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Recent Teachings
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June 2020

Life Church Online Service – Life of Jonah Series – The Prejudice

We continue messages from the “Life of Jonah” series, where we will look at Jonah, and prejudice. Prejudice is a reality of the world we live in. We see Jonah’s prejudice toward Ninevah, but God gave them another chance because God is gracious in His love. In this final message of the “Jonah” series, you will be challenged to overcome your prejudices and dislikes, and learn to love as God loves…unconditionally.


Life Church Online Service – “Life of Jonah” Series – The Preacher

We continue the “Life of Jonah” series, where we will look at Jonah, the preacher. God gave Jonah a message to preach; and as believers we have a message God has given us to share. Watch as you will be challenged in a practical way of how to share what God has placed in your heart because what’s in your heart will come out in your life. The Bible says for out of the abundance of the heart speaks, so, what message is in your heart?


May 2020

Welcome Back Sunday – Online Service

It’s Welcome Back Sunday at Life Church! We are so excited to be back together as a family, whether in person or online! And we have an extra blessing, as this Sunday is also Pentecost Sunday! How awesome is that! As the Early Church gathered on the Day of Pentecost to seek God, God opened up the heavens and poured out His S




 
PASTOR’S BLOG
 
Recent Articles
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“We Live”

Growing up in an Assembly of God church Testimony Time was a vital part of the service, especially on Sunday night. I loved hearing precious saints tell of what God had done for them. Testimonies would cover every facet of life – sickness, financial needs, deliverance, employment, unsaved children, etc. One thing I loved was hearing dear saints so assuredly proclaim their belief in eternal life. I clearly remember Hattie McDonald boldly declaring she had been saved at the age of 6. She would tell how she walked with the Lord every day. When she died in her nineties, she was still praising God. Why? Because she knew the One who gave her eternal life. She lives! Another dear saint, Hazel McGarrigle, never – and I mean never – missed an opportunity to tell what the Lord had done for her. She, too, boldly declared how God delivered her from a drunkard’s life. Harrisburg Hazel wandered Navigation Street in Houston, going from bar to bar. Her husband would go find her, bringing her home. But, God! He reached down into the gutter, set Hazel on the Solid Rock, and she never looked back. Only eternity will tell of the numerous lives she helped change during her prison ministry. She lives! God’s Word says in John 11:26: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Several years ago, I sat at Hangar Clinic, waiting for my initial evaluation for a new knee brace. The lobby was fairly empty, except for two gentlemen. Both men were amputees and were patiently waiting for their sessions. As they began talking, I could not help but overhear their conversation. It was amazing. The men began encouraging each other. One man was wearing a prosthetic as he had lost his leg to bone cancer on his 51st birthday. The other gentleman lost his foot and part of his lower leg to diabetes following a broken foot. His session was going to be a prosthetic fitting.
I marveled as I listened. These men were not sad or in despair. They were not wringing their hands. The man who lost his foot said the night before surgery he had the best night’s sleep since he had hurt his foot. Though their stories were different, the end result is that they survived and are living. In fact, they talked about the commercial that airs where a family is in a serious accident. As the tow truck driver delivers the totally damaged car to the salvage yard, he tells a co-worker: They lived. The more these men talked, the more evident it became they intend to live their lives to the fullest regardless of their limitations. They both said if the limbs had not been amputated, they would be dead. They live!
As I sat there, the spiritual impact struck me like a bolt of lightning: We Live! We hear sermons about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. He came alive at the sound of the Master’s voice calling him out. He lives! Oh, how I look forward to sitting with Lazarus in heaven and hearing his testimony. The martyrs of the Early Church, cruelly persecuted and murdered, sang praises as they were burned at the stake. They live! Missionary Jim Tucker gave his life in the Congo jungle delivering God’s Word to the Mau Mau tribe. He lives! Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Luthern pastor who staunchly opposed the Nazis reign of terror, was sent to a concentration camp and hanged. He lives!
Today, we face a world-wide pandemic. Our country is under attack by those who prefer mob rule and anarchy. The very values and principles upon which this country was founded are being abased at every level. We are restricted from being with family and friends. Assembling together for worship is restricted. Still, We Live! No matter what trials, tribulations, and trepidations we go through on earth – We Live! If we die before He comes to take us home – We Live! Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior – We Live! God’s Word says in John 11:25: . . . I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. Regardless of our failures – We Live! Divorce, financial ruin, catastrophic health – whatever comes your way – We Live! We serve the God of the irreversible! For in him we live, and move, and have our being. (Acts 17:28) For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14:8)
Jesus Christ came to this earth to give us life – more abundant life. We live! When it is all said and done – WE LIVE! Talk about a testimony. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)
* All Scripture references are King James version.

Because He Lives,
Marilyn G. Emswiler


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“Because He Cares, We Care”

“Casting all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you.” I Peter 5:7

The man walked down the road. The dust from the many travelers choked him, and the flying gnats bit at him unmercifully in the heat of the day. As the travelers went by, his hoarse throat cried out, “Unclean! Unclean!” The crowds quickly moved to the far side of the road. Inside, the pain of rejection and guilt ate away his soul as surely as the leprosy ate at his body. He knew he was cursed, and he know no one cared.

