Love From Your Pastor

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

 (Acts 20:35)
 
Acts 20:33-35 “contain at least three important lessons about money and work.  First, Paul declares,
I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel... The opposite of idolatrous covetousness is faith-filled contentment in God’s provision for our needs… Second, Paul works, so that he and his companions can live: You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me… Third, Paul works so that he can give to others… Christians must come to the aid of those in need, including the poor, widows, and prisoners.  Generosity toward others is a reflex of grace, a response to the matchless generosity of God who gave His own Son for us.  We should work to live, work to give, and be content with what God has given us.” (Brian Tabb, ESV Men’s Devotional Bible
)
 
On Sunday I will be speaking on “Generous Giving” from 1 Chronicles 29, as we conclude our 12-part series on DAVID:
A Man After God’s Own Heart.
  I’d encourage you to read the whole chapter in preparation for the message Sunday, but especially zero in on David’s prayer in verses 10-22.  As I’ve mentioned before, one of the best ways to learn to pray is to read the prayers of the
Bible, and let them become the prayers
of our own hearts.  This prayer by David is a great one for that!
 
A few other things to pray about:

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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
Our fathers in turn brought it (the tabernacle) in with Joshua when they dispossed the nations that God drove out before our fathers.  So it was until the days of David, who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.  But it was Solomon who built a house for Him.  Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.  What kind of house will you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place of My rest?  Did not My hand make all these things?’
 (Acts 7:45-50)
 
In Stephen’s sermon on the history of Israel, and how it all pointed to Jesus Christ, he reminds the Jews of King David and his son Solomon.  He shows how they have mistakenly associated God’s presence only with the temple.  But even in the Old Testament, God was not limited by a structure made with human hands.  God is near to all who call on Him (Psalm 145:18), and He has drawn near to us most fully in Jesus. (adapted from the Gospel Transformation Bible)
 
This Sunday we come to the point in David’s story where he purchases the plot of land in Jerusalem where the temple would be built.  But leading up to that is David’s sinful action of taking a census.  There is a lot to teach us in this event about man’s pride, God’s mercy, and His plan for offering redemption.  Join us this Sunday as we examine 1 Chronicles 21:1 — 22:1.  Please read ahead so you are familiar with the passage when you come Sunday!  Ask the Lord to teach us and change us.
 
Also this Sunday, Randy Waldie will begin teaching a Sunday School class on the Gospel of John for adults, located in the worship center.  Gwen Landon continues her study in the book of Genesis for the ladies in classroom 3.
 
There are a lot of events happening here at FBC in July & August, so make sure to get a bulletin Sunday and get things on your calendar!
 
Please keep Lynsey Hostetter in prayer, as she is now a couple days past their baby’s due date (which does not surprise Justin)!  They have family in town to help, and now they just need ‘baby peanut’ to decide it’s time to join us in the outside world!  (Of course, I know it’s the Lord who will decide the perfect time!)
 
Happy Harvest Time, enjoy these summer days, as they go by quickly!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Happy Friday FBC!

 
To You, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which You have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against You.
 (Daniel 9:7, see the whole prayer – Daniel 9:3-19)
 
“Daniel learns by reading Jeremiah that the 70 years of captivity will soon end.  He begins to pray in preparation, confessing his own sin and the sin of his people.  Daniel includes himself as a sinner needing the grace of God because he knows how righteous and holy God is.  Daniel’s words remind us that, in light of God’s holiness,
all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).” (The Gospel Transformation Bible
)
 
This past Tuesday Justin and I attended Franklin Graham’s Decision America Tour at the Oregon State Capitol building in Salem.  It was a great reminder of our desperate need for God’s mercy in America, and that we need to be praying and confessing our sins and repenting and turning to Christ.  He reminded us to confess our personal sins, our family sins, and our nation’s sins.  This is a critical moment in America’s history – as we approach Independence Day let’s keep praying and seeking God’s face and ask Him to help us as Christians and as a nation to turn from our wicked ways!
 
Sunday I will be preaching on 2 Samuel 12:1-25, a message titled, “Conviction & Confession”.  Following David’s sinful episode with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, he finds himself confronted by the prophet Nathan.  It’s quite a powerful story with lessons for all of us.  David’s prayer/song of repentance is also powerful.  I’d encourage you to read it in Psalm 51.  I’m working on memorizing that psalm, but I can’t guarantee I’ll have it by Sunday.  What is it that you need to deal with the Lord about?  You may not have committed adultery and murder, but remember, “all have sinned…”.  Better to spend some time in confession and repentance, and get right in your relationship with the Lord, than to have to get caught “red handed”!  Please read 2 Sam. 12 and Ps. 51 before Sunday and come with a tender heart to hear from God’s word.  We will also be joining in the remembrance of the Lord’s Table together, which is a fitting conclusion to a message on repentance!
 
