Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Movie Night

Hey All:
   Tonight we are meeting for a movie (something Star Wars and old) and some pizza. I won't be ordering until we get there to make sure I don't order too much.
     Let's meet around 6:30 p.m. and let your folks know it might be 10:00 before you're out. Both movies are just over two hours and tomorrow is not a school day so, we could be out by 10:00 p.m.

Fearless Leader


Monday, November 23, 2015

Rae's New Songs

Rae wants us to do these songs. Give 'em a listen. Give 'em several listens.

Not Ashamed..


Before There Was Time...



Overwhelmed (Great video!)


What If I Believed (Christ in Me)


Devo Time!

Thanks for Another Year

Psa 50:14  "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High; 

     We live in a really great country.
     We have our share of problems, but we have freedom, wealth, health, and all anyone could want. What we call poverty level would make a rich man's wage in some nations. Most of our days are filled with activity, our evenings with sweet rest in homes that are dry and safe. How often have we taken time to Thank God for these blessings? Now that you have a few days off. Try this exercise. For a whole day, thank God for everything you take for granted. As you shop and casually take some food item off the shelf and toss it into your cart, say, "Thank you Lord for this food you have provided," or even "Thanks for this. I don't need it, but you know I enjoy it and you are the God who gives me good things."
     When you are stuck in traffic, you might say, "Thanks for this warm car you have given me to drive to work and church and to my friend's homes. Thank you for this delay as you may be keeping me from danger ahead by making me wait here."
   Thank you for this bed where I can sleep. Think about the psalm that says, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety." Ps. 4:78. Thank him that when your alarm goes off that hH
e has wakened you from your sleep, and placed your feet on the floor and given you the ability to walk to your refrigerator and find food waiting inside."
   We have brothers and sisters in the world who languish in prisons, and who live in abject poverty. We do not know how God is glorified in this until we hear them speak of His blessings. We wonder how they can be content. We ask, "What can we do for you?" and they say, "Please pray."  So we should pray. We have been given much, we are responsible for how we use these gifts. Let us glorify God for these blessings and let us glorify God when we have difficulties. By all means, let's glorify God.
    I am thankful for each of you in Next Level and you, guest reader whom God has allowed to stumble here on this Blog. I hope you are thankful as well.
   Give God your undivided attention this week. Make it truly a time of Thanksgiving. God is pleased with such good children.

Happy Thanksgiving...



Fearless Leader


Enjoy one of my favorites, "Thankful" by Caedmon's Call. Listen to the words...




Thursday, November 19, 2015

Worth a look

Andrew and I are studying together for his big Bible test tomorrow. Part of it is a summary of the Westminster and Heidelberg Catechisms. Check out the beginning of the Heidelberg...
Q & A 1
Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,1
but belong—
body and soul,
in life and in death—2
to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5
He also watches over me in such a way6
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;7
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life9
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.10

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Devo Time!

Cheering One Another
I once knew an old preacher who would say something like, "How can you call yourself a Christian when you walk around looking like you were weaned on a dill pickle?" In his own poetic way he was talking about your witness inside and outside the church building. The point he made was also correct; if we don't have a reason to be glad, who does?

   The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:4 ...

   Php 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 

   We should be the most encouraging people in all the world. We have been rescued from
destruction. We are like that old lady in the commercial who has fallen and can't get up. Then Jesus extends his nail pierced hand and lifts us up again. What did this salvation, this encouragement, this assurance cost us? The gift (like all gifts) is free. God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to complete this work so that we could be with the Lord in heaven. This is the good news. Who frowns at good news? Take Paul's advice again...

 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  -Col 3:16

   We are to sing praises not dirges. We are to rejoice with our brothers and sisters in Christ in such a way that the world will see us and wonder what on earth (or heaven) could make people that secure and happy. Then they might ask you! Are you ready to tell them?
  but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence
- 1Peter 3:15 
The Bible says you should be.

So be encouraged and be an encourager. Who needs to hear kind words and encouraging encouragement? Who is sad who needs to be cheered? Who rejoices with whom you could rejoice? Christ dwells in you richly. Sing out! Live out loud! Be the victorious people God made you to be and in doing so you honor Him and His sacrifice, His only son, Jesus. Make up your mind this week to lift up the faces of those around you and show them the hope that is only found in the gospel of the one true God, May the Lord Bless and keep you this week.

Fearless Leader.

New Songs to look at for Wednesday...


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thanks for helping Kindred Hearts

 I wanted to thank everyone who showed up to help serve for the Kindred Hearts Luncheon today. We had everyone from grown ups to little people pushing dessert carts in the gym. I particularly want to thank the guys and gals of Next Level who jumped up from lunch to to help clean up the area and put away tables and chairs. We are indeed called to serve and I believe God is pleased whenever your heart is moved to serve Him in a real and tangible way. I hope to have a new devotional up Monday or Tuesday night. Keep looking at your blog!

