Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Testament Christian Seminary Choir

Friday, October 22, 2010

Another Baptism!

We rejoice with the next batch of new believers who were recently baptized.  A couple of these folks are from the Belleville church.  We used their church to do the baptism in.  Thank you Rev. Sewell and the Belleville crew for your hospitality to us again!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lincoln's Quote

"Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has grown, but we have forgotten God."  -Abraham Lincoln 1863

Amazing that President Lincoln said this in 1863 and it is still appropriate for 2010.  Yet, I thank God for a remnant, a group, that do pray and look to God for a national renewal.  There are those that understand that success can't be measured in dollars and cents, or material possessions, but in proportion to how we answer this question: Have you done what God wanted you to do?

Micah 6:8 (KJV) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Monday, August 09, 2010

27 Year Church Anniversary

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Mother's Love

I was reading some Mother's day sermons and came across this illustration:

The story is told - out of WW 2 & the holocaust that took the lives of millions of people - of Solomon Rosenberg & his family. It is a true story.

Solomon Rosenberg & his wife & their 2 sons & his mother & father were arrested & placed in a Nazi concentration camp. It was a labor camp, & the rules were simple. "As long as you can do your work, you are permitted to live. When you become too weak to do your work, then you are exterminated."

Rosenberg watched his mother & father marched off to their deaths, & he knew that next would be his youngest son, David, because David had always been a frail child.

Every evening Rosenberg came back into the barracks after his hours of labor & searched for the faces of his family. When he found them they would huddle together, embrace one another, & thank God for another day of life.

One day Rosenberg came back & didn’t see those familiar faces. He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping, & praying. He said, "Josh, tell me it’s not true." Joshua turned & said, "It is true, poppa. Today David was not strong enough to do his work. So they came for him."

"But where is your mother?" asked Mr. Rosenberg. "Oh poppa," he said, "When they came for David, he was afraid & he cried. Momma said, `There is nothing to be afraid of, David,’ & she took his hand & went with him."

That is motherhood. Mothers, this is your day. May God bless you in it. And I pray that if there is someone here who has never experienced the love of God that is so close to the love of a mother, that this will be your time of decision.

I pray that if you have felt that you have had to walk through that valley alone so many times, that you will recognize that there is a hand reaching out to you, saying, "There is nothing to be afraid of. I’ll go with you."

Friday, May 07, 2010

Him? or His help?

I heard a man recently who was remarking about America directly after 9/11/01.  He said when America came together to pray after the horrible tragedy, you could find many who prayed for God's help, but no one praying for Him.

I think we can see the same today when many are concerned about getting His blessings, but not Him.  I have often heard the scripture quoted: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you."  Usually when I heard someone saying that, they are focusing on the second part....all these things shall be added unto you, and not the first part, seeking the kingdom of God and seeking Him.  He is a far better blessing then anything material.  He is not a means to an end, nor the  requirement before you get the goods, He is the center of life, in His presence is fullness of joy!

His presence in itself is a blessing!  He satisfies!

(Psa 73:25) Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

Monday, May 03, 2010

What God is doing? or Who He is?

Oswald Chambers, was the author of "My Utmost For His Highest". Once, when his wife had asked  him "I wonder what God is doing?" he answered her:  "I don't care what God is doing, I am more concerned about who He is."  His wife understood his tender heart and that this was not meant to be a callous reply, but rather sometimes God's actions can be confusing, while the Lord Himself, never was.
(From the book "Abandoned to God")

Yes! much better to know Him, and to know He is unchangeable, then to try to understand with our finite minds the actions of God born out of  His infinite one.  His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than ours.

To Whom Belongest Thou?

The Amalekites had invaded Ziklag.  The families of David and his soldiers had been taken captive.  David and his army were pursuing them and came across a young man.  David asks the question "To whom belongest thou?"  The young man answered that he was an Egyptian and was a servant to one of the Amalekites, but had gotten sick and they had left him behind. There are thousands of soldiers and servants, what is just one?  He is sick now, he can't help us, just leave him behind.

Sounds just like the world and the devil's crowd!

When you get to the place that you are no good to them they leave you behind.  When the lights are bright and the music is playing, when the glow of youth is on your cheek, and your wallet is full then everything is fine.  But when you can't offer them anything, when you have a problem, when you are sick, or become a burden to them, then they leave you behind. They will forsake you.  Sooner or later, the devil and his crowd will forsake their weak.  They have no compassion, no mercy, no time for a wounded one. Their question is always "What have you done for me recently?"

Jesus and His people are always seeking the wounded, the sick, the forgotten, so that He may restore them.  Revive them.  Reconcile them.  There are no throw aways with God.

"The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds."—Ps. 147:2,3.

