Monday, December 17, 2012

Pastor Amundson's Christmas Greeting


Linda and I are celebrating our 44th Christmas at Full Gospel Church this year. We must have been just kids when we first started our ministry here. At least it seems like it.

The world has changed so much since our first Christmas service here. There is so much less emphasis on the real meaning of Christmas in our public schools and in our market squares. There is increasing amount of opposition to presenting any Christmas pageants in our public schools that portray the true story of Christ’s birth. Linda and I used to love watching the children’s concerts at the school where the band and choirs would play and sing wonderful Christmas carols that were so inspirational and meaningful because they told about the real meaning of Christmas. That has changed where you now seldom see or hear a concert that present any message of the Christ child.

Well, no matter, with or without public approval we are going to continue to promote the peace, love, and joy that Christ brought into this world when he came as a baby in the cradle at Bethlehem. God has given to this world the most wonderful gift through His love for us. The gift of salvation through His Son has provided for all of us who believe in His Son, the promise of everlasting life. This is the reason why Linda and I moved to Shell Lake these many years ago. We wanted this message to be presented throughout this region unto the ends of the earth. The glory is all the Lords.

We remain grateful to still be able to serve as leaders of the ministry here. The greatest asset to this church body are all of the leaders and workers that God has raised up to facilitate every ministry of the church. It is to their honor that we are humbled to work alongside each of them.

Our prayers remain toward all of you that you may enjoy God’s rich blessings for health and happiness this Christmas and in the New Year!

- Pastor Amundson


Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Compassion


As I was reading the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 I was gripped by the compellingness of Christ toward helping the poor and needy. Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, and I was poorly clothed and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I say to you, insomuch as you did anything for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did it for Me.” This passage gives the real heart of God, “To love your neighbor as yourself.” It takes some action for love to grow. We are told in Scriptures not to “love in words only, but in deed and in truth.” I John 3:18

Love is costly. It takes effort and time, and sometimes it takes money. Love is best expressed by showing compassion. When we show compassion toward others we are compelled to do something to change or improve their circumstances. To pity someone because of their misfortune means only to feel sorry for them and to do nothing to help them. But we are people of compassion!

We have an opportunity to put compassion and love into action next Sunday! We are reaching out to help and bless some people in this area during our Christmas in the Country program at 2:30 p.m..

It will be our opportunity to “feed the hungry, take strangers in, help clothe some people and to pray for people with need.” Many people from the area will come who need our love and compassion. We will provide some warm blankets, hats, gloves, mittens, shampoos, toothpaste and toothbrushes, bar soaps, deodorants, dish soaps etc. These are items that you can make or bring to the church on or before December 16th! Let’s all put on “bowels of mercies and kindness” and offer compassion in a loving way toward those with needs that we can meet. (Colossians 3:12/1 John 3:17)
Bring your donations to the church this week! Thank you!

-Pastor Amundson

Monday, November 12, 2012

Not Intimidated By Our Adversaries


 These are eventful days upon the earth that could rob believers of their joy of knowing Christ if we allow ourselves to be controlled by evil circumstances. Our nation recently voted to elect a leader whose policies and beliefs clearly deny the authority and teachings of the word of God and moral principles that most believers hold to.

ANOTHER VOTE COMING - Possibly within days another vote is coming from radical Islamists who are pushing the United Nations (U.N.) to pass a “Defamation of Religions” (DOR) resolution. It looks like a reasonable ban on religious discrimination, a global guarantee of religious freedom.

But it’s a deception and it is deadly dangerous! If you share your unique Christian faith...if you assert that faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven...you become an “enemy of Islam” and risk arrest, imprisonment, even death. The largest body of nations within the U.N. is the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)


It will apply “blasphemy laws” already on the books in Muslim nations, to you and your family...and subject Christians like you and those you know to some of the most brutal aspects of Islamic Shariah Law. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is currently fighting this law on behalf of Christians. They need our prayer and financial support on this.

LIVE AS CITIZENS OF HEAVEN - Paul writes in Philippians 1:27, 30 (NLT) “But whatever happens to me, you must live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ, as citizens of heaven, then whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing side by side, fighting together for the Gospel. (vs 28) DON’T BE INTIMIDATED by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God Himself (vs 29) For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him (vs 30). We are in this fight together…”

As Christians we stand together in our faith. The sword of the Lord (God’s Word) is in our hand to do battle against the hosts of darkness. The high praises of God in our mouth will defeat the darkness! We do not trust in the chariots of government, nor do we trust in the strength of horses carrying ungodly laws. The Lord is the “saving strength of His anointed people.” Psalms 28:7, 8
Dear friends...trust Him!!

- Pastor Virgil Amundson
 

Friday, October 26, 2012

God Is Speaking: Rise Up!


God is speaking to the church today to “Come Alive!” He is speaking to our nation to ‘Return to Righteousness!’ God is speaking to us personally as believers to prophecy and declare to the nations to “hear what God is saying and RISE UP AND LIVE!”

