Love From Your Pastor

Happy 16 Days to Christmas FBC!

 
Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD’s message, “I am with you, declares the LORD.”
 (Haggai 1:13)
 
Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the LORD.  Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest.  Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD.  Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts.
 (Haggai 2:4)
 
Isn’t that one of the great promises of the Christmas story?  “I am with you, declares the Lord.”  Emmanuel – God with us.  Let’s remember during this busy season that what we are celebrating is the presence of God among mankind!  Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh and dwelt among us!  Merry CHRISTmas!
 
I appreciate Justin doing a fine job preaching this past Sunday.  And this Sunday, rumor has it, we’ll have another guest speaker… John the Baptist will be joining us! 
A couple passages that will help us prepare for his visit are Matthew 3:1-12 and Luke 1:57-80.
  Please read those Scriptures before Sunday and come with hearts ready to learn about Christmas from John’s perspective!
 
Also remember this Sunday is our annual church family Christmas meal and business meeting.
  We will eat in the Fellowship Hall right after the worship service, and Nick Droback will be sharing his testimony and background during the meal-time.  Then we will move back to the Worship Center for the meeting.  EVERYONE is welcome to come for the meal.  The church is providing the ham, we are asking you to bring your favorite dish, salad, side dish, or dessert to share.  Everyone is also invited to the business meeting.  This will be a time of celebration, reflecting on what has been accomplished in 2016 by God’s grace in the various ministries of FBC!  We will also be voting on new members, church officers, and the annual budget for 2017.  Only members can vote for these items.
 
Please consider extending an invitation to your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. for the upcoming events at FBC during the Christmas season:
Dec. 11, 10:30am — “The Prophet of the Most Hight” (John the Baptist dramatic monologue)
Dec. 18, 10:30am — Children’s Christmas Program
Dec. 24, 6pm — “Christmas by Candlelight”
Dec. 25, 10:30am — “An FBC Family Christmas”
 
Friends, remember to keep Christ at the center of all you do this Christmas season!
 
We have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14) 
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael
 


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC Friends!

 
With it (the tongue) we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.  My brothers, these things ought not to be.
 (James 3:9-10)
 
This was a great reminder to me this morning.  We constantly need to be challenged to guard our tongues.  Let’s be careful with how we use our words.  What a great privilege to use them to bless the Lord.  Let’s make sure we’re not using them to curse people who are made in His image!
 
This Sunday Pastor Justin will be speaking on Colossians 3:1-4.
  This is a wonderful passage! Please go ahead and read it before Sunday and come prepared to hear from Him.
 
Many of you are aware that Justin and family were hoping to be moving into their home in Brownsville this weekend.  But it looks like the bulk of the moving will actually be next Tuesday.  He said he will send out an email with details for those who want to help.  But please let him know Sunday if you’d like to help them.
 
Some of you (especially those with kids) are surely counting down the days until Christmas (24 to go!).  What are you doing to ensure that this is a Christ-centered Christmas season for you?  I hope you’ll take some time in your family to talk about that.  Let’s keep our eyes on Him and remember that He is the reason for the season.
 
God’s grace and peace be yours in abundance!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Happy Thanksgiving FBC!

 
And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise Him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His steadfast love endures forever.”
 (2 Chronicles 20:21)
 
I’ve attached a list of verses with the words “give thanks” in them.  I think around 29 verses or so.  Perhaps this would be something you’d want to read through as a part of your personal time of giving thanks to the Lord.  And/or maybe it’s something your family will want to read around the table as you give thanks together tomorrow.  Whatever you do or don’t do, please remember to “give thanks to the LORD”, for that’s what the day is all about!
 
Speaking of thankfulness, THANK YOU for the generous support of our annual special offering for missions! 
You’ll see the report in the bulletin this Sunday, but it looks like over $9,000 was received on Sunday!
There were also a couple generous gifts toward the same projects a week or two before the offering was taken.  So I think it’s safe to say that this year’s offering was over $10,000!  May God be glorified and His kingdom advanced through this offering.
 
Another item regarding money: Some of our high schoolers (including Molly) are planning on participating in a mission trip to Mexico over spring break next year.  They are selling raffle tickets right now, I believe for a cord of firewood.  The tickets are $1 each.  If you’d like to purchase tickets to support the students on this trip, and for a chance to win some firewood, please talk to one of the high school students on Sunday (for an updated list of which students are going, contact Pastor Justin).
 
