In His Praise — October 20, 2020

Welcome to “In His Praise”

As the weather has begun to change from summer to fall, I started thinking about changes we see in our lives. It has been said that the only thing we can be sure of is change itself. There is a lot of truth in those words. From the time we are born until we take our last breath, we experience change to some degree. Babies grow into children, children grow into teenager and teenagers grow into adults. Our minds and bodies change all through life. As we learn new things, new talents, and have new experiences our lives transform.

We see changes in the world around us too. Some of these are good such as advancements in medicine and health, or improvements in communication. Education changes continually and it seems as though one can barely keep up with updates in technology!

Then there are changes that are not good, like the decaying of  family life and morals.  Church attendance is down and murder, theft, and all kinds of crime are on the rise. Brotherly love seems to be nonexistent. Neighbors don’t know each other anymore, let alone trust each other. 

These changes and others can weigh heavy on our lives and minds. But there is good news! There is One that never changes and never will. That is Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Jesus is our constant in a world of change. He loved us before we were even born; He will love us until we die and throughout eternity. He is with us through every situation in which we find ourselves. He is there to guide us, strengthen us, and help us. Most of all He loves us and His love never changes or goes away. 

Accept this love today and let the Savior reassure you, give you stability and confidence as you navigate the changes of this world. 

In His Praise — September 13, 2020

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“Everyone that calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” Romans 10:13.

 Isn’t this good news? Isn’t this great and exciting news? Isn’t this THE BEST news?!!

It is such a blessing to know that God loves us and sent His precious Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and provide salvation. It is wonderful to know that all we have to do is “believe with our hearts and confess with our mouth that Jesus died for our sins and was raised again to life.” (Romans 10:9)  

This blessing is not for a select few that meet certain criteria, but, thanks be to God, it is for everyone and anyone that “calls on the name of the Lord”. God loves us all, no matter what our past looks like or what our future may hold. God loves each person and wants to give His salvation to all.

What a good news message to share with the world!

In His Praise — September 6, 2020

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“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” This wonderful promise comes from Luke 6:38. 

When I read this verse I imagine rice being poured into a jar and when it’s full, shaking the jar and packing the rice so the jar can hold even more and then pouring more rice until the jar is overflowing and the rice spills out everywhere. If we think of rice as blessings, that is what God is promising us — to pour out more blessings than we can hold! 

God loves us and wants to bless us, he sees the things we do — our good deeds, our charitable giving. But He also sees the attitude of our hearts. Sometimes we give out of obligation or duty, we don’t give freely or we might expect something in return. God wants charity to be a natural response in our lives. He wants us to give because we love Him and our fellowman and He wants us to remember that every blessing flows from Him and to joyfully share with others.

As we go through each day, may we find more and more ways to share and give to others. May God’s love shine through in our generosity and when the blessing began to flow to us, may we always give God the glory and thanks.

In His Praise — August 30, 2020

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The other day God brought to my mind an old song that I learned in the 70’s. It is called “Pass It On”. The first verse goes something like this, 

“It only takes a spark to get a fire going and soon all those around can warm up to its glowing. 

That’s how it is with God’s love. Once you’ve experienced it, you spread His love to everyone.

 You want to pass it on.” 

In this time of discord, violence and hatred we may wonder what we as Christians can do to make a change. Watching the nightly news seems to only be discouraging and sometimes depressing. We may even begin to think that this world is a lost cause and feel like giving up. But, Galatians 6:9 has these encouraging  words,”Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

So what does that mean to each individual Christian? It means – start that spark, plant that seed, keep doing those acts of kindness and keep on praying and sharing God’s love.  Don’t give up or give in. We may not reach everybody, but God has promised a harvest. 

We just need to pass the good news on.

In His Praise — August 23, 2020

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A Prayer for Our Schools

O Holy God, the time has come for school to begin. As the children begin their studies, we ask a blessing upon them. 

Bless all who will teach and interact with our children in the coming days, weeks and months. Give them wisdom to find inspiration for each child. Give them energy, creativity and love that will make their work a blessing to our children.

O Lord of Life and Love, bless all school administrators that they may be faithful stewards of the resources entrusted to their care. Make them fair and merciful, able to do their crucial work with a spirit of grace and compassion.

