Month: June 2017

Beautiful Feet

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Isaiah 52

7 How beautiful upon the mountains

Are the feet of him who brings good news,

Who proclaims peace,

Who brings glad tidings of good things,

Who proclaims salvation,

Who says to Zion,

“Your God reigns!”

8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices,

With their voices they shall sing together;

For they shall see eye to eye

When the Lord brings back Zion.

9 Break forth into joy, sing together,

You waste places of Jerusalem!

For the Lord has comforted His people,

He has redeemed Jerusalem.

Paul referred to the beautiful feet of those who spread the gospel and used the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace in the passage on the armor of the Lord.  What we see in this illustration is that the gospel has to be taken places; it does not go by itself.   These beautiful feet might take the form of a radio program, a gospel tract, a text message or more.  But someone had to prepare the message to be sent and to then send it out.  Tracts that stay in the rack at church are not being used.

I used to have to remind Bobbi that my feet were beautiful.  She didn’t think so. But I had God’s word on it so I was pretty convinced.  What are your feet like?  Have they been made beautiful through the distribution of God’s tidings of peace?  Do people look forward to your coming because you bring God’s peace with you?

Israel was in a mess of a time.  They had rejected God’s prophets and were living in rebellion.  But God continued to send His messengers with His messages of peace.  Whenever God’s message was received joy and singing of praise to Him resulted.  We are no different.  We are born in sin ready to fight against God and His love.  But when He sends His messengers to us they carry God’s peace and love and truth and we, convinced of His offer of grace, receive it by faith and rejoice with the new family of God.  We then thank the one who with their beautiful feet brought us God’s redeeming message.

Our Riverwalk outreach tonight is in flux.  If you are planning on coming please call or text me after 4:00 and I will know by then if we are going to be able to make it work. 

I am looking forward to Sunday.  Our teens will be giving testimony to their time at the Lead the Cause camp and I will be bringing a message on prayer to prepare our hearts for God to work through us. 

Be in prayer for Nancy’s funeral tomorrow that as the gospel is given hearts will surrender to it. 

Have a great day in the Lord,


Redeemed and Rejoicing

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Isaiah 51:10–11

10 Are You not the One who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; That made the depths of the sea a road For the redeemed to cross over?

11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

So much of God’s work with Israel’s deliverance from Egypt has parallels far beyond Israel and Egypt and the Promised Land. Israel was often called upon to remember the great works of God when He brought them from slavery to freedom. (Psalm 78 is a complete recount of this wonderful and amazing time.)


Verse 10 takes us back to the Lord drying up the Red Sea, not a shallow swamp but a sea of great depths. This is an important distinction to those who think that Israel crossed somewhere else apart from the hand of God. Indeed, God did dry up the depths of the sea to make a road for His redeemed to cross over. I really like the use of the term “redeemed” here. For Israel had just offered their first offering, the first Passover, and had been redeemed by God when the death angel came. They were God’s redeemed ones! They were redeemed from slavery, delivered from bondage, and crossed the Red Sea by the hand of God.


Verse 11 takes the picture of the redemption from Israel and compares it to the ransomed of the Lord returning to the place of God’s promise, Zion, and coming with singing. We cannot imagine the joy of entering the Promised Land after 40 years of living in the wilderness. God uses that image of everlasting joy and the obtaining of joy and gladness as the promise of our entering into our eternal home. Sorrow and sighing will flee away. What a blessed place this eternal Promised Land will be.


Tomorrow night from 7:00-9:00 we will be at the Riverwalk with Dave and his sketchboard guitars and song. We need people to be there as a crowd with us. This is always a really blest time for all who come. If you can come a few minutes early for set up or stay for tear down that helps us too.   We are praying for Divine appointments with lost men and women who needing hope will come and engage with us.

Have a great day in the Lord,


Learning about fathering from the Fatherhood of God

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God is the ultimate Father to His children. In this message, Pastor Steve looks at six qualities of fatherhood that we see in God’s fathering of His own.

