New Journey Fellowship
|Posted on March 21, 2021 at 5:40 PM|
I used to listen to a program called “Today in History” on the radio. It was just a short daily program that, as the name would imply, talked about the events in history that had taken place on that very date. I’m not sure if the program still runs on the radio, but various versions of it are available on the internet. As I was thinking about this, this morning, my mind traveled to the book of Esther when Mordecai reminds Esther of the possibility that she had perhaps been raised in prominence in the Kingdom for “such a time as this”. Of course, you know the story of how God ultimately used her to save His people Israel.
When we think about History it has often been said that History is simply “His story”. That ultimately God is the one who writes history, that He is the one who is ultimately in charge. That we are like actors in a play: we have our moment on the stage, we say our lines and then our part is over. In some ways this view seems to be depressing, that what we do and say are of little importance, but then we must stop and think that God is our director. That He has a purpose for every scene. That He is the one who is telling the story and that we are privileged just to have our small part.
There may be times when we do not understand our lines, when we don’t understand circumstances that we find ourselves in, but we must trust that God has a plan. A plan that is far bigger than anything that we can imagine. We must remember that the story is already written, that the end is already determined and yet, we still have a say, we can choose if or how much we want to participate. Once again, remember the story of Esther and the words of Mordecai:“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place...” (Esther 4:14 NIV) Just remember, God doesn’t “Need” any one of us, but He does allow us to be a part if we are willing. So, if we so choose, today truly is our day in History, or perhaps I should say, it is our day in “His Story!”
- Pastor Tim
|Posted on March 14, 2021 at 11:30 AM|
With this past year of Covid, we have all been reminded of the reality that life is filled with interruptions. We make our best plans; we try to take all things into consideration and then the unexpected happens. Life throws us a curve. Out of the blue we get hit by something that no one was expecting. What we do and how we respond to these unexpected occurrences is what makes all the difference in not only the outcome, but also in who we become. It has been said that today we are becoming the person that we will be in the future. This week, as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we are reminded of just that.
As I remember the story, Patrick, as a child, had known the life of privilege. His father held a respectable position in the church and community, but he, like many young people, lacked direction in his life. One day, around the age of 16, he was captured by an Irish raiding party and taken to Ireland to be a slave. It was there, while serving as a shepherd that he came to know God. Yes, from a human perspective he had lost everything, but it was only through this great loss that he came to know the True and Living God. He would later escape back to England, but once free, he chose to use the opportunity to study the Word of God so he could return to Ireland as a missionary where he was used by God to convert a nation to Christianity, the very thing that he is remembered for today.
So often, we find ourselves distressed and frustrated by life's disruptions. We may even become angry that these interruptions are interfering with our plans. (I can't even imagine the feelings of distress that Patrick must have had after being kidnaped and forced into salary.) Yet, very often it is those interruptions that God uses to reorder and perhaps even redirect our lives.
We are often reminded of Romans 8:28 and God's promise that "all things work together for good" but sometimes we overlook, or perhaps even ignore the part where it says "according to his purpose". We forget 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." We forget 1 Corinthians 6:20 which says "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." Yes, sometimes we forget that God has the right to overturn our plans, that He is God and we are not.
When we face interruptions we must learn that it may be God's way of redirecting us, we must learn to look for, and wait and see what His new directions might be. Remember, His plans may not be the same as our plans and if they are not, they will be a whole lot better.
- Pastor Tim
|Posted on October 20, 2019 at 8:25 AM|
October is Pastor Appreciation Month and I would like to take a moment (unbeknownst to Tim) and tell you what I love about ‘my’ Pastor!
He is truly a man of God. He absolutely loves to study the Word of God and share with all of us at New Journey Fellowship what God lays on his heart.
He loves his family and has literally worked himself ragged (usually around 48-56 hours a week) to provide for our children and myself. He highly respected his mother and father and sought to honor them in any way he could. In addition to this, he was also very gracious and loving to my parents and allowed me to help them in ways I never thought possible.
He wears many hats: Pastor, Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Inspector, Farmer, and Friend. He is the first one to always try to see the good in any person or situation and he is a peacemaker.
The Bible says, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. (James 1:5 RSV) I do believe God has blessed him with wisdom. He has dealt with many hard issues and handled them well with a wisdom that could only have come from God.
