From our Pastor

Newsletter Articles

March 2024
Several years ago, some of us from our church decided to see “God’s Not Dead” at the local movie theatre. It was an awesome movie that challenged people to believe and trust in the God that is revealed in Scripture. In the movie, a college student is challenged to prove that God is alive. His professor, who was an atheist, said in his class that for all practical purposes, God is dead. So, the student proved his point with logic, reason, and of course, God’s Word, and the class rendered the verdict; God’s Not Dead.

At the conclusion of the movie in the credits, we were challenged to text ten people that we knew the message, “God’s Not Dead.” Many of us did that including one lady who texted her mother along with me and some others. After about thirty minutes, I got a text from an Arkansas number that simply said, “I never said He was.” It was the mother of the daughter who had texted her after the movie. She responded with some clever words. We all got a good laugh about her response.

I have thought about that response on more than one occasion. In the 1960s, there was a movement that proclaimed that God was dead. But that movement is dead and gone. There are certainly people today who live their lives as though God does not exist. They are practical atheists. They go day in and day out never acknowledging God or reading His Word or worshipping in His church. It makes you wonder if those people are saying “God is dead” with their actions rather than with words. It is along the same line as the person who made a decision in church at an early age and then never darkened the doors of a church or read God’s Word for almost seventy years. Are we saying with our lives that “God is Dead” or “He’s Alive?”

The Newsboys sang the song based on the movie and here is part of the lyrics; My God's not dead, He's surely alive, He's living on the inside, Roaring like a lion. 1 Peter 3:18 reminds us of that wonderful truth; For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; You may have never said that “God is dead”, but are you living your life in such a way that proclaims “He Lives.” If not, be a living testimony for Him each and every day!

February 2024
In the Bible study that I am sharing on Wednesdays, we have come to the passages in James 3 dealing with the tongue and the problem with controlling our tongues. It reminds me of the Great Fire in Chicago on October 8-10, 1871. I have always read about the O’Leary’s cow kicking over a lantern in their barn as the cause of the deadly fire. Three hundred people lost their lives and thousands were left homeless. Over 2,000 acres were burned and over 17,000 buildings were destroyed. But the truth of the matter is that there was never an official cause of fire, just rumors.
James 3:5-6 explains that an uncontrolled tongue can do damage like a wildfire. All it takes is for a little spark to cause a massive inferno that can destroy lives and property. Mrs. O’Leary was accused of starting the Great Fire of Chicago, but she claims she was asleep in bed when made aware of the blaze in their barn. The fire changed her and her family. People later said that she died of a broken heart because of all the rumors and innuendos concerning the origin of the fire. All it takes is one comment or a few words that can change the direction of a person’s life. I shared this past Sunday in my Proverbs study in my Discipleship 1st class about the illustration using a tube of toothpaste and asking a child to squeeze it all out on a plate. Then after the child squeezes it out, I ask them to put it back in the tube. It cannot be done. Once the toothpaste is out there, you cannot put it back. Same way with our words. Once we say them, they can never be retrieved.
Social media has taken our culture by storm. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social platforms are being used by people everywhere to communicate with others. Some of it is good. I have a dear pastor friend who uses his Facebook page to communicate with fellow church members. But I must admit that social media has been used to bully, intimidate, and allow people to be downright rude and insensitive. Have you found yourself posting something after becoming angry or agitated about a certain subject? Do you have a filter that can help you control what to say and what not to say? Would Jesus be pleased with your words, posts or sharing of articles?
Proverbs 21:23 says, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.” Ask God to help you to control what comes out of your mouth. Ask Him for a filter to know when to speak and when to bite your tongue! Mark Twain said it this way; “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” God desires to be Lord of our lives and that includes our speech! Think about it, especially before you open your mouth!
Bro. Jim