DON’T QUIT

  • Romans 15:30 (The Message) 30 I have one request…: Pray for me. Pray strenuously with and for me—to God the Father, through the power of our Master Jesus, through the love of the Spirit—

 

Pray strenuously!  Pray earnestly!  It is the idea of persistent, constant and heartfelt prayer. 

Sometimes we hear the words earnestly or strenuously and we think it is about human energy, but I think it is actually more about spiritual intensity.  It is about not giving up on praying.  Too many of us yell and scream and pace around for a moment (human energy) and then we are done.  But prayer that changes things is not one and done.  It is about applying faith to the situation and not pulling back too soon.

In Matthew 17 Jesus tells His disciples that if they have faith the size of a mustard seed we will be able to say to the mountain to move and it will be so.  I used to think that Jesus was saying we just have enough faith, but, I have seen the size of a mustard seed. It is small, teenie-weenie…tiny.  In some translations of this passage it says “…this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  Putting those two things together I think that Jesus was saying, “Mustard seeds are small.  All you need is a little faith, in fact you already have that much faith in you to move mountains.” 

So if we all have the faith that is needed why is it that we don’t see our prayers being answered as much as the Bible promises?

I think that it is not the size of the faith that is the issue but the prolonged application of it.  In other words, we give up too soon.  It requires prayer and fasting.  Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking – your faith is enough and your answer is on the way if you do not give up too soon.

Pray strenuously and earnestly.  Remember we are not feeble people so we won’t quit.  Keep on, keep on, keep on!



Reformation and Transformation

 

·      Romans 12:2 (NIV84) 2 Do not conform any longer 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. 

 

So many people have a singular idea of spiritual warfare being Christians rebuking demons but I would suggest that there is a more prevalent battleground where spiritual warfare is fought – the mind.  We are born with a sinful mindset – the spirit of our mind is sinful.  When we become Christ-followers God changes the sinful nature to a godly nature but now we must allow the old thinking of the mind to be replaced with the way God thinks – we need a reformation of the mind so that we can experience the fulness of the transformation.

 

The only way that can happen is through the power of the Holy Spirit working from the outside in and the inside out.  

 

Here are some things that our renewed mind should embrace…

  1. All behavior is based on a belief 

You do the things you do because you believe a certain way.

If we know God hates lying – which He says in His word – and we continue to lie it says something about what we really believe.  

What we believe is that is it may be easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.  

Or we believe that the consequences for lying will not be as bad as the consequences for not lying.  

Or we may believe that the payoff of lying is worth the price we have to pay.

 

  1. Behind every sin is a lie I believe

At the moment you sin, you’re doing what you think is the best thing for you and not trusting God’s heart of love for you.  You believe the lie of Satan.

 

  1. Change starts in the mind

If you want to change the way you act, you must renew the way you think. 

You can’t start with the action, you’ve got to start with the thought.  

 

·      Romans 8:5 (NIV84) 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 

 

4      The biblical term for “changing your mind” is “repentance”

Repentance is just changing the way we think about something by accepting the way God thinks about it. 

 

5      Bringing our bodies into alignment is the fruit of repentance

Repentance is not behavioral change. Behavior change is the result of repentance. 

 

·      Matthew 3:8 (NIV), “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” 

 

In other words, “You’ve changed your mind and accepted God’s way of thinking about things — now the fruit is living the way God thinks.

 

So…

Are you being transformed or are you doing all the same things as before you were a Christ-follower? 

Are you still championing the same worldly mindsets that you had before you were a Christ-follower?  

Are you allowing God to remold your thinking?

 

Take a moment to do some introspection.

 

·      What are the areas of my thinking that is more influenced by the world’s mindset than by the Word of God?  Ask the Holy Spirit to show it to you.  



NO FEAR LIVING

True confession time: I struggle with anxiety as a leader, so every so often I have to go back and read my journal to remind myself of the following truth.

 

NO FEAR LIVING

  • Psalm 27:1-3 (NLT)1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? 2  When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3  Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.

