Faithful

Oh God,
Your Word is faithful and true,
Your Word is enduring and timeless,
Your Word is changeless and trustworthy,
You have never failed to follow through.
You have never let me down.
Oh God, so
How could I be so faith-less?
How could I be so trust-less?
How could I be so impatient?
You have never given me reason to doubt You, yet I did.

I confess.
I repent.

Hear my prayer and heal me.
Hear my prayer and strengthen me.
Hear my prayer and empower me.
In Jesus name, forgive me.

And now, oh God…

May I shine a light unto Your faithfulness
for all to see.
May I reflect Your glory,
for all to bask in.
May I proclaim Your love,
for all to know.

Satan wielded his sword against me.
Your sword is stronger for Your Word will never pass away.
May I always trust in Your faithfulness.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—


Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid?

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
[Psalm 27:1]

Fear is irrelevant unless, of course, that fear is holy awe of our most awesome and amazing God who loves you with a love that is beyond comprehension. Then fear is a command because of what God has done FOR YOU. And what has God done FOR YOU?

God is your light in this dark world.
God is your salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
God is your stronghold.
God is your fortress from the enemy.

In light of all of this, why would I fear anything or anyone of this world? Why would I fear any situation that is thrown at me? Why would I fear opposition, challenges or road blocks? My friends, do not let Satan drive you to fear, but rather direct your attention to God and fear the one who is bigger and more powerful than the fear of this world.

There is nothing that surprises God.
There is nothing that can foil His plans.
There is nothing that God can not handle.
There is nothing that God can not use for His glory.

Whom shall you fear? Whom shall you be afraid?

NOTHING and NO ONE.

Fear God and worship only Him; for He is FOR YOU and not against you. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Silence

Silence can be loud.

My wife and kids are driving back to the Midwest. I will join them on Thanksgiving Day after a nice little red eye flight. In the meantime, I’m in this quietly loud house by myself. It is so loud that my ears are ringing from the silence. My wife suggested that I turn the T.V. on for some background noise, but I’m not going to do that. This loud silence is calming. Strange, but it is.

You see, silence is a premium in our world. There’s always some noise. Here…it is so quiet that the typing sounds of my keyboard is almost too loud. And now my house is creaking. I don’t think I have ever heard those noises before. And now, standing here in my kitchen…

(yes, I am standing in my kitchen typing this because, well, I can)

…I can hear my neighbor working in his garage. I don’t think I have ever heard him before like this. Wow, that fish tank is loud. Hmm, my refrigerator sounds like that? Amazing what silence can do; what it can reveal.

Can you see…ummm…I mean, hear where I am going with this?

In this deafening silence I am hearing how much I am missing. No, not my neighbor working in his garage or that loud fish tank, but God. My kids go to bed and I turn on my T.V. or peruse social media. I have to have noise of some sort. Rarely do I just sit in silence because it almost feels like wasting time. I have to accomplish something, especially with the kids sleeping (or gone), right?

I miss so much…

[Silence]

I’m back. I was enjoying the silence again.

I need to find more times like this.
I need to soak in silence.
I need to listen to the still, small voice of God…more often.
I need to focus.
I need silence.

Silence is not scary.
Silence is not a waste of time.
Silence is not non-productive time.

Silence is a gift. Embrace it. Cling to it. Listen…

[Silence]

 

The Pastor -|—

 

Rise

Rise and shine like the sun;
For the Son shines in you.
Rise and face this new day;
Knowing you don’t face it alone.
Rise and be bold;
For the Lord your is Rock.
Rise and be confident;
For the Lord is your refuge.
Rise and praise Him;
For God almighty has redeemed you.
Rise and worship Him;
For He is worthy.
Rise and be forgiven;
For Jesus has died for you.
Rise and rise again;
For Jesus lives and so shall you, forever.
Rise and shine;
For this is indeed a glorious day.

The Pastor-|—

Gordon ~ Homelessness Sucks

We met Gordon recently.

I don’t know his story other than he’s a black man who is homeless in Sumner, WA. My family and I were in town for an event when we saw him sitting on a downtown bench with his stuff. We all felt the God nudge so we stopped the car. We just needed to do something. In the back of my car are these bags…

20180917_112818.jpg

These bags came from the brain and heart of my 5-year-old daughter. She wanted to do something to help people who find themselves homeless and so she came up with this. We are incredibly proud of her. So my wife and I helped her put these together and now the two of us have these in our vehicles. We are currently in the process of adding to these bags and now others in my congregation want to help too. To God be the glory.

Anyway, we stopped and interrupted our evening activities to meet Gordon. My 4-year-old son wanted to get out with me so we grabbed a bag and walked across the street. I introduced the two of us to Gordon and shook his hand. Gordon’s eyes lit up as he smiled and introduced himself to us. We chatted for a bit as I handed him the above bag. Gordon thanked me and my son and we parted ways.

And now…

…my thoughts and prayers continue to be with Gordon. I wrote about Sofia’s story recently and I wish I knew Gordon’s story. So many regrets with my encounter with Gordon. I wish I had taken more time to listen but maybe God is teaching me. Maybe each and every encounter is one more step in my education and discipleship. I don’t know. What I do know is that I haven’t forgotten about Gordon; I can still see his face in my brain. And that’s good. I have a feeling that when the next opportunity comes around God will nudge me more.

God help me. God help us.

I/we have much to learn.

Remember Gordon and join me in praying for him. I/you don’t know his story, but God does. And God willing, I will see Gordon again so I can learn more of his story.

So, remember and pray. Learn and grow. Respond and act. To God be the glory.

The Pastor -|—

To Begin My Day…

To You, oh Lord,
I place my trust.
To You, oh Lord,
I cast my eyes.
Hold me tight in the midst of the storm;
In the midst of enemies who claim victory.
Wield Your sword to defend me;
Your mighty arm is powerful.
Hedge me in on all sides;
Oh Lord, You are my fortress.
May I not fall into despair;
May I always see You.
To You, oh Lord,
I place my trust.
To You, oh Lord,
I give my praise.

The Pastor -|—

Tonight…Remember

Tonight you may get a warm bed,
but someone gets the cold, hard ground.
Tonight you may be recovering from a big, hearty meal,
but someone’s stomach is crying out for any morsel to eat.
Tonight you may get to kiss a loved one good night,
but someone feels unloved and forgotten.
Tonight you may feel safe and secure in your own home,
but someone is scared and alone and longing for shelter.
Tonight you may have a “happily ever after”,
but someone has a story no one knows.
Tonight you may have…
but someone does not.

So tonight…

Remember and pray for the Sofias and the Gordons of the world.
Pray and listen to the still, small voice of God.
Listen and obey that voice.
Obey and glorify God.

Tonight…

Remember

The Pastor -|—