Monday Night Church Bowling League

We resumed our regular bowling schedule tonight. We all had a good night. We took all three games plus total pins. We were tied for fifth place before the night started and there is a good chance we can move up in the standings this week. I bowled at 122, a season best 165 and a 126, giving me a 413 set or a 137 average for the night. This brings my season average up one point to 132. I love bowling when everything is clicking like it did in the second game. When it’s not clicking its just frustrating. Next week I get a week off because I will be in North Carolina serving at something called FLAME. I’ll probably post something about it later this week.

Thank You

Thank you to the congregation of Preston Wesleyan Church. It has been a wonderful month of appreciation of our ministry. You will notice that I say our, that’s because my ministry is enhanced by my wonderful family. We have a great team. First of all, there is my beautiful wife and help mate in the ministry. Pam is a wonderful partner. She takes care of many little details and is my right hand in the office. She also enhances my ministry with her encouraging ministry. Pam spends several hours each week writing notes of encouragement to those deserving in our congregation. She also takes care of those missing you cards. She is an integral part of my ministry.

I also have some wonderful children who enhance the ministry as well. Rebecca did a great job on the pastoral prayer this morning, God is going to do some great things in her life. Anna, did well with leading the worship all by herself this morning. James is all boy and adds excitement to the parsonage.

Our congregation showed their appreciation in many ways:

  • There was the cake during our Friend Day Celebration
  • Several gave cards and money
  • We went out to some local restaurants.
  • The bowling team gave me a pair of bowling shoes
  • I got a CD of one of my favorite groups from my high school days. It was a lost album from the Russ Taff Imperial days.

Thank you to the congregation of Preston Wesleyan for your thoughtfulness. I look forward to our years together in kingdom building. May God bless all of you.

Sunday Night Thoughts – Oct 29

What a great day we had today. Over the past few Sundays, my wife and I have been substituting in various Sunday School classes. Today was no exception. We taught our Middle School class and taught about prayer. We looked to the Lord’s Prayer as our example in how to pray. What are the essential elements of prayer?

P – Praise
R – Repent
A – Ask
Y – Yield

We had a great time with the students and then we went into our worship service, where we had a student ministries emphasis. Except for the offering and preaching, the students led all the worship; Welcome and Announcements, Call to Worship, Songs, Pastoral Prayer, Responsive Reading, and Benediction. They did a great job leading us in worship. They did have one overgrown student help with playing the guitar, set up the offering, and preach the message. Our congregation was very supportive of our students and we are looking foward to our next Student Ministries Sunday.

This morning’s message was “In Me.” We looked at the power of Christ in our lives. Peter is a great example. Before Pentecost, Peter had several glimpses of the power of Christ, but it was only temporary. It’s amazing to see what happened when Christ’s power finally infiltrated Peter’s life. We also looked that God calls each one of us to Christian service. Some he calls to be laypeople in the church, some he calls into “professional” ministry. Sometimes we think we don’t have what it takes, but if God calls us, he will give us all we need to fulfill His call. The cool factor came when two of our students came to the altar to pray at the end of the service.

It was a busy day as our family when visiting to the hospital together after church. We got to pray for one of our congregations room-mates as well as one of our members and his wife. Hopefully he will be home for good tomorrow. This is good news because we thought he would be in much longer.

The day finished off with our annual Fall Festival. It was a bit windy, so we had to cancel the bonfire portion which was a dissapointment for all of us. We had a feast of hot dogs (all the way, which means a hot dog on a roll with onions, chili sauce, slaw, and mustard) chips and cupcakes. I like my hot dogs “all the way.” (By the way, I’ll take slaw anytime over sauerkraut, betraying my German roots.) However, nothing beats a Yocco’s (if you’re ever in Allentown, PA check them out.) The festival is more of a fun time and we needed that after some of the serious times we have had of late.

All in all a great day. I have enjoyed winding down, working on my various websites and journaling the day’s activities. Thank you Lord, for the way you worked in our lives today.

