Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Family!

 

O LORD, God of hosts, who is mighty as You are, O LORD, with Your faithfulness all around You? (Psalm 89:8)

 

There truly is no one like our God!  He is holy, He is mighty, He is faithful.  All of that and so much more.  Exalt Him today simply for who He is!

 

This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22, is our FBC Family Missions Conference!  Doug Hazen, who focuses on prayer mobilization with WorldVenture, will be our guest speaker on Sunday morning.  While speaking with him a little while back, he recommended I read Pressure Points by J.D. Payne.  I started looking online for the book, and then noticed it on top of a stack of books that had been given to me!  Anyway, in the book, after showing some charts describing the number of adherents to various religions in specific countries around the world, Payne makes the following statement:

 

“A glimpse at these numbers… should move us to prayer and service as we recognize the enormity of the challenge in seeing the nations come to adore their Creator” (pg. 52).  That thought is in line with what Doug will be sharing with us Sunday morning from Matthew 9:36-38, “God’s Staggering Promises.”  Please spend some time in that passage in preparation for Sunday.

 

Remember this is a conference for everyone, for the whole family.  It begins Saturday at 9am.  Nursery will be available, there will be hands-on and inspiring activities for kids, opportunities to interact with some of the missionaries we support locally and globally, prizes raffled off, including one each of my three favorite books on missions and coffee shop gift cards, a time for families to pray together for our missionaries, a great brunch including sub sandwhiches, a fun quiz to see how well you know about some of our missionaries, Turkish coffee, videos from a few of our supported missionaries, and what I expect to be a very interesting panel questions and discussion time, with a special focus on experiences of answered prayer, specific prayer requests, etc.  Various missionaries will have displays up in the fellowship hall for you to browse, learn, and meet them.  We hope to close Saturday and raffle off prizes at 12:45pm, so we should be done by 1:00.

 

On Sunday at 9am (Sunday School hour), adults will be in the worship center for presentation and interviews with Pastor Justin, and a few local missionaries, while the children will have 3 activity stations focusing on Haiti, Japan, and Turkey.  The fellowship hall will be open again between services for browsing the displays and meeting the missionaries.  The worship service (10:30) will include music led by Teen Challenge worship team, and of course the message by Doug Hazen.  As mentioned before, we will take a special “loose change or whatever you want to give” offering to complete the project of raising funds for the swing set structure at Camp Praise in Alaska.  Please plan on being here for the exciting events of both days!  I think you’ll be glad you did!

 

12 days to Trunk-or-Treat!  I don’t know the candy competition totals from this week, but this I do know: the 2 leagues are close in weight, and we need a lot more candy!  Please consider a generous donation of candy to the baseball league of your choice.  We are also in need of more vehicles.  If you haven’t signed yours up yet, please do so this weekend!  We want to fill our parking lot with the friendly folks of FBC, their decorated cars, trucks, boats, tanks, etc.!  This is a fun event that brings us together and is a great blessing to families in our community.  It’s our desire to shine the light of Jesus Christ brightly on this dark night.  So please consider joining us.  Please be inviting families you know.  And please be in prayer for God to work through this effort to draw people in our community to Himself!

 

Finally, thank you to all of you who have been praying for Molly while she’s in Mexico.  The Lord has been working mightily in her life.  We are so grateful.  She has started a blog to occasionally record her thoughts about what she is experiencing.  Below is a link to her latest post:

 

https://mollyelizabethbeach.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/a-step-of-faith/

 

Looking forward to seeing you all Saturday and Sunday!  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael

 



Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)

 

I like what the ESV Study Bible says about the above verse:  “Paul is drawing on Isaiah 59:17, where the Lord is portrayed as a warrior wearing armor.  Here Christians, as those destined to stand alongside the Lord on the last day, are called to put on His armor (see Eph. 6:10-20).”  And referring to the faith, love, hope, “The triad of essential Christian traits (see 1 Cor. 13:13; 1 Thes. 1:3).”  Since we are people of the day, as opposed to people of the night, we need to “armor up” with faith, hope, and love!

 

This Sunday will be message 4 out of 5 in our 5 SOLAS series, looking at the key doctrines emphasized in the Reformation.  This week we will look at SOLUS CHRISTUS: Christ Alone, which is about the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Savior.  We will again look at numerous passages, but let me give you a few to prayerfully read between now and Sunday: John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-4; and Hebrews 9:15-28.

 


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Love From Your Pastor

Happy Thursday FBC Friends!

 

Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His compassion? (Psalm 77:9)

 

Thankfully, the answer to the psalmist’s questions is, “No!”  God has not forgotten to be gracious.  In fact, He couldn’t possibly forget to be gracious, because graciousness is part of who He is!  He does get angry over sin.  And He is certainly a Mighty God to be feared.  But He is also “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious…” (Ex. 34:6-7)  I’m so thankful that is true about our God, aren’t you?