There is far too much spiritual death and spiritual deafness in the land. Too many Christians have become dry spiritually and have lost hope that revival can come to our land. Times like this is a fertile time for the prophets to speak to us and declare that God will once again raise up His people to another level of holy living and godly thinking which includes Jesus on our minds!

In Ezekiel 37 God called this prophet in a vision to a valley that was full of very dry bones. These bones represented the spiritual condition of the House of Israel. Ezekiel saw himself prophesying to these dry bones declaring that God was going to breathe life into them. God was going to reform them into a nation and bring them out of their bondage of captivity to their oppressors. Verse 14 says “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land.” God disapproves of dryness and deadness when it pertains to His own people.
My personal opinion is that God will lift the oppressive results of our backslidings both as a nation and as a people of God if we will “be purified as gold, and change our garments of shamefulness for white garments, and allow our eyes to be opened to see where He wants to bring each of us.” Rev. 3:18

This is our time to hear and to declare the Word of the Lord! God is not through with this nation! But we must “Arise and Live,” and heed His call. He is breathing new life into us right now! He is awakening us to become an “exceeding great army throughout the land to declare His great salvation!”

By your hand, I will stand filled with glory,Hold your Word, on the earth all to show your life revealedFrom “Dry Bones” - New Life Worship
- Pastor Virgil Amundson


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Make Your Vote Count!


When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise (2 Sam. 23:3, 4). The living should know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. (2 Tim. 2:1,2)

The 2012 election is apt to be a very close race, much like the 2000 squeaker between George Bush and Al Gore which had to be decided by the Supreme Court. I believe that the number of professing Christians who actually go to the polls, and more importantly—how they vote—will likely determine who wins this the most crucial election in 100 years.

As Christians we have the solemn privilege and duty to vote our enlightened conscience with faith towards God and prayerful discernment. This very exhortation was made by John G. Talcott, Jr. in 1974 in the first election-year newsletter published by Intercessors for America. Here is a condensed version of what he wrote under the heading: Choosing Candidates. “What should one look for in political candidates seeking office? A few words of caution:

1. Don’t choose someone by party affiliation alone, for all parties have both good and corrupt individuals within their ranks.
2. Don’t pick a candidate simply by what he says or promises, for this is often meaningless once he gets into office.
3. Don’t be swayed because the candidate is the smartest person or has the most experience in politics.
4. Don’t be deceived just because a candidate says he is a Christian. Most will profess to be a Christian since they live in a so-called Christian nation. Of course, the best candidate is the committed, qualified, God-fearing believer who is seeking public office not to further his own interests, but to please God and to serve his constituency justly and honestly. In many cases the electorate may not have such a good choice.

What do we do then? First, we have to learn more about the choices and their qualifications. Do they have sterling character? Are they honest? Are they humble? Would they be willing to stand up for what is right even if they might lose? If neither candidate seems fit for public office, you should ask yourself: Which person would the devil want to be elected? Having prayerfully pondered that question, vote for the lesser of two evils! This is timely counsel as we approach the 2012 election.

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Rise Up And Live!


As we prepare with pre-prayer for the upcoming World Missions Conference this month, my mind recalls so many supernatural and miraculous happenings that we have seen together as a result of hosting these conferences through the years. 

From missionaries being sent out as a direct result through provisions received during our conference, to 2000 orphans being supplied with food to survive because of instant funds received during the conference to help them with food for over a year. We have together built a power plant in Pretoria, South Africa to supply power for the Bible Training Institute directed by Ron Kinnear. Also the miracle of sending one-half million dollars through this church for mission works around the world in 2010 when the economy had dipped to its lowest in our nation.

It’s always exciting to see God’s people in our church get involved personally beyond their giving by opening their homes to provide housing and meals for these ambassadors for God to enjoy with you. And they really do enjoy the relationships and friendships they make while they are here!

Our World Missions Conference should include everyone, including young families and children who get to enjoy the artifacts and displays that are set up by our missionaries for everyone to see. What a wonderful opportunity it is for all of us to reach out and serve our guests from around the world in a loving and caring way. It is a time for all of us to set aside our own work and pleasure to “Rise Up and Live” which is the theme set for our conference this year! 

Bring to life a new vision to redeem the lost to God! Bring to life the heart of a servant to become a greater blessing! Bring to life stagnant dreams for God to blow upon and bring to pass! Bring to life new hope and desires for a more prosperous and fulfilling future! Bring to life a fervent zeal for all that God wants you to do!

God is calling for dry bones to live again! He wants to bring back the new again! Our missions conference for 2012 will bring breakthroughs and spiritual victories for many of us this year. I’m excited about that!

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pray!


This year, the most important thing our church can do is pray for our nation! To give an example, during the month of October thousands of churches will be praying for our country. Through an historic initiative called PRAY31, congregations from coast to coast will experience the power of intensive, purposeful prayer. When we call out to God according to His will, He responds and brings His transforming grace!

