Friday, July 27, 2007

Draw nigh to God

Then say to him, “The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert.”
Exodus 7:16 (NIV)

Our kids came back from camp this week. They had a great time. It was good to have Luke back home and to hear about everything that happened at camp. The fun he had, the new friends he made, and how he met with God. The time spent at camp as a young person can be life changing. I remember my camp experiences with fondness. And there is no doubt that my spiritual experiences at camp have profoundly shaped my life.

As you can tell I think summer church camps are valuable. When I was a youth pastor I looked forward to bringing our teenagers each year to camp. Summer camp is that time you get away from the daily routine, peer pressure, and other distractions that can keep one from God. There is something about getting away and getting alone with God.

When Israel was delivered from Egypt God said the purpose was so that they could worship Him in the desert. They were in the desert for forty years and it was during that time they truly became God’s people. God provided fresh water to drink, manna to eat each day, while all that time their clothes and shoes never wore out. He provided for their every need. God revealed lists to live by so that they would become His holy people. It was in their isolated time in the wilderness that they learned to love God, hear His voice, and follow Him.
As the summer begins to fade away, have you, like our children and the children of Israel, taken the time to meet with God? It is essential that we make room for Him in our lives. James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” Take time to draw near this week. There is no substitute for time spent with God.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I have a favorite prayer request.

He isn't really being slow about his promised return, even though it sometimes seems that way. But he is waiting, for the good reason that he is not willing that any should perish, and he is giving more time for sinners to repent. The day of the Lord is surely coming, as unexpectedly as a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the heavenly bodies will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burned up.
2 Peter 3:9-10 (TLB)

I have a favorite prayer request. I enjoy all of the praise reports. But I have a certain favorite prayer request. First, let me say that it is a privilege to pray each week for all of the requests that come in. Big and small they are all important to take to God in prayer. There is not a week that goes by that the pastors, staff, and I don’t intercede for needs of our church family.

Which is my favorite you ask? My favorite prayer requests are the ones for the salvation of friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, etc. I love to see someone have the passion for someone close to them to come to know Jesus. You see in these requests the burden for lost souls. I believe these unselfish requests touch the very heart of God. As our verse says, God doesn’t want anybody to perish and suffer judgment. God created everyone to have a personal relationship with Him and spend eternity in heaven (John 2:16,17).

These kind requests get even better when the person asks God for the open opportunity to share the Gospel with their friend. I believe God honors these requests. If you ask for the opportunity to share your faith, God will answer your prayer. Sharing our faith is a vital part of our relationship with God. It’s our responsibility as a part of His Body here on the earth. We are called to be His witnesses (John 15:27). We are called to be ministers of reconciliation between God and man in our world (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

Sharing your faith is a win-win situation. Either the person accepts Christ or you have planted a seed (1 Corinthians 3:6). Pray for an opportunity this week to share your faith with someone you know. In fact, take some tickets and invite them to our church picnic and movie night next Sunday at CLC. You have exactly what your world needs. Share it!

Friday, July 13, 2007


We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

This weekend we say good-bye to an important couple here at Christian Life Church. Ralph & Pat Wendland have been a part of our church family since the mid 1980’s and now they are moving into the next phase of their retirement in the Indianapolis area. They have been heavily involved in life and ministry at CLC over the years. Beyond Ralph’s role as an elder, Ralph and Pat have ministered to the lives of many from children through seniors.

As I thought about their impact in our church over the years I recalled seeing them in a variety of different situations. I’ve see them working hard on different projects, having fun with the SAGEr’s, being up front with the choir, being behind the scenes with our children’s ministry, always ready to offer help or encouragement to anybody who needed it. I can’t tell how much their encouragement to me personally has meant over the years. Ralph and Pat truly represent Christ-like ministry to the church.

All of us are called to live beyond ourselves. The Gospel saves us and then calls us to a life of service. In what ways is God calling you to serve in your world? Whose life are you touching? How are you serving His Body, the church? Don’t get so caught up with the busyness of life that you miss your call to serve.

At our good-bye dinner for the Wendland’s, Ralph shared this verse: 1 Corinthians 15:58, Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Thank you Ralph & Pat! We love you and will miss you and will look forward to your visits.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Abraham & Isaac

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
Hebrews 11:17-19

In our sermon study this weekend we will be examining one of the most interesting passages in the Bible, Abraham offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Would God really ask someone to do something like this? After all God in His Law said that the Children of Israel were not to partake in the heathen practice of human sacrifice. In fact, the Israelites were commanded to not even associate with the pagan people groups who participated in the immoral practice.

So why would God ask Abraham to do such a thing? Well, in the big picture, this story is a living depiction or type of the ultimate sacrifice God, the Father, would make with His one and only Son, Jesus. But it is also a test God uses to increase Abraham’s faith. The word test means “to qualify through a thorough examination.” God gives tests to strengthen and approve us – to test us to see if our faith is genuine and to humble us and bring us under His care.

God did this to test Abraham and Abraham passed the test. Abraham had so much faith that he believed God would raise Isaac from the dead. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he (God) said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Genesis 22:12

There is a blessing when we pass God’s tests. Genesis 22:16-18 says, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

What are some of the tests you are going through right now? How’s your faith? Are you passing the tests? Don’t forget you can listen to our sermons online at

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Founding Fathers Quotes

When you study history there is no doubt that our Founding Fathers believed that our freedom came from God Himself. These men were devoutly Christian. They based their lives, their decisions, their principles on what God said in His Word. Examine these quotes:

God who gave us life, gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the God of God?

Thomas Jefferson

Whether this will prove a blessing or a curse, will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings, which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation. Reader! Whoever thou art, remember this, and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.
Patrick Henry

The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government and the principles of Christianity.
John Quincy Adams

That book (the Bible), Sir, is the Rock upon which our Republic rests.
Andrew Jackson

We have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being, whose power regulates the destiny of nations.
James Madison

Let me conclude with a prayer from George Washington…

And now, Almighty Father, if it is Thy holy will that we shall obtain a place and name among the nations of the earth, grant that we may be enabled to show our gratitude for Thy goodness by our endeavors to fear and obey Thee.