This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers:
I have this vague memory when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I was in kindergarten and remember being very, very upset about something. Somehow I was able to escape the confines of the classroom and I ran all the way home. Many years later, my parents told me that my mom was having serious health issues at that time and that more than once I would run away from school and run home. The funny thing is that every once in a while, when I feel so overwhelmed by the things I’m facing, I still get that urge to want to get up and run home to my parents’ house.
King Hezekiah was facing difficulty beyond
imagining. The evil, ruthless Assyrian
empire was right outside the city gates, ready to destroy Jerusalem. And so
it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself
with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. (Isaiah 37:1)
I think God has put inside of each of us a longing for
“home”. It’s that place where we feel
safe and secure. Even those who have wandered from God feel it. When the prodigal (Luke 15) reached the end
of his rope, spent all his wealth, and lost all his friends, he realized that
he too needed to go home to his father.
Do you feel like running? Run home to Papa. He loves you more than you will ever
know. His arms are open wide. He’s our refuge.
This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Daniel Grant.
This is my absolute
favorite passage of scripture, both for teaching and for application to my
life. Colossians 3 is one of the best prescriptions for Christian life and attitude
I have EVER found.
Paul’s exhortation begins
by setting our perspective twice: “1 seek those things which are
above,” and then “2 Set your mind on things above, not on
things on the earth.” Our
perspective matters, and it needs to be set daily!
Paul sets up an epic
contrast between the people that we used to be and the people that we are to be…
We are to put to death the old ways of the flesh “fornication, uncleanness,
passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” And put off “anger,
wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.” Paul
masterfully sets this list of our old way of life against the new ways of life
“12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on
tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another” He ties in our
motivation which is love – “the bond of perfection” He reminds us to be
thankful, and sing from our hearts to God (that’s good news for those of
us who can’t carry a tune;)
Lastly, he reminds us of the relationships that we are in and what our responsibility is in each of those. Paul’s summary here of good Christian living is needed for us to re-calibrate our lives around what God has called us to do, and what God has called us to let go of!! Do some Godly re-calibrating this week!
This week’s Pastor to Person
was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.
For to us a child is
born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and
his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
Sometimes we think of a
“counselor” as a person who listens to you tell them your problems. There’s value in that. The word that Isaiah uses is one that implies
advice. It’s the giving of direction
from one person to another. Kings had
their “counselors” who listened to the king’s questions and responded with
There are plenty of times in
my own life where I’ve needed “counsel”.
In fact, let me share with you a little secret. I think that I’m often quite clueless on many
subjects and situations in my life. I
need good counsel. Even Moses needed
“counsel”, and one of the individuals that gave him advice was his own
As helpful as some
“counselors” are, it’s good to be reminded that there is one Counselor who is
“Wonderful”. That Counselor’s name is
Jesus. It’s not a bad thing to spend
time in counseling, but make sure you don’t ignore the Wonderful Counselor. His advice is found in the Bible. While I have found that His advice is not
always what I want to hear, I have found that it’s always good. In fact, it’s wonderful. I would do well to read it and follow it.
This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[Gal 5:17] For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Step one in many of the 12-step
programs begins with a critical diagnosis, my flesh is powerless to save itself.
Paul’s letter to the Galatians is all about how the gospel brings true freedom.
So many of these Galatians were trying to live a life of legalism and
performance. The gospel had become such a burden and the works of the flesh seemed
to be spreading. Like putting water on a grease fire, legalism only made the
Paul reminds us the issue comes
down to a battle of “wills”. The good news is that we have help if we are
willing to take it. God’s Spirit is ready to empower and direct me to victory. Gal
5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the
I am glad that Paul said, “walk”,
it allows me to take it one step at a time! Step one for me is about
recognizing the power of my own flesh. It helps me to know that even as a
believer my flesh still wars against God’s Spirit. Step two is about recognizing
the daily presence and power of the Spirit in me as well. Step three tells me because
of the gospel I have the power to choose to say no to the flesh (19-21)
& say yes to the Spirit (24).
Fighting the flesh in my own
strength is still pulling against the Spirit. Let us let go today of trying to
save ourselves and grab on to the one who has already done everything to save
“This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.”
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
They say that the big three temptations in life are
sex, money, and power. King Solomon knew about these things – he had them in
abundance. He had a thousand wives, gold
everywhere, and he was the most powerful king in the region. Now, at the end of his life, Solomon could
look back as he wrote Ecclesiastes, and see that it was all so very empty.
In his search for fulfillment Solomon tried
challenging his mind to grow with wisdom and knowledge. He tried to drink himself happy. He tried every kind of pleasure he could
think of. And these too were empty. Meaningless. Vanity.
Could we take a moment for self-examination, beloved? Have you experienced the true fulfillment
that God desires for you? Are you still
walking in that sense of peace and purpose? I find even among Christians, who
should know better, an unrelenting searching for meaning and happiness. We can
fall into the trap the world sets for us, thinking that we will find answers in
the “stuff” and people around us.
Solomon eventually concluded that true fulfillment can’t
be found apart from a relationship with God.
If you are feeling empty and unfulfilled, stop your searching. Look to Jesus.
