Saturday, May 16, 2009

Please visit the new blogspot...

This week we legally changed our name to
New Beginnings Christian Center of the Assemblies of God!
If you wish to continue following my blog please click on this link: http://www.newbeginningscc.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A New Name (sermon notes from last Sunday morning)

I always have to start with something funny…
This is for you moms…
From a mom’s perspective…
I'd had a pretty hectic day with my four-year-old. When bed-time finally came, I laid down the law: "We're putting on your p.j.s, brushing your teeth, and reading ONE book. Then it's lights out!" Her arms went around my neck in a gentle embrace, and she said, "We learned in Sunday school about little boys and girls who don't have mommies and daddies." Even after I'd been such a grouch, I thought, she was still grateful to have me. I felt tears begin to well up in my eyes, and then she whispered, "Maybe you could go be THEIR mom?"

Today I’m beginning a new VISION sermon series…
Please visit the Vision Bulletin Board in the foyer…
The LORD stopped whispering and MEGAPHONED me some clear marching orders…
First of all, I truly believe God is giving us A NEW NAME!

How fitting that we would discuss such things on Mom’s day…
Mother’s do you remember agonizing, researching, praying, getting counsel on what you would name your children…?
I believe it was the Holy Spirit’s prompting on Holly’s heart when she said she was considering the name: Nathaniel which means: Gift of God…and what a beautiful gift He is!

Find Isaiah 62
Zion's New Name
1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.
(we’ll come back to those two words)
5 As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest,
7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: "Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled;
9 but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary."
10 Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.
11 The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.' "
12 They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.

Hephzibah: Meaning: my delight is in her… A symbolical name of Zion, as representing the Lord's favor
1. A New Name representing delight and favor!

No Matter Where you’ve been…No Matter What You’ve Done…You Can Begin Again!
New Beginnings Christian Center conveys the delight and favor of a Loving Merciful God toward His People...
I feel it is important and the will of God to send a clear msg to our community and within these walls that the Assembly of God in Rogue River is a place of NEW BEGINNINGS!

Methods change But the Message remains the same
Ministries Begin and End But The Church will Never die

Matthew 16:18…Jesus said… I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.
Philippians 3… 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

James Pike penned…Time to get serious...For years we've struggled in the church that our goals we might attain, We've fought with tooth and nail against the enemy, our position to maintain. But the day of Christ's appearing now is drawing near, And something is happening in the church that makes the demons fear. For long they have oppressed us and held God's people back, But now they see the church is gathering to launch a last attack. Desperate times call for desperate measures and now the church is on its knees, Seeking the Lord for help, and God is pleased with what He sees. No longer are His people playing church and acting like spoiled children and wayward fools, They finally got THE MANUEL down and learned to play by God's Own rules. (II Chron.7:14)They have humbled themselves to bow in prayer, they have turned to seek God's face and leave their wicked ways, And this attitude of seeking God has numbered satan's days. Soon we will enter an era when God's Spirit moves with unexpected POWER, And all our hopes and prayers will be realized in the passing of an hour. From each believer God now demands a resolve that will not tire, To lay ourselves upon the altar to be cleansed by His all consuming fire. Then will we be filled with POWER from above, To reveal to this world, as never before, His HOLINESS and LOVE. My brothers and sisters, now seek God that He will reveal to you the secrets of your heart, Allow Him to purge you from within and give you a new start. Let go the sins of pride and unbelief which brought Lucifer's demise, As you see yourself revealed as seen through JEHOVAH'S eyes.Now is the day of salvation. Now do all that you will do,Get serious with God, and He'll get serious with you.

Getting serious with God is very simple, The work of finding His delight and favor has already been done at the cross, it’s simply bowing before the maker and expressing Need for His intervention in all things…
Three words that change a life forever that bring a new beginning everyday
I NEED JESUS

God takes a Name very seriously that’s why He includes misusing His name in the Ten Commandments…
Ezekiel 39:7...I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel.
And Jesus said John 17:11...I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.

A name is holy, A name is power
1. A new name of delight and favor
2. A new name of holiness and power

Let’s go back to that 2nd word that sticks out in Isaiah 62
bu'-la which means "married"
A name symbolically applied to Israel: "Thy land (shall be called) Beulah .... thy land shall be married. .... so shall thy sons marry thee" (Isaiah 62:4). In this figure, frequently used since Hosea, the prophet wishes to express the future prosperity of Israel. The land once desolate shall again be populated.

I don’t know If that stuck out to you the way it did me?
THE LAND ONCE DESOLATE SHALL AGAIN BE POPULATED!
I’m the first one to say it’s not about the numbers...
And to quickly challenge dissatisfaction with the contentment of Christ…to focus on what real success is…
But if you’re not growing you’re dying...

If the love of Jesus is not a contagion in the Christian Life causing an Inviter’s lifestyle infecting the world with the light of the gospel, salt, light, city on a hill…than something might be wrong…

Turn with me to Genesis 32
Jacob Wrestles With God
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
27 The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered.
28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."
29 Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.

Did you hear it?
If you aint feelin it yet, your feeler plumb broke!
Somebody shout…OVERCOME

So…3. A new name representing Growth and an Overcoming spirit
Delight favor power holiness growth overcoming
My blood’s beginning to boil
My cups startin to overflow
Listen to the whispers of the Holy Spirit
If you focus hard enough, maybe get quiet enough it will sound like a megaphone

What Satan fears most Is a man on his knees; Not vast marching armies With great weaponry.
He knows he can stand Against the power of men; To engage us in battle Is mere sport to him. But a man on his knees With his head bowed in prayer Is something quite different To the prince of the air. For when he sees us in prayer To our God most high, He knows we have seen Through his devilish lies. That's why Satan fears most A man on his knees; And we'll keep him trembling If our prayers never cease.