In Me

Most of you have heard the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. This is one of the many miracles that Jesus performed while he was here on earth. Immediately following this miracle, Jesus sent his disciples off to get some rest away from the crowds. Jesus also sent crowds home. After everyone had left He went up into the hills to pray during the night.

It seems that this evening was going to be a stormy night. A strong wind came up over the water and the disciples were having trouble with the boat and fighting heavy waves.

Somewhere around 3:00 AM, Jesus decided to go to his disciples. Jesus didn’t use a boat to go to his disciples, no, he walked across the water. The disciples were terrified at the sight of Jesus walking across the water, thinking that it was a ghost. Jesus knew what they were thinking and called to them. He said, “Don’t be afraid, take courage. I am here!”

Peter thinks this is cool and calls out to Jesus, “If it’s You, Jesus, let me walk on the water with you.

Jesus tells him to come on out of the boat. Here’s where it gets interesting. Peter does get out of the boat and really is walking on the water by the Lord’s help. Unfortunately, Peter takes his eyes off Jesus and begins to feel the strong wind and begins to look at the heavy waves and becomes fearful. As he becomes fearful, he begins to sink into the water and calls out to Jesus, “Save me, Lord!”

Jesus comes over to Peter and pulls him up and asks, “Why did you doubt me?”

I can only imagine Peter’s reaction. He was probably dumbfounded that he actually walked on water and then was embarrassed that he took his eyes off Jesus. Peter and Jesus get back in the boat and immediately the wind stops and all the disciples are amazed and declare, “You really are the Son of God!” and they bow down and worship Jesus.

They finish their journey across the lake and people start recognizing Jesus. Word quickly spread that Jesus was in the region and people began to bring the sick to Jesus. It sounds like there was quite a crowd, because they begged Jesus just to touch a part of his garment. Jesus let them and anyone who even touched Him was healed.

What does it mean to live a life with the power of Christ in us? Peter got an early glimpse of the power of Christ in him. It wouldn’t be until later on the day of Pentecost that Peter permanently received the power of Christ. That night on the lake, Peter saw the power of Christ working in his life. We all get down on Peter for losing sight of Jesus and that’s true, but when you think about it, Peter was the only one willing to get out of the boat. Everyone else was content to play it safe in the boat. Only Peter took a risk. Peter said, I’m willing to let Christ work in me. Look at the various times in this story where the power of Christ is mentioned. First, we have the feeding of the five thousand. This isn’t just five thousand, because only the men were counted. The crowd could have easily been up to 20,000 counting women and children.

What was the source of Jesus’ power? We catch a glimpse in that He went to pray alone. Before this incredible encounter on the water Jesus was praying. Think about this for a moment. If Jesus was God’s son, if Jesus was God of very God, and if it had to pray to receive God’s power, how do we think that we have any chance of receiving God’s power without spending time in prayer? The power of Christ to work in our lives only comes by spending time in prayer. Jesus knew that and he wants us as his disciples to know that as well.

So we have the feeding of the five thousand, then we have Jesus walking across the water, Jesus helping Peter walk across the water, the wind stopping at they step back into the boat and then people getting healed just by touching Jesus’ garment. Jesus can hold tremendous power in the life of the believer. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.” It is living by the power of Christ in us.

Many times people get nervous when pastors start talking about Christian service and especially when we start talking about “full-time” Christian service. I know in the past that I have heard people say, “I don’t want to say yes to God to go into full-time Christian ministry, because I don’t want to go to Africa.” Isn’t it amazing that we think that God will send us to places we don’t want to go? I know that I’ve shared in my testimony that if I would have known that saying yes to God would have led me to serving as a pastor of a church, I’m not so sure I would have said yes. I’ve even told you that as recently as seven years ago, I had no intentions of ever having a “preaching” pastoral ministry. I didn’t think I had the gifts. Depending on the sermon, I still question myself. But this much I know, that Christ working through me has given me all the power I need to do His work. Let’s take look at another of Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians 1:24-28:

24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.

