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.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Devo Time!

Parents can be so...

      Sometimes parents can be so unreasonable. I mean...come on! Do your homework, mow the lawn! Do the dishes! Pick that up young man! I think it's time to put that phone away young lady. It seems like they just sit around thinking of ways to make you miserable right? Well, that's what a child might think who was only thinking about himself and not about the way God designed families to work. If you look closely, you'll see God's plan all over the family unit. Our favorite Bible wise guy, Paul said...

        Eph 6:1  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2  HONOR YOUR FATHER                        AND MOTHER...

   It may surprise you to know that your parents were't born knowing the right thing to do. They also had parents or guardians who gave them guidance and disciplined them to teach them how to stay out of trouble and focus their energies in the right direction. Christian parents know that their heavenly Father has high expectations of them as well. They have a requirement to see to it that you are raised correctly and in God's way. Paul continues...

        Eph 6:4  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and
                        instruction of the Lord
.

   God tells your parents what to do, just as your parents tell you what to do. They try to please their Father in heaven by teaching you how to work, to be responsible, to be holy, and to be godly. Do they make mistakes, of course! The important point is that they try as hard as they can with God's help to get it right every day. There are going to be times when they are stressed, when they are tired, and when they are fed up with all the nonsense this world puts in the way of people trying to make a living and a good home for their kids. The last thing they need is to find they their own children are also unappreciative.  Here's where God's plan gives everyone a chance to be a blessing to everyone else. "Honor your Father and Your Mother..." means to treat them primarily with respect. Their hard work makes your existence easier. Show them your love with your obedience and your assistance. What can you do to lighten their load and make the home a more pleasant place? How can you pray for them as they struggle? How can you show them that the good lessons they have taught you have made you better?
   
     Make today a day when you can show your folks that you honor and appreciate them. Pray for them, pray with them, and do ask they ask. You will find that the blessings of God are not far behind obedience because obedience to your folks is obedience to God. You please God when you are an obedient and loving teen. Guess what else? Your home will have the love of God, and the peace of God upon it as you live in harmony.

Pray for your folks today, and ask God to give them strength and wisdom to do one of the toughest jobs of their lives; parenthood. Pray for other kids who have lost one or both of their parents that the Lord would fill that crater with His love and hope. Once you have the proper perspective into God's plan, taking out the trash seems like a pretty small price to pay,eh?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Seth!

Here's a photo of Private Seth Kramer at Ft. Leonard Wood! He was pictured on their Facebook page. His folks shared a letter today that featured a more confident and healthy Seth. He is all over his pneumonia and is caught up and on track to graduate on time. He had lots of good news to share which we'll go over at Next Level. Thanks for your prayers, it means a lot. Keep those letters going.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Radio recording today

Hey guys,
After school today, I stopped by Spirit 95 and recorded for the commercial. I also updated the 8-second liner commercials they play between songs. You should start hearing those right away and the commercials starting the week before. I also managed to get on the air the day of our event at 7:45 a.m. for a live interview about fall festival. When I made it hope we prepared our order for some cool new toys for kids to win. Just wait 'til you see the new pie eating contest "trophy"! Too much fun.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall Festival Stuff!


Lots to think about! We'll need hole punches and volunteers (though not necessarily in that order). Make sure you block out Thursday evening Oct. 29 for set up. Show up at 5:30 p.m. and I'll feed you. Stay as long as you can. Then save the next night Oct. 30 for Fall Festival. We are still working on the lock-in, but that looks like it could be a good time. Get your folks in the loop. We still need candy, we need volunteers to work security, and we need help with games etc.

Devo Time!

Just like your Father

    Kids are funny the way they start to look and act like their parents. As a dad, I need to be careful about the kind of responses I  make or the kind of words I choose because my kids look to me as an example. As they get older, they are making more of those decisions on their own and the example I have given them will play a big art in those decisions. One important lesson they need to learn from me is that I also am looking to my Father to help me make decisions. My Father in heaven. When I need guidance, I can look to Scripture, I can go to Him in prayer to see what direction I should take. I want my kids to see that in me...but how about you? The Apostle Paul said...


Eph 5:1-4  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2  and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3  But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4  and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

Paul even asked his congregations to do as He did because he was confident that he was doing what God wanted him to do. That's pretty bold, but not impossible t work toward. the verse makes solid sense. Lets's have another look.

"Be imitators of God..." Do what he does in word and deed. Be sure to be fair, to be loving and to be just in all your dealings with one another. We can be like God in these ways, but we need to make it a part of what we do daily. It gets easier over time when it becomes our habit to do right first.

"Walk in love  just as Christ also loved you..." Just as means in the same way as. How well did Christ love? He put himself second to everyone but God. He was a servant and not one served. Notice how people really wanted to be around Jesus unless they were selfish people who wanted fame or credit for themselves? People love a servant but God loves one more. He sent Jesus as an excellent example of a loving servant.

"But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints..." Here the Bible clearly says that saved, born again believers have a higher standard of behavior. We are "little Christs" and we represent Jesus at school, at our activities or just when we hang out in the mall or at a ball game. People should hear no filthy or unloving words coming from our mouths, see us wearing modest clothing, and find us helpful and encouraging. We all have our bad days, but those should be the exception, not the rule.

Ask God to show you how you can improve your Christian walk so others see you as one of Christ's. Know who your Father is and live so people will say, "You remind me so much of your Dad!"

In Christ
Fearless Leader
 

Check out Rae's New Song Picks for Wed. Oct. 14

Check out Rae's New Song Picks...

Here are the videos that go with the new songs Rae would like to lead Wednesday at Next Level. Go check 'em out.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Long time no-post

Hey Levelheads...
    This is your official blogspot. We haven't used it in over a year because the Emmanuel Website was supposed to take its place. I have a lot of problems posting to that site so I think I'll kick start this one again. I would like to use this as a place to post devotional and informational material. Try to come here from time to time to see what's posted. If you become a follower, you'll get an email whenever something new is posted, Since this is Fall Festival month, this could be a handy spot.Also, as a follower, you can also post to this site.
Let's give it another try.

In Christ
Fearless Leader