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:14

This verse reveals in principle a revival prayer applicable to God’s people in any age. The context follows Solomon’s dedicatory prayer for the temple—one that focuses the responsibility of any people to seek God for mercy after sin has brought its desolation, plague, and judgments. This verse summarizes God’s chosen way of restoration, which through the prayers of His people, a guide for prayers for revival in all places:
1. Humble ourselves (rather than God doing it to us.)
2. Pray for a full revelation of God’s glory to His people (seek His face.)
3. Turn from everything that contradicts the spirit and direction of our prayers (true repentance.)

The promised results: God will hear this prayer, will cleanse from sin, and will bring healing where it is needed—for the church, for the nation, and for the people!

- Pastor Regan Myers

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Is A Multi-Generational Church?


A multi-generational church is one where at least three generations exist in harmony, under one leadership head. It is a church where relationships are cross-generational, meaning that older ones disciple the ones beneath them and the younger ones teach the ones above them. It is where each generation learns from the other.

The church must overcome the different age spans in a multi-generational church. Each generation in the church have their own preferences in traditions, styles, worship, and communication. Often these present conflicting views which can create separation and distant each generation from one another which creates disunity and disharmony in the body. Some things which cause conflict between generations are:

  • Tradition: People don’t always want to change tradition.
  • Worship Style Preference: Some people have strong preference for a particular worship style.
  • Set in Ways: Afraid to pass the baton or respect the competency of the next generation.
  • Communication Style: Have difficulty accepting a different style of preaching, teaching, or adapting to small groups.


We are reviewing strategies that will create a multi-generational church. The number one purpose is to give access to reconciliation with God for all. We want to create an environment where all God’s children are included. That may mean adjusting to ways of people that might be different than ours. It means that we take intentional steps toward bringing the Body of Christ into oneness
.
The goal of our church is to build lives. To grow people. This is what our ministry is all about. This is what we are called to do. Ephesians 4:11, 12 gives us our responsibility.

“…..to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the Body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.”
We are building a spiritual house to bring people into relationship with God.

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Sacrament of Living


Today's post was brought to us by guest author, Chuck Adams.

As we look more closely at bringing people closer to God, encouraging them to develop spiritual maturity, and living a life of service to Him I find good reference of how to do it in scripture and Christian writings. This morning I was reading A.W. Tozer. His subject of choice was “the sacrament of living”. The point he was making was we mistakenly segregate our daily (worldly) living from our spiritual living. We look at life with special times, places, and activities as though they are more acceptable to God than the mundane acts of everyday life. 

 We separate life into the “good” Christian activities like going to church on Sunday morning from the worldly requirement that we go to work to support our families. He emphasizes the importance of viewing “the sacramental quality of everyday living”. Scripture tells us-- “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”(Col 3:23). 

 Everything we do is not of equal importance:

  “Paul’s sewing of tents was not equal to the writing of an epistle to the Romans, but both were acceptable to God and both were true acts of worship”. (A.W. Tozer) 

He also points out that every man is not as useful as every other man. Billy Graham far exceeds what most of us would expect to contribute for the sheer usefulness to the church and to the world; 

“but the service of the less gifted brother is as pure as that of the more gifted, and God accepts both with equal pleasure.--Let every man abide in the calling where he is called--.” (A.W. Tozer) 

 In my mind this speaks loudly as I consider where and when I follow God’s lead for my life. Where is he working and how would he have me join Him? We need to remember:

“It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything.” (A.W. Tozer)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Use Your Giftings!



But the manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” 
I Corinthians 12:7

We are members one of another and it is time we took these words seriously and began to act like one harmonious body again. The gifts of the Spirit are not only for use within the church. They are for the world as well. 


Some who have the gift of teaching ought to be exercising it in their homes. Some who have the gift of helping ought to be using it in the office, the shop, or wherever they are. Remember that the ministry of the body is the ministry of Jesus Christ, His continuing ministry in human society. Christ loves this world and the men and women in it. He loves the homeless, the street derelicts, the drug addicts, the alcoholics, the prostitutes, the gang members, the down and outers on crack, the business people enslaved by the god of success, the Generation X’ers who have given up on the future, the baby boomers who have achieved their goals and status goals and still feel hollow inside. 

Jesus loves them all, and He wants to reach them about the Savior who has given His life for them, the Father who gave His only Son for them, and the Spirit who wants to empower them and indwell them. 

Our job is to exercise our gifts in order to urge, draw, and love people into the Kingdom of God and the Body of Christ. That is why God has equipped us with gifts and filled us with His life. As we discover and use the gifts He has given us, we become His hands, His mouth, His feet, going out into the world and telling His story; doing His work; sharing His love; completing His eternal plan for the redemption of this broken world! Pastor Reg

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Let Nothing Compromise Your Integrity!


I recently spoke to a group of 40 men at an outdoor retreat in Wrenshall, Minnesota. These were primarily men who enjoy the great outdoors and its hunting and fishing. Of course I enjoy that kind of life experience as well.

A good hunter or fisherman must have proper equipment and make good decisions in order to enjoy success. Most fishermen could spend hours telling about all the fish they lost because of faulty equipment or poor judgments they made. The important thing is that they became better fisherman as a result of those experiences!