Every time I get into the pulpit, I am reminded that it is only through Christ’s power that I can do anything. I am thoroughly convinced that we can do nothing without the power of Christ working in us.

I say all that to remind each one of us that God desires to work within us. I want to speak specifically to our students this morning who led us in worship. God may be calling you to serve Him in full-time Christian ministry. That may be scary to you. I also want to speak to the adults. You are never too old for God to use you. Just this week my brother and I have been having a conversation about the call to ministry. While God called my brother and I at about the same age. It took much longer for me to fulfill the call of God in my life. In just I week, I will be going to North Carolina to assist in a FLAME conference to help women and men prepare for ordination in the Wesleyan Church. All of those who are attending the conference are over 28, many are older than that. God is calling women and men of all ages into His service. None of us can do it on our own; it is only through the power of Christ in us.

You may think you don’t have the ability to serve Christ. If you don’t think you have the ability, you are the prime candidate for Christ to work in you. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

God has called us to live a life of worship to him. Serving Christ is an act of worship to him. I’ve heard this before and if anything is true in my life this is. “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” Even if God is not calling you into a life of full-time Christian service, God calls each one of us to live. In 1 Peter 2 we read this:

4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God…They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Yes, God has called some to “professional” ministry and perhaps God is calling you to that. You may not like the thought of being called to the “professional” ministry and you may feel like Peter did when he took his eyes off Jesus, but Paul writes to Timothy these encouraging words for each of us. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Yes, God calls us to “professional” ministry, but God calls each one of us to serve him, and He will give us the power we need if only we rely on Him.

Currently Listening to…

Todd Agnew’s, Do You See What I See? I love this CD. We have only had it for about a week. Todd’s music is refreshing because is different. I loved his “Reflection of Something.” It was very bluesy. In a radio interview last year, he talked about how we always tell the Christmas story the same way with the same songs. This is not one of those CDs. While it doesn’t have the same bluesy feel as his non-Christmas CDs, it does have a different feel from most Christmas CDs. The only familiar songs would be “Do You See What I See,” and the Bob Kauflin classic “In the First Light.” Todd and his friends wrote the rest of these songs. Don Marsh did all the choir and orchestra arrangements, but they are used sparingly. I love the title track with its new bridge. Pam likes second track “No Room,” which is a bluesy song of the birth from the innkeepers point of view. There are some great tracks on this recording and I will probably explore some of the topics as we approach Christmas.

Preparing to Ring Bells

If you’ve been reading this blog any amount of time you know that my thinking has been greatly influenced of late by a CD by Casting Crowns. The CD is Lifesong. This past week’s message was based on the song While You Were Sleeping. Several in our congregation said the song sent chills up their spine as I sang it. If you are interested in reading the sermon, click here. When it comes to Jesus’ return, we often look to Matthew 24. I suggested that we need to look the next chapter, because that is part of the continuing narrative. Jesus tells three parables about what the Christian should be doing to prepare for the last times. In the first story of the ten bridesmaids, he tell us that we should watch and pray and be prepared for His return. In the second story of the boss who goes away and leaves his affairs in the hands of his employees, we are told that we should occupy the time. In other words, we should be doing all we can to fulfill the Great Commission. In the third and final story, we hear about the sheep and the goats. In this story, Jesus separates the believers by what and what they didn’t do in helping those who were the least. One of the things that we have decided to do as a congregation this year is help ring bells for Salvation Army. My brother and sister-in-law are in their second year of training in this organization. Even here in our own community, Salvation Army is doing a ton of good. I am proud to be counted among one of their supporters. As I look around at organizations, they really seemed to have balanced what James says in 1:27. “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” So many times it seems churches do one or the other, but God has called us to do both and time is running out.

