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!

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)

Friday, August 11, 2017

From the Pastor's Wife...

To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark—that is faith.   - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

From the Pastor...

Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.

Of the twenty-two civilizations that have appeared in history, nineteen of them collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now.

The human race's prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenseless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenseless against ourselves.

- Arnold J. Toynbee

Thursday, July 13, 2017

From the Pastor...

And if I may speak for myself, I shall not feel happy and encouraged until I feel that the Church is concentrating on this one thing: prayer for revival. But we have not come to it. We are still in the state of deciding in committees to do this, that, and the other, and asking God to bless what we have done. No, there is no hope along that line. It must be that one thing. We must feel this burden, we must see this as the only hope, and we must concentrate on this, and we must keep on with it—the orderliness, the arrangement, the concentration, the argument, and always the urgency. Moses here is as Jacob was in Genesis 32. This element always comes into true intercession. “I will not let thee go,” said Jacob. I am going on. The morning was breaking; he had been struggling through the night. “Let me go.” “No, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” There is the urgency. Read the great biblical prayers; it is always in them. In Acts 4, we read of the Christians asking God to act “now!”Oh God,” they said, “in the light of this, in our situation now: do this. Give us some indication, give us some signs, enable us to witness with this holy boldness, and to bear witness to the resurrection that they are prohibiting us to speak about.” See the urgency of the prayer. Moses keeps on coming back to it, repeating it, putting it in different forms and from different angles. But there was just this one thing: “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Insisting urgently, “I will not let thee go.” There, it seems to me, are some of the lessons from this passage. We say our prayers, but have we ever prayed? Do we know anything about this encounter, this meeting? Have we the assurance of sins forgiven? Are we free from ourselves and selfconcern that we may intercede?

Have we a real burden for the glory of God and the name of the Church? Have we this concern for those who are outside? And are we pleading with God for His own name’s sake because of His own promises to hear us and to answer us? Oh, my God, make of us intercessors such as Moses! It is no use anybody saying, “Ah, but he was an exceptionally great man.” God, as we have seen in the history of revivals, has made use of men who are mere nobodies in exactly the same way as He used Moses here…It can be any one of us. May God make of us intercessors such as Moses was.

(From Revival by Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones

Friday, June 23, 2017

From the Pastor...

Not yesterday's load we 
are called on to bear,
Nor the morrow's uncertain
and shadowy care;
Why should we look forward
or back with dismay?
Our needs, as our mercies,
are but for the day.

One day at a time,
and the day is His day;
He hath numbered its hours,
though they haste or delay.
His grace is sufficient,
we walk not alone'
As the day, so the strength
that He giveth His own.

- Annie Johnson Flint

Friday, June 2, 2017

From the Pastor...

God is Love.  1 John 4:8b

Love is an image of God, and not a lifeless image, but the living essence of the divine nature which beams full of all goodness. - Luther

Not matter how often your faith in such an announcement was clouded, no matter how the pain and suffering of the moment made you speak in a wrong mood...God is love.
Live in the belief of it; preach it by your sweetened, chastened, happy life; sing it in consecrated moments of peaceful joy: God is love.
Song is the sign of an unburdened heart; so sing your songs of love unbidden, ever rising higher and highest unto fuller concept of the greatest, grandest fact on the stage of life: God is love. - Oswald Chambers

Love is the purification of the heart from self; it strengthens and ennobles the character, gives a higher motive and a nobler aim to every action of life and makes both man and woman strong, noble and courageous; and the power to love truly and devotedly is the noblest gift with which a human being can be endowed; but it is a sacred fire that must not be burned to idols. - Jewsbury

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. - Geothe

It is possible that a man can be so changed by love as hardly to be recognized as the same person. - Terence

The cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows and the crimes of humanity, all lie in that one word "love". It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life. To each and every one of us, it gives the power of working miracles if we will. - L. M. Child

They are the true disciples of Christ, not who know most, but who love most. - Spanheim

O love of God most free, come, warm my heart, come fill my soul, come lead me unto Thee. - Oscar Clute

Thursday, May 25, 2017

From the Pastor...

