Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Don't Forget: This World is Not Our Home

“and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13

The Greek word for “stranger” means a people out of their own country; or foreigners. A “pilgrim” is one who is not a permanent dweller; not naturalized.
This scripture refers to people of faith who did not have an illusion that this earth was their permanent dwelling place. They like Abraham, lived to accomplish God’s purpose on earth and with the hope of ultimately living in an eternal city whose builder and maker is God. We need to be reminded from time to time that this world is not our home. We are just pilgrims and strangers on this earth.

So, how do we get through this life without getting overwhelmed with the cares of this world, or without becoming fearful and anxious over concerns of what lies ahead for us? The truth is, the world in which we live is far from perfect and very difficult at times to stay positive and hopeful. Our faith and the values of this world are on a constant collision course. God knows all about our disappointments and frustrations and He understands our fears and knows our weaknesses.

But He has promised that He will always be with us through our journey. (Hebrews 13:5) His purpose for your life is never to be diminished by negative beliefs or circumstances. Maybe your dreams or goals have seemed out of reach and you have become impatient and discouraged. You will accomplish what God intends for you if you will stay the course by trusting God and remaining faithful to Him always. The Hebrew word for faith includes faithful.

Jesus is our example of faithful endurance. Our endurance in the Christian life will depend on our “keeping our eyes on Jesus.” He is the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1, 2. Stay faithful to the task that you have been given in this world as you wait for Christ’s return – and remember that “this world is not our home!”

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From the Desk of Pastor Dan: Accepting Guidance

It is so interesting to me how much we love to get confirming words from the Lord. How God will use the same people to speak into our lives over and over. We learn to trust that person and turn to them for spiritual guidance’s. We know God is using them to help us. Than when they give us a word of correction or contradicting to what we want to hear we discredit them immediately in our own defense. God wants us to be followers of him; If we cannot accept all guidance’s we are not true followers. God did not design us to run alone - we are part of a body and we need each other to complete the task God put us on this earth to complete. Be thankful in God guidance’s even in correction and contradiction.

- Pastor Dan Slater

Monday, May 16, 2011

What Kind of Church?

What Kind of Church Are We To Be?

God specializes in recycling and repurposing lives. He is the master potter and uses things, prayer, brokenness, and hope to remake what was maimed.

We are a recycling center where the broken, bruised, and burned out are restored with love and purpose. Our church should be a place where that can take place! My prayer for our church is that this will be a place where it is okay to not be okay….a hospital for sinners and not a museum for saints!

We want people to know that they can be forgiven and released from the pain of the past. This is a place where they can embrace hope for their future. The church is a place for people to be made whole through love, acceptance, and forgiveness. The church is people—real people—changed by the power of Christ, filled with the Spirit of Christ who are engaged with passion to touch the hurting, dying, and cynical modern man with the life of Jesus Himself. “The church which is His body, the fullness of Him.” We love you and we care about every one of you!

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Knowing God: The Journey

I heard a statement the other day. A gentleman said, “I grew up believing in God without ever really knowing Him”. I understand what he was saying because I was raised in the church, called myself Christian, was very involved in church, and worked hard at avoiding those things that Christians don’t do –drugs, drinking, swearing, immorality. I look back and see that I didn’t really know the God that I served and professed to love.

There are 2 different perspectives that I have on “knowing God”. The first is the perspective of us only knowing God through what others have told us. Therefore we never truly have a personal revelation of who God is. The second perspective that I have is that getting to “know God’ is actually a life journey.

Back in the 80’s (a long time ago ) I fell in love with Dan Slater. We had grown up together. We knew each other’s families and friends. I knew who Dan was. As we dated, I started to know him more. What made him smile, what food he liked and disliked, and what his dreams were. On June 14th, 1986, I pledged my lifelong love and commitment to him. After we were married, I grew to know him more. I found out what he was like when he was tired, stressed, or sick. I learnt what made him feel happy, proud, and content. Did I know him more than when we were dating? Yes!

As the years went on, we had many life events. There was the birth of 4 children and the death of one son born too premature. Change of jobs, moving to Shell Lake, and building our home. Family vacations. Leaving job security and stepping out into full time ministry. Being broke and having money. There was the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes for our 9 year old son and the death of a parent. We have had the pain of having children lost and broken in the destruction of a sinful lifestyle and the glorious return of the prodigals. We rejoiced at the marriage of our first born. With each event, I have grown to know Dan more. I now know how he deals with sorrow and loss, joy and victories. I now know more than ever what he is thinking or what his choice will be with different things. This is all due to this journey of life we are on together.

I believe it is the same with “knowing God”. We know of Him, even believe He is God. Then one day we decide to commit our lives to Him. As we begin our journey of faith, we encounter different life events. If we pursue after Him, these events and situations will draw us closer to His heart and we will learn to know Him more. I don’t believe we will ever fully “know God”. He’s too big, too infinite for our human minds and emotions to understand. We can, however, grow to know Him more.

I know Him more than I did a year ago…… about you? Oh how He longs for you to know Him!

- by Jennifer Slater