The Lord is my light, strength and salvation:  in other words He overcomes the darkness that threatens us, He gives me strength to stand and with Him victory is assured.  So if He is my light, strength and I am assured that He will overcome then the situations and circumstances around me should not cause me to be fearful.  I can look at the circumstances from heaven’s perspective and know that God’s plans will succeed.

David is able to make this public declaration because of his private practice of seeking to spend time with God in fellowship.  It is the understanding of abiding in Christ.  “He who dwells in the secret place of the most High will abide in the shadow of the almighty.”  If you abide in me and my words abide in you.  We must take time to be with God.  In David’s time when a visitor entered his host’s tent the host was personally responsible for his protection and provision.  So David is saying that he is placing himself willingly in God’s tent so that God will be personally responsible for his safety and protection.

And while he is in the tent of the Lord what is he doing?  Abiding.  But abiding is not a passive thing.  It is not just sitting there mindlessly staring into space.  While in the tent of the Lord we fellowship with Him.  We talk to Him and listen as He talks to us.  

  • Psalm 27:4 (TLB)4  The one thing I want from God, the thing I seek most of all, is the privilege of meditating in his Temple, living in his presence every day of my life, delighting in his incomparable perfections and glory.

As we abide we behold the beauty of the Lord.  God’s beauty is not just how he looks but it is the understanding of the richness of his goodness and favor to His people.  We need to meditate on God’s goodness and favor towards us.  Daily.  As we meditate on his mercy and grace as well as His Word it will strengthen us so that we can face each day.  We see life from heaven’s perspective and live with a sense of hope and joy, being able to worship God with confidence.



MIRACLES HAPPEN ONLY AFTER WE STEP OUT IN FAITH

Scripture: 

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

 

Observation:

Daniel resolved – He made a deep inward commitment not to defile himself of the royal food and wine.  Probably because the royal food and wine was offered up to idols and that would go against the commands of God.  So he decided that he was going to abstain.

Think about it though…

The food was the best of the best – coming from the table of the king of one of the most powerful empires of the time.

There would be a constant battle to eat it and to rationalize away why it was just necessary.  After all I have no other choice, I must obey the king in whose country I am now a subject.

 

Daniel’s approach was not open and direct rebellion because “it was against his religion!”  He asked for permission.  He went through the proper channels.  He did something with the conviction and did not just excuse away why it would not work.

He asked permission AND GOD intervened on Daniel’s behalf.  God caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel.

 

The official was open to Daniel’s request but was afraid for this own safety so he said no.

Again, the resolve of Daniel is evident.  He didn’t give up and say, “Oh well I tried and it did not work out so I have an excuse for not doing this.”  Daniel proposes a trial period.  Give us a try and if it doesnt work I will quit asking.

 

Understanding

Some thoughts from this…

Daniel purposed – he committed to living out the ways of God in a land that was a stranger to God’s ways and in a place where the pressure to conform was great.

It is not easy to obey God in this setting, but Daniel was committed to doing the best he could.  And his best was not going to be a half-hearted attempt.

The food from the king’s table was very tempting and tasty, the best of the best; and he would be giving it up for vegetables and water.  Wow from caviar and the choice meats to carrots and water.  Day after day after day.  Not exactly something I want to do.

He started by working within the system to fulfill his vow, pleading his case before his immediate supervisor.

God honors our desire to be holy.  In the end all of Daniel’s future is in the hands of God who caused the supervisor to show favor and compassion.

Daniel does not quit after the first attempt but looks for creative alternatives.  I believe that the idea of the trial was a idea of the Holy Spirit.

God again is at work because at the end of the time Daniel looks and acts healthier than the others who are on the royal food.

 

Life Application

When we choose to put God first He honors us for it.

Too often we say, I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I would get fired, my boss would not understand…!”  The list goes on with the excuses as to why we cannot resolve to follow God.  Every January I hear from people all the reasons why they cannot fast, but Daniel did not give excuses, he did what he could and he trusted God to do the rest.  He purposed, committed himself fully and completely, he resolved to not sin against God.

