Love From Your Pastor

Hello again FBC Friends!

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9)  The LORD being described as a stronghold for His people happens frequently in Scripture.  In fact, here are some other references to it in Psalms for you to look up:  Ps. 18:2; 27:1; 37:39; 94:22; 144:2.  We also saw it last Sunday in Nahum 1:7 – The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.  Are you experiencing “times of trouble”?  Or do you know someone who is?  Run to the stronghold!  And tell others to go there with you.
This Sunday we will continue our series in Nahum.  Please read Nahum 2 in preparation for Sunday.  Consider how graphic Nineveh’s judgment is depicted.  The wrath of God against His enemies is an awesome (in the truest sense of that word) thing to behold!  Consider how proud & mighty the Assyrian Empire once was, as well as how wicked and cruel they were.  Can you imagine God Himself saying to you, “I am against you”?  How terrifying!  Sadly, countless people will hear something similar on Judgment Day.  But for all who turn to Christ in repentance and faith, “God is for us”! (Rom. 8:31)  Hallelujah (Praise the Lord)!
Also speaking of Sunday, I’ve been asked by the leaders to encourage as many as possible to consider parking in the back, or at least a ways away from the building, on Sunday mornings.  Let’s leave the closer spots for our seniors and our guests.  This is another “good problem to have” – the fact that parking is becoming a premium.  Also, please consider moving more toward the front of the worship center, moving toward the middle of the rows (if you’re one of the earlier arrivers), and leaving spots in the back and the aisles for those who come in a little later.  Also consider trying to somewhat “squeeze together”, so we leave room for families that want to sit together.  Let’s try to always be aware of the needs of other people around us, more than the needs or wishes of ourselves!  Sounds kinda Christlike don’t you think?
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Happy New Year Friends!

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Psalm 2:11)
I hope and pray 2014 will be a tremendous year for you, and for us at FBC, as we serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.  We were reminded this morning that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (Prov. 1:7).  Let’s worship and serve Him with awe and reverence this year!
Did you set some goals for this year?  Are you committed to write them down, read them often, share them with someone, and pursue the completion of them dilligently?  I hope so!
If you want to be reading the same passages of Scripture each day that I’m reading, I’d encourage you to 1) pick up a One Year Bible, 2) pick up a reading list for Jan. and Feb. from the missions table in the foyer, or 3) go to oneyearbibleonline.com and print out a list for yourself.  It’s only the 2nd, so it’s not too late to start!
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Happy Boxing Day Friends!  (Haven’t you always wanted to say that?)  I guess in Canada Christmas is even more commercialized than it is in the U.S., since they have a whole day set aside as a holiday just for boxing up the gifts you want to return!  (I may be wrong about the meaning of the holiday, but I’m not from Canada, eh?)

In our reading this morning we saw many great truths about the character of God.  He is gracious and merciful (Nehemiah 9:31), righteous and kind (Ps. 145:17), and true and just (Rev. 16:7)!  Plus many other things; those are just a few items from verses I wrote in my journal.  I hope that you are finishing the year strongly in your Bible reading & other spiritual disciplines!
In 2014 I will be using The One Year Bible, and would love it if as many of you as possible could join me!  We have January-February readings printed out and on the missions table in the foyer.  Pick one up this Sunday!  You can also get the list yourself at oneyearbibleonline.com.
This Sunday will be the concluding message of the sermon series: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES: training for holiness.  This last message will be on “Persevering” in the disciplines.  It will be a fitting message not only for the end of this series, but also for the end of the year as we will be thinking about our spiritual goals for 2014!  Meditate one last time (at least as far as this sermon series goes) on 1 Tim. 4:7-8, and allow your heart to be prepared for Sunday.  As we wrap up this series I’d like to ask, How has this series of sermons on the spiritual disciplines impacted your life?  If you have any specific things that you can share with me, I’d love to hear them!
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!

On the day I called, You answered me; my strength of soul You increased.  (Psalm 138:3)
How is your strength of soul?  That phrase really intrigued me this morning.  That’s what we’ve been dealing with for the past few months in our sermon series on the Spiritual Disciplines: strengthening the soul.  Have you called out to God today?  Has He answered?
EXPERIENCE CHRISTMAS is tomorrow (Friday)!!!  If you would like to help decorate, we will be here tomorrow at 9:00 AM.  “Many hands make light work!”  If you are a volunteer, we will meet for prayer at 5:00 PM tomorrow.  The event is scheduled to run from 6-8 PM.  We also are asking our volunteers and regular church-goers to park behind the building, or at the far south end of the parking lot, so we leave as much space as possible for our guests.  Also, if you are planning to bring a pop-up canopy, if possible it would be great if you could bring it down tonight or first thing in the morning.  PLEASE BE PRAYING & INVITING PEOPLE!!!
The One Year Bible – This year I will be encouraging all of us to read the Bible using the “One Year Bible” schedule.  Copies of January and February readings are on the missions table in the foyer.  You can print your own list at www.oneyearbibleonline.com.  I also learned of the One Year Bible Companion, that you may be interested in using as a devotional guide through the readings.  You can see more about it and order it here:

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Love From Your Pastor

Hello my frozen friends!

