Monday, December 31, 2012

Are You Going To Read The Bible In 2013

If you would like to join a reading plan please visit  and create a free account. Once you have an account you can create a Bible reading plan or join a group's reading plan. To join Oregon Trail Baptist Church's reading plan simply search for "Oregon Trail Baptist Church" and join. 

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Photos/Videos From 2012

If you are unable to view these videos please email me at so I can add you to the list of people who are able to view them. The general public are not able to view these videos. Please enjoy!!!


Christmas Eve... Picking A Few Presents


Christmas Eve... Playing With New Toys


Christmas Eve... How Children Evaluate Toys

Christmas Eve... Looks Like It Will Be White For Christmas

Christmas Day... Elizabeth Opening Gifts

Christmas Day... Andrew Opening Gifts

Christmas Day...Elizabeth Already Fixing Toys

After Christmas... Connecting With Old Friends

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Cristmas

Read Your Bible, Pray Every Day and You'll Grow Grow Grow

The little children's song "Read Your Bible" has more truth than we all know. We often find ourselves so busy in life that we push our spiritual life to the edge as something we will get to later. The truth is our spiritual life is the core of life and what happens there translates to reality. I want to encourage everyone who follows our blog to spend time in the Word every day.

Here are some tools that I use to encourage me along in my Bible Reading.

This Website has a free audio Bible. The default Bible is the ESV but the KJV can be chosen as well as you can select if you want a dramatized version or a standard reading. It is by far the best dramatized version I have ever heard and it's FREE!!! The audio files can be downloaded and saved on your computer as well.

As part of My devotions each day I listen to the Bible being read while I read. It helps me get through some of the more difficult passages.

This tool is also very versatile. It works on PC, Mac, Iphone, Ipad, Ipod, Android, and many other mobile applications. I don't but many people have smart phones and tablets so this is a great way to stay connected to the Word. I still just use a computer.

Faithlife Study Bible

Sometime this last year I started using this study Bible. I have found it very helpful and informative. As with any Study Bible or book I don't endorse or agree with everything, but I have found it very helpful and informative. One of the unique aspects of this study Bible is its social connection. It allows multiple people to read the Bible together and make comments that others can read. It also is Free... at least for now.
Please look for Oregon Trail Baptist Church and you can join our reading plans for the year 2013. You also can set up your own reading plan to make it through your Bible in a year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas, Exercise, Growth

Christmas With Family

This week Becca’s dad and two of her sisters were able to come and celebrate an early Christmas with us. They brought the kids some gifts and new pajamas. We had a lot of fun and then loaded their car up with Christmas gifts to take back to Minnesota for the rest of her family.

New Horizons Exercising

One of the new friends I made as a result of the funeral was a Master Sargent who works at the Armory in town. He is from a Southern Baptist background and looking for a church in town as well as he would like some personal discipleship. We are now meeting twice a week to work out and hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with him. He feels that while he is being a personal fitness trainer to me in exchange for some spiritual guidance. Although I would be glad to provide spiritual guidance without any sort of compensation I feel privileged to have access to the base. It has already been a great way for me to meet some of the soldiers on base who are stationed here year round. Please pray that God opens more doors of opportunity and gives me wisdom as I minister.


Our attendance has been fairly steady for the last few months. We have averaged about 17 each Sunday but for the last month we have had between 20-23 people. Today we had one couple for the first time and another couple who had visited a few months ago. Please pray for continued fruit.

Outreaches To Pray About

Tomorrow Becca is hosting a Christmas Cookie Exchange for the ladies and next Sunday we will be having a Christmas Candle Light Service. Please pray that the Lord blesses our efforts and opens new doors of opportunity.

cookie ExchangeChristmas SErvice

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merry Christmas

Urim And Thummin

The story is told of a young curate in the Church of England who was greatly helped in his understanding of the Scriptures by frequent conversations with an uneducated cobbler, who was, nevertheless, well acquainted with the Word of God.
On one occasion when a friend of his, a young theologian, was visiting him, he mentioned this remarkable knowledge of the Bible which the cobbler possessed. The young theologue, in a spirit of pride, expressed a desire to meet him, saying he felt sure he could ask some questions which he would be quite unable to answer. Upon being introduced to the man in his little shop, the question was put, “Can you tell me what Urim and the Thummin were?”
The cobbler replied, “I don’t know exactly; I understand that the words apply to something that was on the breastplate of the high priest. I know the words mean “Lights and Perfection,” and that through the Urim and Thummin the high priest was able to discern the mind of the Lord. But I find that I can get the mind of the Lord by just changing two letters. I take this blessed Book, and by “usin’ and thummin,” I get the mind of the Lord that way.”