Monday Night Church Bowling League

Last night was an interesting night. It was either hot or cold, no in betweens. First, last Saturday for pastor appreciation, I was presented with a pair of bowling shoes by the team. That will come in handy and save a $1.75 every week to rent shoes. Thank you to the team for doing that for me.
We ended up bowling one of the best teams in the league. It was a great contest with every game being decided by 12 pins or less. Each game came down to the last ball bowled. I did alright in the first game bowling a 137, included in that was picking up a 5-10 split. It was all downhill from there. I bowled a 114 the next game, which included a gutterball on the first roll early on in the game. The worst part was that I had picked up a spare the frame before and complete wasted it. I did manage to pick up a spare after that gutterball, but then the next frame only picked up 4 on the first ball. I finished with 126 in the third game. I even picked up a double in that last game. Over all a very interesting night, my average will probably go down a few points, but that’s ok. Part of bowling is having fun and our team has lots of that.

The Race

As it says in the title, we live in a place (Martinsville, VA) where NASCAR visits twice a year. Our sleepy little city triples in size for the weekend. This past weekend our city hosted both the Craftsman Truck series and the Nextel Cup series. If you’re a NASCAR fan, you already know that. It was interesting as I went to pickup the kids in the van this morning. Our usual 45 minute round trip was a bit longer, because we couldn’t take the usual route because of the race traffic. My family had a great time yesterday visiting all car exhibitions around town. The race teams bring the cars to various places and let the fans view them. I had to work yesterday, but they were excited to tell me all about it when I got home. By tomorrow afternoon, it will be difficult to tell there even was a race here.

What amazes me about the NASCAR fans in general is that they will go to great lengths to let you know who their favorite driver is. Many of the cars on the street advertised “their driver.” It’s amazing to me to see the money spent on what is basically entertainment. If only we as believers would be as quick to go to the same lengths to tell people about Jesus. Think about it!

Sunday Night Thoughts – October 22

Wow! What a day of ministry. Today was one of those days that you just don’t know what to expect. I knew that we were going to be missing some people today. Several were away or taking care of loved ones or were sick or were involved in The Race. There’s going to be a whole separate post about that, but if you’re browsing this site, you’ve already seen that one. I kind of felt like a one man show today. I drove the van to pick up students before church. Pam and I taught Sunday School together, substituting for some who were away. Then, my pianist was taking care of a sick child, so I ended up leading worship by myself, except for my trusty side-kick, Rebecca who helped me out leading the singing. Then, I preached the message, greeted the people and then drove the kids home. We came home and crashed until this evening and then fortunately I didn’t have to pick the kids up tonight, but I did lead worship and Bible study. I don’t say any of this in a complaining spirit. It was a great day of ministry.

This morning’s message (to see the full text, click here) was based on a song again by Casting Crowns. I asked the question, “Are you ready?” Are you prepared for Jesus’ return or will you be found sleeping. To introduce the sermon, I sang the song. Several said it cause chills as they heard the lyrics. Much has been said and written about the return of Jesus. People want to know how it will all end. The important thing to remember is that you can know all the facts and supposed timelines about the return of Jesus and it won’t make you a better disciple. I said, “I would much rather spend the time learning how to be a better disciple of Christ than I would trying to figure out when Christ is coming back.

Jesus himself gave these instructions regarding His return. He told us to:

  1. Watch or be prepared
  2. Pray
  3. Occupy the time – or in other words, obey the Great Comission, which is to go and make disciples of all nations.

The world is in need of our help and we need to do the work that Christ has called us to do. Discipleship has been on my mind a lot lately. My desire as the shepherd of Preston Wesleyan Church is that we are fully devoted, sold-out disciples of the Lord Jesus.

While You Were Sleeping

When Mark Hall set out to write the song that you just heard, he was working on a contemporary setting of the classic Christmas hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” As he started working on the song, he began to see how the people of Bethlehem really missed the coming of Jesus. It wasn’t much different for the city of Jerusalem. They missed the Savior of the world, who died on the cross. The song quickly draws parallels to the United States. Are we as asleep as the people of Bethlehem and Jerusalem? The stakes are high if we miss the coming of Jesus.