Please understand we are not leaving the Assemblies of God.
We will be the Assembly of God in Rogue River named New Beginnings Christian Center.
You may notice at the Vision Board the simple logo representing an OPEN CIRCLE OF LOVE...
I'm excited about the words 'Christian Center' because of all that the word Christian is supposed to represent...It's all about JESUS

Helen Parks wrote…JESUS
My Lord and my God, my Savior, my King-My Master, my Friend, my Everything!My Creator, my Healer, My Supplier of need-My Guide - through the trails of my wilderness, lead!My Sharer of sorrow when the hot tears start;My Comforter dear, mending my broken heart!My Messenger of peace in life's turbulent stream-My Source of such joy as I can't even dream!My Giver of everything perfect and good-You would heap more upon me, if let Thee I would.My Hearer of prayers, both great and small;No cry is too faint-You hear them all!My Rock of salvation, my Foundation sure;My Pavilion to hide in-My Fortress secure!My very strong Tower into which I may run;My wall of Defense while battle is done!My Hedge about me when Satan's on prowl,My Door to the sheep-fold when ravening wolves howl;My Destroyer of all my enemies' best plans-My Deliverer of my enemies into my own hands!My Judge, my Advocate, my Covenant, my Priest;My Sacrifice, the Blood of my Lamb not least!My Bread of Life-Thy words so sweet;My total sustenance-my Water, my Meat!My Lily of the Valley-of Sharon my rose,The perfume of Heaven on my way bestows;My Pearl of great price, Heaven's jewel most rare-The bright and morning Star, mine to share!My Road-map, my Letter from Heaven, my Light;My Voice of Almighty God-my Song in the night!My Name Above All Names, on which I may call;My Knowledge, my Wisdom-my All-in-All!My Ark of safety-great Gift of God's love;My Holy Spirit baptizer, my Fire from aboveSent to burn out the dross, refine silver and gold-That I may inherit Heaven with the holy men of old!My Alpha, my Omega-my Beginning, my End;Answer to all my problems-To all yours, too, my friend!My Truth, my Life, my Way is He-Won't you come along with me?

Hear it again and for the first time…
No Matter Where you’ve been
No Matter what you’ve done
You can begin again
Come to Jesus

Some of the changes coming are difficult...
This letter was sent in the mail this week:
Dear Friends of CLS,

It is with great sadness we inform you that the 2008-2009 school year will be Christian Life School’s final year. Due to the financial difficulties of our country, the resources are simply unavailable. CLS has been struggling for many years to meet the expectations that come with being a “private school.” This ministry cannot survive the current economic tide.

We wish to express our deep thanks to those who have sacrificed so much for CLS over its 30 years of ministry, especially to the incredible efforts of Mary Schaefer. Much agonizing prayer has brought us to this decision. We believe it is an act of wisdom not fear.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
~Romans 8:15

We hope to end this ministry very well. We wish to celebrate the 30 years CLS has been used of God to create Christian leaders. Its fruits will be seen for years to come. Please invite all friends of CLS past and present to attend our final Award Ceremony Tuesday, June 9th at 7pm.

With Love,
Rogue River Assembly of God Board

There are some that are making this change about the divisions between the school and the church, but those are secondary issues, the #1 issue is the ECONOMY...
Matthew 12:25...Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

The Lord put this song on my heart to close the service...
MY LIFE IS IN YOUR HAND
By Kirk Franklin, From album God's Property
You don’t have to worry and don't have to be afraid Joy comes in the morning, troubles they don't last always For there's a friend named Jesus, who will wipe your tears away, And if your heart is broken just lift your hands and say,
Oh! I know that I can make it. I know that I can stand. No matter what may come my way, My life is in your hands.
So when your test and trials, they seem to get you down.
And all your friends and loved ones are nowhere to be found.
Remember there¹s a friend named Jesus who will wipe your tears away.
And if your heart is broken just lift your hands and say,
With Jesus I can take it, with him I know I can stand.
No matter what may come my way, My life is in your hands. ----

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New VISION Sermon Series

I just dropped these postcards in the mail this morning...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Homebuilders Series: A.W.E.

Don't Forget about our FAMILY GROUPS every Wednesday Evening...Homebuilders, Adult Bible Study, Youth Group (Chosen), and Kids Club...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Recharge (sermon notes)

Always have to start my sermon with a funny:
A visiting minister was very long-winded. Worse, every time he would make a good point during his sermon and a member of the congregation responded with "Amen" or "That's right, preacher" he would get wound up even more and launch into another lengthy discourse. Finally, the host pastor started responding to every few sentences with "Amen, Pharaoh!" The guest minister wasn't sure what that meant, but after several more "Amen, Pharaohs" he finally concluded his very lengthy sermon. After the service concluded and the congregation had left, the visiting minister turned to his host and asked, "What exactly did you mean when you said "Amen, Pharaoh?" His host replied, "I was telling you to let my people go!"

Thank you so much for allowing your pastor to get away on vacation with my lovely wife and son…
SO GRATEFUL for all those who filled in for us while we were away, especially Matt Sweeney from Youth for Christ...
We also attended the OMN summit (formerly known as: district council). I wish I could somehow transplant the recharge I received into your hearts but of course it doesn’t work that way…
But I will be sharing some things I learned at the summit in the next days, weeks, months to come.
God stopped whispering and mega-phoned me some clear direction, clear vision on important areas of the church!

Today's message is entitled: RECHARGE
It’s vital to your spiritual, physical, emotional life to get away from time to time…
To RECHARGE
Even God rested…why are you running yourself ragged?
Are you overwhelmed? Do you feel inadequate? Are you ready to blow at any moment? You can't love others in a godly way when you're at the end of your emotional rope. How many relationships have been ripped apart because the people involved failed to take care of themselves emotionally?

God's Word gives us three habits that can help us recharge
1. Solitude. Mark 6:31 says, "So many people were coming and going...[Jesus] said to them [the disciples], 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest'" (NIV). Jesus understood that your emotions are like a battery. If you plug one lightbulb into a battery, it will last for a fairly long time. If you plug in 100 lights, the battery will drain very quickly. Many of you have so many lights plugged in, your battery is shot. You can't recharge anybody else—you can't give love—if your own battery is drained. You recharge when you get away by yourself.
This also speaks to the wisdom of doing a few things well instead of overflowing the calendar…that applies to the checkbook too…

Solitude, Rest helps your perspective, your attitude, your contentment…
Here’s my sermon within a sermon:
One of my heroes, Rick Warren teaches wonderful Lessons in Contentment
The Apostle Paul says: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Philippians 4:11

Here are four steps to develop contentment in your life.
1. Stop comparing yourself to others. When you compare your life with someone else’s, the only place it can lead is toward discontentment. There will always be people who appear to be better off than you, but you don’t know their real circumstances.
That’s why the Bible teaches it is unwise to compare: 2 Cor. 10:12…For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise…
2. Be grateful for who you are and what you have. Learning to be content requires that you stop any “when and then” thinking – “When I am ___________, then I’ll be happy.” (You fill in the blank.)
The reason we fall into this trap is that we may actually be content for a little while but it won’t last. But, more than likely, someone else or something else will come along and drain the contentment from your life.
But listen, you are unique. God created you to be like nobody else, so why would you want to be anyone else. God is perfect, and you were his perfect choice to be you. Understanding that is a huge step toward being content with your life.
And then look at all the things God has given you. So often we allow what we don’t have to so dominate our focus that we forget the many wonderful things we already have, not only material blessing, but far more important things, such as family and friends.

