This is where you will find out what's going on at our church. The Monthly News, Weekly Sermons, Calendar of Events and Special Notices. For more information about location, staffing and services, visit OUR WEBSITE. Also, go to that website to view the older sermons - they are available there as links and there are about 200 to choose from!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

From the Pastor...

This life therefor is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.
- Martin Luther

Blessed is he who submits to the will of God; he can never be unhappy. Men may deal with him as they will... he is without care; he knows that 'all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.'
- Martin Luther

Cry for grace from God to be able to see God's hand in every trial, and then for grace.. to submit at once to it. Not only to submit, but to acquiesce, and to rejoice in it... I think there is generally an end to trouble when we get to that.
- Charles Spurgeon

If anyone could tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and perfection, he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing....
- William Law

I thank God for my handicaps, for through them I have found myself, my work and my God.
- Helen Keller

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

This Christmas Season...

Mighty Christmas

When you say Merry Christmas, what do you think the word Merry means? My whole life Merry Christmas, simply meant, “Hey, happy Christmas to you.” But, what if merry didn’t mean happy?
Think about it. Remember Robin Hood and his Merry Men? It wasn’t Robin Hood and his happy-go-lucky cheerful men joyfully jumping up and down in tights. No, in the old English, merry meant mighty or powerful!
I don’t often quote my own song lyrics, but these are about as sisynced as I can be:

What if all of this were true
Emmanuel, how God came through
Is this more than Christmas cheer
Is this just a story or what if it’s real

Would I still be lonely would I know fear
Would my worry hold me, could I be healed
I’m crying out loud

This year like never before
Jesus reveal a little more
To my soul would you
Show me just how powerful
You are more than a manger
Jesus the mighty savior
In my soul turn this
Merry into Mighty Christmas

What if in my silent nights
You were enough, You were the light
Angels saying “Do not Fear”
Is that still a promise, do You still come near?

Meet me in my lonely, tear down my fear
Hold me through my worry, Lord would you Heal

This year like never before
Jesus reveal a little more
To my soul would you
Show me just how powerful
You are more than a manger
Jesus the mighty savior
In my soul turn this
Merry into Mighty Christmas

Whatever you are dealing with this Christmas season, remember, this is either a Happy-go-lucky safe and boring Christmas or this is a powerful and Mighty Christmas where Jesus, Emmanuel, God is With Us.
10000MINUTES Practice:
Every time you say or hear Merry Christmas, remember Jesus is Near! Mighty Christmas!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

From the Pastor...

America has experienced unbelievable prosperity over the last 50 years and unprecedented prosperity in the last five years. What happens is the prosperity leads to a fear of loss. The more you have, the more you are afraid of losing it. And a fear of loss leads to a loss of faith. And I think we've got people right now in the Christian world who are being driven by fear rather than by faith.  - Ron Blue

Thou who has given so much to me, give one thing more - a grateful heart!  - George Herbert

Realize that joy comes from your relationship to God and His unchanging faithfulness. You don't need to live in perfect circumstances to be happy. You don't even have to be loved and appreciated by others in order to be happy. It's pleasant to be loved and appreciated, but not vital to your happiness.  - W. Backus & M. Chapian

God incarnate is the end of fear; and the hart that realizes He is in the midst will be quiet in the middle of alarm.  - F. B. Meyer

Monday, October 30, 2017

From the Pastor...

“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”
500 Years of Reformation
By: Laine Johnson
Do you know why October 31, 2017, is such a special day? A day to celebrate and give much thanks to our God? Not because it’s Halloween. It is Reformation Day! This year is particularly special because it is the 500th anniversary celebration.

Most historians mark the start of the Protestant Reformation as October 31, 1517, when a Catholic priest, monk, and professor named Martin Luther nailed Ninty-Five Theses to the church doors at Wittenburg, Germany. The church doors were commonly used as a bulletin board to post important information. This movement became know as the “Protestant” Reformation because in the years following Luther’s formal protest, many others began to protest church abuses. These became known as protesters, and thus the movement became known as the Protestant Reformation. This movement was the basis for hundreds of Protestant denominations that exist today.

