Bullseye

This weeks Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.

A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil. (Proverbs 13:19)  

It’s a good thing to have goals in life.  The old adage is true that states, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll surely hit it”.  Goals are especially good when they are clearly planted by God in our lives. Many set goals, but not all reach them.  Sometimes it’s because we’re unwilling to pay the actual price that the goal demands. 

Serious goals will most likely require some sort of self-discipline.  If you have a goal of losing weight, you will need to learn to change the way you live – how you eat and how you exercise.  If your goal is to buy a house one day, you will need to learn the discipline of living within your means, budgeting, and saving money.  If your goal is stop an addictive behavior, there are more than a few steps you will need to learn.  You will need to learn to practice those steps on a weekly, daily, and even moment-by-moment basis. 

It sounds pretty harsh, but Solomon said that when I refuse to make the changes I need to in order to achieve my godly goal, I am a fool. Yet don’t let that stop you.  Don’t forget the goal. When your arrow hits the middle of that target, there is nothing sweeter. There is nothing like actually hitting your goal weight or being sober for a month, a year, or a lifetime.  Ready, aim, fire! 

Sowing & Reaping

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Daniel Grant.

What are you sowing spiritually, financially, relationally? The things that we put into the ground, are the very things that grow up, flower and bring fruit! Hosea was a prophet of the Lord who was given one of the most difficult assignments, and yet he was faithful to do all that God called him to do. “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12

Are you sowing righteousness in your workplace, in your home, in your ministry?? If you sow righteousness, in due season you will reap the abundant harvest of mercy! Is there fallow(hard) ground in your life, mind and heart that needs to be turned over, worked on and soaked with the presence of God? Together let us seek the Lord. He is faithful and will rain down his righteousness, his love and his dependable way of life on us! Don’t turn to anxiety, despair or human coping mechanisms, trust the heavenly gardener and together let’s turn to Him in prayer.

Diet Challenge

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.

So, the holiday season is upon us.  For most of us that means lots of eating and perhaps some time with family (not always a happy thing).  Food and fellowship.  Feasting and connection.

Daniel was a young man when he was taken with the other captives to Babylon.  Along with the other “recruits”, Daniel was prescribed a specific “Babylonian” diet.  For Daniel and his friends, there was something troubling about this Babylonian food.  So, Daniel went to his overseer and requested, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. (Daniel 1:12)

For ten days Daniel and his friends were allowed to shun the Babylonian diet and eat a healthy Jewish diet.  At the end of those ten days, Daniel and his friends were examined, and sure enough, they were much healthier than the other “trainees”.

Some of us might wish we had eaten more vegetables than we did pumpkin pie, but that’s not where I’m going with this.  The thought I’d like to suggest is whether or not people can tell that you are on a different spiritual diet than they are.  If someone got close enough to you, would they see something different in you?  Would I have the courage to say, “test me for ten days… and see if I’m not better off?”  Am I able to say, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”

“LeMay Leaflets”

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.

[Rev 14:6 NIV] 6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth–to every nation, tribe, language and people.

Through much of World War II, Allied bombers would sometimes drop leaflets warning of impending bombing of a city. The leaflets often told civilians to evacuate, and sometimes encouraged them to push their leaders to surrender. In August 1945, leaflets were dropped on several Japanese cities (including, supposedly, Hiroshima and Nagasaki). The first round, known as the “LeMay leaflets,” were distributed before the bombing of Hiroshima.

These leaflets served as warning of the impending destruction. It gave people an opportunity to choose life and escape. Here we see similarly the grace and mercy of God on full display. Three warnings are unleashed for the world to see.

The first is the message of the gospel to every nation, tribe, language and people! What an amazing example of grace. Everyone everywhere receives an equal opportunity to make a choice about Jesus! The second warning is a prophecy about the collapse of the antichrist’s kingdom “Babylon”! The world is warned Babylon is a sinking ship! Vs.8 “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the great”. The last warning is the eternal consequences of choosing to worship the beast. Vs.11 “there will be not rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image,”

These warnings proceed the judgment. God in His grace has scattered us as leaflets in our cities and families! Do people hear and see the gospel in us? Are we sounding the alarm? Jesus has done his part; the question is will we? Who do you need to tell this week?

Cain, Balaam, and Korah

This weeks Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Daniel Grant.

Watch out! Jude gives us several warnings that we need to heed in the modern church. Jude 11 “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Three notorious sinners, but what do they have in common? The entire letter of Jude hinges around warning believers about men that are just like these three villains. Each of these men rejected the truth of God for a lie. Cain rejected God’s truth and killed his brother. Balaam rejected God’s blessings and sent harlots into Israel in order to stumble them. Lastly, Korah rejected God’s choice of leadership and insisted that he was as good as the man that God had instituted.

Just in case you think that sinning affects only the sinner, look at the families and people around these three notorious men.

The way of CainPride leads to Murder. Family ripped apart!!

The error of BalaamGreed leads to idolatry. Balaam was killed and so were many leaders of the people of Israel.

The rebellion of KorahEnvy led to subverting leadership. Korah’s whole household fell suddenly, irrevocably and completely! Not everyone who wears the badge of “Christian” is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. Jude warns the early church and us – look out for imposters! Contend for the true, holy and sensible faith that we have in Jesus!!