I believe these thoughts on contentment also speak to something that has concerned your pastor deeply… Tithes and Offerings in churches all over the states are plummeting, yes some of this may be because of job loss and hardship, but some of it is Christians practicing fear! First of all, if the checkbook is looking dry, that’s when I should be even more diligent with putting God first…I desperately need His blessing! Holly and I write our tithe check before we pay the bills! Secondly, If Christians practice fear instead of faith, if we trust in money more than God…no wonder the rug’s being pulled out from underneath us…I trust in God’s economy: My God will supply all my needs according to His riches in Glory…He’s about to open up the floodgates of blessing and pour out more than I can imagine because I live Malachi chapter 3 and practice wise stewardship, Christian budgeting…

Let’s return to the developing contentment steps…
3. Give yourself to others. If you will begin giving yourself to others, sharing what things you do have, sharing your time and your talents, you will find yourself learning to be content. Helping others will give you an appreciation for what you have and who you are, but more importantly, you will find yourself growing content. Why? Because God designed us to serve and share with others, and until we do that, we will feel great discontent.
4. Focus on things with eternal value. The real secret to becoming content is to focus on the things that have eternal value. It may be a familiar teaching to you, but Jesus said we should store up our treasures in heaven, and not on earth “where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal”, Matthew 6.
Think about the things in your life: What will last forever? What will last at least for your lifetime? What will last a few short years, or months, or days? Based on eternal value, what things are most important in your life? Where – and with whom – should you put your most time and energy?
By re-organizing your life around eternal priorities, you’ll find yourself growing in contentment as you live according to God’s design and purpose.

Ok back to my first sermon…we recharge with 1.solitude and
2. Play. The Bible says, "Jesus came enjoying life", Matthew 11:19. He was the most people-focused, ministry-intensive person who ever lived, yet he took the time to have fun. Certain activities recharge you emotionally; they literally re-create your energy and enthusiasm for life. We all have different activities that recharge us because we're all made differently. Find out what recharges you emotionally and make time for it.
I’ve been really missing Grandma West lately. We used to spend hours playing that game Yahtzee, she always won and if she started to lose, she would cheat. She loved that game so much I bet she’s taught Jesus the game up in heaven… I told Holly about it, so she went and bought the game, such a sweet wife… Turns out my wife loves it, I taught her how to play and now she’s beating me, we’ve been playing Yahtzee like crazy…it’s a triple recharge: time with my luv, memories of my grandma, and play time!
What do you do to play?
Never stop playing!
I think once you stop playing you start dying…
I don’t wanna grow up…

I don’t know who’s responsible for this saying but they’ve got it right… “Life is too short for drama and petty things, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly!”

Recharge: solitude, play &
3. Laughter. Proverbs 17:22 says, "Being cheerful keeps you healthy". Studies prove that when you laugh, it increases your number of T-cells, which raises your immunity level. Laughter is good for your health. Humor is God's gift to us. Remember, God has a sense of humor—he made you! To be emotionally balanced, take God very seriously but don't take yourself seriously. Learn to laugh at your limitations. There is plenty of material. If you only laugh and enjoy life when your problems are all solved, you'll never enjoy life.
When I really want to recharge all I gotta do is meditate on the gospel!
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
The good news is you're able to enter into a relationship with God through an attitude of trust in Jesus Christ; not through religion, rules, regulations, or rituals.When we trust our lives to Jesus Christ we're given three incredible, fabulous, wonderful benefits. God forgives your past; he gives you purpose in the present; and, he offers you a future.

God forgives your past. None of us are perfect. Everybody has made mistakes. Everyone has skeletons in the closet—things he or she wishes had never happened. God comes along and says, "When you trust Jesus Christ with your life, I take everything you've ever done and wipe the slate clean. You get to start over with a brand-new life."Now, is that good news?

God gives you purpose in the present. You are not an accident. God created you for a purpose. But you're never going to know God's purpose for your life until you first get to know God. When you get to know God, you're going to know who you are. When you figure out God, you're going to figure out yourself.I meet people all the time who say, "I'm just trying to find myself." You know what—you probably aren't going to like yourself once you find yourself!These people say, "There's something missing in my life." God's missing! You weren't made to live and go through life just on your own power.God offers you a future.

God gives you a future, a home in heaven. Most people hope they're going to heaven, but they're not sure. Most people think if you do more good in your life than bad, then maybe God will grade on a curve and say, "Okay, you can come in."
Wrong! It doesn't work that way. You won't get into heaven on your own power because you're just not good enough.There's only one way we can get into heaven—on somebody else's ticket. Since none of us are perfect, God came to earth in human form as Jesus. Jesus lived a life of perfection. He died on the cross, paid for our sin, and then rose from the dead and went back to heaven. Now you get into heaven on his ticket, if you trust him.Romans 6:23 (NCV) says, "God gives us a free gift—life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord." It's a gift. That means you can't earn it, you can't work for it, and you can't own it in any way.God says, "If you trust My Son with your life, you get forgiveness for your past, a purpose for living in your present, and a home in heaven in the future."Is that good news?Do you think anybody you know would be interested in that?The world is hungry for good news.

No matter where you’ve been!
No matter what you’ve done!
You can begin again!
Come to Jesus!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Summit (district council)

Wish I could transplant all I learned, all the encouragement I received from this year's AG pastor's conference from my heart to yours...
I didn't take picts from the summit but they emailed some...this one is from the ordination service...
Instead of whispering, God mega-phoned me, gave clear direction, vision for some important areas of the church...
You will be seeing the changes in the recent days and weeks ahead!
I will begin a new vision sermon series next week!
Jump on board with what God is doing!

Also thanks for allowing your pastor to get away...Holly, Nathaniel and I had a fabulous vacation, truly recharged!
I will be posting some picts and mabye some video of our vacation on my facebook profile...
one thought before I sign off...
The LORD just keeps whispering: CHOOSE FAITH INSTEAD OF FEAR!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Inviter...Jesus is Contagious

I had the privilege of dedicating Aiden Joshua Spencer to Jesus in this morning's Celebration Service...

