Newsletter 8-29-19

Saints,

Bless you all. Remember to pray for one another this week. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful, and you are all righteous in Christ, your glorious Lord. Look to Him. Cry out to Him. Appeal to Heaven on one another’s behalf.

May the end of summer be sweet and full of light and sunshine and ice cream.

Filling up the edges

Mark 9:14-29

In the house Jesus emphasizes the theological point of an incident. In this instance the final conversation relates to the central theme of the unit, for the epilogue qualifies the faith of verse 23 as the faith that prays.

In response to the inevitable question of why they had failed, Jesus explained to the disciples that such malign evil spirits can be expelled only by a full reliance upon the unlimited power of God expressed through prayer.

This response contains at least the implicit criticism that the disciples had failed because they had not acted in prayer and sincere faith.

Prayer is a sign of our humility and faith. Our prayer lives reflect whether we think we control our own lives. Whether we are self-sufficient and don’t need anything from one another or God.

Prayer is both a thermometer and thermostat. It heats up our spiritual lives and shows how hot they are.

The disciples relied on Jesus’ previous command and equipping. They relied on their previous success, forgetting where their success had come from.

The father was honest, damaged by the church’s failure, He turned to Christ and humbly stated exactly where he stood in relation to Jesus.

And Jesus responded. Continue reading “Newsletter 8-29-19”

Stand Firm

Introduction

Paul did not establish the church in Colossae, the preacher Epaphras did (1:7). But Paul wrote to the Colossians to encourage their faith, reliance and devotion to Jesus Christ, as the Church struggled to grow toward maturity.

Paul, by long standing tradition, is designated as the author. The author claims to be Paul in the greeting (1:1). Paul also refers to himself in 1:23 and 4:18.[1]Modern scholarship casts doubt on this, but it merely distracts from the richer study of the clarity of thought and supreme beauty of Paul’s Christology.

The Colossians were “faithful in Christ” (1:2), exhibited “faith in Jesus Christ” (1:4), were “bearing fruit” (1:6) and “love in the Spirit” (1:8). These statements put the scholarship about the so called “Colossian Heresy,” into proper perspective. Paul was writing these churches, not to admonish them, like the Corinthians, but to encourage them to “continue in the faith, stable and steadfast,” (1:23). This is crucial to determine exactly what the so-called “Colossian Heresy,” consisted of.

As an Epistle, the New Testament book of Colossians follows Paul’s epistolary style. Paul generally begin with a greeting, moving on to thanksgiving and prayer. The body of the epistle is generally apportioned equally between theological instruction and application, while personal greetings reinforce the writer’s attachment to the recipients. The book of Colossians is rhetorically persuasive, with well-styled argumentation clarifying the gospel and its application as one side of a debate between the all-sufficiency of Christ and the false teaching of man-made religion that threatened the Colossian church.[2] Continue reading “Stand Firm”

Church Newsletter 2019-8-23

Saints,

This newsletter is a little late, I apologize and hope your week as been fruitful. I have been enjoying a wonderful staycation with my family; celebrating the end of Summer and enjoying some rest for the coming of school and the busy fall schedule. Taking time to reflect on what has been given to us, drawing strength from it, prepares our hearts and hands for the new struggles and difficulties of life that inevitably come. This is a process that God has built into us – Sabbath rest. New revelations. Transfigurations. These are the means of preparation for the way of the cross. Faith is the substance of things not seen. Our faith gives the objects of faith substance. And what God has done, as recorded in His word and in our lives, is the food for that faith.

Blessings.

Filling up the edges

Mark 9:7And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”

Cloud, or light, had been the sign of God’s presence in the wilderness; and, in true Old Testament style, on this occasion too, there came a voice from the cloud.

The cloud just like the bright, white clothes (v. 3) suggests the shekinah glory and calls to mind the tent of meeting. In the Old Testament clouds are symbols of God’s presence, protection, and authority.

Exodus 13:21And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. Exodus 19:16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.  

The Holy Spirit is glory the cloud that filled the tabernacle and temple according to Nehemiah and Haggai. Continue reading “Church Newsletter 2019-8-23”

Church Newsletter 2019-6-19

Saints,

Please pray for the Schmidt family as Peter undergoes hip replacement and pray for Crystal Grubb. Crystal has attended our church in the past. She has been diagnosed with cancer, her husband is an unbeliever and Crystal’s faith suffers a great deal from her isolation from the Body of Christ. Also, continue to pray for the families traveling.

May this find you all well.

Filling up the edges

Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

God wants Adam, the father of mankind to work and to keep. Work has to do with nurture and cultivation, while keeping refers to protection; a man’s duty to be a fortress for his family.

We find a working definition of masculinity right here, in the first few pages of the Bible.

When men take up their responsibilities to nurture and cultivate and the responsibility to protect and guard the fruit of that nurture and cultivation, they are doing something that resonates with their foundational, creational nature.

When they walk away from these responsibilities, in a very real sense they walk away from their assigned masculine identity.