—H. A. Ironside
Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Full House For A First Funeral

The Funeral

Today I conducted my first funeral and I can truly say that I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better. The Lord enabled and blessed in a wonderful way. If there is an event that a pastor wants to go smoothly it would defiantly be a funeral. For the last week or so we have been communicating with the family and preparing details for the funeral, graveside, and dinner. Although it seemed like every day I got a few more details figured out there were still many loose ends this morning. Everything came together in enough time for me to be free and available to spent time with the family.Picture taken in Hartville Cemetery


The Figures

Pastor Randy Simmons at Faith Fellowship told me over the phone that I would be experiencing a “baptism by fire” doing this funeral. Knowing that (1) the Martin family is well known in this area, (2) Wade was everyone’s friend, and (3) he was only 52, Pastor Simmons told me that the crowd could be anywhere from 100-150. There was no possible way that we could fit them in our little church when our church can only hold about 50 and there was no other church in town that could handle a much bigger crowd than that. The Family made arrangements to use the Armory’s Gym south of town. It was a good thing they did because there were about 300 people there at the funeral. The chairs and bleachers will filled and there was standing room only.
After the Funeral around 150 people came to the graveside service according to the funeral director. (The photo to the left was taken in the Hartville Cemetery, but is not the actual gravesite.) Everyone gathered around as I read Psalm 23 and made a few comments. After closing in prayer people began to comfort one another and slowly make their way back to their cars. There were about 10-15 mule deer that stood on the hill behind the cemetery watching the service. This was significant to many of those who knew Wade because he was always taking rides in the country looking for deer to take some pictures. He loved nature and was constantly taking pictures. The deer served as a good token for good to the family in this time of grief.


The Focus

The last time I saw Wade was when I was visiting his parents at their ranch. Wade saw Andrew standing by the four-wheeler with his hands in the air saying, “up” over and over. Wade picked him up and took him for a ride around. Both Wade and Andrew had smiles from ear to ear. As we spent time with the family I discovered that Wade had a reputation for making peace. I thought of how that beautifully pictured Christ who is the Prince of Peace.
The Lord led for me to prepare to preach along those lines. I opened Isaiah 9:6 and explained that Christ is the Prince of Peace. I then turned to Ephesians 2:14-24 to show that Christ as the Prince of Peace broke down the wall of separation between man and God.  I then read John 14:27 where Christ left a parting gift of peace to His disciples and the church when He ascended. I explained how the Holy Spirit was sent as the Comforter and true peace only comes from God. After establishing all of this I quoted Matthew 5:9 where Christ said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Focusing on that verse I explained that peacemakers are those who make peace with other people, but also bring peace between men and God by declaring the good news of the Gospel. Shifting to the second part of Matthew 5:9 I explained that peacemakers have God’s favor smiling upon them. The verse says, “they shall be called the children of God" and I compared this to when a parent at a ball game or sporting event yells from the bleachers, “That’s my boy!” after their child does something well. God is in heaven watching His children on earth and when they are peacemakers by resolving problems or bringing others to the Savior He thunders from heaven, “That’s my child!” Before giving an invitation I closed with a quote from the Puritan Thomas Watson where he said,
God the Son is called the Prince of Peace. He came into the world heralded by angels announcing peace; "On earth peace..." He went out of the world with a legacy of peace, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." Christ's earnest prayer was for peace; He prayed that His people might be one. Christ not only prayed for peace, but bled for peace: "Having made peace through the blood of His cross." He died not only to make peace between God and man, but between man and man. Christ suffered on the cross, that He might cement Christians together with His blood. As he prayed for peace, so He paid for peace. (Thomas Watson, Gleanings From Thomas Watson (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1995), 86.)