Here's a few thoughts from this morning's sermon...
Being an "Andrew" figure: John 1
You're either a born inviter or it must be learned (introvert vs. extrovert)
3 simple practices for the Inviter:
1. show and tell
2. never grow weary of sharing your Jesus story
3. be yourself
canned doesn't work...stuttering is better when it's real
don't have to be a religious expert...world doesn't respond to that anyway
develop a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, to be used in Divine Appointments
rabbit trails: expectations can kill, invitations can heal AND welcoming guests well...
(this is messy from memory, if you wish to have more detailed notes, shoot me an email)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Christian Life School Spring Patriotic Program




Here's some pictures and video clips from tonight's amazing program...
(you probably noticed I always get one in of my little guy)
Mrs. West, the kids and staff worked so hard to bless us all...
Thanks, isn't a big enough expression...
video

video

video

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What a Perfect Easter: Community Sunrise Service; Sunrise Breakfast hosted by the youth; AND Lilies, Lyrics, and the Lord's Table

Hope Presbyterian
and
Uth Staff hard at work
I LOVE lilies! (I already planted them around the church this afternoon.)
and
Isn't that a beautiful family?
and
My boy is becoming a drummer!
The Dara girls sang SO PRETTY!
and
Linda Accardo blesses us so much with her nursery leadership!
and
Look at that handsome young man!
and
With all my running around this morning I only got a few video clips. I put some on facebook too!

video

video

video

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

CLS Chapel: Resurrection Eggs

Oh my, what a fun chapel we had today! We crowned Dara Worthington student of the month! Drew names for Pizza w/ Pastor. I passed out some Butterfinger Nest Eggs. We sang some Easter "oldies." Actually, I taught the students: He Lives. And we had so much fun with the RESURRECTION EGGS, I may just do them again on Easter Sunday! I think MAYHEM may be a good word to describe this morning...a very good mayhem...

Resurrection Eggs: (carton of colorful plastic eggs containing...)

1) Mark 11:4 - picture: Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey 2) Matthew 26:14 - 3 dimes, 30 pieces of silver for Judas 3) Matthew 26:26 - picture: wine and bread, the Last Supper 4) Matthew 26:31 - picture: rooster, Peter's denial 5) Matthew 26:36 - picture: praying hands, Jesus prays in the Garden 6) Luke 22:41 - picture: sword, disciple defending Jesus 7) Matthew 27:27 - red robe and thorn, mocking and crown of thorns 8) Matthew 27:35 - picture: cross and dice, crucifixion and casting lots for Christ's clothes 9) Matthew 27:45 - torn material, Temple curtain torn in two 10) Matthew 27:57 - white material, linens for Christ's burial 11) Matthew 27:62 stone, sealed the tomb 12) Matthew 28:1 - empty, empty tomb HE IS RISEN...HE IS RISEN INDEED

Sunday, April 5, 2009

God's Amazing Grace (sermon notes)

Always have to start my sermons with something funny:
A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside. The Pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!" My friend replied, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor." Pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?" He whispered back, "I'm in the secret service."

I’m so excited about Easter Sunday!
We have a wonderful program scheduled: special music, drama, children’s story and more…
use those flyers, invite someone
sunrise service, sunrise breakfast…

Can you believe today is palm Sunday?
maybe it’s the odd spring weather that made it sneek up
cause easter was earlier last year

did anybody bring palm branches?
well, how about shouting HOSANNA
maybe if we shout it loud enough Jesus will come back today
If you’re not familiar with what palm Sunday is all about
Go to Mark 11 and read about Christ’s Triumphal Entry

Can you imagine the disappointment Jesus felt as he looked into the faces of people around him that first holy week? Can you imagine his disappointment with the crowds who would shout hosanna one moment and crucify him the next? Disappointment with his disciples--one of whom would betray him, his most trusted who would deny him, and the three closest to him who could not even stay awake on the job while he agonized over the cup the Father had set before him. Can you imagine the hurt he felt within?Sir Alexander Mackenzie is a Canadian hero. An early fur trader and explorer, he accomplished a magnificent feat when he led an expedition across Canada from Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabasca to the Pacific Ocean . His incredible journey was completed in 1793, 11 years before Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition to the west. Mackenzie's earlier attempt in 1789, however, had been a major disappointment. His explorers had set out in an effort to find a water route to the Pacific. The valiant group followed a mighty river (now named the Mackenzie) with high hopes, paddling furiously amid great danger. Unfortunately, it didn't empty into the Pacific, but into the Arctic Ocean . In his diary, Mackenzie called it the "River of Disappointment ." Jesus was now face-to-face with his River of Disappointment. He knew it would end like this, but still it is hard to stifle the will to believe, the hope that things will turn out better than expected.

Today is the final chapter for my sermon series on Amazing Grace…
I can think of no better place to close this series than John 3
(find stand read pray)

I bring a simple msg. today…
Some motivation for living a grace filled life!
3 thoughts from John chapter 3 on God’s Grace!

This week in my study…I was struck by Nicodemus’ boldness yet cowardice…
Obviously the Pharisees were ultimately the most responsible party for putting Christ on the cross…
It took a tremendous amount of boldness for Nicodemus to simply approach Jesus…
Yet, he is sneaking to do it in the dark…
I asked the Holy Spirit to meet me in the pages of my Bible…
And I believe this is the first whisper…
1. God’s Grace is Compelling!

Not even a Pharisee can resist the compelling power of Christ!
If we truly let Christ live thru us, we wouldn’t be able to keep them away with a stick!
When you’ve been truly touched by God’s Grace or had just a glimpse of Heaven’s grace, it never stops compelling you to His Throne!
Taste and See that the Lord He is GOOD
You don’t have to dress it up or try to sell it with the latest advertising schemes…the Gospel is still very good news!
Hear at again family of God, with new ears…John 12:32 – Jesus said, And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself…

God is saving, delivering, healing everyday!
Find out what He’s doing and jump on board!
Don’t try to do something and ask Him to bless it!
He never sleeps…He’s always drawing people to Himself
Always COMPELLING

2 Corinthians 12:9…And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me…
YES LORD

And we have to go to Psalm 121
Is there anything on this earth more compelling than the Grace of God we just read in that psalm???
somebody shout

I already shared this the first week of this Amazing Grace series but I gotta do it again…
Nothing can be added, nothing to subtract,Grace has nothing to do with usAnd this is just a fact.It's nothing that you bought,And nothing that is taught.It's nothing that you can lend,And nothing that you can spend.It's nothing that grows old,It is nothing that you hold.It is there when you feel it,It is there when you don't,It is there when you accept itAnd there when you won't.It is nothing that you can earn,And nothing that you learn.It is nothing that you choose,And nothing that you can loose.It is there in the morning,It is there late at night,It is there when you are on top of the worldOr in your greatest fight.It's nothing about the clothes we wearOr the things that we do without,It has nothing to do with our appearance,That's not what grace is all about.Grace can be summed up as great richesAt Christ's expense,And to the human part of his people,It just doesn't seem to make sense.Unmerited favor full of riches and beauty untold,And we may never understand it untilWe get to heaven and walk on streets of gold.It is nothing that you bring with you,When you kneel at the cross and pray,But once you accept the Lord Jesus Christ,Grace will never go away.By Cheryl P. Ellicott