One day, the crowd was unusually large. People were shouting a name and others seemed to be in frenzy, pushing and shoving to get near the one called Jesus. Some even dared to call Him Messiah. The leper had heard of Jesus, His miracles and His compassion. If the stories were true, if He were the Messiah, then surely the he could heal. The Messiah could command this awful curse of the body and soul to dry up. Surely, the Messiah could care even about a leper. Then, he saw Him. For a moment, Jesus stood alone, as if waiting just for the leper.

The leper ran, stumbled, and then crawled to the feet of Jesus. He forgot about his cry, “Unclean!” He could only say with head bowed low, “Lord, if you are willing, make me clean.” The silence of the next few seconds seemed like an eternity. His heart pounded like a drum inside. He waited to hear harsh words of scorn and rejection as he heard so many times before.

Suddenly, he felt something no leper could feel. It was the touch of another’s hand. It sent a flood of emotion like liquid fire to the very core of his soul. Then, Jesus spoke, “I am willing. Be cleansed!”

Tears washed down the leper’s dirt stained face. The scales of leprosy fell from not only his body, but his heart and soul as well. Jesus cared! Jesus cared!

Because He cares, we care! People in our lives and around us need to experience the care of Jesus. They must know that we, as a church, care for them. We must be the extended hands of God’s grace and mercy to those around us. We must provide the touch which says, “Jesus cares! We care!” People are not interested in how much we know or what our credentials are. They really want to know and experience that someone cares. If we don’t care, then who will?

I am so excited about a new ministry we are about to launch at Life Church: Community Connection. During our morning services, we will be sharing about this concept. Over time, I have become concerned about us not being connected consistently with all our Life Church family. The busyness of the world we live in has made us become somewhat disconnected, and that is not good. We see each other on Sunday, but then part as soon as the last amen is said.

Here at Life Church, we are a family and want to be known as a place where love abounds. I desire for every individual who considers Life Church their church to care for one another by giving in Christian love to a relationship in times of weakness and strength. I would love for you to be a part of this ministry. Join with us in prayer as we launch this ministry, watch for upcoming details about Community Connection, and don’t miss the upcoming Sunday morning services to become acquainted with the Community Connection or listen to them online at www.lifechurchsa.com.

Finally, lift up our eyes and look around to those needing a touch – physical, emotional, or spiritual touch. Be Jesus with skin on. Don’t be afraid to reach out and care. Because He cares, we care! Until then, let us continue….

With Love,
Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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“Showing Love”

“Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and you God, my God.” Ruth 1:16

A couple married for 50 years sat reflecting one day. The wife said, “Things have really changed over the years. You used to sit real close to me, but you haven’t done that for a while”. “Well, I can fix that!” said her husband as he moved closer to his wife. “You used to hold me real tight”, said the wife. So, the man wrapped his arms around his wife and asked, “How’s that?”. She continued to say, “You used to nuzzle my neck and nibble on my ear lobes.” At that her husband jumped up from the couch and dashed out of the room. When he returned, she asked where he had been. He replied, “I had to go get my teeth.”

In Ruth 1, we see a beautiful picture of a love between not only a husband and wife, but a love between friends – Ruth and her motherin-law, Naomi. Naomi left alone after her husband and two sons died and prepared to return home to Bethlehem. Rather than remain in her homeland, Ruth chose to return to Naomi’s country. In this story of friendship, we see several principles of how to show love:

By staying with someone through the tough times
Ruth decided to remain by Naomi’s side instead of going her own way. She was determined not to leave her. You see, love has “sticking power”. Genuine friends do not abandon each other during tough times.

By adjusting to others
Love is willing to make adjustments for the other. Ruth was willing to leave the people and her God in order to be with Naomi’s people and serve her God. When a couple marries, there’s always ad- justments to be made and one’s outlook on life changes. No longer does one live as single, but as two that become one.

Things adjust from what you eat, what you wear, and how you spend your time and finances. Love is willing to go the extra mile and make adjustments.

By reaching beyond your comfort zones
Loving someone else means you have to dig down deep and be willing to take a risk. Some- times, the risk may be your emotions or trust in that person. In other words, you have to be willing to deny your desires and wishes for someone else’s. Love is not thinking of yourself, but the other person. Reaching beyond your comfort zone means being willing to sacrifice.

By offering encouraging words
Ruth showed her love by telling Naomi she would never turn away from her. She reminded her mother-in-law that she would never walk alone. Wherever she went and whatever happened to her, Ruth would be by her side. Our words of encouragement have a great impact on others.

By putting other’s needs above your needs
Ruth was determined to go with Naomi. It didn’t matter how uncomfortable the journey would be or how difficult living in a new country might be. Ruth put her mother-in-law’s needs above her own. She was determined to stay by Naomi because Naomi
needed a friend.
As you think about it, this is a picture of God’s love
for you. Proverbs 18:24 says, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Who is this friend? His name is Jesus. He will stick with you through tough times; He will accept you just as you are; He will reach beyond His comfort zone for you; and He will put your needs above His needs. Let’s be mindful of Christ’s love and show His love towards others!

Until then, let us have “20/20 Vision in 2020” as we grow in our love for one another.

With Love,
Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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