Being People of Thanksgiving

img_6546Last Thursday we celebrated the National holiday of Thanksgiving. Probably the most famous of the Thanksgivings was the first when the Pilgrims and their Indian friends celebrated the fall harvest in the new land. Although the Pilgrims are deservedly credited with the first Thanksgiving, George Washington proclaimed the first national day of celebration on November 26, 1789. In 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution making Thanksgiving a national holiday to be observed on the last Thursday of November.

A national holiday dedicated for thankfulness is wonderful, but all the holidays in the world will not make an individual heart thankful. It can only encourage the practice. It is up to each individual to take the initiative to exercise his or her thankfulness. We indeed have much to be thankful for but so often we let it slide, neglect, or even refuse to give thanks.

As believers, it is paramount that we have a grateful attitude. It begins with our heart, moves to the mind, then exits through our mouth. Yes, we can also demonstrate thanksgiving with our actions, but with a sincere “Thank You” we can communicate what is in our heart.

Let’s be people who are quick to say “Thank You”, shall we?

Thank you, Dennison Foursquare Church, for allowing Susan and I to be your pastors.


Happy Labor Day!

imageWay back in the 1880’s there began to be some talk about setting aside a date to celebrate labor. This day would honor the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the country. It is thought that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, was first to suggest that “Labor Day” should be a national holiday. At the time he was the secretary of the Central Labor Union of N.Y.C. In 1887, Oregon made Labor Day an official public holiday, twenty-nine states followed suit and in 1894 President Grover Cleveland made it official. The first Monday in September would be set aside to honor the American worker. The Great American holiday, and the unofficial end of summer was born.

In his letter to Rome, Paul wrote, “Give honor where honor is due, and Jesus told His disciples that a laborer is worthy of his wages. When Paul was encouraging the Colossians he told them “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord . . .”

Sweat equity, hard work, muscle grease, there is nothing quite like a job well done. A sense of accomplishment can be had when one looks back on a day’s work.

When Paul was talking to the church at Colosse, he told them about the importance of working hard at serving Christ, working hard to share the love of Jesus . . . “Preaching Christ, warning every man and Mteaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ.” “To this end,” Paul said, ‘‘I labor, I strive.”

May we honor Jesus this Labor Day, working hard to share His love with a world who certainly could use the message of Jesus.


Weapons of Our Warfare



“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Cor 10:4-5 ESV).

This past Wednesday night our church hosted an end-of-the-summer Luau for the children. (We were happy to have a lot of grown up children there too.) We had fun and ate some great food together. At the end of the night after almost everyone had left, Pastor Adam and I found two squirt guns that had been used for a game. To make a long story short, we looked for people to squirt. (Unfortunately, Pastor Rod had already left.) The toy guns were pitiful. The one I had didn’t shoot straight and could barely reach any of my targets. Remington and Lillian just laughed at my attempts to squirt them.

Many times we feel like the weapon we have against the enemy’s attack is nothing more than a child’s toy. We feel like we’re pulling the trigger and making an effort to fight, but we have nothing to show for it. Maybe we even feel like the devil is laughing at us

The Bible tells us, “ . . . be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Eph 6:10 ESV).

It’s time to put our wimpy weapons down and look to the Lord to fight for us. Lately I have been convicted of my need to pray more. There are kids in the youth group that are hurting. There are people that I love who are sick. There is so much more going on than I even know. I feel like my attempt to “fix” things is nothing more than a joke that the enemy laughs at.

I need the divine power of the Lord. His strength is not something that I can manufacture on my own. I have to go to Him. I have to ask for His help.

I challenge you to join me. Stand strong in the Lord. Don’t give up. Let’s show the enemy that we come with more than squirt guns. We’ve come to destroy strongholds. Is there something in your life that you feel you have been ineffective in fighting against? Give it to the Lord. Let Him do the fighting.


The Stories of the Passion

imageI don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like a good story. Fishermen are notorious for telling a good, albeit sometimes over-embellished, story. A sporting event can make for an entertaining narrative, and those of us who hunt can also tell a great yarn. It’s not that our intentions are to fabricate a tale, we just tend to exaggerate the facts … for the sake of a good story!

Having said that, for the next four Sundays I am going to be telling some extraordinary stories. I am entitling the series, “The Stories of the Passion.” Beginning with The Last Supper and ending with The Empty Tomb, we will visit the garden, triumphal entry, and the cross, along the way. Each of the stories we share will encourage, inspire and hopefully challenge us as we contemplate our Christian walk. As we seek to accomplish our very own Great Commission and become the witnesses Christ has intended for each of us, I hope you will be pleased with the practical lessons you will learn by listening to “The Stories of the Passion.” Oh yeah, I don’t need to stretch the dialogues, they are fascinating just the way they are.