Character is developed much like we develop good fishing techniques. Most of us will try to avoid pain and adversity, but the truth is, pain is often necessary to purify and refine our character.

The Bible says, “We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience—and patience produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3, 4) We must have hope in this world. Hope is an anchor that will keep us from drifting into discouragement, futility, or despair.

The Scripture says that troubles will produce patience. And patience produces character. Another word for patience is long-suffering and forbearance. Do we fail in these areas? The answer is yes!

One thing that has tested my patience through years of fishing is what is called “line memory.” That’s when the line comes off the spool and ends in a giant snarl. A couple of things have helped keep the frustration level low is to (1) change the line on my reels often and (2) not waste time trying to unravel the snarls but to just cut it off.

The Living Bible paraphrases Romans 5:4: “Patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.” Is your character strong and steady?

One of the greatest hindrances to integrity and character is hypocrisy. Integrity does not hold two standards. Integrity means that you are real! You are authentic! An old country preacher said it this way: “Be who you is, cuz if you ain’t who you is, you is who you ain’t!” Our great challenge as Christians is to not compromise our integrity, no matter what the rest of the crowd might do. According to Psalm 7:8, God judges us according to our integrity! Character IS everything!

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Monday, July 23, 2012

Faith Is Our Victory!


In whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.?” (I John 5:4, 5)

It was refreshing last Sunday to hear Johnny Moffitt describe how becoming a disciple of Christ has delivered him from the “dark side” of life to a life of freedom in ministry with God’s provisions and endless opportunities to lead others into the light of Christ. It is evident that he truly believed that Jesus is the Son of God and that He rewards those who are committed to serving Him.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “but without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and the He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” It is true that for faith to be real, it must have an object. People can put faith in most anything they choose to. But for the believer the only object in which we place our faith is in the person of Jesus Christ! There cannot be any other choice to obtain a life of victory over the world than to choose Christ Jesus who Himself is victorious over death, hell, and the world.

  • He rose again from the dead the third day - I Corinth. 15:4
  • He holds the keys of hell and death - Revelation 1:18
  • He has overcome the world - I John 5:5


We overcome the world, flesh, and the devil only through our overcomer, the Lord Jesus! Praise God, we are not orphans! We are sons and daughters of Almighty God! “As many as received him, to them gave he the power (right and privilege) to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on the Lord Jesus.” John 1:12

The right of sonship is an exclusive right of only those who believe and call upon the saving Name of the Lord. Acts 2:21 says, “Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” You and I belong to Jesus! He bought our redemption and paid the supreme price to deliver us from darkness into his marvelous light. I Peter 2:9 We stand by faith. We walk by faith. We “live by the faith of the Son of God.” Galatians 2:20 The hope of righteousness is by faith. Our eternal salvation is through faith. Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:2

Your faith and faithfulness to God will gain a reward that is everlasting. We are overcomers in this world because our faith is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blessed to See Someone Else Blessed!


Do you rejoice when you see someone else succeed or receive victories in life? When you see other people blessed, perhaps receive a blessing or special attention that you have longed to receive yourself - are you able to rejoice with them? Does it thrill you to know that other people are moving upward in life? Or does it threaten you and make you sad when you see someone else receiving a blessing you wished could be yours?

In I Corinthians 13:6 it says that 

“love does not behave itself unseemly, and love does not think evil or wrong of anyone.”

How you respond to other people’s troubles and blessings reveals a great deal about your true level of spiritual maturity. When someone has wronged you and you find yourself secretly rejoicing at their time of hardship, ask God to forgive you for responding in a way that is contrary to love. Remember that, God’s love never reacts negatively toward those who encounter hardships. His love “does not rejoice when it sees an injustice done to someone.” His love is “overjoyed with truth.” 

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy 236th Birthday America!


Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not the course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” 

These compelling words embodied the patriotic spirit of Patrick Henry—a brilliant orator where love of liberty, won at any cost, fueled the fire of the American Revolution. Patrick Henry was an American hero. The legacy of Patrick Henry lives on not only in his monumental achievement of American independence and western liberty, but also in the example he set for future generations of leaders.

Imitate Patrick Henry Patrick Henry’s fundamental characteristics should inspire all leaders to learn from his life. Before the American Revolution our country was under the throes of political and religious tyranny from the British. Patrick Henry held a deep conviction that “where political tyranny begins, true government ends.”

Henry was certain that God had called him to an inescapable accountability to oppose the lawless encroachments of government over “citizen’s rights” and “freedom of religion.” The American Revolution owes much of its success to the bold and passionate life work of Patrick Henry whose trumpet of revolution was heard loud and clear in the congressional halls of justice.

Patrick Henry was a man of deep religious faith and virtue. He was a man of persistence. He learned the hard way that life is neither fair nor easy, and that the path to success and greatness was perseverance. Henry was a man of passion. He passionately advocated measures that he sincerely held to be in the best interest of the country. He spoke and acted from his heart with honest conviction that moved the hearts of others.

