October 2019

Have you ever read a verse that really gripped your heart? It may have been one that you are certain you have read before, but this time the words just seemed to jump out at you—as if God were saying, “This word is for you!”

2 Corinthians 5:10 is one of those verses for me. It says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” Paul asserted that he would not be a bond-servant of Jesus Christ if his goal was to please men (Galatians 1:10).

Confession: I try too hard to please men! This is not to my credit, this is actually to my
shame! Jesus specifically told us to “seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). May I be a man, and may we be a church, that will seek the kingdom of God, and seek to be a righteous people before we seek anything else.

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Sept. 15, 2019

Over the last few months I have been basically camped out in Acts 2:41-47. This passage reports the beginning and the traits of the Christian church even though the word “church” is not used until Acts 5.

One of the overarching traits of this large group of new Christ followers was their unity. Again, the word “unity” is not actually used in this passage, but it certainly is described! Read through these verses and you will find the following words and
phrases: “continuously devoted,” “together,” “all things in common,” “sharing,” “one mind,” “together” (not a misprint, “together” is used twice).

I want to challenge Scotsdale Baptist Church to be an Acts 2:42 church, and I challenge YOU to be an Acts 2:42 Christian! Please pray for your church leaders—pastors, elders, deacons/ministers, and teachers. Pray that we would be Acts 2:42
leaders.

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Sept. 8, 2019

It’s a beautiful day as I look out my window. The temperature is a warm 92 degrees, but this is not as hot as it has been over the past several weeks. The movement of the palm leaves suggest a light wind. These winds, along with the trending forecast of cooler temperatures, are introducing a changing of the seasons. It is that time of year again!

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven” (NASB). Not only is there a time for every event under heaven, there is also a time to evaluate what we have been doing. Paul told the church at Ephesus , “Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (5:15-17).

Our biblical model for church life is found in Acts 2:42-47. Please pray for us and with us as we seek to honor our Lord God in every aspect of church life. May God use us to reach the community where He has placed us.

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July 21, 2019

I love young people! Actually I love people of all ages, but as a grandfather I seem to look at children through another set of eyes. When we had our Summer Blast Sports and Crafts Camp I was impressed by what many of our children knew about the Bible. I was also very concerned about the beliefs that other children had due to the instruction of what I am sure are well-meaning, yet very misinformed parents/guardians.

Working with and watching these kids was a reminder to me of why we do what we do. We work to train children, youth, and adults in God’s Word. We use a variety of methods in our work, but the goal is always the same—Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry, and Worship. Until the Lord returns may we always be faithful in that service!

Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

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July 14, 2019

I guess everyone feels this way from time-to-time. For some this feeling has to do with family. For others it has to do with their job. Far too many feel this way about their marriage. Many pastors will quip that they feel this way every Monday morning. For me, the feeling is most prominent after Business Meetings; but honestly, I feel this way after a lot of Sundays as well!

What is this feeling? It is the feeling that you would like to QUIT! Quit the job. Leave the marriage. Check out on the family. Walk away from the ministry. Forget your friends. Why stay? Nobody cares anyway, except for the people who have a gripe. They are the ones you will hear from!

Then you read Psalm 37:23-24 – “A person’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord supports him with His hand.” Somehow Lord, I have to trust that You have established my steps. Somehow or another You take pleasure in my way. Every time I fall, even if the words of others threaten to overwhelm me You won’t allow it because You are the One who is holding my hand. So right now, even though my feelings are telling me to QUIT, my faith is telling me to CLING to Your hand.

Dear ones, may God give you the strength to cling to Him in your trials!

P6

July 4, 2019

HAPPY BIRTHDAY U.S.A!

The celebration of a birthday does not take into consideration the process that preceded the birth. We celebrate a person’s birthday, but there is about a nine-month process from conception to birth. Mothers can attest to the difficulties of this process.

Our forefathers’ decision to break from the British monarchy began in 1765 with the Stamp Act. The corresponding Revolutionary War lasted from 1775-1783. We celebrate July 4th, 1776 as our nation’s “birthday.” History records the difficulties of this process.

Our Statue of Liberty stands in New York Harbor on Liberty Island. This statue is a gift to the U.S.A. from France. It is a symbol of the freedom that this nation is blessed to have. The idea for this gift began in 1865. The process began in the early 1870s. It wasn’t completed and dedicated until October 28, 1886. History records the difficulties of this process.

Life is about process, and so is your walk as a Christian. The process is difficult. Be patient, but be persistent! “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” – 2 Peter 3:18.

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June 16, 2019

Out of the Ten Commandments, six of them have to do with how people are to treat each other. The first of those six commandments deals with the parent-child relationship—“Honor your father and your mother. . .”

Father’s Day was started by a daughter of a widower who had raised six children. Her name was Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father was for a time a single parent and a Civil War Vet.

History is full of ordinary men who have overcome extraordinary obstacles for the sake of their families. My hats off to you men who work, serve, sacrifice, and pray for your families every day. Happy Father’s Day, and God bless you men!

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June 2, 2019

“Halftime” – An intermission between halves of a game or contest (as in football or basketball).

Typically the halftime is seen as a time for competing teams to rest. The reality is that, while the athletes are “resting” they are also discussing the game-plan adjustments they are going to make during the second half of the game. While their bodies are resting their minds are still very engaged. Church can be the same way! June can be thought of as our halftime of the year.

During the summer months we will not have AWANA, or MOPS, or some of our other regular ministries that accompany the school year. We will still have summer camps, and summer sports camp. We will also begin to turn our attention to the second half of this year, and do some fine-tuning for what is coming up. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.” May we work to be a blessing to God’s will rather than asking Him to bless our will. His will is always best!

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Memorial Day 2019

When God led His chosen people across the Jordan River to inhabit the land promised to them, Joshua instructed them to set up a pile of stones (Joshua 4). These stones were to serve as a memorial to future generations. They would be a reminder of how God parted the waters of the Jordan River to enable His people to cross over into their new homeland.

We have men and women who serve, and have served this nation to provide and protect our freedom. Some of these men and women sacrificed their lives for this cause. Across this country you will find beautiful displays with the names of America’s fallen engraved in stone. These are our memorial stones! We also have Memorial Day as a day set aside to remember those who lost their lives in service to this nation.

May God bless the families of those who sacrificed their lives in their service. And may God bless the USA to the extent that we are willing to bless Him!

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May 19, 2019

This past week was National Police Week. May 15th has been set aside as Peace Officers Memorial Day. This day is set aside for remembering federal, state, and local officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty.

There are stories too many to number of officers who “ran in while others ran out.” Some of them survive to tell the story. Others do not! The next time you are pulled over try to remember that the officer giving you a ticket may be the one pulling you from a flooded car in the future!

Let us not forget to pray for those who protect us. May we also pray for family members who have lost a beloved peace officer.

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