2. God’s Grace is Confusing

Nicodemus said HUH?
How can I be born again?
Of course Christ was speaking spiritually not physically…
Duh Nic, why don’t you get it?
And maybe you’re feeling that way about your spouse or friend or neighbor, why don’t you get it?
How in the world does anybody resist the compelling of Christ?
It all comes down to the anchor of God’s word…
1 Corinthians 1:18…for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…

In a Peanuts cartoon, Charlie Brown and Linus are standing next to each other, staring at a star-filled sky. "Would you like to see a falling star?" Charlie Brown asks Linus. "Sure..." Linus responds. "Then again, I don't know," he adds, after some thought. "I'd hate to have it fall just on my account." In the book Parables of Peanuts, Robert Short uses this cartoon to make the point that a star did fall on our account. God came down to us as Jesus: like a lamb led to slaughter, He died on our account. What humility. What love and, oh, what he accomplished there.

3. God’s Grace is never Condemning

Isn’t that cute?
the three c’s
compelling, confusing, condemning
I’m a real preacher this week

Everybody loves to quote John 3:16, but I think it’s a crime to quote it without 17
For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world thru Him might be saved…

The Holy Spirit put it on my heart to STAND IN THE GAP the church has created between John 3:16 and John 3:17!
Especially at funerals (because for many people that’s the only time they step foot in a church) I apologize to whomever will listen for the church’s failure in this area!
Many souls will have nothing to do with church because we have condemned when we should have been loving…
Yes, this is sometimes someone’s poor excuse, pointing the finger, hanging onto a hurt or failure…but that’s not for you and me to judge…Grace Triumphs over evil!

I read something this week that also challenges the way the church behaves…
Presbyterian John Buchanan writes…William Stringfellow, a distinguished lawyer who became a very distinguished theologian and who died much too soon, was a strong critic of the church. He was particularly feisty about Palm Sunday. He used to say that Christians go to church on Palm Sunday because they love a parade. I used to resent Stringfellow’s saying that. But I now conclude that he was partially right. I love Palm Sunday.
There is no day quite like this one, is there? If there is a better moment in the life of a church than the children’s processional on Palm Sunday, I can’t think what it might be. They come down the aisle in numbers that astonish us. They fill the sanctuary. They disturb the normal sedate dignity of worship. Presbyterians like their religion “decently and in order.” And there is nothing very orderly about several hundred children waving palm branches. (Although, truth be told, it is no small accomplishment of logistics to get them all here and lined up and in and out in a manner that lets us get on with the business of the day.) I confess, however, particularly when I have the unique blessing of meeting my own grandchildren in the parade that I sometimes feel that maybe they are the business of the day, they and the spontaneous joy of him coming into the city. In any event, there is no day quite like it in the life of a congregation. And there is no day quite like it in the church year. Someone noted recently that Palm Sunday has all the elements of a classic drama: great characters—frightened disciples stumbling along behind him, cheering crowds, conspiring politicians—and behind it all the clash of huge civilizations and religions and worldviews. And in the center—in fact towering over it all—the figure of one man, a young man, riding on a donkey, on his way to his own death.
amen
That children’s processional that the Presbyterians celebrate on Palm Sunday sounds like a fun tradition…maybe we should implement it?

the greatest purpose of this amazing grace series is my desire to see RRAG
Stop and think
When you have experienced the blessings of His amazing grace how can you not share the wealth?

I pray this is the message you needed to hear today…
Mabye you feel Christ compelling you
Mabye you are confused by the gospel
Mabye you need to stop condemning
come to Jesus…no better time than Palm Sunday

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm getting excited about our special Easter service!


Start spreading the word!
Our Community Easter Sunrise Service is at Hope Presbyterian, 7am this year!
Then our Youth are hosting a pancake breakfast in Kirkwood hall from 8:30 to 9:30!
AND our Easter service is at 10am (special music, drama, children's story and more)!!!
Oops! I just noticed the dates wrong on the flyer: 2009 not 2008...We'll fix it this week for the bulletin and have extra flyers for you to pass out to your neighbors, family, friends, strangers...

Homebuilders: Boundaries



Our new homebuilders series is for EVERYONE! Don't miss out on another night of amazing discussion, heart transformation and prayer. Family night is every Wednesday at 7pm. (youth group, kids club, homebuilders, and adult Bible study with Pastor Short will start back up after the boundaries series concludes)

Tomorrow night is already Session 5: Myths about Boundaries. We've already learned about...What Is a boundary, Understanding Boundaries, The Laws of Boundaries...

Amazing Grace: Jonah (sermon notes)

Always have to start my sermons with something funny:
This is just plain silly: Biblical songs...
Noah: "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" Adam and Eve: "Strangers in Paradise" Lazarus: "The Second Time Around" Esther: "I Feel Pretty" Job: "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues" Moses: "The Wanderer" Jezebel: "The Lady is a Tramp" Samson: "Hair" Daniel: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" Joshua: "Good Vibrations" Peter: "I'm Sorry" Esau: "Born To Be Wild" Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: "Great Balls of Fire!" The Three Kings: "When You Wish Upon a Star" Elijah: "Up, Up, and Away" Methuselah: "Stayin' Alive" Nebuchadnezzar: "Crazy"
and last but not least
Jonah: "Got a Whale of a Tale"

Today we continue a new sermon series on Amazing Grace…
You may be wondering why we’re talking about Jonah today…this guy is not a good model for amazing grace…he wants God to treat Ninevah the way He treated Sodom and Gomorrah…
Truth is, I want to use poor Jonah to reveal the church’s faulty grace…
Read all of Jonah this week!
I bring a simple msg. today…
Some motivation for living a grace filled life!
3 thoughts from this story of Jonah’s Need for Grace…

1. God uses our blunders!
This is such good news! (especially for someone as IMPERFECT as me)
I noticed something this week in my study that I hadn’t really seen or had pointed out to me before in the story of Jonah…
God used Jonah’s disobedience, his foolishness, his running from the Lord to save a ship full of men!
VERSE 16 says…then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the LORD and took vows…
These were heathens praying to false gods moments before they threw Jonah overboard…
God uses our blunders!
This is why the church should be a place of failure!
Stick with me, some of you are looking at me like I’m crazy…
We all fail, we all make mistakes…if you’re going to mess up, the church should be a safe place to do it…
I’m not talking about lasciviousness or a nonchalant attitude toward sin…
I’m talking about 2 steps forward, one step back
failing forward
as a matter of fact, the church needs to be a free environment to fly or flop
especially when it comes to trying new ministries or finding where you fit in ministry
I think really the only true failure is to not try…