Henry was a man of perception. He foresaw the coming war of independence long before his confused colleagues. He also foresaw the dangers of federal abuse of the constitution because he had an astounding knowledge of the human heart. He was a man of patriotism. His patriotism was rooted in his love for liberty first. To him being a patriot meant standing on the firm foundation of God’s justice in the face of opposition, injustice, and censorship. A patriot was one who stood for his country because his country stood for right.

Lastly, Henry was a man of piety. His Christian faith sustained him through adversity and loss. His faith comforted him and energized him during conflict. It shaped his character and governed his policies. His view of liberty that he strove to protect was rooted in his Christian world view. The only God that Henry would bow to was the God of the Bible.

The only enemy to freedom is tyrannical government that presumes to take the place of God. Henry serves to every generation of leaders as a model of Christian patriotism, and uncompromising statesmanship. Happy 4th of July!

-Pastor Virgil Amundson



Monday, June 25, 2012

The Scriptures Keep Us From Error!


The Bible is to be our textbook for life. It is through the scriptures that we are kept from falling into error, and it is through scripture that life is produced in us. Jesus stated that it is the “Spirit that gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63

It is the words of God and Jesus’ words which are recorded in the Bible that bring life to us. Jesus answered the Pharisees who did not believe in the resurrection, “You are in error because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God.” Matthew 22:29 To err means “to roam from safety or truth, to go astray, to be seduced to wander out of the way.”

Our world today is so full of deception and lies. If we do not have a solid basis for truth, we can find ourselves believing lies and untruths which leads to seduction of our beliefs and our faith.

Can a believer fall from grace? The Bible gives proof that a Christian can be led into error and fall from his steadfastness. 2 Peter 3:17 “...beware lest you are led away with the error of the wicked, and fall from your own steadfastness.”

It is possible for brethren or Christians to err from the truth and become unconverted (James 5:19). It is also possible for an erring Christian to be converted again. If he repents and is saved again from death, his sins will be forgiven and covered. James 5:20. If he does not repent he will be lost and will have to pay the penalty for sin. Romans 6:23; 8:13; Hebrews 6:4-6

Blessings Through God’s Word! God wants us to prosper in our soul and to have a successful spiritual life in Him. If we meditate upon God’s Word and are careful to do everything written in it, we will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 We must hide the Word of God in our heart so that we might not sin against God. Psalms 119:11. We are designed to grow in our faith and in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every grace and blessing is deposited in seed form that God has implanted into our lives. If these seeds are watered and cared for by continual conformity to the Word of God, they will grow to full maturity. As we walk in the light of the knowledge of God’s Word we will grow normally to maturity in Christ

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Father's Legacy


This post was brought to us by guest author Gordon Hodgett. Happy Father's Day!

My father has played a significant role in shaping my life and guiding me to become the man I am today. He has always been a natural teacher, patient and understanding. Always willing to explain things in a way that can be understood, even as a small child. We often joke about when we were growing up and we did something wrong our primary punishment was the long talks our Dad would have with us in lieu of getting a spanking and how sometimes that seemed worse. Looking back now I appreciate the time he took to explain things to me and instill wisdom into my life instead of just blindly giving me direction.

I could not ask for a better father and role model in life. He has always lived his life by example, not telling me how to live or what is right or wrong, but showing me by example. Showing God’s love to his family and the others around him, not just setting rules and establishing consequences for disobeying them, but by living a life of integrity to show us as an example what a Godly man looks like.

The Hodgett Clan


He also taught me work ethic, which has played a significant role in my life and has helped me reach many of the goals I have set. In this day in age where the entitlement mentality dominates our generation, a solid work ethic is such a huge tool. As a child I remember complaining and wanting to go play with my friends instead of cutting firewood, mowing the lawn, or working on the house. Now I look back and am so thankful my dad taught me the value of hard work and seeing a task complete to the end.

Although I am sure I do not tell my Dad enough, he has played a huge role in my life and has sown many seeds of wisdom throughout the years. My hope is that I can have the same positive effect on my children and they can say these things about me when they are older.   

Friday, June 8, 2012

Keep a Watchful Eye...


Stick to the TRUTH!

Truth is the contrast of all that is evil, false and deceptive. Besides this, truth stands like a pillar amidst the storms of humanistic ideas and existential philosophies. Truth is what outlasts the shallowness of temporal values by simply lighting the way for those who desire to live by its virtue. His truth “endureth forever” says the Psalmist. (100:5)
 
Truth comes even closer to home when our culture and political government scream to its intolerance. The Bible talks about truth as principle (law), and precept (lessons), and person (Jesus). God lays out the commands as recorded in the OT Ten Commandments, which are of course, principles of truth. The narratives (stories) of the patriarchs such as Abraham, Moses, David, etc. define the struggle that sin-stricken people have with keeping truth, even after initial faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. The Person of truth is seen in shadow in the Torah with reference to being spoken by the living God (Deut. 32:4). The substance of the same Person is realized in Jesus Christ, Who said, I am the Way, Truth…(John 14:6).
 
