“Close Air Support”

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

To watch a video presentation of this P2P, click here. 

[2Ch 7:14 NKJV] “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land…”
In military tactics, close air support (CAS) is defined as air action such as air strikes by fixed or rotary-winged aircraft against hostile targets that are in proximity to friendly forces. The overwhelming firepower our air force can unleash has turned the tide in many a conflict.
In chapter six King Solomon is dedicating the new temple to the LORD, at least 12 times He prophetically asks that this temple would be a place where the Lord would hear and respond to prayer.
Whether it was the King or the people (21) Whether those seeking justice (24) or those who have sinned (26) Whether a foreigner (32) or those exiled to a foreign land (36) Solomon asks that God would “hear” and “forgive” (30) His people.
In chapter 7 God now responds to Solomon. He says, “I have heard your prayer,” and God gives instructions for how we are to call out to Him.
First, we begin with humility. The recognition of our need for God. I can’t fix it myself; I need His help, His grace. Second, we must ask for His help. We do this through prayer. However, prayer is not just a passive step where we wait for God to respond. We are told to “seek” and “turn.” Notice the order. We first seek after God which will result in turning from our wicked ways. Like a choice in a relationship, choosing one means losing the other. This choice becomes even easier when we realize that He has already demonstrated His love for us (Rom 5:8)!
God says when we do these things He responds with His forgiveness and healing. While there is not a temple standing today, Jesus told us that, “If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.” (Jn 12:32) Anyone from anywhere can cry out to Jesus. May we lead in this example this week! 

Survival

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

So how has life been treating you lately?  Are you finding that life is easy to handle, or have you been faced with more than a few hurdles to negotiate? It seems that as we learn how to navigate one difficulty, another one arises.  Sometimes it seems like we’re getting beat up from both sides, just like this kid… (it’s okay to click on the link) https://youtu.be/l0D_95YAw8c
I hate to say it, but Jesus said it would be this way at times.  He said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)So how do we tap into that “overcome” thing?  How can we be of “good cheer” when parts of life seem so scary?  How can we find the peace of God when everything around us seems unstable?Jesus told a story about two builders.  One fellow built his house on a rock while the other built his house on the sand.  Then came the storm.  We all go through storms. Only one builder survived.  The house built on the rock withstood the storm.  The person who builds their life by hearing and obeying God’s word is the one building on the rock (Matt. 7:24-27).  The Psalmist wrote, This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life (Psalm 119:50). Invest time today in something that will pay out dividends of stability and peace in your life.  Invest time in God’s word.

To watch the video of this post, click here

“Cross or Color”

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

[Mat 25:40 NKJV] 40 “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did [it] to one of the least of these My brethren, you did [it] to Me.’

           Matthew 24 – 25 are filled with prophecies and promises surrounding the events of Jesus’ return to earth for His bride. In Matthew 25 Jesus speaks about our need to be ready at any time (parable of the lamps). That we will be accountable for how we use this time (Parable of the talents) and this last parable gives us an example of how we should use this time (parable of the sheep and goats).

           Jesus calls this the judgment of the nations. What is interesting is that these nations will not be grouped by the color of their skin, language, or geography. Instead, the deciding factor of which group they join comes down to a change in heart.

      35 ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 ‘I [was] naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

           Jesus is not teaching a works-based salvation, but He is talking about the evidence of the Spirit in our lives. How we treat others matters to God. When they asked Jesus about seeing Him in need of these things, He said when they did it unto the least-of-these, they did it unto me. It is not just compassion for our friends and family, but it is compassion for the least. The despised, the marginalized, the outcast and the downcast. As the church we must remember that we will be accountable for how we show love to the lowest of society. Jesus showed us the value of every human life on the cross. We will be judged on the basis of the cross not the color of our skin.

“What has stayed the same this year?”

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

What a year it has been… Fires in Australia, conflict with North Korea. Covid 19, stay at home orders, the terrible death of George Floyd, oh and murder hornets. So, what can we depend on, when our loved ones are sick? When people are scared? When people protest and then people riot?

