PASTOR’S BLOG

 
BE BLESSED BY GOD’S WORD THROUGHOUT THE WEEK

“Things Our Mothers Taught us”

The second Sunday in May is Mother’s Day, so I thought you’d enjoy this list of things our mothers taught us:

 Logic: “If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can’t go to the store with me,” as well as, “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?
 Humor: “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me!”
 Genetics: “You are just like your father!”
 Anticipation: “Just wait until your father gets home.”
 Receiving: “You are going to get it when I get home.”
 Religion: “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
 Stamina: “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is finished.”
And the all-time favorite thing my Mother taught me,
 Justice: “ One day you will have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you. Then you’ll see what it’s like.“
There are many things that our mothers have taught us. In 1 Samuel, Chapter 1, we find the story of a woman, a mother named Hannah. There are some important things that Hannah, a godly mother, teaches us. This ordinary woman is an example of a great woman and a godly mother in the Old Testament. What does Hannah, this godly mother, teach us? What would Hannah tell us if we could ask her about her testimony, her story, and her walk with God? First Hannah teaches us…
 
Bring Your Burdens to the Lord
Hannah was a woman who had a burden. 1 Samuel 1:2, 10 (NKJV) says however, “But Hannah had no children… And she was in bitter- ness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.” Hannah was a brokenhearted and disappointed woman, but she brought her burdens to the Lord. Likewise, whenever we face the burdens of life we can always bring them to
the Lord and leave them there, as we cast all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us.
 
God Gives Peace
When we leave our trials in God’s hand, He will give us peace. Hannah received a peace from the Lord as she left her needs before Him. Perhaps, God will give you peace that your request is answered or just peace that everything will “be OK.” Whichever the case, it will be a peace that is beyond our understanding. He will assure us that He is in control. As we leave our burdens with the Lord, His grace becomes evident. His grace can take us through the darkest circumstances. God gave Hannah grace, and His grace was sufficient for her that enabled her to continue to trust Him for a child.
 
God Gives Joy
God can put a smile on our face and joy in our hearts even in the darkest night. In Psalm 77:6, Asaph says: “I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart; and my spirit made diligent search.” During Asaph’s dark times, he remembered the songs God gave him in the night to persevere. The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It is during our challenges of life that God’s joy enables us to continue on. Hannah, despite her sorrow and disappointment over not having a child, continued to worship God. It was God’s joy that enabled her to believe Him.
 
Keep Your Promises
It is important to keep your vows. If you make a vow in the midst of your request, keep it! Hannah vowed to bring Samuel back to the temple and dedicate him to God’s service. When he was old enough, she did just that. When we give God our word we should endeavor to keep our promises to Him.
Let us learn from Hannah’s life the powerful lessons God teaches us. Likewise, let us remember to appreciate and thank our mothers for their love and influence in our lives. To all our mothers… Happy Mother’s Day!
 
Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson
Senior Pastors

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“Get Out of the Boat”

And Peter answered Jesus and said, ‘Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water,’ And Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. Matthew 14:28-29

The disciples headed across the Sea of Galilee by boat in the middle of the night when a sudden storm arose. Fear gripped their hearts when suddenly Jesus came walking on the water toward them. As he drew near the boat, Peter called out to join Jesus on the water. Jesus responded with an invitation, and Peter left the boat walking on the water.

One key principle to take note from this passage is that in order to walk on the water, you have to get out of the boat. Peter would have never walked on the water if he stayed in the boat. He had to get out of the boat. You see, Peter wanted to do more than catch fish. He wanted to do something greater than he could think or imagine. To do something big for God requires a big vision. Of course, walking on the water requires vision and faith to get out of the boat.

When David Livingston was a missionary in Africa, a missionary society sent him this message: “Are there passable roads where you are?” Livingston replied, “I do not want men who will come only if there are passable roads. I want men who will come if there are not roads at all.” In other words, God is looking for men and women who will get out of the boat and move forward toward God’s vision and direction. It is not enough to let someone else blaze the trail; God wants you to be the trailblazer the leader where others have not gone.