These Ninty-Five Theses were a public rebuke and challenge to papal authority and to corrupt practices within the church. Luther was especially upset and reacting to the selling of indulgences. These were supposedly a means of buying forgiveness for yourself or others, thus requiring no need for repentance.

By 1518, Luther’s Ninty-Five Theses had been reprinted and distributed in many cities across Europe. In 1521, Pope Leo X formally excommunicated Luther from the Catholic Church, but the fires of change had begun to set Europe ablaze. Luther’s stand had emboldened many others to stand. Catholic practices had kept the Word of God from the common man. Sermons and mass were always given in Latin, even when no one in the pew spoke Latin. During the period leading up to the Reformation and the decades following, Bible translations began to be propagated in common languages so that all could read and hear God’s Word.

The Reformation became a worldwide revolution, especially in Western civilization. It was not just a church movement, but one that affected all of society. There were five particular teachings that began to define the Reformation. They are known as the “five solas” that distinguished the protesters from the Catholic Church. They are:

For decades now I have been involved in discussions about reformation vs. revival. Are they the same? How are they different? What do we need most today? Which one comes first?

My conclusion is that they are different, that either may come first, and that we need both! OneCry is all about crying out to God for revival. Maybe it would be appropriate to cry out for revival and reformation, or reformation and revival.

Reform needs to take place. We need revival. We need God’s sovereign intervention in the affairs of the church and our world. We need to cry out to God for both. My view is, work on “reforming” the church and her ways, to line up with biblical theology, philosophy, practice, etc., and pray that God would send revival.

Like in Luther’s day, we live in a time where many of the now “Protestant” Church’s practice and theology do not line up with biblical practice and theology. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to blow upon the church and on our land.

Andrew Murray captures this burden in his book Absolute Surrender:
Do not let us think, because the blessed Reformation restored the great doctrine of justification by faith, that the power of the Holy Spirit was then fully restored. If it is our belief that if God is going to have mercy on His Church in these last ages, it will be because the doctrine and the truth about the Holy Spirit will not only be studied, but sought after with a whole heart. It is not only because that truth will be sought after, but because ministers and congregations will be found bowing before God in deep abasement with one cry: “We have grieved God’s Spirit. We have tried to be Christian churches with as little as possible of God’s Spirit. We have not sought to be churches filled with the Holy Spirit.”
So let us press on in obeying Him, seeking Him, loving Him, and crying out to Him! May this be one cry from all of us.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

From the Pastor...

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody." ... [My dark side says,] I am no good... I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved." Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.” 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

From the Pastor...

A character so original, so complete, so uniformly consistent, so perfect, so human, and yet so high above all human greatness, can be neither a fraud nor fiction. The poet, as has been well said, would in this case be greater than the hero. It would take more than a Jesus to invent a Jesus. 
- Philip Schaff

He who clearly discerns the perfect character of Jesus will be most urgent in prayer for grace to grow like Him.  - C. H. Spurgeon

...If we would be truly enlightened, and delivered from all blindness of heart, let therefore our chief endeavor be to meditate upon the life of Christ.  - Gerard Groote

The inner life of Jesus was unique. It is the life of God lived out in a person. This life by His Spirit is given to every true believer. But it must be nurtured and sustained by a daily desire and decision to be in touch with the Lord; to receive the promised power to live His kind of life instead of our own self-oriented life. How serious can one be about this if they refuse to take time each day to come to God's presence in prayer and Hear Him speak to their heart through His Word? HE HIMSELF IS OUR POWER. Time with Him brings the necessary strength to resist the influence and control of the present world system.  - John A. Cerrato, Jr.

Friday, September 8, 2017

From the Pastor...

And this is the confidence that we have in Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  - 1 John 5:14

God's promises are the signed check, made payable to order, which we must endorse and present for payment. Though the Bible be crowded with golden promises from cover to cover, yet they will be inoperative until we turn them into prayer.  - F. B. Meyer

It is utterly impossible for faith to overdraw its account in God's bank. God could no more disappoint faith than He could deny Himself. He can never say to faith, "You have miscalculated; you take too lofty, to bold a stand; go lower and lessen your expectations."  - C. H. M.

Let us come in full assurance, 
We whose hearts are purified
By the precious blood of Jesus
And in whom His words abide;
Great things let us ask, undoubting,
Through our faith in Him made bold;
He is faithful that has promised,
- He will nothing good withhold!