 

When we resolve, commit and purpose to do something then we must be prepared to face difficult moments.  The hunger pangs, the pain, the isolation because you are doing something different than everyone else.  You will be ostracized, misunderstood and well meaning people will tell you why you should not take such a radical approach.  But we must stay strong and make the myriad little decisions to continue to do what you are doing because it is about worship and honor to God.  Do what you can and let God do the rest.  And we can do quite a bit more than we think.

 

We can be creative in our approach.

Don’t just try one thing and then give up.

There may be a time to disobey but that is not where you start – you start with asking permission within the culture you live in.



Responding to a Word from God

How often I feel like God tells me something and then there is silence.

The drama and emotion fades and I am left with the question, How should I respond this promise from God?

 

In Luke 2 several people get words from God and we see their reactions…

Zechariah in chap 1 got a word and was doubtful and so he was given a sign to assure him that he had heard from God.  

The shepherds got a word from heaven:  the word included a place and a sign.  So, what do they do?  They responded by going to the place and witnessing the sign.

 

Speaking of signs.  Jesus was born and because there was no place else to put Him, they improvised and put him in a feeding trough lined with hay.  But the more you look at this incident you realize that our “inconveniences” are many times a very integral part of His unfolding plan.  The sign for the shepherds, who many believe were the shepherds who tended the flocks of the temple sheep, was a powerful word picture that resonated with them.  These shepherds would often wrap newborn lambs in strips of cloths and put them in a feeding trough so that they would not hurt themselves and remain unblemished.  What an amazing and personal sign it would be for them to see the lamb of God wrapped in cloths and laying in a feeding trough.  

 

The other thing that the shepherds did was that they recounted the story to others after they had seen the baby the sign had led them to.  They gave testimony to the veracity of God’s Word.

 

Mary was also getting words from God: through the angel, the shepherds, Simeon and Anna, even the wise men.  Mary did something that many of us need to do with the word as well. She “treasured” them.  She pondered on them and thought about them, rehearsed them in her mind.  She held on to what was said knowing by faith that the word would come to pass – even in this case if that meant that this was a word she did not want to see happen and that would take a near lifetime to see.

 

The shepherds had to respond immediately to the word they were given because it was happening in the moment.

Mary treasured and pondered the word in her heart because it was for a future time.

 

How are you responding to the promises of God to you?  Are you acting on it even if it is in faith?  Don’t give up, you can trust that what God has promised He will do, and when He does it – go tell it to everyone you see!



The Parable of the Lighthouse

 
On a dangerous seacoast notorious for shipwrecks, there was a crude little lifesaving station.  Actually, it was merely a hut with only one boat, but the few members kept a constant watch over the turbulent sea.  With little thought for themselves, they would go out day & night tirelessly searching for those in danger as well as the lost.  Many lives were saved by this brave band who faithfully worked as a team in and out of the lifesaving station.  By and by, it became a famous place.

 

Some of those who had been saved, as well as others along the seacoast, wanted to become associated with this little station.  They were willing to give their time, energy and money in support of its objectives.  New boats were purchased.  New crews were trained.  The station, once obscure and crude and virtually insignificant, began to grow.  Some of its members were unhappy the hut was so unattractive and poorly equipped.  They felt a more comfortable place should be provided.  Emergency cots were replaced with lovely furniture.  Rough, handmade equipment was discarded and sophisticated, classy systems were installed.  The hut, of course, had to be torn down to make room for all the additional equipment, furniture, and systems.  By the time of its completion, the lifesaving station had become a popular gathering place, and its objectives had begun to shift.  It was now used as a sort of clubhouse, an attractive building for public gathering.  Saving lives, feeding the hungry, strengthening the fearful, and calming the disturbed rarely occurred.