The Christian life and the Church

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In this message from Hebrews 10, Pastor Justin Schroeder carefully shows us how the Christian and the church are intertwined. Being a part of a local church is not an option for a child of God but something absolutely necessary.

Unchanging attributes of God

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Isaiah 51:6–8

6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, And look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment, And those who dwell in it will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not be abolished.

7 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.

8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment, And the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation.”

In the Bible God teaches us about Himself. He reveals details of who He is and then wants us to rest in Him. We are able to rest in God by putting our faith in all that He reveals to us about Himself. In this passage God tells us that His salvation will be forever and His righteousness will not be abolished. He then says that His righteousness will be forever and that His salvation will be from generation to generation.


In the years of my lifetime I have watched many religions claim that they have the keys to salvation and those who would follow their faith system (which was always a system of faith in human efforts) would find salvation. In Revelation 1 John sees the risen Jesus who calls Himself the Alpha and the Omega, which means that Jesus is the beginning and the end of all salvation.


If we ever think that salvation from our sin is discoverable form any source other than the God of heaven, we will be mistaken. Only in God and through His plan, which begins and ends with faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ, is eternal salvation found.


We also learn that God’s righteousness is will not be abolished. God is the One who established righteousness, which gives us the standard of what is right and what is wrong. Whenever God says something is right then it is right. Conversely, whenever God says something is wrong then it is wrong. Again, in my lifetime I have witnessed the puny efforts of men and women to redefine God’s definitions of righteousness to fit their lifestyles. In an effort to justify their sinful desires mankind has sought to re-write what God says is right and what God says is wrong.


One of God’s primary attributes is His holiness. Since God has defined holiness we cannot redefine it. No, we are called to be holy as He is holy. At salvation, God imputes us with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We then get an inner definition of right and wrong from God. His salvation and His righteousness then define us.


Here are the details of Nancy Schmidt’s funeral.   Saturday morning, at 10:00, the church will be open until 11:30 for the wake and time with the family. At 11:30 the funeral service will start. The burial will be Monday morning.   Church ladies, we have offered to provide snack trays for the family during the wake. If you can help with this please bring the trays before 10:00 as the family wake begins at 9:00.


Sunday after church is our church dinner. Just a reminder that this is the first Sunday of the month.


Men, I will be meeting with you for our prayer breakfast at Denny’s at 7:30 Saturday morning.


Have a great day in the Lord,

The Word of God is True, and we need to be

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Isaiah 50:6

I gave My back to those who struck Me,

And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;

I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

Throughout the Old Testament we find verses like this one that point directly to the birth, the life, the suffering, the death, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  On the day that Christ was beaten, had his beard pulled out, was mocked and spit on, Isaiah 50:6 was fulfilled.

Let me ask you, does this fulfilled prophesy increase your faith in the God of the Bible?  When we need the Bible to be true in our lives we should look to passages like this one and know that God is God, that God has spoken to us in His word, and that all that He says in every part of His word is true.  Oh my friends, we need the Bible to be written by God and we need it to be true.  God knew this and gave us hundreds of fulfilled prophesies to show us His power, His foreknowledge, and His ability to fulfill everything He has said.

Last night, around 9:45, our sister Nancy went to be with the Lord. I was with the family when she breathed her last breath.  They took her home on Sunday and she died on Monday.  As we stood around her struggling body I read from 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15.  I read that we sorrow not as those who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead than we also believe that God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  Then I read about how we die in corruption, in dishonor, and in weakness, but we are raised with incorruption, with glory and with power.  How can I read these verses at such a time?  I read them because they are the true words of God written to give us hope in life’s darkest hour.

I am so thankful that we have God’s words on life and death, the hereafter and the resurrection.  Nancy fell asleep in Jesus, the Bible says.  Her shell remains but she is gone.  One day, we too will fall asleep in this world and wake up in God’s eternal home.  Jesus was beaten,  abused, and shamed the day of His crucifixion to show us the truth of God’s word in all other places.  Rest in the absolute truth of God’s word today.