Once upon a time there was a little grape stem. This stem was so glad to be alive...She drank water and minerals from the soil and grew and grew She was young and strong and could manage quite well... All by Herself But then, the Wind was cruel, the rain was harsh, the snow was not one bit understanding, and the little grape stem suffered She drooped, weak and suffering. It would be so easy to stop trying to grow, to stop trying to live. And the grape stem was poor! The winter was long, and the stem was weary. But then the little grape stem heard a voice. It was another grape stem calling out to her... "Here, reach out... hang on to me." But the stem hesitated. "What would this mean?" she thought For you see, the little stem had always managed quite well, All by herself. But then, ever so cautiously, she reached out towards the other grape stem. "See, I can help you", it said."Just wind your tendrils about me and I will help you lift your head." And the little stem trusted...and suddenly she could stand straight again. The wind came... and the rain ... and the snow, But when it came, the little grape stem was clinging to many other stems. And although the stems were swayed by the wind... and frozen by the snow, They stood strongly united to each other. And in their untired strength... they could smile and grow. And then, one day the little stem looked down and saw a tiny stem, swaying, frightened. And our little grape stem said, "Here, hang on ... I will help you." And the other stem reached up to our grape stem... And together all the stems grew... Leaves budded...flowers bloomed... And finally, grapes formed And the grapes fed many.
What a picture of what the church could be!
God uses our frailties, our blunders, our needs
lean on Him, lean on one another

2. God is waiting for a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
In verse 9…Jonah prayed: But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving…and then the Lord spoke to the fish and vomited Jonah onto dry land…
Again the Lord opened my eyes to a profound truth found in Jonah!
Mabye His deliverance will come if you will change your attitude…
My goodness, are you in the belly of a whale?
If Jonah can give a sacrifice of thanksgiving from the belly of a whale, what’s your excuse?
Mabye God is waiting for a sacrifice of thanksgiving despite the circumstance and then He will perform the miracle!
If you wait to be thankful when your circumstances warrant it, you probably won’t be a very thankful person!
Praise takes sacrifice!
Rather than being annoyed, be amused.Instead of getting angry, become curious.In place of envy, feel admiration.In place of worry, take action.In place of doubt, have faith.Negative energy is just positive energythat's flowing in the opposite direction.There's no need to fight or run away from that negative energy. All you need to do is change its direction. The more negative you are, the more positive you can be. An automobile that can travel 70 miles per hour to the east... can also travel just as fast when going west. But first, someone must turn it around.When you sense yourself becoming negative, stop and consider what it would mean to apply thatnegative energy in the opposite direction. Turn your sadness into caring. Transform your complaints intouseful suggestions. Change your bitterness intodetermination. The energy is already there,All you need to do is change its direction.

3. God chooses kindness over anger.
Jonah and the older brother in the story of the Prodigal have a lot in common…
Jonah threw a fit when God expressed his amazing grace, his overflowing kindness instead of anger just like the older brother…
The church is full of Jonah’s, the “elder brother” spirit is alive and active in the body of Christ…
But, I don’t want it at RRAG
Truth is, Jesus had kindness for the sinner and anger for the Pharisee…
A young lady who has been caught up in the backwash of church drama wrote this on her facebook profile…I hate religion, but I love Jesus!
I’m so thankful that she hasn’t let the older brothers of the church, the pouting Jonah’s of the church, the demanding Pharisees of the church steal her love for Jesus!

A traveler became lost in an unnamed desert. Realizing his only chance for survival was to find civilization, he began walking. Time passed, and he became thirsty. More time passed, and he began feeling faint. Reduced to crawling, he was on the verge of passing out when he spied a small shack about 500 meters in front of him. Barely conscious, he reached the shack and called out, "Water! Please, I need water!" An old man appeared in the door of the shack and replied sympathetically, "I am sorry, sir, but I have no water. However, would you like to buy a tie?" With this, he brandished a collection of exquisite silken neckwear. "You fool," gasped the man. "I'm dying! I need water!" "Well, sir," replied the old man, "If you really need water, there is another shack about 2 kilometers south of here where you can get some." Without knowing how, the man summoned sufficient strength to drag his parched body the distance to the second tent. With his last ounce of strength he tugged at the door of the second shack and collapsed. Another man, looking enough like the old man to be his brother, appeared at the door dressed in a costly tuxedo. Looking down at the crumpled mass at his door, he inquired, "May I help you sir?" "Water..." came the feeble reply. "Oh, sir," replied the man, "I'm sorry, but you can't come in here without a tie!"
In the name of Jesus, I pray the church will stop caring about things that do not matter, while the world is desperate for some WATER!
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Amazing Grace is the water
the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ is the water
Stop and think
When you have experienced the blessings of His amazing grace how can you not share the wealth?

I pray this is the message you needed to hear today…
Mabye you needed the hope that comes from knowing God even uses your blunders…
Mabye you need to make a sacrifice of thanksgiving
Mabye you to choose kindness over anger, grace over judgment, maybe you just need some more grace...come to Jesus

Saturday, March 28, 2009

WOW...what an amazing work day...and Happy Bday Pastor Jan

















I had so much fun playing in the dirt at the church with the many wonderful helpers that showed up! So, I went home (after Jan's Bday party ofcourse) and worked on my own yard too!







Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our baby boy is talking!

I shared the video directly from youtube to my blog and then when I was updating I think I messed it up...so here's the link directly to the video on youtube of our baby boy talking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXY8VU2z5lU

It's been awhile since I've shared some cuteness from our beautiful boy on my blog...remember to check out Holly's blog once in awhile: http://www.for-the-love-of-a-child.blogspot.com/

Rogue River Assembly of God Heroes: Sandi Schaecher

I haven't blogged about the heroes sitting in our pews for awhile...
I could never have enough kind words to express how amazing, how special this woman is to our church and school!
Mrs. Schaecher (still have a hard time calling her Sandi) has taught at Christian Life School on and off since I attended YEARS AGO!
I can't say she was my very favorite teacher on my blog cause other teachers like Mrs. Schaefer, Mrs. Lyon, Mrs. Pedersen or... might see and think that their not my favorites too! But, I have ALOT of favorites!
She is a very gifted teacher: firm yet kind. She sets clear boundaries and loves the students with all her heart!
When I think of all the years she has SACRIFICED for the church and school, even when she barely gets paid enough money to cover the gas from Medford to Rogue River everyday, I am in AWE of SANDI!
She shows up early every Sunday to seek the Lord during our Prayer and Communion time. That really blesses this pastor's heart!
Hero is a good word for our Mrs. Schaecher!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Amazing Grace: Hosea (sermon notes)