Much is being written on the Second Coming of Jesus. The popularity of the “Left Behind” series of books is partial proof that people have an interest in the future and how it will all end. It seems everywhere you look people are interested and have all kinds of theories about the Second Coming. My question for you is, “Are you ready?” Jesus cautions us in Matthew 24:30, “…No one know the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” I want to suggest to you that what is important about Jesus’ return is that he is coming back. It is not important to be looking for all the signs. Many times when we think of Jesus’ return we look to Matthew 24. I want us to go one chapter beyond that to Matthew 25. As part of Jesus’ discourse on the last days, he tells three parables. As we take a look at the parables this morning, I want to ask the question again, “Are you ready for Jesus’ return?” When it comes to his return, I believe Jesus was very clear that there three important things about His return. What are they? One, we must watch and pray. Matthew 25:13 says, “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return.” A chapter later in Matthew 26:41, Jesus is rebuking His disciples at a crucial time and he says, “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing the body is weak!” So in order to be ready we need to watch and pray.

Jesus told the story of the ten bridesmaids. All ten of them took their lamps to meet the bridegroom. Five of them took their lamps and extra oil. Five of them only brought their lamps and the oil that was in them. We find out that the bridegroom was delayed for some reason. It could be any number of reasons, but he was delayed and the bridesmaids decided to take a little nap. All of a sudden the bridegroom returned. You know how it is when you are woken up from your sleep. You’re a little groggy and a bit disoriented. I’m sure the bridesmaids were this way. Five of them were prepared for his coming and had the extra oil, because they had probably used some waiting for the groom’s return. Five of them were unprepared, because they used up all the oil waiting for the groom’s return. The five who didn’t have enough oil asked the other five for some extra, but those who were prepared didn’t have enough for those who came unprepared. So the five went off traipsing into the town at midnight to find oil. Finally, they got some oil, (must have been at the local Wal-Mart Supercenter.) But when they returned the door was locked and even though they had an invite they were denied meeting the groom.

Is this a picture of the American church? Some people spend all their time looking for signs and symbols of the Lord’s return…Look at all the books written about it. And yet, this doesn’t help us become better disciples of the Lord Jesus. It makes us knowledgeable about the future times, but leaves us empty in learning how to be more like Jesus. I think it would be good for us to occupy the time while the bridegroom is delayed with trying to be more like Jesus. Can I ask some questions this morning? Why do you come to God’s house week after week? Is it to see friends? Is it to talk about the latest happenings? You’ll remember that we are in a series title, “Lifesong Lessons.” Our life should reflect the one we worship. If we worship the everlasting God, then our lives should reflect that. If we worship Jesus, our lives should reflect that. Remember Romans 12:1-2, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”

Some of you are going to think that I am meddling this morning. But that’s ok. Since were on the subject of worship, can I ask a favor? We need to be more respectful of our time together in worship. One of the things that have bothered me over our time together is talking that happens during worship. Some will say it’s the teens and our students. But many times I notice adults talking during the service, especially while we sing or take the offering. Remember the old saying, more is caught than taught. If we expect our students to be quiet in worship, then we need to set an example for them.

My prayer for our church is for us to become a mile deep discipleship church. Some churches go for one or the other. Some are a mile wide (congregation size) and an inch deep (spiritual size). Others are an inch wise and a mile deep. Somehow we must always balance the two. We have been commanded to take the gospel into all the world and make disciples and in order to make disciples we must know what God is teaching us. The first point is to watch and pray. The second point that we’ve already moved into is to occupy the time. We need to make the most of the time that we have. We have no idea when Christ is coming back. That’s why I believe that we should spend the time, not trying to figure out all the biblical roadmaps on when he is coming back, but to make the most of the time we have and bring as many people to Jesus as we can and disciple them in the ways of Christ.

