Pastor Corner
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July 21, 2014, 12:00 AM

Pray and then return home...

"But when our time was up, we left and continued on our way. All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. After saying good-by to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Acts 21:5-6

In the book of Acts, Luke writes about the travels of Paul in chapter 21.  At the point of the above text, Luke seems to simply go through a list of cities as if Paul is making a farewell trip.  However, there is so much more to it.  At each stop, Paul is taking time.  He is spending time with those that he loves and he is praying with them.  Just prior to this Scripture, Luke writes that they had to tear themselves away.  It was difficult to leave, in other words.  These people meant something.  Paul didn't leave a city that he didn't pray for them.  In verses 5-6, it says that they knelt on the beach and prayed.  It didn't matter where they were, they prayed before they left and then returned home.

Nicole and I had a wonderful experience with our family last week as we travelved with our friends to South Dakota and worked side by side with FBC Dekalb.  We met new friends and discovered once again how God put folks together for a reason.  But, I will tell you some of the sweetest moments on this trip were praying with the group before we left.  We stood in front of Paradigm church, next to the road, held hands and prayed; thanking God for the work that had been completed and for the work that was yet to be done in the days to come at Paradigm...then we "said good-bye and returned home!" 

Pray for Bro. Ernie Nelson and his wife Julie as they minister to the people in Box Elder.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

July 7, 2014, 12:00 AM

God gives us strength...

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service." - 1 Timothy 1:12

This is a beautiful confession by Paul as he speaks to Timothy.  In fact, Paul goes on to talk about how he once was a blasphemer and a persecutor; reminding everyone that it is Christ that gives him the strength to be who he now is.  As I said, a beautiful confession.  

Understanding, the true context of this Scripture, I want to do something that some will think is heretical for just a moment, but hang on just a moment.  Take the "me" out and put "you" in its place.  As I was reading this Scripture I saw that it is not only a confessional of how I am thankful for how God gives me strength and how he considers me faithful and appointing me to his service, but it also is a wonderful way for me to say thank you to so many that serve His kingdom faithfully.  "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given YOU strength, that he considered YOU faithful, appointing YOU to his service" as well."  Ministry is not something that is done alone!

This became even more evident this past week as church members came together to make VBS successful.  The children had a great time and it was with God's strength that each worker (adult and youth) remained faithful through the entire week, ending with a wonderful 4th of July celebration.  Thank you to each person that made that happen.  The kids and this community are worth EVERY effort that you put into.  May God bless you as you have blessed others!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant 

June 30, 2014, 12:00 AM

Blessed to be a child...

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. - Matthew 10:14-16

Oh, how I love this Scripture.  I can just picture this scene.  Kids all around Jesus.  Kids that people had brought to Jesus, as it says in verse 13.  It seems that everyone knew that the children needed to be in the presence of Jesus except those closest to Jesus.  I can see the joy on Jesus' face as the children simply enjoyed being in the presence of Christ.  They didn't care what the adults thought, they didn't even care what the disciples thought.  All they knew is that there was a man, Christ, that loved them and was paying attention to them.

In the midst of this, Jesus told the disciples, and us, that the children were behaving in a manner that was correct.  The kids had gotten it right.  The kids were being the example to the adults of how to worship, how to follow Christ.  

I know that it's hard to see it sometimes, but coming to Christ in faith AND remaining there requires a child-like attitude at times.  We cannot be hindered by what others think.  We cannot be worried about what others may say.  The reward is that He will put His hands on us and bless us.  Oh, how sweet to feel that touch.  Oh, how blessed to be a child!

In His Service,

Bro. Grant

June 16, 2014, 12:00 AM

Don't provide folks with an excuse...

"4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." - Romans 12:4-8

I know many of you have probably read through this passage many times, but let's do it again with a change in perspective.  A perspective that places a word at the heart of all these gifts, that is "service."  I know that verse 7 uses the word "serving", but that is more of "ministry" or "helping."  What I'm talking about is a general attitude of service to others no matter what your gift(s) is(are).  Doing "teaching" with the attitude of service...doing "ministry" with the attitude of service...doing "encouragement" with the attitude of service, etc.  Then, folks will see the love of God in you.  Then the excuse of not believing in "organized religion" would decrease.  In fact, Francis Chan, author or Crazy Love wrote " I don't think people would say that [I believe in God just not organized religion] if the church truly lived like we are called to live.  The expression would change to 'I can't deny what the church does, but I don't believe in their God.' At least they they'd address their rejection of God rather than use the church as a scape goat."

Don't give folks an excuse!!!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

June 4, 2014, 12:00 AM

Brag on God...

I have revealed and saved and proclaimed-- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?" - Isaiah 43:12-13

God has done so much for each of us. I know He has for me personally, and I'm sure that if you took just a moment you could come up with something He has done for you...even today.  It's called life!  But, aside from the obvious, I want you to stop for a moment to think of one thing that God has done for you today...some blessing that you know has come from God and thank Him for it.  Then, I want you to share it with someone.  Guess what, you just became a witness for God.  That's right, where the scripture states that "you are my witnesses," God truly wants us to show and tell others about Him.  Telling others about the ways in which God is blessing you is a practical way that you can witness to others.

I know it can be intimidating to witness, to let others know about God.  But think about this, God has been in the business of blessing since the beginning of time ("ancient days") and He isn't going anywhere. Nothing will happen to you that God doesn't know about.  What could it hurt to brag on God a little...give it a try!!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

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