Clyde Box shared: During the Vietnam War, a certain nurse was the subject of much discussion. After a battle she would wander away from the medical camp onto the battlefield itself. Sometimes she would personally drag in a soldier who was in desperate need of medical attention. More than once she was reprimanded by the doctors. They told her she had no business on the battlefield. Not only that, she brought in Viet Cong soldiers along with the Americans. One day after a big battle an officer saw her on the battlefield amid all the suffering and dying and death. He began to rebuke her: "What are you doing on that battlefield?" She said without hesitation, "I’m looking for the wounded. That’s what I am here for."

And that is what we are here for...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The devil's armor

(Read "Whose Armor Are You Wearing?" first)
We have seen before that Judas had power, but piece by piece the devil clothed him with his armor.

Belt of Lies
Joh 12:5-6
(5) Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
(6) This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

We see Judas strapping on the belt of lies with these verses. Sometimes the most wicked lies are covered by a moral sounding excuse. Jesus used the example of the Pharisees who said I can't give this to my parents it is a gift to God. It sounded good to man, but Jesus identified it as a cover-up for their disobedience to God!

Helmet of Destruction
Matt 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

He thought it was too late. Even then God could have and would have forgiven him, if he tried. He says to himself, being prompted by the devil "I can't be forgiven, I am going to be destroyed"…and puts on the helmet of destruction.

Breastplate of unrighteousness
Joh 13:2
(2) And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
This betrayal and wickedness shoes us Judas donning the breastplate of unrighteousness.

Feet shod with shoes
John 13:30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
The "Sop" was the most tender and delicious morsel of the meal and was usually given by the host to a guest to show honor and love or friendship. Jesus was in this act of giving the sop, reaching out to Judas one last time, but Judas had on the devil's shoes, he was ready and determined to do evil, and went out immediately!

Shield of unbelief
When he did not believe, he opened himself to betrayal.
John 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
John 6:71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

He walked with Him three years and still did not believe! He had seen the miracles, even partook of them, but still did not believe!

Words of the devil…the sword
As we saw above, he complained about the "waste" of the ointment poured out upon Jesus. Complaining. never changes anything for the good. If you get your way, there is no peace about it afterwards. Complaining doesn't improve anything, it wastes your time, brings a shadow and a cloud over you.
God hates it!

Judas ended up clothed in the devil's armor and marched to his destruction. It doesn't have to be that way for you! Take off the devil's armor and put on the whole armor of God!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Whose Armor Are You Wearing?

Luk 11:21-22
(21) When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
(22) But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

Clank, Clank, Clank the army of souls goes marching into God's house each week. Their helmets gleaming, swords sharpened, shields held high. Soldiers of the Lord you say? Wearing the Armor of the Lord? Some are, but when we read the book of Luke, we find there is another armor. The devil's armor. Everyone has on a spiritual armor, but the question I want to ask you is:

Whose armor are you wearing?

In Ephesians we find that God gives Christians His armor. Knowing the devil often imitates God's methods and that from our bible reading he has an armor, we can imagine that as God clothes Christians with His armor, the devil gives his armor to those he wants to "protect" from the power of God.
If he can't keep you from the house of God, then he wants to put his armor on you so that you will not come into full contact with God's power.

When Paul describes the armor of God, he began with the waistbelt of truth, the devil's armor would be the belt of lies. He is even called a liar and the father of lies. One Greek word used for the devil is diabolos, which means slanderer. Slander is defined as false statements injurious to a person's reputation. God desires truth in the inward parts, and the devil delights in lies, false accusations and slander.

The slander and lies told about God, His church, His preachers and His believers, sometimes keep others from receiving the truth.

God gives us a breastplate of righteousness, and the devil gives his people a breastplate of unrighteousness. Their sins and iniquities separate them from God. They love their sin so much, they don't want to let it go. One lady told a friend of mine "I would rather die and go to hell then give up this relationship!"

God gives His sons and daughters a helmet of salvation, but the devil clothes his children with a helmet of destruction. Saying: "You are going to die and go to hell anyway, you might as well live it up." or "It is too late for you, don't even try." He endeavors to get that person to destroy themselves literally or through a destructive lifestyle.

God's soldiers are wearing gospel shoes, prepared to do His work, and the minions of the enemy are ready to do evil Prov. 1:16 "For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood"

The warriors of the Lord are protected with a shield of faith, but doubt, suspicion and unbelief form the shield that keeps the enemy's people "shielded" from God.

The weapon in the hand of the Christian is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. The words of the devil, prompted to the minds of humanity becomes the weapon fighting against the gospel. If the Word of the Lord is pure, converting the soul, the enemies words are impure, confirming the soul in it's situation.

My goal is not to lift up what the enemy is doing, but to point out his tactics so that you may examine yourself and see if you are indeed wearing his armor, and if it is keeping you from receiving all that God wants for you.

