Messages

Pastor’s Message

God used the prophet Elisha to perform several miracles during his ministry. The one recorded in 2 Kings 6:1-7 is often referred to as “the miracle of the floating axe head.” Elijah had started a School of Prophets that had continued expanding under Elijah’s successor, Elisha. The number of students attending this school in Gilgal had outgrown their facilities, so with Elisha’s approval to enlarge their facility, they began the expansion project. The students in this school went to the river and began cutting down timber. As they’re cutting down some trees, one of the students was cutting a tree and his axe head fell into the water. Now he became really upset because the axe was borrowed. He tells Elisha what happened and Elisha goes to the point in the river where the axe head fell in, cut a stick, threw it into the water and made the ax head float.

I used to wonder what the purpose of this miracle being recorded in God’s Word was. Was it just simply to remind us of the power of God? Yes, that is absolutely one reason, but there is another reason. To us, it might sound like such a simple need, but it was a real need to the man who lost the ax head. We might think God would be too busy with larger and more important needs than to be concerned about an ax head that had gotten lost in the river. This miracle illustrates a simple but profound truth: God cares about the small stuff of life — lost ax heads, lost glasses, lost keys, lost cell phones, lost contact lenses — the little things that cause us to fret and worry. But His promise to provide for the needs of His people covers little things as well as big ones. He does not always restore what was lost (for reasons of His own), but He understands our loss and comforts us in our distress.

Next to the assurance of our salvation, the assurance of our Heavenly Father’s care is essential. Our concerns are His concerns. Our small worries mean everything to Him because we mean everything to Him. 1 Peter 5:7 reminds us, “Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.”

Have a great week and let your light shine for Jesus this week!

Pastor Rick

Message From Andy (Youth Minister)

Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me —
A prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:7-8

Have you seen videos (Or maybe participated in!) the “Polar Plunge”? Folks who take the Polar Plunge don their summer swimsuits and jump into frigid water in the middle of winter. I love watching videos of the Polar Plunge to see the shock on folks’ faces as the icy water chills them to the bone! If they weren’t awake before, they certainly are after!

The theme for the Strength to Stand Conference our youth attended in January was “DEEPER.” It was an amazing time of worship and hearing God’s Word preached! Each speaker focused on how we as Christians can, and should, go deeper in our faith and in our walk with Jesus Christ. I literally wrote a book over the course of the weekend as I took notes and journaled about the sermons.

I want to pull out one particular area focused on by Brian Mills on the last day of the conference. Brian encouraged us to “look for the opportunities in opposition”. We need to go “DEEPER” in our purpose … living for Jesus Christ! We will face “purpose robbers” along the way and must be prepared to face them, but we should not use those purpose robbers to put limits on ourselves, put limits on God, or to make excuses.

Folks who take the “Polar Plunge” get a shock to their system when they go “DEEPER” into that icy water. We need to go “DEEPER” in our walk with Christ. We may need a shock to our system of the same severity to wake us up to what God wants to do in us and through us. Our purpose is greater than us, and that purpose is found in our MIGHTY GOD!

Two big takeaways I wrote from Brian’s sermon:

  1. When we choose the ways of God, we see movements take place.
  2. God can move in Lynn Garden.

Let us use the hope we have in Jesus as our fuel for movements to take place as we GROW GOD’S GARDEN TOGETHER!

Andy

James’ Corner

Recently we were sitting in the doctor’s waiting room.  The man sitting across from me was also in a wheelchair.  I notice the shoes he was wearing looked really comfortable.  I told him I liked his shoes and how comfortable they looked.  He assured me they were very comfortable.  I went on to ask where he had bought them.  He told me his wife had ordered them from somewhere.  During our conversation he had learned my shoe size.  A few minutes passed and the man bent over to remove his shoes.  He said, “I’m giving you this pair because my wife ordered me three pairs of them and I want you to have these!”  While I was trying to persuade him “I can’t take your shoes but I so thank you” the nurse called my name ……… I will never forget that man …… willing I suppose to go barefoot the rest of the day so I could have his comfortable shoes.  Margaret was petrified on how I was going to get myself out of that one!!

I heard a friend tell about one time on a mission trip Bro. Coates gave a man his shirt off his back.  This kind of giving whether shoes or a shirt speaks loudly about the love of Jesus.

Bro. James Meade

Message From Franklin Graham

We Cannot Remain Silent!

The Equality Act is a dangerous threat to our nation.

I am writing to you about a very dangerous piece of legislation — the Equality Act. The administration is wanting to pass this act soon. I cannot say this more emphatically — for people, for businesses, and for ministries of faith, the Equality Act is a threat to life as we know it in our nation today. It’s a real game-changer.

The House has already passed this legislation one time previously, so it will likely pass in the House again before moving on to the Senate. We need you to contact your congress member and U.S. senators and ask them to vote NO. I also encourage you to let the White House know about your strong opposition to this bill. The progressive Left is zealous about this issue and will pull out all the stops to try to make it the law of the land.
    • The Equality Act designates schools, churches, and healthcare organizations as “public accommodations.” With this, schools, churches, and hospitals could be forced to accept the government’s beliefs and mandates about sexual orientation and gender identity. That would be highly intrusive and incredibly far-reaching. It will threaten everyday speech where people can be fined or lose their jobs for using the wrong name or pronouns.
    • The Equality Act will use the force of law across all 50 states to strip Christian and other religious ministries of their right to hire people of shared faith to pursue a shared mission. Can you imagine a Christian organization being forced to hire people hostile to its deeply held beliefs who have no passion for its beliefs, teachings, and mission? That doesn’t work.

These are just a few examples. Friends, this is a pivotal time for our nation. The impact of this legislation is immense. We must not remain silent and accept what we know is wrong.

People of faith need to PRAY. Churches need to recognize the significance of this and pray corporately, asking for God’s intervention and mercy to extend the religious freedoms we have been blessed with for so long.

We also must get to work now, in these fleeting days before the Equality Act comes up for a vote again. As individuals, churches, and organizations, we need to let our representatives in the U.S. House and Senate know how important this is to us, and that we are asking them to vote an emphatic NO to the Equality Act.

Link to contact our representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

Sincerely,

Franklin Graham