Truth has always had a battle zone attached to it. As humans, we must choose if we shall go in the [straight and narrow] way of truth that leads to life everlasting or follow the broad way ending in death and destruction. This battle can and must be won by the aid of the Spirit of truth (John 16:13), Who is available to the Christian that prays for His help.
 
In the time we live we must keep a watchful eye on the Lord of truth; become the People of truth; confront the rejecters of truth; all this in order to lead us to the way of truth. God desires that His children come to the truth, then immerse themselves in the Word of truth as a response of our love for the God of truth! (See 2 Thess. 2:3-13) 

-Dr. Timothy Warner
Pastor, Northern Lights Christian Center

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!


The most influential position in the nation today is held by a woman! She enforces law, practices medicine, and teaches...without any degree, certificate of confidence or required training. She handles the nation’s food, administers its drugs, and practices emergency first aid. This for all the spiritual, physical, and mental ills of the American family. A man literally places his life and the lives of his children into the hands of this woman - his wife and children’s mother. (Quote by Ruth Hampton)

Many of the most beautiful things in life come by two’s and three’s, by dozens and by hundreds: Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins - but only ONE mother in the whole world! (Kate Douglas Wriggins)

We may have a problem with absentee fathers in this generation—but rarely do you ever see a mother abandon or leave her children to fend for themselves. Why? Because only to her was given God’s creative power in her body to bare children. She fights hard to bring them into the world and she will fight hard to keep and protect them. Her pain has produced a deep love for them. Thanks Mom!! 

- Pastor Amundson

Friday, May 11, 2012

Keep Fighting!


I want to encourage everyone who is engaging enemy encounters with the evil tactics of the devil. All of us face distractions by the plans of the evil one as he comes against families, churches, and our nation. We really are engaged in spiritual warfare.

CS Lewis says “Every morning we wake up in enemy territory.” The Scripture warns us to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) The word “devour” means to “gulp down,” “to swallow up.” It’s obvious to me that our number one enemy is not planning to take any prisoners.

Jesus said, “Satan comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy…..” (John 10:10) Satan hates everything that God loves! Now, more than ever we should be “strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10) And we must “stand against the devils schemes.” (Verse 11) We must seize the only weapon we have to fight against the devil’s schemes, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

We must stay protected and also protect our loved ones by wearing God’s protective armor so that we stand always ready to do battle. Our warfare is not a Sunday school picnic. It is war! We are not to let “Satan get any advantage over us or our loved ones.” (2 Cor. 2:11) “We cannot be ignorant of his devices.” (Thoughts, purpose, or designs.)

The devil hates you if you are a believer! His purpose is total destruction. He takes no prisoners. His end goal is death.

Now we must stand with Christ more than ever. We are triumphant through Him and in Him. “Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ…” He is the victorious conqueror! “We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Romans 8:37

The battle isn’t over—but the outcome is determined. We can do all things through Christ, our triumphant conqueror! Triumph in Christ means complete mastery over satanic powers. Christ “spoiled principalities and powers; he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15) In Christ, our destiny is victory! Amen!

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Blessing


Not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, the one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good. He must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” I Peter 3:9-12 NASB

Peter introduces this quotation from Psalm 34 with the explanatory conjunction “for” showing that he views the quotation as giving reasons for obeying the exhortation.

According to the Psalmist 
  1.  the one who does such things will find life to be most gratifying, 
  2.  his days will be good 
  3.  God’s eyes will ever be on him to bless him and 
  4.  God’s ears will be ready to hear his prayer.


Aren’t these life changing words from the Apostle Peter? Those who follow these instructions of not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing, will live life to the absolute full!

Goodness will abound! God’s eyes will never ever be apart from them! God’s blessings will be on them! And last but not least, God will be waiting intently, for every prayer that is prayed, ready and willing to pour out of His rich abundance! Remember, blessings are not just for those whom we love, they are also for our enemies.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8 NASB
 - Pastor Regan Myers

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The God of Opportunities!


How does God bring opportunities? The first thing to understand in answering this question is that God is the most creative being in the universe. He has created opportunities for you, more imaginative and diverse than you are capable of comprehending. If you ask Him, He will open your eyes to these opportunities. Ask Him to show you the opportunity He has for dealing with your specific financial situation. Ask in faith, and believe He loves you and that He will answer your prayer.

Often, people will find that this opportunity is something already within their grasp. Moses discovered this in a dramatic way. God told him that He was going to lead the children of Israel out of captivity in Egypt (Exodus 4:1, 2). Moses had a lot of questions about his ability to perform such a task, and said to the Lord: “They will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A rod.”

The Lord told Moses to throw his rod on the ground and when he did, it became a serpent. Then he picked it up and it became a rod again. That rod became the symbol of God’s power and authority that rested with Moses. It was a simple, common thing, used everyday without a second thought. But God used it in bringing the children of Israel out from Egypt!