There is One whose love unbounded
Gave His Son that we might live;
How shall He not with Him, also,
All things else as "freely give"?
"Thou shalt call, and I will answer,"
Such th' assurance giv'n of old;
And He's faithful that has promised, 
- He will nothing good withhold!

- Mable Johnson Camp

Saturday, August 19, 2017

From the Pastor...

A Different Way of Living
By Rev. James Snyder
Some dates are so pivotal that they change the whole course of history. Unfortunately, many of those dates lie comfortably in the shadows of obscurity. One such date in the life of A. W. Tozer has eluded me. As the story is told, Tozer, a pastor at the time,was visiting one of his favorite bookstores in downtown Chicago. As he was perusing the shelves of used books that were so familiar to him, he ran across an old book that he had never seen before. He purchased the book and took it home, and his lifewas neverthe same.

The name of the book was Spiritual Counsel, and its author, François Fénelon, struck a warm cord in Tozer’s own heart. Although Tozer allowed others to borrow many books in his personal library, he never allowed this one particular book to leave his possession to the day he died. He talked about the book so much that people began to inquire about it. As far as Tozer could determine, the book was out of print, and no other copies were available. One man was so interested in the book that, though Tozer did not allow him to take it out of his library, he did allow him to come and type out chapter after chapter.

Such was the prominence that Tozer gave to this book. Much to Tozer’s delight, the book was eventually republished in an updated and expanded edition titled Christian Perfection.

When you read Fénelon’s book, you soon recognize a heartbeat that was also shared by Tozer. No two people were more alike in the spiritual realm. In fact, Fénelon’s work so inspired Tozer that if you listen carefully to his sermons, you can hear the words of François Fénelon peek through on many occasions. Tozer, of course, was familiar with the works of other great writes—A. B. Simpson, John Wesley and Andrew Murray to name a few—but something about François Fénelon stirred the depths of his heart and his passion for God. Fénelon’s book introduced Tozer to a whole line of Christian “mystics”—a word not highly acceptable in evangelistic circles during Tozer’s time (or even during our own)—and he went on to introduce these mystics to the evangelical church of his time. Tozer was not so much interested in literature as he was in pursuing God, and if an author could open up his heart to more of God, he was interested in that person.

As you read this book, you will find many of these old saints of God that stirred Tozer’s imagination popping in and out, enriching the message that was so important to him. During his younger years, Tozer was primarily an evangelist. Although he was also a pastor of a local church, he spent much of his time going around the country preaching in conferences and at churches and camp meetings. His primary message at the time was evangelistic. However, after he encountered François Fénelon, his message began to change. When we come to Tozer in this book, we are coming to a man who is aflame with the message of the crucified life.

The Crucified Life and Spiritual Perfection

Now, what did Tozer mean by the “crucified life”? This entire book is an answer to that question, but here we can simply say that it is the life Christ ransomed on the cross, redeemed from the judgment of sin, and made a worthy and acceptable sacrifice unto God. This represents a quality of life that is far above anything that is natural. It is altogether spiritual, which is a result of a dynamic inspiration from on high.

Another term that was not common among the evangelicals of Tozer’s day was “spiritual perfection.” This term came from François Fénelon, and it embodied the passion of Tozer’s heart. Tozer was quick to point out that he wanted nothing whatsoever to do with anything that did not have biblical authority—and he also threw out anything that was extra-biblical. However, spiritual perfection was a term that Tozer found to be biblical, as Paul writes in Philippians 3:12: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” This should be the great passion of the Christian’s heart—to press forward unto what the apostle Paul called “perfection.”

There were many things about the crucified life that interested Tozer. It was a life that was absolutely and irreconcilably incompatible with the world. It breathed the rarefied air of heaven while walking on earth. To the believer, it meant the absolute death of ego and the resurgence of Christ in his or her life. Emphatically, Tozer taught that Christ did not die on the cross just to save people from hell; rather, He died on the cross so that all could become one with Christ. That concept was so personally important to Tozer that anything that came between him and that unity with Christ had to be courageously dealt with and done away with, regardless of the cost.

