“Rewards For The Overcomer”

This week’s Pastor to Person is written by Pastor Franklin Garcia.


I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. Revelation 21:3

The holy city, the new Jerusalem, will come to earth, God will pitch his tent and dwell among his people. His people will have access to him and there will be no more pain, no more tears, and no more death. God will make everything new. He will be with us. His new creation will be free from pain and sorrow. The first state (world) was corrupted by sin, so the eternal state will be without sin. God will make all things new and His presence will fill the earth with peace, joy. There will be no more worry or concern for our health and life, a perfect state, because the former world would have passed away.

Now, this is an assurance from God Himself. He is allowing us to see what’s coming ahead. God is putting His signature on this vision. These things already took place in His eyes, but these promises, and blessings are guaranteed to those who overcome the challenges of this world. This is why we should continue to overcome the challenges of this world, because God guarantees us a paradise, a new world without trouble and pain, a paradise where His presence will be among us. He guarantees all these blessings to the overcomers.

-Pastor Franklin

“New Jerusalem”

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

[Eze 48:35 NIV] 35 “The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there.”

Fourteen years after the destruction of Jerusalem (Ezek 40:1) God gives Ezekiel this vision of the “New Jerusalem.” Chapters 40-46 unfold numerous details about the size and shape, the interior & exterior, the priests, and most importantly the return of the Presence of God. Chapters 47-78 speak of a river of healing, and future inheritance. This ember of hope reminded them that God is not done with His people or His promises.

We too have an exceedingly gracious promise. A coming Kingdom & a coming King! Like Ezekiel, John saw a glimpse of this eternal city! Magnificent and awesome, overwhelming, and inviting.

Two great similarities that should warm our hearts! One is the return of the presence of God! God is there! Second is the idea that there is a place for us as well! An inheritance prepared for us! How overwhelming this must have been for those captives. To consider that God would forgive their sin. Rescue them from captivity and bring them into a future inheritance far greater than they could imagine before!

Two quick lessons, we also have a heavenly inheritance. An eternal city where we will experience the fulfillment of this promise. This is what John saw in the book of Revelation (Rev 21:2). The second is that God’s design for the rebuilt Jerusalem far exceeded what they rebuilt (Ezra 3:12) As we consider the history of the promises of God (promise land, return to Jerusalem; the Christian life) let us not fall short in realizing the fullness of what desires to do in and through us! Let us seek and pursue the fullness of what He desires for us as we await the eternal fulfillment to come.

-Pastor Caleb

“Peacemakers and Kingdom Builders”

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

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the counter culture nature of the Sermon on the mount… It is a cool byproduct of getting to teach on Thursday nights. One particular characteristic I feel is sorely missing in our modern World and that is of the peace-maker… “9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
In our social media it is so tempting to PILE ON the guilt trips, the shame-game and the cancel-culture. In our families it is so much easier to write off difficult people rather than try to love them, be merciful to them and NOT fight with them. It’s NOT the Scriptures or my point of view that we are NEVER to be confrontational, but the Scriptures certainly put a HIGH emphasis on those who make peace: Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” This holiday season make room for people who think differently than you, who live differently than you, and you just might get the privilege of being the hands and feet of Jesus!!

Love and HUGE hugs,

Pastor Daniel

“His Plans Are Always Good”

This week’s Pastor to Person is written by Pastor Franklin Garcia.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
The nation of Israel has been sent into exile to Babylon and God announces through the prophet Jeremiah that they will be in exile for a long time, 70 years to be exact. God promises to be with them while they are in captivity, yet they were also to settle and pray for the welfare of the city. The efforts and anxiety to return faster were in vain because the 70 years in captivity were part of God’s plans for His people. Meanwhile, He promised to be with them and to help them prosper while they were in captivity. God wanted to bring them back into a close relationship with Him. Once this relationship was restored, He promised that He would listen if they wholeheartedly sought after Him. Captivity was within God’s plan; even though this situation was very difficult for His people, it was a plan of good and not evil. Many times, we wonder why God allows difficult situations in our lives, but if we look at these situations from His perspective, we will learn that His plans are good and not evil, plans that are only intended to bring us closer to him.

-Pastor Franklin

“Laying Down Our Lives”

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

[1Jo 3:16 NKJV] 16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for
us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.


With Veterans Day next week and having a daughter serving in the Navy
(thank you Charis) this verse jumped out at me. Her service has brought me a deeper respect for those that have served and for their families. While most think about this verse (and our military) in the light of the greatest sacrifice (Jesus’ substitutionary death for us) There is more to this verse than the idea of dying for someone else. I would say it is not about how we die but how we live!

You could make a case for John pointing to Jesus’ death on the cross, but
a command that we must be willing to die for our brothers however noble is most likely not the point. When Paul describes Jesus’ sacrifice in Phil 2:5-11 the cross is the apex of long series of actions that demonstrate Christ’s love.
The word for “life” is more than being alive it involves our will & our soul.
When Jesus “laid down” his “life” it was an intentional act of daily choices to make others’ needs greater than His own. I think John and Paul are highlighting the life and lifestyle of Jesus as an example of a life on mission, a life of service. Jesus’ prayer in the garden, “not will but Thy will be done” perfectly encapsulates this. John’s challenge to us is one of how we live. The daily choices of setting my needs, wants, and desires (my life) below the opportunities that God is giving me to be His hands and feet. Jesus showed us His love not just in how He died but in how He lived. We too are called to demonstrate this selfless love in our service to others. This is my prayer this week for me and our church!