Psalms 91 tells us “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” Lean into the Lord almighty. Step onto his shade, let Him protect and defend you. I had an older brother growing up, who was strong and fierce (in a good way). I always struggled to be in his shadow but there came a day when a bully, who was much bigger and stronger than me threated me, grabbed me by the throat. In the coolest way possible my BIG brother exercised his BIG shadow, and the guy NEVER dared lay a hand on me again. Psalms 91 tells us to dwell in God’s VERY big shadow. Let HIM protect you! HIS truth will be your shield. God doesn’t change, even in the craziness of 2020. God is way more protective of us than my Big brother was of me!! It is the love of God that will deliver us and set us high upon the ROCK. Hold on to that, and reach out to your loved ones this week, and check on them?

“Hitting the Wall”

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

To watch a video presentation of this P2P, click here:

[1Ki 19:4 NIV] 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

            Endurance athletes often describe that moment when their mind and body collide over whether it is possible to finish the race. How do you push forward when everything inside is telling us to stop?

Elijah didn’t descend into this pit of discouragement because he was disobedient but as a result of his obedience. We see that God’s greatest servants are not immune to the emotional and physical fatigue of life. Elijah hits the “wall” running the race God had given him. He was running for God not from God when the attack came. Let’s look at a few warning signs we can see from Elijah’s journey that led to his despair.

He was afraid (3) he was alone (4) he was exhausted (5) he was discouraged (4 & 10) All of these things can lead to a dangerous combination for God’s children. I want you to notice two things the Lord did for Elijah to help him through the darkness.

First, God met his physical need. Food and rest. God knew Elijah was exhausted and rather than rebuke Elijah He had him eat and sleep. Secondly, God meets His spiritual need. God spoke to Elijah. He was not in the wind, the fire, or the earthquake but that still small voice (12). When God spoke to Elijah he reminded Elijah of the next step (15-17) and that he was not alone (18)

Maybe you have hit a wall in this emotional marathon. Maybe you are ready to give up. Remember hitting the wall means you have been “running the race.” Let God minister to you today. Find a place of rest, find a place where you can hear His still small voice.  Let Him remind you that you are not alone, and He will show you the next step.

“Missing God”

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

To watch a video presentation of this P2P click here.

God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. (Psalm 63:1–2 The Message)

David spent more than a few days in the desert wilderness of the land of Judah.  He knew what it was to anxiously long to get to that next oasis, that next place of water

Are there things in your life that you’re missing right now?  I would imagine that three months of staying at home and social distancing have made us long for more than a few things.  I would love to take my granddaughter to Disneyland and ride Dumbo.  I’d love to visit the movie theater, popcorn in my lap, sitting next to my honey, and watching a good movie. And don’t get me started on baseball.  Will we ever get to see Mike Trout hit a baseball in person?

David was acquainted with the thirst of “missing” things. He recognized the hunger in his own heart for the presence of God. We associate the “place of worship” with being together in the sanctuary, singing songs of worship, and listening to God’s word.  Many of us are missing that very thing. Yet Jesus said the actual “place of worship” is really in our heart (John 4:23-24). Are you “missing” God?  Did you know He misses you too?  Take time today do draw near to Him.

Seeds of Grace

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

To watch a video presentation of this P2P, click here.

“[2Sa 19:23 NIV] 23 So the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king promised him on oath.”

            In Oct 20, 2000, the movie “Pay it Forward” was released. It chronicles the launch of a national movement by a 14-year-old boy who had an idea based on a simple act of kindness. The movie had an impact that still resonates today. Three thousand years before the movie, King David sowed a seed of grace that would harvest generations later.

In 2 Samuel 16, Shimei calls down curses on David, as he is fleeing from Absalom. David spares his life the first time recognizing that Shimei may be wrong to curse the King but right that these consequences were from God (:11). David knew there would be consequences for his sin, but He also knew God had forgiven him. Forgiveness doesn’t always change our consequences.