Always have to start my sermons with something funny:
Here’s some advice on Finding a wife Biblically:
Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she's yours. -- Deuteronomy chapter 21
Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock. – That’s what Moses did in Exodus chapter 2
Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. -- Boaz in Ruth chapter4
Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. – the Benjamites did this in Judge chapter 21
Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib. – Adam,
Genesis 2
Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That's right. Fourteen years of toil for your woman. (I’ve only been at it for 10 years myself)—This is Jacob’s story in Genesis 29
Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. That’s what Cain did in Genesis 4
Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. -- Xerxes or Ahasuerus, Esther 2
When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a ...woman; now get her for me." Samson in Judges 14
Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It's not just a good idea, it's the law). -- Onan and Boaz, Deuteronomy or Leviticus, example in Ruth)
Don't be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. – Solomon, 1 Kings 11
and last but not least...
Find a prostitute and marry her. -- Hosea chapter 1

Today we continue a new sermon series on Amazing Grace…
Today we’re not just looking at amazing grace…we’re looking at scandalous grace
Hosea 1
Could you imagine God asking you to take as your bride a harlot to show amazing Grace, to show that God puts up with His Children’s harlotry everyday, unfaithfulness, no commitment, despising covenants, etc.
Again I encourage you to finish this book of the Bible this week in your personal Bible study…Hosea is called a minor prophet, but trust me, the lessons contained in this book are anything but minor!

The New Bible Dictionary explains…This first book in the collection of twelve small prophetic writings which conclude our Old Testament comes from the 8th century BC and, along with Amos, is addressed to the North Kingdom of Israel, often called by Hosea Ephraim. There is every indication that the prophet had his home in the N and loved the land and its people. It was therefore all the more painful for him to have to issue rebukes and threats when appeals went unheeded. The intensity of his emotion may be gauged from his vivid use of language. He packs metaphors and similes into allusions which in his day were no doubt extremely telling, though their exact meaning sometimes escapes the modern reader. Changes of subject-matter are abrupt and, in the absence of introductory phrases, it is by no means self-evident where one passage ends and another begins. The material appears to have been arranged in roughly chronological order, and to recognize historical situations behind the prophet’s words is to find an important aid to understanding.
Because of this, I encourage you to not be afraid of using some of the amazing tools now available to the Christian in the 21st century, a study Bible or dictionary or concordance etc. etc… You may say, I do not own such things nor have the funds to purchase them…You’d be amazed the tools available on the internet, My blog will lead you to many of them…and Biblegateway.com is pretty cool…moving on
I bring a simple msg. today…
Some motivation for living a grace filled life!
3 thoughts from this story of Hosea’s Grace…

1. God allows His children to reap what they sow.
As a matter of fact, I believe It’s His grace that allows us to reap what we sow…
Remember it’s not karma, it’s a biblical principle…
If we got away with our scandalous behavior with no consequence, it would not help us but hurt us…
It’s like the parent who doesn't discipline his child, giving them whatever they wish…that parent is not loving their child, in reality such behavior is truly negligent…for a life without discipline creates havoc, creates pain, creates death…
The prison system is full of children who were never taught boundaries…
Speaking of which, let me invite you again to Homebuilders, Wedneday evenings at 7pm…our series on boundaries is 9 glorious weeks long, we’re learning a lot!

Hosea 10:12 &13
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors,

I found Satan’s Beatitudes this week in my study:
Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians. Blessed are those who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked. Blessed are those who are touchy, easily offended. Blessed are those who sow trouble. Blessed are those who have no time to pray. Blessed are those who gossip. Blessed are you when you hear this and think it has everything to do with other people, and nothing to do with you.
I didn’t make it up, so don’t get mad at me…

I don’t know if you saw it on my office door or on my facebook or on my blog…but last week I got a little introspective and made up:
Pastor Paul’s Top 10 lessons learned in 5 years of senior pastoring:
1. Thou shalt not be the messiah.
Simply take them to Jesus…
2. Thou shalt not assume the worst.
Assume the best and lovingly confront the rest…
3. Thou shalt not defend thyself.
Let God be your defense and shield…
4. Thou shalt not think every thought you think.
“Replacement theology,” replace that negative thought with something positive…
5. Thou shalt not put the church before the family.
In God’s Divine Order, family comes first…
6. Thou shalt not “vent”.
When tempted to gossip, pray instead…
7. Thou shalt not violate boundaries.
NO IS an acceptable answer…
8. Thou shalt not “react”.
“Pause for Power”, instead choose to “respond”…
9. Thou shalt live on the “divine level”.
Satanic level: returning evil for good,
Human level: returning evil for evil,
Divine level: returning good for evil…
10. Thou shalt shut up.
The world will remain lost as long as the church keeps shoving things down their throat; Acts of Kindness lead to repentance; “Everywhere preach the gospel and if necessary use words”…
Oh and I forgot: Thou Shalt Not give your joy away. The Joy of the Lord cannot be taken away; it has to be given away...Oh and...
I’ve gotten a lot of amazing feedback on these lessons learned…I’m blessed with many encouraging friends and family…I’m blessed to be your pastor, feeling fuzzy

2. God’s heart aches for His children.
If this doesn’t crank your tractor your feelers broke
Hosea 11:8 & 9
8 "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man— the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.
While we’re reaping what we’ve sown our God is aching for us, The NKJ version says His heart churns within Him…
FOR YOU
His sympathy is stirred
FOR YOU
slow to anger, rich in mercy
FOR YOU
spit upon, mocked, beaten, hung on a cross
FOR YOU
that wasn’t Him reaping what He sowed
That was our God reaping for us what we have sowed!
AMAZING GRACE

I found something online that definitely made me evaluate all my emailing, blogging, facebooking, youtubing, and Holly just started twittering…
Did Jesus use a modem At the Sermon on the Mount? Did He ever try a broadcast fax To send His message out? Did the disciples carry beepers As they went about their route? Did Jesus use a modem At the Sermon on the Mount? Did Paul use a Laptop With lots of RAM and ROM? Were his letters posted on a BBS At Paul.Rome.Com? Did the man from Macedonia Send an E-Mail saying "Come?" Did Paul use a Laptop With lots of RAM and ROM? Did Moses use a Joystick at the Parting of the Sea? And a Satellite Guidance Tracking System To show him where to be? Did he write the law on tablets Or are they really on CD? Did Moses use a joystick At the parting of the Sea? Did Jesus really die for us One day upon a tree? Or was it just a hologram Or technical wizardry? Can you download the Live Action Video Clip To play on your PC? Did Jesus really die for us One day upon a tree? Have the wonders of this modern age Made you question what is true? How a single man in a simple time Could offer life anew? How a sinless life, a cruel death then a glorious life again Could offer more to a desperate world Than the inventions of man? If in your life, the voice of God Is sometimes hard to hear. With other voices calling His doesn't touch your ear. Then set aside your laptop and modem And all your fancy gear. And open your Bible, open your heart And let your Father draw you near.

