“Encouraging Words”

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

1Th.4:13-18…Therefore encourage one another with these words.

We are going to see our loved ones again and will be reunited with them, whether we stay or go first to the Lord, this is a promise from Him.

I don’t know if you have lost a loved one, someone you love dearly. If you have, can you recall the times that you had a dream of them? I remember dreaming about my dad during the first months after he went home to the Lord. I used to wake up happy with tears in my eyes, because my dreams seemed so real. Hugging my dad and sharing with him was something that I cannot explain. I hated waking up from those dreams. One day it will not be a dream anymore. One day we don’t have to worry about waking up from our dream, because it will not be a dream anymore; it will be real.

The Lord’s promises should encourage us in our grieving and should be shared to help others in their grieving! This is some good news of hope, but nobody keeps good news to themselves, good news is to be shared. We must share this news of hope with others who think that they won’t see their loved ones again. We must encourage each other with the fact that we all are going to be reunited again, these words are to be share in order to comfort those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

“Effective”

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

This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the word of God, which also works effectively in you who believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13 CSB)
I love the idea of God being at work “effectively” in our lives. The word “effectively” carries the idea of “energy”. It’s a word used to describe effective prayer (James 5:16), miracles (Gal. 3:5), and most of all the work of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 12:11). Wouldn’t you like these kinds of things to be “at work” in you? I know I would.
Paul tells the Thessalonians that God was at work in them because of two ingredients. First was the Word of God. The church realized that what Paul was teaching them was actually God’s own words. You and I also have access to this same word, it’s in your Bible. On Sunday mornings when we gather together to open and study the Bible, are you expecting a word from God Himself?
The second ingredient was faith. God’s word is powerful, but when it is mixed with the faith of the believer, truly “effective” things happen. Do you believe God when He speaks to you in His word? Do you believe God wants to work in your life? Do you believe God will work in your life?
On Sunday, when we gather together, listen for God’s word. And choose to believe what God might be saying.

“True Value”

This weeks Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.

[Phl 3:8 NKJV] 8 “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

I came across this short story and found it applicable,

A father said to his daughter “You graduated with honors, here is a car I acquired many years ago. It is several years old. But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you. The daughter went to the used car lot, returned to her father, and said, “They offered me $1,000 because it looks very worn out.” The father said, “Take it to the pawnshop.” The daughter went to the pawnshop, returned to her father, and said, “The pawn shop offered $100 because it was a very old car.” The father asked his daughter to go to a car club and show them the car. The daughter took the car to the club, returned, and told her father,” Some people in the club offered $100,000 for it since it’s a Nissan Skyline R34, an iconic car and sought out after by many.” The father said to his daughter, “The right place values you the right way.” If you are not valued, do not be angry, it means you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you. Never stay in a place where no one sees your value.

The story helps us understand how value works. We often say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Here Paul has been describing a list of things that many would consider valuable. His family background, cultural background, job, and things he cared about. All these things are not bad things, but they are also not ultimate things. Paul is not saying these things are trash, his point is that in comparison to Jesus, we should consider them like trash.

When it comes to what you consider valuable in your life, how does Jesus compare? Does what Jesus say matter more than family? Is time with Him as exciting as time on social media? Do you make sacrifices for work or a career that you wouldn’t make for Him?  Paul’s point is that the sooner we realize that Jesus isn’t just valuable, but He is the most valuable, we will experience the joy and contentment, peace, and thanksgiving that comes from the truth of the Gospel. May God help us see the treasure we have in Jesus and the treasure we are to Jesus! 

“Are We Scarlet, Or As Pure White As Snow?”

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


Isaiah reminds us of a simple yet profoundly deep truth. In Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
We are deeply sinful, that is the truth. We are flawed more desperately than we want to imagine. Our sinful nature wages war against our spirit, and those sins are like scarlet. Our own sins are as red as crimson. I am so very grateful that God does not leave us as we are, but He takes our sinfulness upon himself. In his own body he took the full penalty of sin so that now we are as white as snow, we are as pure and clean as unused white wool!! Frances Foulkes in his work on prayer speaks of carefully entering God’s Holy presence, and he describes God in such a beautiful way as “…which carries us into the high watch, where dwells the Lover, the Giver, the Knower.” Foulkes is onto something there, God is our lover, our giver(provider) and the one who ‘knows’ us. Enter into his abiding presence today, don’t stay away!!


Sending Huge Hugs,

“Our Greatest Weakness”

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

To keep Paul from becoming conceited over the revelations, he was given a weakness a thorn in the flesh. Some believe it was a sickness, like a tumor on his eyesight, others believe that it was someone causing him trouble, others believe that it was a temptation that he was continually facing. Whatever this situation was it was tormenting him, Paul called it his thorn in the flesh, the thorn tormented him. Paul asked God to remove the thorn but instead God promises that his grace is enough, and his power works better in weakness. Paul prayed three times for God to remove the thorn. God instead promised him grace, grace is enough. God’s power worked in his weakness which made Paul even more powerful in his ministry. This is why Paul brags about his weaknesses, because they made him strong.

God allows weakness in our lives, so we do not become conceited, so we don’t become self-sufficient, so we don’t be filled with pride in our abilities. God’s giving weakness will only draw us closer to His throne. Our deepest need in our weakness is not relief but rather confidence in God, confidence that God knows what He is doing, that He knows what’s best for us, He knows when to take away our afflictions or He might just leave it for the rest of our lives, if that’s the case, then we need to realize that our weakness allows God’s power to work better in our lives.

