God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5

I’m Afraid – Joel Ericson

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 6.29.14 PM

There’s plenty for us to fear in these unusual and volatile times and just as we are   encouraged to count our blessings, the evil one can do a pretty effective job of making us count our fears. Sometimes it’s hard to escape those fears and Satan rejoices when we fall into that dark pit. We forget to pray; and we forget Gods promises. The devil continues with his conniving tactics to try to make us believe his lies and, sometimes, the images we form in our minds are so believable that we tend to reflect on the negatives instead of what we know God has prepared for us. We might ask:  Does God really hear my prayers? “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John:14-15

Are our prayers worthy of God’s attention?  “However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.” John 6:37-39

We present ourselves as wretched and unworthy. “You are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you” (Galatians 4:7). Would you deny your child anything?  Be very careful about the words you speak. Words possess spiritual power. Death and life are in the power of our words. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” Psalm 19:14  And when we say to ourselves, ”I’m afraid”  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

I read a book recently called “A Year of Living Prayerfully”, by a man named Jared Brock who spent a year on a quest to improve the effectiveness of his prayer life. In his quest he examined and experienced all manner of prayer styles, locales, and practices and while some of his experiences can be described as “tongue in cheek” his journey, filled with deep insights and surprise encounters can help you can learn how to experience God and re-ignite your prayer life.

We need to face the fear or the uncertainty with bold faith and the confidence that our God hears and acts as a result of our prayers. It may be hard. When we are aware of other’s needs, we must intercede for them (more about this next time). When we are in need we need to seek intercessory help. God truly is all powerful.

Read More

Mix It Up – Matt Ragain

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 12.23.33 PMThe start to a new season can bring all types of sentimental and hopeful feelings.  The sentiment comes from remembering the joy and new experiences of seasons past.  The hope comes from the excitement of what is yet to come.  The beginning of summer brings both sentiment and hope to me every year.  I remember summer’s past traveling the world or driving thousands of miles cross country to call a new state home.  I mark many of my summers by my reading.  One such glorious summer, I took a class on the theology of C. S. Lewis.  I read his entire corpus in a period of 2 months—glorious indeed.

The very nature of summer is extraordinary.  In other words, there’s very little that is ordinary about it.  Our schedules are perhaps the most unusual.  They can be filled with family adventures, meals with friends alfresco and the magic that comes from a hot night with even hotter fireworks.

Romans 12:2 says, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Summer does not just hold the promise of new adventure and experiences, but it also is a great opportunity to mix things up spiritually.  This is a good opportunity to participate in a small group, go through a Christian book with a friend, learn how to play worship music on the guitar or challenge ourselves with purposeful prayer.  One of the great things about summer is that it shifts us out of our norm.  Let’s move with the shift and think outside the box as we approach our salvation and our father.  Let’s try those things that we have always wanted to try and when we don’t “preform” the way we think we should, let’s remember it’s not about preforming, it’s about getting in God’s presence.

Read More