 

This Sunday, the 3rd message in our “5 SOLAS” series is about SOLA GRATIA: Grace Alone.  It is critical for us to understand salvation (and all of the Christian life) as a gift of God.  We will look at a number of aspects of grace, and consider numerous passages.  A few good ones for you to chew on in preparation would be: Titus 2:11-12; Exodus 34:6-7; Isaiah 6:5-7 & 53:4-6; Ephesians 2:8-10; and 1 Corinthians 15:10.  

 


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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” (Psalm 70:4)

 

Notice the psalm writer says “may all who seek You…”  Are you seeking Him today?  He says, “You will seek Me and find Me if you search for Me with all your heart.”  Seek Him today while He can be found!  Then he says, “may all… rejoice and be glad in You!”  When you seek and find Him, and enter into relationship with Him, you can’t help but rejoice!  Rejoice, Christian!  Then he says, “may those who love Your salvation…”  Do you love His salvation?  Are you amazed by the tremendous gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins?  If so, then it is fitting to proclaim, “God is great!”  Yes, God is great!  Let’s seek… let’s rejoice… let’s love salvation… let’s proclaim His greatness!

 

Please pray for Pastor Justin and Dave Ezell as they headed up to Alaska today to serve a camp aimed at blessing missionary families this week.  Pray God will use them as a real source of encouragement and for effective teaching.  Also of course pray for Lynsey and Trish while Justin and Dave are away!

 

Just a heads up — we normally observe Communion on the first Sunday of the month, but we are moving it this month to the following Sunday, October 8.  So on that day we will remember His death together, as well as have the Communion Care Fund box available.  

 

Our FBC Missions Conference is coming soon – October 21-22!  It’s shaping up to be a tremendous event for the whole family!  Please mark your calendars and plan to come.  There will be programs for kids, opportunities to meet and interact with some of our local and overseas missionaries, listen to a panel discussion, see videos from a few of our missionaries, door prizes, and good food!  So, Saturday from 9am to around 12:30 or 1pm.  You won’t want to miss this.  Then on Sunday there will be a variety of things shared during Sunday School hour, then the Fellowship Hall will again have display tables set up and a chance to talk to our missionaries, followed by a great time of worship and a special message from Doug Hazen from WorldVenture about praying for workers for the harvest.  Hope to see you and your family at this entire event!

 

Trunk-or-Treat is also just around the corner – Tuesday, October 31, 6:00-7:30pm.  So start planning your vehicle decorations, your own costume (if you want), and start bringing in the pounds of candy!  Last year we aimed for 500 lbs… can we beat that this year?  Hopefully the candy contest will be revealed this Sunday so you can know which bucket to put your many pounds of candy in!  Please begin praying for an effective outreach to our community as we try to shine the light of Jesus Christ into our dark world.

 

This Sunday we will continue our series on the 5 SOLAS.  I will be speaking on Sola Fide: Faith Alone.  There are of course numerous verses and passages on this subject, but I’ve decided to zero in on one key passage: Romans 3:21-31.  So please read that in preparation for Sunday.  This is one of the passages that so fired up Martin Luther and helped cause him to boldy proclaim the message that our justification (being declared right with God) is by faith alone, not by our good works.  So I hope to see you Sunday as we explore this critical Christian doctrine together.

 

God is great!

 

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC,

 

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

 

Do you ever find yourself weary?  The above verse includes both a command and a promise.  The command – Don’t grow weary… Don’t give up!  The promise – We will reap (bring in a harvest) in due time (in God’s perfect time)!

 

Many of you have asked how Molly is doing in Mexico.  She is having a great (and challenging) experience so far.  She recently started a “blog”, writing her thoughts about her experience.  You can check it out (and subscribe to it if you want) here:  https://mollyelizabethbeach.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/lost/

Also, if anyone wants to send her an encouraging note or card (her birthday is Oct. 23!), or any financial support for Andy & Monica Alvarez, the missionaries she’s staying with, here is the mailing address:

 

Trunk-or-Treat is a little over a month away!  Elizabeth would still love help with the organizing, so if you can help her, please contact her – 541-979-1774.  Start stocking up on individually wrapped candy and planning how you are going to decorate your vehicle!


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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 17:7)

 

I know, you’re thinking, “What? We’re on chapter 17 of Isaiah already?”  Well, no… we’re going to be in Isaiah 2 in the sermon this Sunday!  But this verse was in our One Year Bible today.  A great reminder that one day, everyone will come to a place of acknowledging the Creator, the Holy One of Israel.

 

This week I’d like to encourage you to read Isaiah 2 in preparation for Sunday.  The title is “No More War”.  That’s an idealistic dream, isn’t it?  Everyone wants a time of peace on earth (well, apparently not everyone.)  But mankind will never, on our own, be able to accomplish it.  But one day the Lord will usher in a time of absolute peace, when He reigns over all!  Isaiah 2 isn’t just about that coming time, though.  It’s also a challenging passage, especially as we start to evaluate the things we begin to make too important in our lives.  Subtly, we allow idols to creep in.  Isaiah 2 will urge us to cast away all idols and worship God alone!