“When it’s Good to be Sad”

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

If I had to choose between being happy or being sad, well, I’d choose … happy. Wouldn’t you?
There can be a myriad of reasons why a person might be sad. Some folks have medical issues that can lead to chronic depression. Others might have unresolved issues with friends, deep rooted fears, or even the loss of a loved one that can lead to sadness. Some of these reasons can be helped with medication, counseling, or even talking to a friend. There is nothing to be ashamed of when these are the reasons for sadness, we just need to ask for help.
Sometimes the root cause of sadness is sin. When I’ve done something I know is wrong, I will struggle with the conviction of the Holy Spirit and yes, I will experience a sense of “sorrow”. This kind of sorrow has the potential to lead to something positive in my life if I let it. Paul wrote about how one of his letters had caused the Corinthians “sorrow” –
Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.” (2 Corinthians 7:9)
Here’s the bottom line. If you are struggling with real sorrow over your sin, turn around. Turn to Jesus. Ask Him for help. He longs to help you and forgive you. Maybe even reach out to a friend. God can use this sorrow for good, your good.

“False Accusations”

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

[Job 22:5 NIV] Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless?

               As we read Eliphaz responses in chapters (5, 15, & 22) there is a progression of false assumptions. The overarching issue that leads to Eliphaz’ slander of Job is he never considered that he (Eliphaz) could be wrong? He was so convinced Job must have sinned that he creates an alternate reality of things Job must have done to deserve all this (22:5-9). Sadly, Eliphaz moves from false thinking to false accusations.

               How painful this must have been for Job. Like salt in the wounds, Eliphaz words aren’t just wrong they are painful. As the story closes, we will see God ultimately confront these false accusations and vindicate Job.

               What can we take away from Eliphaz? In a world where a few clicks on the keyboard can end friendships or memorialize accusations we must consider the possibility we don’t have all the information. How different Eliphaz must have felt after God rebukes him (42:7-9). Eliphaz thought he was defending God, but he was actually misrepresenting Him (42:8).

               Have you had this happen to you? Remember Jesus was falsely accused and slandered by people that thought they were serving God. Press into Him and let Him vindicate you. Have you done this recently to someone else? What can you do to make it right? We all have an Eliphaz in us, we must filter that voice through the lens that we might be wrong.

“Weaker Brother or Sister”

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

1 Cor 8:9 says this to us “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” I see such a critical kingdom principle here, bear with the weaker brother or sister. We are to love those that have weaker consciences than us, and the way we are to love them is by laying down our rights. Here the example Paul uses is eating meat sacrificed to idols, but the principle stands. Those who are strong in faith are to love and lay down their ‘rights’ for those who have trouble with their conscience.
Paul finishes the thought with a firm statement: 12 “When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” Paul would electively be a vegetarian, if that would help keep his brother or sister from stumbling. Where are these places in your life where you need to let go of your rights, or freedoms? By doing so you and I choose to love our brothers and sisters in Christ, and thereby LOVE Christ!!

Sending HUGE hugs,
Daniel Grant

“Renewing Our Commitment”

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

“Then Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly…the Levites explained the Law to the people while the people remained in their place. They read from the book, from the Law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading… The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths…And there was very great rejoicing…” Nehemiah 8
The Israelites renewed their commitment to God and a spiritual revival arose in the people of Israel. The Word of God was the center of this spiritual revival. Ezra read the Scripture to the people while the Levites interpreted the Scripture to the listeners. Reading and interpreting the scriptures produced knowledge, repentance, and worship in the people that manifested in obedience. They began to worship God and put into practice what they had heard. They celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles and pledged to obey God. The people of Israel aligned themselves with God’s will through the explanation and understanding of the Law.
We hear the reading and interpretation of God’s Word, week after week. The pastor explains the Scripture so that we can acquire knowledge and understand what God expects His children to do. The response of each of us to the explanation of God’s Word should lead us to renew our commitment to do His will through repentance and obedience to His word. By acting this way we reaffirm that we belong to Him.

“The Hand of God”

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

I counted six times in the book of Ezra where we are told that God’s “hand” was on Ezra. Could you imagine having such a relationship with God that you and others are aware that God’s hand is on your life? That was Ezra, and he told us how it happened…
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. (Ezra 7:10)
It all starts with the heart. It starts with heart preparation. I think that too often I just rush into things instead of taking the time to get my heart right from the beginning. Maybe that means that every day I start with a prayer, “God help me seek You today.”
Ezra’s heart was ready and prepared to seek God’s Law, to be immersed in God’s Word, to know God’s Word. Jesus said that the Spirit would teach us and remind us of the things He said, but sometimes the Spirit doesn’t have any material to work with because we haven’t been spending time in God’s Word. Read. Memorize. Learn.
Ezra knew that just knowing God’s Word wasn’t enough. Ezra had a commitment to do what God’s Word said. Jesus said that the man whose house survived the storm not only heard His word, but also did it. Are you doing what you know God wants you to do?
Lastly, Ezra’s heart was aimed at helping and influencing others. Jesus said to go into all the world and make disciples. There are going to be people in your life that God would like to work with, and He’d like to do it through you. Are you open to what God wants to do through you?
God’s hand on my life. In a way it’s all about the effect God will have on others through my life, but it starts with my heart and involves God’s Word.