Men: Don’t forget to get registered for Men’s Roundup (Sept. 9-11)!  The cabins are all taken, so we will be camping again this year.  This is always a great weekend of teaching, worship, and fellowship with other men.  Oh, and lots of good food too!  Sign up here: 
 
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ…
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
 (Deuteronomy 28:13-14)
 
There is much in Deuteronomy to both inspire us and challenge us.  I loved what I read in the
Gospel Transformation Bible
 regarding Deut. 28 today:  “Perhaps no other text in the Old Testament articulates so clearly the blessings of the covenant held out to God’s people upon their obedience.  (In these 14 verses, the verb ‘bless(ed)’ occurs 8x and the noun ‘blessing’ occurs 2x.)  Verse 2 promises ‘all these blessings,’ then we read in vs. 3-6 ‘Blessed,’ ‘Blessed,’ ‘Blessed,’ ‘Blessed.’  Finally, vs. 11 says, ‘the LORD will make you abound in prosperity.’  And perhaps no other text in the Old Testament articulates so clearly obedience as the condition for these blessings.  The stress on obedience is found in the beginning (v. 1-2), the middle (v. 9), and the end (v. 13-14).
     The problem is that we do not abide by all the things written in God’s law.  Left to ourselves, the result can only be
curse rather than blessing (Gal. 3:10).  But Christ obeyed for us (Rom. 5:19) and bore the curse for us (Gal. 3:13),
so that we might receive these blessings through our faith and not by our obedience (Gal. 3:14).  Those who are free from the obligation to keep the law in order to merit the promised blessings (Gal. 5:1) do not use that freedom to sin (Gal. 5:13) but rather to serve in love (Gal. 5:14).  As we do, we can expect to receive more of the covenant blessings in this life even as we anticipate experiencing the fullness of those blessings in the life to come.
     Blessing, true blessing, real
shalom
, is ours for the asking — as long as we resist the urge to try to help pay for it.”

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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Friends!

 
Yet the LORD set His heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day.
 (Deuteronomy 10:15)
 
Those of us following the same Bible reading schedule this year read Deuteronomy 8-10 today.  There were many things that caught my attention, and that I underlined.  But I focused in on 10:12-22, a beautiful statement from Moses exhorting the people of Israel to love, serve, and obey the Lord.  I’d encourage you to read that right now (or as soon as you get the chance).
 
“‘And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you’ (v. 12)?  Or, how should we respond to God’s gracious salvation?  By loving God (v. 12) and by loving the sojourner/those in need/neighbor (v. 19).  If we truly love God, then we will love what and whom He loves.  Our response to God’s gracious salvation is in keeping with who God is, for He loves those in need (v. 18); and this is in keeping with an understanding of who
we used to be, for we used to be those in need (v. 19) before God saved us by His grace.” (Gospel Transformation Bible
)
 
This Sunday is Father’s Day!  Make sure and honor your fathers and bless them men in your life who have had
godly
influence on you.  This would also be a good time to pay extra attention to the fatherless, those who may be in need of a godly man to take an interest in them.  There are many in our community, and some in our own church.  Ask the Lord to use you to bless a fatherless child this week.
 
Pastor Justin will be preaching “A Father’s Legacy” from 1 Samuel 2:12-36.  I’d encourage all of us to read that passage and consider what the Lord wants to teach us, specifically about fathers and sons.
 
This Sunday is also Pioneer Picnic in Brownsville.  As I’ve mentioned before, Sharon McCoy is heading up the pancake breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday.  If you’d like to help out, please contact her (or let me know and I can get you in touch with her).  I also mentioned last week that
Lovica
Johnson is heading up the BBQ at the Picnic.  They are needing volunteers to help with that.  She mentioned that she would especially be grateful for help cleaning up after it is all over (between 2-4 pm or so I think).  

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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
 (John 19:30)
 
Aren’t you glad our Savior completed the work the Father sent Him to do?  It is finished!  Aren’t you glad He didn’t say, “It is finished, except for…”  No, it is finished!  The work of redemption is done.  He gave His life for you.  He paid the price you deserved to pay.  Your sins have been atoned for, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.  It is finished.
 
