Jan 22 2013

At least, speak up for the unborn

For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well. My frame wasn’t hidden from you, when I was made in secret, woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my body. In your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139.13-17 WEB)

In 1934, a young German pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, faced the incredible challenges of living as a dedicated Christian in his world. The German government at that time was in the evil hands of Hitler and his Nazis; the leadership of the German Church had been infiltrated by leaders complicit with the government; and many evangelical Christians were hesitant to stand for their faith. But Bonhoeffer challenged Christians to hear the Word of God and to actually live it out for Jesus Christ.

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision. Since that day, January 22, 1973, there have been an estimated 54,000,000 abortions performed in the U.S.

In a letter to a friend, Bonhoeffer wrote, “‘Speak out for those who cannot speak’ – who in the church today realizes that this is the very least that the Bible requires of us?” Although he was not speaking about the issue of abortion, Bonhoeffer’s words certainly apply.

The yet-to-be-born cannot speak for themselves. Their cries of pain cannot be heard from within the womb.

Will you speak up for those truly innocent ones who cannot speak? Perhaps it’s “the very least that the Bible requires of us.”

On this day and every day, please pray for the unborn; pray for women with unwanted or difficult pregnancies; pray for individuals and families torn apart by decisions they have made in the past and for decisions they are now facing.

Aug 12 2012

God searches for you

At the turn of the 11th century B.C., in 1 Samuel 10, the prophet Samuel anointed Saul as the first king of Israel. Before leaving, Samuel instructed Saul to wait seven days at Gilgal. At that time, Samuel said he would come and offer burnt offerings to the Lord.

Waiting at Gilgal, Saul looked at the Philistine army which had amassed 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen against the Israelites. He saw his army of only 3,000 begin to dwindle as his men began hiding “themselves in caves, in thickets, in cliffs, in cellars, and in pits.” (1 Samuel 13.6 NASB) When Samuel did not arrive on the seventh day, Saul grew impatient, perhaps fearful, and decided to take matters into his own hands by offering a burnt offering to the Lord. Saul was a king, not a priest.

Immediately after Saul presented the burnt offering to the Lord, Samuel arrived …

Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you; for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him to be ruler over His people, because you have not kept that which the Lord commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13.13-14)

Saul had, of course, disobeyed God. He had sinned before God. Samuel, in effect, was saying to Saul, “If you had obeyed God, if you had obeyed the command that He had given you, then the Lord would have established, confirmed your kingdom on Israel forever. But now, your kingdom will come to an end.”

The next sentence spoken by Samuel gives great insight into the mind and heart of God. He said, “The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart.”

That search continues.

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. (2 Chronicles 16.9)

In the push and pull of everyday life, there is a God who desires for Himself someone who seeks Him. But know that the search after God’s heart is demonstrated by the obedience of the searcher, the submission to His will.

Know that He is searching for you.

Apr 19 2012

Holocaust Remembrance Day – April 19, 2012

Please remember the six million Jews who were slaughtered during the Holocaust.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Here are videos of drivers showing respect during the sounding of sirens on this Yom HaShoah: 1 and 2.

Dec 26 2010

When You Think There is No Hope…

By Pastor Steve Disher

Matthew 2.13-15

December 26, 2010

In Matthew 2, we see the magi, the wise men, making their way to Bethlehem, and following the star.

They first make a stopover in Jerusalem to get directions. Undoubtedly expecting Jerusalem to be alive with excitement regarding the birth of a king, they were innocently asking, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”  (Matthew 1.2)

Such questions caused no little anxiety for Herod. With the secret intent to destroy the One who might take his throne, Herod sent the magi to Bethlehem, instructing them to, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” (Matthew 1.8)

Two similar statements, two different intents.

Both the wise men and Herod said they wanted to worship Jesus, but the intent of their hearts, the area of our lives God examines, were totally different.

God moves wonderfully and mysteriously in our lives, examining our hearts along the way, seeking to transform those hearts and to turn those hearts toward Himself. When our human hearts have God as our focus, He is glorified. And God will be glorified. With or without our contribution, He will be exalted, lifted up, glorified.

It’s our choice to be participants in His exaltation or to refuse to exalt Him to our detriment.

Continue reading

Apr 8 2010

April 8 – The Day My World Changed

Thirty-seven years ago, today, my world changed.

I grew up in church and I was active in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, camp, worship – you name it. I was confirmed and baptized into the Methodist Church and, later, our family moved our membership to a local United Church of Christ.