Can’t wait to tell you a great story!
~Pastor Rod

Humbled Community

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, and I was thirsty and you gave me drink…” (Matthew 25:35)

Dennison Foursquare Church is a Place where Hope abounds, and we have many outreaches in our church that minister not only to our congregation, but to the community, and around the world through missions. But locally we are so humbled to be a part of all who have been so very faithful to supply a wonderful meal for the Homeless Shelter of Tuscarawas Country each month for over 10 years.

They truly took forward to the delicious meals, and we are the only ones who stay to fellowship and pray for their personal requests. We have witnessed many answers to the burdens and needs, such as housing, health concerns, jobs, and their emotional and spiritual needs. We are so thankful to Our Lord for every salvation, and open door for job opportunities and housing. We never know when someone we love may have need of compassionate love and help provided through an outreach such as this. So Thank You to All who have donated their wonderful meals, and given their time and finances to the less fortunate.

Anyone interested in becoming involved in any way, please inform Pastor Rod, or Denny and Sue Elias.

Thank you Pastors Rod and Susan for your support and encouragement, and for being such Huge Blessing to our community. Truly we are part of a Giving Church.

“And the King will answer, and say to them; Assuredly I say to you, in as much as you did it for one of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)


Spiritual Warfare is Real

warrior2The end of this summer season found me very weary from just keeping up with a healthy family lifestyle. This sounds like an innocent environment but by allowing weariness to get a hold of me, it became played up in my mind as suffering and despair. in other words, I found my fruits of the Spirit shutting down and freezing up and staying locked up in a non-fruitfulness.

After listening to Pastor Rod speak about the Armor of God and Spiritual Warfare (click here “When the Battle Comes, Worship!” for the iTunes podcast or you can listen to it on our website at:, it shed a bright light on me, that I wasn’t putting on the full armor of God and I wasn’t be played with lightly! That roaring lion seeking to devour was right in my face for several weeks. And here I was trying to fight something like that in my own flesh which would be similar to flicking rubber bands at a tiger!

God has laid out weapons for us to fight effectively and they are the Word of God, Prayer, and Worship. These weapons are to be used in a devoted daily occurrence, or hour by hour, or even minute by minute to get you through the battleground. Learn to use these weapons in a strategic pattern in your life, and the next battlefield you face, the victory may be claimed quicker.

Through all that despair of going to battle in my own flesh, I learned how exposed and weak I really am to fight a battle that meant to destroy, and how impure my thoughts could be if left unguarded. So don’t set yourself up for failure by using your own strength. Seek God first and not yourself.

“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)

Get refreshed with the Dennison Foursquare Podcast from August 23, 2015 – “When the Battle Comes, Worship!”. Get in on the action with live worship service every Sunday at Dennison Foursquare.

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Our Sermons Website



When God Asks Questions

I was reading Job, and in reading Job, I read about his friends giving him advice as to why all these sufferings were brought upon him. I read Job’s response to the accusation of sin. I realized by chapter 38 that the entire time I had been reading the book of Job, I was waiting for chapter 38, “God answers Job”. I was desperately seeking God’s words, anticipating His words to Job. Since this was my first time through Job, I didn’t know what to expect.

Excited to read chapter 38, God responds: Job 38:3 “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall question me.” Wow! I started to tremble as I put myself in Job’s place. God’s not beginning with advice, He’s asking questions.

Pondering this verse of Scripture, I asked myself some questions? During my storm of life, would I be ready to answer God’s questions? Would I like what I hear? Do I really want to hear the truth?

God had Job’s best interest at heart. He had to get Job to recognize and submit to His power and sovereignty. Then, Job would be able to hear what God was really saying to him.

Sometimes God has to get our attention, so we hear and listen to His words. Our suffering’s cause is to trust Him for who He is, not what He does. Our answers to difficulties may unfold over the course of life and not at the moment we desire. Tough, I know, in this world of NOW!

So, let’s trust our all-powerful God with our unanswered questions. We can never be separated from His love when He is our foundation Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”

Have a Nice Day!

Mothers – The Seeds You Sow

mothers-dayOh, the Joy of Spring! We are thrilled to see the lush green trees, grass, and flowers coming forth from the deadness of winter. We see the seeds planted from the past bursting forth in their beauty. Now is the time we begin to sow seeds. Nurturing, watering, and the warm sunshine will bring forth a harvest to enjoy all year.

“When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which first dwelt in your Grandmother Lois and your Mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Tim 1:5).

Today I think about all the mothers and Grandmothers who have sowed the seeds of God’s love into our lives: Seeds of faith that began at birth.

As you embrace and unconditionally love your baby, you are sowing security and trust that you will take care of their every need. You are the first teachers in sowing knowledge and desire to be all they were created to be as they grow in God’s Word. You are the first to sow discipline, to learn obedience, and respect for your authority and God’s. Sowing of your time, teaching, and listening to their needs will surely reap a great harvest of faith, knowledge, reverence, and godly character in your child. Because of you they will grow and sow their own seeds of love, faith, and joy.

“We have no greater joy than to know that our children walk in Your truth” (3 John 1:4).

A big thank you to all the moms and grandmas!
Happy Mother’s Day!