 

Fewer members were interested in braving the sea on lifesaving missions, so they hired professional lifeboat crews to do this work.  The original goal of the station wasn’t altogether forgotten, however. Lifesaving motifs still prevailed in the club’s decorations. There was a liturgical lifeboat preserved in the Room of Sweet Memories with soft, indirect lighting, which helped hide the layer of dust upon the once-used vessel. About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the boat crews brought in loads of cold, wet, half-drowned people.  They were dirty, some terribly sick and lonely.  Others were “different” from the majority of the club members. The beautiful new club suddenly became messy and cluttered. 

A special committee saw to it that a shower house was immediately built outside, away from the club so victims of the shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.  At the next meeting there were strong words and angry feelings, which resulted in a division among the members.

 

Most of the people wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities and all involvements with shipwreck victims.  As you’d expect, some still insisted on saving lives, that this was their primary objective – that their only reason for existence was ministering to anyone needing help regardless of their club’s beauty or size or decorations.  They were voted down and told if they wanted to save the lives of various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own lifesaving station down the coast!  They did.

 

As the years passed, the new station experienced the same old changes.  It evolved into another club – and yet another lifesaving station was begun.  History repeated itself. And if you visit that coast today you’ll find a large number of exclusive, impressive clubs along the shoreline owned and operated by slick professionals who have lost all involvement with the saving of lives. 

Shipwrecks still occur in those waters, but now most of the victims are not saved.  Every day they drown at sea, and so few others seem to care . . . so very few. 
 
written by Chuck Swindoll


By Faith Shoes

Recently we had missionaries to Liberia, Drew and Jessica Welch at our church and we were reminded of an incredible story of faith from Jessica. Here is her story that was featured in The Message of the Open Bible magazine.

 
 

Thirty-one-year-olds just don’t have strokes,” the emergency room doctor said. He had a rather baffled look on his face as he looked up from reading the MRI report. It was obvious to everyone in the room that he had never encountered someone so young suffering from a stroke. Well, I managed it.

I had just completed my first mountain trail race. It was 16 miles of grueling inclines and treacherous descents, but I loved every moment of it! It was exhilarating. As I finished, my mind was already thinking about the next one, a 25-mile mountain marathon! However, six days later, things started going awry. I began to experience head pain. This was not unusual; I have dealt with headaches in the past. Usually I would pop a few Tylenol, get a good night’s rest, and no more headache. However, this time was different. My vision was impaired by dark spots and holes that were getting larger and darker. Dizzy spells knocked me off my feet. I became overly sensitive to light, sound, and movement. I was experiencing paralysis down the entire left side of my body, affecting my ability to walk and even talk at times. Finally after numerous visits to the doctor’s office and the ER, I was able to get an MRI, which revealed the culprit of the explosion of these-out-of-control symptoms.

The report was placed in the hands of one of the very same ER doctors who had sent me home just the week before. I’m quite sure that doctor got an education that day. Yes, 31-year- olds can have strokes. Eighteen-year-olds can have strokes (it happened to my brother-in-law). Even babies can have strokes. Strokes are not a respecter of age.

Through the long, drawn-out 13-day waiting game of uncertainty, the peace of God was such a powerful force. The Lord had surrounded me with amazing prayer warriors, and He had laid on my heart some verses which I continually found myself repeating. I later titled these verses “My Battle Verses” because I was waging war not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of this dark world.

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” {Deuteronomy 31:8)
  • Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4)

These verses became my comfort and strength during my unrelenting battle. They are verses I continue to run to in moments of weakness.

I have heard people say we can never stop the “self-talk” from going on inside our heads; we are always thinking about something. After my stroke there was no self-talk. The continuous chitter-chatter that had been my companion for 31 years was a silent void of nothingness. It was a rather eerie feeling, but at the same time peaceful.

As the self-talk slowly came back, I can remember thinking, “I could have lost the ability to walk. I could have lost the ability to use my left hand and I could be in a wheelchair. I could be blind and quite honestly I could be dead. BUT whatever God’s plans are, He wants me to walk. He wants me to use my hands. He wants me to talk. He wants me to see. And most important, He wants me alive!” Many people die from strokes in a matter of hours. My series of mini-strokes dragged on for 13 long days. I truly praise God for life!