Lastly, he is a wonderful father and husband. He helped to raise four children whom, I believe, love the Lord. He is patient and kind and slow to anger toward me and his children. He has learned well that ‘if mama ain’t happy then ain’t no one happy’ (pretty sure that is in the Bible somewhere).
All kidding aside, I love this man and I am so thankful for the Godly leadership and the Christ-like love that he shares with everyone he meets.
And I am thankful to be his wife.
- Dawn (Pastor’s wife)
|Posted on October 13, 2019 at 8:20 AM|
Is America becoming an anti-Christian Nation? You know, it seems rather ironic that we would be asking this question when only a few years ago we would have asked questions like: “Is America still a Christian Nation?” or “Is America Truly a Christian Nation?” We had begun to ask these questions because many, if not most, considered our nation to be a “Christian Nation”. After all, many of our Founding Fathers were devout Christians, and even those who were not held the deepest respect for God, the things of God and for Christianity in general.
In the Declaration of Independence they called upon Divine Authority as a foundation for the principles upon which this nation is founded. They wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In the closing paragraph they wrote: “We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, ... And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” But this of course is not surprising considering the fact that the pilgrims, some of the earliest settlers, did come here for no other reason than their pursuit of religious freedom. Furthermore, the Presidents that led our nation have also led our nation to God in prayer such as, for example: George Washington who prayed “O eternal and everlasting God”, Thomas Jefferson who prayed to the “Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage;” and Franklin D. Roosevelt who prayed as we entered WWII “Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion and our civilization,”
Yes, there is much evidence to demonstrate our past dependance upon God as a nation, but is that all changing? We will speak more about this later.
- Pastor Tim
|Posted on October 6, 2019 at 8:20 AM|
Thankfully, beginning with yesterday, we have had a break in the weather, but before yesterday, as you know, it was unseasonably hot around here. It has been so hot that, the other day, one of my co-workers, after coming back inside the building, announced as he was walking past my work station: “Man, it’s hotter than hell out there!’ To which I responded: “ if it is hotter than hell out there, then I think that I’ll just stay inside.” He stopped and looked at me for a moment and then said: “Well, it’s almost as hot as hell.”
You know, in our culture, “Hell” has lost most of it’s meaning. It is used as simply a word of exclamation. It has simply become a figure of speech. It is used to embellish and add color or to emphasize what people are saying. I once heard one person a few years ago announce to all in the break room, (after returning from being outside smoking a cigarette) that it was colder than hell out there. (Now to me, that was kind of no brainer.)
The most amazing use of the word “Hell” that I hear is when a person wants to establish the absolute certainty of something so they say that something is: “as sure as hell”. Ironically, the person making such a statement usually believes that hell is merely a fictional place described in ancient tales, but the Bible speaks much of this place.
Yes, the Bible describes hell as a place of eternal separation from God, a place of eternal punishment, a place of eternal hopelessness. In fact, the Bible tells us that hell itself will be cast into a place that it describes as “The Lake of Fire” a place that was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels. The Bible describes it as a very literal place. The point is simply this, Hell is the place that you don’t want to go to, and it is the place that no one has to go to, after all, that is why Jesus died on the cross.
- Pastor Tim
|Posted on September 29, 2019 at 5:50 PM|
Friday night I had the opportunity to go and see the the latest move written, directed and produced by the Kendrick Brothers. I was first introduced to their films back in 2006 when I went with my wife to a low budget Christian film called “Facing the Giants”. I must confess that at that time my expectations were not very high. You know, “low budget Christian film” - Need I say more? I remember sitting in the theater as the movie began, and as expected, the quality was exactly what I had expected and the acting not that great, but suddenly something quite remarkable happened. It grabbed me. I was hooked and for the rest of the movie the acting and the quality of production was irrelevant and I loved every minute of it! I left the theater that day knowing that I had seen a truly “CHRISTIAN” movie! A movie that was unashamedly Christian. A movie that had the anointing of God upon it! Since that time, I have attempted to see every movie that they have produced and they have never disappointed.
Of course, with “Overcomer” the quality and acting is much better, but they have stuck to their primary purpose and have produced another “Unashamedly Christian Film”. Yes, it is an up beat, positive, somewhat predictable film, but it is also Christian in every way and gives a clear Gospel presentation. Would I recommend the movie? Yes, absolutely without reservation. Unfortunately, it has been out for a while, so I’m not sure how much longer it will be in theaters, but if at all possible I would love to encourage you to try to see this movie while it is still out. This is the kind of stuff that we need, both we and our nation.
