July Newsletter 2020
SAVE THE DATE
7.4 | Independence Day
Well last month we prayed for rain and we got plenty of it! Now we’re going to switch our focus to a quiet Atlantic hurricane season. Our Nation, and really the world, is in a state of unrest. We need to be praying that the Lord would prick the hearts of evil men, that He would make His people bold and ready to stand up and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only answer and the only way to fix what is so deeply broken. The world needs to hear about Him and see His love through His people. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (Rom 10:14)
What Do We Do About It?
by Bill Powell
We are experiencing difficult tumultuous times, (what an understatement). Riots, anarchy, pandemic, lies and deception like we have never seen in the modern age. Yesterday the supreme court made a ruling that will change our country as we know it. The most significant effect is not the ruling itself, but it changes the courts’ purpose which is to uphold the law, not establish it. Defund the police and abolish the prison system is the anthem being sung all over the country. Everything is being politicized in the effort to take down an elected President we have never seen the likes.
The question is, “What do we do about it”? Get off the grid and stock up on toilet paper? Buy more guns and stock up on ammo? Make sure we elect the right people and work hard to prevent elections from being stolen? Do we protest and march? Do we boycott, shame, and confront those who disagree? You must do what you feel is right for you, but as for me and my house, I will serve the Lord.
If you are a Christian, you are a follower of Jesus, and this is what he says, (Joh 13:15 NASB) For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
(Joh 14:23 NASB) Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
(Joh 14:15NASB) "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Jesus made it clear we are to love the Lord with our whole being and our neighbor as ourselves. We are to let our lights shine. (Mat 5:16 NASB) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Here is my last verse. This may seem to some to be cherry-picking Scripture but I think I have kept them all in context. (Joh 15:18 NASB) "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. (Joh 15:19) If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Now to answer the question, “ what do we do about it”. I suggest we look to Jesus, pray and be an ambassador for Christ. There are plenty who will do all the things I mentioned, but we should let our light shine for we know the only solutions are those that lead to eternal life. Jesus is the way. Something I find myself saying often is, “should we expect the world to stop being like the world?” There is no new thing under the sun. Search your heart and ask yourself what would Jesus have me do.
Let your light shine!
Soaking Up The Memories
by Chris Johnson
Family time is so important. I love my wife and children so much and make every effort to spend time with them and set aside key segments of my day to be with them. Sometimes, this includes saying no to certain invitations from friends in order to safeguard our time together. As of writing this article, I have completed two years of a four-year course in seminary. The time in class and in study has been incredibly rich and truly a dream come true. However, it is a huge sacrifice for my family as it requires many hours each week of time away in class or time away in my office pouring over books and writing papers. I am so thankful for the mercy of God to be able to take this course of study, and I am even more grateful for my family who makes the sacrifices right along with me. However, as the old saying goes, “School’s out for summer” and we’re taking every opportunity to soak up the memories.
A few weeks ago, we stole away to a secluded cabin in northern Georgia and had a wonderful holiday riding horses through the mountains and ziplining through the forests. We played games in the cabin and took in some of the most beautiful mountain vistas in God’s creation. Since we’ve returned, we have gone to the beach as often as possible. Soaking up the sun, playing the waves and building sandcastles (while trying to keep our two and a half-year-old Eden from tearing them down) has made for some wonderful late afternoon memory-making opportunities. We’ve thanked God for each and every one. Solomon said there is a time for everything under the sun. We have found the school year to a season of hard work and strategically planned play.
This summer the books are on the shelf and the opportunities to make fun family memories are wide open. It is our prayer to make the most of those opportunities and do so to the glory of God. Jesus loves family, after all, he created it. I believe he is honored when we place a high premium on our family time and cherish every memory-making moment together. I pray you make the most of the season he has given you, because we all know it’s here today and gone tomorrow.
To Be Bold
by Christina Hutchinson
Well, this month I say goodbye to my 20’s and enter into the new and exciting world of my 30s. Many people I’ve spoken to say that their 30s were the best years of their lives. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lord has set before me. My prayer is that He will lead me to a new stage of maturity in Him. That He would make me bold and courageous.
What does it mean to be bold? When are we to be bold? As I approach 30, I feel like I have lost some of my grit. You know the kind of grit where you have to be tough on someone not because you want to hurt them, but because you love them and want to protect them. The kind of grit where you’re not afraid of what people think when you stand up for truth. Hm, there’s a word; truth. What does that word even mean anymore in the society we are in? How do we know truth?
To be bold enough to stand up and shout the truth. That is my prayer for myself. I think so many times I have sat idle, silent, waiting to see what happens instead of being bold and shouting out the truth. We are in a point in time where if and when you go against the flow of “popular belief” your job is at stake or peoples’ lives are being threatened. While this causes fear in the hearts of many, we should not bend to the fear but rather be bold, stand up for truth, tell others about Christ, and that their eternal lives matter. Hebrews 13:6 says “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” ESV
To answer my own questions above, What does it mean to be bold? To be bold is to stand up for truth, God’s truth, with confidence that He will not leave us or forsake us. When are we to be bold? I believe practicing our discernment on this one is key. I pray for wisdom to know when it is time to speak. I pray for confidence in God’s word, that it is simply all that needs to be spoken. Not my truth, but God’s truth. To be bold enough to speak it. God Bless.
by Denisha Stearns
“Just follow the boat.” The words of my husband I kept running through my head as I drove my car behind our boat trailer hitched to Hubby’s truck. “Aye, aye, Captain,” I thought. We were headed to the lake for a day of fishing. And I was excited. I had been to the lake several times, but I had never driven there myself nor paid attention to the route we took. The boat launch is down some rural roads in a town I don’t know well. It may be dangerous, and I sure didn’t want to get lost there. Rather than being anxious, though, I felt confident. As long as I followed the boat and kept it in my sight, I’d make it to the lake just fine. Simple.
My husband’s directive made me think of Jesus’ equally simple directive in the Gospels: Follow Me. It was simple to say and to understand. Maybe not as simple to follow. The rich young ruler let money get in the way of his following. Another man wanted to justify his not following as he replied to Jesus, ”And who is my neighbor?” Still others wanted the following to be on their own terms and time (see Luke 9). We people can sure make things complicated. How encouraging, though, as I read in the Gospels of the people who did follow Jesus, especially the disciples. Like Peter and Andrew who “at once left their nets and followed Him.” (Matt 4). Matthew who “got up, left everything, and followed Him.” (Luke 5). They followed simply, yet at a cost. Where they were going as they followed Jesus into the unknown and what they were to gain would prove to be more important than what they left behind.
I kept my eyes glued to the boat I followed that day. We made it to the lake, launched out, and had a great fishing day. Likewise, as we eagerly and simply follow Jesus, may we keep our eyes fixed on Him. As we trust in this Good Shepherd, He will lead us beside still waters, in paths of righteousness, even walk with us through the darkest valleys, and will not lose any one of us.