The Fellow Laborers

IMG_6313There was no way that we could pull off everything ourselves. With almost a third of our church grieving their lost and another third with a sister in the hospital we just couldn’t see how we could pull it off ourselves. As a result we had help and support from many places and want to publically thank all who labored with us. First, we couldn’t have done it without the help of Faith Bible Baptist Church in Greeley, Co. Their Assistant Pastor Ken Curtis and his wife Bessie brought four ladies from their church to help with the food preparation, serving, and childcare. Second, Pastor Randy Simmons from Faith Fellowship and those who came from his church to help with the food and childcare also. Third, Pastor Roy Phillips from Douglas Baptist Church was there to lend a hand and support the family as well as me. Fourth, Jason Crossman, Pastor Robbins assistant at Pioneer Baptist and The Lunch Box did a great job getting food prepared for the group from Greeley as they made themselves busy preparing food for everyone else.


The Follow-up

Follow-up for this funeral began long time before the funeral. We were able to spend a lot of time with the family and support them through this time. Also a few days before the funeral I was talking to the librarian in Guernsey as I was checking my email and she asked, “What do pastors do to prepare for funerals?” Could you ask for a better question to open the door to spiritual things? I shared with her in a nutshell what I would be preaching at the funeral and before I knew it she was asking about church and said she intended to come visit. She also was at the funeral and was able to hear the full message. After the funeral as we were leaving one of the military personal in charge at the armory asked me what denomination I was and explained that he was from a Southern Baptist background, just moved to Guernsey, and was looking for a Baptist Church. There are so many other encounters and Divine appointments that have surrounded this funeral that I can’t tell them all. I also know that this funeral may have more effects than I even know as God works behind the scenes.


The FatigueIMG_6312

Although everything went smooth, everyone was exhausted when it was done. The group from Greeley, Co had a long drive home and we had some last minute cleanup to finish. Even Elizabeth was so exhausted that she crawled up in mom and dad’s bed and went to sleep by herself before 8:00pm while we were still working. That was a shocker for us. Thanks for all the prayers and support. They certainly impacted today more than we will ever know.


The Flub-Up

Before the funeral, as we made preparations and spent time with the family I discovered that the family had a few computers that belonged to Wade that had passwords. Before they spent $50-$100 to get around the passwords I offered to do it for them. Back when Windows XP was popular I had a few tricks to erase the password but those tricks didn’t work with the new Windows Vista and Windows 7. After I found some instructions online I emailed them to myself so I could print them, but instead of emailing to me I emailed them to our blog and the instructions were posted. The post has been deleted but many of you may have received a strange email that seems completely irrelevant. Sorry about the confusion and by the way you might not want to let your mischievous teenagers read that email.

The Fond Remembrance


Funeral services for Albert Wade Martin, 52, will be held at 2:00 P.M., Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at the General Spence Wyoming Army National Guard Armory in Guernsey, Wyoming with Pastor Jason Miller officiating. Inurnment will be held at the Hartville Cemetery near Hartville, Wyoming.

Wade died Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Wade was born August 29, 1960 in Casper, Wyoming the son of Albert Paul and Eldora Joann (Goolsby) Martin.

Wade was a football and basketball player for Wheatland and Guernsey High Schools. He graduated from Guernsey High School in 1978. Wade attended Torrington College on a basketball scholarship. On July 3, 1982 he married Shelly Dickinson, to this union they had two daughters, Tricia born on March 18, 1990 and McKenzie born on December 30, 1992. Wade worked at the Wheatland Power Plant for seventeen years and later took a job traveling for Intec Services based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Recently he returned home to be with family on the ranch that he had always loved. Wade enjoyed playing golf, bowling, hunting, collecting hot wheels, watching Lonesome Dove, hanging out with his nephew Ned, his girls, and Rock, his ever faithful dog. Wade had many loyal friends, a large family, and he loved every single one of them.