I Have Hope

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.

The prophet Jeremiah lived during one of the darkest times in Jewish history – the fall and destruction of Jerusalem.  Jeremiah wrote Lamentations to commemorate this tragic event.  There are few books of the Bible more grim and dark as Lamentations.  Yet in the middle of the book, Jeremiah gives us a clue as to how he survived this bleak time.  It started with a simple line – But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: (Lamentations 3:21).

The following verses begin to lay out the things that gave Jeremiah hope.  He recalled that God’s steadfast love never ceases.  He remembered that God’s mercies never end. He thought about how God’s mercies are renewed every morning. Jeremiah pondered on God’s great faithfulness.  Jeremiah goes on to list at least another half dozen things to his list.

Are you going through a difficult time?  Are you struggling with what seems to be injustice around you?  Does life look hopeless?  You can learn from our brother Jeremiah to exercise your mind towards hope.  Take a few moments to start a list of the things that give you hope.  If you can’t think of any, you can start with Jeremiah’s list, but be sure to work at adding your own things as well.

Hope is not just a gift to the lucky.  Even in the darkest of times we too can find hope in God.  What will you call to mind?

Unusual Joy

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.  

[1Pe 1:6 NKJV] 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 

Joni Earikson Tada was a normal active young lady. At 17 years old she dove into the Chesapeake bay after misjudging the shallowness of the water. She suffered a fracture of the spine and became paralyzed from the shoulders down.  

Most know her as a Christian author and speaker who has inspired many by her example of redeeming her pain for the glory of God.  

She has a few quotes that exemplify the point Peter is making in this verse. She says, “He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace.” Or “Suffering provides the gym equipment on which my faith can be exercised.” 

The bible is not saying that pain in trials is fun. Peter is saying that when our faith is tested it can be trusted. In these seasons of trial we can find joy not in our circumstances but in the character and faith that these circumstances are producing. Peter says these trials make our faith more  precious than “gold” (1 Peter 1:7)  

I don’t know what you are going through right now, but Jesus does. You can have joy that these circumstances are going to reveal an even deeper understanding of His love for you. He may not take you out of the storm, but His love will carry you through the storm, and it will leave you with a faith more precious than gold.  

Real Help

This week’s Pastor to Person is Pastor Rich Cathers.

Do you want to help those who are struggling?  Do you want to be a part of the change that needs to take place in their life?  A key to seeing real change and real growth is the element of truth.

Jeremiah lived during the days when the Babylonian empire would level the city of Jerusalem. A few hundred years earlier the Assyrians had attempted to take Jerusalem, but God stepped in and rescued the city.  Would it be the same in Jeremiah’s day?  One prophet, named Hananiah, thought so.  He made a point of claiming that God was going to rescue Jerusalem.  His message certainly cheered people up, but it was a false hope.

Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie. (Jeremiah 28:15)

The people needed to hear that it was time for a reset, not a rescue. The people needed to hear a message of repentance and surrender to Babylon.  If you really want to help people, you need to figure out the truth they need to hear and then have the courage to tell them.  Giving out sappy platitudes helps no one.

Growing or Slowing

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Daniel Grant.

How is your walk with God lately, are you growing in His graces or falling asleep and falling behind? Hebrews 5:12-14 “Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.”

The Hebrew Christians were a church that should have been filled with mature (others-focused) believers! They should have been able to teach others, advance the kingdom, and easily distinguish from good and evil! However, they had stopped growing – you see it was so much easier for them to be milk-fed ones instead of cheeseburger flipping Christians… Think of how easy it is to drink milk(for those of us that like milk) – it’s so easy. It’s even easier if someone pours it for you and lifts the cup to your mouth. Do you see where I’m going? Don’t get stuck in the milk drinking necessity of babyhood! Set your sights on growing mature and strong in your faith, so that you can help, serve and teach others!! Who have you taught, served and helped this week? Engage those faith-muscles, pray and step out while growing deep with the beloved, and know that we stand with you:-)

Attention

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Rich Cathers.

…“But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word. (Isaiah 66:2)

People do all kinds of things to get attention.  TV reality shows are filled with people doing crazy stunts, wearing strange clothes, and acting outrageous.  Even in everyday life, people will do all sorts of things for attention.  Some folks who respond in anger, lashing out and hurting others are simply asking for attention.  Some would call this a cry for help.

I wonder sometimes if we are trying to get the wrong person’s attention.  I wonder if we even know whose attention we’re craving.  Let me just say that there is one person whose attention you do want to have.  He’s the one that can fix that deepest hurt in your heart.  He can fill that emptiness that you are trying to cram so many things into.  While others may not pay attention to you, I guarantee you He will.  He is your Creator.  Jesus is the lover of your soul.

So, what is it I must do to get God’s attention?  God says it’s quite simple.  I need to make an adjustment in my heart.  Instead of trying to impress others for attention, I need to recognize my need for God and humble myself.  And I should probably think twice before I pass by my Bible in the morning.  God wants to speak to me if I will take time to let Him.  He’s the attention I need.