Monday, October 28, 2013

A POWERFUL LESSON! POWERFULLY GIVEN!

I know this has been out for awhile, but what a powerful message, by a strong young woman motivated for a greater good. Oh, that the people of God would have such courage.  Not for retaliation, but rather for forgiveness and the challenge to move forward for the good of all. 

CALLED TO NO EXCUSE

[Disclaimer: This article was originally written for our church bulletin and it directly relates to our church, but I believe there is truth here for you as well, thus the posting.]

WE ARE SAVED BY GOD’S GRACE ALONE, through the finished atoning death of Jesus Christ, proved forth through the power of His resurrection. For those who repent of their disobedience to God’s sovereign rule and place their faith and trust in Jesus’ the finished work there is promised the forgiveness of sins, the reconciliation of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and life eternal in the new heaven and earth that God has planned for those who love Him and respond to His grace. WOW!

In response to God’s amazing grace and His presence with us through the residency of the Holy Spirit in us, we are moved to serve our loving Lord with open hearts and hands.  This is not an option, or a condition of God’s perfect gift, but rather the most proper and holy response of worship. (Romans 12:1-2) To serve in God’s Kingdom is for us the highest privilege and priority. One such place of service is found within the Ministry Team of our church.
The Ministry Team is more than just a board of directors or a group of organizers, it is in truth a community of servant leaders who diligently seek to discern God’s specific will for the family of faith that call Felton Bible Church home.

Each year we have are given the opportunity to invite new individuals to join us on this journey of discernment, service and leadership. Each member of the Ministry Team is responsible for an area of ministry, giving direction and oversight to those who serve alongside the Ministry Team Coordinator.  Each Ministry Team Coordinator serves a three year term with the option of extending their service for a second term.

Due to some unfulfilled positions and the ending of terms, we find ourselves with many openings on the Team; you can note those inside this bulletin. Each Coordinator must be a member of the church who desires to see the Kingdom of God grow in strength and numbers here in our community and around the world. The role of each member of the Ministry Team is vital to the life of the church, and it is a call to which a follower of Christ should aspire. (1 Timothy 3:1)


How will you respond to God’s call of grace.
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

THE PROBLEM WITH M&M's

THE PROBLEM WITH M&M’s is that they’re so small it’s easy to eat way too many of them.  How could something so tiny have any calories? It’s not like holding a full-size Hershey’s chocolate bar with almonds in your hand. Unwrap one of those big boys and you can feel the pounds coming on even before you take the first bite!  But those little M&M’s ... NAH, no problem there.
Well, let me lay some truth on you, those tiny little candy-coated chocolate-filled morsels can be your undoing.  The truth is I’ve gained too many pounds over the last couple of months and I blame that weight gain partially on those deceptively small M&M-stamped circles.  Now, once again, it’s back to the old diet which means discipline, giving up other foods that I enjoy (mostly in the bread and noodle family), and pumping up the exercise program.  Those little buggers got me!
It’s not unlike the wages of sin. Some sins look too small to really cause any harm. I mean a little sin here or there will not affect my life, no one will even notice. I can indulge in those tiny little morsels of disobedient delight and still keep myself in good spiritual shape.
The truth is all sin, tiny or large, brings about death. Not just a few sinful pounds, but death. The Scriptures remind us, “The wages of sin is death(Romans 6:23) and as the Apostle Paul reminds us, “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. People reap what they sow. Those who sow to please their sinful nature, from that nature reap destruction.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
But, don’t lose heart; God also has a great diet plan which is explained in the second half of the passages noted above, “but the gift of God in eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) And, in Galatians, “those who sow to the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:8)
Therefore, let us watch what we consume, or as the Word of God reminds us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)  

Now where are my new running shoes?
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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

FOR WHAT REASON?

LOOKING FOR A GOAL FOR YOUR LIFE? CONSIDER...

What were we made for? To KNOW God.
What is our greatest need? To KNOW God.
What is eternal life? To KNOW God.  (John 17:3)
What can bring us true joy and contentment? To KNOW God.  (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Now there are some truths to bring our lives purpose and meaning.

