Veteran:  from a Latin word meaning, old or mature.  In today’s vernacular, it refers to someone having served or experienced an occupation over a period of time. To each of you who have served our country “having served or experienced an occupation over a period of time” in one of the branches of the military—we honor you and say “thank you”.  From what has been termed “the greatest generation”, to those who have served most recently, this nation owes each of you a debt of gratitude.  You signed on, swore an oath to defend this country—a country made up of individuals who live in thisRead More →

Dear Church Family, The news from Roseburg, Oregon has left that community and our nation in shock.  As the information continues to be shared, we are all struck by the grief these families and friends are experiencing by the senseless loss of life.  Beyond this, our thoughts also turn to the family of the shooter as they attempt to make sense of what drove their son to do such a horrific thing. There are, of course, stories that emerge out of this tragedy—the heroic efforts of the Veteran whose actions likely spared more lives from being ended; the efforts of the first responders who putRead More →

Dear Church Family, It is Memorial Day weekend.  There has been a recent occurrence of reminders on Facebook saying:  “It’s Memorial Day, Not National BBQ Day.”  I understand the sentiment, as many of our holiday’s origins are being forgotten or minimized by our propensity to party and have a good BBQ.  Now, just for the record, let me say this:  I love a good BBQ.  I am not an advocate of NOT enjoying the day, or having family and friends over for a picnic and BBQ.  A day like this is set aside for a purpose and that purpose needs to be remembered.  The originRead More →

Dear Church Family, Deadly earthquakes in Nepal . . . ISIS on the move in Iraq . . . “Blood Moons” this fall . . . Are these sign of Jesus’ return?  These questions and more are being answered in our Adult Sunday School class, but they are also similar questions that the Thessalonian believers may have had.  After receiving a forged letter (as if from Paul) that left them doubting what Paul had told them earlier, the Apostle had written his second letter to calm their fears and encourage their hearts.  We are continuing this series on Sunday, but I wanted to encourage youRead More →

Dear Church Family, The inevitable is upon us:  Fall. . .but hasn’t this been an incredible summer??  By now you are probably well into your fall routines.  Sometimes that feels pretty good doesn’t it?  The more predictable, the comfortable, the expected.   But, if we’re honest, those routines that we follow- as comfortable as they may feel- also lead us to simply live in our own strength, our own abilities and requiring very little faith, or so it seems.  Admittedly, we all get into our “groove” and it’s a comfortable place to be—we can be confident there, very little surprises and we can look back andRead More →

Dear Church Family, You can certainly tell that it is Memorial Day weekend . . . it is raining! What is it that most effectively jogs your memory?  It is a known and well documented fact that the sense of smell is one of the most effective triggers to evoke powerful and vivid memories.  Certainly there are many more effective “triggers” – one of which is the telling and re-telling of important truths, lessons, and events.  In Psalm 78, Asaph the psalmist writes of the impact of NOT telling or re-telling the truths of God and His mighty deeds. History (whether written or by wordRead More →

Dear Church Family, Remember “Mr. Yuk”?  You know, that green sticker with the squinty face with a tongue sticking out that we put on all toxic substances to keep our kids safe?  Mr. Yuk has been around since the early 70’s and originated in the local center for disease control in Pittsburg, PA.  The results of using the green stickers were nearly immediate – with a dramatic drop in the number of children ingesting poisons and either becoming very ill or dying.  Clearly, the warning worked and it has become a nation-wide emphasis. While we don’t relish the idea of focusing on the “negatives” inRead More →

Dear Church Family, There’s seems to be a little buzz these days surrounding some event coming up on Sunday. . . Whether you watch football or not, it’s pretty hard to avoid the attention of the Super Bowl this year, isn’t it?  Understandably, it’s a huge event—no, I think it’s even bigger than that.  It is one of the most watched television events, offering up the most expensive commercial spots and the amount of money wagered on this event alone is absolutely staggering.  To say that sports in America is truly America’s idol isn’t too much of a stretch. It’s easy to spot idols likeRead More →

“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. . .” ( 1 Co. 2:2) These words from Paul are unmistakably clear.  No pretense, no ambivalence, no mumbo-jumbo.  As you read any of Paul’s letters, it is absolutely clear that Christ is his central focus.  Whether his purpose was instructional, confrontational, or simply to encourage, he always brought his readers back to Christ.  As we study, teach, and share the Word there is a wonderful simplicity in this focus.  It’s not about my opinion, my experience, my culture, my expectations, my traditions, my relationships…but it IS about Christ.  While theRead More →