Faith Of Our Father’s

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Hebrews 11:17-19 (NLT2)
17  It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac,
18  even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.”
19  Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

It Father’s Day, and the very first national celebration of this day was on June 19, 1924, by proclamation of President Calvin Coolidge (But not finalized until 1972.) But it all came about because of the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd.  Sonora was sitting in church in 1909 listening to a Mother’s Day sermon when the idea of Father’s Day first came to mind. Having been raised by her father after her mother’s death, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her for all his parental sacrifices and for being, in her eyes, so courageous, selfless, and loving. Through her efforts Pres. Coolidge designated the 3rd Sunday of June as Father’s Day. And our nation has been celebrating it ever since.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

 

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Preparedness Is The Key

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

2 Timothy 3:1-2 (NLT2)
1  You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2  For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.

When criminologist Dallas Drake and two interns first searched for church shootingsin the United States, they found 137 instances between 1980 and 2005, the majority of them causing no deaths. More recently, Drake decided to update the database, and found a disturbing trend: There were more shootings in Christian churches between 2006 and 2016—147 of them—than in the 25 years prior. (The database does not include non-Christian houses of worship, such as mosques or synagogues.) In the wake of a shootingthat left 26 dead in a small church in rural Sutherland Springs, Texas, Drake’s research helps answer some questions about shootings in churches, which would seem to be particularly vulnerable in that they are often welcoming to any passerby. Yet the data suggests churches aren’t any more or less likely to be sites of gun violence in the U.S. than other publicly accessible spaces. “It’s almost that there isn’t any place that’s not at risk,” says Drake, the senior researcher at the Center for Homicide Research, an independent non-profit based in Minneapolis, Minnesota (https://psmag.com/news/church-shootings-are-becoming-much-more-common). It is for this reason that we need to be prepared. We cannot say to ourselves, “It can’t happen here,” because it can. Jesus said, “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16, NLT).

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

The Crisis Of Religion

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

John 14:6 (NLT2)
6  Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Jesus is unique…This is highlighted in the ministry of a well-known missionary in India, Dr. E. Stanley Jones. Jones often lectured to Hindu audiences having Hindus as chairmen of the meetings. On one such occasion the chairman was a chief minister of state. During his introduction he said, “I shall reserve my remarks for the close of the address, for no matter what the speaker says, I will find parallel things in our own sacred books.” At the close of the meeting he was at a loss for words. Dr. Jones had not presented “things”; he had presented a person, Jesus Christ; and that person was not found in their sacred books. As someone has put it, “Christ is the crisis of all religion.”

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

 

What Is A Pentecostal?

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 2:4 (ESV)
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What is a Pentecostal?  I’ve been asked that question a lot over the years.  One of the great blessings of my life (although there were times back then I wasn’t so sure it was one) was going to a Bible college that wasn’t’ Pentecostal.  It forced me to be a better Pentecostal because I had to know whyI was Pentecostal and not simply know that I was one. The Pentecostal historian/theologian William W. Menzies described the Pentecostal Movement like this, “The Pentecostal Movement is that group of sects within the Christian Church which is characterized by the belief that the occurrence mentioned in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost not only signaled the birth of the Church, but described an experience available to believers in all ages” (Anointed To Serve, 9).  So as Pentecostals we believe the experience of the early Church as described in the Book of Acts can, and should be our experience.  So is the experience of the early Church your experience?  If not, it can be!

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Every Day Heroes

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Philippians 1:3 (NLT2)

3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.

What makes a person a hero? A year ago, Chesley Sullenberger ditched his airplane into the Hudson River and saved the lives of all 150 of his passengers when both engines were knocked out by a flock of geese. It was the first time that a major airliner was ditched into the water and no lives were lost. When the air traffic control tapes were released, Capt. Sullenburger could be hear calmly describing the condition of his plane and then informing the tower that he was going to be in the Hudson River. Without a hint of panic in his voice, he put the plane down safely in the water. Then, he oversaw the evacuation of the plane. Twice, he went down the center aisle of the aircraft while water seeped in to make sure all of the passengers had exited. Then, last of all, he escaped the plane. Acting to save 150 lives makes him a hero. The way in which he did makes him a role model. Today we celebrate some every day heroes, our Morrow County EMS workers.  Year after year they save the lives of thousands of people by simply doing their jobs. Heroes like this are often overlooked, except for maybe during a major catastrophe like the attack on the Twin Towers on September 9, 2001.  However, day in and day out these people help those in our community that are sick and in need of immediate care.  Today we salute them and thank for all they do for our community!

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

A New Perspective On Mother’s

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Luke 2:33-35 (NLT2)
33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him.
34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him.
35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

Barbara Weiser of Kewanee, Illinois recalls this conversation with her daughter when she was six: “Mom, there are five things I want to be when I grow up.” “Oh, yeah? What are they?” “I’m going to be a model, a movie star, a traveler and travel all around the world, and an artist and a singer.” “What about a mom?” “I don’t know… I think that’s too hard for me.” Later that same day, Abbie remarked to me, “Mom, it’s too bad you didn’t get to become anybody when you grew up.” “But I am somebody,” I explained. “I’m your mom! If I weren’t a mom then you wouldn’t be here right now dreaming of what you want to be someday!” My young daughter was perceptive about one vital thing. Motherhood is not easy (Kewanee Star Courier, May 5, 2004).

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Living The New Life

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Colossians 3:1 (NLT2)
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
They still tell the story at William and Mary College of daffy, magnificent President Ewell. For a century and a half, this prestigious Virginia school had been a leader among American universities. Then came the Civil War. In the hard days of reconstruction that followed, William and Mary went bankrupt. Soon it had a deserted campus, decaying buildings, and no students. As with so many Southern schools after that tragic war, everyone wrote it off as dead.  Everyone, except its president; he had given his best years to advancing the liberal arts through that school. He refused to give up now. So, every morning, President Ewell went to the deserted campus, climbed the tower of its main building, and rang the bells, calling the school to class. He behaved as though the school was still there.  People thought he was crazy. Nevertheless, every day for seven years, President Ewell rang the bells at William and Mary, in defiance of the despair and hopelessness that would destroy everything he held valuable. Eventually and miraculously, it worked. Others caught his vision. Students, teachers, and money returned. Today, America’s second oldest university thrives again, because of the hope of a single man.  Do you need New Life?  Jesus made the new life possible by his death, burial and resurrection.  All you need to do to receive that new life is reach out to him in prayer.  Ask him to come into your life and forgive you of your sins, and he will do the rest.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Mark