From our Pastor

Newsletter Articles

May/June 2022
Several years ago, we had a man in our church by the name of Hubert Mustain. Hubert lived to be 97 years of age before he went to be with the Lord. After becoming pastor of this church, Hubert lost both of his sons in death. They were both in their 60s. He shared with me that he sometimes did not understand why God allowed him to live longer than his sons. The pain of losing two children was tough on him, but God granted Hubert a favor. Hubert went to sleep one night here on earth and when he awoke, he found himself in heaven with Jesus.
My mom when she died back in March was able to experience something like Hubert Mustain. She went to bed one night on this earth. When she awoke, she found herself with Jesus in heaven. I share these two stories because as we get older, we start thinking more about heaven. When we think about heaven, John 14 comes to mind. We have been going through the Gospel of John on Sundays and we are about ready to get to one of my favorite passages in Scripture. John 14:1-6 has brought great comfort to believers and their families over the years.
I see the lost people hanging on to the things and the philosophies of this world because they have no hope of heaven apart from Christ. John 14 tells us that heaven is a place. It is not a figment of our imagination. It is not somewhere on this earth. No, Jesus tells us that heaven is a place. It is real. He also tells us that heaven is a prepared place. Jesus says in John 14 that “He is going to prepare a place for us.” Heaven is so beautiful and wonderful that we cannot comprehend it. And Jesus is preparing a mansion or dwelling place for His saved followers. That is why heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. Jesus says in Vs. 6 of John 14 that He is the way, the truth, and the life. If we will accept Christ and His salvation, we will be prepared to meet Him when He returns or when we breathe our last breath.
I cannot guarantee that saved people will be as fortunate as Hubert Mustain or my mom, but you can know for sure that heaven is ready and waiting for the saved and the redeemed. Make sure you are ready to meet the Lord when He comes or when death knocks on your heart’s door. The key to knowing is Vs. 1 in John 14. “You believe in God, believe also in Me” are the words of our Savior. The word for believe is the verb form of the word “faith.” We must faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus? Do so before it is too late. Get ready for a change of address one day, Christian. Heaven is real!
Bro. Jim

March/April 2022
Over the last couple of years, we have had news reports out of Canada dealing with First Amendment issues concerning some churches in Canada and some pastors being threatened with fines and jail over “hate speech.” The hate speech according to Canadian authorities is Scripture verses quoted by Christians dealing with social and moral issues of our day. Evidently, not all speech is protected in Canada. And it is not just confined to our neighbors to the North.
I shared this past Sunday night concerning the two Christian Finnish parliament members who have been charged with hate crimes in the country of Finland. Paivi Rasanen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola have been prosecuted now for three years after Rasanen tweeted a picture of Bible verses in June 2019. Complaints about this tweet led to her prosecution under Finland’s “hate crimes” laws. The government investigation has uncovered a pamphlet Rasanen wrote and Pohjola printed concerning Christian teaching about sex being reserved only for marriage and marriage being defined as between one man and one woman. If convicted the government prosecutor is seeking a fine of one third of her yearly salary, destruction of all Christian documents of Rasanen and two years in prison. What concerns me about what is happening in Canada and Finland is that there are people in this country who share the same views. In fact, a piece of legislation called the “Equality Act” would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity in prohibiting discrimination. There is already “hate speech” language in this bill and denominations, churches and pastors could be targets as well. The bill has been passed by the U.S. House and is stalled in the Senate. The Democratic Party has pushed this bill and it has the support of President Joe Biden. This bill must not become law, or we will be facing the same issues as Christians in Canada and Finland.
The Scripture is clear in Isaiah 5:20 where it says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” This country was founded on principles out of God’s Word and yet we have people in this country who want to make the posting of Scripture passages a hate crime! 
Hopefully, most of you will agree that we live in a mixed-up world. Satan has been twisting God’s Word as long as the Garden. Our country is confused on what is right and what is wrong. We as a nation have rejected God and His Word as our standard years ago. What we have now is chaos. As believers, we must not give in to the “woke” radicals in this country and continue to stand on the truth of God’s Word. If not, you might have to visit your pastor in jail one of these days!
Bro. Jim

January/February 2022
It is not often that I receive a message while preaching a funeral service, but it happened the other day. The Clevenger family and I were listening to “Amazing Grace” being played at Joe’s graveside service in Tulsa. I know the hymn by heart. But the Lord spoke to me. There I was listening to the words sung by a familiar singer when the second verse leapt out at me. “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.” I have sung that verse a thousand times but, on that day, God got my attention.

I read a true-life story of a man who hollered at a boy on a bike that was about to get hit by a fast-moving truck. The man ended up screaming at the boy who stop his bike just in time to avoid the fast-moving vehicle. The man apologized for screaming at the boy, but the boy’s father responded, “No, thank you. You can scream at him anytime you like.” The young boy was headed for sure disaster. He needed someone to scream at him. Yes, he needed to be afraid. Did you hear me? He needed to be afraid. He was in extreme danger!

May I remind you of the verse in Proverbs 9:10; “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Fear can be a good thing and it has purpose. Now, listen to the line in the hymn again, “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears  relieved.” Go back to the boy for a moment. Is the boy still afraid after the near accident involving the truck? Of course not, he moved to a place of safety and the danger passed, so the fear also passed.

We need to be reminded of the fear of God that is sung about in Amazing Grace. Satan and all his allies are doing everything possible to run us over like the truck bearing down on the boy on the bike. We are in danger from this sin-sick world and our children and grandchildren are targets too. We need that grace to teach us to fear the Lord, and that same grace can relieve our fears once we are in the safety of our Lord’s care. The fear of the Lord is the first step into a lifetime of walking in His wisdom. Once we have moved from the place of danger into His protection, there is no longer any need to hang on to that fear. In His sanctuary — under His care — there is assurance and confidence.

Bro. Jim