A man has broad shoulders so that he can carry heavy loads. The man who gets u in the middle of night to see what that noise is, isn’t doing it because he has a penis, has one feminist author suggested mockingly.

The father as “provider and protector” is not something man came up with as a pragmatic solution to certain practical problems.

It is not a human invention or tradition, or just a holdover from our hunter/gatherer days. This is an essential part of God’s creation design for Man.

At the beginning these roles were assigned, by God, to the man. Man was placed in the garden with this twofold mandate in mind. This is what men are for.

All men are called, like Adam our first father, to provide for their families and to protect their families.

The fall consisted of sins of omission and commission. Adam ate the fruit but before that he was acting contrary to God’s law, He failed to obey God by inaction.

God said to provide for your wife, so why is she unfed, susceptible to the temptation of Satan to eat? Why is Eve out considering the food of others? Continue reading “Church Newsletter 2019-6-19”

You Get as Much as You Need

Ephesians 3:16 and 19 “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being…. to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

The ultimate goal of Christ indwelling His people is that they might experience the fullness of God.

But we don’t experience the fullness of God, do we? So, is God a liar? Is His spirit weak and ineffectual? Or, do we experience all of God that we need?

We don’t need him much, so we don’t experience Him much. How much we know of Him, how much His fullness fills us is proportional to our need of Him. We all fall into the need trap. We all know how much we needed Jesus for salvation. To enter the narrow gate. To draw near the Father. In the bloom of our first awakening to God we were all magnificently aware of our need, but now that we are through that narrow gate we get along on our own strength and understanding. The less of Him we need the less of Him we experience.Then we wonder why we lack the kind of fullness described in the New Testament.

Remember Matthew 13:58 “And [Jesus] did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.” 

God’s presence in your day to day life is directly proportional to your need of and belief in Him. Do you need Him to get up in the morning? Do you need Him at work? At the water cooler? In the laundry room and at the homeschooling table? Do you need Him to get your homework done and read to the kids? Do you need Him in the front yard? Do you need Him at the kitchen table and in the marriage bed? Do you need Him to pay the bills?

Do you need Jesus? His power. His dependence on the Father and the Holy Spirit? Do you need His Love? The Fruit of His spirit?

We are the community of need living at the foot of the throne of Grace. Aren’t we? We act self-sufficient, self-willed, all-wise, strong and good. And in that pride of life we draw farther from grace and farther from God Himself.

In reality we are bound together by our need. We are united in our need of Him and our need of one another, because His fullness lives in His Body. We receive as much as we need. So, remember every day how much you need Him.

Every day pray Proverbs 30:8-9 “give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”

Come to Christ in your need. The more of Him you need, the more of Him you will recieve.

Church Newsletter 2019-5-23

Saints,

May the LORD continue to grant us this glorious sunshine! I hope this finds you all well and in high spirits.

We are getting ready for the family series so be praying for the teaching to be clear, our ears and hearts to be open and God’s mercy to pour out on us as we take stock of our marriages and families in the coming weeks.

Outreach update

Sabrina (the young lady in outpatient rehab who you all so generously supported with sheets and gift cards) is still doing well. She has been sober for 70+ days and continues to experience God’s victory over addiction. Her update is this, “I really appreciate the prayers because I definitely believe God’s hand has been on every situation I’ve been through thus far!”

If you are still interested in helping her out, we are accepting gift cards for her from Safeway or Albertson’s. Or you can make a donation to the church marked “redemption road – Sabrina,” and we will get that to her. Thank you!

I met with the folks at Next Step, a pregnancy resource center in Lynnwood. This is going to be another fertile field for us. The elders will be discussing this and some of us will be touring their facilities, considering various service options. Please be praying for us as a church as we consider this and pray for Next Step – they are in search of a full time RN.

Filling up the edges

Mark 7:25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the womanwas a Gentile, a Syrophoenicianby birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 

In the course of events Jesus was approached by a woman whose non-Jewish character is stressed. She was a member of the Hellenized citizen class in the Phoenician republic of Tyre, a Gentile by birth and culture.

The mother’s anguish over her daughter’s condition is thoroughly understandable and does much to explain her bold persistence in begging Jesus to expel the demon from her child. Her prostration at Jesus’ feet was a mark of deep respect as well as of profound grief.

It was fitting that widows should receive help from a God who cares specially for widows and orphans Psalm 146:9 The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

Mark 7:27-28And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 

Now, the readers of the Gospel know that Jesus fed His own people, with twelve baskets of left overs. They know that there are indeed crumbs. But this woman, only just hearing accounts of Jesus determines what kind of man He is, what kind of character He has. She is appealing to His abundant grace and power. His compassion and generosity.

She is the only person in the whole Gospel account of Mark to call Jesus “Lord.” The Jewish leaders question Jesus’ presumption at the head of the Table. The Disciples refuse to accept the import of what Jesus has been doing. Continue reading “Church Newsletter 2019-5-23”