Friday, October 04, 2013

A SLOUGH OF LESSONS

English: Aerial view of Moss Landing, Monterey...
English: Aerial view of Moss Landing, Monterey County, California, USA. The Elkhorn slough runs the area and about 6 miles (8 km) inland. The huge Moss Landing Power Plant is visible at the center. Coordinates: 36°48′21.95″N 121°46′57.55″W  /  °S °W  / ; latd>90 (dms format) in latd latm lats longm longs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
THIS PAST WEEK LINDA and I spent a few hours kayaking around the Elkhorn Slough.  We had gone kayaking at Elkhorn before, but as part of a docent–led tour group, this time we traveled by ourselves traveling at our pace, stopping to see what caught our eye.

The Lord blessed us with a most gorgeous day. We rode in with the tide and a gentle breeze and thus were able to leisurely paddle up the slough taking time to enjoy playful otters, loud-mouthed seals, great pelicans and thousands of terns, that’s because one good tern deserves another.

Being out in the midst of God’s creation always provides lessons of grace and this was not an exception.

Paddling with the tide and the wind to your back provides you the opportunity not to go slow and look and listen for the sights and sounds not afforded to those racing by on Highway 1. As Christians we need to take the easier times of life to slow down and look for God and listen for His still small voice.

Lesson two was provided for us as we prepared for our adventure. We were told  not to get too close to the wildlife. We learned that sometimes an inquisitive otter will actually crawl up onto your kayak! It was explained that this was not a good thing and we were to gently nudge them back in the water with our paddle.  For as cute and cuddly this furry little creatures may seem, they are wild and have sharp teeth and claws.  Kind of like sin; it looks harmless, even cute from a distance. You might even feel like giving it a hug…but it’s wild, untamed, and it will bite you. Its bite can come with grave consequences.  It’s best to keep your distance and if it’s moving toward you, paddle away.

One more lesson came as we turned back toward the harbor. Paddling against the tide with a stiff wind in your face makes paddling and maneuvering your kayak a lot more difficult. It’s not time for sight-seeing, but for putting your arms to work, paddling with purpose, and keeping an eye out for more sheltered places through which we could paddle. It’s not bad to paddle against the tide and wind, in fact there is a sense of accomplishment that comes from working hard, going against the flow and making it back home to calmer waters. In our journey with Jesus Christ, sometimes we are going to hit some headwinds, or have to paddle against the flow. It’s not the time for giving in or giving up, but for digging down a little deeper. It’s through these times that our spiritual muscles are developed. Having  accomplished  the journey we hear the voice of the Lord say, “Well done.”


More lessons to come, I am sure, and I am looking forward to another trip up the slough. Care to join us?
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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

NO!

ONE OF THE FIRST DECLARATIVE SENTENCES a child learns is that simple one word phrase, “NO!” I suppose one of the reasons this becomes one of the first words and acts of speech communication is because it is what the child hears most often.

Often we find ourselves saying “No!” to our children to keep them from hurting themselves and sometimes we say it to teach them that they can’t have or do anything they desire any time they desire.

The truth is, we seem to grow up hearing a lot more “no’s” then we do “yes’s,” or so it seems.  I think the word “no” just sticks with us longer. It’s that way with God’s Law, we hear it as a bunch of “noes” all the while missing the “yeses” that He gives us.

This past summer I had the opportunity to attend, via satellite feed, the Global Leadership Summit, produced through the Willow Creek Association. I heard one of the conference team say that the word “NO” meant Next Opportunity. I found this quite refreshing. I appreciated how the positive response seemed to jump-start my desire to go and do something.

With this in mind I want to welcome you into the season of opportunity. Over the next few months you are going to be given opportunities to express the love of God and to proclaim the good news of Jesus. Here are some ways to set yourself free to say, “Yes!”



I am sure you could add a few more, like gifts for those serving in the military, or taking hot soup to the homeless throughout our area, or gifts to the children of those incarcerated, through ministries like, Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree. Need I say more?

Come and join me as we take the good news of the Kingdom of God, the news of the Incarnate Messiah, Jesus, to a world that is in desperate need of a few good “YES’S!”


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