"I am afraid that...your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."  2 Corinthians 11:3

1. What True Devotion To God Is Not.

Devotion does not consist of reading the Bible, nor praying, nor attending meetings. These may or may not be specific instances of devotion, but are not to be regarded as devotion itself.
Devotion does not consist of individual acts or exercises of any kind. These may indeed be devotional acts, that is "acts of devotion," but let it be remembered that no acts or exercises in themselves constitute devotion.

2. What True Devotion To God Is.

Devotion is that state of heart in which everything - our whole life, being and possessions - are a continual offering to God, that is they are continually devoted to God. True devotion must be the supreme devotion of the will, extending out to all we have and are - to all times, places, employments, thought and feelings.

- Charles G. Finney

Saturday, May 6, 2017

From the Pastor...

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers

“You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.”   Augustine of Hippo, Confessions 

“God hath thus ordered it, that we may learn to bear one another’s burdens; for no man is without fault, no man without his burden, no man sufficient of himself, no man wise enough of himself; but we ought to bear with one another, comfort one another, help, instruct, and admonish one another.”   Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ 

“For when man is faced with a curse he answers, "I'll take care of my problems." And he puts everything to work to become powerful, to keep the curse from having its effects. He creates the arts and the sciences, he raises an army, he constructs chariots, he builds cities. The spirit of might is a response to the divine curse.”   Jacques Ellul, The Meaning of the City

“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”   Blaise Pascal 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"The Devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people with a view of winning them.... The church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses."

"My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church. If it is a Christian work, why did Chirst not speak of it? 'Go ye, therefore, into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.' Yes, that is clear enough; so would it have been if he had added 'and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel'....I do not hear him say to his disciples, 'Run after these people that are leaving. Peter, tell them we will have some different style of service tomorrow; something short and attractive with very little preaching....'

"Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to affect the desired end.... Let the careless and the scoffer who thank God because the church met them halfway stand up, speak and testify.... Let him stand up - but there are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts."

"The time will come when instead of shepherds feeding sheep, they will have clowns entertaining the goats."

C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Re-Post from today's "Daily Bread".... Chew your cud and bear good fruit!

Bearing Good Fruit

March 28, 2017
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.—Psalm 1:3
The view from my airplane window was striking: a narrow ribbon of ripening wheat fields and orchards wending between two barren mountains. Running through the valley was a river—life-giving water, without which there would be no fruit.
Just as a bountiful harvest depends on a source of clean water, the quality of the “fruit” in my life—my words, actions, and attitude—depends on my spiritual nourishment. The psalmist describes this in Psalm 1: The person “whose delight is in the law of the Lord . . . is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season” (vv. 1-3). And Paul writes in Galatians 5 that those who walk in step with the Spirit are marked by “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (vv. 22-23).
Sometimes my perspective on my circumstances turns sour, or my actions and words become persistently unkind. There is no good fruit, and I realize I haven’t spent time being quiet before the words of my God. But when the rhythm of my days is rooted in reliance on Him, I bear good fruit. Patience and gentleness characterize my interactions with others; it’s easier to choose gratitude over complaint.
The God who has revealed Himself to us is our source of strength, wisdom, joy, understanding, and peace (Ps. 119:28, 98, 111, 144, 165). As we steep our souls in the words that point us to Him, the work of God’s Spirit will be evident in our lives. —Peter Chin
God’s Spirit lives in His people, in order to work through them.
INSIGHT: This pictorial psalm with its word imagery is a suitable introduction for the entire library of prayer, praise, and reflection we know as the book of Psalms. In contrast to “the world” is the believer’s joy and pursuit of gleaning gems of spiritual truth in the Word of God. The law of the Lord is his object of meditation. The Hebrew word for meditatemeans to “digest over and over again like a cow who chews its cud.” This is a spiritual preoccupation that draws the believer to the Word both day and night (v. 2). The analogy of a “tree planted by streams of water” (v. 3) pictures for us the life-giving water and nutrients of the soil that cause plant life to flourish. The result of a life so rooted in the Word is the overflow of fruitfulness. Dennis Fisher

Friday, March 17, 2017

From the Pastor...

"Prayer of the serious, evangelical, unceasing sort is to faith what original research is to science: it is the grand means of contact with reality....We need the humiliation in which we forget about religion, the faith in which we forget about either faith or works, the sanctity that has no knowledge of its own holiness. We need an experience of Christ in which we think everything about the Christ and nothing about the experience. We need not keep demanding either a faith or a love that we cannot rise to, but Christ, who produces and compels both." 

