Friday, July 10, 2020
Thursday, July 9, 2020
In a time full of war, be peaceIn a time full of doubt, just believeYeah, there ain't that much difference between you and meIn a time full of war, be peaceIn a world full of hate, be a lightWhen you do somebody wrong, make it rightDon't hide in the dark, you were born to shineIn a world full of hate, be a light
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
I’m gonna climb a mountainI’m gonna shout about itI am a child of loveI found a world of freedomI found a friend in JesusI am a child of love
Monday, July 6, 2020
Saturday, July 4, 2020
Although it is not a religious holiday like Christmas or Easter, for many Americans July 4th is a time to reflect on God’s goodness to us as a nation. Molded into the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia (which proclaimed our independence) are these words from the Bible: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10, KJV). Our legal system reflects our Judeo-Christian roots.While we look with gratitude to the past on this July 4th, may we also look in faith to the future, and commit it and our lives to God and His will. The ancient words of the Psalmist are still true: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).
Friday, July 3, 2020
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 NIV
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Romans 13:1 NIV
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10vNIV
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NIV
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
"The project has been unbelievable and unlike anything I have ever done before. The relationships, friendships, and the collaborations have been a gift. For me, the best part is that everyone created this together to bring glory to God. Since I was young, I have felt a calling on my life to help give people a voice to worship God. I want people to have the opportunity to worship every day of the week not just on Sundays; while they are in their car, at work, running, or just listening to whatever shows up on their playlist. For me this record is a step towards breaking down the walls of the Christian genre and allowing the music to be accessible to a wider audience. That's my understanding of the Gospel. Music about faith, God, salvation and forgiveness doesn’t belong to any one category... it is for the whole world. I hope this music touches your life the way it has mine..."
Some people think Your distant just some words on a pageThat You're nothing more than fables handed down along the wayBut I’ve seen You part the waters when no one else could pull me from the deepThat’s who You are to meSome people think You just live in cathedrals made of stoneBut I know You live inside my heart, I know that it's Your homeAnd I’ve seen You in a sunset and in the eyes of a stranger on the streetThat's who You are to me
Monday, June 29, 2020
I know that I’m foundAnd I can't keep from hidingDon’t have as choice but I get stuck decidingI am a man in need of a constant revivalJesus come quickly I need you for my survival
Friday, June 26, 2020
Don’t live in the past, Yesterday’s goneWishing memories would last, You’re afraid to carry onYou don’t know what’s comingBut you know the one who holds tomorrowI will be your guide, Take you through the nightIf you keep your eyes on me
Thursday, June 25, 2020
I don’t wanna take a step unless You lead itDon’t wanna speak a word unless You breathe itGod I’m looking up, keep me looking UpLooking up to the light I know will guide meAnd I pray every day You find meFind me looking up, always looking up To You
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:25-26 (NIV)
Monday, June 22, 2020
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22
Saturday, June 20, 2020
"It seems only right that I would finally write a song for the man who gave me a love for music, taught me how to appreciate a “great song” and was in fact the first songwriter I ever knew. I’m very thankful for my dad and thankful I could share this song that he inspired on this Father’s Day weekend,"
Friday, June 19, 2020
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
If you're lookin' for hope tonight, raise your handIf you feelin' alone and don't understandIf you're fightin' in the fight of your life, then standWe're gonna make it through this hand-in-hand
And if we fall, we will fall togetherTogether (together, together)Oh, and when we rise, we will rise togetherTogether, oohWe will rise together, ooh
Monday, June 15, 2020
Friday, June 12, 2020
We need to get backTo the basics of lifeA heart that is pureAnd a love that is blindA faith that is fervently grounded in ChristThe hope that endures for all timesThese are the basics, we need to get backTo the basics of life.
Thursday, June 11, 2020
(My thoughts about what I was hearing are in italics.)
I was on my way to church, listening to a famous cable-network morning-show host being interviewed about a new book she'd written. She talked about her faith and how it had gotten her through some really rough times.
That grabbed my attention.
Then she told that she had included a Scripture passage at the front of every chapter.
What a great foundation to start from!
The conversation then turned to current events, specifically the riots and looting going on in big cities around the country. The lady being interviewed mentioned that she had listened to three sermons online this past Sunday.
That's better than I would do.
One of the sermons got a more detailed description. She recounted how the pastor had been talking to one of his colleagues in an attempt to discern what to preach about. The colleague said, "Habakkuk."
One of my favorite books in the Old Testament.
The morning-show host quoted the pastor (who was quoting Habakkuk 1:2) "How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?"