Also, keep in mind the up-coming Annual Chicken Stew, Please be making your plans, to not only be here, but to also participate!
- Pastor Tim
(The Movie asks the question: Who are you?)
|Posted on September 22, 2019 at 9:55 AM|
Well, it looks like we are going to make it to the end of another summer being that Tomorrow is the first day of Fall. Once again we have, for the most part, made it through those hot summer days and if you are like me, you are now ready for the cooler weather of the Fall. The end of summer and the beginning of the Fall always brings about a lot of changes, not only in the weather, but also in our daily lives. It marks the end of the vacation season and of course the beginning of school for thousands of kids across the country. It changes the drive to and from work, as the school busses are once again on the highways taking our kids to and from school. It changes our home lives, as our children bring home their homework. Of course, the Fall also signals the changes to the trees, as their leaves change to the beautiful colors of the Fall before they “fall” to the ground. It is the time of the year that we love to drive to the mountains, so we can enjoy those beautiful colors and it is the time of the year when many love to go out and enjoy a good Friday night football game. Yes, the Fall marks many changes in our lives. It is the end of some things, and the beginning of others.
Many have compared the changes of the seasons to the changes in our lives and there are clearly some true comparisons. We all go through changes, we go through them everyday. Some changes are good, and others not so good, but it is all a part of life. As we go through these changes we must choose: do we spend our days grieving over the things that we have lost, or do we embrace the changes and find joy in the new opportunities. Yes, some of those changes are not easy, and many of those changes are not by choice but none the less, they are the changes that we must face. The Apostle Paul understood what it was to deal with changes in life and he wrote in Philippians 4:11-12: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Is this hard? Yes, it is very hard but perhaps that is why He followed His statement with verse 13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
|Posted on September 15, 2019 at 9:55 AM|
This morning is absolutely beautiful, the sun is shinning and the current outdoor temperature is 70 degrees. The sky is blue and clear, but all is not well in the world. As I looked at my phone this morning I see that there has been an attack on the Saudi Arabian oil supply, which the US has blamed on Iran and, of course, Iran has denied. But in any case, it tells us that the price of fuel will be going up and that will put a strain on everyone’s pocket book. Yes, there is much uncertainty in the World. Much animosity, and in some cases down right hatred.
Yet, there is still so much beauty in this world. As I look out my back window this morning I can see a few deer back in the woods behind my house (yes, I cleared out some of the foliage so I could see) They are unconcerned about the price of gas, the tensions between the US and Iran or even the Democratic Primary. No, they are just wandering through, eating as they go. Somehow, perhaps they know that their provision is from our heavenly Father.
Now, whether they know it or not, the truth is still the same. In Matthew 6:24-25 Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Jesus went onto say in vs. 26 “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
Yes, Jesus taught that our trust should be in the Lord, not in government, not in our economy, not in our bank account, or even in our 401k. Jesus said that our heavenly Father would be our provision, irregardless of what is going on in the world. He went on to say, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)
Yes, when you think about it, it is quite a beautiful day.
|Posted on September 8, 2019 at 7:15 PM|
This past week I wrote about gazing into the woods behind my house and wondering what was there, but just out of site. So yesterday I went out and did some work in the edge of the woods. I trimmed a few tree limbs, cut a few bushes and tried to make things a bit more visible and as I sit here this morning I realize that I did have some level of success. I can now see an additional 15 to 20 feet, and in some places I can now perhaps see an additional 50 feet, not quite what I had hoped for. But of course, as my neighbor pointed out to me yesterday, Fall is coming and soon I’ll be able to see a lot farther. I am not the only one who likes to see farther, there is a whole industry built around making brighter head lights for our cars. People want to see better and farther, they want to know what is ahead as soon as possible, they want to be able to both see and avoid the hazards that they face along the road.
You know, time is very much the same way. We try to look into the future, we want to see as far ahead as we can. Companies spend millions of dollars just trying to figure out what people will buy. Extreme Stock Market volatility is created when there is uncertainty.
