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February 13, 2019, 12:00 AM

February 13, 2019


"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands."  Psalm 63:3-4
 
Everyone wants to be loved and for someone to care for them.   You can be assured that God loves you regardless of what you've done or where you are right now.  Will you receive the love God has for you?  You see, there are millions of people today who have heard of God and of His love but have never accepted it.  If there has ever been a person to readily experience God's love, it was King David.  Please read Psalm 63 sometime this week.  The passage describes David's understanding and acceptance of God's love.  He describes God's love as being ?better than life?.  Can we say that about our own relationship with God?  David readily grasped the understanding that he must accept God's love.   Will we, as Christians, be instrumental in helping others understand His love?
 
One of the great obligations we have as Christians is to share God's love with others.  We must live our lives as true reflectors of who God is so others will be able to experience Him.  Do we live each day as though God's love is ?better than life??  David faced many trials, pursuit from enemies, and family turmoil and yet he was able to say, ?I will praise you as long as I live?.  Do we still praise God in the midst of turmoil?  Are we constantly sharing God's love by showing Him to others?  It is much easier when all things are going well for us.  However, what happens when unexpected events begin to pile up against us?   Do we acknowledge that God's love for us is still amazing?
 
How wonderful it is to be a child of God!  Sometimes it's hard for us to understand that the Creator of the universe loves us and desires a personal relationship with us.  God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son Jesus to be our sacrificial Lamb.  If you are loved by others just think how much the One who is love cares for you.   In Psalm 63:1 David says, ?O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you and my soul thirsts for you?.  What a wonderful example to us of the way to really experience God's love.  Earnestly seek Him above all else and experience the love He has for you.  May you each have a very blessed week as you reflect the love of God in a chaotic world.

                                                                                            We love you,
                                                                                            Brad and Virginia



February 5, 2019, 1:50 PM

February 6, 2019


“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

 

Wow, what a week! You find out very quickly that life is very fragile, and you never know from one day to the next when something may happen. Last week was one of those weeks. At least we know most of the issues and are able to take medication to keep things under control. We definitely appreciate each of you as you have been so encouraging in every way. Thanks so much for every prayer, phone call, text and card as they have all been so inspiring to us these past few days. We have seen first-hand what it means to be surrounded by our church family.

You never know what it may take to get you out of a comfortable routine. So often it is the routine that keeps us balanced and able to clearly focus on each new day. However, it is also very easy to become so dependent on the routine that we miss other opportunities along the way. God has a way of moving us from the ordinary routine into areas of extraordinary service. Our prayer is that in some way we were able to encourage others through this experience. Sometimes it is so easy to forget that this life is really not ours but is God’s to use as He deems necessary. I have learned more how to empathize with those facing difficulties of many kinds. I have also learned that strokes are an unforeseen event that can lead to many significant problems.

In the midst of it all, we have been tremendously blessed. Many have commented on how lucky I have been through all of this. We choose to consider it a true blessing from God and He gets all praise through every event. We pray that God will allow us many more years of faithful service in the Kingdom. Our prayer for each of you is that you realize how quickly events can change. None of us are ever promised additional time so we make it our goal to make the most of every opportunity given to us. Every day is a great day to live and experience God. Do not let the “busy-ness” of each day minimize the privilege to make a difference in someone’s life. Thanks to God for more days and thanks to each of you for joining with us in making the most of each one.

                                                                                                                    We love you,

                                                                                                                    Brad and Virginia




January 23, 2019, 11:10 AM

January 16, 2019


“A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from God, for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” Ecclesiastes 2: 24-25 

 

The Bible is very clear about instructions for every area of our lives. One of the major themes we see in God’s Word is satisfaction with His provisions. It is very easy, especially in our culture, for the term satisfaction to become twisted. The meaning found in Scripture moves us toward a sense of thankfulness and appreciation to God for His daily provisions. However, in our society, the word satisfaction is often used to further the attitude that one cannot do any better. These are two fundamentally different meanings of the same word.

Are you satisfied? Do you enjoy your work, your home, your children and your lifestyle? Have you ever noticed how television commercials focus on areas where people struggle with satisfaction? If there is any feeling of discontentment, the commercials seem to steadily reinforce that feeling. That is the tool companies use to make people try products they think will make them look better, feel better and live better. The apostle Paul used the word content or contentment to help us grasp a real understanding of satisfaction (Philippians 4:11). He understood contentment and satisfaction to be an attitude based on our thankfulness to God.

