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Don't Lose Hope
12/11/2020 8:34:13 AM
Through the trials of life and through the troubles of life it is so easy to become disheartened and discouraged.  So often we find ourselves feeling empty and lonely. We at times think no one else knows what it's like to be where we are and go through what we go through.  The fact is we are not alone in our struggles.  There are countless others that have walked the lonely roads before us.  There are many that have ventured across the deserts of life before we ever got there.  The valleys we walk through have footpaths that are worn slick from the travellers that have been before us.  David in that wondrous Psalm 23 said, Yea, though I walk through the valley.  We all go through them from time to time.  The thing is, don't stop.  Don't give up.  Don't lose hope.  Keep pressing forward.  You will get through!  I love that word through.  It means it is only temporary.  It isn't permanent.  It isn't going to last forever.  You may feel as though you've been there a long time, but you will get "through" it.  So, this morning I just have this simple thought on my mind for you.  Three simple little words.  Twelve letters and an apostrophe - "Don't lose hope."
Much More Abounding Grace
12/7/2020 10:17:21 AM
The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:20-Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.  But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.  It is the law of God or the commandments of God that reveal to us our sin.  God has declared what sin is in His eternal word and the law, although never intended to change our lives in redeeming us, it does convict our hearts.  It reveals God's truth and reveals our failures.  I don't know about you, but it sure reveals where I fail and miss the mark of God.  Yet, I'm so thankful that the great apostle never stopped there.  He went on to say that where sin abounded or was much or rose in excess that grace did much more abound or rose far greater above it.  I'm so thankful today for the much more abounding grace of God.  I look at my life and see many sins, far more than I like to admit, but I'm glad there is grace that rises above my sins and forgives me.  I fail Him so often and in so many ways.  I look at my life to see where I miss it more often I feel than I hit it, but thank God for grace.  He is merciful and He is gracious and He is kind and He is forgiving to us when we come honestly confessing our sins to Him.  It's easy to look at everyone else and point out there flaws and faults.  I challenge you today.  Take a look in the mirror and you'll see someone who is where they are because of much more abounding grace.
It Won't Be Like This Forever
12/2/2020 7:35:45 AM
I'll be honest with you today.  Sometimes you begin to feel like things will never change and that it will always be as it is.  We live in a world that is all messed up and in a society that is in complete disarray.  We live in bodies that are breaking down and wearing out.  We deal with physical limitations.  The desire to do is present, but the ability to do so often is limited.  We think back to a time in our life when it wasn't like this.  We remember when, maybe not too very long ago, things were so much different than they are now.  But here we are.  Dealing with "life" as it is for us.  But is won't be like this forever.  In that great resurrection chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 Paul writes in verse 51-52-Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  Twice Paul says, we shall be changed. Thank God, it won't be like this forever.  There will come a day when sin won't be a problem to us.  There will come a day when Satan will be cast into the lake of fire forever.  There will come a day when sickness and sorrow will never be known.  There will come a day when there will be no more cancer, no more pain, no more weakness, no more worries, no more heartaches or any such things.  We deal with those things and more now, but it won't be like this forever.  There is a better day coming for you and for me.  
The Old Wet Rooster
11/26/2020 7:42:06 AM
I read the story, related by another preacher, that was printed several years ago in the "Pentecostal Evangel" where J. K. Gressett wrote about an agriculturist named Samuel S. Scull, who lived on a farm in Arizona. This is part of the story he told:
"One night, a fierce storm struck with rain, hail, and high winds. At daybreak, feeling sick and fearing what he might find, Samuel went to survey the loss.  The hail had beaten their garden and truck patch into the ground; the house was partially unroofed; the henhouse had blown away, and dead chickens were scattered about. Destruction and devastation were everywhere.  While standing dazed, evaluating the mess, and wondering about the future, he heard a stirring in the lumber pile that was the remains of the henhouse. A rooster was climbing up through the debris, and he didn’t stop climbing until he had mounted the highest board on the pile. That old rooster was dripping wet, and most of his feathers were blown away. But as soon as the sun came over the eastern horizon, he flapped his bony wings and proudly crowed.”  (From a CAL post)  Sometimes you feel as though all you've been through this year has crashed in on you, but, like that old wet rooster, we are able to rise up out of the mess today and still give glory to the One who has redeemed us and kept us safe, bringing us to where we are right now.  Are things still a mess around us?  Sure, but for now, let's lift our head to heaven and give thanks to the Lord who has blessed us far greater than we all deserve. 