In Christ

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Seth graduates tomorrow!

Seth will graduate tomorrow. We are thankful that God has blessed him to be well again and to pass his requirements with distinction. May God bless and keep him as he continues the important work of protecting our freedom. We are very proud of your accomplishments and to count you as our friend and brother in Christ.

Spirit v. Flesh: A Fair Fight?

    Have you ever tried to go on a diet? Suddenly, all you can think about is food. You have to struggle against the urge to see what's in the fridge even after you've already eaten. You want to eat because you want to eat, not because you need to eat. Even when we know some foods are not good for us, we still want to eat them because we enjoy them.
     My brother loves hot, spicy food, but he knows he should not eat it (I know you're out there, Chris). Before his doctor helped him deal with the problem, he would just eat those foods anyway and say something like, "I'll be sorry for this later." Long story short, he always was.
     What makes us follow our instincts when we know we should not? Simple, sin dwells in us. We do not have to give into it. As Christians, we are not slaves to sin. That means when we do sin, we give in and do it anyway maybe even thinking, "I'll be sorry I did this later." Our flesh, as the Bible calls it, is a powerful force that pushes us to do what we want to do, but know we should not. Paul warns us to instead walk by the Spirit, taking our cue about what we should do from the Lord (the Holy Spirit that dwells in us).

Gal 5:16  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 

   Paul knows what he's talking about. Even a great and spiritual man  like Paul struggled against his own flesh, check it out...

Rom 7:22  For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23  but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24  Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. 

Paul essentially says earlier in the chapter, "What I shouldn't do, I do, and what I should do I don't!" Sound familiar? The struggles against what we desire( the things that make us feel good) and the spiritual things (the things God wants us to do) are real and occur in us daily. If Paul faced it, we certainly will.

   The answer to this dilemma is clear. We need to learn to walk in the spirit. That means, we make our decisions, choices and plans in a way that always aims to please God and do His will. We approach difficult decisions with prayer. We seek good godly counselor of older and wiser people before we jump in to what could be a destructive scenario.

   This week, ask God what He wants for you in your daily activities. Ask for His guidance and His peace so that you can hear the still small voice of His reason. If you seek His way first you can avoid a whole lot of spiritual heartburn later. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ministry opportunity

As I have texted a few times, the Kindred Hearts ministry needs help with their luncheon next Sunday afternoon. If you can help shoot me a text or an email and let me know if you can help. You'll probably be serving and cleaning. If you see me I can set you up with a white tuxedo shirt. Wear black pants or a black skirt.
Thanks

Fearless Leader

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall Festival rocked! Thanks for honoring God with your service

I have to admit, I wondered if we would have enough people to pull this off again, but God provides.

     The students from the Reformed Presbyterian Church were a big help and your parents were great. I just wanted to thank you for all you do. This ministry is not about me or you. It's about Jesus and our efforts to help bring children into the church (and their parents). In the coming months I am looking forward to worshiping with you and serving with you.

Watch yourself...everyone else is.

      We've all seen that football player who scores a big touchdown and proceeds to dance around like a chicken and basically make a fool of himself so that everyone looks at him. He's an attention hound and pretty proud of himself. My favorite coaching response to this behavior comes when  the coach says, "Hey, act like you've been there before."
    Whether you believe it or not, you represent another part of your life whether it's your ideology, your parents' rearing skills, or your faith. That's right. As a Christian you are a representative of Jesus Christ. When you are out in public, or at school or just hanging out, people will make judgments about you whether they should or not. They may like what they see, or they may wonder what your problem is when they see how you behave. 
    The truth is, you can't control what parents you get, or what circumstances you are raised in, but you can definitely control your own behavior. We are called upon to behave in a way that honors God and brings honor to our families and all those we represent. In Phil 1:27, Paul says,

"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come  and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 

     Paul's advice to the Philippians was "behave yourselves whether I am with you or not, so that Christ is glorified in your outward shows of faith and hope. When I hear about you, I want to hear a good report." As we think about how Jesus has  given it all for us, we should also try to walk in a manner worthy of that sacrifice. We aren't perfect, but we can try to live in a way that makes people want what we have, a relationship that lasts forever with God through Jesus Christ. Make good decisions, be patient, be kind, be positive. In all we do, let's remember that we are in the royal family. Our Father is a king, our brother is a prince, and our home is in heaven. When you find yourself in a place where you can be a positive witness for Jesus, act like you've been there before. Have a great week.