For thousands of years people have gone to people, who, for a fee, say that they will tell them their future. They do this by reading the palms of peoples hands, by looking at tea leaves, etc. And people pay because they want to know. They what to know what is coming, they want to know about the future. But as Christians, we are to avoid such things. But that is ok because we have something far better. No, we may not know what is going to happen tomorrow, or next week or next year. We can’t predict the stock market and we don’t know if Social Security or even our 401k will be there when we need it. We don’t even know if we will live to see the end of the year, the month, or even the end of the day. But, we know who does! We know that our futures are safe and secure because our futures are in His hands! The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:12 “... I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” and if it was good enough for Paul then It should be good enough for us!
- Pastor Tim
|Posted on September 1, 2019 at 9:50 AM|
As I sit here this morning, gazing into the woods behind my house, I find myself wondering what is out there that I cannot see. I see the rays of the sun piercing into the shadows, but the thick green foliage at the edge of the woods veils the secrets that are hidden just beyond my view. You know, life is very much that way, as we travel down the road of life we can never know with any level of certainty what is waiting for us just around the next bend. Sure, we make our plans, we prepare as best we can, but we never know for certain that things are going to work out.
I remember hearing a story years ago from a young man who had grown up in Africa. He said that where he had lived there was a lot of wild animals and that everyone was taught that if you were ever traveling by yourself and you had any kind of vehicle trouble then you were to just stay where you were and sooner or later someone would be by to help. He told how he had been traveling in very familiar territory when his vehicle broke down. He said that he knew that he should just wait, but he also know that it might be hours and hours. He decided that since he was so familiar with where he was, and didn’t have that far to go anyway, that he would just go ahead and walk. Fortunately he hadn’t walked very far when another vehicle came up behind him and he was offered a ride. Just up the next hill and around a curve in the road, there in the tall grass, they came upon a pride of lions. He said, that if he had still been walking, that he would not have seen them until it was too late.
In 1 Peter 5:8 the Apostle Peter wrote: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” Yes, Peter knew all about this. On the night of Jesus’ betrayal Jesus had warned him, but Peter thought that he was strong, he thought that he could handle anything that came his way, only to discover how truly weak he was. In the same passage, he also wrote: “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:5-7) Yes, it is true that we may not know what lies beyond, but we have a loving Heavenly Father who does, and brings people into our lives to help us on life's journey and protect us from the dangers that are waiting for us. - Pastor Tim
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)
|Posted on August 25, 2019 at 9:50 AM|
The World today is a very different place than the world in which I, and many of you grew up in, but then it is also true that the world into which I was born, was a very different place than the world that my Father grew up in. I remember as a small child asking my Daddy to tell me about the “old timey days” back when he was a little boy. Now I have grandchildren and the days of my childhood, no doubt, seem far more ancient to them. A time in which car windows had to be “cranked” up and down by hand. A day in which we had no AC, neither in our cars, nor in our homes. When it came to TV’s we had no Massive Big Screen Ultra thin 4K TV sets, (we had heard of 4H, but never 4K). No our TV was a big square box with a small black and white screen and we only got 3 channels! I remember a friend of mine who got a 4th (PBS) channel and I felt so cheated. Our one telephone was hung on a wall in our home (not in our pocket), and it had a dial. There was no such thing as a smart phone, and the closest thing to a flip phone that I had ever seen was on the science fiction TV series “Star Trek”. I remember the first PC that I ever saw, and an “Apple” was a piece of fruit that come from a tree.
Yes, today the world truly is a very different place, and I will be the first to admit that I love all the “modern conveniences” and technology, but not everything has changed for the good. You see, the Bible tells us that God never changes, and that is a good thing, but when it comes to mankind, we have not changed either, and the new technology, it simply provides more opportunity for evil people to do more evil things. They have used these tools to make changes in our society far more quickly than would have been possible, just a few short years ago. Now that is the bad news, but the good news is, as I have already said, God has not changed! He is still the same all powerful God that created the entire universe by simply speaking it into existence! He is the same all powerful God that destroyed the entire world with a flood, and yet showed mercy upon on man and his family! He is the same all powerful God that brought the nation of Egypt to its knees so that He could deliver His people: the children of Israel! He is the same all powerful God that delivered the 3 Hebrew children from the fiery furnace, and Daniel from the lions den! Yes, He has used just one angel to destroy an entire army in just one night, He has overturned kingdoms and changed the world as He saw fit, and He still is sitting upon His throne today! No matter what we may see happen in this world, both good and bad, we know that ultimately GOD IS IN CONTROL and that is a very good thing!
|Posted on August 11, 2019 at 2:50 PM|
With the two mass shootings last weekend and so many having their lives senselessly ended, so many wounded, so many devastated and broken, it is no wonder that these terrible events have captivated the attention of all America. We grieve with those who have suffered such unimaginable loss. We pray for those recovering in the hospital and at home. We know that their lives will never be the same.
