Pastor Corner
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January 29, 2015, 11:29 AM

The Rod of Comfort...

 "...I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

This may be one is the most familiar verses in the Bible, as least part of it anyway.  As I was reading this verse, and once again understanding the situation the author might have been in, it amazes me that he has such determination to not fear what evil lies in front of him.  But there is more than just that in this portion of Psalm 23:4.  It's the fact that the psalmist sees the rod and staff as positive things.  The staff, I completely get.  The staff was used to guide and help the sheep out of danger.  The connotation of this word does not really create much angst in my heart.  However, the word "rod" has a different idea.  In this is the idea of discipline, harshness even.  The connotation is much different.  Both words define tools that are needed by the shepherd.  Both are required in order to ensure the safety of the sheep, but both do not carry the same "feeling" of comfort.  Yet, somehow, the psalmist DOES feel as if they both comfort him.

Are you at a place where you consider the "rod" of God as a comforting tool of His love?  Do you understand that God intervenes in our lives with discipline for our own sake?  Therefore, if we look at the greater picture, it truly should "comfort" us that our God cares enought for us that He will not let us simply do our own thing and go our own way.  God does truly comfort with His staff AND His rod.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

January 19, 2015, 11:00 AM

Witness with our words...

"For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard." - Acts 22:15 (NASB)

Even as Saul had his conversion experience, he was given notice that he would have the responsibility to be a witness to those around him.  He had the responsibility to tell those he came in contact with about his experience, specifically his salvation experience.  This was definitely something different for him.  Don't you know that he had to learn a new way of life, a new way of thinking, an entirely new language really.  See, the language he had been speaking was not only against Christ, but very "religious" if you know what I mean.  He had the book knowledge of what was expected, but know he had truly met the Messiah and KNEW who Christ was...and he was expected to get that across to others.  His old language did not prepare him for those types of discussions.

I was handed an article written by Lynn Waalkes, "When Words Get In The Way" that spoke to this idea.  She described some things that caused me to think we ought to be careful of as we reach out to those that are not yet believers or those that are new believers. She recommends: creating a cliche lexicon to be avoided (no "Christianese"), learning the lingo of those you are reaching, studying the trends, showing respect, and relying on Scripture (not just quoting Scipture, but "weave scripture into the discussion naturally...).  Just imagine Saul (Paul) as a new believer trying to learn a new way of life, a new way of thinking, and a new language.  Great reminder of what we are to do as we try to make sure that our "words don't get in the way."

In Christ,

Bro. Grant


January 12, 2015, 9:00 AM

An answer to prayer...

"So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty." - Ezra 8:23 (NASB)

Ezra was faced with a challenged of convincing people to move from a safe place to a new place.  Only a handful of folks (maybe 40) were willing to follow him in his caravan.  It took courage to travel the distance across the unsafe terrain, working against the elements, to reach their destination.  However, Ezra knew that God desired that His people were to move on.  To make matters a little more uneasy, the Scripture tells us that Ezra did not ask for help from the King for safe passage (v.22), depending on God during this journey.  Therefore, Ezra and his team of faithful followers fasted and prayed concerning this specific matter...and God listened.  Then they took their journey from Ahava to Jerusalem.

So many times we want to get ahead of God and do things our way.  We want to be confortable in doing those things as well.  However, that is simply not how God works sometimes.  He wants us to make sure that we are focused on Him (we have fasted), we have listened to His will (we have prayed), and then we act (we begin the journey).  This may make us uncomfortable, but we often times see a clear answer to pray we we follow this example of Ezra.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

January 7, 2015, 4:00 PM

Taking a stand...

"Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?" - Psalm 94:16

In reading this psalm, it is easy to understand how the psalmist feels.  How many times have you felt as if no one is standing with you?  How many times would ask that just one person stand up and simply take you side of an arguement?  You "know" that you are right and there are no two ways about it, but why won't anyone else see that?  Maybe that is exactly why the psalmist is asking the question.  Maybe that is why he is posing the question to God, know that only God will fill the void.  Even if no one steps up to the plate, God will!

Let's turn this around for just a moment.  Let's just say that it is God posing the question...oh, does that hurt! What happens if God is to the point that He is asking for just one person to stand up and do the right thing.  He doesn't care what the general public opinion is or what the latest poles say...He wants someone to stand by Him!  There are times in our lives that I believe God IS asking that very question.  I would propose that there are social issues right now that fall under this category.  I'm not asking anyone to stand by me or my word, but to stand according to the Word of God.  Read His Word, stand for His truth!  Don't ever be afraid to take a stand; just make sure that you don't "stomp" in the process.  We should love as we stand for His truth!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant


December 28, 2014, 5:00 PM

Time with the Lord...

"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him." - Psalm 18:30

I sat down this afternoon to read Scripture for my daily reading of the Sword, which has not been so "daily" r
ecently, and I realized just how far behind I am. I would share that bit of information with you but I don't want you to think to badly of the pastor today. What it caused me to do is realize how much I let "life" get in the way of important things such as time with God. We, as His children, have got to make sure that we are spending a least a little bit of time with him each day. Make a point, as we are about to begin a new year, to start a fresh with God. I plan to finish what I started, I may be late, but I will be spending time with my Lord, and for that I know I will be blessed. 
May I encourage you to do the same. 
Below, you will find a link (there are many) to a site that has several choices of how to read through the Bible in a year. Don't rush, but just spend some time with your Lord...He would love to hear from you.
In Christ, 
Bro. Grant

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