He is survived by his parents, Albert and Dori Martin of Guernsey; daughters Trish (Tristen) Martin of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and McKenzie Martin of Wheatland, Wyoming; his fiancé Tiffany Savageau of California; four sisters, Jackie (Bill) Holtz of Guernsey, Lynne (Dave) Mesenbrink of Casper, Liz (Eric) Henneman of Lead, South Dakota, and Ellen (Scott) Nelson of Hartville; two brothers, Pete (Sheila) Howes of Fort Laramie, and Matthew (Sabrina) Martin of Guernsey; as well as many nieces and nephews, great nieces and Great nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Wade is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Jesse and Jennie Goolsby, paternal grandparents, Harley and Nellie Martin, and niece, Ashley Howes.

Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Dan Cooley, Doc Jeffries, Marc Martinez, Mike King, Rex Martin, Danny Martin, Dale Woodrick and all of his many friends.

A memorial to the Wade Martin Memorial Fund in care of Lusk State Bank, P.O. Box 1400, Lusk, Wyoming 82225 would be appreciated by the family.

Friends and family may call on the funeral home on Sunday, December 2, 2012 from 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Condolences may be sent to the family at


Wade Martin was the kind of individual who could make you smile on your worst day. His presence filled any room and his laughter filled any heart. Wade never knew a stranger; he could sit and talk to someone he just met for hours. Always happy, Wade never stopped smiling. However, he seemed to be the happiest when he was round his family.

When Wade wasn’t spending time with his nephew Ned, his daughters, or his fiancĂ©e Tiffany, he was finding more stuff to pile at his mom and dad’s house. His dad was his hero, but he loved every member of his family unconditionally. His faithful dog Rock never left his side since Wade bought him some “special” Jerky. As far as his daughters are concerned, he was a hero. In his eyes they could do no wrong and he was always proud of them.

Wade always said he had a degree in everything, but one of his biggest passions was music. He knew a song for any occasion. One thing Wade was really good at was teasing people. He had a joke up his sleeves at all times. Wade enjoyed golfing, bowling, collecting Hot Wheels, and gadgets. Everywhere Wade went, he was taking pictures. His friends were as dear to him as his family and he kept in touch with all of them.

One way that Wade showed his affection was by placing two fingers on your cheek. Nobody quite knew why but they all accepted it as his token of love. Wade loved all and was loved by all. He will forever be in our hearts.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Elizabeth And Andrew Bring Visitors To Church

Well I don't think this will actually count but it was still very cute. No we did not have quadruplets added to our family! After buying fall decorations for the church next year at Walmart for 90% off the kids decided that the decorations would be their new friends. Elizabeth refers to them as, "kids" and she carries them around in the same way that she tries to carry Andrew around. Her new friends cooperate much better than Andrew. Although their new friends are a bit messy when they are loosing their stuffing I think they are four quite well behaved individuals with beautiful smiles and I hope they will teach our children how to play quietly. No we are not counting them when we count church attendance :).

Carols Changed Christmas

Before the advent of the Christmas carol, celebrations of Christmas had become so depraved and rowdy that the observance of the joyous season was once forbidden by the English Parliament. The meaning of Christmas had become lost in a malestrom of reveling, drunkenness, rioting, and depravity. Decent people found it necessary to stay indoors for safety. The situation became so shameful that in 1644 Parliament passed strict laws making it illegal to commemorate the season in any way whatsoever! How empty and devoid of meaning is a Christless Christmas! KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS.

Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996).

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Going Home For Christmas

Hospital Visits And Funeral Preparation

This last week has been a fury of unexpected activity. On Sunday we were told that Wade Martin, the son of one of our church members, was in critical condition in the Hospital. He had had a tumor removed on Tuesday and by Friday he was able to walk around and play cards with his family. On Friday and Saturday things took a turn for the worst. We headed for the Hospital in Fort Collins, Co on Monday. On our way to the hospital in Colorado we stopped in the hospital in Wheatland, Wy to visit Ramona, the sister of two of our other members, who had congestive heart failure and they didn’t expect her to make it.

