April 2019

A Word about Sorting Stuff Out!”
At the risk of coming off as some sort of hoarder I wish to send out a disclaimer regarding my habit of holding on to “stuff”, for lack of a better term. For you see as the popular quote goes “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure”. Well self admittedly it has become painfully obvious that a lot of my stuff is technically ‘junk’ and so with the threat of an earth moving vehicle set to demolish the premises of the Chapel “parsonage”/“mission house”/or “office” in the not too distant future I’ve been challenged to clean up my proverbial act…or else. Now that may seem like a simple task but for me it’s torture, knowing that all the while I’m sorting, saving, giving away, and trashing I’m also saying goodbye to some really good friends whose smiles I’ve become accustomed to greeting. Therefore I would ask for your prayer for this difficult task which “can” draw a spiritual application from the 12th chapternof Hebrews where we’re admonished to “…lay aside every weight and sin that so easily besets us and run with endurancenthe race that is set before us fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” v. 1b – 2b

Praying for each of us to fix our eyes on Jesus who is even now seated at the Father’s right hand!
Pastor Mike

March 2019

God’s Control

 

While finding myself a bit frustrated with the weather recently I came to the vivid realization that I’m not in control, which is most definitely…a good thing! For you see as Daniel 2:21 reminds us “It is He who changes the times and the seasons…” and ‘not’ climate change because of global warming.

 

And it is also arrogant of us to think that in some way we are in charge for according to Acts 1:7 “It is not for us to know the times and seasons which the Father has fixed by His own authority”. Therefore I don’t know about you but I’ve decided to let God be God and control the weather like it or not!

 

Here are some additional references to consider as they relate to God’s control! Psalm 31:15; 139:16; Proverbs 16:9,33; 19:21;20:24; Jeremiah 10:23; Lamentations 3:37; Amos 3:6; James 4:13-15.

 

Praying for you to fully realize who is in control!

Pastor Mike

February 2019

About Taking Heed of the Warnings!”

As I’m currently enjoying the warmth of our comfortable home while penning this article today I couldn’t help but ponder the vivid contrast of what was taking place “outside”. For if you were to do so, as I peeked through my window, you most likely would have been fooled as to what kind of day it was. I mean the sun was shining brightly, the sky that God had designed was a beautiful pastel blue, “but” just suppose you took the time to consult a thermometer and in spite of the fact that it read 22° below zero, you mustered up the courage to take a trek outside, which by the way our dog refused to do, you would have soon realized who the smart one was in your family…the reason being…she heeded the warnings! And if there’s a spiritual parallel to be drawn from this example, it’s this…to quote the noted theologian Forrest Gump: Stupid is! Stupid does!

 

Well I’d like to suggest that often many of us as Christians don’t avail ourselves to plain old common sense which isn’t always “common” plus Scripture gives us countlesswarnings” just like the Weather Channel where dangerous conditions lie ahead, but far too often folks don’t “take heed”. Here are several to consider! Proverbs 5:1,2; 21-23; Matt. 16:61; Romans 12:1,2,11; Eph. 4:25-32; Phil. 2:1-5; II Tim. 2:22,23; Titus 2:11,12; James 3:1-5; 4:7,8.

 

May each of us take heed!

Pastor Mike

January 2019

“The New Season to be…!”

As sort of a spin off from a familiar phrase found in the traditional yuletide favorite ‘Deck the Halls’ I’ve chosen “Tis the season to be jolly” so as to draw a spiritual parallel to; the way in which I believe God would desire the believer in Christ to conduct themselves before the watching world, not only for the new year, but throughout our lives as well. Now while one certainly won’t be able to discover the specific word “jolly” in the writings of Scripture yet the manifestation of “jolliness” ought to be found in one’s life! From Daniel Webster’s New World Dictionary one learns that the concept of being jolly implies “a consistently merry and joyful spirit” which I’d like to suggest comes not only from an attitude of one’s “mind” but from one’s walk with God! (See Philippians 4:8,9 and Galatians 5:22,23) both of which reveal that such a manifestation of joy…cannot be mustered up through the power of the flesh ‘but’ by the Spirit of God when one is led/controlled by the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit which has come to reside in the life of the believer in Christ upon conversion (Ephesians 1:13,14).
And while the manifestation of “joy” is not an absolute guarantee…it is though made accessible to the believer in Christ as a fruit/byproduct of being “filled with the spirit” along with “love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, against such there is no law”. Thus if you wish for a New Year’s Resolution I’d suggest the above!
Wishing you and yours a Happy and Jolly New Year!
Pastor Mike

December 2018

“Returning Home”