We can be sure that contentment and satisfaction will not be found by comparing ourselves to others. In Philippians 4:12, we find that Paul had “learned the secret of being content”. What was Paul’s secret? The secret Paul learned consisted of one basic principle that we should know. Paul learned to consistently and faithfully trust Christ to give him strength in every circumstance. One of the biggest problems, even among Christians, is trying to compare our life to others. You will never be like someone else because God did not create you that way.

People are looking for the real deal today. They are not interested in phony people trying to be like someone else. They are looking around at those who are truly satisfied even in the midst of difficult times. Solomon’s words are so true: “without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” We must understand that our contentment is in direct proportion to our fellowship with God. May you have a blessed week filled with contentment and satisfaction.

                                                                                                                                      We love you,

                                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia

 




January 23, 2019, 10:59 AM

January 9, 2019


“Then his wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not trouble?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:9-10

 

We live in a culture that seems to have forgotten the term integrity. The word is used very loosely today, if at all. Integrity means adherence to moral and ethical principles and a soundness of character and honesty. For Christians, it means following the example set forth by Jesus. We are constantly faced with situations that tempt us to alter our integrity. This happens most often through peer pressure. There are those who try to coax us away from the Biblical standard in order to avoid the truth in a particular situation. Actually, it is not so much people as it is the enemy using others to make us vulnerable. Satan has always worked that way because he desires to affect our fellowship with God, our witness and our purpose.

Far too many take God’s principles as just “old news” from the Bible. There are many times when we are tempted to give up and give in to the pressure surrounding us. That is exactly what the enemy desires! Job experienced a terrible situation without the support of his wife. She questioned his faithfulness to God and recommended that Job give up. Look carefully at Job’s answer in the verses above. “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” Adversity is a bridge to a deeper fellowship with God. Adversity comes into each of our lives and usually at the worst possible time.

How we respond to adversity says so much about our relationship and fellowship with God. People will taunt you, ridicule you and even question your heart’s desire to be obedient to Him. Yet, we know that in those difficult times, God is always there for comfort, strength and guidance. It is through adversity that we seek God and grow toward greater dependence on Him. You may be in the midst of adversity even as you read this article. If so, remember that God is with you, loves you and is deepening your walk with Him as He guides you through the situation. If you are not facing adversity at the moment, praise God and ask Him to prepare you for the day that it will come because it surely will. May we, as Job, understand that God gives and takes away but we will praise Him forever!

                                                                                                         We love you,

                                                                                                         Brad and Virginia




January 23, 2019, 10:56 AM

January 2, 2019


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

 

It is exciting that God has given us the opportunity to see another year! What things did you get accomplished last year? What things do you want to make sure you get done this year? Do we live with an expectation of Jesus’ return? If we knew for certain that Jesus would return this year, how would our plans for the year change? As we begin a new year, we should consider our steps very carefully and wisely. We need to ask ourselves three very important questions. Do we trust God with all of our heart? Do we really lean on His understanding rather than ours? Do we acknowledge Him in all of our ways and allow Him to direct our path?

This year, more than ever, we find ourselves facing numerous questions concerning the health of our nation, our churches and our homes. We must understand the need to stay in God’s Word, pray without ceasing and live as unto the Lord. Many people, including Christians, do not understand the seriousness of the times in which we live. We are seeing the results of a history of poor decisions and, without God’s guidance, will continue to face detrimental consequences.

There are two traits that are becoming less and less important in our society. These traits reveal so much about us and the nation in which we live. These two traits are wisdom and integrity. There was a time when wisdom and integrity were the essence of the American way. Both of these traits are God-given and are sorely lacking among us today. Over the past several decades, we have seen a constant and consistent decline in both traits. This has had a direct impact on the direction of our country and the church in America.

This year, our plan is to better understand what the Bible says about wisdom and integrity. We will be studying about some of the Bible characters who displayed these traits and how God blessed them and used them to impact others. It is often difficult to live a life of integrity because we are ridiculed for trying to do the right things. However, as God’s children, He expects us to be the salt and light in an otherwise dark world. Our prayer is that we are all diligently seeking God for the wisdom and integrity we need to be examples, to keep us informed and to prepare us for the days ahead. May God’s blessings be yours today and throughout this new year.

                                                                                                                         Happy New Year,

                                                                                                                         Brad and Virginia


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