This Sunday I will continue with our look at David’s life by sharing from 2 Samuel 7.  We’ll be talking about “Building Plans.” What plans do you have regarding what you plan to build or do for God?  Think about what He has built and is building for you.  David’s response of praise and rejoicing is a great example to us.  Pray through 2 Samuel 7 in preparation for Sunday!
 
Lisl Ruckert will be here at FBC to share with the adult Sunday School about her coming ministry.  She will also share during the morning worship service.  Let’s be an encouragement to this young lady as she steps out in faith in service to the Lord!
 
I asked you last week about helping with the Saturday and Sunday breakfasts June 18-19 for Pioneer Picnic.  You can still contact Sharon McCoy if you’d like to serve there.
 
I also was asked this week about trying to get some people to help with the BBQ dinners they do at Pioneer Picnic.  It looks like they especially need help at the Saturday BBQ, and I will probably be helping with the cleanup after the BBQ on Sunday afternoon.  If you’d like to help with any of that you can let me know, or even better, contact Lovica Johnson who is coordinating it: 541-517-6473.
 
May the Lord bless and keep you!
 
Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC Family!

 
Many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them, and He stayed there two days.  And many more believed because of His word.  They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
 (John 4:39-42)
 
“The gospel comes to us in order that it might run through us.  Having believed on Jesus, the Samaritan woman went back to her community to share the good news with her family and friends.  In doing so, she gives us the paradigm of a good testimony.  Jesus is the hero of her story.  She drew attention to the One who exposed her sin and gave her life; and in doing so, she invited her friends to do the same.  The gospel is personal, but it is not private.” (
Gospel Transformation Bible
)  I love that true story!  God demonstrates that He loves everyone and is willing to use anyone as His witness.  And I love that the friends and family who believed came to the point of believing because of Jesus’ words, not just the words of the woman.  What are you doing to share the beautiful good news of the gospel with the people in your town?  Have the people in your “
oikos
” (those 8-15 people God has placed in your life to be a witness to) heard your testimony of Jesus’ saving power in your life?
 
This Sunday we continue our study of David’s life with a message from 2 Samuel 6, “Dancing Before the Lord”.  So get your dancin’ shoes on and come to church!  (I’m kidding.)  Our Christain walk can sometimes be a roller coaster of highs and lows.  What are some of the things that make you the most excited about your faith?  Why is it that we are often so stoic that we fail to celebrate what God has done in our lives?  There is a lot to think about in this passage, so please read ahead and come prepared for the Lord to teach us what He wants.  And, it’s ok to rejoice a little bit (or a lot bit!) if God has done wonderful things for you!  So let’s rejoice together this Sunday!  Also, we will be celebrating the Lord’s Table together, so let’s come with a spirit of thankfulness as we consider how God’s holiness and His love met together perfectly at the cross of Christ.

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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Brothers and Sisters!

 
My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
 (Ezekiel 37:27)
 
One of the great promises of God in Scripture is the promise of His presence!  As He was promising the people of Israel that He would return them from the surrounding nations where He had scattered them, He assured them that He would dwell with them.  He also assured them of the relationship they would have – they would be His people; He would be their God.  This must have certainly provided great hope and encouragement!  It should provide the same to us, especially, this side of the cross!  Jesus Christ came and dwelt among us, literally “tabernacled” with us, when He came to earth the first time.  And we have the sure promise of dwelling in the marvelous presence of our amazing God for eternity!
 
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.
 (Revelation 21:3)
 
I want to invite you to participate in a special opportunity to serve our community during the Pioneer Picnic, June 18 & 19.  Our own Sharon McCoy is in charge of the pancake breakfasts that are served down at the Pavilion in the park on Saturday and Sunday morning.  I told her I would put this word out to all of you, with the hope that many would be willing to come and help cook and serve up the breakfast.  Let’s take this on as a church-wide community project!  What better way to meet some of the people in the area and let them know we’re here to serve?  Can you help?  Please call Sharon at 541-466-5566, so she can plan.  Thank you!
 
Please remember our Baby Bottles filled with $ for Options Pregnancy Center are due this Sunday!  Fill ’em up and bring ’em in!
 
Please also put on your calendar, the “Just moved in” shower for Pastor Justin & Lynsey & family, June 3 at 6pm.  There is more info in your bulletin this Sunday.
 
I will be preaching from 1 Samuel 30 this Sunday, a message called “Strengthen Yourself in the Lord.”  I hope you read the passage in advance and consider how David strengthened himself in God.  What are some things you can do to strengthen yourself in the Lord?  Will you commit to doing them?  A couple other passages to look at in this regard are Psalm 56:3-4, and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
 
I am looking forward to honoring those who were willing to give the utmost sacrifice for the freedom of our nation!  Memorial Day of course is this Monday, May 30.  Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all of our current and former military members!
 