Of course, when ever something like this happens we always ask “Why?” Why would anyone do such a terrible thing? What would cause a person to commit such a crime against innocent people? And, how can we prevent it from ever happening again? We are inevitably left with no good answer. Yes, the news media will attempt to dig into the background of the people who committed the crime, they will talk to friends and associates and look at their Social Media accounts and try to get a glimpse of what was going on in their mind, but ultimately we just cannot explain it. This past week, there has been much talk about “Hate” and how it has no place in our society, but perhaps Vice President Pence said it best when he referred to the events as “acts of pure evil”. What we seem to have forgotten in this country is that we have an enemy. And, yes, he is the enemy of all of mankind. The Apostle Peter warned us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8). Yes, we truly do have an enemy and his purpose is to destroy. Jesus put it this way: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy...” (John 10:10)
Now I realize that over the next few weeks there will be much talk about “Gun Control”, “Hate Groups”, and violence in Movies, TV and Video Games, all of which should be looked at and discussed, but the real answer is Jesus. As individuals and as a Nation we need to turn to Him. In the same passage that we quoted from earlier Jesus went on to say “... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:10-11) Jesus has a better plan than the one that we have chosen for our selves, the only true answer is “Jesus”.
|Posted on August 4, 2019 at 2:45 PM|
Is Global Warming real, or is it just something that has become a political football? Will Global warming truly have a dramatic impact upon the future of the earth and those who call it home? Will the future praise those who have tried to warn those of us who live on this wayward planet as we head down a path of destruction as certain as met the ill-fated Titanic, or will this simply prove to be just another Y2K? Then there is one final question, Does the Bible tell us anything about any future event that could be interpreted as Global Warming?
Recently, a friend of mine pointed out that scientists might just be right about Global Warming, he was jokingly referring to 2 Peter 3:10 where the Bible tells of a future judgment that will fall upon the earth. It says that “... the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Now, once again, he was only kidding in his comparison of this future judgment to Global Warming, but it does make Global warming seem to be a little less significant, but I am not saying that it has no significance all.
Now I realize that this subject is highly political, but the simple truth is that there are many who are truly concerned abut our future on this planet. They see an apocalyptic future for this planet that we call home and they are very concerned. On the other hand, there are others who believe that it is just a made up fairy tale, designed to scare people and cause them to behave and vote in a certain way. Then of course, the rest fall some where in between. Who is right? That is something that we will not be able to answer today.
On the other hand, the Bible does promise a very apocalyptic future for our world. It tells of a destructive period of time that may in part be the result of man’s own destructive behavior mixed with some of the worst natural disasters that have ever taken place, but it does not end there. No, not at all. The Bible then describes a period when God directly pours out his Wrath upon the earth, and those who are His enemies. Yes, we should be concerned about our planet, but more importantly we should be concerned about our Relationship with Him!
|Posted on July 28, 2019 at 2:45 PM|
In our series “What do you Believe?” this morning, we ask the question: What do you believe about God? You will notice that we are not asking the question: “Do you believe that there is a God?”, but rather what do you believe about Him? Now I realize that in the world that we live in, there is a very large percentage of the population that simply deny the reality of “God”. As we said last week, they simply attribute everything that exists to “Chance”.
They truly believe that “chance” acted upon “nothing” and created ‘everything’. Now I realize that they would never say it that way, but when you really look at it that is what they believe. Now I realize that there are some that would argue that “Matter” is eternal. But then I am left with the question: Why is it OK to have “Faith” that “Matter” is eternal, but it is not ok to simply believe that ‘God’ is eternal? You see, those who deny the existence of God use many arguments, which on the surface seem to be highly sophisticated and intellectual, but ultimately boil down to simply being a matter of “Faith”. Simply put, I choose to believe that there is a God who is eternal and created everything, where as they choose to believe that there is no God and then try to explain away all the evidence that would contradict their belief system. Perhaps this is why the Bible tells us in Psalm 14:1 - “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God...” But you say, that you do believe in God, well that’s good, the Bible also tells us in James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and tremble.” No,it is not enough to simply believe that there is a God, it also matters very much what you believe about Him!