 
The "Unthankful" Generation
11/24/2020 7:58:48 AM
When the apostle Paul wrote to the young pastor Timothy about the conditions coming in the last days, one description he gave of the people and their attitude during those times is found in 2 Tmothy 3:2 which was that they would be unthankful.  Simply put, the word means ungrateful.  Could a better word describe this generation in so many ways?  The generation of "give me" is what we've become.  Our nation has raised a group of young people who feel they deserve more for nothing.  Far too many have developed the attitude of deserving just because and what they have they are not thankful for.  Think about it.  How often do we even hear someone say the words "thank you" anymore?  The longer I live, the more I realize that if I truly got what I deserved I would be cast out of God's sight forever in hell.  Anything that I have in this life or in eternity is all because of God's amazing grace.  I have no grounds for unthankfulness whatsoever.  Period.  Does that mean I always get my way?  No.  Does that mean I always get what I want?  No again.  But it means that I have much more than I deserve and for all that I have I need to stop and say to the Lord every day, "Thank you, for your blessings on my life."  I look back through my years and see how good the Lord has been to me and I must say, "Great has been His faithfulness."  So, I say today with all my heart, "Thank you, Lord, for your blessings!"
Always Trust What God Has Said
11/17/2020 6:38:15 AM
I just wanted to give you something that I haven't been able to get off of my mind and heart since yesterday.  It is something I heard or read a long time ago that says this, "Never doubt in the dark, what God has told you in the light."  If He has promised you something when things were well, don't doubt Him now though things may be tough.  What He said then, is still true now.
Jeremiah 29:11-13
11/13/2020 10:25:18 AM
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Changing Times
11/9/2020 8:21:51 AM
We are living in changing times.  With the strange elections now seeming to be coming to a close and things not looking very promising for the future, I'm afraid there are some changes ahead for us all.  I guess we say that every time things don't go our way in an election, but this one has an unusual feel to it, especially with how the year 2020 has gone.  Everything about this year has been different.  With the pandemic, with violence and looting in cities, talk of defunding the police and now the election as strange as it has been, times are changing.  I am so thankful that God said to Malachi in Malachi 3:6-For I am the LORD, I change not.  Although everything else may change in life, He never changes and He never will.  He is firmly in control of the world situation.  He has grace sufficient for His children for changing times.  There are those who are probably reading these lines whose world is changing.  Your home, your health, your happiness, your life has changed.  Take courage today in the One who never changes.  He will never forsake you in your changing times.  Although our lives outwardly change, our salvation is secure and our Savior is supreme.  The hymnist wrote, "When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace.  In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within in the veil.  On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.  All other ground is sinking sand."  Stand firmly on the One who never changes today.
Believing In Spite of What You're Seeing
11/6/2020 7:42:37 AM
When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Martha and Mary thought that He had arrived too late.  Their brother, Lazarus, had been dead four days.  When Martha received word that Jesus was in town she ran to meet Him and said to Him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  Jesus began to talk about the resurrection and she said she believed Lazarus would rise again in the last day.  But Jesus was talking about now in the immediate.  His final statement and question to Martha was, And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?  With that she responded that she did believe He was the Lord, the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.  Jesus was asking Martha, "Can you believe in spite of what you're seeing?"  It's easy to believe when everything is going our way.  It's easy when no one is sick, bills are paid, life is running smoothly and all is well.  But what about when everything gets messy?  What about when we don't understand what He is up to?  What about when things aren't going our way?  Can we believe in spite of what we're seeing?  What you are looking at in your life today may seem like an impossible situation (theirs was).  You may think the Lord isn't coming.  You may think nothing is changing.  You may think He is never going to work.  Just keep trusting and believing in the One who can do the impossible.  He is the same One who stepped into their situation and raised the dead.  Nothing was going to change their situation but a miracle and He still does miracles today.  Keep believing in Him in spite of what you're seeing.
Walking By Faith
11/2/2020 8:20:42 AM
Nowhere did the Lord ever promise us that the Christian life would be a life of ease.  He did tell the disciples before He left this world that in the world we would have tribulation or pressure.  We know that the Lord's ways sometimes are not always what we thought they would be.  At times He works differently than we expected.  At other times He works slower than we had hoped.  It all teaches us that we must walk by faith.  I read someone that said walking by faith is trusting that God's ways are always at work, even when we can't see how.  That is so true.  So often we don't see how the things we are going through can be anything good, but we just trust by faith that His plan will bring about the good He has designed for us.  That is what faith is all about.  Another preacher named John Blanchard said this, "Walking by faith means being prepared to trust where we are not permitted to see."  There may be something right now that you are going through that you can't see how it can be anything beneficial for your life or that any good can come out of it.  That's where you have to trust in the Lord and walk by faith.