After making hospital visit on Monday we spent the night in a hotel in Fort Collins, Co. In the morning we went back to the Hospital in Fort Collins, Co to be with the family. Around 11:00am, just after praying with the family in his room, wade passed away. It was very hard on the family and we grieved with them. The last time I had seen Wade before going in to the hospital he had taken Andrew for a ride on the four-wheeler and both of them were smiling from ear to ear.

On our way back from Fort Collins, Co we stopped again at the hospital in Wheatland to visit Ramona and her family. Her family was glad to see us again. We came back to Wheatland on Wednesday for Becca’s checkup with her pregnancy so, we stopped in again and were able to spend a more significant amount of time with Ramona and here family. She is doing much better and they plan on moving her to Casper some time this week.

Almost every day I have visited Wade’s family as they make plans and preparations for the funeral. This will be my first funeral and from the sounds of things it should be a fairly large one. They are expecting 40-60 family members to come and 100-150 other people from the community. Wade didn’t know a stranger and everyone liked him. In a small town like Guernsey it seems that everyone knows everyone. Here is a copy of the details from the funeral home’s website.

Funeral services for Albert Wade Martin, 52, will be held at 2:00 P.M., Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at the General Spence Wyoming Army National Guard Armory in Guernsey, Wyoming with Pastor Jason Miller officiating.  Inurnment will be held at the Hartville Cemetery near Hartville, Wyoming.
Wade died Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. 
Wade was born August 29, 1960 in Casper, Wyoming the son of Albert Paul and Eldora Joann (Goolsby) Martin.
A memorial to the Wade Martin Memorial Fund in care of Lusk State Bank, P.O. Box 1400, Lusk, Wyoming 82225 would be appreciated by the family. 
Friends and family may call on the funeral home on Sunday, December 2, 2012 from 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Fresh Snow

Monday morning this last week we got some snow and before it was gone I went out to take some pictures. This is a banner I made from the pictures I took.

2012-11-24 010 Stitch (Filled in NO Merry Christmas) web size 225x1881

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Indoor Petting Zoo

I think this may prove that my kids are monkeys.


(Please don't feed the animals)


So Much To Be Thankful For

This last week we had our Harvest Dinner. It went very well and about 40 people showed up. We had plenty of food and we boxed up some of the extra food to take to some elderly shut-ins that we know about. We didn’t see any new faces that we didn’t know but we did se several people that we had not seen in a while. Please pray that God will draw people to Him. There is one young couple who I was talking to who expressed that they knew that they needed to start coming back to church. They feel like it would be awkward to come back after being gone for so long so please pray that the lie that the Devil is telling them will be destroyed.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

When in Need

2 Kings 1:1–2:5

When we encounter trouble, we tend to look wherever we can for help: We turn in whatever direction seems most promising at the moment. In doing so, we may unwittingly walk away from Yahweh. Should practicality or convenience stand between God and us?
When King Ahaziah falls through a lattice and is injured, he seeks help from a foreign god rather than Yahweh—likely because it seems natural or right. He thinks the god of Ekron, Baal-Zebub, can provide the healing he needs. But what Ahaziah sees as a desperate situation is actually an opportunity for Yahweh to act; Yahweh plans to use this situation for His glory.
When Ahaziah sends messengers to Ekron, Yahweh intercedes. Elijah approaches them bearing a word from Yahweh that had been spoken to him by an angel: “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?” (2 Kgs 1:3).
When we experience physical or spiritual pain, do we first recognize Yahweh’s power and seek Him, or do we turn to other sources? Does our turning to other places demonstrate a lack of faith? What do we really believe in when we seek people, ideas, or things rather than God in our time of need?
The consequences of turning away from Yahweh can be tragic. Elijah goes on to declare: “The bed upon which you have gone, you will not come down from it, but you shall surely die” (2 Kgs 1:4). Let us turn to God before it comes to this. Let us choose Yahweh.

Whom are you turning to right now in your time of need?

John D. Barry and Rebecca Kruyswijk, Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Elizabeth Makes The News

This newsletter sent out by Mercy Hospital featured Elizabeth's surgeon and her story from April.
Children Center-Newsletter-Fall 2012-p3

Monday, November 12, 2012

Faith Untried

“The Trial Of Your Faith.”