In todays world it is very acceptable to talk about a “Good” and “Loving God”. A God who is simply there to make us happy. A God who cares for us, a God who loves us, a God who would never judge us. But, is that all there is? Is that the full story about Him? What about 2 Thessalonians 1:8 which says “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” Yes, what you believe about God really might be important!
|Posted on July 21, 2019 at 9:45 AM|
Today as we continue our series “What do you believe?” we will be discussing “SIN”. A subject that we are all far to familiar with, both through practice and through observation. But, in today’s world things have become a bit confusing. Things that were once considered to be an “anathema”, have now been given political status and those who participate in those sins have been given, not only protection under the Law, but also special “Rights”. And those who would speak out against this are accused of “hate speech.” In many cases, “SIN” is now, simply considered a life style choice.
On the other hand, people are very quick to point out the hypocrisy of those who would speak out against these sins. They are accused of moral failure, intolerance and even bigotry. And yes, quite often these accusations are true. So, if a person says that something is a “SIN” but as it turns out, the person making the statement is a sinner himself, does that alone make their statement untrue? Well, let’s think of this, most would agree that Adolf Hitler was one of the biggest murderers in all of history, and yet, if you could go back in time and ask him if he believed that murder was a sin he would, in all probability, agree that murder was a sin. So, if Hitler was a sinner, and he said that murder was a sin, would that in fact nullify his statement that murder was a sin? Thus making murder ok? Of course not! Murder is murder, and murder is wrong, it doesn't matter who says it. Wrong is wrong and Sin is Sin! Sin is not a matter for popular opinion polls, it simply is what it is.
The problem in our culture is that many have simply replaced the true and living God with the false god of “chance”. They believe that “chance” created everything therefore there is no such thing as absolutes, but of course, this is a subject for another day. - Pastor Tim
|Posted on July 14, 2019 at 9:40 AM|
This past Sunday morning I began a series of messages entitled “What do you believe?”. Let’s think about that, what does it matter what you believe? After all, don’t we all have the right to pick and choose what we believe? Isn’t “my truth” just as real as anyone else's “truth”? After all, truth is relative, isn’t it?
Now I realize that in today’s world there are many who believe that it is possible to have conflicting ”truths”. That what might be true for you is not necessarily true for me. After all, we talk about the “Law of Gravity” yet we see birds and airplanes flying through the air all the time and nothing can be more fun to a small child than to have a balloon filled with helium. But, are these items really defying the “Law of Gravity”? No, of course not. They are simply dependent upon other laws. If the plane engine stops or if the bird stops flapping it’s wings they will come back down to the ground, and we all know what happens to a balloon when it starts to go flat. No, we all know that the law of gravity is still true, even when birds fly.
But, what about “Moral Truth” or “Spiritual Truth”, isn’t that subjective? Well, the way you would answer that question would depend upon your worldview. For example, if you believe in evolution, (that everything that exists is simply a result of random chance), then there is no such thing as “Moral” or “Spiritual Truth”. They are, simply put, in the realm of fairy tales. There simply is no such thing! But, on the other hand, if you believe that there is a God, and that He is the all powerful creator of all things and that some day you will stand before Him, then suddenly what you believe about these issues becomes hugely important! After all, It could determine your eternal destiny. If that be the case then His opinion is the only one that matters.
So, “What do you believe?” and “Why do you believe it?” You really do need to know the answer to these questions. - Pastor Tim
|Posted on June 30, 2019 at 9:25 AM|
In just a few short days, we as citizens, of what I believe to be the greatest nation on earth, will celebrate our nations birthday. The Forth of July was chosen because it was the date on which the congress of the original states unanimously adopted, what we know as the Declaration of Independence.
In this grand document, they explained both their reasons, and their justification for declaring their independence as a nation. I wonder if the men and women who serve in today’s congress had lived and served back then, would they have signed?
In this foundational document, signed by all the members of the first Congress of these United States, they declared that we were a free and independent nation. Among their arguments they stated that we as a people had the right to “assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station”. That is, that we as a people had the right to be a free and independent nation. Which, as they put it, we had the right to do because of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God”. They went on to say: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Yes, they declared that the source of our “Human Rights” is God, not the government.
