Having One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days, maybe a string of days when you are frustrated and discouraged with your walk with the Lord? You hate to admit to even thinking it, but there are those days when you question your faith, you wonder, “Where is God?” Life circumstances, pain, and disappointments leave you asking, “Where are You, God?

David must have been having one of those days in Psalms 42 . . . he said, “My tears have been my food day and night” (Psa 42:3). In verse six he declared, “My soul is downcast within me.” This Psalm tells us that people around David were mocking his faith, his God, asking “Where is your God?” David said, “My foes taunt me all daylong” (Psa 42:10). The persecution of his soul even affected him physically. He described his pain as waves and breakers sweeping over him; his bones even hurt (Psa 42:10).

Well . . . if David can have those kind of days, I guess I can expect the enemy of my soul to tempt and torment me as well. David gives us the solution in verse one. David marks the beginning of climbing out of the spiritual doldrums. He longs, even pants, as a deer after water, his soul also longs after the Lord. The beginning place, back to spiritual vitality, begins with the Lord (Psa 42:1).

In Psalm 42:4, David declares the importance of going to the house of God. Within the “sanctuary” of His house we can enjoy worship, participate in prayer, discover encouragement, and find support.

Two times (Psalm 42:5 & Psalm 42:7) we find another nugget that David gives us. David talks to himself! “Why so downcast oh my soul?”(KJV) It is as if David is giving himself a quick kick in the seat of his pants, a spiritual swat . . . “Snap out of it, David,” he says, “Put your hope in God!” Then, the friend of God says with determination . . . in midst of turmoil, while having a bad day, week, or month, “Yet, I will praise Him, my Saviour and my God” (Psa 42;11).

Let’s take a cue from David . . . pant after, long for our Savior’s care. His words, determine to fellowship in the house of God, and give yourself a spiritual pep talk . . . He will get us through the storms of life, the doldrums of our faith. He will never leave us! Bless His Holy Name!

~Pastor Rod

More Than You Can Imagine!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20, 21).

I think I have a pretty good imagination. At least I did when I was younger. I love playing with children who are still young enough to think up entire worlds out of thin air. It seems that as we get older, it becomes harder to remember how to imagine things that we can’t see or touch.

Hebrews tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith isn’t about playing games with adorable children. Faith is about trusting that the God “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or think” is still at work today.

Can you imagine a request or problem too big for God’s power? No! In fact, I would challenge you to ask Him to expand your imagination of what He can do in your life. We do not need to resign to the limitations of this world. There is nothing that God cannot do! Ask Him for a miracle! Ask Him to move a mountain! Ask Him to increase your heart’s expectation of what He can do through His powerful work in you!

You may not be able to see it now, but He is working. He is more than able to carry you through whatever struggle you are facing. Give Him an opportunity to show you that He is worthy of all praise and all of our faith!

“To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, Forever and ever. Amen. ”

~PASTOR SUSAN B.

The Commute

Today after church, Pastor Adam and I are driving to Washington D.C. Adam is excited. If I’m honest, I am kind of dreading it. When I lived in Los Angeles, I worked 15 miles away from where I lived. It took me 90 minutes to get to work. I absolutely hated the traffic. My commute to work drove me crazy!

Did you know that D.C. has the worst traffic in the country? Today’s trip has given me traumatic flashbacks of my time in California. I can still remember daydreams about flying cars and the possibility of teleportation . . . all while my car sat still on a 5 lane highway surrounded by other commuters just as frustrated as I was.

Why would anyone want to take a trip right into the traffic capital of the country on a holiday weekend? The answer is simple. Our destination is there. Pastor Adam and I are traveling to Washington D.C. because our denomination’s international convention is there. The commute may be horrible, but the destination is going to be worth it.

Sometimes I feel like this life is a long and painful commute. There are some bumps in the road. There are frustrations and disappointments. Things don‘t go the way I wish they would. My plans fall through. My pursuits become slowed down or completely stop. The commute of life can really hurt.

Philippians 3:20 says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly await. . .” Our present commute may often times be difficult. Be encouraged! The destination is well worth it. All of the struggle on our way is nothing compared to the glory of Heaven. Don’t give up! Heaven is worth the commute!

~ PASTOR SUSAN B.

Remembering 9-11

29 Apr 2012, New York City, New York State, USA --- United States, New York, Manhattan, 9/11 Memorial designed by Israeli architect Michael Arad involving a forest of trees around two bodies of water with two large Square holes in their center at the exact spot where the formers towers stood --- Image by © Bertrand Rieger/Hemis/Corbis

29 Apr 2012, New York City, New York State, USA — United States, New York, Manhattan, 9/11 Memorial designed by Israeli architect Michael Arad involving a forest of trees around two bodies of water with two large Square holes in their center at the exact spot where the formers towers stood — Image by © Bertrand Rieger/Hemis/Corbis

Last month while our youth were on a mission’s trip to N.Y.C., we had an opportunity to visit Ground Zero, those iconic several blocks where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center stood. The Freedom Tower that reached toward heaven, the park, 9-11 Memorial, and reflecting pools all honored those lost during the chaos that followed the attacks that fateful day in September 2001.