— 1 Peter 1:7

Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators....Tried faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness had you not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God’s strength had you not been supported amid the water-floods. Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.

Let not this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: the full portion will be measured out to you in due season. Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise him for that degree of holy confidence whereunto you have attained: walk according to that rule, and you shall yet have more and more of the blessing of God, till your faith shall remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Learning to Lean (Part 2 -How Can I Find God’s Will For Me)

The following quote is related to our last ministry update titled “Learning To Lean”. I felt that post was getting a little long and I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate this lesson from my reading with that update. I guess you can view this as part 2 of that post.

Proverbs 3:5–6:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

Introduction: When Eskimos travel through northern Alaska, they are often in danger, for there are no natural landmarks and few permanent roads. In a snow- storm, even familiar trails are hard to follow, and the possibility of freezing to death is a constant threat. So the trails are marked with tripods, each bearing reflective tape. By following the tripods, the travelers can find their way. As we read the Bible, we continually come across the truth that God erects tripods for His children. This is not only assumed but illustrated over and over. We need divine guidance. Human schemes are wretched substitutes for divine guidance. Life is made up of choices, and very often we have no idea what choice to make. But wise Christians learn to spot God’s tripods.

   1.      The Prerequisites for Divine Guidance. The first prerequisite is confidence in the Sovereign: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” The second prerequisite is caution regarding one’s self: “And lean not on your own understanding.” The third prerequisite is consideration: “In all your ways acknowledge Him.” Our actions must be examined in light of God’s will for our lives, consulting Him, recognizing that His plan for us is best (Jer. 29:11).

    2.      The Promise of Divine Guidance. “And He shall direct your ways.” Proverbs 3:6b assures us that God guides His children in their daily lives. The Christian should never wonder or worry if God will guide. His guidance is personal. He wants to direct us—strait and plain—safely to our journey’s end. God’s guidance is practical. The Lord is vitally interested in directing us in every area, under all circumstances. God’s guidance is perfect—infallible, reliable, and trustworthy. Divine guidance is patient. He leads His children step by step (Ps. 23:2).

    3.      The Principles for Divine Guidance. Submission to the Sovereign is a key principle in guidance (Rom. 12:1; Jonah 1:1–2). The Lord is not looking for better methods or bigger men or women. He is looking for surrendered hearts. Another principle of divine guidance is searching the Scriptures (Ps. 119:105). God speaks to His children through His Word. Supplication in the Spirit (James 1:5) is necessary to obtain divine guidance. Daily, disciplined, diligent prayer is never a waste of time, and very often the Lord gives us insights while we are in the very act of praying. We also need suggestions from our soulmates—the advice of our close friends and family members (Prov. 15:22). A final principle is satisfaction in the soul (Isa. 26:3), an inner conviction or “gut instinct,” a sense of peace from God about a possible course of action. In his booklet, Getting to Know the Will of God, Dr. Alan Redpath tells about trying to decide whether he should enter the ministry or stay in his present profession as a chartered accountant of the staff of Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd. He made a list on paper of all the reasons for staying in business, and each morning during his devotions, he asked the Lord to show him particular Bible verses that would counter or affirm the reasons listed. “Lord,” he prayed, “I am not here to evade you. I am here because I want to know your will.” What happened? “Day by day I turned to my Bible. Almost every day a verse seemed to speak to me and I began to write that verse against one of the arguments. At the end of a year, every argument in favor of staying in business had been wiped out. It took over a year, but I was not in a hurry. I was willing to wait; I wanted it to be in God’s time. Too much was at stake to dash into the thing. I wanted to intelligently find the will of God. And I found it as I sought the Lord through my daily reading and meditation.”

Conclusion: The great question is not “Will God guide me?”—but “Am I willing to be led?” Are you willing to do whatever He asks? Whenever? Wherever? His plans are perfect, His paths are pleasant, and His presence is promised for every step of the way. George Truett once said, “To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge. To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.”

        If thou but suffer God to guide thee
         and hope in him through all thy ways,
         he’ll give thee strength, whatever betide thee,
         and bear thee through the evil days.

