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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Your Plans or God's Plan?



“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that. At that time, you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13     The Voice      

 

I know a lot of people don’t think God cares about them, but in His Word, the Bible, there are many verses that contradict that assumption. Right here in Jeremiah is one example of God’s love and compassion for His people. His plans are for ‘peace and not for evil”. He tells us that! His plan was set in place in the Garden but Adam and Eve broke trust with Him. Sin entered the world. Nothing has ever been the same since. There has never been a time when there was peace in this world. Adam and Eve’s sin was just the beginning. One of their sons killed the other and hatred entered the world. Did God create that? NO! The one who deceived Eve and Adam brought pride and greed into the world as well. And throughout time it has continued.

But God had a plan. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the sacrificial offering to provide a way for us to return to God was given. God gave each of us a future and hope. He tells us to never forget that. When we talk to Him, He listens. If we seek Him, we will find Him, and that, my friend, is best plan in the whole world!


 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Every Day should be a Day of Rejoicing


"The last few days have been awesomely beautiful here in the SW corner of Washington (the state). The sunrises, spring birds out and about singing their hearts out.  Walking our dog, I marvel at the sights and sounds. Then in the late afternoon, as I return from my job, I walk the park with our dog and visit with my neighbors and their dogs. Later, when all is settling in for the night, I walk again one last time; listening to the frog chorus in the fields around us and marvel at the brilliant stars in the sky. Polaris, Orion and so many others. I feel blessed."

I wrote this on my Facebook status a few nights ago. I did feel blessed. But then I got to thinking, I should feel blessed every day. God gives us every day and we are blessed because of that, but many days we don’t feel like it’s that way. I know it’s hard when we’re going through a rough patch, when the weather is lousy, or we lose a job, or a friend, or the car broke down, or any number of reasons. But the following two verses speaks to me about how I should view each day and life in general.


This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.      ~Psalm 118:24 NIV

So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing. But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.

~ Romans 8:35, 37



Isn't that comforting to know? Do you believe this? What makes you feel blessed?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting to be Completed

“Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.” 
~James 1:2-3.  The Voice

These words are hard to read and even harder to embrace. None of us desire to have hardships in our lives. But, as we well know, hardships do come our way.
I’ve noticed several of my younger friends express their pain and upsetness over situations in their lives. They just want to be happy and have everything go their way. All the time.
‘If I just had a perfect husband, a perfect family, a perfect home, all the money I needed, the education and job of my dreams,’ the list goes on and on. And somehow we think somebody else got all that but we were gypped. I used to think that way. However, as I’ve grown older and, hopefully, wiser, I’ve learned that none of us have perfect lives with everything we could ever want and/ or achieve. We live in a fallen world. Nothing and nobody is perfect. We ALL will have troubles.
However, this verse gives us sound advice: ‘if we embrace our tests and hardship’, notice the word ‘if’? What will happen? ‘Our faith will blossom under pressure and we will develop patience.” What awaits us at the end of the line? Maturity, completeness and we will want for nothing.
Now that is worth waiting for!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Church Under Construction: Renovating for the Future



The title of this article sounds like we are refurbishing our building (which we are) but our pastor is taking us through a 12 week series of messages concerning who we are as a people. What do we believe and why? How will this help us move forward in the coming days and years?

This church was established as a Restoration Movement church. What does this mean? Who were the men who started the Restoration Movement in the 1800's? Why was there a need to 'simplify church'? These and many other things will be explained and shared.


Last week we learned that Jesus has completed the task of securing the ground for building a life of peace and joy based on our faith and hope.

This coming week we will 'find a secure place' with the theme of: I now know what I need to build my dream life.

Starting February 1st a new Sunday school class will begin which will go deeper into who the men who wanted to 'restore' protestant churches and how the movement began and continues to this day.
"Not the only Christians, but Christians only," is a major theme of this movement.

We meet at 9:30 AM for Sunday school and worship at 10:45 AM every Sunday morning. We hope you'll come and join us. You are welcome to join us anytime!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stepping into the Future.

Another year is slipping by. I pause to wonder if it was a good or bad year. Maybe it was just a so-so year. The news would tell us it’s been a horrific year with so much unrest in the world and terrible storms which destroyed homes and lives. But then there have been the stories of heroic deeds and inspirational stories of individuals going beyond the normal and expected. Giving of their time, their money and their gifts to make somebody’s life a little bit brighter.

There’s been the simple joys of watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Enjoying the outdoors in all four seasons. Spending time with loved ones around a dinner table or campfire. Maybe watching a life come into the world or move into adulthood.

Whatever our lot in life in 2014, it is coming to an end. A new year is just around the corner. There will be good days and some not-so-good days. There will be rain, wind, sleet and snow but the sun will come out again. We will be touched by lives and hopefully we’ll touch a few as well. There will be celebrations, and perhaps some goodbyes as friends or loved ones leave us physically or eternally. We will learn new things and teach others what we’ve learned.


May we go hand-in-hand with our Lord, treasuring where we’ve been, and step purposely into the New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Is there any Peace in this World?

Peace on Earth and Good Will towards  All Men

That phrase doesn’t seem to ring true. But then it never has. Since the beginning, or nearly the beginning, of mankind’s existence, this phrase has never been true. Sin entered Eden through Adam and Eve peace disappeared. The good will and intentions left The Garden and ever since, there’s been killings, wars, strife, poor attitudes, angst, depression and the list goes on and on.

But from the beginning God had a plan. A plan to bring Peace back into the world. Isaiah 9:6 prophesizes about the Prince of Peace.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Now that doesn’t mean peace magically appeared when this Child came into the world. So many people doubt that God is a God of love because they think everything will become easy and problems will go away. Ephesians 2:14 says this: “For He Himself is our peace”. That means when we believe and follow Christ’s teachings, we can have peace in this life. The problems, strife and other stuff doesn’t go away, but we can rest in His love. Colossians 3:15 states, “And let the peace of Christ rule your hearts…and be thankful.”


So if you are harried, cranky, and tired, give peace, quietness and rest a try. Give your heart to God and you can have the ‘peace that transcends all understanding’ (Philippians 4:7) today and every day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Where is Baby Jesus?


Today it was brought to my attention that my baby Jesus is missing from my nativity set here in the office. Where could it be? Why would anyone want to take a little plastic canvas baby from a homemade nativity set that my husband made many years ago?

This set me to thinking about how the real Baby Jesus is lost in many of our lives. The real one was born over 2 thousand years ago to a carpenter and his betrothed, Mary. They were good but very poor people. They, however, were believers in the One True God, the Creator of the Universe and were obedient to His laws. God knew they would follow His instructions in providing a home for His Son.
Mary allowed God to indwell her with Jesus. In that time and culture, she could have been killed. Joseph, her betrothed would have every right to allow that to happen, but God spoke to him and Joseph took on the responsibility of honoring Mary and fulfilled the marriage requirements and married her, giving Jesus a home to grow up in.

They continued to follow God’s leading when Herod went on a rampage to kill the babe who was to be the ‘King of the Jews’. They left their home and family and went to Egypt and returned only when told it was safe to come back to Nazareth.

The point I’m trying to make is that when we follow God’s leading, we will not lose Jesus. He will be right where He belongs, at the center of our hearts. It’s when we get too busy to make time to study God’s Word, spend time listening and talking to God about what is important, and serving Him in whatever way He’s equipped us, that Jesus disappears from our lives.


Have you lost Jesus? He’s easy to find. There is a saying that 'Wise Men still Seek Him'. Are you seeking Him? Join us this Sunday, the 21st at 10 AM and you just might find Him.