The family is talking about a Saturday funeral.  As more details come available I will pass them on to you.

Thank you for your prayers for our teens at the Lead the Cause camp last week.  We descended upon the city of Chicago determined to have gospel conversations to tell people about Jesus Christ.  All in all, a total of 1412 gospel conversations were had and at least 22 people came to Christ during those conversation!  What a thrill to be a part of such a great campaign.  On Friday night the five teens that we took all dedicated their lives to follow and serve the Savior.  On Sunday afternoon, Jake, one of our teens, was able to lead one of his friends to Christ using the tools he was given at camp.  God is continuing to work in their lives. 

Have a great day in the Lord,



Do You Understand Repentance?

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2 Corinthians 7 teaches us what Repentance and reconciliation are. In this message, Pastor Steve walks through Paul’s teaching to show what repentance is and what it is not.

The only God of fulfilled prophecy

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Isaiah 48

3     “I have declared the former things from the beginning;

They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it.

Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.

5     Even from the beginning I have declared it to you;

Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you,

Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them,

And my carved image and my molded image

Have commanded them.’

Isaiah wrote to a people who were constantly straying from following the one true God to the worship of worthless and empty idols.   Isaiah’s messages are filled with the aspects of God’s truth and proof of God’s existence as the one and only God.  Yet the people continued to stray from God who alone is God to follow the idols that they could see: the idols of pagans who said that their gods were the true ones.  We do not bow down to images today but we do have idols in our hearts, things and ideas that we trust above the God of heaven and above His written Word.  So the messages from Isaiah are pertinent to us today.
In this passage, God tells His people that He alone predicts future events and then brings them to pass.  Fulfilled prophesy is exclusive to the God of heaven.  God told Noah that there was going to be a flood 100 years before it happened.  God told Abraham that He would make of him a great nation.  God told Moses that He would bring Israel out of Egypt with a mighty hand. God promised the young nation that He would bring them into a land with cities they did not build and to vineyards they did not plant.  God predicted that the walls of Jericho would fall down.

In the books of Ezekiel and Daniel there were prophesies given regarding Israel and Babylon, and all of the kingdoms yet to come up until the end of time.  Isaiah prophesied the birth of Christ by a virgin, the killing of the innocent babies in Galilee, the suffering of Christ and even His pierced hands and feet.  The fact that none of the bones of Christ would be broken was also prophesied.

There are prophesies that have not yet been fulfilled but we have confidence that all that God has spoken will come to pass in His time.

My friends, no other religious writings have their gods or their leaders predicting events with the exact details coming true as our God’s writings do.  When you are tempted to believe another way or to put your faith in some other system of thought, remember the God who prophesies and fulfills all that He says; then worship Him and Him alone.

We are again thanking God for the children that He is bringing out each night.  Even in the rain last night we had 49 children come to VBS.  And of that group, six boys placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior!  Hallelujah!  This is why we put so much into this week.  Our staff is doing a fantastic job and each part of the evening is fun, fulfilling, and a reason for the children to come back the next night.

Tonight is our parent night.  We invite the parents to come and to hear the verses and songs that their children have learned.  It is a great opportunity to preach Christ to the parents and then to get to know them around the ice cream table.  Pray with us for redemptive conversations tonight both with children and with parents. 

Some time back I asked prayer for a friend named Tom who had cancer.  Tom lost the battle to cancer and died two nights ago. Pray for his family during this difficult time.

Have a great day in the Lord,



A Place We don’t want to be

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Isaiah 47

10   “For you have trusted in your wickedness;

You have said, ‘No one sees me’;

Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you;

And you have said in your heart,

‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’

From before Isaiah’s day and well into today and tomorrow there are people who are typified by this verse.   Trusting in their wickedness and believing that no one really sees what they are doing, they continue to live in their sin.  In human wisdom they reject Divine wisdom and have become warped by their sinful and selfish ways.  In their heart, the very foundation of their lives, they have come to believe that there is no God and that they are not accountable to anyone for their actions.