- By Dr. Melvin Worthington

Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook, 2002 Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), 306-07.

Learning To Lean (Part 1)

Living With Jesus

Proverbs 3:5–6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

The last few weeks have been filled with busyness but through all the labor the Lord has been teaching us to lean on Him. There are may things that we must lean on God to do and trust Him for the results. It is one thing to talk about resting in the Lord, but it is entirely different to live it. Satan is active and always seeking to corrupt our understanding of reality. A unkind glance from someone, who is absorbed in a personal trial at the moment, can be interpreted as hostility. Satan plants thoughts into our mind trying to convince us that a brother and sister in Christ is at odds with us and before long our relationship is broken. The battlefield was in the mind and we lost because we believed the lie of Satan. If we rely on our understanding of a situation or circumstances Satan will always have the upper hand in our life, family, and ministry.  As we rest in the Lord we find peace and comfort in His will, His strength, and His wisdom.

Listening To The Holy Spirit

On November 1-2 Baptist Circuit Riding Mission held there annual conference at Faith Baptist Church in Greeley, Co. The conference is named in memorial to Jeff Sawyer who worked with the circuit riders and took part in the establishment of Oregon Trail Baptist Church. He pastored Oregon Trail Baptist Church from the time it was a small Bible Study meeting in Fort Laramie until he died of cancer and the Lord took Him home. One young man from church accompanied me to the conference and God used the preaching of the Word to encourage and convict me personally.

Letting Go And Letting God

Letting Go Of MoneyWayne Stark - Director of BCRM

At the conference, Cindy Sawyer (Jeff Sawyers wife), presented a quilt she had made to be auctioned off for the building fund of Oregon Trail Baptist Church. The quilt brought $850 and that enabled us as a church to make a mortgage payment of $3,000 this month. The financial situation of our church has been the greatest demonstration of God’s provision so far. I believe God is using this very practical area to teach lessons of faith in the spiritual realm.

To put things in perspective…

  • As of May 1st we owed $30,000 on our building and had 2 years to pay.
  • Our average offering was about $800 per month.
  • Our monthly payment is $500 each month with the remaining due May 4th 2014.
  • Since may we have put almost $7500 toward the mortgage
  • All the bills are paid and the extra payments have already saved us about $415 in interest.

Letting Go Of Ministry

Watching the Lord work on the financial front is only the beginning. As we have endeavored to involve ourselves in the community and reach people with the Gospel we feel to be making little to no progress. Just this last week at a chili supper in the Guernsey Senior Center a couple told me that when they visited our church a few weeks ago they enjoyed the services and planned on coming back on a regular basis. That was good news enough but then they added that they had a friend that they were trying to get to come. I was jumping up and down on the inside because I knew that the Lord had been working on hearts.

Letting Go Of Me

God has bought a young man to our church who is disabled and has some unique challenges but he has already been a blessing to my wife and I. He is so willing and excited to serve the Lord even with his limited composite to understand. When I asked him to pass out flyers for our Harvest Dinner I didn’t expect him to literally get every business in town before I could and I didn’t expect him to go around town personally inviting people to the dinner. I pray that God continues to use this young man and bless him for his faith. Humanly people like him are rejected by society and yet Christ loves them and so should we.

The Camel’s Conundrum

The other day I heard about a baby camel that asked, “Mom, why do I have these huge three-toed feet?” The mother replied, “To help you stay on top of the soft sand while trekking across the desert.”
“And why the long eyelashes?”
“To keep sand out of your eyes on our trips through the desert.”
“Why the humps?”
“To store water for our long treks across the barren desert.”
The baby camel considered that and then said, “That’s great, Mom. We have huge feet to stop us from sinking, long eyelashes to keep sand out of our eyes, and humps to store water. But, Mom …”
“Yes, son?”
“Why are we in the zoo?”

That’s a question for all of us to consider. If we’ve been given all the resources we need to carry our Lord’s message far and wide, and if we’re completely equipped to fulfill the Great Commission, why do we keep it within the four walls of our churches? The Gospel isn’t something we come to church to hear; it’s something we go from church to tell.
That point was on our Lord’s mind when He preached His Sermon on the Mount and compared His church to a bowl of salt: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 5:13).

