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Nehemiah 13: Always Reforming Print E-mail

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I am so glad that our church has finally arrived! Our deacons are serving us faithfully, getting things done, taking care of the building. Our Sunday School classes are teaching good curriculum and we have a great new class for the 3-6 year olds (thanks Mrs. Marilyn). The youth are going on a mission trip this week to sacrificially serve others and take the good news to those who need to hear. We had record attendance at our first Sunday Night Fellowship of the year. And we have even had two couples join us in the last few weeks! We have arrived. Time to put things on cruise and settle in for years of blessing and growth!

Last Updated ( Monday, 04 July 2016 )
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Nehemiah 11-12: Faithful Perseverance Print E-mail

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I have recently decided to start swimming in the mornings at the YMCA. Everybody says it is a great way to exercise and I actually enjoy going, I even look forward to it on most days. Granted, I have only been doing it for a couple of months. And even this past week, I began to notice a little grumbling in my spirit. A little voice that was whispering as I swam my laps and fought for air: ‘Do you really enjoy this? Do you really want to keep doing this in the mornings? Are you really going to stay faithful?’ Do you ever feel that way about exercise? Do you ever feel that way about spiritual exercise? Do you ever just find yourself reading the Bible in the morning or getting ready for Church on Sunday wondering: ‘Am I really going to keep doing this?’ Beginning an exercise regimen is not difficult. Even doing it for a season is not that hard. But continuing to do it day in and day out is challenging. And the same is true of our spiritual lives.

Last Updated ( Monday, 04 July 2016 )
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Nehemiah 9-10: True Repentance Print E-mail

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Now that I have multiple children in my home, I am expecting the day when I have to tell one of my boys to apologize to the other. And doesn’t that always work so well? ‘Say you’re sorry.’ ‘I’M SORRY.’ ‘Now, say it like you mean it.’ Mumbling: ‘I’m sorry.’ ‘Uhhh, say it like you really mean it!’ And on and on it goes. It never really works, but we do it anyway. The truth is, just saying that you are sorry does not really mean that you really are sorry. Forced apologies are no apologies at all. They may allow us to move on, but they never really resolve the problem. A true apology comes with a sense of recognition and brokenness over the hurt caused. And it usually leads (at least for a time) to changed behavior.

Last Updated ( Monday, 04 July 2016 )
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Nehemiah 8: The Word in Worship Print E-mail

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The worship of God’s people is driven by God’s Word. Take your bulletins and look at the image on the front. We have a trinity symbol with the Word in the middle and the three marks of a disciple surrounding it: worship, work, and witness.  We define a disciple at the bottom: “A disciple exalts God (worships), edifies the saints (works), and evangelizes the lost (witnesses), according to the Word of God. It is our goal as a Church, as a community of believers, to be disciples who make disciples that worship, work, and witness according to the Bible. After all, where would we be without the Word? How could we worship a God that we do not know? How could we serve one another without the truth of God’s Word? And if the Word did not tell us about the Word who became flesh and died on a cross for our sins, then what good news would we have for a lost and dying world? God’s people are desperate for His Word. And the worship of God’s people is driven by the Word.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 June 2016 )
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Nehemiah 6-7: The Faith to Overcome Fear Print E-mail

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Our fears can paralyze us. Think about a time in your life when you were very afraid. How did you respond? How did your body react? What did you feel like doing? A few years ago, my family and I vacationed in Gatlinburg. My mom rented a cabin that was literally located on the side of a mountain. In order to get to it, you had to drive up a steep incline and make a sharp turn into the driveway. The first night that we were there, Glenna and I went out to get some groceries for the week. It was raining and I knew the trip back was going to be a bit interesting. When we got to the bottom of the hill that lead to the cabin, my heart was racing. We started up the incline without any problems, but when we tried to turn into the driveway, my wheels started spinning and we began to slide back down the mountain. I put the car in reverse and backed down the road to build up a running start. When I got to the bottom, I was frozen with fear. It was all I could do to not just park the car somewhere and walk up to the cabin. I had absolutely no desire to attempt the trip again. But we did. I put the car back in drive and gunned it into the driveway this time, tires spinning and all. It was a scary few minutes. And the fear left me paralyzed. Have you ever felt like that? Have your fears ever left you unable to act, unable to continue?

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 May 2016 )
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Nehemiah 5: Funding the Mission Print E-mail

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In September of last year (2015), the president of the International Mission Board (David Platt) sent out an open letter about the current financial situation of the IMB. His letter begins: “Dear SBC Family,By now many of you may have heard that last week, IMB announced a plan to reduce the total number of our personnel (both here and overseas) by 600-800 people over the next six months.” That is 600-800 less missionaries serving in many places where there is little to no gospel witness. He goes on to give the reason for this move: “when we stepped back and looked at IMB finances since 2010, we realized that IMB has spent a combined $210 million more than people have given to us.” The Mission Board has been spending more than they have received to try and keep missionaries on the field. In order to make up for the shortfall, they have sold property, dipped into savings, and taken other steps to cover their spending. But of course, that cannot continue to happen. The truth is, there is not enough money to pay the missionaries that we currently have on the field. Some of that is perhaps due to poor stewardship and unnecessary spending, which I am sure will be considered during this process. But even then, the bottom line is that we are currently asking people who have given their lives to taking the gospel to unreached places to consider early retirement because we cannot afford to pay them. We are simply struggling to fund the mission at this point.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 May 2016 )
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