A NEW Year

New Year. New in what sense? When we think of something new it seems to bring with it the connotation of bright, shiny, fresh, and fulfilling. The “New Car” smell. The anticipation of getting something that we either have never had or a new one to replace the old one.

What will make this a New Year? Is it going to quickly turn into just a replay of the past years? Am I looking forward to the coming year with anticipation or dread? Do I hope for something new but deep inside my heart I really believe it will be more of the same. Is there any hope for New?
In the Book of Psalms new is mentioned 7 times. Six out of those seven times the Psalmist speaks of a “New Song.” A song, the message of the heart. A New Song, the heart singing a new melody.
Through Isaiah The Lord declares that New is possible! “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isa 42:9)
And again He asserts: “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (Isa 43:19)

The Lord speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel stated that there would be a new covenant where men would be given a new heart and a new Spirit. He also declared plainly that it would be the Spirit of God.

The Book of Acts gives us first-hand accounts of men becoming “New Creatures.” Fishermen become great preachers. Tax collectors become Apostles. Men made new with an overwhelming, transforming, experience from God. The record is clear. They all received the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and New Lives began.

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Let us set 2015 as the “Year of the Spirit!” Let us seek God continually for the baptism of the Spirit of God! We want the “New” Lord! Grant us Jesus to once again taste of your Great Spirit as the Apostles of old.

We will have a New Year!


Putting the Bow on it….

It’s that time of year when the gifts will be purchased, wrapped and then the final finishing touch – The Bow.  What is the purpose of bow on a gift?  Did you ever accidentally (hmmm – gentlemen) stack gifts on top of each other and smash the bow?  I did recently and somehow managed to straighten it up so that my wife never knew…..until now.  Yikes!  I just told on myself.

The bow is that completing.  “Putting a Bow on It” is a term used to express completion.  Finished.  Done.

As I write this 2014 is down to 28 days.  The major portion of the work has been done.  The growing season has come and gone.  Harvest is done.   Things have been wrapped up.  In the church we have made the plans, executed the plans, had special services, hosted our first ever Missions Training Seminar, fundraisers have happened, youth group has grown, first Fall Festival outreach was a success, Children’s Crusade, VBS, CMI, and many other things too numerous to mention.  Now what?

It’s time for the Bow!  Let’s imagine that the celebration of Thanksgiving is creating the bow and setting the stage for that careful positioning of the bow.  Similar to one of our family traditions where we spend Black Friday putting up the Christmas decorations.

How then do we put the bow on 2014?  Humor me to believe that we, as Christians, are indeed celebrating the birth of our Savior in this last month of the year even if our world has lost sight of this.  If that is the case then let’s follow the example of the first comers to the manger in Bethlehem.

Luke records that the Angles appeared “praising God” and saying Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  He tells us that the Shepherds “returned glorifying and praising God.”  It would seem to me that was the bow at the birth of Jesus and it would be fitting for us to place that same bow on 2014 as we head down the homestretch.

Let’s purpose to make a special effort to Praise and Glorify God throughout the remainder of 2014.  Let’s put the bow on 2014!


Let’s talk Turkey……

Let’s talk Turkey……..

Ah November is here.  The leaves and temperatures are falling.  The preparations are being made against the onslaught of the cold winter months.  Thanksgiving is around the corner.  Feasting and Family!  Football and Shopping!  Daylight Savings Time!  All these point to a changing of the seasons.
The wise writer of Ecclesiastes stated in chapter 3:1To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.  He goes on to describe many different “seasons” of life. The writer is challenging and instructing us.  What season are we in?  Who controls the seasons?  This applies personally as well as to the church as a whole, and to the world itself.

The Bible declares in Genesis that the light controls the seasons.  Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.  In nature when the days get shorter it signals the mating season has come to the deer.  The light controls the seasons.

And the Bible states Daniel 2:21: “And he (God) changes the times and the seasons…….” Thus God, who is light, is the author of the seasons.

Are we prepared for the “new season?”  I dropped something off at one of our member’s house recently and found them outside changing the tires on the vehicle in preparation of the coming winter driving conditions. There is a two-step process here. First we recognize the season then we prepare for it.

What season are you as an individual, family, couple entering?  What season are we in as a church?  We are in a birthing season.  New things are coming!  God has placed us in this season.  We are seeking Him for instruction and understanding.

Here it comes! Are we ready?  Ready or not!

Lord Prepare me………



Connecting to the Times……..

Connecting to the Times……..

The cool winds of autumn are blowing, the leaves are turning colors, and the fields of grain are beginning to be harvested. All pointing toward the Fall season alerting us to the winding down of another year. As the days get noticeably shorter I am reminded of the scripture:

“Mark 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.”

Many believe that the Lord has indeed “shortened” the days. It feels like the minutes are only 30 seconds long and days only 20 hours. Never enough time to get things done even with all the time saving devices we now have.

The question that comes as I ponder this scripture is, “Why do the days need to be shortened?” Jesus began this discourse as he was leaving the temple, stating that the temple would be destroyed. Later, seated on a vantage point that overlooked the city the disciples asked, “When shall these things be and what is the sign of them happening?” What follows is the description of events before His coming.

Based on the intensity of the times Jesus promises to “shorten” the days for the elect’s sake.” Is it time for the church to begin to repeat the words of John as He hears Jesus say “Even so I come quickly?” John’s reply: “Even so come.”

I encourage you to pray to be connected to the times that we live in! The time-clock of Jesus! Time is running out! The Day of the Lord is at hand.

Our theme of the year is “Connect to Bless.” Let’s connect ourselves and others to the times we are living in so that all will be blessed. Pray that we are so connected to Jesus that we can with excitement say, “even so come.”

Behold He comes…….