While vacationing in a warmer climate recently, granted it “was” an enjoyable experience, although I do have to agree
with the old saying that there really is “no place like home” where after sleeping in 6 different beds and a sore back to prove it,
I must admit that nothing beats the bed you’re accustomed to which leads me to draw a parallel to things spiritual
where in our Lord’s teachings in the fifteenth chapter of John He states that “apart from Him we can do nothing” John 15:5b.
Therefore the admonition to “abide” i.e. be at home with Him is crucial for a peaceful, trusting, maturing relationship to exist.
In fact v. 11 goes on to say how the things that John wrote concerning the vine and the branches would ultimately develop into
a pleasurable fullness of joy!
Now as far as coming home gain, the reason it was so welcoming is because of its “familiarity” where things were shared
in common without the uncomfortableness often associated with “reconnecting”…and I’d like to suggest that this is precisely
what God has in mind for us…“I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him,
that same bringing forth fruit…” John 15:5a.
Wishing you a very Merry and fruitful Christmas!
Pastor Mike

November 2018

“A Word About Thanksgiving and Vacations”

While recently contemplating…“vacation” I came to the vivid realization that for my wife and I it will be a much appreciated
time of refreshment. For if one stops to consider the various seasons of life, a time of reflection concerning what’s transpired
as well as what’s ahead is a welcomed opportunity for spiritual growth. And although Philippians 3:13 would remind us
to “forget about those things…and press on”…one can ‘still’ benefit from a retrospective look at the proverbial
“water under the bridge” where some tweaking may be in order so as to not “continue” to do the same thing
over and over again and expect a different result which someone insightfully once suggested is the definition of “insanity”.
Therefore it is Colleen and my desire to receive a “fresh perspective” concerning the ministry that God has called us to
while on our vacation, in spite of the stress related to traffic and unknown surroundings because as Corrie Ten Boom
would remind us; “It is always safe to trust an unknown future with a known God.” “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust;
Let me never be put to confusion” (Psalm 71:1) “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD,
And to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High” (Psalm 92:1)
Pastor Mike

October 2018

“A Word from Pastor Mike about “The Avenue of Prayer””

I suppose you’d have to be an ostrich to not have heard about all the drama surrounding the potential confirmation
of a new Supreme Court Justice. Well I don’t know about you but I found myself weeping on more than one occasion
for reasons I can’t even figure out, but irregardless the scenario reminds me of the Lord Jesus Christ who “wept”
on at least one occasion but I have a hunch that His tender, compassionate, “sorrowing” for people, who’d lost their way
occurred more often than one would think.

Consider His view of “the City of Peace” in Matthew 23:37-39 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem the one who kills the prophets…
…How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing”.
Are there parallels to the good ol U.S.A.? I believe so, (yet)… we still have the wonderful avenue of prayer!
See I Timothy 2:1-8; James 5:13-18

September 2018

“Accepting Seasons of Life”
A funny thing happened on the way to a rain drenched high school football game recently, namely the realization that this uneventful 7 to 6 slugfest victory was played out on numerous occasions prior, only this time my wife and I were there supporting a “grandson” and ‘not” one of our five sons…“time flies while you’re having fun” or so the saying goes!

Well irregardless as one considers the seasons of life revealed in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3 it’s obvious that each season is sovereignly planned out by God, even though climbing up bleachers and reaching to the ground to pick up a dropped program isn’t quite as easy as it used to be…“God has made everything beautiful in its time” v. 11.

Therefore I’ve chosen not to complain but roll with the flow of God’s meandering streams of life! How about you?
In His love,
Pastor Mike

P.S. If you had told me the score of the game afterwards without me attending
nor knowing what sport my grandson was playing I would have asked you if it ended on a walk-off?

August 2018

“The Dilemma and Benefit of Waiting!”
Playwright, comedian, movie director, and actor Woody Allen once suggested that “if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans” which is not to say that God receives pleasure through “mocking” us; but some of us “have” had to unfortunately learn the hard way about the wasted energy of “presumption” by not considering the warning found in the book of James chapter 4 verses 13-16 which was vividly brought home to my wife Colleen and I recently as we continue “waiting” for the arrival of our first granddaughter who’s due date “was” (emphasis mine) Thursday, July 19th…but God had other plans irregardless of the advancement of medical technology and a doctor’s guess. Yet some might ponder is there any benefit from waiting? To which I would add the affirmative, because as a recent article
I read in Relevant Magazine stated 1.) Waiting reveals our motivation! 2.) Waiting builds patience in our lives! 3.) Waiting builds anticipation! 4.) Waiting transforms our character, leading to spiritual maturation. And 5.) Waiting builds intimacy and dependence upon God! (See Psalm 37:7; 52:9)

In closing I quote Pastor Eric Speir “I’ve always believed that God is just as interested in our journey as He is our destination. For if not then all of the Biblical accounts would only include the feel good parts and not the good, bad, and ugly of those times of waiting. For while we might not always understand why we have to wait the good news is that God never asks us to wait without Him.”
Pastor Mike

July 2018

“From Where True Strength Comes!”
While our nation has its share of struggles and needless to say it is not turning out to be a perfect “experiment”, nevertheless we all should be on our knees daily thanking the Lord for the freedoms we now enjoy as Americans! But I think “most” would agree that while there is something truly liberating about “independence” from the powers that be, it’s actually more liberating to be “dependent” upon God; since the Scriptures reveal that this is the place where true strength is derived. See the example of the Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” in II Corinthians 12.
Enjoying both the “independence” as well as the “dependence” upon God I have!
Pastor Mike