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October 3, 2017, 11:45 AM

October 4, 2017

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
     We have experienced yet another tragedy in our nation.  Over the next few days and weeks, we will hear commentary from news media and social media placing blame in various ways.  We'll hear all about gun control and if we had stricter gun laws these situations could be avoided.  However, when you consider it, most drugs are illegal but people still get them, sell them, and use them thereby destroying lives every day.  There is a much deeper problem and we rarely hear the truth.  The fact is, we live in a nation that is steadily crumbling before our eyes.  We are wondering helplessly along because we have lost our way.  The seriousness of our condition cannot be minimized or overlooked.
     There are many who will adamantly disagree, but if we take a step back and carefully examine our situation we will see clearly the results that come from pushing God aside.  We are living in the last days (the last of the last days) and as such we will continue to see the onslaught of wickedness throughout the world.  However, it could be different in the United Stated.  God makes a very real promise about healing a nation but it happens only after certain criteria are met.  One of the main conditions noted in the passage above is a turning by God's people from their wicked ways.  As we look across our country, do we really see that happening?  We see churches closing and “Christians” that look and act just like the world.  We certainly see lives changing here and there but the overall direction seems to be a constant progression toward evil.  We have pushed God aside.
     Our prayer is that through this most recent tragedy we will be made aware of the real problem facing our nation.  We do not need more laws and legislation.  We have so many now that we cannot enforce all of them.  Our greatest need is revival!  Only through revival will we see any improvement in the condition of our nation.  Only through revival will we see hearts changed, minds renewed and a real sense of unity in our communities.  What else will it take to get our attention?  Christians, please let us rise up during this final hour!  God has called and commissioned us to go, make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey the commands of God.  Our only hope is Jesus who gave Himself so that we can experience freedom from the bondage of sin.  What is the real cause of this recent tragedy?  A heart not controlled by Jesus!  God desires revival for our nation.  Christians, do we?
                                                                                                                                        We love you,
                                                                                                                                        Brad and Virginia

September 26, 2017, 11:22 AM

September 27, 2017

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”  Psalm 8:3-4              

Can you believe that we have almost entered the month of October?  How quickly the time moves!  However, this is one of the most beautiful times of the year.  The only problem for me is that it leads to winter and it seems like the winter months stay around at least twice as long as the others.  Most of you already know that winter is not our favorite time of the year.  Yet, we also realize that for many of you the winter months are a real blessing.  Many people struggle to breathe in the summer months when the air is heavy and humid.  Others struggle during the summer months because the heat seems to literally take every bit of their strength away.  So, for many of you, the cooler months (and the forecast is for cooler weather soon) provide a much needed reprise from the hot, humid days of summer.

From time to time I hear people declare their love for cold weather.  Things are always subject to change but you will probably not hear that from us.  There seems to be more activity from the butterflies than I have seen all summer.   The birds have been quite busy as well.  Is there a meaning to all this activity among nature?  Does it mean a cold winter or something?  More than likely, it is God’s creation continuing on the path that He set for them.  Wouldn’t it be great if mankind did the same?  Man is the very pinnacle of God’s creation and yet the one who so easily wanders away from Him.

What is man that God would even care about us?  We were created in the image of God.  None of the other animals have that distinction.  Jesus came to earth specifically to die for us.  Why would man wander away from the love and care of our Heavenly Father?  God has given us a will to make choices and some of those choices can have a negative consequences.  The ultimate decision that God has for each of us is whether or not we will be obedient to Him.  Obedience to God requires: admitting that we have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard, believing that Jesus gave His life that we might have true life in Him and surrendering our life to the Lordship of Christ.

As we enjoy the beautiful days of the season, let us always be mindful of God’s love and care for us.  Of all the beauty of creation, it is mankind that Jesus came to redeem.  Our prayer is that you know Him, love Him and are serving Him every day.  Give thanks to God that you are able to experience the beauty of nature and to be reminded daily of God’s love.  May you have a great week as we all serve Him together.

                                                                                                                            We love you,

                                                                                                                            Brad and Virginia 

September 19, 2017, 1:40 PM

September 20, 2017

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”  II Corinthians 5:20            

There was once a common thread that permeated throughout our country.  It was the sense of being a part of the greatest country of our time.  We have certainly had our struggles as a nation, but somehow we knew we could rally together when we faced a common enemy.  The common thread of unity seems to be waning at a rapid pace.  We seem to be more focused on what we are able to do individually rather than collectively.  Any football team or business understands that much more is accomplished when team members work together.  What has made this such a great nation?  First and foremost, it has been our history of dependence on Almighty God.  There was a time when we depended heavily upon God and trusted Him to solve our issues.  However, we see less and less dependence on God which has brought about the moral decline and the negativity we face today.  Secondly, this nation has been great because there was an attitude of working together toward a common goal with a commitment to excellence that would ensure success.  Yet, we have not seen that among our people in quite some time!

