Month: October, 2014
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Lord, we lift our future pastor, our interim pastor, and our congregation to you today...
May we never lose sight of the sacrifice
Christ made for us on the cross.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules ~ Colossians 2:20
May we fix our eyes on Jesus as we see His good, pleasing, and perfect will for our future.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ~ Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but 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.
~ Romans 12:1-2
Beneath the Cross of Jesus
Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1830-1869
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV)
There is no neutral ground when we face the cross: Either we accept its atoning work and become a new person, or we reject it and remain in our sinful, self-centered state. When we take our stand with Christ and His redemption accomplished at Calvary, we are compelled to make two profound confessions: "The wonders of His glorious love and my own worthlessness."
This hymn of commitment was written by a frail Scottish Presbyterian woman of the past century, Elizabeth Clephane, who, despite her physical limitations, was known throughout her charming community of Melrose, Scotland, for her helpful, cheery nature. Among the sick and dying in her area she won the name of "Sunbeam". "Beneath the Cross of Jesus" was written by Miss Clephane in 1868, one year before her early death at the age of 39. She wrote eight hymns, all published posthumously. Besides this hymn, only one other has endured-- "The Ninety and Nine", made popular by the tune composed for it by Ira D. Sankey.
It is obvious that Elizabeth, like most Scottish Presbyterians of her day, was an ardent Bible student, for her hymn is replete with biblical symbolism and imagery. For example:
"the mighty Rock" is a reference from Isaiah 32:2
"the weary land" is a reference from Psalm 63:1
"home within the wilderness" from Jeremiah 9:2
"rest upon the way" from Isaiah 28:12
"noon day heat" from Isaiah 4:6
"burden of the day" from Matthew 11:30
Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take
the shadow of a mighty rock within
a weary land;
a home within the wilderness,
a rest upon the way from the burning of
the noon day heat and the burden of the day.
Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times
can see the very dying form of One who
suffered there for me;
and from my smitten heart with tears two wonders I confess--
the wonders of His glorious love and
my own worthlessness.
I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
content to let the world go by,
to know no gain nor loss,
my sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.
All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. ~ Psalm 22:7
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means "the place of the skull"). Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews. ~ Matthew 27:33, 37
Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. ~ Luke 9:23
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. ~ Galatians 6:14
"My glory all the cross."
Determine to live the truth of this phrase.
Taken from Amazing Grace by Kenneth W. Osbeck.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Hour of Power
Prayer is the "dental floss" of pastoral searches:
something we know we should use but, more often than non, leave at home.
Lord, we lift our future pastor to you today . . .
Pray that God would increase his passion for preaching the Word of God.
Pray that God would give him a love for our church and the strength to leave his current position.
Pray that our next pastor would begin new relationships at our church in the right way, even during the search process.
Pray God would prepare our future pastor to shepherd our flock more effectively through the trials and blessings he has faced or currently faces.
Pray for our next pastor’s family. Pray that God, who knows each detail about each member of his family, would give strength as they consider leaving their current neighborhood going to a different church, climate, culture, may you be their all and all.
From When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search by Chris Brauns
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Lord, we lift our future pastor to you today...
Teach future pastor to have a tender heart of compassion toward those he leads and serves.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,.. ~ Colossians 3:12
Enable future pastor to carry out his duties with humility toward You and toward others.
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." ~1 Peter 5:5
Protect future pastor from harm, and bless and protect his family.
Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed. ~ Psalm 21:11
Guard future pastor from the influence of the evil one.
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Give future pastor discretion, wisdom, and understanding in making decisions.
The Committed Candidate
From the book, When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search by Chris Brauns.
The pastoral search process is difficult because it requires a major commitment and faith by the pastor candidate and his family. You will be asking your next pastor and his family to leave a place where their hearts are knit together with people.
While it’s true that a church looking for a pastor has a difficult job, it still seems to me that Moses had it worse. The laws of physics being what they are, there seems to be absolutely no escape for Moses. There was every reason the people should be slaughtered without mercy on the beach and that whoever might survive would be driven right back to Egypt and right back into slavery.
Yet I think the clear impossibility of the Red Sea situation is why it was easier on one level. In the case of the Red Sea, the realists in the crowd - just about everyone - would have quickly recognized that there was nothing they could accomplish to get out of the mess. Their only hope was to throw themselves at the feet of God and pray that He would deliver them. Exodus 14:10 says that the Israelites cried out to the Lord (in addition to blaming Moses [v. 11]).
Contrast this with a pastoral search. Whether or not it is true in your church, the reality is that most pastoral search committees struggle with a presupposition of self-sufficiency. This false sense of self-sufficiency is why churches looking for pastors know that they need to pray, yet don’t pray.
Churches think they can do this thing - this impossible thing - in their own strength. It was the distinct advantage of the Israelites when they were fleeing from the Egyptians that they knew that
they were in trouble and that they couldn’t possibly get out of the mess they were in on their own. So they cried out to God. And this is where we need to be. Any time we truly realize that we face an impossible situation, it will do wonders for our prayer lives. That is were we need to be as a church.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Sundays at 8:30am in the Chat Café. For the next 8 weeks the Hour of Power will be concentrating on one search team member at a time as they will be sharing how God is moving in their lives right now, how we can pray powerful and effective prayers for them, and a favorite verse from God’s Word.
August 17: Kennley Wright
August 24: Holly Molascon
August 31: Not meeting
September 7: Brett Pierce
September 14: Steve Sims
September 21: Loren Rowland
September 28: Sony Thayer
October 5: Jane Nelson
1 Timothy 1:14 ~ Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.
Prayer requests from Jane: Pray I may never loose site of God’s power and in awe of His holiness. Pray the nearness of God is so great I don’t become distracted when Satan tries to put doubt in my mind.
Please pray for Jane's family.
Verse to live by:
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Isaiah 6:1
It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. Isaiah 55:11
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20