 

Men – remember Men’s Breakfast this Saturday at 7am!

 

Members (and anyone else interested) – we are having a brief business meeting Sunday right after the worship service.

 

Everyone – Remember the youth spaghetti (& meatball!) dinner fundraiser, which will begin right after the business meeting!

 

Parents of youth – remember Sunday at 5:30 is youth group kickoff, and a chance for parents and kids to be together to find out about the upcoming youth group year and enjoy time together.

 

Looking forward again to a great weekend!

 

Grace and peace to you…

 

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Friends!

 

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7)

 

David’s psalm of repentance is an amazing example to us in many ways.  It shows a contrite heart, on the heels of a dramatic moral failure.  It reminds us of God’s absolutely amazing grace, as David was restored to right relationship with Him in spite of such horrendous sin (this is the psalm he wrote in response to the prophet Nathan confronting him, after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged for the death of her husband Uriah).  It gives us something to read, meditate on, and turn into a prayer of our own in response to our own sinfulness.  If you haven’t read it lately, I’d encourage you to take a look at Psalm 51 today.  Perhaps today would be a great day to get on your knees with Psalm 51 in front of you and pray it as a prayer from your own heart.

 

Psalm 51:7 is also one of the cross-reference verses for what is probably the key verse in Isaiah 1 (which I will be preaching on Sunday).  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).  The title of the message this week is “When Red Becomes White.”  Please take some time between now and Sunday to prayerfully read through Isaiah 1 in preparation for what He wants to say to us through His Word.


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Hello FBC (good to be “back in the saddle”)!

 

…as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

 

In this life, we all know that we will face hardships and difficulties of many kinds.  If are eyes are only focused on earthly things, on the here and now, we’ll struggle mightily to experience a victorious Christian life.  The challenge for us is to focus our eyes on the things that are “unseen.”  That seems like a crazy paradox, doesn’t it?  How do you look at something you can’t see?  We need to focus our thoughts on eternal matters.  We need to be saturating ourselves with the Word of God, which He will use to transform us by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2).  Don’t get too bogged down with things that have no eternal value.  Fix your eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2), ask Him to help you daily to have a heavenly perspecitive on life, and worship Him for who He is and for all He has done.  Two key things will last forever: the Word of God (Isaiah 40:8), and the souls of people (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:46; John 5:29; Acts 24:15).  What are you doing today to help you “look to the things that are unseen,” because “things that are unseen are eternal”?  What are you doing today that will pay everlasting dividends?


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Love From Your Pastor

Hello (from the Arctic) FBC!

 

O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. (Psalm 26:8)

 

As I write this, the church facility is filled with the excitement of kids learning about the wonders of God’s Word in “Operation Arctic” Vacation Bible School.  I am so thankful for all of the faithful volunteers who have given of their time this week, to help children learn about the love of God for them expressed in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Thank you to all who have prayed and given so that this could be an effective week.  It’s fitting that during this HOT week in the valley, kids could come and cool off at FBC!  But we are praying that their time here in the Arctic will light a fire in their souls and that they will be hot for the Lord!

 

This Sunday we will wrap up VBS with a special presentation of “Operation Arctic”.  Kids will share some of the songs they’ve learned, there will be a skit, and I will share briefly from this week’s theme.  The kids have learned that the BIBLE is the Book of books (2 Tim. 3:16), it has Incredible impact (Ps. 119:105), it is a Bedrock base (Matt. 7:24), a Letter of love (Rom. 5:8), and it is Exciting to explore (Ps. 119:162).


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Love From You Pastor

Hello FBC!

 

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

 

“The gospel message calls believers to humble defiance of sin’s claim to ‘reign’ in our physical bodies and everyday lives (Rom. 6:12).  Because believers ‘have been brought from death to life’ (6:13), we can ‘present’ ourselves and every part of our bodies to God.  Eyes, ears, hands, feet, voices, minds – our entire bodies, once ravaged by sin (3:13-18), become tools ‘for righteousness.’  Sin’s ‘dominion’ is broken.  The law’s tyranny ended in Jesus’ death.  We do not groan under law, leading to sin; we are ‘under grace,’ which ushers us into God’s ‘dominion’ (6:14) – His own goodness and fullness.  We become fully human again as intended at creation, before the effects of Adam’s fall dimished us.” (Gospel Transformation Bible)

 

This Sunday we will continue our short series, PHILEMON: Reconciled!  We will be looking at verses 8-16 of Philemon in a message entitled, “Once a Slave, Now a Brother.”  This is a powerful letter, full of important truths for our Christian lives!  Please read Philemon again before Sunday, and pray for the Lord to be speaking to us through His awesome Word.


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