            In Ch 19, David is now returning back to Jerusalem. Absalom is dead, and those who betrayed the king would have expected the same fate. David sows the seed of grace. He receives the apology of Shimei and rejects the advice to kill this man who cursed him. Little did David know that act of grace would not just prolong Shimei’s life but one day save the nation.

            The book of Esther tells the story of how God saved his people from annihilation. God uses Esther and Mordecai in a powerful way. In Esther ch 2:5 when the genealogy of Mordecai is given, we learn that he is a descendant of Shimei, the Benjaminite. David had no way of knowing that his choice to walk in grace could result generations later in the saving of all of his people.   

            I believe David’s act of grace was rooted in the grace he had received from God. Those who have experienced the grace of God, are called to do the same. Are you struggling with how to respond to someone who has cursed you or wronged you? Remember how God in Christ has treated you. As Christians may we respond with the grace we have been given, who knows what God will do when we sow the seeds of grace! 

“Dealing with Disappointment”

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

David, the mighty king of Israel made a big mistake. He moved the ark of the covenant in a way it was not supposed to be moved. He put it on a cart. He had a brand new one made, but it was still going against what God said and wanted. 2 Sam 6:3a So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab…

David’s plans to honor the LORD ended in disaster, and he was REALLY disappointed. The scriptures tell us that David was angry with God, and that David was even afraid of God. He didn’t know what to do. He retreated, and waited.

Do you feel a little like David? Frustrated, waiting or maybe even angry at God? Or are you fearful? David recognized his mistake, and made it right! Maybe you haven’t even made some BIG mistake, but what is it that God wants to do in your life, in the waiting? God hasn’t abandoned you; He hasn’t forsaken you. He has inscribed your name in the Lamb’s book of Life, make sure to keep your own hand, in His all-powerful hand. I can’t wait to see y’all in person and be able to give out BIG hugs!!

“When Heaven Seems Silent

To watch a video presentation of this P2P click here.

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

“[Mat 15:23 NIV] 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

            We have all experienced that moment of frustration where the person you are trying to reach is not picking up. Is it my phone? Are they busy? Are they mad at me? It is easy to take something personally when the situation is urgent, and people seem silent.

            This woman is desperately seeking Jesus’ help and it could seem at first that Jesus’ response was not very compassionate. Let us jump to the end and see that Jesus heals the daughter and commends the mother for her faith. In light of this, I think what does this passage teach us?

            I believe this passage teaches us two things about prayer. Jesus’ response is going to engage the Canaanite woman to express her faith and show her persistence in prayer. It also to reveals her posture of humility as she acknowledges Jesus’ authority in the situation.

            Jesus himself experienced silence when He prayed in Gethsemane those three times. We know that the Father was not mad at Jesus and that Jesus had not done something wrong. On the contrary, the Father’s silence was rooted in His love and perfect will. Jesus teaches us this as He finishes, “not my will but thy will be done.” God’s closed doors and open doors are both rooted in His perfect love.

            When we are struggling with prayer. Let us remember, like this woman, that we are to be persistent, to pray without ceasing. We must also remain in a posture of humility not demanding but trusting in Christ’s character. We can have faith in the promise of His love for us as we say, not my will but thy will be done. 

What’s Cookin’?

To watch a video presentation on this P2P, click here: https://youtu.be/HgiAAiqFKRE

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

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31–32)

 So how are you holding up my friends? I’m a little concerned that for some of us, our relationships risk developing a bad taste. My mom used to cook with a “pressure cooker” years ago, and that’s what some of us are in right now.  The pressures many of us face can either make or break any relationship.

So, let’s try adjusting the ingredients in our pot a bit and see what happens.  There are some things we should definitely keep out of the pot – Paul mentioned attitudes like anger or bitterness.  Be careful about putting the wrong “words” in your pot as well – work at keeping some of those hurtful things from getting past your lips.

Now, let’s talk about intentionally adding some of those exotic ingredients like being kind, compassionate, and forgiving.  We have been given so much grace from Jesus, there is quite a bit available for us to draw on.

Some of you might be alone right now.  How about making a point of calling or texting one other person each day and adding some of those delicious things on the menu.  Bon Appetit my friends!