Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends,

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it– 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Rom. 3:21-25 ESV)
I don’t have a long statement to make about the above passage (which was part of our daily Bible reading calendar today), other than to say, “Wow!”  This little paragraph is rich with doctrine!  Just look at some of the key words: righteousness, faith, sinned, justified, grace, redemption, propitiation, divine forbearance…  See what I mean?  When sharing about verse 23 with people, I like to say, “What part of ALL don’t you understand?!”  All means all, including you and me.  Thank God that we are justified by His grace as a gift…!
 

Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC Friends,

It’s been a beautiful week (or two) and for the most part I am feeling very upbeat and full of gratitude.  I especially want to thank everyone who helped make our Missions Conference this past weekend an amazing success, and everyone who came and participated.  Let’s not lose the momentum and the passion for the Great Commission!  Many of our missionary guests expressed much gratitude about how the weekend went, and the support they sense from FBC.  I think we were all encouraged and challenged.
When I say, “for the most part…”, what I mean is that this week also included grief over the spiritual and moral condition of America.  Please allow me to be politically incorrect for just a moment.  The last verse of the book of Judges is about Israel in the past, but it can easily relate to the USA in the present:
In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25)
 

Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC Friends,

What a beautiful week we’ve been having!  I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some sunshine.  It’s been a great week for baseball, yardwork, and firewood!  But I’m looking forward to some time indoors at FBC for our Missions Conference!  I am so excited to see our sign up list has 86 names on it for Friday night!!!  It’s still not too late to sign up if you haven’t yet, so give us a call here at the church if you plan to come Friday and/or Saturday if you’re not on the list yet (541-466-5900).
The schedule:
Friday night, 6 – 8(ish)pm — Soup & Salad, testimonies from Zsuzsa Blake, Paul & Sheila Gunderson, and Sam & Wanda Miller, and music by David Ker & family.
Saturday, 9am – Noon — Testimony from David & Hillary Ker, Question & Answer, Breakout sessions available with numerous missionaries, testimony from Tim & Joy Watson, Missionary Panel with Baumans, Beth Arends, Markees; and Sandwiches.
Sunday, 9am — Children’s SS with the Kers; Adults breakout sessions available with numerous missionaries
Sunday, 10:30am — Missions-themed worship, special music by David Ker & family, sermon by Tim Watson, and special offering for missions; followed by all-church potluck.
 

Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hi again Friends,

I hope and pray that you’re having a good week and keeping your eyes fixed on our Lord Jesus Christ!
This morning I read a passage that I have been very thankful for for many years.  It is so easy to get down on yourself and start feeling inadequate for whatever task is before you.  Especially as a pastor, there have been countless times when I haven’t felt capable.  I have felt foolish, weak, and downright lowly!  Which is why I love the following verses:
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
May we rejoice in God’s calling of us today, and let us boast in the Lord!
 

Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!

Today’s daily reading in Philippians includes one of the greatest passages on “Christology” found in the Bible!  If you haven’t already, take a moment to read Phil 2:5-11.  What an amazing God-Man!  What an incredible Servant-Savior!  I especially found myself wanting to meditate on verse 8:
And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
May we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.  May we follow His example of humility.  May we take up our cross and follow Him.
This Sunday we will continue our series in Galatians by looking at 1:11-24.  It’s a little longer passage than the first two messages, so please take some time to read it before you come Sunday!  We will look at Paul’s defense of his apostleship, which is essentially him sharing the personal transformation that happened in his life as a result of his encounter with the risen Lord.  I will be asking you to consider your testimony.  What was your life like before you met Christ?  How did you come to know Him (or be known BY Him)?  What has happened in your life since your initial salvation?  Every Christian needs to be able to articulate the story of our faith.
A few things to remind you of:
1. Tim Watson will be here for Facilitator Training May 3-5.  Luanne Bagley has asked that you let her know by this Sunday if you’d like to be on the list to attend.
2. April 17th is the monthly get-together for the 55+ crowd (Christian Adventurers) at 12pm.  I will be showing pictures and sharing some of my thoughts from the trip to Haiti I took in March.  So… if you’d like to see & hear about the trip, I’m sure nobody would mind if you come that day (even if you’re under 55)!
3. April 21st is Elizabeth Beach’s 40th Birthday!  We will do a simple potluck, along with cake and ice cream, following the morning service.  She does not need any gifts.  But if you’d like to bless her perhaps a card or a note with a list of a few things you appreciate about her!
 

Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends of FBC!

