Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mark of the beast

If you've been around church for a while, you've probably heard some people mention "the mark of the beast." They are referring to Revelation 13:17. Apparently, in the end times, people will have to have some sort of mark to buy or sell. Now that I've gotten your attention, I'd rather like to focus on a different kind of mark. One that identifies us as God's adopted children.

Remember, God has no "grandchildren." You are either His child (because you yourself made a decision to accept Jesus Christ into your life) or you're not. How do we know if we are children of God? 2 Corinthians 1:22 says:
"and He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us."
So the Holy Spirit is the evidence. Now we need to go further. This Sunday's sermon will come out of Romans 8:14-17. In this passage, we see that those who are true sons of God:

  1. Are led by the Spirit.
  2. Are no longer slaves to fear. (They fear God, not man)
  3. Are heirs with God and co heirs with Christ.
  4. Share in the sufferings of Christ.
  5. Share in the glory of Christ.
Here is another helpful tool written by Philip Ryken. Answer these questions honestly. If you are not sure you are born again, make an appointment with my husband (Pastor John) so he can lead you through the birth process.

□Yes □No Am I living a life of radical Christian discipleship?

□Yes □No Am I finding deeper satisfaction with God in worship?

□Yes □No Do I have a growing hunger to pray and study God’s Word?

□Yes □No Is my heart growing more tender toward others, especially people I find it hard to love?

□Yes □No Am I serving my family and friends in ways that can lead them closer to Christ?

□Yes □No Do I have an increasing desire and ability to glorify God in my daily work?

□Yes □No Am I standing for Christ in my community?

□Yes □No Do I have a growing and tangible commitment to world missions?

□Yes □No Am I actively pursuing friendships with people who need to hear the gospel?

□Yes □No Am I becoming more patient with life’s difficulties and disappointments, both large and small?

□Yes □No Am I using my money in sacrificial ways that reflect my ultimate spiritual priorities?

□Yes □No Am I reaching out to anyone in mercy, seeking nothing in return?

□Yes □No Am I maintaining total sexual purity?

□Yes □No Am I thinking less of myself and more of others?

□Yes □No And most important of all, am I really growing in my love for Christ?

If we are not growing in these areas, then the Bible urges us not to be conformed any longer to the pattern of these post-Christian times, but be transformed by God’s renewing of our minds.

-from City on a Hill by Philip Graham Ryken

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


There is a lot in the news about Human Trafficking - and for good reason. This is not an overseas problem that we can ignore anymore - it's right here in our own backyards. The Human Trafficking Industry is the second largest and fastest growing criminal activity in the world, rapidly taking over drugs and narcotics! Our immediate thought is the rescue of these helpless victims. But how? While this is a noble thought, we must be careful to think through our ideas. What would we do with someone if we did rescue them? Are we prepared to help them through the post traumatic stress and the work it would take to assimilate them back into society? This is not something we can do alone.*

This Sunday, my husband's message will come from Colossians 1:13:
"For He (Jesus) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves."
Our Almighty, Omnipotent God has already thought through His rescue plan. From the beginning of creation, He knew that He would send His one and only Son to make a way for us to go from a life of sin and darkness to a life in the kingdom of freedom and light!

*A friend told us about an organization that is in the business of rescuing victim from Human Trafficking. You can check them out at:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I watched a sad little movie about a boy who had no father and a poor mother who was so depressed she barely took care of him. I know it was just a movie, but I cried for that little guy. Shortly after that, I had a conversation with someone who told me about her very real childhood. She said she couldn't think of one good memory from it. How I wish I could have made things different for her. Wouldn't it be great if those who have suffered in this life could have a "do-over?" Wait! They can!

This Sunday we will be focusing on John 3:3, where Jesus tells a Pharisee named Nicodemus that no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. Jesus goes on to tell him that to enter the kingdom, you must be born of water (physical birth) and the Spirit. So, while the young lady I spoke to was obviously already born of water, now she could be born of the Spirit. And with that new birth, will come so many wonderful experiences to make new memories. Praise God!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Are we ready?

A leaf fell right in front of me on my morning walk. A leaf! It's only the first week in August! Immediately my mind jumped to fall. Then to winter. "I'm not ready for winter," I thought.

A bit dramatic, I know, but then I began thinking about Revelation 3:20, the verse that John was going to be preaching on this Sunday.
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."
Jesus is saying this to the Church of Laodicea. Interesting. I've always thought it was a picture of Jesus knocking on the door of an unbeliever's heart, but looking at it again, I am beginning to think (in light of the fact that He is speaking to the church) that perhaps Jesus is speaking to those of us already in the church (which, of course, can include unbelievers). This verse in sandwiched in-between a warning to repent and a promise of eternal life to those who overcome. Either way, the invitation is not to be taken lightly. Just as fall and winter will be here before we know it, so will the second coming of Christ, ready or not.