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February 20, 2018, 9:01 AM

February 21, 2018

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?”  Matthew 6:26

     Have you listened to the birds lately?  Earlier today, I had the opportunity to have lunch on our porch and listen to a variety of birds.  They seemed to be so excited!  We so often fail to slow down enough to hear God’s voice and feel His presence in the nature He created.  The birds have been singing all through the winter, but it seems like the last couple of weeks there has been such an abundance of them.  They are enjoying the onset of springtime and the bounty that will follow.  They continue to accomplish the purpose for which God created them.  Can the same be said about us?

     The scripture passage above helps us better understand our value to God.  You see, God created the birds and He takes care of them.  The Bible tells us that He even knows when a sparrow falls to the ground.  The birds do not sow, reap or store away in barns yet God meets their needs on a daily and consistent basis.  What does God expect us to learn from nature?  Jesus gives us a very real picture of our value to God.   Jesus did not come to die for the birds but for mankind.  Now, if Jesus came to die for us, how valuable must we be to God?  If God provides for the birds, how much more does He desire to provide for His children?  After all, we are so special to God that He knows the number of hairs on our head.  Please understand that we are not to just sit and wait for His provisions.  God expects us to do what He has given us the ability to do.  He has given us the ability and strength to work.

     It is very easy for us to get off track by thinking that we can provide for ourselves.  We do work and earn an income, but it is God who ultimately provides for our every need.  We must understand that God created us, loves us, and provides for us every day.   Remember, it is much more than physical food and clothing that He provides.  It is eternal life through Jesus Christ His Son.  As you hear the birds singing, be reminded of the passage above and give thanks to God for His daily provisions.

                                                                                                                                                      We love you,

                                                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia

February 13, 2018, 12:59 PM

February 14, 2018

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.  I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”  Psalm 63:3

     Everyone wants to be loved …right?  Well, you can be assured that God loves you regardless of what you’ve done or where you’ve been.  How do we know?  Because His Word reflects that truth over and over again.  Will you receive the love that God has for you?  If there has ever been a person to readily experience God’s love, it was King David.  Please read Psalm 63 this week.  The passage describes David’s understanding and acceptance of God’s love and his diligence in seeking God and His ways.  He even describes God’s love as being “better than life”.  Can we say that about our own relationship with God?  David grasped the understanding that he must accept God’s love.  There are millions of people today who have heard of God yet have never accepted His love for them.  The question for us as Christians is: Will we be instrumental in helping them understand His love?

     One of the most important obligations we have as Christians is to share God’s love with others.  How will they experience God’s love apart from Christians being the reflectors of who He is?  God demonstrated His love for us in His Son Jesus and we must demonstrate His love in us by being His representatives in a lost and struggling world.  Do we live each day as though God’s love is “better than life”?  David faced many trials, pursuit from enemies, and family turmoil yet he was able to say, “I will praise you as long as I live”.  Do we still praise God during times of turmoil?  Do we desire to praise God regardless of the circumstances we face?

     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.  King David reminds us that his thoughts were constantly focused on God even while in bed at night.  His utmost desire was to cling to God.  That sounds as if he were tightly holding to God every step of every day!  Do you ever pause to 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 truly experience God’s love.  Earnestly seek Him and know His love.  May you each have a very blessed week as you earnestly seek Him and experience the love He has for you.

                                                                                        We love you,                                                                                                                                                             Brad and Virginia

February 6, 2018, 11:06 AM

February 7, 2018

“After removing Saul, He made David their king.  God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’.”  Acts 13:22

     Every one of us should be determined to have a heart after God.  However, developing a heart after God takes time.  It is the result of the transformation that has taken place within us.  David was a man after God’s own heart, yet he still failed as he followed Him.  As we all know, the Christian life is not a perfect life without sin.  However, as a Christian, we should detest sin and desire to flee from every temptation that would dishonor God.  One crucial piece of information we fail to reiterate to new Christians is that living the Christian life will not be easy.  Yet, it is a life of utmost joy and contentment.

     As we continue the Christian walk, there are certain steps we should follow to draw us ever closer to God.  In following these steps, we develop a heart after God that yields the most exciting life one could ever imagine.  We start by understanding and submitting to God’s authority because He is in control of all things.  We, like John the Baptist, must realize that “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).  John fully understood the authority of Jesus and yielded to Him.  As we submit to God’s authority, we adjust our thoughts and ways so that we please Him.  What pleases God?  Children who love Him, seek Him and desire to be obedient to Him in all things.  Those are the ones who have a heart after God!