A Lot of Talk About Peace
10/27/2020 8:14:08 AM
There has been a lot of talk about peace in the news lately coming out of the Middle East.  Various Arab countries are signing peace agreements with Israel and starting relationships with each other that once seemed impossible.  Some are saying there will be more to come.  Only time will tell.  My thoughts take me to Jeremiah 8:11 where it says, For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.  I can't help but think that this is only a precursor to a time when an agreement of peace will be made with Israel during the days of the Antichrist and they will be able to rebuild the Temple.  Thinking that lasting peace is achieved it will only be shortlived and will fall apart like a house of cards.  There will be no lasting peace until the Prince of peace comes and establishes His kingdom on this earth.  When He sits upon the throne of His father David and rules and reigns for a thousand years, then there will be a time of peace that this world has only dreamed of.  I can't help but think that we are only seeing the Bible fulfilled before our very eyes and the stage is being set.  Soon and very soon the Lord Himself will return for His bride to catch us away.  Even so come quickly Lord Jesus! 
More Grace
10/23/2020 8:04:23 AM
There is a little phrase found in James 4:6 that says, But he giveth more grace.  I have always loved that thought.  I am so thankful that God gives grace, but what a blessing to realize that He gives more grace when it is needed.  The idea is that He gives grace greater in measure or supply.  When our need seems greater, He has more grace to meet that need.  It is grace greater than all my sins.  When I have failed Him, His grace extends greater than my sins.  It is grace greater than all my sorrows.  It is grace greater than all my stressful situations.  It is grace greater than all my struggles.  It is grace greater than all my sufferings.  So this grace is superior than it all.  It is sufficient for it all, as well.  No matter where you are or what you are dealing with today, He has more grace for you to face the problem or deal with the situation.  Just look to Him because He is the one that gives more grace.
Love So Amazing
10/19/2020 8:42:35 AM
Have you ever had someone to let you down?  Have you ever been disappointed in life by someone or something that happened to you?  Well, of course you have...we all have.  We all know the sting of someone we know, we loved, we trusted, we counted on and thought we could depend on that let us down somewhere.  But the fact is, we're all human and as humans we are all subject to failure.  I can let someone else down just as easily as someone has let me down.  But, isn't it a blessing to know of One who never lets us down?  Who never fails?  There is one whose love is so amazing toward us that you can always count on Him.  He knows me.  He knows my every thought, both good or bad.  He knows my weaknesses and my strengths.  He knows my successes and my failures.  He knows when I've done right and when I've done wrong.  He sees me completely, as no one could ever see me.  Yet, He loves me in spite of it all.  Nothing about me changes His love.  I can't do anything to make Him love me more and I'll never do anything that would cause Him to love me less.  That is amazing love, is it not?  So, today you may feel disappointed somewhere in this life, but never forget about the One who loves you with an amazing love.
Homesick for Home
10/16/2020 6:36:12 AM
I remember when I was young, probably eight or nine years old, going to my cousins house to spend the night.  All was well and we had fun...until it got dark and it was getting close to bedtime.  I got sick on my stomach.  It wasn't that I didn't love where I was at or the people I was with.  I just wanted to go home.  I remember my aunt calling my mom and her coming to the house, getting me and taking me home.  That was my first experience of being homesick.  Well, times have changed since then, but it seems the older I get the more homesick for home I become.  I'm talking about the one the Lord has gone to prepare.  It isn't that I don't love where I'm at or the people I'm with.  Oh my, I surely do, but there is a sickness about this old world that causes me to look for home.  It's a familiar place where family will be and the Lord will be.  Where there will be no more sin, no sorrow, no sickness, no sadness and no Satan to contend with.  I look forward to the day when the Lord comes to get us all and take us home.  How about you?  Do you ever just get homesick for home?
Pray Without Ceasing
10/13/2020 7:43:20 AM
I remember hearing it or reading it somewhere years ago, but the statement was that "prayer is one of the hardest things you'll ever do."  I believe that and I believe that standing right along beside it would be the word patience.  It isn't hard to say little nothing prayers that aren't very vital or personal to you.  But when something is heavy on your heart, prayer can be a hard thing.  To earnestly call upon the Lord can take a lot out of you.  When our hearts are burdened and we need the help of the Lord we tend to lay aside all of the superficial things, the flowery things that may dress up our prayers and we cry out desperately to the Lord.  Then the Lord knows we are serious about what we are praying for and His attention is solely on our cries.  So, I encourage you to pray and to pray without ceasing over what is on your heart.  Not the flowery, formal, careless type of prayer, but the serious kind that the Father will know we truly are seeking His help in time of need.  He is always listening.