This Sunday I will be speaking on “Self-Made Religion” from Colossians 2:20-23.  Have you ever met someone who’s spiritual life seemed to solely consist of the things they DON’T do?  Or does that describe you?  It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking our Christian faith is all about rules and regulations.  But is it?  Please read the passage prayerfully before Sunday.  And by the way, I’m thankful for the excellent job Pastor Justin did for us in the previous section last Sunday.  These two messages will somewhat tie together.  If you haven’t listened to his message yet, I’d encourage you to here: https://www.fbcbrownsvilleoregon.org/media/sermons/
 
Giving thanks for you today!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
(Hebrews 13:5)
 
There were many powerful things in my reading of Hebrews 11-13 today, including the “Hall of Faith”
in ch
. 11 and my favorite Scripture of all-time, 12:1-2!  But I was led to write 13:5 in my journal.  Probably first because this verse is a reminder that I always need for my own life.  But secondly perhaps because I would be writing about it to you today.
 
Both a challenging command and a wonderful promise are included in this one verse. 
First we are told to keep our lives free from love of money.  That’s so important, but so difficult to do in our culture (probably in any culture really).  But that command to be content is tied to His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us.  We are ultimately to be content with what we have,
because He is really all we need!
 
It is fitting for us to consider this passage today as we prayerfully prepare for this Sunday’s annual special offering for missions!  We have a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing to 3 very worthy causes.  What a huge joy it was this past Sunday to see the mobile pregnancy center unit parked on our basketball court, which is one of the projects we gave toward last year!  This year we’d like to support Beth Arends, who works tirelessly with international students at OSU.  Beth is a dear sister who has faced with great courage some major challenges physically, financially, and spiritually in recent years.  We’d like to be a source of encouragement to her.  We also want to continue our support of the Haiti Foundation of Hope, and especially right now as they deal with the aftermath of another devastating hurricane that has impacted so many lives.  And we would love to be able to help as many people as possible (especially our young people) when they desire to serve on a short-term mission trip, by being able to offer generous scholarships.

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Love From Your Pastor

Happy Veterans Day FBC!

 
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in His word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
 (Titus 1:1-4)
 
Now that’s how to begin a letter!  Paul’s letters are packed with valuable truth from beginning to end, aren’t they?
 
Speaking of Paul’s letters, we continue our study in Colossians this Sunday with a message from Col. 2:8-15, “Made Alive with Christ”. Talk about packed with truth!  We’ll discuss again how all-sufficient, all-powerful, and all-important Jesus Christ is.  The foundation of our faith and of our lives needs to be our understanding of just who He is.  Please read ahead and be sure to join us Sunday!
 
Also this Sunday, Debbie Tracey from Pregnancy Alternative Center in Lebanon will be sharing with us during the morning service.
 And she’s got exciting news regarding the mobile unit which we contributed towards through our annual Missions Special Offering last year!  We may even have a chance to see it up close and walk through it!  You won’t want to miss that.

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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC family!

 
And David became greater and greater, for the LORD of hosts was with him.
 (1 Chronicles 11:9)
 
I love the reminder of this verse, that what made David grow in greatness was the presence of the LORD of hosts (the God of armies of angels)!  And I love how in the grand story of redemption in the Bible, David points us to a greater Shepherd-King, our Lord Jesus.  May we bow our hearts daily to this Great King of all kings, and let’s thank Him for His continual presence with us!  Because He promises to always be with us, we need not fear!
 
TRUNK-OR-TREAT:
  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  So many of you stepped up to help us put on a marvelous event that blessed our community!  We had 37 “trunks” of various shapes, sizes, and themes.  We’ve increased the # of trunks every year since we started in 2011, from 20 that year to 37 this year.  There were some very creative vehicles and costumes for sure!  (It was too bad some of the kids didn’t know who the Flintstones were!)  We received donations of around 450 lbs of candy (consider that we had 300 lbs. in 2011)!  There was a little left over, but not too much.  I don’t know how many hot dogs went out (there were 350 last year, I think more this year), I think we used 12 big cans of chili, many dozens of cookies, and bags of popcorn.  Thank you for your generosity in giving so much!  We gave out 205 cups to kids who came from our community, which included a gospel tract, information about our church services and various programs, as well as Christmas program dates.  We are still working on a total number of people who were on our campus Monday night.  Thank you for praying!  Please continue to do so.  I heard of a couple people who asked our volunteers when our church services are.  May the Lord bring about much fruit from the many seeds that have been planted through this event.  If I were to try to name all of the different volunteer positions you all participated in, I would probably miss something.  But please accept heart-felt gratitude for every one of you who helped make this outreach a success!  Every person was vital to making the evening go smoothly.  Numerous people thanked us for doing this and for being such a blessing to their children!  Good job church!
 
WORK DAY: This Saturday is a work day at the church from 8:30am — Noon.
  Many hands make light work, so please plan to come pitch in!  There are a number of things that need to be done to spruce up this campus that the Lord has given to us.
 
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS: This Sunday!  So please remember to set your clocks BACK (fall back) Saturday night.
  Get an extra hour of rest and come to church on time and prepared to be fully present as we worship, fellowship, and grow spiritually!
 