The message of the crucified life was not a new concept. Tozer himself noted that all of the great Christians of the past wrote about this idea in some fashion. It was the unifying factor among a wide diversity of Christians down through the  ages. The legacy of the church fathers, of the reformers, the revivalists, the Christian mystics and the hymnists all resonated on this one message. And while they might disagree on many points, in this one area there was a unique unity among them. The emphasis of the crucified life was to press forward—regardless of the difficulties and in spite of the cost—to the state of spiritual perfection.

A Difficult Message 

Tozer often confessed he would have preferred to simply talk about God all the time—about how wonderful God is and how wonderful it is to be on our way to heaven, enjoying the blessings of the Lord day by day. He would have preferred to preach such positive sermons. But the Spirit stirred him to keep pressing the deep things of God. There was more to the Christian life than just being saved from the past and from one’s sins. There was more to the Christian life than having a happy time on one’s way to heaven. 

Tozer saw the evangelical and fundamentalist churches of his day selling out to the world, just as the liberal churches did before them, and it disturbed him greatly. It bothered him to see these churches compromising with worldly values and slipping into the murky error of liberalism. It goaded him that the gospel churches were adopting worldly measures to build up church attendance, and he saw that many church leaders were using these things to promote themselves. It was an era of what many called “easy believism.” Simply put, the idea was that if you said you believed in Jesus, everything else would be all right. You did not have to change anything, for God loved you just the way you were.

This kind of message stirred Dr. Tozer greatly. And Tozer was at his best when he was stirred. It was for this reason that during the last years of his life, Tozer preached and wrote about the importance of living the crucified life. He felt an inward spiritual urging to sound the clarion call for the Church to return to the roots of the Christian message—the message of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Several times he said, “God did not call me to be a back scratcher,” and anyone who heard him preach or read any of his editorials knew that was quite true.

He was not interested in making people feel good about themselves; in fact, his agenda was quite the opposite. To Tozer, there was nothing good in man or even in the Christian—the only good was in Christ. Tozer’s goal was not to make attacks against a person, but he always sought to speak the truth as he saw it in love. As you might imagine, this did not always make him friends. One time, he told Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones of London that he had preached himself off every Bible conference in America. Of course, that was a bit exaggerated, because he was in demand at Bible conferences all across the country up until the time of his death. But some places did not invite him back. Regardless, he was tough and uncompromising on this issue because of what he felt was the seriousness of the condition of the evangelical church. He did not feel called of God to smooth ruffled feathers; rather, his calling was to ruffle some of those feathers. Reverend Ray McAfee, a longtime associate pastor with Dr. A. W. Tozer, once told me the following story: Tozer was attending a holiness convention that was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. He was the keynote speaker, and there were a number of preliminaries before he came to the pulpit. People were going around cutting other people’s ties in half, there was impromptu singing along the lines of what we would call karaoke, and everybody was having a good old time celebrating the anniversary. McAfee could see Tozer tapping his right foot. The longer he sat there, the more he tapped his right foot. McAfee knew that Tozer was getting stirred. When Tozer walked up to the pulpit, his first words were, “What’s happened to you holiness people?” Then Tozer took them to the spiritual woodshed asthey had never been taken before.

Nothing was more serious to Tozer than the things of God. He had a sense of humor, but he did not consider the gathering of God’s people to be a frivolous occasion but rather a time for worship and adoration of God. To Tozer, if you needed entertainment to get a crowd, it was not Christian.

The Challenge of the Crucified Life 

This book is strong medicine for what Tozer considered a serious spiritual malady. The more serious the condition, the more radical the remedy; and for this reason, Tozer was willing to uncompromisingly confront people with the message of the crucified life. It must be said that this message did not come without cost for Tozer. His friends and family often misunderstood him. He once wrote an editorial titled “The Saint Walks Alone,” which he wrote from experience. It is easy to go along with the crowd, but the one who is committed to living the crucified life will always lean hard into the wind of opposition and misunderstanding. Thus, living the crucified life is not an easy proposition—in fact, it will be the most challenging thing you will ever face. The cost is certainly high. The pathway is rough. The way forward is often lonely. But the rewards you will gain of knowing God in intimate fellowship will be well worth the journey.

(The Introduction to the classic The Crucified Life by A.W.Tozer)