-Pastor Caleb

“Sober Minded and Prayerful”

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

The apostle Peter has some GREAT advice for you and I this week. Peter reminds his audience who were in a season of difficulty and persecution to focus on several things. In 1 Peter 4:7-8 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Peter reminds us that the end is near, and to live accordingly. He exhorts his readers to be sober minded in order to steep everything in prayer. But I love that he doesn’t stop there he tells us to flagrantly love one another and connects that idea of covering over a multitude of sins(quoted from the Septuagint – Pro 11:31)
If you feel like things aren’t going the way you wanted, remind yourself that the end is near and that we are to respond to challenges by praying all the more and loving each-other dearly. With lots of changes on the horizon, we need to pray, to love and serve one another, as we love and serve Christ.

Love and HUGE hugs,

Daniel

“Divine Satisfaction”

This week’s Pastor to Person is written by Pastor Franklin Garcia.

Jeremiah 2…What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me?

God begins by reminding Israel that he had been so good to them. He had led them through the wilderness to a land that was already fertile and lush and productive for them before they got there, and he had destroyed all their enemies. But Israel abandoned God to go after their own desires, they worshipped other gods/idols as the source of blessing, they abandoned God to put their trust and security through alliances with other nations rather than finding it in God alone. God confronted and accused them of failing to their covenant, he condemned their attitude and announced their punishment.
Abandoning God for our own desires and putting our hope on other things or people will end up in disappointment because God is the only one who can really bless and give us satisfaction. He wants us to keep in mind that He will always give us the best; otherwise, if we abandon Him to go after what we desire and think is best, we will end up disappointed and the consequences will be devastating, because He will not bless us in the process. Instead, He will use our failure to correct us and bring us back to Him. God is faithful and expects us to be faithful in our relationship with Him. God wants our loyalty, and trust that He will guide us and supply all that is necessary along the way.

-Pastor Franklin

“Speak Lord”

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

When the prophet Samuel was a little boy, he was taught by the high priest Eli to say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears” (1Sa. 3:9). That’s not a bad lesson for any of us to learn. I think that most of us would like to hear from God, and sometimes it simply comes down to us asking to hear God’s voice. But what do I do once God speaks? Do I question it? Do I obey it? Do I keep it to myself?
The prophet Jeremiah lived during a very difficult time in the nation’s history. He was the one charged with speaking sometimes difficult things to a group of people who didn’t want to hear from God. He faced constant pushback from the king, leaders, priests, and the people. At times he was beaten and even imprisoned for speaking the things God told him.
At one point in his ministry, Jeremiah decided he was going to stop speaking what God showed him. He was tired of all the trouble it caused. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. (Jeremiah 20:9)
Do you have something from God to share with others? If it’s truly from God, you will find that like Jeremiah, you will have trouble keeping it to yourself. Ask God to speak. Then speak what God asks you to share.

-Pastor Rich

“Before You Were Born”

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

[Jer 1:5 NKJV] 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

This last Tuesday, October 4, 2022, the New York Yankees Aaron Judge broke Roger Maris AL record for most homes runs in a single season! Many watched when he hit number 61 and embraced with his mom gifting her the historic baseball. What I didn’t know until a few days ago is that he was adopted. Recently in an interview Aaron said,
“Some children develop in their mothers’ stomachs; I grew in my mother’s heart.” She has always shown me love and care since I was a baby. I’ve never had to think about anything differently or worry about anything.”
Patty & Wayne Judge adopted Aaron when he was two days old. Little did they know how this step of faith would turn into this record-breaking Cinderella story.
While not all our kids will go on to break sports records this story reminds us of the value of every single human life. Regardless of the circumstances every child is created in the image of God & has the potential to impact this world. When we like Patty & Wayne embrace the opportunity God has given us (biologically or relationally) to help each child discover the call of God on their lives we can help unleash the next generation of world changers. Our children are handmade in the image of God equipped with a calling and gifts for such a time as this. May God help us help them become the men and women He has created them to be!

-Pastor Caleb

“Unashamed and Diligent Servant”

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

Paul did such a good job of both encouraging and reminding Timothy of what he needed to do:

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.”

Here there are several very simple and yet deeply profound things that Paul reminds his spiritual son, Timothy. Present your self to God. Make sure that you are bringing yourself into His presence, regularly! Make it your practice to be in God’s presence. Remember that shame is NOT your inheritance. Do not let the enemy lie to you by bringing up old shame. Don’t hide from God because of false shame, Jesus paid for all of it. Be very careful to RIGHTLY divide the word of truth. Lastly, dodge profane, idle, and foolish babblings – they will only eat up your time and produce nothing of value. There is such wisdom in not getting entangled in pointless arguments (something that I really struggled with as a young man;)

Holding you in prayer and Sending Huge Hugs,

Daniel Grant