COLOSSIANS 2:6-7:  Only 2 verses for this week’s message.  Should be short, right?  Well… Please read this incredible passage before Sunday, and be prepared for the Lord to minister to you as we look at Walking in Him!
  We will also be remembering the Lord’s death as we partake of Communion together.  Please be sure and be here.
 
SPECIAL OFFERING FOR MISSIONS:  November 20 during the worship service!  We will receive our annual special offering (above and beyond our regular general fund offering).  Please be in prayer about how much the Lord would have you give for this.  Let’s do our best to be generous toward the worthy causes selected by Global Outreach.  What an encouragement is has been to be a blessing to various ministries through this offering in past years.  This year there are 3 projects to choose from.  You can either designate your gift for one or two of these specifically, or just give a general gift that will be divided between all three.  1) Funds for short-term mission trips and for mission training camps, 2) Haiti Foundation of Hope, specifically in response to the devastation much of Haiti is experiencing as a result of Hurricane Matthew, 3) Beth Arends,
 our missionary at OSU with international students.  Thank you for prayerfully considering a generous gift this year.  We’ve been doing this offering the past few years in correlation with our FBC Anniversary, which is November 16 (FBC was established on that date in 1853!).
 
May God bless you greatly as you walk in His presence daily!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC Friends!

 
This will be shorter than usual, as I need to head out the door in a couple minutes!  But a few reminders:
 
Saturday: Men – We are on lesson 2 in our study of the book of James.  But lesson 2 is actually based on Psalm 15.  So if you have a book, you can work on the lesson.  If you don’t have one yet, we will have copies for you Saturday morning, but you can prepare by reading and studying Psalm 15.  We meet at 6:45am.
  Hope you can make it!
 
At 2pm FBC will be hosting the memorial service for George Van Leeuwen.  Please pray for comfort for the family and a powerful witness for any unbelievers who will be present.
 
Sunday:
  Hope to see you at Sunday School at 9am, and of course the worship service at 10:30!  We will be studying Colossians 2:1-5.  Have you ever dreamt of finding an incredibly valuable treasure chest?  Well, in Christ, we have the ultimate treasure chest available to us!  Join us to learn about it!
 
Monday: Trunk-or-Treat 2016!  I am sending out another plea for candy!  We have about 300 lbs, and we are still shooting for 500!  Justin continues to lead the contest, but frankly as long as the candy comes in I don’t care which bucket it ends up in!  We’d love to be able to be generous with the candy for all those trunk-or-treaters who will join us Monday night from 6:00-7:30!
  Please be in prayer for this event, and even if you’re not putting in a vehicle or helping in some way, you can come and just greet the people who will be enjoying the free food we’re providing.  Let’s show ourselves friendly to our community, letting them know that God loves them and we do too!
 
God Bless You and let’s have a Christ-centered next few days here!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.
 (2 Kings 22:2)
 
What a great description of the young king Josiah!  In chapter 18, it essentially said the same thing about Hezekiah.  Of course, there were many other kings of whom it was said, “He did evil in the sight of the Lord…”  Israel’s and Judah’s history are full of examples of both good kings and bad kings.  When I read about men like Josiah, I find myself thinking, I want to be like that.  And I pray for my children, that they will follow that example.  Of course, we know that we all stumble, and there is only One King who ever did everything completely right in the Lord’s eyes… our Lord Jesus!  He wants us to look to him as our ultimate King and righteous Ruler.
 
Trunk or Treat
 is only 11 days away!  Thank you for all the volunteers and all who have agreed to decorate your vehicles!  And thank you for making me the Round 3 winner of the heavy-weight candy contest!  I beat Justin by 4 lbs this week, but he’s still ahead (so keep filling my bucket!).  We are about halfway to our goal of 500 lbs.  So please keep an eye out for those candy sales!  We have half-sheet flyers you can use to invite your friends and neighbors, please help us spread the word!  Thank you for praying for an effective outreach to our community.
 
Men – this Saturday we begin our study of the book of James at 6:45 am.
  This would be a great time to join in this outstanding Bible study book by Chuck Swindoll based on that practical epistle of James!
 
Colossians
 – This Sunday we continue our study by looking at 1:24-29.  This passage includes the phrase from which I took the title of this series – “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  What a great promise!  This is another wonderful passage to inspire us to live out our Christian faith on a daily basis.  Please spend some time reading and praying through these verses in preparation for Sunday.
 
May God bless you greatly today!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC on this fine rainy, windy day!

 
2 Kings 4:1-7 is a powerful true story of God taking interest in a widow in dire straights, who was about to lose her two children to slavery to pay off her debt.  I’d encourage you to read it and see the miraculous way the Lord provided for her!  
 