                One of the biggest problems we face today is the fact that so many people live without any sense of purpose.  Without a sense of purpose, our life goal is to only please ourselves.  Do we have a right to protest and speak out against issues we deem controversial?  Sure we do because that’s who we are as Americans.  However, is that the real answer to the issues we face today?  The real answer is to foster a sense of unity among our people.  The real question is not whether or not we should protest but how we can be a part of a real solution.  What things can I do to help bring about unity in the community?

                For us, as Christians, we are to be Christ’s ambassadors in our society.  That means we are showing God’s love and sharing real purpose with those we contact each day.  We should be sharing with people the real life principles needed to draw them closer to God and help them understand the purpose for living.  There is a strong message for the Church.  We must be showing unity among ourselves if we are to help instill unity among others.  Let us, as God’s people, seek to please God while helping others rather than living a life simply to please ourselves!

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

September 12, 2017, 12:40 PM

September13, 2017

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”  Psalm 23:1 (NIV)

    “To recognize God as the Lord is to acknowledge that He is sovereign and supreme in the universe.  To accept Him as Savior is to accept His gift of salvation offered on the cross.  To regard Him as Father is to go a step further.  Ideally, a father is the one in your life who provides and protects.  That is exactly what God has done.  God has proven Himself as a faithful father.  Now it falls on us to be trusting children.”  Max Lucado

     Do we live as though we truly trust God?  The Scriptures frequently use the metaphor of humans being like sheep.  Sheep need a shepherd.  They build a trusting relationship with the shepherd learning that the shepherd will provide and protect them.  In fact, sheep find it very difficult to rest without the presence of the shepherd.  It is the same way with mankind.

     You see, without Christ, we never rest either.  People search for peace, safety, and provisions according to the ways of the world.  What happens when the professional is at the top of their career or there is a plethora of material possessions?  There is still a search to find “something” that is missing.  So, the question is: Do we trust God to give us only the things through which we can glorify Him?  God may indeed provide an abundance of possessions; however, those possessions are to be used to build the Kingdom.  Ask yourself this question:  If God miraculously put one thousand dollars in your hand today, what would be your first thoughts of how to use the money?

     Think about the relationship between parents and teenage children.  There usually develops a dialogue about trust.  The child wants the parents to trust them while the parents want the child to show them that they are trustworthy.  In a similar way, God desires that kind of relationship with us.  We can certainly trust God but is He able to trust us?  In other words, if God provides resources for us, can He trust us to use them for His glory?  Remember the question about the one thousand dollars?  Maybe there is a good reason many seem to have a minimum amount of resources.  Maybe they have yet to learn that a trusting relationship with our Father is a two-way street.  We are thanking God for getting us safely through the storm and praying God’s blessings upon the restoration efforts under way in so many areas.  We are also praying that you have a great week!

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

September 5, 2017, 3:29 PM

September 6, 2017

“Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Matthew 28:19

                What does God want from us?  Many will begin to name off all the good works they feel necessary to somehow earn God’s approval.  Jesus gave us a Great Commandment and a Great Commission.  Jesus shared a two-part commandment that is vital to our spiritual growth.  First, we are to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  Second, we are to love our neighbor as we love ourself.  That’s a huge command.   Then Jesus says that we are to make disciples of all nations.  How well are we obeying what God has given us to do?  We live in a culture that magnifies our own desires.  Sin has caused us to be self-centered and self-seeking.  Only God can transform us from natural self-centeredness to His plan.

                If we carefully look around us we see people who are desperate for help.  It is easy to overlook them because our number one priority gets in the way.  As Christians, we have lost track of the reason for which God has called us.  A quote from Henry Blackaby says it best.  “We were not saved from our sin simply so that we would qualify for heaven.  God delivered us so we would have a relationship with Him through which He could carry out His mission to redeem a lost world.”  People are looking for someone to share truth with them.  As Christians, we know truth is a person.  His name is Jesus!  If people are without Jesus, they are constantly trying to fill the void with something.  We have the Good News but are we willing to share it intentionally with others?

                If we knew that our last day on earth were tomorrow, would we live differently today?  We may literally be living in the last of the last days.  There should be an urgency to share the Gospel message with as many people as possible.  Yet, even though the days are so uncertain, there still seems to be such an attitude of indifference among many Christians.  Why?  We’ve grown extremely comfortable living each day in obedience to ourselves rather than God.  As we go about this week, may we be excited to be a Christ-follower and be compelled to share the Gospel message with others.

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

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