Jesus Knows What You're Going Through
10/7/2020 10:13:04 AM
I remember several years ago, when I pastored here the first time and was driving the school bus, that there was a particular time that I was really struggling.  To be honest I don't remember now what the situation was that I was struggling with.  What I remember is that on that particular morning I got on the bus, ran my route and came back to the school.  I was so low.  I was discouraged and just needed something.  I remember I got off the bus, got into my car and cranked it.  The radio was on and the first words I heard were the words of an old song from back then that said this..."Jesus knows what you're going through."  It was like the Lord spoke those words to my heart that morning and I couldn't help but cry.  It was what I needed to be reminded of that day.  I want you to know that today.  No matter what you're facing.  No matter what you're going through.  No matter how hard your day is.  No matter how difficult things may be right now for you.  Jesus knows what you're going through.  He has promised to go through it with you.  He will never leave you and He will never forsake you.  Lean on His strength.
When Sorrows Like Sea Billows Roll
10/5/2020 8:13:37 AM
There are times in each of our lives that we feel overwhelmed.  It can come in so many ways.  We can feel overwhelmed by the stress of work or by the pressing needs of family.  We can feel overwhelmed by days of sickness or a life filled with pain.  In the words of Horatio Spafford's great hymn there are times when sorrows like sea billows roll.  I've never been out on the sea, but I've seen enough pictures to get the idea of the thought.  Sometimes you feel as though it is one wave after another to the point you wonder if the next wave is the one to take you under.  It must have been how the disciples felt on the sea of Galilee when they tried so hard to deal with the storm, but felt they would perish.  It was then that they awoke the Master and asked Him, "Carest thou not that we perish?"  Foolish question?  Of course, but don't we all get there sometimes?  That's when the Master of the sea arose and calmed the winds and waves.  He can still do that in our troubled seas.  When our sorrows like sea billows roll and when He speaks peace then we can follow with the words, "It is well, it is well with my soul."  He does care about your storm so why not call on the One who has the power to calm the seas of your heart today?
A Light for a Dark Way
9/29/2020 7:18:47 AM
Psalm 119:105 says, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  So much of my life is spent trying to discern the right way to go and that seems to get even harder as the days are getting darker.  The decisions of life are too important to take lightly.  The directions of life for my family are too vital to take for granted.  We need something to help lighten the pathway and thankfully God has provided for us His Word to do so.  It is a we approach His Word with a heart tender to His voice and with a desire to listen and learn that He can and will guide us in our lives.  I'm afraid so often we take His Word as something we don't think much about until Sunday rolls around, then we follow along with the preacher as he reads his text.  But God wants to speak to each of us every day.  So I remind you, that life isn't getting easier and the days are getting darker, so we need to read God's Word and let it be the lamp to our feet and the light to our path as we walk through this world.  Even if you can only spend a few minutes a day with it, it will be a few minutes that you will give you some light for a dark way.
You Can Trust Jesus
9/26/2020 8:55:43 AM
When Jesus and his disciples attended the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee a dilemma arose that needed addressing.  They ran out of wine.  That was an embarassing situation, but it was a troubling situation for all that was involved in the wedding feast.  Mary, the mother of Jesus, did the only thing she knew to do which was to tell Jesus about the situation.  She didn't tell Him what to do, but she simply told Him, "They have no wine."  We don't know all that she thought He would do, but she trusted Him to do something.  Then she told the servants, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it."  In the whole situation Mary was trusting Jesus to do something in that time of great need.  There are so many who have an emptiness in their life right now.  It may be an emptiness of joy, of peace, of satisfaction or other things.  It could be an emptiness of hope.  An emptiness of understanding.  An emptiness of direction for life.  The list is endless.  Do as Mary.  Go to Jesus and tell Him all about it.  Trust Him for, after all, He is the only one who can fill life's emptiness with real joy, real hope, real peace and real life.  You can trust Jesus for whatever you are needing today.
The Dearest Friend I Have
9/21/2020 10:41:10 AM
Years ago someone had a contest to find the best definition of a friend.  The winning definition was this..."A real friend is someone who comes in when the whole world has gone out."  I can see why that one won the contest, how about you?  It has been said that in life we have many acquaintances, but very few friends.  I have a few that I consider good and close friends, but there is one who is the dearest friend I have and that is the Lord.  He is the kind of friend who knows everything about you, warts and all, and loves you just the same.  He is the kind of friend who will stand by you when all is well and He will be there when all has turned upside down.  He cares like no one else ever could.  You can count on Him.  What a wonderful friend is Jesus.
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