I had a great reminder from the Gospel Transformation Bible in the comment about 2 Kings 4:1-44 — “The author of Kings was writing to an audience perhaps already experiencing the tragedy and difficulty of life in exile.  As such, the several miracles recorded in this lengthy chapter would have functioned to remind God’s people of His power to restore the blessings forfeited due to repeated infidelity and covenant breaking.  Even in the midst of famine or the death of a husband, the Lord can and will provide.  He can make the barren fertile and restore life by the power of resurrection.
 
Until our Lord returns to make all things new, His people will live like aliens in a world to which they do not fully belong.  For believers living in this fallen world, we live in exile. As resident aliens, tragedy and suffering will be a normal part of our lives in this fallen world (John 16:33; 1 Pet. 4:12).  But even here, the Lord desires to set before the eyes of His people the hope of all things being made new.  The miracles recorded in this chapter continue to remind us that we look forward to greater things.  One day we will be satisfied at the table of the Lord.  Death, hunger, and debt will no longer have any place.”  Amen to that!
 
Men – BREAKFAST this Saturday at 7:00 am!  Please join us for some feeding of the body and the soul!  Men need one another if we are to run the race of life with endurance.  So we hope to see you Saturday.  Also, the study books for our new study, JAMES: Practical & Authentic Living
 are in!  Come this Saturday and get your copy.
 
18 days to Trunk-or-Treat!
  We have around 16-20 vehicles signed up so far, and we’re shooting for 40!  So please talk to Elizabeth if you need help with ideas about how to decorate your trunk, and let her know you’ll be there!  Also, we are shooting for 500 lbs. of candy again!  We have around 168 lbs so far, so we need to keep it coming in!
 
Last week I won round 1 in the “heavy-weight” battle with Pastor Justin, but this week he creamed me!  While I won the first round by 3 lbs, he won round two by 18 lbs!  So now hopefully he’s done whining about it, and we can all stop worrying about him moving back to Alaska!  I’m kidding of course.  But seriously, I’m fully expecting round 3 to go to me!  Big time.  I’ve got catching up to do.  I’m sure you’ll help me this week!
 
Colossians 1:21-23!
  Sunday we continue our study in the great book of Colossians with the message, “From Rebellion to Reconciliation”.  I hope you’ll come prepared to learn about the powerful truth of what it means that God has reconciled us to Himself through His Son!
 
Finally, thank you so much for the gracious show of appreciation this week!  I was humbled by all of the kind words, cards, etc. that came our way.  Your love for your pastors is evident, and we are grateful for it!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.”
 (1 Kings 18:36)
 
The confrontation of the prophets of Baal by the prophet Elijah is one of the most memorable events recorded in the Bible.  It’s a powerful scene!  If you haven’t read it recently, it would be a great refresher of God’s power and the exclusivity He demands in worship.  He is the only true God and there is none other!  The events are recorded in 1 Kings 18:17-40.  
 
I liked the note in my Gospel Transformation Bible on this: “The competition between Elijah and the prophets of Baal was certainly dramatic: a single prophet of Yahweh versus 450 prophets of Baal.  It hardly seemed fair, and the consolation prize for the losing side was death!  But all of this drama had a purpose, and that purpose was to produce repentance and to change the hearts of God’s people, in order ‘that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their hearts back’ (v. 37).”
 
May we turn our hearts back to Him today if we have strayed in any way!  And may we be used by the Lord to turn the hearts of many in our community back to Him!
 
We hope to accomplish that as we all have an impact on the world around us, on the people in our circles of influence (our ‘oikos’).  And we hope to work on the hearts of people even through our Trunk or Treat event!  October 31 is coming on us quickly.  We are so thankful for the people who have signed up to have vehicles decorated, but we are looking for many more!  Make sure to get your name on the list in the foyer.  We also will need help with various volunteer positions, with kitchen help, etc. And, of course, we need candy, candy, candy!  Thank you for making me the winner of Round 1 of the “heavy-weight” contest!  The totals so far are: Me 34.8 lbs, Justin 31.1 lbs.  So keep it coming!  Last year our goal for candy was 500 lbs, so if we’re shooting for that again we’re 434 lbs short with 4 Sundays to go!  I have faith that we can do it.  And I have faith that you will keep me ahead of Justin!
 
Remember we have a membership class offered on October 16 from Noon to 3pm.  Please let me know soon if you’d like to join in!
 
This Sunday I will be preaching on Colossians 1:15-20.  This is one of the most important passages on Christology (the study of Jesus Christ) in all of the Bible!  Please be sure to be here with us!  Packed with powerful truths about who Jesus is, these verses are vital to our lives as Christians. The title of the message is “Christ Over All”.  Is He the Lord of all in your life? I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael



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