Though it’s not a bright and sunny day today, I was reminded this morning of how great it was to have such a day last Sunday as we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord!  There were three verses that jumped out at me in the daily Bible reading, all relating to the theme of LIGHT.
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved! (Psalm 80:19 ESV)
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. (Proverbs 4:18 ESV)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV)
In the springtime we look so forward to sunny days so we can enjoy being outside, playing ball, walking the dog, doing yard work, etc.  But for the believer, every day is a day in which we can “walk in the light as He is in the light,” regardless of the weather!!!
 

Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends,

This morning I read the utterly amazing account of the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7:59-60.  His courage and forgiveness in the face of such unfair cruelty is a lesson in itself.  But I was struck by his two prayers, which he prayed while they were stoning him.  As tomorrow is “Good Friday”, I couldn’t help but relate Stephen’s prayers to those of our Lord at the time of His crucifixion.
And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59 ESV)
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46 ESV)
And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:60 ESV)
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. (Luke 23:34 ESV)
Let us reflect in these next few days on the incredible sacrifice our Lord made on our behalf (and in our place).  Consider the forgiveness He offered even as He endured undeserved hatred and brutality.  And, like Stephen, let us think about how we may follow His example in laying down our lives and offering forgiveness even to people who don’t deserve it!
 

Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!

It is good to be home after an amazing 10 days in Haiti.  Thank you so much for your prayers, and all of your words of encouragement.  I hope to give a report (with pictures of course) soon, but suffice it to say here that my time with Haiti Foundation of Hope was an incredible experience.  It was an emotional time – with the highs being very high, and the lows quite low.  But we saw God working in powerful ways there in Terre Blanche.  I would highly recommend for anyone who is able to go and serve in Haiti – do it!
This Sunday I will be starting a new series – GALATIANS: Set Free!  This first message will be an introduction to this letter from Paul, explaining some of the “facts.”  We will hopefully get a brief understanding of the overall message of the book.  Why did Paul write it in the first place?  What does it have to do with our lives today?  I trust that this Sunday will whet your appetite for more Galatians in the weeks to come!
 

Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hi Everyone!

This is a quick note for four purposes:
1. MEN’S BREAKFAST this Saturday at 7am!!!  Guys don’t miss this great time together.  The second part of Session 1 in our Stepping Up video for men will be shown.  Come prepared to be challenged to be a godly man!
2.  Thank you for praying for Ron & Jeanne Whitted while they were in Haiti!  They made it home safe & sound, and it sounds like they had such an amazing time they are already wanting to go back!  We can look forward to hearing more from them in the near future.  Also, tomorrow is the day for Mike Kirk, Dave Ezell, and myself to head down to Haiti as well.  Please be in prayer for us!  Hopefully you can download a specific prayer letter for our team by clicking on the following:
3.  The next two Sundays should be fantastic times of worship and growth at FBC.  This Sunday you will hear from David Douglass.  As many of you already know, you are in for a blessing when David preaches the Word!  Then on March 17 will be a great opportunity to hear from Paul Gunderson, missionary to Indonesia who is currently living in Eugene.  Come hear what the Lord is up to in the lives of the Gundersons.
4.  25 days to Easter!!!  Are you praying for your OIKOS?  Look for opportunities to serve, love, share with, and invite to FBC.  I am excited about our series in GALATIANS that I will start when we return.  I had an idea today:  many of you did such a great job memorizing the verses I asked you to a few weeks back, that maybe we could pick 5 verses in Galatians and memorize them together as we go through the book in the coming Sundays.  So, for those up to the challenge, here are the five verses I will be working on, with the “deadline” date for each one (which corresponds to the date I plan to be preaching about each verse, Lord willing of course) —
 

Read more...

Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends,

It feels good to feel good again!  Thanks for all your prayers for me as I dealt with Bells Palsy, prednisone, that nasty cold… I think I’m around 90%, praying for 100% by next Thursday when Dave Ezell, Mike Kirk, and I take off for 10 days in Haiti!  Speaking of Haiti, please remember to pray for Ron & Jeanne Whitted as they experience the final four days of their trip.  And remember John Joiner as he finishes his time in Burundi.
There has been a TON of sickness going around!  Many of you have probably already had a bad cold or the flu recently.  Now, while I am always urging you to make coming to church a priority, let me give you permission to stay home if you are sick!  We’re a sharing bunch, but these brutal illnesses are simply not nice to share with others!
This Sunday I will be speaking on a familiar story from Luke 19:1-10.  Many of you probably remember the song “Zaccheus was a wee little man…”  But this story is not only the inspiration for a cute kid’s song.  It is packed full of insight for us to consider regarding our relationships with “sinners.”  Do you have any unbelieving friends, relatives, acquaintances?  How do you relate to them?  Jesus was harshly criticized for being a “friend of sinners.”  Can the same be said of us?
 

Read more...

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.