May you dwell in Christ today, as He dwells in you…
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered.  And I will manifest My holiness among you in the sight of the nations.  And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers.
(Ezekiel 20:41-42)
 
Ezekiel’s prophecy is filled with numerous warnings of coming judgment.  But even in the midst of that, God continually displays His grace in His promise to save His people and restore them to their land.  He saves them not because they deserve it, but in spite of the fact that they don’t deserve it.  He saves them to display His holiness and His mercy.  The same is true for us today in Christ.  He saves to the uttermost, we who are the uttermost sinners!  He does it because of His holiness and grace, and in spite of our failings.  God displays His grace in the greatest way by saving those who deserve it the least.
 
Men – this Saturday is our monthly Men’s Breakfast at 7am.  We will as always enjoy some great food around the tables.  We will enjoy one another’s company.  And we will watch the 2nd part of the video “Clouds without Rain.”  Following the breakfast, there will be a Work Day at both the cemetery and the church.  There is plenty to do, so if you can stay and help that would be great!
 
Remember that Sunday night at 5pm is the Awana BBQ & Awards night!  We will celebrate the accomplishments of the kids and express our appreciation for the many faithful workers.  It is an opportunity to bless the children, and to meet and greet the parents, many of whom don’t attend FBC or any church.  So please be in prayer for this special time.
 
Sunday morning we will continue our series on the life of David, looking at 1 Samuel 25.  The message is entitled, “Dealing with a Foolish Man.”  Now ladies, no comments like “Well that’s what I deal with every day!”  We will look at Nabal, whose name means “fool” or “folly”.  We will see David’s temptation to get revenge.  We will discuss Nabal’s wise wife Abigail, and how the Lord used her to prevent David from taking revenge.  But I also want to consider what the Lord has done for us, even though “we ourselves were once foolish…” (see Titus 3:3-7).  So we look forward to seeing you Sunday and sharing in the study of the Word together!
 
May God grant you many blessings along with His grace and peace!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC!

“You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the LORD dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”
(Numbers 35:34)
“The Levites received no land inheritance, as the Lord Himself was their inheritance.  Therefore, every tribe was to allot cities within their various territories for the Levites (35:1-8), some of which were also to be designated as cities of refuge for those guilty of unpremeditated murder (35:9-34).  Like salt, the Levites were thus sprinkled about the Promised Land as a reminder to the rest of God’s people of their high and holy calling, that the Lord was their refuge, and that, ultimately, all land belonged to the Lord who dwelled in their midst (35:34).
Knowing that, through Christ, God Himself is our inheritance, we, like the Levites of old, live
in this world without being of it.  We are looking rather for the city of God to come in the new creation (Hebrews 11).  There the Lord God Himself will dwell in our midst (Rev. 21:22 — 22:5).”  (Gospel Transformation Bible
, note on Numbers 35)
We are thanking the Lord for the safe arrival of Pastor Justin & Lynsey and family!  Thank you for praying for them, for the long drive for Justin and the flight with the kids for Lynsey.  And a big thank you to so many who came out on Tuesday to help with the unloading of the moving truck!  We had a great crew and had the truck unloaded very quickly.
This Sunday we want to encourage everyone to wear name tags, to help the Hostetters a bit as they try to put our names with our faces!  So as you come in Sunday morning, look for someone handing them out and write your name (and please make it readable!) on it.  Thank you also Ron Whitted for setting him up with a nice desk, chair, and bookshelves, and for Rosemary for getting him started with his supplies.  Let’s keep praying for a smooth transition for the Hostetter family and for His perfect plan and timing for a more permanent housing solution.
After the worship service we will be having a membership class.  Lunch will be provided.  We have a few signed up already, but if you are interested in finding out more about membership at FBC, please let me know today!
I plan again to preach on 1 Samuel 24 this Sunday, a message titled “My Hand Shall Not Be Against You.”  This time I hope to actually deliver the message and not take off for Salem!  But only the Lord knows what His plan is for each day!
Thank you for praying for my mother-in-law Judith.  She seems to be doing better than we thought.  She is home from the hospital.  She does have COPD and has to be on full-time oxygen.  Elizabeth and her siblings are working on a schedule for being there to help her out, along with some of Judith’s friends.  Please keep praying for the family.  We have nieces and a nephew from Texas going to stay with our family for a few days, so that should be fun!
So thankful for each of you… may the Lord continue to bless you and our church family… and hope you are able to enjoy the sunshine!
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael



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