O God, bless each parent, grandparent, guardian and caregiver; that each one would seek opportunities to grow in knowledge and love  for you. Grant that they would see you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly.

And, O Lord of Life and Love, bless our cherished children. Keep them safe, keep them excited, keep them seeking to learn more and to develop their gifts. Grant that through their studies, they will gain the tools to grow in love, faith and service to you.

In Jesus name, Amen.

In His Praise — August 16, 2020

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Today’s good news is taken right from the sermon that Rev. Phil Nickles delivered today. Rev. Nickles was speaking on the subject of purifying one’s heart and God gave him four points that he shared with the congregation. 

They are:

1)Pray – talk to the Lord, praise Him, thank Him and express your needs.

2) Meditate – think about God’s goodness and His word.

3) Study – read the Bible everyday and try to better understand what it says to you.

4) Spend time alone with Jesus – have a quiet time for just you and Jesus, let Him speak to your heart and refresh you.

James 4:8a says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” By following these simple steps we will be drawn closer to God; and what a blessing that He then will come closer to us!

In His Praise — August 9, 2020

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You probably remember  the story of David and Goliath, found in 1 Samuel 17. It tells of David, the young shepherd boy, that went up against Goliath, the giant, and won!

Here we see David, probably a teenager, with no experience as a soldier. He had no fighting equipment or armor. It appeared that all David carried with him was a sling shot and five stones. 

Goliath on the other hand, had all the fighting gear one could have and heavy body armor for protection. The Bible tells us that he stood over nine feet tall! He taunted the Israelites (God’s people) everyday. Goliath had probably been in many battles and killed many people.

This fight did not seem fair. But David had something more powerful than any of Goliath’s weapons or experience. David had faith in God! As David ran toward Goliath he spoke confidently that he was coming in the name of God Almighty. By doing this, he  rebuked any power that Goliath may have had over him. David fully trusted that God would protect him and give him victory over this evil, and God did! David slung one stone which hit Goliath in just the right spot on his forehead and the giant went down! 

We also face giants in life sometimes. Sickness, financial worries, family problems, difficult relationships are just some of things that may seem unsurmountable. But, the good news is that we, like David, can rely on the power of God.  His name holds power over this world. He is the Almighty God! He will speak peace to the restless, He will give strength to the weary and He will win battles that seemed impossible to face.

So go confidently in the name of the Lord and let Him give you the victory; and when He does, give Him the glory.

In His Praise — August 2, 2020

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“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” This reassuring verse is found in Psalm 100:5. What a joy and blessing it is to know that God’s love will never end.  We can depend on Him forever, even for future generations!

Sometimes in this world we may think that the future looks bleak and there is little hope for a new generation. But these words encourage us to believe and trust that as long as we put our faith in God, He will never let us down. 

God loves us now and He will love us in the future. This is good news we should share with people of all ages.

In His Praise — July 26, 2020

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How great is our God? There is no sin He cannot forgive, no hurt He cannot heal, no wrong He cannot right. As the song says, “What a mighty God we serve.” 

When the world looks scary and overwhelming, we can rejoice in the knowledge that we have a Savior that has overcome the world. (see John 16:33)  When our problems seem hard to bear, Jesus invites us to come to Him for relief and rest. (see Matthew 11:28-30). Most importantly, because we need salvation, God provides it for us through His Son, Jesus Christ – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16.

What good news to share with the world today! God loves you and wants you to be His child.

In His Praise — July 19, 2020

Welcome to “In His Praise”

Being a child of God has many benefits, most importantly being saved from our sins and gaining eternal life in heaven. It is such a blessing to know that our future is secure, that we have a permanent home with Jesus that will last forever.

But what about while we are still here on earth? Life is not always easy or simple or fair. The world is not a safe place many times. We all have had unpleasant experiences, some even have lived through horrific times. But, as a child of God, we are assured that even in hard or terrible times, we are not alone.

Romans 8:35 asks these questions,
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or peril or sword?”

Verse 37 – 39 continues “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Praise God for these wonderful words of encouragement and hope! Jesus is always near, and we can reach Him anytime when we lift our hearts in prayer and praise.