I believe the opportunity that will get you out of your Egypt is in your hand, within your grasp. Through utilizing it and using it wisely, you will be able to free yourself. Remember, the secret to your future is hidden in your daily routine. Practice something daily! Creative opportunities originate with God, and usually they are simple things. God has created us all with a certain amount of creativity! Use it!

 - Pastor Regan Myers             

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Lesson For The Political World


 “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone.” John 6:15

This notable miracle was sufficient to cause an immediate political rally to make Christ King of the Jews. A man that could do this could defeat the Romans and the whole world, so they tried to take Him by force and make Him a King.

Jesus did what every man must learn to do in times of popularity and temptation to be exalted over success. He slipped away from the crowd into some secret place to pray. What a lesson to learn! It would be good for many men today who are constantly seeking to exalt themselves as the man of the hour, to stumble on to this example and have grace to follow it. It is repulsive to say the least to hear and see the self-exaltation of such men.

Believe it or not Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” This will be fulfilled many times in these days of pride and boastfulness over gifts and abilities, which if really received, should make men the most humble and dependent upon God and as nothing before men.

We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.” ~Benjamin Franklin

- Pastor Regan Myers

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Sweetest Words

(This Relevant Pen Blog Post was brought to us by guest author, Jennifer Siem) 

My husband and I knew that we were in God’s will and knew that we had listened to His voice; but still, we felt out of place. I guess God has a history of taking people out of a place where they feel comfortable and taking them somewhere in which His presence feels like the only thing familiar.

We had been attending the same church for much of our lives. For me, it had been 16 years that I had been there. And for my husband, it had been 27 years; that was where we had grown up and even met each other. We thought we would always be there, but God had a different plan in mind. So, we found ourselves at Shell Lake Full Gospel.

As God was taking us to a new place, I had really been searching the Scriptures and my heart to make sure that I was where he wanted me to be. As a result, one of the things I had been praying for was that others would see God’s love and joy through me.

Last summer, after attending Shell Lake Full Gospel for a number of months, an elder of church came up to me and told me something that made me feel so at home and confirmed so much that my husband I were truly in the place that God wanted us to be that it brought tears to my eyes. He told me that he could see God’s joy in my smile, and that He could see God’s love through me. He probably didn’t realize that his words were an answer to prayer! I think those may have been the sweetest words I had ever heard. And that’s when I knew I was in the right place. It was a confirmation that I never expected from God, but then He always seems to amaze me!
 

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Tithe: "I'm Loving It"


I received so many comments after addressing the biblical subject of tithing from last Sunday’s sermon. Even some emails were sent this week which expressed people’s strong convictions regarding obedience-level giving according to what God’s Word teaches in both Old and New Testaments.

The most common statement that I have heard through the years from opponents of tithing is that we live under the New Testament which is under grace and that we are not under the law. Their assumption is that the act of tithing, (giving a tenth of their income to God) was only under Old Testament Law. Proverbs 3:9, 10 tells us to “honor the Lord with your wealth, and the best part of everything you produce; then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” NLT

The truth concerning all giving is that God receives honor and blesses His people when they recognize Him as their source for all that they have and when they give Him the best part of everything they produce. Tithes and offerings were an expression of honoring God for all of His provisions and protection He afforded to His people. Malachi 3:8-12 is an appeal from God for Judah to return back to the covenant relationship He had with them so He could prove His faithfulness to His covenant promises toward them. The curse that was upon the nations produce (crops) from insects and disease would be broken by their obedience to return to the covenant of giving their tithes and offerings back to God. God would then rebuke the devourer and once again bring yields of produce and prosperity which would show the nations that God’s favor was upon Israel.

Today in American churches statistics reveal that Christians give an average of 2.5% of their income to their local church. This explains why so many ministries are under-resourced and church budgets are so limited in doing the work of the Kingdom. Could this lack of bringing honor to God through our giving be part of the curse that is bringing America to it’s knees financially? I believe that individually we can see the devourer rebuked in our lives if we become faithful to God’s covenant of tithes and offerings to advance His Kingdom!

New Testament Tithing - Jesus addressed the religious leaders in Matthew 23:23 that their liberty under grace should produce tithing, justice, mercy, and faith. Hebrews 7:8,9 says that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedec whose priestly office would last forever and would be unchangeable. (Hebrews 7:24) We who are not Jews are also to walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham. (Romans 4:12, 16) Tithing was an act of faith for Abraham, and still is for us today! 

- Pastor Virgil Amundson

Friday, March 30, 2012

How He Loves Us


We’ve all heard the saying, “love is an action word”, that it is not about how you feel but what you do

LOVE = DO 

My momma use to say, “Jenny, your actions speak louder than your words.” This year at Shell Lake Full Gospel we are presenting the Easter Alive play “How He Loves.” Over the last few days I’ve been thinking about how Jesus showed us to love (do). He said to us “love (do) others as I have loved (do) you. So how did Jesus love (do) others?

  1. He trained by example, taught through simple life stories, and disciplined in love. We can show love (do) through our everyday life in all that we say and do.

  2. He valued others above Himself. We can act like others are more important than us, make decisions based on what is best for others and not ourselves, and defer to others instead correcting them.