God is never limited, and there are times His arrows pierce between "the joints and the harness" of any armor. Other times people wonder why they are hindered, perhaps this could be part of the reason.

Part 2 tomorrow

Saturday, April 10, 2010


(double click pictures for larger image)

We had a wonderful day including baptism for these brothers and sisters. We held the baptism at our Belleville church where Rev. Sewell is the pastor and was so kind to let us use their facilities until our baptismal is installed. Praise God for all He has done!
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Friday, April 09, 2010

Teen Night

Congratulations to the boys teen class who won the bible trivia contest on teen night. It was a close contest and the girls only trailed by two points. The teachers did an excellent job and the students knew their stuff. Thanks to all of the parents and teachers who helped to make it a success. I look forward to the next one!
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Photos

There are some new photos posted HERE.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Barber Shop

I have had some odd barber shop experiences in the past, but this one is truly unique! Upon arriving in St. Louis I began searching for an establishment I could make my every other week trimming trip to. I had been paying about $1.50 in the Philippines for a haircut, and so the $12-$13 prices seemed pretty high to me. After several bad haircuts, and even an attempt to learn to do it myself, I found a place that offered a $7 cut. I went there after a days visiting and there were several men waiting so I decided to come back the next day. The barber seemed friendly enough, and had some religious decorations around, and after the haircut, he refused to let me pay him, saying he hadn't really cut much. Great! The next time I went, I told him I was a preacher and invited him to church. He stopped what he was doing, and told me this "I thought you were a tax man! I stayed up at night trying to think of a way to tell you never to come back here! I hated you! You intimidated me!"

Whoa! Not the kind of effect I was hoping to have on people! He felt pretty bad and then began to share with me about some family members with some pretty serious medical problems. I told him I would pray for them. He asked me if I had any pamphlets I could leave at the barber shop for the patrons, I gladly went to the car and got a stack and laid them on the counter, he said "No! Go and give them to each person! Have some guts! and anytime you want to come in here and talk to any of the guys in the barber shop you can."
Having been duly scolded, I went to each person and invited them out, and spoke with one man at length, he came that Sunday night!

Anytime I go in, he usually calls someone over for me to talk to and I get to invite them out to church!

I think I found the right barber shop!

Judas had power...

Mat 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

According to Matthew 10:1, Judas, one of the twelve, had been given power to cast out unclean spirits and to heal. He became an example of betrayal and his name is synonymous with being a traitor. What happened? He was given power, but didn't use it. Instead of casting out the unclean spirits, he became a friend to them and they entered him....satan entered into him.(Luke 22:3)

He healed others, but didn't heal himself from the sick heart, and covetous spirit.

He was commanded to take no gold or silver or scrip for your purses, but later that is what concerned him. He held the bag, he betrayed Jesus for money.

He had power to resist the devil but he didn't use it.

The same one that was casting out devils earlier was now taking them in!

The same one that was raising the dead, was dying on the inside!

The same one that was cleansing the lepers was becoming defiled himself!

He preached to others, but didn't listen to his own message!

He yielded his power to the enemy and became his pawn. He gave him his keys.

God gives me power over the enemy and power over myself, but I must not squander it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Back in the USA

For those of you who don't already know, the Lord directed our steps back to the United States.  We served nearly 4 and 1/2 years in the Philippines and will miss many of the people who became our friends, brothers and sisters.  

We are now pastoring a church in St. Louis and the Lord is blessing us.  We have settled in for the most part, and enjoying the challenge set before us.  

Keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Protecting Our Image

When David came to the valley of Elah, he was concerned about the "uncircumcised Philistine" the giant Goliath, and the reproach that he brought to God by his boasting.  No one had stepped up to accept the challenge for the Lord.  David, motivated  for God's glory, stood and defeated this blow-hard.

Later, David's sin with Bathsheba, was a reason that the enemies could blaspheme against the Lord.

What happened?  David went from concern that no one would stand up for God, to actually being the one to bring shame to God!

One clue might be found in the aftermath, he instructed Joab to send Uriah, Bathsheba's husband to his death and then when informed about it, he told Joab "Let not this thing displease thee..."  He was concerned how Joab would view his treacherous actions, how his IMAGE would be in the eyes of Joab.  He was not concerned about how he looked in God's eyes!  Note that the bible used the same word a few verses later... "The thing that David did displeased the Lord."

We enter dangerous territory when we are more concerned about what man thinks,  then about what God thinks of us.   When we are thinking about our image and about what our peers think, instead of what will bring glory to God, we are certain to misstep.

It is this image consciousness that prevents us from doing some of the things that God beckons us to do.  We are concerned how others might react to our actions.  "What will they think?" Let us pray that God delivers us from that question and instead we ask the more important one: "What will HE (God) think?"