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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The One Who Gave His All

"But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so. Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him. He endured the breaking that made us whole. The injuries he suffered became our healing. We all have wandered off, like shepherdless sheep, scattered by our aimless striving and endless pursuits; The Eternal One laid on him, this silent sufferer, the sins of us all." 
 ~Isaiah 53:5-6   The Voice

"When the time was right, the Anointed One died for all of us who were far from God,
powerless, and weak. Now it is rare to find someone willing to die for an upright person, although it’s possible that someone may give up his life for one who is truly good. But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us."
~Romans 5:6-8   The Voice

 Today (Maundy Thursday) marks the day that Christ was betrayed, condemned and on the morrow, was put to death.  Christians around the world celebrate  and remember through special services what Christ did for us. As horrific as it was to be crucified, it was the only way God could reconcile us to Him. Through Jesus’s blood shed for us, are we able to have an opportunity to choose  life over death. 

The verses from Isaiah and Romans say it all.  May you ponder these words in your heart. I pray you will accept the free gift of eternal life if you haven’t already. Jesus paid the price for you!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Who is my (god) God?

My salvation and my significance depend ultimately on God; the core of my strength, my shelter, is in the True God.          Psalm 62:7  The Voice

I receive a daily scripture in my email box each day. This one spoke to me and I decided to share it with you. I like the wording of this verse. It is succinct in its meaning. There’s no pussy footing around.
It reminds us that our sole existence is dependent on God. He created us for His pleasure, not ours. When we think about it that way, it causes us to take the focus off ourselves and place it back where it belongs; God. It’s when we forget or push aside this concept in our lives that we begin to descend a slippery slope.
The attributed author of this psalm is King David. He is called a man after God’s own heart. He was, for the majority of his life. However, he let his heart drift away from his true passion (God) and chose to focus on something else, in this case, a woman. A married woman at that. But he was a king. He could have anything he wanted, or so he thought. He was, after all the king!
David sinned but repented, when confronted, and God was merciful and forgave him. 
I have no clue if this was written before or after this episode in David’s life. However, it shows a man’s belief that his purpose in life depends upon God and only God.

Do you put your faith and whole being in God’s hands? If not, I pray you will search for Him. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

God’s. Not. Dead. That is a fact. Philosophers, atheists, agnostics, you name it, there are those who would refute that statement. However, those of us who have a relationship with Jesus Christ know that God exists! How do we explain our belief in a living, breathing God? A movie in the theaters right now helps answer some of those questions. “God’s Not Dead”, is the name of the movie. The main character, a freshman in a philosophy class must decide to ignore his belief system and write down on a piece of paper that ‘God Is Dead’ or defend his belief system to the professor and the class. Why? Because the professor is an atheist and does not want to even speak about the ‘myth’ concerning the deity of the Christian God. I will not give out any spoilers as I hope you will take the time to see this movie.
There are other characters and subplots in this movie as well. The stories are authentic and resonate with the audience. Several times there were cheers or applause by the audience.

The main question this movie poses is: if you believe in God, will you defend your faith? Even if it means flunking a class.  Even if it means destroying a relationship with others. Is the cost of being a Christian more important than anything else in your life?

If you can answer yes, go see this movie.

If you can’t say yes, go see this movie.

If you know someone who has questions about who God is, take them and go see this movie.

Do you want to help support Christian movies at the box office so that Hollywood will see there is a demographic number supporting this kind of movie fare? Go see this movie.

You will be glad you did.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

God chose Abraham to be the father of a great nation.  Through this nation, its people would show the rest of the world who God was.These people were the Hebrews, (Jews)  but as we have seen as we study the Old Testament, the Jewish people made poor choices. When they had a strong leader who followed God's directions, they followed. When their leaders were weak or self-absorbed, they went their own way. Even though God disciplined His people from time to time, He was very patient. Long periods of time would go on before He acted, but eventually He would allow another nation to drive them into exile. Some never came back to the Promised Land. Two or three generations would pass but God always returned them to their rightful land and they would rejoice and praise and worship God... for a time.

Now we might snicker at these people of centuries ago, but we are no better. We praise God when it's convenient or when things are going well for us. However, if we  don't spend time with our Lord through prayer and study of the Bible, we too, will drift away.

Did the Jews fail? Yes and no. On a human level they did, but God continued to use this group of people to draw others to Him. His plan was to send a Redeemer, which He did: Jesus Christ. His main mission was to show the character of God to the people around him. And to be the ultimate sacrifice for all people's sins. The first followers of Christ were Jews and for awhile the completion of God's plan remained in Israel, but as was God's plan all along, these new believers spread out into the rest of the world, taking the message with them. The message God had desired all along. God desired a relationship with each of us if we would only put Him first and worship Him and only Him.