I slowly began to regain capabilities that were once so difficult, including walking. When it was finally safe to take me out of the house, my husband, Drew, took me on a date to one of my favorite places, a shoe store. He knows I suffer from a slight shoe fetish. This particular day a colorful pair of stilettos caught my eye. Due to my instability on my feet, I reluctantly tried them on. My legs felt like Jell-0 as Drew took my arm and we slowly and methodically made our way to the mirror. I fell completely in love with these shoes, but the sheer fact that I could not walk in them was evidence enough that purchasing them would have been foolishness at its finest.

I am convinced that Drew had the wisdom of God that day because what he said still brings tears to my eyes; “Honey, we are going to buy these shoes in faith that you will walk in them one day!” So with that, the shoes came home. I frequently pulled them out of the closet and tried them on just to see how I was progressing. It was months before I was actually able to wear them outside the house.

It was never about a pair of shoes. It was about placing a reminder in my path of God’s faithfulness. These shoes have been labeled my “By Faith Shoes” because we purchased them at a time I could not walk in them in faith that my God was going to bring me to a place of deliverance! And that is exactly what He has done!

Five and a half years later I am still on the road to recovery. It has been long and hard, but I am praising God for His mercies and grace through it all. Most people would not know the mountains I have climbed to be here today. I still fight daily battles, but God has been so faithful. As I look back, I cannot help but be thankful for all of it. Those initial 13 days of madness until I received my diagnosis were just the beginning of our journey as a family. They launched us into a bigger understanding of God’s faithfulness. They taught us how to rely on God with every inch of our being. What a blessing each day has become. “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it’ (Psalm 118:24, NKJV).
 
 
Jessica Welch is a woman wrapped up in faith, family, and fulfilling the call of God on her life. She and Drew Welch, her husband of 15 years, are the parents of three beautiful children. The Welches serve as Open Bible missionary ambassadors to Liberia, West Africa.
 

Consider supporting the Welches…give here



Being At Peace

Recently for my devotions I read Psalm 131.  I have read this many times before but the Holy Spirit really just brought it to life for me.  Below is a copy of my journal entry, hope it encourages you.
 
  • Psalm 131:1–3 (CEV) 1 I am not conceited, Lord, and I don’t waste my time on impossible schemes. 2 But I have learned to feel safe and satisfied, just like a young child on its mother’s lap. 3 People of Israel, you must trust the Lord now and forever.
 
What a great passage filled with so much in three little verses.
I am not conceited:  I come to God humbly.  Knowing my place and recognizing who He is.  I do not waste my time on things.
  • Psalm 131:1–2 (The Message) 1 God, I’m not trying to rule the roost, I don’t want to be king of the mountain. I haven’t meddled where I have no business or fantasized grandiose plans. 2 I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content.
 
My feet are planted in reality but my faith is in the One.
 
I have learned – I have taught myself
 
I have learned to feel safe and satisfied – I have taught myself to encourage myself and to talk to myself into understanding where my provision and protection comes from.  My help comes from God, the maker of heaven and earth. The word encourage means to pump courage into. I have taught myself how to talk courage into my heart so I can keep going.
 
I am content like a baby feeling safe in its mother’s arms.
But he also says like a baby weaned.  Weaning means that the baby is no longer dependent on the mother’s milk but has begun to mature.  “Solid food is for the mature, who by constant practice have trained themselves…” Hebrews 5:14
 
As we mature – as we are transformed by the knowledge of who God is and His place in our lives – we find that we live in peace because He is the One who keeps us safe and satisfied.  We look past just how we feel and hold on by faith to what God declares is true.
When we are mature and walking in faith we are able to wait with hope!
 
This means that we live in hope.  We can hope now in the present – that our present troubles are temporary. And we can hope in the future because God has given us a future and a hope.
 
 
I’ve kept my feet on the ground
I’ve cultivated a quiet heart
Like a baby weaned (content) in it’s mothers arms, my soul is content
Wait for God
Wait with hope
Hope now:
Hope always!