Thursday night I had the opportunity to come over into the sanctuary and pray. I came over to pray for something completely different, but God used that time to speak to me about things that I needed to take care of to be the shepherd he has called me to be. I want to make it very clear that I love you this morning and I want God’s best for you. I want to see lives sold out for Jesus, not only students and young adults, but everyone who comes to our church. My prayer is that our church would be completely sold-out to nothing but Jesus and to occupy the time that is left in being sold out to Jesus and doing his work.

If we take a look at the second story Jesus tells in Matthew 25, we discover a story about a boss and his employees. The boss is about to take a long business trip. He gives the assets of the company to three employees. To employee number one he gives ten thousand dollars (This is a small company.) To the second employee he gives five thousand dollars, and to the third employee he gives a thousand dollars. He tells them that he is going away and that they should take care of the money for him. The boss stays away a lot longer than the employees thought he would. Finally, he returns from a many month long world-wide business trip. He calls all the employees together and asks for an accounting of what they have done. The first employee says, “You gave me $10,000 when you left and I doubled the amount.” The second employee says, “You gave me $5,000 and I did the same and doubled the amount.” The third employee by now is standing sheepishly in the corner. “I know you are a tough boss and I was afraid to lose any of the money you gave me, so I put it in the safe.” The boss is furious. I can just imagine it now in his best Donald Trump voice, “You’re fired. Couldn’t you have at least taken the money and put it in a low risk CD, or at the very least put it in the bank and gathered a measly 2% interest. You don’t deserve what I’ve given you. Give me that $1,000 and I’ll give it to the number one employee.” And so it was. We need to be like the first two employees. We need to take what God has given us and do all we can to increase the investment he has made in us. We need to be busy about the work of making disciples. Some of us are better than it than others, but that’s ok, we need to be faithful in doing the task that he has called us to.

We need to watch and we need to pray and we need to occupy the time. Is there anything else? The final story of the trilogy that Jesus tells is the story of the sheep and the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. What does he say to those on his right? “Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you invited me into your home. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me.” Those on the right are astounded they know what the Lord looks like and never remember helping anyone who looked like him. When did we help you they ask? We helped lots of people, but we didn’t help you. We wouldn’t have forgotten that experience. Jesus replies, “When you did it to the least of my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.”

Then he will turn to those on his left and say, “Away with you, you cursed ones into the fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. I was hungry and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty and you didn’t give me anything to drink. I was a stranger and you left me out in the cold. I was naked and you didn’t give me any clothing. I was sick and in prison and I rotted there!”

They will ask, “When? When where you hungry? That’s not fair Lord, we didn’t even know you were hungry. Can one of the angels go get the Lord a hamburger? Or when were you thirsty? We don’t understand. Or when were you a stranger, you weren’t one of those creepy people who came to the door? That wasn’t our ministry! When were you sick? We don’t even know what size you wear. When were you in prison? When were you sick? I hope it wasn’t fatal. It was? ENOUGH!

Jesus stops them. It has become too much. He replies, “If you have refused to do it to the least of my brothers and sisters, you have refused to do it to me.” Those on his left will go away to eternal punishment, but the ones on the right to eternal life. If we look at the difference it is in what they did and didn’t do. We have long way from the mission churches of the past. Most of our Wesleyan churches have no idea what the inner city looks like. Jesus makes it clear that sharing the good news includes helping the down and out. That’s why I encourage you to be part of the bell-ringing for Salvation Army. They are a quality organization to be partners with.

This morning I want to ask you, “Are you sleeping?” The scriptures tell us “time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Church, we need to wake up and get busy, first of all by getting deeper into God’s Word and growing closer to him. We can never grow enough! Second, we need to get busy, making disciples as Christ has commanded us. If you are sleeping in a spiritual slumber, the time is now to wake up. Again, I love this church and I want us to be the best that we can be for the kingdom. I want us to be spiritual mature and bring others to spiritual maturity. If you desire prayer that God would wake you up or you desire to go deeper with God, the altar is open. Come be ministered to by Jesus.