Very appropriate to our situation!
She again quoted from Habakkuk (1:5. Which is God's response to the prophet's complaint.) "Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told."
So far so good.
But then she just left it there and went on to talk about how that passage was so reassuring to her giving the listeners the impression: "God's got this AND something amazingly good is going to happen from it!"
This is where I yelled at my radio: "Wait a minute! That's NOT what the passage says!"
I wasn't sure who to blame, the person telling about the sermon or the person who actually preached it! But what I had just heard was a prime example of something I talk about frequently: You can't just lift a passage of Scripture out of it's context! You can make the Bible say pretty much whatever you want it to say by ignoring the setting of the passage, and she ignored the whole rest of the passage!
In this specific situation, God goes on to tell the unbelievable thing He's going to do: He's going to send the powerful, ruthless neighboring peoples, the Babylonians, to reek holy havoc on Habakkuk's people as a consequence for all the violent acts that they are committing! (To which Habakkuk replies [I'm paraphrasing] "Hey, wait a minute, that's not what I was hoping for here. Those Babylonians are even worse than my people!" And God responds, [I'm paraphrasing again] "I know. Don't worry. Be patient and trust Me. They'll get theirs too!")
The first part of the morning-show host's takeaway was spot on. God does see what's going on and He is going to do something about it! But the second part, the part that painted God as some kind of genie who is going to make everything magically turn out wonderfully where "everyone lives happily ever after," could not have been further from the truth! God is not a genie, but rather the perfect Father, and He knows that allowing consequences is sometimes the only way to get the "unruly kids" to stop misbehaving.
Just to clarify:
I am NOT saying that God's also going to deal with our nation in our current situation by sending a ruthless world power to come and wipe us out. I have no idea what He's going to do. But I do know that He sees what's going on, hears our cries and has a perfect plan. Be Patient and Trust Him!
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
I can’t see the future I don’t know what’s up aheadCan’t see around the corner I don’t know what’s coming nextI don’t have all the answers but I know it’s not the endAll I know is thisThe best is yet to come
Monday, June 8, 2020
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” –Yoda
“There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear.”– 1 John 4:18
Friday, June 5, 2020
The words of this song are just as relevant today as they were 25 years ago. As I watch the news reports about protesters assembling to make there voices heard, I can't help but think that we as Christians have the same opportunity. The timing is appropriate as we once again open the doors to our churches and all work together to make the world a better place. Maybe its time to throw open the doors and let the music play.
Do you feel the darkness tremble
When all the saints join in one song
And all the streams flow as one river
To wash away our brokenness
Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring Your hope
Songs that bring Your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice
And here we see that, God, You're movingAnd here is a flashback video of Delirious?...
A time of jubilee is coming
When young and old return to Jesus
Fling wide, you heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
A great new song just released by Cochren and Co. called "Who Can" aptly reminds us that God still loves us and is always with us. In Michael's own words, "Our lives can get messy. But Jesus doesn’t run FROM our mess, he runs TO our mess. I hope this song helps you to know how much Jesus loves you. "
Friday, May 29, 2020
Fifteen folks with guns. Aimed not at each other, but at little orange discs made of clay!
For those of you unfamiliar with "trap shooting," it's like target practice and is designed to hone skills for later in the year when hunting ducks or geese. The little orange discs are launched skyward from a mechanical "thrower" and the participants take turns attempting to turn them into dust particles that fall back to earth. Some folks are "lights out" and really good! Others, like me, most often leave the little orange discs unscathed, later to be gathered and used again next time! We console ourselves with the idea that we're "helping the cause" by reducing the number of boxes of clays we need to purchase for the next shoot :)
That's "technically" what I saw on the 5 acres out back of our church building. But what I really saw - beyond the obvious - was the truth of God's statement in Genesis 2:18: "It is not good for man (or woman) to be alone!" You see, this was our first trap shooting outing of the spring. More importantly, it was the first time most of us were able to get together with anyone not residing in the same house since the COVID-19 lockdowns began a couple months before. What I saw went way beyond the normal fun of competition or of enjoying a perfect Minnesota spring evening. I saw smiles and heard the laughter that comes from being together instead of being alone!
God created us to be in community, to be interdependent rather than independent. He designed us to need each other instead of needing just ourselves. As we've seen so vividly highlighted these past few months, it is not good for man or woman or teen or child to be alone. I thank God for that trap shooting evening and the blessed reminder of just how good it is to be together!
And, I hope you can join us this Sunday, May 31, as we finally are able to be together to worship the God who created us to be together!