 - P. T. Forsyth

Saturday, March 4, 2017

From the Pastor...

God has more. He longs for you to grant Him access to your life through the attainable posture of unceasing prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
And He has some things to say to you to help you see the inestimable value of such a life—to forever change the way you view the privilege of prayer.
#1: I want you, My people, to know that I am waiting for you.
I am more interested in prayer because I am more complete in my love; and if you loved like I love, you would want to talk with Me without ceasing. Know that unceasing prayer is not a command but an invitation!
#2: I want you to know that prayer is not complicated.
It is the heart of humble helplessness that looks to Me—not to yourselves—which is faith. Your greatest requirement to pray without ceasing is helplessness. The more helpless you are, the more qualified you are to pray. I am knocking at the door, desiring entrance. I am longing for you to open the door and grant Me access to your greatest areas of helplessness, all day long.
#3: I want you to learn the art of retiring into Me.
Learn how to stop and listen and be silent throughout the day. It is silence that makes My voice clear and distinct. I want you to know how to quiet your soul in the midst of anything … to abide in Me. Some of this is external—resisting the noise of the world. Some is internal—practicing the presence of God. Retreating. Consciously listening … for I am there, and I am not silent.
#4: I want you, My children, to ask more of Me in prayer, so your joy will be full.
Ask, and you will receive, so your joy may be full. And the world will see Me. I want to use you to show the world—and I want to use My church to show the world—that I answer the prayers of My people … that I am there constantly, waiting for you to pray.
#5: I want you to know that I love you.
I am more interested in 24/7 communion than you are, because I have the benefit of loving perfectly. Therefore, I long for you perfectly. And I long for you to long for Me. I do not want to be shut out, to be ignored, to not be consulted, for I know that there is so much more, if you will pray without ceasing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

From the Pastor (and Charles Spurgeon)...

Joseph’s Bones
by Charles Spurgeon

“And Joseph said to his brethren, I am dying; BUT GOD WILL SURELY VISIT YOU…and you shall carry up my bones from here…” Gen 50: 24,25

“By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones…” Heb 11:22

We cannot readily tell which action in a gracious life God may set the most store by. The Holy Spirit in this Chapter selects out of good men’s lives the most brilliant instances of their Faith. I should hardly have expected that He would have mentioned the dying scene of Joseph’s life as the most illustrious proof of his Faith in God. That eventful life— perhaps the most interesting in all Sacred Scripture, with the exception of One, abounds with incidents of which the Holy Spirit might have said by His servant Paul, “By Faith Joseph did this and that,” but none is mentioned save the closing scene. The triumph especially of his chastity under well-known and exceedingly severe temptation might have been very properly traced to the power of his Faith, but it is passed over, and the fact that he gave commandment concerning his bones is singled out as being the most illustrious proof of his Faith.

Joseph not only wished to be buried in Machpelah, which was natural, but he would not be buried there till the land was taken possession of… he was so certain that they would come out of the captivity that he postpones his burial till that glad event, and so makes what would have been but a natural wish, a means of expressing a Holy and gracious confidence in the Divine Promise.

He says, if you turn to the last Chapter of Genesis, “I die, and God will surely visit you”; or, as the text puts it, he “made mention concerning the departing of the children of Israel.”…he bears his last witness to his brothers, who gather about his bed, concerning the Faithfulness of God and the Infallibility of His Promise.

Once more, here is a proof of the power of Faith in laughing at improbabilities. If you will think of it, it seemed a very unlikely thing that the children of Israel should go up out of Egypt; perhaps at the time when Joseph died, there appeared to be no reason why they should do so…

 But Joseph’s eye was fixed upon the mighty Promise, “In the fourth generation, they shall come here again”; he knew that when the 400 years were passed, Abram’s vision of the smoking furnace and the burning lamp would be fulfilled, and the Word would be established—“And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.”

Though as yet he could not know that Moses would say, “Thus says Jehovah, Let My people go”; though he might not have foreseen the wonders at the Red Sea, and how Pharaoh and his chariots would be swallowed up there; and though he did not predict the wilderness, and the fiery cloudy pillar, and the heavens dropping manna, yet his Faith was firm that by some means the Covenant would be fulfilled!