The question is where did the vision to walk on water originate? It originated with Jesus. Jesus walked on the water first and Peter saw it with his own eyes. We must recognize God has a vision for our life and what He desires to do in and through us. He is the originator of the vision. Likewise, God has a vision for Life Church for something bigger than we think or imagine. We serve a God who is a big God and has a vision bigger than what we can imagine.

Over the years, I have learned that the size of your vision is determined by the size of your God. How big do you think God is? The issue is not who do you think you are, but who do you think God is? In the vision God has for you, do not limit yourself by saying, “What can I do?” Instead ask yourself, “What can God do in and through me?”

As we read in the passage, Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water. Suddenly the waves became larger. Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and onto the waves, and he suddenly began to sink. When you start looking at the waves instead of Jesus, you will sink every time. There are many distractions that will attempt to cause you to lose focus on the vision. Do not allow fear, complacency, worry, apathy, the enormity of the vision, or any other deterrent keep you from reaching your divine destiny. Remember, Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith. Keep looking to Him, and you will see God’s vision become a reality in your life, family, and church.

As we focus on what God has for our church, we have seen many victories in the past. However, we cannot rest on our victories, but use them to build our faith for even greater things. Rest assured our best days are not behind us; they are ahead of us. As we see God’s promise and vision become a reality this month, let us not limit what we can receive from God by focusing on the waves, but let us focus on God, the giver of the vision. It’s time for us to get out of the boat — our comfort zone and do something great and mighty for God as we continue to change lives for eternity.

Blessings! Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson
 

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“1,000 Opportunities”

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”– Galatians 6:10
 

Most of us are not doing today impressive, or at least what we would consider impressive. Most of us are not going to speak at a conference, move to another nation to plant a church, or give our lives as martyrs for Christ. But, most of us will have hundreds of opportunities to glorify God through ordinary obedience.

Paul tells us to be aware of the door of opportunity God may open for you. We never know what opportunity God has right around the corner. And, we must take advantage of every door God opens for us.

Throughout God’s Word, you see examples of men and women who seized their opportunities. God spoke to Noah to preach and build an Ark of safety he seized his opportunity. Abraham was called by God to leave Ur with his family and go to a land where he had never been – he obeyed. God told Moses to lead His people from Egyptian slavery – he did. When we take advantage of the open door, not knowing what God will do, great rewards follow when we obey.

What opportunity do you have today? You may have an opportunity to delight in God’s Word and pray for His Kingdom to come. Or, you may get an opportunity to bless, instead of curse, the driver behind you who lays on the horn when you hesitate at the green light.

You might have opportunities to serve your chil- dren by changing their diaper, making their break- fast, wiping their faces and hands, teaching them about Jesus, getting them dressed, picking up after them, reading them stories, taking them to the park, and bathing them.

At your work place, you may have an opportunity to not join in the gossip in the break room, or to rejoice when your boss is difficult. You might have an opportunity to encourage a friend, or to put sin to death instead of giving in to lust or selfishness. You might have an opportunity to humble yourself and ask someone’s forgives. You may have an opportunity to extend compassion to someone or pray for a neighbor.

We will have countless opportunities to rely on Jesus for strength, to thank Him for His goodness, and to believe His Word rather than our circumstances. We will more than likely have opportunities to be kind, forgiving, and patient.

Every day is filled with countless opportunities for ordinary obedience which brings much glory to God. Opportunities to be faithful in little. And though we might not consider all these acts of ordinary obedience to be very impressive, God does not miss one, and He is pleased with each one. Someday we will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.”

I encourage you to look for the open doors. Often, the open doors are so obvious that we may miss them. Slow down, listen to Gods voice, and keep your eyes open for opportunities.

Seeking God for New Opportunities!

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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