David Jeremiah, Signs of Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2007), 22-23.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Resting In The Lord

On Sunday we had an older couple join us for our services. I had met them in the spring just after Elizabeth was out of the hospital. I had spent a good deal of time talking to them at the Guernsey Senior Center and they had promised that one day they would show up and sure enough they did.

Sunday night I preached at Douglas Baptist Church for Pastor Phillips while he was at his home church in Ohio. His wife Bessie had been admitted into the Hospital with chest pains so after the services we stopped by to see her. The doctors have ran many tests but have been unable to identify any problems. Please keep here in your prayers.

This last week has also been a bit trying. Things can’t go well for long without catching the Devils attention and I was forced to face an issue head on. I had been up many nights previous praying about how the Lord would have me approach the problem and then afterwards I spent much time praying for the Lord’s working in hearts and lives. Please pray for the Lord’s wisdom as I continue to address and handle some of the situations at hand. At the same time I am excited to meet with a young man on Tuesday this week to discuss his salvation and church membership.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

In the Lives of Christians (John 14:14)

If the Son of God needed to pray, how much more do we? Jesus said that we “ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). He told us to ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7–8). And He warned that the spirit of man is willing, but the flesh of man is weak (Matthew 26:41). Prayer is where the real battle of the spiritual life exists, and the flesh would rather do anything except pray. In our casual, energetic culture, we have learned to pray while we jog, work out, or take walks for exercise. And that’s fine. But Jesus found it necessary to get away and do nothing but pray—probably the kind of example we should follow.

David Jeremiah, Signs of Life (Study Guide) (San Diego, CA: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2007), 13.

Why God Responds to Faith

Houston pastor John Bisango describes a time when his daughter Melodye Jan, age five, came to him and asked for a doll house. John promptly nodded and promised to build her one, then he went back to reading his book. Soon he glanced out the study window and saw her arms filled with dishes, toys, and dolls, making trip after trip until she had a great pile of playthings in the yard. He asked his wife what Melodye Jan was doing.
“Oh, you promised to build her a doll house, and she believes you. She’s just getting ready for it.”
“You would have thought I’d been hit by an atom bomb,” John later said. “I threw aside that book, raced to the lumber yard for supplies, and quickly built that little girl a doll house. Now why did I respond? Because I wanted to? No. Because she deserved it? No. Her daddy had given his word, and she believed it and acted upon it. When I saw her faith, nothing could keep me from carrying out my word.”*

Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), 285-86.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ministry, Missions, Money, And More…


National Hoops Ministries came to Douglas this last week to conduct a basketball tournament at which they would preach the Gospel. They came to Guernsey to recruit players at Guernsey Jr. High and High School. While at the school I was able to meet several of the local administrative staff and one even thought that I could get into the school and help out as a Pastor.

At the tournament I was able to talk with a Catholic family about the Gospel. They were spiritually sensitive but still seemed to be confused. After giving the gospel they thought that it was the same teaching that they were getting at the Catholic church. I was glad to get their information written down to pass along to a pastor in Casper where they were from.


The last couple weeks we have had some new visitors. One young man has offered to help out around the church. On Tuesday he came to church and helped me complete some of the projects to get the church ready for winter. Simply lending a hand is a big blessing.


This Sunday we voted to take on our first missionaries. I guess technically it is not our first missionaries but at least the first missionaries since I became the pastor. All missionaries had been dropped before I showed up and I don’t have any record of who the dropped missionaries were. The people decided to take on Marlin Driskell who serves as the director of Camp Grace and has stepped in and taught many of the Wednesday night Bible studies when there was no pastor here.


The Lord has abundantly blessed our church in the last month. No effort has been made to solicit outside support for our church and yet God has seen fit to bring funds our way. All the bills are paid and with the giving of our people and the outside support that has come in we will be making a $2,000 mortgage payment this month instead of $500. Although we are making a large payment we will still have some money in the bank as a buffer in case something happens.