     Another step for us to take in developing a heart after God is to make attitude changes.  We must develop a positive attitude about spending time with Him.  We should delight in prayer, studying His Word, and sharing Jesus with those around us.  Spending time with God becomes the greatest priority in our life.  Something very specific begins to happen when we submit to God’s authority, make needed adjustments, and change our attitude.  We begin to “do” things that honor and please God.  We are all overwhelmed at times with the activities of life.  Are those activities helping us maintain a heart after God?  Look again at the passage from Acts 13:22; “He will do everything I want him to do.”  If there is anything that will lead to joy, excitement, peace, and a sense of accomplishment; it will be when we are living with a heart after God.  That is the real purpose of our existence!  May you all have a great week as you desire more than ever to have a heart after God.

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

January 30, 2018, 3:46 PM

January 31, 2018

“Then the Jews demanded of Him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this’”?  John 2:18

     We spend much of our time proving our identity.  We fill out forms and paperwork to identify ourselves.  We present our driver’s license and other picture identification so that people will know us.  Yet, family members identify us in a different way.  They know what we look like and how we talk.  They also know our personality and can even tell when we’re not feeling well.  We know their voices even when we cannot see them.  We know our family members simply because they are family.

     The passage above tells us that the Jews, particularly the religious leaders, were constantly taunting Jesus to prove His authority.  They were constantly looking for what they understood as miraculous signs from Jesus.  Do you ever find yourself looking for miraculous signs?  If God would just show me a sign, then I would know what to do.  Many times we are looking for signs rather than simply spending more time with God.  Remember, He doesn’t need your driver’s license or some other picture identification to recognize you.  He created you, knows every hair on your head and knows you better than you could ever know yourself.  We must learn to spend more time with Him because it is through that relationship that we come to know Him better, know and listen for His voice, and obediently follow Him as He guides us.

     We must understand that God doesn’t have to prove anything to us.  He offers to us His mercy and grace, and that is sufficient.  He never intends for us to look for proof in order to serve Him.  God’s way is simple, yet we seem to make it so difficult.  Trust God, spend quality time with Him and serve others.  You will be amazed at how He begins to speak with you and show you His desire for your life.  The Jews looked for proof of His authority and miraculous signs.  God expects us to know Him by faith and to grow in our relationship with Him.  May you be blessed abundantly this week as you diligently listen for His voice rather than looking for miraculous signs.

                                                                                                                                                     We love you,

                                                                                                                                                     Brad and Virginia

January 22, 2018, 3:47 PM

January 24, 2018

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
 How many times have we read and heard that verse?  We have all probably memorized that passage at some point in our lives.  In fact, those words have been put to music and we sing them from time to time.  However, do we really take the time to heed the message?  The Word of the Lord is a light brightly shining to show us the way to live.  When the lamp brightens our path, we can clearly see the next step to be taken.  Making right steps (decisions) is in direct correlation to the time we spend in God's Word.

More than likely, Bible reading and study will not develop overnight.  We must train ourselves to make the most of every opportunity we have to delve into God's Word.  You can be assured the enemy will try to foil every attempt you make to be in the Scriptures.  Why?  Because he knows the Scriptures will keep you close to God and His ways.  Once we know and experience God's ways, the ways of the world become less and less attractive to us.  Do you have a specific time for Bible reading and study?  Do you have a particular plan to follow for daily reading?  There is a great reading plan included in each week's newsletter.  By following that plan you can accomplish reading the entire Bible in one year.
However, do not read just for the sake of reading.  Take the time to pray before reading that the Holy Spirit will speak to you and teach you the truths He desires to share with you for the day.  You may only read a verse or two at a time then meditate on those verses allowing God to speak to you.  We are so blessed to be able to have the Bible in our possession, to read it as often as we like and to gain valuable wisdom from within its pages.  As you read more frequently and with greater depth, you will be amazed at the ways God will speak to you.  As Christians in America, we have no excuse at all for not spending quality time with God and His Word daily.  May your paths be brightly lit this week as you commit to spend more time in the Bible and with our Heavenly Father!

                                                                                                                      We love you,
                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia

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