9-11-ground-zero-i-beam-crossSusan and I visited Ground Zero just a few months after the towers fell. I remember walking up to the construction fence that kept people away from the carnage of twisted metal and busted brick and concrete. There was a hush that covered the area, and even though there were hundreds of people standing along the fence, only whispers, sobs and muted prayers could be heard. I remember looking at a piece of steel that rose up out of the rubble, it looked like a cross and someone had put an American flag on it. The thought struck me. With Jesus’ help America will get through this. America will get through this!

Today marks the 15″‘ anniversary of that sad day when the planes flown by terrorists flew into the World Trade Center buildings. America was forever changed, like Pearl Harbor, like Columbine, like Sandy Hook, like so many tragic events, both local and national, tragic times shape who we are.

The "Tribute in Light" memorial is in remembrance of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The two towers of light are composed of two banks of high wattage spotlights that point straight up from a lot next to Ground Zero. This photo was taken from Liberty State Park, N.J., Sept. 11, the five-year anniversary of 9/11. (U.S. Air Force photo/Denise Gould)

The “Tribute in Light” memorial is in remembrance of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The two towers of light are composed of two banks of high wattage spotlights that point straight up from a lot next to Ground Zero. This photo was taken from Liberty State Park, N.J., Sept. 11, the five-year anniversary of 9/11. (U.S. Air Force photo/Denise Gould)

Standing beside the reflecting pool, watching the water pour down into the hole that is the footprint of one of the Trade Center’s Towers, l traced a name that was imprinted on the top of the low wall with my finger, as I did I thought, “Through it all, Jesus you are still Lord, and You have promised to work in us a great work as we trust you during the difficult times of struggle.”

As we remember, as we look back, we do so with an eye on the future and remember Jesus will never, never, leave us nor forsake us!

God Bless America and God Bless Us All!
~PASTOR ROD

God Means It For Good

image“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20).

Sometimes our circumstances stink. It’s a



fact of life. Joseph could probably relate to that. This is a guy whose life went from bad to worse. He was thrown into a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, accused of attempted rape, and thrown into prison. This kid’s life seemed pretty bad. Throughout this whole ordeal, Joseph could have easily just given up on life, but God had a purpose for Joseph through all of it. Because he was sold into slavery in Egypt, he was able to help the people prepare for a great famine that would have killed a lot of people.

Sometimes, you do not know why your life is going the way that it is, but you can rest assured that God does have a plan and He will use these experiences to help mold you for a specific purpose. You may not always see it, but God is working.

I think Romans 8:28 says it best: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This is the reassurance that we need sometimes. No matter how bad things may get, we can be sure that God is working this stuff together for good.

~PASTOR ADAM

A Living Hope

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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 2:3 ESV).

What’s the big deal about Easter?

When I was a kid, I didn’t get what was so great about Easter. In fact, I hated it. Easter for my family meant that we used what very little resources we had to try to buy fancy clothes for Easter Sunday. To top it off, I hated dressing up. Pastels and frilly dresses aren’t my thing. (I know . . . big shocker.)

I didn’t get it. What I did get was an Easter basket filled with candy. That was nice . . . but I still didn’t get it. I still didn’t really appreciate the gigantic importance of what Easter is all about.

Last week I received a text message from my mom updating me about some medical news she had heard from her doctor. Her most recent blood work revealed that for now, she wouldn’t need to get the chemotherapy and radiation that the doctor had originally planned for her to get.

After receiving her results, my mother said that it took her a few days to let the news of hope sink in. She had been planning for a hopeless future. The doctor’s words changed her whole perspective on what was possible for her. That is a perfect illustration of what Easter Is all about.

Where there was once death and hopelessness, there is now a Living Hope! Jesus’ resurrection means that the grave has been overcome. The resurrection means that sin has lost it’s power over us!

This Easter, I challenge you to allow the Lord to breathe hope into the areas of your life that feel hopeless. The victory is won. Jesus has risen from the dead!

~PASTOR SUSAN B.

Go Out With Joy!

In the book of Isaiah, Chapter 55, verse 12, there is a message of HOPE! Those verses were long ago put into a refrain that we used to sing. “You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace, the mountains and the hills will break out before you and the trees will clap, will clap their hands.” I was reminded of that song as I read those verses. I will be led forth by peace, what a wonderful promise; I will go forth with joy; what a picture of hope. The mountains, hills and the trees will burst forth with prasse and singing reminiscent of Jesus words “the very rocks will cry out my praises.”

So often in this life we live it seems as though joy and peace are far from us, and celebration is not in the picture. But those attributes, those promises from God, are very real and reserved for God’s people, for you, and for me. He can, and will, lead us through this life He has given us. We can find His joy, His peace, and we can also celebrate His glory. We can join the trees of the fields and clap our hands in recognition of the one who leads us, “go out” to be led forth. So… Let us Go!

~PASTOR ROD