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September 2009

Posts from August 2009

A Good Name

I love Caller ID! Come on admit it! You do too. It's nice when the phone rings to not have to answer without knowing who is on the other end. The sad thing is there are some names that when they show up on your Caller ID, your heart just kind of sinks. You know as soon as you see the name that this will not be a good call. They'll complain, gossip, whine, guilt trip you, or just verbally beat you down. They're the bearers of bad news. They're the constant critics. As soon as you see their name, you know.

Technology has provided us with so many more opportunities to communicate. Text messages, Facebook, or email all provide you with names of senders and when you see certain names on your screen or in your inbox you just know that what you are about to read won't be good. It's not always bad, but it's bad often enough to keep you on your toes. What now? What are they up to? What's going on? Don't you just hate to see those names?

"A good name is better than precious ointment..." Ecclesiastes 7:1

My prayer this week and today is to have a 'good name'. The kind of name that is like a precious ointment. I don't want to have the kind of name that causes people to cringe when they see it on their Caller ID, Facebook Wall, Text Message, or Inbox. How do we accomplish this? If we could allow the Holy Spirit to control our communication we'd be on the right track.

"But ​the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, ​kindness, goodness, faithfulness, ​gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

Have a great day!


It's Time For A Baptism Celebration

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It's time for us to baptize some new believers! How exciting it is to see people take the first step of obedience in following Christ. We'll be heading over to Cazadero Baptist Camp and baptizing in the river there. I'm hoping we have a great crowd to celebrate with us that day. Sunday September 20th at 3:00 p.m. we'll meet, baptize, BBQ, and then enjoy a service around the campfire.

If you've not been baptized yet and would like to be baptized that day please contact me.


What Do You Want?

In my studies this week I found myself captivated by the following passage of scripture. I was really there looking into the idea of resisting Satan but the question that keeps popping into my head is "What do you want?".

Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, “God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.         James 4:1-7

So what do you want? It really matters. Wanting the wrong things leads us to frustration. Wanting the wrong things causes conflicts and disputes among us. Wanting the wrong things causes us to harm or even destroy people. Wanting the wrong things ultimately puts us at odds with our creator and leads to our destruction. Look at the passage above above and note what the people wanted.

  • They Wanted Something They Didn't Have. The Bible teaches us that Godliness with contentment is great gain. If we could really get a hold on that concept we could avoid so much pain and frustration in our lives.
  • They Wanted Something That Someone Else Had. Have you ever watched a child become obsessed with a toy only after another child showed an interest in it? It can get crazy! It's sad but we don't just grow out of that part of our sinful nature. How many times have we found ourselves in deep trouble after pursuing something we were fine not having until someone else had it?
  • They Wanted Something To Produce Only Pleasure. Hopefully as parents we don't just give our children everything they want. We call that 'spoiling' a child. Just because something is pleasurable does not mean that it is really the best thing for us. God loves us and knows what is best for us. He does provide us with pleasure but there is more to living than just experiencing pleasure. It's not "All about me".
Just some quick thoughts from my reading this week.

I Am Not Alone

Psalm 139:7-12 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

Myths About Divorce

I read a great article at Peacemaker Ministries that I thought was worth sharing. In 24 years of ministry I've seen marriages fall victim to each of these myths. I wonder how many of us have come to accept one or more of these myths. It's important that we always seek God's will over man's opinions.

  • Myth #1 When the love has gone out of a marriage, it's better to get divorced.
  • Myth #2 It's better for the children to go through a divorce than to live with parents who fight all the time.
  • Myth #3 God led me to this divorce.
  • Myth #4 Surely a loving God would not want someone to stay in such an unhappy situation.
  • Myth #5 I know it's wrong, but God is forgiving. 

Take the time to follow the link and read the entire article HERE, It's a quick read with some good references for further reading.


So You Messed Up! God Still Loves You!

What do you do when you mess up? What do you do when you have tried and failed? You've failed the test, lost a job, crashed financially, or your marriage has ended. We all mess up. We all fall on our face from time to time. As painful as these experiences may be, you still have a pulse, you're still breathing, you may not be standing but you're still here. The pain is a good reminder that you're still alive and having been knocked down may be a blessing in that the fasted way to get back on your feet is to get on your knees.

Many people have weird views of pastors. There are some that think pastors are nearly perfect. They're not. There are some who think that pastors think they're perfect. We don't, at least I don't. I mess up all the time. I am nowhere near perfect. I blow it just like everyone else does. I fail tests, make bad decisions, hurt people that I love, and fall flat on my face just like everyone else. So what do we do when we mess up? Look up! Get Up!

Here's a great passage from the book of Lamentations that I have found much comfort in. Some very encouraging words.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." Lamentations 3:21-24

  • Never forget that God's love is steadfast and that it never ceases. No matter how bad you mess up, He still loves you. His heart aches for you. He loves you and wants the very best for you. His love is unconditional. Take a look at Romans 8:31-39 if you have any doubt that God still loves you.
  • His mercies never come to an end. 1 John 1:9 tells us that "He is faithful and just to forgive us". He will be there to pick us up and deal with us mercifully. His mercy allows us to start fresh every morning. I'm so grateful for the opportunities to start fresh.
  • Understand that "The LORD" is our portion. He is what our life is all about. In Philippians 3:8 the apostle Paul said, "Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discared everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ". 

Have a great day! You are not alone.

Pastor Mike


Faithful Men

2 Timothy 2:1-2 tells us to commit what we have heard to faithful men so that they may teach others. I have been blessed at Harvest with some really great guys. This past week I have been on vacation spending some time with Kathy and the girls. We have several guys that in addition to being faithful to a pretty good job teaching and preaching. I was really proud to read some great feedback on Facebook this past Sunday about Bob Bradley's sermon.

  • "Bob did an AWESOME job today. Thank you" ~ Lori Bowers
  • "Brother Bob did way above awesome! I am so thankful to know that my sons are sitting under such a great teacher!" ~ Mike Lahaie
  • "He hit a home run today. Good job Bob!" ~ Mike Duquette
Man! With comments like that I may have to take another Sunday off!