Legacy

Two stories and a thought

 
STORY NUMBER ONE
Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder. Capone had a lawyer nicknamed “Easy Eddie.” He was Capone’s lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie’s skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.  To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.
 
Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.
 
Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes,
cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn’t give his son; he couldn’t pass on a good name or a good example.
 
One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.  He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al “Scarface” Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great.
So, he testified.  Within the year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.
 
The poem read:
The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the
power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early
hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still.”
 
 
STORY NUMBER TWO
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.  One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.  As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was
speeding its way toward the American fleet.
 
The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn’t reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.  Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber’s blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and
then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.
 
Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many
enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.  Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in
another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.
 
Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on
his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five
enemy aircraft. This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action, Butch became the Navy’s first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.  A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age
of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
 
So, the next time you find yourself at O’Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch’s memorial displaying his
statue and his Medal of Honor. It’s located between Terminals 1and 2.
 
 
SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?
 
Butch O’Hare was “Easy Eddie’s” son.
 
Pretty wild, right? Your legacy lies in how we respond to life today.  Our hope for the future lies in our responses to God today.  Lets sow seeds of love and godliness for our childrens sake and future.


What Does Our Church Need Most Right Now?

If you are a committed Christ follower who considers DSC your church home – this note is for you. 

 

During this Corona season we have had to adapt to a different way of experiencing church, and as time goes on many people find new routines and activities that begin to fill their time. One of the things that has probably suffered is your commitment to the church family.  Whether we understand it or not, or fully believe it or not, the church family is important. You invest into one another and experience the kind of community that is what God desires for His people, in order for them to live out all that He desires for them.   

 

As the DSC church family, can I give you a few things that our church needs most right now

 

Your prayers.  

If you don’t pray for our church, who will?  

 

Your financial faithfulness.  

The needs of the church and its ongoing mission haven’t changed. We are still supporting a selfless, hard-working staff; still doing our best to serve those in need; and having to invest heavily in new equipment in order to have services online.  Our financial needs have risen due to the technology, equipment and expertise needed to move online.  

 

Your engagement.  

Yes, we’re all experiencing online fatigue. But one of the reasons we have stayed with the format we have is so that we can engage with each other corporately even if it is in a chat for an hour.  Don’t let online fatigue keep you from community.  And attendance is not engagement – don’t just be there – interact and engage with one another and with the Word of God. 

 

Your witness.  

If you have stopped “inviting” your friends to attend church simply because there is no longer a physical service to attend, you are missing out on one of the greatest outreach opportunities in our lifetime. Now is the best, greatest, easiest time to invite people to come and see, come and hear, come and explore in the most non-threatening way imaginable—online.  

 

Your service.  

For so many, you served with children’s ministry, ushering, worship team and in so many other physical ways that are now unavailable, but we still need your gifts and serving hearts. Now there are some new roles and needs that need your expertise.  

Can you hold a camera?  

Are you willing to learn how to edit video?  

Would you be willing to serve in our outreaches?  

Can you give supplies or help collect supplies for people in need?  

We will be letting you know where those needs are and I encourage you to join us in serving.   

 

But PG is this all about the church?  What about my needs?  Well, lets walk back through the five areas again: 

 

  • You need to be praying, and not just for our church. You need to engage in regular prayer that expresses your love for God, your gratitude, the confession of sin and asking for forgiveness, and laying out the needs of your life before Him for His power, protection, intervention and supply.  
  • You need God’s financial blessing. The Bible couldn’t be clearer: if you honor God, He will honor you.  
  • You need spiritual community in whatever form you can find it and the sustenance that comes from teaching and worship. We are not simply called to be public worshipers, but also private worshipers.  
  • You need to show you are not ashamed of the message of Christ and share your faith. 
  • You need to exercise and enlarge your faith through service. 

 

So meet the needs of your church. And in so doing,… meet your own. 

 

Excited about the possibilities, 

Pastor Gary 

 

This letter was adapted from an article I read by James Emery White.