As Christians who do seek God’s wisdom and are possessed of God’s Holy Spirit, we see those who live apart from God and immediately see their foolishness.  We know that God’s wisdom and His knowledge is far above ours.  We know that God sees our every action and knows our every thought.  We know there is a God in heaven who is active in this earth and in our lives and to whom we will give account.

I give you Isaiah’s warning today.  When you see people that seem to be prospering while living wickedly, remember that God is not finished with them yet.  Remember that there is coming a day when they will kneel before the very God they deny.  Remember that their wisdom that seems to bring them success is damning their soul away from God.  Remember that they are not the captain of their fate but that they need the true Captain, the King of kings and the Lord of Lords whom they now deny.

Oh my friends, we are on the right side.  We are on God’s side.  He has given our eyes light to see and our minds clarity to judge in righteousness.  Sin blinds and binds.  Even the successful sinner is blinded to grace and bound by sin.  Do not envy their temporary success but pray for their eternal salvation.  Walk with the Lord today; seek His wisdom; enjoy His will and His purpose for your life.

We are praising God for His use of our lives in VBS this week!  We had 60 children both last night and the night before with many visitors each night.  Last night a boy and a girl professed first time faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.  The children have learned from the parables of Jesus each night and are very engaged in the lessons.  The crafts and the games and the snacks and the skits and the music and the memory verses are going so well.  Thanks to those involved in every part of the program.  Kids are happy, engaged, and wanting to return.  One dad texted men and told me that his three girls wanted to come back and wanted to change their schedules to do so.  They were there again last night. 

Pray with us for more of the children to hear the call of God to salvation.  I know there are non-churched children coming who might be hearing this stuff for the first time.  Pray for God to make the soil of their hearts soft to hear and ready to receive His seed.

Justin and his family were with us for ten days and left yesterday. It sure was fun to awaken each morning to the pitter-patter of toddler feet in the house.  Steven’s family was here often and the cousins sure do get along well.  They played and played and played together.  It was a great week for us.

Pray for our sisters Peggy and Nancy.  Peggy is in Edward with breathing problems.  Nancy is still at Loyola.  Pray for God’s healing in each of these dear ladies.

Pray for Victory Homes today.  They have an urgent request that the Lord is aware of.  Keep Mark and Lynn, the staff and the boys in your prayers throughout today. 

Have a great day in the Lord,


Either God created it or Isaiah lied

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Isaiah 45

18   For thus says the Lord,

Who created the heavens,

Who is God,

Who formed the earth and made it,

Who has established it,

Who did not create it in vain,

Who formed it to be inhabited:

“I am the Lord, and there is no other.

19   I have not spoken in secret,

In a dark place of the earth;

I did not say to the seed of Jacob,

‘Seek Me in vain’;

I, the Lord, speak righteousness,

I declare things that are right.

The idea of a Creator God must have been an issue in Isaiah’s day also.  If everyone knew that God created the heavens and the earth statements like this would not have been necessary.  As I have said before, if Isaiah is a bona-fide prophet who proclaimed the very words of God, then we have to accept that God created the heavens, formed the earth, made it, established it and formed it to be inhabited.  With this much clarity from God we cannot be evolutionists. The earth did not come into being on its’ own and come by itself to be a place inhabitable by all creatures, especially man.

The idea that all of this just happened over time and chance flies in the face of Isaiah 45.  If the earth came from a big bang 17 billion years ago, then Isaiah is a liar and we should discount everything he said.  His words could not have been from God but must have been made up by him or others.  Or, Isaiah did give us the word of God and God, through Isaiah, took the lid off of our origins.

