Don’t Miss Your God Moment!

Hey men! I hope this encourages you and builds your faith!

Pastor Brandon

In Search of a Light

I’m going to man up and admit that, eighteen years ago next month, I totally botched my proposal to my wife. It was working at Inspiration Hills, a Christian camp in northwest Iowa, and I had been planning “the perfect proposal” for quite some time. When Andrea came for the weekend I took her on a hike, leading her to a large hill outside of camp. From this hill you could see Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, and at pinnacle was a large cross. When we got to the cross I knelt on one knee, said something romantic, and reached for the ring… which I could not find in the dark! No problem I thought, I’ll just grab my flashlight and find it…except I couldn’t find my flashlight either! So here I am, at what should be the most romantic moment of my life, flaying around on my hands and knees trying to find the flashlight, while apologizing profusely for ruining the proposal. Andrea kindly joined me in the search and soon {although it felt like an eternity} we were able to find the flashlight. Within seconds of turning on the flashlight we were able to spot the ring and I could finish the proposal. Thankfully {and gracefully} she still said yes, and fifteen years later we remain happily married.

It’s hard to find anything in the dark, let alone something tiny like a ring. Likewise, it’s difficult to correctly find our way in the world without someone to guide us. Its certainly not because the world doesn’t try to direct us. It seems like, more then ever, the world is trying to lead us down all sorts of pathways, but I’m not sure how good many of those paths really are. Tis really only one who can correctly show us how to navigate life, and that is Jesus Christ. John 1:4-5 explains it like this:

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Just as I would have likely never found that ring without a flashlight we are unlikely to correctly navigate life without following the light of Christ. Let’s face reality: in many ways our world is quite dark and difficult right now. Every day on social media I see people not only struggling, but also reaching for all sorts of things to be their light in this darkness. The problem is, the only light powerful enough to truly lead us out of darkness is Jesus. Jesus not only came to earth to save us, but to lay out a blueprint for how to live life. His earthly life, perfectly preserved in scripture, serves as a flashlight illuminating the correct path for us. It is a path that is not always easy, but is the right path for us and those around us. It is a path that includes: showing grace and forgiveness, caring for the poor, living sacrificially, loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, following scripture, and standing for God against the sinful ways of the world. May we always be turning to scripture and letting the light of Christ serve as our guide in our dark world.

Stepping Into the Arena

Are you going to step into the arena? Discover what it is to step into the arena through Micah 6:8.


Christian Conduct

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (NASB) ‘But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. Brethren, pray for us . Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.’ 

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, but especially under society’s current distresses, thank you for reminding me, Lord, to not lose focus, to not forget what it is you expect from me… patience, temperance, wisdom, compassion, joy, discernment, deliberation, correction… today, tomorrow and every day after, regardless of circumstance.  Amen.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

The Weight of Words

This past week, I had an interesting experience.  I had dropped off a used car of ours that was leaking gas and stopped by to see if he had figured out what the trouble was.  He had already replaced the fuel filter and had it ready to go, which was good news, as we suspected a cracked fuel line.  When I was paying the bill, I commented to him it was the same amount that I was charged at another mechanic I visited once, 4+ years earlier, where I felt I was treated unfairly and overcharged.  He was just listening and less than 5 seconds later, the very person I was just talking about walked in and asked him a question.  I’m not sure he heard my comment, because he did not say anything, but after he left, my mechanic chuckled at that timing as well.  Now I do not normally go around bad mouthing others, but I don’t hold back the truth either, as I’ll give an honest review, good or bad, of any business I’ve dealt with.  But it was a reminder to me to still reserve negative comments for the person they were intended for and leave the rest alone.  Have your words ever gotten you into trouble, and made you change your behavior? 

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4

How much value do you give to someone’s words (whether written or spoken)?  If you are like me, you may give most new people the benefit of the doubt and take them at their word.  If they prove themselves trustworthy, I’m more apt to take them at their word each time I deal with them.  If they don’t keep their word, I may still forgive them, but be more guarded about trusting them each time I deal with them in the future.  I have had some people cancel scheduled appointments over ½ the time I schedule with them.  While I give them the benefit of the doubt each time, I will still call ahead of each visit, or schedule other visits nearby, especially if I have to drive 20 or 50 miles to meet with them, so as not to get burned each time.  I’ve found people can come up with any excuse and hope you believe it, even if you don’t.  When someone proves true to their word, I put more trust in them each time.  Who is the most trustworthy person in your life right now? 

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.  Matthew 5:37

If you are like me, you may always try to keep your word, but inevitably you fall short of that from time to time because either you overcommit, or forget about something you said you would do, or just couldn’t keep your promise for other reasons.  Hopefully, it is not a habit, but just an occasional thing.  Do you usually try to justify your actions, or inactions, or do you actually ask for forgiveness, depending on who you have offended?  How about with God?  Do you ever fall short on promises with Him?  Has he ever come up short on any promises with you?  When we read through His Word, we can take Him at his word.  His Word has been, is, and always will be true and trustworthy.  Amen?

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.  1 Corinthians 1:20

Yours in Christ,

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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