Thursday, September 30, 2021

The News May Be Bad, But God Is Good 

Carlie Porterfield in the September 20, 2021 Forbes Magazine wrote an article entitled, “675,000 American Deaths: Coronavirus Now Deadlier Than The Spanish Flu.”  She wrote, “The U.S. reported 675,444 total confirmed coronavirus on Monday according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, surpassing the number of Americans believed to have died during the Flu of 1918 and making the coronavirus the most deadly pandemic in American history.”  While recent data indicate the number of hospitalizations and cases are on the downward trend, the number of deaths still greatly concerns us.


Despite this gloomy report, the Bible tells us not to let our heart be troubled (John 14:1).  Jesus was teaching His disciples and told them that despite the trouble they had in the world, they should have peace in Him because He had overcome the world (John 16:33).  Even the righteous will have troubles, afflictions, and challenges but we can look to the Lord who brings deliverance (Psalm 34:19).  This is not to say that we can all be healed, delivered, and set free in this world but we must know that God is with us even in our challenges.


Terrell Owens, the National Football League player said, “God may not be there when you want him but he is always on time.” We cannot look to our world leaders in any area for our victories, but we can look to Jesus, who began and matures our faith in Him (Hebrews 12:2).  The news may be discouraging but let us put our faith in Jesus who will bring us victory.  


John 14:1

New International Version

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.


John 16:33

New International Version

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


Psalm 34:19

New International Version

19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;


Hebrews 12:2

New International Version

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.








Monday, September 20, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, September 20, 2021

Nothing Is Impossible With God


Howard Fendrich with the Associated Press wrote a September 12, 2021 article entitled, “Britain’s Emma Raducanu, 18, Wins U.S. Open.”  She was ranked 150th and who until three months ago had never played in a professional tour-level event.  Having defeated Leylah Annie Fernanez of Canada for the title, the article went on to say, “And now? She will rise into the Women’s Tennis Association’s top 25. She earned $2.5 million. She is famous in Britain and the world over. She is now, and forever, a Grand Slam champion.”


Just like this teenager won this impressive title, God wants us to know that He can do anything, and nothing shall be impossible for us (Luke 1:37).  He wants us to turn to Him to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19). God is more than enough to calm our fears, solve our problems and provide for us in these challenging times. When the world says something is impossible, we can ask for God’s help (Philippians 4:13).  In the Bible, when demons constantly threw a young man into fire, his father asked Jesus to help him “if He could.”  Jesus replied that everything is possible for those who believe (Mark 9:21-23).


Is it possible that we have limited God’s authority, power, and miracles in our lives because we believe the world system which says something cannot be accomplished? Since the world has been challenged by climate change, constant wars, and calamities on every hand, now is the time for us to ask God for His divine intervention. Nothing is impossible with God.


Luke 1:37

New King James Version

37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”


Philippians 4:19

New International Version

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.


Philippians 4:13

New International Version

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.


Mark 9:21-23

New International Version

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 
22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”







Thursday, September 9, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, September 9, 2021

God Wants To Answer Our Questions

In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ivermectin tablets are approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat people afflicted with parasitic worms but not for the virus. Ryan Grenoble wrote an article in September 6, 2021,  U.S. News entitled, “Arkansas Inmates Say They Were Given Ivermectin For COVID-19 Without Their Consent.”  One of the inmates said, “I asked what are they, and they’d just tell me vitamins.”  To make things even more confusing, “a judge ruled Monday that an Ohio hospital cannot be forced to give a patient ivermectin for Covid-19, reversing an earlier decision that ordered it to administer this parasite medication which has not been approved to treat the disease.” 


In this time of confusing information, many are making life and death decisions based on how they see things, the opinions of random strangers rather than generally acceptable scientific standards.  For example, the scientific community suggests masks may help us during this pandemic when others tell us that forcing masks is an attack on freedom.  Perfectly reasonable people seem to be saying perfectly unreasonable things.  


This is a time of great anxiety when desperate times are leading to desperate measures.  What should those who love the Lord do when even the experts disagree? The Bible suggests that in all our getting, we should get understanding (Proverbs 4:7). God tells us that He is the final answer since He is the source of knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6).  But many of us do not ask God, and therefore we do not have our answers (James 4:2b). Those who really want answers from God would do well to heed the scriptures.  Through prayer, we should continue to ask God and we will receive, continue to seek and we will find, and continue to knock and the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7).  Now is the time to seek our benevolent God’s final answer for our lives (James 1:5).  God is waiting to answer our questions for these important decisions.


Proverbs 4:7

New King James Version

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.


Proverbs 2:6

New International Version

6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.


James 4:2b

New International Version

2 … You do not have because you do not ask God.


Matthew 7:7

Amplified Bible

7 “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.


James 1:5

Amplified Bible

5 If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.








Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, September 1, 2021

How To Stop Wars


President Biden recently announced that the United States has ended its long war in Afghanistan. Sanjana Karanth wrote an article in World News, entitled, “Last U.S. Planes Leave Kabul, Ending 20-Year War In Afghanistan.”  It is astounding that it took 20 years to end this war. Many lives were lost, millions were made homeless, and the pain inflicted from this war will live on.  


The war in Afghanistan may dominate the headlines today, but all over the world, there are constant stories of wars, fighting, refugees and atrocities.  What is the cause of the constant conflict? The Bible says that wars come from the conflict within us (James 4:1). The scriptures suggest that to avoid wars, we need to ask God to help supply our needs (James 4:2).  


The Bible says that before the end of the earth arrives, we will hear about wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6).  It will not stop.  What should the child of God do about the depressing litany of conflicts? First, knowing that the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy, we must submit ourselves to God’s will, word, and authority to defeat evil (James 4:7). Second, with God on our side (Romans 8:31), we must resist being involved with and escalating conflicts.  Third, we can pray against the evil forces that bring about disputes (Philippians 4:13).


It is true that we are not all world leaders who can forcefully put down wars and fighting, but in our small corner of the world, we can allow God to use us to be examples of peacefully living a life for God.  Since we are books that the world reads, let His peace keep our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:7) and then we can then act like God would have us act.


James 4:1, 2

New International Version

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.


Matthew 24:6

New International Version

6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.


James 4:7

New International Version

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you


Romans 8:31

New International Version

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?


Philippians 4:13

New International Version

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.


Philippians 4:7

New International Version

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.