The closing paragraph says: “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, ... and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
Something to think about, isn’t it?
|Posted on June 23, 2019 at 9:20 AM|
I must confess that I am a very flawed individual. Yet I find myself, far to often, being critical of others and their imperfections. Yes, I am more than willing to make allowances, or at least excuses for my own mistakes, but when it comes to others, well that’s a different story. It is so easy to see their foolish decisions. The answers to their problems seem so obvious. I can’t help but wonder, “what is wrong with them?” “Why can’t they make better decisions?” “Why would they do something that is so foolish?” Yes, I find it very easy to have a critical spirit when it comes to others, but when it comes to myself, I want grace and mercy.
You know it is funny the way we are. Yes, I know that this attitude is wrong but the simple truth is that knowing that something is wrong does not necessarily change what we do, or how we respond to things. No, we are all very imperfect beings, living in an imperfect world. We all desire perfection, we all strive for perfection, but we seldom have this desire satisfied. But why are we this way? Why do young people dedicate their childhood to the hope of becoming an olympic athlete? Why do we have the olympic games every year to determine the best athletes in the world? Why do we spend so much time and money on things like beauty pageants and other competitions? Perhaps it is simply another one of our flaws, a desire to have what we know we can never have. Or perhaps it is something else.
I cannot help but believe that our desire for perfection goes back to our creation, it is a desire for the things that we lost when sin entered into our world. According to the Bible, the simple truth is that when God created man He created us in His own image, and part of that was absolute perfection. Adam and Eve were perfect people living in a perfect world and now, deep down we want to get it back, we want to have everything restored. The good news is that for those who are God’s children we will someday get just that! God will restore all things, including us! We will need no more excuses, we will be, at last, the way that God intended us to be!
- Pastor Tim
|Posted on June 16, 2019 at 9:20 AM|
Last year for Father’s Day I wrote “An Open letter to my Children”. But to be perfectly honest I never finished it. I simply wrote till I ran out of time and space. So today I thought that I would try to pick up where I left off. Last year, I spoke about how blessed that I had been to have had the father that I had, and what a powerful impact that he had upon my life. He truly was a man who loved the Lord and loved and cared for his family. The thing that I did not talk about was my own feelings of inadequacy as a father, and the ways that I personally have fallen short of the example that he set for me. My wife and kids are all fully aware of my faults and short comings with regard to being a father, yet in their kindness to me, they would probably say little or nothing about them. But the simple truth is that I am, just like most fathers are, a very flawed individual. So, what are we to do, sink back in despair as we ponder our short comings? I think not, I hope not. No, there is a better answer, our Heavenly Father! He is the answer! He is the one Father who has no faults. He has no short comings. And He loves both us and our children with a perfect, undeniable love.
So, here is the message to my children. “Yes, I am far from the perfect Dad, but we have a heavenly Father who loves you far more than I will ever be able too, and He truly is the perfect Father. He will never let you down, He will never fail you in any way. And He will be with you even when I am dead and gone. - Pastor Tim
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!..“ 1 John 3:1
|Posted on June 9, 2019 at 9:15 AM|
Some say that change is constant, others say that change is good, but constant change can lead to a state of disorder and confusion. Here recently, I have mentioned my youngest daughter several times in my Pastor’s Pen as she has now graduated from high school and is beginning a new part of her life. Just last night we were discussing some of the changes that she has been experiencing over the last couple of months and others that will take place in the very near future.
To be certain, change is a part of the life that we live here on this earth, and whether we like it or not, it is a reality that we have to deal with. Yes, without a doubt some changes are good, and some are necessary, but not all change is good, nor is all change necessary.
I remember learning in school how that the Second Law of Thermodynamics states something to the affect that things tend to go from a state of order to disorder unless acted upon by an outside source. But, even in our world, there are some things that change so slowly that from our perspective they appear constant. For example, how many hours are in a day? Or, how many days are in a solar year? We know that we can trust a compass, because north is always north. When a child is playing outside he is not afraid to throw his ball into the air, because he knows that it will come down. Yes, change may be constant, but thankfully there are somethings that do not change, otherwise our world would be thrown into chaos and confusion.
The sad reality is that in our society there are many which are advocating a rejection of “all things old” including the belief systems upon which our society is built. Recently on Sunday morning we looked at Proverbs 22:28 which warns us: “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” and yet there are many that are attempting to do just that. The sad truth is, if they are successful we may never find our way back home.
- Pastor Tim