If God is truly the great omniscient God of all time, of all knowledge, of all power, and of all life, then accepting Him as the Creator of all that we see is not quantum leap.  In Psalm 19 we learn that the heavens declare, they shout out the glory and the power and the wisdom of God.  The more we learn about biology and botany, and human physiology, the more we see the wisdom of God.  Yesterday we were talking with Justin and Katelyn about the hummingbirds in their backyard.  On Monday we went to the zoo and talked about the wonderful variations of the animals there.  To accept that God created them all for us to know Him, His wisdom and His creative power gives Him the glory for all of nature and life.

Yes, God has revealed Himself to all.  God did not speak in secret to one man as most other religion founders claim.  No, God has revealed Himself to us all for His glory and for His praise.

Sunday is it! VBS will begin!  We are praying for God’s hand to work again to bring children and parents to us that they might hear the wonderful message of our creating and saving God.  Join us in prayer for a good response, for good attendance, and for good weather.  Pray for good health and a good work week for all who work all day and serve all evening.  Invite parents to bring their children.

Nancy’s liver procedure got bumped again.  The family has been told that the doctors are going to try today.  Nancy has been given a feeding tube to try to increase her intake and her strength.  Pray, pray, pray, and labor in prayer for our sister. 

Sunday morning, my son, Justin, will be bringing the morning message.  Our church has always enjoyed Justin’s messages to us and we look forward to our time in the word with him this Sunday. 

Have a great day in the Lord,



We learn much from God’s working with others

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Isaiah 48

9    “For My name’s sake I will defer My anger,

And for My praise I will restrain it from you,

So that I do not cut you off.

10   Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;

I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

11   For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;

For how should My name be profaned?

And I will not give My glory to another.

We learn a great deal about God and about ourselves from the study of Israel and God’s actions toward them.  We are no different than disobedient Israel. We also stray from God, we rebel against God, and we worship other things besides God.  As God showed His anger to Israel so He has shown His anger toward us in our sin.  As God taught them justice so does He teach us.

Notice today that God, for His name’s sake, defers His anger.  God wants us to know of His mercy and of His kindness and love. Were God to give us full recompense for our sin He would have to totally damn each of us away from Him forever.  But for His name’s sake, God shows us His mercy and His grace.  Thus we know that God is love because He so often does not give us what we deserve.

God wants us to praise Him so He does not cut us off but in mercy gives us both life eternal and life abundant.  We do not praise God for naught. He is not a helpless idol that must be carried about and must have stories of His greatness made up.  No, we praise God because He has worked on our behalf for His glory.

However, God does refine our lives and God does test us.  The furnace of affliction is a place of painful correction when God puts us through trials for our good.  We seldom see the benefit of the furnace until we have gone through it and been purified, not like silver is purified but in the way that we need to be changed for our good and for God’s glory. This view of affliction enables us to thank God for the good days and for the bad days.  In both He is to be glorified for so working in our lives.

And why does God so work on our lives? For His own sake He works so that we will give Him glory and not ourselves nor the gods of our own hands.  When God has shaped our lives we thank Him for what He has done and praise Him for how He has made us.


I was able to visit Nancy again yesterday.  She is in a bad way.  Today the doctors are going to attempt a second method of stinting her liver.  This second method is a bit more risky than the first.  She needs a liver.  Pray with Nancy for God to raise her up to be a testimony of his love and power.

Pray for Mirna’s boss who is having his second leg amputated tomorrow. I will be visiting him today.

Pray also for Mary Green’s mother Elise who is in Edward with an infection.  I have gotten to know Elise at Sunrise Assisted living.  Pray for wisdom and comfort for Mary and her family.

I am taking the eight grandkids with me to Sunrise this morning.  They will bring many smiles to the residents there.  Whenever Justin and his family is in town we try to do this.  Kids bring such joy to the elderly.

Have a great day in the Lord,




Once again, God is God

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Isaiah 48

1  “Hear this, O house of Jacob,

Who are called by the name of Israel,

And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah;

Who swear by the name of the LORD,

And make mention of the God of Israel,

But not in truth or in righteousness;

2      For they call themselves after the holy city,

And lean on the God of Israel;

The LORD of hosts is His name:

3      “I have declared the former things from the beginning;

They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it.

Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.

4      Because I knew that you were obstinate,

And your neck was an iron sinew,

And your brow bronze,

5      Even from the beginning I have declared it to you;

Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you,

Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them,

And my carved image and my molded image

Have commanded them.’

6      “You have heard;

See all this.

And will you not declare it?

I have made you hear new things from this time,

Even hidden things, and you did not know them.

7      They are created now and not from the beginning;

And before this day you have not heard them,

Lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them.’

8      Surely you did not hear,

Surely you did not know;

Surely from long ago your ear was not opened.

For I knew that you would deal very treacherously,

And were called a transgressor from the womb.

9      “For My name’s sake I will defer My anger,

And for My praise I will restrain it from you,

So that I do not cut you off.

10      Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;

I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

11      For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;

For how should My name be profaned?

And I will not give My glory to another.

I met with a very intelligent and well-thought friend who denies that there is one God and who follows the writings of those who have near death experiences and come back.  I brought this friend to the writings of Isaiah who clearly states that there is only One God and that He alone is before and behind all things.  Isaiah’s writings are relevant for today.  We need to know what God said through Isaiah as He defended over and over that He alone is God and then tells us why He alone is God.

Nancy’s surgery yesterday was not successful.  The doctors were not able to get a stint put in. They have another procedure that they attempt after this procedure fails.  What she needs is a new liver.  Pray as the doctors meet today to discuss Nancy’s position on the list for a donor liver. 

Tomorrow morning there is a goal to finish all VBS decorations, yes, a week early.  If you can help please come to the church at 9:00 or thereafter.  I am serving breakfast at 8:00.  There is also a church work day that Bob is heading up.  There are specific things to do as well as the church needing to be cleaned.  Since there is much to do please come and give a couple hours of time. Thanks.

I will be bringing a message Sunday from 2 Corinthians 7 on the Actions of Repentance.  We know how to say that we are sorry, but do we follow the biblical guidelines for repentance? 

Have a great day in the Lord,


Look to God’s timing and His future

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Isaiah 46

12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness:

13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.

I just love passages like this one that absolutely confirm our Lord’s commitment to our salvation. Jesus came to this earth to seek and to save that which was lost. He wept over the unbelief of Jerusalem. But God has not cast off His people; in fact, God has multiplied His chosen ones. Paul tells us that circumcision, that is, the right of being Jewish, is not just a physical right for a physical people but a spiritual gift from God. For Paul says we, who have trusted Christ from all people groups, are circumcised in our hearts, that is, God has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him.

We are so thankful for the work of Jesus Christ who has saved us from our sin and improved our lives now. We will be eternally thankful for the work of Christ that brought us also into God’s eternal family. So when Isaiah says that God will place His salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory, I believe that all of us who are of spiritual Israel along with all who are physical Israel, should rejoice and be glad for God’s promise of His salvation.

It seems today that righteousness is far off. It feels like God’s salvation is lingering a bit too long. But God has said otherwise. Rejoice in God’s promise of His coming righteousness and of His coming salvation.   God glories in His people. We who have trusted Christ will be part of the glory of God forever.   Today will pass away. Eternity with God is just that. Focus on God’s promises.

Last week I told you that our friend Nancy was having a stint put in her liver because that is what she told me. Well, last week they repaired her jaw. Today, around 1:00, she is supposed to be going in for the liver stint. Nancy is anxious about this one. Pray for God to give her peace and for the success of this procedure. If this works, her body should stop producing the fluid that keeps filling up her lungs. Our sister needs great prayer. Labor with me in prayer for her today.

VBS is around the corner. We are at church this morning putting up decorations again. We hope to have all decorating done by this Sunday. If you have time Saturday come join us.   New people are contacting us about bringing their children! Pray for God to bring people who need Him and are ready to hear His gospel messages.

Have a great day in the Lord,