The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
The above verse is one that I have loved for as long as I can remember.  Our Lord is the ultimate promise keeper.  He always follows through on His promises!  I love that about Him!  His patience is an attribute that I am extremely grateful for (and I’m sure you are too)!  He does not desire anyone to perish, that is, to die in their sins.  He wants all to come to repentance.  Let’s pray that during this Christmas season the people in our oikos (the 8-15 people who are in our sphere of influence on a regular basis) will come to a place of repentance in their lives!
In case you didn’t get the message before, NO AWANA TONIGHT.  Due to the inclement weather and possible dangerous road conditions, we will not meet tonight.  We will resume next Thursday, the 19th, for the last club night of 2013!
This Sunday will be a unique experience during the message time of the worship service.  You will be able to be a part of a live studio audience for the first edition of a new program: “30 MINUTES”!  From what I’ve heard, the news anchor of the show will be interviewing a very special guest, who will be traveling many many miles, and many many years to join us: Mary the mother of Jesus!  (The interview may or may not take 30 minutes, but it’s a catchy name anyway isn’t it?!)
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!  Sorry this is later than usual.  Hope this message finds you safe & warm!

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Tim 4:7-8 ESV)
Not only is this the theme passage for our current series on the spiritual disciplines, but it was also part of our daily reading today in the Bible reading calendar.  Please continue to ponder it this weekend.
This Sunday I plan to preach the next-to-last message in this “Training for Holiness” series.  The subject will be LEARNING.  Now, whether you are currently in school, or have been out of school for a LONG time, don’t be afraid to be challenged to learn!
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!

How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to Your Word.  With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments!  I have stored up Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.  (Psalm 119:9-11, ESV)
That is one of the most well-known passages in the Psalms.  It is why AWANA is such a powerful tool in the discipleship of our children.  It’s the reason some of the guys are working on the “Topical Memory System” from Navigators.  It’s the purpose behind many different ways we have been trying to encourage Bible memory in all of our people, young and old!  Are you seeking Him with your whole heart?
This Sunday’s message in the Spiritual Disciplines series will focus on “Silence & Solitude”.  Shhhhhhhh.  For an introvert like me, you’d think this discipline wouldn’t be too hard.  And sometimes it’s not.  But this week I’ve been trying to find more silence than usual in my life.  One thing I’ve done differently this week is turning off the radio anytime I’ve been driving alone.  That may not seem like much, but it has been amazing to me how abnormal that feels.  I normally listen to music, sermons, the audio Bible, or an occassional ball game.  But listening to nothing has allowed me think more.  Sometimes I’ve been tempted to start preaching, but I’ve really tried to just be silent during that time.  I’m not saying that I’ll never listen to the radio again, but for we who live in such a noise-saturated culture, this could be a good discipline to practice more.
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!

Now to Him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith — to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ!  Amen.  (Romans 16:25-27, ESV)
Paul ended his great letter to the Romans with the statement above, but I wanted to start my message to you with it!  May our only wise God be exalted as He strengthens us in our faith!
Remember parents, tomorrow morning is the Awana Grand Prix at 9am!  Hope you all have your cars ready to go.  This is a great opportunity to enjoy some fun and excitement with the kids, and also a good chance for us to interact with guests who will be here who don’t normally attend a church.  Let’s pray that some seeds will be planted in hearts tomorrow.

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC Friends!

Who has first given to Me, that I should repay him?  Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine. (Job 41:11)
Our reading in Job this morning was God speaking to Job, and to Job’s “friends.”  This statement in 41:11 stuck out to me, because it is one of the points I want to make in the sermon Sunday.  I will be sharing the 2nd part of the message on Stewardship.  Last week we talked about using our time well, this week we will discuss how we use our money.  I did not include Job 41:11 in the message, but it closely relates to a verse I did include – Psalm 24:1, The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.  Please be thinking about those two verses as you prepare your heart for Sunday morning.
A few important items to be aware of:
Tonight – AWANA is back in action!  Unfortunately Cubbies will NOT be starting tonight, as we need to finish preparing their room with furnishings and supplies.  But (Lord willing of course) we should be able to move ahead with Cubbies next Thursday.  For parents in the “Pointers 4 Parents” class, please come prepared to discuss chapter 2 in our book, and your list of what makes your child/children special!
Saturday – Men’s Breakfast at 7am!  Dennis Blevins from Navigators (our Roundup speaker) will be sharing with us.  Invite a friend and come join us!
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC Friends!

I love what Job said in our reading for today:  I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food. (Job 23:12)  What a great statement!  Can you say that today (and mean it)?  What is a higher priority for you – your next meal, or the Bread of Life?
I want to encourage you to invite your friends and their families to tonight’s big event at FBC.  Our 3rd annual “Trunk-or-Treat” promises to be the best ever, and what an opportunity it provides for us to engage our friends and neighbors for the sake of the gospel!
Please be on the lookout for opportunities tonight to reach out to all who attend, and have a great time with your children and grandchildren and their friends.  Volunteers, please park behind the building or in the grass to leave plenty of parking for our guests.  Please be sure to thank all the volunteers in each area for their service.  A special word of thanks to Elizabeth and all who help put this event on each year.
 

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