3. God is waiting with grace & forgiveness if His children return to Him.
Hosea 14

One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart. She responded to God's call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. But, the change in her was evident. As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became involved in the ministry, teaching young children. It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor's son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans. This is when the problems began.
You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor's son. The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand. The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry the pastor's son stood to speak.
He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife to be. He began to speak and his statement was this: " My fiancée's past is not what is on trial here. What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?" The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot cleanse us completely. If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble. What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus....end of case!!!

Stop and think
When you have experienced the blessings of His amazing grace how can you not share the wealth?
I pray this is the message you needed to hear today…
Mabye you feel under a mess of your own making
Mabye you haven’t realized how much God cares
Mabye you need to run to Him and find grace, forgiveness
come to Jesus

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I just received this AMAZING email from our Pregnancy Care Center in Grants Pass...

Everyone Said She Should Abort ~ They Were Wrong

"You should abort" - these are the words Melissa heard from her doctor. "Your
baby has Spina Bifida and is Hydrocephalic; the baby will probably be a burden
to you all your life." When Melissa arrived at our office, she was in tears
but she was also very determined to love and raise the son she was pregnant
with. Not just her doctor, but many others around her were all telling her she should abort her child. We did not agree and we chose to support her and the precious life she was carrying. She told us it didn't matter what his needs were that she was committed to raise this child God had given her to the best of her ability. This brave young mom is an inspiration to us and it's because of your prayers and financial support, when no one else was, we were able to be there, to help her and her unborn baby.

We provided her with encouragement, emotional and material support and most of all prayers of faith that this baby was meant to be...our God knows what He is doing!

As the months passed and the pregnancy continued, Melissa grew into an even
stronger advocate for her baby. Melissa was doing research on every aspect of
care for her baby boy as he continued to grow in her. In December 2008,
Austin was born in a Portland hospital. The doctor immediately fixed his Spina
Bifida, and installed a shunt for his hydrocephalic condition. Little Austin will
probably function very close to 'normal' according to the doctors who
continue to examine him.
Thanks to his mommy's love and devotion while joining us in prayer and support for her baby, we PRAISE GOD for little Austin and Melissa. And we PRAISE
GOD for you, those who pray, donate and stand with us to empower women to choose LIFE in our community.

Monday, March 16, 2009

WOW I wish there were words to convey how life-changing Marriage Encounter is...Holly and I are truly renewed!


LOVE IS A DECISION
FEELINGS ARE NEITHER RIGHT NOR WRONG
FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE
LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART
TOUGH FEELINGS CAN BE SHARED WITH TENDERNESS
LORD, WE HAVE WITNESSED A MIRACLE
3+2=1
WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

These words are just scratching the surface! I'm starting to believe that you're not really married until you've been ENCOUNTERED! Every marriage deserves to be ENCOUNTERED!
The tools you receive on the Assemblies of God Marriage Encounter will really open your heart to a whole new world...I wish there were words to convince you of it's power, of Christ's power!
VISIT agme.org AND SIGN UP FOR THE NEXT ONE!
Oh and if you start hearing rumors from the couples that attended from our church, about your pastor knocking on hotel room doors to spray silly string all over unsuspecting souls...don't believe such things...hee hee
Oh and thanks to all of you who held down the fort at home in our absence...Mrs. Shelli, Tom & Ruth Vallo, Zach Badley, Pastor Bill, Pastor Fowler, and everyone else who stepped up to the plate...WE LOVE YOU, THANK YOU!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pastor Paul's Top 10 Lessons Learned in 5 yrs. of Senior Pastoring

I sat down today and typed this up in, seriously less than 10 minutes...
I've been dealing with some stuff lately that has made me a little introspective and honestly a little frustrated...
So, I need some feedback, tell me what you think?


Pastor Paul’s Top 10 lessons learned in 5 years of senior pastoring:
1. Thou shalt not be the messiah.
Simply take them to Jesus…
2. Thou shalt not assume the worst.
Assume the best and lovingly confront the rest…
3. Thou shalt not defend thyself.
Let God be your defense and shield…
4. Thou shalt not think every thought you think.
“Replacement theology,” replace that negative thought with something positive…
5. Thou shalt not put the church before the family.
In God’s Divine Order, family comes first…
6. Thou shalt not “vent”.
When tempted to gossip, pray instead…
7. Thou shalt not violate boundaries.
NO IS an acceptable answer…
8. Thou shalt not “react”.
“Pause for Power”, instead choose to “respond”…
9. Thou shalt live on the “divine level”.
Satanic level: returning evil for good,
Human level: returning evil for evil,
Divine level: returning good for evil…
10. Thou shalt shut up.
The world will remain lost as long as the church keeps shoving things down their throat; Acts of Kindness lead to repentance; “Everywhere preach the gospel and if necessary use words”…
Oh and I forgot: Thou Shalt Not give your joy away. The Joy of the Lord cannot be taken away; it has to be given away...
Oh and...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

St. Patrick


With St. Patrick's Day approaching I thought I would share this amazing article that just came to me via my subscription to Steve Sjogren's Conspiracy of Kindness community:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Amazing Grace performed at the coliseum in Rome


http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid271552717?bctid=1913313052

Jaye Rinehart just emailed this link to me...

Here's her words: This is so incredible! Gave me goose bumps. Especially after todays sermon! Great job Pastor! Love, J

Ya'll bless your pastor so much!

Old Fashioned Sing-a-long

Walt Heron asked me to place these details on my blog:
Saturday, March 14th at 6:30pm at Bruce and Cherry Sund, 6 covered Bridge Rd
phone 582.2249
Bring your musical instruments
Directions:
take east evans creek rd to south end of covered bridge rd.
take graveled road located at south end of covered bridge rd. up into the trees
watch for a concrete highway divider on the right.
turn left into driveway just above the concrete divider.
House is at end of driveway
keep the drive around the end of the house clear for additional parking in back