June 2020 Newsletter
SAVE THE DATE
6.14 | Flag Day
6.21 | Father's Day
Summer is approaching quickly and we have already had a tropical system in the Atlantic. We are praying for a quiet hurricane season this year, if the Lord would allow. We have also been in a season of drought so we ask that God would bring the renewing and refreshing rain we so badly need.
Father’s Day is June 21st. We ask that you would pray for families this year whose fathers may be serving our country and won’t be with their family. We pray for all fathers who show their dedication to their family in bringing their children up in Christ, May the Lord bless them and continue to lead them every step of the way
WHAT PRICE FREEDOM
by Bill Powell
The last Monday in May we celebrate Memorial Day, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. As a kid I remember it being called Decoration Day. It was a time to go to the cemetery and decorate the graves of those who fought for our freedom. My mother’s brother died missing in action in the Philippines during World War 2. Millions have died for our country over the years in battle. Why have we gone to war? The main underlying issue has been our freedom. History will show that this country’s distinction has been standing for freedom. It has not always been just for our freedom but for freedom for people all over the world. The very reason people poured into this country was to escape tyranny.
This country was founded on freedoms that did not exist in most of the world, freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom of the press, freedom to assembly, and the most precious freedom of religion. One of the most maligned concepts today is the separation of church and state. It was created not to keep religion out of the government but to keep the government from establishing religion. It was to stop the government from preventing the free exercise of it. People fled Europe to come here to escape the governmental control of the church.
This country was founded and established by those who held to Christian values and the freedom to exercise their beliefs. Although everyone that came here was not a Christian, Christian values were respected, and for those who would like to deny it the greatness this country has experienced is because of those values. They were woven into the fabric of our nation. We live in a time where history is being forgotten. One of my pet peeves is trying to reinvent the wheel. Winston Churchill said, “those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it”. We must not reinvent the wheel or relearn the evils of socialism and communism the hard way. Those evils have been learned and written. Millions have died and paved the way for us. We must not forget nor negate their efforts.
I am concerned that our freedoms are being snatched out of our hands, and so many have given them up willingly. Let’s not return to the tyranny that so many escaped from 244 years ago. We mustn’t let the Godless, the naive, the ignorant, and the foolish establish the future, or we will be doomed to repeat the failures of the past.
(1Co 10:29) I mean not your own conscience, but the other man's; for why is my freedom judged by another's conscience?
(Gal 5:1) It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
(1Pe 2:16) Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond-slaves of God.
DO WE PRAY FOR THEM?
by Chris Johnson
Talk is cheap. Lip service is easy. However, taking action requires planned effort and diligence. Prayer is that way too. We often declare that we are praying for this and praying for that. But are we? Sometimes those claims are made in the midst of murmuring and complaining about something or someone. When we’ve finished our verbal tirade we finish it off with, “but I pray for them.” Do we? Are we truly approaching God’s throne of grace with diligence and an earnest desire for him to work in the situations that we encounter from day to day? In I Tim. 2:1-2, the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to teach the members of his church and the leaders he was training to be fervent in prayer. He wrote,
“I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings
be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions,
that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life,
godly and dignified in every way.”
How clear is that? Four clear directives on how God’s people are to be praying for others. The question lies in whether or not we actually obey this command. Consider these last three months, the world has been turned upside down by the far-reaching effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Further, this trial has served, whether we like it or not, to expose our own hearts and our own actions in light of the entirety of the situation. The Bible helps us to take spiritual inventory of our lives. The “perfect Law of Liberty” as James writes serves as a mirror wherein we can look and see if we’ve honored Christ in these days. If we have, praise God! If, however, our actions, words, social media posts, etc. have missed the mark then this is a perfect time to repent and begin to walk in the paths of righteousness. A great place to start is I Tim. 2:1-2. Let us pray.
by Christina Hutchinson
There are distinct images that come to mind when I think of summer. Bike rides, the beach, sprinklers, and ice cream outings. Those of course are the pleasant things. Then there are things like mosquitos and extreme hot and muggy weather and those usually have us begging for cooler weather. Well at least most of us. I’m not gonna lie, I really enjoy a good thunderstorm every now and then. Don’t tell Bill, he says thunderstorms and radio don’t mix. Something about tall towers and lightning.
Anyway, when I was a kid summer break meant more time in the woods riding horses with my grandma or riding four wheelers and dirt bikes with my family. I can still smell the scent of the woods and feel the sun glaring down. Some mornings we would catch the morning dew from the bushes onto our pants and our legs would be soaked. It didn’t matter though, we would track through the pond and the horses loved to swim through it. When we would get back to the stables we would hose the horses down and give them some treats. Us kids would find goodies in grandma's kitchen such as cookies or York Peppermint Patties. She kept them in the refrigerator and I guess that’s why I love them still to this day.
Those memories will never leave my mind because it was something that we did all the time. What a wonderful time I had with my grandma when I was young. If she were still around she would probably buy Cora her first pair of riding boots and ask me when I’m putting the kid on a horse!
It doesn’t take much does it? Something as simple as the word summer and those deep roots from childhood come flooding back. Shouldn’t it be the same when we think of the gospel and our love for the Lord? When we hear the name Jesus, what are our first thoughts? Does the moment you fell in love with your Savior come rushing back? Maybe that love needs a little renewal and refresh? Spend time in His word, pray, and remind yourself of the gospel.
by Denisha Stearns
You know I love uncovering a good mystery (a mystery to myself, anyway), so please explore with me about a friend of God. In the first chapter of the book of Luke, Luke says he is writing all this gospel of Jesus to a person named Theophilus. Who was Theophilus, a personal friend to Luke, someone important or influential in society, or both? Why did Luke with ancient materials take such time and effort to write a whole book to anyone?
These questions beg for answers. So, I re-read Chapter 1. Luke said that Theophilus had been taught about Jesus yet Luke felt it important for Theophilus to have a written and truthful, valid record. Did this man have doubts? Questions? A forgetful mind? Perhaps he needed to have this validation about Jesus from a person such as Luke, a doctor, no less, with a keen eye for details and an exercised mind.
I found much speculation on Theophilus’ identity as I checked outside sources and commentary. He could have been a Jewish high priest, or a lawyer, a Roman guard. Theophilus in Greek translates as “friend of God” or “loved of God”. Was God directing Luke to write to Theophilus and also for a later, larger audience?
I am certain Theophilus and many, many “friends of God” have read Luke’s gospel over the years and found the reassurance in Jesus that Luke intended for them. Maybe you know a friend of God whose discussions about Jesus have lately brought up more questions than answers, and that doubt has been tempting. If you have such a friend (or even if you are that friend), here’s a suggestion: give Luke another look. Luke “carefully investigated” “eye-witness accounts” so that Theophilus (and any friend of God) “may know the certainty” of the things we have been taught about Jesus. Let’s take nothing for granted. Let’s know that we know that we know. Let’s keep our faith strong together.