I received a lot of exposure to the organized church and to the teachings of the Christian faith … but I didn’t know Jesus.

One day, my girlfriend and I found ourselves sitting in a high school gymnasium, on the top bleachers, listening to Billy Zeoli who was with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. I heard an invitation given to come forward and receive Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. In fear I did not move and hung onto my bleacher. But my girlfriend asked me if I would go forward with her.

I did.

When I went forward, I found everything I had been looking for but didn’t know I needed. I found a Person: Jesus Christ. That day, April 8, 1973, my world changed, my life was transformed, and I had true peace for the first time in my life.

Thank You, Lord!

Jan 16 2010

Missions in Haiti

Here are just a few links to blogs giving a personal view of ministry to the people of Haiti following Tuesday’s earthquake.

New Vision Ministries
Samaritan’s Purse
World Vision
Compassion International
Rollings in Haiti
Hearts with Haiti

Jan 13 2010

Pray for Haiti

January 19, 2010 update: According to news reports, such as this Washington Post article, death toll estimates following the Haiti earthquake are now at 200,000. Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti, those who have lost loved ones, those who may remain trapped alive, and the many search and rescue teams working hard to find the lost.

Yesterday’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti was certainly a tragedy of historic proportions. The headline in today’s (Wednesday, January 13, 2009) Drudge Report reads: “Hell Came Up: 500,000 May Be Dead.” This headline references a detailed account here.

Although it appears “Hell Came Up,” I pray that “Heaven Will Come Down” and the power and love of Jesus Christ will now be demonstrated through His people.

– Please pray for the people of Haiti who are facing unimaginable suffering.
– Pray for the many Christian Missionaries who are trying to minister to thousands. Our church is praying for Kerry and Joy Reeves and their family with New Vision Ministries.
– And please send donations to support relief efforts such as Samaritan’s Purse.

Dec 7 2009

Letter from Jesus About Christmas

Dear Children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you’ve forgotten that I wasn’t actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. . . although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15:1-8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

Continue reading

Oct 7 2009

Don’t tear me down

This stunning photo by Eric Reed depicts an eight-foot cross which has been boarded up due to a legal challenge by the ACLU. At this moment (2:02 PM, October 7, 2009) the Supreme Court is considering the legality of the cross which was erected in 1934 to honor Veterans of WWI.
How utterly absurd that so much time, money and air is being wasted in this, another battle waged against our religious liberties.
Pray for wisdom for the Supreme Court Justices and pray these efforts by the ACLU will come to nothing.
View Eric Creed’s blog with additional pictures here or visit the Don’t Tear Me Down site here.

Update …

From the LA Times, April 29, 2010: “Supreme Court allows Mojave war memorial cross

Another Update …

From Foxnews.com, May 11, 2010: “Thieves Steal Mojave Desert Cross in Nighttime Heist

Jul 20 2009

Where have the Superlatives gone?

So many superlatives have died this year. Superlatives are people who are described as being a cut above others in some way. One after another, we have witnessed a veritable parade of famous people passing from this life into eternity.

Here are a few of the superlatives who made history and touched lives…

• Walter Cronkite – the most trusted man in America

• Steve McNair – NFL Most Valuable Player in 2003

• Billy Mays – one of the most successful infomercial salesmen

• Michael Jackson – the most successful and most tragic pop rock star

• Farrah Fawcett – had the most famous poster in 1976

• Millvina Dean – the youngest passenger on the Titanic

• Mickey Carroll – the most famous munchkin (town crier in The Wizard of Oz)

• Henry Allingham – the world’s oldest man (113-years-old, WWI veteran)

It’s interesting how a few words will tend to summarize an entire life. And such brief lives – even for the 113-year-old! There are clues to the contributions these people made to the world they left behind.  But what about their beliefs? Where in eternity have they gone?

The key to their eternal destiny was not what they did or didn’t do; not what they had or didn’t have. The determining factor in their final destination was who they knew … or didn’t know. The same is true for you and me.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14.6). No mincing of words there, no special factors involved – just truth.

To get to the Heavenly Father, we must go through the only door available, the door provided by God the Father, the ultimate superlative: Jesus Christ.

Jesus gave us the greatest commandment, whose name is above all names, the most influential person who ever lived, who is not only the best Savior, not just the greatest Savior, but the only Savior. We know where He has gone: to the Father’s right hand and by trusting in Jesus, we are there with Him right now.