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 24, 2012

Professional Appliance Installers

Can You Figure Out What Andrew Is Doing?

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.