotic world.

     The Bible is also useful for rebuking.  As we read and study God’s Word, we become aware of sin.  We become aware of those things which are contrary to the ways of God.  When we are made aware of wrongdoing, the Bible offers us the solution to be in relationship with God through Christ (for those who are lost) or back in right fellowship with God (for Christians).  We must recognize the wrong, confess it before God and ask for His forgiveness.  As we spend time in God’s Word (not just in books about God’s Word), the Holy Spirit guides us to fulfill God’s purpose and face difficult situations.  Without this proper training, we are tempted to accept the subtle inconsistencies that the enemy puts forth among a culture without Christ.  Emotional experiences are wonderful as we worship God together, but we cannot depend solely on emotion as we battle the enemy.   We must crave God’s Word and spend time studying so that we are thoroughly equipped for every good work which includes giving insight to a lost and confused world.    May you experience a blessed and prosperous week as you fully engage God’s Word.

                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

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

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