Improbabilities were nothing to him, nor impossibilities either; God has said it, and Joseph believes it! On his dying bed, when fancy fades and strong delusion relaxes its iron grip, the true sure Faith of the man of God rose to its highest altitude, and like the evening star shed a sweet glory over the scene.
May we, my Beloved, possess the Faith which will triumph over all circumstances, and over every improbability that may apparently be connected with the Word of God!

In the case of Joseph, his Faith led to an open avowal of his confidence in God’s Promise. On his deathbed he said, “I die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land.” He also said, “He will bring you to the land which He promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”

Joseph, having thus declared his Faith, practically showed that he meant it, that it was not a matter of form, but a matter of heart! I do not know in what better way he could have shown his practical belief in the fact that God would bring the people out of Egypt than by saying, “Keep my bones here; never bury them till you go yourselves to Canaan, having left Egypt forever, and taken possession of your Covenant country.”

He who believes in God will find practical ways of proving his Faith; he will avow it by an open confession….or if affliction is allotted to him by God, he will take it cheerfully, expecting that God will give him strength equal to the emergency, and so his Faith, by God’s Grace, will triumph under the trial!

Moreover, notice that Joseph having Faith himself, he would encourage the Faith of others. No man may be said to have real Faith who is not concerned that Faith may be found in the hearts of his fellow men. “But,” you ask, “What did Joseph do to encourage the Faith of others?” Why, he left his bones to be a standing sermon to the children of Israel! Every time an Israelite thought of the bones of Joseph, he thought, “We are to go out of this country one day.” He has left us the assurance of his confidence that God would in due time bring up His people out of this house of bondage.”

Once more, it seems to me that Joseph’s Faith in connection with his unburied bones showed itself in his willingness to wait God’s time for the Promised Blessing. Says he, “I believe I shall be buried in Machpelah, and I believe that my people will come up out of Egypt; I believe, and I am willing to waithowever weary may be the time of Israel’s captivity! It is a great thing to have waiting Faith. “Stand still and see the salvation of God,” is easier said than done….

Wait the Lord’s appointment, O impatient Grumbler! Be quiet of spirit and calm of heart—the vision will not tarry! Be willing to wait; be willing to let your bones sleep in the dust till the trumpet of the Resurrection sounds, and if you could have a choice about it, refer your choice back again to your Lord in Heaven, for He knows what is best and right ….

You will notice that Joseph had his wish, for when Israel went up out of Egypt you will find, in the 15th of Exodus, that Moses took care to carry with them the bones of Joseph; and what is rather singular, those bones were not buried as soon as they came into Canaan; nor were they buried during the long wars of Joshua with the various tribes! But in the last verses of the book of Joshua, when nearly all the land had been conquered, and the country had been divided to the different tribes, and they had taken possession, then we read that they buried the bones of Joseph in the field of Shechem, in the place which Abraham had bought for a sepulcher. As if Joseph’s remains might not be buried till they had won the country, until it was settled, and the Covenant was fulfilled. Then he must be buried, but not till then! How blessed is waiting Faith which can let God take His time, and wait, believe in Him, let Him wait as long as He wills! 

Though one after another we shall pass away, there are not dark days for our descendants, but days of brightness are on the way. “Let Your work appear unto Your servants, and Your Glory unto their children.”
 “He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.” The kings of the isles shall yet acknowledge Him, and the wanderers of the desert shall bow down before Him! Jesus, the Christ of God, must be King over all the Earth, for God has sworn it, saying, “Surely all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” “The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”

As Joseph said “God will surely visit you”

“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” Galatians 6:9

Friday, February 10, 2017

From the Pastor...

Quotes by Abraham Lincoln - 

That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or any denomination of Christians in particular.
--July 31, 1846 Handbill Replying to Charges of Infidelity

To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
--February 11, 1861 Farewell Address

Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.
--March 4, 1861 First Inaugural Address

If I had had my way, this war would never have been commenced; If I had been allowed my way this war would have ended before this, but we find it still continues; and we must believe that He permits it for some wise purpose of his own, mysterious and unknown to us; and though with our limited understandings we may not be able to comprehend it, yet we cannot but believe, that he who made the world still governs it.
--October 26, 1862 Reply to Eliza Gurney

Nevertheless, amid the greatest difficulties of my Administration, when I could not see any other resort, I would place my whole reliance on God, knowing that all would go well, and that He would decide for the right.
--October 24, 1863 Remarks to the Baltimore Presbyterian Synod