This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Daniel Grant
Job was a man of integrity. He feared God, loved his family, carefully watched over his friends and community. He prospered exceedingly, abundantly, and that in itself was a GREAT test. Job never once put his trust in his flocks, his family, his standing in the community, his abundant wealth, or any of these things. Job’s one desire was to honor God above all, and it showed – everyone noticed Job.
Enter Satan. Satan detests Job’s faith and trust in God and will do anything to disrupt, destroy and steal that away from him. Satan asks for the authority to take away everything that Job has, his vast wealth, his flocks, his sons and daughters, and his relationships. God (who knows the end from the beginning) allows the tempter to take this from Job, and in the midst of the suffering, the pain, the anguish and the loss, Job chooses to worship God. Job 30:16 “Now my life is poured out before me and days of suffering have seized me.” Why did God allow such anguish and great suffering to take hold of Job?
Further on in chapter 30 Job says, “But when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, darkness came. I am churning within and cannot rest. Days of suffering confront me.” When we suffer and hurt we need to stretch out our hand to God, the God of all comfort. We must say, “I trust that even though it doesn’t make sense now, I am choosing to put my trust in the God who knows the end from the beginning. I trust Jesus. He won’t leave me or forsake me”. Hold on to Him with all that you are, don’t cease to worship and wait for the deliverance of the Lord!
This week’s Pastor to
Person is written by Pastor Rich Cathers.
The Corinthian church was a
divided church. They were filled with petty little divisions, each group
thinking they were better than the other. It was because of their divisions that
Paul called them “carnal” and “immature. Throughout his letter Paul deals with
some of the root causes of their divisions, but it’s not until he gets to
chapter 13 that he stops and gives them the “more excellent way” to get along
as a church. He speaks to them about the issue of “love”, the very thing that
Jesus said would show the world that we belonged to Him (John 13:35). With this in mind, Paul writes to the
“Love is patient and
kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its
own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does
not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love
never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every
circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7
Do you have any
relationships that are in turmoil? What would happen if you tried putting some
of these qualities of love to work? I know it sounds hard, but I know someone
who not only knows how to love better than any other, He also promises to help
you to learn to love like He does. Turn to Jesus.
This week’s Pastor to Person was
written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of
you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in
the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Christians still struggle today with the idea of what sin or sins the gospel
Paul lists 10 things in verses 9 & 10 that highlight a
life and lifestyle apart from the gospel. In verse 11 we see that our past
sinful identities do not have to be a life sentence. Paul says, “and such were
some of you.” Some in the church
were defined by these things, but something happened. Paul lists 3 truths of
the gospel that helped change their lives.
First this idea of washing implies something we do. The other
two, “sanctified” and “justified” they could only receive. Like picking up the
bar of soap and using it, Paul speaks about the power of Jesus’ blood to wash
away our sin. Jesus’ blood is powerful enough to remove the stain of sin, but
we must pick it up and wash ourselves with it for it to be effective.
The next point about being sanctified implies a change of
purpose. I have been saved from my sin, but I am also saved for the work of the
gospel. Jesus doesn’t just cleanse us, but He gives us a new purpose and power
to live for Him.
Lastly Paul says we are “justified”, we could say “not
guilty” but it is even more than that. The Bible says our sin was placed on
Jesus; and His righteousness was also placed on me. As a Christian when God
looks at you, He sees Jesus!
Like the Corinthians may our lives reflect the radical change
that applying the Gospel can bring!
This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.
“…that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:6)
Did you know that sometimes
the hardest thing in the world is to get along with other Christians? Well it’s true. While I want to give up on
people and kick them to the curb, Jesus said others would know I’m His disciple
by how I love others (John 13:35).
Sometimes the trouble comes
by how we each handle life’s decisions. When
I’m serious about following God, and I believe God is leading me to turn right,
I get upset with everyone turning left.
They must be wrong. They must not
be as close to God as I am.
Paul writes to the Romans
that sometimes I need to learn to just let it go (Rom. 14:4). Instead of living to please myself I need to
learn to put others first. Even Jesus
didn’t live to please Himself (Rom. 15:2-3).
He lived to look to the good of others and to build them up. I need to follow the One who set the example.
Getting along with others
really isn’t something that comes naturally to us. It’s something we need supernatural help
with, and it’s something that God wants to help us with. He is the God of patience and comfort (Rom.
15:5) and He wants to help me so I can have patience and give comfort to
This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.
“Now these are the people of the province who came
back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away…to Babylon, and who
returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his own city.” (Ezra 2:1)
Ezra 2 is one of those chapters that’s filled with
names that are hard to pronounce. It’s tempting to skip all those names but
take a moment with me and think about what this chapter was about.
The nation of Judah had been living in Babylon for
seventy years. When the door opened for
the people to return to the land of Israel, there were relatively few who were
willing to go back. Worldly,
pleasure-filled Babylon had become their home.
Their children and grandchildren had been born and raised in Babylon. The thought of packing up an entire household
and trekking hundreds of miles to a land of rubble was not exactly a trip to
The return was important on many levels. It had been foretold by the prophets. The rebuilding of the Temple and establishing
of the nation was tied to the coming Messiah.
Most important, it was making a statement that they were no longer going
to live according to the world’s standards but return to worship and serve God.
Take a moment to read these names. These were brave people willing to take a
stand. They left Babylon. They returned
to God. Would your name have been on
that list? Are you willing to “return”?