  3. He was not full of Himself; He EMPTIED Himself, and humbled Himself (no one else humbled Him). When was the last time we have emptied ourselves emotionally, physically, or financially for another?

  4. Jesus did not come to this world to be right. He came into this world to humble Himself for your sake and mine on behalf of the world. By taking our sin and dying on the cross, He discounted the opportunity to be right every single time. Jesus could have demanded fairness, respect, or to be heard. He could have fought for His personal rights. He even could have nagged everyone in the world to death by saying “you’re a sinner, you’re a sinner, you’re a sinner”, and He would have been right! Instead, He quietly laid down His life for us. Now that’s love (do). 

    Must we always be right, be treated fairly, be respected, or be heard in order to love one another? Does nagging (even if you’re right) demonstrate the love of Jesus? When was the last time we quietly laid ourselves down for the sake of another?
 For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! AmenEphesians 3: 14 – 21

 - Jen Slater 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The God of Opportunities!


How does God bring opportunities? The first thing to understand in answering this question is that God is the most creative being in the universe. He has created opportunities for you, more imaginative and diverse than you are capable of comprehending. If you ask Him, He will open your eyes to these opportunities. Ask Him to show you the opportunity He has for dealing with your specific financial situation. Ask in faith, and believe He loves you and that He will answer your prayer.

Often, people will find that this opportunity is something already within their grasp. Moses discovered this in a dramatic way. God told him that He was going to lead the children of Israel out of captivity in Egypt (Exodus 4:1, 2). Moses had a lot of questions about his ability to perform such a task, and said to the Lord: “They will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A rod.”

The Lord told Moses to throw his rod on the ground and when he did, it became a serpent. Then he picked it up and it became a rod again. That rod became the symbol of God’s power and authority that rested with Moses. It was a simple, common thing, used everyday without a second thought. But God used it in bringing the children of Israel out from Egypt!

I believe the opportunity that will get you out of your Egypt is in your hand, within your grasp. Through utilizing it and using it wisely, you will be able to free yourself. Remember, the secret to your future is hidden in your daily routine. Practice something daily! Creative opportunities originate with God, and usually they are simple things. God has created us all with a certain amount of creativity! Use it!

- Pastor Regan Myers

Friday, March 16, 2012

Get Back On The Bike

(This Relevant Pen Blog Post was brought to us by guest author, Candice Hopwood)


I can clearly remember the day that I learned to ride a bike. Maybe you can too. I was five years old and I had been riding the neighbors training bike all summer. You know the kind, child sized with training wheels; easy to handle for a pint sized bike enthusiast. The only bike we had at our home was my mom's, It was a five speed, dark green , and adult sized. It was an intimidating monster in my eyes. 

One evening I decided that I was ready to take biking to the next level. I was ready to ride a bike without the training wheels, I wanted my own bike! I was ready to make my mark on my world, face my fears and step out. My dad pulled out the "Green Monster" and after many attempts that evening in our backyard, (where the grass was much more forgiving than the street) I mastered that bike. 

Why do I tell you this story? Because it best describes my life the last couple of years as an In-House Director at The Compassion Center. God has had me deal with the "Green Monsters" in my life while ministering here. And through His strength, I have grown. By His grace I am learning to ride through this call on my life. He has gently been teaching me to ride without my training wheels and to rely on His sovereignty. I wouldn't say that I have mastered my call by any means, but when I do fall, I fall into His soft and loving embrace. When I don't understand a situation that is before me, I know that He will not fail me and that He has it all under control. 

What is God calling you to? What passions in life has He laid upon your heart? Trust Him with the dreams He has given you, there is a great adventure out there...have you been off your bike for a while? Maybe it is time to get back on that bike!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Prayer: Is It Our Opportunity or Responsibility in Faith?


(This Relevant Pen Blog Post was brought to us by guest author, Chuck Adams)
In my devotional time I am reading Pastor Jack Hayford’s book “The Power and the Blessing”. He has raised an issue about prayer. Should we be sitting back and waiting for God to bring his plan to closure, or do we have a responsibility to participate? I would not ever describe myself as a prayer warrior. Maybe I need to rethink my world view as defined by God.
Pastor Hayford points out that God’s original plan was for us to “-- replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genisis 1:28  Because of original sin all was changed . We were separated from the intended fellowship he designed, death was introduced, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” 1 John 5:19  Nothing has really changed about God’s will for us. He still wants a close relationship with us and the rule of God is being made available to man. Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mathew 4:17 
Jesus taught how we should pray “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. He tells us that we have an active role to play in his kingdom. Heaven is here and now! We are each responsible to invite God’s rule into our lives through prayer. Without it we forfeit His rule in our circumstances.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. " John 3:3-5
Accepting Christ begins our participation in his kingdom. As we grow in our relationship with him and gain his perspective on our situations we are called to advance his will for the kingdom of God. 

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Jud├Ža, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 

The power is God’s, but the privilege & responsibility to pray is ours!

How do you view your prayer life?