If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also that we of the North as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find therein new cause to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God.
--April 4, 1864 Letter to Albert Hodges

To read in the Bible, as the word of God himself, that "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," and to preach therefrom that, "In the sweat of other mans faces shalt thou eat bread," to my mind can scarcely be reconciled with honest sincerity.
--May 30, 1864 Letter to George Ide and Others

We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own error therein.
--September 4, 1864 Letter to Eliza Gurney

I am much indebted to the good Christian people of the country for their constant prayers and consolations; and to no one of them, more than to yourself.
--September 4, 1864 Letter to Eliza Gurney

All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.
--September 7, 1864 Reply to Loyal Colored People of Baltimore upon Presentation of a Bible

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

From the Pastor...

“Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!” 
 ― Andrew Murray

“Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of its trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse for impossibility, for it thinks all things are lawful for itself and all things are possible” ― Thomas à Kempis

“When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live.” ― E.M. Bounds

“When all my endeavor is turned toward Thee because all Thy endeavor is turned toward me; when I look unto Thee alone with all my attention, nor ever turn aside the eyes of my mind, because thou dost enfold me with Thy constant regard; when I direct my love toward Thee alone because Thou, who art Love’s self hast turned Thee toward me alone. And what, Lord, is my life, save that embrace wherein Thy delightsome sweetness doth so lovingly enfold me?” ― Nicholas of Cusa

“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death

“It occurs to me it is not so much the aim of the devil to lure me with evil as it is to preoccupy me with the meaningless. ” ― Donald Miller 

“Praying and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer.” 
 ― J.C. Ryle, A Call to Prayer 

“I may be wrong but I think nothing needs so much effort as prayer to God. If anyone wants to pray, the demons try to interrupt the prayer, for they know that prayer is the only thing that hinders them. All the other efforts in a religious life, whether they are made vehemently or gently, have room for a measure of rest. But we need to pray till our dying breath. That is the great struggle.” ― Benedicta Ward, The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks 

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” ― Karl Barth 

“No matter what God's power may be, the first aspect of God is never that of absolute Master, the Almighty. It is that of the God who puts himself on our human level and limits himself.” ― Jacques Ellul, Anarchy and Christianity

Frederick Beuchner. "Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is Grace." The book is entitled Scandalous Grace by Julie Ann Barnhill 

“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.” ― A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Friday, January 27, 2017

From the Pastor...

The Bible is not just written for our inspiration and comfort. It is given to model for us what we are to do and be, to instruct us in effective living and ministry.
It tells us about the prophet Daniel, who found himself in a culture and season that parallels ours in many respects. The example in Daniel 9 gives us the only medical protocol that will heal our land.


I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years (Daniel 9:2 NASB).
Daniel’s powerful and effective response to the national need was driven by his reading of Scripture. It informed him, corrected him, and equipped him to accurately assess and react to what was happening around him.
This is exactly what the Bible is designed to do. It is God-breathed and “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
In other words, if you don’t voraciously and prayerfully read your Bible, you will not find the path of life or be adequate to assess what is happening around you. You will not understand the times, and you will make costly mistakes in your judgments.
Are you reading your Bible daily, carefully and deeply listening to God’s Word to you and those around you?


So I gave attention the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes (9:3).
We give much attention to the news, to the world’s opinion about our situation. But our greatest concern should be to get in a posture to hear what God says regarding the world. We must seek Him.
And we must not seek quick answers, but Him alone. The answer is not mere plans, but a robust, real-time relationship with the One-Who-Is-Everything.
It is hard for us to grasp how much the Father loves His children, the Groom loves His bride, the Spirit loves His body. God longs for us to come back to Him in passionate intimacy. When was the last time you fasted and prayed for nothing but Him? To return to your first love?
Are you seeking Him?


prayed to the LORD my God (9:4).
God desires us to cry out to Him. Prayer is an admission of need and the foundational expression of humility. Proud people don’t pray, because they foolishly believe they can handle life by themselves. Why turn to the Creator?
God has designed prayer and His Word as His means of connection and communion with Him. If you are not using these means, you are not connected. If you are not connected to Him, you will not only be of no help to others, but you may be in danger of working at cross purposes with God Himself.
Are you praying fervently, without ceasing?