All we have to do is receive His free gift of redemption; the blood of Christ shed for my sins and your sins. And to follow Him to the best of our ability. Are you following after Him? If not, would you like to? Contact us. We'd love to share His plan with you.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Prayer Focus

Daniel and his friends had a decision to make. Remain true to their God or become a part of a culture who worshipped idols. You see they’d been taken captive. It might have seemed as if their God had turned His back on them. They came from good families. They were educated. They could work the system and rise in prestige even in a different country. Could they turn their backs on God, or would they die for their faith? However, they realized that if they turned their backs on God, their lives were over anyway. All of them were tested throughout their lives. Each time they were tested, proved the God they worshipped was the true and living God of the universe.

One of the ways they remained true was to pray for guidance and protection. It was not possible for them to do anything in their own power. Only God could keep them safe in a fiery furnace. Only God could protect Daniel in the lion’s den. Prayer was the focal point. Surrendered hearts to the will of God triumphed each time.

We are moving into a time of prayer for our city and the country. The first opportunity is called “Seek God for the City”.  A booklet helps us focus on a particular theme each day for 40 days leading up to Palm Sunday.

We live in troubled times in our own country. We, as Christians, are finding ourselves in a culture that does not honor God as it used to. We must gird ourselves with prayer and humble our hearts, honoring God even when it’s not popular.

Won’t you join in prayer with us as we pray for God’s protection and guidance during these trying times?

If you would like a booklet, contact us.  An app is also available.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Super Bowl 48 was one of the best ever. I’m slightly prejudiced. You see I’m a Seahawk fan. At least when they are winning. I must tell you that football, or any sport, for that matter, is not the most important thing in my life. But when one of the Northwest teams makes it to the Big Game, I root for them.  

My children have always told me I jinx the games if I watch. Well, this year that was not the case. I probably watched more games than in all the years preceding this one. And they never lost! Of course it didn’t have anything to do with me watching or not watching, it’s just an inside family joke.

I thought about going to the celebratory parade in Seattle but it was a work day. I knew there’d be a good turnout but totally blown away by the figures. 700,000 people showed up! That’s over half a million people! They came from all over. Schools closed their doors, others just skipped. Adults took the day off and drove 3 or 4 hours to get to Seattle. The din of the crowd was so loud that bystanders couldn’t hear the drummers as they marched by. (The Seahawks have a drum line at their games.) It’s hard to imagine but it happened that way. Their fans are called the 12th man, because they get into the game so much that opposing teams can’t hear their calls in the Seahawk stadium.

Now let me pose a question: Where were all these people during the previous years when they didn’t win? Sure, some are diehard fans and will be there for their team no matter how many games they win or don’t win. But people like me who only watch occasionally to keep up with the water cooler chatter or a family get-together conversation; we don’t follow when the excitement wanes.

Jesus was liked by the people. Throngs began to follow Him; listening to His words, watching Him as He healed many of their illnesses. By the time He began the trip to Jerusalem that fateful Passover, people hailed him with palm branches, exclaiming “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD, even the King of Israel.”

But where were they when He was placed on the cross? No one, not even his disciples were anywhere to be found. Except for one, who stood by his mother, Mary, her sister, Mary wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  (see John 19:25 NAS).

Of course we know the disciples returned. The Holy Spirit came upon them and the Church was established. Countless millions have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Some have died for their beliefs, others have given their whole lives to further the kingdom, and some have possibly hung around for the exciting times only to fall away when the excitement wanes.

Ultimately, being a diehard fan of Jesus will grant me entrance into heaven. Will you be there? I prayerfully hope so.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."  Psalm 46:10

As I watched the snow flickering down to the ground this last week, I paused to ponder this particular verse.

Every media available gave us a minute by minute covering of events. Some folks were ecstatic while others bemoaned the weather. Another way of saying ‘be still’ is ‘cease striving’. In other words let it go. The weather will do whatever it wants. We have no control over it. We can find some delight in it, acknowledging the Creator and His creative power, or we can growl and complain.

You have to understand, I’m not a big fan of snow. It means I’m stuck at home. We don’t own any items which allow us to drive in deep snow or ice. When my kids were young, I enjoyed their excitement. I saw to it they dried off occasionally and warmed them up with hot chocolate, but other than that I basically could care less about snow.

However, the one thing I do like about snow is that it makes us (at least some of us) slow down. To relax a little. I personally read two lengthy books during the 5 days we were stuck at home. I watched with wonder as snow-flakes drifted down during the night. The snow glistened and lit up the otherwise dark night. And the silence! That was heavenly. No loud noises emanated from my surroundings. Because there were fewer distractions, I found myself spending more time focusing on God. And that is always a good thing!

Do you find ways to ‘be still and know that” God is God?